If you crawl under the jeep it's easy access.
The "chalk" is corrosion.
Do you even hear a click when you try and start it? You should hear the solenoid click as it engages.
If you hear nothing, make sure the trans is in park/neutral on an auto, and the clutch is in on a manual.
97 Sahara, 74 Renegade, 72 CJ5, 55 Willy's (the Beast) Boss 302, 6:34 gearing, Bose 901 speakers.
God I miss that Jeep. Forgot the kinda Jeep, 80 SX4.