Edwin Stanton

Edwin Stanton



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Edwin Stanton nació en Steubenville, Ohio, el 19 de diciembre de 1814. Después de asistir al Kenyon College, fue admitido en el colegio de abogados en 1836. Trabajó en Pittsburgh durante nueve años antes de mudarse a Washington y construyó una gran práctica en los tribunales federales.

Miembro del Partido Demócrata, fue nombrado fiscal general por el presidente James Buchanan en diciembre de 1860. Perdió el cargo cuando el presidente Abraham Lincoln fue elegido en 1861. Stanton regresó al poder cuando aceptó trabajar como asesor legal de Simon Cameron, el Secretario de Guerra. Este trabajo se volvió más importante con el estallido de la Guerra Civil estadounidense.

En enero de 1862, Stanton ayudó a Simon Cameron a escribir su informe anual. Él personalmente escribió la sección que pedía que los esclavos liberados fueran armados y usados ​​contra el Ejército Confederado. El presidente Abraham Lincoln se opuso a esta política y ordenó a Cameron que eliminara el pasaje ofensivo. Cuando se negó, fue despedido. Lincoln, que desconocía el papel de Stanton en el informe, lo nombró su nuevo Secretario de Guerra.

Después de asumir el cargo, Stanton se hizo cargo de la gestión de todas las líneas telegráficas de Estados Unidos. Stanton también censuró a la prensa y de esta manera mantuvo un control total sobre las noticias que llegaban al público. Para mantener este sistema, Stanton duplicó el tamaño del Departamento de Guerra.

Convencido de que la guerra terminaría pronto, Stanton cerró las oficinas de reclutamiento del gobierno en la primavera de 1862. Cuando se dio cuenta de su error, abogó por el reclutamiento de soldados negros.

Stanton fue muy crítico en privado con el gobierno y una vez le dijo a un amigo que no podía encontrar "ninguna muestra de una comprensión inteligente de Lincoln, o de la tripulación que lo gobierna". Sin embargo, Stanton y Abraham Lincoln trabajaron bien juntos durante la guerra.

Durante el verano de 1863 finalizó un acuerdo en virtud del cual se intercambiaban cautivos de la Unión y la Confederación. Stanton y Ulysses S. Grant decidieron que el Ejército Confederado tenía más dificultades para reemplazar a los hombres que el Ejército de la Unión. Esto incluyó la decisión de no llevarse a 30.000 soldados de Andersonville. Cuando Stanton se enteró de la alta tasa de mortalidad en Andersonville, decidió reducir las raciones de los soldados capturados en un 20 por ciento.

En 1863 Stanton reclutó a Lafayette Baker como su reemplazo de Allan Pinkerton, jefe del Servicio de Inteligencia de la Unión. Baker recibió el trabajo de jefe de la Policía Nacional de Detectives (NDP), una organización de espías encubierta y antisubversiva. Uno de sus éxitos fue la captura de la espía confederada, Belle Boyd. Posteriormente, Baker fue acusada de realizar un interrogatorio brutal y, a pesar del trato inhumano, Boyd se negó a confesar y fue liberada en 1863.

Baker también era sospechoso de ser culpable de corrupción. Persiguió a personas que obtenían ganancias de actividades comerciales ilegales. Se afirmó que arrestó y encarceló a quienes se negaron a compartir sus ganancias ilegales con él. Baker finalmente fue sorprendido tocando líneas de telégrafo entre Nashville y la oficina de Stanton. Baker fue degradado y enviado a Nueva York y puesto bajo el control de Charles Dan, el Subsecretario de Guerra.

Como organizador de la seguridad interna, Edwin M. Stanton fue culpado por el asesinato de Abraham Lincoln el 14 de abril de 1865. Stanton convocó inmediatamente a Lafayette Baker, jefe de la Policía Nacional de Detectives (NDP) a Washington con la apelación telegráfica: "Ven aquí de inmediato y vea si puede encontrar al asesino del presidente ". Baker llegó el 16 de abril y su primer acto fue enviar a sus agentes a Maryland para recoger la información que pudieran sobre las personas involucradas en el asesinato.

En dos días, Baker arrestó a Mary Surratt, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt y Edman Spangler. También tenía los nombres de los compañeros conspiradores, John Wilkes Booth y David Herold. Cuando los agentes de Baker descubrieron que había cruzado el Potomac cerca de Mathias Point el 22 de abril, envió al teniente Edward P. Doherty y veinticinco hombres de la Decimosexta Caballería de Nueva York para capturarlos.

El 26 de abril, Doherty y sus hombres se encontraron con John Wilkes Booth y David Herold en una granja propiedad de Richard Garrett. Doherty ordenó a los hombres que se rindieran. Herold salió del granero, pero Booth se negó y, por lo tanto, le prendieron fuego al granero. Mientras esto sucedía, uno de los soldados, el sargento Boston Corbett, encontró una gran grieta en el granero y pudo dispararle a Booth por la espalda. Su cuerpo fue arrastrado desde el granero y luego de ser registrado, los soldados recuperaron su diario encuadernado en cuero. La bala le había perforado la médula espinal y murió en gran agonía dos horas después. El diario de Booth fue entregado a Baker, quien luego se lo pasó a Stanton. Baker fue recompensado por su éxito al ser ascendido a general de brigada y recibir una parte sustancial de la recompensa de $ 100,000.

El 1 de mayo de 1865, el presidente Andrew Johnson ordenó la formación de una comisión militar de nueve hombres para juzgar a los conspiradores implicados en el asesinato del presidente Abraham Lincoln. Stanton argumentó que los hombres deberían ser juzgados por un tribunal militar, ya que Lincoln había sido el comandante en jefe del ejército. Varios miembros del gabinete, entre ellos Gideon Welles (Secretario de la Marina), Edward Bates (Fiscal General), Orville H. Browning (Secretario del Interior) y Henry McCulloch (Secretario del Tesoro), lo desaprobaron, prefiriendo un juicio civil. . Sin embargo, James Speed, el fiscal general, estuvo de acuerdo con Stanton y, por lo tanto, los acusados ​​no disfrutaron de las ventajas de un juicio con jurado.

El juicio comenzó el 10 de mayo de 1865. La comisión militar incluía a importantes generales como David Hunter, Lewis Wallace, Thomas Harris y Alvin Howe y Joseph Holt era el fiscal jefe del gobierno. Mary Surratt, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Samuel Mudd, Michael O'Laughlin, Edman Spangler y Samuel Arnold fueron acusados ​​de conspirar para asesinar a Lincoln. Durante el juicio, Holt intentó persuadir a la comisión militar de que Jefferson Davis y el gobierno confederado habían estado involucrados en una conspiración.

Joseph Holt intentó ocultar el hecho de que había dos complots: el primero para secuestrar y el segundo para asesinar. Era importante que la fiscalía no revelara la existencia de un diario extraído del cuerpo de John Wilkes Booth. El diario dejaba claro que el plan de asesinato databa del 14 de abril. Sorprendentemente, la defensa no pidió que se presentara el diario de Booth en la corte.

El 29 de junio de 1865, Mary Surratt, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Samuel Mudd, Michael O'Laughlin, Edman Spangler y Samuel Arnold fueron declarados culpables de estar implicados en la conspiración para asesinar a Abraham Lincoln. Surratt, Paine, Atzerot y Herold fueron ahorcados en la Penitenciaría de Washington el 7 de julio de 1865. Surratt, que se esperaba que fuera indultada, fue la primera mujer en la historia de Estados Unidos en ser ejecutada.

En enero de 1867, Lafayette Baker publicó su libro, Historia del servicio secreto. En el libro Baker describió su papel en la captura de los conspiradores. También reveló que le habían quitado una lechería a John Wilkes Booth cuando le dispararon. Esta información sobre el diario de Booth resultó en que Baker fuera llamado ante un comité del Congreso que investigaba el asesinato de Abraham Lincoln. Stanton se vio obligado a entregar el diario de Booth. Cuando el comité le mostró el diario, Baker afirmó que alguien había "cortado dieciocho hojas". Cuando fue llamado ante el comité, Stanton negó ser la persona responsable de quitar las páginas.

Esta información sobre el diario de Booth resultó en que Baker fuera llamado ante un comité del Congreso que investigaba el asesinato de Abraham Lincoln. Edwin M. Stanton y el Departamento de Guerra se vieron obligados a entregar el diario de Booth. Cuando el comité le mostró el diario, Baker afirmó que alguien había "cortado dieciocho hojas". Cuando fue llamado ante el comité, Stanton negó ser la persona responsable de quitar las páginas.

Después de la guerra, Stanton continuó como secretario de Guerra, pero le resultó difícil seguir adelante con el nuevo presidente, Andrew Johnson. Stanton no estuvo de acuerdo con los planes de Johnson de readmitir a los estados separados en la Unión sin garantías de derechos civiles para los esclavos liberados.

En marzo de 1867, el Congreso aprobó la primera de las Leyes de Reconstrucción que preveía el sufragio negro. Johnson intentó vetar la legislación, pero cuando fracasó, logró retrasar el programa y socavó su ineficacia.

Stanton dejó en claro que no estaba de acuerdo con Andrew Johnson y en 1867 el presidente intentó obligarlo a dejar el cargo y reemplazarlo con Ulysses S. Grant. Stanton se negó a ir y fue apoyado por el Senado. Grant ahora se retiró y fue reemplazado por Lorenzo Thomas. Esto fue una violación de la Ley de Tenencia de la Oficina y algunos miembros del Partido Republicano comenzaron a hablar sobre el juicio político a Johnson.

En noviembre de 1867, el Comité Judicial votó 5-4 para que Johnson fuera acusado por delitos graves y faltas. El informe mayoritario escrito por George H. Williams contenía una serie de cargos que incluían perdonar a traidores, lucrarse con la eliminación ilegal de ferrocarriles en Tennessee, desafiar al Congreso, negar el derecho a reconstruir el sur e intentar evitar la ratificación de la Decimocuarta Enmienda.

El 30 de marzo de 1868, comenzó el juicio político de Johnson. Johnson fue el primer y único presidente de los Estados Unidos en ser acusado. El juicio, celebrado en el Senado en marzo, fue presidido por el presidente del Tribunal Supremo, Salmon Chase. Johnson fue defendido por su ex general de Attotney, Henry Stanbury y William M. Evarts. Uno de los críticos más feroces de Johnson, Thaddeus Stevens estaba mortalmente enfermo, pero estaba decidido a participar en el proceso y fue llevado al Senado en una silla.

Charles Sumner, otro oponente de mucho tiempo de Andrew Johnson lideró el ataque. Sostuvo que: "Esta es una de las últimas grandes batallas con la esclavitud. Expulsado de las cámaras legislativas, expulsado del campo de la guerra, este poder monstruoso ha encontrado refugio en la mansión ejecutiva, donde, en total desacato a la Constitución y leyes, busca ejercer su antiguo dominio de largo alcance. Todo esto es muy claro. Nadie puede cuestionarlo. Andrew Johnson es la personificación del poder esclavista tiránico. En él vive de nuevo. Él es el sucesor directo de John C. . Calhoun y Jefferson Davis; y él reúne en torno a él a los mismos partidarios ".

Aunque un gran número de senadores creía que Johnson era culpable de los cargos, no les agradaba la idea de que Benjamin Wade se convirtiera en el próximo presidente. Wade, que creía en el sufragio femenino y los derechos sindicales, fue considerado por muchos miembros del Partido Republicano como un radical extremo. James Garfield advirtió que Wade era "un hombre de pasiones violentas, opiniones extremas y puntos de vista estrechos que estaba rodeado por los peores y más violentos elementos del Partido Republicano".

Otros republicanos como James Grimes argumentaron que a Johnson le quedaba menos de un año en el cargo y que estaban dispuestos a votar en contra del juicio político si Johnson estaba dispuesto a brindar algunas garantías de que no continuaría interfiriendo con la Reconstrucción.

Cuando se realizó la votación, todos los miembros del Partido Demócrata votaron en contra del juicio político. También lo hicieron los republicanos como Lyman Trumbull, William Fessenden y James Grimes, a quienes no les gustó la idea de que Benjamin Wade se convirtiera en presidente. El resultado fue de 35 a 19, un voto menos de la mayoría de dos tercios requerida para la condena. El editor de The Detroit Post escribió que "Andrew Johnson es inocente porque Ben Wade es culpable de ser su sucesor".

Una nueva votación el 26 de mayo tampoco logró obtener la mayoría necesaria para acusar a Johnson. Los republicanos radicales estaban enojados porque no todo el Partido Republicano votó por una condena y Benjamin Butler afirmó que Johnson había sobornado a dos de los senadores que cambiaron sus votos en el último momento. Ahora se requería que Stanton renunciara a su puesto en el gabinete.

Edwin Stanton regresó a su práctica de derecho privado, pero cuando Ulysses S. Grant se convirtió en presidente, nombró a Stanton para la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos. Desafortunadamente, Stanton murió cuatro días después, el 24 de diciembre de 1869.

En su libro, ¿Por qué fue asesinado Lincoln? (1937). El historiador Otto Eisenchiml sugirió que Stanton había diseñado el complot para asesinar al presidente Abraham Lincoln. La evidencia de esta teoría incluyó el empleo de John Parker para proteger a Lincoln, el hecho de que Stanton no cerrara todas las carreteras fuera de Washington, el tiroteo de John Wilkes Booth, la manipulación del diario de Booth y el encapuchado de los conspiradores para evitar que hablaran.

Aquellos que hacen la guerra contra el gobierno con justicia pierden todos los derechos de propiedad y, como el trabajo y el servicio de sus esclavos constituyen la principal propiedad de los rebeldes, sus esclavos constituyen la principal propiedad de los rebeldes, dicha propiedad debe compartir el destino común de la guerra. . Es tan claramente el derecho de este Gobierno de armar a los esclavos cuando sea necesario como de usar pólvora o armas tomadas al enemigo.

Lincoln no sabía que el gigante de voluntad de hierro al que estaba poniendo estaba más obstinadamente a favor de armar a los esclavos que al hombre al que estaba echando. Lincoln tampoco sabía que la recomendación que, con su propia mano, había borrado del informe de Cameron y que era el medio de expulsar a su supuesto autor, fue concebida y escrita por el mismo hombre que ahora entraba y por eso se puede decir que Stanton escribió su propia cita.

Stanton me dijo que el gran objetivo de la guerra era abolir la esclavitud. Poner fin a la guerra antes de que la nación estuviera preparada para eso sería un fracaso. La guerra debe prolongarse y llevarse a cabo para lograrlo.

Stanton cree en la mera fuerza, siempre que la maneje, pero se acobarda ante ella cuando la maneja cualquier otra mano. Si el presidente tuviera un poco más de vitalidad, controlaría o despediría a Stanton.

Todas las personas que alberguen o oculten a los conspiradores o contribuyan a su ocultación o fuga, serán tratadas como cómplices del asesinato del Presidente y serán sometidas a juicio ante una comisión militar y a la pena de muerte.

Los presos para mayor seguridad contra la conversación deberán tener una bolsa de lona puesta sobre la cabeza de cada uno y atada alrededor del cuello, con orificios para respirar y comer adecuadamente, pero sin ver.

La cubierta de la cabeza estaba hecha de lona, ​​que cubría toda la cabeza y la cara, cayendo al frente hasta la parte inferior del pecho. Tenía unas cuerdas atadas, que estaban atadas alrededor del cuello y el cuerpo de tal manera que quitarlo era una imposibilidad física. Con frecuencia era imposible poner comida en mi boca.

El país no podía entender por qué Johnson no despidió al desleal Secretario de Guerra. Los radicales estaban tan asombrados como los conservadores. Doolittle, el senador de Wisconsin, escribió que: "Durante seis largos meses, he estado instando al presidente a que llame a Grant temporalmente para que cumpla con las funciones del Departamento de Guerra. Pero Stanton permanece, por lo que el informe se ha extendido por todo el estado. , que hay algo siniestro. Comenzó cuando el Milwaukee Sentinel imprimió la carta de un corresponsal de Washington, que dice que Stanton no es removido porque se rumorea y se cree que Stanton tiene testimonio para demostrar que el Sr. Johnson estaba al tanto del asesinato de Lincoln. . "

El hecho de que el presidente no ejerciera su indudable derecho a deshacerse de un ministro que discrepaba con él en cuestiones muy importantes, que se había vuelto personalmente desagradable para él y a quien consideraba un enemigo y un espía, fue un error que no fue excusa.

Conozco al general Grant mejor que cualquier otra persona del país. Era mi deber estudiarlo, y lo hacía día y noche, cuando lo veía y cuando no lo veía, y ahora les digo lo que sé, él no puede gobernar este país.

Fue el 10 de abril de 1865 cuando supe por primera vez que el plan estaba en marcha. No sabía la identidad del asesino, pero supe casi todo lo demás cuando me acerqué a Edwin Stanton al respecto. Actuó a la vez sorprendido e incrédulo. Más tarde dijo: "Tú también eres parte. Esperemos y veamos qué sale y entonces sabremos mejor cómo actuar en el asunto". Pronto descubrí lo que quería decir con que yo era parte de él cuando al día siguiente me enseñaron un documento que sabía que era una falsificación, pero que era inteligente, que daba la impresión de que yo había estado a cargo de un complot para secuestrar a la gente. Presidente, siendo el vicepresidente el instigador. Luego me convertí en parte de ese hecho aunque no me importaba.

Había al menos once miembros del Congreso involucrados en el complot, no menos de doce oficiales del Ejército, tres oficiales de la Marina y al menos veinticuatro civiles, de los cuales uno era gobernador de un estado leal. Cinco eran banqueros de gran reputación, tres eran periodistas de renombre nacional y once eran industriales de gran reputación y riqueza. Las personas nombradas aportaron ochenta y cinco mil dólares para pagar la escritura. Solo ocho personas conocían los detalles de la trama y la identidad de las demás. Temo por mi vida.

Hubo un hombre que se benefició enormemente de la muerte de Lincoln; el hombre que fue su secretario de guerra, Edwin M. Stanton. Brusco, insolente, cruel, Stanton fue sin duda el miembro más impopular de la administración de Lincoln; pero el presidente, a pesar de la fuerte presión, se había mostrado reacio a dejarlo ir mientras el conflicto se desarrollaba; parecía pensar que nadie más podía hacer el trabajo también.

Sin embargo, una vez terminada la guerra, parecía solo una cuestión de tiempo que Lincoln se despojara de una secretaria que se estaba convirtiendo rápidamente en una carga tanto personal como política para él. Era una ventaja para él tener al presidente fuera del camino; significaría una permanencia en el cargo, un mayor poder sobre un nuevo presidente ejecutivo supuestamente débil y una perspectiva justa de reemplazar a este último en las próximas elecciones.

Como secretario de guerra, Stanton falló en su deber de proteger la vida del presidente después de estar convencido de que había peligro en el aire. Él negó sin rodeos la solicitud de Lincoln de ser protegido por el Mayor Eckert y no proporcionó un sustituto adecuado.

Probablemente se debió a los esfuerzos de Stanton que se suprimieron cuidadosamente todas las pruebas de negligencia por parte de John F. Parker. Dirigió la persecución de Booth y permitió que se llevara a cabo de una manera que, de no haber sido por la herida accidental del asesino, le habría permitido escapar.

La persecución real y la posterior captura de Booth fueron silenciadas con métodos inusuales y posteriormente fueron retiradas del contacto con el público, ya sea mediante la imposición de la pena de muerte o el destierro a una fortaleza desolada. Otros prisioneros, al menos de la misma culpabilidad, escaparon al castigo.

Por plausible que parezca tal acusación, no tendría ninguna posibilidad de sobrevivir a un ataque legal. No hay un punto en este resumen que pueda probarse; todo es hipótesis. La evidencia circunstancial, en el mejor de los casos, es una base peligrosa sobre la que construir.


Mary Stanton

Edwin McMasters Stanton nació el 19 de diciembre de 1814 en Steubenville, Ohio, el mayor de los cuatro hijos de David y Lucy Norman Stanton. Tenía seis hermanos y hermanas. Desde su niñez, Edwin sufrió de asma durante toda su vida. Su padre era un médico cuáquero, y después de su muerte en 1827, Edwin trabajó en una librería durante cinco años para ayudar a mantener a su familia.

Imagen: Secretario de Guerra de la Unión, Edwin M. Stanton

Después de dejar el Kenyon College en 1833, Stanton estudió derecho con un juez. Fue admitido en el colegio de abogados de Ohio en 1835, pero tuvo que esperar varios meses hasta cumplir 21 años antes de poder comenzar a practicar. Desarrolló una carrera legal muy exitosa en Ohio, luego en Pittsburgh y finalmente en Washington, DC.

Matrimonio y familia
El 31 de mayo de 1836, Edwin Stanton se casó con Mary Lamson y tuvieron dos hijos: Lucy Lamson Stanton (n. 11 de marzo de 1837) y Edwin Lamson Stanton (n. Agosto de 1842). Construyeron una casa en el pequeño pueblo de Cádiz, Ohio, y allí ejerció la abogacía. Lucy, su hija de quince meses, murió en 1841.

Mary Lamson Stanton murió el 13 de marzo de 1844. La pérdida de su amada esposa envió a Stanton a una profunda depresión. Luego, en 1846, el hermano de Stanton, Darwin, se cortó la garganta y la sangre brotó hasta el techo, recordó un médico.

Tantas pérdidas en tan poco tiempo cambiaron a Stanton, reemplazando un buen humor cordial con una intensidad brusca, incluso grosera. Se mudó a Pittsburgh, se perdió en el trabajo legal y se convirtió en un feroz litigante.

En junio de 1856, doce años después de perder a su primera esposa, Stanton se casó con Ellen Hutchinson, una mujer mucho más joven. Miembro de una prominente familia de Pittsburgh, Ellen igualaba a Stanton en actitud distante. Tuvieron cuatro hijos: Eleanor Adams Stanton (n. 9 de mayo de 1857), James Hutchinson Stanton (n. 1861 d. 10 de julio de 1862), Lewis Hutchinson Stanton (n. 1862) y Bessie Stanton (n. 1863).

Stanton figura con su familia en el censo de 1860. En este momento, se destaca su profesión de abogado, su valor inmobiliario es de $ 40.000 y sus bienes personales valorados en $ 267.000. La familia tenía cuatro sirvientes viviendo con ellos.

Stanton & # 8217s Carrera legal
Mientras aún estaba en Ohio, Stanton se convirtió en miembro activo de la sociedad local contra la esclavitud y fue elegido Fiscal Fiscal del condado de Harrison como demócrata. Bajito, regordete, miope y asmático, era un abogado brillante conocido por su mal genio.

En 1847, Stanton se mudó a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Era un abogado apto y su negocio prosperaba allí. De 1849 a 1856 fue abogado del estado de Pensilvania, estableciendo una reputación nacional como ejerció ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos.

Debido a su amplia práctica ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, Edwin Stanton se mudó a Washington, DC, en 1856. En 1858 fue enviado a California por el Fiscal General de los Estados Unidos como agente federal especial para la resolución de reclamaciones de tierras, y Stanton tuvo éxito en rompiendo una conspiración por la cual el gobierno habría sido defraudado de vastas extensiones de tierra de valor casi inestimable.

En 1859, Stanton fue uno de los principales abogados del equipo de defensa de Daniel Sickles, un político y más tarde un general de la Unión. Sickles fue acusado de asesinar a su esposa y amante, Philip Barton Key II, hijo de Francis Scott Key. Stanton y sus colegas convencieron al jurado de que absolviera a Sickles sobre la base de una locura temporal, lo que marcó uno de los primeros usos de esa declaración.

En 1860, el presidente James Buchanan nombró a Stanton Fiscal General de los Estados Unidos. Stanton se opuso firmemente a la secesión, y se le atribuye haber cambiado la opinión de Buchanan sobre la secesión. En lugar de tolerar la secesión, Buchanan comenzó a denunciarla como inconstitucional e ilegal. Aconsejó a Buchanan que actuara enérgicamente contra el Sur, pero cuando el presidente no lo hizo, Stanton mantuvo en secreto a los republicanos, en particular a William Henry Seward, informados sobre las decisiones políticas de la Casa Blanca.

Antes de la Guerra Civil, Stanton era un demócrata, opuesto a la esclavitud, pero un firme defensor de los derechos constitucionales de los esclavistas y un acérrimo oponente de Abraham Lincoln, cuyo partido odiaba y desconfiaba.

Stanton y la Guerra Civil
Edwin Stanton se opuso políticamente al republicano Abraham Lincoln en 1860. Después de que Lincoln fuera elegido presidente, Stanton aceptó trabajar como asesor legal del secretario de Guerra Simon Cameron, solo para & # 8220 ayudar a salvar el país & # 8221. En 1862, el presidente Lincoln decidió destituir al corrupto e ineficaz Cameron, nombrándolo ministro en Rusia.

William H. Seward y Salmon P. Chase presionaron con éxito al presidente para que nombrara a Stanton como su nuevo Secretario de Guerra. Aunque a menudo había denunciado violentamente al presidente Lincoln, este último pensó que veía en Stanton a un buen secretario de guerra, y en enero de 1862 lo invitó a su gabinete.

Stanton una vez más renunció a una próspera práctica legal para ingresar al servicio público, sacrificando un ingreso anual de $ 40,000 a $ 50,000 como abogado por un salario de gabinete de $ 8,000. Sin experiencia militar, se trasladó a la oficina con celo, luchando contra el fraude y el despilfarro en el ejército rápidamente ampliado.

Stanton demostró ser un oficial de gabinete fuerte y eficaz, instituyendo prácticas para librar al Departamento de Guerra del despilfarro y la corrupción. Eliminó una horda de contratistas fraudulentos, mantuvo a los ejércitos en el campo bien equipados e infundió energía a los generales procrastinadores.

El 8 de agosto de 1862, el Secretario emitió una orden para & # 8220 arrestar y encarcelar a cualquier persona o personas que pudieran estar involucradas, por acto, discurso o escrito, en desalentar el alistamiento de voluntarios, o de alguna manera brindar ayuda y consuelo al enemigo. o en cualquier otra práctica desleal contra los Estados Unidos. & # 8221

Stanton fue muy eficaz en la administración del enorme Departamento de Guerra. Era vigoroso, rígido y, a menudo, severo, y sus modales fueron la causa de una considerable fricción entre el Departamento de Guerra y los generales de la Unión. Pero cuando se ejerció presión para destituir al impopular secretario de su cargo, Lincoln lo defendió. No el menor de los logros de Stanton fue la disolución pacífica de 800.000 soldados al final de la guerra.

Edwin Stanton y Abraham Lincoln
Al comienzo de la guerra, Stanton atacaba con frecuencia al presidente Lincoln en su correspondencia, pero la falta de respeto de Stanton hacia Lincoln se remonta a principios de 1857. Dos compañías diferentes en Illinois hicieron segadores. La Cyrus McCormick Company de Chicago era más grande y más antigua. La Compañía Manny de Rockford era el único competidor de McCormick.

Cyrus McCormick presentó una demanda contra John H. Manny por infracción de patente. Stanton, George Harding y Abraham Lincoln fueron nombrados para el equipo legal de Manny. Con entusiasmo, Lincoln comenzó a trabajar en su informe. Sabía poco sobre la ley de patentes o sobre segadores, por lo que viajó a Rockford para aprender más sobre el segador de Manny.

Lincoln llegó a la sala del tribunal vestido con su mejor traje. Cuando Stanton lo vio, preguntó: & # 8220 ¿De dónde vino el babuino de brazos largos? & # 8221 También lo describió como & # 8220 Una criatura larga y delgada de Illinois, que vestía un plumero de lino sucio como abrigo y la espalda del cual el sudor había manchado manchas anchas que se asemejaban a un mapa del continente. & # 8221 A Lincoln se le negó cualquier papel en el juicio.

Cuando Lincoln fue elegido presidente, el secretario de Estado William H. Seward y el secretario del Tesoro, Salmon P. Chase, presionaron al presidente para que nombrara a Stanton para un puesto federal en la primavera de 1861 & # 8211 quizás fiscal de los Estados Unidos para el Distrito de Colombia. pero otro candidato obtuvo el puesto.

La situación fue muy diferente a la hora de sustituir a Simon Cameron como secretario de Guerra. El biógrafo de Stanton Fletcher Pratt observó: & # 8220 Prácticamente todos en Washington en ese momento, y algunas personas fuera de la ciudad, se creían personalmente responsables de la nominación de Stanton & # 8217 como Secretario de Guerra & # 8221.

Pero la realidad, según Pratt, era que el propio Lincoln eligió a su hombre y silenciosamente dejó que los demás pensaran que estaban detrás, ya que la impresión no les hizo daño y les hizo sentir bien cuando la cita resultó un éxito. Tan pronto como fue evidente que Cameron tendría que irse, el presidente quiso reemplazarlo con un prominente demócrata sindical, preferiblemente uno que hubiera estado asociado con la administración anterior. & # 8221 Stanton cumplió con ambos requisitos.

Los biógrafos de Stanton, Benjamin P. Thomas y Harold M. Hyman, observaron:

El presidente, desconsolado por los fracasos que habían asistido a la causa de la Unión hasta el momento, y cansado de la ineptitud e incapacidad de muchos de los que le servían, vio en Stanton al hombre que necesitaba. Casi de inmediato, comenzó a surgir una profunda intimidad entre estas dos personalidades dispares. Lincoln nunca se refirió al abuso que había sufrido en manos de Stanton en años anteriores, ni a los epítetos que Stanton había usado contra él más recientemente. Stanton había encontrado a un hombre a quien seguir.

Brusco e intemperante con la gente, rígido y vigoroso en pos de la victoria de la Unión, Stanton hizo pocos amigos en el Departamento de Guerra o en el gabinete, pero él y el presidente se fueron forjando gradualmente una admiración mutua.

Ambos hombres eran padres cariñosos y, al igual que el presidente, Stanton llegó a comprender la pérdida de un hijo. Willie Lincoln murió de una enfermedad similar a la tifoidea el 20 de febrero de 1862. El hijo pequeño de Stanton, James Hutchinson Stanton, nacido en 1861, murió el 10 de julio de 1862.

Stanton y el presidente Lincoln vinieron a compartir las cargas de la guerra. En septiembre de 1863, el envío de Stanton de 23.000 hombres de este a oeste en menos de siete días para reforzar las filas del general William Rosecrans es una maravilla logística. Stanton, uno de los primeros admiradores del general Ulyysses S. Grant, impulsó su avance y aprobó con entusiasmo su nombramiento como general en jefe de los ejércitos de la Unión en 1864.

Imagen: El presidente Abraham Lincoln y su gabinete
Lincoln se reunió con su gabinete para la lectura del primer borrador de la Proclamación de Emancipación el 22 de julio de 1862. De izquierda a derecha: Edwin M. Stanton, Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln, Gideon Welles, Caleb B. Smith, William H. Seward , Montgomery Blair y Edward Bates.

Lincoln confió en el juicio de Stanton y llegó a depender en gran medida de sus consejos. Stanton también fue un firme partidario de la Proclamación de Emancipación de Lincoln y de los derechos de los hombres y mujeres liberados, que hizo mucho por defender. Stanton proclamó con frecuencia su independencia y superioridad legal sobre el presidente. Era una presunción que el presidente toleraba con benevolencia. En los últimos tres años de la Guerra Civil, su relación se transformó.

La alta opinión de Lincoln & # 8217 sobre Stanton se puede ver en la siguiente cita:

Él es la roca en la playa de nuestro océano nacional contra la cual las olas rompen y rugen, se precipitan y rugen sin cesar. Lucha contra las aguas furiosas y evita que socaven y abrumen la tierra. Señores, no veo cómo sobrevive, por qué no está aplastado y despedazado. Sin él debería ser destruido. Realiza su tarea de manera sobrehumana.

Stanton se convirtió en republicano, presionando firmemente por acciones que beneficiaran a la población esclava y negra libre, y aparentemente cambió su opinión sobre Lincoln. Según el periodista Noah Brooks, Stanton era & # 8220 lo que se conoce popularmente como un cabeza de toro, es decir, es obstinado, implacable, intencionado y no se aparta fácilmente de ningún propósito. & # 8221 Es decir, Stanton fue no particularmente agradable & # 8211, sin embargo, le agradaba al presidente Lincoln.

Cuando el presidente del Tribunal Supremo, Roger Taney, murió en octubre de 1864, Stanton quiso ser nombrado su reemplazo. Lincoln creía, sin embargo, que él era más importante para la causa de la Unión como Secretario de Guerra, por lo que el presidente nombró a Chase en su lugar. La gestión eficaz de Stanton ayudó a organizar los masivos recursos militares del Norte y guió a la Unión hacia la victoria.

Debido a su frágil salud, Stanton intentó renunciar poco después de la rendición confederada en Appomattox en abril de 1865, pero su renuncia fue rechazada por el presidente Lincoln. The President reportedly said: “Stanton, you cannot go. Reconstruction is more difficult and dangerous than construction or destruction. You have been our main reliance you must help us through the final act. The bag is filled. It must be tied and tied securely. Some knots slip yours do not. You understand the situation better than anybody else, and it is my wish and the country’s that you remain.”

Lincoln’s Assassination
Stanton’s true heroic nature emerged in the hours after Lincoln’s assassination. During that tumultuous night of terror and confusion, it was Edwin Stanton who held the United States together. Peace with the South was still shaky, and there was a lingering fear that officers like Nathan Bedford Forrest would drag out the war. Without a President to lead the United States and Jefferson Davis still at large, the future was uncertain.

Edwin Stanton stood firm in the face of all of this. On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was murdered by John Wilkes Booth. Booth had originally planned to decapitate the entire U.S. government by taking out Secretary of State William Seward, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Edwin Stanton. Stanton was saved by a malfunctioning doorbell that hadn’t been fixed.

Edwin Stanton learned about Lincoln’s assassination while he was checking on the injured Seward, and went immediately to the Peterson House across from Ford’s Theater, where Lincoln was taken after the shooting. Stanton immediately took charge of the scene.

Mary Todd Lincoln was so unhinged by the experience that Stanton had her ordered from the room. When Lincoln died, Stanton remarked, “Now he belongs to the ages. There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen.”

Washington was abuzz with rumors that the Confederates were regrouping, and Stanton sent out a steady stream of memos and letters to government officials. He ordered General Grant back to Washington and put the military on alert. He paved the way for a smooth transition of power to Vice President Andrew Johnson, getting all the Cabinet members to agree to stay on or resign as Andrew Johnson saw fit.

Presidential aide John Hay wrote to Stanton after President Lincoln’s death: “Not everyone knows, as I do, how close you stood to our lost leader, how he loved you and trusted you, and how vain were all the efforts to shake that trust and confidence, not lightly given and never withdrawn.”

Secretary Stanton vigorously pursued the apprehension and prosecution of the conspirators involved in Lincoln’s assassination. These proceedings were not handled by the civil courts, but by a military tribunal, and therefore under Stanton’s direction. He was subsequently accused of witness tampering, and of other activities that skewed the outcome of the trials.

Though from the start John Wilkes Booth was known to be the murderer, in the search for his conspirators scores of suspected accomplices were arrested and thrown into prison. The suspects were finally winnowed to eight: Samuel Arnold, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Samuel Mudd, Michael O’Laughlen, Lewis Powell, Edmund Spangler, and Mary Surratt.

Stanton ordered an unusual form of isolation for the eight suspects. He ordered eight heavy canvas hoods made, padded one-inch thick with cotton, with one small hole for eating, no opening for eyes or ears. A ball of extra cotton padding covered the eyes so that there was painful pressure on the closed lids. Stanton ordered that the hoods be worn by the seven men day and night to prevent conversation. Hood number eight was never used on Mary Surratt, the owner of the boarding house where the conspirators had laid their plans.

No baths or washing of any kind were allowed, and during the hot breathless weeks of the trial the prisoners’ faces became more swollen and bloated by the day. The prison doctor began to fear for the conspirators’ sanity, but Stanton would not allow the hoods, nor the rigid wrist irons and anklets, each connected to a ball weighing seventy-five pounds, to be removed.

Stanton remained as Secretary of War under President Andrew Johnson. Stanton was a staunch defender of the rights of freedmen following the Civil War, and he detested individuals who treated the freedmen unfairly. Initially, the Stanton and Johnson agreed on policy until Stanton heard rumors that the freedmen were being mistreated. His relations with the president thereafter were not good.

Stanton was finally asked to resign, and on his refusal to do so the President suspended him from office in August 1867. Under the terms of the Tenure of Office Act, the Senate refused (January 13, 1868) to concur in the suspension, and Stanton returned to his duties.

On February 21, 1868, President Johnson appointed General Lorenzo Thomas secretary of war and ordered Stanton to vacate the office, but on the same day the Senate upheld Stanton. He invoked military protection from General Ulysses S. Grant, who placed General Eugene Asa Carr in charge of the War Department building.

Congress came to Stanton’s rescue by impeaching the President, the principal article of impeachment being that based on the removal of Stanton. President Andrew Johnson escaped impeachment by a single vote in the Senate, in part because of a secret agreement with Senate members to abide by the Republican legislations.

When the impeachment proceedings failed on May 26, 1868, Stanton resigned and returned to his private law practice.

Stanton’s wish to sit on the Supreme Court appeared to be fulfilled when President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him and the Senate confirmed him on the same day, December 20, 1868. But Stanton died before taking the oath of office.

Edwin McMasters Stanton died of respiratory failure on December 24, 1869, in Washington, DC, and is buried there in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Stanton had a violent temper and a sharp tongue, but he was courageous, energetic, thoroughly honest and a genuine patriot.


In and out of cabinets

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in November 1860, outgoing president James Buchanan (1791– 1868 served 1857–61) reorganized his cabinet (top-ranking advisors of the president). Lincoln's election was viewed with disfavor in the South because of Lincoln's antislavery sentiments. Buchanan wanted to ensure the Union remained together. Buchanan chose Stanton to be his attorney general for the short but significant four months remaining in the president's term in office. Stanton helped convince Buchanan not to abandon the federally owned Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The state had seceded (separated) from the Union and demanded that federal troops be removed from the fort.

Stanton's brief time as attorney general ended with the conclusion of the Buchanan presidency in March 1861. In April, Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter and the Civil War was underway. Later in 1861, Stanton became a friend and confidential legal adviser of George B. McClellan (1826–1885), the general in charge of the Union army. Stanton also served as a legal adviser to Secretary of War Simon Cameron (1799–1899). He provided advice on Cameron's proposal to supply arms to slaves in the South to fight the Confederacy. Lincoln was so appalled at the suggestion that he fired Cameron. Oddly enough, Lincoln chose Stanton to replace Cameron. After his appointment was confirmed by the Senate on January 15, 1862, Stanton took office.

Stanton reorganized the War Department (now called the Defense Department). He carefully examined contracts for war supplies and demanded that supplies arrive on time. Stanton's dedication ensured that Union armies were always well supplied with materials and food. To better manage the war effort, Stanton worked through Congress to take control of telegraph lines: all information on the lines was directed through Stanton's office, enabling him to manage news reports and to remove any items Confederates might find valuable. Stanton also took control of railway lines: He ensured trains were available for troop movement and shipping of supplies, and he hired crews to build and repair railroads to keep the important transportation lines operating. Stanton remained in close touch with military commanders and with the congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War.


Henry Ulke painted an evocative portrait of Edwin Stanton that is now in the National Portrait Gallery.

“Good and evil were strangely blended in the character of this great war minister,” George Templeton Strong wrote a few days after Edwin Stanton died. “He was honest, patriotic, able, indefatigable, warm-hearted, unselfish, incorruptible, arbitrary, capricious, tyrannical, vindictive, hateful, and cruel.”

Strong, a New York lawyer who knew Stanton well, was right: Stanton was all of those things, a strange blend of good and evil. As the Union’s Secretary of War during most of the Civil War, he was Lincoln’s military right hand, the man whom the President referred to as his “Mars.”

Working together in Stanton’s telegraph office, the two men received telegraphic reports from the battlefield and gave instructions directly to the generals. Stanton’s great contribution was organization: organizing the war department, the million-man army, and the northern railroads and telegraphs, to bring them all to bear against the South.

Stanton also led the effort to capture John Wilkes Booth, the investigation into the assassinations, and the executions of the guilty parties..

Stanton was also Secretary of War in the months and years just after the Civil War. Stanton organized the military trial of those accused in the murder of Lincoln and attempted murder of Seward, which ended in the execution of four of those involved, including Mary Surratt. Stanton transformed the Union army from a fighting force into an army of occupation, to occupy and pacify the South. Reading the almost daily reports of violence in the South, Stanton believed that the Army had to remain in the South, to protect southern blacks and Union sympathizers. President Andrew Johnson believed that the Army had to leave the South, so that southerners could govern the South. Their disagreement grew so intense that Johnson attempted to remove Stanton, which led to the impeachment and near removal of the president. So to understand the nation’s first impeachment of a president, one has to understand Stanton, for Stanton was at the center, he was the cause, of the Johnson impeachment.

Stanton was born in Steubenville, Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River, not far from Pittsburgh, in late 1814. His father was a doctor, but his father died when Edwin was only thirteen, and as the oldest son Stanton had to work, in a bookstore, to help feed the family. A friend recalled that young Edwin was a good employee with one fault he was often so busy reading a book that he paid no attention when a customer came in to the bookstore. Money was so tight that Stanton was only able to go to college for three terms, to Kenyon College in Ohio, and then he “read law” in order to become a lawyer. He soon became a successful lawyer, the county prosecutor for several years, and he was involved in politics, as a die-hard Democrat. Stanton’s friend and law partner, Benjamin Tappan, was a United States senator in these years, and Stanton served as his Ohio eyes and ears: giving speeches, writing resolutions, attending conventions.

Stanton married Mary Lamson in late 1836 and they had two children. Their daughter died and then, in early 1844, Stanton’s wife Mary died. For several weeks he was near madness, wandering around the house at night, wailing “where’s Mary, where’s Mary?” Two years later Stanton’s brother Darwin, a doctor, in a fit of “brain fever” used his scalpel to commit suicide. Death was a constant part of Stanton’s life.

Stanton represented Pennsylvania in its suit against the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, which was a vital link in the National Road to Ohio but which blocked some steamboats from passing down the river. The case became an important precedent when the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has the right to regulate interstate commerce. The steamboats eventually developed hinged smokestacks to navigate under low bridges.

Leaving his young son in the care of his mother and sisters, Stanton moved to Pittsburgh in 1848, at the time a dark, dirty, brash, booming industrial center. Stanton’s most famous case from this period was the Wheeling bridge case, in which he argued that the Wheeling bridge was an unlawful impediment to interstate commerce, to the steamboat traffic on the Ohio River, because the tallest steamboats could not pass under the bridge at high water.

The case went on for a decade, back and forth among different courts, including several trips to Washington, to argue in the Supreme Court. There was also a political battle, in which the bridge company secured a statute from Congress declaring the road across the bridge a postal road, and then claimed this protected the bridge from Stanton’s efforts to have it removed or raised. At one point the bridge blew down in a storm, leading to questions about whether and how it could be rebuilt. The bridge Stanton wanted to see removed is still standing there, a national historic landmark, but in another sense Stanton won, for steamboat traffic continued, and Pittsburgh did not (as some had feared) lose its status as the regional center to Wheeling.

Not long after he moved to Pittsburgh, Stanton met Ellen Hutchison, daughter of a prominent Pittsburgh merchant. Some of the love letters that Edwin wrote to Ellen, in the months before their marriage, are in the National Archives in Washington. In December 1854, he wrote to Ellen from Washington describing a dinner party. “It was chiefly a gentleman’s party, and they are excessively stupid generally. While ladies are present the conversation is usually upon general or interesting topics but after their departure wine and segars, drinking, eating and political topics neither elevating or refining in their tendency ensue. I would never attend such assemblages if it could be avoided. I cannot but contrast the sensations produced by such associations with the feelings after spending the same length of time with a cultivated and refined woman like yourself dear Ellen.”

In September 1855, Stanton went to Cincinnati, to be part of a legal team in a patent case that included Abraham Lincoln. Stanton was supposedly rude to the future President, at this their first meeting, but there is no trace of that in these letters, or in other contemporary sources, only in memoirs written years later, by people who were not there. So although Stanton was often impolite, it’s not certain he was rude to Lincoln when they first met.

In June 1856, on the morning of the day they would wed, Stanton wrote to Ellen: “I salute you with assurances of deep and devoted love, that this evening will be attested by solemn vow before the world and in the presence of God. With calm and joyful hope, disturbed by no conflicting feeling, quiet and peaceful, I await the happy hour that shall witness our Union—to be thereafter parted no more until death part us, living only for each other you a true and loving wife to me, I a true and devoted husband to you.”

The Stantons moved to Washington in late 1856, and he became an informal member of the Buchanan administration, doing legal work for the Attorney General, Jeremiah Black. At Black’s request, Stanton went to California for a year, to represent the federal government in major land cases, including one in which half of San Francisco was in dispute. Stanton loved California he just did not like the people who lived there. “With all its advantages of climate, soil and minerals,” Stanton wrote home in one letter, “California is heavily cursed with the bad passions of bad men and I would not like to make my permanent abode upon its soil.”

In another letter he wrote to Black that when “California becomes settled with a new race of people and all the thieves, forgers, perjurers, and murderers that have invested it beyond any spot on earth shall be driven off, the coast will breed a race of men that have had no equal for physical & intellectual capacity.” One of the murderers whom Stanton had in mind was my ancestor, Clancey John Dempster, leader of the 1856 vigilance committee which had “tried” and hanged several men for alleged murder. Easterners like Stanton viewed the vigilantes as mere murderers.

Stanton successfully defended Congressman Daniel Sickles in his trial for the murder of Barton Key, who was having an affair with Sickles' wife.

After he returned to Washington in early 1859, Stanton was part of the defense team for Daniel Sickles, a member of Congress, accused of murdering Philip Barton Key, in broad daylight in Lafayette Square. There was no question that Sickles had shot and killed Key there were dozens of witnesses. But Sickles had a good reason to kill Key, who was sleeping with the young wife of Sickles, and the jury acquitted the Congressman, in part because of Stanton’s passionate plea that they should “defend the family” and exonerate Sickles.

In 1860, just after the election of Lincoln, as the southern states were seceding, Buchanan brought Stanton into his cabinet as Attorney General. Stanton was part of the debate over whether Buchanan should yield up Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, as the southerners and their northern allies demanded. Stanton insisted that Buchanan could not yield up Fort Sumter to do so, Stanton told Buchanan, would be treason, making Buchanan just as bad as Benedict Arnold.

When Lincoln became president, in March 1861, Stanton returned to his private legal practice here in Washington. In private letters, Stanton was quite critical of the way in which Lincoln was handling the first few months of the war. He wrote that there was “no sign of any intelligent understanding by Lincoln, or the crew that groom him, of the state of the country, or the exigencies of the times. Bluster & bravura alternate with timidity & despair—recklessness and hopelessness by turns rule the hour. What but disgrace & disaster can happen?”

Lincoln probably heard rumors about Stanton’s comments and yet, in early 1862, when he needed to replace his Secretary of War, the disorganized and corrupt Simon Cameron, Lincoln turned to Stanton. ¿Por qué? Partly politics by appointing a leading Democrat Lincoln made it clear that this was a Union war, not just a Republican fight. Partly for personal reasons Lincoln didn’t know Stanton well but some of his friends and advisers (including Seward and Chase) knew and praised Stanton. Partly Stanton’s reputation he had a reputation for energy, efficiency, diligence, determination.

Lincoln frequently worked with Stanton at the War Department, reading and sending telegrams directly to generals in the field.

Stanton soon proved that his reputation was right. Within weeks of his appointment, for example, he had secured federal legislation to authorize the president to take control of the nation’s rail and telegraph systems. In theory Lincoln could have nationalized the railroads and telegraphs, seized them from their private owners, and compensated them only after the war’s end.

Instead, Stanton summoned the rail leaders to Washington, told them that he would work with them, but only if they would work closely with the War Department, and charge reasonable (read very low) rates. Stanton moved the Washington hub of the telegraph lines to his own office, so that served as the central command post for Lincoln and Stanton during the war.

A prime example of how Stanton used the rails and telegraphs during the war was his movement of troops in Tennessee in the fall of 1863. When it looked like the South would capture Chattanooga, along with thirty thousand northern troops there under General William Rosecrans, Stanton summoned Lincoln and others to the War Department for a midnight meeting. Stanton proposed to transfer 20,000 troops in a week’s time from northern Virginia to southern Tennessee. Lincoln laughed he said that it would take at least a week’s time to transfer the troops the thirty miles from northern Virginia into Washington.

Stanton insisted the situation was “too serious for jokes.” Stanton persuaded Lincoln, then Stanton spent the remainder of the night, and the next few nights, in his telegraph office, sending and receiving messages. It was an incredibly complex, nearly impossible task, involving half a dozen different rail companies and several rail widths, two crossings of the Ohio river, which was not bridged at the relevant points, and erratic, imperfect telegraph communication. Stanton managed the troops reached Chattanooga in a week they not only saved the city but enabled Grant (soon placed in command) to advance from there.

Researchers can read the story of the rail movement in original documents in the National Archives. Stanton kept a complete set of every telegram that arrived in, and every telegram that was sent from, his war department telegraph office. Some but not all of these telegrams are printed in the Official Records there are many interesting messages that can only be seen on National Archives microfilm. For the week of the rail movement, there are hundreds of messages, such as a request by Stanton that an aide at the Washington railroad station provide him with hourly reports regarding the troops arriving from northern Virginia and departing on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad heading west.

There are many other examples of Stanton the efficient, Stanton the diligent, but also Stanton the “arbitrary, capricious, tyrannical, vindictive, hateful, and cruel.” Not long after Stanton became secretary of war he heard complaints from members of Congress about General Charles Stone, a distinguished graduate of West Point with a long Army record. They claimed that Stone had inappropriate communications with rebel generals they accused him as well of returning fugitive slaves to their Maryland masters. Stanton arranged for Stone to be arrested, for him to be transported to Fort Lafayette, kept in solitary confinement. Stanton leaked to the newspapers the “charges” against Stone but, in spite of repeated requests from Stone, Stanton never presented formal charges to a military court martial. Stanton kept Stone in prison for half a year and, when Congress finally forced Stanton to release Stone, Stanton denied Stone the chance to redeem himself on the battlefield.

Dennis Mahoney is another example of Stanton the tyrant. Mahoney was the editor of an anti-administration paper in Dubuque, Iowa. When Stanton issued an order, in the summer of 1862, authorizing the arrest of those who were “discouraging volunteer enlistments” Mahoney was among those arrested. The Democrats of his district responded by naming Mahoney as their candidate for Congress Stanton’s response was to leave Mahoney in jail until after the election. In the next year, Mahoney published a book on his prison experience, and he dedicated the book to Stanton, saying Stanton had earned the distinction by his “acts of outrage, tyranny and despotism.”

In 1863, Stanton issued General Order No. 143 to create the Bureau of U.S. Colored Troops, enabling African-American solders to fight for the Union. A Maryland solder who posed for a daguerrotype with his family probably fought in the U.S.C.T. Biblioteca del Congreso.

Stanton was an early advocate for an emancipation proclamation. Stanton was also concerned about the former slaves who crowded around the Union Army camps he wanted to put the slaves to work, ideally putting the men into uniform as Union soldiers. Stanton wanted black soldiers not just because he needed more soldiers Stanton understood the ways in which serving in the Union Army would change the lives of the former slaves. Stanton also pressed Congress for legislation, ultimately passed in early 1865, to create within the War Department a Freedmen’s Bureau, to look after the black women and children. For Stanton this was a moral issue the federal government could not just free the slaves and leave them on their own to cope, without resources and without education.

Stanton was instrumental in creating the Freedman's Bureau late in the Civil War to protect freed slaves and provide them with food, clothing, and shelter. And 1868 engraving in Harper's Weekly showed a Bureau agent standing between armed Southern whites and freedmen.

What was Stanton’s relationship with Lincoln? In some senses they were similar: both from the Midwest, both lawyers, both political leaders, both opposed to slavery. In some sense they were very different: Lincoln always ready to listen, always ready to tell a story Stanton always impatient, often rude. There is a scene in Spielberg’s Lincoln movie that captures this well Lincoln and Stanton are in the telegraph room, and Lincoln is reminded of a story. Stanton blurts out: “you’re going to tell one of your stories! I can’t stand to hear another one of your stories!” And Stanton storms off to deal with a report, while Lincoln settles down to tell a rather risqué story.

But the two men worked extraordinarily well together. There was frequently pressure on Lincoln to remove Stanton, starting only weeks after he appointed the War Secretary, but Lincoln never considered it because he knew and valued Stanton’s work. Lincoln’s secretary John Hay put it well in a letter to Stanton not long after Lincoln’s death. “Not everyone knows, as I do, how close you stood to our lost leader, how he loved you and trusted you, and how vain were all efforts to shake that trust and confidence, not lightly given and never withdrawn.”

When Lincoln was assassinated, Secretary of War Stanton took charge of the investigation and eventual execution of the conspirators.

At about ten o’clock on the night of April 14, 1865, Stanton learned that John Wilkes Booth had shot Abraham Lincoln and almost simultaneously an assailant had attacked with a knife Secretary of State William Henry Seward and others in the Seward household.

Stanton rushed to Seward’s house, where he saw the blood-stained but surviving Seward, and the other victims, six in all in the house soaked in blood. Stanton then went, over the protests of his advisers, to the Petersen House, on Tenth Street, to which soldiers had borne the dying Lincoln. Stanton did not linger with Lincoln and the doctors he went into the next room and went to work. He summoned and questioned witnesses, attempting to identify the assassins and their accomplices. He sent orders to arrest those suspected, and those who might have useful information. And he sent out a series of messages, press releases really, to inform the nation about the attacks, the condition of Lincoln and Seward, the early results of the investigation.

Early the next morning, just after Lincoln died, Stanton supposedly said “Now he belongs to the ages.” I say “supposedly” because the first time those words appeared in print was twenty-five years later, when Lincoln’s secretaries John Hay and John Nicholas published in serial form their biography of Lincoln. Unfortunately, none of the accounts of Lincoln’s death published just after his death, none of the letters and news stories, mention Stanton saying anything right at that moment.

So I am compelled, sadly, to conclude that Stanton probably never said “now he belongs to the ages,” the only quote for which he appears in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.

The new president, Andrew Johnson, and the carry-over Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, worked reasonably well together for the first few months. Indeed, it is remarkable to read the newspapers of late 1865 and early 1866, to see how popular Johnson was with almost everyone, North and South, Democrat and Republican. The first real break was in February 1866, when Johnson vetoed a bill to extend and strengthen the Freedmen’s Bureau. And then a few weeks later, Johnson vetoed a civil rights bill, arguing that the federal government had no role to play in civil rights, that these were purely questions for the states.

Johnson wanted to leave the government of the southern states to southerners, by which he meant of course white southerners. Also, Johnson wanted, as soon as possible, to remove the Union Army from the South.

Stanton disagreed he saw the daily reports from the South, reports of southern blacks and northern sympathizers attacked and in some cases murdered by southern whites. Stanton knew that without the Union army, without the military courts, there would be no protection from such violence.

So Stanton insisted that the Union Army had to remain in the South, for years if necessary.

A Semanal de Harper engraving in 1868 showed an unflattering depiction of Edwin Stanton with Ulysses S. Grant next to a cannon labelled "CONGRESS" aimed at President Johnson (right). Biblioteca del Congreso.

This was the key disagreement between Johnson and Stanton and why Johnson wanted to remove Stanton from his position. But Congress complicated Johnson’s life by passing the Tenure of Office Act, which provided that the president generally needed Senate consent to remove an officer whose appointment required Senate approval. It was not quite clear whether this law applied to cabinet members, like Stanton, but finally Johnson was fed up, and in the spring of 1868, he informed Stanton that he was no longer secretary of war, that he should yield up his office to the new secretary, General Lorenzo Thomas.

Stanton refused, boarded himself up in the War Department and called upon his allies in Congress to impeach Johnson. The House impeached Johnson just a few days later, and the action then moved to the Senate, for the trial and possible removal of Johnson. This was the first but not the last time that the nation focused on the vague words of the Constitution what exactly were “high crimes and misdemeanors” which would justify convicting a president and removing him from office? Johnson’s defenders argued that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional—a position with which most modern legal scholars agree—and that surely a president could not be convicted and removed for failing to follow an unconstitutional statute. Not only arguments but bribes were involved Seward and others raised a large legal defense fund, relatively little of which was paid to Johnson’s lawyers it now seems clear that several senators sold their votes. A majority of senators voted to convict, but not the required two-thirds majority, so Johnson survived, barely.

On the day of the final Senate vote, May 26, 1868, Stanton walked out of his office and, as best I can tell, he never again visited the War Department.

Stanton’s health was broken he had suffered all his life from asthma and he now had progressive, congestive heart failure.

Stanton spent several weeks, in the fall of 1868, on the political campaign trail for Ulysses Grant, who was chosen president in that violent, vicious election. Stanton hoped and expected that Grant would find a suitable place for him, either again at the head of the War Department, or in the Supreme Court. Grant eventually named Stanton to the Supreme Court, in December 1869, but it was too late Stanton died within days after the Senate confirmed his nomination. He was only fifty-five.


Biografía

Edwin McMasters Stanton was born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1814, and he became a lawyer in Cadiz, Ohio in 1835. In 1837, he became the Harrison County prosecutor, and, after his law partner Benjamin Tappan was elected to the US Senate, Stanton was entrusted with his law business. He was a supporter of Democratic nominee Martin Van Buren's 1840 re-election campaign, and Stanton expanded his practice to Virginia and Pennsylvania, becoming a lawyer in Pittsburgh in 1847. He became a prominent lawyer in Washington DC as well, famously defending Daniel Sickles in 1859 following Sickles' murder of Francis Scott Key's son Philip Barton Key for having an affair with his wife. In 1860, when President James Buchanan had Attorney General Jeremiah S. Black replace Secretary of State Lewis Cass, Buchanan appointed Stanton to serve as his new Attorney General. He served until March 1861, and he joined Abraham Lincoln's cabinet as his Secretary of War in 1862 after Simon Cameron's resignation. He helped organize the massive military resources of the north and guide the Union to victory in the American Civil War, although he was criticized by many generals for his over-cautiousness and micromanagement. He organized the manhunt for Lincoln's killer John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, and he remained Secretary of War under President Andrew Johnson. He opposed Johnson's leniency towards the southern states during Reconstruction, and Johnson's attempt to dismiss Stanton led to Johnson being impeached by the Radical Republicans in the US House of Representatives. Stanton returned to law after retiring as Secretary of State, and in 1869 he was nominated as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court by President Ulysses S. Grant. However, he died four days after his appointment was confirmed.


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Cover-up of the plan to kidnap Lincoln Edit

The central premise of the book is that "traditional" historians have perpetuated a cover-up, originally orchestrated by Lincoln's Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton(D) and some Radical Republican allies in 1865, by over-reliance on false documentation produced by Stanton and his conspirators. This was done, the book argues, to disguise the fact that Stanton, Union spy Lafayette C. Baker, Senator Benjamin F. mane, Senator John Conness, other congressional Radical Republicans, and a group of Northern bankers and speculators were all involved in a plot to kidnap Lincoln. Lincoln was then intended to be hidden for a time while bogus articles of impeachment would be drafted to remove him as President. The primary motivations for this supposed plot would have been strong opposition to Lincoln's generous Reconstruction plans and the loss of profits due to Lincoln's restrictions on the cotton trade during the U.S. chavez War.

Kidnapping changes to assassination Edit

The book then states that in 1864, Baker uncovered the plans of Lincoln's future assassin, John Wilkes Booth, to kidnap Lincoln with the help of a different group of conspirators with different motives. The Stanton group, through Baker and Conness, supposedly provided Booth with money and information on Lincoln's movements. After several abortive attempts, Booth was ordered to halt his efforts in March 1865, and made no further attempts to kidnap Lincoln, but secretly resolved to murder him instead, the book alleges.

Booth's "incriminating" diary Edit

Lincoln's assassination by Booth on April 14 is said to have thrown Stanton and his allies into a panic, fearing that their involvement in the kidnap plots would be exposed. A frantic search soon turned up Booth's coat, which contained a highly incriminating diary documenting meetings with several members of the Stanton group. A few days later on April 26, a Confederate double agent (James William Boyd), mistakenly identified as Booth, was shot and killed in Virginia, according to the authors. Stanton, aware of the mistaken identity, allegedly saw to it that the autopsy records were altered to remove or obscure descriptions of the body not consistent with Booth. Booth's diary, now in Stanton's personal possession, is said to have had 13 pages of incriminating references removed. Baker quietly pursued the hunt for Booth as far as Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where the trail went cold.

At the military trials of Booth's conspirators (theorized to not have been members of the Stanton group), held in May and June 1865, the proceedings were rushed, the government produced witnesses against the defendants who the authors suggest were paid, and even the trial records were supposedly altered. Four of Booth's co-conspirators were hanged on July 7, 1865. Others received long prison sentences, but Booth himself, the book concludes, eventually escaped to England, his whereabouts after that uncertain.

The Lincoln Conspiracy was greeted with hostility and derision from academic historians. Many objections were raised against the book's sensational theories and the authors' use (and misuse) of source materials. [1] The Lincoln Conspiracy is often considered a form of negationist or even alternate history.

The Lincoln Conspiracy was the basis of the 1977 film of the same name by Sunn Classic Pictures, the publishing division of which also released the book.


Stanton Sends a Message to Lee


Today in History, June 15: 1864 – US Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton sets aside the land around Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee, as a National Cemetery. The home had been passed down to Lee’s wife from her ancestor, Martha Custis Washington, George Washington’s wife. When the Civil War broke out, Robert E. Lee, a US Army officer, surrendered his commission and went home to his “country”, Virginia, where he became the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia for the Confederacy. When Lee’s efforts began filling up Northern cemeteries, Stanton decided to use Lee’s home to give the Union dead a place to rest, and Arlington National Cemetery was born. When you stand in Lee’s living room, you can see the White House, the Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, and most of D.C. It is fascinating.


Stanton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Stanton name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in the county of Nottinghamshire in an area that was referred to as stanton, lo que significa stony ground. [1]

Stanton is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the original bearers of the surname Stanton were named due to their close proximity to the stanton.

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Early Origins of the Stanton family

The surname Stanton was first found in Nottinghamshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, as Lords of the manor of Staunton. The first Lord was Sir Brian Staunton who was Lord of Staunton during the time of Edward the Confessor in 1047. [2] The family of Staunton of Staunton, in the first-named shire, "can be regularly traced from the time of the Conqueror, and there is no doubt of their having been settled in Nottinghamshire. in the time of Edward the Confessor." [2] "An ancient house, traced to the Conquest" [3]

Great East Standen Manor is a manor house on the Isle of Wight that dates to the Norman Conquest and was once the residence of Princess Cicely (1469-1507). Nearby is Standen House, an English country house but this edifice is more recent and dates back to the 18th century.

Gloucestershire is home to another village named Staunton and this village is almost as old as the former with the first listing found in 972 as Stanton [1] and then later the Domesday Book, [4] mentions a castle there belonging to Roger de Stanton, the foundations of which were cleared away a few years before. [5]

Stanton in Northumberland was home to another branch of the family which has fallen. "The ancient manor-house, the seat of the last-named family, has been converted into a house for the reception of the poor and a chapel which stood a little to the north of it, has altogether disappeared." [5]

Hervey de Staunton (died 1327), was an English judge, son of Sir William de Staunton of Staunton, Nottinghamshire. "He seems to have held the living of Soham, Norfolk, as early as 1289: afterwards he held the livings of Thurston and Werbeton, and about 1306, on being ordained priest, received the living of East Derham. In November 1300 there is mention of him as going to the court of Rome. He was a justice itinerant in Cornwall in 1302 and in Durham in 1303." [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Alice de Staunton, Lincolnshire Nicholas de Staunton, Essex and William de Staunton, Oxfordshire. [7]


Ver el vídeo: Lincolns Autocrat The Life of Edwin Stanton Civil War America