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Edwin M. Stanton Home

@ Ohio History Connection

Ohio Federal Writers' Project


Caption reads: “2 Negatives of – Hon. Edwin M. Stanton’s Home Jefferson County.” Edwin McMasters Stanton was the Secretary of War in the Lincoln administration during the American Civil War. Edwin Stanton was born on December 19, 1814, in Steubenville, Ohio. In 1835, he passed the bar examination. He argued his first case in court before he reached the age of twenty-one. Stanton joined a law firm in Cadiz, Ohio, and local voters elected him to be the Harrison County prosecuting attorney in 1837. In 1839, he returned to Steubenville, where he opened a law practice with Benjamin Tappan. In 1842, the Ohio legislature appointed Stanton to be the reporter to the Ohio Supreme Court. Steubenville residents selected him to be city solicitor in 1847. President James Buchanan appointed him to be Attorney General of the United States in December 1860. Stanton held this position until Abraham Lincoln took office in March 1861. Following the resignation of Simon Cameron as Secretary of War in January 1862, Lincoln appointed Stanton to the office. Stanton accepted and became one of Lincoln's closest advisors during the American Civil War. Lincoln respected Stanton's opinion and took many of his suggestions to heart. When Lincoln died in April 1865, Stanton was regarded as the informal president of the United States until Andrew Johnson was sworn into office. Stanton did not have a close relationship with Andrew Johnson. Stanton strongly supported civil rights legislation and Johnson was much more cautious on this issue. Johnson demanded Stanton's...

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