Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lincoln and Politics 16

In January 1862 Lincoln appointed Edwin Stanton Secretary of War. Everyone, including Stanton, was astonished at his appointment. After all, Stanton had repeatedly vilified this “imbecilic” President, this “original gorilla” [Darwin’s 'Origin of Species' had just been published in 1859]. Lincoln knew all this, of course, but had put that aside. He never carried a grudge, he said later, because it didn't pay. Stanton was a Union man through and through, he was a prodigious worker and he was a wizard as an administrator - and those skills impelled Lincoln to promote him. With time it was clear the appointment was a stroke of genius.

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