Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lincoln and the prolonged personal snub. 6

The story takes a most curious turn with Lincoln’s accession to the Presidency. His first Secretary of War, Simon Cameron from the pivotal state of Pennsylvania, had to be replaced for certain contract improprieties, and in January, 1862 Lincoln appointed Edwin Stanton Secretary of War. Everyone, including Stanton, was astonished at his appointment. After all, in the years since that 1855 trial 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. Although irascible Stanton was thoroughly honest – unlike Cameron he couldn’t be bought. Also, Stanton was a Union man through and through. Finally, he was a prodigious worker and 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment