Edwin M. Stanton Home   Save
Ohio Guide Photographs
Description: 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 resignation, but the Secretary of War refused. Johnson fired Stanton in 1867. Johnson's actions angered many members of the Congress of the United States. Congress had approved the Tenure of Office Act, which required the president to have Congressional approval before removing cabinet officers. The act had been designed to protect Stanton. The House of Representatives impeached the president. The Senate then debated whether or not to remove Johnson from office. In a vote of thirty-five to remove the president and nineteen opposed, Johnson remained president. The vote fell one vote short of having the necessary number to remove Johnson. Hearing of the Senate's decision, Stanton immediately resigned as Secretary of War on May 26, 1868. Stanton returned to private life but remained active in politics. He actively campaigned for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election of 1868. Upon taking office, Grant appointed Stanton to the United States Supreme Court. Before Stanton could take office, he died on December 24, 1869. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B15F03_003_01
Subjects: Architecture--Ohio; Steubenville (Ohio); Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869; Historic houses
Places: Steubenville (Ohio); Jefferson County (Ohio)