Edwin M. Stanton 1814–1869
Born Steubenville, Ohio
This portrait of Edwin Stanton, like that of Andrew Johnson hanging nearby, was published by Ehrgott & Forbriger as part of a series of prints commemorating United States political figures at the height of the Civil War. In 1862, Stanton was appointed secretary of war, becoming an influential adviser to President Abraham Lincoln and playing an important administrative role in the Union’s success. In the wake of Lincoln’s assassination, Stanton took charge of the prosecution of the conspirators, who were tried through a military tribunal. Stanton initially remained in his cabinet position under President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, but Stanton opposed Johnson’s reluctance to require the former Confederate states to guarantee civil rights to former slaves. Johnson’s efforts to remove Stanton led to the president’s impeachment. Johnson survived the effort, and Stanton resigned. He was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ulysses S. Grant, but died before joining the Court.