Edwin McMasters Stanton

EDWIN McMASTERS STANTON was born in Steubenville, Ohio, on 19 December 1814; left school as a teenager, upon his father’s death, to work and continued spare time study, 1827; attended Kenyon College but withdrew for financial reasons; studied law and was admitted to the bar, 1836; married Mary Ann Lamson; was prosecuting attorney of Harrison County, Ohio, 1837–1839; entered the practice of law at Cadiz and Steubenville, 1839; lost his wife, 1844; moved to Pittsburgh to pursue his law career, 1847; was counsel for the state of Pennsylvania, 1849–1856; married Ellen Hutchinson, 1856; was appointed a special government counsel to adjudicate fraudulent land claims in California, 1858; was attorney general of the United States, 1860–1861; served as Secretary of War, 20 January 1862–28 May 1868; persuaded Congress that the government should assume selective control over the railroads and telegraph; prevailed upon the president to release political prisoners in military custody and transfer control over extraordinary arrests from the State to the War Department; established a Bureau of Colored Troops; rejected President Andrew Johnson’s August 1867 request that he resign; was suspended by President Johnson but resumed his seat when the Senate nonconcurred, January 1868; resigned in May 1868; resumed the practice of law; was nominated by President Grant to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court and was confirmed by the Senate on 20 December 1869, but died in Washington, D.C., on 24 December 1869 before he could take office.

The Artist

Henry Ulke (1821–1910), German-born and German-trained, was active as an illustrator and designer from his arrival in New York City in 1849 until his move to Washington in 1857. Switching from illustration to fine art, he painted over a hundred portraits, mostly of eminent Americans, in his more than half a century of activity in the nation’s capital. In addition to half a dozen Secretaries of War, he painted a number of Secretaries of the Treasury and such notable figures as Chief Justices Salmon Chase and Roger Taney, Secretary of State James G. Blaine, Senator Charles Sumner, and Mrs. Jefferson Davis.


Portrait, Edwin McMasters Stanton

Lincoln and A. Johnson Administrations
By Henry Ulke
Oil on canvas, 28" x 22", 1872

page created 2 March 2001

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