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Edwin McMasters Stanton

Edwin McMasters Stanton
Henry Ulke, 29 Jan 1821 - 17 Feb 1910
Edwin McMasters Stanton, 19 Dec 1814 - 24 Dec 1869
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 73.3 x 58.1 x 2.5cm (28 7/8 x 22 7/8 x 1")
Frame: 101.6 x 86.4 x 11.4cm (40 x 34 x 4 1/2")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard
Edwin McMasters Stanton: Male
Edwin McMasters Stanton: Law and Crime\Lawyer
Edwin McMasters Stanton: Politics and Government\Cabinet member\US Attorney General
Edwin McMasters Stanton: Politics and Government\Cabinet member\Secretary of War
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of Sophy Stanton to the Smithsonian Institution, 1923
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Steubenville, Ohio
A brilliant lawyer, Edwin McMasters Stanton became the most important advisor to the Union military while serving as President Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war. Following his appointment in January 1862, Stanton immediately brought about an effective reorganization of the war department, establishing strict procedures for negotiating contracts and vigorously investigating fraudulent ones. Stanton was a crucial antislavery voice in Lincoln’s cabinet, and his efforts to recruit African Americans into the Union army helped turn the tide of the war.
Stanton initially remained in his cabinet position under President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln. However, Stanton’s contention that the former Confederate states should guarantee the civil rights of the formerly enslaved caused a rift with the president. Although Johnson was impeached for his efforts to remove Stanton, he remained in office. Johnson’s successor, President Ulysses S. Grant, later appointed Stanton to the Supreme Court, but he died before assuming the role.
Nacido en Steubenville, Ohio
Abogado brillante, Edwin McMasters Stanton fue el asesor más importante del ejército de la Unión como secretario de guerra bajo el presidente Abraham Lincoln. Tras su nombramiento en enero de 1862, reorganizó rápida y eficazmente el departamento de guerra. Estableció procesos estrictos para negociar nuevos contratos e investigó los fraudulentos con firmeza. Stanton fue una voz antiesclavista crucial en el gobierno de Lincoln y sus gestiones por reclutar afroamericanos en el ejército de la Unión ayudaron a cambiar el curso de la guerra.
Stanton permaneció en su cargo inicialmente bajo el presidente Andrew Johnson, sucesor de Lincoln. Sin embargo, su opinión de que los antiguos estados confederados debían garantizar los derechos civiles de los antiguos esclavos causó una ruptura con el presidente. Johnson estuvo a punto de ser destituido por intentar deshacerse de Stanton. Su sucesor, el presidente Ulysses S. Grant, nombró luego a Stanton para el Tribunal Supremo, pero este murió antes de asumir el cargo.
Sophy Stanton, Washington, D.C., granddaughter of sitter; gift to Smithsonian [NCFA] 1923; transferred 1966 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 111