Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War

By Benjamin P. Thomas; Harold M. Hyman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXX
CAMPAIGNING FOR GRANT

STANTON CONDEMNED!" thundered Johnson's spokesman, the Washington Intelligencer, setting the theme that the impeachment results not only vindicated the President, even if only by one vote, but proved all his opponents guilty. The fact is, however, that Stanton was far from being as isolated and unpopular as administration spokesmen asserted.

It was only to be expected that Republicans publicly lauded him. More significant, and to Stanton far more warmly sustaining, were the private estimates of his government service that came to him from individuals whose opinions he treasured. Some of the Republican senators who had voted to acquit Johnson now sought to regain their former friendship with him. But Stanton was too hurt at first to forgive, although Fessenden, who had hated most "the necessity of grieving Mr. Stanton" by his vote in favor of Johnson, made what amends he could by going along with Grimes, Trumbull, and Van Winkle on the congressional resolution of thanks to the former War Secretary.1

Stanton had more to worry over than his own hurt feelings. His secretary described him as "a wreck, not so much from the result of his ceaseless energy in the . . . war, as from his ceaseless watching of the doings at the White House under President Johnson." Despite this, Stanton was determined to resume private law practice as soon as possible. First, however, he planned to rest and then visit his mother and sister in Ohio before commencing his new career.

Packed and ready to start westward, Stanton abandoned the trip at the last minute, for the children came down with the measles and he

____________________
1
Intelligencer, May 27, June 30, 1868; William Salter, The Life of James W. Grimes ( New York, 1876), 361; Fessenden, op. cit., II, 221.

-614-

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