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Stanton, Edwin McMasters (1814-1869) to Nahum Capen

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00008 Author/Creator: Stanton, Edwin McMasters (1814-1869) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 February 1862 Pagination: 1 p. ; 25.3 x 19.8 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00008 Author/Creator: Stanton, Edwin McMasters (1814-1869) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 February 1862 Pagination: 1 p. ; 25.3 x 19.8 cm.

Summary of Content: Less than a month after being appointed Secretary of War, Stanton makes a thinly-veiled attack on Lincoln's economic policies. Excerpt: "No public man, in times like these, can fail to have both his words and acts misunderstood & any one is fortunate whose conduct is so leniently criticized as mine has been.  My official position was not sought for; it is held at great personal sacrifice, and aspiring to nothing beyond, having a heart single to the one great object of overcoming the rebellion and restoring the authority of the government in time to save the nation from the horrible gulf of bankruptcy – bankruptcy not to the government only but to every citizen – I am content to bear admonition and reproof for any real or supposed errors with humble submission." 

Full Transcript: Private

Washington Feb 24, 1862

Dear Sir

I thank you for your kind note of the 21st with Extracts enclosed. No public man, in times like these, can fail to have both ...his words and acts misunderstood & any one is fortunate whose conduct is so leniently criticized as mine has been. My official position was not sought for; it is held at great personal sacrifice, and aspiring to nothing beyond, having a heart single to the one great object of overcoming the rebellion and restoring the authority of the government in time to save the nation from the horrible gulf of bankruptcy -- bankruptcy not to the government only but to every citizen -- I am content to bear admonition and reproof for any real or supposed errors with humble submission.

Any advice or suggestion you may favor me with, will at all times be thankfully received and attentively heeded.

With sincere respect I am Yours Truly

Edwin M. Stanton

Nahum Capen Esq

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People: Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869
Capen, Nahum, 1804-1886

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Government and CivicsPoliticsPresidentsEconomicsLincoln's Cabinet

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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