[Stanton, Edwin M.]
Two Letters pertaining to Edwin M. Stanton, 1862 and 1885, Lincoln’s Hated Secretary of War:

Potter, Alonzo, Autograph Letter Signed as Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania, New York, October 7, 1862, to Secretary of War Stanton One page, octavo,, asking assistance for his nephew (whose father was Episcopal Bishop of New York), “who seems very anxious to devote himself to the military life and whose capacity is attested by Officers under whom he served …” And: Kelley, William Darrah, Autograph Letter Signed as US Congressman, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1886, to Erastus Brainerd, Editorial Room, Daily News, Philadelphia Octavo, 2 pages

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Kelley writes thanking Brainerd for a favorable review of Kelley’s memoir, Lincoln & Stanton, which “came opportunely… as it found me engaged in the defence [sic] of Stanton’s memory from the brutal assaults of a Confederate general. The indifference with which my little book was treated by the press was … an injustice to the illustrious dead, to repel an infamous assault upon whose memory it had been prepared. Though I feel this very keenly, I am … grateful to you for the fact that even at this late day the attention of some of my townsmen has been called to what was a work of loving duty on my part in behalf of the saviors of our country…”

Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton was so powerful in wartime Washington that even illustrious churchmen like the Potter brothers came hat in hand to ask for favors. He was also so unpopular that he was even suspected by some of having a and in the President’s assassination. But Stanton had one close friend and ally on Capitol Hill – William Darrah Kelley (1814-1890), veteran Congressman from Philadelphia, who served 14 terms in the House of Representatives. Sharing Stanton’s “radical Republican” view – including support for arming free Blacks as Union soldiers – Kelley met almost daily with Stanton throughout the War. Long after Stanton’s death in 1869 Kelley remained so loyal to Stanton’s memory that when, in 1885, Congressman Joseph Wheeler, a former Confederate General made a speech attacking Stanton, Kelley not only made an angry rebuttal, but wrote his defensive memoir which received few favorable reviews.