Stanton

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September 28, 2014 by Lorene

In the Summer of 1855, a lawyer from a prestigious law firm in Philadelphia paid a visit to Abe. A case he had been working on would be tried in Illinois, so he wanted a local lawyer working on the case. He didn’t care for Abe when he saw his small house and that he wasn’t wearing a coat or vest, but once he met him and talked with him, he was impressed. He paid Abe a retainer and promised a substantial fee when the work was complete.

Shortly after this meeting, the lawyer found out the case would be tried in Cincinatti. He could hire Stanton, who he wanted to begin with. But, Abe was never told, so he continued to work on the case and went to Cincinatti for the trial. Stanton and the other lawyers were surprised to see him and made him remove himself from the case. Stanton’s behavior is described as “surly condescension.” He stayed and sat in on the trial all week, even though he was never included in any meals or meetings with the other lawyers.

Lincoln stayed for the whole trial because he had never, “seen anything so finished and elaborated, and so thoroughly prepared.” He was very impressed with the whole thing and went home to study law like Stanton and his colleagues had.

That Abe chose Stanton for Secretary of State is all the more interesting confiding how Stanton treated him in Cincinnati 20 years before they were both Presidential candidates.

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