tv Walter Stahr Salmon P. Chase CSPAN April 21, 2022 4:27pm-5:27pm EDT
>> thank you both, i think dafydd will take us away because my internet is being wonky. >> steve, kekla, thanks so much. your book is revolution in our time, the "black panther" party's promise to america. you can order the book at northshare.com. thank you both for being here and joining us tonight. >> thank you. congratulations, kekla. >> thank you, congratulations to you. >> thank you. c-span brings you an unfiltered view of government, our newsletter, word for word, recaps the day for you, from the halls of congress, to daily press briefings to remarks from the president. scan the qr code at the right bottom to sign up for this email and stay up to date on everything happening in washington each day. subscribe today using the qr code or visit c-span.org/connect to subscribe any time.
>> welcome to a house divided on 2/22/22, for our new mexico roll gists. i'm daniel weinberg. we are at the studio, broadcast studio at abraham lincoln book shop in chicago over zoom and facebook live. we are specializing in american history specifically abraham lincoln, the u.s. civil war and the u.s. presidency. we carry both old and new books in our fields and also historical artifacts including autographed letters and documents, originals, photography from the age, mythgraphy, prints, statuary, and because we have historical artifacts in our shop, from time to time we're able to show one that is relevant to one of the interview questions with our author today
our website is april dlpz book clpz shop.com. and our past author interviews are on our youtube page. also our artifact broadcasts we have them every other week on fridays and they are on our facebook page. and i hope you will join us to discuss historical artifacts. and you can visit our website in order to get today's book. salmon p. chase. and we have actual books signed by our author. we don't have him in our shop yet because of the pandemic, but eventually we'll have them in here again. so let's introduce walter star, graduate of stanford university and harvard law school. he practiced international law
for 25 years. including five years with the securities and exchange commission. he's a two-time winner of the seward award for excellence in civil war biography. and this is one that i think will probably be up for other awards this year. it's that excellent. he's the author of jon jay, founding father, and two other books that have been on our broadcast, see war -- books, lincoln's indispensable man and stanton, lincoln cease secretary of war. his latest book is right here. lincoln's vital ride. 836 pages and illustrated. and it's $35. as i said, you'll get a book plate signed. and today if you're watching on our facebook, it's the release date. it's the day of release of that
special book plate. otherwise, if you buy this later on from us, if you can, you're watching this on c-span, you'll get a beautiful bookplate just like this signed by walter himself. walter, we have talked about stanton and seward before, but chase, oh, my gosh, i learned so much. this is 50 years i have been this the business here. and i learned a great deal about chase. he's just such a varied roles that he's had. u.s. senator, governor of ohio, secretary of the treasury, and finally as chief justice of the united states. was this a more difficult book to research than seward and stanton in some ways just because he had such a varied life? >> yeah, there were a lot of different places that he had
visited places where there were documents. i was fortunate in that my predecessor, john anyone, whose biography of chase came out a quarter century ago roughly. >> yes, yes. >> he and a team of graduate students tried to collect the letters to and from chase and they published, and you probably have for sale there the five edited volumes, but they also published microfilm. and so that was a useful resource. it was very useful during the pandemic that the library of congress had placed its collection of chase papers on line. so almost every day when libraries were closed down, i was on the library of congress website. but, yeah, the research was not easy. and he's not an easy person to love. so that also --
>> i learned a lot about him that goes away from lincoln's eyes a bit. we'll get into that a bit as well. but before we leave your research -- >> i can see that. >> i want to show you a chase letter that we happen to have in stock right now. i tell you, this is almost incomprehensible, his writing. how did you get through papers and not double the time of research? >> it took a long time. and i cannot claim -- in many cases, i would look for the phrase or sentence i would quote and then not read the rest of the letter.
because you don't need to read everything about i'm glad to hear that your mother is feeling brt. please ep keep me informed. there are a number of places i wound up quoting a phrase when i would have rather quoted a sentence, but there was a word i could not get comfortable with. two of his daughters survived into adulthood. and those two daughters sethed letter after letter from him. chiding them from their poor penmanship. and at least one of them must have said something back to him. because he wrote a letter that said, well, listen to what i say, don't do as i do. >> we'll talk about kate a little later on. but there's so much in this book to cover. his political affiliations, in which he had many, political offices and his presidential
and just so our viewers will -- presidential ambitions. i am just reading out these just so our viewers will know the scope of this book. we're not going to be able to cover all of this and certainly not in depth. i'm going to urge our viewers that if you get interested in chase, i certainly enjoyed this read, that you'll get the book and read it. because there's so much more in there his relationship with lincoln, the political offices that he had. his time in treasury. slavery, which was he was so involved in. his relationship with the supreme court. his relationship with generals and all of his life tragedies that he had really quite a number of. let me first ask you. this is his diary that has been published some years ago and is fascinating reading.
and of course there's a lot more than just this in the papers, but tell us of the style of his diary, what he put in, what maybe he left out. and maybe as well, expand -- because the other major diary come out of the lincoln cabinet was secretary of the navy getting wells, how does it compare with that and do they have the facts the same? >> there's certainly points on which they disagree. one thing that i didn't realize is that chase's diary, was to some extent, during the war years, when he had a clerk kind of a joint production. he would scratch out little stuff. and then hand it to a clerk who would put it in slightly more legible handwriting and he would edit what the clerk had done and create a slightly more rounded version.
so his entries, i'm thinking particularly of his descriptions of the cabinet meetings in 1862 where they discussed emancipation, tend to be a little bit better drafted, if you will, than wells because wells pretty much as best we can tell just wrote it out that same night. the other thing to say is that chase spends less time kind of griping about his fellow cabinet members than wells. wells doesn't like chase, and he doesn't like seward, and doesn't like stanton. and there are moments when chase expresses a negative comment about his fellow cabinet members, including gideon wells, but there's less of that -- there's more other folks.
you meet generals and you meet lower ranking officers. >> you think he edited out certain things? since wells went right to the page, wrote it out. that's what we have got in three of our volumes. >> i do think that some of the stuff that he didn't want us historians to read got edited out. i guess another way of putting it is the civil war years of the chase diary a read differently than the chase diary from before the war or the chase diary from after the war. but i was thinking actually just as i was rereading some of my book with generous quotations from the chase diary what an amazing resource that is for us as we try to understand lincoln and his cabinet and the civil war.
>> give us a very brief idea of his early upbringing and overview of what that was and how that upbringing may have affected his entire life. >> he was born in rural new hampshire. and when he was 9 years old, his father died. so that's the first major death in his life. at that point, his family was on the edge of poverty. he was sent to live with his uncle in ohio for a couple years as a young boy. then came back and went to school, went to darthmouth, lived in d.c. for a few years. and at that point, living in that sort of southern society had kind of almost southern views on slavery. it's only when he goes to cincinnati and starts practicing
law and starts representing some young black fugitive slaves that he kind of comes around on the course of several years to an anti-slavery position. so he comes from a puritan background. he has that look at him there on the cover of the book. he's standing absolutely straight up and down. and then looking at you with determination. that puritan background never leaves him. he becomes rock ribbed anti-slavery activist in the early 1840s. >> give us a bit of his character perhaps. he had a religious intensity from early on. what do you think his character
strengths and flaws were, from your point of view? >> his strengths would include his sort of determination, diligence. once he set his mind to something, he would work at it night and day. on the flaws side, he had a tendency to believe that he was right with great fervor even when he wasn't right. and he was in contrast to lincoln or seward, he was not a congenial man one of his law clerks claimed he never heard chase tell a joke. i found a few instances of him telling jokes, so that's not quite right, but it's not far from the truth. he's not a sociable man in the way seward was. seward, during the civil war as
best i can tell, he never dined alone. he was either someone's guest or had guests over at his house. chase dined alone more with his one daughter or two daughters often. >> he had numerous tragedies in his life. again, briefly, just overview of what those were, the deaths in his life that occurred, and how those may have affected him. >> yes, so he married three times, not all at once. he married and a wife died. he married again and a wife died and he married a third time and the wife died. and each of these marriages lasted you know, a couple years. i think the longest of them was five years. he had six children and only two of them survived to adulthood. and he was in the middle of 11 siblings.
by the time he was my age in his mid 60s, all of his siblings had died. so imagine attending the funeral of three wives, four children and ten siblings and you might not be the sort of guy who slapped backs and told jokes. it might make you more serious about life. and religion. >> it makes me think of mary lincoln a little bit, but that's not the subject we're going to be into today. i'm going to jump to something here because i have this in the back of my mind. talking about death in his life. there was huge amount of death in the nation. i was going to do this later, but now that we're here, here is elmer ellsworth, a memorial to him. the first officer to be killed in the war almost like lincoln's son dying on him.
and he saw willie die. >> he's there for willie. >> hundreds of thousands of young men killed in the war. how did you think that affected him and maybe the entire cabinet as civilians? not as army officers out there. they are right there. but what about the civilians and chase in particular in the background? how did he handle the civil war death? >> i think -- it wasn't as far from them as we like to think. one of the details i found was after first monasis, there are weren't sufficient hospital facilities. so chase brought a dozen wounded men into his house and his daughters tended to them along
with a couple nurses. i don't know this, but i wouldn't be surprised if one of those young men died. so these tens of thousands of deaths were -- it wasn't like a distant thing like we watched vietnam on television. no, it was right there. and he was like lincoln, he was often at the front and visiting hospitals. >> he visited hospitals quite a bit? any other cabinet members to that that? >> stanton, seward, all of these men, i think they were very conscious all the time that this was not -- yes, it was a battle of ideas and, yes, you had for him you had to raise the money to keep the soldiers, but it was
also about lives and that lives were being lost every day. >> let's return to a little bit earlier in his life prior to the war. you might speak to us about the fluidity of party, and how -- because he went through numbers of parties. the federalist party that affected him first, he went to the free soil and liberty parties. >> you are skipping over his time -- >> democrats were later he was a whig. and we'll talk on the republicans, but in the early part, it was very fluid in the country. was it not? >> it was. we have lived in this period of just two major parties for so long that we forget how many different political parties there were in the 19th century. you didn't mention the know
nothings, but in order to become governor, he basically had to build a coalition between the know nothings and the republicans. some people thought he was too friendly with the anti-catholic party. although he himself said some stern things along the lines it shouldn't matter where a man is born or the color of his skin in terms of his voting. you can view it and some of his enemies did view is as a choosing of party based on what seemed most promising at the moment. i tend to think he had principles and went times with rather -- went sometimes with rather small and weak parties like the liberty party because they aligned with his principles better than the larger parties.
>> he certainly got into the republican party and was one of the founding members. before i go to that as well, i'm thinking of lincoln. lincoln growing up in middle illinois, which is really like a border state. and he had every political stripe surrounding him. i think that was one of the strengths in his later time in politics to be able to understand all those different political thoughts and views and be be able to converse with them, think about them, know where their flaws were. did that help chase in ohio? did he have that same sort of mixture of all those parties around him? >> yeah, i mean, ohio is also a border state literally. you can look from cincinnati across the water and there is kentucky.
it's the slave state. when harriet beacher stow writes about fugitives fleeing across the ice, when chase read that, he was completely familiar. they were his clients. harriet beecher osteowas one of his personal friends. so absolutely chase although at any one point, he's part of a political party. he had a wide circle, including friends who were southern slave owners. >> did he get along with them? >> he did. he's not the world's most friendliest person, but i was struck by how well he kind of keeps in touch with and maintains friendships through
letters. including lincoln. he and lincoln collaborate by way of letter long before they meet one another face to face. and chase campaigns for lincoln in the famous lincoln douglas 1858 campaign i went to springfield and spent several days reading newspapers trying to find more about what chase said and did while he was in illinois in october of 1858. >> was there much there? was it fertile ground? >> they have the newspapers. it's a wonderful library. >> so lincoln presidential library museum? >> indeed. i think because it was kind of right on the eve of the election. so they were less focused on reporting what people said and more on the kind of last-minute details. so it was a little disappointing, but i did find
some stuff that's in the book. >> to us at the book shops, let's get to the republican party. what were his contributions in the formation of that party? was it more local or regional or really encompass the national republican party as it formed? >> i would say it was national. the republican party you can think of as a three-way merger of the free soil party, in which he's a founding father. and then kind of elements from maybe this is a four-way merger,
elements from the know nothings, whigs and democrats. and he in particular helps to organize before the first republican national convention in 1856, there's kind of a preconvention in pittsburgh. and the best source for that preconvention are the chase papers. there are all sorts of letters saying please come to pittsburgh. this is what we hope to accomplish. we're going to form a national anti-slavery party. it's amazing how close they get to winning the presidential election in 1856. a handful of votes in illinois and indiana and pennsylvania going a different direction and john freeman would have been the first republican president. >> you touched on this before. he was an abolitionist republican.
at least he leaned that way. he was certainly anti-slavery, but he really believed in the beginning that the federal power didn't allow them to do much in the slave states. and so he was also on the southern side. that's where he was living. so what changed him from that and when did he believe that he did have the federal power it have more say in what to do in the south? >> well, even in the 1850s, he had a legislative agenda that was quite ambitious in terms of what he wanted to see the federal government doing and not do. he wanted to abolish slavery in the district of columbia. he wanted to prevent slavery from going into the western for toirs. he the wanted to repeal the slave act. this is a point on which he and
lincoln disagree. chase believes congress had no constitutional authority to pass that law. and he even occasionally talks about the possibility of prohibiting the interstate sale of slaves. and if that had happened, slaveries days would have been numbered because economically it wouldn't survive. so even before the civil war, he has this ambitious agenda, none of which gets enacted. it's only during the war that he and lincoln kind of come to the view that we're in the midst of a civil war and because the slaves are a vital element of the power of the south, the president has the constitutional authority to issue the emancipation proclamation. >> i want to ask you something
about before we get to the presidency of lincoln and that time, i told you that i was once in the chase treasurely department. and they left his little office, it was a large outer office there. there was a smaller office that they let me go in. it was a smaller office and they left it as chase had left it. and my first thought when i went in there is how do i get lincoln out of the executive mansion. he was still there. so that's my lincoln subject, but was he wrong? or was i wrong? did chase sublimate his desire for the presidency, especially when he helped lincoln? >> no, in late 1863 and the first two months of 1864, chase believed that he was the right man for the union party.
you remember they rebranded it as the union party rather than the republican party. he believed he was the right man to nominate for the presidency. and even for me, that's a little hard. how can you be a loyal subordinate if you're also scheming to get the nomination. it all blows up. >> we'll get to had that. let me go back to the wigwam here in chicago in 1860 where lincoln was nominated because this letter is one from march 5th. and in may it was when the convention was and i could read the -- not all of it, but he says doubtful writing your judgment as to the possible action of the convention. so as far as i'm concerned, i
leave the whole matter unreserve bliss to its decision. well, is that the case, he did not try? >> no, he was -- that very letter that you're holding is part of his effort. one of his consistent themes, in 1860 and again in 1864 and again in 1868, that i'm really not ambitious. you shouldn't be afraid of me. i'm leaving this to the people, but if the people want to nominate me, i will be the candidate. so but the fact that there are hundreds of such letters shows us that he's engaged in a very
i'll put it time consuming effort to secure the nomination. and among other things in 1860, find in his handwriting a list of delegates as their appointed to the chicago convention. and next to each delegate's name his view. this is before primaries, so it's not always easy to know. how is that dan wineberg from chicago going to vote probably lincoln. definitely lincoln. but he worked hard. but the time that everyone gathers there in chicago for the
convention, he knew he probably wouldn't get it. and this circles back to his anti-slaveriy. yes, the republican party is antislavery, but none of the other major candidates had taken a position in favor of black voting. and he had. so as they were chatting, not many were keen to nominate chase because he a lot of baggage f you will, that lincoln didn't have. lincoln was a more pure let's keep the slaves out of the territories and silence on the question of black voting, his
stance was pretty clear. he was not in favor of black voting. >> that was his force. i think one of the most important things he ever did is hold the line after his election, hold the line on not pushing against slavery going into the territories. even when republicans were saying it could lead to war. did chase's presidential ambitions color his entire life? he tried in '64. in '68 again. was that really something that colored everything that he did? >> well, when you spend time just reading his daily correspondence during the war, most of it is kind of nitty-gritty stuff about raising the money or moving the troops. and so relatively little of it is this political stuff about wouldn't i make a better candidate than lincoln. and i think it's particularly telling that in february of '64 because of a leak of a document
in the circular, his candidacy implodes. he writes a letter to lincoln and says, look, if you want me to resign, i'm happy to resign. lincoln writes back a generous letter saying, no, you're doing a great job as secretary of the treasurer and he does for another four months. and then it found i hadn't appreciated it until i did the research for this book how much hard campaign work chase does for lincoln in the fall of 1864. he gives speeches, there are letters from chase to friends saying the only way to save the union is to vote for abraham lincoln. when i say give speeches, it's not just a handful. he campaigns around the country
for abraham lincoln in the fall of 1864. and we think that election wasn't very close, but it was closer than we think. and in particular if general sherman had not done so well in atlanta and general sheridan done so well in the valley, it would have been much closer. >> what sort of president do you think he may have been? you lived and woken up every day with chase. you're on a book tour. so you're still with him. in your estimation, this is speculative, what sort of president, if he could have been elected, what sort of president would he be? >> i think in many respects, he would have been quite similar to lincoln. in particular, coming back to
secession winter, he and lincoln were closely aligned. he a slogan in the secession winter, inauguration first, adjustment afterwards. we're not going to talk about come pr miez until lincoln is in office and we're not going to talk about compromises with the western territories at all. i think he would have been a little better organized than lib lincoln. as you know, lincoln's own private secretaries moaned about how he had a tendency to put papers in his hat and forget them and waste time talking to ordinary citizens rather than dealing with important issues. he would have been quicker to issue some form of emancipation proclamation. in the summer of 1862, chase's diary is simply filled with his anxiety that lincoln issue an emancipation proclamation.
it would have been different. there's a draft of the emancipation proclamation in chase's handwriting. and it would have done is freed or by decree, freed all the slaves in the southernmost tier of states, the gulf states, immediately rather than lincoln saying, well, if the war is still going on on the 1st of january '63, then i will free the slaves. >> what sort of writing style did he have and speaking style? was he capable of hard to believe the gettysburg address? >> no. >> was there a chase note in lincoln's papers prior to the gettysburg address because there's some verbiage that may have been used by chase prior.
>> he did use the phrase government of the people, by the people. i don't have a copy of that. there are stirring speeches he gives during the war. i'm thinking of the speech he gives on the night after lincoln issues the emancipation proclamation that he says the lauds the proclamation and says he hopes that the time is passed for divisions and disagreements that each of us should just do our work, whatever that is. in the cabinet or the white house or the trenches. so prior biographers said he was a terrible speaker. i disagree with that. i think he was a very decent
speaker. you had had to be in those days in order to win elections and also to help other people win elections. >> let's have a little bit of a speed answer here on a number of issues. i just the to get something from you on these things. what did he feel that how lincoln used him and the cabinet? was he happy with his use through those years? >> no, he believed that lincoln should hold more cabinet meetings and listen more closely to the consensus of the cabinet. >> you can say more if you want.
i know that lincoln when he listened to everyone, he made up his mind. when he made up his mind, that's the way it was going to go. let me ask you about this. lincoln is known for his growth capabilities. not only during illinois in the '50s but during the civil war. it's a sad thing he didn't live longer to see more growth out of it it's all about chase. is his personality one he grew and became from accepting slavery to anti-slavery place? how else did he grow? >> another notable way in which he grew was in accepting women's rights. i didn't know anything about this until i did the research,
but by the end of his life, he was on the record in favor of giving women the right to vote. and i found these little quotes about how that would be good for the government. that little quote got repeated in newspapers all the wit through the early 20th century until women finally get the right to vote. so he, like lincoln, grows and changes over the course of his life. >> when did he begin the suffrage of women? because i know that when he was on the supreme court, he took on a case or he was there for a case that had a rhyme with lincoln. and the first lawyer in the state of illinois. and it came up to the supreme court. she helped mary lincoln get out
of the sanitarium he was in outside of chicago. she was very helpful. but then she wanted to be a lawyer and he was on the vote for there. is that more or less the time he started to change or before that? >> before that. i think the first evidence i have that he's -- he does as governor in the 1850s, he talks about changing the laws dealing with married women's property. but in terms of voting for women, i think the first evidence i have is perhaps something like 1866 a letter to his daughter saying, you know, you know as much about politics as i did at your stage. maybe women should have the right to vote. so it's not early in his life, it's towards the end of his life, but it's not just that one supreme court case.
there are a number of instances of him coming out in favor of women's voting rights or women's rights more generally. >> he was in the minority on that case. >> yes. and was laughed at for thinking that a woman could be a lawyer. >> why did lincoln elevate him to the supreme court? >> one reason is lincoln thought he would be the best choice. i found a comment he made after the day he nominated chase, and he said the two things chase will do is defend his own financial system and defend the rights of the former slaves. those are the most important issues the court will face and he will be right on those issues.
there was also a certain amount of political pressure. there's a wonderful letter quoted in the book, a lot of the senators basically came to lincoln and said, look, if you nominate anybody other than chase, that nomination is going down in flames. i think it's dana who writes to a friend saying lincoln nurses a grudge as well as any other christian, but the pressure to nominate chase became so intense that he felt he had no choice. >> well, i mean, if he could take patsy with stanton, he could certainly do it with chase. quickly i want to get to the point of treasury because that's an important part of his life. what was his position on callenization, and we don't know where he did speak but we know
he had that invitation. he comes much earlier to the lincoln to view that colonization. during the civil war when lincoln is still thinking about colonization, chase says, no, you should not the be mentioning it or pushing it, it should not be part of your program. >> yeah, and lincoln finally backed away as well, although i think as a 19th century white man, i think he really did wonder, worry, if the two races with their background could actually live in harmony. >> yeah. >> and events after lincoln's deaths suggests he was right to
have those worries. >> exactly. i didn't want to say it and i am glad you did. >> yeah. >> and he armed african americans? >> yeah, he was relatively early in pressing lincoln to enlist black regiments. he knew some of the folks who were -- knew from his old anti-slavery days, you know, those who were leaders, generals and colonels leading black regiments. >> i have some talking points for you, not that you don't know them, but he financed the war through increasing federal spending, through government bonds, and established a national currency, and even helped coin the term on coins in god we trust. what do you think his real
qualifications were? he was not sure he wanted to take that step, but what were his qualifications and what made him such a success? >> well, he had not worked on wall street but i did find that he knew more about banking than the average lawyer. he had worked not only as an external lawyer. most 19th century secretaries of the treasury did not have an extensive banking experience, and so he became decently qualified, and nobody was qualified to deal with what the civil war threw up, and so he made some mistakes for sure.
but what he thought of as his two major accomplishments were the financing the war -- the union soldiers by and large were paid and they were fed and they were housed, and that took money, and they raised that money. second, the creation of the national currency, creating the -- >> one currency. >> yeah, one currency. >> i will give a shout-out to quarter master meggs, not a penny went astray under him and
he was brilliant in getting that done. >> it's one thing to raise the money but it's another, particularly in the kind of corrupt era in which the civil war was fought, to turn that money into -- again, i am sure some of your viewers are saying, well, i know, but my great grandfather was not paid his salaries for months, and yeah, some are saying mine was not paid during the whole war and was paid in confederate money, and there was some inflation but the northern dollar held up pretty well. >> one of the reasons i brought montgomery meggs up is that, i like footnotes.
did you put your own index together? what about the footnotes, did you have an enjoyment putting those together because i like reading them? >> so the index, there was an indexer but i did a great deal of work, so today's washington's birthday, for example, and the draft index had maybe two or three mentions of washington but in fact he's mentioned ten times, and chase liked to quote washington, jefferson and madison. the notes, you know, i am a firm believer that researchers have good notes.
i am proud of the notes. i mean, in one instance -- i kept finding him, either receiving letters from or writing letters to generals, so there's a note in which i kind of made a list, and that note runs for almost a whole page. it's an alphabetical list of the generals with whom he had correspondence during the civil wars the best i can tell. >> here's another speed question then, because this is too large. he had a very famous meeting in the executive mansion with lincoln and mcclellan, and didn't go too well and didn't
like mcclellan after that. which generals were on his side in which did he have problems with? just a few on each. >> certainly mcclellan is on his bad list, and initially he's not a great grant enthusiasts, and he changed his mind, and he forwarded an illinois letter about grant being drunk all the time, and chase in the cover note says you may want to think about this. but he comes to appreciate grant, and he gets along famously with the future president, garfield, and garfield comes and lives in his house for a while, and even
folks you think he would not get along with, he gets along with. joseph hooker who has a reputation that you would think would not go well with a man like chase that did not drink, period. but he -- >> yeah, he was a complete anti-temperance man? >> he had an occasional glass of wine, and occasional -- it was a pretty sober household, the chase household. it was not the steward household. >> right. what was his general
relationship with the press? >> he's not as adept with managing the press as lincoln, but he's not bad. he certainly has reporter friends and he cultivates them first in his kind of home state of ohio, and then nationally. i was struck in the 1850s with how he kind of cultivates relationships with recorders and editors in new york city which is becoming the center of the new york press. >> we have gotten at the end of our time? would you give us a summation of stanton, steward and chase, but what is your overview of their relationship? gosh. a difficult question. >> all three of these folks, they know one another before the civil war. in the case of seward and chase, for example, they collaborate in the case of chase and stanton, they are buddies in ohio politics. and those relationships fray a little bit in the tension of the
civil war. it's not surprising if you were in chase's shoes and your job is to raise the money, you are a little annoyed with the guy who is spending money, it seems, a little bit like my daughter is spending money on her wedding right now, it's a little annoying. but it is remarkable coming back to lincoln himself that he manages to -- it's not just that he recruits these talented opinionated somewhat difficult men to become part of his cabinet but that he keeps them. you know, chase works with and for lincoln, really for is the right word from the day lincoln becomes president through the summer of 1864, the war is, you know, nearing its end. stanton, from when he becomes secretary in early '62 through
lincoln's led, and seward through day one to lincoln's death. i think it reflects incredibly well on lincoln's ability to work, you know, recruit and keep -- the keep is the harder piece -- talented cabinet members. >> he did. and they worked for him. they actually did. none of them came in thinking that they would be doing that. >> none of them came in with a, you know, terribly high opinion of abraham lincoln. they all grew to have a much higher opinion of him. i know -- i know when you were in the chase office you felt these vibes, but i am hoping the reader, when he or she gets to the end of this, will also
realize, and indeed right at the end before he dies there's a little scene in which a visitor comes to chase's house and there's a beautiful portrait of lincoln and underneath it chase has framed the original letter -- imagine if you could sell this one, dan -- the original letter by which lincoln appoints chase to the supreme court and the visitors asks him about lincoln, and he goes on a little bit about, you know, how he was our greatest president and sadly died too young. there's an affection there that i think the portrait of chase as lincoln's enemy misses. >> well, walter, this -- there's so much in this book, and i truly recommend to people who even think they know much about the politics and military of the
civil war, they are going to find so much that they don't know because i learned a great deal in this lincoln's rival from chase, and i want to thank you so much, walter, for joining us on this release date for the book. congratulations for your daughter as well. >> thank you. >> and anyone who wants to go to our website and purchase this book, those who are watching right now, if you do it right now you will get a day of release book link, and if you are on c-span later you can certainly buy a book that will have a signed plate and hopefully also a first edition, we'll have that for you as well. c-span, thank you for giving us a platform for our authors because we find them very interesting, and their books fabulous, so we appreciate you doing that. "first ladies: in their own words" our eight-part series.
>> it was a great advantage to know what it's like to work in schools because education is such an important issue both for a governor but also for president. so that was very helpful to me. >> using material from c-span's award-winning biography series "first ladies." >> i am very much the kind of person that believes that you should say what you mean and mean what you say and take the consequences. >> and c-span's online video library will feature first ladies, lady bird johnson, betty ford, rosalynn carter, laura bush, michelle obama and melania trump. watch first ladies in their own words on c-span 2 on saturdays, or listen to the series as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. c-spanshop.org is our c-span