WXXI AM News

seward house

Historian and author Walter Stahr has written a new book about President Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. You may remember Stahr from his remarkable book on William Henry Seward, and you may remember Edwin Stanton because of what he did after President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. As Lincoln lay dying, Stanton got to work: he issued orders to protect other leaders and initiated a search for the assassin.

In Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary, Stahr describes the complex relationship between Stanton and Seward -- one of trust and suspicion -- and the complex reputation held by Stanton. Was Stanton an aggressive opportunist using tragedy to empower himself? Or was he a progressive problem solver looking to resolve conflicts? Among other things, he was known to press for equal pay and status for African Americans in the Union Army. 

Stahr will be in Auburn next week to discuss Stanton's life during the Civil War and how it relates to political discourse today, but first, he joins us on Connections. Our guests:

2017 marks the sesquicentennial of Seward's Folly, aka the purchase of the Alaskan Territory from Russia. The Seward House Museum is celebrating by purchasing all of Siberia. Just kidding. But they've got a lot going on: a new Seward statue; museum tours; and a visit from the author of a new book about Seward's Folly. And it's a timely subject: the folly was known as the "deal done in the dark." That applies to any number of governmental actions in recent years.

Our guests:

  • Jeff Ludwig, director of education for the Seward House Museum
  • Lee Farrow, author of Seward's Folly