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An email invitation was mailed to the Principal at Middle, Jr. High, Sr. High, and K-12 Combined Schools in the United States on 3/18/13. These schools may use the promotional code in their email to request one complimentary Lincoln Classroom Edition DVD for their school. Limit one complimentary DVD per school. Offer expires at midnight Pacific Daylight Time on June 30, 2013 as is good while supplies last. Offer is good in the United States only. Information subject to change. Distributed by Disney Educational Productions, 901 Bilter Rd., Aurora, IL 60502.

Lincoln Learning Hub

Lincoln Learning Hub

Lincoln Learning Hub

The date is July 30, 1945. World War II is in its sixth bloody year. Hitler is dead and Germany has surrendered, but Japan is preparing for a fight to the death. Last week, President Harry Truman, along with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, called for Japan’s unconditional surrender. The Emperor of Japan refused. General George C. Marshall, preparing for a brutal invasion of Japan, is predicting 250,000 more American casualties.

Two weeks ago the first atomic bomb, the deadliest weapon in history, was successfully tested in New Mexico. The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, has met with President Truman and advised that the bomb should be used against Japan as soon as possible. If used, many Japanese civilians will die. Stimson and others believe that deploying this ultimate weapon will lead to Japan’s immediate surrender. This act of destruction will save many American lives. Now the president must decide whether or not to issue an order that will change history.


Lincoln would do what Truman is considering.

Lincoln would see a parallel with the last bloody months of the Civil War. In early 1865, as in mid-1945, the tide had turned in the war, and yet Union armies were suffering heavy casualties as they fought the Confederacy. Lincoln, in his second inaugural address, confessed that neither side expected the war to attain “the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained.” After five long years of bloody fighting, he would have supported a quick solution to end the war, however terrible. He would have accepted 70,000 expected Japanese casualties in order to avoid many times that number from both sides if the war were to continue.

By 1865, Lincoln realized that modern warfare had evolved from straightforward battlefield engagements to “total war.” In this approach, combatants target both military and civilian resources, including agricultural, infrastructure and human resources. In 1864, Union Generals Sheridan and Sherman were no longer attacking only military targets in the South; Sherman was also destroying cities, damaging the Confederacy’s infrastructure, and treating civilians like the enemy. The generals’ tactics were getting results, and Lincoln supported them. Lincoln’s evolving understanding of the nature of modern war would have led him to accept an attack on a civilian target.

Lincoln was no pacifist. He could have stopped the loss of American lives by simply recognizing the Confederacy as an independent nation. Instead, he chose to let thousands die in a fight to preserve a democracy that he believed in. He would not have hesitated to use the atomic bomb in 1945 in order to preserve that same democracy.

Lincoln was a strong supporter of the latest scientific discoveries. During his presidency, he aggressively pursued all of the latest weaponry, sometimes even testing them himself before sending them into the field. He would not have been repelled by the atomic bomb, but rather would have seen it as the weapon to end the war.

Lincoln would not do what Truman is considering.

Lincoln would not see a parallel with the last bloody months of the Civil War. As a moral leader and the president, Lincoln would not have supported such an unprecedented attack on a civilian target. During his presidency, Lincoln pardoned dozens of soldiers convicted of desertion. He did this in direct violation of military law, because he did not believe the execution of scared deserters to be right. He would have recognized that the use of the atomic bomb, while sanctioned by military law, was also not right, and he would not have used it.

Lincoln was a cautious leader. While General Marshall predicted 250,000 American casualties in the invasion of Japan, other members of the military believed that the war was almost won. Lincoln would not have proceeded with such a drastic measure without being absolutely certain that he had no other alternatives.

Unlike President Truman, who had seen brutal combat during World War I, Lincoln’s company during the Black Hawk War never fought a battle, so Lincoln might not have been capable of making such a grim military decision.


The date is June 28, 1865. The last Confederate general surrendered to the Union five days ago. It’s been more than two months since Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, and more than a month since the Confederate President was captured and the Confederate Government was dissolved. The Civil War is effectively over. The Radical Republicans in Congress are exerting powerful pressure on President Andrew Johnson to put Confederates on trial for treason, impose harsh punishments on the South, and grant civil rights to almost four million newly-freed people. Meanwhile, the Democrats and more moderate Republicans want to get the South readmitted to the Union as soon as possible. They advocate leniency and forgiveness, and a return to normalcy. Reconstruction has begun.

With the country in turmoil, and the next congressional election a year away, President Johnson is called upon to strike a blow for the rights of the Freedmen. He is considering issuing a Proclamation granting all male former slaves the right to vote.


Lincoln would do what Johnson is considering.

Lincoln would see a parallel with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. Lincoln fought for the amendment because he believed it was right; he did not mind that others thought it would hurt him politically. As a moral leader with a reputation for excellent political judgment, he chose to fight for the Thirteenth Amendment, and thus would have done the same when it came to voting rights for former slaves.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Lincoln’s personal feelings towards African-Americans evolved over his life—it is therefore reasonable to assume that while he advocated voting rights for “very intelligent” former slaves, it is safe to assume that he would have come to embrace the rights of all former slaves.

Lincoln was more moderate and less racially biased than President Johnson. He was also one of the most popular leaders the United States had ever seen, and was willing to use his popularity to change the course of history.

Lincoln would want to repay the most loyal part of the South—the former slaves and the free African-Americans—for their part in winning the Civil War.

Lincoln would not do what Johnson is considering.

Lincoln would not see a parallel with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. The Thirteenth Amendment was a measure outlawing slavery, an institution that Lincoln hated his entire adult life. By contrast, even in his last speech, he did not support the rights of all former male slaves to vote.

Lincoln was a practical politician; his behavior as a wartime president would have been necessarily more radical than his behavior during Reconstruction. Post-war, he would have worked hard to bring the South back into the Union and would have avoided such a controversial plan.

Throughout his presidency, Lincoln favored the Union over the cause of abolition; he did not fight for the emancipation of the slaves and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment until it became clear that reconciliation with the South was impossible.


The date is September 14, 2001. Three days ago, nineteen Islamic terrorists hijacked four US commercial jets. They flew two into the World Trade Center in New York City; one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; and one crashed in Pennsylvania, short of its intended target, after passengers attempted to take control. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks. No one knows for certain whether more attacks are planned, or whether Al-Qaeda agents remain in the US. President George W. Bush feels that national security is in jeopardy and declares a national emergency. Though the 9/11 attacks are clearly an act of war, this war is not with another country but rather with an independent, foreign terrorist organization; thus the name, War on Terror. The president is considering the following policies to combat terror:

- Request that Congress authorize the use of military force

- Establish military commissions to detain and prosecute suspected terrorists—in effect, to restrict unlawful enemy combatants’ access to the writ of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is the means by which a court immediately takes responsibility for crime suspects, but then must release them immediately if the detention is deemed unlawful. When the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, law enforcement may detain suspects indefinitely.


Lincoln would do what Bush is considering.

Lincoln would see a parallel with the beginning of the Civil War. Faced with with the extraordinary situation of secession, Lincoln assumed extraordinary war powers. Lincoln called for military forces to protect Washington, D.C. and appropriated money for the purchase of arms and ammunition.

Similar to disloyal civilians during the Civil War, terrorists do not merit the same rights as do loyal citizens during peacetime. Lincoln authorized the use of military commissions to try those accused of disloyalty; he claimed the right to review private communications; and he suspended the writ of habeas corpus so he could detain Confederate sympathizers in Union states who were suspected of actively undermining the war effort, whether through action or speech.

Lincoln would not do what Bush is considering.

Lincoln would not see parallels with the beginning of the Civil War. After 9/11, the entire capital was not in grave, immediate danger. At the beginning of the Civil War, however, the nation’s capital was bordered by Virginia, which had seceded, and Maryland, which had threatened repeatedly to secede. These border states represented a clear, nearby threat.

No clear-cut threat by Al Qaeda supporters in the US could be quantified following 9/11. In Lincoln’s time, however, there were many known and suspected Confederate sympathizers still living in the North. The threat was local and immediate, and the numbers were significant. Treating them as enemy combatants was merited under the circumstances.

The War on Terror is not the result of a rebellion or an invasion. Lincoln specifically highlighted rebellions and invasions as times when the Constitution could be applied differently.


The date is January 26, 1869. The Civil War has been over for almost four years. Six months ago, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted into law. The Fourteenth Amendment provided legal protection for all citizens of the United States, regardless of their race. Now, members of Congress are preparing to put the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution to a vote. The Fifteenth Amendment will guarantee that citizens of the United States will not be denied the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

A few senators, including Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, want to change the proposed Amendment to guarantee the right to vote regardless of gender or race. Women in America are not and have never been allowed to vote in elections. If a great injustice is to be corrected and all men are to be allowed to vote, why not allow women as well? A small coalition has approached President Andrew Johnson, asking him to speak out in favor of women’s suffrage in the new amendment.


Lincoln would do what Johnson is considering.

Lincoln was a supporter of women’s rights. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was his confidante and a shrewd political ally for his whole career. While a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, he represented hundreds of women in cases that were both unglamorous and low-paying. As President, he was particularly sensitive to the needs of mothers of soldiers, women seeking jobs, and female abolitionists. He also valued the Declaration of Independence, the chief document of the women’s rights movement, above all others.

Lincoln believed that those who “bear the [burdens]” of government deserved to share in its rights and privileges. After the North won the Civil War, he spoke publicly in favor of giving African-American soldiers the right to vote. In Lincoln’s lifetime, he watched as women left the homestead to make important contributions to the war effort, to politics, and to many other aspects of public life. Since women were increasingly viewed as contributing to the public good, Lincoln would have supported their right to vote.

Lincoln would not do what Johnson is considering.

Lincoln was a cautious politician. He was slower than many Radical Republicans to support the rights of African-Americans during the Civil War. In 1869, as well as in Lincoln’s lifetime, women’s suffrage was a radical issue. No Western government of the time supported women’s right to vote. Few of his contemporaries seriously considered the issue. Women were not considered the equals of men, so Lincoln would not have led the way in supporting such a radical political issue.

Lincoln believed that women were protected under the law. He had observed this protected status during his years as a lawyer. In this respect, their status was different from that of the enslaved people that he worked so hard to free. Lincoln did not consider the freedoms withheld from women to be equivalent in any way to the freedoms withheld from the slaves. While he may have one day come to support the women’s suffrage, in 1869, with the country in the difficult process of Reconstruction, he would not have supported changing the Fifteenth Amendment.


Lincoln Learning Hub

  • Edward
  • Edwin
  • Lyman
  • William H.
  • Gideon
  • Francis
    Blair, Sr.
  • Montgomery
  • Salmon
    P. Chase
  • George B.
  • Thaddeus
  • James
  • John P.
1st Term
2nd Term

1793-1869 Edward Bates

  • Bates was a lawyer, judge, and politician from a successful political family
  • Born on a plantation in Virginia
  • His father's death forced him to move in with his relatives at the age of 11
  • Self-educated lawyer who relocated to the burgeoning Missouri Territory at 21
  • Helped draft the first constitution of the state of Missouri; state legislator; U.S. congressman; and a long-serving judge of the St. Louis Land Court
  • Turned down the appointment as Secretary of War in 1850 under President Fillmore
  • Longtime member of the Whig Party; never officially joined the Republican Party
  • Like Lincoln, was a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860
  • Opposed the expansion of slavery, but a former slave owner himself; in favor of Northern laws that prevented African Americans from holding office or voting

1813-1883 Edwin Stanton

  • A gruff, outspoken man whom many people disliked
  • Born in Steubenville, Ohio
  • When Stanton was 13, his father passed away; the death created financial problems for the family
  • Attended Kenyon College
  • Self-educated lawyer who practiced in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.; argued many cases before the Supreme Court
  • In 1857, Stanton and Lincoln had a case together regarding a patent. Stanton took over and pushed Lincoln off the case. Though Lincoln was hurt, he was strongly impressed by the sure and skillful way Stanton presented the case
  • Longtime Democrat; served as US Attorney General under Lincoln's predecessor, President James Buchanan
  • Spoke out against secession by the Southern states, deeming it unconstitutional and illegal

1813-1896 Lyman Trumbull

  • Chair of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Born in Connecticut to a scholarly family
  • Became a school teacher at age 16, then studied law, and after being admitted to the bar, moved to Illinois in 1837
  • Active in Illinois state government as Secretary of State and later as a justice on the state supreme court and a member of the state legislature
  • Elected Senator as a Democrat in 1855; switched parties because of his opposition to the expansion of slavery
  • Defeated Lincoln for the Senate seat in 1855 after Lincoln instructed his delegates to support Trumbull rather than risk letting the pro-slavery candidate win the election
  • Never forgot Lincoln’s generous behavior during the Senatorial election, and campaigned for Lincoln's bid for Senate in 1858

1801-1872 William H. Seward

  • A successful lawyer and politician, considered the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860
  • Despite losing the nomination, Seward campaigned energetically for Lincoln
  • Born in New York state to a well-to-do family
  • Graduated with highest honors from Union College in Schenectady
  • Admitted to the bar and practiced law in New York beginning in 1823
  • Began a long political career when elected to the state senate from 1830-1834; Governor of New York from 1838-1842; US Senator from 1849–1861
  • First elected as an Anti-Mason; later became a Whig; and when he joined the Republican Party in 1855, became one of its most prominent members
  • Though his family owned slaves when he was a child, he was tremendously sensitive to the injustices of slavery
  • An early and zealous opponent of slavery, he married a woman who was a committed abolitionist

1802-1878 Gideon Welles

  • An influential writer, political leader and newspaper owner/editor
  • Led the Connecticut delegation to the 1860 Republican convention; strongly opposed Seward’s nomination; spearheaded the shift toward Lincoln
  • Born in Glastonbury, Connecticut
  • Father was a shipping merchant from a long line of political leaders in Connecticut, stretching back seven generations
  • Educated at Norwich University
  • Though trained as a lawyer, spent his adult years as a journalist, writer, legislator, and comptroller
  • A loyal Democrat for years, in the mid-1850s became uneasy with the “Southern slaveocracy” and joined the Republican Party
  • Increasingly opposed to slavery; avoided ardent abolitionist sentiments

1791-1876 Francis Preston Blair, Sr.

  • A newspaper editor, presidential advisor, and co-founder of the Republican Party
  • Initially supported the nomination of Edward Bates at the 1860 Republican convention; later switched to support Lincoln’s bid
  • Born in Abingdon, Virginia
  • Father was Attorney General of Kentucky and uncle was former governor of the state
  • Graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Was clerk of a county court in Kentucky and writer for a local newspaper until 1830, when he moved to Washington to edit the Washington Globe, the main newspaper of the Democratic Party
  • Was a Democrat, advisor and friend to President Andrew Jackson; later helped to found the Republican Party in 1856
  • A powerful figure in Washington politics for decades; lived in a brick mansion across the street from the White House; advised generations of presidents and politicians
  • While a lifelong slave owner, was strongly opposed to the extension of slavery, and broke with the Democratic Party over the extension of slavery into the territories

1813-1883 Montgomery Blair

  • A lawyer and politician from a powerful political family
  • Born in Franklin County, Kentucky
  • Son of Francis Preston Blair, newspaper editor and presidential advisor
  • Graduated from West Point in 1835; studied law; admitted to the Missouri bar
  • Served as U.S. attorney for Missouri 1839-1842; mayor of St. Louis 1842-1843
  • A member of the Democratic Party in the 1840's; later joined the Free Soil Party; an early Republican supporter
  • Moved to Maryland in 1852 to focus on his law practice, principally before the US Supreme Court
  • Rose to national fame as an attorney for Dred Scott, a slave who sued the Supreme Court for his freedom in 1857; Scott lost the case, because the Supreme Court ruled that men of African ancestry were not citizens of the United States, and therefore could not file a suit in court
  • Despite coming from a slave-owning family, was an abolitionist who fully supported the end of slavery

1808-1873 Salmon P. Chase

  • A lawyer and politician; sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1860
  • Born in Cornish, New Hampshire
  • Father died when Chase was 9
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College
  • Returned to Ohio; admitted to the bar in 1829
  • Enjoyed a long political career in Ohio: Cincinnati City Council; US Senate 1849-1855; Governor of Ohio 1855-1860
  • First elected as a Whig, then switched to the Liberty Party, then to the Free Soil Party, then was briefly a Democrat before becoming a Republican in 1857
  • A humorless man who neither drank nor smoked; had few friends; deeply religious; extremely ambitious
  • Became a fervent abolitionist in the 1830’s; defended many fugitive slaves in legal cases; advocated “the absolute and unqualified divorce of the government from slavery”

1826-1885 George B. McClellan

  • Engineer, railroad executive and career member of the US military
  • Born in Pennsylvania to a prominent family
  • Graduated from West Point
  • Served bravely in the Mexican-American War; became a civilian executive of Midwestern railroads
  • Supported Democrat Stephen A. Douglas in the 1860 election
  • Opposed emancipation and saw slavery as an institution recognized in the Constitution

1792-1868 Thaddeus Stevens

  • Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Appropriations Committee; responsible for funding the war effort
  • Born in 1792 to a very poor family in Vermont
  • Suffered from a clubfoot; as a child, was ostracized by his peers
  • Earned acclaim as an exceptional debater
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College
  • Practiced law in Pennsylvania, where he became a successful attorney and businessman
  • Served in Congress continuously, beginning in 1859
  • Led the Radical Republicans, a group that strongly opposed slavery

1812-1887 James Speed

  • A lawyer, politician and law professor
  • Born in Kentucky; father was a successful plantation owner and judge; both parents came from prominent slave-holding families
  • Graduated from St. Joseph’s College
  • Admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1833; elected to the state legislature in 1847; taught law at University of Louisville for many years
  • Worked to keep Kentucky in the Union, although it was both a border state and a slave state
  • A Democrat for most of his life, but also a Union advocate and a firm abolitionist
  • Older brother of Joshua Speed, Lincoln’s oldest and dearest friend
  • Speed’s attitude toward slavery evolved over the years, though his belief in preserving the Union never wavered; over time he evolved from an emancipationist to an abolitionist

1816-1889 John P. Usher

  • A successful lawyer and administrator
  • Born in Brookfield, New York
  • From a colonial New England family; moved to Indiana in 1839 at the age of 23
  • Successful trial lawyer who rode the circuit with a young Lincoln in the 1840s
  • Elected as a local prosecutor in 1841; served in the Indiana legislature from 1850-1859
  • A member of the Whig Party; became a Republican in 1854; ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican
  • Strongly supported Lincoln’s 1858 senatorial campaign, but did not initially support his campaign for presidency; changed his mind after a personal meeting with Lincoln
  • Did not support the spread of slavery, but was in favor of racial segregation and advocated colonization for former slaves

1 of 12


Attorney General, first term

Try again. Lincoln needed someone with legal, judicial and political experience for this coveted spot.

Secretary of War

Nearly. This role called for someone who was a strong manager and administrator to successfully carry out the war on land.

Secretary of the Navy

Almost. Lincoln needed a strong, practical manager who could carry out a sevenfold increase in the size and strength of the US Navy.

Attorney General, second term

Close. As Lincoln began his second term, he needed someone in this role who was both loyal and had judicial expertise.

Secretary of the Interior

Almost. Lincoln saw this position as a way to balance his Cabinet with someone from a more western state.

Postmaster General

Try again. Officially, this position manages the US Post Office; unofficially, Lincoln wanted someone from a border state who had political connections.

Secretary of the Treasury

Almost. This prize position required an experienced leader
who could be responsible for issuing the first US paper currency.

Secretary of State

Not quite. Lincoln needed someone in this highly visible role who was loyal, energetic, strong, and very politically experienced.


Edward Bates Attorney General, 1861-1864

Bates served for most of Lincoln’s first term. He then returned to Missouri and essentially retired from politics.

Edwin M. Stanton Secretary of War, 1862 – 1868

Stanton's skill at marshaling resources to run the war was invaluable to Lincoln. Stanton also served under President Andrew Johnson, but was later replaced. This action led to Johnson's attempted impeachment.

Gideon Welles Secretary of the Navy, 1861 – 1869

Welles’ Navy buildup was crucial to Union victory, and he continued his work under President Johnson. His journals are an important record of the Civil War and Lincoln’s presidency.

James Speed Attorney General, 1864 – 1866

Speed resigned from the Cabinet shortly after Johnson took office. He returned to Kentucky where he practiced law, ran unsuccessfully for office, and taught law.

John Usher Secretary of the Interior, 1863 – 1865

Usher had a low-profile term as Secretary under Lincoln. Later, he became an attorney for the Union Pacific Railway, which he was instrumental in developing.

Montgomery Blair Postmaster General, 1861 – 1864

Following the Civil War, Blair returned to the Democratic Party due to differences over Reconstruction policy. It was within this party that he supported his brother’s political career and tried unsuccessfully to advance his own.

Salmon P. Chase Secretary of the Treasury, 1861-1864

At the Treasury, Chase created a national banking system and issued the first US paper currency. Lincoln nominated him to the Supreme Court, where he served from 1864 - 1873.

William H. Seward Secretary of State, 1861-1869

After Lincoln’s death, Seward continued as Secretary of State under President Johnson, where he shaped the 1867 purchase of Alaska (“Seward's Folly”).


“We needed the strongest men of the party in the Cabinet. We needed to hold our own people together. I had looked the party over and concluded that these were the very strongest men. Then I had no right to deprive the country of their services.” - Abraham Lincoln

Team of rivals

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book by the same name popularized the idea of Lincoln’s Cabinet as a “Team of Rivals.” Remarkably, Lincoln recruited the members of his Cabinet from his political rivals, from competing factions of his party, and even from other political parties.

Lincoln’s extraordinary vision united their political and intellectual talents to preserve the Union, to win the war, and to end slavery.


Lincoln Learning Hub

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  • Born in 1828 in Pennsylvania
  • Practiced law in Pennsylvania
  • Served in Congress from 1863–1866 and 1879-1881
  • Elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1863; came from a largely Republican district in Pennsylvania
  • Just before the war, spoke out against breaking up the Union at the Secession Convention in South Carolina
  • Was the youngest member of Congress when he was first elected
  • Father John Coffroth was a Whig and one of only four people in his county to vote for Henry Clay, Lincoln’s political idol, for president in 1824
  • Despite being a Democrat, he became an ardent admirer of and friend to Lincoln
  • Born in 1811 to abolitionist parents in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School
  • Practiced law in Boston and lectured at Harvard Law School
  • Served in Congress from 1851 until his death in 1874
  • Was one of the leaders of the “Radical Republicans,” a faction of the Republican Party that strongly opposed slavery and emphasized civil rights
  • In 1856, Carolina congressman Preston Brooks savagely beat Sumner with a cane after Sumner delivered a blistering anti-slavery speech on the Senate floor during which he insulted Brooks’ uncle, Senator Andrew Butler
  • Took three years to recover from the attack, during which thousands of Northerners attended rallies in his support and more than a million copies of his Senate speech were printed; became an important symbol of the anti-slavery movement
  • Travelled in Europe extensively as a young man, where he became convinced of the natural equality of all races of man
  • Became a close friend of the Lincolns during the Civil War
  • Born in 1812 in Pennsylvania
  • Self-educated
  • Wealthy merchant who made huge profits shipping goods to San Francisco during the Gold Rush
  • A lifelong Democrat who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1841; served as mayor of New York City from 1854 – 1857 and again from 1860 – 1862; was reelected to the House in 1863 and again in 1867, where he served seven consecutive terms
  • “Welcomed” President-elect Lincoln at a chilly City Hall reception in February 1861
  • While mayor of New York, was a Confederate sympathizer and in 1861, proposed that New York secede from the Union in order to continue trade with the Confederacy
  • Strongly opposed the anti-slavery movement; considered black people inferior and believed slavery to be a “divine institution”
  • Supported slavery from an economic perspective; believed that New York’s prosperity depended absolutely on the slave economy of the South
  • A leading member of the Peace Democrats during the Civil War; the Peace Democrats were strongly opposed to Lincoln and to the war
  • Born in 1825 in Ohio; the son of a well-known lawyer and former congressman
  • Attended Cincinnati College and the University of Heidelberg in Germany
  • Served in Congress from 1857–1865 and again from 1879-1885
  • A lifelong Democrat, he served in the Ohio Senate from 1854–1856 before being elected to the House in 1857
  • Was a leading member of the Peace Democrats during the Civil War; the Peace Democrats were strongly opposed to Lincoln and to the war
  • Ran as George B. McClellan’s Vice-Presidential candidate in the 1864 campaign against Lincoln
  • Served on both the House Judiciary Committee and the Ways and Means Committee
  • Opposed the Emancipation Proclamation; did not support abolition
  • A lifelong abolitionist and congressman from Indiana; leading House member of the Committee on the Conduct of the War
  • Born in 1817 in Indiana
  • Served in Congress from 1849–1851 and again from 1861-1871
  • Served as a Whig in Indiana state government before being elected to Congress as a Free-Soiler in 1849; later re-elected to Congress as a Republican in 1861
  • Helped co-found the Free Soil party and ran unsuccessfully for vice president on the Free Soil ticket in 1852
  • Leading member of the Radical Republicans; was totally opposed to slavery in all forms and advocated a stronger commitment to the war effort
  • Raised as a Quaker and believed in civil rights for all; an early advocate of women’s suffrage
  • Married to the daughter of Joshua Giddings, one of the most vocal opponents of slavery in Washington
  • Born in 1829 in Kentucky
  • Self-educated
  • Practiced law and served as a judge in Kentucky
  • Served in Congress from 1862-1865
  • Elected to the House of Representatives as a Unionist
  • Was a member of the short-lived “Constitutional Union Party,” a party formed by former Whigs and Know-Nothings who hoped to avoid disunion by refusing to take a stand either for or against slavery
  • Was opposed to the Radical Republican support of abolition, but was also opposed to the pro-slavery faction of Congress
  • Did not favor the preservation of slavery; but also had concerns about Radical Republicans fighting for land confiscation, citizenship, and suffrage for African-Americans
  • Served as a Republican senator from New York between 1861-1867, succeeding William H. Seward who joined Lincoln’s Cabinet as Secretary of State
  • Born in New York in 1802
  • Graduated from Union College in 1824, and admitted to the New York bar in 1827
  • Elected to the New York State Assembly as a Whig in 1844
  • Appointed to the New York Supreme Court in 1847, where he served until 1859
  • Selected as a Republican for Seward’s Senate seat when Seward became Secretary of State; served from 1861-1867
  • A prominent Baptist and staunchly anti-slavery
  • A frequent guest in the Lincoln home and a close personal friend of Mrs. Lincoln
  • U.S. Representative from Ohio and lifelong abolitionist
  • Born in 1824 to a poor and very religious family in Pennsylvania
  • Self-educated
  • Helped slaves hide along the Underground Railroad as a young man
  • Considered a “Radical Republican,” a faction of the Republican party that strongly opposed slavery
  • Introduced the bill in Congress to abolish slavery in Washington, D.C.; it was passed and Lincoln signed it into law eight months before the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Was strongly opposed to compromising with the Confederacy during the Civil War
  • Campaigned for Lincoln in 1860 and got along well with him, despite being far more radical than the moderate President
  • U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
  • Born in 1804 in Pennsylvania
  • Taught school, worked as a merchant, and served as a bank cashier
  • Elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat; served from 1861-1865
  • Elected in 1860 in a Democratic district; by 1862 when he was re-elected, the district had become largely Republican
  • A strong opponent of the Republicans while in Congress
  • Was in favor of compromise and an end to the Civil War for most of his political career
  • Served as a delegate to the National Union Convention in 1866 in support of Johnson’s pro-South Reconstruction policies
  • Long-time friend and former law partner of Lincoln despite different political views; served as a Democrat in Congress during the Civil War
  • Born to a well-to-do clergyman in Kentucky in 1807; related to Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Graduated from Centre College in Danville, KY, and admitted to the Illinois bar in 1828
  • Elected to the House of Representatives as a Whig in 1839; 20 years after he left Congress, he was re-elected as a Democrat in 1863
  • First met Lincoln when they served together during the Black Hawk War in 1832; encouraged Lincoln to study law and lent Lincoln his law books
  • Became law partners with Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois in 1837; introduced Lincoln to his cousin Mary, who would later become Lincoln’s wife
  • When elected to Congress in 1863, was a strong opponent of the Emancipation Proclamation and disagreed with many of Lincoln’s policies during the Civil War; encouraged Lincoln to recommend peace negotiations with the Confederacy
  • Despite disagreeing with Lincoln politically, remained friendly with him and was a frequent visitor to the White House during his term in Congress
  • A controversial Senator during the Civil War; an outspoken critic of Lincoln and a Democrat accused of sympathizing with the Confederacy
  • Born in 1812 to tobacco farmers in Kentucky
  • Graduated from Saint Joseph College and Transylvania University Law School
  • Served as Democratic Governor of Kentucky from 1851–1855; elected to Senate as Democrat in 1859
  • Supported Kentucky’s policy to remain neutral during the Civil War
  • Was more sympathetic to the Southern states than most of his fellow congressmen
  • A vocal critic of Lincoln; was accused of being a Confederate in disguise; an attempt was made by his peers to expel him from the Senate
  • Criticized Northern states for not respecting the Fugitive Slave Act, which declared that escaped slaves must be returned to their masters across state lines
  • Chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, which was responsible for drafting constitutional amendments
  • Born in Connecticut to a scholarly family
  • Became a school teacher at age 16, studied law, and after being admitted to the bar, moved to Illinois in 1837
  • Active in state government in Illinois as secretary of state; later served as a justice on the state supreme court and as a member of the state legislature
  • Allied with the “Radical Republicans” in the early 1860s, a faction of the Republican Party that strongly opposed slavery and emphasized civil rights
  • Lost three cases to Lincoln in the Illinois Supreme Court in the 1840s
  • Defeated Lincoln for a seat in the Senate in 1855 after Lincoln instructed his delegates to support Trumbull rather than risk letting the pro-slavery candidate win the election. The election was decided in the state legislature, not by popular vote. Mary Lincoln never spoke to him or Mrs. Trumbull again
  • Never forgot Lincoln’s generous behavior during the Senatorial election, and campaigned for Lincoln’s own bid for Senate in 1858
  • Senator, Attorney General, and Ambassador to the United Kingdom
  • Born in 1796 to a well-known Maryland politician
  • Graduated from St. John’s College, Maryland
  • Was first elected to the Senate as a Whig; resigned to join President Zachary Taylor’s cabinet as Attorney General; re-elected to the Senate as a Democrat
  • A conservative Democrat; supported Stephen A. Douglas in the presidential election of 1860
  • Represented the slave-owning defendant in a famous 1857 Supreme Court case concerning the freedom of a slave named Dred Scott
  • Helped keep Maryland in the Union during the Civil War
  • Though he represented Maryland, a slave-holding state, for most of his political life, he was personally opposed to slavery
  • Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Appropriations Committee; responsible for funding the war effort
  • Born in 1792 to a very poor family in Vermont; as a child, he suffered from a clubfoot and was ostracized by his peers
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College, where he earned acclaim as an exceptional debater
  • Practiced law in Pennsylvania
  • Won a seat in state government in 1833, where he defended free public education for all
  • Served as a Republican from Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives between 1859-1868
  • Led the “Radical Republicans,” a faction of the Republican Party that strongly opposed slavery and emphasized civil rights
  • Confederates burned his family-owned business during their invasion of Pennsylvania in 1863
  • Buried in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in one of the few non-segregated burial grounds of the day
  • U.S. Representative from Ohio
  • Born in 1818 in Ohio to a poor family
  • Practiced law in Ohio
  • Elected to the state House of Representatives as a Whig in 1851; became a Democrat in 1856 and served as city solicitor until he was elected to the federal House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1863
  • Became a “War Democrat,” a contingent of the Democratic party that favored an aggressive stance towards the Confederacy and supported many of Lincoln’s wartime policies
  • Known to exercise his own judgment rather than blindly obeying his political party in matters before Congress
  • Was personally opposed to slavery
  • Broke with his party to support Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in 1863; supported the use of African-American troops during the Civil War
  • Major critic of Lincoln’s administration
  • Born in 1820 to wealthy landowners in Delaware
  • Attended Dickinson College
  • Practiced law in Delaware; served as Delaware Attorney General; elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1858
  • Believed that if Lincoln would drop his “infernal abolition policy,” the country would find peace
  • Considered many of the actions of Lincoln’s administration to be acts of tyranny
  • During a speech on the Senate floor, a reportedly drunk Saulsbury called Lincoln “a weak and imbecile man,” and then drew a pistol and threatened the officer who told him to take his seat
  • Was a slaveholder who believed that slavery should never be outlawed in his home state

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