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Historical biographer Walter Stahr has given us definitive biographies of William H. Seward and Edwin Stanton, two of the ablest and most influential members of President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Earlier this year, Stahr followed those books with Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln’s Vital Rival, the definitive biography of Salmon P. Chase, Treasury secretary under Lincoln and one of the country’s most important antislavery lawyers, one of the few who defended fugitive slaves against state and federal prosecutors. After his stint as a lawyer, Chase was elected to represent Ohio in the US Senate, where he was instrumental in helping to settle the slavery question in the United States. Chase also served as governor of Ohio and then as Treasury secretary, where he standardized the dozens of currencies then being issued by local banks and gave us a national currency and a system of national banks. Spend an hour learning about this man, who contributed greatly to the country but whom almost no one today remembers.
Recorded on April 15, 2022, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.Published in