Dick Cheney, Edwin Stanton, Robert Lincoln discussed on American History Tellers


Stanton's principles of dedication to abolition, and what we would call, you know, general democratic principles of liberty for all are are well established, but he also had a very darkly pragmatic view of government and his particular power. I've heard you compare Stanton to Dick Cheney for this reason he faced a national tragedy and then had to take the reins why do you make the comparison? I think I make the comparison because you know in the moments after nine eleven happened. Dick Cheney had to make some very difficult choices, you know. George Bush was in Florida. He was sitting in a classroom. He was not in the situation room with the rest of of his top advisors and Dick Cheney made fame infamously made the decision that if a plane flew. You into the airspace over the White House that he authorized our government to shoot the plane down, even if there were civilians on board. But of course, that's a bit of an imperious choice on his part of because assuming the power that is not his because of course, the vice president is not imbued with the power to make a decision like that. And yet Cheney did it was what the situation demanded in his mind similarly in the days and weeks after Lincoln assassinated, Edwin Stanton, does a very similar thing. He declares martial law. He basically runs the country for the fourteen days after Lincoln killed. He presides over the largest manhunt and US history to bring John Wilkes booth conspirators to Justice he arrests folks and holds them in violation of their rights of habeas corpus without naming charges. And he does it all in the name of keeping the country safe. And so I kind of think that there's an interesting question to be asked inside of the character of Edwin Stanton and a man like Dick Cheney, it's like, we'll do the ends jus-. Defy the means, you know, when you make difficult tough choices in the name of the greater good. What is the cost of that? And does that cost outweigh the good? That is done in the process of of making those choices I think it's just a really palpable question. And certainly in a post nine eleven world, I think it's a question that will really resonate with, you know, with Americans today, speaking of Americans today, most will know the story of Lincoln's assassination, and some more will know about the reconstruction period that followed, but most will not, and I certainly didn't know the many outrageous facts of the story. I mean, the first one being the strange relationship between John Wilkes booth and Lucy HALE, can you just tell us a little bit about that relationship and many maybe some of the other surprises that you found in your research. Yeah. The the truth is always stranger than fiction, isn't it? And that's one of the the historical facts that when it was brought to me I. I thought I think like you Lindsey when Eric are Chila, I pointed this out to me, I thought there's no way that's true turns out that Lucy. Lambert HALE who is a high society daughter of famous abolitionist Senator named John Parker HALE who's also one of the founders of the Republican party. It turns out that she's betrothed you might say to Robert Lincoln, or at the very least that Robert Lincoln, the president son is is trying to marry her. But that she secretly having an affair with none other than John Wilkes booth. The man who would later assassinate Robert Lincoln's father, and what I found out that piece of history. I just thought there's no way there's no way this is true. And yet and yet it is true. And even more mysteriously in a time where Edwin Stanton essentially, arrested anyone in everyone that so much new the name John Wilkes booth Lucy HALE is never arrested. She's never taken to the Montauk prison ship in put in chains. She is able to walk the streets of free woman..

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