Welcome to The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates interview series. I’m Paul Vogelzang and we have an excellent show today, very timely and important, with our guest today, Walter Stahr. Walter Stahr will be presenting at Smithsonian Associates Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln’s Vital Rival, via Zoom on December 13, and you’ll find ticket details on our website, but we have Walter Stahr today.
Join me and New York Times bestselling biographer Walter Stahr for a timely reassessment of Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln’s indispensable secretary of the treasury and a leading proponent for Black rights before and during his years in the cabinet and as chief justice of the United States.
Salmon P Chase may not be a household name, but he should be and is best remembered as a rival of Lincoln’s for the Republican nomination in 1860—but there would not have been a national Republican Party, and Lincoln could not have won the presidency, were it not for the vital groundwork Chase laid over the previous two decades.
Starting in the early 1840s, long before Lincoln was speaking out against slavery, Chase was forming and leading antislavery parties. He represented fugitive slaves so often in his law practice that he was known as the “attorney general for runaway Negroes,” and he furthered his reputation as an outspoken federal senator and progressive governor of Ohio. Listen as Zion Church’s role, and 5000+ formerly enslaved persons felt on May 12, 1865, after the Union Army finally arrived in town.
That, of course, is our guest today, author and NYT best-selling author Walther Stahr, author of the new book, Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln’s Vital Rival.
Salmon P Chase was tapped by Lincoln to become secretary of the treasury. Our guest today, NYT best-selling author Walther Stahr will tell us about how Salmon P Chase would prove essential to the Civil War effort, raising the billions of dollars that allowed the Union to win the war, while also pressing the president to emancipate the country’s slaves and recognize Black rights. Walther Stahr tells us that when Lincoln had the chance to appoint a chief justice in 1864, he chose his faithful rival because he was sure Chase would make the right decisions on the difficult racial, political, and economic issues the Supreme Court would confront during Reconstruction.
Drawing on previously overlooked sources, Stahr sheds new light on a complex and fascinating political figure as well as on the pivotal events of the Civil War and its aftermath. Please join me in welcoming to The Not Old Better Show Smithsonian Associate Walter Stahr.
My thanks to Walter Stahr for his generous time and preparation today. Walter Stahr will be presenting at Smithsonian Associates via Zoom on December 13, and you’ll find ticket details on our web site. My thanks to you, my wonderful Not Old Better Show audience…please be safe, get your flu shots and your booster shot for COVID, recommend others do the same and Let’s Talk About Better. The Not Old Better Show Smithsonian Associates interview series Thanks, everybody.
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