Thursday, April 27, 2017

Madison Place during the Civil War

The left stair section of the current Court of Claims building is "where" the entrance to the home of Secretary of State Seward was located in 1865. On April 14, 1865, Louis Powell, aka Lewis Payne, attempted to assassinate Seward, and severely disfigured Seward's face. The house, previously known as the “Club-House,” was the vicinity wherein Dan Sickles (later the commanding general of III Corps at Gettysburg) murdered his wife’s lover, Philip Barton Key, and was acquitted by use of the first successful use of the temporary insanity defense, with the defense done by Edwin Stanton, later Secretary of War. Stanton was the lead lawyer in a reaper patent case, the one time Abraham Lincoln got close to a patent litigation.


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