Henry Wilson & The Civil War

A Podcast Exploring the Heroic Life of Civil War Senator, Vice President, and Champion of Civil Rights, Henry Wilson, through gripping stories of Tragedy and triumph. Sign Up Below to Get Notified When New Episodes Are Released.

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WHo is Henry Wilson?


​​Henry Wilson was an American general, senator, and later vice president who played a key role in the political lead up to the Civil War, handling military affairs during the war, and fighting for civil rights for all Americans during Reconstruction. Wilson was born in 1812 in Farmington, New Hampshire, and was sold into indentured servitude until the age of 21. Shortly following the end of his contract, Wilson moved to Natick Massachusetts where he began his career as a shoemaker. Wilson got involved in local politics and was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature. Wilson was central in forming the Free Soil party in 1848 to fight slavery's expansion. Wilson was elected to the US Senate in 1855 and remained a senator until he was elected as Ulysses Grant's Vice President in 1872. During his career, Wilson drafted much of the military legislation governing the war, worked closely with the Lincoln administration to handle military affairs, emancipated the slaves of Washington DC, and was central in the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, along with many other political successes. It's difficult to find a political event in the 1850s-1870's which was not in some way touched by Henry Wilson. Wilson died in 1875 in the US Capitol during his tenure as vice president. The Senate commemorated his death with a vice-presidential bust which still is displayed in the vice president's office in the Capitol aside from the vice-presidential desk whose dedication is also in honor of Wilson. Despite being one of the most iconic Americans of his time, today Wilson is largely forgotten. Henry Wilson & the Civil War seeks to tell the fascinating story of Wilson's rise from poverty and his political success to reassert his rightful place in history.

The Podcast


  • Joan Waugh - Researcher/Author on the Civil War & President Grant

  • Robert S. Levine - Author of The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

  • Betty Koed - United States Senate Historian

  • Michelle Krowl - The Library of Congress

  • Samuel W. Haynes - Expert and Author on Texas & the Mexican American War

  • Jeffrey Boutwell - Researcher & Biographer of George Boutwell

  • TJ Fallon - Vice Presidential Historian

  • John L Myers - Henry Wilson Biographer

  • Joe Weisse - Henry Wilson & Natick Historian

  • Jon-Erik Gilot - Author of John Brown's Raid, Contributor to Emerging Civil

  • Kevin Pawlak - Author of John Brown's Raid, Battlefield Ranger

  • Nicole Etcheson - Author/Researcher on Bleeding Kansas

  • Kyle Leach - Farmington Historical Museum

  • Daniel Kevles - Yale Professor of Science History, Historian of the National Academy of Sciences

  • + More!


  • Who was Henry Wilson?

  • Jeremiah Jones Colbath

  • The Natick Shoemaker

  • The Texas Question

  • Free Soil-Democratic Coalition

  • Loss & Failure

  • Senator Wilson

  • Bloodshed in Congress

  • The Republican Party & Dred Scott

  • Abe Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John Brown

  • The Election of 1860

  • Secession & Fort Sumter

  • Military Affairs & Emancipation

  • 1863: The Defining Year

  • Victory In Sight

  • Surrender & Reunion

  • The Assassination of President Lincoln & Andrew Johnson

  • Change in Character: The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

  • Renewed Reconstruction: The Election of 1868

  • Grant & Wilson

  • Vice President Henry Wilson

  • The Nation in Mourning: The Legacy of Henry Wilson

Bonus Episodes

  • Slavery in Politics

  • Henry Wilson Shoe Shop

  • The Mexican American War: Interview with Sam W Haynes

  • Bleeding Kansas: Interview with Nicole Etcheson

  • Slavery, The Underground Railroad, and Revolt

  • The National Academy of Science: Interview with Daniel Kevles

  • Using the Library of Congress for Research: Interview with Michelle Krowl

  • George Boutwell: Interview with Jeffery Boutwell

  • Grant & Reconstruction: Interview with Joan Waugh

  • Vice Presidential Graves: Interview with TJ Fallon

  • The Slave Power Lives On


Lincoln Anniballi

Lifelong resident of Natick Massachusetts, the home town of Henry Wilson, Lincoln grew up in the Henry Wilson Historic District, lived on the same road Wilson did, drove past the Henry Wilson Shoe Shop every day, and even went to Wilson Middle School, yet knew very little about the person whose name was all over town. In 2020 Lincoln began researching Wilson's life and in 2021 got the idea to turn his research into a biographical podcast on the life of Henry Wilson. A student of political science and history at Hofstra University, Lincoln has spent much of his free time researching and producing Henry Wilson & the Civil War. If you have any questions for Lincoln or would like to request an interview or presentation email HenryWilsonHistory@gmail.com!