The Papers Of Thaddeus Stevens Volume 1: January 1814-March 1865 by Thaddeus StevensHailed as “the most important congressman in the House of Representatives during the Civil War” and still honored in Pennsylvania as the father of its public school system, Thaddeus Stevens grappled in his day with many of the issues that confront us today: racial and economic equality, affirmative action, and equal access to education.
Volume one of the projected two-volume edition of The Papers of Thaddeus Stevens covers Steven’s political career from his Vermont youth to the end of the Civil War. It includes letters and speeches from his early days as a Gettysburg lawyer and as a representative in the Pennsylvania assembly through his antislavery efforts to the 1865 passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, freeing all slaves.
As Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee throughout the Civil War, he pushed tariff and tax policies to finance the war and supported the issuance of currency not backed by gold. An attorney and investor with strong links to banks and railroads, he owned a financially troubled iron works that was destroyed by Confederates before the Battle of Gettysburg in July He opposed the influence of moderates such as Secretary of State William H. Seward in the cabinet and General George B. Boutwell in his memoirs.
Thaddeus Stevens fought even harder for black equality than the Great Emancipator. After he died, in , his party decided to honor him by nominating him for reelection to Congress. He won in a landslide. Jones plays Stevens as a snide, cynical, misanthropic old pol with a bad wig and a black mistress. All of that is pretty accurate, as movies go.
In , a young Thaddeus Stevens was attending a small college in Vermont. This was well before the time when good fences made good neighbors. Free-roaming cows often strayed onto campus. Manure piled up. Odors lingered. Resentment among students festered. In gratitude, the farmer sent Stevens a hogshead of cider.
Thaddeus Stevens (April 4, – August 11, ) was a member of the United States House After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in April , Stevens came into conflict with the new president, Johnson, who sought rapid.
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Lincoln response to Stevens
A fierce opponent of slavery and discrimination against African-Americans , Stevens sought to secure their rights during Reconstruction , in opposition to U. President Andrew Johnson. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during the American Civil War , he played a leading role, focusing his attention on defeating the Confederacy, financing the war with new taxes and borrowing, crushing the power of slave owners, ending slavery, and securing equal rights for the Freedmen. Stevens was born in rural Vermont, in poverty, and with a club foot , which left him with a permanent limp. He moved to Pennsylvania as a young man and quickly became a successful lawyer in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He interested himself in municipal affairs, and then in politics. He was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives , where he became a strong advocate of free public education.
Admitted to the Maryland bar, he moved to Pennsylvania to practice law in Having witnessed the oppressive slave system at close range, he early developed a fierce hatred of bondage and defended numbers of fugitives without fee. An anti-Masonic member of the state legislature —41 , he proved himself a friend of banks, internal improvements, and public schools and a foe of Freemasons, Jacksonian Democrats, and slaveholders. Serving as a Whig in the U. House of Representatives —53 , he advocated tariff increases and opposed the fugitive slave provision of the Compromise of After the war Stevens emerged as one of the most militant of the Radical Republicans , consistently striving for justice for the black masses.