Born: April 4, 1792
Birthplace: Danville, Vermont
Father: Joshua Stevens 1769 – 1814
Mother: Sarah “Sally” Morrill 1766 – 1854
Domestic Partner: Lydia Hamilton Smith 1813 – 1884
(Buried: Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Children in his custody:
Nephew: Captain Alanson Joshua Stevens 1833 – 1863
Nephew: Lt. Colonel Thaddeus Stevens Jr. 1835 – 1874
(Buried: Shreiner’s Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Before – 1828: Member of Federalist Political Party
1828 – 1838: Member of Anti – Masonic Political Party
1838 – 1853: Member of Whig Political Party
1854 – 1855: Member of Know – Nothing Political Party
1855 – 1868: Member of Republican Political Party
Attended Peacham Academy
Attended University of Vermont at Burlington
1814: Graduated from Dartmouth College
Occupation before War:
1815: School Teacher at York Academy in York, Pennsylvania
1816 – 1842: Attorney in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
1822 – 1831: Member of Gettysburg borough Council
1825: The largest landowner in the community of Gettysburg.
1833 – 1835: Pennsylvania State Representative
1837: Pennsylvania State Representative
1837: Fought against discrimination in Pennsylvania.
1838: Delegate to Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention
1838: Appointed Pennsylvania State Canal Commissioner
1840: Campaigner for William Henry Harrison Presidential Campaign.
1841: Pennsylvania State Representative
1842 – 1849: Attorney in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1844: Supporter of Henry Clay’s Presidential Campaign.
1848: Supporter of Zachary Taylor’s Presidential Campaign.
1849 – 1853: United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
1849 – 1851: Member of House Judiciary Committee
1850: Spoke out against the Compromise of 1850.
1851 – 1853: Member of House Military Affairs Committee
1851: Defense Attorney in the trial of 38 African Americans.
1853 – 1859: Attorney in Lancaster Pennsylvania
1856: Speaker and Delegate Republican Party National Convention
1856: Supporter of Associate Justice John McLean for Republican Nomination.
1859: Opposed John Brown’s actions at the time but later approved.
1859 – 1868: United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
U.S. Congressman William Barksdale drew a knife on Stevens.
1859 – 1861: Member of House Ways and Means Committee
1860: Pennsylvania Delegate Republican Party National Convention
1860: Supporter of Justice John McLean for Republican Nomination.
1860: Campaigner for Abraham Lincoln in Pennsylvania.
Civil War Career:
1861: Secured Passage of an act to confiscate property.
1861 – 1865: Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee
1861: Introduced legislation to emancipate all slaves but it was defeated.
1861: Helped secure emancipation in D.C. and the territories.
1862: Helped pass the Legal Tender Act of 1862
1863 – 1867: Chairman of House Pacific Railroad Committee
1863: Confederates twice sent parties destroying Caledonia Forge.
1864: Pushed Lincoln to sign the Wade – Davis Bill.
1864: Delegate to National Union Party National Convention but preferred Hannibal Hamlin for President over Lincoln.
1865 – 1867: Chairman of House Appropriations Committee
1865: Leader in the passage of the 13th Amendment to Constitution.
1865: Helped establish the Bureau of Refugees
Occupation after War:
1865: Leader in passing the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
1866: Criticized the passage of the Southern Homestead Act of 1866.
1867: Introduced legislation to divide the south into five districts each commanded by an army General to override civil authorities.
1867: Introduced the Tenure of Office Act of 1867.
Helped pass a bill to enfranchise African – Americans in the District of Columbia.
1868: Leader of the House leaders in the impeachment of Johnson.
1868: One of the leading Managers in Andrew Johnson Impeachment.
1868: Unsuccessful in impeaching President Andrew Johnson.
1868: He planned to visit the issue of impeachment when Congress met again.
1868: At his bedside when he died was Lydia Hamilton Smith, his friend Simon Stevens, nephew Thaddeus Stevens Jr., two African – American nuns, and several other individuals.
1868: President Johnson issued no statement on Stevens death.
1868: Congress gave several tributes and Speeches for Stevens.
Died: August 11, 1868
Place of Death: Washington, D.C.
Cause of Death: Dropsy and Stomach ailments
Age at time of Death: 76 years old
Laid in State at the United States Capitol: August 13 – 14 1868
Burial Place: Shreiner’s Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Cenotaph Place: Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
“Every humane and patriotic heart must grieve to see a bloody and causeless rebellion, costing thousands of human lives and millions of treasure. But as it was predetermined and inevitable, it was long enough delayed. Now is the appropriate time to solve the greatest problem ever submitted to civilized man.”
“It is said the South will never submit — that we cannot conquer the rebels — that they will suffer themselves to be slaughtered, and their whole country to be laid waste. Sir, war is a grievous thing at best, and civil war more than any other; but if they hold this language, and the means which they have suggested must be resorted to; if their whole country must be laid waste and made a desert, in order to save this Union from destruction, so let it be. I would rather, Sir, reduce them to a condition where their whole country is to be re-peopled by a band of freemen, than to see them perpetrate the destruction of this people through our agency. I do not say it is time to resort to such means, and I do not say that the time will come, but I never fear to express my sentiments. It is not a question with me of policy, but a question of principle.”
"My sands are nearly run, and I can only see with the eye of faith. I am fast descending the downhill of life, at the foot of which stands an open grave. But you, sir, are promised length of days and a brilliant career. If you and your compeers can fling away ambition and realize that every human being, however lowly-born or degraded, by fortune is your equal, that every inalienable right which belongs to you belongs also to him, truth and righteousness will spread over the land, and you will look down from the top of the Rocky mountains upon an empire of one hundred millions of happy people."
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