Thaddeus Stevens


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#3
A member of Congress would often affect great humility and a low estimate of his comments, even though he continued to inflict them on the House. On one occasion, he was anxious for Stevens to yield to him so that he could brandish his false modesty again. Anticipating this, Stevens said:

"I now yield to my colleague who will make a few feeble remarks."

Source: Thaddeus Stevens, by Samuel W. McCall, pg. 314.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#4
Stevens was playing cards in a Gettysburg hotel one night when a tenant farmer of his drove up with a load of hay. Two or three times he called to Stevens, asking where he should put the hay. Engrossed in the game, Stevens ignored him until finally he said:

"Bring it in and bet it on the ace."

Source: Thaddeus Stevens, by Thomas Frederick Woodley, pg. 29.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
17,884
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#5
This all just makes me more certain I'd be hiding behind the person with enough kehungas to go shake Steven's hand, but I'd WANT to meet him, he's on my list. I just deeply suspect I'd wuss out, then have to be satisfied with shaking the hand of the person who managed to DO that.

One more book! Oi. I hope it's on Kindle, it gets arduous carrying all the hardbacks around.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
12,740
Location
Central Ohio
#7
I wonder how accurate Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal was? To me, it just seemed like he was playing Tommy Lee Jones (not that that's necessarily a bad thing), but some of these quotes I can hear in Jones' voice...
 

ErnieMac

Brigadier General
Moderator
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
8,447
Location
Pennsylvania
#8
The story I appreciate the most about Stevens was his reported comments concerning Simon Cameron, Lincoln's first Secretary of War. Cameron's reputation for honesty was less than stellar and when Lincoln is reported to have asked Stevens "You don't think he would steal, do you?", Stevens is reported to have replied "I don't think he would steal a red-hot stove." When Cameron objected to the statement, Stevens agreed to a retraction, saying "I believe I told you he would not steal a red-hot stove. I will now take that back."

Apparently the story was in common circulation at the time. I would like to find a citation.
 
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
9,476
Location
Carlisle, PA
#9
I wonder how accurate Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal was? To me, it just seemed like he was playing Tommy Lee Jones (not that that's necessarily a bad thing), but some of these quotes I can hear in Jones' voice...
While I don't think Tommy Lee Jones channeled Stevens like Daniel Day-Lewis channeled Lincoln, considering some of these quotes, I think Jones did an excellent job of a crochety old bugger.

R
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
7,750
Location
Central Massachusetts
#10
While I don't think Tommy Lee Jones channeled Stevens like Daniel Day-Lewis channeled Lincoln, considering some of these quotes, I think Jones did an excellent job of a crochety old bugger.
R
Tommy Lee Jones has been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and I expect he probably deserves it (though I haven't seen any of the other nominees' performances). But an actor of Jones' caliber, with a scriptwriter like Thaddeus Stevens, sounds like a shoe-in:wink:.

Hilaritas!

jno
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#11
"Well may every honest man, well may every man who loves God and loves liberty exclaim, 'Thank God for Abraham Lincoln.' Wiser and firmer than his official or officious admirers, he has saved the nation from disgrace; he has rescued liberty from destruction. I would not bestow indiscriminate praise upon every act of the President. Whoever heaps fulsome eulogy on those in power is a parasite and a sycophant and not an honest conselor. 'He crooks the pregnant hinges of the knee that thrift may follow fawning.' An honest critic who points out the errors of his friends may be believed when he speaks of their virtues. He who denies any errors to his idol makes him more than human and is entitled to no credit."

Source: The Life of Thaddeus Stevens, by James Albert Woodburn, chapter 9, Slavery and the War, pg. 199.

Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#12
"If the South is ever to be made a safe republic, let her lands be cultivated by the toil of the owners or the free labor of intellignet citizens. This must be done even though it drive her nobility into exile. If they go, all the better."

Source: Speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 6, 1865, quoted in the New York Herald, December 13, 1865.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#13
"If a majority of Congress can be found wise and firm enough to declare the Confederate States a conquered enemy, reconstruction will be easy and legitimate; and the friends of freedom will long rule in the councils of the nation."

Source: Speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 6, 1865, quoted in the New York Herald, December 13, 1865.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
17,884
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#14
Ha! Thank you, Unionblue. I think there must be something wrong with me. Feeling slightly blue, I decided a Thaddeus Stevens thread would be JUST the thing for a pick-me-up, and it worked. The thing is, if it hadn't, there's a Benjamin Butler thread in reserve, how funny is that? Hmm, I must have a thing for grumpy men with big hearts, would have been the first annoying groupie 150 years ago.

Now I suspect it's going to be disapointing to get to heaven one day and find Thaddeus Stevens doesn't look at ALL like TL Jones, since he was kind of my idea of Stevens exactly in ' Lincoln '. I hadn't heard the red-hot stove exchange, awesome! SO many of those stories turn out not to be true when they're about other people, but when it's Thaddeus Stevens you can generally guess ok, he would have said that, no need to invent outrageous statements about him.

Now, Daniel Day Lewis and Lincoln, those 2 will just confuse everybody up there in heaven one day ( hopefully a long, long time from now, Lewis being awfully young ), one of them is going to have to wear a name tag.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#15
According to one legendary story, a female admirer once aske Thaddeus Stevens for a lock of his hair, a common request made to 19th century celebrities.

Stevens took off his wig, dropped it on a table, and said to the woman, "Help yourself."
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#16
When legislators from Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi insisted that abolitionists in other states refrain from criticizing the "peculiar institution," Stevens answered them.

"Every citizen of the non-slave holding states," he declared in May 1836, "has a right to freely to think and publish his thoughts on any subject of national or state policy. Nor can he be compelled to confine his remarks to such subjects as affect only the state in which he resides."

Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
28,929
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
#17
"We have imposed upon them [negroes] the privilege of fighting our battles, of dying in the defense of freedom, and of bearing their equal portion of taxes; but where have we given them the privilege of ever participating in the formation of the laws for the government of their native land? By what civil weapon have we enabled them to defend themselves against oppression and injustice? Call you this liberty? Call you this a free republic where four millions are its subjects but not its citizens?"

Thaddeus Stevens in a speech before Congress, 1865.

http://www.fergusbordewich.com/PAGESjournalism/FBsteve.shtml

Unionblue
 

brass napoleon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Member of the Year
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
14,987
Location
Ohio
#18
In talking about the passage of the 13th Amendment and Lincoln's role in it, Stevens said:

"The greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America."

Source: David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, p. 554
 

Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4,351
Location
Pennsylvania
#19
"If a majority of Congress can be found wise and firm enough to declare the Confederate States a conquered enemy, reconstruction will be easy and legitimate; and the friends of freedom will long rule in the councils of the nation."

Source: Speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 6, 1865, quoted in the New York Herald, December 13, 1865.
That comes close to recognizing the Confederate States as a conquered nation, which I doubt was Stevens' intent.
 

16thVA

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Messages
1,325
Location
Philadelphia
#20
On the admission of West Virginia and the division of Virginia.

"The idea that a few loyal citizens are the state and may override and govern the disloyal millions, I am not able to comprehend. If ten men fit to save Sodom can elect a Governor and other state officers against more than a million Sodomites in Virginia, then the democratic doctrine that the majority shall rule is discarded and ignored. Not the quality but the number of votes have the right to govern. In South Carolina a rebel's vote weighs just as much as a loyal voter's. It is mere mockery to say that, according to any principle of popular government, a tithe of the resident inhabitants of an organized state can change its form and carry on government because they are more holy or loyal."

The Life of Thaddeus Stevens, by JA Woodburn, pg 225

"It was proposed to admit her upon the ground that Old Virginia had given her consent, and that new West Virginia should come in with that consent. I expressly said that I hoped nobody would consider me so ignorant as to suppose that Virginia was divided according to the principles of the Constitution ; but that West Virginia, being conquered by our armies, according to the laws of war we had a right to do with the conquered territory just as we pleased [applause] ; and I voted for her admission, disclaiming the idea that the division was according to the forms of the Constitution, but under the laws of war and the laws of conquest."

Senator Thaddeus Stevens, National Union Convention, Baltimore, June 7, 1864
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top