Thaddeus Stevens

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Thaddeus Stevens
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1859 – August 11, 1868
Preceded by Anthony Roberts
Succeeded by Oliver Dickey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 4, 1853
Preceded by John Strohm
Succeeded by Henry A. Muhlenberg
Personal details
Born April 4, 1792(1792-04-04)
Danville, Vermont, U.S.
Died August 11, 1868(1868-08-11) (aged 76)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Federalist, Anti-Masonic, Whig, Republican
Profession Politician
Signature

Thaddeus Stevens (April 4, 1792 – August 11, 1868) was an American Republican leader and one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives from 1849 until his death in 1868.

As chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Stevens, a witty, sarcastic speaker and confident party leader, dominated the House from 1861 until his death. Stevens helped create the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution and the act that helped the Reconstruction of the United States.[1]

Political career[change | change source]

He wrote much of the financial legislation that paid for the American Civil War. Stevens and Senator Charles Sumner were the prime leaders of the Radical Republicans during the war and Reconstruction era. He worked and supported Abraham Lincoln's plan to end slavery and the U.S. reconstruction plan. He was part of Andrew Johnson's impeachment.

Early life[change | change source]

Stevens was born in Danville, Vermont on April 4, 1792.[2] He went to Dartmouth College and the University of Vermont. Stevens was never married and had no children. He was in a relationship with his black housekeeper even when slavery was legal. He wore a wig because he was bald.

Death[change | change source]

Stevens died on August 11, 1868 in Washington, D.C. from a stomach infection, aged 76. He was buried in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Culture[change | change source]

He was played by actor Tommy Lee Jones in Steven Spielberg's 2012 biography movie Lincoln.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Thaddeus Stevens at Wikimedia Commons