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In this age of celebrity worship, it might be time to revisit some of America s forgotten heroes Thaddeus Stevens was an abolitionist before it became popular An impeccably honest man, he earned a modest fortune by saving and investing Once, passing the auction of a widow s homestead she had been left destitute by the death of her husband and could not pay the bills, he bought the place gave it to the widow and then went on his way as anonymously as he had arrived Perhaps too humorless, he In this age of celebrity worship, it might be time to revisit some of America s forgotten heroes Thaddeus Stevens was an abolitionist before it became popular An impeccably honest man, he earned a modest fortune by saving and investing Once, passing the auction of a widow s homestead she had been left destitute by the death of her husband and could not pay the bills, he bought the place gave it to the widow and then went on his way as anonymously as he had arrived Perhaps too humorless, he thought most people were selfish and evil He avoided church even though he had been raised a Baptist, but paid for the schooling of two young men who wanted to go to seminary but couldn t afford it He always said whatever he wanted and believed In 1838, he refused to sign the Pennsylvania Constitution because it gave the vote only to white men He worked hard to end slavery, worked for free schools not a popular stance for a politician as it meant increasing taxes, and provided free legal support for runaway slaves.He actually believed Jefferson s All Men are Created Equal To him all men meant all men, not just all white men He began battling for abolition, emancipation and equal rights He was the chief author of the fourteenth amendment and the foundation for the fifteenth amendment Unlike Lincoln, he had little faith in moderation and compromise and he wanted strong laws to control behavior in the south after the Civil War He was a leader of the Radical Republicans and was hated by Andrew Johnson He was very ill during the impeachment trial and had to be carried into the Senate He died shortly after Johnson s acquittal.I recommend Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War by David Herbert Donald fordetails Thaddeus Stevens was one of the greatest politicians and great promoter of human rights at a time when these philosophies were not always compatible His staunch support of abolition, and human rights was astounding He was a great Curmudgeon but a very compassionate and yes even gentle person to those whom society had chosen to ostracize slaves, non Christians, women and the less fortunate Senator Stevens has become a new hero of mine, even though he was a rather stern person His heart and Thaddeus Stevens was one of the greatest politicians and great promoter of human rights at a time when these philosophies were not always compatible His staunch support of abolition, and human rights was astounding He was a great Curmudgeon but a very compassionate and yes even gentle person to those whom society had chosen to ostracize slaves, non Christians, women and the less fortunate Senator Stevens has become a new hero of mine, even though he was a rather stern person His heart and mind were in the right place The son of an Alcoholic father who abandoned the family and raised by a single mother with a Calvinist background Senator Stevens made his mark first as an attorney and later as a Pennsylvania politician He was born with a club foot a painful disability which he dealt with all of his life If you only know him from the recent film Lincoln, as played by Tommy Lee Jones then you are missing the journey and achievements of truly unique American The only way to knowabout this enigmatic man is to read this book His relationship with his Mulatto housekeeper Anna Smith was a quiet relationship that lasted many years and saw him through many difficulties As with Thomas Jefferson the exact nature of their relationship can only be guessed at but it speaks volumes of his devotion and care for her throughout the years At the time, very few people would openly admit to being in love with someone of another race and yet he clearly cared very deeply for Anna Smith.If he had any failings, it was that he could have been a bit gentler with fellow politicians but I think that in his case the cause of ending slavery would not be resolved with gentle urging only a stern voice and a demand for action could get the results Senator Stevens fought for to achieve freedom for the slaves and the country I highly recommends this book In terms of leveling the playing field for social equality, no white individual wasfirmly committed to that than Thaddeus Stevens of Lancaster, Pennsylvania Born in Vermont in 1792 to aPuritan family, Stevens had a club foot which he never let handicap him in any way He went toDartmouth College and then moved to Pennsylvania to practice law He settled first in York, thenGettysburg and finally Lancaster.Given his Puritan upbringing Stevens was a man who only saw things in black and white In terms of leveling the playing field for social equality, no white individual wasfirmly committed to that than Thaddeus Stevens of Lancaster, Pennsylvania Born in Vermont in 1792 to aPuritan family, Stevens had a club foot which he never let handicap him in any way He went toDartmouth College and then moved to Pennsylvania to practice law He settled first in York, thenGettysburg and finally Lancaster.Given his Puritan upbringing Stevens was a man who only saw things in black and white No subtleties, no shades of gray for him His first crusade was Anti Masonry and he joined that partyand got elected to the Pennsylvania legislature Eventually he turned to the anti slavery cause and got elected to the House of Representatives in 1848 Stevens had a wicked tongue and he flayed opponents alive with it He quickly became a leader firstof the Whigs than the Republicans Come the Civil War, Stevens was inpatient with Abraham Lincoln for not freeing the slaves instantlyby decree Usually Lincoln arrived at the same goals but slower Lincoln had a sense of politicaltiming that Stevens lacked Both favored and got the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passedabolishing slavery.Stevens never married, but lived with a black housekeeper who had children by him That was agreat deal back in those days Miscegenation laws forbid marriage, so they just lived together.It was those last four years of his life that Stevens is most familiar to us He led the move for a radical Reconstruction of southern society That ran contrary to the aims of President AndrewJohnson who wanted none of that as a southerner himself.Stevens was in ill health in this period, but it barely slowed him down any The final dramaticact of his life was the impeachment of Andrew Johnson which he got through the House ofRepresentatives Stevens was one of the Representatives who laid out the reasons for impeachment As we know removal from office failed by one vote A few months later this most angry man diedand probably convinced that his goal of a just society for all was way in the future.Stevens is a fascinating man the subject of many studies Fawn Brodie s work ranks right up therewith the best A decent and honest look at the life of one of the most radical American politicians of the 19th century, and his crucial role in the civil war, the emancipation policy as well es the civil rights reforms of the reconstruction era that followed on the footsteps of the war. At times this was like a difficult textbook, but well worth reading. Excellent study of an intensely troubled man Born with a club foot and bald from a early life disease, Stevens intellect and drive brought him to the leadership of the Republican Party after the American Civil War Too witty and bitter to have many political friends, he drove the Republicans to remember their ideals of equality and union in dealing with the South after the war When he was gone the Republicans disowned the Black and, as Brodie says, not to remodel the world just to own it O Excellent study of an intensely troubled man Born with a club foot and bald from a early life disease, Stevens intellect and drive brought him to the leadership of the Republican Party after the American Civil War Too witty and bitter to have many political friends, he drove the Republicans to remember their ideals of equality and union in dealing with the South after the war When he was gone the Republicans disowned the Black and, as Brodie says, not to remodel the world just to own it Only in the 1950s did Stevens legacy begin to be felt when the nation rediscovered the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution .Download Ebook ♝ Thaddeus Stevens: Scourge of the South ⚕ In this biography of the chief architect of Reconstruction after the Civil War, Fawn Brodie seeks to explain the basis for his actions, the nature of his economic radicalism, and the emotional forces that resulted in his becoming one of the most controversial figures in American history She describes his roles as father of the Fourteenth Amendment and prosecutor in the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, his relations with Lincoln, and his battles for black suffrage and schooling An interesting comprehensive work on Thaddeus Stevens by Fran M Brodie Work includes plenty of references and quotes from notable persons of the era.