The Last Hurrah
Despite declining health in his last years, Stevens kept his remarkable humor. Stevens
was so frail during the impeachment of Andrew Johnson that he had to be carried in a
chair to the proceedings. One day he looked down at the two stalwart fellows who bore
him and said, "Who will carry me, boys, when you are dead and gone?" Thaddeus
Stevens, by Samuel W. McCall, page 317.
Robert Dale Owen, who had become an ardent spiritualist, called upon Stevens with a
recital of the views of the spirits of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and Stephen A.
Douglas on Reconstruction. Stevens cut him short: "Well, present my compliments to
the defuncts and tell them for me that if they have nothing better to offer on the subject,
I think that since they died they have not been in a progressive state. Especially present
my compliments to Douglas, and tell him I think he was the greatest political humbug on
the face of the earth." Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South, by Fawn Brodie, page
Near the end, his cheerfulness remained with him and his courage, which no misfortune
could diminish. "I am going to die like Nicanor, in harness," he said to a friend a few
months before his death. "I mean to die hurrahing." Thaddeus Stevens, by Samuel W.
McCall, page 350.
"You have changed my medicine?" Stevens said to his doctor a few days before his
death. "Yes," replied the physician. "Well," he grimly replied. "This is a square fight."
Thaddeus Stevens, by Samuel W. McCall, page 351.
Near death, a visitor commented on Stevens' appearance. "It is not my appearance, but
my disappearance, that troubles me," he said. Thaddeus Stevens, Scourge of the South,
by Fawn Brodie, page 365.