Volume 17, No. 2 thaddeusstevenssociety.com Fall 2015
Society To Commemorate The Day Thaddeus Stevens And
Edward McPherson Saved The Country
The 150th anniversary of one of most important and pivotal moments in American history will be
celebrated in two events in Lancaster, PA, by the Thaddeus Stevens Society and the Thaddeus Stevens
College of Technology on Friday, December 4.
The event being commemorated is the barring of southern representatives on December 4, 1865, that
was orchestrated by Thaddeus Stevens, the most powerful congressman at the time and an ardent
abolitionist. By blocking the southerners from taking their seats, Stevens and other Republicans prevented
Democrats from taking over Congress and reversing the gains of the Civil War, including the elimination
The first event to mark the anniversary is a wreath laying at Stevens’s grave at 2 p.m. at the Shreiner-
Concord Cemetery at Mulberry and Chestnut Street in Lancaster, PA. The second event is a re-
enactment of the Congressional confrontation that will be staged at 6 p.m. at Mellor Hall at the Thaddeus
Stevens College of Technology, 750 East King Street, Lancaster. A light dinner will be served and a
group discussion will follow the re-enactment. Both events are free and open to the public.
If you plan to attend, please email us at email@example.com or call 717-334-1912.
Click here to learn more about December 4, 1865.
Interview with Bruce Levine, Award-Winning Historian
Who Is Working On New Biography of Thaddeus Stevens
One of the most anticipated events for Thaddeus Stevens fans is the new biography of the Great
Commoner by award-winning historian Bruce Levine. Due out in three years, the preliminary title is
Thaddeus Stevens: Revolutionary.
There have only been two Stevens biographies in the last 20 years, one by Hans Trefousse in 1997,
Thaddeus Stevens, Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian, and Bradley Hoch’s Thaddeus Stevens in Gettysburg:
the Making of an Abolitionist, published in 2007.
Levine is the J.G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-
Champaign. He has written three books on the Civil War era and was a principal author of the textbook,
Who Built America. His most recent book was The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the
Social Revolution That Transformed The South. Recently he was kind enough to answer some questions
about his planned Stevens biography.
Click here for the interview: LEVINE INTERVIEW
"Least of all would I reproach the South. I honor her courage and fidelity. Even in a bad, a wicked
cause, she shows a united front. All her sons are faithful to the cause of human bondage, because it is their
cause. But the North -- the poor, timid, mercenary, driveling North -- has no such united defenders of her
cause, although it is the cause of human liberty. None of the bright lights of the nation shine upon her
section. Even her own great men have turned her accusers. She is the victim of low ambition -- an
ambition which prefers self to country, personal aggrandizement to the high cause of human liberty. She is
offered up as a sacrifice to propitiate southern tyranny -- to conciliate southern treason." -- June 10, 1850.
More Discussion on Stevens/Lincoln Film
In a recent announcement about a Thaddeus Stevens Halloween video marathon at the cemetery where
he is buried, Randy Harris, chairman of the Shreiner-Concord Cemetery Foundation, took the opportunity
to comment on the Lincoln film. This prompted Frank Ninivaggi to write a response. Below are their two
takes on the 2012 movie.
Besides being chairman of the group that oversees the cemetery where Stevens is buried, Harris is the
former director of Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster and an independent consulting historian.
Ninivaggi is an admirer of both Lincoln and Stevens and is an adjunct history instructor who has taught at
Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Click here for the discussion: STEVENS/LINCOLN FILM DISCUSSION