The Great Commoner
Volume 20, No. 1 www.thaddeusstevenssociety.com Spring 2018
14th Amendment celebration July 28
The Thaddeus Stevens Society is planning a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the
ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment on July 28 at the grave of Thaddeus Stevens at Shreiner
Concord Cemetery at Chestnut and Mulberry Streets in Lancaster, PA.
Tentative plans include a video presentation, a community event featuring historic and civic
groups, and the distribution of a commemorative booklet about the Fourteenth Amendment.
If you’d like to help with this important observance, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-334-1912.
Graveside ceremony and meeting on April 6 in Lancaster
The annual Thaddeus Stevens graveside ceremony will be held on Friday, April 6, at 4:30 p.m.
at the Shreiner-Concord Cemetery at the corner of Mulberry and Chestnut Streets in Lancaster, PA.
The ceremony will be followed at 6 p.m. by a free dinner at the Elks Cub at 219 N. Duke Street.
Parking is available in the back by going up Chestnut Street and turning into the N. Cherry alley. After
the dinner there will be a short Thaddeus Stevens Society meeting and presentation. If you plan to
attend, please call 717-334-1912 or email email@example.com
Text of the 14th Amendment
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens
of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which
shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive
any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (For more of the text, click here: 14thAmendment)
Father of the 14th Amendment
Among the many tributes that Thaddeus Stevens has been given, he most justly deserves that of
“Father Of The 14th Amendment” for laying the groundwork and then shepherding the monumental
change in our Constitution through Congress.
Unfortunately, Stevens does not often get credit for the 14th Fourteenth Amendment. Doing an
Internet search for “Father of the 14th Amendment” often turns up the name of John Bingham, an
Ohio congressman, who contributed an important part of the amendment, but did not have the intimate
involvement that Stevens had. Many websites give no credit to anyone for the 14th Amendment, as if it
wrote and passed itself. An exception to this is the 1959 biography of Stevens by Fawn Brodie, who
flatly calls Stevens the father in the foreword of the book. (For story, click here: Thad14th)
Second annual Abolitionists Day
More than 80 people attended the second annual Abolitionists day that was held on March 3 at the
GAR Hall in Gettysburg. Southern abolitionists were portrayed and Civil War and abolitionist music was
played by Dearest Home band. (For photos of the event, click here: Abolitionists2)
Thaddeus Stevens's Quote:
"I believe there is entrusted to this Congress a high duty, no less important and no less fraught
with the weal or woe of the future ages than was entrusted to the august body that made the
Declaration of Independence. I believe now, if we omit to exercise that high duty, or abuse it, we
shall be held to account by future generations of America, and by the whole civilized world that is in
favor of freedom, and that our names will go down to posterity with some applause, or with black
condemnation if we do not teat the subject thoroughly, honestly, and justly, in reference to every
human being on this continent." January 31, 1866
Special 14th Amendment Issue
Landmark cases involving the 14th Amendment
The 14th Amendment is the single most important amendment to the Constitution requiring equal
treatment under the law and extending civil liberties to the state level. Here are some of the
ground-breaking Supreme Court cases it has been used in. (For story, click here: SupremeCourtCases)