Thaddeus Stevens, Dartmouth Class of 1814
Prior to Steven Spielberg’s film "Lincoln," which highlighted his work in advancing the civil rights amendments to the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-Pa.) was perhaps best remembered for leading the 1868 charge to impeach President Andrew Johnson for violating the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson was ultimately acquitted by one vote on May 26, 1868.
“The Johnson impeachment was so emotional for Thaddeus,” said Beverly Wilson Palmer, editor of the Thaddeus Stevens papers at Pomona College. “He was so angry and vindictive that he couldn’t take a step back. Johnson was the enemy, and trying to get Johnson kept him going when he was very weak and feeble.” Three months after Johnson’s acquittal, the 76-year-old Stevens died in Washington, D.C., on August 11, 1868.
Stevens is pictured here with the House of Representatives’ managers of the impeachment proceedings. Standing (left to right) are: James Falconer Wilson, Iowa; George Sewel Boutwell, Massachusetts; John Alexander Logan, Illinois; seated (left to right) Benjamin Franklin Butler, Massachusetts; Thaddeus Stevens, Pennsylvania; Thomas Williams, Pennsylvania; John Armor Bingham, Ohio.
According to the National Archives and Records Administration, this photograph was taken in 1868 by Brady Studios, the Washington, D.C., photography studio of renowned Civil War photographer Matthew Brady.
(Photo credit: The National Archives/Brady Studios)
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