Thaddeus Stevens left an indelible legacy fighting for human rights while working to end the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Learn more about this passionate abolitionist with our Thaddeus Stevens quotes.
Who was Thaddeus Stevens?
Stevens was an interesting man.
He grew up in rural Vermont and had to overcome the discomfort and challenges of club foot.
His condition left him with a permanent limp.
Despite that, he was motivated to change the world around him.
Thaddeus Stevens was a many of many hats.
Stevens had a decorated career as a:
- Public education advocate.
- Member of the United States House of Representatives.
Thaddeus Stevens is a forgotten American hero
Stevens was born in 1792 and grew up in rural Pennsylvania.
He fervently believed in universal freedom and felt that the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was inhumane and un-American.
He fought tooth and nail during The Civil War.
In many ways, he is an unforgotten hero.
His efforts to end the Confederacy were multifaceted.
He focused on financing the war with new taxes and borrowing while crushing the economy of the slave-holding states.
As an opponent of slavery and discrimination, Stevens used brilliant tactics to combat ignorance.
Did Stevens start an anti-freemason society?
Stevens believed that Freemasonry was a danger to US society.
He was elected as the leader of the Anti-Masonic Party.
This time in politics stoked the fire within him.
He would use the connections he made to rise in the Republican party.
Stevens change of heart
Some argue that Stevens changed his heart toward the end of his career.
He started his career as a fervent rebel against anything Southern and ended his career as a man committed to equality.
For more cool content, check out our Thaddeus Stevens quotes below.
Short Thaddeus Stevens quotes from The California Question
We begin with some short quotes about fanaticism and zeal.
1. “Fanaticism is excessive zeal.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The California Question
2. “There are fanatics in superstition.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The California Question
3. “There can be no fanatics in the cause of genuine liberty.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The California Question
4. “But there can be no fanatic, however warm their zeal, in the true religion.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The California Question
5. “There may be, and have been fanatics in false religion in the bloody religions of the heathen.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The California Question
The best Thaddeus Stevens quotes from his Subduing the Rebellion speech
Stevens delivered these rousing quotes about slavery to Congress on January 22, 1862.
6. “All must admit that slavery is the cause of it.” — Thaddeus Stevens
7. “Without slavery, we should this day be a united and happy people.” — Thaddeus Stevens
8. “The principles of our Republic are wholly incompatible with slavery.” — Thaddeus Stevens
9. “Our object should be not only to end this terrible war now but to prevent its recurrence.” — Thaddeus Stevens
10. “I am induced to thank my Creator for having, from early life, bestowed upon me the blessing of poverty.” — Thaddeus Stevens
Famous Thaddeus Stevens quotes about abolition and ending US slavery
As an abolitionist, Stevens fought tooth and nail to end slavery.
11. “Universal emancipation must be proclaimed to all.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens, 246
12. “It could not be maintained even if the liberated slaves should not lift a hand against their masters.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens, 246
13. “Prejudice may be shocked, weak minds startled, weak nerves may tremble, but they must hear and adopt it.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens, 246
14. “If slaves no longer raised cotton and rice, tobacco and grain for the rebels, this war would cease in six months.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens, 246
15. “Those who now furnish the means of war [slaves], but who are natural enemies of slaveholders, must be made our allies.” — Thaddeus Stevens, The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens, 246
Thaddeus Stevens quotes and sayings about providing equal pay to African-American soldiers
Stevens felt if you fought for the country, you deserved equal pay.
16. “I care not whether the soldiers are of Milesian, Teutonic, African or Anglo-Saxon descent.” — Thaddeus Stevens, Speech about giving black soldiers equal pay, April 30, 1864
17. “I despise the principle that makes a difference between them in the hour of battle and of death.” — Thaddeus Stevens, Speech about giving black soldiers equal pay, April 30, 1864
18. “What an opportunity is presented to this Republic to vindicate her consistency and become immortal.” — Thaddeus Stevens, Speech about giving black soldiers equal pay, April 30, 1864
19. “The occasion is forced upon us, and the invitation presented to strike the chains from four million of human beings, and create them MEN.” — Thaddeus Stevens, Speech about giving black soldiers equal pay, April 30, 1864
20. “The idea that we are to keep up that distinction is abhorrent to the feeling of the age, is abhorrent to the feeling of humanity, is shocking to every decent instinct of our nature.” — Thaddeus Stevens, Speech about giving black soldiers equal pay, April 30, 1864
The top Thaddeus Stevens quotes about debate
Here, Stevens rips into an opponent during a tax debate.
21. “He cheerfully pays the tax which is necessary to support and punish convicts.” — Thaddeus Stevens, A Salutary Influence, 54
22. “Let demagogues note it for future use, and send it on the wings of the wind to the ears of every one of my constituents.” — Thaddeus Stevens, A Salutary Influence, 54
23. “Sir, it is a blessing for if there be any human sensation more ethereal and divine than all others, it is that feelingly sympathizes with misfortune.” — Thaddeus Stevens, A Salutary Influence, 54
24. “[He] loudly complains of that which goes to prevent this fellow from becoming criminals, and to obviate the necessity of the humiliating institutions.” — Thaddeus Stevens, A Salutary Influence, 54
25. “Sir, when I reflect how apt hereditary wealth, hereditary influence, and, perhaps, as a consequence, hereditary pride are to close the avenues and steel the heart against the wants and the rights of the poor.” — Thaddeus Stevens, A Salutary Influence, 54
Let your passion be your compass
Whatever your life’s calling, follow it passionately.
Thaddeus Stevens made his life calling about equality.
What will you make your life about?
We would love to know what your life’s calling is.
Tell us about it in the comments below.
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