The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals

By George Fort Milton | Go to book overview
Save to active project


ON the last day of November, the Union State Central Committee of Pennsylvania passed resolutions that Johnson's administration "commends itself to the admiration, respect and confidence of the people of the Commonwealth." But such were not the feelings of Thaddeus Stevens, Pennsylvania's Commoner, who came to Washington that same day.1 Stevens was quite as bitter against Andrew Johnson as was Sumner, but he did not rely on letters and speeches. He brought with him to Washington a campaign plan designed to checkmate the President.2

Fertility of resource was characteristic of Thad Stevens, a very practical man. In surveying the career of this Pennsylvania Caliban, it is hard to repress a feeling of admiration for his brutal realism. Sumner never dropped his pose of statesmen, never admitted that other than the loftiest idealism animated his every act. Stevens did not stoop to self-deception; he knew what he wanted, was cynically frank in admitting his true motives, and did not scruple as to means.

In some respects the career of Pennsylvania's Great Commoner bore striking resemblance to that of the President whom he so bitterly maligned. Stevens was born in Vermont in 1792. Malformed from childhood with a clubfoot, and born in dire poverty, he was embittered in character. From his earliest recorded years, Stevens' attitude of mind was grim, unrelenting and severe. What education he had was due to the self- denial of his mother, who worked night and day to get the money to send him first to school and then to Dartmouth College.

In 1815 he was graduated from college and went to Pennsylvania to teach school. A few years later he was admitted to law practice at Gettysburg and became a jury lawyer par excellence, his biting words and acid phrases having great effect upon the talesmen of Gettysburg and Lancaster and York. Stevens' first incursion into politics was characteristic. At the beginning as at the end, he was an apostle of proscription and hate. He was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 790

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?