Thaddeus Stevens Biography
(Former United States Representative)
Birthday: April 4, 1792 (Aries)
Born In: Danville
Thaddeus Stevens was a 19th century Republican politician who was one of the most powerful members in the U.S. House of Representatives. He vehemently opposed slavery and discrimination against African-Americans, and fought hard to secure their rights during the Reconstruction era. Totally focused on civil rights, he helped draft the Fourteenth Amendment during Reconstruction. Born into poverty in rural Vermont, he had a very difficult childhood as his father abandoned the family when Thaddeus was very young. Moreover he was born with a club foot and developed a limp which restricted his physical movements. In spite of the challenges he faced he grew up to be a brilliant student and went on to become a lawyer. As someone who had suffered a lot as a youngster, he developed empathy for slaves and the other underprivileged classes in American society and sought equality for them throughout his legal career. Venturing into politics, he continued with his stance on social issues and became a strong advocate of free education and opposed the expansion of slavery. Following the Civil War he emerged as a radical Republican, openly advocating for equal rights for the blacks. The Fourteenth Amendment which he helped draft later served as a basis for civil rights legislation.