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Subramanian appeared to take a few blows to the head and was standing after the match ended. However, he appeared to lose consciousness while in a corner and had to be helped out of the ring. Thereafter, another punch by Steven saw Pradip getting a nosebleed. He then declared Steven Lim as the winner of the bout. It was widely believed the bill would also pass the House, and be enacted despite opposition by Stevens. When he rose to speak on April 11, , he defended the new educational system, stating that it would actually save money, and demonstrated how.

He stated opponents were seeking to separate the poor into a lower caste than themselves, and accused the rich of greed and failure to empathize with the poor. Stevens argued, "Build not your monuments of brass or marble, but make them of everliving mind! Trefousse suggested that the victory was not due to Stevens's eloquence, but due to his influence, combined with that of Governor Wolf.

In , Stevens ran again for the legislature. He hoped that if the remaining Anti-Masons and the emerging Whig Party gained a majority, he could be elected to the United States Senate , whose members until were chosen by state legislatures.

Keeping It Together

A campaign, dirty even by the standards of the times, followed. The result was a Democrat elected as governor, Whig control of the state Senate, and the state House in dispute, with a number of seats from Philadelphia in question, though Stevens won his seat in Adams County. Stevens sought to have those Philadelphia Democrats excluded, which would create a Whig majority that could elect a Speaker and himself as senator. Amid rioting in Harrisburg—later known as the " Buckshot War "—Stevens's ploy backfired, with the Democrats taking control of the House. Stevens remained in the legislature most years through , but the episode cost him much of his political influence, as the Whigs blamed him for the debacle and were increasingly unwilling to give leadership to someone who had not yet joined their party.

Nevertheless, he supported the pro-business and pro-development Whig stances. Though Stevens later alleged that Harrison had promised him a Cabinet position if elected, he received none, and any influence ended when Harrison died after a month in office, to be succeeded by John Tyler , a southerner hostile to Stevens's stances on slavery. Although Stevens was the most successful lawyer in Gettysburg, he had accrued debt due to his business interests. Refusing to take advantage of the bankruptcy laws, he felt he needed to move to a larger municipality in order to gain the money to pay his obligations.

In , Stevens moved his home and practice to the city of Lancaster. He knew Lancaster County was an Anti-Mason and Whig stronghold, which ensured that he retained a political base. It was in Lancaster that he engaged the services of Lydia Hamilton Smith , a housekeeper, whose racial makeup was described as mulatto , and who remained with him the rest of his life. In the s, few sought the immediate eradication of slavery.

The abolitionist movement was young and only recently had figures such as William Lloyd Garrison taken on the fight. Richard Current, in , suggested it was out of ambition; Fawn Brodie , in her controversial psychobiography of Stevens, suggested it was out of identification with the downtrodden, based on his handicap.

At the Pennsylvania constitutional convention , Stevens, who was a delegate, fought against the disenfranchisement of African-Americans see Black suffrage in Pennsylvania. Stevens, until the outbreak of the American Civil War , took the public position that he supported slavery's end and opposed its expansion. Nevertheless, he would not seek to disturb it in the states where it existed as the Constitution protected their internal affairs from outside interference.


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In , Stevens ran for election to Congress from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district. There was opposition to him at the Whig convention. Some delegates felt that because Stevens had been late to join the party, he should not receive the nomination; others disliked his stance on slavery. He narrowly won the nomination. In a strong year for Whigs nationally, Taylor was chosen as president and Stevens was elected to Congress. When 31st United States Congress convened in December , Stevens took his seat, joining other newly elected slavery opponents such as Salmon P.

Stevens spoke out against the Compromise of , crafted by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay , that gave victories to both North and South, but would allow for some of the territories of the United States recently gained from Mexico to become slave states. Stevens was easily renominated and reelected in , even though his stance caused him problems among pro-Compromise Whigs. The defendants had been implicated in the so-called Christiana Riot , in which an attempt to enforce a Fugitive Slave Act warrant had resulted in the killing of the slaveowner.

Justice Robert Grier of the U. Supreme Court, as circuit justice , tried the case, and instructed the jury to acquit on the grounds that though the defendants might be guilty of murder or riot, they were not charged with that, and were not guilty of treason. The well-publicized incident and others like it increased polarization over the issue of slavery and made Stevens a prominent face of Northern abolitionism.

Despite this trend, Stevens suffered political problems. He left the Whig caucus in December , when his colleagues would not join him in seeking the repeal of the offensive elements of the Compromise, though he supported its unsuccessful candidate for president, General Winfield Scott.

His political opposition, and local dislike of his stance on slavery and participation in the treason trial, made him unlikely to win renomination, and he sought only to pick his successor.

His choice was defeated for the Whig nomination. Out of office, Stevens concentrated on the practice of law in Lancaster, remaining one of the leading attorneys in the state. He stayed active in politics, and in , to gain more votes for the anti-slavery movement, he joined the nativist Know Nothing Party. The members were pledged not to speak of party deliberations thus, they knew nothing , and Stevens was attacked for his membership in a group with similar rules of secrecy as the Masons.

In , Stevens joined the new Republican Party.

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Other former Whigs who were anti-slavery joined as well, including William H. Seward of New York, Charles E. Sumner of Massachusetts, and Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. Stevens was a delegate to the Republican National Convention , where he supported Justice McLean, as he had in The convention, however, nominated John C.

Nonetheless, Pennsylvania helped elect Buchanan. As the Republican nominee, he was easily elected. Democratic papers were appalled. One banner headline read, "Niggerism Triumphant". Stevens took his seat in the 36th United States Congress in December , only days after the hanging of John Brown , who had attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry hoping to cause a slave insurrection.

Stevens opposed Brown's violent actions at the time, though later, he was more approving. Sectional tensions spilled over into the House, which proved unable to elect a Speaker of the United States House for eight weeks. Stevens was active in the bitter flow of invective from both sides; at one point, Mississippi Congressman William Barksdale drew a knife on him, though no blood was spilled. With the Democrats unable to agree on a single presidential candidate, the Republican National Convention in Chicago became crucial, as the nominee would be in a favorable position to become president.

Prominent figures in the party such as Seward and Lincoln sought the nomination. Stevens continued to support the year-old Justice McLean. Beginning on the second ballot, most Pennsylvania delegates supported Lincoln, helping to win the Illinoisan the nomination. As the Democrats put up no candidate in his district, Stevens was assured of reelection to the House and campaigned for Lincoln in Pennsylvania. Lincoln won a majority in the Electoral College. The President-elect's known opposition to the expansion of slavery caused immediate talk of secession in the southern states, a threat that Stevens had downplayed during the campaign.

Congress convened in December , with several of the southern states already pledging to secede. Stevens was unyielding in opposing efforts to appease the southerners, such as the Crittenden Compromise , which would have enshrined slavery as beyond constitutional amendment.

Many, even in the abolition movement, were content to let it be so and to let the South go its own way. Stevens did not agree, and the congressman was "undoubtedly pleased" by Lincoln's statement in his first inaugural address on March 4, , that he would "hold, occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the Government". When the war began in April , Stevens argued that the Confederates were revolutionaries, to be crushed by force. He also believed that the Confederacy had placed itself beyond the protection of the U. Constitution by making war, and in a reconstituted United States, slavery would have no place.

Speaker Galusha Grow , whose views placed him with Stevens among the members becoming known as the Radical Republicans for their position on slavery, as opposed to the Conservative or Moderate Republicans , appointed him as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. This position gave him power over the House's agenda. In July , Stevens secured the passage of an act to confiscate the property, including slaves, of certain rebels. In November , Stevens introduced a resolution to emancipate all slaves; it was defeated. By March , to Stevens's exasperation, the most Lincoln had publicly supported was gradual emancipation in the Border states , with the masters compensated by the federal government.

Stevens and other radicals were frustrated at how slow Lincoln was to adopt their policies for emancipation; according to Brodie, "Lincoln seldom succeeded in matching Stevens's pace, though both were marching towards the same bright horizon". Wherever I go and whatever way I turn, they are on my tail, and still in my heart, I have the deep conviction that the hour [to issue one] has not yet come. Stevens quickly adopted the Emancipation Proclamation for use in his successful re-election campaign. House of Representatives, January 8, [74]. During the Confederate incursion into the North in mid that culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg , Confederates twice sent parties to Stevens's Caledonia Forge.

Stevens, who had been there supervising operations, was hastened away by his workers against his will. Early said that the North had done the same to southern figures, and that Stevens was well known for his vindictiveness towards the South. Stevens pushed Congress to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was a wartime measure, did not apply to all slaves, and might be reversed by peacetime courts; an amendment would be slavery's end.

Illinois Representative Isaac Arnold wrote: "distinguished soldiers and citizens filled every available seat, to hear the eloquent old man speak on a measure that was to consummate the warfare of forty years against slavery". The amendment passed narrowly after heavy pressure exerted by Lincoln himself, along with offers of political appointments from the " Seward lobby ". Allegations of bribery were made by Democrats; [81] [82] Stevens stated "the greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America.

Stevens continued to push for a broad interpretation of it that included economic justice in addition to the formal end of slavery. After passing the Thirteenth Amendment, Congress debated the economic rights of the freedmen. Urged on by Stevens, [51] it voted to authorize the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands , with a mandate though no funding to set up schools and to distribute "not more than forty acres" [16 ha] of confiscated Confederate land to each family of freed slaves.

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Stevens worked closely with Lincoln administration officials on legislation to finance the war. Within a day of his appointment as Ways and Means chairman, he had reported a bill for a war loan.


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  8. Legislation to pay the soldiers Lincoln had already called into service and to allow the administration to borrow to prosecute the war quickly followed. These acts and more were pushed through the House by Stevens. To defeat the delaying tactics of Copperhead opponents, he had the House set debate limits as short as half a minute. Stevens played a major part in the passage of the Legal Tender Act of , when for the first time the United States issued currency backed only by its own credit, not by gold or silver.

    Early makeshifts to finance the war, such as war bonds, had failed as it became clear the war would not be short. The system endured for a half-century until supplanted by the Federal Reserve System in Although the Legal Tender legislation allowed for the payment of government obligations in paper money, Stevens was unable to get the Senate to agree that interest on the national debt should be paid with greenbacks.

    Chase , proposed what became known as the Gold Bill—to abolish the gold market by forbidding its sale by brokers or for future delivery. It passed Congress in June; the chaos caused by the lack of an organized gold market caused the value of paper to drop even faster. Under heavy pressure from the business community, Congress repealed the bill on July 1, twelve days after its passage.

    It did not pass. As Congress debated how the U. Lincoln, on the contrary, said that only individuals, not states, had rebelled. Lincoln, who advocated his more lenient ten percent plan , pocket vetoed it. He would have preferred to vote for the sitting vice president, Hannibal Hamlin , as Lincoln's running mate in , but his delegation voted to cast the state's ballots for the administration's favored candidate, Military Governor of Tennessee Andrew Johnson , a War Democrat who had been a Tennessee senator and elected governor. Stevens was disgusted at Johnson's nomination, complaining, "can't you get a candidate for Vice-President without going down into a damned rebel province for one?

    Before leaving town after Congress adjourned in March , Stevens privately urged Lincoln to press the South hard militarily, though the war was ending. Lincoln replied, "Stevens, this is a pretty big hog we are trying to catch and to hold when we catch him. We must take care that he does not slip away from us. Stevens did not attend the ceremonies when Lincoln's funeral train stopped in Lancaster; he was said to be ill.

    Trefousse speculated he may avoided the rites for other reasons. According to Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg , Stevens stood at a railroad bridge and lifted his hat. In May , Andrew Johnson began what came to be known as " Presidential Reconstruction ": recognizing a provisional government of Virginia led by Francis Harrison Pierpont , calling for other former rebel states to organize constitutional conventions, declaring amnesty for many southerners, and issuing individual pardons to even more. Johnson did not push the states to protect the rights of freed slaves, and immediately began to counteract the land reform policies of the Freedmen's Bureau.

    These actions outraged Stevens and others who took his view. The radicals saw that freedmen in the South risked losing the economic and political liberty necessary to sustain emancipation from slavery. They began to call for universal male suffrage and continued their demands for land reform. Stevens wrote to Johnson that his policies were gravely damaging the country and that he should call a special session of Congress, which was not scheduled to meet until December.

    When his communications were ignored, Stevens began to discuss with other radicals how to prevail over Johnson when the two houses convened. Congress has the constitutional power to be the judge of whether those seeking to be its members are properly elected; Stevens urged that no senators or representatives from the South be seated.

    In September, Stevens gave a widely reprinted speech in Lancaster in which he set forth what he wanted for the South. He warned that under the President's plan, the southern states would send rebels to Congress who would join with northern Democrats and Johnson to govern the nation and perhaps undo emancipation. Through late , the southern states held white-only balloting and in congressional elections, chose many former rebels, most prominently Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens , voted as senator by the Georgia Legislature.

    Violence against African-Americans was common and unpunished in the South; the new legislatures enacted Black Codes , depriving the freedmen of most civil rights. These actions, seen as provocative in the North, both privately dismayed Johnson and helped turn northern public opinion against the president.

    To say so is political blasphemy, for it violates the fundamental principles of our gospel of liberty. By this time, Stevens was in his seventies and in poor health; he was carried everywhere in a special chair. When Congress convened in early December , Stevens made arrangements with the Clerk of the House that when the roll was called, the names of the Southern electees be omitted. The Senate also excluded Southern claimants.

    A new congressman, Ohio's Rutherford B. Hayes , described Stevens: "He is radical throughout, except, I am told, he don't believe in hanging. He is leader. As the responsibilities of the Ways and Means chairman had been divided, Stevens took the post of Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations , retaining control over the House's agenda. It heard not only of the violence against African-Americans, but against Union loyalists, and against what southerners termed " carpetbaggers ", Northerners who had journeyed south after the restoration of peace. Stevens declared: that "our loyal brethren at the South, whether they be black or white" required urgent protection "from the barbarians who are now daily murdering them.

    The Committee of Fifteen began consideration of what would become the Fourteenth Amendment. Stevens had begun drafting versions in December , before the Committee had even formed. When Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull introduced legislation to reauthorize and expand the Freedmen's Bureau , Stevens called the bill a "robbery" because it did not include sufficient provisions for land reform or protect the property of refugees given them by the military occupation of the South.

    Stevens criticized the passage of the Southern Homestead Act of , arguing that the low-quality land it made available would not drive real economic growth for black families. Congress overrode a Johnson veto to pass the Civil Rights Act of also introduced by Trumbull , granting African-Americans citizenship and equality before the law, and forbidding any action by a state to the contrary. Johnson made the gap between him and Congress wider when he accused Stevens, Sumner, and Wendell Phillips of trying to destroy the government. After Congress adjourned in July, the campaigning for the fall elections began.

    Johnson embarked on a trip by rail, dubbed the " Swing Around the Circle ", that won him few supporters; his arguments with hecklers were deemed undignified. He attacked Stevens and other radicals during this tour. Stevens campaigned for firm measures against the South, his hand strengthened by violence in Memphis and New Orleans , where African-Americans and white Unionists had been attacked by mobs, including the police.

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    Stevens was returned to Congress by his constituents; Republicans would have a two-thirds majority in both houses in the next Congress. In January , Stevens introduced legislation to divide the South into five districts, each commanded by an army general empowered to override civil authorities.

    The line was added into the story during the editing process, two sources with knowledge of the story said. Good reporter; just poorly phrased line. The specific qualifying statement in this agreement is not something that should be common practice, though. As the controversy swirled, CNN issued a statement saying that the line was not meant as a threat. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user. In fact, CNN included its decision to withhold the user's identity in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal. The Reddit user had issued the apology after he was contacted by CNN, but before he spoke with the reporter.