Archives and Special Collections
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
Born in Vermont on April 4, 1792, Thaddeus Stevens suffered many hardships as a child including being born with a club foot and having an alcoholic father. Stevens graduated from Dartmouth in 1814 and moved to York, Pennsylvania, where he taught and studied law. After passing the bar, Stevens practiced law in Gettysburg and then in Lancaster. Thaddeus Stevens was an active member of political parties including the Federalist Party, the Anti-Masonic Party, the Whig Party, and the Republican Party. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1849-1853, and again from 1859 until his death in 1868. An active social reformer, Stevens increasingly became involved in defending fugitive slaves. Stevens died on August 11, 1868, in Washington, D.C. His funeral and burial took place in Lancaster, PA. In his will, Thaddeus Stevens left money for the development of a school for orphaned children regardless of color.