Reconstruction

Cordell France

Andrew Jonson

  • With the Assassination of Lincoln, the Presidency fell upon an old-fashioned southern Jacksonian Democrat of pronounced states' rights views. Although an honest and honorable man, Andrew Johnson was one of the most unfortunate of Presidents. Arrayed against him were the Radical Republicans in Congress, brilliantly led and ruthless in their tactics. Johnson was no match for them
  • Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1808, Johnson grew up in poverty. He was apprenticed to a tailor as a boy, but ran away. He opened a tailor shop in Greeneville, Tennessee, married Eliza McCardle, and participated in debates at the local academy.
  • Entering politics, he became an adept stump speaker, championing the common man and vilifying the plantation aristocracy. As a Member of the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 1840's and '50's, he advocated a homestead bill to provide a free farm for the poor man.
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Thaddeus Stevens


  • Thaddeus Stevens, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, fought to abolish slavery and helped draft the 14th Amendment during Reconstruction


  • Thaddeus Stevens was born on April 4, 1792, in Danville, Vermont. He was a Radical Republican leader and one of the most powerful members in the U.S. House of Representatives. He focused much of his political attention on civil rights, eventually helping to draft the 14th Amendment. He dominated the House during Reconstruction and proposed the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. Stevens died in Washington, D.C. on August 11, 1868.
  • Thaddeus Stevens was born in Danville, Vermont, on April 4, 1792. He was the second son born to Sarah and Joshua Stevens, who disappeared when Thaddeus was a young boy, leaving his wife and children to fend for themselves with very little money. Thaddeus had a difficult childhood; in addition to growing up fatherless, he was poor and had a club foot.
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