Thaddeus Stevens
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Quotes for
Thaddeus Stevens (Character)
from "North and South, Book II" (1986)

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Lincoln (2012)
Thaddeus Stevens: [responding to a knock at the door] It opens!

Thaddeus Stevens: Trust? Gentlemen, you seem to have forgotten that our chosen career is politics.

Thaddeus Stevens: The greatest measure of the Nineteenth Century. Passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America.

Thaddeus Stevens: Retain, even in opposition, your capacity for astonishment.

Thaddeus Stevens: You are a democrat. What's the matter with you? Are you wicked?

Thaddeus Stevens: I don't hold with equality in all things, just equality before the law, nothing more.

Thaddeus Stevens: White people cannot bear the thought of sharing this country's infinite abundance with Negroes.

Thaddeus Stevens: This is the face of someone who has fought long and hard for the good of the people without caring much for any of 'em. And I look a lot worse without the wig.

Thaddeus Stevens: I haven't noticed you. I'm a Republican, and you, Coughdrop, are a Democrat?

Thaddeus Stevens: Lincoln the inveterate dawdler, Lincoln the Southerner, Lincoln the capitulating compromiser, our adversary, and leader of the God forsaken Republican Party, our party.

Thaddeus Stevens: Nothing surprises you, Asa, therefore nothing about you is surprising. Perhaps that is why your constituents did not re-elect you to the coming term.

Abraham Lincoln: When the people disagree, bringing them together requires going slow until they're ready to...
Thaddeus Stevens: Shit on the people and what they want and what they're ready for. I don't give a goddamn about the people and what they want. This is the face of someone who has fought long and hard for the *good* of the people without caring much for any of 'em. And now I look a lot worse without my wig.

Thaddeus Stevens: It's late, I'm old and I'm going home.

Thaddeus Stevens: Slave is the only insult to the natural law, you fatuous nincompoop.

Thaddeus Stevens: What violates natural law? Slavery and you! Pendleton, you insult God. You unnatural noise.

Thaddeus Stevens: When will Mr. Wood conclude his interminable gabble? Some of us breathe oxygen, and we find the mephitic fumes of his oratory a lethal challenge to our pulmonary capabilities.

Thaddeus Stevens: As long as your household accounts are in order, Madam, we have no need to investigate them.
Mary Todd Lincoln: You have always taken such a lively, even prosecutorial interest in my household accounts, Mr. Stevens.
Thaddeus Stevens: Your household accounts have always been so interesting.
Mary Todd Lincoln: Yes, thank you, it's true. The miracles I have wrought out of fertilizer bills and cutlery invoices, but I had to. Four years ago, when the President and I arrived, this was a pure pigsty. Tobacco stains in the carpets, mushrooms sprouting from the ceilings! And a pauper's pittance allotted for improvements. As if your committee joined with all of Washington waiting, in what you anticipated to be our comfort in squalor, further proof that my husband and I were prairie primitives, unsuited to the position to which an error of the people, a flaw in the democratic process, had elevated us.

Thaddeus Stevens: How can I hold that all men are created equal when here before me stands stinking, the moral carcass of the gentleman from Ohio, proof that some men ARE inferior, endowed by their maker with dim wits impermeable to reason with cold, pallid slime in their veins instead of hot blood! You are more reptile than man, Mr. Pendleton, so low and flat that the foot of man is incapable of crushing you! Yet even YOU, Pendleton, who should have been gibbetted for treason long before today, even worthless, unworthy you deserve to be treated equally before the law! And so again, I say that I do not hold with equality in all things, only with equality before the law!

Asa Vintner Litton: Have you lost your very soul, Mr. Stevens? Is there nothing you won't say?
Thaddeus Stevens: I'm sorry you're nauseous, Asa. That must be unpleasant. I want the amendment to pass, so that the constitution's first and only mention of slavery is its absolute prohibition. For this amendment, for which I have worked all my life and for which countless colored men and women have fought and died and now hundreds of thousands of soldiers... No, sir, no, it seems there's very nearly nothing I won't say.

Thaddeus Stevens: [to Lincoln] The people elected me to represent them, to lead them, and I lead. You ought to try it.


Tennessee Johnson (1942)
Thaddeus Stevens: You're a great stickler for the Constitution, aren't you?