Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/912

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STEPHENS, J. L.—STEPHENSON, G.

extra-constitutional war powers by President Jefferson Davis lest the freedom for which the South was fighting should be destroyed. His policy was to preserve constitutional government in the South and strengthen the anti-war party in the North by convincing it that the Lincoln administration had abandoned such government; to the same end he urged, in 1864, the unconditional discharge of Federal prisoners in the South. Stephens headed the Confederate commission to the peace conference at Hampton Roads in February 1865. In the following May, after the fall of the Confederacy, he was arrested at his home and taken to Fort Warren, in Boston harbour, where he was confined until the 12th of October. He accepted the result of the war as a practical settlement of the question of secession, exercised a beneficent influence on the negroes of his section, and promoted reconciliation between the North and the South. In 1866 he was elected to the United States Senate, but was not permitted to take his seat. He was a representative in Congress, however, from 1873 to 1882, und was governor of Georgia in 1882-1883, dying in office, at Atlanta, on the 4th of March 1883. He was remarkable for both his moral and physical courage, and in politics was notable for his independence of party. From 1871 to 1873 he edited the Atlanta Daily Sun, and he published A Constitutional View of the Late War between the States (2 vols., 1868-1870), perhaps the best statement of the southern position with reference to state sovereignty and secession; The Reviewers Reviewed (1872), a supplement to the preceding work; and A Compendium of the History of the United Stales (1875; new ed., 1883).

See Louis Pendleton, Alexander H. Stephens (Philadelphia, 1908); R. M. Johnston and W. H. Browne, Life of Alexander H. Stephens (Philadelphia, 1878 ; new ed., 1883) ; and Henry Cleveland, Alexander H. Stephens in Public and Private, with Letters and Speeches (Philadelphia, 1866).


STEPHENS, JOHN LLOYD (1805-1852), American traveller, was born on the 28th of November 1805, at Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Having been admitted to the bar, he practised for about eight years in New York City. In 1834, the state of his health rendering it advisable that he should travel, he visited Europe, and for two years made a tour through many countries of that Continent, extending his travels to Egypt and Syria. On his return to New York he published in 1837 (under the name of "George" Stephens) Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland. In 1839 Stephens arranged with Frederick Catherwood of London, who had accompanied him on some of his travels, and illustrated the above-mentioned publications, to make an exploration in Central America, with a view to discovering and examining the antiquities said to exist there. Stephens, meantime, was appointed to a mission to Central America. The joint travels of Stephens and Catherwood occupied some eight months in 1839 and 1840. As the result of these researches Stephens published in 1841 Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. In the autumn of 1841 the two travellers made a second exploration of Yucatan, and a work followed in 1843—Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. This work describes the most extensive travels executed till that date by a stranger in the peninsula, and, as the author claims, "contains account of visits to forty-four ruined cities or places in which remains or vestiges of ancient populations were found." It enjoyed a wide popularity, and Stephens was urged to prosecute his researches of American researches in Peru, but was disinclined to so distant an expedition. He became a director of the newly-formed American Ocean Steam Navigation Company, which established the first American line of transatlantic steamships. He visited Panama to reconnoitre the ground with a view to the construction of a railway across the isthmus, and, first as vice-president and then as president of the Panama Railway Company, spent the greater part of two years in superintending the project. His health was, however, undermined by exposure to the climate of Central America, and he died at New York on the 10th of October 1852.


STEPHENSON, GEORGE (1781-1848), English engineer, was the second, son of Robert Stephenson, fireman of a colliery engine at Wylam, near Newcastle, where he was born on the 9th of June 1781. In boyhood he was employed as a cowherd, and afterwards he drove the ginhorse at a colliery. In his fourteenth year he became assistant fireman to his father at a shilling a day, and in his seventeenth year he was appointed plugman, his duty being to attend to the pumping engine. As yet he was unable to read, but, stimulated by the desire to obtain fuller information regarding the inventions of Boulton and Watt, he began in his eighteenth year to attend a night school and made remarkably rapid progress. In 1801 he obtained a situation as a brakesman, in 1802 he became an engineman at Willington Quay, where he took up watch and clock cleaning, and in 1804 he moved to Killingworth, where in 181 2 he was appointed engine-wright at the High Pit at a salary of £100 a year. It was at Killingworth that he devised his miner's safety lamp, first put to practical tests in the autumn of 1815, at the same time that Sir Humphry Davy was producing his lamp. There was considerable controversy as to which of the two men was entitled to the honour of having first made an invention which was probably worked out independently, though simultaneously, by both, and when the admirers of Davy in 1817 presented him with a service of plate, those of Stephenson countered with an address and £1000 early in 1818. In 1813 his interest in the experiments with steam traction that were being carried on at Wylam led him to propose an experiment of the same kind to the proprietors of the Killingworth colliery, and he was authorized to incur the outlay for constructing a "travelling engine" for the tramroads between the colliery and the shipping port 9 m. distant. The engine, which he named " My Lord," ran a successful trial on the 25th of July 1814. In 1822 he succeeded in impressing the advantages of steam traction on the projectors of the Stockton & Darlington railway, who had contemplated using horses for their wagons, and was appointed engineer of the railway, with liberty to carry out his own plans, the result being the opening, on the 27th of September 1825, of the first railway over which passengers and goods were carried by a locomotive. His connexion with the Stockton & Darlington railway led to his employment in the construction of the Liverpool & Manchester railway, which, notwithstanding prognostications of failure by the most eminent engineers of the day, he carried successfully through Chat Moss. When the line was nearing completion he persuaded the directors, who were rather in favour of haulage by fixed engines, to give the locomotive a trial. In consequence they offered a prize of £500 for a suitable machine, and in the competition held at Rainhill in October 1829 his engine " The Rocket " met with approval. On the 15th of September in the following year the railway was formally opened, the eight engines employed having been made at the works started by Stephenson with his cousin Thomas Richardson (1771-1853) and Edward Pease (1767-1858) at Newcastle in 1823. Subsequently Stephenson was engineer of, among others, the Grand Junction, the London & Birmingham (with his son Robert), Manchester to Leeds, Derby to Leeds, Derby to Birmingham, and Normanton to York; but he strongly disapproved of the railway mania which ensued in 1844. He was also consulted in regard to the construction of railways in Belgium and Spain. The last year or two of his life was spent in retirement at Tapton House, Chesterfield, in the pursuit of farming and horticulture, and there he . died on the 1 2th of August 1848. Stephenson was thrice married, his only son Robert being the child of Fanny Henderson, his first wife, who died in 1806. A nephew, George Robert Stephenson, who was born at Newcastle in 1819 and died near Cheltenham in 1905, was placed by him on the engineering staff of the Manchester & Leeds line in 1837, and subsequently constructed many railways in England, New Zealand and Denmark. He was president of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1876-1877.

See Story of the Life of George Stephenson, by Samuel Smiles (1857, new ed., 1873) i an d Smiles's Lives of British Engineers, vol. iii.