Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/931

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STEVENSON, A. E.—STEVENSON, R. L.

was made chairman of the House committee. In his speech of the 18th of December 1865 he asserted that rebellion had ipso facto blotted out of being all states in the South, that that section was then a “conquered province,” and that its government was in the hands of Congress, which could do with it as it wished. He introduced from the joint committee what became, with changed clause as to the basis of representation, the Fourteenth Amendment, and also the Reconstruction Act of the 6th of February 1867. He also advocated the Freedmen's Bureau bills and the Tenure of Office Act, and went beyond Congress in favouring the confiscation of the property of the Confederate States and “of the real estate of 70,000 rebels who own above 200 acres each, together with the lands of their several states,” for the benefit of the freedmen and loyal whites and to reimburse, it was said, the sufferers from Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, during which Stevens's own ironworks at Chambersburg had been destroyed. He led Congress in the struggle with the president, and after the president's removal of Secretary of War Stanton he reported the impeachment resolution to the house and was chairman of the committee appointed to draft the articles of impeachment. He was one of the managers appointed to conduct the case for the House of Representatives before the Senate, but owing to ill-health he took little part in the trial itself. He died at Washington, D.C., on the 11th of August 1868, and was buried at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[1]

Stevens was an extreme partisan in politics; and his opponents and critics have always charged him with being vindictive and revengeful toward the South. Instead of obtaining political and social equality for the negro, his policy intensified racial antagonism, forced practically all of the white people of the South into the Democratic party, and increased the difficulties in the way of a solution of the race problem; the policy, however, was the result of the passions and political exigencies of the time, and Stevens cannot be held responsible except as the leader of the dominant faction in Congress. He was an able, terse, forcible speaker, master of bitter sarcasm, irony, stinging ridicule, and, less often used, good-humoured wit.

See S. W. McCall's Thaddeus Stevens (Boston and New York, 1899), in the American Statesmen Series, a sympathetic, but judicious biography; also J. F. Rhodes, History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850, especially vol. v. (New York, 1904).


STEVENSON, ADLAI EWING (1835-       ), American political leader, was born in Christian county, Kentucky, on the 23rd of October 1835. He removed with his family to Bloomington, Illinois, in 1852; was educated at the Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington and at Centre College, Danville, Kentucky; and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1857. He was master in chancery for Woodford county, Illinois, in 1860-1864, and district-attorney for the twenty-third judicial district of that state from 1865 to 1869, when he removed to Bloomington. He was a Democratic representative in Congress from Illinois in 1875-1877 and again in 1879-1881; was first assistant postmaster-general in 1885-1889, and was severely criticized for his wholesale removal of Republican postmasters. He was a delegate to the national Democratic conventions in 1884 and 1892, and in the latter year was elected vice-president of the United States on the ticket with Cleveland, serving from 1893 to 1897. In 1897 he was a member of the commission (Senator Edward O. Wolcott and General Charles J. Paine being the other members) appointed by President McKinley to confer with the governments of Great Britain, France and Germany with a view to the establishment of international bimetallism. He was again Democratic nominee for vice-president in 1900, but was defeated. He published Something of Men I have Known; With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical and Retrospective (1909).


STEVENSON, ROBERT (1772-1850), Scottish engineer, was the only son of Alan Stevenson, partner in a West Indian house in Glasgow, and was born in that city on the 8th of June 1772. He was educated at Anderson's College, Glasgow, and Edinburgh University. In his youth he assisted his stepfather, Thomas Smith, in his lighthouse schemes, and at the age of nineteen was sent to superintend the erection of a lighthouse on the island of Little Cumbrae. Subsequently he succeeded Smith, whose daughter he married in 1799, as engineer to the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, and during his period of office, from 1797 to 1843, he designed and executed a large number of lighthouses, the most important being that on the Bell Rock, begun in 1807. For its illumination he introduced an improved apparatus, and he was also the author of various valuable inventions in connexion with lighting, including the intermittent and flashing lights, and the mast lantern for lightships. As a civil engineer he improved the approaches to Edinburgh, including that by the Calton Hill, constructed harbours, docks and breakwaters, improved river and canal navigation, and constructed several important bridges. In consequence of observations made by him George Stephenson advocated the use of malleable- instead of cast-iron rails for railways, and he was the inventor of the movable jib and balance cranes. Chiefly through his interposition an admiralty survey was established, from which the admiralty sailing directions for the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland have been prepared. Stevenson published an Account of the Bell Rock Lighthouse in 1824, and, besides contributing important articles on engineering subjects to Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was the author of various papers read before learned societies. He died at Edinburgh on the 12th of July 1850.

Of his family, three sons, Alan, David and Thomas, attained distinction as lighthouse engineers. The eldest, Alan (1807-1865), eventually became a partner with his father, whom he succeeded as engineer to the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses in 1843. The most noteworthy lighthouse designed by him is Skerryvore on the west coast of Scotland, an isolated tower of which the first stone was laid in 1840 and which first showed its light in 1843. He published an Account of the Skerryvore Lighthouse in 1848, and a Rudimentary Treatise on the History, Construction and Illumination of Lighthouses in 1850, and he wrote the article on lighthouses in the 8th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The third son, David (1815-1886), was at first engaged on land and marine surveys and in railway work. In 1837 he made a tour in North America, which gave rise to his Sketch of the Civil Engineering of North America (1838), and on his return became a partner in his father's business. In 1853 he and his youngest brother Thomas were appointed joint engineers to the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses in succession to their brother Alan, and he designed many lighthouses not only in Scotland but also in New Zealand, India and Japan. His books include Marine Surveying (1842), Canal and River Engineering (1858), Reclamation and Protection of Agricultural Land (1874), and Life of Robert Stevenson (1878), and he was also a contributor to the 8th and 9th editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The youngest son, Thomas (1818-1887), joined his father's business in 1846, and as joint engineer to the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses from 1853 to 1885 introduced various improvements in lighthouse illumination, which were described in the article on lighthouses he wrote for the 9th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was also deeply interested in meteorology, and in 1864 designed the Stevenson screen widely used for the sheltering of thermometers. He was the father of Robert Louis Stevenson.


STEVENSON, ROBERT LEWIS BALFOUR (1850-1894), British essayist, novelist and poet, was the only child of Thomas Stevenson, civil engineer, and his wife, Margaret Isabella Balfour. He was born at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh, on the 13th of

  1. In accordance with his own wish he was buried in a small graveyard rather than in one of the regular city cemeteries, and on his tombstone is the following epitaph written by himself: “I repose in this quiet and secluded spot, not from any natural preference for solitude, but, finding other cemeteries limited as to race by charter rules, I have chosen this, that I might illustrate in my death the principles I advocated through a long life — Equality of man before his Creator.” He bequeathed a part of his estate to found a home for white and negro orphans — the present Thaddeus Stevens industrial school — at Lancaster.