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Historically Speaking

Notes from the Thaddeus Stevens Collection: Sea Lion Print Email
Written by Samantha Whitall   
February 29, 2016

Update on the sea lion! I previously mentioned Thaddeus Stevens referring to some fellow congressman by this nickname in a letter to Salmon P. Chase. Well unfortunately Chase’s reply didn’t give an exact name but he did say that this man was involved in some sort of naval mishap around Key West (the only Deep South port to remain in Union control). Apparently orders had been misconstrued and the press was now blaming him.  The sea lion, according to Chase, was keeping a low profile until the matter could be sorted out. And that’s the last entry I’ll have for the Steven’s collection; I’m now moving on to the Haldeman family letters.

 
Notes from the Thaddeus Stevens Collection: Leap Year Print Email
Written by Samantha Whitall   
February 10, 2016

So random fact of the week: 1864 was a leap year.  The batch of letters I’m working on start in February of 1864 and it looks like Stevens had an extra day of mail to look through.  Any-who, going back to the subject of the Louisiana Congressman that’d passed away, John E. Bouligny, his wife sent a letter to Stevens asking for his assistance only a few days after one of Stevens’ colleagues did. Apparently the situation was much more urgent than I’d assumed. The frustrating part about this though is that I have no idea how Stevens responded; the majority of these letters are to him not from him. Although you do occasionally get a note to Lincoln or Salmon P. Chase and those can be pretty humorous. In one of his communications to Chase, Stevens calls another Congressman an old, fat sea lion; no name was given unfortunately.

 
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