secthead Resources

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.

Page 7 of 55

Our Blogs

The History Bucket


Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

[Read My Blog]

Historically Speaking


The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

[Read Our Blog]

Marianne's PhotoBlog


Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

[Read My Blog]

Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

[Read My Blog]

Become a Member

To learn more about membership at, click below.


Facebook Slider
Facebook Slider
Facebook Slider