secthead Resources

Historically Speaking

Even Stevens: Coffee Print Email
Written by Sarah Drake   
February 10, 2016

Thaddeus Stevens' correspondence is breathtaking in its depth and breadth. The range of correspondence he received is one of the most fascinating aspects of this project. I found a piece of correspondence that was especially interesting to me this week. Salmon P. Chase, the Treasury Secretary, forwarded Stevens a letter about "Unhulled Coffee or Coffee in the Pod". I love the big ideas of history such as  republicanism, civil liberties, and abolitionism but I also love the details.

In 1864, there was great strife in this country. A poet might even call it a life or death struggle for the nation's soul. In the midst of that conflagration, people continued their daily lives. They worked their farms, cobbled boots, sewed dresses, and worried about the tariff on unhulled coffee beans.

These letters give me an insight into the beauty of the American people and our resilience.

Even Stevens Print Email
Written by Sarah Drake   
February 4, 2016

My name is Sarah Drake. I graduated from Millersville University in December 2015 and am the new Archives Intern at  In addition, I will be assisting the Curatorial Department with some research. I was born in San Francisco, CA but I currently live in Lancaster, PA. I enjoy baseball, outdoor photography, and baking.

This week I was excited to discover a letter in the Thaddeus Stevens' papers regarding the question of the status of newly freed slaves. The letter writer, writing from New Orleans, speaks of the need to extend "natural and civil liberty" to newly freed slaves.  The letter was written in April 1864 and the 13th Amendment was ratified twenty months later. I have had a strong interest in the Abolitionist Movement since grade school. It was very gratifying to find a letter that delved so deeply into this issue during my first week at I look forward to watching the debate over abolition unfold in Mr. Stevens' correspondence during my weeks at

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