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Lot Number: 241
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Aug. 17, 1868 Burial of Thaddeus Stevens Silk Ribbon

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August 17th, 1868-Dated, “Union League of Philadelphia. - August 17th, 1868. - Burial Of Thaddeus Stevens.” Black Mourning Border Silk Ribbon, Apparently with the Hand-written Travel Instructions of the Member Attending written on the Ribbon, Choice Very Fine.

An exceedingly rare Black Mourning Border Silk Ribbon as virtually nothing is typically available to Political collectors on Thaddeus Stevens. Bold black print on white silk measuring about 2.25” x 6.5” and well centered. Travel instructions written by the member on its face reads: “2 1/4 hours from Lancaster - 8 NW 17/68” unique as such. An historic ribbon in excellent condition with some hand-written pencil notes top and bottom. Stevens was a member of Congress from Pennsylvania and a fierce opponent of Slavery and discrimination against Black Americans during the Civil War era and through Reconstruction.
The state funeral of Rep. Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, the dominant figure in the House of Representatives during the Civil War and Reconstruction, occurred on this day in 1868 in the Capitol Rotunda. As the leader of the Radical Republicans and chairman of both the Ways and Means and Appropriations committees, Stevens left his mark during seven House terms.

Rep. Charles Buckalew (D-Pa.) remembered Stevens “as the man who ... gained the ear of the House and held it for many years against all competitors ... and resigned his influence only with his life.” Before his death at age 76, Stevens said, “I may say my life has not been entirely in vain. When I remember that I gave free schools to Pennsylvania ... I think my life may have been worth the living.”

Stevens’ legacy rests in part on his fiery rhetoric opposing slavery, inspiring multiple portrayals in films. Most recently, Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” follows the 1865 House passage of the 13th Amendment that barred slavery.

President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, struggles to juggle contending forces that want to ban Slavery, end the Civil War and ensure the Union’s continued existence. Stevens is portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones as the single-minded champion of both African-American emancipation and racial equality, who moderated his call for equality at the president’s behest to safeguard the amendment’s passage. Unlike two prior film portrayals of Stevens, here he is cast as a rough-hewn hero.
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Lot Number: 241
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Estimate Range: $400 - $600
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