One of the most prominent Radical Republican congressmen (seems like a really weird oxymoron these days) during the Reconstruction era. He was very harsh in his criticism of slavery and the way that the United States chose to deal with the aftermath of slavery in a time when most men in government said as little as they could about the subject.

His idea for reparations for slavery became famous: 40 acres and a mule was what he thought the government owed freedmen which would be taken from the South's captured plantations. Although he was dead serious about this plan nothing ever came of it. Stevens also introduced the resolution to impeach Andrew Johnson.

Thaddeus Stevens was buried in a Black cemetery with an inscription on his tombstone to the effect of wanting to be a symbol in death as he was in his life of : "Equality of Man Before His Creator". Pretty cool.

Update Just found out that Stevens was a rabid enemy of the Freemasons. I'm going to find some other sources and detail that a little bit.