Bob Dylan, the troubadour to a generation and Nobel laureate is a great admirer of Thaddeus Stevens. In fact, you could say that Stevens inspired Dylan.
In his 2004 memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan wrote: “I read the biography of Thaddeus Stevens, the radical Republican. He lived in the early part of the 1800s and was quite a character. He’s from Gettysburg and he’s got a clubfoot like Byron. He grew up poor, made a fortune and from then on championed the weak and any other group who wasn’t able to fight equally. Stevens had a grim sense of humor, a sharp tongue and a white hot hatred for the bloated aristocrats of his day. He wanted to confiscate the land of the slaveholding elite, once referred to a colleague on the floor of the (House of Representatives) chamber as ‘slinking in his own slime.’ Stevens was an anti-Mason and he denounced his foes as those whose mouths reeked from human blood. He got right in there, called his enemies a ‘feeble band of lowly reptiles who shun the light and who lurk in their own dens.’ Stevens was hard to forget. He made a big impression on me, was inspiring.”