Elderly and frail, Stevens was nonetheless the strongman of the House. Although he was a high-minded champion of abolition and practiced temperance, he was not particularly religious, frequenting Washington's gambling houses and liberally using salty language. But in debate he was a formidable opponent. He once taunted, "I yield to the gentleman for a few feeble remarks."
Records of the Chief Signal Officer, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., 111-B-1458 (Brady Collection)