I am nominating this for featured article because… I think it meets the criteria. Thaddeus Stevens was the guy with the limp in Lincoln who had a bad wig and went home to an African-American lover. That's the easy part. He did much more than that in his life, crusading for free public education in Pennsylvania and even against the Masonic Order. His battles against slavery and for equal rights made him so much more than a crank, but instead a fighter for freedom. My thanks to the several peer review and talk page commenters.Wehwalt (talk) 00:08, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Support: I gave this article a lengthy peer review, from which I learned a great deal about this man and his role in American history. He is quite unknown in Britain (except, per Wehwalt above, as a bit player in the Lincoln film). My concerns were met, or at least discussed, to my satisfaction. I did have a slight issue over the length; this was to a large extent resolved by some judicious excisions made after my review. It's still a long article, but not outstandingly so, and there are articles for pop singers and cricketers that are longer. Support is subject to no issues arising from the sources review (which I will do myself), and images. Brianboulton (talk) 13:24, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. And equally, we know little of Wilberforce on these shores.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:04, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Ref 37: I would give "Weder History Group" rather than the website name as the publisher of this source
Ref 38: Link is to an abstract. Is the download free? If so, perhaps a note could indicate this, otherwise (subscription required)
Ref 160: I'm a bit puzzled by an ISBN for a 1937 book. This is presumably from a later edition?
Ref 163: OCLC included, but not in other similar cases
Ref 169: I cannot easily follow the format of this citation - can it be made clearer, e.g. by italicizing he book's title, removing extraneous stuff ("book and job printers")? I don't know what the information after "p. 177" refers to.
Ref 195: Are you sure about Jacobin and "Aaron Bady" as reliable sources? It appears to be essentially a students' magazine.
For the limited purpose of commenting on a popular movie (it's not being sold as scholarly opinion, as the text says that it's about public interest in Stevens out of Lincoln, I think it's fine.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:31, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
In the bibliography, consistency is required in giving publisher locations.
Other than with these points, sources look fine. Brianboulton (talk) 17:42, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
SupportComments by Montanabw:
I also participated in the peer review and did a bit of copyediting in the article early in the PR. It has improved since that time and has my general support, though with a couple of minor questions:
Is there a missing word in this direct quotation? "He is radical throughout, except, I am told, he don't believe in hanging. He is [typo here?] leader"
No. That's what he wrote. I like that it amounts to an absolute.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:10, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
This two bits are quite awkwardly phrased: "Foner argued from the mid-1970s that Stevens's role was in staking out radical position, but events..." and "...Historian Hans Trefousse had in 1969 stated ..." Can you rephrase for better flow?
That's about all the jumped out at me at the moment. Montanabw(talk) 18:38, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
It appears my concerns have been addressed, other issues I had that were already raised by other editors have also been addressed. Looks good to go. Montanabw(talk) 19:51, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Not sure "Stevens in a thoughtful pose" is the best caption
I'm open to better ideas. The difficulty is that most photographs of Stevens show him in similar poses. I felt this was the most distinctive.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:11, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
File:Hang_Thaddeus.jpg is tagged as lacking source info. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:54, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Please also check spelling of the cemetery - you've got two different versions. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:54, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I believe that after some effort I've taken care of everything in the above three reviews that isn't commented on by me.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:44, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Now before I start reviewing this I have to make the (sure to be unpopular) disclosure that I have never seen Lincoln (*pause for effect).
Now, on with the show!
Addressed comments from Crisco 1492 moved to talk page
Only issue I see today (though a bit of a glaring one). Support assuming it will be fixed. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:03, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the support. Regarding the passage you cite, "stopped too soon" is a shortened form of "that it stopped too soon". Eliminating the two words "that it" does not change the meaning, thus both scope and duration are being criticized. These are separate items, justifying the plural "things". Eliminating the two words "that it" does not convert duration into a subset of scope. If you like, I can put the words "that it" back in, but I think that would be needlessly clunky. Or perhaps there is a fault I do not see?--Wehwalt (talk) 11:36, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Changed to were.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:09, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘OK, looking at what is finished, Looks like Crisco 1492 moved stuff he considers done to the talk page; did other editors all strike the material that has been addressed? I struck my comments, so I'm OK with this article. Montanabw(talk) 19:51, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the review and your support. Some do, some don't.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:58, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Comment for delegates There are, I think, three supports with an image review and a source review.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:01, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Spotchecks by Quadell
25: The source supports a very small part of the claim, but there are other sources as well. No problems.
62: Quote is accurate and found in source
96: Statement fully supported by the source without plagiarism.
108: The fact is present in footnote 2 on that page. Is there a standard way of stating this in the reference? I'm not sure.
In the law we would say p. 108 n.2.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:40, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
113: Though Stevens did not use those words in his closing argument, I think they are an accurate summary of his position as given in the source.
181: Statement fully supported by the source without plagiarism.
193: Quote is accurate and found in source
195: Quote is accurate and found in source
All in all, so far as I can tell, the information in the article is fully and accurately supported by the sources. – Quadell(talk) 15:02, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for that.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:40, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
This article is very well written. The prose flows well, and the article seems reasonably complete. The sourcing seems complete, as described in the spotchecks above, though I have a few formatting concerns below. The images are all legitimately free, hosted on Commons, used appropriately, with full and accurate summaries. (I did fix the sourcing on the signature and improve the licensing template on File:TStevens-Johnson impeachment.jpg, but these were minor.)
However, I have some concerns that need to be addressed before I can support.
Footnotes 16 and 17 seem to support an entire paragraph together, but it is clear from the text that the second half of the paragraph is only supported by Trefousse.
Similarly, there are many cases where an entire paragraph is supported by multiple footnotes at the end. Without having access to the sources myself, it's hard to make out which source supports which claims in paragraphs such as these. (This seems most problematic in "Anti-masonry" paragraphs 2-4, "1860 election; secession crisis" paragraph 2, and "Impeaching the President" paragraphs 5 and 6.) If all statements are supported in both sources, that's fine, and if the material has been shuffled together in ways that would make individual citations unwieldy, then the current system is also fine. But if different parts of the paragraph can legitimately be cited to different sources in a simple way, that would be accurate and useful.
Generally, in my view, I think it would not be useful to unwind the multiple sources. That can come about a couple of different ways, either I'm borrowing facts from both sources (the most common case), and sometimes just a phrase might be from one source (usually the second one listed), or I'm adding new facts I found later to an existing source. There are reviewers who object, in the absence of a quote, to seeing the same footnote multiple times in a paragraph, they ask why didn't you put it all at the end? I don't think it's unreasonable to use multiple sources.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:40, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree that simple by-paragraph footnoting is better than a cluttered footnoting, with a reference used many times in a single paragraph. Still, in the case of paragraph 2 of "anti-Masonry" (mentioned in the previous bullet point), it certainly seems like the Brodie cite only covers the first half of the paragraph. If that is the case in the other examples in this bullet point (and I'm not sure that it is), then a similar division would be useful. This bullet point isn't an objection, really, but just a request for the most specific sourcing that is practical. – Quadell(talk) 17:16, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I've gotten out the sources and eliminated Brodie from that paragraph entirely. That being said, I'm not sure it is worth the effort. At worst, it points the reader to parallel material between biographies.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:43, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Graber is listed in the bibliography, but is not mentioned in the references. Should this be in "further reading" instead?
It seems non-standard to me to have sections with semicolons in the title. Wouldn't "1860 election and secession crisis" and "political change and move to Lancaster" be more standard?
I've used it before without objection see here for example. We are enjoined to brevity in section titles.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:40, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I have to say, I don't like the style. But it does have precedent, and there's nothing against it in the MoS, so it's not an objection. – Quadell(talk) 17:16, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Lydia Hamilton Smith is referred to as a mulatto in the "political change; move to Lancaster" section, but is refered to as a quadroon in the "personal life" section. Which is correct?
I did not change the text that was there before I began work in the "Personal life" section first paragraph, and don't have that book. Mulatto seems to be the more common term for her, but I've avoided the issue in that paragraph. I wonder if these terms, once so important, mean much to the reader?--Wehwalt (talk) 17:19, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, they're silly and subjective terms, and I'm glad they're out of common use. I just wanted to avoid conflicting descriptions, and your change neatly fixes the problem. – Quadell(talk) 17:23, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
As Nikkimaria points out, "Stevens in a thoughtful pose" is not a good caption. I would mention something he had frequent occasion to be thoughtful about toward the end of his life. Perhaps something like: "Stevens believed that changes made to the Fourteenth Amendment shattered his lifelong dream in equality for all Americans.", or "After the Civil War, Stevens took controversial positions regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, the pace of Reconstruction, and the impeachment of President Johnson.", or something more appropriate.
Similarly, the caption "Lydia Hamilton Smith" could be improved (in my opinion) to something more descriptive, such as "Historians are uncertain whether Stevens' relationship with Lydia Hamilton Smith was romantic in nature".
I'm of the view that captions should be descriptive of what we are seeing. If the existing caption is unsatisfactory, something like "Stevens in the 1860s" (or if I can hunt down a more specific date might be good.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:40, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, for the first image, the only information given by the Library of Congress is either visually obvious ("half length portrait, seated, facing left; hand under chin") or else clearly incorrect (c. 1898, which would be 30 years post-mortem). I think it's valid for a caption to describe the context instead of just the image content, especially for the Lydia Hamilton Smith photo, but I guess that's not required. If you don't think that's appropriate then there probably isn't a way to improve those two captions. – Quadell(talk) 17:16, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
It's just that I don't do it that way, thus those image caption would appear stylistically odd to the reader.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:21, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I hope these remaining issues are addressed, since this is a very informative article about an important person. – Quadell(talk) 15:02, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I've done the issues which I agreed with, and please note my comments above. Thank you for the excellent work.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:19, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Support. All of my concerns have either been fixed, or have been shown to be acceptable stylistic choices. The article is excellent, and merits featured status. – Quadell(talk) 17:55, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for that, and for your review, and I will be sensible of your referencing concerns in future.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:03, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
"said to have been a scarring experience for him": Since you don't say that it _was_ a scarring experince for him, I take it you aren't sure ... but there's no information to tell me who said this, or why you would doubt it, so I'm not in a position to know what this means.
Thanks. Basically, the idea is that the rejection of Stevens for Phi Beta wasn't told until after he was already well-known as an anti-Mason and egalitarian, and his biographers take it with different amounts of salt, though Brodie seems to take it straight.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:09, 31 July 2013 (UTC)