Class Year




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Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2006


When we were approached to do a paper on the hidden history of an object in Gettysburg College, a colleague and I decided to take a weekend afternoon to walk around the campus in order to find an object to write about. After wandering for a while, we entered Penn Hall, and in the Lyceum we looked at the portraits of great contributors to Gettysburg College. One face that struck me was that of Thaddeus Stevens, who I remembered as one of the great Radical Republicans of the Civil War era. Gettysburg is very much a Civil War oriented area. However, I wondered what made Thaddeus Stevens so important as to merit a painting in the Lyceum. I then, embarrassedly realized that Stevens was also the namesake of Stevens Hall, and that clearly he must have been very important to the area. So what exactly warranted his place in Penn Hall and in the name of a building? [excerpt]

Course Information:

  • Course Title: HIST 300: Historical Method
  • Academic Term: Spring 2006
  • Course Instructor: Dr. Michael J. Birkner '72

Hidden in Plain Sight is a collection of student papers on objects that are "hidden in plain sight" around the Gettysburg College campus. Topics range from the Glatfelter Hall gargoyles to the statue of Eisenhower and from historical markers to athletic accomplishments. You can download the paper in pdf format and click "View Photo" to see the image in greater detail.


Gettysburg College, Hidden in Plain Sight, Stevens Hall, Thaddeus Stevens, Civil War, abolitionist


Public History | United States History

Department 1


Campus Location

Pennsylvania Hall

Portrait of Thaddeus Stevens by Jacob Eichholtz