Smith, Lydia Hamilton
- William A. Allison
housekeeper for Thaddeus Stevens, was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a black mother surnamed O'Neill and a white father. She took Hamilton as her surname. Even though Lydia Hamilton Smith was merely a housekeeper, she became widely known because of her employment with Thaddeus Stevens. When Thaddeus Stevens came to Washington in 1849 as a Whig representative to Congress from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he was known as an implacable foe of slavery. He labored tirelessly to make the slavery-ending Thirteenth Amendment (1865) a permanent part of the United States Constitution. He also played a major role in the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment (1866).
After moving into a house on South Queens Street in Lancaster, Stevens decided that he needed a housekeeper. He first attempted to employ a woman by the name of Anna Sulkey, but Anna became the wife of Dennis Martin ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.