Born Aug. 3, 1821, near Cape May, N.J.; died Feb. 13,1882, in Philadelphia. Figure in the American labor movement.
A tailor by profession, Stephens was a member of the Philadelphia Garment Cutters’ Association from 1862 to 1869. In 1869 he helped found the Knights of Labor, and in 1878 and 1879 he was Grand Master Workman of the organization. He spoke in favor of unifying workers throughout the country, regardless of occupation, race, or religious affiliation. Stephens held Utopian illusions about organizing a system of workers’ cooperatives as a means of escaping from capitalist exploitation.