The Lincoln–Douglas debates were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Illinois, incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. At the time, U. S. senators were elected by state legislatures. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. Although Illinois was a free state, the main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery in the United States. In agreeing to the official debates and Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois; because both had spoken in two—Springfield and Chicago—within a day of each other, they decided that their "joint appearances" would be held in the remaining seven districts. The debates were held in seven towns in the state of Illinois: Ottawa on August 21 Freeport on August 27 Jonesboro on September 15 Charleston on September 18 Galesburg on October 7 Quincy on October 13 Alton on October 15The debates in Freeport and Alton drew large numbers of people from neighboring states, as the issue of slavery was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation.
Newspaper coverages of the debates were intense. Major papers from Chicago sent stenographers to create complete texts of each debate, which newspapers across the United States reprinted in full, with some partisan edits. Newspapers that supported Douglas edited his speeches to remove any errors made by the stenographers and to correct grammatical errors, while they left Lincoln's speeches in the rough form in which they had been transcribed. In the same way, pro-Lincoln papers edited Lincoln's speeches, but left the Douglas texts as reported. After winning a plurality of the voters but losing in the legislature, Lincoln edited the texts of all the debates and had them published in a book; the widespread coverage of the original debates and the subsequent popularity of the book led to Lincoln's nomination for President of the United States by the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago. The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder."
The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates. Stephen Douglas was first elected to the United States Senate in 1846. In 1858, he was seeking re-election for a third term. During his time in the Senate, the issue of slavery was raised several times with respect to the Compromise of 1850; as chairman of the committee on territories, Douglas argued for an approach to slavery termed popular sovereignty. Decisions about whether slavery was permitted or prohibited within certain states and territories had been made at a federal level. Douglas was successful with passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854. Abraham Lincoln, like Douglas, had been elected to Congress in 1846, he served one two-year term in the House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Lincoln disagreed with Douglas and supported the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in new territory. Lincoln returned to politics in the 1850s to oppose the Kansas–Nebraska Act, help develop the new Republican party.
Before the debates, Lincoln said that Douglas was encouraging his fears of amalgamation of the races with enough success to drive thousands of people away from the Republican Party. Douglas tried to convince the Democrats, that Lincoln was an abolitionist for saying that the American Declaration of Independence did apply to blacks as well as whites. Lincoln called a self-evident truth "the electric cord... that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together" of different ethnic backgrounds. Lincoln argued in his House Divided Speech that Douglas was part of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery. Lincoln said that ending the Missouri Compromise ban on slavery in Kansas and Nebraska was the first step in this direction, that the Dred Scott decision was another step in the direction of spreading slavery into Northern territories. Lincoln expressed the fear. Both Lincoln and Douglas had opposition. Although Lincoln was a former Whig, the prominent former Whig Judge Theophilus Lyle Dickey said that Lincoln was too tied to the abolitionists, supported Douglas.
But Democratic President James Buchanan opposed Douglas for defeating the Lecompton Constitution, which would have made Kansas a slave state, set up a rival National Democratic party that drew votes away from him. The main theme of the Lincoln–Douglas debates was slavery the issue of slavery's expansion into the territories, it was Douglas's Kansas–Nebraska Act that repealed the Missouri Compromise's ban on slavery in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, replaced it with the doctrine of popular sovereignty, which meant that the people of a territory could decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. Lincoln said that popular sovereignty would perpetuate slavery. Douglas argued that both Whigs and Democrats believed in popular sovereignty and that the Compromise of 1850 was an example of this. Lincoln said that the national policy was to limit the spread of slavery, mentioned the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which banned slavery from a large part of the modern-day Midwest
Abraham Lincoln and slavery
Abraham Lincoln's position on slavery is one of the most discussed aspects of his life. Lincoln expressed moral opposition to slavery in public and private, he attempted to bring about the eventual extinction of slavery by stopping its further expansion into any U. S. by proposing compensated emancipation in the early part of his presidency. Lincoln stood by the Republican Party's platform of 1860 stating that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more U. S. territories. He worried that the extension of slavery in new western lands could block "free labor on free soil."As early as the 1850s, Lincoln had been politically attacked as an abolitionist. Howard Jones says that "in the prewar period, as well as into the first months of the American Civil War itself.... Lincoln believed it prudent to administer a slow death to slavery through gradual emancipation and voluntary colonization rather than to follow the abolitionist and demanding an immediate end to slavery without compensation to owners."
In 1863, Lincoln ordered the freedom of all slaves in the areas "in rebellion" and insisted on enforcement freeing millions of slaves, but he did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U. S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for the 1864 election. In 1842, Abraham Lincoln had married Mary Todd, a daughter of a slave-owning family from Kentucky. Lincoln returned to the political stage as a result of the 1854 Kansas–Nebraska Act and soon became a leading opponent of the "Slaveocracy"—the political power of the Southern slave owners; the Kansas–Nebraska Act, written to form the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, included language, designed by Stephen A. Douglas, which allowed the settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery in their region. Lincoln was outraged by the repeal of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36-30' parallel. During the Civil War, Lincoln used the war powers of the presidency to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, in January 1863..
It declared "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be thenceforward, forever free" but exempted border states and those areas of slave states not in rebellion and therefore beyond the reach of the constitutional war power to emancipate. It changed the legal status of all slaves in the affected areas, as soon as the Union Army arrived, it did liberate the slaves in that area. On the first day, it affected tens of thousands of slaves, but when the war ended, in April 1865, only about fifteen percent of the slaves had been freed. Full abolition was achieved that year, with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery everywhere in the United States. Lincoln was born on February 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky, his family attended a Separate Baptists church, which had strict moral standards and opposed alcohol and slavery. The family moved north across the Ohio River to free territory and made a new start in Perry County.
Lincoln noted that this move was "partly on account of slavery" but due to land title difficulties. As a young man, he settled in the free state of Illinois. Lincoln, the leader most associated with the end of slavery in the United States, came to national prominence in the 1850s, following the advent of the Republican Party, whose official position was that freedom was "national," the natural condition of all areas under the direct sovereignty of the Constitution, whereas slavery was exceptional and sectional. Earlier, as a member of the Whig Party in the Illinois General Assembly, Lincoln issued a written protest of the assembly's passage of a resolution stating that slavery should not be abolished in Washington, D. C. In 1841, he won a court case, representing a black woman and her children who claimed she had been freed and could not be sold as a slave. In 1845, he defended Marvin Pond for harboring the fugitive slave John Hauley. In 1847, he lost a case representing a slave owner claiming return of fugitive slaves.
While a congressman from Illinois in 1846 to 1848, Lincoln supported the Wilmot Proviso, which, if it had been adopted, would have banned slavery in any U. S. territory won from Mexico. Lincoln, in collaboration with abolitionist Congressman Joshua R. Giddings, wrote a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation for the owners, enforcement to capture fugitive slaves, a popular vote on the matter. After leaving Congress in 1849 Lincoln became somewhat less active in politics until he was drawn back into it by the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed territories to decide for themselves whether they would allow slavery. Lincoln was politically opposed to any expansion of it. At issue was extension into the western territories. On October 16, 1854, in his "Peoria Speech", Lincoln declared his opposition to slavery, which he repeated in his route to presidency. Speaking in his Kentucky accent, with a powerful voice, he said the Kansas Act had a "declared indifference, but as I must think, a covert real zeal for the spread of slavery.
I hate it. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world..."Impressed by the strength of anti-black racism in his
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral and political crisis, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, modernized the U. S. economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign, he ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery.
They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U. S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to restore the Union; as the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by distributing political patronage, by appealing to the American people, his Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, equal rights and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade; as the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign, he sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists.
A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero, he is ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U. S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, as the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, he was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, an Englishman who migrated from Hingham, Norfolk, to its namesake Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638. Samuel's grandson and great-grandson began the family's westward migration, passing through New Jersey and Virginia. Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved the family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, in the 1780s. Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian raid in 1786, his children, including eight-year-old Thomas, Abraham's father, witnessed the attack.
Thomas worked at odd jobs in Kentucky and in Tennessee, before settling with members of his family in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, is assumed to have been the daughter of Lucy Hanks, although no record documents this. Thomas and Nancy married on June 12, 1806, in Washington County, moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, they produced three children: Sarah, born on February 10, 1807. Thomas Lincoln leased farms in Kentucky. Thomas became embroiled in legal disputes, lost all but 200 acres of his land in court disputes over property titles. In 1816, the family moved to Indiana, where the survey process was more reliable and land titles were more secure. Indiana was a "free" territory, they settled in an "unbroken forest" in Hurricane Township, Perry County. In 1860, Lincoln noted that the family's move to Indiana was "partly on account of slavery", but due to land title difficulties. In Kentucky and Indiana, Thomas worked as a farmer and carpenter, he owned farms, town lots and livestock, paid taxes, sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, guarded prisoners.
Thomas and Nancy were members of a Separate Baptists church, which forbade alcohol and slavery. Overcoming financial challenges, Thomas obtained clear title to 80 acres of land in what became known as the Little Pigeon Creek Community. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving 11-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, 9-year-old Abraham, Dennis Hanks, Nancy's 19-year-old orphaned cousin; those who knew Lincoln recalled that he was distraught over his sister's death on January 20, 1828, while giving birth to a stillborn son. On December 2, 1819, Thomas married Sarah "Sally" Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, with three children of her own. Abraham became close to his stepmother, whom he referred t
1864 United States presidential election
The United States presidential election of 1864, the 20th quadrennial presidential election, was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1864. In the midst of the American Civil War, incumbent President Abraham Lincoln of the National Union Party defeated the Democratic nominee, former General George B. McClellan, by a wide margin of 221-21 electoral votes, with 55% of the popular vote. For the election, the Republican Party and some Democrats created the National Union Party to attract War Democrats. Despite some intra-party opposition from Salmon Chase and the Radical Republicans, Lincoln won his party's nomination at the 1864 National Union National Convention. Rather than re-nominate Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, the convention selected Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, a War Democrat, as Lincoln's running mate. John C. Frémont ran as the nominee of the Radical Democracy Party, which criticized Lincoln for being too moderate on the issue of racial equality, but Frémont withdrew from the race in September.
The Democrats were divided between the Copperheads, who favored immediate peace with the Confederacy, War Democrats, who wished to continue the war. The 1864 Democratic National Convention nominated McClellan, a War Democrat, but adopted a platform advocating peace with the Confederacy, which McClellan rejected. Despite his early fears of defeat, Lincoln won strong majorities in the popular and electoral vote as a result of the recent Union victory at the Battle of Atlanta; as the Civil War was still raging, no electoral votes were counted from any of the eleven southern states that had joined the Confederate States of America. Lincoln's re-election ensured. Lincoln's victory made him the first president to win re-election since Andrew Jackson in 1832, as well as the first Northern president to win re-election. Lincoln was assassinated less than two months into his second term, he was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, who had to work toward emancipation of all slaves; because Lincoln was elected on the National Union ticket, as the name the Republican Party used during the Civil War, he is technically the most-recent individual outside of the Republican or Democratic parties to win a presidential election.
The Presidential election of 1864 took place during the American Civil War. According to the Miller Center for the study of the presidency, the election was noteworthy for occurring at all, an unprecedented democratic exercise in the midst of a civil war. A group of Republican dissidents who called themselves Radical Republicans formed a party named the Radical Democracy Party and nominated John C. Frémont as their candidate for president. Frémont withdrew and endorsed Lincoln. In the Border States, War Democrats joined with Republicans as the National Union Party, with Lincoln at the head of the ticket; the National Union Party was a temporary name used to attract War Democrats and Border State Unionists who would not vote for the Republican Party. It faced off including Peace Democrats; the 1864 presidential election conventions of the parties are considered below in order of the party's popular vote. National Union candidates: Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant, Commanding General from Illinois As the Civil War progressed, political opinions within the Republican Party began to diverge.
Senators Charles Sumner and Henry Wilson from Massachusetts wanted the Republican Party to advocate constitutional amendments to prohibit slavery and guarantee racial equality before the law. Not all northern Republicans supported such measures. Democratic leaders hoped that the radical Republicans would put forth their own ticket in the election; the New York World interested in undermining the National Union Party, ran a series of articles predicting a delay for the National Union Convention until late in 1864 to allow Frémont time to collect delegates to win the nomination. Frémont supporters in New York City established a newspaper called the New Nation, which declared in one of its initial issues that the National Union Convention would be a "nonentity". Before the election, some War Democrats joined the Republicans to form the National Union Party. With the outcome of the Civil War still in doubt, some political leaders, including Salmon P. Chase, Benjamin Wade, Horace Greeley, opposed Lincoln's re-nomination on the grounds that he could not win.
Chase himself became the only candidate to contest Lincoln's re-nomination but he withdrew in March when a slew of Republican officials, including some within the state of Ohio upon whom Chase's campaign depended, endorsed Lincoln for re-nomination. Lincoln was still popular with most members of the Republican Party, the National Union Party nominated him for a second term as president at their convention in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 7–8, 1864; the party platform included these goals: "pursuit of the war, until the Confederacy surrendered unconditionally. It praised the use of black troops and Lincoln's management of the war. Andrew Johnson, the former senator from and current military governor of Tennessee, was named as Lincoln's vice presidential running-mate; the choice of Andrew Johnson as Lincoln's running mate was a politically calculated move by the Republican Party to ensure the electoral votes of the border states. Others who were considered for the nomination, at one point or another, were former Senator Daniel Dickinson, Major General Benjamin Butler, Major General William Rosecrans, Joseph
The Bureau of Refugees and Abandoned Lands referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, was an agency of the United States Department of War to "direct such issues of provisions and fuel, as he may deem needful for the immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children."The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which established the Freedmen's Bureau on March 3, 1865, was initiated by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War; the Freedmen's Bureau was an important agency of early Reconstruction, assisting freedmen in the South. The Bureau was made a part of the United States Department of War, as it was the only agency with an existing organization that could be assigned to the South. Headed by Union Army General Oliver O. Howard, the Bureau started operations in 1865. Throughout the first year, its representatives learned that these tasks would be difficult, as Southern legislatures passed laws for Black Codes that restricted movement, conditions of labor, other civil rights of African Americans, nearly duplicating conditions of slavery.
The Freedmen's Bureau controlled a limited amount of arable land. The Bureau's powers were expanded to help African Americans find family members from whom they had become separated during the war, it arranged to teach them to read and write, considered critical by the freedmen themselves as well as the government. Bureau agents served as legal advocates for African Americans in both local and national courts in cases dealing with family issues; the Bureau encouraged former major planters to rebuild their plantations and urged freed blacks to return to work for them, kept an eye on contracts between the newly free laborers and planters, pushed whites and blacks to work together in a free labor market as employers and employees rather than as masters and slaves. In 1866, Congress renewed the charter for the Bureau. U. S. President Andrew Johnson, a southern Democrat who had succeeded to the office following Lincoln's assassination, vetoed the bill because he believed that it encroached on states' rights, relied inappropriately on the military in peacetime, would prevent freed slaves from becoming independent by offering too much assistance.
By 1869, the Bureau had lost most of its funding at the hands of southern Democrats and as a result was forced to cut much of its staff. By 1870 the Bureau had been weakened further due to the rise of Ku Klux Klan violence across the South, whose members attacked both blacks and sympathetic white Republicans, including teachers. Northern Democrats were against the program painting it as a program that would make African Americans "lazy". In 1872, Congress abruptly abandoned the program, refusing to approve renewal authorizing legislation, it did not inform Howard, transferred to Arizona by U. S. President settlers. Grant's Secretary of War William W. Belknap was hostile to Howard's leadership and authority at the Bureau. Belknap aroused controversy among Republicans by his reassignment of Howard; the Bureau helped solve everyday problems of the newly freed slaves, such as obtaining clothing, water, health care, communication with family members, jobs. Between 1865 and 1869, it distributed 15 million rations of food to freed African Americans, set up a system by which planters could borrow rations in order to feed freedmen they employed.
Although the Bureau set aside $350,000 for this latter service, only $35,000 was borrowed by planters. Despite the good intentions and limited success of the Bureau, medical treatment of the freedmen was deficient. Most southern white doctors and nurses would not treat freedmen, infrastructure of many areas had been destroyed by the war, people had few means of improving sanitation. Blacks had little opportunity to develop their own medical personnel. In this period, epidemics of cholera and yellow fever were carried by travelers along the river corridors, breaking out across the South and causing high fatalities among the poor. Freedman's Bureau agents complained that freedwomen were refusing to contract their labor. One of the first actions black families took for independence was to withdraw women's labor from fieldwork; the Bureau attempted to force freedwomen to work by insisting that their husbands sign contracts making the whole family available as field labor in the cotton industry, by declaring that unemployed freedwomen should be treated as vagrants just as black men were.
The Bureau did allow some exceptions, such as married women with employed husbands, some "worthy" women, widowed or abandoned and had large families of small children to care for. "Unworthy" women, meaning the unruly and prostitutes, were the ones subjected to punishment for vagrancy. Under slavery, most marriages had been informal, as slaveholders refused to acknowledge slave marriages, they were not recognized, although planters presided over marriage ceremonies for their slaves. After the war, the Freedmen's Bureau performed numerous marriages for freed couples who asked for it; as many husbands and wives had been separated during wartime chaos, the Bureau agents helped families in their attempts to reunite after the war. The Bureau had an informal regional communications system that allowed agents to send inquiries and provide answers, it sometimes provided transportation to reunite families. Freedmen and freedwomen turned to the Bureau for assistance in resolving issues of abandonment and divorce.
The most recognized accomplishments of the Freedman's Bureau were in education. Prior to the Civil
1860 Republican National Convention
The 1860 Republican National Convention known as the 2nd Republican National Convention, was a nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States, held in Chicago, from May 16 to 18, 1860. The gathering nominated former U. S. Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for President of the United States and Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for Vice President. Lincoln's nomination was a surprise, as the favorite before the convention had been former Governor of New York and U. S. Senator William H. Seward. Lincoln's campaign manager, David Davis, is credited for Lincoln's victory over Thurlow Weed, Seward's campaign manager. Lincoln-Hamlin went on to defeat three other major tickets that year, including Democratic nominee Stephen A. Douglas, U. S. Senator from Illinois. By 1860 the dissolution of the Whig Party in America had become an accomplished fact, with establishment Whig politicians, former Free Soilers, a certain number of anti-Catholic populists from the Know Nothing movement flocking to the banner of the fledgling anti-slavery Republican Party.
While the Republican Presidential effort on behalf of the 43-year-old Colonel John C. Frémont in the 1856 election had met with failure, party gains were made throughout the Northern United States as the sectional crisis over slavery intensified. Party leaders sought to hold their 1860 nominating convention in the burgeoning Middle Western trade center of Chicago a city of some 110,000 people; the city had no sufficiently large meeting hall, so an appropriation was made for a temporary wood-frame assembly hall – known as the "Wigwam" – to seat ten thousand delegates and observers. The designed and constructed building proved well fit for the purpose, featuring excellent lines of sight and stellar acoustics, allowing an ordinary speaker to be heard throughout the room; the Convention commanded the interest and attention of a multitude of curious citizens who crowded the "Wigwam" to the rafters. Delegations were seated by state and the gathering was devoid of Southern participation, with no delegations attending from the slave states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
Delegation voting strength was loosely based upon the size of each state's congressional delegation, subject to some modification by the Credentials Committee, with the Northeastern delegations of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey constituting the largest regional block, surpassing the Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana and Iowa. Some 86 votes were apportioned to the six states of New England. Slave and border states with substantial delegations under the rules included Kentucky and Missouri; the total of all credentialed delegate votes was 466. With the convention called to order on May 16, former U. S. Representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania was elected temporary chairman of the gathering, he had been the author in 1848 of the Wilmot Proviso which would have banned slavery from new states incorporated into the Union. Upon his election, Wilmot delivered the keynote speech to the Convention, in which he declared that: A great sectional and aristocratic party, or interest, has for years dominated with a high hand over the political affairs of this country.
That interest has wrested, is now wresting, all the great powers of this government to the one object of the extension and nationalization of slavery. It is our purpose, gentlemen, it is the mission of the Republican Party and the basis of its organization, to resist this policy of a sectional interest.... It is our purpose and our policy to resist these new constitutional dogmas that slavery exists by virtue of the constitution wherever the banner of the Union floats. Organizational tasks filled the rest of the first day's activities, including the appointment of a Credentials Committee and a Resolutions Committee. There were no contested seats although a delegation purporting to represent the state of Texas was ruled ineligible by the Credentials Committee. A Platform Committee was named, including one delegate from every state and territory in attendance; this committee began its work at once and completed its task with a report on the evening of the second day, May 17. The reading of the platform, as drafted by the Platform Committee chaired by Judge William Jessup of Pennsylvania, was received with stormy applause and an immediate move followed to adopt the document unanimously and without amendments.
An effort followed to amend the platform after adoption with insertion of famous language from the Declaration of Independence that "All men are created equal. This Amendment was rejected by the convention, prompting a walkout by its proposer, long time Ohio Congressman Joshua Reed Giddings; the matter was hastily reconsidered by the Convention, with the addition of the amendment the disgruntled Mr. Giddings returned to his seat, crisis resolved; the 1860 Republican platform consisted of 17 declarations of principle, of which 10 dealt directly with the issues of free soil principles, the Fugitive Slave Act, the preservation of the Union, while the remaining 7 dealing with other issues. Clauses 12 through 16 of the platform called for a protective tariff, enactment of the Homestead Act, freedom of immigration into the United States and full rights to all immigrant citizens, internal improvements, the construction of a Pacific railroad. In addition to the preservation of the Union, all five of these additional promises were enacted by the Thirty-seventh Congress and implemented by Abraham Lincoln or the presidents who succ