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Freedom from Slavery

President Abraham Lincoln
with Sojouner Truth

June 7th, 1864, the Chairman of the Republican National Convention, Senator Edwin Morgan, opened the national convention. At the suggestion of President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL), he did so with a brief statement:

“The party of which you, gentlemen, are the delegated and honored representatives, will fall far short of accomplishing its great mission, unless among its other resolves it shall declare for such an amendment of the Constitution as will positively prohibit African slavery in the United States.”

Inspired by Chairman Morgan’s leadership, delegates made abolishing slavery part of the platform. And so, Republicans entered the 1864 presidential campaign determined to defeat the Democrats’ pro-slavery policies once and for all. The 13th Amendment was passed by congressional Republicans seven months later and ratified within the year.