1860 Republican Party Platform

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Brigadier General
Forum Host
Apr 11, 2016
NE Georgia - SC
1860 Republican Party Platform
The 1860 Republican Party convention in Chicago created a platform that clearly opposed the expansion of slavery in the West and the reopening of the slave trade. However, nothing in the document claimed that the government had the power to eliminate slavery where it already existed. Controversies over slavery suffuse the platform, but maybe even more noticeable is the importance of the West to the Republican Party.

Resolved, That we, the delegated representatives of the Republican electors of the United States in Convention assembled, in discharge of the duty we owe to our constituents and our country, unite in the following declarations:

  1. That the history of the nation during the last four years, has fully established the propriety and necessity of the organization and perpetuation of the Republican party, and that the causes which called it into existence are permanent in their nature, and now, more than ever before, demand its peaceful and constitutional triumph.
  2. That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution, “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the Rights of the States, and the Union of the States must and shall be preserved.
  3. That to the Union of the States this nation owes its unprecedented increase in population, its surprising development of material resources, its rapid augmentation of wealth, its happiness at home and its honor abroad; and we hold in abhorrence all schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they may. And we congratulate the country that no Republican member of Congress has uttered or countenanced the threats of disunion so often made by Democratic members, without rebuke and with applause from their political associates; and we denounce those threats of disunion, in case of a popular overthrow of their ascendency as denying the vital principles of a free government, and as an avowal of contemplated treason, which it is the imperative duty of an indignant people sternly to rebuke and forever silence.
  4. That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the states, and especially the right of each state to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of powers on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any state or territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
  5. That the present Democratic Administration has far exceeded our worst apprehensions, in its measureless subserviency to the exactions of a sectional interest, as especially evinced in its desperate exertions to force the infamous Lecompton Constitution upon the protesting people of Kansas; in construing the personal relations between master and servant to involve an unqualified property in persons; in its attempted enforcement everywhere, on land and sea, through the intervention of Congress and of the Federal Courts of the extreme pretensions of a purely local interest; and in its general and unvarying abuse of the power intrusted to it by a confiding people.
  6. That the people justly view with alarm the reckless extravagance which pervades every department of the Federal Government; that a return to rigid economy and accountability is indispensable to arrest the systematic plunder of the public treasury by favored partisans; while the recent startling developments of frauds and corruptions at the Federal metropolis, show that an entire change of administration is imperatively demanded.
  7. That the new dogma that the Constitution, of its own force, carries slavery into any or all of the territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent; is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country.
  8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom: That, as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that “no persons should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law,” it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to givelegal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.
  9. That we brand the recent reopening of the African slave trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity and a burning shame to our country and age; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic
  10. That in the recent vetoes, by their Federal Governors, of the acts of the legislatures of Kansas and Nebraska, prohibiting slavery in those territories, we find a practical illustration of the boasted Democratic principle of Non-Intervention and Popular Sovereignty, embodied in the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and a demonstration of the deception and fraud involved therein.
  11. That Kansas should, of right, be immediately admitted as a state under the Constitution recently formed and adopted by her people, and accepted by the House of Representatives.
  12. That, while providing revenue for the support of the general government by duties upon imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imports as to encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole country; and we commend that policy of national exchanges, which secures to the workingmen liberal wages, to agriculture remunerative prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor, and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.
  13. That we protest against any sale or alienation to others of the public lands held by actual settlers, and against any view of the free-homestead policy which regards the settlers as paupers or suppliants for public bounty; and we demand the passage by Congress of the complete and satisfactory homestead measure which has already passed the House.
  14. That the Republican party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws or any state legislation by which the rights of citizens hitherto accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.
  15. That appropriations by Congress for river and harbor improvements of a national character, required for the accommodation and security of an existing commerce, are authorized by the Constitution, and justified by the obligation of Government to protect the lives and property of its citizens.
  16. That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean is imperatively demanded by the interests of the whole country; that the federal government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its construction; and that, as preliminary thereto, a daily overland mail should be promptly established.

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Presidential Candidate Profile:

Abraham Lincoln:

Born: February 12, 1809

Birthplace: Hodgenville Kentucky

Father: Thomas Lincoln 1778 – 1851

(Buried: Thomas Lincoln Cemetery Pleasant Grove Township Illinois)

Mother: Nancy Hanks Lincoln 1784 – 1818

(Buried: Lincoln Boyhood National Monument Lincoln City Indiana)

Stepmother: Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln 1788 – 1869

(Buried: Thomas Lincoln Cemetery Pleasant Grove Township Illinois)

Wife: Mary Todd Lincoln 1818 – 1882

(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery Springfield Illinois)


Robert Todd Lincoln 1843 – 1926

(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery Arlington Virginia)

Edward Baker Lincoln 1846 – 1850

(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery Springfield Illinois)

William Wallace Lincoln 1850 – 1862

(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery Springfield Illinois)

Thomas “Tad” Lincoln II 1853 – 1871

(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery Springfield Illinois)

Occupation before war:

Partner in a General Store in Salem Illinois

1832: Served in the Black Hawk War rising to rank of Captain

Unsuccessful Candidate for Illinois State Representative

1833 – 1836: United States Postmaster for New Salem Illinois

1834 – 1836: Deputy County Surveyor in Illinois

1834 – 1840: Illinois State Representative

1837 – 1847: Attorney in Springfield Illinois

1847 – 1849: United States Representative from Illinois

1849 – 1861: Attorney in Springfield Illinois

1855: Unsuccessful Candidate for United States Senator

1858: Unsuccessful Candidate for United States Senator

1858: Leader in Lincoln – Douglas Debates

Vice Presidential Candidate Profile:

Hannibal Hamlin:

Born: August 27, 1809

Birthplace: Paris Maine

Father: Cyrus Hamlin 1769 – 1829

(Buried: Hillside Cemetery Paris Maine)

Mother: Anna Livermore Hamlin 1775 – 1852

(Buried: Hillside Cemetery Paris Maine)

1stWife: Sarah Jane Emery Hamlin 1815 – 1855

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)

2ndWife: Ellen Vesta Emery Hamlin 1835 – 1925

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)


George Emery Hamlin 1835 – 1844

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)

Bvt. Brig. General Charles Hamlin 1837 – 1911

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)

Brig. General Cyrus Hamlin 1839 – 1867

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)

George Emery Hamlin 1848 – 1849

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)

Frank Hamlin 1862 – 1922

(Buried: Mount Hope Cemetery Bangor Maine)

Occupation before War:

Farm Manager of his family's farm

1833 – 1848: Attorney in Hampden Maine

1836 – 1841: Maine State Representative

1840: Unsuccessful Candidate for United States Representative

1843 – 1847: United States Representative from Maine

1847: Maine State Representative

1848 – 1857: United States Senator from Maine

1857: Governor of Maine

1857 – Present: United States Senator from Maine

* Please note profiles are written up to the year 1860 Present means serving in 1860*


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Saint Jude

First Sergeant
Oct 15, 2018
Thanks for posting this for the benefit of those who aren't aware of the platform the Republicans were running on in 1860. Is there some particular point you want members to discuss?
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