The origin of the Republican Party
@ Wisconsin Historical Society
Gilman, A. F
DescriptionThe need for a new party that would oppose slavery was felt strongly in many parts of the north during the early months of 1854. Meetings were held in Michigan, New York, and other states besides Wisconsin as the momentum built. The name was first publicly applied to this movement in a June 1854 editorial by New York editor Horace Greeley, who said it would "fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery." The first convention of the new party was only held in Pittsburgh on February 22, 1856. In the pamphlet given here, Ripon College Professor A.F. Gilman discussed Wisconsin's claim to the title of birthplace of the Republican Party. Whether one accepts that claim depends largely on what one means by the words "birthplace" and "party." Modern reference books, acknowledging this ambiguity, nevertheless cite Ripon as the birthplace of the organized movement to form the party
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