For example, today marks Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia. Does Demonratic mayor Fenty mention the way the political spectrum broke out in the middle of the nineteenth century? Ha!
...the Republican Party freed the slaves in DC. And yes, the Democratic Party opposed freeing the slaves in DC – a fact which Democrats today dare not mention.
During the Civil War, one of the nation’s leading abolitionists was Senator Henry Wilson (R-MA), who would later serve as Vice President in the Ulysses Grant administration. In December 1861, Senator Wilson introduced a bill to abolish slavery in the District. The measure met with parliamentary obstacles from the Democrats, but Ben Wade (R-OH) outmaneuvered them. Six years later, had the bitterly racist Democrat, Andrew Johnson, been convicted during his impeachment trial, Senator Wade would have become President of the United States.
On April 16, 1862, the Republican-controlled 37th Congress passed Senator Wilson’s bill. Overall, 99% of Republicans voted to free the slaves in the District of Columbia, while 83% of Democrats voted to keep them in chains. That day, the GOP freed more than three thousand African-Americans. Among them was Philip Reid, who while enslaved had made the statue that stands atop the dome of the U.S. Capitol.