True Christians were working to end slavery in the American colonies long before the Revolutionary War. For instance, few know of the account when a slave ship arrived in Massachusetts Colony that its captain and crew were arrested and imprisoned by the Christian Pilgrims and Puritans and their kidnapped slaves were returned to Africa at the Colony’s expense.1
An act like this was a big deal because the British Empire still deemed it perfectly legal to be involved in the kidnapping, shipment and sale of African slaves at the time. Eventually though the Revolutionary War would come and go, and a new war, within the confines of the freshly minted American government, to allow slavery or outlaw it would begin.
Representation was a major issue before the Founding Fathers when they debated the Constitution. Southern colony slave holding fathers wanted naturally to increase their political power by stacking the proposed Congress with as many like-minded reps as they could; as did the anti-Slavers. The 3/5ths Clause was an eventual compromise on the matter.
Unfortunately too many in the modern era confuse the 3/5th Clause as being something to do with the value of a black human being. The only problem is it didn’t. It had everything to do with limiting slave holding state representation in Congress. The pro-slaver Founding Fathers argued that they wanted to count their “property” (their slaves) to get extra representatives in Congress. The anti-slave Founders argued that if the pro-slavers were going to count their property then they should be allowed to count their chickens, cows, etc. to increase their representation in Congress too. A compromise was made that only 60% of slaves, that is, three-fifths of slaves would be counted to calculate the number of southern representatives in Congress. In other words it would take 50,000 rather than just 30,000 before a slave holding state could seat an additional representative in Congress.
1789: Congress, (controlled by Abolitionists) almost immediately after ratifying the Constitution, expanded its fight to end slavery by passing the Northwest Ordinance. This made it mandatory that the federal territories (which encompassed the land that would one day become the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin) were to be Free states.
1808: Congress (still controlled by Abolitionists) abolished the slave law trade by barring all importing or exporting of slaves from the continental U.S. Of course, slavery still legally occurred within the states, (due to a state’s sovereignty right), an issue that would fester, leading to the American Civil War.
1820: The Democrat party (the political party of slaveholders) became the majority party in Congress. Soon after being seated the Democrat controlled Congress passed the Missouri Compromise which reduced the Northwest Ordinance’s authority to almost half of the federal territories. After several of the territories became states, Congress, held by Democrats, officially promoted the slave trade.
1850: The Democrat controlled Congress (still the exclusive political party of slaveholders) passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which required northerners to return runaway slaves to the south or pay huge fines. This gave slave hunters an excuse to enter free-states, kidnap any black accused of being a runaway slave and there was no right of due process for the victim.
1854: The Democrat controlled Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which repealed any portion of the Northwest Ordinance that affected the Kansas & Nebraska Territories (the future states of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North & South Dakota).
1854: Anti-slavery Congressional Democrats, with anti-slavers from the Whigs, Free-Soilers, and the Emancipationists parties join and create a political party dedicated to fighting slavery and securing equal rights for black Americans. They called it the Republican Party because they wanted it to be the one to return to the Christian principles of freedom and equality first set forth in the birth documents of the nation.
1856: In the presidential race of that year, the GOP’s first, the party platform was composed of nine planks, six of which stated bold declarations of equality and civil rights for African Americans. Meanwhile the Democrat’s platform strongly defended slavery.
1857: Pro-slavery Senate Democrats packed the U.S. Supreme Court which eventually delivered the Dred Scott decision, declaring that black people were not people at all, but rather property with no entitlement to civil rights.
1860: During the presidential race of that year, the Democrat party was split (Northern state party members vs. Southern state party members) over the slavery issue, Republican Abraham Lincoln won the presidential race by 40% of the popular vote and 59% of the electoral college vote. Republicans also won control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1820. So, when Lincoln won the election, southern Democrats saw that their pro-slavery effort were going to be overturned and they walked out of Congress to form the “Slaveholding” Confederate States of America.
1862: While controlling Congress the Republicans outlawed slavery in Washington D.C., and enacted The Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1st, 1863
1864: Republicans passed the Freedman’s Bureau, and a law equalizing military pay for all soldiers, black or white. They also repealed the Fugitive Slave Law over the almost overwhelming disapproval of the northern Democrats who still held seats in the Congress. During the presidential race of that year the Democratic ticket was headed by northern Democrat, and Union Army General, George McClellan, an officer Lincoln had to fire twice. McClellan had a habit of failing to aggressively engage the enemy. Speculation was his known sympathies for the Confederate cause to promote slavery. The Republican’s party platform called for, among other things, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, freeing African Americans.
1865: With the wars end Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery nationwide. All 118 Republican members of the Congress voted for it. Only 19 of the 82 northern Democrats voted for it. After its passage, Rev. Henry Highland Garnet was invited by every Republican Party member of Congress (but not one Democrat) to be the first black American to address the Congress. He obliged his Republican friends and delivered a stirring sermon on February 12, 1865.
Post Civil War Era
1867: Soon after the end of the Civil War blacks in many states formed political parties. In Texas, 150 blacks and 20 whites formed the Republican Party of Texas. Meanwhile, loyal to the pro-slavery cause Democrats were required in all of the southern states to take a loyalty oath before voting. They were asked to swear their allegiance to the United States, and to respect the civil rights of their black neighbors. Many Democrats refused. So, with so many so many of them unable to vote the Republican party held a majority in many southern states leading many southern legislatures for the first time to have blacks seated in them. For instance, the first 42 blacks elected to the state legislature in Texas were all Republicans
In Louisiana the first 95 black state house members were Republicans, as were the first 32 in its Senate. In Alabama the first 103 state house blacks were GOP members, likewise the first 112 in Mississippi, and 190 in South Carolina. But the Democrats in Georgia weren’t going to hold still and let such unworthy usurpers hold office. They acknowledged that a black person had a right to be elected to office but not to occupy that office. So they expelled all 31 newly elected black members from their legislature, helping them keep their Democrat majority.
Spiteful Democrats and their white supremacists allies (like the Klan) found innovative ways to terrorize and regulate the day to day lives of blacks with things as “Black Codes”, Jim Crowe Laws, “Midnight Rides” and the Poll Tax. Scaring blacks either from registering to vote, showing up at the polls, or running for office were keen in their minds. In fact, Democrats wouldn’t elect a single black person to the U.S. Congress until 1935. Arthur Wergs Mitchell was elected to represent Illinois, one of the states barred from being a slave haven thanks to the Northwest Ordinance, of 1789.
The first black persons elected to Congress from a southern state didn’t come along until 1973 (Barbara Jordan of Texas & Andrew Young of Georgia), which happened when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the gerrymandered district lines that southern Democratic legislatures had drawn to keep blacks from being elected.2
1866: Southern pro-slavery Democrats formed a national group dedicated to breaking down the Republican party held government at the state and federal level so their like-minded friends could take control of them. The group: The Ku Klux Klan. The evidence is clear that the KKK and the Democrat party were vital to each other.3 A committee of Congress would investigate and confirm this mutual relationship between the KKK and the party of the jack-ass.3
“Often the distinction between terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux and the White League and legal groups such as the Democrat Precinct Clubs was not clear. On at least one occasion people were ordered to leave the county by a local Democrat Club with a threat of violence and, because of a well-founded fear, they did leave. In Pike County the Democrats purchased a supply of gun powder and kept up a pine log cannonade all night on the eve of the election of 1876. This reinforced the impression made by the midnight ride around the county by mounted Democrats. They created the strong impression that there was, indeed, little distinction between the Democrat Party and the White League and the KKK.”4 We shouldn’t forget about the Knights of the White Camellia, and the White League, other Democrat friendly white racist groups that terrorized Louisiana.
Meanwhile, The Klan targeted white and black Republicans all over the south, performing lynching’s, voter intimidation, registering dead people to vote, ballot box stuffing, instituting election literacy testing, etc.
Also in 1866, 127 black legislators and a black lieutenant governor, P.B.S. Pinchback, were elected that year. But prior to the elections the Klan struck in New Orleans on July 30th. On that day at the Republican Convention it and their friends, the Democrats- conspired with the New Orleans city police, and physically attacked convention attendees, killing 40 blacks, 20 whites, and wounding 150 others.
Republicans in the Congress meanwhile pass a bill making it illegal to deprive a person of a civil liberty because of his race, color, or previous servitude. Naturally, Democrat President Andrew Johnson vetoed it.5 Republicans in the Congress overrode his veto and the bill became law. The Republicans also passed a bill that year, one to outlaw slave-hunting, and another that protected marriages of blacks.
1868: When the 14th Amendment (which declared that former slaves were full citizens of the U.S. and entitled to all the rights & privileges of citizenship) was enacted 94 percent of Republicans in Congress voted for its passage. Not one Democrat, in the House or Senate, voted for it.6
Also, in 1868 the national Democrat Party’s leadership consisted of 25 former Rebel generals, 30 former Rebel colonels, and 10 former Majors, among others. Nearly 20% of the Democrat party’s membership to its 1868 national party convention were either former Civil War officers, or pro-slavery political leaders. For instance, former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Tennessee slave owner, and infamous for the slaughter of captured black soldiers at Fort Pillow, and the Klan’s first Grand Wizard, was the convention’s honored leader.
That same year (1868) many state legislatures, packed with black GOP party members, re-drafted their constitutions to reflect the citizenship of blacks. On all state fronts there was heavy resistance from Democrats. In fact in Mississippi blacks that traveled to polls to vote on their state’s new constitution were attacked violently, along with Republican officials who conducted the elections. Federal troops had to quell the violence, and a congressional committee (the Congressional Committee on Reconstruction) investigated the matter.
One witness to the committee, a black Mississippi state election worker named Robert Flournoy, testified on 12/15/1868, that as an elections canvasser he only found one African American inside the state of Mississippi who professed to be a Democrat.7
1870: The 15th Amendment to the Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights for blacks) was passed by the exclusive vote of the Republicans in Congress. Not one member of the 56 Democrat party delegation voted for it.8
1875: Democrats rushed the Louisiana state house in January to forcibly evict the duly elected black representatives there. Federal troops were called in to restore order and to return the black representatives to their lawfully elected seats. A congressional investigation into the riots recorded the testimony of witnesses who were there.9 There were more violent attacks by Democrats and their friends in the KKK in other states as well.
Also in 1875: Republicans in Congress passed another civil rights bill that would give blacks even more full citizenship. Not one Democrat in the House or Senate voted for it. Sadly, this would be the last legislation that would be friendly to the black citizenship cause from Republicans for another 89 years. Why? The Democrats would gain control of the U.S. House in 1876 for the first time since 1865. With a divided Congress, Democrats in the House would continue to block any further progress in the civil rights area until the middle of the 20th Century.
1952: Republican Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower is elected President and he issues executive orders ending segregation in the District of Columbia, and all federal agencies. He appointed the first ever black American- Fredrick Morrow- to an executive position on the White House staff. Ike proposed vigorous civil rights legislation for blacks but it was blocked by the Congressional Democrats.
After his re-election in 1956 his bold 1957 Civil Rights Bill, designed to increase black voting rights and protections was watered down in the Democrat controlled House and Senate. In fact, in the Senate, Ike’s bill was filibustered by then segregationist Democrat Senator Strom Thurmond, who set an all-time record for the longest individual filibuster speech ever given- over 24 hours long. The bill made it through the Senate and was passed in the House but it was gutted and watered down considerably; but it did establish a Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Justice Department. Ike’s bill also established a Civil Right Commission which publicized the effects of southern segregation and racial oppression.
1963: President John F. Kennedy, sent a major civil rights bill to Congress, based on the findings of Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Right Commission. Unfortunately, Kennedy was assassinated before it ever became law. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrat, picked up the mantel for Kennedy but even he faced stiff opposition in the Congress from his own party members. Democrat Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former KKK recruiter, Grand Wizard, and Exalted Cyclops, led the opposition to the bill in the Senate, with lengthy filibuster speeches.
1964: Democrats had 315 members in Congress, almost two-thirds of both the House and the Senate. Of the 315 only 198 voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act (banning discrimination in voting, education, accommodations & employment), and the Voting Rights Act (which banned voter literacy tests & authorized the federal government to oversee voter registrations & elections in the southern, Democrat controlled counties where literacy tests were used to disqualify black voters). It was 83% of the office holding Republicans who came to President Johnson’s aid to make the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the law of the land.10
Also in 1964, the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing the poll tax in federal elections, was passed by 91% of the Republicans in the Congress; a much higher percentage than among the Democrats. In fact, in the Senate 15 of the 16 senators who were against its passage were Democrats. Within a year almost 500,000 southern black Americans were registered to vote for the first time. In Mississippi in 1960, only 5% of blacks were registered to vote. In 1968, 60% were registered. Blacks serving in the federal and state legislatures rose from 2 in 1960, to 160 in 1990.
It’s pretty clear that there was and still is a collection of individuals who belong to and pay homage to the chief ambition of denying Christ’s intention for all of His human creations to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and it is not true believers in Jesus Christ.
From the beginning of the entire sorted affair, from the nation’s founding to the present, the proof is there that the true friends of the African slave and his descendants were real Christians of all stripes, and those in the Republican Party who sought to liberate them. The historical record clearly shows that the folks bent on keeping African Americans on the proverbial southern and the 21st Century government plantation, were and continue to be members of the Democrat political party. Oh yes, some of them even consider themselves to be Christians, but they were not and are not.
It’s telling then as now when only 13% of sitting Democrats in the House of Representatives agreed with a constitutional amendment to allow public school prayer despite the fact that over 80% of the citizenry approved of it. 80% of the citizens approve of the public display of the Ten Commandments but only 21% of Democrats are for it. More and more American’s find abortion repulsive while the vast majority of Democrats are for it. The historical facts and Christ’s teachings, in opposition to what the Democrat party has and does stand for regarding these issues of the day speak for themselves.
- W.O. Blake, The History of Slavery and the Slave Trade (Columbus: J. & H. Miller, 1858), pp.370-371.
- South Carolina vs. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301, 311 (1966) & Gomillion vs. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339, 346-348 (1960).
- House of Reps. Mis. Doc. No.53, p. 23.
- A thirteen volume titled Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire Into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States (New York: AMS Press, 1968).
- Phillip Mullins, “The Ancestors of George and Hazel Mullins: Democratic and Republican Parties Compete for Power, chapter 12.
- A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. 8, pp. 3603-3611, veto message by President Andrew Johnson, March 27, 1866.
- Journal of the House of Representatives (Washington Government Printing Office, 1866) Vol. 63, pp. 833-834, June 13, 1866. Journal of the U.S. Senate (Washington Printing Office, 1865) Vol. 58, p, 505, June 8, 1866.
- House of Reps. Mis. Doc. No.53, p. 23.
- Journal of the House of Representatives, pp. 449-450, 40th Congress, 3rd Session, February 25, 1869 & Journal of the U.S. Senate, p. 361, 40th Congress, 3rd Session, February 25, 1869.
- House of Representatives Report No. 16, “New Orleans Riots” 39th Congress, 2nd Session, February 11, 1867.
- Congressional Quarterly, 1965, Vol. 20, pp. 606, 696, 88th Congress, 2nd Session, vote on the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, February 10, 1964.
Contributions from Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, by David Barton ©2004. Get your copy of David Barton’s revealing and historically accurate account of the true political party of racism at wallbuilders.com