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Hannibal Hamlin, Wilmot Proviso (American National Biography)

Scholarship

H. Draper Hunt, "Hamlin, Hannibal," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00459.html.

Handily elected as a Jacksonian Democrat in 1835, Hamlin served six one-year terms in the Maine House of Representatives (1836-1841, 1847), three of them as Speaker. He fought unsuccessfully to abolish capital punishment and championed the right of antislavery petitions to be fully aired, condemning slavery as a plague.

In 1843 Hamlin was elected to Congress, serving two terms in the House. Hamlin fought at John Quincy Adams's side to rescind the "gag rule," which barred abolitionist petitions from consideration by the House. He opposed Texas annexation on antislavery grounds and saw the Mexican War as a southern plot to expand the "peculiar institution." Hamlin helped formulate the Wilmot Proviso, which proposed to ban slavery from any territory acquired from Mexico.

How to Cite This Page: "Hannibal Hamlin, Wilmot Proviso (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/18530.