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David Wilmot, Republican Party (American National Biography)

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Frederick J. Blue, "Wilmot, David," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01063.html.
Helping to organize the initial national Republican meeting in Pittsburgh in February 1856, he chaired the platform committee of the Republican nominating convention in Philadelphia later that year. He vigorously campaigned for the party's nominee, John C. Frémont, and the following year ran unsuccessfully for governor. In both instances Wilmot was closely identified with the Republican position of preventing the expansion of slavery, a stance that, because of the influence of Buchanan, who was now president, was not as popular in Pennsylvania as in many other parts of the North. Wilmot's continued opposition to protective tariffs and the still-nascent state of the Republican party further weakened his candidacy.

At the Republican convention in Chicago in 1860, Wilmot supported Abraham Lincoln despite the candidacy of fellow Pennsylvanian Simon Cameron. Considered by Lincoln for a cabinet position, he instead was chosen by the legislature for a short Senate term (1861-1863). There his work was undistinguished and was characterized by loyal support of Lincoln's policies. Supportive of the numerous measures weakening slavery, he took special pleasure in the 1862 law that adopted the proviso's principle and banned slavery in all territories. At the conclusion of his Senate term Wilmot was appointed by Lincoln to be a judge on the newly created Court of Claims, on which he served until his death at his home in Towanda.

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How to Cite This Page: "David Wilmot, Republican Party (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/24062.