Free Labor! Free Land! Free Men!
So went the mantra of the Republican Party in 1856. On this day in 1856, the Republican National Party met in Pittsburgh to finalize plans for its first national convention, four months later. Philadelphia was selected and California senator, John C. Freemont, was nominated as the first Republican presidential candidate.
A few other interesting notes on the (early) GOP:
– The party was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery progressives;
– The party was principally Northerners, united in opposition to Southern Democrats and the Know Nothings who dominated the South.
– The party’s first elected president was Abraham Lincoln. It’s most recent, George W. Bush.
Though I’m not a Republican, I do like elephants. The photo, above, shows a stoneware pachyderm by Danish sculptor Knud Kyhn.