Saw the movie Lincoln…2 questions related to the passage of the 13th amendment

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    Just saw the movie Lincoln this past weekend. I’ll just say that I didn’t know the second coming of Jesus happened in 1865. Anyway, there were 2 instances in the film which made me wonder if they were based in fact or just Hollywood BS.

    1.) As the House is voting on the 13th amendment, the speaker of the House suddenly chimes in and claims that he wants to vote. After first saying that this isn’t allowed, a speaker from the anti-amendment camp says that this is “highly irregular”. I forget the exact quote, but the speaker is asked what’s his vote and he basically responds, “Yes…duh!” It turns out that the amendment passes by a margin of 2 votes. Did this actually happen?

    2.) After the amendment is passed, Thaddeus Stevens walks up to the speaker and takes the actual parchment the amendment is written on. Stevens then takes it home and shows it to his black housekeeper/mistress. Did this actually happen?



    Can any of the professors (or anyone really) weigh in on this? Thanks.



    Question 1: Yes, that happened. The scoundrel and corrupt Colfax voted yea, breaking precedent.

    Question 2: I am not sure. The one biography I have on hand does not mention it, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.


    Interesting. I can’t believe people eat stuff like that up. Even if you believe that Lincoln truly hated slavery his whole life, the movie essentially glorifies the idea that the ends justifies the means. Lincoln can bribe people, lie to Congress regarding peace negotiations with the South, and the speaker can break precedent and vote and it’s all okay as the long the end goal is good. It’s amazing that people can’t understand that this is totally unsustainable and ripe for abuse.


    I just can’t see how people that speak so dearly of freedom and inalienable rights, past, present and future, could be so protecting of a situation that supports slavery of any form. Did the founders mean to have a system that would reduce the use of slavery until it was gone or not? Where is the push back on a society that has closed the door on freeing slaves for practical purposes? I saw the movie, Lincoln, and I have a difficult time bashing the notion of voting for the 13 amendment.


    Slavery was left to the individual states by the Constitution.

    What do you mean by “push back?”

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