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Free-Soil Party
Civil War Encyclopedia >> Politics
August 9, 1848
August 10, 1848
The Free-Soil party is formed by dissatisfied Democrats and former Liberty Party members at a convention in Buffalo, N. Y. with delegates from all free states and Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. They nominate Martin Van Buren for President and Charles Francis Adams for Vice-President.
  Charles Sumner
  Election of 1848
  Martin Van Buren
  Salmon P. Chase
August 11, 1852 Free-Soil Party convention is held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania
  Election of 1852

Founded by disgruntled anti-slavery Democrats who pledged to support the Wilmot Proviso, the Freesoil Party showed some success in wooing the abolitionist vote in both the 1848 and 1852 elections. Major issues for the party included admission of the state of California as a free state and the passing of the Wilmot Proviso in the Senate. In addition to David Wilmot, the party claimed a pretty impressive roster - Martin Van Buren, Salmon Chase and John Hale.

In spite of the fact that neither the Whig or Democratic Party would endorse the Proviso, by November, 1849, each of the Northern States legislatures had passed resolutions supporting the Proviso, but with the Senate divided along regional lines, there was little chance the resolutions would have an effect in Congress. It did have an effect among the Southern planters. Increasingly, this vocal bloc of voters became fearful that they would lose the "right" to hold slaves and that the federal government would essentially take their property without re-imbursement.

In February, 1856 the last Free-soil congressman joined the Republican Party.

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Free-Soil Party was added in 2005

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