On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Republican Party organized

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Republican Party organized
Print of LaFayette Hall, where the first Republican convention was held Feb. 22, 1856. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

June 4-5, 1867

When the national Republican Party first organized in 1854 with an anti-slavery platform, it did not compete in Southern states. Indeed, its 1860 nominee for president, Abraham Lincoln, did not appear on Alabama’s ballot. But the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction brought sweeping changes, and on June 4 and 5, 1867, the Alabama Republican Party held its first convention in Montgomery. A year later, William Hugh Smith was elected the state’s first Republican governor. During much of Reconstruction, Republicans dominated the Legislature and were responsible for electing the first African Americans to the statehouse. The 1868 election, for example, brought 27 African American Republicans into the Legislature.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama and the History of the Alabama G.O.P. 

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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