February 6, 2013
LINCOLN MOVIE INACCURATE ON CONNECTICUT'S VOTE ON 13TH AMENDMENT
Hartford, Connecticut (JFK+50) The motion picture "LINCOLN" has won deserved acclaim. The Dreamworks production, directed by Steven Spielberg, has earned 12 Oscar nominations & $170 million.
Connecticut congressman Joe Courtney*, however, has pointed out a fly in the buttermilk.
Congressman Joe Courtney
110th US Congress Portrait
*Joseph "Joe" Courtney, born in Hartford in 1953, graduated from Tufts University & earned a law degree at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He served in the Connecticut House of Representatives 1987-1994 & was elected to the US Congress in 2008, re-elected in 2010.
In a recent viewing of the film, Mr. Courtney witnessed the scene in which 2 congressmen representing his state vote AGAINST the 13th Amendment.**
**The 13th Amendment requires that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States."
It seemed incredible to the congressman that his state's representatives would have voted against the amendment.
He did some quick research online & then asked the Congressional Research Service to verify his findings.
It turns out that the movie is inaccurate.
ALL 4 Connecticut congressmen, in January 1865, voted FOR the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.***
***Augustus Brandegee, Henry Champion Deming, James Edward English, & John Henry Hubbard voted FOR the 13th Amendment.
Connecticut Senators James Dixon & Lafayette S. Foster voted FOR the 13th Amendment in the United States Senate.
Congressman Courtney has requested that this inaccuracy be corrected in the "LINCOLN" DVD.
The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln. The supporting cast includes Sally Field & Tommy Lee Jones.
The Senate passed the 13th Amendment on April 8, 1864 by a vote of 38 to 6. The House of Representatives followed on January 31, 1865 by a vote of 119 to 76.
TENNESSEE was the 20th state to ratify the amendment on April 7, 1865.
Although President Lincoln signed the amendment after ratification by the required majority of the states, his signature was not legally required.
"Connecticut Congressman sees factual flaw in 'Lincoln,'" George Mason University's History News Network, www.hnn.us/
"Passage of the 13th Amendment," Mr. Lincoln's White House, www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/
"Historic Documents & Legacy Collections," Seth Kaller, Inc. www.sethkaller.com/13th-amendment/bio-sketch/
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Congratulations to Congressman Courtney for pointing out this inaccuracy in the movie. I saw LINCOLN last month with a fellow history teacher. We both have 80 years of teaching US History under our belts & a special interest in Lincoln & the Civil War, but neither of us noticed the error.
Hopefully, Dreamworks will make the correction in the DVD & follow the advice of President Kennedy who once said, "an error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."