U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney gave Steven Spielberg a bit of a history lesson this week, taking exception with the legendary director’s depiction, in the film “Lincoln,” of congressmen from Connecticut voting against the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
Courtney watched the movie over the weekend, and scratched his head at the thought that representatives of a liberal state like Connecticut would have supported slavery. That sent him digging into Congressional history on the Internet.
At The Courant, we have our own robust archive of pretty much everything major that’s happened since before there was a United States, and indeed our coverage of the Jan. 31, 1865 vote shows that “Of the New England delegation only one – Mr. Sweat, of Maine – voted against it.”
The Constitutional Amendment even won the support of James Edward English of New Haven, the one Democrat among Connecticut’s four representatives at the time. English did not seek re-election in 1864, but was still in office when the vote took place, and broke ranks with those in his party who supported slavery.
Click the image below to read part of the Courant’s coverage of the vote.