In her Sunday New York Times column, Maureen Dowd rips into “Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner for a historical fabrication in the Oscar-nominated “Lincoln” that shows two Connecticut legislators (Republican and Democrat) voting against the Emancipation Proclamation, when in fact they voted “yea.”
The two “nay” votes actually came from two Democratic lawmakers from Illinois.
That roll shows that the first two votes cast were “Nays” by Democratic congressmen from Illinois, Lincoln’s own state. Wasn’t that enough to show the tension?
The Wall Street Journal noted, “The actual Connecticut representatives at the time braved political attacks and personal hardships to support the 13th Amendment.” One, the New London Republican Augustus Brandegee, was a respected abolitionist and a friend of Lincoln. The other, the New Haven Democrat James English, considered slavery “a monstrous injustice” and left his ill wife to vote. When he said “Aye,” applause began and the tide turned.
I’m a princess-and-the-pea on this issue, but I think Spielberg should refilm the scene or dub in “Illinois” for “Connecticut” before he sends out his DVDs and leaves students everywhere thinking the Nutmeg State is nutty.
I haven’t seen “Lincoln” but you would think that two “nay” votes coming from Lincoln’s home state of Illinois would actually present itself as an opportunity to increase the drama.
I’d want to see the movie before I comment more, but left-wingers are loath to admit Democrats opposed freeing the slaves and the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. So it wouldn’t surprise me if a conscious decision was made by the director and screenwriter to show a Republican and Democrat voting against freeing the slaves, instead of the actual inconvenient truth.
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