1813 : Zachariah Chandler Born

December 10, 2018 all-day

Zacharish Chandler (1813-1879) was mayor of Detroit (1851–52), a four-term U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan (1857–75, 1879), and Secretary of the Interior under U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant (1875–77), staunch abolitionist, and Radical Republican. A very feisty politician who was ready to fight (literally) for his beliefs.

Though not well known today, Chandler is an important historical figure without whom there may not have been a Republican Party, a President Abraham Lincoln, or a Civil War.

In 1854, Chandler, who had been a leader of the anti-slavery faction of Michigan’s Whig Party, helped forge a merger with other anti-slavery groups to create the first statewide Republican Party. By crafting a new political party, Michigan’s anti-slavery activists created a template that other Northern states would follow, triggering a series of events that would eventually lead to the election of Lincoln as president and the secession of the South.

As a U.S. Senator, he was not adverse to a “little bloodletting” to preserve the Union when the South threatened succession.

Zachariah Chandler was honored by the Michigan Legislature in 1911 by having a statue placed in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Congress, which remained until Michigan decided to replace it with a statue of President Gerald Ford. The Chandler statue was moved to Constitution Hall in Lansing.

Source : Wikipedia entry

Senator Tom George, Ford versus Chandler, Detroit Free Press, May 3, 2011.

Michigan Governors, Michigan Also-Rans, and the Constitution: Cass and Chandler, Night Train Blog, September 17, 2010.

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