Michigan Vs. Wisconsin – Where Was the Republican Party REALLY Founded?
(THIS IS NOT A DEBATE BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS - THIS IS AN ONGOING DEBATE BETWEEN MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN. So please keep all political views out of this.)
It was enough that Wisconsin tried to make us believe that they were the real “Mitten State”, but they're also still laying claim to the founding of the Republican Party.
For years, it was widely accepted that Jackson, Michigan was the birthplace of the Republican Party. But then Wisconsin got into the act.
So what do we know?
On March 20, 1854, a meeting was held in a one-room schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin. The meeting was organized in protest to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which was opening up new territories that would accept slavery. It was at this meeting that the word “republican” was tagged onto a new political party, based on Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party.
Then on July 6, 1854, the very first official Republican Party convention was held “under the oaks” in Jackson, Michigan, also denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It was at this meeting where office candidates were nominated.
According to Mlive, there is one irritating thing: for years the Republican National Committee's website stated both states were equally important in the party's genesis. They stated: “The first informal meeting of the party took place in Ripon, Wisconsin, a small town northwest of Milwaukee. The first official Republican meeting took place on July 6th, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan.”
But lately, they have eliminated the mention of both states, and now says the party began in 1856 when John C. Fremont was nominated party president. WHAT???
Under the Oaks Park is on the corner of Second and Franklin streets in Jackson, with an Historical Marker that was placed in 1972. The site has been visited by Presidents Taft, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Senator (and presidential hopeful) John McCain.
I guess you'll have to draw your own conclusions, but for now, this debate between Michigan and Wisconsin will probably never come to a definite outcome.
MICHIGAN OR WISCONSIN?