From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

"Black Republican" (term)

The founding of the term "Black Republican" is often attributed to incumbent Stephen Douglas, a Democrat who was scheduled to have seven debates with Republican, and Kentucky native, Abraham Lincoln; both were campaigning for an Illinois Senate seat in 1858. The primary theme of the debates was slavery, and Douglas accused Lincoln and members of the the "Black Republican Party" of being abolitionist and against slavery in the Western territories. Lincoln lost the bid for the Illinois Senate seat, but he won the nomination to run for U.S. President during the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago. During the presidential campaign, Abraham Lincoln was often referred to as the "Black Republican." The term was also used during the Reconstruction Era for Republicans who supported legislation that favored African Americans. For more see the "Black Republican" entry in vol. 2 of the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and Lincoln and Douglas, by A. C. Guelzo.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Afro-American encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Lincoln and Douglas : the debates that defined America

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“"Black Republican" (term),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 31, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-08-09 14:05:08