Congressman Joe Courtney today released the following statement after "Lincoln" screenwriter Tony Kushner conceded that his screenplay and the film erroneously depicted Connecticut's House delegation as voting against the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
"I am pleased that Mr. Kushner conceded that his "Lincoln' screenplay got it wrong on the Connecticut delegation's votes for the 13th Amendment. My effort from the beginning has been to set the record straight on this vote, so people do not leave the theater believing Connecticut's representatives in the 38th Congress were on the wrong side of history. This is a positive step toward that end, and I still hope a correction can be made in advance of the film's DVD release.
"It is true that Connecticut, like all states, had some opposition to President Lincoln and his policies, as well as a conflicted approach to the slavery question. In a democracy, that is the constant state of being that in many respects Lincoln and the Union cause were defending. Across the Civil War, Connecticut lost more than 4,000 soldiers to disease, poorly-treated wounds, and in combat. Their sacrifice emphatically demonstrates Connecticut's fidelity to the struggle to preserve the Union and end slavery, which is represented in "Lincoln' dramatically by the House's vote on the 13th Amendment. The four members of Connecticut's delegation reflected that commitment on January 31, 1865, and they deserved a better legacy than the screenplay portrayed."