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Liberty party,in U.S. history, an antislavery political organization founded in 1840. It was formed by those abolitionistsabolitionists,
in U.S. history, particularly in the three decades before the Civil War, members of the movement that agitated for the compulsory emancipation of the slaves.
..... Click the link for more information. , under the leadership of James G. BirneyBirney, James Gillespie
, 1792–1857, American abolitionist, b. Danville, Ky. He practiced law at Danville from 1814 to 1818, before he moved to Alabama, where he served one term in the state legislature.
..... Click the link for more information. and Gerrit SmithSmith, Gerrit,
1797–1874, American reformer, b. Utica, N.Y. He spent much of his fortune in various reforms, most notably abolition. He was an organizer of the Liberty party and was candidate for governor of New York in 1840. A congressman in 1853, he resigned in 1854.
..... Click the link for more information. , who repudiated William Lloyd Garrison's nonpolitical stand. Birney, their presidential candidate in 1840, received a little more than 7,000 votes. Because of better local organization and the issue of the annexation of Texas, he polled more than 60,000 votes in 1844, drawing enough support away from Henry Clay in New York state to throw the presidency to James K. Polk. The party remained strong in local elections in 1846, but in 1848 it withdrew its nominee, John P. Hale, and united with antislavery Whigs and Democrats to form the stronger Free-Soil partyFree-Soil party,
in U.S. history, political party that came into existence in 1847–48 chiefly because of rising opposition to the extension of slavery into any of the territories newly acquired from Mexico.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See T. C. Smith, The Liberty and Free Soil Parties in the Northwest (1897, repr. 1967).