The Democrat watched the Oscar-nominated biopic of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln over the weekend (01-03Feb13) and was shocked to see a scene in which two Connecticut representatives reject the 13th Amendment.
Now Courtney has urged Spielberg to correct the mistake, insisting records from the House of Representatives indicate all four of his state’s congressmen voted to outlaw slavery in 1865.
In an open letter to Spielberg, Courtney writes, “After finally sitting down to watch your Academy Award-nominated film, Lincoln, I can say unequivocally that the rave reviews are justified: Daniel Day-Lewis is tremendous, the story is compelling and consuming, and the cinematography is beautiful.
“The historical accuracy of the film’s moving conclusion, however? Well, that is a different story. As a Member of Congress from Connecticut, I was on the edge of my seat during the roll call vote on the ratification of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery. But when two of three members of the Nutmeg State’s House delegation voted to uphold slavery, I could not believe my own eyes and ears.
“How could Congressmen from Connecticut – a state that supported President Lincoln and lost thousands of her sons fighting against slavery on the Union side of the Civil War – have been on the wrong side of history?
“I understand that artistic license will be taken and that some facts may be blurred to make a story more compelling on the big screen, but placing the State of Connecticut on the wrong side of the historic and divisive fight over slavery is a distortion of easily verifiable facts and an inaccuracy that should be acknowledged, and if possible, corrected before Lincoln is released on DVD.”