Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull is not well-known today, but he is one of the “Founding Sons” who transformed the nation and the Constitution before, during, and after the Civil War. He wrote the Thirteenth Amendment, the first Freedmen’s Bureau Bill, and the Civil Rights Act. He sponsored the first federal statutes which actually freed slaves. As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and later as a civil rights attorney, he did more to protect Second Amendment rights–including taking a test case to the U.S. Supreme Court (Presser v. Illinois)–than did any other lawyer or legislator in the century after Jefferson and Madison.
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