Wilmot, David, 1814–68, American legislator, b. Bethany, Pa. As a Democratic Congressman (1845–51) he became widely known as the author of the famous Wilmot Proviso , which helped build up sectional animosity before the Civil War. Ardently opposed to slavery, Wilmot became a leader of the Free-Soil party. He helped to found the Republican party and was (1861–63) a Republican Senator, filling out the unexpired term of Simon Cameron. He then became (1863) judge of the U.S. Court of Claims.
See biography by C. B. Going (1924, repr. 1966).
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