The Republican Party was born in the early 1850s by antislavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. The first official Republican meeting took place on July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Michigan, during which the name “Republican” was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party. At the Jackson convention, the new party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office in Michigan. In 1856, the Republicans became a national party when former U.S. senator John C. Frémont of California was nominated for president. Even though the Republican Party was considered a “third party” because the Democrats and Whigs constituted the two-party system at the time, it wasn’t long before Republicans passed the Whigs. In the 1860 election, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to win the White House.