The Whig party, having accomplished its mission in the political world, was now on the eve of a great break-up.
realized this and, though proverbially slow in his movements, prepared to find a firm footing when the great rush of waters should come and the maddening freshet sweep former landmarks out of sight.
Of the strongest significance in this connection is a letter written by him at this juncture to an old friend in Kentucky
who called to his attention their differences of views on the wrong of slavery.
Speaking of his observation of the treatment of the slaves, he says: “I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down and caught and carried back to their unrequited toils; but I bite my lips and keep quiet.
In 1841 you and I had rather a tedious low-water trip on a steamboat from Louisville
to St. Louis
You may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville
to the mouth of the Ohio
, there were on board ten or a dozen slaves shackled together with irons.
That sight was a continued torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio
or any slave border.
It is not fair for you to assume that I have no interest in a thing which has, and continually exercises, the power of making me miserable.
You ought rather to appreciate how much the great body of the Northern
people do crucify their feelings in order to maintain their loyalty to the Constitution
and the Union
I do oppose the extension of slavery because my judgment and ”