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The gentlemen who have joined this new party, from among the Whigs, pretend that they are greater lovers of Liberty and greater haters of Slavery than those they leave behind them. I do not admit it. I do not admit any such thing. [Applause.] I think we are as good Free Soil men as they are, though we do not set up any such great preeminence over our neighbors. * * * There was an actual outbreak, years ago, between these two parties of the Democracy of New York, and this “Barnburning” party existed long before there was any question of Free Soil among them — long before there was any question of the Wilmot Proviso, or any opposition by that party to the extension of Slavery. And, up to the Annexation of Texas, every man of the party went straightforward for that Annexation, Slavery Extension and all. But the Whigs, and they alone, raised a strong opposition to the measure. I say the Whigs alone — for nobody else, either in the East, West, South, or North, stirred a finger in the cause — or, at least, made so small an effort that it could not be discerned until the Whigs roused the people to a sentiment of opposition to the further spread of the Slave Power. Then this portion of the New York Loco-Focos, these Barnburners, seized upon this Whig doctrine, and attached to it their policy, merely to give them the predominance over their rivals. * * * In this Buffalo platform, this Collect of the new school, there is nothing new. * * * Suppose all the Whigs should go over to the Free Soil party: It would only be a change of name; the principles would still be the same. But there would be one change which, I admit, would be monstrous — it would make Mr. Van Buren the head of the Whig party. [Laughter.]
A sixth principle is, that Slavery must be abolished. I think these are the principles of the Whigs of the Western Reserve of Ohio. <*> am not now to say for the first time that they are mine. * * * There are two antagonistic elements of society in America, Freedom and Slavery. Freedom is in harmony with our system of government, and with the spirit of the age, and is therefore passive and quiescent. Slavery is in conflict with that system, with justice, and with humanity, and is therefore organized, defensive, active, and perpetually aggressive. Freedom insists on the emancipation and development of labor; Slavery demands a soil moistened with tears and blood — Freedom a soil that exults under the elastic tread of man in his native majesty. These elements divide and classify the American people into two parties. Each of these parties has its court and its scepter. The throne of one is amid the rocks of the Alleghany Mountains; the throne of the other is reared on the sands of South Carolina. One of these parties, the party of Slavery, regards disunion as among the means of defense, and not always the last to be employed. The other maintains the Union of the States, one and inseparable, now and forever, as the highest duty of the American people to themselves, to posterity, to mankind, etc., etc. The party of Freedom seeks complete and universal emancipation.
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