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[200] dominant issue between the two National parties, and urged the duty of abolishing Slavery as a reason for supporting Gen. Taylor. Mr. Washington Hunt1 wrote an elaborate letter to Ohio, urging the duty of standing by Whig principles by electing Gen. Taylor, and by choosing at the same time members of Congress who would inflexibly resist, and legislate to prohibit, the Extension of Slavery. At no time previously,2 had Whig inculcations throughout the Free States been so decidedly and strongly hostile to the Extension of Slavery, and so determined in requiring its inhibition by Congress, as during the canvass of 1848.

Among the results of that canvass was — as we have seen — a temporary alienation of many Northern Democrats from their former devotion to Southern ideas and docility to Southern leadership. This alienation was further evinced in the coalitions formed the next summer between the Democratic and Free Soil parties of Vermont and Massachusetts, which in Vermont proved too weak to overcome the Whig ascendency, but in Massachusetts ultimately triumphed in the election of George S. Boutwell (Democrat), as Governor, and Charles Sumner (Free Soil), as Senator. In New York, a fusion was with difficulty effected (in 1849) of the parties which had in 1848 supported Van Buren and Cass respectively — the nominal basis of agreement being a resolve3 of mutual hostility to the

1 Then a Whig member of Congress; since, Governor of New York.

2 Mr. James Brooks, Editor of The New York Express, reported to the New York Whig State Convention of 1847 (October 6th), an Address condemning the objects of the Mexican War then raging, which was unanimously adopted. In the course of it, he said:

Fellow Citizens: Disguise the Mexican War as sophistry may, the great truth cannot be put down, nor lied down, that it exists because of the Annexation of Texas; that from such a cause we predicted such a consequence would follow; and that, but for that cause, no war would have existed at all. Disguise its intents, purposes and consequences, as sophistry may struggle to do, the further great truth cannot be hidden, that its main object is the conquest of a market for slaves, and that the flag our victorious legions rally around, fight under, and fall for, is to be desecrated from its holy character of Liberty and Emancipation into an errand of Bondage and Slavery. * * * We protest, too, in the name of the rights of Man and of Liberty, against the further extension of Slavery in North America. The curse which our mother country inflicted upon us, in spite of our fathers' remonstrances, we demand shall never blight the virgin soil of the North Pacific. * * * * We will not pour out the blood of our countrymen, if we can help it, to turn a Free into a Slave soil; we will not spend from fifty to a hundred millions of dollars per year to make a Slave market for any portion of our countrymen. * * * The Union as it is, the whole Union, and nothing but the Union, we will stand by to the last — but No More Territory is our watchword — unless it be Free.

3 The last Convention of the Cass Democrats, or “Hunkers,” which was held at Syracuse in September, 1849, proposing a conciliatory course toward the “Barnburners,” as an overture towards a neutral basis of runion with them, adopted the following:

Resolved, That we are opposed to the extension of Slavery to the free territories of the United States; but we do not regard the Slavery question, in any form of its agitation, or any opinion in relation thereto, as a test of political faith, or as a rule of party action.”

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