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[300] and unconscious, till the rage of his immediate assailant was thoroughly satiated. Mr. Sumner was so much injured as to be compelled to abandon his seat and take a voyage to Europe, where, under the best medical treatment, his health was slowly restored. The infliction on Brooks, by a Washington court, of a paltry fine1 for this outrage, tended to deepen and diffuse popular indignation at the North, which the unopposed reelection of Brooks — he having resigned, because of a vote of censure from a majority of the House — did not tend to allay. Of Fremont's aggregate vote--1,341,812--it is probable that all above 1,200,000 was given him on grounds personal to himself, or from impulses growing out of the Sumner outrage.

Accordingly, the elections of 1857 exhibited a diminution of Republican strength — the eleven States which had voted for Fremont, giving him an aggregate popular majority of over 250,000, now giving but little over 50,000 for the Republican tickets. All the New England States were still carried by the Republicans, but by majorities diminished, in the average, more than half, while that of Connecticut was reduced from 7,715 to 546. So, in Ohio, Gov. Chase was this year reflected by 1,481, though Fremont had 16,623; while Gov. Lowe, in Iowa, had but 2,151, where Fremont had received 7,784; and Gov. Randall was chosen in Wisconsin by barely 118, where Fremont had received 13,247. No Republican State was actually revolutionized, however, but New York; where — owing, in part, to local questions and influences — Fremont's magnificent plurality of 80,000 was changed to a Democratic plurality of 18,000. It appeared in this, as in most other Free States, that the decline or dissolution of the “American” or Fillmore party inured mainly to the benefit of the triumphant Democracy; though Pennsylvania, and possibly Rhode Island, were exceptions. To swell the resistless tide, Minnesota and Oregon--both in the extreme North--each framed a State Constitution this year, and took position in line with the dominant party--Minnesota by a small, Oregon by an overwhelming, majority — the two swelling by four Senators and four2 Representatives the already invincible strength of the Democracy.

The Opposition was utterly power-less against this surge; but what they dare hardly undertake, Mr. Buchanan was able to effect. By his utterly indefensible attempt to enforce the Lecompton Constitution upon Kansas, in glaring contradiction to his smooth and voluble professions regarding “Popular Sovereignty,” “the will of the majority,” etc., etc., he enabled the Republicans, in 1858, to hold, by majorities almost uniformly increased, all the States they had carried the preceding year, and reverse the last year's majority against them in New York; carry Pennsylvania for the first time by over 26,000 majority; triumph even in New Jersey under an equivocal

1 Of $300.

2 Minnesota chose three Members to the House, on the assumption that her population was sufficient to warrant her in claiming that number — or, at least, soon would be. She has since chosen but two, being entitled to no more — in fact, hardly to so many — under the Census of 1860.

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