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[164] Medford went against the plans and policy of the central government.

When the war with Great Britain was declared, June 18, 1812, the town of Medford took decisive stand against this measure of Mr. Madison, and in their opposition were cheered and strengthened by their pastor, who seized every occasion that offered to hurl the thunders of the Old and New Testament, and his own also, upon the authors of the “abominable wickedness.” The country sustained the government; and the good effects which were anticipated from this series of measures showed themselves at last, and are now making New England rich and strong. The “Hartford convention,” which was called in the midst of the country's struggle and gloom, December, 1814, had one member from Medford. That convention was supposed to be patriotic and wise in its inception, but is now believed by many to have ended in words and smoke.

The selection of General John Brooks, as candidate for the office of Governor of Massachusetts, gratified the people of Medford; and, if party ties could have been sundered, it is believed he would have received the vote of every individual in the town. As it was, few only voted against him; and, through seven elections, Medford stood by its son with unaltered affection. His refusal to continue in office cast a gloom through every family. Never was a man more truly or justly beloved. During his administration, Medford seemed to be the head of the Commonwealth.

The coming into Medford of ship-carpenters who belonged to the Democratic party, and the gradual change of policy in the national administration, both helped to change the forces of town politics. As parties became more equally divided among us, the warmth of conflict increased; and, on some occasions, it was fearfully great. The two parties wore several names between the administrations of Mr. Monroe and Mr. Van Buren; but Medford became as fully and strongly “Democratic” as it had once been “Federal.” The first time a plurality was obtained by the Democratic party in Medford was April, 1828; and they lost it in 1854.

The multiplication and mixture of new issues in politics have so broken society into divisions, and crumbled it into fragments, that old-fashioned patriots are confounded, and withdraw from the conflict altogether. A signboard, planted at the entrance of several roads, would not be a very safe

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