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[498] policy of Governor Andrew, the favor with which he regarded the enlistment of colored soldiers, the force and frequency with which he urged the abolition of domestic slavery, his stern and unfaltering determination to have the war fought through until the rebels laid down their arms and sued for peace, had disposed many, Who looked forward to a compromise of our difficulties with the Confederate States as the most likely means to bring about peace and a restoration of the Union, to oppose his re-election. The arbitrary arrests of citizens, and their confinement in prisons and fortifications without explanation, and in many cases without bringing them to trial, operated powerfully upon some minds to condemn the national Administration, and to regard with distrust the men composing it. The riots in July also showed that there was a strong element of dissatisfaction among a portion of the more humble class of citizens. Such was the state of public feeling when the two great parties in the Commonwealth held their conventions to make State nominations in the fall of 1863. The Democratic Convention was held first. We give a brief abstract of its proceedings.

Phineas Allen, of Pittsfield, was chosen temporary chairman. Judge J. G. Abbott, of Boston, being called upon, made a speech, and said,—

I understand this convention to be the freest and broadest invitation to all men who agree with you and me in this dark hour, when we have arrived at the very brink of that abyss which the “Defender of the Constitution” prayed he might never behold,—the abyss of disunion, when States have been torn asunder, and the land drenched with fraternal blood. I mean to be true to the Union, by, through, and under the Constitution,—nothing more nor less. That Constitution, in my judgment, is the only chart by which we can steer in this bottomless abyss, the only anchor that will hold us, and the only guide to our steps. . . . Mr. Lincoln has said that silence on matters pertaining to our country, though not a crime, is an offence. I propose, for once, to be obedient to the commands of His Excellency the President of the United States. I will agree to be imprisoned or banished, if I do keep silence; and, if I am, I'll speak, so help me, God.

Dr. George B. Loring, of Salem, was the next speaker.

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