before the Abolitionists-conscientious, zealous, intelligent-but somehow they lacked the ability, in the language of the pugilists, to “put up a winning fight.”
They had been brushed aside or trampled under foot.
Not so with the Abolitionists.
They had learned all the tricks of the enemy.
They were not afraid of opposition.
They knew how to give blows as well as to take them.
The result was that from the time they organized for separate political action in 1840, they had made steady progress, although this seemed for a period to be discouragingly slow.
It was only a question of time when, if there had been no Republican party, they would have succeeded in abolishing slavery without its assistance.
Although, as before remarked, the Republican party was made up of a good many elements besides the Abolitionists, there was among them but little homogeneousness.
They were indifferent, if not hostile, to each other, and, if left to themselves, would never have so far coalesced as to make a working party.
They had no settled policy, no common ground to stand on. They would have been simply a rope of sand.
But the Abolitionists supplied a bond of union.
They had a principle that operated like a loadstone in bringing the factions together.
There was another inducement the Abolitionists had to offer.
They had an organization that was perfect in its way. It was weak but active.
It had made its way into Congress where it had such representatives as John P. Hale
and Salmon P. Chase
in the Senate, and several brilliant men in the Lower House
It had a complete outfit of party machinery.
It had an efficient force of men and women engaged