His words make it very manifest that, if Mr. Roosevelt
had been a voter in 1840, he would not have been an Abolitionist.
He would not have been one of that devoted little band of political philanthropists who went out, like David of old, to do battle with one of the giant abuses of the time, and who found in the voter's ballot a missile that they used with deadly effect.
On the contrary, he would have enrolled himself among their adversaries and assailants, becoming a member-because it is impossible to think of Theodore Roosevelt
as a nonpartisan — of one of the leading political parties of the day. There were but two of them — the Whigs
and the Democrats.
In failing to support one or the other of these parties, and giving their votes and influence to a new one that was founded and constructed on Anti-Slavery lines, the Abolitionists, in Mr. Roosevelt
's opinion, “committed a political crime.”
Now, for what did those parties stand in 1840?
Who were their presidential candidates in that year?
Martin Van Buren
was the candidate of the Democrats.
He had been for eight years in the offices of Vice-President
, and in that time, in the opinion of the Anti-Slavery people of the country, had shown himself to be a facile instrument in the hands of the slaveholders.
He was what the Abolitionists described as a “doughface” --a Northern man with Southern principles.
As presiding officer he gave the casting vote in the Senate for the bill that excluded Anti-Slavery matter from the United States
mails, a bill justly regarded as one of the greatest outrages ever perpetrated in a free