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[28] when there was not a slave on American soil, and the minister lived long enough to become a roaring Abolitionist.

It was doubtless their confidence in ultimate triumph, a result of their absolute belief in the righteousness of their cause, that, as much as anything else, armed and armored the Abolitionists against all opposition. It was one main element of their strength in the midst of their weakness. Without it they could not have persisted, as they did, in their separate or “third party” political action, that cleared the way and finally led up to a victorious organization. Year after year, and for many years, they voted for candidates that had no chance of election. Their first presidential ticket got only seven thousand votes in the whole country. The great public, which could not see the use of acting politically for principle alone, laughed at their simplicity in “throwing away their votes.” “Voting in the air” was the way it was often spoken of, and those who were guilty of such incomprehensible folly were characterized as “one idea people.” They, however, cared little for denunciation or ridicule, and kept on regularly nominating their tickets, and as regularly giving them votes that generally appeared in the election returns among the “scattering.” They were not abashed by the insignificance of their party.

They were men who dared to be
In the right with two or three,

according to the poet Lowell.

In the county in which I lived when a boy, there

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