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[301] Hall on May 30. The New York Herald's namesake—as vile as Bennett's paper, but feebler—did what it could1 to harass and abort the meeting, but in vain. The disorderly were now recruited not so much from the Democracy as from the ranks of the Webster Whigs—socially a2 distinction with some difference. In spite of them Burleigh3 had his say in splendid fashion; so had Phillips, Garrison, and their colleagues suppressed in New York—Theodore Parker, William H. Channing, and many others. The hostile press surpassed itself in the scurrility of its reports4 of the proceedings; but, for the moment, free speech was vindicated in the Puritan city, and a new anti-slavery campaign of one hundred conventions initiated.5

In the midst of the compromise debates in Congress and the growing excitement at the North, President Taylor died, on the 9th of July, 1850.6

‘As Capt. Rynders thought it so intolerable and blasphemous7 to say anything against President Taylor,’ wrote Samuel May, Jr., to Mr. Garrison,

I wonder what he thinks of God, for what he has done to the President; for so pious a man as Rynders of course must think it to be God's doing. I really have felt sorry to hear of the old man's death. Spite of his past career, I find that I have a sort of regard for him; his course, the last year, certainly contrasts honorably with that of Clay and Webster. Small praise that, to be sure. A new source of confusion seems to be thrown into the national politics; not to be regretted, if it hastens the crisis, and lets us know what is before us.

So far as his short administration went, President Taylor had exhibited remarkable independence of the section and the caste to which he belonged. There was something Lincolnian in his character—equal simplicity, sturdiness, and honesty—an equal resolution to be the chief magistrate of the whole country, with at least equal independence of party. His course justified Stephen A. Douglas's warning that his election boded no good to the8 Slave Power's schemes of expansion, for which, nevertheless, as a soldier, he had fought the war with Mexico. His9 attitude towards the grasping designs of Texas on New

1 Lib. 20.96.

2 Lib. 20.93.

3 Lib. 20.89, 90.

4 Lib. 20.91, 94.

5 Lib. 20.91.

6 Lib. 20.111.

7 Ms. July 11, 1850.

8 Ante, p. 238.

9 Ante, p. 274; Lib. 20.114.

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