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[302] Mexico, and repression of the Southern filibustering1 against Cuba; his recommendation that California be2 admitted a free State without conditions—dismayed the Southern extremists, and caused the anti-slavery North to regard his death as a calamity.

It is incredible, however, that Taylor would not have signed the Fugitive Slave Bill. All we can say is, that he was fated not to have the opportunity, and that Douglas's prophecy again came true in the case of his successor, when the North (nominally) got the man, and the South3 got the measure. Quite otherwise was it with Robert C. Winthrop's prevision when, in 1848, on giving his adhesion to Taylor's nomination, he said: “And if any accident should befall him (which Heaven avert!), your own Millard Fillmore will carry out such an administration to its legitimate completion.” Lib. 18.105. This New York doughface, having called Webster to the Secretaryship of State, gave, “with alacrity” Lib. 20.119. and without scruple, his assent to the Fugitive4 Slave Bill, which else might have failed to become a law.5 The slave-catchers, already at work in anticipation of its6 enactment, now more boldly renewed their hunting of men in all parts of the North. The terror-stricken colored7 communities along the border—the free sharing the fears of the self-emancipated, and liable to the same fate— began a great northward movement, towards New8 England, towards Canada. Here and there they were encouraged to remain firm, they armed themselves, they were9 given arms; but even from Boston the exodus was10 marked. Senator Sumner estimated that, altogether, ‘as many as 6,000 Christian men and women,11 meritorious persons—a larger band than that of the escaping Puritans —precipitately fled from homes which they had established,’ to British soil.12

1 Lib. 19.14, 136; 20.114.

2 Lib. 20.116.

3 Ante, p. 238.

4 Sept. 18, 1850.

5 It had less than a two-thirds majority in the House—109 to 75 (Lib. 20: 151).

6 Lib. 20.126, [130], [131], 136, 138.

7 Lib. 20:[158], 167, 171, 174.

8 Lib. 20:[158], [163], 166, 176.

9 Lib. 20.159, [163], 166.

10 Lib. 20.166; 21.39.

11 Chas. Sumner; Lib. 34.70.

12 In February, 1851, it was reported that ‘One hundred members of the Baptist Colored Church in Buffalo have gone to Canada. A large number of the Methodist Church, in the same place, have also left for a land of freedom. Out of one hundred and fourteen members of the Baptist Colored Church in Rochester, one hundred and twelve, including the pastor, have crossed the line. The Colored Baptist Church in Detroit has lost eighty-four of its members from the same cause’ (Lib. 21: 27).

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