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[369] this hour, the Union exists, in form, only because the spirit of freedom in this country is not yet strong enough to rend it asunder. It was made by concession to the Slave Power; it has been held together solely by concession; and it will terminate the hour in which any of those concessions are revoked.1 It is a “covenant with death” to be annulled— “an agreement with hell” that shall not stand!

The Free Soil Party really came to an end, as a national organization, in the year 1848 in which it was formed. There was little disposition to revive it in 1852, and to go through the form of a separate ticket which had not the ghost of a chance of succeeding. Both Giddings and2 Sumner felt that another four years must pass before anything could be achieved. When a Convention at Pittsburgh was talked of, John P. Hale let it be known3 in advance that he would not accept the nomination if tendered him again. Nevertheless, assemble it did on August 11, borrowing the appellation of “Free Democracy” Lib. 22.134. from the Cleveland Convention of May 2, 1849,4 and drawing to itself both Free Soil and the remnant of independent Liberty Party elements. Henry Wilson presided. Frederick Douglass, on motion of Lewis Tappan, was made one of the secretaries. Charles Francis Adams, Gerrit Smith, F. J. Le Moyne, and Joshua R. Giddings took a leading part. The platform declared for “no more slave States, no slave Territory, no nationalized slavery, and no national legislation for the extradition of slaves” Lib. 22.134. —which last was to be relegated to the States;5 and against the Compromise measures, alleging that the only settlement lay in making freedom national and slavery sectional. The rest of this manifesto, with a few exceptions,

1 These concessions meant in 1852 not merely the letter and spirit of the Constitutional pro-slavery provisions, but the existing statute, undiminished, for the rendition of fugitives. In the debate in the U. S. Senate, July 28, 1852, on Charles Sumner's motion with reference to a repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law, both Northern and Southern members asserted that this would be tantamount to a dissolution of the Union (Lib. 22: 126). In other words, the Compromise alone had averted disunion.

2 Lib. 22.113.

3 Lib. 22.131.

4 Lib. 19.85.

5 Accordingly, the new party was estopped from complaining of California's having passed a retroactive fugitive-slave law (Lib. 22: 49, 50, 65, 89, 99, 117, 167, 169).

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