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[414] Party, affirming it to be preeminently the party of the Union and the Constitution, of law and order, and the true National and Democratic Party, “because it is opposed, in its principles, sentiments, and aims, to Sectionalism, Secession, and Disunion.” Lib. 24.146. ‘No matter for the rest [of the resolutions], however worded,’ said Mr. Garrison; “they are nothing but idle breath and impracticable issues, as time will demonstrate. . . . There is but one honest, straightforward course to pursue if we would see the Slave Power overthrown—the Union must be Dis-Solved!” Lib. 24.146.

For the moment, in Massachusetts, in New Hampshire, and elsewhere, the course pursued by the Free Soilers was, while maintaining a separate organization, to coquet with1 the mushroom National, Native-American, or Know-Nothing Party, pro-slavery as its professions were. The2 nominal defeat which this party inflicted on them at the fall elections of 1854 really inured to their great and sudden3 advantage in the Federal as well as in the State arena,4 and gave the coup de grace to the remnant of the Whig5 organization. This fact, with the general rout of the Democratic Party at the same elections in the North, caused6 genuine alarm to the Slave Power, and confirmed it in its efforts to colonize Kansas. Fraud and violence—without actual bloodshed—were freely practised in the new Territory. Armed ‘border ruffians’ from Missouri crossed7 the line to elect a pro-slavery Delegate to Congress. Civilization and barbarism confronted each other with weapons drawn, and the year closed with all eyes turned on the scene of impending warfare.

1 Lib. 24.182; 25.9.

2 Lib. 24.157, 189; 25.97, 98, 101.

3 Lib. 24.182.

4 The Know-Nothing Massachusetts Legislature elected sweepingly in 1854 was, as Mr. Garrison remarked (Lib. 25.86), the most democratic known in the annals of the State. ‘The aristocratic [or ‘respectable’] element was completely exorcised out of it.’

5 Lib. 24.178, 182.

6 Lib. 24.205.

7 Lib. 24.194, 197, 201, 202, 205.

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