Breckinridge of Kentucky
as the ‘regular’ Democratic candidate.
The triumph of the Republican Party was now a foregone conclusion, and all eyes were turned in scrutiny upon Lincoln
To the country at large he was an obscure, not to say an unknown man. His visit to New England
in the fall of 1848, when, during the Congressional recess, he took the stump for Zachary Taylor
, had made no impression.1
‘Who is this huckster in politics?’
asked Wendell Phillips
at the New England
Convention on May 30.2
‘Who is this county-court advocate?
Who is this who does not know whether he has got any opinions [about slavery]?’
It fell to Mr. Phillips
, unhappily, to give the cue to the abolitionists concerning Mr. Lincoln
Such examination as he bestowed on the Illinois
lawyer's brief Congressional career caused him to misinterpret and unjustly characterize a measure of Lincoln
's intended to3
effect abolition in the District of Columbia, but accompanied by what seemed a necessary provision for the surrender of fugitive slaves —else had the District
become a refuge for them from the adjoining States of Maryland
, and from the whole seaboard.
out this provision, Mr. Phillips
published in the Liberator
22, 1860, a stinging article, headed, ‘Abraham Lincoln
, the Slave-hound of Illinois
,’ and beginning: ‘We gibbet a Northern hound to-day, side by side with the infamous Mason
admitted both the caption and the text (of the justice of which he had no means of forming an opinion), and only in consideration of the article being signed.
did not lack defenders, and in the end Mr. Phillips 6