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[98] his District, and thus procuring his election, although they profess that they can support no man but one belonging to their party, and especially aim their blows at the Whigs and friends of Clay. Now Mr. Adams is a Whig, a supporter of Clay, a repudiator of Liberty Party, rejects Immediate Emancipation as impracticable and unjust, declares that he will vote against the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and in Florida, denounces abolitionists and the A. S. agitation; and while he admits that slavery can be abolished by a change of the Constitution, all that he has ever done towards it was to ask leave at the last moment of a session, four years ago, when another member had possession of the House, to offer an amendment providing for the emancipation of all slaves born after1 1850! He was refused permission to offer his amendment then, and has never proposed it since, such as it is, though he has had four years to do it in! And yet Leavitt claims him as one of his men, and Whittier, in a letter to Sturge, in one of the last2 B. & F. Reporters, describes him, in effect, as the leader of the A. S. movement, and gives the British public to understand that he is the head of the Liberty Party!3

In a letter from Boston to the Standard, reviewing the annual meeting, Mr. Child wrote that, as to disunion, he was convinced his repugnance to discussing the subject had been wrong. It was a duty to discuss it. ‘I can see plainly,’ he said, “that the doctrine of ‘ Repeal,’ as it is called, is gaining, and must gain, ground. With me it is a question of time. I am in favor of dissolution if we cannot have abolition, and that at a day not very distant; but I could wish to see all reasonable means used of reforming before we destroy the Constitution.” Lib. 14.26. But no means could be reasonable where the attainment of the object was hopeless in the nature of things. The shallowest observer of the Southern temper, from the very outset of the anti-slavery agitation, ought to have4 perceived that any Constitutional change adverse to slavery, and diminishing by one jot or tittle its hold upon the direction of the general Government, would, before it

1 Ante, 2.325.

2 Joseph Sturge.

3 The real head (or figure-head) of that party, J. G. Birney, having exposed Adams's erratic course on the subject of slavery, Leavitt expressly dissented from his chief (Lib. 14: 45). They were at one in opposition to disunion on any pretext (Lib. 17: 14).

4 Cf. ante, 1.303, 304.

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