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[234] he denied, in the same place, that he had ever “counselled, advised, or aided in any way” Lib. 18.70.—or ever would—‘any encroachment upon the Constitution, in any of its provisions or compromises.’ So that his anti-slavery aggressiveness was purely in self-defence; and self-defence proceeded apologetically from the ground that slavery was no concern of the free States so long as the system kept within its own limits—but these limits were not those of 1789, nor of 1820, nor of 1845, but of any given year subsequent to the latest triumphant invasion of the national domain. ‘If it carry its point,’ said Quincy,1 of the Free Soil Party, ‘slavery will still exist and flourish’; but if it stop there, it had better never have been born.

Whigs and Democrats managed the Buffalo2 Convention that resulted in placing before the country the nominations of Martin Van Buren for President, and Charles Francis Adams for Vice-President, on a platform of “Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men [wherever slavery is not established already].” Lib. 18.142. The Liberty Party representatives were there to yield, not to dictate. They heard, with feeble protests, President Mahan of Oberlin claim the credit of the new movement for Ohio, and inquire whether, if they could have had the drawing up of the platform, they could have produced a better. In the conference committee over the nominations, Henry B. Stanton was authorized to say that John P. Hale would submit to the action of the Convention; and when Van Buren led largely on the first ballot, Joshua Leavitt completed the suicide of the Liberty Party by moving that Van Buren's nomination be made unanimous.3 ‘The Free Soil Party exists,’ wrote Quincy,4 ‘not because, but in spite of’ the Liberty Party.

Van Buren had already come out against any further5

1 Lib. 18.130.

2 Lib. 18.131.

3 ‘The Liberty Party began well and ended badly. . . . With the desertion of it by Mr. Leavitt, Mr. Stanton, Lewis Tappan, and others, I had no sympathy. Mr. Leavitt's prominent part in the nominating of Van Buren was very offensive to me’ (Ms. November 26, 1870, Gerrit Smith to W. L. G.).

4 Lib. 18.146.

5 Lib. 18.102.

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