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[235] enlargement of the slave area, affirming the power of Congress in the premises, and refusing to support either Lewis Cass or Zachary Taylor. He had at once received the nomination of the Barnburners' Convention at Utica, which was thus imposed upon the Buffalo Convention. His letter of acceptance was adroit and plausible, and virtually retracted his pledge, made while President, to1 veto any bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. Still, though the Liberty Party might swallow him without making a wry face, the venerable trickster could but excite the distrust of the abolition chiefs.

Mr. Garrison wrote privately in August to Mr. Quincy from Northampton:

As for the Free Soil movement, I feel that great care is2 demanded of us Disunionists, both in the Standard and the Liberator, in giving credit to whom credit is due, and yet in no case even seeming to be satisfied with it. It is only placing the country in precisely the same condition, on the subject of slavery, that it occupied a quarter of a century since—to wit, that slavery ought not to be extended to new territories; that it ought to be abolished (when or how is not stated in the new creed) in all our Territorial possessions—(nothing, I believe, is said about its abolition in the District of Columbia); and that Congress has no Constitutional power to meddle with it in the several States—(another repudiation of Spooner's, Goodell's,3 and Smith's dogma on that point).4

‘Our Disunion ground is invulnerable, and to it all parties at the North must come ere long. The temptation to vote, however, at the coming election, will be so great that I fear a considerable number of Disunionists, and even of professed non-resistants, will fall into the snare, and try to persuade themselves that, for this once, they may innocently, and even laudably, “bow down in the house of Rimmon.” Calm yet earnest appeals must be made to our friends to preserve their integrity, and not to lose sight of the true issue. Already, in this region, I hear it said that a number of those who have hitherto acted with us think they can now vote, even for Martin Van Buren! What infatuation!’5

1 Ante, 2.82, 198.

2 Lib. 18.134.

3 Lysander Spooner.

4 Wm. Goodell. Gerrit Smith.

5 As the election drew nigh, Quincy wrote to Webb (Ms. Oct. 3, 1848), that the Free Soil fever ‘has carried off multitudes of our abolitionists, and it is to be feared that many of them will never recover themselves.’

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