As for the “Free Soil” movement, I am for hailing it as a1 cheering sign of the times, and an unmistakable proof of the progress we have made, under God, in changing public sentiment. Those who have left the Whig and Democratic parties, for consciencea sake, and joined that movement, deserve our commendation and sympathy; at the same time, it is our duty to show them, and all others, that there is a higher position to be attained by them, or they will have the blood of the slave staining their garments. This can be done charitably, yet faithfully. On the two old parties, especially the Whig-Taylor party, I would expend—pro tempore, at least—our heaviest ammunition.The country found itself, in fact, as Mr. Garrison pointed out, where it was at the time of the Missouri2 controversy thirty years before, and on the eve of as base a compromise. The Free Soil Party arose as soon as possible after the enormous acquisitions of territory through the treaty with Mexico had intensified the dread of proslavery aggrandizement; but it was feeble in numbers on3 its first demonstration at the polls, and before it could be consolidated it was blighted by a settlement which temporarily removed the grounds of its agitation, and therefore of its excuse for being. It had no share, as a party, in the anti-slavery achievements of the year under consideration, when the South was forced to admit Oregon4 with its prohibition of slavery—Polk assenting on the5 pretext that the new State lay north of the Missouri Compromise parallel if protracted (as he, like Calhoun, would6 have had it); when, in the House of Representatives, the Committee on Territories was instructed to bring in a bill7 to organize New Mexico and California as free Territories; and the Committee on the District of Columbia, to bring8 in a bill abolishing the slave-trade there—a vote which sent the Southern Congressmen into a caucus breathing9 secession and revolution. Add the defeat by the House
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