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[238] retorted bitterly and offensively. In the Presidential canvass he had no heart and took no side. Party1 affiliations kept him from supporting Taylor, and for Cass he lacked the philosophy of Douglas, who advised the South2 generally to prefer doughface Presidentsi. e., Northern men with Southern principles. If the Wilmot Proviso ever becomes a law, said this sagacious politician, it will be by the signature of a Southern President. ‘You [of the South] may get the man, and they [of the North] the measure.’

The election of Taylor—a necessary choice of evils— had its chief significance for the abolitionists in the fact that his slaveholding gave no offence to the country at large. The Congressional debates of the year, touching every aspect of the slavery question, had vastly assisted their labors in moulding public sentiment. Their preeminent ally in that arena, John Quincy Adams, had, indeed,3 been taken away by death; but his place had been more than made good by Giddings, Palfrey, and Hale, as could be measured by their action to rid the District of slavery4 and the slave-trade. Mr. Garrison might well have left on record his deliberate judgment of the ex-President, but he chose rather to refer his readers to Theodore Parker's sermon upon him, tempering its excessive praise of his anti-slavery career by the nice, but absolutely just, qualification—‘In Mr. Adams, the slave never had a champion.’5

Chance, not long after, gave him an opportunity to revise his opinion of Dr. Channing. He read with great interest, and with much admiration for the execution of6 the work, William Henry Channing's Memoir of his uncle, upon its appearance. The following analysis of the character of the man whose hearty, personal cooperation Mr. Garrison had longed to secure, and who had met with silence the only advances that could in delicacy be made7 for an interview that might remove mutual misunderstanding, is perhaps not likely to be superseded. Its criticism is also, it need hardly be remarked, unconscious self-portraiture:

1 Lib. 18.150.

2 Lib. 18.105.

3 Feb. 23, 1848; Lib. 18.35, 40.

4 Lib. 18.69, 73, 77, 119, 202, 206.

5 Lib. 18.93.

6 Lib. 18.82.

7 Ante, 1.464.

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February 23rd, 1848 AD (1)
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