in many Northern States, especially at the West
Favored in New York by Greeley
, it was arrested there by the adverse counsels of Seward
Notwithstanding the bitterness of recent contests, public sentiment in Massachusetts
pressed strongly for a union, which would have taken place but for the resistance of Whig leaders who had recently regained power in the State
They generally admitted1
that co-operation with the Southern Whigs
who had supported the repeal was at an end; but they insisted that as their representatives from the North
had voted in a body against the repeal.
their party in that section was still a safer rallying point than any new combination which was practicable.
But they had another reason, rather personal and partisan than patriotic, which was in the way of union.
They had acquired positions of influence which would be risked in a new combination,—certainly, as they thought, in one in which the Free Soilers
, with their greater activity and earlier interest in the issue, were likely to come to the front.
They were loath to come into fellowship with men whom their leading journals had within a few weeks been denouncing as ‘profligate and corrupt,’ as traffickers in offices, and enemies of human society.2
With the public peril demanding a union, and the masses pressing for it, they were in resisting it as wanting in political sense as in magnanimity.
Shortly after the final passage of the Nebraska
bill, a movement was started in Massachusetts
for forming a new party with the name ‘Republican.’
The Free Soilers, heartily and unanimously for it, invited the Whigs
in a formal communication to take the lead.3
Several of the Whig
papers in the country gave it an earnest support,4
but all the Boston Whig
journals opposed it from the beginning; and the State
committee of the party, refusing to call a fusion convention, issued an address, June 26, which, while denouncing the repeal of the Missouri Compromise
, looked to the maintenance of the Whig party as ‘the vanguard of the great army of constitutional liberty.’
Meantime a popular movement for a union began at Concord
, in a meeting held June 22, where a committee of correspondence, with Samuel Hoar
and Ralph Waldo Emerson
as members, was appointed.
This committee invited a large