slavery under the name of the Republican party; and for a time it bid fair to succeed.
Its candidate for governor was Julius Rockwell
, recently Sumner
's Whig colleague in the Senate.
The antislavery members of the Know Nothing
order joined in it, as well as a considerable body of voters hitherto Whigs.
A Whig editor, Samuel Bowles
, hitherto not friendly to Sumner
, urged him to take a very active part in the election, writing to him as follows, October 13:—
You can do more than any other man to shape the result aright.
Your position, your character, your eloquence, the moral power your efforts always carry, lead all parties to listen with respect and favor.
I feel as if you could decide the result.
The field is well arranged, the lines fairly drawn, the issues plain, strong, and direct, the trenches are built, the walls erected; but we need a captain whose moral power has not been weakened by participation in the preliminaries of the campaign, who has not suffered himself to be debauched by the local politics of the last twelve months. You are such a man; and with you now actively in the field until the election, our cause and our candidates will surely triumph.
Late in the canvass Sumner
spoke at nine important places,— first at Fall River
, where his audience was two thousand; the next evening at New Bedford; and November 2 at Faneuil Hall.1
he spoke in the largest hall of the city, which was crowded to its full capacity, with several hundred seeking admission without avail.
The Springfield Republican, hitherto not partial in his favor, wrote, October 27:—
The outbursts of applause by which Mr. Sumner was frequently interrupted told the irrepressible enthusiasm of the audience, and their hearty indorsement of the sentiments of the speaker; and we may say without exaggeration that a better or more cheering demonstration was never made in Springfield.
Nearly or quite twelve hundred persons were present during the whole evening, and hundreds on hundreds went away unable to get in.
began his address,3
which occupied two hours and a quarter in the delivery, with a treatment of the issues growing