appealed to old prejudices, and rallied Whig voters with the charge that the Republican party was a geographical and sectional party, with aims and tendencies hostile to the Union
and the Constitution
So virulent was its partisanship that on the morning after the election it counted triumphantly, using capitals, the aggregate vote of Know Nothings, Democrats, and Whigs as ‘the majority against nullification,’—thus treating the Republicans as ‘nullifiers’1
, the antislavery senator from Connecticut
, whose brief term had expired, wrote, December 5, from Hartford
, that he ‘regretted leaving the Senate only for losing the pleasure of being associated with my dear friend [Sumner], who is much in my thoughts.
God gird him for the coming fight!’
Rev. Charles Lowell
, father of the poet, wrote, October 30:
I cannot forbear saying how much comfort it gives me that you are able to say and do so much for the cause of truth and righteousness and mercy; and it is my earnest hope and prayer that you may long be honored as the instrument in the hands of Providence for the promotion of this great and good work.
wrote, November 9:—
I see that Massachusetts and New York have gone together into the meshes of this impudent and corrupt secret combination.2 But it is quite enough for me that in both States we have kept our own great cause free from pollution by it. . . . I have read your speech.
It is a noble one, me judice; and what it failed to do in the recent canvass, it will do in the next.
An intrigue for electing prematurely Sumner
's successor by the Legislature of 1856, in which the Know Nothings
had a majority, was started early that year; but it found favor with only a few persons, and was dropped.3
the uniform practice, as well as constitutional objections, stood in the way. The duty properly belonged to the Legislature to be chosen in November, 1856.