pretences of its authors.’
A solemn earnestness such as befits a great crisis in human affairs pervaded the assembly.
This was the last demonstration of resistance to the annexation, or of protest against it, in which the representative Whig
politicians of Massachusetts
Even this convention did not have the countenance and good — will of Levi Lincoln
, Abbott Lawrence
, and Nathan Appleton
; and when the annexation had been consummated, a few weeks later, a disposition to acquiesce was manifested in various quarters.
A section of the Whigs
in the Legislature, prominent among whom was John H. Clifford
, endeavored to avoid action on the resolutions proposed by C. F. Adams
immediately after the measure of annexation had passed, although they were of similar purport to those previously passed at the same session.. .Winthrop's toast on the Fourth of July1
was understood to discountenance any further agitation of the subject.
The Whig leaders in the autumn threw the Texas
question into the background, and brought to the front the economical issues which divided them from the Democrats.
The antislavery Whigs, known as ‘Young Whigs’ in the political nomenclature of the period, sometimes as ‘Conscience Whigs’ (the last a name first applied to them derisively by their more politic Whig opponents), at once organized an opposition to the admission of Texas
as a State with a constitution which not only established slavery, but undertook in certain provisions to make it perpetual.
Their leaders were Charles Francis Adams
, Charles Sumner
, Stephen C. Phillips
, John G. Palfrey
, Henry Wilson
, Charles Allen
, Samuel and E. Rockwood Hoar
(father and son), and Richard
—I. Dana, Jr.
Among these it would not be invidious, in view of his sober judgment, persistency, courage, and his social and hereditary position, to put Mr. Adams
at the head.
These men were all highly regarded in the Whig party; most of them had been chosen to office by its nomination.
They were strong in personal character and in their unquestioned loyalty to moral principles as the basis of political action, and they exercised a large influence over the voters in the country towns who were removed from an immediate connection with the moneyed interests of Boston
During the summer
of 1845 they, and others acting in accord with them, held public meetings in different parts of the State