present a masterly development of the relations of Massachusetts to these matters.
They have elevated immensely my estimate of his character, moral and intellectual.
To George Sumner
, November 30:—
The spirit of Antislavery promises soon to absorb all New England. Massachusetts will never give her vote for another slaveholder.
The cotton lords will interfere, but they will at last be borne away by the rising tide; but this cannot be immediately.
You will be at home, and an actor in the conflict that approaches.
Again, December 31:—
I think there will be a strong movement to place some person in Webster's seat who will be true and firm in the assertion of Northern rights against the domination of the slave-power.
John Davis and most of the leading Whigs are too anxious to keep the State in line with the Southern section of Whigs.
This cannot be done.
It is easy to see that there will be soon a large party at the North pledged to perpetual warfare with slavery.
To Lord Morpeth, March 29, 1846:—
Among the persons who have lost character in the Oregon discussions is J. Q. Adams.
His course has been eccentric, claiming the whole 51° 40′. He told me before he went to Washington that he was prepared to uphold our title to this extent, but that he distrusted Polk's intentions; that he thought the latter would fly off, and that he should try to hold him to the original declaration of his inaugural that the title to the whole was unquestionable.
I think his speech frightened the slaveholders; for they suspected him of a real desire to plunge us into a war with England, in order to bring about the emancipation of the slaves.1 Perhaps this accounts partly for the unanimity with which they have declared in favor of peace.
Calhoun has won what Adams has lost; and I have been not a little pained to be obliged to withdraw my sympathies from the revered champion of freedom, and give them to the unhesitating advocate of slavery.
Calhoun's course has been wise and able.
In December, Texas
, with a constitution establishing slavery and guarding against emancipation by extreme provisions, was admitted as a State without serious opposition.
was, however, heard at the final stage, in brief but weighty words from Webster
in the Senate, and in a speech from Julius Rockwell
in the House
, where the latter succeeded in getting the floor in spite of a resolute effort to suppress debate.
In the session of the Massachusetts Legislature which followed shortly after the admission of Texas
, the division of sentiment