public opinion which it was necessary to respect, they stated with considerable force the antislavery position of the Whigs
of the State
, pledging them ‘to promote all constitutional measures for the overthrow of slavery, and to oppose at all times, with uncompromising zeal and firmness, any further addition of slaveholding States to this Union out of whatever territory formed, and all further extension of the slavery of the African race on this continent.’
They were, however, encumbered with qualifications and limitations which impaired their effect; and they gave equal if not greater prominence to the financial and material questions with which the Whigs
had been identified, and affirmed that the slavery question could be successfully dealt with only by the united Whig party of the country.
in reading them so managed his voice, which was high-sounding and declamatory, as to give quite as much emphasis to the old commonplaces as to the new and greater issues.1
As had been expected, Stephen C. Phillips2
then offered a series of resolutions as an amendment and addition to the committee's report.
By their general effect as well as by direct expression they made opposition to slavery the paramount political duty, declaring that the Whigs
‘must hereafter be regarded as the decided and uncompromising opponents of slavery and its extension beyond its present limits, and its continuance where it already exists; that they will concur in all constitutional measures to promote its abolition; and that in their political action they will support such men only as will steadfastly advance by appropriate measures these their principles and purposes.’
In this last clause, which was more than a statement of doctrines, and suggested a possible separation from the national Whig party, as also in their more determined spirit, the resolutions offered as an amendment differed from those reported by the committee.