introduced them to the convention in an earnest and conciliatory speech.
at once objected to the amendment that it was superfluous, being the same in substance as the committee's report, which sufficiently covered the ground.1 C. F. Adams
, whose speech was heartily cheered, expressed his earnest desire both for a union of the party and a union founded on principle, and advocated resolutions which, instead of repeating old commonplaces, met the new state of affairs.
His remarks were a reply to Winthrop
's speech and to Child
's objection to Phillips
's resolutions, and criticised sharply the committee's report.
The convention was by this time pervaded by deep feeling.
The earnestness of the speakers, the personalities open and covert, what was said, and what though unsaid was implied, combined to intensify the excitement.
It was the first conflict within the party in which the two opposing sections had met face to face; and the result was doubtful.
The passion was not confined to the platform, but was shown on the floor in sullen countenances and angry voices.
There was some confusion, and there were fears that the body would break up in disorder.
The fate of Philips
's amendment was uncertain; but it seemed likely to pass.
It was opposed by many active politicians, and found little favor with the delegates from Boston
; but it received general support from the country delegates.
The four leaders who sustained it—Sumner, Phillips
, and Allen
—were a combination of personal power and capacity for debate which found no serious obstruction save in Winthrop
At this juncture Lawrence
, and other prominent Whigs were seen to be anxiously conferring, and immediately at their instance Fletcher Webster
left the hall.
Soon he came back, and whispered to Lawrence
, who went out, and shortly returned leading Daniel Webster by the arm. The scene is still vividly remembered by men now old, or middle aged, who were then young.
The great orator, endowed with a marvellous presence, such as has been the gift of no other, ancient or modern, walked slowly the length of the hall, the delegates parting as he advanced, and took his seat near the platform.