On Feb. 4, 1847, a meeting was held at Faneuil Hall as a popular demonstration against the war. The leading Whigs kept aloof from it. The speakers were Sumner
, James Freeman Clarke
, Judge John M. Williams
, Theodore Parker
, Elizur Wright
, and Dr. Walter Channing
It was interrupted by considerable disturbance, in which volunteers for the war took the principal part, and attempted to prevent the speakers being heard.
insisted that the war was purely offensive, and on this as on other occasions he assailed it as a violation of the fundamental principles of morals, binding alike on nations as on individuals; and he called for the withdrawal of our troops from Mexico
In the spring of 1847 Sumner
prepared for a legislative committee an elaborate report2
on the Mexican War
and the duties and responsibilities of citizens as to the institution of slavery.
It reviewed the events connected with the annexation of Texas
and the war; set forth in vigorous language the pro-slavery purposes of their authors; denounced the war as waged ‘against freedom, against humanity, against justice, against the Union
, against the Constitution
, and against the free States;’ called for the withholding of supplies and the withdrawal of our troops from Mexico
, and briefly urged strenuous and combined efforts for the restraint and overthrow of the slave-power.
The four resolutions which accompanied the report summarized its conclusions.
The majority of the committee, of which Hayden
, editor of the ‘Atlas
,’ was chairman, had been dilatory in taking any action, and finally agreed upon a report which was thought to be wanting in spirit and directness.
Edward L. Keyes
, of Dedham
, from the minority of the committee, submitted the report and resolutions which Sumner
There was a contest in the House
, attended with considerable excitement, and lasting for several days.3
The resolutions reported by Keyes
were on the motion of C. R. Train
substituted for the majority report by a considerable majority, and were then passed by a vote of more than two to one.
With a slight amendment, they then passed the Senate with no serious opposition.
's resolutions thus became the declared opinions