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[143] a large fraction of eastern Mexico should not become ours, still there will be territory acquired on which the Will not Proviso must operate. It is, then, of vast importance that we should be prepared for this alternative, and not be cajoled into the simple cry of “no more territory. . . . I observe that you omit any explicit declaration of the right and duty of Congress to stop the supplies which feed the unjust war. Perhaps this is expedient, in order to avoid the offensive misinterpretation which would make us leave our poor servants and soldiers already in the field a prey to famine and death; and yet the line is sufficiently clear between those active appropriations which sustain the war, and the passive appropriations which only contemplate the support and safety of our troops. . . . . An interesting question here arises which has occupied much of our attention, and which seems to be contemplated by the tenth resolution,—what will be our duty if the [Whig] national convention should postpone or evade or negative these questions ” Our policy has been adherence to the Whig party, believing that through that organization we might accomplish the greatest good, and most effectively advance our sentiments. But if that convention, under slaveholding influence, should decline to sanction what seem to us cardinal truths, placed also in the foreground by your resolutions, can we sustain its course . . . It has appeared to us almost vain to expect a Whig convention or the Whig party throughout the country at present to sustain our views, which are substantially set forth in your resolutions. It has, however, seemed to us not impossible that many of the Northern Democrats, and perhaps all of the Liberty party, would join us, if we stood firmly on the ground which we have assumed.

Political movements in the autumn of 1847 were of particular interest on account of their relation to the national election of the next year. The delegates from Boston to the Whig State convention were chosen at a general caucus held September 15 in Washingtonian Hall, where Sumner in response to a call from the floor made an earnest speech of half an hour, offering at the same time resolutions which condemned the war, called for the withdrawal of our troops, and demanded the prohibition of slavery in territory which should be acquired from Mexico.1 They were supported by C. F. Adams, and opposed by James T. Austin,2 William Hayden, and C. T. Russell. Although they corresponded in substance with those which the Legislature had passed a few months before, they were laid on the table. Hayden intimated that ‘the source’ from which they came affected his action in a measure.3 Sumner was placed at the head of the list of delegates, exceeding one hundred in number,

1 Works, vol. II. p. 55.

2 Noted for his hostility to the antislavery movement. Ante, vol. i. p. 155; II. p. 1.

3 The rejection of the resolutions was the subject of discussion in the newspapers. BostonAtlas,’ September 17; Boston ‘Whig,’ September 16, 17, 18, 20, 21.

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