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1 He received from the convention the nomination which he desired; but it availed him little. The antislavery Whigs, with a few exceptions, had come to distrust him, and declined to vote. On the other hand, active partisans intent upon success, and seeking a candidate who could command more votes than his party, were looking in other directions. Later in the day there was a debate on the resolutions, one of which affirmed that Massachusetts would never consent on the conclusion of a peace to any acquisition of territory except on the unalterable condition that slavery should not exist within it. In order to make this declaration one of action and not merely one of doctrine, Palfrey moved an additional resolution pledging the Whigs of Massachusetts ‘to support no men for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States but such as are known by their acts or declared opinions to be opposed to the extension of slavery.’ The resolution was supported by Palfrey, Adams, Sumner, Allen, and William Dwight. Sumner spoke briefly, urging the Whigs to make opposition to slavery the paramount rule of action in voting as well as in declarations of opinion.2 He said in conclusion:—

And be assured, sir, whatever the final determination of this convention, there are many here to-day who will never yield support to any candidate for Presidency or Vice-Presidency who is not known to be against the extension of slavery, even though he have freshly received the sacramental unction of a “regular nomination.” We cannot say, with detestable morality, “Our party, right or wrong.” The time has gone by when gentlemen can expect to introduce among us the discipline of the camp. Loyalty to principle is higher than loyalty to party. The first is a heavenly sentiment, from God; the other is a device of this world. Far above any flickering light or battle-lantern of party is the everlasting sun of Truth, in whose beams are the duties of men.

These speeches of Palfrey, Adams, Sumner, and Allen met with demonstrations of disfavor, chiefly from delegates from Boston. The noise began as Palfrey rose, and the shouting and

1 [145] in this speech declared it to be a duty to stop the supplies if the war was to be prosecuted for the acquisition of territory or any purpose not connected directly with the safety of the Union. Later in the day, Adams, in some caustic remarks. received with hisses as well as cheers, spoke of Sumner as ‘the first man in the United States to proclaim, and to argue at length, the doctrine of withdrawing the supplies,’ and asked if Webster would not soon claim that also as his ‘thunder.’ He discussed Webster's speech in the ‘Whig,’ Oct. 9 and 13, 1847. Webster's presence at the Whig State conventions in 1846 and 1847 is not mentioned by his biographer, G. T. Curtis, and his speeches on those occasions are omitted from Everett's edition of his Works; but they were published in the newspapers at the time.

2 Works, vol. II. pp. 55-62.

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