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[167] ‘that combination of persons, or perhaps of politicians, whose animating principle is the perpetuation and extension of slavery, with the advancement of slaveholders;’ and he contended that former issues, altogether material and economical, which had hitherto been party watchwords, had disappeared. He concluded with an inspiring appeal to all, particularly the young, to join the new movement for truth, justice, and humanity. With reference to the objection that the new party could not succeed, he said:—

But it is said that we shall throw away our votes, and that our opposition will fail. Fail, sir! No honest, earnest effort in a good cause can fail. It may not be crowned with the applause of men; it may not seem to touch the goal of immediate worldly success, which is the end and aim of so much in life. But it is not lost; it helps to strengthen the weak with new virtue, to arm the irresolute with proper energy, to animate all with devotion to duty, which in the end conquers all. Fail! Did the martyrs fail when with their precious blood they sowed the seed of the Church? Did the discomfited champions of Freedom fail who have left those names in history that can never die? Did the three hundred Spartans fail when in the narrow pass they did not fear to brave the innumerable Persian hosts, whose very arrows darkened the sun? Overborne by numbers, crushed to earth, they left an example greater far than any victory. And this is the least we can do. Our example will be the mainspring of triumph hereafter. It will not be the first time in history that the hosts of Slavery have outnumbered the champions of Freedom. But where is it written that Slavery finally prevailed?

Sumner wrote to Palfrey, June 8:—

The news has come by telegraph; we have no details. Meanwhile the enclosed call1 has been printed; it was written by Rockwood Hoar. The Webster men have promised to bolt with us; it remains to be seen if they will. They say that Webster will. Our call has not yet received any signatures; indeed, it has not left my office. We await the movement of the others; we offer to lead or follow. I wish you were here. It is said that Mr. Lawrence will be ousted from the Vice-Presidential chances; this pleases many here. The Webster and Lawrence factions are very angry with each other,—almost as much as both once were with us.

To George Sumner, June 13:—

Taylor is nominated at last. A week or fortnight will disclose whether a new combination will not be effected among the free States. The effect of a regular nomination is potential. It is difficult to oppose it; but it will be opposed in Ohio, and there are symptoms now of rebellion in New York. In Massachusetts we have called a convention for June 28 to organize opposition.

1 For a State convention of all opposed to both Cass and Taylor.

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