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[168] Meanwhile the ‘Barnburners’ are shaking New York to its centre. We hope to establish an alliance among the disaffected of both parties throughout tile free States.

Again, July 4—

We of the Whigs in Massachusetts have had our demonstration at Worcester, which was very effective. We have struck a chord which promises to vibrate throughout the free States. There are many persons who say now that the nominees, of the Buffalo convention, called for August 9, will carry all the free States. Our movement does not interest the cotton lords or the rich, but the people; it is eminently a popular cause. In Massachusetts it has been successful beyond my most sanguine expectations. Wherever our speakers have been they have produced a strong impression, so that we are led to believe that all that is wanted is that the truth should be declared. Put it before the people, and they will receive it. The coming Presidential contest promises to have a character which none other has ever had. High principles will be discussed in it.

To Whittier, July 12:—

Things tend to Van Buren as our candidate; I am willing to take him. With him we can break the slave-power; that is our first aim. We can have a direct issue on the subject of slavery. We hope that McLean will be Vice-President. Truly, success seems to be within our reach. I never supposed that I should belong to a successful party.

Sumner answered briefly to a call of the audience at a meeting in Tremont Temple, June 30, where Giddings made the principal speech;1 and he assisted in arranging other meetings in July.

The popular insurrection against the nominations made at Baltimore and Philadelphia seemed formidable when the antislavery opponents of Cass and Taylor came thronging to Buffalo from all parts of the free States. As they met August 9 in the City Park under a spacious tent, their numbers were estimated by impartial spectators at not less than ten thousand, and even as high as forty thousand. C. F. Adams was called to the chair. A part of the delegates had been chosen with method, and with deference to a fair apportionment; but the greater number were chosen irregularly, or came as volunteers. With some difficulty there was eliminated from the mass a representative body of delegates or ‘conferees,’ from which proceeded the resolutions and nominations. Over this body Salmon P. Chase presided. The men marked as leaders were Chase,

1 Sumner wrote to Palfrey of this meeting: ‘It was the most remarkable political demonstration which I ever witnessed. The immense audience was prodigiously impressed.’ A letter from Sumner describing this and other meetings in Massachusetts which were addressed by Giddings is printed in the latter's ‘Life’ by Julian, p. 247.

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