The sentiment of opposition to the slave-power, to the extension of slavery, and to its longer continuance wherever under the Constitution the national government is responsible for it, though recognized by individuals and adopted by a small and faithful party, is now for the first time the leading principle of a broad, resolute, and national organization. . . We found now a new party. Its corner-stone is freedom, its broad, all—sustaining arches are truth, justice, and humanity.1He introduced as speakers R. H. Dana, Jr., D. D. Field, and Joshua Leavitt, who had been delegates at Buffalo. A series of resolutions was read by John A. Andrew. The Free Soil State convention met at Tremont Temple in Boston, September 6. Sumner was present at the preliminary caucus in that city, speaking briefly, and being placed at the head of the list of delegates. He assisted in the preparations for the convention by inviting speakers and counselling as to candidates. The convention continued for two days. It nominated S. C. Phillips for governor, and an electoral ticket, at the head of which was Samuel Hoar. The addresses and proceedings were marked by a most serious and determined spirit. ‘It was,’ as Sumner wrote to Palfrey, ‘an earnest, imposing body, with an enthusiasm that rose to fever heat.’ Sumner spoke briefly in moving a committee to report an address and resolutions, of which he was made chairman.2 His name was put at the head of a State committee which was charged with the management of the campaign, and he became its chairman. At a later stage in the convention he again spoke briefly, stating the sympathy of Ex-President Adams with the movement in his last days. Besides the work of organization and conference which fell to him as chairman of the State committee and one of the leading
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1 Works, vol. II. pp 140-146.
2 The address was not his own composition; Palfrey was its reputed author. The Free Soilers of Massachusetts proved to be men of extraordinary vitality; and it is interesting to observe how many of them came to the front before or during the Civil War,—Sumner, Adams, Wilson, Burlingame, Dana, E. R. Hoar, and Andrew. Among the younger Free Soilers were George F. Hoar, Henry L. Pierce, John A. Kasson, and Marcus Morton, Jr, the last of whom became chief-justice of the Supreme Court of the State. The Free Soilers of Massachusetts have held two reunions,—one, Aug. 9, 1877, at Downer Landing, Hingham, with C. F. Adams presiding; and another, June 28, 1888, at the Parker House in Boston. with E. L. Pierce in the chair. The proceedings in each case were printed in pamphlet form.
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