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[179] period in Boston journalism, such as has never been known since. Seceders from a party must not expect soft words from former associates; but the Whig journals of Boston at that time exceeded the limits of decent criticism, and undertook to enforce a discipline inconsistent with individual liberty. In contrast with their vindictiveness was the course of the New York Tribune, the representative Whig journal of the United States, which treated the Free Soil leaders with uniform respect and charity.

It was the fashion of the time to invoke the sentiment of national unity against a party organized on the basis of antislavery ideas. The ‘Atlas’ denounced the new party as ‘sectional,’ and promoting ‘disunion,’ and said the South ought not to submit to its policy,1 though the editor became eight years later an earnest supporter of the Republican party, to which the charge could be equally well applied. The Whig orators joined in this outcry. Choate assailed the Free Soilers as a party ‘founded upon geographical lines.’2 Others associated them with nullifiers, and held them up as deserving the penalties of treason.3

The passage of Sumner's speech at Worcester in June, in which he mentioned ‘the secret influence’ that went forth from New England, especially from Massachusetts, and ‘contributed powerfully’ to Taylor's nomination, and in which he referred to the ‘unhallowed union-conspiracy, let it be called—between remote sections; between the politicians of the Southwest and the politicians of the Northeast; between the cotton-planters and flesh-mongers of Louisiana and Mississippi, and the cotton-spinners and traffickers of New England; between the lords of the lash and the lords of the loom,’—led to a correspondence with Nathan Appleton, in which that gentleman, supposing himself to be one of the persons referred to, insisted upon Sumner giving his proofs. Sumner in reply reviewed the course of

1 August 26; November 13.

2 At Salem, Sept. 28, 1848.

3 Adams, November 9, at Faneuil Hall, made a spirited retort to Winthrop's suggestion. Boston ‘Republican,’ November 13.

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