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[182]

You and other Abolitionists are solely responsible for the continuance of slavery in four States, also for the admission of Texas and the war with Mexico. Your principles tend directly to the breaking up of this glorious republic. You and I never can meet on neutral ground. I call contemplate you only in the character of a defamer of those you profess to love, and an enemy to the permanency of this Union.

Sumner was disappointed in not having the co-operation of certain public men who might have effectively aided the new movement. Charles Hudson and Governor Briggs had avowed with great earnestness antislavery sentiments, and had been strongly opposed to Taylor's nomination; but they soon came to his support, making their decision as ‘a choice of evils.’ The former lost his re-election to Congress, being defeated by Charles Allen; and the latter, who explained the reasons for his decision at considerable length in a letter to Sumner, passed two years later out of political life, being defeated as a candidate for governor by the same union of Free Soilers and Democrats which elected Sumner to the Senate. Horace Greeley, editor of the ‘Tribune,’ wrote to Sumner June 25, declining to take definite action for the present, and expressing the fear that the secession of earnest Free Soil men from the old parties would leave the pro-slavery men in control, and increase the number of members of Congress who would not insist on the prohibition of slavery. While kindly to the dissenters, he wrote that he had decided not to identify himself with them, and added: ‘I do not judge that this course is the best for you or for others; act as your own conscience and judgment shall dictate.’ Later he announced his support of Taylor.1

After entering Congress in March, 1848, Horace Mann retained, by advice of the friends of popular education, his office of Secretary of the Board of Education; and on account of that connection was disinclined to enter into political contests which would interfere with his usefulness in the office of secretary.2 Sumner, in person and in several letters, urged him to declare against Taylor's nomination, and to take his place openly with the Free Soilers; but Mann, while generally heedful of Sumner's opinions, did not see his duty in that light. He made a speech in Congress on the slavery question, which Sumner admired very much; but he took no stand in the national election, withholding

1 New York Tribune, September 29.

2 Mann's Life, pp. 264-265.

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