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[184] exigencies confronting them, could be content with making merely a moral demonstration. Standing between two parties well balanced, they could use their power as an independent organization to force one or the other to do their work, and availing themselves of favorable opportunities could secure the election of senators and representatives in Congress fully committed to their principles. If they had been satisfied with merely bearing their testimony they would have been met only with derision; but they inspired different sentiments when they made their power felt, sometimes by voting for the candidate of the party with whom they were most in sympathy, and sometimes by a combination with one of the two great parties. They had already in this way won a victory in New Hampshire over Democratic subserviency by joining with the Whigs in the election of a Whig governor and of John P. Hale as senator.1 Early in 1849, holding with only two votes the balance of power in the Legislature of Ohio, they joined with the Democrats in the election of Democratic judges, in the repeal of the infamous laws against negroes, and the election of Salmon P. Chase to the Senate.2 Similar co-operation in Connecticut and Indiana resulted in the election of Free Soil members of Congress, or of Democrats who were pledged to Free Soil principles. On the other hand, Free Soilers in Massachusetts supported Mann for Congress, although he was at the time a voter and candidate of the Whig party. If political parties are only means to ends,— and certainly they are no more,—such co-operation or temporary connection with either of the two national parties was judicious and patriotic. The time was sure to come when it was to take place in Massachusetts, where the Free Soilers and Democrats exceeded the Whigs by twelve thousand voters, unless the latter by their representatives in Congress and their policy in the State assumed an unequivocal position in favor of antislavery principles and measures.

Extracts from Sumner's letters show his spirit and expectations at the time. To James A. Briggs, Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 18, 1848, he wrote:—

1 This was indeed before the formal organization of the Free Soil party; but the same considerations governed in that as in the later unions referred to. The Whigs took advantage of such opportunities, though condemning similar action in the Free Soilers In Missouri they joined with Democrats of the Calhoun type to defeat Benton, and elected Henry S. Geyer as senator.

2 Wilson's ‘Rise and Fall of the Slave Power,’ vol. II. p. 338.

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