were generally farmers and artisans, free from the influence of the mercantile interests then dominant in the Whig party.
Their leaders at the time were Robert Rantoul, Jr.
, Frederick Robinson
, Whiting Griswold
, Nathaniel P. Banks, Jr.
, and Benjamin F. Butler
,—all of whom in sentiment were in a greater or less degree favorable to the Free Soilers
the Free Soil
State convention met October 3, in Boston
, at the Washingtonian Hall
on Bromfield Street, but requiring more room for the delegates adjourned at noon to the Beach Street
was the president, and Adams
chairman of the committee on resolutions.
attended as a delegate.
Early in the session he read a letter from S. C. Phillips
declining to be again the candidate for governor, and remarked, as he finished the reading, that it seemed to him very difficult to spare its author.
He served on the committee on resolutions, and was again placed on the State
was, against his request, made again the candidate for governor.
The resolutions and speeches all denounced the Compromise, and demanded the repeal of the Fugitive Slave
, and George W. Julian
, of Indiana
, were among the speakers.
Late in the afternoon Sumner
made a special containing the germ of the one which he delivered later at Faneuil Hall.
The Free Soilers put in the foreground the issue of approving Webster
's support of the Fugitive Slave
law and his repudiation of the Wilmot Proviso
His change of front was referred to then and later, without reserve, and with all plainness of speech.
‘Traitor to liberty!’
a ‘Benedict Arnold
were descriptions often applied to him in newspapers and on the platform.
Men spoke of him on the streets as ‘Fallen, fallen, fallen from his high estate!’1 Palfrey
compared him to Strafford
, saying it was well for him that there were no blocks for statesmen now.2 Theodore Parker
traced a parallel between him and Strafford
said of him, in the Cambridge City Hall, ‘Every drop of blood in this man's veins has eves that look downward.’
wrote of him as ‘Ichabod,’—