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[224] 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 Museum. Buckingham was the president, and Adams chairman of the committee on resolutions. Sumner 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 committee. Phillips 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 law. Adams, Burlingame, 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!’ ‘Lucifer fallen!’ 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 and Arnold. Emerson said of him, in the Cambridge City Hall, ‘Every drop of blood in this man's veins has eves that look downward.’ Whittier wrote of him as ‘Ichabod,’—

1 Longfellow's diary, March 9, 1850.

2 Dr. Palfrey has perpetuated his permanent judgment in his ‘History of New England,’ vol. v. .487, where he refers to ‘those great men of New England who, in the three special crises of her history, abased themselves to take the lead in deserting and withstanding her righteous cause.’ Two of these were the Colonial governors, Dudley and Hutchinson, and the third, not named, was Webster.

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