So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawnAdams said publicly of Mann, that he had ‘boldly taken the great traitor by the throat and held him up to the view of the people of Massachusetts;’ and after the election in 1850 he suggested as the justification of the union of the Free Soilers with the Democrats, that it might ‘ring the political knell of one whose loose private and wavering public career has done more, in my humble judgment, to shake the principles and unsettle the higher policy of Puritan New England than that of any man known in its history.’1 These were not passionate outbursts, but the sober judgments of men who weighed their words, and held themselves responsible there for. Webster's retirement from the Senate in July, 1850, and the appointment of Winthrop by the governor of Massachusetts to fill the vacancy, substituted Winthrop for Webster as the Whig candidate for senator; but with the people, at least with the Free Soilers, the approval or disapproval of Webster still remained the issue of the State election. Winthrop's course in Congress differed somewhat from Webster's, and yet they continued in general accord politically. Winthrop's speech in the House may 8, in which he rejected the Wilmot Proviso and viewed without alarm the opening of new territory to slavery, showed them to be in substantial agreement, and called from the journal which most distinctly represented Webster the commendation that Winthrop had by that speech ‘placed himself side by side with Mr. Webster in the great effort to adjust the important matter in controversy.’2 He passed from the House to the Senate, July 30, in time to vote in the latter body on the
Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone
Then, pay the reverence of old days
To his dead fame;
Walk backward, with averted gaze,
And hide the shame!
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1 The editor of the Boston ‘Atlas,’ to whom Adams sent the letter to explain his position as to co-operation with the Democrats in the election of senator, dropped the words ‘loose private and’ from the letter; and Adams immediately caused it (Jan. 9, 1851) to be printed in the ‘Commonwealth’ with those words restored, justifying the reference to personal character ‘in cases where there is no dispute, and where the public injury done by force of evil example is esteemed of the most dangerous description.’
2 Boston Courier, May 14.
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