's Administration; and their address, from the same hand, while delicately commenting on the Compromise, sought to pacify the public mind with the claim that the North
had on the whole gained the substance.
The Free Soilers and Democrats united on senators in all the counties with no difficulty, except in Middlesex
, where the union was opposed by Samuel Hoar
, and J. C. Dodge
; and in the towns such unions were almost universal.
For Congress the Free Soilers
, the rejected Whig, and Fowler
, insuring the election of both.
The canvass was very spirited.
The Free Soilers issued a campaign paper, ‘The Free Soiler,’ edited by F. W. Bird
, John B. Alley
, and Horace E. Smith
, which was widely distributed among the voters.
They held meetings in all parts of the State
, not neglecting the smallest and remotest towns.
They sent out not only their eminent speakers,—Sumner, Palfrey
,—but a number of young men, some fresh from college, whose zeal and enthusiasm were effective.1
The details of organization were carefully watched by Wilson
, and Alley
, who conferred daily, and who were assisted by practical and sagacious men in all sections of the State
The pendency of a fugitive-slave case in October, in Boston
, the first under the new Act, added to the excitement.
A few days before the election Sumner
made a speech in Faneuil hall, in some respects his most effective one before the people.
Certainly no speech he ever made was so calculated to intensify popular feeling.
Briefly, as he began, he expressed his approval of the unions with the Whigs
as candidates for Congress, and with the Democrats in the election of members of the Legislature.
While setting forth the advance of slavery in former times, and recently in the Compromise, and the duty of resisting it and overthrowing it as a national political power, the force of the speech was directed against the Fugitive Slave
law. He denied its binding force under the Constitution
, and arraigned its enormities.
The subject was new, and his speech profoundly moved the vast audience.
In some parts he was interrupted at the end of nearly every sentence with cheers, or other demonstrations of approval.