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[234] well. Charles Allen wrote from Washington, Feb. 7, 1851: ‘I need no declaration from you that you did not seek nor desire political office. On that subject you have no secrets to communicate to me; your purposes and wishes have been transparent. It is not difficult for me to appreciate your repugnance to political life.’ Palfrey, who was very unfriendly to the cooperation of the Free Soilers with the Democrats, nevertheless expressly acquitted Sumner of all selfish ends,—saying in a letter, February 25: ‘No one acquainted with your course in this matter can ever say that it has not been most high and honorable.’ Stephen C. Philips1—and no finer character distinguishes this period—naturally felt, after being the head of the Free Soil State ticket, a sense of disappointment that he had not been selected as the candidate for senator. He wrote Sumner pathetically, just after the nomination was made: ‘I acquit you of all unfriendly intentions or acts. I rejoice in the conviction that this, while it is the severest, is the last of my political trials; and though it is far from being such a close of a public career as is desirable, I derive satisfaction from the thought that your race begins where mine ends, and that a high destiny awaits you. None can wish you more cordially than I do a long life of usefulness, happiness, and honor.’ After his formal selection as the candidate, when his party's success had become dependent on his election, Sumner met his supporters in council from time to time, as it was his duty to do.

The Legislature met on the first Wednesday of January, 1851. Henry Wilson, Free Soiler, was at once made president of the Senate; and Nathaniel P. Banks, Jr., Democrat, speaker of the House,—each of whom was destined to hold the corresponding position in the national government. The Democratic and Free Soil members held separate caucuses at the State House before the session began,—the former in the Green Room, and the latter in room No. 1 above,—and each appointed a committee of conference consisting of twelve persons. The Free Soil committee, of which John Milton Earle was the chairman, communicated to the Democratic committee the disposition of the Free Soil members to place the Democrats in the entire control of the State government, on the sole condition that a Free Soiler, selected by themselves, should be elected senator for the full term. They had entered into the unions for the election of

1 1801-1857

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