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[236] of persevering opposition from any quarter. His election now seemed assured. George S. Boutwell, Democrat, was chosen governor, and the other State offices were filled as had been arranged. At this point, however, some Democratic members, led by Cushing, met in caucus and decided not to support Sumner on account of his antislavery position, which they described as abolitionism and disunionism. They numbered about twenty-five,—or twenty-three, as Wilson definitely fixed the number. They had already in conjunction with the Whig members defeated in the house a motion of the Free Soil leader, Mr. Earle, to have the election of senator take place on the day that the vote for governor was taken. Meantime, at the beginning of the session there were voices of dissent from one or two Free Soil leaders. Palfrey, who with all his moral excellence had an element of impracticability in him, addressed the members in an open letter, in which he depreciated the importance of a Free Soil senator, and counselled against co-operation with the Democrats;1 and his address to them was in a measure approved by Adams and S. C. Phillips.2 Annoying as this interference was, it had little effect on the members.

The House appointed January 14 for the election of senator. Never before in the history of the State had such an election so engrossed the public attention. A radical change in the representation of the State was imminent, and the action of the Democratic dissenters had made the issue uncertain. The members themselves, the spectators who filled the galleries, the throng outside which pressed at the doors and crowded the passages, awaited the result with intense interest. It was known to the members by report before the formal declaration; and it was observed that the politics of a man could readily be detected by the expression of his countenance,—anxiety and grief on those of the Free Soilers, satisfaction and a sense of relief oil those of the Whigs.3 Sumner had received 186 (110 given by Free Soilers and 76 by Democrats) votes, Winthrop 167, and there were 28 scattering, composed mostly of the dissenting Democrats, with three blanks, which were not counted. Sumner lacked five votes of an election, and the only other ballot taken

1 Palfrey was, however, gratified by Sumner's election, and wrote the full biographical sketch of him which appeared in the ‘Commonwealth,’ May 16, 1851.

2 Commonwealth, January 9, 13.

3 Boston Courier, January 15.

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