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[241] in caucus, march 17, passed a resolution that they would present no other alternative than their present candidate. Their organ, the ‘Commonwealth,’ was equally explicit and peremptory;1 and it answered the ‘Times's’ publication of the Faneuil Hall speech by reprinting it in full in its own columns, approving it in all respects as stating the doctrines of the party and of its candidate. But with all this exhibition of pluck, and while still rallying their forces, they had at the beginning of April little hope of success. On the second day of that month the vote outside of those given for Sumner and Winthrop rose to thirty-five, and the former lacked nine votes of an election. At that stage, James M. Stone of Charlestown, a member of the House, by nature firm in purpose, stated in debate his conviction that though Sumner was his first choice, all further efforts to elect him would be fruitless, and that to avoid throwing away the results of the autumn's victory there must be a change of candidate.2 Governor Boutwell felt embarrassed in holding his position by the Free Soil votes, which would not have been given to him had the action of the dissenting Democrats been known in advance; and he counselled, for the sake of success, the withdrawal of Sumner and a union on S. C. Phillips. The governor at that time had no liking for a man of Sumner's pronounced position as an antislavery agitator, as was evident from his action as a member of the Legislature at its previous session on the antislavery resolutions, from his inaugural message as governor, and his appointment, the next year, of Cushing as a judge of the Supreme Court.3 He was more careful than Banks—a Democrat also—not to compromise his position in the national party.

Favorable signs, however, soon appeared. Some of ‘the indomitables’—nearly all of whom had been chosen by the aid

1 March 18, 19, 20, 31.

2 Courier, April 3.

3 Mr. Boutwell, as a member of the House, spoke and voted March 22, 1850, against a series of resolutions of a thorough and comprehensive character, which expressed the opinions of the State in favor of an antislavery instead of a pro-slavery national policy; and he proposed a milder set, limited to the territorial question. His message as governor, in January, 1851, refrained from condemning the pro-slavery policy of the government, and sought to tone down the public feeling against the Fugitive Slave law. It was received with disfavor by antislavery men. Whittier, in a letter to Sumner, Jan. 16, 1851, referred to it as ‘that detestable message.’ The Free Soil organ, the ‘Commonwealth’ (January 20 and 23), was emphatic in disapproving it. Governor Boutwell signified by letter his approval of Mr. Webster's Compromise course. and received a grateful reply. (Webster's Private Correspondence, vol. II. pp. 472, 479.) Sumner's opinion of the governor's position at this period appears later (post, p. 247).

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