of uniform character; and the motion was carried.
On the next ballot (the twenty-sixth), conducted in this manner, Sumner
received one hundred and ninety-three votes,—just the number necessary to elect, and the same number he had received on several other ballots, and one less than he had received on one ballot the day before.
's vote was one hundred and sixty-six, one less than he started with, and five less than the highest he received.
The scattering vote was three less than on the first ballot, and from five to twelve less than it had been on several ballots.
It was thought that the secret ballot had an effect opposite to that which may have been its purpose, and enabled one or two Whigs, or one or two ‘indomitables,’ to vote under cover for Sumner
, or to cast one of the two blanks which were found in the boxes and thrown out. Who gave the decisive vote could not be ascertained; suspicion or guess or a tardy claim has pointed at different members as casting it.1
The declaration of the final vote, which took place early in the afternoon, was greeted with cheers, which the Speaker
The news spread quickly.
The Free Soilers rejoiced with fulness of heart, many saying as long as they lived that it was the happiest moment of their lives.
The managers of the ‘Commonwealth’ displayed the national colors from their office at the northeast corner of Washington
and State streets, and in the evening illuminated the building and sent up rockets.
A large crowd, counted by thousands.
were attracted by the display, and were addressed from the east front of the Old State house by Wilson
, Thomas Russell
, and Joseph Lyman
, interrupted by a cheer for Webster
, retorted that the victory of the day and the prostration of the Whigs
dated from March 7, 1850, ‘when that great man stood up in the Senate and repudiated the long-cherished sentiments of Massachusetts
The event was recognized by a cannon salute in Boston
, and by similar demonstrations in other cities and towns.
A formal commemoration was arrested by Sumner
's earnestly expressed wish, as he was unwilling that the success of the cause should have at all the appearance of a personal triumph.2