with the men of State Street. The latter have been infinitely disturbed by the recent election. For the first time they are represented in the Senate by one over whom they have no influence, who is entirely independent, and is a “bachelor!” It was said along them at first that real estate had gone down twenty-five per cent! I regret the present state of things in New York [the absorption of the Barnburners by the Democratic party], because it seems to interfere with those influences which were gradually bringing the liberal and antislavery men of both the old parties together. Your politics will never be in a natural state till this occurs.While the credit of Sumner's election was shared by many, and Keyes, Bird, Earle, Alley, and William Claflin were effective workers, no one person contributed so much to it as Wilson, who five years later became his colleague.1 He had taken the lead in promoting the combination by which the Legislature had been carried against the Whigs. He was the chairman of a committee which had served during the long contest in organizing the supporters of Sumner. He insisted on adherence to Sumner as a candidate, and repelled the suggestion that any other name should be offered in his stead. He was conciliatory where conciliation promised any advantage, and aggressive when gentler methods would have signified weakness and distrust. A hostile movement from one who had been prominent as an advocate of the coalition drew from him a letter which, in its trenchant personalities, was not unworthy of Junius.2 Those who knew Mr. Wilson, or General Wilson as he was called, remember how active and restless me was by nature; and during this contest he seemed ubiquitous, putting life and courage into the united forces of Free Soilers and Democrats in their almost daily meetings, or as he sought them at their lodgings or met them in the lobbies of the State House. Other men associated with him could carry organization to a finer point than lie; but for the difficult task then on hand he had no peer. It is pleasant to make this record of one who, though he was himself ambitious, was loyal to his party and its cause, and was at no time the selfseeker that he was sometimes unjustly thought to be. Sumner, always ready to recognize other men's worth, wrote to Wilson, the day after the election, a letter in which he did no more than justice to the latter's remarkable services.
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