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[254] tells us that the Whigs are all united in support of the Compromise. Come what may, our Massachusetts battalion will stand firm.

To T. W. Higginson,1 September 5:—

More than ever do I feel the importance to our cause of preventing the Commonwealth from passing into the hands of Webster Whiggery. This, of course, can be prevented only by a combination—I wish a complete community of principle would allow it to be a union—with the Democrats. Regretting that they are not more essentially with us, I feel that we shall throw our staff away if we reject the opportunity which seems offered of their cooperation against the Whigs. With a mutual understanding of each other, and with a real determination to carry the combination honestly through in the hope of sustaining our great cause, I cannot doubt the result. Webster and Winthrop will be defeated. Perhaps, at the present moment, no political event connected with elections would be of greater advantage to freedom. . . . I fear from what I have heard that these views may not entirely harmonize with yours; but I feel that our aims are so nearly identical, my sympathy with your earnestness is so complete, that I do not think we could differ substantially as to the true course to be pursued if we could see each other and fully interchange opinions.

To George Sumner, September 10:—

On the tariff I am absolutely uncommitted. Mr. Henry Cabot, an old manufacturer, told me yesterday that he and others were now satisfied that “protection was a fallacy;” and that William Appleton had said that his vote could not be had for a change in the present tariff. Mr. Cabot thought the subject would not come up in the next session.

Again, September 30:—

The field of our national politics is still shrouded in mist. Nobody can clearly discern the future. On the Whig side, Fillmore seems to me the most probable candidate; and on the Democratic side, Douglas. I have never thought Scott's chances good, while Webster's have always seemed insignificant. His course lately has been that of a madman. He declined to participate in any of the recent celebrations,2 cherishing still a grudge because he was refused the use of Faneuil Hall. The mayor told me that Webster cut him dead, and also Alderman Rogers, when they met in the apartments of the President. The papers—two Hunkers—have hammered me for calling on the President.3 It is shrewdly surmised that their rage came from spite at the peculiarly cordial reception which he gave me. Lord Elgin I liked much; he is a very pleasant and clever man, and everybody gave him the palm among the speakers. I was not present at the dinner, and did not hear him.

1 This letter to Mr. Higginson, as well as another to Mr. Whittier, written a few days later, were intended to remove their doubts as to the policy of further co-operation with the Democrats.

2 Railroad Jubilee, Sept. 15, 1851.

3 September 17, in Boston. on the occasion of the Railroad Jubilee. Sumner, as already seen, had strongly condemned President Fillmore a year before for approving the Fugitive Slave bill.

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