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The politicians are making all their plans to crush us, and they seem to be succeeding so well that all our best energies and most unflinching devotion to principles can alone save us. For myself I see no appreciable difference between Hunker Democracy and Hunker Whiggery: in both, all other questions are lost in the “single idea” of opposition to the Free Soil sentiment. Nor can I imagine any political success, any party favor or popular reward, which would tempt me to compromise in any respect the independent position which I now hold.

It is vain to try to et rid of this question of the slave-power except by victory over it; and our best course, it seems to me, is to be always ready for the contest. But I am a practical man, and desire to act in such way as best to promote the ideas which we have at heart. If you can show me the road, I am ready to follow. . . . The two years before us will be crucial years, years of the Cross. But I know that better tines will soon come. For God's sake, stand firm! I hope John Van Buren will not allow himself to be enmeshed in any of the tempting arrangements for mere political success. He is so completely committed to our cause that he can hope for nothing except by its triumph. I know no one who has spoken a stronger or more timely word for us than he has. I am much attached to him personally. I admire his abilities, and am grateful for what he has done; but I feel that if me would surrender himself more unreservedly to the cause he would be more effective still. Few have such powers.

Again, November 19—

I do not see our future on the Presidential question. The recent declaration of Toombs seems ominous of a break-up, in which I should rejoice. I long to see men who really think alike on national politics acting together. The Whigs [in Massachusetts] are in despair. They confess that they are badly beaten. The coalition has been sustained and its candidate.

Mr. Winthrop was not again a candidate for office. He acted in 1852 with the Whigs; in 1856, 1860, and 1864 he opposed the Republicans, and then withdrew from political controversy. His old Free Soil adversaries had a kindly feeling towards him notwithstanding the asperities of their contests with him. Sumner, after the early part of 1848, abstained from all reflections upon his course, publicly or privately.1 Wilson, in 1855, formally invited him to join in the anti-Nebraska movement, which was the beginning of the Republican party; but made as he was, and seeing things as he saw them, he could not accept the overture.2 There was no time when Wilson and Sumner would not

1 One or two slight allusions in private correspondence do not seem to require a qualification of the general statement.

2 Wilson's ‘Rise and Fall of the Slave Power,’ vol. II. p. 433. Whittier, while as positive as other antislavery men against Winthrop's political course at this period, 1846– 1851, regarded him with great respect, and deeply regretted that he did not take his place with the antislavery party.

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