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[281] our principles and character. For myself, I am left alone. The political fellowships I had hoped to establish are vanishing. Of course I can have nothing to do with Pierce or his platform,—probably nothing with Scott or his. How I wish we had all stuck together! Should Pierce be elected, with a Democratic Senate and house, we should have the iron rule of the slave-power.

To C. F. Adams, June 21:—

We hear that Scott is nominated at last. I tell you confidentially how Seward regards it. He thinks that his friends have been defeated, that Scott is made to carry weight which will probably defeat him, and that the campaign can have little interest for the friends of our cause. He will take an opportunity, by letter or speech, to extricate himself from the platform. Seward's policy is to stick to the Whig party, no action of theirs can shake him off. But the cause of freedom he has constantly at heart; I am satisfied of his sincere devotion to it. Major Donaldson says that there is now no difference between the Whigs and Democrats; their platforms, he says, are identical. This is the darkest day of our cause. But truth will prevail. Are there any special words of your grandfather against slavery anywhere on record, in tract or correspondence? If there are, let me have them. I wish you were here.

In this session of Congress there was naturally a lull on the slavery question. The slaveholding interest had gained in the preceding Congress all it could expect to gain for the present; and the supporters of the Compromise were averse to further agitation of the subject. Foote of Mississippi, however, who was to leave the Senate at the end of the first month to become governor of his State, and was unwilling to forego another opportunity for defending slavery, introduced a resolution on the first day of the session declaring the Compromise measures a definitive settlement of the questions concerning slavery. The debate, which he opened, proceeded at intervals, but was confined almost wholly to the Southern senators, those who like Foote supported the Compromise as the best thing for the South, and those like the senators from South Carolina who opposed it from the standpoint of disunionists; and it was conducted with acrimony and personal recrimination between the two Southern divisions. The Northern senators, whether supporting or opposing the Compromise, kept aloof from the discussion, except Davis1 of Massachusetts;

1 Mr. Davis's term was near its end, and the Legislature, which was to choose his successor, would be elected before the next session of Congress. This is the probable reason for his entering into the debate. Sumner wrote from the Senate chamber, January 28, to W. S. Robinson: ‘I have sent you a correct copy of my speech on the practical question of lands My colleague is now speaking on the agitating question of the Compromise. On this subject the time will come for me; but it is not now.’

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