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[313] vied with each other in volunteering abject submission to the Compromise. The party journals on both sides either insisted on a cordial support of the ‘finality’ platforms or acquiesced in silence.1 Politicians, even those who had been noted for antislavery professions, assumed the degrading obligations imposed at Baltimore. The New York Barnburners—W. C. Bryant, B. F. Butler,2 John Van Buren, S. J. Tilden, and H. B. Stanton—turned their backs on those noble protests for freedom which made 1848 an illustrious year in American annals, and supported the Democratic ‘finality’ candidates. The political opposition to the Compromise at the North was confined to the Free Soilers. Never did American politics sink to so low a point of degradation as at this time. Sumner wrote to Adams, June 21: ‘This is the darkest day of our cause; but truth will prevail.’

Mr. Webster's partisans, deeming him unjustly treated at Baltimore, nominated him as a candidate for President without protest from himself, and persisted in their independent action while he lived, and even after his death, which took place October 24, two weeks before the election. It was a sad close to the life of a great man. With all he had done for the Southern cause, he was left at the end with only the following of a small band of personal admirers. At the last he advised his friends to vote for Pierce, the candidate of the party he had always opposed.

The Free Soilers found themselves in the early months of 1852 in a state of perplexity. The secession of the Barnburners in New York had reduced their strength in the country by nearly one half. Chase had co-operated in 1849 with the Democrats of Ohio, who to a certain extent had taken an antislavery position, and he was withholding an intimation of what his course was to be in the coming election, waiting to see what influences were to control the Democratic party in its national convention. Seward, who meant to remain a Whig whatever course his party might take, was doing his best to promote Scott's nomination, and at the same time to prevent any declaration by the convention

1 Horace Greeley, in the New York Tribune, supported the Whig nominations, but refused to accept the Compromise platform as of binding authority. The New York Evening Post, conducted by W. C. Bryant and John Bigelow, supported the Democratic candidates while rejecting the Democratic platform. Thaddeus Stevens, in Pennsylvania, a Whig, while voting for the candidates of his party, persevered in repudiating the Compromise.

2 Mr. Butler is not to be confounded with another of the same name who had a political career in Massachusetts and in Congress.

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