or its candidates in favor of slavery or the Compromise; and the thought of the New York statesman was, that, in the event of a secession of Southern Whigs, their places would be more than supplied by recruits from the antislavery voters of the free States.
If his plan had succeeded, a considerable part, probably the greater part, of the Free Soilers
would, while maintaining as well as they could their ‘third party’ organization, have given their votes for Scott
, who, by reason of his supposed sympathy with Northern opinions and his confidential relations with Seward
, was thought to be less likely than his Democratic rival to promote further schemes for extending and strengthening slavery.
Nowhere at this time was the perplexity among the Free Soilers
greater than in Massachusetts
, where there were cross purposes growing out of their co-operation with the Democrats for the two previous years, and the prospect of carrying some of the Congressional districts by another year of such co-operation.
looked favorably on Scott
's candidacy, and all the more because of its probable effect in breaking up the coalition, which he had always disapproved.
Midway between the Democratic
and Whig conventions he wrote to Sumner
, June 11: ‘My opinion is that we can make no effective stand on an independent candidate.
If Governor Seward
can succeed in preventing any resolution at the convention, my inclination is to declare in Scott
's favor individually, but not collectively as Free Soilers.’
With him agreed S. C. Phillips
and many others of the party.
At a conference of the Free Soil
leaders at the Adams House
, June 5, there was developed such a want of common purpose that the party seemed near its end.
In the midst of this perplexity, Sumner
, while conferring with Chase
, and keeping up a correspondence with Free Soilers at home, adhered steadily to his independent position, and counselled Wilson
and other political friends to keep themselves entirely uncommitted until the field was made clear by the action of the two conventions.1
He was specially anxious to