, and indeed to the Free Soilers
generally, this result was very agreeable.
It was easy for him to keep up friendly relations with Mr. Everett
, which it would have been difficult for him to have with either of the other two.
There was at this time apathy in the public mind as to the slavery question, a prevailing sense that since the election of Pierce
further protests against the Compromise were hopeless.
wrote to Sumner
, Dec. 21, 1852: ‘These are dark days for us and for our cause.
Many will yield to the pressure, I fear, that is now upon us, . . . but we must hope on, and labor for a better day.’
wrote, December 22, more hopefully, expecting recruits from the disorganized Whig party, and recommending the use of every chance to expose the arrogant and domineering character of the political oligarchy then in power.
Neither dreamed that their opportunity was to come in the further advance which the slave-power was to attempt a twelvemonth hence.
F. W. Bird
, with an insight beyond that of others, wrote as the year was closing that while Free Soilers had been devoting all their strength to the Fugitive Slave
law, which he thought practically dead, the enemy had been pushing its plans of propagandism, and that the extension
of slavery was the impending issue.
He only erred in pointing to Cuba
instead of Kansas
A public dinner was given in Boston
, May 5, 1853, to John P. Hale
, the candidate of the Free Soilers
at the last election; and fifteen hundred plates were laid in the hall of the Fitchburg Railroad station.
Cassius M. Clay
came from Kentucky
, and John Jay
from New York; and there was an abundant flow of eloquence from the antislavery orators of the State
,—Palfrey the president, Sumner
, and Garrison
Each speaker passed from a brief tribute to the guest to thoughts and inspirations suggested by his presence and career.
If the party was inferior in numbers to its opponents it surpassed them in its capacity to provide such an intellectual entertainment, and its wealth in this regard was a potent influence in keeping up the morale and vigor of its forces.
was received with enthusiasm and interrupted with repeated cheers.
Called up by a toast to the Union
, he declared it to be ‘a necessity, not ’