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[328] were Banks, Boutwell, Hallett, B. F. Butler (since known as General Butler), W. Griswold, and J. G. Abbott; and among the latter were Wilson, Dana, Sumner, Burlingame, Charles Allen, Marcus Morton (two of the name, father and son), Amasa Walker, E. L. Keyes, Charles P. Huntington, F. W. Bird, and John M. Earle. Five of the members had been or were afterwards governors,—Briggs, Boutwell, Gardner, Banks, and Talbot. Three afterwards became United States senators, Rockwell, Boutwell, and Dawes. One (the younger Morton) became chief-justice of the State. The convention began its session May 4, and closed August 1. Robert Rantoul, father of the distinguished statesman of that name, and member of the next earlier convention of 1820, called it to order. Banks, already eminent as a presiding officer of the State House of Representatives, and since Speaker in Congress, was chosen the president. Nothing was wanting to the dignity of the assembly; its only drawback was the circumstance that its members had been chosen on strict party lines, and the majority had a distinct political end in view.

The two political leaders were Wilson on the Free Soil side, and Griswold on the Democratic,—both intent on the reduction of the power of the centres of population, but neither of them endowed with a natural or acquired aptitude for the general business of such a convention. With them acted in full accord Boutwell, who combined with his position as a former governor a faithful study of all the questions at issue, assiduous devotion to the proceedings, and remarkable facility and power in debate. Butler, their coadjutor, brought to the partisan disputes the pugnacity which was hereafter to be displayed in national scenes.1 Wilson had a larger following than any one,—a leadership which was due to his acquaintance with all the Free Soil and Democratic members, his relation to the coalition from the beginning, and his restless activity. He was the one to rally and inspire with a common purpose the allied forces; and a hundred delegates looked to him for the signal to move in any given direction. It is not so easy to name the Whig leaders. Their work was one of criticism and obstruction. Schouler, the editor, was perhaps the most watchful. Generally the Boston delegates were vigilant whenever any conservative bulwark of the

1 One day when Butler was on the floor, Sumner said in conversation: ‘He is a gallant fellow. What a splendid man he would be if he had more of the moral in him!’

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