The publication of Palfrey
's letter was immediately followed by the letter of Caleb Cushing
of the United States
, to Richard Frothingham, Jr.
, which, assuming to speak for President Pierce
, forbade any further political association of the Democrats with the Free Soilers
, and declared the purpose of the Administration ‘to crush out the dangerous element of abolitionism under every guise and form.’1
Peremptory in form as well as in spirit, it threatened proscription from office as the penalty of disobedience.
Its style savored of imperialism, and was suited rather to Russia
than the United States
It was known at the time as Cushing
This interference was effective in disturbing the co-operation of the two parties, not only in the election of members of the Legislature, but also in the support of the new Constitution.
It was resented by all Democrats who retained any manly spirit; but a considerable number of editors and active politicians, aspiring to the many places in the national service made vacant by a change of Administration, at once withdrew from all co-operation with the Free Soilers
letter was doubtless the most serious blow which the coalition received.
The foreign or Irish voters (perhaps ten or twelve thousand), hitherto held by the Democrats, were turned almost in a body against the new Constitution,—partly for the reason that it reduced the representation of Boston
, where their, power was centred and was rapidly growing, but more because one of the amendments, to be separately voted on, expressly forbade the appropriation of public money for sectarian schools.2
The Catholic newspaper of Boston
in its weekly issues, and O. A. Brownson
in addresses, appealed to them to vote against it. It was charged also that at various points ecclesiastical influence was directly and openly exerted.
This was the first time that the foreign or Catholic vote was appealed to in the State
as a special interest and carried as a distinct body.
The liquor interest was stimulated into active opposition to the new Constitution by the proposed reduction in the representation of Boston
, where its power lay, and by antagonism to the Free