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[342] A private letter written immediately after the election by a young man in Dorchester, who was in daily intercourse with the merchants of Boston, since holding a seat in Congress, said:—

Whiggery as usual in victory is domineering and insolent, and I am beset on all sides. I pity Wilson. the Whigs are taunting, sneering, and levelling all their envenomed shafts at him. Truly a politician's path is beset with thorns. It seems to me as if all the honors he has received would not compensate this one defeat and humiliation. . . . Insolence, impudence, and arrogance are at a premium with the Whigs just now. Wherever we go—in the street, in the train, and everywhere—we are told that our party is dead, that we are an unprincipled set. One man told me I was “a damned fool.” Whichever way we go we are jeered, hissed, pointed at, and spit upon by Whiggery.

The Free Soilers were disheartened. Their leaders admitted they had received the heaviest blow which ever befell a party, and the more it was considered the worse it seemed. They foresaw that with the final rupture of the coalition, which it would be futile to attempt again, and with no hope hereafter of immediate results to cheer their followers, there was to be a long contest in which, with numbers diminishing, they could count only on the most steadfast in conviction. Saddest of all was Wilson, who enjoyed political position for its excitement, and who had no private means of support, but who was far from being a selfseeker, loving his party as few have loved it, and ready to make sacrifices for it,—his chagrin now sharpened by the consciousness that Palfrey's and Adams's demonstrations had been in part inspired by undeserved misconceptions of his purposes and methods.1

The Free Soilers, however, soon gathered courage, and became consolidated by the arrogance and intemperate exultations of the Whigs. To their convictions of right was added a deep sense of personal wrong, and smarting under the obloquy they bided their time. Their leaders without delay, to the number of one hundred, held a conference, in which they resolved to perfect their organization, and put forth immediate efforts to advance their antislavery principles by means of lectures and the distribution of documents. All, while adhering to these principles,

1 Warrington's (W. S. Robinson) ‘Pen Portraits,’ p. 204. Wilson now sought the means of support by delivering lectures before lyceums, and by returning to the manufacture of boots at Natick, in which he had been unsuccessful before he became an editor. He employed forty workmen in his factory; but he was no more fortunate in this second venture than in his first. See his letter in the BostonAtlas,’ Oct. 17, 1854

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