day, he said, ‘Don't mind the rain.
It may be bad weather, but nothing to what the election of Polk
would bring upon us. Let no Whig be deterred by rain from doing his whole duty!
Who values his coat more than his country?’
All in vain.
The returns came in slowly to what they now do. The result of a presidential election is now known in New York within a few hours of the closing of the polls.
But then it was three days before the whigs certainly knew that Harry of the West
had been beaten by Polk
, before Americans
knew that their
voice in the election of president was not the controlling one.
‘Each morning,’ said the Tribune, a few days after the result was known, ‘convincing proofs present themselves of the horrid Effects of Loco-focoism, in the election of Mr. Polk
Yesterday it was a countermanding of orders for $8000 worth of stoves; to-day the Pittsburg Gazette
says, that two Scotch gentlemen who arrived in that city last June, with a capital of £ 12,000, which they wished to invest in building a large factory for the manufacture of woolen fabrics, left for Scotland
, when they learnt that the Anti-Tariff champion was elected.
They will return to the rough hills of Scotland
, build a factory, and pour their goods into this country when Polk
and his break-down party shall consummate their political iniquity.
These are the small first-fruits of Polk
's election, the younglings of the flock,—mere hints of the confusion and difficulties which will rush down in an overwhelming flood, after the Polk
machine gets well in motion.’
The election of Polk
changed the tone of the Tribune on one important subject.
Until the threatened annexation of Texas
, which the result of this election made a certainty, the Tribune had meddled little with the question of slavery.
To the silliness
of slavery as an institution, to its infinite absurdity and impolicy, to the marvelous stupidity of the South
in clinging to it with such pertinacity, Horace Greeley
had always been keenly alive.
But he had rather deprecated the agitation of the subject at the North
, as tending to the needless irritation of the southern mind, as more likely to rivet than to unloose the shackles of the slave.
It was not till slavery became aggressive, it was not till the machinery of politics was moved but with the single purpose of adding slave States to the Union
, slave members to Congress, that the Tribune