agree that he contributed his full share to the general babble which the election of a President provokes.
During the whole administration of Adams
, the revision of the tariff with a view to the better protection of American manufactures was among the most prominent topics of public and private discussion.
It was about the year 1827 that the Masonic excitement arose Military men tell us that the bravest regiments are subject to panic
. Regiments that bear upon their banners the most honorable distinctions, whose colors are tattered with the bullets of a hundred fights, will on a sudden falter in the charge, and fly, like a pack of cowards, from a danger which a pack of cowards might face without ceasing to be thought cowards.
Similar to these causeless and irresistible panics of war are those frenzies of fear and fury mingled which sometimes come over the mind of a nation, and make it for a time incapable of reason and regardless of justice.
Such seems to have been the nature of the anti-Masonic mania which raged in the Northern States
from the year 1827.
A man named Morgan
, a printer, had published, for gain, a book in which the harmless secrets of the Order of Free Masons which he was a member, were divulged.
Public curiosity caused the book to have an immense sale.
Soon after its publication, Morgan
announced another volume which was to reveal unimagined horrors; but, before the book appeared, Morgan
disappeared, and neither ever came to light.
Now arose the question, What became of Morgan
? and it rent the nation, for a time, into two imbittered and angry factions.
said the Free Masons
, ‘that perjured traitor, died and was buried in the natural and ordinary fashion.’
said the anti-Masons, ‘that martyred patriot, was dragged from his home by Masonic ruffians, taken in the dead of night to the shores of the Niagara river
, murdered, and thrown into the rapids.’
It is impossible for any one to conceive the utter delirium into which the people in some parts of the country were thrown by the agitation of this subject.
Books were written.
Papers were established.
Exhibitions were got up, in which the Masonic ceremonies were caricatured or imitated.
Families were divided.
Fathers disinherited their sons, and sons forsook their fathers.
Elections were influenced, not town and county elections merely, but State and national elections.
There were Masonic candidates and