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two weeks after the democratic convention, and nominated General Scott as their candidate for president. A large majority of the delegates from New York and a considerable number from other states, maintained their opposition to the test resolutions which were proposed by the other branch of the party. These resolutions, however, were adopted, and a platform was thus established resembling, in its main features, that of the democrats. Many voted for it who may be presumed to have brought themselves to accept its principles, while others were doubtless influenced by their fears of a disruption of the party. Supported by several advocates of this new platform on the ground of his personal popularity, General Scott received the nomination. He was, however, regarded with great suspicion by a large number of whigs in the slaveholding states. It was feared that if he was elected to the presidency Mr. Seward would be called to the office of secretary of state, and thus exert a leading influence on the administration. General Scott lost no time in attempting to remove these prejudices; and in announcing his acceptance of the nomination, he promptly declared his adhesion to the principles of the platform adopted by the party. At the instance of the friends of the candidate, Mr. Seward disclaimed all private objects in connection with the election of General Scott, and with his characteristic frankness and fidelity to political associates, he publicly announced his determination to accept no office at the hands of the president in case of General Scott's success. This had been his course hitherto, and it would not be changed under a future administration.'

Many ardent friends of the compromise, notwithstanding, refused to rally around General Scott, distrusting his fidelity to the compromise platform; while a large number of the whigs of the free states, through aversion to the platform, assumed a neutral position or gave their support to a third candidate. Another portion of the whig party nominated Mr. Webster, who died,' not only refusing to de cline the nomination, but openly avowing his disgust with the action of the party.

Mr. Seward and his friends could not so far belie their convictions as to approve the principles of the platform, but yielded their

1 The platform was adopted by a vote of 227 to 60. The first ballot for president stood: Fillmore, 132; Scott, 131; Webster, 29. The 53d and last: Scott, 159; Fillmore, 112; Webster, 21. 2 See Vol. III, p. 416.

3 A convention of the free democracy, at Pittsburg, nominated John P. Hale for president, and Geo. W. Julian for vice-president, and declared in favor of "free soil, free land, internal improvements," &c.

4 October 24, 1852.

support to General Scott in the manner which, in their opinion, was best adapted to secure his election and defeat the ultra pro-slavery party. The result, however, was what might have been expected. The democratic party, forgetting its past divisions, at least for the time, supported Mr. Pierce with unanimity and zeal, giving him the electoral votes of twenty-seven of the thirty-one states.'

The loud exultations of the prevailing party, as well as of those whigs who had sympathized with it during the canvass, showed their belief that, in the defeat of General Scott, Mr. Seward was not only overthrown, but politically annihilated. The whig party, also, was, in their opinion, forever destroyed, at least as an enemy of the slave power. Many prominent members of that party took an early opportunity of offering their support to Mr. Pierce's administration, while others more secretly, but no less efficiently, gave their aid to its policy.

It was under these discouraging circumstances that Mr. Seward resumed his seat in the senate at the opening of the second session of the thirty-second congress, in December, 1852. But neither his speeches nor his public conduct were colored by the remembrance of the recent disastrous struggle. No traces of disappointment were visible in his bearing, and he at once devoted himself to the business of the session with the same calmness and assiduity which had always marked his congressional career. His speeches during this session were on questions of great practical interest. His remarks in the debate on "Continental Rights and Relations," although grave and forcible, were interspersed with incidental touches of effective satire; and included a graceful and feeling tribute to the character of John Quincy Adams.2 On the proposal "to abolish or suspend the duty on railroad iron,” Mr. Seward addressed the senate in one of his most characteristic speeches, warning the country of the danger of an approaching revulsion in railroad and financial affairs generally, which proved no less just than prophetic. The revulsion predicted actually occurred in 1857. This, and the other speeches made by him during the session, were marked by an admirable union of statistical narrative, general reasoning and lofty sentiments.*

1 The states which voted for General Scott were Vermont, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Kentucky. In the free states Mr. Pierce received 1,156,513 votes, General Scott 1.022,757, John P. Hale 157,685. 2 See Vol. III, p. 605. 3 See Vol. III, p. 666.

4 These speeches are briefly noticed in the concluding pages of the Memoir, in Vol. I.

After an extra session of five weeks duration, the senate, on the 11th day of April, 1853, adjourned. Mr. Seward was occupied most of the summer in the courts of the United States.

He, however, found time during the recess to prepare and deliver two addresses of remarkable power and beauty. The first, at the dedication of a university at Columbus, Ohio, rises to the dignity of an oration. In it he pleads eloquently the cause of Human Nature as especially committed to the care of the people of the United States. "To disseminate knowledge and to increase virtue," he maintains, "is to establish the principles on which the recovery and preservation of the inherent rights of man depend, and the state that does this most faithfully, advances most effectually the cause of Human Nature."

In October, he delivered the annual address before the American Institute, in the city of New York. This is a stirring appeal to the American people to rise to a higher tone of individual and national independence in thought, sentiment and action. "Let this prevail," he says, "and we shall cease to undervalue our own farmers, mechanics and manufacturers, and their productions; our own science and literature; in short, our own infinite resources and our own peculiar and justly envied freedom."

Both of these productions possess merit and interest of a permanent character.

On the first Monday in December, 1853, the first congress under Mr. Pierce's administration assembled.' It commenced deliberations under inaugural promises which seemed either designedly delusive or promulgated with an imbecility of purpose unworthy a chief magistrate. High expectations of much beneficent legislation had been formed. Among the measures which it was anticipated would come up for consideration were the modification of the tariff so as to enlarge the field of national industry; the construction of a railroad between the Atlantic and Pacific states; the substitution of a system of gratuitous allotments of land in limited quantities to actual settlers, instead of the policy of sales of the public domain; the improvement and reform of the army and navy; the regulation of the commercial marine in regard to immigrant passengers; the endowment of the states with portions of the public lands as a provision for the

1 See present volume.

2 Linn Boyd (democrat) was elected Speaker by 143 votes to 74 for all others. In the senate. the adininistration was proportionately strong.

care of the insane within their limits; the establishment of steam mails on the Pacific ocean; and the opening of political and commercial relations with Japan.

Mr. Seward addressed himself to the accomplishment of these important objects with his accustomed diligence and zeal. He introduced early in the session a bill for the construction of a railroad to the Pacific; and another for the establishment of steam mails between San Francisco and the Sandwich Islands, Japan, and China. The times seemed favorable for such legislation. The public treasury was overflowing. The slavery agitation apparently had died away both in congress and throughout the country. This calm, however, was doomed to a sudden interruption. The prospect of such extended beneficent legislation was destroyed by the introduction of a measure which at once supplanted all other subjects in congress and in the political interest of the people. This was the novel and astounding proposal of Mr. Douglas, in relation to the Kansas and Nebraska territories. The country saw with regret and mortification the homestead bill transformed into one of mere graduation of the prices of the public lands. The bills for the improvement of the army and navy, and the bill for regulating the transportation of immigrants, were dropped before coming to maturity. The bill for a grant of land to the states in aid of the insane was defeated in the senate for the want of a constitutional majority, after having been vetoed by the president. The bill for establishing the Pacific railroad was lost for want of time to debate it; and the bill for opening steam communication with the East, after passing the senate, failed in the house for want of consideration. Everything gave way to the renewed agitation of the slavery question-an agitation precipitated on an astounded nation by southern influence, yet for which the north has been held accountable ever since, by orators and presses devoted to slave predominance in public affairs, with a persistency that could be called adroit if it were not so obviously false.

The administration had a majority of nearly two to one in both houses; and the opponents of introducing slavery into the free territories constituted less than one-fifth of the senate, and were in a decided minority in the house.'

1 At the beginning of the session the house was classified, politically, democrats 159, whigs 71, freesoilers 4: the senate, democrats 36, whigs 20, freesoilers 2.

The measure, already alluded to, which produced this sudden. derangement in congress, was a provision in the bill for the organization of a territory in Nebraska, declaring that the states which might at any future time be formed in the new territory should leave the question of slavery to be decided by the inhabitants thereof on the adoption of their constitution. This provision was, as explained by the bill itself, the application of the compromise policy of 1850 to Nebraska, and, as was evident, virtually repealed the Missouri compromise of 1820, which guarantied that slavery should be forever excluded from the territory in question.

But, in order to bring the supporters of the bill and its opponents to a more decided test, an amendment was moved expressly annulling that portion of the Missouri compromise which related to the subject. Mr. Douglas, after some deliberation, accepted the amendment, and modified his plan so far as to introduce a new bill for the organization of Nebraska and Kansas within the same limits, instead of the territory of Nebraska alone, according to the original programme.

The administration lost no time in adopting this policy as their own. It was at first proposed to hasten the passage of the bill through both houses so rapidly as to prevent any remonstrance on the part of the people. But the opponents of the measure, including Mr. Seward, Mr. Chase, Mr. Sumner, Mr. Truman Smith, Mr. Wade, Mr. Everett, Mr. Bell, Mr. Houston and Mr. Fessenden combined against it such an earnest and effective resistance that the attention of the country was aroused, and an indignant protest called forth from the people of the free states. The bill, however, passed the senate on the 4th day of March, 1854, after a discussion which had occupied nearly every day of the session since the 23d of January.'

Of the fourteen senators from free states who voted for the bill only three-Messrs Douglas, Gwin, and Thompson of New Jersey -have been reëlected, the others having been succeeded by reliable opponents of the slave power. Of the twelve from free states who voted against it, six have been reëlected, and the places of the others have been filled by republicans, with one exception.'

1 The vote stood as follows: Yeas Adams, Atchison, Bayard. Badger, Benjamin, Brodhead, Brown, Butler, Cass, Clay, Dawson, Dixon, Dodge of Iowa, Douglas, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Geyer, Gwin, Hunter, Johnson, Jones of Iowa, Jones of Tennessee, Mason. Morton, Norris, Pettit, Pratt, Rusk, Sebastian, Shields, Slidell, Stuart, Thompson of Kentucky, Thompson of New Jersey, Toucey, Weller, Williams-37; Nays-Bell, Chase, Dodge of Wisconsin, Fessenden, Fish, Foot, Hamlin, Houston, James, Seward, Smith, Sumner, Wade. Walker-14.

Mr. Pugh, Democrat, by the vote of a Legislature, elected before the agitation began, succeeded Mr. Chase, Republican, who has in turn been recently chosen to succeed Mr. Pugh. 4

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