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“ Guvener B." George Nixon Briggs was the Whig Governor of Massachusetts from 1844 to 1851. The campaign referred to here is that of 1847. Governor Briggs was renominated by acclamation and supported by his party with great enthusiasm. His opponent was Caleb Cushing, then in Mexico, and raised by President Polk to the rank of Brigadier-General. Cushing was defeated by a majority of 14,060.
“ John P. Robinson." John Paul Robinson (1799–1864) was a resident of Lowell, a lawyer of considerable ability, and a thorough classical scholar. He represented Lowell in the State Legislature in 1829, 1830, 1831, 1833, and 1842, and was Senator from Middlesex in 1836. Late in the gubernatorial contest of 1847 it was rumored that Robinson, heretofore a zealous Whig, and a delegate to the recent Springfield Convention, had gone over to the Democratic or, as it was then styled, the “Loco"
camp. The editor of the Boston Palladium wrote to him to learn the truth, and Robinson replied in an letter avowing his intention to vote for Cushing.
“ Gineral C.” General Caleb Cushing. Cf. note to p. 58.
Page 69. “ Our country, however bounded.” Mr. R. C. Winthrop, M. C., in a speech at Faneuil Hall, July 4, 1845, said in deprecation of secession : “Our country - bounded by the St. John's and the Sabine, or however otherwise bounded or described, and be the measurements more or less - still our country to be cherished in all our hearts, to be defended by all our hands." The sentiment was at once taken up and used effectively by the “Cotton” Whigs, those who inclined to favor the Mexican War.
Page 72. “ The Liberator." The Liberator was William Lloyd Garrison's anti-slavery paper, published from 1831 to 1865. The “heresies” of which Mr. Wilbur speaks were Garrison's advocacy of secession, his well-known and eccentric views on “no government,” woman suffrage, etc.
Page 73. Scott. General W. Scott was mentioned as a possible Whig candidate for the Presidency in the summer of 1847, but was soon overshadowed by General Taylor.
Page 76. J. G. Palfrey. December 6, 1847, Mr. R. C. Winthrop, of Boston, the Whig candidate for Speaker of the House in the Thirtieth Congress, was elected after three ballots. Mr. John Gorham Palfrey, elected a Whig member from Boston, and Mr. Joshua Giddings, of Ohio, refused to vote for Winthrop, and remained firm to the last in spite of the intensity of public opinion in their party. The election of a Whig Speaker in a manner depended on their votes. Had they supported Winthrop, he could have been elected on the second ballot. At the third he could not have been elected without them had not Mr. Levin, a Native American member, changed his vote, and Mr. Holmes, a Democrat from South Carolina, left the hall. Mr. Palfrey refused to vote for Mr. Winthrop because he was assured the latter would not, through his power over the committees, exert his influence to arrest the war and obstruct the extension of slavery into new territory. So bold and decided a stand at so critical a time excited great indignation for a time among the “Cotton" Whigs of Boston.
Page 79. “Springfield Convention." This convention was held September 29, 1847. The substance of the resolutions is given by Mr. Biglow.
Page 85. "Monteery." Monterey, the capital of Nueva Leon, capitulated September 24, 1846, thus giving the United States' troops control over about two thirds of the territory and one tenth of the population of Mexico.
Cherry Buster.” August 20, 1847, General Scott stormed the heights of Cherubusco, and completely routed the 30,000 Mexicans stationed there under Santa Anna. Scott could have entered the capital at once in triumph had he not preferred to delay for peace negotiations.
“ The Tooleries." The French Revolution of 1848, which resulted in the deposition of Louis Philippe, was at this time impending.
« The Post." The Boston Post, a Democratic, or Loco newspaper.
“ The Courier." The Boston Courier, in which the Biglow Papers first appeared, was a “Conscience” Whig paper.
Page 89. “Drayton and Sayres." In April, 1848, an attempt was made to abduct seventyseven slaves from Washington in the schooner Pearl, under the conduct of Captain Drayton and Sayres, or Sayers, his mate. The slaves were speedily recaptured and sold South, while their brave defenders barely escaped with their lives from an infuriated mob. The Abolitionists in Congress determined to evoke from that body some expression of sentiment on the subject. On the 20th of April Senator Hale introduced a resolution implying but not expressing sympathy with the oppressed. It stirred the slaveholders to unusual intemperance of language. Calhoun was “amazed that even the Senator from New Hampshire had so little regard for the Constitution,” and, forgetting his usual dignity, declared he “would as soon argue with a maniac from Bedlam ” as with Mr. Hale. Mr. Foote, of Mississippi, was, perhaps, the most violent of all. He denounced any attempt of Congress to legislate on the subject of slavery as “a nefarious attempt to commit grand larceny." He charged Mr. Hale with being “as guilty as if he had committed highway robbery," and went on to say, “I invite him to visit Mississippi, and will tell him beforehand, in all honesty, that he could not go ten miles into the interior before he would grace one of the tallest trees of the forest, with a rope around his neck, with the approbation of all honest and patriotic citizens ; and that, if necessary, I should myself assist in the operation.”
Mr. Hale stood almost alone with his resolution, which was soon arrested by an adjournment. A similar resolution failed in the House.
Drayton and Sayres were convicted by the District Court and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. In 1852 Senator Sumner secured for them an unconditional pardon from President Fillmore.
Page 92. Mr. Foote. Cf. note above. Mr. Henry S. Foote was Senator from Mississippi from 1847 to 1852. He was a member of the Confederate Congress, and the author of The War of the Rebellion, and Personal Recollections of Public Men.
Page 92. Mangum. W. P. Mangum (1792–1861) was Senator from North Carolina from 1831 to 1837, and from 1841 to 1847. He was President pro tem. of the Senate during Tyler's administration, 1842-1845.
Page 93. Cass. Lewis Cass (1782–1866) was Jackson's Secretary of War from 1831 to 1836, Minister to France from 1836 to 1842, Senator from Michigan from 1845 to 1848, and candidate for the Presidency on the Democratic ticket in 1848. After
his defeat by Taylor he was in 1849 returned to the Senate to fill out his unexpired term. He was Buchanan's Secretary of State until the famous message of December, 1860, when he resigned.
Page 93. Davis. Jefferson Davis, the President of the so-called Confederate States, was a Senator from Mississippi from 1847 to 1850.
Page 93. Hannegan. Edward A. Hannegan was Senator from Indiana from 1843 to 1849. He was afterwards Minister to Prussia. Died in 1859.
Page 94. Jarnagin. Spencer Jarnagin represented the State of Tennessee in the Senate from 1841 to 1847. He died in 1851.
Page 94. Atherton. Charles G. Atherton (1804-1853) was Senator from New Hampshire from 1843 to 1849.
Page 94. Colquitt. W. T. Colquitt (1799–1855) was Senator from Georgia, 1843–1849.
Page 95. Johnson.
Page 95. Westcott.
Page 95. Lewis.
Page 99. “Payris.” The revolution in France was hailed with delight in the United States as a triumph of freedom and popular govern