Speech at Worcester, Massachusetts:
Seeking to buttress the declining fortunes of the Whig Party in face of the rising Free Soil Party, Lincoln attended the Massachusetts Whig convention that met on September 13 in Worcester, a hotbed of antislavery sentiment. Many former Whigs with strong abolitionist sentiments abandoned the party of Henry Clay for an unlikely coalition of former Democrats, abolitionists, and even some African Americans, including, briefly, Frederick Douglass. The party nominated the former one-term Democratic president Martin Van Buren for president and Charles Francis Adams for vice president. A report of Lincoln's remarks, which appeared in a Boston newspaper, highlighted his drive to maintain the Whig Party as a bulwark against slavery and its expansion into the territories acquired as a result of the Mexican War. Lincoln exaggerated the level of antislavery sentiment in Illinois for his Massachusetts audience. He rightly warned that if the Free Soilers gained sufficient strength, it would be at the expense of Zachary Taylor and would put the much-hated Lewis Cass of Michigan into the White House, where he would do the bidding of the slave states. Back in Illinois at the beginning of November, he delivered a similar address at Lacon but offered a harsher assessment of abolitionists for their failure to recognize the political necessity of voting for Taylor as a way to avoid electing Cass.
September 12, 1848
… Mr. Lincoln proceeded to examine the absurdity of an
attempt to make a platform or creed for a national party,
to all parts of which all must consent and agree, when it
was clearly the intention and the true philosophy of our
government, that in Congress all opinions and principles
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Publication information: Book title: Lincoln on Race and Slavery. Contributors: Henry Louis Gates Jr. - Editor, Donald Yacovone - Editor, Abraham Lincoln - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 2009. Page number: 23.
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