The Whig Party in Pennsylvania - Vol. 1

By Henry R. Mueller | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
YEARS OF TRIUMPH AND TRIBULATION 1839-1843.

EVEN before the debacle of the bizarre "Buckshot War," the Whigs had become weary of Anti-Masonic leadership. Prior to the election of 1838 the Whigs in Chester county had resented the treatment received from the Anti- Masons in the distribution of the offices. Their mass meeting endorsed Ritner for governor, declared for Clay as the next presidential candidate, and determined to support the local coalition nominees for this election. The Whigs were, however, resolved

to loose the chains which bind us to the fortunes of anti- masonry, asserting our rights as citizens and organizing as a political party. . . . It is too plain that the Whigs are used to give effect to principles which they do not recognize. If it could be conceded that there was, in truth, no difference in principle between the Whigs and Anti-Masons, then indeed we might with propriety rally under the Anti-Masonic banner.1

Circumstances, however, forbade the immediate execution of the desire for independent organization.

The Anti-Masons started their presidential campaign of 1840 early. On May 22, 1837, the state Anti-Masonic convention called a national convention to meet at Washington in September of the same year to make nominations for the presidency and vice-presidency.2 An address of

____________________
1
United States Gazette, September 17, 1838.
2
Pennsylvania Telegraph, May 27, 1837.

-56-

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