The Democratic Machine, 1850-1854

By Roy Franklin Nichols | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE CAMPAIGN

THE convention safely passed without secession, the leaders drew breath again and turned their attention to the conduct of the campaign for Pierce's election. There were few clouds on the horizon as far as internal dissension was concerned. The southern rights men were satisfied with Pierce; they had suggested him to the convention and their turn from Buchanan had made his nomination possible. The union Democrats seemed satisfied with the Compromise endorsement of the platform. In the free-soil ranks the New York Evening Post was supporting Pierce while Rantoul, lately rejected by the convention, had expressed a desire to see the party triumphant.1

With an outwardly harmonious party, the campaign got under way. The National Democratic Executive Committee which had general charge, organized with Robert McLane of Maryland as chairman, and B. B. French as treasurer. It appointed a resident committee to remain at headquarters in Washington and adjourned, as each member had charge of the campaign in his own state. Before separating, they passed a resolution emplowering each member of the national committee to collect not less than one hundred dollars from each Congressional district in his state for the purpose of defraying the Committee's expenses.2

____________________
1
Godwin Park, Biography of William Cullen Bryant, vol. ii, pp. 62- 63; Rantoul to Sumner, June 13, 1852, Sumner MSS.
2
B. F. Hallett to Isaac Davis, July 5, 1852, Davis MSS. There were 233 Congressmen, so a fund of about $20,000 was expected.

-147-

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