The Whig Party in Pennsylvania - Vol. 1

By Henry R. Mueller | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE WHIG PARTY MARKS TIME 1852-1853.

IN the organization of the legislature the Whigs secured the speaker of the senate because of the refusal of several Democrats to vote, but the Democrats easily maintained control of the house.1 On January 8, 1852, immediately after the organization of the legislature, Governor Johnston returned to the senate the bill repealing the sixth section of the act of March 3, 1847. His refusal to sign the bill had been used effectively by the Democrats in the last campaign. In his veto message the governor discussed the history of the passage of the act, contending that the act was based on the interpretation of the Constitution of the United States made by the federal Supreme Court.2 The senate could not pass the measure over the veto of the governor, whose term was about to expire. In his inaugural message of January 20, 1852, Governor Bigler urged the legislature to repeal the obnoxious sections of the act of March 3, 1847,3 and, in compliance with his request, an act repealing the sections, which forbade the use of the state jails for the detention of fugitive slaves, was passed.4 Before the passage of the repealing act, partly to right an

____________________
1
Public Ledger, January 7, 8, 1852.
2
Pennsylvania Archives, series iv, vol. vii, pp. 491, et seq.
3
Ibid., series iv, vol. vii, pp. 519, et seq.
4
Session Laws, 1852, p. 295.

-193-

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