PURSUANT TO PREVIOUS NOTICE, A MEETING OF THE FRIENDS OF FREE SOIL, CONVENED AT THE TOWN HALL, IN SUFFIELD, ON THE 8TH DAY OF JULY, 1848... TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.
[Hartford?]: 1848. Broadside, 8-1/4" x 13-5/8. Light margin wear. 'Released' rubberstamp of Connecticut Historical Society on blank verso. Very Good.
The Meeting voted to offer these Proceedings "for publication to the Hartford Courant, the Hartford Times and the Charter Oak." Dated and signed in type at the end, "Samuel N. Reid, Secretary. David Hale, Chairman. Suffield, July 8th, 1848." This rare broadside records the historic beginnings of the Free Soil Party, the precursor to the Republicans.
The end of the Mexican War brought a divisive question to the forefront of American political life: Would the Territories acquired from Mexico be Slave or Free? Many Northern Democrats and Whigs, fearful that the "Slave Power" controlled their Parties, experienced "deep and grave dissatisfaction." "Gen. Cass is the supple tool of Slave-holders and Slavery extensionists... Gen. Taylor is also opposed to the restriction of the limits of Slavery,-- and therefore we dare not trust either of them with the interests of Free Labor."
The new Party takes the position advocated by Abraham Lincoln a decade later: disclaiming any intention to interfere "with the reserved rights and domestic institutions of any of the States of the Union, we are, at the same time, the determined and uncompromising opponents of the extension of Slavery over any territory now free." The Meeting calls for the selection of delegates "to represent this State, in the National Convention at Buffalo, on the 9th day of August, 1848," in order "to form an effective organization for the defence of the principles of Freedom, and to oppose the extension of Slavery." The Buffalo Convention nominated Martin Van Buren and John P. Hale for the presidency and vice presidency.
OCLC 22947076 [3- CT Hist. Soc., CT State Lib., NYHS] as of November 2020. Not located in Work, LCP, Blockson, Dumond. Item #33647