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drunkard, a friend of the infamous and anti-Catholic test in the Constitution of New Hampshire, and a coward. In what have these infamous accusations resulted? They have already recoiled upon their inventors. The poisoned chalice has been returned to their own lips. No decent man of the Whig party will now publicly venture to repeat these slanders.

"Frank Pierce a coward! That man a coward, who, when his country was involved in a foreign war, abandoned a lucrative and honourable profession and all the sweets and comforts of domestic life in his own happy family, to become a private volunteer in the ranks! And why a coward?

"According to the testimony of General Scott himself, he was in such a sick, wounded, and enfeebled condition, that he was just able to keep his saddle! Yet his own gallant spirit impelled him to lead his brigade into the bloody battle of Churubusco. But his exhausted physical nature was not strong enough to sustain the brave soul which animated it, and he sank insensible on the field in front of his brigade. Was this evidence of cowardice? These circumstances, so far from being an impeachment of his courage proved conclusively that he possesses that high quality in an uncommon degree. Almost any other man, nay, almost any other brave man, in his weak and disabled condition, would have remained in his tent; but the promptings of his gallant and patriotic spirit impelled him to rush into the midst of the battle. To what length will not party rancour and malignity proceed when such high evidences of indomitable courage are construed into proofs of cowardice? How different was General Scott's opinion from that of the revilers of Franklin Pierce! It was on this very occasion that he con

ferred on him the proud title of the 'gallant Brigadier-General Pierce "."

As a result of the weakness of the great Whig party and the solid support of the South with the best elements in the North, Franklin Pierce became President of the United States at a time when no great questions were agitating the people; but the air was heavy with trouble, and each day the bitter feeling between the North and the South was growing more intense. It only needed a torch to make the greatest conflagration of the century.



FRANKLIN PIERCE had a busy winter after his election to the Presidency. His law business had grown to very great proportions, and he had to do a good deal of straightening out before going to Washington. During this winter he met with what was in many ways the greatest sorrow of his life. While on a short journey with his wife and son, a promising lad of thirteen, a railway accident, a very common thing in those days, occurred, and his boy was crushed to death. On this occasion he performed a characteristic act. His wife had not seen the tragedy, and her husband threw his cloak over the body of the boy to cover the ghastly sight from her gaze. It would be impossible not to like Franklin Pierce, no matter how much one might differ from him.

He was inaugurated on March 4, and in his address showed, with no uncertain note, where he stood. He was a lover of the Union, a State Rights man, and spoke vigorously against the abolitionist movement, and expressed a hope that "no sectional or ambitious or fanatical excitement might again threaten the durability of our institutions, or obscure the light of our prosperity." No doubt he determined to do his duty to the Union, but unfortu

nately, with all his goodness of heart, his vision was limited. He saw but one-half of the question. He recognized that the North by its agitation might bring about civil strife, but he did not seem to see that the Pro-slavery party of the South were determined ultimately to make the whole of the Union a home for slavery, to legislate in the interests of the slave-holders, and by fair means or foul to maintain and extend the right of ownership of human beings. He saw the institutions over which he was placed threatened, and without himself pronouncing in favour of slavery, he thought the remedy to be in submitting to the dictates of the Southern slave-holders, who, while professing to wish to "let well enough alone" and to abide by the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, were in reality on the watch to extend slave influence. It is impossible in commencing the consideration of the term of President Pierce, who by his anti-abolitionist attitude did much to prepare the way for the Civil war, not to recall the words of Jefferson, who, when his country was beginning her life as a nation, had proposed that slavery be abolished at the end of the century. Shortly after his proposal was voted down by a majority of an individual vote he declared that: "The voice of a single individual would have prevented this abominable crime; Heaven will not always be silent; the friends of the rights of human nature will in the end prevail."

The voice of a single individual might have saved the nation in 1854, when the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was the torch being applied to the inflammable material in the South and the North, but the President alone was the individual who could have averted the calamity that was preparing for his country; but

in his narrow vision he was unable to see where the wrong lay. He abetted the sin of slavery, and opposed in season and out of season the efforts of the Abolitionists. However, there is one thing that can be said on his behalf, he was ever consistent and from the beginning to the end of his career "took no step backwards."

Three days after his inauguration he announced his cabinet. It was found to have a decidedly Southern and pro-slavery complexion, but was a strong one. William L. Marcy, of New York, was his Secretary of State; James Guthrie, of Kentucky, Secretary of the Treasury; Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, Secretary of War; James C. Dobbin, of North Carolina, Secretary of the Navy; Robert McClelland, of Michigan, Secretary of the Interior; James Campbell, of Pennsylvania, Postmaster-General; and Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts, Attorney-General.

In December the President sent a message to Congress dealing with the Compromise of 1850 in which he showed how determined he was to prevent any change in the existing laws in favour of the antislavery movement. He had found the nation in a state of peace and this peace he declared in his message "is to suffer no shock during my term of office, if I have the power to avert it, those who placed me here may be assured." But peace meant acquiescence in slave institutions as they then existed, and he might as well have endeavored to turn back Niagara as to stem the growing flood of anti-slavery principles. His attitude, however, on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, over which the pro-slavery and the antislavery parties began to struggle almost as soon as he was installed in office at Washington, showed that

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