The following chapters are devoted mainly to facts and incidents connected with the development of anti-slavery politics from the year 1840 to the close of the work of Reconstruction which followedthe late civil war. Other topics, however, are occasionally noticed, while I have deemed it proper to state my own attitude and course of action respecting various public questions, and to refer more particularly to the political strifes of my own State.
by the men who nominated him. There was one policy only on which they were perfectly agreed, and that was the policy of avowing no principles whatever; and they tendered but one issue, and that was a change of the national administration. On this issue they were perfectly united and thoroughly in earnest, and it was idle to deny that on their own showing the spoils alone divided them from the Democrats and inspired their zeal.
The demand of the Whigs for a change was well-founded. Samuel Swartwout, the New York Collector of Customs, had disgraced the Government by his defalcations; and, although he was a legacy of Mr. Van Buren's "illustrious predecessor," and had been "vindicated" by a Senate committee composed chiefly of his political opponents, he was unquestionably a public swindler, and had found shelter under Mr. Van Buren's administration. He was the most conspicuous public rascal of his time, but was far from being alone in his odious notoriety. The system of public plunder inaugurated by Jacks
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