Chapter

“God Save Us from Whig Vice Presidents”

Michael F. Holt

in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161045
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849635 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161045.003.0016
“God Save Us from Whig Vice Presidents”

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When Millard Fillmore signed the Compromise measures in September 1850 and the New York Democratic state platform endorsed them, William Henry Seward's New York allies instructed Thurlow Weed that the Whig party's state platform must demand revision or repeal of every prosouthern concession Congress had made. Fillmore's pro-Compromise stance must be publicly repudiated. Five days after New York's Whigs met, Daniel Webster penned the administration's response to this declaration of war. He understood why many northern Whigs opposed the compromise measures in Congress. These salvos opened a battle between Fillmore's administration and its northern Whig critics that lasted from the fall of 1850 to the Whigs' national convention in June 1852. Fundamentally, however, it revolved around a dispute over how to carry elections, about whether the campaign needs of local Whigs should be placed ahead of intersectional comity within the nation and the national party and of support for the national administration.

Keywords: Millard Fillmore; Compromise; New York; William Henry Seward; Thurlow Weed; Whig party; Congress; Daniel Webster

Chapter.  24528 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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