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A History of the Republican Party by Platt

Greeley often in regard to the political situation


several eastern schools and

colleges, and later was admitted to the New York bar. In October, 1850, he went West with his family, and settled at Ripon, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, and soon became the recognized leader of the Whig Party. He studied the political situation carefully, and with his liberal education and the principles of freedom taught by life in the West, he imbibed a hatred for the institution of Slavery, and saw clearly that, at least, its extension must be opposed to the utmost. He remained with the Whig Party, "following its banners, fighting its battles faithfully, at the same time praying for its death," as he expressed it in later years. He was fortunate in numbering among his close friends Horace Greeley, the editor of the _New York Tribune_, the greatest exponent of the northern views of slavery. The _Tribune_ in 1854 had a circulation of about 150,000 per week, and therefore wielded a vast influence on public sentiment in the North. In 1852, while the Whig Convention was in session, Mr. Bovay dined with Mr. Greeley in New York City, and the conversation turned to the prospects of General Scott, the Whig nominee. Mr. Bovay predicted his overwhelming defeat, and that the Whig Party would be utterly demoralized in the North, and that it would become necessary to organize a new party out of the debris. He there suggested to Greeley the name "Republican" for the new party, but Greeley received the proposition with little enthusiasm because he not only believed that Scott would be elected
but that the Whig Party should not be dissolved. Mr. Bovay says that he advocated the name Republican because it expressed equality--representing the principle of the good of all the people; that it would be attractive to the strong foreign element in the country because of their familiarity with the name in their native lands, and that in addition the name possessed charm and magnetism. After the defeat of General Scott, Mr. Bovay corresponded with Mr. Greeley often in regard to the political situation. He was fully determined to do his utmost to organize a new party and call it Republican, and he talked over the matter persistently with all his neighbors in the little village of Ripon, and waited for the time to act. That time came with the violent agitation caused by the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and Mr. Bovay achieved the result he had planned so long. After talking over the matter with two friends, Jehdeiah Bowen, a Free-Soil Democrat, and Amos Loper, a call was issued for a mass meeting to be held in the Congregational church in Ripon, February 28, 1854, with the object of ascertaining the public sentiment. This little frontier village had a small population, and the country around it was sparsely settled, but so earnest was the political thought of the time that the meeting was a great success, and the church was crowded with men and women, and even some children, who were attracted by the seriousness of their elders. Deacon William Dunham, of the church, acted as Chairman of this meeting, and there was a full and free discussion of the situation and the best action to be taken. Mr. Bovay pointed out that the only hope of defeating the extension of slavery was to disband the old parties and unite under a new name. Before the meeting had progressed very far the sentiment was practically unanimous. Those who hesitated were overcome by the enthusiasm and logical arguments of the speakers. The name Republican was suggested at this meeting, but no action was taken on it for the reason that this was looked upon as merely a preliminary meeting to be followed by a later one. As the Kansas-Nebraska Bill had not yet passed the Senate nothing further could be done at this meeting, and after adopting the following well-worded and prophetic resolutions, the meeting adjourned to await the action of Congress:


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