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conservative faction of the Democratic party in New York state in the 1840s, so named because they were supposed to "hanker" or "hunker" after office. In opposition to them stood the radical Democrats, or BarnburnersBarnburners,
radical element of the Democratic party in New York state from 1842 to 1848, opposed to the conservative Hunkers. The name derives from the fabled Dutchman who burned his barn to rid it of rats; by implication, the Barnburners would destroy corporations and public
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. The Hunkers favored internal improvements and liberal chartering of state banks; they opposed antislavery agitation. They generally controlled the party machinery and the patronage. In the 1846 gubernatorial nomination they turned against the Democratic candidate, Gov. Silas Wright, a Barnburner. The Barnburners retorted in kind by voting for and supporting the Free-Soil ticket in the 1848 presidential election, which thereby went to the Whig candidate, Zachary Taylor. Those Barnburners who did not persist in their antislavery views were welcomed back to the party fold in 1850. The Hunkers themselves, however, subsequently divided into the "Softs" led by William L. Marcy and Horatio Seymour, who supported President Pierce, and the "Hards" led by Daniel S. Dickinson, who did not give up their antislavery principles and who opposed Pierce.


See J. D. Hammond, History of Political Parties in New York State, Vol. III (1852).

References in periodicals archive ?
HUNKER DOWN If we are to hunker down once more, we need somewhere to do so.
And I hope they don't because it's too easy to believe that the only solution to the problems in the world is to hunker down.
He taught geography at Michigan State University (1948-1949), where the department chairperson encouraged Hunker to pursue a Ph.
At the same nine, it is being made clear to them that they should hunker down and watch the fight from the side and then quietly decide whether to walk or to stay.
But rather than just hunker down in defence of our lives and life-styles could we not take every opportunity for honest dialogue with those who see things differently from us?
Rather than hunker down and focus on the floor, Chamecki holds her upper body erect and gives herself to the audience.
Meanwhile, those who hunker crown to survive until the next boom in the economy and then allow their customers to buy a "commodity" will be the next foundries to close.
Richard Ossoff said, "While we won't cancel any campaigns, we will adjust timing, change intervals of mailings" ("Publishers hunker down for war," p.
MENTION "COMPLIANCE" TO A HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR AND you'd better hunker down for an involved discussion of billing, liability, and related issues.
Moat Builders - These board members and managers believe the best strategy is a defensive one: hunker down and wait for the crisis to pass.