Yet, it is possible to read his own evidence in such a way as to suggest that the electoral outcome of 1848 signifies not so much the relative weakness of the sectional impulse on slavery vis-a-vis party, as the fact that the Free Soil Party
may not have been the most effective channel for the political realization of that impulse.
Lause argues that National Reform as an independent movement died out in 1848-1849, when its platform was co-opted by the Free Soil party
. Whether or not this is really true depends on what is seen as most important: the administrative organization of the association, and the existence of its newspaper, Young America, or the persistence of its ideas and their permeation into the political culture.
Had Clay, the mind and soul of the Whig party, won at any time in the 1840s, there would have been, according to Holt, no Texas war, no territorial slavery restriction issue, and thus, no spiral of contingent events--no Wilmot Proviso, Free Soil party
, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act, caning of Sumner, Dred Scott case, Lecompton Constitution, John Brown raid, Democratic party split, Lincoln election, secession referenda, Fort Sumter crisis, call for troops, Bull Run--no civil war, at least no war then.
The Free Soil Party
nominated Martin Van Buren of New York for the presidency and Charles Francis Adams of Massachusetts for the vice presidency.
He was initially a Whig, left the party in 1848 when it refused to affirm the Wilmot Proviso (prohibiting slavery in the areas taken from Mexico) and became one of the founders of the Free Soil Party
, organized at an 1848 convention in Buffalo and naming Martin Van Buren as its presidential candidate.
By 1846 he had become editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, a Democratic paper; in 1848 he lost his position because of his support of the Free Soil Party
. After a trip to New Orleans on a short - lived journalistic venture, he founded his own paper, the Freeman; it folded in a year because of conservative Democratic pressure.