Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Civil War
Mitchell, John Francis
MetadataShow full item record
In 1850, Springfield, the most important town in Western Massachusetts, was growing rapidly as a result of the industrial opportunities provided.by the recent completion of railroad connections with Boston, New York and Albany. The community was largely of old New England stock, and was made up of people who were moderately conservative in their political convictions. Slavery was generally disapproved, but abolitionism was likewise unpopular. John Brown had just left the community, his three-year residence having had no marked influence on the town or its citizens. In the presidential campaign of 1852, the Springfield Daily Republican, a newspaper which accurately reflected the community's opinions, expressed decided disapproval of slavery, opposition to continued agitation of the issue, and, at the same time, resistance to further aggression by the Southern proponents of the institution. Two years late, Springfield Daily Republican editor Samuel Bowles, moved to action by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the decay of old party loyalties, began to exert all his influence to help establish a new political party which would have but one major policy: opposition to the further extension of slavery. The successful establishment of the Republican party in Massachusetts by 1856 was, in part, attributable to his efforts. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D)--Boston University
RightsBased on investigation of the BU Libraries' staff, this work is free of known copyright restrictions.