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Summary of Speech at Boston, Massachusetts, 15 September 18481
No Platforms.
“The Boston Chronotype, one of those “free soil” organs with which whigery is now so much delighted, in commenting on the Taylor speech of Lincoln, of Illinois, delivered in Boston,2 says: ‘This distinguished sucker3 went against all political platforms, and thus consoled the whigs for the loss of theirs. He told them that the whig party always went against executive influence, (which, for a party always out of power is not very wonderful,) and it would be inconsistent with this if their candidate should seek to influence them by expressing his opinions—and excuse this, for the blockheadism of Old Zack, which ought to be patented.’”4
1A fuller summary of the speech, beyond this brief mention in the Illinois State Register, appeared in the Boston Atlas, September 16, 1848.
2At the end of the first session of the Thirtieth Congress, Lincoln spent eleven days in Massachusetts stumping for Zachary Taylor to win the presidential election of 1848. Lincoln left Washington on Saturday, September 9 and arrived in Boston on September 15. He delivered this speech before the Boston Whig Club at Washingtonian Hall.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:280-84; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 9 September 1848, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1848-09-09; 15 September 1848, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1848-09-15; Summary of Speech at Boston, Massachusetts; Abraham Lincoln to Junius Hall.
3In the nineteenth century, Illinois was known as the “sucker state,” and Illinoisans as “suckers.”
Edward Callary, Place Names of Illinos (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 338-39.
4Ever since President Andrew Jackson made broad use of the veto power to reject internal improvements, a National Bank, and other parts of Henry Clay’s American System, the Whigs had railed against “executive usurpation.” Congressional supremacy became a mantra for the Whig Party, and Whig orators made what they deemed unconstitutional use of the veto power by Jackson's successors a theme in most elections up to 1848. In the presidential campaign of 1848, Whigs sought to mobilize their supporters and gain neutral voters by claiming that Lewis Cass, the Democratic candidate, would continue James K. Polk’s unconstitutional usurpation of power, most notably in commencing and waging the Mexican War.
Anti-slavery and some regular Whigs condemned the nomination of Taylor, a southern slaveholder who had no previous political affiliation, as an abandonment of Whig principles. Like Henry Clay, many refused to endorse Taylor and participate in the campaign.
Norma Lois Peterson, The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison & John Tyler (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989), 14, 89-90, 97; Michael F. Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 27-30, 49, 60, 67, 69, 110, 128, 130-34, 137-39, 146-50, 166, 332-33, 350-51; K. Jack Bauer, Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985), 243-44.

Printed Document, 1 page(s), Illinois State Register (Springfield), 13 October 1848, 2:4.