In 1843 he presided over the Democratic state convention at Syracuse, and in1844-1845he was recognized as one of the leaders of the " Hunkers," or regular Democrats in New York, and an active opponent of the " Barnburners."
Between 1848 and 185 2 the "Barnburners" and the "Hunkers," their opponents, became partially reunited, the former returning to the Democratic ranks, and thus greatly weakening the Free Soilers.
After the defeat of Governor Silas Wright in 1846, however, the Democratic party split into two hostile factions known as the " Hunkers," or conservatives, and the " Barnburners," or radicals.
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