The New International Encyclopædia/Hunkers

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HUNKERS (perhaps from Dutch honk, station, home). In American political history, the name applied for some years after 1843 to that part of the Democratic Party in the State of New York which stood for conservatism, and was arrayed against the radical faction of the same party, known as the Barnburners (q.v.). Factional differences had arisen in the party prior to 1843, but open and avowed antagonism may be said to date from that year. The Hunkers adhered to the regular Democratic Party in the Presidential contest of 1848, while their opponents united with the Free Soilers, and with them nominated Van Buren. After 1852 the two factions acted more or less in harmony in both State and National politics. Among the leaders of the Hunkers were Horatio Seymour, William L. Marcy, Samuel Beardsley, Edwin Croswell, and Daniel S. Dickinson. The name ‘Hunkers’ was also applied at times to the Conservative element of the Democratic Party in other States.