In 1848, intent on keeping his name before the national audience, Lincoln campaigned in Maryland and Massachusetts for Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor. Then he retired to Springfield, where he practiced law from 1849 to 1854, becoming one of the more successful lawyers in the state, representing all kinds of clients, including railroad interests. Although elected in 1854 again to the state legislature, he promptly resigned to run for the U.S. Senate, losing on the ninth ballot in the state legislature (which in those days chose U.S. senators).After his defeat, Lincoln abandoned the defunct Whig Party and joined the new Republican Party in 1856. This new national party was comprised of many former Whigs who opposed slaveryreferred to as Conscience WhigsFree Soilers, and antislavery Democrats. The Republicans took a firm stand against slavery. They were dedicated to the repeal of the Kansas Nebraska Act and the prevention of the further extension of slavery westward. The new party also demanded the immediate admission of Kansas into the Union as a free state, denounced the Ostend Manifesto, which called for the annexation of Cuba (where slavery was legal), and called for federal support of internal improvements especially the construction of a railroad to the Pacific.As a favorite son candidate from Illinois, Lincoln was placed in nomination for vice president but failed to win at the convention in Philadelphia. He thereafter aggressively stumped the state in support of John C. Fr?mont for President. Although the Democratic candidate James Buchanan won the election and carried Illinois, Lincolns Republican Party did surprisingly well, winning most of the northern counties and 30 percent of the popular vote.