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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 4, Chapter 46: qualities and habits as a senator.—1862. (search)
the effect of full discussion. His persistence in opposing a limitation of the session, even under the oppressive heat of the summer, brought him sometimes into collision with senators who, though not laggards, took a less exacting view of official duty, or who thought, sometimes quite rightly, that enough had already been done, and what remained would ripen for better action during the vacation. July 2, 1864 (Works, vol. IX. pp. 55-63; Globe, p. 3502). June 25, 1864 (Globe, p. 3263). March 31 and April 7 and 8, 1869 (Globe, pp. 384, 607, 609). Sumner's superlative fidelity may be thought finical, but it attests the seriousness with which he regarded all public duties. Sumner's presence in the Senate was always one of dignity, such as became the office and place. He never descended to frivolity; he did not, as is the habit of restless members, keep passing from seat to seat, indulging in small talk with one or another, but remained mostly in his own; Douglas's swagger up a
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 4, Chapter 49: letters to Europe.—test oath in the senate.—final repeal of the fugitive-slave act.—abolition of the coastwise slave-trade.—Freedmen's Bureau.—equal rights of the colored people as witnesses and passengers.—equal pay of colored troops.—first struggle for suffrage of the colored people.—thirteenth amendment of the constitution.— French spoliation claims.—taxation of national banks.— differences with Fessenden.—Civil service Reform.—Lincoln's re-election.—parting with friends.—1863-1864. (search)
e, insisted upon retaining it. After two committees of conference, the Senate yielded by a vote of twenty-six to thirteen. Some Republicans were influenced by the consideration that the issue was not a practical one, as there were no negroes in the Territory, and others probably were hampered by the existence of a similar discrimination in their own States. Sumner was very earnest in the discussion, and on two different days contended against the exclusion of colored men from suffrage. March 31 and May 19, 1864. Works, vol. VIII. pp. 236-243. To the objection that the question was not a practical one, he replied: But it is said that there are no persons in the new Territory to whom the principle is now applicable. This can make no difference. It is something to declare a principle; and I cannot hesitate to say that at this moment the principle is much more important than the bill. The bill may be postponed, but the principle must not be postponed. One incident of the debate