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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
himself predicted, the efforts of his friends to procure his nomination failed; but the same generous appreciators of his rare worth were soon after more successful in their exertions in his behalf. He received from President Van Buren the appointment of the mission to Guatemala,—an appointment which, in addition to honorable employment in the service of his country, promised him the advantages of a sea voyage and a change of climate, for the restoration of his health. The course of Martin Van Buren on the subject of slavery in the District of Columbia forms, in the estimation of many of his best friends, by no means the most creditable portion of his political history; but it certainly argues well for his magnanimity and freedom from merely personal resentment that he gave this appointment to the man who had animadverted upon that course with the greatest freedom, and whose rebuke of the veto pledge, severe in its truth and justice, formed the only discord in the paean of partisan