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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, chapter 14 (search)
ou of a sight which I enjoyed at the exhibition (commencement) of the College of Havre? On the stage sat the prefect and the mayor, the military commander of the place and the curate, with the dignitaries of Havre and the professors. Prizes were awarded; and before the whole audience, and standing on the platform, the successful boys were crowned with green leaves,—laureati. On the benches, mingled with the other collegians, were some twenty colored boys,—some mulattoes, and others black as Ham. To my delight, several of these, and among them one of the darkest hue, gained several prizes, and came forward to receive their books and to be crowned. Rounds of applause from the audience welcomed them as they made their way from their seats to the platform and back. This made me happier even than my engravings. In itself it was an exquisite engraving. Poor Italy! I know not how its fate is to be spun. God give to it independence! My heart is there. I envy you much all the joys
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 43: return to the Senate.—the barbarism of slavery.—Popular welcomes.—Lincoln's election.—1859-1860. (search)
ence of such methods in cool harangues. He treated the sophistries of the advocates of slavery, which had been reaffirmed during the session with greater audacity than ever before, that slaves were property which the masters had the right under the Constitution to carry to and hold in the Territories, with no power in Congress or the people thereof to interfere; and that the slavery of the African race was justified, as Jefferson Davis had maintained, by its inferiority and by the curse of Ham. Again, as in previous speeches, he held up the Constitution as pure from all recognition of property in man, and instinct with liberty, neither carrying slavery into the Territories of its own force, nor authorizing any power, national or local, to establish it in them. He rejected as unworthy of serious consideration the popular sovereignty dogma of Douglas, that it was the right of the people of a Territory to vote slavery up or to vote it down,—calling it a delusive phrase, a plausible n