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was no longer living, to temper with his moral enthusiasm social and commercial opinion, and to set forth in weekly ministrations his lofty ideal of humanity. In two Unitarian pulpits, those of James Freeman Clarke and F. D. Huntington, the spirit of Channing survived; but in those of most of the Unitarian churches, as also in the Congregational (Trinitarian) and Episcopalian, there was little sympathy for moral reforms. Edward Everett and Rufus Choate were the first orators. Choate, C. G. Loring, and B. R. Curtis were the leaders of the bar. Lemuel Shaw, just, wise, and serene, with never a sinister thought to affect the balance between suitors, personified justice in the Supreme Court of the State,—a tribunal which then held and still holds the respect of jurists wherever the common law is administered. Neither the chief-justice nor Peleg Sprague, another highly esteemed judge, showed to advantage in cases where the rights of alleged fugitive slaves were concerned,—the forme
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 34: the compromise of 1850.—Mr. Webster. (search)
letter to the meeting, expressing sympathy with its purpose. Sumner was appointed one of the legal committee for the protection of alleged fugitives. On the committee also were S. E Sewall, Dana, John C. Park, and William Minot. They called C. G. Loring to their aid. About the same time, a slave claimant from Virginia sought to secure William and Ellen Crafts, who had recently escaped, and on arriving in Boston had found wise and brave protectors in Theodore Parker, Dr. Henry I. Bowditch, Ellhould not fail. The city marshal, acting under a formal order of Mayor Bigelow and the Board of Aldermen, in co-operation with the United States officers, surrounded the court house with chains. Sims's counsel, S. E. Sewall, R. Rantoul, Jr., C. G. Loring, and R. H. Dana, Jr., sought to secure the negro's liberty by writs of habeas corpus, bringing him before the Supreme Court of the State and the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, but without avail. The commissioner gave a cert
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 35: Massachusetts and the compromise.—Sumner chosen senator.—1850-1851. (search)
journals teemed with elaborate defences of the Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Act from Edward G. Loring, G. T. and B. R. Curtis. Two other leaders of the bar, conservative in position, gave the weight of their names against the law,—Charles G. Loring and Franklin Dexter; the former as counsel in the Sims' Case, and the latter by papers contributed to the Atlas, October 29 and November 23, each maintaining that it was unconstitutional. There was even pressure brought to bear against Mr.Mr. Loring for his serving as counsel for a fugitive slave, to which he refers in a note to Sumner, April 24, 1851: It is among the most humiliating indications of the times that the merely faithful discharge of a plain professional duty is made the subject of regret and reproach by the intellectual and intelligent, as well as by those who might not be expected to know better, thinking or feeling only as they are told to do. The demoralization was not confined to politics and the secular profes
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 36: first session in Congress.—welcome to Kossuth.—public lands in the West.—the Fugitive Slave Law.—1851-1852. (search)
ury, and relieved the consciences of those who had been constrained to yield it support under a sense of constitutional obligation. Horace Mann, in his speech in Congress, Feb. 28, 1851, treated at length this unconstitutional feature of the Act. Other points set up against the validity of the Act, which Sumner had not the time to enter upon, were ably discussed by others,—by Mann in the speech above referred to and in his speech at Lancaster, Mass., May 19, 1851, and by Rantoul and C. G, Loring on the trial of Thomas Sims, April 7-11, 1851. Whether traversing new fields or gleaning where others had reaped, the argument was put in a form which invited the study of multitudes of thoughtful citizens who are ordinarily repelled by political speeches. Dr. I. Ray, the distinguished alienist and author of the treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity, in a note to Sumner mentioned this quality of the speech which had attracted himself, although he usually turned away from spee
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 38: repeal of the Missouri Compromise.—reply to Butler and Mason.—the Republican Party.—address on Granville Sharp.—friendly correspondence.—1853-1854. (search)
rote with an earnestness of approval which he rarely gave to any man. Richard H. Dana, Sr., recognized the manly dignity, the calm, conscious superiority of the reply. John Jay wrote of the speech as a glorious, a most triumphant effort, commending the occasional strokes, as the calm scorn of the opening, the apt quotation from Jefferson, the reference to South Carolina as threatening nullification as often as babies cry, and the response to Masons insolent assumption of superiority. Charles G. Loring, a lawyer highly conservative by temperament and associations, bore witness to the general and great admiration which the speech had elicited in Massachusetts. Joshua Leavitt, the veteran editor, read it with intense satisfaction, and recalled Tristam Burges's replies to John Randolph as not equal in force and far inferior in scholarly taste and gentlemanly dignity. Two friends of the senator in his youth, Judge Richard Fletcher and Mrs. R. C. Waterston, wrote letters warm with admir