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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 34: the compromise of 1850.—Mr. Webster. (search)
in the slave States. This was not indeed the wisdom of the period itself, but an afterthought of a generation later. The makers of the Compromise professed to be seeking, not a truce, but a final pacification. But whether their scheme proved to have even this incidental advantage, not claimed or foreseen by them, must always remain a matter of pure speculation. If the loyal people were in numbers and resources relatively stronger in 1860 than in 1850, on the other hand the pro-slavery party had during the intervening decade, under the administrations of Pierce and Buchanan, used diligently its opportunity to spread the virus of disunion, solidify opinion, concert action, corrupt officers of the army and navy, and dispose the materials of war in a way to give the insurrection the advantage at its beginning. The South was united and prepared in 1860 as it was not in 1850, and the government was at the outset in the means of resistance weaker at the later than at the earlier period.
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 35: Massachusetts and the compromise.—Sumner chosen senator.—1850-1851. (search)
he words by which reaction has rallied in Europe, so these very words, or perhaps the Constitution and Union, are the cry here. The Fugitive Slave bill has aroused the North; people are shocked by its provisions. Under the discussion which it has called forth, the antislavery sentiment has taken a new start. You have seen that in Massachusetts the Whigs are prostrate; I doubt if they are not beyond any resurrection. They regained power in the State in 1852, by the interposition of President Pierce's Administration, which prevented the Democrats from co-operating further with the Free Soilers, but were again finally defeated in 1854. They are in a minority from which they cannot recover. In the Senate the opposition will have ten or twelve majority, in the House fifty majority. It is understood that Boutwell will be chosen governor, and a Free Soil senator in the place of Daniel Webster. The decisive rout of the Whigs was due to the support of the Compromise and of Webster b
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 37: the national election of 1852.—the Massachusetts constitutional convention.—final defeat of the coalition.— 1852-1853. (search)
Two events of importance have happened here,—Mr. Webster's death, and General Pierce's election. the first has caused in this part of the country a profound seto Washington. I think that your father Lord Wharncliffe. anticipated General Pierce's election. So did all here, except the more active partisans against him, mind as to the slavery question, a prevailing sense that since the election of Pierce further protests against the Compromise were hopeless. Wilson wrote to Sumner,ntia has not yet passed away. I have seen something of our new President, Pierce. Seward, March 30, 1853, after calling with Sumner on the President, wrote: I wtake an interest in anything which illustrates my position. I do not think General Pierce a great man, but I do not undertake to prophesy with regard to his Administe United States, to Richard Frothingham, Jr., which, assuming to speak for President Pierce, forbade any further political association of the Democrats with the Free
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)
to open the accursed slave-trade, and I must confess that this is logical. If slavery be a good, as is represented, we ought to help more Africans to its blessings. In secret session of the Senate, I was able to stop a proposition to withdraw our African squadron and place it on the coast of Cuba. But the effort will be made again at the next session, and again I shall oppose it. The portentous question now is connected with Cuba. Buchanan, Mason. and Soule, under instructions from Pierce, met in October, 1854, at Ostend and Aix-la-Chapelle, to plot for the acquisition of Cuba, and issued the famous Ostend Manifesto. To secure that island money to any amount will be lavished, and war will be braved. This Administration is a cross between the pirate and the scorpion, and I shall not be surprised by any audacity. At present we have grand omens. The elections show that the Congress which will come together a year from now will be strongly antislavery. The danger now is that
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 40: outrages in Kansas.—speech on Kansas.—the Brooks assault.—1855-1856. (search)
at, as under the Constitution a treaty is the supreme law of the land, it could be abrogated only by act of Congress. March 6 and May 8. Works, vol. IV. pp. 98-120. the occasion which led him to introduce a resolution to this effect was President Pierce's notice to Denmark for terminating the treaty in relation to the Danish Sound dues given in pursuance of a resolution of the Senate. It was suspected at the time that Southern senators, who were urging the power of the Senate to abrogate ten certificates of election to a majority of the members of the body; but later, realizing what a monstrous usurpation it was, he refused to sanction it upon the technical ground that it had removed the seat of government without authority. President Pierce, who was in full sympathy with the pro-slavery party, removed him in August, and put in his place a pliant instrument, Wilson Shannon. The Free State settlers treated the legislature as a spurious body from the beginning. They skilfully av
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, chapter 14 (search)
e month he was in Nuremberg, whence he wrote, Fire and water have not yet entirely cured me; but I trust that their results will continue to develop in me. Every day I hope to turn the corner. Thence he went to Munich and on to Worms, down the Rhine to Cologne, and after a night at St. Quentin was in Paris by the middle of November. He wrote to E. L. Pierce from Worms, November 8:— Though every tile on every roof were a devil, yet will I enter Worms. These words of Luther, my dear Pierce, are not to be forgotten; they have brought me a pilgrim here. I knew well the architectural importance of the venerable cathedral, and also the literary associations which cluster in this home of the Minnesingers and the old Nibelunglenlied but that lesson of fortitude has inspired my homage. In itself it is a perpetual fountain of encouragement. Wandering about these decayed streets, I have been re-Minded of that remarkable letter of Cicero where he pictures the ruined cities which he p
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)
gress), the Senate now occupying the new chamber in the extension of the Capitol, of which it had taken possession in the spring. Three years and a half had passed since he withdrew from active duty. During that period Buchanan had succeeded Pierce,—a change of administration, but not of policy; the Supreme Court had proclaimed, in the Dred Scott case, the sanctity of slavery in the national territory, beyond the power of the inhabitants as well as of Congress to exclude and prohibit it; Kang. Douglas will not be put up at Charleston. I long for Hunter. Then will the question be fairly in issue,—on one side slavery, just, divine, permanent; on the other, unjust, barbarous, and to be abolished. And again, May 4, he wrote to Mr. Pierce, who sought his advice as a delegate elected to the Republican convention from C. F. Adams's district, as follows:— The Democratic party is a wreck bumping on the rocks, and must go to pieces. This gives to us assurance of success. If a<