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Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 1, chapter 6 (search)
the old tone so often breathed there of Northern submission has very much changed since John Quincy Adams vindicated free speech on the floor of that House. I read just now a speech worthy, in some respects, of Faneuil Hall, from the lips of Robert Rantoul, in rebuke of a recreant Abolitionist from the banks of the Connecticut (George T. Davis). I know not what may be the future course of Mr. Rantoul on this question; I know not how erect he may stand hereafter; but I am willing to give him gooMr. Rantoul on this question; I know not how erect he may stand hereafter; but I am willing to give him good credit in the future, so well paid has been this his first bill of exchange. [Great cheering.] He has done, at least, his duty to the constituency he represented. He looked North for his instructions. The time has been when no Massachusetts representative looked North; we saw only their backs. They have always looked to the Southern Cross; they never turned their eyes to the North Star. They never looked back to the Massachusetts that sent them. Charles Allen and Horace Mann, no matter
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 1, chapter 8 (search)
ate Reports of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society foo the last ten years, have followed in the same path, making to American literature a contribution of the highest value, and in a department where you have few rivals and no superior. Whoever shall write the history either of this movement, or any other attempted under a republican government, will find nowhere else so clear an insight and so full an acquaintance with the most difficult part of his subject. Even the vigorous mind of Rantoul, the ablest man, without doubt, of the Democratic party, and perhaps the ripest politician in New England, added little or nothing to the storehouse of antislavery argument. The grasp of his intellect and the fulness of his learning every one will acknowledge. He never trusted himself to speak on any subject till he had dug down to its primal granite. He laid a most generous contribution on the altar of the antislavery cause. His speeches on our question, too short and too few, are rema
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 1, chapter 13 (search)
faith and our age ranked his name with McIntosh and Romilly, with Bentham, Beccaria, and Livingston. Best of all, one who had some claim to say, with Selden, Above all things, liberty, for in the slave's battle his voice was of the bravest,--Robert Rantoul. [Prolonged and hearty plaudits.] He died crowned with the laurels both of the Forum and Senate-house. The Suffolk Bar took no note of his death. No tongue stirred the air of the courts to do him honor. When vice is useful, it is a crime to be virtuous, says the Roman proverb. Of that crime, Beacon Street, State Street, and Andover had judged Rantoul guilty. The State, for the second time in her history, offers a pedestal for the statue of a citizen. Such a step deserves thought. On this let us dare to think. Always think twice when saints and sinners, honest men and editors, agree in a eulogy. [Laughter.] All wonders deserve investigation, specially when men dread it. No man criticises when private friendship moulds