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n) 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 former wanting in courage, and the latter exhibiting a partisan zeal in supporting the Fugitive Slave Act. Adams's Biography of Dana, vol. i. pp. 186, 196. The representative newspaper was the Daily Advertiser, long directed by a public-spirited citizen, Nathan Hale, assisted by his son, the junior of that name; but as one turns its files, he can see at a glance h
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 34: the compromise of 1850.—Mr. Webster. (search)
ulation. While Sims's fate was pending, a public meeting was held to denounce the Fugitive Slave Act and its instruments,—in which, as before, only Free Soilers and Abolitionists took part. Sumner was also counsel in the defence of Sims. He did not enter the case at the beginning on account of the pending election for senator, in which he was the candidate. Adams's Biography of Dana, vol. i. pp 183, 188, 189, 190. In association with Mr. Sewall he applied, without success, to Judge Sprague, of the United States District Court, for the writ of habeas corpus. Judge Woodbury, however, granted it, and sat for the hearing in the Circuit Court room, afterwards occupied for many years by the Municipal Court. In March, R. H. Dana, Jr., and Sumner drew a bill to secure the rights of persons claimed as fugitive slaves, particularly with the view of applying the statute of 1843 to proceedings under the new Fugitive Slave Act; and it was presented to a committee of the Legislature. A
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)
in these plans. I rejoice in the success of our friends. With prudence and firmness liberal principles can be permanently secured in Massachusetts. Your energy and counsels are valuable, and I am glad that they will be felt by the convention. The convention was a representative body well worthy of the State. The Boston delegation included, among lawyers, Rufus Choate, Sidney Bartlett, F. B. Crowninshield, George S. Hillard, Thomas Hopkinson, Samuel D. Parker, George Morey, and Judge Peleg Sprague; among physicians, Jacob Bigelow and George Hayward; among clergymen, Samuel K. Lothrop and George W. Blagden; among editors, Nathan Hale, William Schouler, and J. S. Sleeper; and among merchants, William Appleton, Samuel A. Eliot, John C. Gray, J. Thomas Stevenson, and George B. Upton. Cambridge sent two jurists, Simon Greenleaf and Joel Parker, a former and a present professor in the Law School. Salem sent Otis P. Lord, later a judge; and Pittsfield, George N. Briggs. Against thi
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, chapter 14 (search)
Theodore Parker, Mr. Parker spoke at the time most affectionately of Sumner, calling him the great, dear, noble soul. Weiss's Life of Parker, vol. II. p. 298; Frothingham's Life of Parker, p. 515. then an invalid, with whom he drove six hours the day after Parker's arrival. Bemis wrote in his journal an account of a conversation in Sumner's room, with Motley and Parker present, when Sumner spoke of John A. Andrew, hoping he would soon be governor of Massachusetts, and recalling Judge Peleg Sprague's tribute to his ability as a lawyer. This was Sumner's last intercourse with Parker, whom he accompanied, June 24, to the railway station as the latter left Paris for Geneva. Parker's powers of endurance were at the time greater than Sumner's, and their friends who saw them then thought Parker more likely to be the survivor. Sumner met again in Paris Montalembert, Villemain, the Mohls, the Circourts, and R. M. Milnes. The Grotes had passed some time in the previous summer at S