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I. Charles Sumner now put on again the armor in which he had fallen paralyzed at his post of duty, and once more advanced to the front of the battle. That cause had been gaining ground faster, perhaps, because of his absence,—so eloquent was that always vacant chair—than if he had not been taken from the scene. Other champions just as true, if not so mighty, had sprung to the van of conflict. Now, the acknowledged leader was once more in the field, and his clarion voice rang out loud and clear along the whole line of battle. Those who gazed on his noble form once more, could not but be reminded of the fate of brooks, the assassin, nor fail to mark the absence of Butler, the occasion of the crime. Time had spared neither of them. They had gone to their graves, leaving names to rot their infamous way to obliv
e shall soon quote largely,—roused the same infernal spirit which Mr. Sumner had so forcibly depicted, and a party of ruffians made several atthe ringing of the bell, prevented their entrance by telling them Mr. Sumner had not yet returned, and instantly took effectual means for his protection. A party of brave Kansas men, without Mr. Sumner's knowledge, acted as a body-guard, keeping within covering distance of him whereashington, who had learned the purposes of the assassins, invited Mr. Sumner to make affidavits of the facts, or lodge a complaint. The lattenian, and a well-known office-holder under the administration, to Mr. Sumner's room to apologize. The correspondents of the Chicago Press and Tribune, wrote, June 5th: The speech of Charles Sumner yesterday, was probably the most masterly and exhaustive argument against human rrounded. The correspondent of the New York Evening Post: Mr. Sumner's speech was a tremendous attack upon Slavery, and yet was utterl
orever—that what Mr. Seward had denominated the Irrepressible Conflict, was at hand—that the gathering storm was soon to burst—that the loud threats of Secessionists meant something—that the feeling of the Slavery leaders in Congress was rapidly getting beyond all limits of control—that they were determined to place Slavery once more on a solid basis of political power, or break up the Union. They had everywhere grown desperate; their insatiate malice could no longer be appeased except with Sumner's blood; and all the while they were known, not only to have the sympathy of pro-Slavery men at the North, in both the old parties, but the reiterated assurances and guarantees of their leaders that they could rely upon the North in any attempt, no matter how desperate, they might make, to crush out Abolitionism. In fact, many of the Democratic papers at the North seemed anxious to rival their brethren in the South—everywhere the strife was to out-Herod Herod—and this continued so u
Iv. On the 4th of June, 1860, Senator Sumner, in rising to deliver his speech on The Barbarism of Slavery, said:— Mr. President,—undertaking now, after a silence of more than four years, to address the Senate on this important subject, I should suppress the emotions natural to such an occasion, if I did not declare on the threshold my gratitude to that Supreme Being through whose benign care I am enabled, after much suffering and many changes, once again to resume my duties here, and to speak for the cause so near my heart. To the honored Commonwealth whose representative I am, and also to my immediate associates in this body, with whom I enjoy the fellowship which is found in thinking alike concerning the Republic, I owe thanks which I seize the moment to express for indulgence extended to me throughout the protracted seclusion enjoined by medical skill; and I trust that it will not be thought unbecoming in me to put on record here, as an apology for leaving my seat so long
the black array of violence and crime as evidence of low civilization throughout the South; and the treatment of Northern citizens, when in the power of Southern men, wherever they expressed any views not agreeing with the Institution. When Mr. Sumner resumed his seat, Mr. Chestnut, of South Carolina, uttered these words: Mr. President, after the extraordinary, though characteristic, speech just uttered in the Senate, it is proper that I assign the reason for the position we are now ince of the matter. He spoke with uncontrollable rage, and was listened to with eagerness and approval by the Slave-masters of the Senate, both from the North and the South. There was no call to order by the Chair, which was at the time occupied by Mr. Bigler, of Pennsylvania. The storm seemed ready to burst once more in violence. But this time brutality and murder were to seek more cowardly and skulking assassins. We have seen how they were foiled by the vigilance of Mr. Sumner's friends.
Xxviii. Shortly after the delivery of his last speech, Mr. Sumner presented a petition of citizens of Massachusetts of African descent, praying the Senate to suspend the labors of the Select Committee which had been appointed to investigate the late invasion and seizure of property at Harper's Ferry, and that all persons now ee, a resolution, that the paper purporting to be a petition from citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of African descent, presented to the Senate by Charles Sumner, a Senator of Massachusetts, be returned by the Secretary to the Senator who presented it. Supposing that this resolution would be called up, Mr. Sumner prepMr. Sumner prepared some notes of a speech he intended to deliver on the subject, in which the following paragraph occurred: There is a saying of antiquity, which has the confirming voice of all intervening time, that Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. And now, sir, while humbled for my country that such a proposition should
or the strange mingling of earnest determination and unrestrained enthusiasm, manifested on the occasion. The scene is thus described by the Evening Post: Mr. Sumner was as happy in manner, as he was forcible in the matter of his speech. His commanding person, his distinct utterance, and his graceful elocution, combined witng the immense auditory to their seats for two hours, without a movement, and almost without a breath, save when the applause broke forth. It is the first time Mr. Sumner has spoken in public since he was laid low in the Senate House, and New York by this grand demonstration has shown its eagerness to welcome him to the field of orkshop, in the great Free North. A Republican wigwam was to be dedicated in New York on the 6th of the following August, at which an effort was made to get Mr. Sumner to speak; but they had to be content with a hearty reply, in which he said: As citizens of a great Metropolis, you have duties of peculiar difficulty. It i
Xxx. On the 29th of the same month, the Republicans of Massachusetts assembled in Mass Convention at Worcester, to ratify the nomination of Mr. Lincoln for President, and John A. Andrew, for the first time, as Governor of Massachusetts. Mr. Sumner delivered the principal speech, on The Presidential Candidates, and the Issues of the Canvass. He went into a clear and analytical exposition of the entire merits of the question,—the comparative claims for support of Lincoln and Hamlin, representing the now formidable Republican party; of Breckenridge and Lane, the candidates of the now clearly announced champions of the Democratic Pro-Slavery Party; of Douglas and Johnson, the candidates of the seceding body of Democrats, known as the Douglas, or Squatter Sovereignty Party; and of bell and Everett, candidates of the few old remaining Whigs, who, like venerable barnacles, were still clinging to a sinking ship. Nothing but imperative necessity exeludes that speech from this volume. T
C. Edwards Lester, Life and public services of Charles Sumner: Born Jan. 6, 1811. Died March 11, 1874., Section Eighth: the war of the Rebellion. (search)
have them touch it off themselves. While Mr. Sumner was disposed to render all the aid he could could not have justified their detention. Mr. Sumner's speech in the Senate—to which his position Xxxi. On the 23d of April, on motion of Mr. Sumner, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill, 1862. XXXV. As early as May 8, 1862, Mr. Sumner introduced a Resolution which was the beginnll we could carry, of our own. So thought Mr. Sumner, who, in reply to Senator McDougall, said: trages they have already heaped upon us. * * Mr. Sumner's is the authentic voice, not of the mob, bus name, in the N. Y. Independent, entitled Charles Sumner as a Statesman: For the first time in a canvass of the friends and the enemies of Mr. Sumner in the State which he has so honored. I helations, or, How to Treat the Rebel States, Mr. Sumner goes over a part of this ground. Assuming tuers, must govern. Would you know, inquires Mr. Sumner, the extent of these powers that must be con[75 more...]
Vi. If Mr. Sumner had more to do than any other man in influencing public opinion on the subject of Slavery; and, as was alleged by his enemies at the time, more to do with bringing on the Rebellion—a false and scandalous charge—it is certain that he was no less active in shaping the policy of the Senate after the war had got fairly under way. It might be a more accurate statement to say that he had more to do in shaping the opinion of the nation, than that of the Senate, or administration; for, not being a politician, in the common acceptation of that term, he never sought to stand well with the politicians of his time, nor with men in power. He was the great Outsider—the great Commoner,—the Prophet,—the Apostle,—the Teacher,—the Guide, of the American People. Sooner or later, his views on all the great measures that occupied the public mind, became public opinion. Wild, ultra, extravagant as he was often called, the sober judgment of the country to which he always appe
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