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C. Edwards Lester, Life and public services of Charles Sumner: Born Jan. 6, 1811. Died March 11, 1874., Section first: Parentage and education. (search)
rs, the respect of their fellow-men, with high standing in good society, and enough of fortune—lands and money—to command all the advantages which a competency of this world's goods can bestow; it would be strange indeed if, from such sources, strong characters should not grow up. It was under such auspices that Charles Sumner's boyhood began, and the ripened fruit of all this auspicious planting showed itself throughout his well-rounded life. From the first colonizing of the country, Massachusetts Bay had planted institutions of learning, and nurtured them with the utmost care. In less than twenty years from the landing of the Pilgrims, the foundations of Harvard College had been laid, and her teachers were among the most learned men of England. The common schools of the Colony were then the best in the world, those of Boston leading the way. At the time Charles Sumner's education began, these common schools had grown to be so excellent, that John Quincy Adams said if he had as
uld be thrown to a howling mob, rose when coming from the lips of the eloquent and travelled young patrician, the most atrocious blasphemy against God and the Constitution! And yet his great theme was The True Grandeur of Nations, and the burden of his oration was Peace,—an oration which Cobden, the most eloquent advocate of peace in Europe, pronounced the noblest contribution ever made by any modern writer to the cause of peace. But it gave offence to the magnates of the Whig Party in Massachusetts, since it was known that they were fast drifting, body and soul, into the embraces of the slave-power, which was demanding fresh aggressions upon the territory of Mexico, with a view to wrest from her some of her fairest possessions, to be devoted to the demon of human servitude. Mr. Sumner early foresaw that this would end in a collision with our sister republic, and which, under the dictation of the slave oligarchy, would be attended with outrages and injustice. The Whigs had been gr
Mr. Sumner, he has done as a citizen, what Massachusetts is now called upon to do as a State—divestYork, New Haven, and everywhere throughout Massachusetts, in order to give expression to this opposee, William Eustis, afterwards Governor of Massachusetts, was chairman. With him were associated Jould soil the hem of the white garments of Massachusetts! But we are told that all exertions will and stands alone in these efforts; suppose Massachusetts stands alone; is it not a noble solitude? proceedings to-night, did not ask whether Massachusetts would be alone,. when she commenced the o new strength from these exertions. Let Massachusetts, then, be aroused. Let all her children brtinacious in the cause of slavery. Let Massachusetts continue to be known as foremost in the can principles. Such a man is no true son of Massachusetts. There is a precious incident in the lill how to say no. Be this the example for Massachusetts, and may it be among her praises hereafter[1 more...]
s, faithful only to Freedom, refuse to echo them. The Whigs of Massachusetts, assembled in Faneuil Hall, must be true to this early scene of Such is, as I trust, or certainly should be, the Whig party of Massachusetts. It refuses to identify itself exclusively with those measuresism of the Whigs of ‘76. Let me say, then, that the Whigs of Massachusetts are—I hope it is not my wish only that is father to the thoughtand exiles from its jurisdiction the honored representatives of Massachusetts, who seek, as messengers of the Commonwealth, to secure for hercity, it must be wrong also, in association with other States. Massachusetts does not allow any of her citizens within her borders to hold ss, Abolitionists. There are a few such men now in Congress. Massachusetts has a venerable representative, John Quincy Adams, whose aged b life. Would that all would join him! There is a Senator of Massachusetts, whom we had hoped to welcome here to-day, whose position is on
at influence in Ohio, while Mr. Charles Francis Adams, and his friend, Charles Sumner, were putting forth their mightiest efforts to restore to the old Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bay the spirit of liberty, whose beacon-fires had long ago begun to grow dim. There was a general disposition, through many portions of the North, to teceived here to-day show that we need not postpone our anticipations of success. It seems already at hand. The heart of Ohio beats responsive to the heart of Massachusetts, and all the Free States are animated with the vigorous breath of Freedom. Let us not, then, waste time in vain speculations between the two candidates. Bothen divided. Union, then, must be our watchword,—union among men of all parties. By such a union we shall consolidate an opposition which must prevail. Let Massachusetts—nurse of the men and principles which made our earliest revolution—vow herself anew to her early faith. Let her elevate once more the torch, which she first h<
k in this great battle had to be fought in Massachusetts, where Mr. Sumner was the acknowledged leauence which made every speech delivered in Massachusetts effective far beyond the bounds of the Stainto our Government, the Free Democracy of Massachusetts, in Convention assembled at Worcester, now It denies to the free colored citizens of Massachusetts the privileges secured to them under the Ctially comprehended, when we consider that Massachusetts contains only 7,800 miles, all New England bound and clasped in part by the votes of Massachusetts. Their chains, as they clank, seem to say, Massachusetts helps commit this outrage. They were not satisfied with even a complete Divorcersons. In marked contrast are the laws of Massachusetts, recognizing such persons as citizens; andxtent has this been carried, that Whigs of Massachusetts, professing immitigable hostility to Slaveput, which we now address to the people of Massachusetts, Are you for Freedom, or are you for Slave[2 more...]
sion, appeared before the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, in the case of Sarah C. Roberts vs. The Cbeen equalled. It settled the question in Massachusetts, as it has since been virtually establisht he delivered before the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. It reads now,—except to the young, whoe made, under the Constitution and laws of Massachusetts, among the children entitled to the benefions, and especially of the Constitution of Massachusetts, all men, without distinction of color or pursuit of happiness. The Constitution of Massachusetts repeats the same idea in a different form.quality which the Constitution and Laws of Massachusetts repudiate. But it is not on the ground ofo power under the Constitution and Laws of Massachusetts, to make any discrimination on account of nsistent with the Constitution and Laws of Massachusetts, and with the adjudications of the Supremeeavy-laden wayfarers in this great cause. Massachusetts will then, through you, have a fresh title[6 more...]
XIII. But these great efforts of the private citizen were drawing to a close. Mr. Sumner was soon to be transferred to a broader field of effort and power. A radical change had passed over the public mind everywhere, especially in Massachusetts. There the indignation that had been aroused by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill can hardly be understood at this day. The vast popularity of Daniel Webster seemed to vanish in an hour after his speech of the 7th of March. Those words witpened that speech in the Senate—I find the Fugitive Slave law in the Constitution, and I take no step backwards—had alienated from him the friends of a lifetime, and slammed the doors of old Faneuil Hall in his face. There was but one man in Massachusetts that could be his successor. That man was Charles Sumner. But before we give an account of his election, and the unforeseen circumstances which attended it, we shall give some extracts from a powerful speech he delivered at the Free-Soil St
principles of Christianity. God, nature, and all the holy sentiments of the heart, repudiate any such seeming settlement. Turning at last to the duties of Massachusetts men, he thus sums up the demands which must be made upon Congress. Sir, I will not dishonor this home of the Pilgrims, and of the Revolution, by admitting—n its agent; it will die of inanition—like a spider beneath an exhausted receiver. Oh! it were well the tidings should spread throughout the land, that here in Massachusetts this accursed Bill has found no servants. Sire, I have found in Bayonne honest citizens and brave soldiers only; but not one executioner, was the reply of the tting foot in this Commonwealth. Elsewhere, he may pursue his human prey; he may employ his congenial bloodhounds, and exult in his successful game. But into Massachusetts he must not come. And yet again I say, I counsel no violence. I would not touch his person. Not with whips and thongs would I scourge him from the land. Th
of Mr. Sumner in the United States Senate, was then Governor of Massachusetts. On the 16th of January, on motion of Mr. Barry, a member ofashington. Mr. Sumner will find, on reaching the Capital, that Massachusetts, and even New England, is but a fraction of the United States; be taught. Again, we say, we do not yet despair of the Union. Massachusetts might have seated in the Senate a man far more objectionable thlection of Mr. Sumner will be regretted by all who wish the State of Massachusetts to stand where she has stood, nobly and firmly fixed in herlents and character, he is not the man best suited to represent Massachusetts in the Senate of the United States. We are not aware of any acurther acquaintance, we find ourselves mistaken. The people of Massachusetts, we are certain, did not wish Mr. Sumner's election. Put the qhis constituents shall dictate. He will be a Senator worthy of Massachusetts, legislating, as the Transcript truly says, for the whole count
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