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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 28 0 Browse Search
Elias Nason, The Life and Times of Charles Sumner: His Boyhood, Education and Public Career. 10 0 Browse Search
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3 6 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Elias Nason, The Life and Times of Charles Sumner: His Boyhood, Education and Public Career.. You can also browse the collection for William Rufus King or search for William Rufus King in all documents.

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day of December, 1851; and, in the absence of John Davis, Gen. Lewis Cass rose, and said, I have been requested to present the credentials of Charles Sumner, a senator elect from the State of Massachusetts. The credentials having been read, William R. King of Alabama administered the oath of office. On the same day Henry Clay, after a brief speech, made his final retirement from that hall in which his eloquent voice had so many times been heard in the defence of constitutional liberty. In hime. Had I been less conscious of the rectitude of my course, I might have sunk under these words; but I persevered in my own way. As I delivered the part to which you refer, I remember well the intent looks of the Senate, and particularly of Mr. King [president pro tem of the senate]. It was already dinner-time, but all were silent and attentive; and Hale [John P. Hale, of N. H.] tells me that Mr. Underwood of Kentucky, by his side, was in tears. From many leading Southern men I have rece
constant support of Samuel Smith, and was first triumphantly pressed by the unsurpassed eloquence of Pinkney. I appeal to the senators from Delaware to maintain the landmark of freedom in the Territory of Louisiana, early espoused by Louis McLane. I appeal to the senators from Kentucky not to repudiate the pledges of Henry Clay. I appeal to the senators from Alabama not to break the agreement sanctioned by the earliest votes in the Senate of their late most cherished fellow-citizen William Rufus King. Sir, I have heard of an honor that felt a stain like a wound. If there be any such in this chamber,--as surely there is,--it will hesitate to take upon itself the stain of this transaction. In respect to the future of his cause he used this bold, prophetic language:-- I am not blind to the adverse signs; but this I see clearly: amidst all seeming discouragements, the great omens are with us. Art, literature, poetry, religion, every thing which elevates man,--all are on our si
er. Only one word, said Mr. Sumner, who with difficulty gained the floor: I exposed to-day the barbarism of slavery. What the senator has said in reply to me, I may well print in an appendix to my speech as an additional illustration. That is all. Mr. Sumner commenced his speech about twelve o'clock, at noon, and continued till about four. The galleries of the Senate were filled with gentlemen and ladies from the North and South; and the most ominous silence prevailed. Mr. Wilson, Mr. King, Mr. Bingham, and Mr. Burlingame sat near the speaker, and, had any attempt at personal violence been made by Messrs. Keitt, Hammond, Toombs, Wigfall, or others who were present, smarting under the scourge of slavery, would doubtless have been ready to repel it. In commenting on this speech, the correspondent of The Chicago press and Tribune wrote, The speech of Charles Sumner yesterday was probably the most masterly argument against human bondage that has ever been made in this or any o
the distant bells. God rest his gallant spirit! give him peace, And crown his brows with amaranth, and set The saintly palm-branch in his strong right hand. Amid the conquering armies of the skies Give him high place forever! let him walk O'er meads of better asphodel; and be Where dwell the single-hearted and the wise,--Men like himself, severely, simply good, Who scorned to be ambitious; scorned the snares Of office, station, rank; but stood sublime In natural greatness . . . O Eternal King, O Father, Son, and Spirit! give him peace. In person Mr. Sumner was tall, dignified, and commanding. His countenance generally wore a serious aspect; and his deportment was that of a well-bred and courteous gentleman. The whitened locks and furrowed cheek bespoke in later years the care and suffering to which his iron frame had been subjected. His friends are pleased to fancy that in respect to face and form, as well as character, he somewhat resembled Edmund Burke. Had he been more