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Thus ended the battle which determined the future career of the successful candidate; and it may be reckoned among the important events which led to the grand crisis that was looming up in the future. There has been no instance, perhaps, since the case of Gen. Jackson, in which any public man has been chosen for a high political station who became the object of such bitter assaults by the Press. The vituperation heaped upon him from every quarter of the Union was without a parallel. But Mr. Sumner preserved through it all the most admirable dignity of behavior, and the completest serenity of spirit. Neither strangers, nor the most intimate friends, could discover that his spirits were even ruffled; and to reply to any of the assaults made upon him, however malignant, or the prophecies of evil omen which were so profusely uttered, was the last thing he thought of. Indeed, through life he made it a rule never to reply to attacks, unless it became necessary to fortify by further authorities the facts he had stated, for his faith that truth would finally prevail was never shaken. He never displayed the least anxiety to win conviction from the obstinate or stolid by reiterating arguments or statements already made. He believed that every truth could take care of itself; that if crushed to earth, it would rise again. This was sometimes attributed to recklessness, and sometimes to indifference; whilst all the time it was an assurance of faith which impressed those who knew him best, with its positive sublimity.

But wherever the news of his election to the Senate [109] became known, among the three hundred thousand Free-Soil voters in the recent Presidential contest, it was received with unbounded joy: and these voters were scattered through all the Free States. The period of his election was a marked era in our politics. Most of the statesmen who had swayed the country, from the time of Madison, were disappearing from the field. Mr. Calhoun was already dead: Henry Clay was soon to follow. The old Whig party had fought its last battle. The Democrats had centred all their chances upon the South and the Pro-Slavery party of the North, and there it was to fight its last fight before it dissolved in the fires of the Rebellion.

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