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[246] legitimate fruits. Emboldened by their success, the slavery propagandists pressed on with vigor, resolved that no obstacles should prevent the realization of their cherished purposes. In Kansas the friends of freedom found that the pretended proffer of popular sovereignty was a delusion, and they were at once precipitated into a hand-to-hand conflict. Treason was on many lips, and the cry of secession not only rung in the halls of Congress but resounded throughout the South. Distrusting, too, their ability to meet their opponents in the fair field of debate, the advocates of slavery resolved to resort to something more potent than words. If they could not rebut the speech they could intimidate and overpower the speaker, and the bludgeon be made to accomplish what fair argument could not effect. The border ruffian policy which was filling Kansas with alarm and bloodshed had its representatives in Washington, walking its streets, hanging around its hotels and stalking through the Capitol. To the extreme arrogance of embittered and aggressive words were added the menace and actual infliction of personal violence. Indeed, the course of these men assumed the form of a reckless and relentless audacity never before exhibited. Members of Congress went armed in the streets and sat with loaded revolvers in their desks.

It was in this state of popular feeling and during the debate on Kansas affairs that Mr. Sumner delivered, on the 19th and 20th of May, his speech on the ‘Crime against Kansas.’ It was marked by the usual characteristics of his more elaborate efforts, exhibiting great affluence of learning, faithful research and great rhetorical finish and force. It was, in the words of Whittier, ‘a grand and terrible philippic, worthy of the great occasion; the severe and awful truth, which the sharp agony of the national crisis demanded.’ The speech bore the marks of a determined purpose to make it exhaustive and complete; as impregnable in argument and cogent in rhetoric as it could be made by the materials at his command, and by the author's acknowledged ability to use them. He summoned largely to his aid the power of language, and his ‘words’ became ‘things.’

He divided his subject into ‘three different heads: the Crime against Kansas in its origin and extent; the Apologies for the Crime; and the true Remedy.’ Concerning the crime itself, he adduced the most incontrovertible proofs of its existence, and closed by comparing Kansas, to a ‘gallant ship, voyaging on a pleasant summer sea, assailed by a pirate crew.’ ‘Even now,’ he said, ‘the black flag ’

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