previous next


We make some extracts from the press, and individuals of distinction, which will indicate the impression left by that address. The Tribune said:
Mr. Sumner's speech last night was the greatest rhetorical and logical success of the year, and was most enthusiastically praised by the largest audience yet gathered in New York to hear a lecture.

The interest was such that he was constrained, much against his disposition, to repeat it in Brooklyn, as he was afterwards at Niblo's Theatre in New York. In introducing him to the Brooklyn audience, Mr. Beecher said:

I am to introduce to you a statesman who follows a long train of representatives and statesmen who were false to the North, false to liberty; then they made a complaint that there was no North! It was because the North lost faith in her recreant children. It lost faith in its traitors, and not in Liberty. Now, if the haughty Southerners wish to engage in any more conflict of this kind, I think they will have to find some other than the speaker to-night, with whom to break a lance. I do not wish merely to introduce to you the ‘Honorable Gentleman’ sent from Massachusetts as a United States Senator; my wish is to do better than that: I wish to introduce to you the man, Charles Sumner.

After the repetition of the lecture at Niblo's, the Tribune spoke thus: [200]

That a lecture should be repeated in New York is a rare occurrence. That a lecture on Anti-Slavery should be repeated in New York, even before a few despised fanatics, is an unparalleled occurrence. But that an Anti-Slavery lecture should be expected, night after night, to successive multitudes, each more enthusiastic than the last, marks an epoch and a revolution in popular feeling. It is an era in the history of liberty. Niblo's was crowded last evening, long before the hour of commencement. Hundreds stood through the three hours lecture. We give a full report of the words, but only of the words.

The press of the country everywhere made unexpectedly strong and favorable notices of the lecture, and it was reprinted in hundreds of journals. In speaking of its delivery in Metropolitan Hall, the National Era, at Washington, said:

Mr. Sumner closed, as he had continued, amid loud and protracted applause, especially at the point when he said that the Fugitive Slave Bill must be made a dead letter. The audience seemed wild with enthusiasm. Handkerchiefs waved from fair hands, and reporters almost forgot their stolid unconcern.

Count Gurowski, writing from Brattleboroa, Vt., in his enthusiastic style, said:

I have just finished the reading of your admirable Oration. I am en extase. I was near to cry. You have thrown the gauntlet once more to the ‘Gentlemen from the South,’ bravely, decidedly, and pitilessly. Don't be astonished if they shall send you, covered with laurels as you are, to Coventry. This, undoubtedly, they will do.

Being invited to deliver the same address at Auburn, and pressed so earnestly that he could not refuse, he was introduced to the audience by Mr. Seward, in these words:

Fellow-citizens: A dozen years ago I was honored by being chosen to bring my neighbors residing here to the acquaintance of a statesman of Massachusetts, who was then directing the last energies of an illustrious life to the removal of the crime of human slavery from the [201] soil of our beloved country—a statesman whose course I had chosen for my own guidance—John Quincy Adams, the ‘old man eloquent.’ He has ascended to heaven; you and I yet remain in the field of toil and duty; and now, by a rare felicity, I have your instructions to present to you another statesman of Massachusetts, he on whose shoulders the mantle of the departed one has fallen, and who, more than any other of the many great and virtuous citizens of his native Commonwealth, illustrates the spirit of the teacher, whom, like us, he venerated and loved so much, a companion and friend of my own public labors—the young ‘man eloquent,’ Charles Sumner.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Sumner (8)
Seward (2)
Gurowski (2)
Gentleman (2)
Coventry (2)
Beecher (2)
John Quincy Adams (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: