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[278] alleged fugitive all right to testify in his own defence. Nor did Webster, who, while yet undecided on which side to commit himself, had drawn up an amendment1 providing for a trial by jury (which lay hid in his desk on the 7th of March), make this a sine qua non of his adhesion; or revolt at the effect given to the kidnapper's ex-parte2 affidavits;3 or denounce the omission to provide any redress for the abuse of the authority conferred by the bill.

For thus having ‘convinced the understanding and touched the conscience of a nation,’ he was publicly thanked by some seven hundred addressers of Boston and4 vicinity—great lawyers, like Rufus Choate and Benjamin R. Curtis; men of letters, like George Ticknor, William H. Prescott, and Jared Sparks (the last also the President of Harvard College); theologians like Moses Stuart, Leonard Woods, and Ralph Emerson of Andover Seminary. Half as many gentlemen of Newburyport confessed5 their gratitude to Webster for his having recalled them to ‘a due sense of their Constitutional obligations’; and in this group we read the names of Francis Todd (who, if a novice in slave-catching, had known something of6 slave-trading) and of the Rev. Daniel Dana, D. D. These7 addresses, with Professor Stuart's obsequious pamphlet8 on “Conscience and the Constitution,” elicited acknowledgments from Webster, which were so many supplements9 to his 7th of March speech, coining fresh euphemisms for the shameful thing he invested with the sacred name of duty. At the Revere House, in Boston, the anti-slavery sentiment to which he had once allowed a religious origin10

1 Lib. 20.100.

2 Lib. 20.95.

3 The pagan law of Crete unearthed at Gortyna (Am. Jour. of Archcaeology, Jan., 1886), and assigned to the Solonian period, provided: ‘Whoever intends to bring suit in relation to a freeman or a slave, shall not take action by seizure before trial; but, if he do seize him, let the Judge fine him ten staters for the freeman, five for the slave, and let him adjudge that he shall release him within three days. . . . But if one party contend that he is a freeman, the other that he is a slave, those that testify that he is free shall be preferred.’ The Fugitive Slave Law not only reversed this principle, but added pecuniary inducements to commissioners to convict and to hold fast (Lib. 20: 153).

4 Lib. 20.55, 57, 62.

5 Lib. 20.73.

6 Ante, 1.180.

7 Ante, 1.207.

8 Lib. 20.83.

9 Lib. 20.62, 89, 121.

10 Ante, p. 276.

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