previous next
[18] subside; and all, with liberal eye, seek private interest in the common weal.

Mr. Sumner did not become actively interested in politics till 1803, near the close of Mr. Jefferson's first administration.1 The antagonism between the Federal party, which opposed Mr. Jefferson, and the Republican or Democratic party, which sustained him, was at its height. The Federalists, as a minority, had departed from the traditions of Washington's administration, and to a great degree had become the partisans of State sovereignty and a New England confederacy. These notions repelled the sympathies of many who had borne their name, and led to the secession of John Quincy Adams from the party.

Mr. Sumner's first political address was delivered at Milton, March 5, 1804. It was a plea for the integrity of the Union, for a common love of all its sections, for faith in popular government, and for confidence in the national administration, and in Mr. Jefferson, its head. The young orator said:—

And has it come to this, that the Union must be dissolved? Because a particular set of men cannot engross the government, must there be no government at all? Shall party attachments supersede national allegiance? Shall State jealousies be summoned from the dead to overthrow the magnificent structure of the Union, which we have fondly hoped to see founded on their tomb?

On July 4, 1808, he delivered an address in the Third Baptist Meeting-house in Boston. It was an earnest defence of Mr. Jefferson's administration, and a protest against any national alliance with England against France, which the Federal party was charged with favoring. It rebuked, with great emphasis, sectional jealousies:—

There is, indeed, no diversity of interest between the people of the North and the people of the South; and they are no friends to either who endeavor to stimulate and embitter the one against the other. What if the sons of Massachusetts rank high on the roll of Revolutionary fame? The wisdom and heroism for which they have been distinguished will never permit them to indulge an inglorious boast. The independence and liberty we possess are the result of “joint councils and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, ”

1 Letter of Charles Pinckney Sumner, published Aug. 29, 1811, in the ‘Commercial Gazette,’ Boston, dated Aug. 2:3, 1811, replying to the charge that he is an ‘apostate.’ This letter was copied in the ‘National Intelligencer.’ In another letter he denied having been at any time a member of ‘a Jacobin club.’

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.
Jefferson (4)
Charles Pinckney Sumner (2)
Charles Sumner (1)
John Quincy Adams (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 29th, 1811 AD (1)
1811 AD (1)
July 4th, 1808 AD (1)
March 5th, 1804 AD (1)
1803 AD (1)
August 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: