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Chapter 19: Paris again.—March to April, 1839.—Age, 28.

Changing the plan of his journey, in which a visit to Germany was to follow his visit to England, Sumner turned towards Italy, and crossed the Channel, by way of Dover and Boulogne, on the night of March 22. During four weeks in Paris, he renewed his intercourse with friends1 from whom he parted the year before; and was kindly received by Lord Granville, then British ambassador, to whom he had been commended by Lord Morpeth. He also saw much of Lord Brougham,2 who was then making one of his frequent visits to that city.

He undertook at this time a patriotic service, which interfered with the pursuit of the special objects of his journey,—the defence of the American title to territory included in the ‘Northeastern Boundary’ controversy between the United States and Great Britain. The friendly relations of the two countries were then disturbed, not only by the territorial dispute, but also by the affair of the ‘Caroline.’ Partisans on both sides were indulging in recriminations and threats of hostilities. The State of Maine had erected forts along its frontier, and armed a civil posse to maintain possession of the disputed district. The controversy grew out of the uncertain language by which the treaty of 1783 defined the line between the two countries, as running ‘from the North-west angle of Nova Scotia; namely, that angle which ’

1 At this, or during the latter part of his previous, visit to Paris, he made the acquaintance of Alexis de Tocqueville.

2 James Watson Webb, already editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer, since Minister to Brazil, was then in Paris. He had taken much interest in the North-eastern Boundary question, and had, in elaborate articles, maintained in his journal the title of the United States to the disputed territory. He was, together with Brougham and Sumner, present at a dinner given by General Cass; and, after Sumner had retired to meet another engagement, Lord Brougham said that he had never met with any man of Sumner's age of such extensive legal knowledge and natural legal intellect, and predicted that he would prove an honor to the American bar. General Webb always maintained very friendly relations with Sumner. This veteran editor (1877), aged seventy-five, now lives in New Haven Conn.

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