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[194] of the Treaty of Washington, expressed his surprise at some of Mr. Webster's propositions. Dr. Channing, whose moral insight saw their direction, wrote at once his pamphlet, entitled ‘The Duty of the Free States,’ in which he complained that Mr. Webster's letter to Mr. Stevenson ‘maintained morally unsound and pernicious doctrines, and was fitted to deprave the public mind, and tended to commit the Free States to the defence and support of slavery.’ ‘The plain inference is,’ he said, ‘that the Government of the United States is bound to spread a shield over American slavery abroad as well as at home.’ He read his paper while in manuscript to Sumner, Hillard, and William F. Channing (the doctor's son), the three young men being with him in his library, and noting points for consideration as he read. Sumner made various suggestions, particularly on the legal points of the controversy. In connection with Hillard he revised the proofs, proposing several changes in letters written to the author, who, in May and June, 1842, was passing some weeks in Pennsylvania.1

Sumner's great interest in the ‘Creole’ question is noted by Mr. Ticknor, who names him as the only person he met, who was vehement against Mr. Webster's letter.2 It appears also in his vigorous letters, written at the time, to Mr. Harvey and Dr. Lieber. He replied in the ‘Advertiser’ to some legal criticisms which a correspondent of that journal had made on Dr. Channing's pamphlet.3 In this reply, he said:—

It would ill accord with the spirit of English law to allow the liberty of a human being to be restrained by the meshes of technicalities like those woven by the writer in the “Advertiser.” The single vigorous principle that within the British Empire no right of property can exist in a human being extends like a flaming sword around all its courts and territories, cutting asunder the bonds of every slave who approaches English earth.

Not only his participation in these legal discussions, but also his correspondence, in which he warmly commends the career of

1 Dr. Channing made, at Sumner's suggestion, changes in the following paragraphs, as printed in ‘The Works of William E. Channing, D. D.,’ in one volume; Boston, 1875: ‘The question between the American and English Governments . . . but must be treated as free,’ p. 856; paragraph relative to interference of the colonial authorities, p. 864; paragraph as to the magistrates ‘commanding’ the slaves to go on shore, p. 865; note A, p. 906; note B, p. 906. Judge Story was also much interested in the legal points, and his advice was sought in relation to them.

2 Life of George Ticknor, Vol. II. p. 199.

3 His article was printed April 18. The articles of Dr. Channing's critic, signed ‘C.,’ were printed April 14 and 25.

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