previous next

[202] position here is very firm. He is the leader of our bar, with an overwhelming superfluity of business, with a strong taste for books and learned men, with great amiableness of character, with uncommon eloquence, and untiring industry. I still stick to Adams;1 I admire the courage and talent he has recently displayed, and the cause in which they were exerted. I object most strenuously to his manner, to some of his expressions and topics, as unparliamentary, and subversive of the rules and orders of debate. These are among the great safeguards of liberty, and particularly of freedom of speech. I was taught this by you. By imposing certain restraints, they give freedom, enabling everybody to express his honest opinions without fear of bullies or interruptions. One of the worst signs at Washington is the subversion of these rules. No personality is too low for that House; and Mr. Adams erred very much when he spoke ‘of the puny mind of the gentleman from Kentucky,’ and when he alluded to his intemperance. His example swill encourage others in worse breaches of decorum. . .

But I still stick to Adams. His cause was grand. If I had been in the House, I should have been proud to fight under his banners. He has rallied tile North against the South; has taught them their rights, and opened their eyes to the ‘bullying’ (I dislike the word as much as the thing) of the South. I wish you could extricate yourself from that coil.

To Rev. Dr. William E. Channing, Boston.

4 Court Street, March 10, 1842.
my dear Sir,—I am now able to send you the volume of documents containing the correspondence of 1837, on the subject of slaves thrown upon British islands. Allow me to call your attention to document 216, pp. 3-11, where Mr. Forsyth states the claim of the American Government; pp. 13-15, the answer of Lord Palmerston to this claim; pp. 25-28, a further answer of Lord Palmerston, embodying the English side in distinct and truly honorable terms; pp. 28-35, Mr. Stevenson's argument to support the slave-owner; pp. 43-45, a most interesting note from Lord Palmerston, assigning reasons why the English Government cannot be a party to a convention with regard to the disposal of slaves driven on their islands.

The notes of Lord Palmerston seem to me sound and elevating. The mind steps firmly and securely as it passes over them; while, as I read those from our Government, I feel as if the ground was caving under me.

I also send you Vol. III. of Madison's ‘Papers.’ On pp. 1429, 1430, you will see that Mr. Madison ‘thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men.’

I hope you have seen some very excellent articles in the ‘New York American’ on Mr. Webster's despatch. They are written with feeling and knowledge, and contain a great deal of apt criticism and powerful truth.

Ever sincerely yours,

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
British Isles (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
John Quincy Adams (4)
Fletcher Webster (1)
Charles Sumner (1)
Pearce Stevenson (1)
Madison (1)
House (1)
John Forsyth (1)
William E. Channing (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.
March 10th, 1842 AD (1)
1837 AD (1)
1430 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: