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[203]

To Jacob Harvey.

Boston, March 17, 1842.
my dear Sir,—Common Sense has done the work well. I subscribe most heartily to all your views, and am glad that they have been so ably presented. The case of the ‘Creole’ seems too clear for argument. What could have induced Mr. Webster to make the demand he has made I fear that the cause is to be found in the fact that he is a member of a Southern administration, with a Southern chief. But you will observe that he puts his demand upon comity alone. I think his letter a most acute and ingenious piece of advocacy. But the House of Lords has answered it in advance; though the question of indemnification is still left open. But I cannot doubt that England will treat this as she would treat the demand for the surrender of the fugitives.

I think Mr. King1 of the ‘American’ deserves great honor for the prompt and noble stand which he took against the doctrines of Mr. Webster's letter. His articles were admirable in spirit and matter. There is some professional learning which might have been introduced beyond what he embodied; but he handled the subject most ably. Judge Story tells me that, in delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States on this recent slave question,2 he has declared that, by the law of nations, we cannot require the surrender of fugitives; thus throwing the weight of our highest tribunal upon that of the English House of Lords.

But trouble seems to arise now from the other question,—of the right of search. The recent debate in the French Chamber has aroused new feeling. General Cass has come into the lists with a pamphlet, in which he takes sides most violently with Stevenson; and he has carried with him the sympathies of the Americans in Paris. I am happy to hear that Lord Aberdeen has addressed a note on the subject to our Government, in reply to Stevenson's last letter, which is said to be very able. What can be done to correct the public sentiment? I fear nothing. The question at issue is one of nice law, which the public cannot understand.

Ever faithfully yours,


To Lord Morpeth, New Orleans.

Boston, March 29, 1842.
Welcome back from Cuba, my dear Morpeth! but in New Orleans I fear there can be no agreeable welcome. If I have a correct idea of that place, there are the dregs of Parisian vice mixed with the vilest dregs of slavery. You will see how rapidly this question of slavery moves in the country. The South seems to have the madness which precedes great reverses. I agree with Mr. Giddings in his resolutions.3 Indeed, they are the exact reverse of


1 Charles King, afterwards President of Columbia College, New York.

2 Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 16 Peters's Reports, p. 539.

3 Wilson's ‘Rise and Fall of the Slave Power,’ Vol. I. p. 447.

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