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[221] not know the office that is worth asking for, or asking any influence to procure. It is a forfeiture of independence, destructive to one's usefulness and happiness. Within a few days, a person high in station spoke to me with regard to my receiving a certain office1 (one which I should prefer over any office in the country with one exception). I told him that the appointment would be agreeable to me if it came unsolicited on my part. ...

The treaty is concluded, and peace now smiles over the two countries. Lord Ashburton's mission has been very fortunate. But what different fortunes await the two negotiators! My Lord will receive an earldom and the thanks of his sovereign, and will close his life in the enjoyment of the highest luxuries of wealth. Webster, it is presumed, will resign his office; but nobody can tell what he will do. He is deeply in debt, and with habits that will render professional exertion irksome. From his fate we may learn that office is not worth seeking.

To Rev. Edgar Buckingham, Trenton, N. Y.2

Boston, Sept. 2, 1842.
my dear Buckingham,—I address you with the familiarity of an ancient schoolmate; for well do I remember those lessons in early days, which we recited together. I thank you very much for the oration you were so good as to send me. I admire the frankness and spirit with which you turned the celebration of the Fourth of July to an occasion for moral improvement. I wish that for ever this day might be set apart throughout the whole country as the National Sabbath, to be employed in earnest inquiry into the real condition of public affairs, and in strengthening the foundations of moral principle and of concord. It should not be ushered in by the sound and smoke of cannons. Let it be a day of peace, and of those thoughts that flow from peace. Let me say, most sincerely, that such efforts as yours will contribute to bring about a result which I think so desirable. I have read your address with care and interest; and though I might possibly differ from you on some points,—only, however, by a shade,—in its tone and general conclusions I most heartily concur. The part on slavery I particularly liked. Would that it were responded to by the universal heart of the North!

On the day on which you delivered your discourse, Mr. Mann delivered one in Boston, which, it seems to me, is a most valuable contribution to the cause of every thing good in the country. It is well for us, when this day produces two discourses uttered in the spirit of yours and Mann's.

1 The office in relation to which he was consulted was probably that of Reporter of the United States Supreme Court. It is uncertain what office is referred to by the ‘exception,’—perhaps that of United States District-Attorney, which his friend Mr. Dunlap once held. Ante, Vol. I. p. 152.

2 Mr. Buckingham is the son of Joseph T. Buckingham, for many years editor of the Boston Courier. he was Sumner's schoolmate at the Boston Latin School, and was in Harvard College, of the class succeeding Sumner's. He lived, in 1842, at Trenton, Oneida County, N. Y., and now lives at Deerfield, Mass.

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