To Longfellow, he wrote, in December, 1842:—
To Lord Morpeth.Boston, Dec. 16, 1842.my dear Morpeth,—By post, I send Longfellow's little brochure,— the copy from the author. He is a new knight in the field against the Southern Python. The contest on the subject of slavery is thickening fast; and, in the short time since you left us, I can detect a new growth of feeling on the subject. The Legislature of Vermont have adopted very pointed resolutions against slavery; and that of Massachusetts will probably do the same this winter. The South will feel the sting of these proceedings, and will loudly threaten disunion. A case has recently occurred in Boston, which shows pretty clearly that the law enjoining the surrender of a fugitive slave can never be enforced among us. A slave-owner hunted his prey to our ground; but the public feeling was so strong against him that he felt it expedient to receive four hundred dollars from some friends of the fugitive, and execute free papers in his favor,--though his expenses in endeavoring to reclaim him had already amounted to more than seven hundred dollars. If the case had been pushed to a decree, I suppose Judge Story would have felt bound to order the poor creature into slavery; but the decree could not have been enforced. A mass of excited men would have torn the slave from his master.1 This incident has called forth and given body to the feeling already existing on the subject of Slavery in Massachusetts. General Cass has arrived from Paris, and is fast becoming a powerful candidate for the Presidency. I was sorry to hear from him that the Quintuple Treaty was beyond all resurrection, and that even Guizot gave it over now. On many accounts, I should like Cass for President over any other candidate. He is a person of good morals, of heart, and appreciating the amenities of life. It is difficult to know, with any minuteness, his opinions on political questions. He professes to be a Democrat, bred at the feet of Jefferson; and he dislikes England,—or, rather, what he imagines to be English policy. Still, I have great faith that if in office he would, in spite of his Jeffersonian breeding and his prejudices, gravitate to the right. I have read Macaulay's ‘Lays of Ancient Rome’ with great delight. Good-by! Ever, ever yours,C. S.
Send, if you have not already, a copy of your ‘Slavery Poems’ to John Quincy Adams. He deserves the compliment for his earnest advocacy of freedom, and the rights of the North. God bless every champion of the truth! And may man bless the champion also.