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[238]

I wish some one to write in my name to Charles Sumner [and others, particularly named], to thank them for their friendship, and to say how highly I valued it. I wish them all manner of blessing.

The message was communicated to Sumner by Commodore Perry, in behalf of Mrs. Mackenzie.

This defence of the commander of the ‘Somers’ has a sequel. Sumner was at Saratoga in August, 1851, after his election to the Senate, but before taking his seat. John Slidell, brother of Mackenzie, later a Senator from Louisiana, and afterwards a conspicuous partisan of the Rebellion, was a guest at the same hotel. On being introduced, he treated Sumner with marked reserve, and declined an invitation to a dinner to which both were invited by a mutual friend. Later in the month, he wrote to Sumner, who had gone to Newport, a note of explanation, expressing gratitude for the ‘chivalrous and zealous advocacy’ of his brother, but at the same time embarrassment in maintaining relations of intercourse with one so pronounced in hostility to his section,—referring to Sumner's ‘avowed purpose to exclude in his region the class to which he [Slidell] belonged from the courtesies of social life and the common rites of humanity.’ This was probably an allusion to Sumner's widely read speech at Fanueil Hall of Nov. 6, 1850, wherein he invoked a public opinion which should ‘prevent any slave-hunter from ever setting foot in the Commonwealth.’ In this letter, however, Slidell expressed himself satisfied with some explanation which had been communicated to him; and the two Senators, for a considerable time afterwards, maintained agreeable personal relations with each other.

In the early part of the year, Sumner stated the political relations of Slavery in the United States in a communication to the Boston Advertiser, which merits attention as marking with distinctness his matured views. Lord Morpeth had replied to a request from Mrs. Chapman for a contribution to ‘The Liberty Bell,’ which was to be published at the Anti-slavery Fair in December, 1842, by a letter written at Castle Howard, Oct. 28, soon after his return home,—declining, on account of his foreign citizenship, to engage as a partisan in the discussion of what was an American question. The ‘Advertiser’1 undertook to apply the principle of the letter to citizens of Massachusetts and other Free States, who were, as it contended, excluded equally with foreigners from engaging in the Anti-slavery agitation.

1 Dec. 26, 1842.

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