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[330] moved a select committee, to whom the report should be referred with instructions to inquire whether it should not be modified before publication, and with power to visit Philadelphia and ascertain the character of the system which Mr. Dwight had assailed. Dr. Wayland warmly commended his remarks at the time, and on the evening of the same day wrote him a letter of thanks, which Sumner incorporated in a speech at a later stage of the controversy.1 The committee appointed were Dr. Howe, Sumner, Samuel A. Eliot, Horace Mann, Dr. Walter Channing, Rev. Louis Dwight, George T. Bigelow, and John W. Edmonds, of New York. Sumner's few remarks at the meeting in May are the first he ever made before a popular audience. Up to this time he had delivered no oration or address, nor participated in any public discussion.2

During the years 1840-45, as always, Sumner gave a considerable portion of his time to correspondence. Besides writing to his English and other foreign friends and to his brother George, he wrote to many American friends,--Dr. Lieber, Theodore Sedgwick, Benjamin D. Silliman, John Jay, Jacob Harvey, Samuel Ward, George Gibbs, Charles S. Daveis, George W. Greene, Thomas Crawford, Edward Everett (then Minister to England), Theodore S. Fay, Rufus Choate (while in the Senate),—and to his intimate friends, Cleveland, Longfellow, Hillard, and Howe, when they were travelling. Then as always a friend's handwriting gave him the keenest enjoyment. No day was to him complete, whose morning mail did not bring him a packet of letters; and all who are familiar with his daily life will recall the zest with which he opened and read them. He was always interested in the literary projects of his friends, and answered readily calls for help in obtaining materials,3 revising manuscripts and proofs, and in securing the attention of publishers. He was a good critic, and was never weary in serving authors whose works merited a place in libraries.

1 Works, Vol. I. pp. 491-493.

2 The few didactic lectures on law topics read before Lyceums do not seem to call for a qualification of this statement. Ante, Vol. I. pp. 153, 154.

3 George Gibbs sought his intervention for the purpose of procuring original papers for the ‘Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and John Adams.’

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