previous next
[356] sitting by Sumner's side, followed. While making no issue with the oration, the general direction of his remarks showed clearly that he was no convert to its peculiar doctrines. At the close he referred to the annexation of Texas, as probably to be on that day finally consummated by her act; and gave a toast which became famous in politics, being interpreted, in view of an existing controversy in the Whig party, as announcing his acquiescence in the measure as a foregone conclusion, and his purpose to discountenance any further contention concerning it: ‘Our country, bounded by the St. John's and the Sabine, or however otherwise bounded or described; and be the measurements more or less, still our country, to be cherished in all our hearts, to be defended by all our hands.’1

The next speech differed very much in style from the two preceding. Major John C. Park, a member of the bar, then a State Senator, who had been long associated with the militia, followed. He had taken affront at the oration, regarding it as an indignity to the military guests. He spoke in a clear, ringing voice, and with the vigorous manner which carries an audience tempered like the one before him. According to contemporary records he was coarse and personal in his references to Sumner, condemning with severity his perversion of a festive occasion; and ending with the remark that Boston was a city of notions, but the strangest notion of all was the orator's. More than any speaker, Mr. Park expressed the sentiment of the hour; and he received loud applause, particularly from the military guests. Then came a succession of speakers,—officers of the navy and of the militia, a judge of the Police Court, and others,—all of whom treated the oration with censure, ridicule, or some kind of criticism. One gave as a toast: ‘The millennium! When the nations shall learn war no more, and when our swords shall be turned into ploughshares and pruning-hooks, the principles of the orator of the day will be susceptible of practical application.’

General Oliver, who had listened to the orator with more equanimity than the rest of his brethren in uniform, while no less emphatic than they in his dissent from some of the positions taken in the oration concerning the profession of arms, expressed the hope that the day might not be distant when its theory would be applicable to the condition of the world; and

1 Wilson's ‘Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America,’ Vol. I. 638. Sumner's Works, Vol. I. p. 327.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Sumner (3)
John C. Park (2)
Wilson (1)
Henry K. Oliver (1)
Boston (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: