the ability of the author to distinguish himself as a rhetorician and orator. There are glowing passages which thrill the very soul. There is here and there a pomp of language, a procession of gorgeous periods, that hurries the reader irresistibly and willingly along. . . . But these blemishes are but specks; and we gladly take leave of the orator, with the honest hope that we may often hear his free and fearless voice in the defence of struggling truth, and in the assault upon established errors.For several months succeeding the publication of the oration, Sumner received many letters concerning it, various in praise, criticism, or dissent, generally written in acknowledgment of copies received from him. Of those who wrote warmly in approval —besides correspondents from whose letters extracts are given— were William H. Furness, O. W. Peabody, and Hubbard Winslow, among clergymen; Professor Thomas C. Upham, of Bowdoin College, a writer upon morals; J. Miller McKim, the Philadelphia Abolitionist; Edward Kent, of Maine, long conspicuous in public life; Henry C. Carey, the political economist; Brantz Mayer, of Baltimore, known in literature; John Jay, of New York, already earnest in the anti-slavery cause, and since distinguished in a diplomatic career; P. H. Taylor, of Andover, the accomplished teacher of the classics; Dr. Edward Jarvis, versed in statistics and medical science; James Russell Lowell, of Cambridge, and Jacob Harvey, of New York. The greater number, however, while commending its elevated sentiments, full scholarship, and ability, questioned its logical results; to wit, the disarming of nations and the abandonment of fortifications and all war preparations. Among those who wrote thus, either briefly stating their doubt, or treating more at length the use of force between nations—in addition to others whose letters are more particularly referred to—were Professor Andrews Norton, Rev. Dr. N. L. Frothingham, Peleg W. Chandler, Alexander H. Everett, Theodore Sedgwick, and Henry T. Tuckerman. The most thoughtful treatment of his discourse was contained in the letters of Prof. Norton, Richard H. Dana, Jr., and T. Flower Ellis, whose suggestions independently given are in singular accord. Of those who approved the oration without stating any qualification, very few were non-resistants or distinctively peace men; most of them simply believed the war spirit inhuman and unchristian: but they were not disposed to insist that a statement of the argument against it should be encumbered with limitations
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
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.