illustration (both, to my mind, defying the most carping criticism), I cannot help expressing also my gratitude to Providence, that here, in our city of Boston, one has at last stepped forward to consecrate to celestial hopes the day—the great day — which Americans have at best heretofore held sacred only to memory.
To no one did the oration give greater satisfaction than to William Jay
, who was the ablest advocate the cause of Peace ever had in this country, and from whose writings Sumner
had largely drawn his material.
read the oration with its notes the same evening he received it, reading all at one sitting.
for its reference to himself, he wrote from Bedford, N. Y.
, Aug. 22:—
But far other than personal considerations lead me to rejoice in this address.
The high moral courage you have exhibited, the elevated principles you have advanced, the important facts you have spread before the community, your powerful arguments expressed in strong and beautiful language, together with the wide and salutary influence your effort will exert,—all combine to swell the debt of gratitude which you have earned from your fellow-citizens.
That debt, I well know, will be repudiated by many, and very partially paid by others; but you will find a rich reward in your consciousness of well-doing, in the esteem of men whose esteem is valuable, and, above all, in the approbation of Him whose favor is better than life.
of New York, the eminent lawyer, and Rev. Charles T. Brooks
, while concurring with the spirit of the oration, suggested limitations to its doctrines.
John G. Whittier
, who was from this time Sumner
's constant friend, wrote from Amesbury
, Sept. 11, 1845:—
Respected friend,—I thank thee from my very heart for thy noble address.
Its truths are none the less welcome for the beautiful drapery in which they are clothed.
It will do great good.
I would rather be the author of it than of all the war eloquence of Heathendom and Christendom combined. . . . I shall be in Boston at the Liberty Convention of the first of next month, and shall take some pains to procure an introduction to the author of the very best plea for peace which has ever fallen under my notice.
, the college classmate whose name was familiar to the earlier pages of this Memoir, wrote from Lowell
, Sept. 8, stating his conviction that the doctrines of the oration were not adapted to human nature; but saying: ‘As a literary composition, I read it with unqualified satisfaction.
I see the old style, the old hand and mind.
But it is ripened, condensed, ’