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[379] water to the ocean,—leaving to England the whole of Vancouver's Island. There seems to have been a dementia in Mr. Polk and his Cabinet.

I believe I may claim in your brother, Mr. William Rathbone, a personal friend, whose hospitalities I remember with great pleasure. If you should see Mr. Rushton, whom you doubtless know, pray remember me to him most kindly; and believe me, my dear sir,

Very faithfully yours,


Sumner was understood at the time, by some who heard or read his oration, to carry his argument to the extent of discarding force altogether as a legitimate means of government. This was not, however, his true intent. Speaking of the militia, he said: ‘It is most often spoken of as an important part of the police of the country. I would not undervalue the blessings to be derived from an active, efficient, ever-wakeful police; and I believe that such a police has been long required in our country. But the militia, composed of youth of undoubted character, though of untried courage, is clearly inadequate for this purpose. No person who has seen them in an actual riot can hesitate in this judgment.’1 This passage of the oration alone sufficiently showed that he was not a non-resistant. But to meet the criticism which it encountered in this regard, he made a formal disclaimer in his letter of July 10, when forwarding a copy of his oration to the city government in compliance with their request:—

Allow me to add, that I wish to be understood as restraining my opinions precisely within the limits which I have assigned them in these pages; and particularly to disclaim the suggestion which has been volunteered with regard to them,--that Force may not be employed under the sanction of Justice, in the conservation of the laws and of domestic quiet. All good men must unite in condemning, as barbarous and unchristian, the resort to external Force; in other words, to the arbitrament of War, to international Lynch Law, or the great Trial by Battle, to determine justice between nations.

Sumner believed, even when most earnest in the Peace movement, in the right and duty of Government to maintain its authority over its subjects by the use of force, even to the extent

1 See remarks concerning an efficient police, ante, Vol. II. p. 314. Sumner, in a note to this passage in the early editions of his oration, stated, with reference to the Broad Street riot of 1837 (ante, Vol. I. p. 162), that he ‘had been on the ground and in the very houses, the scene of the riot, for an hour previous to the appearance of the militia,’ and that the riot had then ceased.

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