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[374] it said: ‘Where lives the man who has more thoroughly proclaimed and vindicated the sentiment of the North during the past winter than Charles Sumner?’ Even the ‘Atlas,’ June 12, commended his ‘consistent and unwavering fidelity to freedom.’

The seizure of a fugitive slave in Boston intensified the agitation in New England. While the Senate was engaged in the discussion of the bill, Anthony Burns was arrested on the evening of May 24, on the claim of one Sutter, a Virginian, and taken to the court house, where he was held by the United States marshal under an armed guard for a hearing before Edward G. Loring, a commissioner. On the evening of the 26th a body of citizens, leaving Faneuil Hall, where an immense meeting had been addressed by Wendell Phillips, Theodore Parker, F. W. Bird, and John L. Swift, proceeded to the court house, and endeavored to force an entrance. The attempt at a rescue failed; but in the defence, Batchelder, a truckman, one of the guards temporarily appointed by the marshal, was killed by a pistol-shot. The commissioner held that the negro, who was defended by R. H. Dana, Jr., was the claimant's slave, and gave the order for his rendition,1—which was speedily carried into effect by the marshal and his deputies, supported by United States soldiers and marines, and aided by the city police and State militia acting under the mayor's orders, and in the guise of keeping the peace.2

The excitement in Boston surpassed any known in its previous history. Various circumstances conspired to this end. It was an unfamiliar spectacle, as the last fugitive-slave case was that of Sims in 1851. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise had sundered the tie which bound conservatism to slavery, and arrayed the mass of good citizens against the further extension of slavery. The spell of compromise had been broken, and the sentiment was widespread that there must be no more activity in executing the Fugitive Slave Act. The time of the trial and

1 Loring was removed by legislative address in 1858 from the office of Judge of Probate for persisting in holding, in violation of a statute of the State, the two offices of United States commissioner and judge of a State court. President Buchanan, in recognition of his service in the rendition of Burns, promptly appointed him a judge of the United States Court of Claims. He held that office till 1877, and died in 1890.

2 Seward, while deploring the return of the slave to bondage (‘Life,’ vol. II. p. 232), ‘found satisfaction for it in the humiliation it has brought upon Boston and Massachusetts. It is a severe cure for their misconduct in 1850, which betrayed us all through the Union.’

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