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[387] hitherto chary of praise came warm and generous approbation. From every quarter of the free States and from good men of every type came, in newspapers, addresses, and private letters, testimonies to his fearlessness, his skill in debate, and his undaunted spirit,—placing him as the historical successor of Adams, and invoking a ‘God bless you’ on him and his career. Among the forces of the new struggle against slavery none was stronger than the inspiring example of his courage so singularly tested. More than ever before or after, it was Sumner's triumphant hour in the Senate.1 The mercantile press of Boston was obliged at last to yield to the public demand for his speeches, hitherto accessible only through the Free Soil and the New York newspapers and pamphlet editions; but while giving them to their readers, they said more in the way of criticism upon his construction of his official oath than in commendation of what he had done to maintain freedom of debate and the honor of his State.2 In this respect they were behind public sentiment. From this time, however, they ceased to ignore him, and treated him with respect.

A multitude of letters, often fifty a day, poured in on Sumner with every mail for some weeks, full of the strongest expressions of admiration. They commended his manly and fearless tone, his imperturbable dignity and self-restraint, his pointed and well-aimed satire, his self-respect in putting his opinion and word against Mason's, his rebuke of insolence by fitting retort and of blackguardism by silence, and his noble and triumphant

1 Descriptions of the scene and comments may be found in the Boston Advertiser, July 11; Boston Journal, June 30; Boston Transcript, June 30; New Bedford Mercury, July 1; Springfield Republican, June 30, July 7 and 11; New York Tribune, June 28,29, and 30; New York Evening Post, June 29 and July 5; New York Times, June 30; Wheeling (Va.) Gazette (quoted in Boston Commonwealth, September 4); ‘Liberator,’ July 28.

2 The ‘Advertiser’ printed tardily, July 10, Sumner's speech of June 26,—its first publication of any of his speeches. It did not publish his speeches on the Nebraska bill, though publishing Everett's speech on the bill, and even his later remarks on the clerical petitions. The ‘Atlas,’ ‘Journal,’ and ‘Traveller,’ while giving to their readers Sumner's speeches made late in June, practised before that time the same exclusion as their contemporaries. The ‘Transcript,’ being social rather than political in its character, did not publish speeches; but from Sumner's first session in Congress it was uniformly kindly and generous in its brief paragraphs concerning his public conduct. The Springfield Republican did not publish his first speech against the Nebraska bill, though publishing Everett's and Seward's; but it published his second speech of May 25, and from that time, while dissenting from some of his positions, treated him fairly. The course of these journals in relation to Sumner has been referred to from time to time, not as indicating the personal feelings of their managers, but rather their estimate of the wishes and opinions of their patrons, who were generally of the commercial or conservative classes.

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