Senate, reminded Sumner
of what Dr. W. E. Channing
's sentiments would have been if he were living:—
Would not his brother have felt at least as much if he had lived to see the day when his pupil and friend fought for the right in high places?
Have you ever thought of the satisfaction you would have received from meeting him on your return from this session?
James Russell Lowell
wrote, March 23:—
I am very glad to thank you for sending me in a more preservable form a speech which does you so much honor, and in which our Massachusetts senator (for we have only one, it seems) has shown himself worthy to represent the moral sentiment, the moral courage, and the traditions of New England.
As far as I am able to judge, you have gained immensely by it among the people whose opinions are worth anything,—I mean the people who have any opinions at all. You have put yourself en rapport with the moral sense of Massachusetts; and after all, though a man may find a sufficiently firm foothold in the mud of popular ignorance, prejudice, and animal instincts, to wade over to the White House, it is on this primitive granite of conscience that he must plant his foot if he would climb to that fame which may count surely on the “perfect witness of all judging Jove.” ... There has been a charming artistic arrangement in our senatorial representation this winter.
It would seem as if the Destinies, who are by no means without a sense of fun, had arranged the flat, dead surface and neutral tints of Everett on purpose for a background on which your portrait might be seen to better advantage.
Dr. O. W. Holmes
wrote from Pittsfield
, August 20:—
I read all your speeches, always admiring their spirit, their temper, their scholarship, whether I go with then on all points or not. I had just been asking all about you of quiet and amiable Mr. Rockwell, your colleague, when I took your token of remembrance from the post-office.
And so our pleasant relations of old came out, as the figures of the camera start from the silver in the daguerreotypist's subtile vapor bath; and I said I will send him a line of thanks which may sound pleasantly among the discordant echoes with which his ears must be infested.
The Fugitive Slave Act came up again on later days in the session.
On July 14 Dixon
took exception in a courteous way to Sumner
's construction of his official oath and his application of Jackson
's celebrated phrase.
repeated the doctrine, adding John Quincy Adams
as an authority, that his oath was to support the Constitution
‘as he understood it.’
Four days later he presented a memorial from the ancient Abolition Society of Pennsylvania
for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act
, and stated with considerable fulness its purport.
made some opprobrious remarks, which Sumner
only noticed by saying