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[420] Mr. Durkee, the newly chosen Republican senator from Wisconsin, whom they did not find at home. Sumner then journeyed as far as the capital, Madison, and thence returned to Chicago. At the end of July he was at Detroit, whence he made a tour on the lakes, going as far as Lake Superior.1 On board a steamer, August 11, he wrote a letter denouncing Judge Kane's imprisonment of Passamore Williamson, the friend of fugitive slaves, on the charge of contempt of court.2 On his rapid return home he made brief pauses at Saratoga, Lake George, the White Mountains (where he ascended Mount Washington), and Portland, and was in Boston September 6,—having in his absence, as he wrote, ‘traversed eleven free States and three slave States.’ The journey was followed by his usual visit to his brother Albert at Newport. In a speech made a few weeks after his return, he spoke of certain incidents witnessed by him in the slave States,3 which were not calculated to shake his original convictions.4

He wrote to William Jay, October 7:—

My longing is for concord among men of all parties, in order to give solidity to our position. For this I am willing to abandon everything except the essential principle. Others many have the offices if the principle can be maintained. I suppose Banks will be the Northern candidate for Speaker; he has a genius for the place as marked as Bryant in poetry. You will observe an advantage which the South will have in the next House from the experience of Stephens and Cobb, re-elected from Georgia, and the whole late delegation of Virginia, while most of our Northern men will be fresh. We seem to approach success; but I shall not be disappointed if we are again baffled. Our cause is so great that it can triumph only slowly; but its triumph is sure.

To John Jay, October 18:—

The K. N.'s here behave badly. Our contest seems to be with them. What a fall is that of John Van Buren! The ghost of 1848 must rise before him sometimes.

In the summer and autumn there was another effort in Massachusetts to combine all who were opposed to the aggressions of

1 He wrote, August 6 from Lake Superior, to his classmate, Dr. J. W. Bemis, regretting that he had been unable to attend the meeting of his class at Cambridge on their twenty-fifth year from graduation.

2 Works, vol. IV. pp. 52-57. Mr. Conger, M. C., of Michigan, was a fellow-passenger, and in his eulogy in the House, April 27, 1874, stated the circumstances under which this letter was written.

3 At Lexington, Ky.

4 Works, vol. IV. p. 64. The Boston Post accused Sumner of expressing in Kentucky opinions on slavery different from those he expressed in Massachusetts,—a charge to which he replied by letter to that journal, Nov. 16, 1855.

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