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[445] ‘the incontestable right of the people to settle any portion of our broad territory, and if they choose, to propagate any opinions there not forbidden by the laws,’—a right exercised by tract, Bible, and missionary societies, and even by ‘the senator from Illinois, who is an emigrant from Vermont propagating his disastrous opinions in another State.’ A tribute to Massachusetts, listened to with breathless attention,1 closed the part of the speech delivered during the first day:—

God he praised! Massachusetts, honored Commonwealth, that gives me the privilege to plead for Kansas on this floor, knows her rights, and will maintain them firmly to the end. This is not the first time in history that her public acts have been impeached, and her public men exposed to contumely. Thus was it in the olden time, when she began the great battle whose fruits you all enjoy. But never yet has she occupied a position so lofty as at this hour. By the intelligence of her population; by the resources of her industry; by her commerce, cleaving every wave; by her manufactures, various as human skill; by her institutions of education, various as human knowledge; by her institutions of benevolence, various as human suffering; by the pages of her scholars and historians; by the voices of her poets and orators,—she is now exerting an influence more subtile and commanding than ever before, shooting her far-darting rays wherever ignorance, wretchedness, or wrong prevails, and flashing light even upon those who travel far to persecute her. Such is Massachusetts; and I am proud to believe that you may as well attempt with puny arm to topple down the earth-rooted, heaven-kissing granite which crowns the historic sod of Bunker Hill, as to change her fixed resolve for freedom everywhere, and especially now for freedom in Kansas. I exult, too, that in this battle, which in moral grandeur surpasses far the whole war of the Revolution, she is able to preserve her just eminence. To the first she contributed troops in larger numbers than any other State, and larger than all the slave States together; and now to the second,—which is not of contending armies, but of contending opinions, on whose issue hangs trembling the advancing civilization of the age,—she contributes, through the manifold and endless intellectual activity of her children, more of that divine spark by which opinions are quickened into life than is contributed by any other State, or by all the slave States together, while her annual productive industry exceeds in value three times the whole vaunted cotton crop of the whole South.

Sir, to men on earth it belongs only to deserve success, not to secure it; and I know not how soon the efforts of Massachusetts will wear the crown of triumph. But it cannot be that she acts wrong for herself or her children when in this cause she encounters reproach. No! by the generous souls once exposed at Lexington; by those who stood arrayed at Bunker Hill; by the many from her bosom who, on all the fields of the first great struggle, lent their vigorous arms to the cause of all; by the children she has borne whose names alone are national trophies,—is Massachusetts now vowed irrevocably

1 J. S. Pike in New York Tribune, May 21.

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