rights, help guard the equal rights of distant fellow-citizens, that the shrines of popular institutions now desecrated may be sanctified anew; that the ballot-box now plundered may be restored; and that the cry, I am an American citizen, shall no longer be impotent against outrage.
In just regard for free labor, which you would blast by deadly contact with slave labor; in Christian sympathy with the slave, whom you would task and sell; in stern condemnation of the crime consummated on that beautiful soil; in rescue of fellow-citizens now subjugated to tyrannical usurpation; in dutiful respect for the early fathers, whose aspirations are ignobly thwarted; in the name of the Constitution outraged, of the laws trampled down, of justice banished, of humanity degraded, of peace destroyed, of freedom crushed to earth, and in the name of the Heavenly Father, whose service is perfect freedom,—I make this last appeal.
was not during the speech called to order for any part of it, either by the president or by any senator.
He was, as already noted, closely watched to see if any point of order could be made against him. Evans of South Carolina
was in his seat, and took pains to make an inquiry when Sumner
mentioned pro-slavery recruiting in South Carolina
, but raised no point as to any words applied to his colleague or his State.1
Nor in the later discussion was any paragraph or sentence claimed to exceed parliamentary limitations of debate.
sustained himself well to the end. Those in the audience who were critical by habit confessed that the speech, in force, manner, and emphatic style, gave them a new conception of the man.2
They likened him, in the combination of oratorical gifts, to the great masters of eloquence in ancient and modern times.
That Sumner displayed great ability, and showed that in oratorical talent he was no unworthy successor of Adams, Webster, and Everett, no one who heard him will deny.
In vigor and richness of diction, in felicity and fecundity of illustration, in breadth and completeness of view, he stands unsurpassed.3
In a speech of five hours in length, he has exhibited the most signal combination of oratorical splendors which in the opinion of a veteran senator has ever been witnessed in that hall.
Indeed, for the union of clear statement, close and well-put reasoning, piquant personality and satire, freighted with a wealth of learned and apposite illustration, every one of which was subsidiary to the main purpose of the argument, it may safely