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[456] personal offence to any one;1 but the course of the pro-slavery party had at last forced him from those lines. Spectators and journalists familiar with the Senate noted his slowness to give offence, his courtesy and kindness, his long forbearance and entire want of aggressive spirit, down to his final manly repulsion of offensive personalities.2 Sumner in his speech kept within the limits of parliamentary invective as practised in the houses of Congress and in the British Parliament.3

At the close of the final encounter Sumner received hearty congratulations from political friends, who crowded about him, ‘their faces beaming with delight at the ability and power of his rejoinder.’ In his argument as well as in his style he had fully met public expectation. But what most drew enthusiasm was the scourging applied to Douglas and his pro-slavery allies; and profound satisfaction was felt that the end of unrebuked insolence had come.4 He received an enormous number of letters approving his speech, mostly written after the event which followed it. Only a few as representative of the mass can be noted in this connection.5

1 It was said of him that he had ‘elevated the range and widened the scope of senatorial debate,’ and that ‘no man now living, within the List five years, had rendered the American people greater service or won for himself a nobler fame.’ New York Tribune, May 24, 1856.

2 New York Times. May 30. Springfield Republican, May 24. Two Southern newspapers, the Louisville Journal (quoted in the New York Tribune, June 3, 1856) and Minden (La.) ‘Herald.,’ treated Butler and Douglas as aggressors, and Sumner as acting in self-defence. (Ante, p. 444) note.) James Watson Webb in the ‘Courier and Enquirer,’ May 27, said that Sumner and other antislavery leaders had received ten times the amount of invective they had given in return. See also BostonAtlas,’ May 24. A detailed list of the insults to which Sumner had been subjected, from his first speech on the slavery question, was given in the New York Tribune, June 3, and in Wilson's speech in the Senate, June 13. Congressional Globe, p. 1399; Sumner's works, vol. IV. pp. 281-301.

3 London ‘Star,’ June 21. the London Times, August 7, in referring to the speech as an alleged ‘provocation’ for violence, said: ‘The speech was elaborately strong, but not stronger than many delivered within the walls of our own Parliament during the discussion on the Reform and Emancipation bills.’ James W. Grimes said in a speech , at Burlington, Iowa: ‘His [Sumner's] speech fell short in invective of the philippics of Randolph, Calhoun, McDuffie, Hayne, Prentiss, and Henry A. Wise. It was diluted when compared to Webster's onslaught upon Charles J. Ingersoll.’ (Grimes's life, p. 80.) The style of debate. marked by threats and epithets, which the partisans of slavery in Congress had long practised, is treated in Sumner's speech on ‘The Barbarism of Slavery,’ June 4, 1860, Works, vol. v. pp. 85-99.

4 New York Tribune, May 21; J S. Pike in ‘Tribune,’ May 22. The correspondent of the New York Times, May 21, calls Sumner's retort ‘majestic, elegant, and crushing.’ Thomas H. Benton, meeting Sumner on the same or next day, said: ‘You had all three of them at once on the point of your spear.’

5 Some may be found in his Works, vol. IV. pp. 129-136. He received at this period as many as fifty letters a day.

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