previous next

Longfellow wrote, May 24: ‘A brave and noble speech you made, never to die out of the memories of men.’ And again, May 28: ‘I have just been reading again your speech; it is the greatest voice, on the greatest subject, that has been uttered since we became a nation. No matter for insults,—we feel them with you; no matter for wounds,—we also bleed in them! You have torn the mask off the faces of traitors, and at last the spirit of the North is aroused.’ Whittier, after reading and re-reading the speech, pronounced it ‘a grand and terrible philippic worthy of the great occasion; the severe and awful truth which the sharp agony of the national crisis demanded,’ itself ‘enough for immortality.’ Cassius M. Clay thought the speech ‘far the best one of the session, . . . standing right alongside with Webster's reply to Hayne,’ and destined to confer upon the author ‘immortality as a parliamentary debater.’ E. Rockwood Hoar thought that if death had been the sequel, ‘no man could have desired a nobler epitaph than the speech,’ and assured Sumner of ‘support in everything that head can devise or hand can execute,’ praying that he might ‘live to say again in many a form and on many a fit occasion the stinging home-truths to which no reply could be found but this.’ Edwin P. Whipple ‘sympathized with its sentiments, and gloried in its genius,’ calling it ‘an event’ in itself, made all the greater by what followed, the only answer its opponents were capable of making to it. Dr. Francis Wayland thanked him for the speech, expressing the hope that he would deliver many such. Lydia Maria Child thought it ‘magnificent,’ meeting ‘the requirements of the time with so much intellectual strength and moral heroism,’ finding nothing in it ‘which offended either her taste or her judgement.’ Count Gurowski found it ‘grand and beautiful in thought,’ and not less so in form. John Jay wrote: ‘Thanks for your glorious speech, that will now thrill the American heart to an extent never known before.’ Rev. R. S. Storrs, Jr., of Brooklyn, N. Y., sent thanks for the speech, ‘unanswerable except by the bludgeon,—a magnificent exhibition not only of mental force and culture, but of Christian and patriotic feeling, of regard for righteousness, and supreme devotion to liberty and to truth. . . . Great powers, great themes, and a magnificent opportunity are rarely combined in the experience of one man; but still more rarely does that eminent and Christian spirit unite with them which enables a man to consecrate the powers, ennoble ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Brooklyn (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 28th (1)
May 24th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: