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2 Two managers of the Boston meeting, Prince Hawes and Jacob A. Dresser, waited on Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Everett, inviting them to address the meeting; but both excused themselves. The former was just going to Nahant with his family; and while desirous to do what he could to relieve Mr. Sumner's suffering, did not think highly of such meetings. Many regretted that Mr. Winthrop did not accept, hoping that his participation in the meeting would bring him into line with public sentiment, and open to him a new career in public life. Mr. Everett, while speaking with kindness and sympathy for Mr. Sumner, declined. Choate also declined; but going to Washington shortly after, he is said to have called on Sumner. (New York Times. May 28.) Everett's declining was the occasion of comment at the time. (New York Tribune, June 4; Boston Advertiser, May 29.) It led the Senate of Connecticut, on motion of O. S. Ferry, afterwards United States senator, to reconsider the resolution inviting Mr. Everett to deliver before the Legislature his oration on Washington; but later, after what he had said at Taunton, Mass., the resolution was taken up again and passed. On May 30, in that city, in a preface to his oration he treated the assault as a grave public calamity. The passage is given in Sumner's Works, vol. IV. p. 323. Two years later further explanations appeared in his published letter (‘National Intelligencer.’ May 14, 1858; Boston Advertiser, ‘Atlas and Bee,’ May 18), in which he said that he declined to attend because he had retired to private life and deprecated additional excitement; but that later, at Taunton, he made remarks ‘to impart a more chastened and sober temper to the fiery indignation which pervaded the community.’ See also New York Evening Post, May 5, 1858, commenting on Mr. Yeadon's defence of him. Mr. Everett also in the same letter explained his signature, at the time of the assault, to a paper approving Sumner's course, which he had neglected to read, being under the influence of an anodyne, indicating that he did not approve Sumner's ‘manner of treating the subject.’ he also made a similar explanation of his signature in a friendly letter to Sumner. The paper he signed unwittingly is given in Sumner's Works, vol. IV. p. 344. Sumner was always hearty in public tributes to Everett (Works, vol. i. p. 245; vol. IX. pp. 200, 219). As to Mr. Winthrop's declining to attend the meeting in Boston, see C. T. Congdon's ‘Reminiscences of a Journalist,’ p. 89.
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