the family house in Hancock Street, where his mother awaited him. A solid mass of people filled the street in front, and gave repeated cheers, in recognition of which, mother and son appeared at the window and bowed acknowledgments.
With three parting cheers the ceremonies ended.
During the day, neither in speech nor in banner was there a word of vengeance, no angry or intemperate expression against the slaveholding people, no mention even of the assassin.
The language was decorous, and the thought elevated and humane.
All that was said or written was for liberty, patriotism, and Christian heroism.
It was the unaffected homage of a humane and enlightened people to a faithful and fearless defender of human rights.1
Never was there a greater contrast than between the reception of Sumner
and that of Brooks
in South Carolina
, in the tokens of honor bestowed, and in the temper and spirit of the people.
The two occasions typified two civilizations, which confronted each other.2
was defeated in the national election, losing five free States,—Pennsylvania
, New Jersey
, and California
; but Massachusetts
gave him nearly seventy thousand plurality, and nearly fifty thousand majority over the combined votes for Buchanan
was re-elected by a very small majority over William Appleton
, who was supported by the rump of the Whig party, which voted for Fillmore
, and by others who for various reasons were unfriendly to Burlingame
It was thought that the enthusiasm aroused by Sumner
's reception turned the scale in his favor.
He received a banquet, November 24, in Faneuil Hall, where a letter was read from Sumner
The Legislature was Republican with few exceptions, and Sumner
's re-election was assured.
The vote for Fremont
was a moral victory even in defeat.
The consolidation of the free States, with five exceptions, foreshadowed as certain at no distant time a united North.
One who bore an active part in the conflict has written: ‘No Presidential contest had ever so touched the popular heart, or so lifted up and ennobled the people by the contagion of a great and pervading moral enthusiasm.’3
When Congress met, the