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[519] to aid in securing a modification of the tariff of 1846 by reducing the rates of duty on raw materials, particularly on wool, which Was strongly urged at the time by the manufacturers of New England,—a further purpose of the modification being to reduce the revenue of the government, then yielding a surplus above expenditures.1 He as well as his colleague voted against Collamer's amendmet, which maintained a higher duty on wool, and both voted for the bill (Hunter's) on its passage. The House disagreeing, a bill of the same general character, with unimportant modifications, was reported by a committee of conference.2 There was no contest on its adoption, there being only eight votes against it; and Sumner's vote not being necessary, he was not present when the bill, known as the tariff of 1857, passed March 2.

Theodore Parker wrote, Feb. 27, 1857—

God be thanked you are in your place once more! There has not been an antislavery speech made in the Congress, unless by Giddings, since you were carried out of it,—not one. Now that you bear yourself back again, I hope to hear a blast on that old war trumpet which shall make the North ring and the South tremble.

Sumner wrote to Parker, March 1:—

I have sat in my seat only on one day. After a short time the torment to my system became great, and a cloud began to gather over my brain. I tottered out and took to my bed. I long to speak, but I cannot. Sorrowfully I resign myself to my condition. Before 1 left home Dr. Howe insisted that I must abandon all thought of speaking, under pain of paralysis, and Dr. Perry urged that I should in all probability have a congestion of the brain if I made the attempt. Had I an internal consciousness of strength, I might brave these professional menaces; but my own daily experience, while satisfying me of my improvement, shows the subtle and complete overthrow of my powers organically, from which I can hope to recover only most slowly. What I can say must stand adjourned to another day. Nobody can regret this so much as myself.

Sumner took his oath, March 4, 1857, as senator for his second term, but did not remain to attend the extra session then beginning,—called for the special purpose of acting on the nominations of President Buchanan, who then succeeded to the

1 Among merchants of Boston who by letters desired Sumner's presence in the Senate, so as to carry the bill, were John E. Lodge and V. B. Spooner.

2 The committee, equally divided between the parties and the sections, consisted on the part of the Senate of Hunter, Douglas, and Seward, and on the part of the House of Campbell of Ohio, Letcher of Virginia, and DeWitt of Massachusetts.

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