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2 W. M. G. in the New York Tribune, July 29. George Ripley replied, June 8, 1849, in the same journal, to some criticisms on the address, and received a note of thanks from Sumner. This was the beginning of their acquaintance. Frothingham's Life of Ripley, p. 214. John Bigelow recalls that his acquaintance with Sumner began on this anniversary. It has been stated that Seward and John Van Buren were on the platform when the oration was delivered, and that they told Sumner at its conclusion that it was a Free Soil address in disguise. This is probable, though not verified by any record. Sumner remained to attend the Commencement exercises; and it is remembered by Professor John Foster that his face lighted up with smiles when President Nott pleasantly reproved the audience, largely made up of young ladies, for disturbing the exercises by their audible talk, saving, ‘It is difficult for the speakers to be heard while the attention of the audience is occupied by sweeter and more attractive voices.’ Chester A. Arthur, afterwards President of the United States, was one of the graduating class.
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