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[42]

His contributions at this period to journals and magazines on literary or legal topics were few and brief, chiefly notices of books which were prompted by a personal interest in the authors.1 the founders of ‘the Massachusetts Quarterly,’ the first number of which appeared in December 1847,2 agreed upon Sumner as the managing editor, but he declined the post. Theodore Parker strenuously urged his acceptance, and it was also Emerson's desire that he should undertake the work.3

Sumner wrote to Richard Cobden, May 2, 1849:—

I cannot allow the steamer to sail without offering you my thanks for your steadfast advocacy of those great principles of peace by the triumph of which not England alone, but all nations shall be gainers. It seems to me now that we may see the beginning of the end; with so good a corps of supporters in Parliament, and with so strong a popular opinion out of Parliament as you possess you must succeed. Besides, the cause carries its own earnest of success. . . . I suppose the Canadian news of to-day will vex Parliament and Lord John Russell. The direct consequence of the Montreal riot cannot yet be foreseen, but I cannot doubt that it will in the end contribute to that inevitable consummation of annexation to the United States. There are natural laws at work which no individual and no parliament can control, and it seems to me that by these Canada is destined to be swept into the wide orbit of her neighbor. Canadians may say that this will not be, but nevertheless it will be.4 . . . Meanwhile our people continue quite indifferent to Canadian affairs except as their startling character furnishes news under the telegraph head in the newspapers. The slaveholders would be, of course, against annexation, and the Northern States have not yet entertained the question. But Canada

1 The following are identified: Reviews of M. B. Sampson's ‘Rationale of Crime,’ Law Reporter, Boston, Dec. 1846, vol. IX. pp. 377, 378; of ‘Sedgwick on Damages,’ Ibid. April, 1847, p. 50 of J. G. Marvin's Legal Biogaphy, Ibid. p. 552; of S. ZZZ1. Chase's argument in Jones v. Van Zandt, Ibid. p. 553; of W. S. Tyler's ‘Germania and Agricola of Tacitus,’ Boston ‘Whig,’ Aug. 23, 1847.

2 The last number appeared three years later.

3 From various quarters during the years 1845-1851 he was solicited for addresses, articles, and editorial service, which he declined on account of the pressure of other work; namely. a paper on Webster for the American Whig Review, requested by W. M. Evarts in April, 1846; a temperance speech urged by Moses Grant; a eulogy on John Quincy Adams before the American and Foreign Antislavery Society, soon after that statesman's death in 1848; the preparation of a law digest, in making which Mr. Gilchrist of New Hampshire desired his co-operation; a lecture before the Normal School at West Newton in 1846; the annual address in 1848 before the New England Society at Cincinnati, requested by Timothy Walker; the annual oration at Dartmouth College in 1849; and at Bowdoin College and Middletown College in 1850; an address before the American Unitarian Association, 1847, pressed by Rev. F. D. Huntington; an address before the New York Prison Association in 1848; and an article on slavery for the Christian Examiner, edited by Rev. E. S. Gannett.

4 The omitted paragraph is a quotation from Turgot given in Sumner's Works, vol. XII. p. 45.

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