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Sumner came into personal relations with John Quincy Adams in 1845, and from that year met him from time to time at his home in Quincy, or at his son's house in Boston. The Ex-President was far from being ‘a Peace man;’ but he was attracted by the boldness of Sumner's Fourth of July oration, and by its elevation of thought. His tribute to Sumner's Phi beta Kappa address, and his participation, at Sumner's request, in the meeting at Faneuil Hall, summoned in September, 1846, in consequence of the abduction of a negro, are elsewhere mentioned. He was obliged by the attack of paralysis, which came a few months later, to postpone his return to Washington till the next February,1 and in the mean time Sumner continued his visits to him. Sumner's admiration of the veteran statesman has been referred to in an earlier volume; but it was qualified at this time by the latter's eccentric course on the Oregon boundary question, in which he insisted that no territory should be yielded below the highest parallel claimed. At the time of Mr. Adams's death, in February, 1848, when his body was being borne to Massachusetts, Sumner wrote to Dr. Palfrey: ‘That lifeless body, wherever it is carried, will preach for freedom. It will preach patience, firmness, and the unconquerable will.’ His son, Charles Francis, gave Sumner a silver writing-ring with the initials of the Ex-President engraved upon it, which he had used in later years to correct his tremulousness of hand; and Sumner continued through life to wear it on his watch-chain. The son, in sending the ring, wrote: ‘With this I send you a little trifle, which takes all its value from its being a memorial of my father. During the latter part of his life you knew him, and appreciated the moral grandeur of his character. I therefore take pleasure in the reflection that this little personal memento goes into the hands of one who will in his own life and conversation understand of what it is the symbol.’

Sumner's visits to John Quincy Adams in 1845-1846 brought him into relations with his son, Charles Francis. They were associated in the struggle against the admission of Texas as a slave State, in the autumn of 1845;2 but their intimacy began

1 In his speech in the Senate, May 31, 1872 (Works, vol. XV. p. 121), Sumner mentions a conversation with Mr. Adams at his son's house in Boston, just before he left for Washington, when ‘in a voice trembling with age and with emotion he said that no public man could take gifts without peril.’

2 Mr. Adams's first note to Sumner is a friendly one, dated Feb. 18, 1846.

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