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[97] thousand dollars to be added to the appropriation. He was the chairman of the committee of conference which decided finally on the provisions of the bill.1

The details of the prison discipline controversy as given in this chapter are justified by its intimate connection with Sumner's start in his public career. They show better than any general statement what was the kind of community in which he first demonstrated his powers, as well as what social obstructions stood in the way of his taking his place among reformers and agitators; and the recital also is not without interest in its exhibition of the qualities and training which were to stand him in good stead in the greater contests before him. the platform at Tremont Temple gave him a consciousness of power in hand-to-hand debate, and taught him that, pacific and sensitive as he was by nature, he could still fight like other men.

1 Sumner had an interest unusual with public men in questions outside of politics. Tocqueville plied Mr. Webster with questions on prison discipline, but found that he was not interested in the subject, saying that it was useless to try to reform criminals. Tocqueville added: ‘Webster, like thousands of statesmen, cares only for power.’ Life and Letters of Dr. F. Lieber, p. 256.

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Fletcher Webster (2)
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