In the great public question, on which we are for the moment separated, I had hoped, perhaps ignorantly and illusively, that an honest, conscientious, and earnest discussion, such as the magnitude of the occasion seemed to require, might be conducted without the suggestion of personal unkindness on either side. . . . I have no feeling except of kindness. It would please me more to listen to your praise than your censure. But the act with which your name has been so unhappily connected is public property. Your conduct is public property. Especially is it the property of your constituents, whose conscience you represented. I do feel, my dear sir, that holding the sentiments on this subject which I do, and which seem to be general in our community, it was a duty to direct them distinctly, unequivocally, and publicly against the act. This was rendered at a later day more imperative by the fallacious and immoral apology which the “Advertiser” set up, keeping out of view the fact of facts, that the representative from Boston had voted for an unjust war, and arguing that two or mire votes against a falsehood would justify a final vote for it. . . . I hope, my dear sir, that we may always meet as friends. It will not be easy for me to be pressed into any other relation.Sumner published a third article2 on Winthrop's vote, more pointed and rhetorical than the two which had preceded, and similar in substance and style to the open letter which he published in the following October. He affirmed that Winthrop had by his vote ‘given his sanction to one of the most important acts, as it is unquestionably the most wicked act, in our history,’ and ‘a sanction to all the desolation and the bloodshed of the war;’ and further wrote:—
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1 August 10.
2 Boston Courier, August 13,—‘Mr. Winthrop's Vote on the War Bill.’ Sumner, in a reply to Nathan Appleton, August 11, treated at some length the latter's justification of Winthrop's vote on the war bill, contained in a letter to Sumner, August 10. The relations of the two correspondents were shortly to end.
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