aside from the greater question of slavery, to which it was closely related, the two divisions of the Whigs
were absolutely opposed to each other.
was against all support of the war by any means whatever, and demanded the immediate stopping of the supplies and the withdrawal of our army; Winthrop
, though disapproving certain proceedings which resulted in the war, was for its vigorous prosecution, and maintained the duty to supply the Administration with the men and money required to that end. The issue in Massachusetts
was therefore not between political friends and allies, but between leaders and bodies of men behind them, who, notwithstanding their common name, disagreed radically and fundamentally on questions of morals, politics, and national honor.
There was no occasion for delicate and mincing speech on the one side or the other.
had a right to strike as hard as he could, and Winthrop
had an equal right to strike back with all his force.
Figuratively, one might see blood on the hands of the other, and the latter might in return point to the former as one of ‘a nest of vipers.’
Historic controversies are never without such incidents, and posterity giving slight heed to them will care only to find out with which party was the essential right.
The controversy concerning Winthrop
created against Sumner
much asperity of feeling in Boston
, broke up his relations with families by whom he had been hitherto received most cordially, cost him friendships which he valued dearly,1
and secluded him almost entirely from general society
It ended his visits at Nathan Appleton
's door was closed to him;3
and when a guest at a party there inquired if Mr. Sumner
was to be present, the host replied, ‘He is outside of the pale of society.’
The feeling became so pervasive in Boston
's ‘Belgravia’ that a lady living on Beacon Street, who had invited Sumner
with other guests to dinner, received a withdrawal of an acceptance from one of them when he found Sumner
was to be present, although he was not at all in politics, and had no personal grievance.
, of gentler mood than his neighbors, though with no more sympathy than they in Sumner
's themes, still welcomed