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‘ [128] I see no star above the horizon promising light to guide us but the intelligent, patriotic, united Whig party of the United States.’ He resumed his seat, according to a report, ‘amid a perfect torrent of applause.’1

Whittier, immediately after reading the proceedings of the convention, wrote the poem entitled ‘The Pine Tree,’ an outburst of patriotic fervor, and sent the original in autograph to Sumner, saying,—

I have just read the proceedings of your Whig convention, and the lines enclosed are a feeble expression of my feelings. I look upon the rejection of S. C. P.'s resolutions as an evidence that the end and aim of the managers of the convention was to go just far enough to save the party, and no further. We shall have another doughface in the Senate for six years. As for Webster,—thy hopes and wishes to the contrary,—he is, I fear, no better on that question than “a colossal coward.” All thanks for the free voices of thyself, Phillips, Allen, and Adams. Notwithstanding the result, you have not spoken in vain.

Sumner replied to Whittier, September 26:—

We do not despair. We are all alive to wage the fight another day, and feel that more was done than we had hoped to do. Our vote was strong; but it was at an hour when many had gone home by the early trains, whose presence would have made it stronger. Many who were present did not vote, and they were moderately with us The ball has been put in motion; it cannot be stopped. Hard words are said of us in State Street. I am grateful to you for your note of encouragement. The poem is beautiful, and must be printed.

Sumner was accustomed to relate in after years, that, on the morning after the convention, a stranger, tall and dressed in black, entered his law office, and expressed a cordial approval of the part he had taken the day before. This was the beginning of his acquaintance with Francis W. Bird,2 of Walpole, who as a member of the Legislature during the winter of 1846– 1847, often sought him for conference on questions concerning slavery and the Mexican War. From this time the two were in close relations of confidence, without the slightest break; and Bird's stalwart arm was always raised in Sumner's defence whenever there was any sign of attack. No surviving friend has held Sumner's memory dearer than the one who came to salute and cheer him on that morning in 1846.

1 Boston Atlas, September 24.

2 1809-. Mr. Bird is (in 1893) still active in business, politics, and general affairs.

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