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Sumner, after the convention, addressed a letter to Mr. Webster,1 to which the subjoined reply,2 written from Marshfield, October 5, was received:—

I had the pleasure to receive yours of September 25, and thank you for the kind and friendly sentiments which you express. These sentiments are reciprocal. I have ever cherished high respect for your character and talents, and seen with pleasure the promise of your future and greater eminence and usefulness. In political affairs we happen to entertain, at the present moment, a difference of opinion respecting the relative importance of some of the political questions of the time, and take a different view of the line of duty most fit to be pursued in endeavors to obtain all the good which can be obtained in connection with certain important subjects. These differences I much regret, but shall not allow them to interfere with personal regard, or my continued good wishes for your prosperity and happiness.

Sumner prepared a review of the convention, in which, while recognizing Mr. Lawrence's ‘amenity of character and sincerity of purpose,’ he remarked upon the key-note which he had given to the convention at the preliminary caucus; ascribed to him and Child, and others who were swayed by the same influences, the defeat of Phillips's resolutions; and put upon those who had a direct personal interest in the tariff the responsibility of preventing on this and other occasions united and persevering action in Massachusetts against the aggressions of slavery. He said:—

It cannot be disguised that the opposition to the movement against slavery in Massachusetts proceeds from the most earnest supporters of the tariff, who prematurely abandoned opposition to Texas with a slaveholding constitution, regarding the tariff as a higher principle of union in the party than the love of freedom. Nor is it too much to say that the country towns of Massachusetts do not, to any great extent, sympathize in this matter with the exclusive supporters of the tariff. . . . The country is right on this subject; and Mr. Allen pointedly expressed the unhappy antagonism which now prevails, when he referred to the opposing influences of Worcester and Lowell.— the heart of the Commonwealth on one side, and the spindles on the other.

Sumner found a difficulty at this time in getting access to the public. Buckingham of the ‘Courier,’—who was in general sympathy with his views, and had usually welcomed him as a contributor,—being hampered by creditors and a partner, and

1 Webster and Sumner exchanged calls early in 1848. The agitation of the slavery question widely divided them from this time. Webster was Secretary of State during Sumner's first term in the Senate. It is believed that they met casually in Washington, without, however, any mutual recognition.

2 Works, vol. i p. 316.

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