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[134] state of our country. The object which you do propose there is no chance of obtaining at any future day by such measures as are pursued by the Abolitionists. One great evil of the party is that it thrusts itself forward, and seizes on occasions which would necessarily excite the feelings of the community were it not for their interference. I have seen in the “Whig” an account of the meeting last Thursday evening; and it is lamentable and disgraceful that what is put most prominently forward as an expression of public sentiment is a low, unprincipled, buffoon speech of one disgraced in the eyes of good men as an infidel clergyman.1 Who are the leaders of a party which would have us trust to it the destinies of the country,—such individuals as this, or men as temperate and wise as Mr. Wendell Philips, and others who might be named? The party is evidently becoming, or has already become, a faction. However they may disguise it from themselves, many of its leaders are aiming at political distinction and office, with as great a disregard of principle and of the good of the country as the leaders of any other party. I do not know of any faction which in all its bearings can do more harm to the best interests of mankind. If it increases in numbers, activity, and party zeal, there is a deplorable prospect before us of the continuance and increase of that misgovernment which it has done so much to produce, of a conflict of violent passions, and of all but anarchy.

Much of what I say you may not believe, and to many of my expressions you may not assent. I hope that circumstances will never be such as that time may prove my apprehensions well—founded. But I appeal from your judgment now to what it may be ten years hence. Should this letter then fall in your way, it will probably come to you as words from the dead; and neither then nor now can you imagine me to have had any other motive in writing it than a conviction of its truth, and a sincere interest in your welfare and usefulness. I beg you not to feel that you are called upon to answer it, or that I shall regard it as any mark of disrespect or dissatisfaction if you do not. On the contrary, I know of no good which may result from a further discussion of these topics between us; and whatever may be our differences of opinion or action, I beg you to believe me very truly your friend.

Sumner published, October 25, his open letter to Winthrop, who was then a candidate for re-election, in which he set forth with great earnestness the injustice of the war against Mexico, the falsehood contained in the preamble of the war bill, the responsibility for the measure assumed by Winthrop in his vote for it, whereby he involved the people of the State, and the apology which he had made in Congress six weeks after it was given.2 The letter showed profound indignation, and was intended to inspire others with the same sentiment. The style was highly rhetorical, and its form quite as much as its substance made it offensive to Winthrop. Sumner said:—

1 Theodore Parker.

2 Works, vol. i. p. 316-329. G. T. Curtis defended Winthrop at length in a speech Boston Advertiser, Oct. 3, 1846.

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