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[136] refused to allow the use of his name for the purpose,— both on account of his aversion to a political career, and the further reason that he would not consent that his criticism of Winthrop should be weakened by the imputation of a desire for his place. The committee, however, as well as the meeting, were so unanimous in the conviction that Sumner's well-known attitude in opposition to Winthrop's action in the matter of the Mexican War made him the proper representative of the movement, that they put him in nomination, ‘in the face,’ as was stated at the time, ‘of his constant, repeated, and determined refusal, at all times, to allow his name, even for a moment, to be held at the disposal of his friends for such a purpose.’1 Andrew's series of resolutions, which condemned the war and Winthrop's course, closed with the one which nominated Sumner:—

We recommend to the citizens of this district, as a candidate for representative in the national Congress, a man raised by his pure character above reproach; whose firmness, intelligence, distinguished ability, rational patriotism, manly independence, and glowing love of liberty and truth entitle him to the unsought confidence of his fellow-citizens,—Charles Sumner, of Boston, fitted to adorn any station, always found on the side of right, and especially worthy at the present crisis to represent the interests of the city, and the cardinal principles of truth, justice, liberty, and peace, which have not yet died out from the breasts of her citizens.

Sumner, on returning home, withdrew his name in a public letter.2 His letter to Winthrop, and a report of the meeting signed by its officers, had already been printed and distributed as a broadside. The better course for Sumner would have been to stand as the candidate. He was the natural leader of the bolt, and he had done the most to bring it about. His disclaimer of a desire for public office, though entirely sincere, was hardly in place; for he was by nature, and already in action, more a politician than he thought.3 He was at that time too careful in guarding his position or the cause itself from the charge of his own personal self-seeking; but he soon grew wiser in such matters.

1 Andrew, in a note, October 30, said that at the first mention of Sumner's name there was ‘tremendous applause and repeated bursts from the assembly.’

2 Works, vol. i. pp. 330-332.

3 W. S. Robinson took exception, in the ‘Courier,’ in October, 1846, to Sumner's expression, ‘I am no politician,’ in his open letter to Winthrop, and insisted that it was the duty of men like him to be ‘politicians.’ Warrington's ‘Pen Portraits,’ p. 30.

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