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[172] promoters of the movement, Sumner gave a large share of his time to addressing the people. He was urged in formal invitations to attend mass meetings in other States,—Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Ohio,—and to speak in the cities of New York, Brooklyn, Albany, and Philadelphia; but except a week in Maine, he confined himself to Massachusetts, speaking in the principal towns and cities,1 and on October 31 at Faneuil Hall. The speech was not written out, and no report is preserved2 In stating the issues of the contest growing out of the aggressions of the slave-power, he drew, both in substance and form, on his previous speeches, particularly the one on the admission of Texas as a slave State. He dwelt at length on the pro-slavery position of Cass and the unsatisfactory record of Taylor, citing and commenting upon the latter's numerous letters; and in contrast with the hostile or ambiguous utterances of these candidates, he set forth Van Buren's positive and ample declarations against the extension of slavery. The passage best remembered by those who heard him was the closing one, in which he likened the three parties with their three candidates to three ships,—describing that commanded by Taylor as ‘built in a Southern port with a single view to speed, without papers, chart, or compass, manned by a disaffected crew, sailing under no particular flag, and bound for no particular port,’—a figure which, according to a newspaper report, was received with ‘thunders of applause.’3 The speech was lively, varied with the sober treatment of contending policies and brilliant criticisms of public men; it was genial in its general tone, and won the favor even of opponents. Sumner usually spoke for three hours, beginning sometimes at a late hour after the other speakers, and ending at midnight or later, the audience

1 In Maine he spoke at Portland, Bath. Waterville, Augusta, Gardiner, and perhaps one or two other points in that State In Massachusetts he spoke at Central Hall, Boston, September 14, and at other dates at Plymouth, Roxbury, Somerville, Chelsea, Milford, Newburyport, Dorchester, Amherst, Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Adams, Stockbridge, Chicopee, Springfield, Lynn, Salem, Brookline, Nantucket, Fall River, Taunton, Lowell, Fitchburg, Dedham, Canton, Worcester, and Cambridge.

2 He wrote a summary of points on a single sheet, which is preserved, and he had always with him an anonymous political pamphlet, much referred to at the time. Entitled ‘General Taylor and the Wilmot Proviso.’ This also is preserved, with the numerous marks which he made upon it. The biographer has availed himself of brief notices of the speech in the newspapers, and of the recollections of persons who heard it. The Springfield Republican, October 18, the leading Whig journal in the western part of the State, called the address ‘able, plausible, and brilliant,’ and its author ‘one of the most finished scholars of our country.’

3 Boston Republican, October 19.

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