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[175] in a saw-mill! He spoke admirably well; but the shouts and the hisses and the vulgar interruptions grated on my ears. I was glad to get away.

Oct. 29. Sumner. His letter accepting the nomination of the Free Soil party as candidate for Congress is very good. Now he is submerged in politics. A strong swimmer,—may he land safely!

Nov. 9. In the evening finished “Kavanagh.” Sumner came in just as I wrote the last word.

The Free Soil party of the Boston district nominated Sumner for Congress. The convention was unanimous, and no other name than his was considered. His early formed resolution not to be a candidate for any political office was known to the delegates, but the emergency was thought to be one which required him to forego his personal wishes, and was urged in the letter which communicated to him the nomination. He did not feel at liberty to refuse the post assigned to him, and in his reply, October 26, considered at some length the philosophy of parties, the failure of the Whig and Democratic parties to meet the exigency presented in the slavery question, and the necessity of the new organization.1 Some of these points had been treated in his campaign speech. It was a forlorn hope; and he received less than a third as many votes as were given to Winthrop, the Whig candidate.

In the brief interval then existing between the national and State elections, Sumner, on behalf of the Free Soil State committee, prepared an address urging the support of the candidates of the party for State offices.2 A few weeks after the State election the committee issued another address, also prepared by him.3 It stated what had been accomplished by the new movement in the election of members of Congress, and in bringing the slavery question to the front; called on the voters to adhere to the organization and its principles, and referred to the dangers which required immediate attention and constant vigilance. Sumner urged, in correspondence with Free Soilers in New York and Ohio, co-operation in issuing a national address, and received replies from Field, Tilden, and King of New York, and from Giddings.

In the early part of the year Sumner thought that General

1 Works, vol. II. pp. 149-163. Charles Allen had said in the course of the campaign that he hoped the leading Free Soilers would not be put into office, but he thought an exception might be made in the case of Sumner.

2 Works, vol. II. pp. 164-167.

3 Works, vol. II. pp. 164-167.

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