previous next
[211] applied to it by Webster, had no classical authority. This brought Professor Felton into the controversy, who defended Webster at length, and drew an opposite view from Professor Beck. Sumner took Mann's part in some newspaper articles, but avoided an issue with Felton.1

Sumner wrote to Lord Morpeth, Jan. 8, 1850:—

The slavery question has become paramount here at last. The slave States threaten to dissolve the Union if slavery is prohibited by Congress in the new Territories or abolished in the District of Columbia. I trust that Congress will do its duty, regardless of threats. What the result may be it is impossible to determine. The Canadian question promises to help antislavery. The annexation of that colony to the United States would “redress the balance” which has been turned in favor of slavery by the annexation of Texas. I do not observe, however, any disposition at present to interfere in the question between that colony and the imperial government. I am anxious that It should be left to the parties without any intervention. I shall enclose this in a note to a friend now in London,—Mr. Burlingame.2 Though young in years, he has won a brilliant reputation as a public speaker.

To George Sumner, January 8:—

You will see by the papers the doings at Washington. The contest on the Speakership is showing its good influence already.3 The slave-power has received its first serious check, and all parties see that the slavery question is soon to be paramount to all others. . . . General Cass's motion in the Senate4 will probably be defeated; it would certainly be a dangerous precedent. Nevertheless, I am so sincerely displeased by the conduct of Austria, I should be willing to see our country depart from its general course of international usage in order to testify its condemnation of what has occurred. But, alas! while we have slavery our voice is powerless. Every word for freedom exposes the horrid inconsistency of our position. The slavery discussion will follow that of the Austrian mission. . . . In the Senate I predict great weight for my friend, the new senator from Ohio, Mr. Chase. He is a man of decided ability, and I think will trouble Calhoun on the slavery question more than

1 Boston Transcript, July 29 and Aug. 2, 1850, each signed ‘Boston Latin School.’ ‘Sigma’ (Lucius M. Sargent) replied to them. Sumner replied under the signature of ‘X’ in the ‘Christian Register,’ July 13 and Aug. 3, 1850, to a writer in the same newspaper, June 29 and July 27, signing ‘R,’ and supposed by Sumner to be Ticknor. The point of controversy in the ‘Register’ was as to Webster's and Mann's statements of the requirement of a trial by jury under the Constitution in the case of persons claimed as slaves. Two visible mementos of the controversy concerning Webster remain in the statues of Webster and Mann placed in front of the State house in Boston by their respective partisans.

2 Anson Burlingame.

3 Howell Cobb of Georgia and Winthrop being the Democratic and Whig candidates. Ante, p. 148.

4 Looking to a suspension of diplomatic relations with Austria, on account of her treatment of Hungary.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Austria (Austria) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
Hungary (Hungary) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
Canadian (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: