any others. He is in earnest, is a learned and well-trained lawyer, and is a grave, emphatic, and powerful speaker.1To Longfellow, January 24:—
Dear Henry,—Whittier is here on a short visit. I go to-night with Miss Bremer to hear Wendell Phillips, and to-morrow evening dine out, or I should insist upon taking him [Whittier] to you. He is staying at the Quincy hotel, in Brattle Street. I regret the sentiments of John Van Buren about mobs, but rejoice that he is right on slavery. I do not know that I should differ very much from him in saying that we have more to fear from the corruption of wealth than from mobs. Edmund Dwight once gave, within my knowledge, two thousand dollars to influence a single election. Other men whom we know very well are reputed to have given much larger sums. It is in this way, in part, that the natural antislavery sentiment of Massachusetts has been kept down; it is money, money, money, that keeps Palfrey from being elected. Knowing— these things, it was natural that John Van Buren should say that we had more to fear from wealth than from mobs. He is a politician,—not a philanthropist or moralist, but a politician, like Clay, Winthrop, Abbott Lawrence; and he has this advantage, that he has dedicated his rare powers to the cause of human freedom. In this I would welcome any person from any quarter.To George Sumner, February 18:—
You will read the proceedings at washington. The bluster of the South is, I think, subsiding, though as usual the North is frightened, and promises to give way. I hope to God they will stand firm. There is a small body at Washington who will not yield,—the Free Soilers. Hale sustains himself with great address and ability, but Chase is a, person of a higher order of capacity. As to Webster,—Emerson calls him “a dead elephant!”To William Jay, February 19:—
I have just read your admirable letter on Clay's resolutions [of compromise].2 You have done a good work . . . . There is a great advantage which our cause now possesses in the full reports of antislavery speeches in Congress, which are made by the washington papers. At last we can reach the country, and the slaveholders themselves. The Senate chamber is a mighty pulpit from which the truth can be preached. I think that Mr. Hale and Mr. Chase should in the course of the session present a complete review of slavery, using freely all the materials afforded by the various writings on the subject. In this way, through the “Globe,” “Union,” and “Intelligencer,” a knowledge of our cause may be widely diffused. But we need more men there; we cannot expect everything from two only. We are about to be betrayed by our political leaders. Cannot the people be aroused to earnest, generous action for freedom? I remember with pleasure my visit to your country home, and hope not to be forgotten by your kind family, to whom I offer my best regards.