for his philanthropic aspirations.
This second marriage1
brought him into close relations with the conservative and compromising Whigs; and in march, 1850, he went heartily into the Webster
He signed the letter approving the speech of March 7, and undertook the defence of Webster
's Latin quotations in articles which were understood to contain thrusts at Sumner
There was a painful correspondence between the two, and they parted.
, beginning his final letter as before, ‘My dear Corny,’ arraigned him as the defender of ‘slave-catching,’ and ended: ‘I break off no friendship.
In anguish I mourn your altered regard for me; but more than my personal loss, I mourn the present unhappy condition of your mind and character.’
thought that Sumner
should be more considerate of Felton
, and bear in mind his facility of nature, and his exposure to external pressure which he could not resist.
wrote in his diary, April 8, 1850: ‘Felton
is quite irritated with Sumner
I hope it will not end in an open rupture, but I much fear it will.’
Friendship, such as was that of these two men, ordinarily bears the strain of political differences; but Sumner
's nature, which was profoundly earnest, underwent a revulsion when he saw one with whom he had so long held sweet counsel taking his place among the defenders of the Fugitive Slave
law. He might, as we may now think, have been more tolerant; but it must be remembered that the slavery agitation, like Christianity at its birth, was a sword which divided families and friends.
The separation lasted till 1856, when Felton
, at a public meeting in Cambridge
called to condemn the assault on Sumner
, referred to a ‘long, intimate, and affectionate acquaintance’ with him, and spoke of him as ‘a scholar of rich and rare acquirements, a gentleman of noble qualities and generous aims, distinguished for the amenities of social life, and a companion most welcome in the society of the most generous, the most refined, the most exalted.’3
Their relations were then resumed and continued unbroken, sustained in personal intercourse and correspondence, until Felton
's death in 1862.
The Free Soilers of Massachusetts
made their protest against