we shall never agree, but will respect each other's intellectual rights and accept each other's convictions as facts.’
English friends sent congratulations.
wrote as to his election: ‘You may well believe how it has gratified your many friends; and not merely from their sympathy with your personal fortunes, but from their admiration of the objects and methods which have marked your course.’
wrote: ‘I have read with great interest about you; and I hardly can invest my ingenuous, eager, young, slim friend of 1839 (was it?) and 1851 with such august and weighty and venerable associations as throng around the curule chair of the Senate.
Do not ever get dry and big and pompous like some whom you will find your neighbors there.’
, writing June 5, 1851, recognized in him ‘the union of lofty sentiment with extensive acquirement and high refinement, both of mind and manners,’ such as had not yet been seen in the United States Senate.
A foreign writer on American history has recognized, long after the event, the significance of Sumner
's election as of that of a man ‘whose name was an emphatic protest against the glittering principles and shifting policy’ of Webster
's speech,— of one who ‘owed his election entirely to his position on the slavery question and the conviction that no power on earth could move him from his principles.’
‘This it was,’ he adds, ‘that made his election a boundary mark in the history of the United States
The rigid fidelity to principle and the fieryspirited earnestness of abolitionism, united to the will and capacity to pursue political ends with the given political means, received in him their first representative in the Senate.’1
, as well he might be, felt oppressed with the high expectations that awaited his career in the Senate.
He addressed a formal letter of acceptance to the Legislature, in which he took advantage of the opportunity to state the limitations of the Constitution
and the blessings of the Union
It was, in fact, a disclaimer of the disunionism which pro-slavery partisans had charged upon him. The Compromise journals expressed surprise, real or affected, to find that the senator was loyal to the Union
and the Constitution
, while Edmund Quincy
respectively, in the antislavery ‘Standard’ and the ‘Liberator,’ expressed their disapproval.
The letter, however,