, at the instance of Webster
the Secretary of State
, offered in the Senate a resolution for the purpose; but as special objections were made to its form, it was withdrawn by the mover, and the debate proceeded on one offered by Seward
, which in the name and behalf of the people of the United States
gave him ‘a cordial welcome to the capital and to the country.’
This also was opposed on the ground that Kossuth
had done nothing to deserve an extraordinary reception, and, further, that the proceeding was a departure from our traditional policy of non-intervention in European
It was urged that he had openly declared his purpose to seek the intervention of this country in resisting the intervention of Russia
in the contest between Austria
; and had in his speeches signified his purpose, if repelled by the government, to appeal from the government to the people.
While the resolution was supported without respect to party or sectional divisions, its only earnest opponents were three Southern senators,—Underwood, Berrien
Among its zealous advocates were Cass
from the West
; but the most finished speeches in its behalf were those of Seward
, the former closing the debate with one of singular eloquence and power.
There was a prevailing curiosity to hear the new senator from Massachusetts
; and when he rose late in the afternoon of December 9, all eyes were turned eagerly to him; but an adjournment being moved, he gave way. There was unusual attention and silence the next day as he took the floor.
The Senate was full, both the gallery and the seats of members.
The speech was a brief one, and carefully prepared.1
he began with a tribute to Kossuth
and his cause, and advocated his reception by Congress, as merited by his career and naturally following the invitation under which he had come.
But with his views of peace among the nations and his studies in international law, Sumner
was not content to rest here; and while objecting to Berrien
's amendment affirming non-interference with the domestic concerns of other nations to be the settled policy of our government as extraneous and irrelevant, he took occasion to express himself against any belligerent intervention in European
affairs, or any departure from the policy of peaceful neutrality inherited from Washington
In the same passage he implied a criticism of Kossuth
's contention that our policy of noninterference,