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[274] Meanwhile the Whig journals, which covered the State and most of New England with their daily issues, poured a volley of criticisms on Sumner whenever they could detect what they thought was a joint in his harness; declined to admit his speeches into their columns, although replying to them in still longer editorials; and were careful to exclude any mention of his share in debates which was likely to win for him popular approval. In contrast with his solitary and undefended position was the hearty, able, and unfailing support which Webster, Everett, Winthrop, and Choate always received from the journals of the city in which they lived. This discrimination against a political opponent no longer exists to the same extent, as metropolitan journals are conducted rather as commercial enterprises than as political organs, and are accustomed to give to the public as a part of the news of the day whatever is said or done by any prominent public man, no matter how hostile or offensive to them his position may be.

There were miscellaneous matters to which Sumner gave his attention at his first session; and in some of them his interest continued during his entire service in the Senate. He moved a resolution to abolish the spirit ration in the navy, and increase the pay of the enlisted men;1 also a resolution for cheap ocean postage, the rate being then twenty-four cents for half an ounce, for which he gave his reasons briefly.2 He was always greatly interested in this reform, and was in correspondence with Elihu Burritt concerning it; and he renewed the proposition at subsequent sessions. With a view to cheapen postage generally, he called for information in detail concerning the foreign and domestic service. Other resolutions offered by him related to vessels in stress of weather, the sailors' hospital money,

1 Jan. 19 and 22. 1852. Sumner renewed the proposition at the next session (March 3, 1853). ‘Sigma’ of the Boston Transcript (January 26, 1852), noting the resolution, wrote that he was glad, ‘after running up the formidable column of Mr. Sumner's sins, to make such a respectable entry to his credit.’

2 Works, vol. III. p. 45. He moved, July 20, another resolution on the subject. The Legislature of Massachusetts supported him by a resolve passed April 12, 1852. He renewed the proposition in 1854 and 1860. He offered a resolution for cheap ocean postage, Dec. 7, 1868 (Works, vol. XIII. p. 1), and spoke briefly for it Feb. 12, 1869. He pressed the reform at the next session (March 20 and April 6, 1869). He advocated at length ‘one cent postage,’ June 10, 1870 (Works, vol. XIII. pp. 387-444), and recurred to the subject June 17. In 1854 he offered a resolution for an international system of post-office orders, with the view to facilitate the transmission of small sums of money between our own and other countries.

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