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[277] who also, while the examination of the paper was pending, advised against any popular appeal. Miss Dix seconded Sumner's efforts, and his unceasing intercession prevailed.1 The President was favorably impressed with the merits of the case, but doubted his power to release parties held for non-payment of fines which at least in part were payable to the owners of the slaves. At his suggestion, Sumner submitted a brief,2 which the President referred to Mr. Crittenden, the Attorney-General, who, reserving any expression on the merits of the case, affirmed the President's power in the premises. The President acted promptly, and in fulfilment of a promise made to Sumner communicated to him a favorable decision in a note dated August 11, and signed by himself, stating that he had already executed a pardon. Further process to hold the men being apprehended, Sumner hurried to the jail, and taking them in a carriage, put them in charge of a friend, who conveyed them the same night to Baltimore, and a few hours later they were at the North and out of danger.3 It was considered at the time that Sumner had achieved a remarkable success, particularly in view of the strong language he had used concerning the President's signature of the Fugitive Slave bill in his speech at Faneuil Hall in November, 1850. The Washington ‘Union,’ the Democratic organ, attributed the pardon to his efforts, saying it was an influence which should not have been heeded. The Whig press of Boston was, according to its custom, silent as to his share in procuring it. The editor of the ‘Liberator’ had berated him in his paper and in a public meeting for not presenting the petition in the Senate, accusing him of want of backbone and treachery to freedom, and would not accept an explanation of Sumner's reasons for avoiding publicity when made to him personally; even after the pardon had been granted, the editor made no retraction, and abstained from any expressions of praise. The political journals

1 Mr. Fillmore's failure to receive the Whig nomination for President may have aided the petition, it was thought at the time, as his position, if a candidate, might have been embarrassed by granting it.

2 Works, vol. III. pp. 49-72. Sumner consulted George Bemis on the points to be made.

3 Boston Commonwealth, August 12. See articles in the ‘Commonwealth,’ August 12 and 24, explaining the senator's action, the second signed E. L. P., which the ‘Liberator’ copied, promising a reply, which did not, however, appear.

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