The result at which you arrived is not in the least surprising to me. You are in your nature more trusting than I, and therefore expected more. Where slavery is concerned I have not a particle of confidence in the courtesy, honor, principles, or veracity of those who sustain it, either directly by reason of selfish interest, or more remotely through the servility learned by political associations. In all other cases I should yield them a share of confidence. I should not, therefore, had I been in your place, have predicated any action of mine upon the grant by them of any favor whatever. They cannot afford to be generous or even just. If you can get even that to which you have a clear right, you will do pretty well; but to get it you will have to fight for it.There remained now but one mode of obtaining a hearing,— the moving of an amendment to one of the appropriation bills, which are left to the closing days of the session;3 and of this
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1 Shields behaved gallantly. His relations with Sumner remained friendly. See remarks made by each, May 4, 1854, upon petitions asking for a scientific investigation of ‘spiritual manifestations.’ Seward wrote, July 30, 1852: ‘When will there be a North? The shutting of the doors against Sumner was wicked and base. Several of our friends voted the same way; and yet they all said they would have voted for Sumner if their votes would have told. Indignation pervaded me to the finger-ends. . . . His speech will be in order on the civil and diplomatic appropriation bill, and he will then speak it. It will be worth ten times more by reason of the baffled attempt to suppress it.’ Seward's ‘Life,’ vol. II. p. 190.
2 Mason said to him, ‘you may speak next term.’ Sumner replied, ‘I must speak this term.’ Mason said, , ‘By—you sha'n't;’ and Sumner replied, ‘I will; and you can't prevent me.’ Sumner feared after this colloquy that Mason would delay the appropriation bill till the last day of the session. Bradbury of Maine, a Democrat, went to Sumner and asked him to print his speech without delivering it. Schoolcraft, the manager of the Whig campaign for Scott in the House, begged him not to force a vote which would require Seward and other supporters of General Scott to take a position on the Fugitive Slave law. These and some other facts are from an account given by Sumner at a dinner at R. H. Dana, Jr.'s, soon after his return to Boston, and were recorded by Mr. Dana in his journal.
3 Seward wrote, August 7: ‘Sumner will try to be heard on the civil and diplomatic appropriation bill, and he has, a clear right. But what are rights in the Senate to such as him and me in this period of demoralization?’
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