, without referring to Sumner
's speech, set forth briefly the argument in favor of the constitutionality of the Act. Weller of California
, formerly of Ohio
, disavowed all sympathy with the Abolitionists, condemned the speech as ‘inflammatory, and indirectly, at least, counselling forcible resistance;’ and he held its author personally responsible for the blood of persons killed in its execution.
He said, however, in a rather pleasant way, that it was the first Abolition speech he had ever listened to, and added: ‘I did not know that it was possible that I could endure a speech for over three hours upon the subject of the abolition of slavery; but this oration of the senator from Massachusetts
to-day has been so handsomely embellished with poetry, both Latin and English
, so full of classical allusions and rhetorical flourishes, as to make it much more palatable than I supposed it could have been made.’
He showed no ill feeling, and allowed himself to be interrupted several times by Sumner
, who disclaimed any suggestion of a resort to force in resisting the law. Cass
, making no reference to Sumner
, explained in a pitiable way why he did not vote upon the Fugitive Slave
law, and declared his purpose henceforth to stand by it. Bright of Indiana
, expelled ten years later for disloyalty,1
abstaining from comments on Sumner
's speech, vindicated the Act, and applied the epithet ‘fanatics’ to its opponents.
Cooper of Pennsylvania
found no fault with Sumner
for occupying the time of the Senate, even at this late day, and said:—
It was his right to do it, and I am glad that he has exercised that right, because at last we have fully, broadly, and fairly presented to the country the designs and intentions of the party which he represents.
Hitherto, bold as the gentlemen who profess to represent that party on this floor have been, they have not come out with the fullness and frankness of the senator from Massachusetts.
I thank him for this full and fair exposition of his views, and of the intentions of those of whom he is the leader.
The debate, lasting till seven, drifted near the end into a discussion of the Presidential question, involving thrusts and retorts between Democratic and Whig senators on matters quite apart from Sumner
's speech, and was finally arrested by the chair at the instance of Hunter
, who expressed a wish to go on with the pending appropriation bill.
was supported by