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[302] the two Free Soil senators only. They united in saying that the speech marked ‘a new era’ in American history. Hale said Sumner had ‘done enough by the effort he has made here today to place himself side by side with the first orators of antiquity, and as far ahead of any living American orator as freedom is ahead of slavery;’ and that he had ‘made a draft upon the gratitude of the friends of humanity and of liberty that will not be paid through many generations, and the memory of which shall endure as long as the English language is spoken, or the history of this republic forms a part of the annals of the world.’ Chase defended Sumner's choice of time, to which he had been driven by the Senate's refusal to grant him in July the customary courtesy. He said further:—

The argument which my friend from Massachusetts has addressed to us to-day was not an assault upon the Constitution. It was a noble vindication of that great charter of government from the perversions of the advocates of the Fugitive Slave Act. . . .What has the senator from Massachusetts asserted? That the fugitive-servant clause of the Constitution is a clause of compact between the States, and confers no legislative power upon Congress. He has arrayed history and reason in support of this proposition; and I avow my conviction, now and here, that logically and historically his argument is impregnable, entirely impregnable.

The two senators, Clemens and Badger, who violated the proprieties of the Senate in their rebukes of Sumner, lived to regard him in a different light. The former, in a letter to Sumner, Nov. 21, 1864, marked ‘private,’ and written from Philadelphia, avowed himself a Unionist, and stated his purpose to live in the North, occupied with literary pursuits, unless he returned to Alabama for the purpose of restoring that State to the Union. Six months later he died at Huntsville. Badger was nominated at the next session after Sumner's speech as a justice of the Supreme Court, and to his surprise found Sumner supporting his confirmation by voice as well as vote. After his rejection by the Senate for political reasons, he wrote to Sumner a letter, Feb. 11, 1853, acknowledging that he was the only senator who had any reason to entertain feelings of unkindness towards himself, regretting the expressions he had indulged in during the debate of the previous session, designed at the time, as he now confessed, to be directly and personally offensive to Sumner, and expressing his sense of Sumner's generous magnanimity. Sumner replied:—

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