made my statement. . . . There was a room kept for me at Fish's while the President was there, but I did not think it best to be there. I arrived immediately afterwards. Fish was kind and confidential. I think he is weary of official life. He did not intend to remain after the meeting of Congress, but his purpose now is to stay for a year. I am pained at the attacks which I fear he must encounter. A vigorous presentment of our case will take from critics one of their weapons. . . Fish thought that any negotiation on the claims should be at Washington, where the Senate can be consulted, as nothing can be done without the consent of that body. He had talked with John Rose of Canada, who had sounded him about sending out the Duke of Argyll. The duke must not come unless to be successful. The case must not be embittered by another rejection.Sumner delivered an address, September 22, before the Republican State convention on national affairs at home and abroad, in which he maintained the sacredness of the public debt, then assailed by various schemes of repudiation, and treated our relations with Spain growing out of the Cuban insurrection, and our relations with England growing out of our Civil War.1 In connection with the last subject he replied to some of the points which had been made by English critics, and restated his views of the circumstances which justify a recognition of belligerency in a conflict between an established government and revolted sections or bodies. The most interesting passage of the speech related to Canada,—the cession of which had been suggested as a compensation for our claims.2 While regarding the future union of Canada with the United States as an appointed destiny, it must come, such was his thought, by a peaceful process, with the consent of her people. He closed with a description of the republic as it was to be with this continental extension. The speech found great favor, and was widely read, as published and commended in leading journals outside the State. It was approved for its decisive support of the public credit, its temperate discussion of foreign relations, and its lifting the public mind above local questions,—as prohibition, then a disturbing force in political calculations. Ex-Governor John H. Clifford, whose habit of mind was conservative, wrote with complete approval of its magnificent and unanswerable defence of the public credit,
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1 Works, vol. XIII. pp. 98-130.
2 New York Herald, Feb. 13, 1869; New York Tribune, Feb. 22 and April 7. Joseph Medill, of the Chicago Tribune, in a letter to Sumner, Dec. 2, 1868, urged that the acquisition was the only adequate solution,—suggesting also the payment of one or two hundred millions of dollars to Great Britain, in order to save the point of pride on her part.
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