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[487] avowed his belief that Congress had made a fatal mistake in rejecting the measure.

Mr. Garrison wrote Sumner, March 28, in earnest approval of his speech,1 saying:—

It is a judicial decision rather than a speech,—dispassionate, grave, dignified, exhaustive, admitting of no appeal. To my mind, the legitimate corollary is the impeachment of the President, if not of the Secretary of the Navy, as guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of section 4, article 11, of the U. S. Constitution; and were I a member of the Senate, I am not sure that I would not propose such impeachment, even if I stood alone. The case is much worse than I had supposed, and characterized by the most flagrant usurpation. . . . The manner in which you were replied to by Senators Morton and Howe was worthy of that side of the matter in the controversy.

Sumner's relations with Morton, the leader of the San Domingo party, remained cordial; and the following correspondence between them took place in the summer:—

Washington, August 8, 1871.
my dear Governor,—As I am leaving Washington for Boston, it occurs to me that I ought not to close my doings here without correcting in formal terms a misapprehension under which you labored with regard to me. Already I have corrected it in conversation, but I hope you will pardon me if I put my correction in writing.

I understood you to say, or allege, that I had prepared my speech on San Domingo in advance, and that this was before my sudden illness at the end of February; that I had announced that it would be very bitter on the President, embracing various topics, among them inattention to business and nepotism, and that I had actually read specimens to visitors. Of course, in making this allegation you evidently believed it true; nor was I much astonished, for there was an evident disposition in certain quarters to believe anything about me. At all events, you seemed incredulous when I denied it. Returning to the allegation, you quoted my colleague as authority, at least in part. Now, this whole story in gross and detail is an invention, without one word of truth. I write now to deny it in every particular. At the time of my sudden illness the speech was in contemplation only, and there was no specimen to read if I had any such disposition. None such ever was read, repeated, or described. Never did I say anything to anybody giving the idea that the speech would be very bitter on the President, least of all that it would touch on the topics to which you referred,—never even to my colleague. To him and the few others with whom I conversed I simply expressed my strong desire for a hearing on the violations of international law and of the Constitution in the employment of the naval forces at San Domingo. In the course of preparation I submitted

1 In a later letter Mr. Garrison expressed his regret at the ‘Ku-Klux’ passage of the speech, as ‘it made a recoil to a certain extent which would not otherwise have been felt.’

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