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[43] If I can judge from what I hear, people are much less sensitive with regard to your errors of fact than with regard to the tone in which you wrote. They feel that this is not friendly; that it is de haut en bas; that you write down upon us,—and this you can imagine is not pleasant. It becomes more conspicuous from its contrast with the real cordiality of one or two recent French writers, who have struck chords which I wish had been struck by an Englishman. I hear from different quarters that the war will soon be ended. I do not see it so;1 and if slavery is left to itself, I think you are right in the horoscope you cast. But help us to a breath of generous, strengthening sympathy from Old England, which will cheer the good cause and teach everybody that there can be no terms of any kind with a swarm of traitors trying to build a State on human slavery.

Sumner accepted the invitation to address the annual State convention of the Republican party at Worcester in October, given to him by William Claflin, chairman of the State committee, and afterwards governor of the State. Mr. Dawes (since senator) presided. Governor Andrew received his second nomination, which was made by acclamation. The great hall was filled with delegates and spectators,—an audience which was divided in opinion, a part in favor of, and a part opposed to, a radical antislavery policy, but all thoughtful, patriotic, and devoted to the government.

The speech was not long, but it was emphatic in every sentence, and showed from beginning to end intense earnestness.2 Exhibiting slavery as the sole cause and main strength of a rebellion hitherto maintaining itself on land and sea, Sumner insisted that it should be struck down with every power within the grasp of the government. These were some of his passages: ‘Slavery is our Catiline, being to this war everything,—inspiration, motive-power, end and aim, be-all and end-all. . . . It is often said that war will make an end of slavery. This is probable; but it is surer still that the overthrow of slavery will make an end of the war. . . . It is not necessary even, borrowing a familiar phrase, to carry the war into Africa; it will be enough if we carry Africa into the war in any form, any quantity, any way. . . . A simple declaration that all men within the lines of the United States troops are freemen will be in strict conformity with the Constitution and also with precedent. The Constitution knows no man as slave. . . . There ’

1 Sumner from the beginning put no faith in the prediction of a ‘three months war.’ Memoir of W. H. Channing by O. B. Frothingham, p. 309.

2 Works, vol. VI. pp. 1-29.

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