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[321] so many questions, American and European, as to be encyclopedic, and therefore instructive. These latter days must have been anxious enough with you and all good Frenchmen. For a while war seemed inevitable. I rejoice that peace is assured for the moment, at least. Meanwhile our affairs here have marched swiftly. Not only slavery, but all civil and political distinctions on account of color, have disappeared in the rebel States, never to return. Thus did the rebels become instruments of Providence for the establishment of human rights. Thus far the colored people have done well, showing gentleness and intelligence. At their public meetings some of them are orators. The mass of rebels are very slightly converted; but the most offensive resistance comes from the women, who are perverse and bitter. Add to these the parsons. But our President has the bad qualities of both. Without his support the rebel spirit would have yielded long ago.

The question of the President's impeachment is still pending before the judiciary committee of the House. Out of nine, there are six Republicans and three Democrats. Of these, four Republicans are for the impeachment; two Republicans and three Democrats are against it. Perhaps the two Republicans may change; but should the report of the committee be as they stand now, the impeachment will be defeated in committee by Democratic votes. It is probable that the Republican minority of the committee will appeal to the House, where they expect a different result. All the Republican leaders in the House, with one exception, are in favor of impeachment. I state these facts without expressing any opinion upon them.

We have a new French minister, Monsieur Berthemy, who is discreet and clever. As he is still young, I doubt not he will have a brilliant career. Mr. Seward is singularly well, and completely restored from injuries and wounds of all kinds, talking as much as ever. Let me thank you sincerely for your kind words on my marriage, and remember me, if you please, to the Prince de Joinville.

Congress was in session from March 4 to the 80th, from July 3 to the 20th, and from November 21 to the 30th; and the Senate held a special session from April 1 to the 20th.1 Sumner pressed for a continuous or almost continuous session, with the view of checking the President and defeating his plans; but others did not see the necessity for the constant presence of Congress at the Capitol.2 While at home, in June, he attended a municipal festival at Arlington, formerly West Cambridge,

1 The resolution for adjourning from March 20 to July 3 limited the power of senators not making a quorum to voting an adjournment,—a limitation which Sumner did not think constitutional. July 3, 1867; Works, vol. XI. pp. 365-367.

2 March 23, 26, 28, and 29, 1867; Works, vol. XI. pp. 168-177. April 11 and 12; Ibid., pp. 352, 353. July 19; Ibid., pp. 420-425. November 26; Works, vol. XII. pp. 250– 252. He desired the Senate to remain so as to pass, with other measures, Boutwell's resolution to prevent the President removing district commanders without the consent of the Senate, or the recommendation of the commanding general, instancing Sheridan as likely to be removed from Louisiana. (July 19; Works, vol. XI. p. 424.) The President, as the bill was not acted upon, removed Sheridan ten days later.

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