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[24] with it. The same year, he wrote a paper on ‘Speculative Free-Masonry,’ in the form of a letter to gentlemen who had solicited his views. It was published as a pamphlet, and provoked against him much hostility and many newspaper attacks. The memorandum-books left by him show his sustained earnestness in the question. One of them was appropriated exclusively to his thoughts upon it from time to time. He attributed to his connection with this controversy some unkind treatment which he received.

Sheriff Sumner, while not participating publicly in the abolition movement, was always an antislavery man. His forecast discerned the conflict in which his son was to bear his great part. Tradition and his papers give abundant evidence of his opinions on this subject.

About 1820, in a conversation relating to slavery, he said to a neighbor: ‘Our children's heads will some day be broken on a cannon-ball on this question.’ At another time, rebuking the social aversion to the negro, he said he should be entirely willing to sit on the bench with a negro judge; and when complaint was made of the presence in the schools of children with colored blood, he protested that there was no objection to such association. He recorded himself against the law which prohibited the intermarriage of the two races. He saluted colored persons on the street with his customary bow, and made special efforts in behalf of prisoners of this class, to enable them to procure the witnesses for their defence. He wrote in the album of the daughter of his friend, Colonel Josiah H. Vose, Cowper's familiar lines, beginning with,—

I would not have a slave to till my ground.

At one time he wrote: ‘The South will say, in less than one hundred years, “Who shall deliver us from the body of this death?” ’ His memorandum-books contain numerous passages showing his sympathy with the antislavery movement. At one time he recorded his conviction that Congress ought to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. He denounced the proslavery riots which took place in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Alton. Indeed, there was no topic on which he was more thoughtful and earnest.

His relation to an attempted reclamation of some fugitive slaves deserves a record. On July 30, 1836, two colored women, alleged

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