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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Sumner, Charles 1811- (search)
From that day until his death Sumner was an earnest advocate of the emancipation of the slaves. In 1846 he addressed the Whig State convention of Massachusetts on The Anti-slavery doctrine of the Whig party, and soon afterwards published a letter of rebuke to Robert C. Winthrop, Representative in Congress from Boston, for voting in favor of war with Mexico. He finally left the Whig party and joined the Free-soilers (see free soil party), supporting Van Buren for President in 1840. In April, 1851, Mr. Sumner was elected by a coalition of Democrats and Freesoilers in the Massachusetts legislature to the United States Senate, to fill the place vacated by Daniel Webster. He took his seat Dec. 1, 1851, and kept it by successive re-elections until his death. He was recognized as the leader in all antislavery movements in the Senate, and his political action in the matter was guided by the formula Freedom is national, slavery is sectional. He took a very active part in the debates on
Wendell Phillips, Theodore C. Pease, Speeches, Lectures and Letters of Wendell Phillips: Volume 1, chapter 7 (search)
e two thousand men who rode up to London the next morning, to stand between their representative and a king's frown, waited for an invitation. They assembled of their own voluntary and individual purpose and found themselves in London. Whenever there is a like determination throughout Massachusetts, it will need no invitation. When, in 1775 the British turned their eyes toward Lexington, the same invitation went out from the Vigilance Committee of Mechanics in Boston, as in our case of April, 1851. Two lanterns on the North Church steeple telegraphed the fact to the country Revere and Prescott, as they rode from house to house in the gray light of that April morning, could tell little what others would do, they flung into each house the startling announcement, The red-coats are coming I, and rode on. None that day issued orders, none obeyed aught but his own soul. Though Massachusetts rocked from Barnstable to Berkshire, when the wire flashed over the land the announcement that a
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, V. The fugitive slave epoch (search)
e was the progenitor of that admirable race upon which, as Dr. Holmes said to Professor Stowe, the fall of Adam had not left the slightest visible impression. This combination of motives was quite enough to make me wish that if there should be another fugitive slave case I might at least be there to see, and, joining the Vigilance Committee in Boston, I waited for such an occasion. It was not necessary to wait long, for the Shadrach case was soon to be followed by another. One day in April, 1851, a messenger came to my house in Newburyport and said briefly, Another fugitive slave is arrested in Boston, and they wish you to come. I went back with him that afternoon, and found the Vigilance Committee in session in the Liberator office. It is impossible to conceive of a set of men, personally admirable, yet less fitted on the whole than this committee to undertake any positive action in the direction of forcible resistance to authorities. In the first place, half of them were non
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, VI: in and out of the pulpit (search)
he thought of assisting to return to slavery a man guilty of no crime but a colored skin [at which] every thought of my nature rebels in . . . horror. I think not now of the escaped slave, though he has all my sympathies, but of the free men and women who are destined to suffer for this act. And I almost feel as if the nation of which we have boasted were sunk in the dust forever, now that justice and humanity are gone; and as if the 19th century were the darkest of all the ages. In April, 1851, Mr. Higginson, as a member of the Boston Vigilance Committee, received a summons to aid in rescuing Sims, the first fugitive slave captured in Boston and returned to slavery. Higginson was at this time a stockholder in the yacht Flirt, which was nominally for rent, but actually kept cruising about the coast in readiness to rescue slaves from incoming vessels or to kidnap their pursuers. A crowded meeting was held in Tremont Temple, where Higginson made a vehement speech urging instan
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 32: the annexation of Texas.—the Mexican War.—Winthrop and Sumner.—1845-1847. (search)
of the illustrious statesman who presided could make the occasion respectable. Pearson, in defending himself and his captain against the free use of his name by the speakers, said that what he had done was commended by the merchants of the city, and that on 'Change five to one would, if inquired of, answer that they would do as he had done; and there is no reason to doubt his statement. Pearson was the owner of the brig Acorn, which carried Sims, a fugitive slave, back to Savannah in April, 1851. A letter to Sumner written soon after the meeting shows the temper of society at the time. Rev. Andrews Norton, a learned divine, was closely connected with leading families, and associated with the wealth and culture of the city. His kindly nature and Christian profession should have inclined him to listen with open ears to the cry of a pursued negro who had testified his longing for freedom by enterprise and endurance which in a better age would have drawn to him universal sympa
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 3, Chapter 34: the compromise of 1850.—Mr. Webster. (search)
and navy to co-operate in enforcing the law. Then followed the trials of persons accused of assisting the rescue, who were defended by John P. Hale and R. H. Dana, Jr.; but one or two dissenting jurors prevented verdicts against them. Webster, as Secretary of State, took a personal interest in having the law executed in Boston, and assumed the direction of the prosecutions, although it properly belonged to the Attorney-General. Adams's Biography of Dana, vol. i. p. 228. Early in April, 1851, Thomas Sims, another negro living in Boston, was brought before the same commissioner, claimed by a slaveholder from Georgia. The Administration at Washington, under Mr. Webster's lead, determined that this proceeding should not fail. The city marshal, acting under a formal order of Mayor Bigelow and the Board of Aldermen, in co-operation with the United States officers, surrounded the court house with chains. Sims's counsel, S. E. Sewall, R. Rantoul, Jr., C. G. Loring, and R. H. Dana
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1862. (search)
as well as my outward conduct. I took an interest in many things which before I had been averse to, and I began then to have something of an aim in living, which I had not been conscious of before. Previously I had been inclined to wander from the path of rectitude, and found more delight in doing wrong than in doing right; but now I had a desire to lead an honest, upright life. In May, 1850, I became a member of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church. I remained at the High School till April, 1851, when my father thought it best I should leave and learn a trade. Accordingly I became an apprentice to my brother, who had just established himself in business, to learn the carriage-painter's trade. Obliged to do the drudgery which, owing to the peculiar nature of the business, is very hard and disagreeable, I was much discontented for a while, and more than once partially determined to give it up, and go into something else; but as I had agreed to stay until I was of age, I finally m
the Common by constables, July 4, 1829 Marshall Tukey arrests 49 in Court and Sudbury streets, Mar. 20, 1849 Green lecturing, exposing the tricks of the trade, Feb. 8, 1850 Gamblers Eighty-five arrested by the police one evening, April, 1851 A few more left of the same sort, 1880 Gas Light first exhibited at the Boylston Museum, Nov. 26, 1815 Company, the first meeting held, July 14, 1826 Pipes began to be laid in the streets, Oct. 16, 1826 Lamp, one placed in Dopaving streets, 1757 Faneuil Hall repaired by one, 1763 Drawing, held at Faneuil Hall, June 14, 1771 Signs at offices, a horn of plenty, 1803 Dealing, prohibited by law, June, 1829 Descent. A great raid on dealers by the police, April, 1851 Louisburg war men embark from Boston, Mar. 24, 1744 News received of success; great rejoicing, July 3, 1745 Lowell, Col. shot soldier Pendergast, at Niles' Block, Apr. 9, 1863 Lyman Mystery of a missing man explained, Ap
heck until reinforcements could come up. The capital was saved, but the gallant Gordon was borne from the field mortally wounded. On May 18th he died in hospital at Richmond, deeply lamented by the army. Major-General Bryan Grimes Major-General Bryan Grimes was born at Grimesland, Pitt county, N. C., November 2, 1828, the youngest son of Bryan and Nancy Grimes. He was graduated at the university of North Carolina in 1848, then made his home upon a plantation in Pitt county, and in April, 1851, was married to Elizabeth Hilliard, daughter of Dr. Thomas Davis, of Franklin county. This lady died a few years later, and in 1860 he traveled in Europe, but returned home soon after the national election. He hastened to the scene of conflict at Fort Sumter as soon as he heard of the bombardment, and then visited Pensacola and New Orleans, returning to take a seat in the convention of his State which adopted the ordinance of secession. In the latter part of May he resigned his seat in