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en absent from his seat three minutes since it was taken up, or half an hour since the session began. May 30, 1862. Works, vol. VII. pp. 110, 111. Near the end of the session he spoke forcibly against a final adjournment until the public business was completed, pointing out that Congress was by several weeks short of the limit which it was accustomed to reach when members were paid by the day instead of by the year. July 12 (Works, vol. VII. pp. 176-179). He had made similar remarks May 22 (Congressional Globe, p. 2225). The New York Evening Post, June 7, 1862, had an article of the same tenor. In declining an invitation to attend a public meeting in the city of New York, he said, A senator cannot leave his place more than a soldier. July 14, 1862. Works, vol. VII. pp. 180, 181. It has often occurred in the Senate,—and it occurred many times during this session, in which the duties of patriotism were most exacting,—that it was obliged to adjourn for want of a quorum,
action decisive. Sumner's vacant chair, while he was in health, was never an obstruction to public business. Again and again, at this and at other sessions, as the official record shows, he protested against an early adjournment in the afternoon, and urged that the Senate go on with its calendar. Henderson of Missouri (May 16, 1868, Congressional Globe, p. 2494) referred to Sumner's constant votes against adjournments until after five or six P. M., and against final adjournments even in July or August, saying. If the senator had his way, he would remain here forever and ever. Edmunds said in relation to his opposition, April 17. 1869 (Globe, p. 726), I never knew the day to come when my friend from Massachusetts really thought the Senate ought to adjourn; and three days later (Globe, pp. 733, 734) he referred to Sumner's chronic difficult about adjournments. Similar pressure from Sumner, with similar resistance from other senators who recalled his uniform position on the suspe
July 12th (search for this): chapter 3
six months after the session began), he remarked that he had not been absent from his seat three minutes since it was taken up, or half an hour since the session began. May 30, 1862. Works, vol. VII. pp. 110, 111. Near the end of the session he spoke forcibly against a final adjournment until the public business was completed, pointing out that Congress was by several weeks short of the limit which it was accustomed to reach when members were paid by the day instead of by the year. July 12 (Works, vol. VII. pp. 176-179). He had made similar remarks May 22 (Congressional Globe, p. 2225). The New York Evening Post, June 7, 1862, had an article of the same tenor. In declining an invitation to attend a public meeting in the city of New York, he said, A senator cannot leave his place more than a soldier. July 14, 1862. Works, vol. VII. pp. 180, 181. It has often occurred in the Senate,—and it occurred many times during this session, in which the duties of patriotism were
air the senator, who overcame all obstacles in an hour, and saw delivered to the manager the needed pass for the relief steamer up the Potomac. It came about from his fidelity and the general confidence in his efficiency that the people of his State confided to him their interests in pending legislation, or in business with the departments, rather than to others who had passed their lives in professional, industrial, or commercial pursuits. The Congressional Globe's Index for the session (1860-1862) will show how much more Sumner attended to the details of the internal tax bill than his colleague, who had been a manufacturer, but was lacking in method. George B. Upton, a leading Boston merchant for a long period, familiar with public men, a friend of Webster, and long regarding Sumner as a mere enthusiast, thus gave his testimony in a letter, Jan. 28, 1869: I neglected to say a single word in relation to your re-election to the Senate. Whatever differences of opinion have heretof
urse, as was often the case, changed Mr. Hooper's view of the senator, and he came to be his cordial and confidential friend, so remaining to the end. He dispensed a liberal hospitality; and in his house at Washington, as well as at Boston and on the seashore, Sumner was always welcome to lodge or dine. The intimacy which he had enjoyed with the family of Mr. Adams, already Minister to England, was now transferred to Mr. Hooper's, at whose house he dined at least once or twice a week from 1861 to 1874. Later in these pages it will become necessary to refer to a near connection between the two friends. Two or three incidents in family and friendship may be noted here,—the death in March, 1862, of another of the Five of Clubs (Felton, of whose funeral Mr. Thies sent an account); the disability of George Sumner, stricken with paralysis, and after medical treatment in Northampton coming back to the old home in Hancock Street; a cordial letter from Agassiz in the autumn urging attend
February, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 3
s of others. his manners were uniformly decorous, as opponents in the worst of times admitted; and the stranger in the gallery looking down on the scene recognized in him the impersonation and ideal of a leader in what has been regarded, in view of its constitution and functions, as a parliamentary body second to none in the world. John Bigelow, already referred to, a writer and public man distinguished for critical observation of men and affairs, wrote in his journal on shipboard, in February, 1861, his estimate of Sumner, given in reply to a fellow-passenger who had made some criticisms on the senator:— First, he was the most accomplished man in public life in America; second, the ablest orator in Congress; third, of unblemished private character; fourth, of unblemished public character, which no breath of calumny had ever reached, and whom no one had ever dared approach with a dishonorable proposition; fifth, a man whose zeal and talents had been expended, not upon selfish
December, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 3
do not compel him to bear all his days a label which he may dislike. I once met a strong antislavery youth who bore the name Martin Van Buren. He was born while New York sat in the Presidential chair, and his father named him after the chief of the land. But the youth did not find the sentiments of the late M. V. B. such as he wished to be associated with. Somebody in the play says in anger to his son: I'll unget you! Don't do this. Simply unname him. Samuel Hooper entered, in December, 1861, the House as a member from a Boston district, and continued a member during the rest of the senator's life. He was a wealthy merchant, and his associations and sympathies hitherto had been those of the capitalists, who as a class had not looked with favor on Sumner. Daily intercourse, as was often the case, changed Mr. Hooper's view of the senator, and he came to be his cordial and confidential friend, so remaining to the end. He dispensed a liberal hospitality; and in his house at W
Chapter 46: qualities and habits as a senator.—1862. Sumner was from the beginning of his career in the Senate an interesting, and he had now become the most conspicuous, figure at the Capitol. His seat was first inquired for by visitors. Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 26, 1866. The correspondent remarked upon the public interest in Sumner,—greater than in any other senator,—as also upon his qualities of intellect and character, saying that his motto might well be Frangi non flecti. Person, ided to him their interests in pending legislation, or in business with the departments, rather than to others who had passed their lives in professional, industrial, or commercial pursuits. The Congressional Globe's Index for the session (1860-1862) will show how much more Sumner attended to the details of the internal tax bill than his colleague, who had been a manufacturer, but was lacking in method. George B. Upton, a leading Boston merchant for a long period, familiar with public men, a<
March, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 3
brought him a large number of letters from this class, in which they stated, often at great length, their hopes and fears, and their interest in the various measures concerning slavery. Wendell Phillips delivered a lecture in Washington in March, 1862, probably his first visit to the capital. He had an interview with Mr. Lincoln, and was introduced by Sumner on the floor of the Senate, where he was greeted by Mr. Hamlin, the Vice-Presidentdent, who left the chair to take his hand. Sumne he dined at least once or twice a week from 1861 to 1874. Later in these pages it will become necessary to refer to a near connection between the two friends. Two or three incidents in family and friendship may be noted here,—the death in March, 1862, of another of the Five of Clubs (Felton, of whose funeral Mr. Thies sent an account); the disability of George Sumner, stricken with paralysis, and after medical treatment in Northampton coming back to the old home in Hancock Street; a cordia
May 30th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 3
ich is very unusual, by the way. and the same tribute is Sumner's due. No private errand and no listlessness kept him from his public duty; and he attended with severe punctuality the sessions of his committee and of the Senate. When the Internal Tax bill, which had consumed many days of discussion, was pending (nearly six months after the session began), he remarked that he had not been absent from his seat three minutes since it was taken up, or half an hour since the session began. May 30, 1862. Works, vol. VII. pp. 110, 111. Near the end of the session he spoke forcibly against a final adjournment until the public business was completed, pointing out that Congress was by several weeks short of the limit which it was accustomed to reach when members were paid by the day instead of by the year. July 12 (Works, vol. VII. pp. 176-179). He had made similar remarks May 22 (Congressional Globe, p. 2225). The New York Evening Post, June 7, 1862, had an article of the same tenor.
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