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July 23. Works, vol. x. pp. 495-499. July 24, Congressional Globe, p. 4072. He resisted the resolution authorizing a contract with Vinnie Ream for a statue of Mr. Lincoln; but her fascinations with Western senators persuaded a majority to approve a commission, which ended in a caricature. He took this opportunity to dwell at some length on Art in the national Capitol, July 27, 1866. Works, vol. x. pp. 540-556. He commented on the statue, March 2, 1869; Congressional Globe, pp. 1782, 1784. and his remarks brought an approving note from Mr. Winthrop. He had taken a special interest in the metric system from the beginning of his public life, and had obtained rare publications concerning it from Europe through his brother George. At this session he explained it to the Senate at some length, reviewing its history, and carried bills and resolutions to bring it into favor. July 27. 1836; Works, vol. x. pp. 524-539. He brought the subject to the attention of the Senate, Feb. 6,
it was evident that Sumner's mother would not long survive. The mother's character is given, ante, vol. i. pp. 30, 31. She had reached fourscore years, and her physical powers were waning. Her physician, from the beginning of the session in December, sent Charles (now the only surviving son), by his directions, weekly statements of her condition, while other reports came from Dr. Howe and other friends, and also from Miss Ford, a constant attendant and for many years living at intervals wit. I am an idealist, and now I hope to live my idea. Mrs. Bancroft may perhaps recall conversations many years ago in which I expressed my longings and aspirations. She will surely remember something that was said when I was at your house last December while on my way to Washington. Let me confess that I am not without solicitude. I tremble sometimes at the responsibility I assume. I am to make another happy; for unless I do this there can be no happiness for me, and my idea will be quenc
September (search for this): chapter 8
o be, the Congress of the United States, while in fact it is a Congress of only a part of the States. Then followed in September his political tour, his swinging round the circle, with Mr. Seward and General Grant and others as companions, in which a nearer relation probable. Rumors of the new connection were rife late in August, and it was finally acknowledged in September, when Sumner communicated it in notes. Warm congratulations came to him from a wide circle,—from companions of his youthe same month she went to Lenox, and they parted not to meet again. The final break, however, did not take place till September; and in the mean time it was doubtful, so far as others knew, if they were to live together again. Late in September September the domestic disaster was no longer a secret, and was noted in the public journals. Sumner retained the sympathy and support of all his friends, who were grieved at the blasting of the bright hopes with which in less than a twelvemonth he had enter
of justification or defence, and other public bodies took similar action. Works, vol. x. p. 268. The President's language found an echo in threats of violence against the senator, originating with the partisans of the former's policy. Works, vol. x. p. 269. The debate continued for more than a month, Fessenden being the leader in favor of the amendment, and Henderson, Yates, and Pomeroy among Republicans opposing it. Sumner spoke twice after his first speech, on March 7 and on the 9th, when the vote was taken. Works, vol. x. pp. 282-337, 338-345. Some of the epithets applied by him to the committee's proposition, which, though short-sighted, was well meant, exceeded the measure of the occasion. He was perhaps led to make them the stronger by the treatment he received from Fessenden, who without any due provocation descended into personalities, and pursued Sumner with unconcealed bitterness. March 9. Congressional Globe, pp. 1277-1280. Sumner followed with a reply
low him this relief. He did not spare himself even in the recess, but went to work on a lecture—when Longfellow wrote again to Greene: What confidence Sumner has in Sumner! I would not trust H. W. L. to that amount, nor would you G. W. G. In August, Sumner made a visit to the White Mountains, his only excursion after he entered the Senate to that attractive resort of tourists. He made brief pauses at Centre Harbor, at the Glen, and at Crawford's, and ascended Mt. Washington,—on the summithter of eight years. They had met in a friendly way for several years at Mr. Hooper's house in Washington, and for some months those who observed them closely had thought a nearer relation probable. Rumors of the new connection were rife late in August, and it was finally acknowledged in September, when Sumner communicated it in notes. Warm congratulations came to him from a wide circle,—from companions of his youth, Howe, Longfellow, Greene, Phillips, Lieber, Agassiz, Palfrey, Whittier, the W<
at Sumner's expense, saying that his conscientious friend mistook twinges of dyspepsia for constitutional scruples; and Sumner replied that he had never had the dyspepsia in his life. Wade thought that Sumner had a certain one idea that covered the whole ground. The bill not receiving the President's signature failed to become a law; and the fundamental condition, which was lost at this session, was to be carried at the next, the bill containing it being passed over the President's veto. July 27, Dec. 14 and 19, 1866; Jan. 8, 1867; Works, vol. x. pp. 504-523. When the bill first passed the House, July 27, 1866, Kelley of Pennsylvania objected to the exclusion of colored men from the suffrage, and among the minority who voted against the bill were distinguished Republicans—Allison, Boutwell, Eliot, Garfield, Jenckes, Julian, Morrill, Stevens, and E. B. Washburne. Sumner likewise failed to impose his fundamental condition of equal suffrage on Tennessee, one of the reconstructed
until the disability should be removed by Congress, the sanctity of the national debt, and a prohibition against the assumption or payment of the Confederate debt. It did not recognize expressly the right of the States to deny or abridge the, elective franchise on account of race or color, but it recognized their general right to deny and abridge suffrage at their discretion without specifying any particular form of discrimination. Finally the amendment in its new form passed both houses in June, receiving the entire Republican vote in each house—a result which was promoted by a caucus. Sumner, though voting for the amendment in its new form, took no part in the debate and suggested no changes. The speeches were largely apologetic. The contest had become, so far as representation was concerned, a trial of party strength rather than a vital issue involving the rights and well-being of a race. The ratification of the amendment by a sufficient number of States was officially annou
r; but Sumner rejected this theory. Works, vol. x. p. 293. and in its offer of a larger representation as the price of political equality, he saw only a delusion and a snare,—a bribe offered that would not tempt. G. W. Julian, then a member of the House and voting for the amendment, has since, in his Political Recollections, p. 272, denounced it as a scheme of cold-blooded treachery and ingratitude to the colored people. The amendment as it first passed the House on the last day of January and was laid before the Senate provided that whenever the elective franchise shall be denied or abridged in any State on account of race or color, the persons therein of such race or color shall be excluded from the basis of representation. A few Republican votes were thrown against it in the House; and some Republican leaders who voted for it showed in their speeches a distrust of its efficacy. As ill health prevented Mr. Fessenden from opening the debate in the Senate, February 5, he
October 17th (search for this): chapter 8
ess I do this there can be no happiness for me, and my idea will be quenched in darkness. But the good God that gave me this new life will, I trust, protect it. If you knew how little of design or will there was in what has occurred, you would see the Providence which has ruled. I have sent your note to her whom it so much concerns. Thank Mrs. Bancroft and Mr. Bliss, whom I should be glad to see, and believe me gratefully and sincerely yours, Charles Sumner. To Whittier he wrote, October 17:— To-day, at three o'clock, I shall be married, and at the age of fifty-five begin to live. Your good wises are precious to me. The unhappy sequel may as well be given here. After a few weeks in Newport and at the family home in Boston, Mr. and Mrs. Sumner began to occupy, just before the session in December, 1866, a house in Washington,—322 I Street. The various preparations for housekeeping were made; a French teacher engaged for the child; a pew in the Church of the Epiphany
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