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Jefferson (search for this): chapter 3
at of governor of Massachusetts, or a member of the Cabinet at Washington, for example,—that he might have familiarized himself with the difficulties which every servant of fifth millions of masters, be he ever so pure and wise, must always encounter in trying to have his own way. Sumner had comprehensive intelligence, which always sought to throw on the question in hand all the light of history and philosophy. Among American statesmen, those whom he most resembled in this respect are Jefferson, Edward Livingston, and John Quincy Adams. He never valued his own opinion so highly that he was not ready to sit at the feet of the masters of science. He was always prone to test public questions, not by apparent and transient exigencies, but by principles permanent and fundamental. It was for this reason that during the Civil War and reconstruction period he consulted so often Dr. Lieber, a publicist, living apart from political management, whose knowledge and counsels other public m
Thomas Corwin (search for this): chapter 3
ould be used to instruct foreign journals. He was likewise in communication with a large proportion of the legations and consulates of the United States, from which came statements of their needs and the aspect of our Civil War as it was regarded at their posts, and advice as to modes of enlisting foreign opinion in our favor. Among correspondents of this class at this time were John Bigelow, Henry Adams, J. E. Harvey, W. S. Thayer, Seth Webb, Jr., J. S. Pike, B. Taylor, J. R. Giddings, T. Corwin. Carl Schurz. II. J. Perry, C. D. Cleveland, and B. R. Wood. No one outside of the state department had at command equal sources of information of this kind. He was the one senator to whom advanced antislavery men looked for the expression and promotion of their views; and every mail at this time, and indeed during his entire service in Congress, brought him a large number of letters from this class, in which they stated, often at great length, their hopes and fears, and their interes
J. W. Forney (search for this): chapter 3
rooms while he was in the Senate were more sought than those of any member of either house. Among the visitors were writers for public journals, friends from Massachusetts, politicians from all parts of the country, survivors of the old antislavery guard, and distinguished foreigners. They often came late in the evening and staved long; and his only way of dismissing them was, when he was on familiar terms with his caller, to turn to the unfinished work on his desk. For a busy man, wrote Forney, he was the most accessible I ever knew. How he could accomplish all his tasks, and yet give so much time to miscellaneous visitors, was something of a mystery. It was, however, his midnight vigils which brought up the arrears. The newspaper men were generally very friendly to him. He held tightly the secrets of the Senate notwithstanding he had no respect for the system of closed doors; but as far as consistent with a senator's oath, he talked freely and instructively to all who came to
W. H. Channing (search for this): chapter 3
nd sincerity. This is the testimony not merely of old and intimate friends, or of men tempered like himself, but of critical observers not bound to him by personal relations. It was often given in his lifetime, and more freely when death had set the seal on his career. Not denying to many of their contemporaries a certain measure of these noble qualities, their fullest development must be found in our time in two kindred characters,— John Bright and Charles Sumner. See estimates in W. H. Channing's Life, by O. B. Frothingham, p. 367; Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 26, 1866; Harper's Weekly, March 24, 1866; New York Herald, Dec 28, 1871, containing an article, in the characteristic style of that journal, from a correspondent who mingles praise and dispraise. J. W. Forney wrote of Sumner (Anecdotes of public Men, vol. II. p. 262): We are all human; the best, like the worst, are controlled more or less by personal motives. But Sumner, I insist, was the supreme exception to this rule. I
Martin Buren (search for this): chapter 3
e a mistake. Never name a child after a living man. This is the counsel I give always and most sincerely. Who knows that I may not fail? I, too, may grow faint, or may turn aside to false gods. I hope not; but this is one of the mysteries of the future. Therefore name your boy some good Christian name. It may be Charles if you will, for that is general; but 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
O. B. Frothingham (search for this): chapter 3
estimony not merely of old and intimate friends, or of men tempered like himself, but of critical observers not bound to him by personal relations. It was often given in his lifetime, and more freely when death had set the seal on his career. Not denying to many of their contemporaries a certain measure of these noble qualities, their fullest development must be found in our time in two kindred characters,— John Bright and Charles Sumner. See estimates in W. H. Channing's Life, by O. B. Frothingham, p. 367; Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 26, 1866; Harper's Weekly, March 24, 1866; New York Herald, Dec 28, 1871, containing an article, in the characteristic style of that journal, from a correspondent who mingles praise and dispraise. J. W. Forney wrote of Sumner (Anecdotes of public Men, vol. II. p. 262): We are all human; the best, like the worst, are controlled more or less by personal motives. But Sumner, I insist, was the supreme exception to this rule. I never knew any man less mo
Louis Agassiz (search for this): chapter 3
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 attendance at the dinners of the Saturday Club at Parker's
George S. Boutwell (search for this): chapter 3
. Several statutes removing the disability of colored citizens were his handiwork. The consolidation of the statutes of the United States was his first thought, and was finally effected by his constant pressure. Some critics, remembering that Sumner stood at some time in the way of their pretensions, or solicitous that their unrenowned services should not be overlooked, have suggested as a limitation to his sphere that he did not draw many statutes. General Butler's Book, p. 314; G. S. Boutwell in the Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 1890. This mechanical work falls largely to the solicitors of the departments, or to promoters of bills; The bankrupt bill, which has long engaged the attention of Congress, was drawn by an eminent judge,—John Lowell, of Boston. and Sumner did as much of it as most men holding his relation to general affairs,—as much, for instance, as Webster or Seward. Wilson probably did not, while chairman of the committee on military affairs during the Civil War, dr
Edward Livingston (search for this): chapter 3
of Massachusetts, or a member of the Cabinet at Washington, for example,—that he might have familiarized himself with the difficulties which every servant of fifth millions of masters, be he ever so pure and wise, must always encounter in trying to have his own way. Sumner had comprehensive intelligence, which always sought to throw on the question in hand all the light of history and philosophy. Among American statesmen, those whom he most resembled in this respect are Jefferson, Edward Livingston, and John Quincy Adams. He never valued his own opinion so highly that he was not ready to sit at the feet of the masters of science. He was always prone to test public questions, not by apparent and transient exigencies, but by principles permanent and fundamental. It was for this reason that during the Civil War and reconstruction period he consulted so often Dr. Lieber, a publicist, living apart from political management, whose knowledge and counsels other public men would not ha
Carl Schurz (search for this): chapter 3
to instruct foreign journals. He was likewise in communication with a large proportion of the legations and consulates of the United States, from which came statements of their needs and the aspect of our Civil War as it was regarded at their posts, and advice as to modes of enlisting foreign opinion in our favor. Among correspondents of this class at this time were John Bigelow, Henry Adams, J. E. Harvey, W. S. Thayer, Seth Webb, Jr., J. S. Pike, B. Taylor, J. R. Giddings, T. Corwin. Carl Schurz. II. J. Perry, C. D. Cleveland, and B. R. Wood. No one outside of the state department had at command equal sources of information of this kind. He was the one senator to whom advanced antislavery men looked for the expression and promotion of their views; and every mail at this time, and indeed during his entire service in Congress, 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 vari
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