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he lighted torch. Oct. 26. Sumner made a Free Soil speech [in Cambridge]. Ah me! in such an assembly! It was like one of Beethoven's symphonies played in a saw-mill! He spoke admirably well; but the shouts and the hisses and the vulgar interruptions grated on my ears. I was glad to get away. Oct. 29. Sumner. His letter accepting the nomination of the Free Soil party as candidate for Congress is very good. Now he is submerged in politics. A strong swimmer,—may he land safely! Nov. 9. In the evening finished Kavanagh. Sumner came in just as I wrote the last word. The Free Soil party of the Boston district nominated Sumner for Congress. The convention was unanimous, and no other name than his was considered. His early formed resolution not to be a candidate for any political office was known to the delegates, but the emergency was thought to be one which required him to forego his personal wishes, and was urged in the letter which communicated to him the nominat
Edward Everett (search for this): chapter 5
heir former allies, paying hardly any attention to the Democratic party, and directing all their energies against the supporters of Van Buren and Adams. Choate in a speech at Salem, September 28, probably referred to Sumner when he spoke of Mr. Everett as one who could be a philosopher, a scholar, and a progressionist, without being a renegade. Their organ in Boston was the Atlas, a journal intensely partisan, the columns of which were almost exclusively given to politics, rarely containingrger amount of talent, principle, and sincere, unselfish devotion to the public good than has ever before been brought together in any similar number of persons acting politically; it will yet leaven the whole lump. Sumner wrote in 1848 to Mr. Everett, inquiring if he would accept a nomination from the Buffalo convention as Vice-President; but the latter declined in a letter in every way creditable to him, chiefly on the ground of the evils inseparable from third parties, and of the respons
James A. Briggs (search for this): chapter 5
of a defamer of those you profess to love, and an enemy to the permanency of this Union. Sumner was disappointed in not having the co-operation of certain public men who might have effectively aided the new movement. Charles Hudson and Governor Briggs had avowed with great earnestness antislavery sentiments, and had been strongly opposed to Taylor's nomination; but they soon came to his support, making their decision as a choice of evils. The former lost his re-election to Congress, beinhe latter by their representatives in Congress and their policy in the State assumed an unequivocal position in favor of antislavery principles and measures. Extracts from Sumner's letters show his spirit and expectations at the time. To James A. Briggs, Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 18, 1848, he wrote:— I rejoice in Mr. Giddings's success. His re-election to Congress as the Free Soil candidate. His constituents should be proud of him. There is no man in the House of Representatives who d
Charles Hudson (search for this): chapter 5
or the continuance of slavery in four States, also for the admission of Texas and the war with Mexico. Your principles tend directly to the breaking up of this glorious republic. You and I never can meet on neutral ground. I call contemplate you only in the character of a defamer of those you profess to love, and an enemy to the permanency of this Union. Sumner was disappointed in not having the co-operation of certain public men who might have effectively aided the new movement. Charles Hudson and Governor Briggs had avowed with great earnestness antislavery sentiments, and had been strongly opposed to Taylor's nomination; but they soon came to his support, making their decision as a choice of evils. The former lost his re-election to Congress, being defeated by Charles Allen; and the latter, who explained the reasons for his decision at considerable length in a letter to Sumner, passed two years later out of political life, being defeated as a candidate for governor by the s
Longfellow (search for this): chapter 5
disturbed,—at Lyceum Hall, Cambridge, in the midst of the associations of his youth; where the students, some Southern, and others reflecting the sentiments of the ruling class in Boston, interrupted him with hisses and coarse exclamations. Longfellow's Life, vol. II. p. 127. He bore the rudeness well, till at length he singled out the leader of the disturbance, who had made himself conspicuous by loud expressions of contempt at the speaker's comments on Taylor, and said: The young man who acter and his favorable situation in a community removed from the influence of Boston capital, perhaps brought more votes to the party than any one of the leaders See, for sketches of the Free Soil leaders, Boston Republican, Oct. 31, 1849. Longfellow's diary illustrates Sumner's tone of mind at this time:— June 24, 1848. Dined in town. Saw Sumner surrounded by his captains, Adams, Allen, and Phillips They are in great fervor touching their Anti-Taylor-and-Cass meeting in Worcester.
Joshua Leavitt (search for this): chapter 5
setts, was called to the chair. S. C. Phillips reported an address and resolutions; six delegates at large, with Adams's name at the head, were chosen to attend the convention at Buffalo. Among the speakers were Allen, Wilson, Amasa Walker, Joshua Leavitt, Adams, Sumner, Keyes, E. R. Hoar, J. R. Giddings, and L. D. Campbell, the last two from Ohio. Early in the day Sumner read a letter from Dr. Palfrey (then in Congress) approving the objects of the meeting, and moved a vote of thanks to Alleional organization. . . We found now a new party. Its corner-stone is freedom, its broad, all—sustaining arches are truth, justice, and humanity. Works, vol. II. pp 140-146. He introduced as speakers R. H. Dana, Jr., D. D. Field, and Joshua Leavitt, who had been delegates at Buffalo. A series of resolutions was read by John A. Andrew. The Free Soil State convention met at Tremont Temple in Boston, September 6. Sumner was present at the preliminary caucus in that city, speaking brie
S. J. Tilden (search for this): chapter 5
by him. Works, vol. II. pp. 164-167. It stated what had been accomplished by the new movement in the election of members of Congress, and in bringing the slavery question to the front; called on the voters to adhere to the organization and its principles, and referred to the dangers which required immediate attention and constant vigilance. Sumner urged, in correspondence with Free Soilers in New York and Ohio, co-operation in issuing a national address, and received replies from Field, Tilden, and King of New York, and from Giddings. In the early part of the year Sumner thought that General Taylor could not command the votes of the Northern Whigs. He was quite sure of a Free Soil plurality in Massachusetts, and felt hopeful of a similar result in New York. His confidence continued through the summer. But his too sanguine hopes were to be disappointed. It was easy in such a case to miscalculate forces. The sentiment against the extension of slavery was widely diffused; it
S. C. Phillips (search for this): chapter 5
nspicuous leader of the party, trained and experienced in civil affairs, and of national reputation as a statesman; but that he would riot advise the nomination, or recommend the election, of a swearing, fighting, frontier colonel The antislavery Whigs of Massachusetts, anticipating the result of the Whig convention, conferred in advance as to the manner in which they should meet it. On May 27 there was a conference in Boston at the office of C. F. Adams, where were present Adams, S. C. Phillips, Sumner, Wilson, E. R. Hoar, E. L. Keyes, F. W. Bird, and Edward Walcutt. They decided in case General Taylor, or any candidate not distinctly committed against the extension of slavery, should be nominated at Philadelphia to enter at once upon an organized opposition to his election, and to call a State convention for the purpose. At a later meeting, June 5, they approved a form of call prepared by E. R. Hoar, and agreed to issue it in the event of General Taylor's nomination. Wilson an
Marcus Morton (search for this): chapter 5
a committee to report an address and resolutions, of which he was made chairman. The address was not his own composition; Palfrey was its reputed author. The Free Soilers of Massachusetts proved to be men of extraordinary vitality; and it is interesting to observe how many of them came to the front before or during the Civil War,—Sumner, Adams, Wilson, Burlingame, Dana, E. R. Hoar, and Andrew. Among the younger Free Soilers were George F. Hoar, Henry L. Pierce, John A. Kasson, and Marcus Morton, Jr, the last of whom became chief-justice of the Supreme Court of the State. The Free Soilers of Massachusetts have held two reunions,—one, Aug. 9, 1877, at Downer Landing, Hingham, with C. F. Adams presiding; and another, June 28, 1888, at the Parker House in Boston. with E. L. Pierce in the chair. The proceedings in each case were printed in pamphlet form. His name was put at the head of a State committee which was charged with the management of the campaign, and he became its chairm
William Schouler (search for this): chapter 5
ic discovery,—topics which now so largely occupy a metropolitan journal. Its successive editors —Richard Haughton, William Hayden, Dr. Thomas M. Brewer, and William Schouler—were each true to the general spirit of the journal, regarding no institution so sacred as the Whig party, no men so deserving of invective and proscription as those who, having once borne its name, refused to submit to its authority. The last two named were at this period its managers. Schouler was by nature genial and kindly, and while an editor at Lowell was one of the antislavery Whigs who organized the opposition to the admission of Texas as a slave State. But he now yielded tection, habitually naming the leading offenders, —Adams, Sumner, Allen, Wilson, Palfrey, Keyes, and Bird. The Webster Whigs in 1850 became very bitter against Schouler because, his original and better instincts now prevailing over his political connections, he refused to support Webster's compromise course; and in consequence
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