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p. 119. Lieber's Life and Letters, p. 346. has already caused an echo in Europe. I have kept it carefully in my committee room, where it still sleeps. My idea has been that we were not in a condition to give Louis Napoleon any excuse for hostility or recognition or breaking the blockade. At another time I shall be glad to speak plainly to France, or rather to its ruler; but I would not say anything now which cannot be maintained, nor which can add to our present embarrassments. Again, May 17:— Winter Davis has just come to press me about his Mexican resolution. Goldwin Smith's pamphlet is excellent. Letter to a Whig member of the Southern Independence Association. Lieber had asked Sumner to request the President to read it. Lieber's Life and Letters, p. 345. I doubt if it would interest the President, who reads very little. Seward said to me two days ago: There was a great cry last year on the question whether the President read despatches before they are sent; but I
to deliver a eulogy upon him, and his son-in-law, George W. Julian, urged an acceptance; but Sumner was obliged to decline. Sumner paid, March 29, 1864, an affectionate tribute to Owen Lovejoy, a member of the House, from whom he had always received most cordial sympathy in his radical action against slavery. He used the opportunity, as was his custom, to urge the living to maintain the cause of freedom. March 29, 1864. Works, vol. VIII. pp. 228-235. Sumner wrote to Longfellow, May 21:— I have just seen in a paper the death of R. J. Mackintosh at London on the 26th of April. Is this so? It makes me unhappy. Tell me about it. Had he been ill? And what becomes of his family? I hear also that Hawthorne has gone. One by one, almost in twos, they seem to go. We shall be alone soon. I forget! I shall be alone; you have your children. Life is weary and dark—full of pain and enmity. I am ready to go at once; but still I am left. Hawthorne was a genius. As a mast
July 1st, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ive the right to a summary treatment of the question. He said, Nothing against slavery can be unconstitutional,—a phrase which showed his disposition to treat morally rather than judicially legal and constitutional questions. Sumner moved, July 1, 1864, the adoption of the Proclamation of Emancipation as a statute, proposing it as an amendment to the reconstruction bill; but it was lost. (Works, vol. IX. pp. 47-50.) He had already reported his proposed amendment as a bill. He said in debatse, he will come in the first class of all who have written the English language. He had not the grand style, but who has had a delicacy of touch superior to his? Josiah Quincy, president of Harvard College when Sumner was a student, died July 1, 1864, at the age of ninety-two. He was the friend of Sumner's father, and followed the son's career with constant interest. His eldest daughter, in communicating his death, wrote: He was very fond of you, and took the greatest interest in your su
August 22nd, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ersy, but Fessenden was persistent in his thrusts. The Boston Commonwealth replied, May 13, 1864, to Fessenden's imputation in debate that Sumner had instigated its criticisms of himself, and denied that Sumner had any complicity with them. Fessenden so far forgot himself at times as to talk audibly in the Senate while Sumner was speaking. This is stated by another senator, Mr. Conness, in an interview published in the Gold Hill (Colorado) News, and sent by him in a note to Sumner, August 22. 1865. Mr. Conness said, Mr. Fessenden was always snapping at Mr. Sumner in debate. Frederick Douglass, writing to Sumner, Sept. 9, 1869, the day after Mr. Fessenden's death, said: He [Mr. Fessenden] was never just to you, and sometimes I fear intentionally offensive; but now that his chair is vacant, and his voice silent in the Senate, you must remember with satisfaction your forbearance towards him and your freedom from bitter retort when his words and bearing seemed to invite other treatm
January 1st, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6
chleiden, who is very intelligent, is openly for war. He says that the connection of the provinces with Denmark must be cut. This is war. Motley writes from Vienna that in his opinion war is inevitable. Mercier leaves Washington to-day. Inter nos, he will tell the emperor that the Mexican expedition is a mistake, and that he ought to withdraw it; but that the national cause here is hopeless, and that the war will end in separation! This I have from his own lips. To W. E. Gladstone, Jan. 1, 1864:— I begin the year with my acknowledgments of the kindness of your letter, and with my best wishes. A happy New Year to you and to your family! A happy New Year also to all England; for my heart is always with England. Winter has come, and our soldiers are preparing their huts for winter quarters. But I learn that General Grant will not go into winter quarters; he means to trouble the rebellion without giving it time to rest. Sumner wrote to Lieber, Dec. 28, 1863: Grant will
February 20th, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 6
nding the charter of an existing company, overcoming the objection made by Dixon, Conness, and Hale that his proposition was irrelevant,—and, as was often the case, failing at one stage of the bill, and at another, as the reward of his pertinacity, carrying his amendment. This Act took effect March 3; Sumner treated the exclusion of colored persons from the ordinary railway carriages as a corporate malfeasance, even at common law, and before the statute of March 3 took effect sought, Feb. 20, 1865, the repeal of the charter of a company which enforced the exclusion. (Congressional Globe, pp. 915, 916.) He called attention in the Senate, Feb. 10 and 17, 1868 (Globe, pp. 1071, 1204), to a similar denial of right. He sought in the session of 1869-1870 the repeal of the charter of a medical society in Washington because of its exclusion of colored physicians as members. Dec. 9, 1860, Works, vol. XIII. pp. 186-188; March 4, 1870, Globe, pp. 1677, 1678. but as one of the companies m
December 18th (search for this): chapter 6
in the slave States; and naturally, for with them it is a death grapple! But how great and glorious will be this country when it is fully redeemed, and stands before the world without a slave,—an example of emancipation! To George Bemis, December 18:— I have received a visit of three hours from the French Minister, M. Mercier. in which he told me plumply that he thought now as at the beginning that the war must end in separation, and that France was ready at any time to offer her whole subject of slavery everywhere in the United States, even without any constitutional amendment. Works, vol. IX. p. 197. The amendment failing in the House at this session was carried in the next, in January, 1865; but it was not till December 18 of that year that it received the assent of a sufficient number of States, and was proclaimed a part of the Constitution. Sumner maintained in resolutions, Feb. 4, 1865, that only the States de facto, excluding those controlled by the rebel
. Nor am I insensible to other influences: what little remains to me of home and friendship is far away from here, where I was born. But home, friendship, and seashore must not tempt me at this hour. Lord Bacon tells us, in striking and most suggestive phrase, The duties of life are more than life. But if ever there was a time when the duties of a senator were supreme above all other things, so that temptation of all kinds should be trampled under foot, it is now. He wrote to Lieber, May 4:— I think that Banks's military character has suffered very much, hardly more than he has suffered as a statesman by his proceedings for reconstruction. In Louisiana, under Mr. Lincoln's direction. The sentiment in Louisiana among the earnest antislavery men is very strong for Butler. The President some time ago sent for me to show me private letters from Banks on reconstruction; but I have not exchanged a word with him on Banks's military character, and considering that he is a Mass
December 15th (search for this): chapter 6
Bureau.—equal rights of the colored people as witnesses and passengers.—equal pay of colored troops.—first struggle for suffrage of the colored people.—thirteenth amendment of the constitution.— French spoliation claims.—taxation of national banks.— differences with Fessenden.—Civil service Reform.—Lincoln's re-election.—parting with friends.—1863-1864. The following extracts are given from letters written by Sumner early in the session which began in December, 1863:— To Mr. Bright, December 15:— I have just received the Manchester Examiner, containing the speeches at Rochdale, By Cobden and Bright. which I have read gratefully and admiringly. Cobden's positive testimony must tell for us; and let me add that I like him the better the nearer he gets to the position that recognition is a moral impossibility. If this were authoritatively declared, the case would soon be closed. It is because the gate is still left open that the public is vexed by cons
he shares. Sumner was very decided against subjecting the banks to State taxation, and proposed as a substitute a rate of taxation exclusively imposed by Congress. He entered earnestly into the debate on different days, April 26, 27, and 29; May 5 and 6. Works, vol. VIII. pp. 419436. maintaining that the exemption of the national banks from local taxation and interference was essential to the working of the new system and to the support of the public credit at a critical period. His ame Sumner received unstinted praise from Chandler, a banker by profession, who testified in debate to the debt of gratitude which the country owed to the senator from Massachusetts for his patriotism and statesmanship, and pronounced his speech of May 5 to be one of the ablest financial arguments ever delivered in that body. An incident of the debate cannot well be passed over,— a collision between Fessenden and Sumner, one of their early unpleasant encounters. Sumner's remarks had been stri
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