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Section Eleventh: his death, and public honors to his memory.


Probably one of the most careful and accurate accounts of Mr. Sumner's illness and death that appeared at the time, or that will be likely to be given hereafter, was printed in that very able journal, the Boston Daily Globe. The writer was a personal friend of the great statesman, and an eye-witness of the scenes he describes. His account was written and transmitted to Boston the evening of the sad day, and appearing later, also, in weekly edition, any inadvertencies would be corrected.
The Hon. Charles Sumner died at ten minutes before three o'clock, this afternoon, March 11. Those present in the chamber when the [518] Senator expired were his physicians, Senator Schurz, Judge Hoar, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Downing.

The sudden illness of Senator Sumner, which terminated fatally, to-day, was known only to his physician and a few of his most intimate friends, last night. On Monday evening, he complained of some symptoms of his attack of last winter, but neither he nor his friends paid much attention to it. Yesterday, he went to the Senate, as usual, and appeared to be in good health and spirits. Several persons who had not seen him for some time remarked that he looked unusually well. About two o'clock, yesterday afternoon, the Hon. Samuel Hooper visited Mr. Sumner, at his seat in the Senate. The Senator then complained of acute pain in the region of the heart, and said something about going home early. Mr. Hooper volunteered to drive him home in his carriage, at half-past 3, the hour at which Mr. Hooper generally leaves the House. Mr. Sumner accepted the invitation, whereupon Mr. Hooper returned to the House, saying he would call for him at the hour designated. In the meantime, Mr. Sumner attended to his business in the Senate, writing letters, and occasionally listening to the financial debate which was in progress. About half-past 3, Mr. Hooper appeared in the Senate. Mr. Sumner remarked that the pain was only temporary, and he did not feel it then. He and Mr. Hooper left together, the latter's carriage taking the Senator to his residence, corner of H Street and Vermont Avenue. At six o'clock he dined, having as his guests the Hon. H. L. Pierce, of Boston, and Major Ben. Perley Poore. At dinner, he appeared to be in his usual health and enjoyed the meal with his customary heartiness and zest. Mr. Pierce and Major Poore took their departure about half-past 8 o'clock. During the progress of the dinner, the Senator referred to his health, and particularly to the pain he had experienced in the afternoon. He seemed to dread a return of the attack of last winter, but his guests expressed the hope that nothing serious would follow.

Between nine and ten o'clock in the evening, the paroxysm of pain returned, and steadily increased until the Senator called upon his secretary, Mr. Johnson, for aid. His physician, Dr. Tabor Johnson, happened to be present, and, at Mr. Sumner's request, administered a subcutaneous injection of morphine. His feet were bathed in hot water, with mustard and salt. This afforded temporary relief, and, at the request of Dr. Johnson, Mr. Sumner retired to bed. As soon as the soothing effect of the morphine passed away, the pain returned, with more intensity. It was now near midnight, and Mr. Johnson, becoming [519] alarmed at the threatening symptoms, thought it prudent to call in more medical aid and the assistance of such of the Senator's friends as were in the vicinity. He awoke Mr. James Wormley, the well-known colored caterer, and Mr. Sumner's lifelong devoted friend. Mr. Wormley informed the Hon. Samuel Hooper, who lives directly opposite Wormley's Hotel, and also the Hon. Henry L. Pierce, who is a guest at Wormley's.

Mr. Dana, in his New York Sun, thus touchingly speaks of the feeling which pervaded Washington:—

As Charles Sumner lay dying, the sorrow of an entire nation was seen in the air of affliction which pervaded the Federal city. The breathless suspense which awaited the departure of his spirit was confined to no class. If there was gloom in the Capitol there was mourning in the cabin. Courtly Senators deplored a public calamity, and exchanged graceful tributes to the memory of a statesman; but the enfranchised slave bewailed a personal loss, and raised his unfettered hands to bless a benefactor. All men who love justice and honor integrity, felt that justice and integrity were about to lose a well-tried, living exemplar. Many, indeed, bemoaned it as a sad hour for Sumner to die in. They remembered his work, that it was done; but they remembered his soul, that it was pure, and they would have had it pass away unvexed by the licentious practices which at present prevail in the Government he lived to serve.

Men spoke softly on the street; their very voices betokened the impending event, and even their footfalls are said to have been lighter than common. But in the neighborhood of the Senator's house there was a scene of singular and touching interest. Splendid equipages rolled to the corner over pavements conceived in fraud and laid in corruption, to testify the regard of their occupants for eminent purity of life. Liveried servants carried hopeless messages from the door of him who was simplicity itself, and to whom the pomp and pageantry of this evil day were but the evidences of guilty degeneracy. Through all those lingering hours of anguish the sad procession came and went. On the sidewalk stood a numerous and grateful representation of the race to whom he had given the proudest efforts and the best energies of his existence. The black man bowed his head in unaffected grief, and the black woman sat hushing her babe upon the curbstone, in mute expectation of the last decisive intelligence from the chamber above.


The Globe continues:—

In the meantime, a messenger was despatched for Dr. Lincoln. The entire party was soon at the bedside of Mr. Sumner, who, by this time, was suffering great pain. After another injection of morphine, and a dose of brandy and ammonia, he seemed easier, and at two o'clock he had so much improved that his friends, with the exception of his secretary, thought it safe to retire to their homes. The Senator appeared to be unusually sensitive, and apologized for giving so much trouble. He told his secretary, Mr. Johnson, and his physicians, to go to bed, assuring them that he was much better. Dr. Johnson remained all night, watching with anxiety the development of the symptoms. It is proper to state that during all his illness, Dr. Johnson has merely acted under the advice of Dr. Brown-Sequard, only administering the prescriptions of that physician, who thoroughly understood Mr. Sumner's case.

Towards morning the Senator grew worse, his symptoms became more alarming, and he began to lose strength rapidly. About six o'clock, Mr. Wormley, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Pierce, and other friends arrived, and it was at once decided to have a consultation of physicians. Surgeon-General Barnes, Dr. Lincoln, and Dr. W. P. Johnson were summoned, and were soon in attendance. The result of the consultation was the opinion that Mr. Sumner could scarcely survive. At the Senator's request, Mr. Wormley telegraphed to New York for Dr. Brown-Sequard, to Philadelphia for Colonel J. W. Forney, and other intimate personal friends. Those around his bedside are of the opinion that, at this time, Mr. Sumner filly realized the dangerous character of his condition. Everything was done by the physicians and those in attendance to procure relief, but all to no purpose. The frequent injection of morphine seemed to relieve, in some degree, the pain, while the administering of stimulants arrested, for a time, the failing strength. It was now manifest to all that the death of the great Senator was approaching. His secretary telegraphed at once to Mr. Sumner's only surviving relative, Mrs. Dr. Hastings, his sister, at San Francisco, informing her of her brother's condition. The news of his illness spread rapidly through the city, and hundreds of people (white and black), wended their way to his residence.

Only his physicians, his secretary, the members of the Massachusetts delegation, and a few friends were admitted to the Senator's bedchamber and his library adjoining. Every effort was made to sustain life until the arrival of Dr. Brown-Sequard, who was expected at halfpast [521] five o'clock. It was supposed by the Senator's friends that he might be able to do something to save his life. A telegram was received from Dr. Sequard stating that he had left New York on the early train, and recommending that an electric bath be administered. When this was received, the Senator's nervous system was so prostrated that the physicians in attendance feared the bath might result in violent convulsions, and they did not like to take the responsibility. He grew worse; became unconscious, and at times delirious. Occasionally, however, he would recognize those around him. Among those almost constantly in attendance in the Senator's bed-chamber were Senator Schurz, Judge E. Rockwood Hoar, Mr. Pierce, and Mr. Hooper.

To those around him he frequently expressed regrets about the unfinished condition of his works. He said: ‘I should not regret this, if my book was finished,’ alluding to his speeches and writings, now in course of publication. He was always in the habit of calling this his ‘Book.’ This appeared to be constantly on his mind; and, when suffering intense agony and rolling about in the bed, he would exclaim, ‘My book, my book,’ in a tone of utter hopelessness. At one time he said, and this was the last allusion he made to the subject, “My book will not be finished, but the great account is closed.” 1 It is the opinion of his secretary that his allusion to the great account meant his account with American slavery and the conflict engendered. When Judge Hoar entered the Senator's room at 10 o'clock, this morning, he immediately recognized him. Mr. Johnson had lifted him up, and had his arm under him. He said, ‘Don't let the bill be lost,’ to which Mr. Johnson replied, ‘Certainly not, Senator.’ Mr. Sumner answered, ‘You mistake: I mean the Civil Rights Bill;’ and then turning to Judge Hoar, who was holding his hand, he said, ‘Judge, the Civil Rights Bill; don't let it be lost.’ Upon each appearance of Judge Hoar after that, the Senator said something about the Civil Rights Bill, until his secretary, supposing that the presence of Judge Hoar called this to his mind and disturbed him, suggested that he withdraw. [522]

Towards the close of the eventful scene, Judge Hoar came into the room, when the Senator again called attention to the bill, whereupon Judge Hoar promised him that it should not be lost, at the same time kissing the Senator's hand. About ten minutes before his death, he called Judge Hoar and said:

‘Tell Emerson I love and revere him.’

The Judge answered, ‘I will tell Emerson you love and revere him, for he has told me you had the whitest soul he ever knew.’

During his great pain he would exclaim, ‘I am so tired; this can't last long.’

Among those who called was Frederick Douglass, but the Senator was then too far gone to recognize him. A little before 2 o'clock, Mr. Sumner apparently fell asleep; but he soon awoke and seemed better. His friends hoped a change for the better had taken place, but it soon became apparent he was rapidly sinking, while he was evidently suffering less pain. Towards the end, it is said, he was entirely conscious, and recognized all around him. At 2.50 o'clock, Dr. Lincoln had his hand on the Senator's pulse while George T. Downing was holding his other hand. Suddenly there was a convulsive movement of the muscular system, the Senator grasping the hand of Downing so powerfully that he almost crushed it. Then, with a sudden throwing up of his hands, the Senator expired just as the clock in his library struck three, though the correct time was about ten minutes earlier.


The Boston Daily Advertiser thus describes the public obsequies of Friday at the Capitol:—
The scene at the residence was the most unusual. There was no relative present and yet the house was filled with mourners. The Massachusetts delegation, with their families, assembled early and went with the remains to the Capitol. A great assemblage of colored men, headed by Fred. Douglass, followed the hearse, and after them came carriages with the committees and mourners. The coffin was placed in the centre of the rotunda, the outer cover removed, a plate glass covering the entire top of the coffin, and the features and figure of Mr. Sumner were clearly exposed. He was dressed in a full suit of black, with his hand on his breast, as he had so often held it while speaking. The features were not entirely natural, but there was far less change [523] than all his friends had feared. There was a great profusion of choice flowers upon and around the coffin, some from the White House and some from colored ladies, and the floral offerings, like the company gathered to honor his memory, were from all classes and conditions. The rotunda, the Senate chamber and the porches were heavily draped. The great building, like the multitude it contained, was in mourning. Long before the hour for the services in the Senate drew near, the galleries were crowded, and nearly all the Senators were promptly in their places. The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, the President and all the Cabinet, were successively announced, and each were received by the whole body present standing. General Sherman and many other officers of the army, Admiral Porter, with a number of his associates, and the authorities of the district were present. The legations sent a large representation, and the diplomatic gallery was filled with the wives and families of the Cabinet and the legations. At precisely 12.20 the pall-bearers appeared at the door with the coffin. The great company, so fully representing the nation, rose and stood in profound silence as the coffin, covered with flowers, but open and so exposed that all could see, was carried slowly up to its place before the desk. The arrangement brought those together who, had not death stepped in, would seldom so meet. Nearest to the head of the coffin sat the President; next to him Secretary Fish, and nearest the foot Senator Schurz. And here in the presence of this death, they were all moved alike to tears. The nation in its three branches, legislative, executive and judicial, stood close around the coffin, and the people from all quarters of the land looked down upon it. The eyes of the great throng seemed to wander from the coffin to the one empty chair and unoccupied desk, and back to the features of the dead Senator in his coffin. The religious exercises were brief, lasting but half an hour, and at their close Senator Carpenter, in a tone and manner which none who heard and felt will ever forget, made this simple and beautiful announcement: ‘And now the Senate of the United States entrusts the remains of Charles Sumner to its sergeant-at-arms and the committee appointed to convey them to his home, there to commit them, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in the soil of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Peace to his ashes.’ It was by far the most impressive sentence uttered in the chamber, and all were deeply moved by it.



The funeral train reached New York at midnight, when the casket was conveyed to the Fifth Avenue Hotel and rested in a private parlor until the next morning, when it was escorted to the Grand Central Depot by a committee of the Union League. At New York the Congressional deputation, which embraced nearly every Massachusetts member, welcomed Messrs. A. A. Low, S. B. Chittenden, Cyrus W. Field, and Elliott C. Cowdin,—a committee appointed to attend the funeral by the New York Chamber of Commerce. The party then comprised Senator Anthony, Carl Schurz, Gen. B. F. Butler, James G. Blaine, J. M. S. Williams, Daniel W. Gooch, Aaron A. Sargent, John Sherman, Richard J. Oglesby, Augustus S. Merriman, Stephen A. Hurlbut, Eugene Hale, Charles Foster, Joseph H. Rainey, Charles Clayton, Henry J. Scudder, Samuel J. Randall, Joseph B. Beck, John Hancock, James Buffinton, Henry L. Dawes, George F. Hoar, E. R. Hoar, Henry L. Pierce, B. W. Harris, Samuel Hooper, Alvah Crocker and Mr. George M. Downing, President of the Civil Rights Council in Washington. The casket rested in the centre of a baggage-car, draped in black and white, and was under the charge of Sergeant-at-Arms French, assisted by the Chief of the Capitol Police, with six men. It was what has been called a State casket, composed of rosewood covered with black broadcloth and very heavily mounted with silver. A drapery of black covered the casket except when stops were made at the several stations, when the doors were thrown open and the casket was exposed to public view, guarded by the colored sentinels who had it in charge. Behind the baggage-car, [525] two drawing-room cars contained the mourners, and all was attached to the rear of the fast train from New York City. The depots on the line were hung in mourning, and flags were at half-mast.

All along on its mournful way, the funeral train was greeted by demonstrations of respect and grief. At every village and station silent crowds stood waiting for it to come and pass, while at New Haven, and other cities, the whole population seemed to pour out to pay their last tribute to the dust of the great Statesman. At Springfield, Mr. Hayes, with the Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature, appeared, and thus addressed Senator Anthony: Gentlemen of the Congressional Committee, the Legislature of Massachusetts has charged us with the duty of waiting upon you and receiving the remains of our beloved Senator. Permit me to conduct you and the members of the Massachusetts delegation in Congress, and the honored guests of the State to its Capitol, when it shall please you to continue your journey.

Senator Anthony replied to the address of Hon. Mr. Hayes, thanking the committee for the reception and for the sympathy expressed, and their union in the discharge of the sad duty imposed upon them.

For many miles before reaching its destination the cars seemed to be passing through walls of mourning people, over which waved in sadness the draped national emblem. As the evening shadows lengthened, and the light of that long day was fading, the home of the great departed was reached.


While the funeral train was threading the valleys of Massachusetts, the people of Boston had flocked to [526] Faneuil Hall, that sacred shrine of Liberty, where the heart of New England was to pour out its last plaint of love and grief. The representative of the New York Herald—that everywhere present photographer of the age—thus describes the scene:
Never since the old Cradle of Liberty was dedicated to freedom has there been such a gathering within its portals. The persons making up the vast concourse assembled seemed as if each had lost a dear personal friend. Many of them had before sat in this old historic hall to listen to his eloquent addresses, and now they were gathered to pay a sad and feeling tribute to his memory. The interior of the venerable building presented a solemn and funereal aspect, with its windows curtained in black, shutting out the light of day, while its gas-jets burned dimly along the edge of the balconies. The emblems of grief, blended with the permanent memorials of the patriots of former days and the statesmen of later days, imparted to the hall an air of subdued mourning in consonance with the feelings of the community. The historical rostrum was heavily draped with sombre folds and festoons, as was the great painting of the scene in the Senate Chamber when the Great Defender of the Constitution replied to the arrogant South Carolinian. The facade of the galleries was neatly decorated with festoons, caught up at the columns with black lappels with white borders. Behind this extended another line of drapery in pure black, and above it, at the tops of the gallery pillars, white and black festoons alternated on either side of the hall. The cornice over the gallery windows was similarly adorned. The clock, upon the front gallery, was entirely hidden by a life-like portrait of Mr. Sumner, resting beneath an arch bearing the name ‘Charles Sumner,’ and flanked with tablets, upon which were inscribed the date of birth—‘February 6, 1811’—and decease—‘March 11, 1874.’ From the centre of the ceiling radiated long strips of black and white bunting and four American flags. Seats were arranged on either side of the platform for the accommodation of the members of the city government and others, and the galleries were reserved for ladies. All the rest of the hall was clear and open to the general public. The doors were open to the ladies at half-past 10 o'clock, at which hour several hundred, who had been waiting upwards of an hour in the bleak wind without, were admitted to the hall. The galleries were speedily filled, and [527] many who arrived late were disappointed in not finding seats. At half-past 11 the guards which had been stationed at the approaches to the hall were drawn in, and the general public admitted. In fifteen minutes after the public were allowed to enter, every seat and every available standing place in the hall were occupied, and a sea of saddened upturned faces greeted the distinguished gentlemen who assembled on the platform.


For hours the eloquence of Massachusetts, chastened by the solemnity of the occasion, consecrated the scene. Hon. Alex. H. Rice, Gen. N. P. Banks, Mr. Gaston, the Democratic Mayor, Edward Everett Hale, Richard H. Dana, and other eminent men spoke. But perhaps the most affecting words fell from the trembling lips of Hon. Jas. B. Smith, member of the Legislature for Cambridge, the personal friend of Mr. Sumner:—
Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen: I would not appear before you to-day to say a word, for I do not feel able to do it, and I can only say, Massachusetts has lost a Senator, the United States has lost a statesman, the world has lost a philanthropist, and I have lost a friend.

I would not trust myself out here before you to-day except but for one reason. I shook Mr. Sumner's hand for the last time last Sunday evening, at half-past 8 o'clock. He bade me say to the people of Massachusetts, through their Legislature, this: ‘I thank them for removing that stain from me; I thank those that voted for me. Tell those that voted against me that I forgive them all, for I know if they knew my heart they would not have done it. I knew Massachusetts was brave, and wanted to show to the world that it was magnanimous, too, and that was my reason for my action.’

I have felt that the greatest tribute that I could pay to him for his kindness to me was simply to drop a tear to his memory; but our honored Mayor was kind enough to bring me forth to show you the fruits of his labor.

I can go back to the time when I sat under the eagle in this hall and when I saw some one stand on this platform, and I did wish when I [528] heard certain expressions that I could sink. I can go back to my boyhood, when I have seen other boys in their sports and plays, and I would walk off in the woods and say, ‘Oh God, why was I born.’

I can remember forty-five years ago, on a Christmas Day, passing through the orchard and saw a silk-worm hanging to the leaf of a tree, when my eyes turned up to my God, and I said, ‘Why am I here?’ There hangs something out of the cold, but it will be a butterfly. I took it home, hung it in the room, put it where it was warm, and it hatched out before the atmosphere was prepared to receive it. I lifted the window and it flew off, but had to return, as it could not stand the atmosphere. And just so was I brought forth by the eloquence of Charles Sumner, and I have been turned loose on the public atmosphere, for really I had to suffer intensely; and I could only feel at home and feel well when I turned back into his presence, and his arms were always open to receive me. (Applause.)

And now, Mr. Mayor, our ship in which he has commanded is still adrift. We are standing out now in the open sea, with a great storm, and in behalf of those five millions of people of the United States, I beg of you to give us a good man to take hold where he left off. (Applause.)

We are not educated up to that point. We cannot speak for ourselves. We must depend upon others. We stand to-day like so many little children, whose parents have passed away. We can weep, but we don't understand it; we can weep, but we must beg of you to give us a man who will still lead us forward until we shall have accompanied all those thousands for which he offered his life.

Mr. Mayor, I thank you for this. I have appeared in Faneuil Hall many times. If I was only able to, if I only had his tongue, if I could only thank him for what he has done, but I cannot; but such as I have I give him. (Applause.) Mr. Mayor, I second the resolutions.

Of the letter read from Charles Francis Adams, the Globe said:

Last, but not least, the tribute of such a conservative statesman as Charles Francis Adams to the great qualities of his friend and associate of many years was worthy of the historic name he bears, and makes us take fresh courage when we think of what virtues still dignify the character and lives of some of our public men. Sumner lives again in these eloquent words of recognition of his noble services and life, [529] and the memorial that is suggested in the resolutions will fitly supplement the monumental career that he has left for our example and guidance. This memorial will, we trust, preserve for many generations the likeness of the great man whose mortal remains are, to-day, to be borne through our streets and laid beneath the sods of Mount Auburn.

57 Mount Vernon Street, March 13, 1874.
Richard H. Dana, Jr., Esq.:
My Dear Mr. Dana—I regret much that an engagement previously made must prevent me from joining you in the proceedings in honor of our late friend, contemplated to-morrow in Faneuil Hall. It would have given me a mournful satisfaction to contribute my mite to the general testimony borne to his long and arduous labors in the country's service, and more particularly to that portion of them with which you and I were both most familiar. It is now nearly thirty years since we became associated in the prosecution of one great reform in the political institutions of this country. It is more than twenty since Mr. Sumner attained a position that enabled him the most fully to develop his great powers to the attainment of that end. How much he exerted himself during the early days of severe trial, and how deeply he suffered in his own person as a penalty for his courageous persistence in denouncing wrong, the public know too well to need further illustration at this time. Like most reformers, he possessed that species of ardor and impetuosity which seems almost indispensable to rouse the sympathy and secure the co-operation of the great and controlling masses of the people of a republic, in the difficult work of changing settled convictions at the hazard of overturning cherished institutions. The trial was a very costly one, we all admit, but when we look to see how it has cleared us from the most threatening evils that weighed upon the minds of the early founders of the Republic, we cannot be too thankful to each and all of the intrepid band who took the lead in the work of renovation, and persistently carried it on to the glorious end. Among that number the name of Charles Sumner must ever remain blazoned in the most conspicuous characters.

To the attainment of this great end two qualities were indispensable —and both of these belonged to Mr. Sumner. One of them was firmness, which insured persistency over all obstacles. The second was personal integrity, unassailable by any form of temptation, however specious. After nearly a quarter of a century of trial there is not a trace left of the power of any temptation, either in the form of pecuniary [530] profit, or the much more dangerous one of management for place. He was pure throughout—and this was the crowning honor of his great career.

I am very truly yours,


The train arrived at Boston at 7 o'clock in the evening, where the Committee were received by Mayor Cobb, when the coffin was placed in a hearse drawn by four horses, escorted by a mounted Guard of Honor from the First Battalion, and followed by a long line of carriages, and an immense procession, through Lincoln, Sumner, Winter, Tremont, and Park streets, to the State House. The bells of the city were all tolling, business was suspended, and a deep gloom had settled over the old town which had given birth to its illustrious but now departed son.

The casket was slowly borne up the steps of the State House, and deposited on a lofty catafalque. Forty of the Shaw Guards, under Major Lewis Gaul, were in charge of Doric Hall, where the catafalque had been placed. Following the casket, came the mourners, headed by Col. W. B. Storer, who introduced Senator Anthony to Gov. Washburn, when the Senator uttered these grand, but chaste and appropriate words:

May it please your Excellency,—We are commanded by the Senate of the United States to render back to you your illustrious dead. Nearly a quarter of a century ago you dedicated to the public service a man who was even then greatly distinguished. He remained in it, quickening its patriotism, informing its councils, and leading in its deliberations, until, having survived in continuous service all his original associates, he has closed his earthly career. With reverent hands we bring to you his mortal part, that it may be committed to the soil of the State, already renowned, that gave him birth. Take it; it is yours. [531] The part which we do not return to you is not wholly yours to receive, nor altogether ours to give. It belongs to the country, to mankind, to freedom, to civilization, to humanity. We come to you with emblems of mourning which faintly typify the sorrow that dwells in the breasts upon which they lie. So much is due to the infirmity of human nature. But, in the view of reason and philosophy, is it not rather a matter of exultation, that a life so pure in its personal qualities, so high in its public aims, so fortunate in the fruition of noble effort, has closed safely before age had marred its intellectual vigor, before time had dimmed the lustre of its genius!

May it please your Excellency,—Our mission is completed. We commit to you the body of Charles Sumner. His undying fame the muse of history has already taken in her keeping.

The Governor tendered to the Committee the thanks of the Commonwealth for the tender care of the precious dust of its Representative, assuring them that it should ever be cherished by Massachusetts as among its most precious treasures. The hospitalities of the Commonwealth were then extended to the Congressional Committee, who were escorted to the Revere House. The crowd then retired from the State House, the iron gates were closed, and the Capitol of Massachusetts was left to a night of silence and gloom.


From the columns of the American Traveler, which among all the able journals of Boston, gave dignified and touching descriptions of the scenes, we transfer the following:
From nine o'clock Sunday morning until a very late hour in the afternoon, there were at no time less than five thousand people in Beacon Street, opposite the State House. The iron gates, guarded by State and city police, were thrown open at fifteen minutes past nine, and from that hour until noon, a constant stream passed through the State House, [532] finding exit at the door on Mount Vernon Street. The total number was at least thirty-five thousand. Doric Hall has been beautifully decorated. Around the cornices are festoons of black and white cloth; each festoon is looped up with a rosette, with pendent drapery. Over the centre entrance and over the arches of the windows are heavy draperies, and the alcoves on each side of them are hung with black, handsomely looped. In the rear of the hall, over the niche where the statue of Washington stood, are black cloth curtains, looped up from the centre, relieved by a little white at the top, and in front of this a shield with Mr. Sumner's monogram. On each side of these curtains and next the cannons are three national flags draped. The bases of the columns in the hall are draped with black, as are the tops from the door to the rear of the hall. The catafalque is covered with black cloth and draped with black alpaca with white fringe, the festoons looped up with large black and white rosettes. Mr. Sumner's monogram is placed at the end of the structure next to the entrance door, sides and ends are festoons of smilax, and along the upper edge are fixed at intervals calla lilies, the blossoms filled with violets, and surrounded with begonia leaves and ferns. The top of the dais is strewn with a variety of choice flowers, including roses, violets, and carnations. At the head of the casket, and resting upon the catafalque, stands a magnificent cross seven feet high, formed of calla blossoms and leaves of the calla plant, carnations, violets, spiral japonicas, azaleas, and stock gilley. The foot of the cross is fixed to a pedestal covered with begonia rex and calladicus marantas. At the foot of the casket and rising from the marble floor stands a column of flowers emblematical of an incomplete life. This is six feet high, and is formed of flowers and leaves similar to those composing the cross. Upon the top of the broken shaft, which is thickly studded with roses, rests a pall of violets, and the base is covered with a collection of choice foliage and exotics. At the foot and on one side of the casket stands an upright anchor of roses and violets, the cable of which, formed of smilax and violets, extends along the upper edge and forms the dressing of the casket. This is shaded with roses and pinks. On the other side is a broken lyre, the strings of which are formed of violets. In the centre of one side of the casket is placed a mound of rich blossoms and on the other a basket of flowers, while at the upper corners of the catafalque stand two small crosses. Festoons of smilax, caught up at the handles, and sago palms form the decoration of the sides of the casket, on the top of which rests a large bouquet of callas and other choice flowers; and also a large floral heart, the offering of colored citizens of Boston, [533] with the following inscription: ‘From the colored citizens of Boston. Charles Sumner, you gave us your life, we give you our (hearts).’ A still larger floral design, the gift of a club of the friends of Mr. Sumner in Brooklyn, is placed on the top of the dais facing the main entrance to Doric Hall, and bears the following inscription wrought in violets upon a bed of white carnations: ‘Don't let the civil rights bill fail.’ Above the catafalque is suspended a crown of glory, beneath which floats a white dove in full flight, holding in its beak an olive branch. In front of the alcove in which stands the statue of Washington, are placed three pots of dutzia graccilis in full bloom, and in front of the alcove containing the marble bust of Mr. Sumner is displayed a large design in carnations, immortelles, and violets, with which latter blossom was wrought the motto of the deceased statesman, ‘equal Rights to all.’

The funeral obsequies were conducted with that chaste simplicity which always characterizes whatever tokens of respect that venerable city pays, as she has had such frequent occasions, to her many illustrious sons. A few moments before the doors were shut, Mr. George Sennat placed on the beautiful monument of flowers at the foot of the casket, the following epitaph: “
Humanitas Justitiaque
Maerent Et Maerebunt
Sumner Justitiae Cultor Eximius
Justitia Ob Vitam Purissima
Inter Sordiores
Humanitas Ut Tibi Nusquam
Tu Fine Laborum
Immortalis Initio
Tali Morte
Tale Superstite Nullo
Felix Faustus Fortunatus
Gloria Resurgens
” [534]


The following may be given as a nearly literal translation: “Humanity and Justice
Mourn and will mourn
O Sumner, most renowned Fosterer
of Justice!
Justice, on account of thy most pure life
Among the base;
Humanity, in that she never was a stranger to Thee.
Thou rejoicest in the end of labors and the beginning of Immortality.
O Happy, Blessed, and Fortunate One,
In such a Death that none like Thee remains.
Rising to Glory,


At half-past 2, the procession moved to King's Chapel. On entering, preceding the Mayor were four men who bore a massive cross nine feet in height, composed of calla lilies, camellias, lilies of the valley, violets and other exotics. At the base, in a bed of white violets, were the words: ‘A tribute from his native city and home.’

Impressive ceremonies were held. After the response from the choir, at the close of the special invocation— ‘Almighty and ever-living God, we fly to Thee as our eternal refuge; we rest ourselves upon Thee, the Rock of ages,’ etc.—they sang Montgomery's hymn, ‘Servant of God, well done.’ The benediction followed, and the services closed with the playing of the funeral march of Mendelssohn as the assemblage moved slowly from the church. Of the grand procession to Mount Auburn, the Daily Globe said: [535]

The absence of any great military or civic display would have impressed an intelligent foreigner as a strange thing in a funeral ceremony of a great public character. What there was of these, however, was eminently appropriate for the obsequies of the great Senator whose efforts in the cause of peace were so well supplemented by his conflicts for the equality of human rights. The chiefs of the State in present and in former years, the men most eminent in its councils, and those who stand highest in intellect and culture, bore the pall of the most illustrious representative whom Massachusetts for many years has had in the assembly of the nation. Behind them came the representatives of the dusky race, for whom Charles Sumner battled and suffered, and in whose cause he laid down his life. No gorgeous display of military pomp and pride, such as signalized the obsequies of Napoleon, or Wellington, or Nelson, could have had a tithe of the significance of the presence of these representatives of an enfranchised race, mourning the loss of their friend and benefactor.

As the procession passed from the capitol, in whose Doric Hall, hung with the torn and tattered flags of the conflict in which he was a martyr, the great Senator laid in state on his return to deliver up the trust confided to him by his beloved Commonwealth, there were sad yet glorious memories of how nobly his life-work had been performed. The old stone chapel, with its associations of colonial days, received, with fitting tribute of honor and love, the mortal remains of a kinglier nature than any with which its historic walls were ever associated, and the dirge of the band without, seemed the echo to the waiting populace of the solemn music that pealed through the venerable edifice. Fitting in their impressive simplicity were these funeral services, and when the tolling bells throughout the city heralded the passage of the procession to Mount Auburn, there was a sad significance suggested by the places through which it passed. By the fairest and the stateliest abodes of the city of his birth, whose social and intellectual attractions were, though so highly prized, less to him than the rights of the humblest negro; past the cherished scenes of his collegiate life and legal study, where he laid the foundations of the scholarship and culture which adorned his later life, the mortal remains of Charles Sumner were borne. His dear alma mater, for whom he had a scholar's affection and a filial love, may well have sighed as all that was mortal of her favorite son passed by her to the tomb. In the shades of Mount Auburn, he sleeps well; his earthly work all done, his memory a precious legacy to the people of the city of his birth, to the State, the nation [536] and the world, and his example a needed stimulus to carry on the work which he so worthily began.


The cortege reached the Sumner burial lot just as the sun was going down. Reverently and by tender hands the casket was placed by the side of the grave. At the foot stood Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dr. Holmes, and Vice-President Wilson, and around them gathered the members of the Washington delegation. At the head, was a beautiful cross of ivy, and sheaves of ripened wheat, with spring violets. Outside the reserved space, were clustered thousands who had gathered to witness this scene of worship and love. All stood bowed and uncovered when the brief services began. After Chaplain Sunderland had recited the Lord's Prayer, a choir of forty gentlemen from the Apollo Club sang that inimitable ode of Horace, Integer vitoe. While this solemn music was rising, two ladies, the only mourners of their sex within the enclosure, stepped forward and placed upon the coffin, already laden with floral tributes of rarest beauty, an exquisite wreath, and a cross.2

Rev. Henry W. Foote pronounced the words, ‘I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write:— From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for so saith the Spirit. They have rested from their labors, and their works do follow them.’ And as the dust began to fall upon all there was mortal left of [537] the great sleeper, the bereaved multitude slowly left the City of the Dead. The ashes of the Statesman had at last found their congenial resting-place, by the side of those of his beloved mother.


The following day was the New England Sabbath, and it dawned without a cloud. All things betokened the coming spring. ‘In every sheltered place,’ said the Post, ‘the grass was springing fresh and green, and the birds piped merry melodies from the limbs of the budding trees. The face of nature was gay, but many sad hearts were abroad, and thousands as they slowly made their way to the various places of worship, thought of departed worth and genius rather than of the glories of the natural world. In almost every pulpit of the city, words were spoken in eulogy of Mr. Sumner.’

This volume could not contain them all. The pulpit of the Church of the Disciples was tastefully draped in purple—in this case, more than royal mourning,—and on the table stood a bust of Sumner. Not venturing to speak at length, the address of the pastor, James freeman Clarke, was read. From it we take a few passages:

The friends who have fought by his side during long years when success seemed hopeless, whose little barques have sailed attendant on his and partaken the same gales; younger men who have chosen him for their leader, and amid the thick of battle pressed on where they saw his white plume waving, now clasp hands in silent sympathy. The colored people, whose hearts are always right, though their heads are often wrong, now recognize in him the best friend their race have ever had; a friend who with his dying breath still besought that equal rights might be given them. Massachusetts, disgraced by an unauthorized act of one of her Legislatures, hastened to right the wrong where it was [538] given, and happily her voice reached him in the Senate Chamber before he left it forever. Even those who opposed him now hasten to revise their opinions and float in the great current of sympathy. The American people admire smart people, but this event has shown that Charles Sumner is loved. So it was shown that the people loved Abraham Lincoln and John A. Andrew, and they were men of the same type of honesty, sincerity, and conscience.

He was unpopular from first to last. He loved peace with all his heart, but was always in war. He loved approbation, but never bought it. He loved the good — will of men, but was obliged to relinquish it. He loved sunshine, but had to live in storms. His fidelity to principle cost him dearly.

Abraham Lincoln and Sumner were always friends. Difference of opinion never estranged them. Many disliked Sumner because he always kept himself on that upper level of principle. The air was not suited for them to breathe. He would not come down to the more comfortable platform of party expediency. When a man dies whose virtues have created hostility there often comes a singular reaction. It was the case with Lincoln when the nation was weeping ‘in the passion of an angry grief,’ and so it is with Charles Sumner. Death removing him from our outward eye enables us to see him inwardly and truly. Thus we have looked at a mountain and only seen the creeping mists and clouds which concealed it. So when the west wind moved the air the vapors suddenly were dispersed and the pure snowy summits came out in sharp outline against the blue sky. Death does the office of that cold wind. After the earthquake and fire and whirlwind of passionate and godless strife have passed, death comes and the Lord speaks in that still small voice.

When any important subject came up, Sumner, being a statesman and not a mere politician, always studied it in the light of history and political science, without reference to party interests. He sought to declare the truth. The country is in peril to-day because there are so few statesmen in public life. He believed in men and his life was devoted to the service of his fellow-men, high and low, rich and poor, white and black. In him man was sacred. During all the long contest with slavery his voice was heard like a trumpet appealing for the rights of man. He stood conspicuous in the nation's eye, a young Apollo ‘In silent majesty of stern disdain,’ and dreadful was the clangor of his silver bow as he shot his arrows thick and fast into the sophisms used by the slave-holders and their allies. When they could not reply by argument [539] they silenced him with murderous blows, but Sumner did as much for the cause of freedom by his suffering as he had done by his speech. When the news reached Boston of that assault, a meeting was hastily called. The men who ought to have spoken were absent, and, said Mr. Clarke, I remember with some pleasure that I had the opportunity of speaking first in Boston against that cowardly, brutal, and murderous assault. But many a man who did not raise his voice in public at that time took a vow of hostility in his heart against the institution which prompted that assassination.

Once, while Mr. Sumner was here in Boston, still suffering from those injuries, I called at his house in Hancock Street. He was resting in an easy-chair, and with him were three gentlemen. He introduced them to me, one as Captain John Brown, of Ossawattamie. They were speaking of this assault by Preston Brooks, and Mr. Sumner remarked: ‘The coat I had on at that time is in that closet. The collar is stiff with blood. You can see it if you please.’ Captain John Brown arose, went to the closet, slowly opened the door, carefully took down the coat and looked at it for a few moments with the reverence with which a Roman Catholic regards the relics of a saint. Perhaps the sight caused him to feel a still deeper horror of slavery, and to take a stronger resolution of attacking it in its strongholds. So the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.

Allusion was made to the encouragement that Mr. Sumner took when discouraged and unhappy from the fear that his work was done forever after the assault, by reading certain lines of Milton, of which he was very fond. Milton still lives in his great example, and so does Sumner. Milton stood by the side of Sumner in that dark hour, and so shall Sumner inspire and awaken other souls centuries hence, so that they in turn can say, ‘I have fought the good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.’ He then spoke of Mr. Sumner's visit to a Wednesday evening meeting at this church, and how his heart went out to the young people there, and what a happy evening it was. Nothing could be more modest, genial and friendly than were his words and conversation at that time. A happy smile was on his face all the evening, and I could not but fancy that he felt more at home among those youthful admirers than in the Senate chamber or among his political associates. It is a pleasant memory to carry in our hearts.

Few of the ten thousand pulpits of New England but paid tributes to the virtues of the deceased Statesman.



It were vain to attempt any adequate description of the tokens of respect and sorrow which were displayed throughout the country. The funeral bells went tolling with the sun in its circuit, from noon-day on the Atlantic to the noon-day of the Pacific, the two oceans' boundaries of a continent stricken by a common grief.

Memorial meetings were held in every State and Territory of the Union; everywhere, Morse's lightning had made it a funeral-day in America.

A hundred thousand flags drooped to his memory:— he was the theme of eulogy in ten thousand Universities, and schools of learning:—his praises were uttered over countless work-benches, and among diversified scenes of honest toil:—the plough halted in the furrow of a million upturning fields:—the incense of prayer for the repose of his gentle spirit, witnessed only by guardian angels, went up from myriads of closets:—his pictures were wreathed in mourning in the humble cabins of innumerable homes of his dusky worshippers:—young mothers pressed his name on the foreheads of new-born babes: —the news of his death cast a shadow over many a bridal morning, and folded the wings of love around many a scene of enchantment: the old sank tremblingly into their easy-chairs, as they heaved one of their latest sighs to his cherished memory; and the dying, with the last praises of earth, thanked the God of Liberty that its great champion had lived. And so, from the frozen gates of our Republic on the North, where the brooks had not yet begun to murmur, down to meet the blushing spring in its coming, till it reached the orange-groves of Florida, one wave of sorrow swept its gentle way:— [541] while under the oceans, the sad news was flashing to distant nations. There was not a clime where the tribute of tears was not paid to him. It was one of those few funeral days in which the obsequies of a great philanthropist were held within twenty-four hours, all round the globe. He was the friend of Humanity, and Humanity wept when he was no more.


But the deepest grief was in the hearts of the children of Africa, for whose redemption he had lived and died. Never again were they to have such a friend; and, blessed be God! the day had gone by when they would ever need another like him.

It was, then, after all, a vain and needless regret of Sumner, in his last hours, that his work was not done. It was done. The immolation was perfected—his work was complete.3

A few brief passages more must be entwined into the final wreath we lay over his ashes.

The Boston Daily Advertiser draws the parallel between the American Senator and Edmund Burke.

Mr. Sumner will hold some such place in history as that which belongs to Edmund Burke, who is as well known to our times, though he has been in his grave almost fourscore years, as he was to his contemporaries,—and there is every reason for supposing that he will be just as well known in future centuries as he is known to the nineteenth century. Burke was in Parliament about twenty-eight years. He held office—and never high office—only about a year. He belonged to the opposition throughout most of his public life. He was never popular in the House of Commons. Often he spoke to empty benches, and [542] not unfrequently to the most hostile of hearers. He became, under the workings of poverty and illness, of disappointments and insults, one of the most irritable of mankind. He indulged in savage language on occasions that even the most factious and fractious of men ordinarily have allowed to control their imaginations and to bridle their tongues. He was, for most of his public life, positively odious to the majority of the English people. Yet he was the ablest man of his time, and made the ablest speeches that ever were heard in the British Parliament. His original legislation was small, nor does any great statute owe its existence to him. But he connected himself and his history by the most indissoluble of ties with a number of the greatest subjects that ever were discussed and debated by man: with the contest between England and her American Colonies; with Catholic Emancipation; with the Trial of Warren Hastings, and generally with all East Indian affairs; with the French Revolution,—and with other matters;—and the dozen volumes which contain his writings and speeches belong to the very first rank of British political and historical literature, and they are read by every man who aspires to understand history and politics. Mr. Sumner, like Burke, often was in opposition; like Burke, he would not be governed by his party when he thought that party was in the wrong; like Burke, his sympathies were with the oppressed, and he would labor hard for men whom he never could expect to see, and many of whom never could hear of him; and, like Burke, his works make his best monument, and are integral parts of the history of his country and his age. Finally, as he resembled Burke in the character of his labors, and in his readiness to be the champion of the wronged and the oppressed, so will he resemble him in the circumstance that his fame will be the greater as it is removed from the mists of contemporary calumny and detraction; and the true proportions of his character will stand out clearly before men when ‘the dead grow visible from the shades of time.’


Among the most eloquent of tributes from the pulpit was the one which fell from Rev. Dr. E. H. Chapin, whose lips when speaking in behalf of humanity always seem to be touched with a live coal from the celestial altar. We caught but a single flaming passage:—
That man, the announcement of whose death has come upon us so suddenly, and which has startled us like the vanishing of some conspicuous [543] landmark, with the associations of the most exciting period of our national history clinging around it, was one in whom large gifts and rich acquirements were fused into the condensed energy and solid splendor of moral purpose. He has died in his harness, with the dents of many conflicts upon his shield, and the serene light of victory on his crest. But while among the great men who have fallen so thickly around us, there may have been those who matched him in ability, and excelled him in genius, we must look far and wide through our land, and through our age, to find any who have equalled him in this loyalty of conviction,—this sublime tenacity of righteousness. For this, as he lies to-day in the Capitol of his grand old State, he is mourned and honored. For this, to-morrow, the overshadowing regret of a nation, and the tears of an emancipated race, will follow to the grave of Charles Sumner.

Rev. O. B. Frothingham—the author of that noble Biography of a noble life—Theodore Parker's:

Charles Sumner was a statesman who knew what statesmanship was meant for. He kept before him all the time the idea of the State. He did not wish to put his hand into the treasury; he did not seek or ask to be sent to the Senate because he might have an independent fortune, for the reputation of a public man, complimented and flattered by his countrymen. He felt himself a servant of the public. He was a man who carried his consciousness so far that he seemed to be visionary, a man who so perpetually clung to the ideal that men said he was a man of one idea. He was. He believed in God in government. He sometimes erred; of course he did; he was a man. He cherished a profound and personal interest in the ideal of law, the ideal of government, and worked to bring about the time, if it ever could be brought about, when war should cease and slavery of all kinds be done away and the different conditions of men equalized, and justice, simple justice, should be done to the smallest man, the meanest man and woman in the land, and that these privileges should be extended over all the earth. That was Charles Sumner. He was a man who had the heart of a little child, but it was the heart of a little child of God.

Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler

Some of the most soul-stirring eloquence of this generation came from the lips of Charles Sumner. His utterances commanded a willing ear in two hemispheres. He must be regarded as the impersonation of patriotism. No soldier ever gave his life more willingly, nor did his [544] country more service than did Charles Sumner. His incorruptibility was never impeached. No one ever dared offer him a bribe. He was always on the side of justice, and did not care what the consequences might be; to give the largest freedom to every man of every color was the polar star on Charles Sumner's horizon which never set. The type of manhood of which Charles Sumner was a representative, is growing scarcer every year. When his body was taken from the Senate chamber last Friday he did not leave his peer behind him. He stood preeminent as a scholar, as a statesman, and in general culture. He was a fine model for our American youth to emulate. He was a splendid example for the advancement of those principles which make true patriots.

The genial Washington correspondent of Mr. Beecher's ,Christian Union

This house of his was as wonderful and as curious as the man himself. It was so crowded with all things rare and beautiful, and so many of them bore on their faces or carried in their hands a story they seemed longing to tell, that he must have little of feeling or culture who did not find the very walls an inspiration. Over the mantel in his dining-room, hung the painting he has singled out from the rest and willed to his friend, Mr. Smith, of Boston. It is called ‘The Miracle of the Slave.’ Mr. Sumner's own words, as nearly as I can remember them, will tell its story better than I can. Said he, at a breakfast party one morning, ‘I suppose that picture, or its original, did more than any one thing toward my first election. I saw it first on my first trip to Europe, but it made no great impression on me. Still the picture remained in my mind, though I thought no more about it. When I was a candidate for the Senate, they wanted me to speak in Faneuil Hall, and at last they persuaded me to. It was at the time of the Fugitive Slave excitement in Boston, and while I was speaking I remembered that picture. So I said to the audience: ‘There is in Venice a picture of a slave brought before the judge to be remanded to his owner. On the one side are the soldiers who have brought him there, on the other the men from whom he has fled. Just as the judge is about to give him back to their tyranny, St. Mark appears from the heavens and strikes off the fetters from the hands and feet of the trembling man. So, if ever Massachusetts remands to his master a slave who has sought protection in her borders, I pray God that the holy angels may themselves appear and strike the fetters from his hands and feet.’ The next time I went to Venice, in rummaging around the print-shops, I found this picture, and was told [545] that it was either a very old copy, or possibly the original sketch from which Tintoretto painted the larger picture. I determined to have it at any price, and before I left the shop it belonged to me.’

And of him Mr. Beecher himself said, in one of his glowing discourses—

The greatest gift of God to a nation is upright men for magistrates, statesmen, and rulers. That republic is poor, although every wind may waft to it the richest stores, that is not governed by noble men. Signs of Government decay show themselves sooner than anywhere else in the men who govern. When rulers seek the furtherance of their own ends, when laws and the whole framework of Government are only so many instruments of wrong, the nation cannot be far from decadence.

Sumner's love of justice and truth made him essentially a Democrat. Personally, he was not one, but he became one in the times in which he lived. By the force of circumstances he became the leader of his party. He came forward at the time when Webster, Choate, and Holt were the heroes—in Massachusetts, when it was almost worth a man's life to say a word against any of them. Now, how is it? By nature Sumner was endowed with a manly person, of an admirable cast of mind; yet he was a made — up man. He fell lately from the blow he received in his earlier career, and neither Brown nor Lincoln was a greater martyr for liberty than Charles Sumner. How beautiful to die so! The club that struck him was better than knighting him. It brought him to honor and immortality. No son possesses his name. No child shall carry it down to posterity. He is cut off from that. But the State of Massachusetts shall carve his name so deep that no hand can rub it out. No son or daughter wept at his bier, but down a million dusky cheeks the tears stream; and they feel that a father and protector has gone from among them, and I would rather have the honor of the smitten than the honor of the high. He joined himself to the best things of his time, and now he is with God. Nothing can speak better for his principles than the fact that corrupt men dared not approach him. He made this remark to me once: ‘People think Washington such a corrupt place, but I don't believe a word of it; I have lived here a long time, and I have never seen any of it!’ And he never did. His was not a belligerent statesmanship. He was an advocate for peace, although he demanded justice. Everywhere his views were against violence, and his preference for peace based upon justice, and for the defence of the poor and the needy. He was a statesman, indeed, and the more to be honored because his tastes did not lead him to the common people. His [546] was an example of personal integrity, much misunderstood—partly from his own fault, and partly from circumstances. All the gathered treasures of ages were his, and these he employed to build better huts for the lowly. No man has surpassed him in his service to the poor and the needy. When any disability has been removed, every poor and honest man will be made to participate in the bounty he gave his life to preserve.

Rev. A. P. Putnam

His only feeling toward those who had wronged him was that of forgiveness and pity; his noble effort at extending the olive branch of peace by proposing in Congress that the names of battles with fellow-citizens should not be continued on the Army Register, or placed on the regimental colors of the United States, ‘perhaps,’ said the speaker, “the purest and most beautiful act which Mr. Sumner ever performed, and one which will be more and more remembered to his honor and glory in all the hereafter. Massachusetts and the vote of censure regarding the measure was here touched upon in the following words:” Dear Old Massachusetts! how could she have been betrayed into conduct like that? Bitterly indeed will she rue the day when she discarded her chivalrous leader of years ago, and sold herself to one who really never knew her or loved, and who now, from his exalted seat of power and patronage, rewards her devotion by appointments which are an insult, and by tyranny which a free people will not long bear. The State will yet right itself. Her heart has soundness in it still, and in that better time which is to come, she will revere Charles Sumner as the noblest of all her sons.

Rev. T. De Witt Talmage

We have never had a better lesson concerning the hollowness and uncertainty of worldly honors than we have had in the life and death of Charles Sumner. Now the land uncovers its head as a silent body goes through to its burial-place. Independence Hall is offered for the reception of the remains. The flags are at half-mast. Funeral eulogiums are sounded through the land, and the minute guns on Boston Common throb, now that his heart has ceased to beat. But while he lived, how pursued he was; how maltreated, how censured by legislative resolutions, how caricatured in the pictorials, how charged with every ambitious and impure motive! his domestic life assailed, and all the urns of scorn, and hatred, and billingsgate and falsehood emptied on his head! And when Brooks' club struck him down in the Senate Chamber, there were hundreds of thousands to cry, ‘Good [547] for him—served him right!’ When the speaker saw such a man as Charles Sumner, pursued for a lifetime by all the hounds of the political kennels, buried under a mountain of flowers and amid a great national requiem, he saw what a hypocritical thing was human favor! We take a quarter of a century in trying to pull down his fame, and the next quarter of a century in attempting to build his monument. Either we were wrong then, or are wrong now.

Rev. E. O. Hazen

In culture and in acquaintance with the works of the past and with the men of the past he stood, perhaps, without a peer in this country; but his great characteristic was fidelity to what he believed to be right. Early he came to the conclusion that his great nation possessed a pure, healthy constitution, and that the greatest evil under which the nation suffered was exceptional; that it was not an integral part of our political economy, and that properly worked, our nation could cast out that evil without a revolution and without any radical change in its organic character; and he resolved that his life should be devoted to that work; and he was successful. Had there not been some men to do the work of Charles Sumner, there never would have been the call for such a man as Abraham Lincoln, and never would this great work have been wrought out. Though he was not seemingly endowed with that wondrous, strange, magnetic power that calls out the love of individuals for himself in an extraordinary degree, he will be followed to his grave especially with the tears of that race which he was the instrument in the hands of God so greatly of blessing.

Rev. Dr. Macarthur, Colored Baptist Church, New York—

We shall not again see another Sumner in our halls of legislation. The school to which he belonged is a thing of the past. We have men now of a narrower gauge, a lower tone and a feebler grasp; men who may be sharp and shrewd, but who certainly are not broad, comprehensive and scholarly. The princely form of the great Senator we shall see no more; the fine, full, melodious voice is silent forever. One day he is in his place, a leader and king among men; the next day he is numbered among the dead. One day Canon Kingsley speaks loving words with him in Washington; the next evening Canon Kingsley in Brooklyn speaks loving words of him, and mourns him dead. He has fallen crowned with honor—an apostle of liberty—a martyr of freedom. [548] The spirit of barbarism and slavery struck him down 18 years ago. He never fully recovered.

There is, too, among some of us, a sort of idea, that, to be a great man, one must have been poor, ignorant and somewhat coarse. We rejoice that the genius of our Government is such that men coming from the lowest place, may go to the highest; but we must not forget that poverty and ignorance are a great drawback, and that when men rise from these conditions, they rise in spite of these hindrances, and not because of them. Mr. Sumner's life from first to last was along a different line. He was born to position and wealth. He was born heir to a glorious inheritance. He was born of ancestors who were scholars, gentlemen, Christians. He received a fine body, a glorious intellect, and a noble heart. His leisure and his wealth might have been a curse to him; they might have taken away from him, as from many others, all ambition and desire for scholarship and promotion. They, however, quickened the desire for both, as they furnished the opportunity for the attainment of either.

He was just such a man as we can least afford to lose. American society and political life have too few such men. Who can take the place which Charles Sumner filled? The great principles of the science of political economy are not studied, far less understood, by the majority of our public men. The days of scholars and thinkers of the higher order, the days of Seward, Chase, and Sumner, seem to be numbered. A species of rowdyism, Butlerism, with an obliquity of moral vision which looks past the right, and mistakes success for honest ability, is imminent and greatly to be dreaded. A radical reform is needed here. Precisely here is Mr. Sumner's life peculiarly valuable. We need to learn the necessity of patient and untiring perseverance, if we are to accomplish great things for God or man.

The Louisville Courier-Journal, in a long and feeling notice, says—

Fifteen years ago, the news that Charles Sumner was dead, would have been received with something like rejoicing by the people of the South; ten years ago they would have hailed it as a message from Heaven, telling them that an enemy had been removed from the face of the earth. To-day, they will read it regretfully, and their comment will be, ‘He was a great man, he was an honest man; as he has forgiven us, so have we long ago forgiven him.’


John G. Whittier to a personal friend—

The dear and noble Sumner! My heart is too full for words, and in deepest sympathy of sorrow I reach out my hands to thee, who loved him so well. He has died as he wished to, at his post of duty, and when the heart of his beloved Massachusetts was turned towards him with more than the old-time love and reverence. God's peace be with him.

The Chicago Times

The death of Charles Sumner has taken away another of the very few Americans who have done honor to the name of statesmen. There is not left in the public councils his equal in political learning, in integrity, in high devotion to whatever he believed to be right. Though untrusted by time-serving partisans, he stood head and shoulders above them all, both in intellectual greatness, and in devotion to principle.

The Chicago Tribune

No man has ever graced the American Senate, who will be remembered longer, or more gratefully than he. He walked on a higher plane than Mr. Seward. He went deeper into the merits of the anti-slavery cause than Mr. Chase. He was the most inflexible man of his time, as well as the most polished and erudite of his contemporaries. His industry was even more vast than his learning. His personal purity was so far above reproach that he was never even accused of dishonor.

The Chicago Inter-Ocean

He was a just man, pure in private and in public life. His faults were transient, and his virtues constitute a permanent legacy to the people of the country he served with distinguished ability and unsullied honor.

The Cincinnati Commercial

Mr. Sumner was a man of great dignity of manner. He had an imposing address, a leonine head, a sonorous voice. To the scholar he united the wisdom of the sage, and to the reformer the discretion of the statesman.

The Cincinnati Gazette

Charles Sumner is an honor to the American name, and an example for future generations of young Americans who aspire to be statesmen. He has shown them a way to honor and fame through the highest paths [550] of rectitude, and through devotion to the cause of the oppressed and down-trodden.

The Cincinnati Times

He goes to his grave with a character unsullied by a political career of thirty years, and carrying the gratitude of a nation, and the worship of a race freed from bondage, and elevated to the rights of citizenship.

The Indianapolis Journal

Had he been free from faults he would have been either more or less than human; but, taking him for all in all, it cannot be denied that America has lost one of her greatest men.

The Indianapolis Sentinel

When the proper time comes, and the story is adequately told, Charles Sumner will stand as the type of the noblest American of his generation—a Washington in purity, a Luther in fervor, a Cromwell in persistence and greatness of soul—a man beyond the loftiest ideal of public virtue.

The Detroit Free Press

He belonged to that class of statesmen who were governed in their action by their ideas of what was just and right, and who could not be moved from their settled convictions by any considerations of policy or expediency.

The Cleveland Leader

His death leaves a vacancy in the Senate which must long remain but imperfectly filled. The noble services of his life so far overbalance his errors, that men of all parties will forget his faults, and join sorrowfully in the reverent procession which will follow the veteran of the Senate to his grave.

The Cleveland Herald

The principal objection to him was that he was almost all intellect. Had he been less an incarnation of intellectual greatness, and possessed more of human weakness, he would have been less isolated from the people who admired his learning, but sometimes doubted his judgment.

The Buffalo Commercial

Those who most hotly hated Charles Sumner as a leader in the sectional strife which culminated in civil war, will surely feel their animosities [551] soften when they remember, that it was his noble effort to heal the wounds of that war, and blot out its melancholy traces, which brought upon him the censure of his own State. For Massachusetts also, this fact will not be without instructive suggestion.

The Pittsburg Despatch

Whatever political prejudices occasionally existed against him, he was undoubtedly the highest and most commendable type of American statesmen. Intelligent, generous-hearted, of refined sensibilities, he expressed the clear truth as he saw it without regard for opposition. He was a man who could not intentionally be guilty of meanness, and who was above intrigue.

The Pittsburg Chronicle

Brave, in days when it took bravery of the most lofty kind, to be the advocate of a lowly and down-trodden race, Sumner will live in the memory of all as a man of the most conspicuous mark.

The Richmond Journal

The sudden passing away of this profound scholar and statesman will cause a deep feeling of sorrow to pervade the breasts of his many friends both in this country and Europe.

The Rev. Dr. H. H. Garnet, the eloquent pastor of the Colored Presbyterian Church of New York—himself a fugitive from Slavery in his boyhood—delivered a touching and beautiful address at the great Colored meeting, at Cooper Institute:

He did not know to what religious creed Mr. Sumner belonged, nor need we inquire concerning a man whose faith and life-work are so clearly exhibited; but he did know that the self-sacrificing spirit that was in Christ, the Saviour of the world, and the broad humanity of the Gospel, were as clearly illustrated in his life and public services, as in those of any other man he ever knew. The great and illustrious statesman literally resisted oppression of every form-even unto blood; and he laid down his life for his brethren. The old Anti-Slavery leaders are fast passing away. Chase and Stanton are gone, and John Brown and Lincoln are in their tombs; and to-morrow the mortal remains of Sumner will be laid in their last resting-place. But the principles of liberty [552] are imperishable. The people of Massachusetts would doubtless rear a fitting tomb to his memory, and other States would vie with them in doing honor to his noble deeds; but there was one class of American citizens who had written his name on the living monuments of their hearts. He meant that class for whose welfare he labored, suffered, and died. In the language of his life-long friend, John Greenleaf Whittier, those millions recently crowned with the blessings of liberty and enfranchisement, as they shall think of their departed friend, they will say:—
We'll think of thee, O brother!
     And thy sainted name shall be
In the blessings of the captive,
     And the anthems of the free.

The Springfield Republican, of Springfield, Mass., that able and always illuminated journal, in a memorial issue devoted chiefly to Mr. Sumner, prints a letter from him to a personal friend, dated March 20, 1873, in which, after alluding to his sickness, which he says ‘goes back in its origin to injuries received seventeen years ago,’ he speaks as follows of his ‘battle-flag’ bill:

It seems to me unjust and hard to understand that my bill can be called hostile to the soldier or to the President, when it was introduced by me May 8, 1862, and then again Feb. 27, 1865, and when it has been commended by Gen. Scott, Gen. Robert Anderson, and Gen. Thomas, all good and true soldiers. If persons would only consider candidly my original convictions on this question, they would see how natural and inevitable has been my conduct. As if in such a matter I could have ‘hostility’ or ‘spite’ to anybody. I am a public servant, and never was I moved by a purer sense of duty than in this bill, all of which will be seen at last. Meanwhile men will flounder in misconception and misrepresentation, to be regretted in the day of light.

Sincerely yours,


We cannot, however, bring even this brief list of citations to a close without some tributes, which Mr. G. W. [553] Smalley, the accomplished London correspondent of The New York Tribune, sent from the English journals, which during the Alabama discussions spoke of the leader of the American Senate with so much bitterness:

‘It is an honor to The Times, however,’ Mr. Smalley remarks, that it lifts itself high enough to say:

Yet when we look back upon the 30 years during which Mr. Charles Sumner was among the foremost in the United States, we must admit that his career was such as to deserve the highest admiration and gratitude of his fellow-citizens; and those who are disposed to judge his faults with severity must remember how much there was to provoke to intemperance of judgment the man who was pursued with such animosity that he barely escaped with life from a cowardly assault in the Senate Chamber at Washington.

The Daily News, which, during the arbitration, was one of Mr. Sumner's most hostile critics, lays aside its animosities in order to do him justice. The article is obviously by one who knew him, and thus speaks of his appearance and character:

During his recent visit to England, his friends noticed that he was growing somewhat bowed and heavy, and showing rather prematurely the weight of years. But until this very late period he had the advantage of as striking a presence as any public man in our day has ever displayed. Physically, there was, perhaps, no statesman of our time so remarkable, except Prince von Bismarck; and without odious comparisons it may be observed that Mr. Sumner had a very handsome face, as well as a form of almost gigantic proportions, and a bearing expressive of singular energy and strength of will. His character and career as a politician were well in harmony with his appearance. Whatever he willed he strongly willed. All the flexibilities and docilities, all the quickness that suits itself with ease to new conditions, all the dexterity which extracts the utmost advantage out of unavoidable compromises, all the artistic self-control with which clever statesmen have sometimes contrived to give to defeat itself the appearance of a qualified victory—all this was wanting to Mr. Sumner. He had clear principles, a strong will, and a vigorous intellect, which went straight at obstacles, and either crushed over them at once, or drew back and tried to crush over them again.

He was an accomplished scholar, a good linguist, a master of European literature, and almost a devotee of art. During his latest visit to Europe, a year or two back, he found no pleasure so great as that of ransacking the old bookshops and bookstalls of Paris for quaint and curious editions to add to his collection. He was a great talker upon [554] art and literature, as well as upon politics; and talked, as he did everything, with tremendous energy and with an individual self-confidence which his enemies, and some even of his friends, set down as egotism. Many slyly satirical or humorous stories were told in America àropos of Mr. Sumner's faith in his own eloquence—stories which would have affected Mr. Sumner little even if he had heard them, for he was one of the very few Americans who have no perception of the meaning of a jest. He was a strong, serious man, often in the wrong, often unfair in his judgment, but never consciously yielding to prejudice; always inflexibly faithful to his principles as he saw them, and gifted with power of thought and speech and work enough to make him a distinct and a memorable figure in the history of his country's political growth.

The Globe, the evening Conservative daily, contains a tribute to Mr. Sumner, indeed, quite remarkable, and the more gratifying from an opponent of Liberalism. The Globe says:

From 1850, when he was elected to the seat in the Senate vacated by Webster, who had entered the Fillmore Cabinet, the name of Sumner has been as famous in Europe as in the United States. In his own country the influence he exerted was always great, and his ten years Chairmanship of the Committee on Foreign Relations made him a power abroad. His argument in the famous Mason and Slidell case, to the effect that the seizure on a British ship was unjustifiable according to the law of nations, gave temporary offence to his countrymen, but on the whole Sumner was one of the most popular American statesmen of this generation. The secret of his success was due to the ability he possessed of catching ‘the opinion of to-morrow’ on any question in which public opinion was excited. Once having found this—and his statesmanlike mind seldom missed in the search—he maintained his position with admirable tenacity till ‘the opinion of to-morrow’ became that of to-day. When necessity required he declined to act as the mouthpiece of public opinion, assured that the time would soon come when, without changing his own attitude, he would be its correct exponent.

The Echo, a very widely circulated Liberal paper, thinks some future biographer may explain why Mr. Sumner lost his hold of power and influence, and this will be his conclusion:

He may and probably will regard Charles Sumner as too pure and upright-minded a man for the highest political success. He was impulsive, too, and this is apt to detract from the influence of a statesman as a leader. No American of equal importance admired England more and yet none was popularly regarded as more her enemy. His famous speech putting forth the first mention of the Indirect Claims, made Englishmen too ready to forget his great services to humanity in regard to the Abolition of Slavery. Perhaps Mr. Sumner was a man of too self-conscious, too refined a mind, for success; one who was ever careful [555] in self-examination, and too careless of the thoughts of others for the largest popularity.

The Pall Mall Gazette is silent; for which, all thanks. So is The Saturday Review for this week. It is pleasant to find in The Examiner the following paragraph:

The obituary of the week includes the name of Charles Sumner, an American for whom Englishmen have always felt the greatest respect and sympathy. His voice was most powerfully raised against the institution of Slavery in the Southern States long before the issue of civil war came to solve the otherwise unsolvable question. On all other matters where individual liberty was at stake, Mr. Charles Sumner was ever found among the boldest and most uncompromising champions of the oppressed; and he was not without that meed of persecution which is the invariable fate of men of his heroic character. * * * He annoyed some of his friends by supporting the claims for ‘indirect damages’ in the Alabama case; but we have reason to believe that the conduct of our Government in the proceedings which led up to the arbitration, went far to bring Mr. Sumner back to his former appreciation of England and Englishmen.

All the more pleasant, because the controlling influence in The Examiner is now in the hands of one of the men I have referred to as faithful friends to us during the Rebellion, and then losing patience and waxing wroth during the arbitration business.

Among all the articles I have seen in English papers there is none comparable for careful study of Mr. Sumner's character and acts, and wise estimate of them, to that in The Anglo-American Times; a journal, I should add, edited by Englishmen, and written by Englishmen, and which other Englishmen would do well to study for its teaching and example. It says:

Perhaps of all Americans, Charles Sumner stood foremost in the esteem of his countrymen. He was eloquent, he was cultured, pure in character, lofty in aspiration, patriotic and unselfish in his aims. Few men have been so tried by the perversity of human nature, yet he never lost faith in it. In all the broad Union there was no more ardent lover of freedom, nor any man with a stronger faith in the institutions of the Republic he loved so well and worked for so long and faithfully. Indeed, he may be called a martyr to his devotion to human rights; for his death is traceable to the assault Mr. Brooks made upon him in the Senate Chamber. He was a tall, handsome, strongly built man; but the injuries he then received laid him on a bed of sickness for years, causing him intense suffering, ultimately sending him to his grave at an age when a period of usefulness might still be looked for. But Charles Sumner was too earnest to witness unmoved the Administration sinking into corruption; and he worked so assiduously to stem the current that [556] he helped towards the accomplishment of the assassin's design, till his medical adviser almost forced him, in the midst of the last Presidential campaign, to run across to Europe, effectually to shut from his sight papers, books, and business. * * *

We now know, as do all who study American politics, that Senator Sumner was in the right; an admission truth compels us to make, although, at the time, we shared that feeling. It is because we now more fully comprehend the magnitude of the contest and the difficulties of the position in the struggle of the statesman against the ‘politicians,’ that we are able to appreciate the force of what the Senator then said; and we may add, that we deplore the loss of the great leader in the cause of reform. The Senator has passed away at the climax, leaving the conduct of the war to other, though, we fear, less efficient hands, but not till the great utility of his life had been impaired through his failing health. He leaves, however, a record, not only as an example to the young, but to inspire those bent on carrying on the war against the political system which has bred such corruption, to a successful issue; a reputation unblemished in an atmosphere of intrigue; pure, where political purity is rare; ever surrounded by strong temptations, wielding, as he did, a power greater than has perhaps yet been wielded on the continent of North America.

With that I close, rejoicing that, in the country which Mr. Sumner loved and the opinion of which he valued so highly, at least one tribute not unworthy of him has appeared. I should add that in the leading provincial journals, the articles I have seen are, on the whole, more just than those of London.

But it was not from England that justice to the departed statesman was expected to come. By the enlightened and unprejudiced journalists of the continent of Europe—to which strangeness of language gives the impartiality of time—Charles Sumner met that judgment at once, which in England is shown the Americans only by the next generation.

Perhaps in no quarter has Senator Sumner's character as a man and a statesman, been more candidly drawn, than it was in the Boston Journal on the day of his funeral:

The time has not come for doing full justice to the great career and the great character so faintly outlined in the preceding sketch. Mr. [557] Sumner was essentially different from the most distinguished American statesmen who had gone before him. He was primarily a scholar, constrained by prophetic moral impulses into the field of politics. In encyclopediac knowledge none of our statesmen are to be compared with him, unless it may have been John Quincy Adams. In philosophical tendencies he somewhat resembled Jefferson, while he revealed an earnestness, breadth and fervor in his humane sympathies which were as much superior to Jefferson's as his eloquence was greater. He was not a great debater, on account, partly, of the scholastic character of his mind, and because he had a peculiar conception of the sphere of a Senator. He once said: ‘A seat here in the Senate is a lofty pulpit with a mighty sounding-board, and the whole wide-spread people is the congregation.’ Whenever he arose, therefore, to speak, it was not merely to discuss the legislative question in hand and to address the little circle of Senators around him; he was to expound in their fullness the large relations and suggestions of the topic for the benefit of the press and the whole American nation. His speeches were treatises winged with oratory. There is nothing like them in the records of our national eloquence. They are wanting in the massive simplicity, the conciseness and severe taste of Webster's speeches; their profusion of historic allusions and quotations would seem artificial, but for its being the natural expression of the author's mind, and it is doubtful if the peculiarity will give pleasure to another generation of readers. But the force of reasoning, the broad energy of purpose, sweeping along like the Mississippi—like that, too, showing its power in its crevasses as well as in its legitimate channel—and the soul of moral heroism which illumines every sentence, will never want for admirers; what is better, will never cease to disseminate good influences and to bear good fruit among mankind.

This moral heroism, indeed, constitutes the crowning distinction of Charles Sumner, and gives him his title to immortal fame. It shone about his whole working life as a public servant. Throughout his checkered career no enemy—and none had bitterer than he—was ever found bold enough to connect his name with any jobbery or interested scheme. His integrity was more than Roman, it was Christian. So, too, this heroism was seen in its triumphing over the adverse influences of his training and in its transformation of his own character. He was not democratic in his personal sympathies, while the associations of his early life were limiting if not aristocratic in their tendencies; and no one from thence could have predicted that here was to be the [558] champion of equality, the apostle of deliverance to the poor and despised of another race. But the principle that was in him took him up with the devotion of a Luther and the zeal of a Loyola. All men became alike in his eyes—alike entitled to justice, to the protection and the immunities of the law. In pursuit of this object he feared nothing on earth and he spared nothing that stood in his way. And though his unswerving fidelity brought him to death's door, he lived–as few of the world's heroes have—to see his complete triumph, and to feel in his heart, we have no doubt, the sweet consciousness that mankind would never willingly let his memory die.

But amongst all the floral offerings which ‘deck his sylvan grave,’ one at least shall be laid there by the gentle hand of woman:—and whose fingers could better weave the chaplet than Grace Greenwood's?

With the memory of my great friend (can it be that he is already only a memory?) come certain further off, pale and uncertain presences—the friends who were about him when I knew him first—Hawthorne, with his noble, sensitive face, his deep-set, furtive, melancholy eyes; Starr King, radiant with genius and princely in his perfect humanity; that beautiful wife of his poet-friend, she whose sweet, sad voice was prophetic of her martyr-like fate; that scholarly brother, so like him in person, in voice, in love of books and art; and that illustrious scientist, beloved and revered alike upon two hemispheres, that sweet, strong, childlike and grand human soul we knew as Louis Agassiz. These and many more choice spirits whose lives have mingled with or touched on his, come before me, and I am inexpressibly comforted by the thought of the goodly company he has been called to rejoin. * * *

Whenever I have had a friend from abroad to whom I would show special courtesy, I have taken him or her to that beautiful house by the Arlington, and have always been sure of a welcome. Whatever his engagements or his ailments, if able to see his friends at all, he received them with a cordial grasp of the hand, and that rare, sweet smile, which was like a burst of pure Spring sunshine on a sombre day. I was in that house on the morning of that sad Wednesday, lingering and waiting, with other friends, refusing to believe that there was ‘no hope.’ I saw there men I had heard called, and half believed to be, hardened and heartless politicians, weeping like women, and, despite the judgment of his enemies and detractors, I was doubly convinced that the man had a ‘genius to be loved.’ [559]

Last evening I passed by that house so soon to be despoiled of its precious books and art-treasures. It was apparently unchanged—lighted up as cheerfully as before he went away; even the graceful transparencies in those pleasant study-windows remained as they were. The hall-door was open, and the gas-light shone full on the tall, old-fashioned clock, which had ticked off for him so many hours of faithful toil—of weary wakefulness, of cruel pain, till that last moment of mental agony, when his great, pure, honest heart broke.

How plainly that old clock repeats to the souls who loved the master of the house:

Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain and care,
And death and time shall disappear:
Forever there, but never here!
The horologe of eternity
Sayeth this incessantly,
Forever—never—never, forever!

The face of Mr. Sumner in death bore more than the usual resemblance to Edmund Burke. With his gray hair resting like a glory on the pillow, he looked very noble, but so tired! We felt amid our grieving that all was well. God had given His beloved sleep.

Most of the floral offerings laid on the great Senator's coffin were from his colored friends. They lavished upon him the most rare and costly flowers. On his desk stood a bouquet of roses and azalias, white as the ‘white soul’ Emerson so honored.

Saddest of all sights was his empty chair, draped in mourning, and yet an august presence seemed to hover about it. If, indeed, he were there able to see, and hear, and understand; if he looked around on the scene of many struggles and conflicts, on his enemies and on his friends, what poor things must have seemed to him all human strifes and animosities; how precious human love and loyalty; how great and sorrowful a thing life; how beautiful and blessed death!

1 It was reported, says the N. Y. Tribune, that Mr. Sumner expressed his regret that he must die before his book was completed, and the natural inference was that he alluded to his forthcoming volume on the ‘Prophetic Voices Concerning America.’ But it seems the word he really used was his ‘work,’ and that he thus referred to his pending bill for securing full civil rights to the freedmen he had done so much to redeem from bondage.

The Tribune is doubtless correct. His life-work, and not a book, was his ‘ruling passion strong in death.’

2 A request was received from Mrs. Hastings, Mr. Sumner's sister in San Francisco, asking Miss Maud Howe, daughter of Dr. S. G. Howe, to have prepared for her a wreath and cross, the description of which was fully given, which she wished to have placed on the Senator's coffin previously to burial. The order was tenderly executed at the grave in Mount Auburn.

3 It is most earnestly to be hoped that before it be too late, some one qualified for the labor shall have commenced the collection of tributes paid to Charles Sumner by the Pulpit, the Press, the Memorial Meetings, and by individuals everywhere. With the exception of Lincoln's, such a collection would be unrivalled in magnitude and veneration by any that could have been made for any other man who has in our times lived on this continent,—perhaps in the world.

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