By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 6 (of 20)
Author: Sumner, Charles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 6 (of 20)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

    [Illustration: A. W. Elson & Co. Boston: JAMES BUCHANAN]

      Statesman Edition                        VOL. VI

                       Charles Sumner

                     HIS COMPLETE WORKS

                      With Introduction
                  HON. GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR


                      LEE AND SHEPARD

                      COPYRIGHT, 1872,
                      CHARLES SUMNER.

                      COPYRIGHT, 1900,
                      LEE AND SHEPARD.

                     Statesman Edition.
                     OF WHICH THIS IS
                          No. 565

                      Norwood Press:
                  NORWOOD, MASS., U.S.A.



    Committee at Boston, June 21, 1856                                1

    YOUNG MEN OF MASSACHUSETTS. Letter to the Committee of a Young
    Men’s Convention at Fitchburg, August 5, 1856                     6

    Committee, September 4, 1856                                      9

    CONTRIBUTION FOR KANSAS. Letter to Messrs. Greeley and
    McElrath, of the New York Tribune, September 23, 1856            10

    Campbell, of Ohio, September 24, 1856                            11

    ILLINOIS. Letter to a Committee of Republicans at Joliet,
    October 2, 1856                                                  13

    APPEAL FOR THE REPUBLICAN CAUSE. Letter to a Committee of
    Hudson River Counties, Poughkeepsie, New York, October 3, 1856   15

    RELIEF FOR KANSAS. Letter to a Committee of the Kansas Aid
    Society at Boston, October 3, 1856                               18

    at Faneuil Hall, October 29, 1856                                20

    THE SPEECHES: November 3, 1856                                   22

    AID FOR KANSAS. Letter to Hon. M. F. Conway, November 17, 1856   40

    REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS. Letter to a Banquet at Faneuil
    Hall, November 24, 1856                                          41

    Committee at Worcester, November 24, 1856                        43

    LET MASSACHUSETTS HELP KANSAS. Letter to James Redpath, Esq.,
    January 10, 1857                                                 44

    Legislature of Massachusetts, January 22, 1857                   46

    Ryland Fletcher, Governor of Vermont, March 7, 1857              52

    Redpath, Esq., March 7, 1857                                     54

    the American Merchants at Paris, April 20, 1857                  56

    OUR POLITICS SEEN FROM A DISTANCE. Letter to a Friend, dated
    Heidelberg, September 11, 1857                                   60

    HEALTH. Letter to the People of Massachusetts, on Board Steamer
    Vanderbilt, New York Harbor, May 22, 1858                        62

    Professor Morse, in excusing himself from a Dinner at Paris,
    August 17, 1858                                                  64

    LONGING FOR DUTIES OF POSITION. From a Letter to a Friend,
    dated at Aix, Savoy, September 11, 1858                          65

    INDEPENDENCE AND UNITY OF ITALY. Letter to a Public Meeting at
    New York, February 17, 1860                                      67

    Washington Monument Association of the First School District of
    Philadelphia, February 21, 1860                                  70

    MACAULAY ON SLAVERY. Communication to the New York Tribune,
    March 3, 1860                                                    71

    STATUE OF HORACE MANN. Letter to Dr. Samuel G. Howe, March 5,
    1860                                                             78

    Speeches, on the Imprisonment of Thaddeus Hyatt for refusing
    to testify in the Harper’s Ferry Investigation, in the Senate,
    March 12, and June 15, 1860                                      80

    ABOLITION OF CUSTOM-HOUSE OATHS. Resolution in the Senate,
    March 15, 1860                                                   95

    BOSTON COMMON, AND ITS EXTENSION. Letter to George H. Snelling,
    Esq., of Boston, March 26, 1860                                  96

    of Frank B. Sanborn, of Concord, Massachusetts, with Speeches
    in the Senate, April 10, 13, and 16, 1860                        99

    PETITIONS AGAINST SLAVERY. Speech in the Senate, April 18,
    1860                                                            106

    and Remarks in the Senate, May 21, 1860                         109

    CANDIDATES WHO ARE A PLATFORM. Letter to a Ratification Meeting
    at Buffalo, New York, May 30, 1860                              111

    THE BARBARISM OF SLAVERY. Speech in the Senate, on Bill for
    Admission of Kansas as a Free State, June 4, 1860               113

    a Public Meeting at Middleborough, Massachusetts, June 11,
    1860                                                            287

    Undelivered Speech in the Senate, on Resolution refusing to
    receive Petition from Citizens of Massachusetts of African
    Descent, June 15, 1860                                          288

    the Senate, on Resolutions in Tribute to him, June 21, 1860     300

    Republicans of New York City, June 27, 1860                     302

    Speech before the Young Men’s Republican Union of New York, at
    Cooper Institute, July 11, 1860                                 303

    OUR CANDIDATES WILL BE ELECTED. Letter to the Lincoln and
    Hamlin Club of Owego, New York, July 30, 1860                   342

    NOT A FAILURE. Letter to a Public Meeting at Framingham,
    Massachusetts, July 30, 1860                                    343

    Republican Meeting at the Dedication of the Republican Wigwam
    in New York, August 6, 1860                                     346

    TRIBUTE TO A COLLEGE CLASSMATE. Remarks on the Late John W.
    Browne, August 20, 1860                                         348

    Convention of the Republican Party at Worcester, August 29,
    1860                                                            352



    The selection of a Republican candidate for the Presidency gave
    rise to the customary discussion in the newspapers, in the
    course of which the _New York Tribune_, under date of June 6,
    1856, expressed itself as follows.

        “The People’s Convention, which assembles at Philadelphia
        on the 17th instant, will be called first to decide this
        question: _Can the opponents of Slavery Extension elect
        whomsoever they may choose to nominate?_ If, on a careful
        comparison of views, this question can be confidently
        answered in the affirmative, we have next to consider who,
        by early, earnest, faithful, protracted, unswerving service
        to the cause, has done most for the triumph of Humanity
        and Impartial Freedom; and in that view but three names
        can be seriously considered, namely, those of WILLIAM H.
        SEWARD, of New York, SALMON P. CHASE, of Ohio, and CHARLES
        SUMNER, of Massachusetts. They are all capable, reliable,
        and deserving, and either of them would worthily fill the
        highest office in the Republic. We will not weigh their
        respective claims, but we shall support to the utmost
        of our ability whichever (if either) of them shall be

    The Republican National Convention assembled at Philadelphia,
    June 17, 1856, and chose Henry S. Lane, of Indiana, as
    presiding officer. At an informal ballot for President there
    were 359 votes for John C. Fremont and 196 for John McLean; New
    York also gave two votes for Mr. Sumner and one for Mr. Seward.
    Mr. Fremont was thereupon nominated unanimously. At an informal
    ballot for Vice-President there were 259 votes for William L.
    Dayton, 110 for Abraham Lincoln, 46 for N. P. Banks, 43 for
    David Wilmot, 35 for Charles Sumner, 15 for Jacob Collamer, 9
    for John A. King, 8 for S. C. Pomeroy, 7 for Thomas Ford, 5
    for Henry Wilson, 4 for Cassius M. Clay, 3 for Henry C. Carey,
    2 for J. R. Giddings, 2 for W. F. Johnston, and 1 for A. C.
    M. Pennington. On a formal ballot, Mr. Dayton was nominated

    Mr. Sumner, who was at the time a guest of Francis P. Blair, at
    his place near Washington, addressed the following letter to a
    meeting at Faneuil Hall, in Boston, for the ratification of the

                  SILVER SPRING (near WASHINGTON), June 21, 1856.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I am not strong enough for public speaking, even if
  I were strong enough for a journey to Boston. Besides, my duties
  in the Senate have the first claim upon me, and to them I must
  give my first returning strength. Therefore am I constrained to
  decline the invitation with which you have honored me.

  But I am strong enough to send from my present retreat a brief
  expression of cordial concurrence in the nominations made by the
  People’s Convention at Philadelphia, and also of the gladness
  with which I shall support them, by voice and vote, with mind and

  I have long honored Colonel Fremont for his genius in
  geographical enterprise, his eminent intelligence, his manly
  fortitude, his perfect integrity, and his easy command of
  men,--swaying to his own beneficent purpose even the savages of
  the forest, while Nature herself, in her winter fastnesses, bowed
  before his march. It is well, at this moment, when a Great Crime
  is instigated and sustained by the National Government, that
  such a man, with courage which will not be questioned, and with
  sensitiveness to right which will not rest, should be summoned to
  grapple with the wrong-doers. And permit me to say that I find no
  force in the objection that he has never been a _politician_.

  Your candidate for Vice-President is worthy to enjoy the same
  enthusiastic support. As lawyer, as judge, and as Senator, Mr.
  Dayton has been conspicuous for character and ability; and I
  rejoice to believe that he will soon have a larger field of
  activity, where these can be employed for the good of our common
  country, while the Senate, which is the stronghold of Human
  Slavery, will be compelled to receive as its presiding officer a
  representative of Human Freedom.

  But better even than the candidates is the Declaration of
  Principles, under which we now go forth to conquer. Such a
  Declaration, promulgated by such a Convention, is in itself the
  beginning of victory. Strong in simplicity and truthfulness, it
  must prevail just so soon as it is comprehended. It expresses
  objects which should enlist the Conservative, while they enlist
  the Reformer,--which should rally all who turn with respect to
  the example of the Fathers, while they rally all who are filled
  with aspirations for a brighter future on earth. It proposes to
  save Kansas from the revolting usurpation established in that
  fair Territory, and in this good work it joins issue with the
  Slave Oligarchy, now swaying our whole country; so that, in
  saving Kansas, we shall necessarily overthrow this Despotism,
  and save ourselves. For support, it appeals to all, without
  distinction of party, who love their country. It appeals to the
  true Democrat, whose democracy is founded on the recognition of
  Human Rights; it appeals to the true Whig, who is animated by
  that hatred of despotic power which inspired those who earliest
  wore the name; it appeals to the true American, who is ready to
  forget all other questions for the sake of union to save Liberty
  endangered; and it appeals to the foreign-born, who, rejoicing in
  the privileges of American citizens, will not hesitate to join in
  this holy endeavor to vindicate them against the aggressions of
  an Oligarchy worse than any tyranny from which they have fled. In
  this appeal all former differences are forgotten, while men,

      “Erewhile that stood aloof, as shy to meet,
      Familiar mingle here, like sister streams
      That some rude interposing rock has split.”

  In this contest there is every motive to union, and also every
  motive to exertion. _Now or never! now and forever!_--such was
  the ancient war-cry, which, embroidered on the Irish flag,
  streamed from the Castle of Dublin, and resounded through the
  whole island, arousing a generous people to new struggle for
  ancient rights; and this war-cry may be fitly inscribed on our
  standard now. _Arise now, or an inexorable slave-driving Tyranny
  will be fastened upon you. Arise now, and Liberty will be secured

  Present my regards to your associates in the good cause, and
  believe me, my dear Sir,

      Always faithfully yours,


  SETH WEBB, JR., Esq.



AUGUST 5, 1856.

                              CRESSON, ALLEGHANY MOUNTAINS, PA.,
                                                August 5, 1856.

  DEAR SIR,--I wish that I could be with the young men of
  Massachusetts at their proposed Convention, but I am so feeble
  still that I am constrained to turn away from all temptations and
  opportunities of labor. In writing this letter I infringe a rule
  prescribed by my physician.

  We have been told that “the duties of life are more than life”;
  and I assure you that the hardest part of my present lot is the
  enforced absence from public duties, and especially from that
  seat where, as a Senator from Massachusetts, it is my right,
  and also my strong desire at this moment, to be heard. But in
  the coolness of the mountain retreat where I now am, I begin
  to gather hope of returning strength,--if too tardily for the
  performance of any public duties during the session of Congress
  now about to close, yet in season to take part in the rally of
  the people for the protection of Liberty in Kansas, and for the
  overthrow of the oligarchical Tyranny which now degrades our

  Meanwhile I commit the cause which we have at heart to the
  generous sympathies of the people, who will surely rise to
  smite the oppressor. Especially do I invoke the young. They are
  the natural guardians of Liberty. Thus has it been throughout
  all history; and never before in history did Liberty stand in
  greater need of their irresistible aid. It is the young who
  give spontaneous welcome to Truth, when she first appears an
  unattended stranger. It is the young who open the soul with
  instinctive hospitality to the noble cause. The young men of
  Massachusetts act under natural impulses, when they step forward
  as body-guard of the Republican party.

  The great discoverer Harvey, on announcing the circulation of the
  blood, was astonished to find that no person _upward of forty_
  received this important truth. The young only embraced it. More
  fortunate than this discovery, our cause rallies in its support
  alike the experience of age and the ardor of youth; but it is
  in the glowing embrace of the young that it finds assurance of

  Were I able to make myself heard throughout the land, I would
  say to the young men everywhere who truly love Liberty: “Your
  candidate has been the renowned pioneer of civilization in
  unsettled wastes: associate yourselves with him now as pioneers
  of Liberty in the National Government; help him unfurl at
  Washington the flag which he first unfurled on the peaks of the
  Rocky Mountains; and be copartners with him in the glory of
  redeeming our beloved country.”

  Present to the young men of Massachusetts, whom you represent,
  the assurance of my sincere interest in their happiness and
  welfare, and believe me, my dear Sir, with much regard,

      Faithfully yours,


  GEORGE H. HOYT, Esq., of the Committee, &c.



                                CRESSON, ALLEGHANY MOUNTAINS, PA.,
                                                September 4, 1856.

  DEAR SIR,--Were I well, I should regard your letter as a summons.
  But I am still in the hands of physicians, by whom I am carefully
  warned against all public effort. Most reluctantly, at this
  period of our country’s trial, do I submit.

  Accept for the Convention which will assemble at Providence my
  best wishes. Let it apply itself with earnestness, diligence,
  and singleness of purpose to the rescue of our fair land from
  the tyranny which now degrades it. Here is room for all,--the
  aged and the young, the Conservative and the Reformer. Surely,
  Rhode Island, if not utterly disloyal to herself, if not utterly
  disloyal to New England civilization, if not utterly disloyal to
  the Republic of which she constitutes a part, will rise up as one
  man and insist that Kansas shall be secured to Liberty, and that
  the Slave Oligarchy shall be driven from its usurped foothold in
  the National Government. At all events, this State, first planted
  by the Author of Religious Freedom, will see that Human Rights do
  not suffer through the votes of her children.

      Believe me, my dear Sir, faithfully yours,



SEPTEMBER 23, 1856.


  I have watched with interest your generous fund for the relief
  and liberation of Kansas, now insulted, trodden down, torn, and
  enslaved by the President of the United States, acting as the
  tool of the tyrannical Slave Oligarchy. To other funds for this
  important charity I have already given according to my small
  means; but, as a constant reader of the “Tribune,” I cannot miss
  the opportunity which you afford to protest anew against an
  unparalleled Crime, and to contribute anew to its mitigation.
  Please to accept the check which I enclose for one hundred
  dollars. I wish it were more, when so much is needed.

      Believe me, Gentlemen, your faithful servant,


  PHILADELPHIA, September 23, 1856.



                              HAMILTON, Monday, September 29, 1856.


  Tens of thousands of the Friends of Freedom were anxious to meet
  Senator Sumner at this place on Friday last. Many went away
  disappointed. I had assured the Committee of Arrangements, that,
  if the state of his health permitted, he would attend the meeting.

  I have just received the enclosed private letter, which I venture
  to hand for publication, that those who were disappointed may
  understand and appreciate the cause of his non-attendance. It
  is in answer to a letter in which I urged Mr. Sumner to spend a
  fortnight in the Miami Valley for recreation, and to appear at
  the Hamilton meeting, even if his health should not permit him to

      Very truly yours, &c.

          LEWIS D. CAMPBELL.

       *       *       *       *       *

                      PHILADELPHIA, Wednesday, September 24, 1856.

  MY DEAR SIR,--Your letter of the 9th of September, after
  travelling to Boston, at last found me here, where I am still
  detained under medical treatment, away from my home, which I have
  not visited since I left it at the beginning of the late session
  of Congress, now ten months ago.

  With sorrow inexpressible, I am still constrained to all the
  care and reserve of an invalid. More than four months have
  passed since you clasped my hand as I lay bleeding at the Senate
  Chamber, and my system is even now so far from the firmness of
  health that any departure from the prescribed rule is sure to
  occasion a relapse. I could not reach Ohio except by slow stages;
  and were I there, I should not have the sanction of my physician
  in exposing myself to the excitements of a public meeting, even
  if I said nothing. This is hard, very hard, for me to bear; for I
  long to do something at this critical moment for the cause. What
  is life without action?

  For a while, at least, I must leave to others the precious
  satisfaction of laboring for Liberty and the redemption of our
  country. But I have the comfort of knowing that never before was
  I so little needed.

  God bless Ohio for her glorious testimony already, and her more
  glorious promises!

      Believe me, my dear Sir, very faithfully yours,


  HON. LEWIS D. CAMPBELL, Hamilton, Ohio.




    The local paper reports that this letter “was received with
    tremendous applause.”

                                  PHILADELPHIA, October 2, 1856.

  DEAR SIR,--I am sorry that I cannot be with the Republicans
  of Illinois at Joliet on the 8th of October, according to the
  invitation with which they have honored me; but inexorable,
  long-continued disability and the admonitions of medical skill
  keep me back still from all public effort, and even from return
  to my home, which I have not visited for more than ten months.

  It is hard to renounce the opportunity which you offer me; for
  I have constantly hoped to visit Illinois during the present
  contest, and in plain language put to her people the questions
  which they are to decide by their votes. These are all involved
  in the Freedom of Kansas, but they are manifold in form.

  Are you _against_ the extension of Slavery? If _yea_, then vote
  for Fremont.

  Are you especially _against_ the extension of Slavery BY FORCE?
  If _yea_, then vote for Fremont.

  Are you _against_ the erection of the Slave Oligarchy as the
  dominant power in our Republic? If _yea_, then vote for Fremont.

  Are you _against_ the violation of the constitutional rights of
  American citizens? If _yea_, then vote for Fremont.

  Audacious sophistry, often exposed, but still flaunting abroad,
  may seek to deceive you. It may foam with abuse and bristle with
  perversion of fact; but it cannot obscure the unquestionable
  truth, which now stares everybody in the face, that a vote for
  Buchanan is a vote for all these bad things. _It is a vote not
  simply for the extension of Slavery, but also for the extension
  of Slavery_ BY FORCE, involving, besides, the erection of the
  Slave Oligarchy as the dominant power in our Republic, and the
  violation of the constitutional rights of American citizens.
  Surely, Illinois will not be led to sanction such enormities.
  Hers will be the path of Liberty, which is, of course, the path
  of true patriotism. Through her agency incalculable harm has
  already come to the Republic; but I cannot forget that she has
  begun a glorious reparation, by introducing to the National
  Councils a Senator of rare skill in debate, of sweetest purity of
  character, and of perfect loyalty to those principles by which
  Liberty will be secured, and our good name extended in history.
  I refer to Mr. Trumbull, who now belongs to the whole country,
  which is justly grateful for his eminent services. With his
  example before her, Illinois cannot wander again into the support
  of Slavery.

  Give to the Republicans of Illinois my hearty God-speed, and let
  my absence speak to them.

      Ever faithfully yours,




OCTOBER 3, 1856.

                                  PHILADELPHIA, October 3, 1856.

  DEAR SIR,--Among valued opportunities, which, by the dictation of
  my physician and the admonitions of continued ill-health, I am
  constrained to forego, is that afforded by the invitation, with
  which I have been honored, to meet the Republicans of the Hudson
  River Counties at Poughkeepsie. They will, I trust, believe me
  not indifferent to their kindness, or to the cause in whose name
  they are to assemble.

  Nothing but necessity could keep me thus aloof, a mere looker-on,
  while the great battle of Freedom is waged. The pleasure of the
  sight to a spectator secure in the distance has been declared
  by an ancient poet in a much admired passage, reproduced by a
  greater modern:--

      “’Tis pleasant also to behold from far
      The moving legions mingled in the war.”

  Yet the impulse and ardor of my convictions do not allow me to
  be content in any such retirement. I wish to enter the strife,
  and give such powers as I can to the righteous cause. But I am

  It only remains that from my retreat I should send all that for
  the present I can give, the prayers and benedictions of one yet
  too feeble for any exertion.

  While thus sitting apart, I am permitted to survey the field and
  to recognize the ensigns of triumph now streaming in the fresh
  northern breeze. Everywhere the people are aroused, at least
  away from the pavement of great cities, where, too often, human
  perversity is such as to suggest that “God made the country and
  man made the town.”

  Iowa, at the extreme West, and Maine, at the extreme East,
  testify to a sentiment which must prevail also in the
  intermediate States. In proper season New York and Pennsylvania
  will confess it. And this is natural; for the whole broad country
  has been shocked by the enormities of which Mr. Buchanan, in
  the pending contest, is the unflinching representative, and Mr.
  Fillmore the cautious, but effective, partisan.

  In this contest I discern the masses of the people, under the
  name of the Republican party, together with good men regardless
  of ancient party ties, arrayed on the one side, while on the
  other side is the oligarchical combination of slave-masters, with
  the few Northern retainers they are yet able to keep, composed
  chiefly of sophists whose lives are involved in a spider’s web of
  fine-spun excuses, hirelings whose personal convictions are all
  lost in salary, present or prospective, and trimmers whose eyes
  fail to discern present changes of opinion only because they are
  fastened too greedily upon ancient chances of preferment. Such
  are the parties.

  And I discern clearly the precise question on which these parties
  are divided. In stating it I answer it.

  The Territory of Kansas has been made the victim of countless
  atrocities, in order to force Slavery upon its beautiful,
  uncontaminated soil. By lawless violence a Government has been
  established there, which, after despoiling the citizen of all
  his dearest rights, has surrounded Slavery with the protection
  of pretended statutes. And the question is distinctly submitted
  to the American people, “Are you ready to sanction these
  enormities?” This is the simple question. The orators of Slavery,
  freely visiting Poughkeepsie, could not answer it, and therefore
  they have kept it out of sight. But there the question stands.

  Refusing to become partakers of such wrong, you will contribute
  not only to the freedom of Kansas, but also to the overthrow
  of the brutal and domineering Oligarchy which seeks to enslave
  Kansas, simply as a stepping-stone to the enslavement of the
  whole country. Surely, no man can hesitate, when Freedom requires
  his vote. Nay, more, is not this cause worth living for? is not
  this cause worth dying for?

       *       *       *       *       *

  Accept my thanks for the special kindness of your communication,
  and my regrets that I can answer it only by this imperfect letter.

      Believe me, dear Sir, ever faithfully yours,





                                  PHILADELPHIA, October 3, 1856.

  MY DEAR SIR,--There is inspiration in a good cause, which is
  shown at once in the improved character of all who embrace it.
  Especially is this apparent in the young. Never is youth so
  radiant as under its influence. The young men of Boston have done
  wisely for themselves in associating together for the relief of
  Kansas. All that they can do will be twice blessed,--blessing
  them in their lives, and blessing distant despoiled

  With pleasure I learn that the Governor will preside at your
  earliest public meeting. But this is only according to the just
  rule of life. Kindred to honors are duties; and the head of a
  Christian Commonwealth should be the head of this Christian
  charity, while every citizen should range in place, and our
  beloved Massachusetts, by the contributions, voices, and votes
  of her unanimous children, should become one united, compact,
  all-embracing _Kansas Relief Society_, at once an overflowing
  fountain of beneficence and an irresistible example to the
  country. For myself, I would rather a thousand times serve
  this cause, even in the humblest capacity, than be a Governor
  indifferent to its appeals.

  All that can be given is needed; and whoso gives bestows upon
  a missionary enterprise, which, in the footsteps of Liberty,
  will carry peace, civilization, Christianity, the Bible, and all
  blessings of earth and heaven. To such a charity every person
  must give; if in no other way, the man who has two coats must
  sell one, and let Kansas have the other. But, while encouraging
  this effort, candor compels the confession that all your
  contributions will be of small account, unless a President and
  Congress are chosen who shall give their sympathies to Freedom
  rather than to Slavery. Only in this way can the rod of the
  oppressor be broken. A vote for such men will be a contribution
  to Kansas.

  Present my thanks to your associates, and accept for yourself the
  assurance of my special gratitude for that constant devotion to
  human freedom by which you have been distinguished.

      Ever faithfully yours,





                              PHILADELPHIA, October 29, 1856.

  SIR,--I cannot be at Faneuil Hall on Saturday evening, according
  to the invitation with which I have been honored. But, though
  feeble still, I hope to be in Boston on the succeeding Tuesday,
  to vote. If not strong enough to speak, I trust at least to be
  able to perform this duty of the citizen.

  My vote will not be needed; but I am unwilling that the
  opportunity should pass of uttering my determined NO against
  the efforts now making to subjugate Kansas and to install the
  Slave Oligarchy in permanent control of the National Government.
  Against this dreadful conspiracy I protest, with all the ardor
  of my soul; and I know no way in which I can hope to make
  this protest immediately effective, except by casting my vote
  for those candidates openly and unequivocally hostile to the
  consummation of the crime.

  Especially shall I vote for Burlingame; and I shall do this, not
  only because I think him worthy of honor, and admire his generous
  nature, intrepidity, and eloquence, but because I have at heart
  the good name of Boston, and the welfare of my country. Boston
  should sustain Burlingame, not merely for his sake, but for her
  own sake,--not merely to do him honor, but to save herself from
  dishonor,--not merely from local pride, but to strengthen Liberty
  and to serve the whole Republic, now endangered alike from
  criminal audacity and from subservient timidity.

      I have the honor to be, Sir,

         Your faithful servant,

              CHARLES SUMNER.




NOVEMBER 3, 1856.

    As it became known that Mr. Sumner would return home to vote,
    a Boston committee visited Philadelphia to urge his acceptance
    of a banquet, with the understanding that he should simply show
    himself there without speaking. Acting under medical advice, he
    declined this invitation. The sympathy of the community found
    vent in a public reception.

    The reception of Senator Sumner, on his return to Boston, was
    an imposing popular demonstration.[1] It was purely a peaceful
    and spontaneous celebration. There was no organization of
    enthusiasm; there were no military, no fire companies, no
    associated bodies, to swell the ranks of the procession or
    attract attention. Those of his fellow-citizens, simply, who
    wished to testify respect and sympathy, went forth to meet
    him; through the mouth of one, the most venerable and honored
    of their number, they welcomed him on his entrance within the
    limits of the city, and the chief executive magistrate of the
    Commonwealth greeted him on his arrival beneath the shadow of
    the State capitol. In both places, and also before Mr. Sumner’s
    residence in Hancock Street, there were vast concourses of
    citizens, assembled to do honor to their Senator.

    The weather was favorable; the atmosphere was clear and warm
    for the season; and although the appearance of the sky at times
    boded rain, none fell until late in the evening, long after the
    exercises of the day were concluded.

    Mr. Sumner arrived in this vicinity on Sunday morning,
    November 2d. On Monday he drove from Professor Longfellow’s,
    in Cambridge, where he had been staying, to the house of Amos
    A. Lawrence, Esq., at Longwood, in Brookline. Soon after one
    o’clock, the invited guests, who had assembled at the State
    House, proceeded in open carriages to Longwood, where they were
    joined by Mr. Sumner, who passed along the line of carriages,
    and was silently greeted by the gentlemen rising and removing
    their hats. The carriages then proceeded across to Roxbury, and
    thence along Washington Street to the Boston line, which was
    reached at three o’clock. Here the cavalcade was assembled,
    together with a vast concourse of citizens.

    The chief marshal was General John S. Tyler, assisted by the
    following gentlemen as aids: Major John C. Park, Colonel
    R. I. Burbank, Major Moses G. Cobb, E. Webster Pike, Esq.,
    Adjutant-General E. W. Stone, Colonel A. J. Wright, Colonel W.
    W. Bullock, and Carlos Pierce, Esq.

    The following were the assistant marshals: Captain I. F.
    Shepard, Charles H. Hawes, W. E. Webster, F. L. Chapin, O.
    H. Dutton, Major F. A. Heath, F. B. Fay, Julian O. Mason, A.
    A. Dunnels, Stephen Rhoades, H. D. Child, Leister M. Clark,
    Charles W. Pierce, R. F. Martin, Rufus Frost, F. A. Fuller,
    J. W. Wolcott, William B. Spooner, Henry D. Williams, Colonel
    Robert Cowdin, of Boston, and Eugene Batchelder, Charles D.
    Hills, D. P. Ripley, of Cambridge.

    As it went up Washington Street, the cavalcade numbered, by
    actual count, about eight hundred horsemen; but its numbers
    were subsequently increased by fresh arrivals, in couples and
    in groups, to over a thousand.

    On the head of the cavalcade reaching the borders of Roxbury,
    it halted, and the whole was drawn up in a long line at the
    upper side of Washington Street, facing the centre. For over
    half an hour it waited for the cortege from Brookline which was
    to escort Mr. Sumner, and when at last the latter appeared,
    it was received with hearty cheers and music from the Brigade
    Band. It consisted of some sixteen or eighteen barouches or
    carriages, containing the Committee of Arrangements and other

    The barouche which contained Mr. Sumner was drawn by
    magnificent horses. With Mr. Sumner was the Rev. Professor F.
    D. Huntington, of Harvard University, and Dr. Perry, of this
    city, Mr. Sumner’s physician. Among those in the succeeding
    barouches were Messrs. Abbott and James Lawrence, George and
    Isaac Livermore, Edwin P. Whipple, George R. Russell, Charles
    G. Loring, J. Huntington Wolcott, Hon. E. C. Baker, President
    of the Senate, Dr. Beck and Rev. Dr. Francis, of Cambridge,
    Professor Lovering, and James Russell Lowell, the poet,--that
    which followed Mr. Sumner’s barouche containing Professor
    Longfellow, and George Sumner, the brother of the Senator.

    As the carriage with Mr. Sumner touched the line between
    Roxbury and Boston, there was a general cheer, which was
    continued along far into the distance,--the Brigade Band
    playing “Hail Columbia.” The first division of the cavalcade
    wheeled to the left, and formed into an escort. The carriages
    of Mr. Sumner and the Committee came next in succession, and
    then the two remaining divisions fell into column.

    A few rods north of the Roxbury line the cavalcade came to a
    halt, when Mr. Sumner’s carriage was driven alongside of that
    containing Hon. Josiah Quincy, and Hon. Alexander H. Rice,
    mayor of Boston. After greetings between the parties, Professor
    Huntington introduced Mr. Sumner to Mr. Quincy in the following
    brief address.

        “MR. QUINCY,--The Committee of Arrangements for welcoming
        the Hon. Charles Sumner to his home present him here to
        you, Sir, a venerated representative of the city of his
        birth. He comes back from his public post, where he has
        bravely advocated the cause of all freemen, to enjoy a
        freeman’s privilege and discharge a freeman’s duty. He
        comes, a cheerful and victorious sufferer, out of great
        conflicts of humanity with oppression, of ideas with
        ignorance, of scholarship and refinement with barbarian
        vulgarity, of intellectual power with desperate and brutal
        violence, of conscience with selfish expediency, of right
        with wrong. Boston does well in coming out to greet him.
        For that ample and lofty manhood, trained under her
        education and consolidated in her climate, has added new
        dignity to her old renown. It has joined her name more
        inseparably than ever with the aspirations of Christian
        liberty, and the honors of disinterested patriotism,
        throughout the earth, and through all time.”

    MR. QUINCY then addressed Mr. Sumner as follows.

        “MR. SUMNER,--It is with inexpressible pleasure that I
        address you this day as the voice of the great multitude
        of your fellow-citizens. In their name, and by their
        authority, I welcome you to your home in Massachusetts,
        expressing their honor and thanks for the power and
        fidelity with which you have fulfilled your duties as
        their representative in the Senate of the United States,
        where, ‘unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,’ you kept your
        love, your zeal, your loyalty to Liberty,--where neither
        number nor example, threat nor sneer, ‘within you wrought
        to swerve from truth, or change your constant mind.’

        “You return to your country, Sir, after having given
        glorious evidences of intellectual power, which touched,
        as with the spear of Ithuriel, the evil spirit of our
        Union, causing it at once to develop in full proportions
        its gigantic deformity, compelling it to unveil to the Free
        States its malign design to make this land of the free a
        land of slaves. [_Voices, ‘Never! never!’_]

        “You have suffered, and are still suffering, for your
        intrepid faithfulness. But suffering in the cause of Truth
        and Liberty is the heaven-laid path to win ‘the crown
        which Virtue gives after this mortal change to her true
        servants.’ [_Hearty cheers._]

        “I rejoice that my life has been prolonged to this
        day,--that I am permitted to behold the dawnings of
        ancient Liberty through the broken openings of the clouds,
        which for more than fifty years the spirit of Slavery has
        extended over this Union. I thank Heaven that now, at
        last, the Free States are beginning to awaken to a sense
        of their dangers and their duties,--that, at length, they
        begin to realize that the Slave States have overleaped
        the bounds of the Constitution. The apathy of half a
        century may delay for a time the triumphs of Freedom, but
        come they will. Final success is certain. Never again
        will the Free States in silence acquiesce in the farther
        extension of slave domain. [_Loud applause, and cries of
        ‘Never! never!’_] Henceforth they will hear and attend to
        the warning voice of Washington, solemnly uttered in his
        Farewell Address,--‘SUBMIT NOT TO USURPATION,’--‘RESIST,
        THE CONSTITUTION.’ [_Cheers._]

        “We welcome you, Sir, as the champion of Freedom [_loud
        cheers_], and as one to whom the deliverance which we hope
        may yet be destined for our country will be greatly due.”

    MR. SUMNER, who had been standing in his carriage, uncovered,
    then spoke, in a subdued voice, and evidently under the
    influence of deep feeling, as follows.

MR. QUINCY,--A year has nearly run since I left Boston in the discharge
of public duties. During this period, amidst important events, I have
been able to do something which my fellow-citizens and neighbors,
speaking by your authoritative voice, are pleased to approve. I am
happy in this approbation. Especially am I happy that it is conveyed
by the eloquent words of one who from my childhood has been with me an
object of unaffected reverence, who was the municipal head of my native
city while I was a pupil at its public schools, and who was the head of
the University while I was a pupil in that ancient seat.

Boston, early in her history, set her face against Slavery. By a vote,
entered upon her Town Records, as long ago as 1701, she called upon her
Representatives “to put a period to negroes being slaves.” If I have
done anything to deserve the greeting you now lavish, it is because I
have striven to maintain those principles here declared, and to extend
them to other places,--stretching the venerable shelter of Faneuil Hall
even over distant Kansas. [_Loud applause._]

You have made allusion to the suffering which I have undergone. This
is not small. But it has been incurred in the performance of duty; and
how little is it, Sir, compared with the suffering of fellow-citizens
in Kansas! How small is it, compared with that tale of woe which is
perpetually coming to us from the house of bondage!

With you I hail the omens of final triumph. I ask no prophet to confirm
this assurance. The future is not less secure than the past.

You are pleased to quote injunctions of Washington. If ever there was
occasion to bear these, not only in memory, but in heart, the time is
now, when Usurpation is the order of the day, and the Constitution
is set at defiance. Beyond these precepts is also his great example,
which, from first to last, teaches the constant lesson of fidelity, in
standing up for the liberties of our country, in undoubting faith that
the good cause cannot fail.

The rule of duty is the same for the lowly and the great; and, in the
communication which I addressed to the Legislature of Massachusetts,
accepting the trust which I now hold, I ventured to adopt the
determination of Washington, and to avow his confidence. In both I hope
to hold fast unto the end. [_Loud cheers._]

    Mr. Sumner then passed from the carriage in which he had been
    riding into that of Mr. Quincy and Mayor Rice. Professor
    Huntington also took a seat in the same carriage, which was
    drawn by six splendid gray horses. A body-guard of marshals
    mounted, and of police, formed on each side of the barouche, in
    order to keep the multitudes in the streets from pressing up to
    shake hands with Mr. Sumner.

    The cavalcade then proceeded onwards, amid repeated cheers of
    the multitudes lining the streets on both sides. In accordance
    with directions from his physician, Mr. Sumner acknowledged
    these demonstrations only by a wave of the hand.

    On reaching Newton Street, on Blackstone Square, a long line
    of beautiful young ladies was ranged upon the pavement on the
    south side, each holding a bouquet, to present to Senator
    Sumner. Previously, however, a very interesting scene took
    place. Mrs. C. W. Pierce, Mrs. G. L. Goodwin, Mrs. Henry Keyes,
    and Miss Mary Pierce--each dressed in white, with wreaths on
    their heads, and wearing elegant sashes--came forward, and
    presented Mr. Sumner splendid bouquets, which action seemed
    to give him much gratification. But the receipt of another
    from the hands of a lovely child, carried up to the Senator in
    the arms of a gentleman, and a similar act in Shawmut Avenue,
    were peculiarly grateful to him. No previous or subsequent
    circumstances during the day seemed to give Mr. Sumner such
    true delight as these kindnesses. On proceeding forward, the
    ladies showered their bouquets upon him from sidewalks and
    windows along the street, until the carriage was pretty nigh
    full. As the floral burden accumulated, he laughed the more
    heartily, and spoke his gratitude to every one of the fair
    donors his voice could reach. All along Newton Street, and the
    west side of Blackstone Square, the procession was cheered
    in the most enthusiastic manner. Ladies crowded almost every
    window, and the scene was the most brilliant along the route.

    As the procession reached the Boston Female Orphan Asylum on
    Washington Street, the inmates of that institution were seen
    ranged in front of the building, waving their handkerchiefs,
    and displaying on a white banner a beautiful wreath of
    evergreen intermingled with flowers, with the motto,--

        “We weave a wreath for Charles Sumner.”

    This was the only point on the route of the procession where
    Mr. Sumner rose to his feet. Here the kindness of these
    orphaned ones so touched his feelings, that he could not help
    acknowledging it in this way.

    Attached to several of the bouquets thrown to Mr. Sumner were
    appropriate and expressive mottoes. The principal of them were
    as follows.

        “No bludgeon can dim the lustre of our champion of Freedom.”

        “Massachusetts’s most honored son. If the ladies could
        vote, he would be the next President.”

        “A warm welcome from warm hearts to the noblest man America
        has ever borne in her bosom! 78 Shawmut Avenue, Nov. 3,

        “Welcome home! The sons and daughters of Massachusetts
        greet her noblest defender.”

        “Infants welcome him whose name lives immortal in the
        hearts of his countrymen.”

        “Welcome, dear friend of justice!”

    All along the line of procession, namely, down Washington
    Street, Newton Street, Shawmut Avenue, Dover Street, Washington
    Street, West Street, Tremont Street, Boylston Street, Charles
    Street, and Beacon Street to the State House, the crowds which
    greeted the honored Senator at every point were great.

    At the corner of Washington and Newton Streets, over
    Washington, there was a fine display of flags and streamers.
    From the house of Mr. Nickerson, fronting on Franklin Square,
    was a splendid triumphal arch, between two elm-trees, flags and
    streamers surrounding the word--


    Newton Street had a large number of flags, the union jack
    displayed alternately with the national ensign on staffs
    projecting from Franklin Square. The entire street was strewed
    with evergreens. It was a beautiful display.

    At the junction of Newton Street and Shawmut Avenue, the
    houses of Benjamin Smith and Alfred A. Andrews were splendidly
    decorated with festoons and flags. Between them, floating above
    Newton Street, was the following:--

        “Massachusetts loves, honors, will sustain and defend her
        noble Sumner!”

    The house of E. G. Dudley, at the corner of Shawmut Avenue
    and Waltham Street, made a fine appearance. Besides flags and
    festoons, was the following, wreathed in black:--

        “May 22, 1856.”

    Beneath this was the following:--

        “Welcome, thrice welcome!”

    At the corner of Shawmut Avenue and Dover Street, on the house
    of Rev. Mr. Sargent, was the following significant motto:--

        “To the _Right_!”

    pointing the route of the procession.

    The house of Dr. Parks, No. 88 Dover Street, was beautifully
    decorated,--an eagle above the upper-story windows, holding a
    number of streamers, which were gathered below. The following
    was inscribed upon the building:--

        “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

    The piano-rooms of T. Gilbert were decorated, with the words in

        “Welcome, Freedom’s Defender!”

    There were many other similar decorations. If longer time had
    been given, the demonstration would have been other than it
    was.[2] But it was not in decorations that the citizens of
    Boston welcomed home the beloved son of Massachusetts; it was
    rather with emotion too deep for utterance that they received

    The scene at the State House was beyond description. The area
    in front, the long range of steps leading to the Capitol, the
    Capitol itself, the streets in the vicinity, the houses even
    to the roofs, were packed with human beings. The assembled
    thousands greeted him with long continued cheering.

    Mr. Sumner arrived in front of the Capitol, where a platform
    had been erected. His Excellency Governor Gardner, the
    Executive Council, and the Governor’s Staff were escorted by
    the Sergeant-at-Arms, Benjamin Stevens, Esq. Mr. Sumner was
    then introduced by Professor Huntington in an eloquent speech,
    as follows.

         “MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,--In behalf of the
        Committee of Reception, I present to your Excellency the
        Hon. Charles Sumner, Senator of Massachusetts in the
        Congress of the United States. It is needless to recount
        here his services to our Commonwealth, to the whole
        Republic, to the principles of a pure and just nationality,
        to elegant learning, to Christian statesmanship, to the
        liberties and the rights of man. These are all safely
        recorded in the imperishable history of the country and
        the race. How deeply they are written in the hearts
        of his fellow-citizens let this vast and enthusiastic
        concourse bear witness. He returns to his friends; but
        his friends are wherever justice is revered. He returns
        to his neighbors; but he has a neighbor in every victim
        of wrong throughout the world. He returns to the State
        that entrusted her interests to his charge, having
        proclaimed--according to the spirit of her own institutions
        and her people--the doctrine of the Brotherhood of all
        States, in the bonds of universal Peace. He stands at the
        door of her Capitol, and in the presence of her Chief
        Magistrate,--stands here her faithful steward, her eloquent
        and fearless advocate, her honored guest, her beloved son!”

    His Excellency replied briefly as follows.

        “SIR,--I am admonished by the Committee of Arrangements
        that my words must be few and brief.

        “This is no political ovation. The Chief Marshal of the
        procession announces that no political mottoes will be
        admitted into the ranks. By the same sense of propriety I
        am admonished that no political phrases are appropriate

        “This is the spontaneous outpouring of your friends and
        neighbors and fellow-citizens to welcome you from your
        field of intellectual victory,--and to welcome you also
        from your bed of pain and suffering. I cordially add my
        tribute, humble, save what my official station imparts to
        it, to crown the just and welcome offering.

        “We hail you with warm hearts, not only as the eloquent
        orator, the accomplished scholar, and the acknowledged
        statesman,--not only as the earnest friend of suffering
        humanity and of every good cause,--not only as one
        who, educated in the institutions and by the altars
        and firesides of Massachusetts, has won for himself
        imperishable laurels on the arena of the nation’s
        conflicts,--but especially now do we welcome you as the
        successful defender of her integrity and her honor.

        “In her name I declare that the base and cowardly blows
        which fell on you struck through you into her. Within the
        circuit of the sun’s flight after I heard of that assault,
        before such an assemblage as rarely gathers in Faneuil
        Hall, I pledged Massachusetts to stand by you. [_Loud

        “And she does stand by you to-day. She will stand by you
        to-morrow [_enthusiastic cheers_]; and she will stand by
        you in her defence forever. [_Loud cheering._]

        “I welcome you, then, most cordially and warmly, in her
        name, again to her borders. Every thrilling breast and
        kindling countenance around you in this immense throng
        welcomes you,--Boston welcomes you,--Massachusetts welcomes

        “In her name I trust that the quiet of your home may
        speedily restore you to perfect health, so you can again go
        forward to your sphere of duty, to new achievements, and
        new victories.

        “And now, Gentlemen, fellow-citizens, one word to you.
        The duty of the day over, let us, one and all, leave our
        distinguished friend to the undisturbed quiet of his own
        home, to the fond caress of one whose ear is at this moment
        bent in anxious watching for the earliest warning of his
        approach, that he may there recover, not only from his past
        illness, but from the present excitement and the fatigues
        of travel. At present our kindest attentions will consist
        in scrupulously avoiding exacting intrusions.

        “To you, Sir, again, in the name of our glorious old
        Commonwealth, I extend a cordial welcome. [_Loud cheers._]”

    Three times three cheers were then given for Mr. Sumner, who
    attempted to reply; but his voice was more feeble than in
    replying to Mr. Quincy. He spoke, with great difficulty, as


It is a pleasure to be once more among the scenes of home; to look upon
familiar objects,--the State House, the Common, and well-known streets.
It is more pleasant still to behold the countenances of friends. And
all this pleasure, Sir, is enhanced by the welcome which you now give
me, in behalf of the beloved Commonwealth which for five years I have
served, honestly, earnestly, and constantly, in an important field of
duty, to which I was introduced by an unsought suffrage.

Sir, I thank you for this welcome. I thank, also, the distinguished
gentlemen who have honored this occasion by their presence. I thank,
too, these swelling multitudes who contribute to me the strength
and succor of their sympathies; and my soul overflows especially to
the young men of Boston, out of whose hearts, as from an exuberant
fountain, this broad-spreading hospitality took its rise.

My earnest desire, often expressed, has been, that I might be allowed
to return home quietly, without show or demonstration of any kind.
And this longing was enforced by my physical condition, which, though
vastly improved at this time, and advancing surely towards complete
health, is still exposed to the peril of relapse, or at least to the
arrest of those kindly processes of Nature essential to the restoration
of a shattered system. But the spontaneous kindness of this reception
makes me forget my weakness, makes me forget my desire for repose.

I thank you, Sir, for the suggestion of seclusion, and the security
which that suggestion promises to afford.

Something more, Sir, I would say, but I am admonished that voice and
strength will not permit. With your permission, therefore, I will hand
the reporters what I should be glad to say, that it may be printed.

    [The remainder of the speech is printed from Mr. Sumner’s

More than five months have passed since I was disabled from the
performance of my public duties. During this weary period I have been
constrained to repeat daily the lesson of renunciation,--confined at
first to my bed, and then only slowly regaining the power even to walk.
But, beyond the constant, irrepressible grief which must well up in the
breast of every patriot, as he discerns the present condition of his
country, my chief sorrow has been caused by the necessity, to which I
was doomed, of renouncing all part in the contest for human rights,
which, beginning in Congress, has since enveloped the whole land. The
Grecian chief, grievously ill of a wound from the stealthy bite of
a snake, and left behind while his companions sailed to the siege of
Troy, did not repine more at his enforced seclusion. From day to day
and week to week I vainly sought that health which we value most when
lost, and which perpetually eluded my pursuit. For health I strove, for
health I prayed. With uncertain steps I sought it at the seashore and I
sought it on the mountain-top.

    “Two voices are there: one is of the sea,
    One of the mountains; each a mighty voice:
    In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,
    They were thy chosen music, Liberty!”[3]

I listened to the admonitions of medical skill, and I courted all the
bracing influences of Nature, while time passed without the accustomed
healing on its wings. I had confidently hoped to be restored so as
to take my seat in the Senate, and to be heard there again, long
before the session closed. But Congress adjourned, leaving me still an
invalid. My next hope was, that I might be permitted to appear before
the people during the present canvass, and with heart and voice plead
the great cause now in issue. Here again I have been disappointed,
and the thread of my disability is not yet spun to the end. Even now,
though happily lifted from long prostration, and beginning to assume
many of the conditions of health, I am constrained to confess that I am
an invalid,--cheered, however, by the assurance that I shall soon be
permitted, with unimpaired vigor, to resume all the responsibilities of
my position.

       *       *       *       *       *

Too much have I said about myself; but you will pardon it to the
occasion, which, being personal in character, invites these personal
confessions. With more pleasure I turn to other things.

       *       *       *       *       *

I should feel that I failed in one of those duties which the heart
prompts and the judgment confirms, if I allowed this first opportunity
to pass without sincerest acknowledgment to my able, generous, and
faithful colleague, Mr. Wilson. Together we labored in mutual trust,
honorably leaning upon each other. By my disability he was left sole
representative of Massachusetts on the floor of the Senate, throughout
months of heated contest, involving her good name and most cherished
sentiments. All who watched the currents of debate, even as imperfectly
as I did in my retirement, know with what readiness, courage, and power
he acted,--showing himself, by extraordinary energies, equal to the
extraordinary occasion. But it is my especial happiness to recognize
his unfailing sympathies for myself, and his manly assumption of all
the responsibilities of the hour.

I am not here to indulge in eulogy, nor to open any merit-roll of
service; but the same feeling which prompts these acknowledgments
to my colleague embraces also the Commonwealth from whom we have
received our trust. To Massachusetts, mother of us all,--great in
resources, great in children,--I now pledge anew my devotion. Never
before did she inspire equal pride and affection; for never before was
she so completely possessed by those sentiments which, when manifest
in Commonwealth or citizen, invest the character with its highest
charm, so that what is sown a natural body is raised a spiritual
body. My filial love does not claim too much, when it exhibits her
as approaching the pattern of a Christian Commonwealth, which,
according to the great English Republican, John Milton, “ought to be
but as one huge Christian personage, one mighty growth and stature
of an honest man, as big and compact in virtue as in body.”[4] Not
through any worldly triumphs, not through the vaults of State Street,
the spindles of Lowell, or even the learned endowments of Cambridge,
is Massachusetts thus,--but because, seeking to extend everywhere
within the sphere of her influence the benign civilization which she
cultivates at home, she stands forth the faithful, unseduced supporter
of Human Nature. Wealth has its splendor, and the intellect has its
glory; but there is a grandeur in such service which is above all that
these can supply. For this she has already the regard of good men,
and will have the immortal life of history. For this she has also the
reproach and contumely always throughout the ages poured upon those
who have striven for justice on earth. Not now for the first time in
human struggles has Truth, when most dishonored, seemed most radiant,
gathering glory even out of obloquy. When Sir Harry Vane, courageous
champion of the English Commonwealth, was dragged on a hurdle up the
Tower Hill to suffer death by the axe, one of the multitude cried
out to him, “That is the most glorious seat you ever sat on!”[5]
And again, when Russell was exposed in the streets, on his way to a
similar scaffold, the people, according to the simple narrative of his
biographer, imagined they saw Liberty and Virtue sitting by his side.
Massachusetts is not without encouragement in her own history. She has
seen her ports closed by arbitrary power,--has seen her name made a
byword of reproach,--has seen her cherished leaders, Hancock and Adams,
excepted from all pardon by the crown; but then, when most dishonored,
did Massachusetts deserve most, for then was she doing most for the
cause of all. And now, when Massachusetts is engaged in a greater cause
than that of our fathers, how serenely can she turn from the scoff and
jeer of heartless men! Her only disgrace will be in disloyalty to the
truth which is to make her free.

Worse to bear--oh, far worse!--than the evil speaking of others
is the conduct of some of her own children. It is hard to see the
scholarship which has been drawn from her cisterns, and the riches
accumulated under her hospitable shelter, now employed to weaken and
discredit that cause which is above riches or scholarship. It is hard,
while fellow-citizens in Kansas plead for deliverance from a cruel
Usurpation, and while the whole country, including our own soil, is
trodden down by a domineering and brutal Despotism, to behold sons of
Massachusetts in sympathy, open or disguised, with the vulgar enemy,
quickening everywhere the lash of the taskmaster, and helping forward
the Satanic carnival, when Slavery shall be fastened not only upon
prostrate Kansas, but upon all the Territories of the Republic,--when
Cuba shall be torn from a friendly power by dishonest force,--and when
the slave-trade itself, with all its crime, its woe, and its shame,
shall be opened anew under the American flag. Alas, that any child of
Massachusetts, in wickedness of heart, or in weakness of principle, or
under the delusion of partisan prejudice, should join in these things!
With such I have no word of controversy at this hour. But, leaving
them now, in my weakness, I trust not to seem too severe, if I covet
for the occasion something of the divine power

    “To bend the silver bow with tender skill,
    While, void of pain, the silent arrows kill.”[6]

Gladly from these do I turn to another character, yet happily spared
to Massachusetts, whose heart beats strong with the best blood of
the Revolution, and with the best sentiments by which that blood was
enriched. The only child of one of the authors of American Liberty,
for many years the able and courageous Representative of Boston on the
floor of Congress, where his speeches were the masterpieces of the
time, distinguished throughout a long career by the grateful trust of
his fellow-citizens, happy in all the possessions of a well-spent life,
and surrounded by “honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,” with an
old age which is second youth, JOSIAH QUINCY, still erect under the
burden of eighty-four winters, puts himself at the head of our great
battle,--and never before, in the ardor of youth, or the maturity of
manhood, did he show himself so grandly conspicuous, and add so much to
the heroic wealth of our history. His undaunted soul, lifted already
to glimpses of another life, may shame the feebler spirits of a later
generation. There is one other personage, at a distant period, who,
with precisely the same burden of winters, asserted the same supremacy
of powers. It is the celebrated Dandolo, Doge of Venice, at the age of
eighty-four, of whom the historian Gibbon has said, in words strictly
applicable to our own Quincy: “He shone, in the last period of human
life, as one of the most illustrious characters of the times: under the
weight of years he retained a sound understanding and a manly courage,
the spirit of an hero and the wisdom of a patriot.”[7] This old man
carried the Venetian Republic over to the Crusaders, and exposed his
person freely to all the perils of war, so that the historian describes
him, in words again applicable to our day, saying: “In the midst of the
conflict, the Doge, a venerable and conspicuous form, stood aloft, in
complete armor, on the prow of his galley,” while “the great standard
of St. Mark was displayed before him.”[8] Before the form of our
venerable head is displayed the standard of a greater republic than
Venice, thrilling with its sight greater multitudes than ever gazed on
the standard of St. Mark, while a sublimer cause is ours than the cause
of the Crusaders; for our task is not to ransom an empty sepulchre,
but to rescue the Saviour himself, in the bodies of his innumerable
children,--not to dislodge the Infidel from a distant foreign soil, but
to displace him from the very Jerusalem of our Liberties.

       *       *       *       *       *

May it please your Excellency, I forbear to proceed further. With
thanks for this welcome, accept also my new vows of duty. In all
simplicity let me say that I seek nothing but the triumph of Truth.
To this I offer my best efforts, careless of office or honor. Show me
that I am wrong, and I stop at once; but in the complete conviction
of right I shall persevere against all temptations, against all odds,
against all perils, against all threats,--knowing well, that, whatever
may be my fate, the Right will surely prevail. Terrestrial place is
determined by celestial observation. Only by watching the stars can
the mariner safely pursue his course; and it is only by obeying those
lofty principles which are above men and human passion that we can make
our way safely through the duties of life. In such obedience I hope to
live, while, as a servant of Massachusetts, I avoid no labor, shrink
from no exposure, and complain of no hardship.

    The cavalcade then moved rapidly away, escorting Mr. Sumner to
    his home in Hancock Street.

    On arriving there, he was again welcomed with unbounded
    enthusiasm by a large crowd assembled in the street and on the
    sidewalks, the windows being filled on both sides up and down
    the street. The crowd cheered vociferously for Mr. Sumner, his
    mother, the Governor, Hon. Josiah Quincy, Hon. N. P. Banks, and
    Hon. Anson Burlingame. Mr. Sumner and his mother appeared at
    the window and bowed their acknowledgments, which called forth
    general and enthusiastic plaudits. The multitude then, giving
    three parting cheers for the distinguished Senator, separated,
    and the ceremonies of reception terminated.

    Many of the business firms closed their stores during the
    afternoon. The paper agreeing to do so was headed by A. & A.
    Lawrence & Co., Gardner Brewer & Co., Parker, Wilder, & Co.,
    Denny, Rice, & Gardner, Wilkinson, Stetson, & Co., Blake,
    Bigelow, & Co., Pierce Brothers & Flanders, &c.



    HON. M. F. CONWAY, afterwards Representative in Congress from
    Kansas, in communicating this letter to the public, reported
    that it “was of great value in securing the appropriation of
    twenty thousand dollars by the Legislature of Vermont in aid of

                                        BOSTON, November 17, 1856.

  DEAR SIR,--I wish that I could aid your efforts to interest the
  State Legislatures for Kansas. To these Legislatures I look at
  this exigency for something worthy of the cause which is now in
  jeopardy. They have the power, and this is the very moment to
  exert it. God bless the State which begins!

  Surely liberty in Kansas, involving our own liberty also, is
  worthy of every effort. To its security every citizen should
  contribute according to his means; and I know no better rule for
  the State Legislatures than for the citizen. These Legislatures
  should all contribute according to their means,--the more, the
  better. And such contributions, like every other charity, will be
  twice blessed.

  Accept my best wishes for Kansas, and believe me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,


  JUDGE CONWAY, of Kansas.



                                                HANCOCK STREET,
                             Monday Evening, November 24, 1856.

  DEAR SIR,--I am sorry to renounce any opportunity of doing honor
  to Mr. Burlingame; but my careful physician does not allow me yet
  to take part in the excitement of a public meeting, and I yield
  to his prescription.

  My best wishes attend your distinguished guest to-night and
  always. His recent triumph is the occasion of special joy, not
  only in Massachusetts, but everywhere throughout the free North.
  Many who voted against him must, in their better moments, condemn
  themselves,--as much as they have been condemned by others. If
  not entirely dead to generous impulses, they must be glad that
  they failed. If not entirely insensible to appearances, they
  must look with regret at the means employed to accomplish the
  end proposed. If not entirely indifferent to principles, they
  must look with amazement at the unprecedented, incongruous, and
  eccentric political conglomerate of which they constituted a part.

  It was natural that the propagandists of Slavery, acting under
  dictation from Washington, should vote against Mr. Burlingame. It
  was natural that others, who allow themselves to be controlled
  by the rancors and jealousies of party, should do likewise.
  But it was hard that this blow at Freedom should be attempted
  in the name of Trade, and that merchants of Boston should
  be rallied against a candidate who had done so much to make
  Boston respectable. And yet this extraordinary conduct is not
  without parallel in history. The earliest antislavery effort of
  England was against the Barbary corsairs, and this, it is well
  known, was opposed by “the mercantile interest.” And this same
  “mercantile interest,” as you also know, set itself against the
  great antislavery enterprise of Clarkson and Wilberforce, when
  they demanded the suppression of the slave-trade. Such examples
  teach us not to be disappointed, when this interest is invoked
  against our efforts. But I rejoice to know that in Boston there
  are honorable exceptions, and, if anything be expected from me
  to-night, let it be a tribute to one of these. I propose the
  following toast.

      _The Merchants of Boston._--May they all appreciate the
      spirit of him among their number, who, when pressed to vote
      against Mr. Burlingame on mercantile grounds, nobly replied
      at once, “I am a merchant, but at the polls I mean to be a

  Accept my thanks for the honor of your invitation, and believe
  me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,





                                      BOSTON, November 24, 1856.

  MY DEAR SIR,--Not willingly do I give up the opportunity of
  uniting with the gallant Republicans of Worcester in celebrating
  our recent victories; but my health, though vastly improved,
  has limitations which I cannot with prudence neglect, and these
  forbid the indulgence to which you kindly invite me. Please
  tender to the Republicans my cordial congratulations. Clearly
  do I see the beginning of the end. All New England, with New
  York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, constitute an
  irresistible phalanx for Freedom, while our seeming reverse in
  the Presidential election is only another Bunker Hill. If toasts
  are in order at your festival, let me propose the following.

      _The late Presidential Election._--Like Bunker Hill, it
      teaches us our strength, and gives assurance of speedy

  Believe me, my dear Sir, faithfully yours,




                                HANCOCK STREET, January 10, 1857.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I am happy that you are still active for Kansas.
  Much remains to be done. Indeed, I think that no effort can be
  safely relaxed, until the Territory is admitted into the Union as
  a Free State.

  The Slave Oligarchy has not yet abandoned its darling idea of a
  new Slave State, and this can be defeated only by vigilance. The
  lull which seems now to prevail does not persuade me to repose.
  Too much is at stake. Besides, I have read the fable of the cat
  in the meal.

  Of course, emigrants who love Freedom, and, if need be, are
  willing to die in her cause, must be encouraged to plant
  themselves in the Territory. But we who stay at home must
  contribute to their comfort and protection, and, since this can
  be done most effectively through State Legislatures, these must
  be enlisted. The name of a State Legislature will be a tower of

  Massachusetts, which, throughout our history, has led in every
  liberal movement, must lead now by a generous appropriation,
  which, if not needed, may not be used, but which, in any
  alternative, will be an irresistible token of her sincerity, an
  example to other States, and a fountain of encouragement to
  distant fellow-citizens. I cannot believe that Massachusetts will
  hesitate. Her people have already opened their hearts to Kansas,
  and the public treasury should be opened as wide as their hearts.

  Accept my thanks for the good you have done and the good you are
  still doing, and believe me, my dear Sir, with much regard,

      Faithfully yours,





    In the winter of 1856, the American party having the control of
    the Legislature of Massachusetts, members of this party were
    reported as entering into a plan to choose a Senator in place
    of Mr. Sumner at the expiration of his term, March 4, 1857,
    thus anticipating the action of the Legislature to be chosen in
    the autumn following. The plan was discussed in newspapers and
    in contemporary letters. It excited the anxiety of Mr. Sumner’s
    political friends so far, that, at their request, he was
    induced to obtain from the Secretary of the Senate the adverse
    precedents, which were published at the time in the newspapers.
    The discussion of the question was arrested by the event which
    soon followed, turning all eyes to him, and making him more
    than ever the representative of Massachusetts.

    The new Legislature seemed to have been constituted for the
    reëlection of Mr. Sumner. It came together January 7, 1857,
    when, even before the message of the Governor, it was insisted
    that the election should be proceeded with, and January 9th was
    fixed upon for this purpose. On that day, in pursuance of an
    order of the House, the Clerk called the roll of members, when
    each responded _viva voce_ with the name of the person for whom
    he voted, as follows.

    Charles Sumner, of Boston,                 333
    Robert C. Winthrop, of Boston,               3
    Nathaniel J. Lord, of Salem,                 2
    George W. Gordon, of Boston,                 1
    Erasmus D. Beach, of Springfield,            1
    Charles B. Goodrich, of Boston,              1
    Otis P. Lord, of Salem,                      1
    Edward Everett, of Boston,                   1
    William Appleton, of Boston,                 1
    Rufus Choate, of Boston,                     1
      Total vote,                              345
      Members absent or not voting,             10
      Whole number of members,                 355

    The announcement of the vote was received with applause.

    In the Senate the vote was taken in the same way, January 13th,
    and every member responded with the name of “Charles Sumner, of
    Boston,” the vote being unanimous, when the President announced
    that “Hon. CHARLES SUMNER, of Boston, having received the
    entire vote of the Senate, in concurrence with the House, is
    elected United States Senator from this State for the term of
    six years from the fourth of March next.”

    The _Boston Daily Advertiser_ noticed this event as follows.

        “It is impossible to refrain from comparing the election
        of yesterday with Mr. Sumner’s previous election in the
        same place six years ago. _Now_ he receives nearly all the
        votes, on the first ballot, taken on the third day of the
        session, every member speaking aloud his vote. _Then_ he
        received only the exact number necessary for a choice,--one
        more than half the whole number; and the election was not
        effected until the twenty-sixth ballot, taken on the one
        hundred and fourteenth day of the session (April 24, 1851),
        and the votes were thrown in sealed envelopes. _Then_ he
        was the candidate of a party which threw 27,636 votes in
        the State, at the preceding popular election, or about one
        fifth of the whole number. _Now_ he is the candidate of a
        party which threw 108,190 votes in the State, at the last
        popular election, or about two thirds of the whole number.
        _Then_ he was chosen to a body where he could expect to
        find but two or three associates sympathizing with his
        sentiments. _Now_ he is a member of a party which has a
        majority in the lower House of Congress, and numbers a
        quarter of the members even of the Senate of the United
        States. Truly, _tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis_.”

    The _New York Tribune_ had the following comment.

        “We need not, in view of recent events, point out the
        change which has taken place in the public sentiment of
        Massachusetts. It is not too much to say that Mr. Sumner
        is at this moment the most popular man in the State, the
        opinions of which he so truly represents. Nor will it
        do to attribute this general love, honor, and sympathy
        entirely to the felonious assault made upon Mr. Sumner. Had
        he been less true to the cause committed to his keeping,
        had he trimmed and temporized, and spoken softly when he
        should have spoken sharply, he would have been safe from
        the bludgeon of the bully, and might have won the smiles
        instead of the expectorations of a certain servile Senator.
        The people of Massachusetts have estimated Mr. Sumner’s
        service in all its length and breadth; they have duly
        weighed all its incidents and indignities,--what he has
        suffered, what he has accomplished, and what he has failed
        to accomplish; and their verdict, expressed in yesterday’s
        almost unanimous vote in the House of Representatives,
        bestows upon him a crown of honor which may well assuage
        the hope deferred of a tardy convalescence. Few public men
        have had such large opportunities, few public men have so
        nobly improved them.”

    On the 23d of January, 1857, Hon. Charles A. Phelps, Speaker
    of the House of Representatives, laid before the House the
    following letter, which was read, and, on motion of Hon.
    Charles Hale, of Boston, entered at large upon the Journal.


        I have been officially notified that the people of
        Massachusetts, by concurrent votes of both branches of the
        Legislature, have charged me with the duty of representing
        them in the Senate of the United States for another term of
        six years, on the expiration of that which I now have the
        honor to hold. This renewed trust I accept with gratitude
        enhanced by the peculiar circumstances under which it is
        bestowed. But far beyond every personal gratification is
        the delight of knowing, by this sign, that the people of
        Massachusetts, forgetting ancient party hates, have at
        last come together in fraternal support of a sacred cause,
        compared with which the fate of any public servant is of
        small account.

        When first selected for this eminent trust, I was a
        stranger to all official life. Untried in public affairs,
        I was taken up, and placed, without effort of my own, and
        even without antecedent aspiration, in the station where,
        after an experience of nearly six years, you now, with
        spontaneous unanimity, bid me remain. About to commence a
        fresh term of service, I turn with honest pride to that
        which is about to close, while I greet anew the duties
        and responsibilities of my position,--hoping, that, by
        conscientious endeavor, I may do something in the future
        better than in the past, and mindful that “he that girdeth
        on his harness should not boast himself as he that putteth
        it off.”

        The duties of a public servant are not always conspicuous.
        Much of his time is absorbed in cares which, if not
        obscure, are little calculated to attract public attention.
        Massachusetts justly expects that no such interests
        shall be neglected. But, by solemn resolutions of her
        Legislature, by the votes of her people, and by the voice
        of her history, Massachusetts especially enjoins upon her
        representatives to see, that, at all hazards, and whatever
        else may suffer, Freedom shall prevail. I cannot neglect
        this injunction.

        Alike by sympathy with the slave and by determination to
        save ourselves from wretched thraldom, we are all summoned
        to the effort now organized for _the emancipation of the
        National Government_ from a degrading influence, hostile
        to civilization, which, wherever it shows itself, even
        at a distance, is brutal, vulgar, and mean, constituting
        an unnatural tyranny, calculated to arouse the generous
        indignation of good men. Of course, no person, unless
        ready to say in his heart that there is no God, can doubt
        the certain result. But this result, like every great
        good, can be accomplished only by well-directed effort. I
        know something of the labor and trial which such service
        imposes; I also know something of the satisfaction it
        affords, giving to all who truly espouse it a better joy
        than anything in office or honor. In the weary prostration
        of months, from which I have now happily risen, the
        sharpest pang came out of my enforced separation from
        the cause which was so dear to me; and now my content is
        in the assurance that to this service I may dedicate the
        vigorous health which, through medical care and the kindly
        ministrations of Nature, I am permitted to expect. In this
        well-founded assurance, I welcome the trust which has been
        again conferred upon me, while I once more bespeak the
        candid judgment of my fellow-citizens, and once more invoke
        the guardianship of a benignant Providence.

        I have the honor to be, fellow-citizens, with grateful

            Your faithful servant and Senator,

                CHARLES SUMNER.

        BOSTON, January 22, 1857.

    The following tribute, taken from contemporary newspapers,
    attests a feeling much above that of ordinary politics, and
    therefore illustrates this record.


        “‘Three hundred and thirty-three members answered to their
        names, with the words, “CHARLES SUMNER, of Boston”; and
        as the Clerk responded with the same words to each vote,
        they rang upon the ears of the large assembly more than six
        hundred times during the hour occupied with calling the

        “‘It is said, no sound is ever lost,--that every word
        uttered upon earth is echoed and reëchoed through space

        “Old Massachusetts! nobly thou
          This day thy work hast done;
        Proudly thou speakest for the Right,
          And for thy honored son:

        “Three hundred voices on the air,
          Ringing the loved name forth;
        Three hundred voices echoing back,
          ‘CHARLES SUMNER, of the North!’

        “Throughout the land, beyond the sea,
          The voices will be heard;
        His name shall stand for Liberty,
          The freeman’s rallying word.

        “Throughout the land, beyond the sea,
          Above, in arches high,
        Voices are ever echoing
          A name that ne’er will die.

        “Unfurl the banners! even now
          The stars more brightly shine:
        Is one more glorious than the rest?
          Old Bay State, it is thine!

        “Gather fresh laurels, twine two wreaths,
          Wreaths for a victory won,--
        Loved Massachusetts, one for thee,
          One for thy chosen son!”



    The Legislature of Vermont, at its recent session, passed
    a series of joint resolutions, highly complimentary, and
    indorsing Mr. Sumner’s last speech in the Senate. On receiving
    a copy, Mr. Sumner wrote the following reply.

                              NEW YORK, Saturday, March 7, 1857.


  SIR,--At the last moment before leaving for foreign lands in
  quest of that vigorous health which for nearly ten months has
  been taken from me, I have received notice of the resolutions
  adopted by the Legislature of Vermont, and approved by your
  Excellency, which give the official sanction of a generous,
  virtuous, and intelligent State to my speech in the Senate on the
  19th and 20th of May last, exposing the Crime against Kansas.
  Such a token is precious to me in every respect,--not only
  because it assures me of the personal sympathy of the people of
  Vermont, declared through their representatives, but because it
  attests their interest in that cause which is more important than
  any person.

  I cannot accept this public approval of my speech without seizing
  the occasion to express a heartfelt joy that I was permitted
  to make it, and also my humble determination, with returning
  strength, to do something that shall still further unmask the
  portentous _Barbarism_ which has fastened on our Republic, and
  installed itself in all the high places of power.

  I have the honor to be, Sir, with much respect,

      Your faithful servant,




                    ON BOARD STEAMSHIP FULTON, March 7, 1857.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I trust that you and our friends will not be
  disheartened in efforts for Kansas. Much must still be done, or
  the night of Slavery will settle down on that beautiful Territory.

  Surely the Legislature of Massachusetts will feel the inspiration
  of a great cause, and pledge itself by a generous appropriation
  to its support. I hear of constitutional impediments, but I
  believe that all such will be found to have bottom in the
  lukewarm hearts of objectors rather than in the Constitution.

  There are some who think that anything for Slavery is
  constitutional, but nothing for Freedom. With me the opposite
  rule prevails, and I venture to say that any other rule must
  bring discredit upon a country calling itself a Commonwealth.

  I trust, also, that the people of Kansas will stand firm, and
  that, if need be, they will know how to die for Freedom. Do any
  sigh for a Thermopylæ? They have it in Kansas, for there is to
  be fought the great battle between Freedom and Slavery,--by the
  _ballot-box_, I trust; but I do not forget that all who destroy
  the ballot-box madly invoke the _cartridge-box_.

  With a farewell to my country, as I seek a foreign land, hoping
  for health long deferred, I give my last thoughts to suffering
  Kansas, with devout prayers that the ruffian Usurpation which now
  treads her down may be peaceably overthrown, and that she may be
  lifted into the enjoyment of freedom and repose.

      Ever faithfully yours,


  P. S. I entrust this to the pilot, and hope it may reach you.




    The following correspondence, with its brief introduction, is
    copied from _Galignani’s Messenger_ at Paris.

        “SENATOR SUMNER, OF MASSACHUSETTS.--This distinguished
        American statesman and orator has been tendered a public
        dinner by the American merchants residing at Paris, in the
        following complimentary terms.

                                            “PARIS, April 28, 1857.

        “DEAR SIR,--The American merchants residing in Paris,
        desirous of expressing their high regard and admiration
        for your noble independence and distinguished services as
        a Senator of the United States, respectfully invite you to
        meet them at a public dinner, to be given at such a time
        during your sojourn in Paris as may be most convenient to

        “Though well aware that you are habitually accustomed to
        decline all similar requests, we earnestly hope you will
        yield to our wishes.

        “As citizens of the great Republic, representing many
        States, and all actively engaged in commercial life, we
        tender you this tribute, as an evidence of our appreciation
        of your elevated patriotism, unbending integrity, and
        spotless honor.

        “With the highest esteem, we have the honor to be your
        friends and fellow-citizens.

        “JOHN MUNROE,
        B. G. WAINWRIGHT,
        A. P. MONTANT,
        THOMAS N. DALE,
        G. F. T. REED,
        JAMES W. TUCKER,
        A. K. P. COOPER,
        C. L. SHARPSTEEN,
        HENRY WOODS,
        W. ENDICOTT, JR.,
        JOHN C. MARTIN,
        WALTER H. LEWIS,
        GEORGE L. TODD,
        DAVID LANE,
        J. H. DEMING,
        JOS. D. B. CURTIS.”

    To this invitation Mr. Sumner returned the following reply.

                                HÔTEL DE LA PAIX, RUE DE LA PAIX,
                                                  April 30, 1857.

        GENTLEMEN,--I have been honored by your communication of
        the 28th April, where, after referring to my services
        as Senator of the United States, in language generous
        beyond the ordinary experience of political life, you are
        pleased to invite me, in the name of the American merchants
        residing in Paris, to a public dinner, at such time as may
        be most convenient to myself.

        The voice of hospitality is pleasant in a strange land.
        But the hospitality which you offer is enhanced by the
        character and number of those who unite in it, among whom
        I recognize well-known names, intimately associated with
        the commerce of my country in one of its most important

        There is one aspect in which your invitation is especially
        grateful. It is this. If I have been able to do anything
        not unworthy of your approbation, it is because I never
        failed, whether in majorities or minorities, against all
        obloquy, and at every hazard, to uphold those principles of
        Liberty which, just in proportion as they prevail under our
        Constitution, make us an example to the nations. And since
        my public course cannot be unknown to you, I am permitted
        to infer that the public testimony with which you now honor
        me is offered in some measure to those principles,--dearer
        to me than any personal distinction,--with which I am proud
        to know that my name is associated.

        The invitation you send me, coming from such a source,
        couched in terms so flattering, and possessing such an
        import, presents a temptation difficult to resist. But
        I am admonished by the state of my health, which is yet
        far from its natural vigor, that I must not listen to it,
        except to express my gratitude. In making this excuse,
        let me fortify myself by the confession that I left home
        mainly to withdraw from the excitements of public life, and
        particularly from all public speaking, in the assurance
        that by such withdrawal, accompanied by that relaxation
        which is found in change of pursuit, my convalescence would
        be completed. The good physician under whose advice I have
        acted would not admit that by crossing the sea I had been
        able at once to alter all the conditions under which his
        advice was given.

        I cannot turn coldly from the opportunity you offer
        me. My heart overflows with best wishes for yourselves
        individually, and also for the commerce which you conduct,
        mingled with aspirations that your influence may always add
        to the welfare and just renown of our country. As American
        merchants at Paris, you are representatives of the United
        States on a foreign mission, without diplomatic salary or
        diplomatic privilege. But it belongs to the felicity of
        your position that what you do well for yourselves will be
        well for your country, and, more than any diplomacy, will
        contribute to strengthen the friendly ties of two powerful
        nations. Pardon the allusion, when I add that you are
        the daily industrious workmen in that mighty loom whose
        frame stands on the coasts of opposite continents, whose
        threads are Atlantic voyages, whose colors are the various
        enterprises and activities of a beneficent commerce,
        and whose well-wrought product is a radiant, speaking
        tissue,--more beautiful to the mind’s eye than any fabric
        of rarest French skill, more marvellous than any tapestry
        woven for kings,--where every color mingles with every
        thread in completest harmony and on the grandest scale, to
        display the triumphs and the blessings of Peace.

        Accept the assurance of the sincere regard with which I
        have the honor to be, Gentlemen,

            Your faithful servant and fellow-citizen,

                CHARLES SUMNER.

        and others, American merchants at Paris.

    The vigilant spirit of Slavery did not fail to note this
    correspondence. Immediately upon its appearance, a well-known
    Virginian, the reputed owner of large plantations in right of
    his wife, and long resident in Paris, addressed a letter to
    _Galignani’s Messenger_, in which he undertook to set forth
    what he called Mr. Sumner’s mission in Europe. Here is a

        “That mission, certainly ‘without any diplomatic
        privilege,’ but peradventure not without perquisites, is
        to initiate, and, if the exigencies of the cotton market
        and manufacture do not forbid it, to organize, a systematic
        agitation in this and the British capital against the
        Southern States of the Confederacy, and that ‘peculiar
        institution’ of theirs, so tenderly nursed of yore, and
        transmitted to them by dear Old Mother England, and which
        in very modern times has been not less cherished and
        sustained by the ‘enterprise and activity’ on the coast
        of Africa of some of her Puritanical progeny in the New
        World. Under these circumstances can any such subdolous
        plea as that put forward excuse these ‘American merchants’
        from lending themselves to such agencies and influences? If
        they were sordid and self-seeking adventurers, in pursuit
        of _political_ capital, rather than the honorable rewards
        of a liberal and enlightened trade, one could understand,
        or rather would not marvel at, this pseudo-patriotic
        partisanship, this unfraternal display of their _sectional_
        colors in a foreign land.”

    Thus was the invalid in search of health pursued by the same
    malign spirit from which he had originally suffered.



    The following letter found its way into the papers of the time.

                                  HEIDELBERG, September 11, 1857.

  MY DEAR ----,--Weeks have now passed since I have seen a letter
  or newspaper from home. During this time I have been travelling
  away from news, and am now famished. On arrival at Antwerp, I
  trust to find letters at last.

  I have been ransacking Switzerland; I have visited most of its
  lakes, and crossed several of its mountains, mule-back. My
  strength has not allowed me to venture upon any of those foot
  expeditions, the charm of Swiss travel, by which you reach places
  out of the way; but I have seen much, and have gained health

  I have crossed the Alps by the St. Gothard, and then recrossed by
  the Grand St. Bernard, passing a night with the monks and dogs.
  I have spent a day at the foot of Mont Blanc, and another on the
  wonderful Lake Leman. I have been in the Pyrenees, in the Alps,
  in the Channel Isles. You will next hear of me in the Highlands
  of Scotland.

  I see our politics now in distant perspective, and I am more
  than ever satisfied that our course is right. It is Slavery
  which degrades our country, and prevents its example from being
  all-conquering. In fighting our battle at home we fight the
  battle of Freedom everywhere. Be assured, I shall return, not
  only with renewed strength, but with renewed determination to
  give myself to our great cause.

      Ever sincerely yours,



YORK HARBOR, MAY 22, 1858.


  Two years have now passed, since, when in the enjoyment of
  perfect health, I was suddenly made an invalid. Throughout this
  protracted period, amidst various vicissitudes of convalescence,
  I seemed to be slowly regaining the health that had been taken
  from me, until I was encouraged to believe myself on the verge of
  perfect recovery.

  But injuries so grave as those originally received are not
  readily repaired; and a recent relapse painfully admonishes me,
  that, although enjoying many of the conditions of prosperous
  convalescence, I am not yet beyond the necessity of caution. This
  has been confirmed by the physicians in Boston and Philadelphia
  most familiar with my case, who, in concurrence with counsels
  previously given by medical authorities in Europe, have enjoined
  travel as best calculated to promote restoration. Anxious to
  spare no effort for this end, so long deferred, I to-day sail for

  To the generous people of Massachusetts, who have honored me with
  an important trust, and cheered me by so much sympathy, I wish to
  express the thanks which now palpitate in my bosom, while I say
  to them all collectively, as I would say to a friend, Farewell!

  These valedictory words would be imperfect, if I did not seize
  this occasion to declare, what I have often said less publicly,
  that, had I foreseen originally the duration of my disability,
  I should at once have resigned my seat in the Senate, making
  way for a servant more fortunate in the precious advantages of
  health. I did not do so, because, like other invalids, I lived
  in the belief that I was soon to be well, and was reluctant to
  renounce the opportunity of again exposing the hideous Barbarism
  of Slavery, now more than ever transfused into the National
  Government, infecting its whole policy and degrading its whole
  character. Besides, I was often assured, and encouraged to feel,
  that to every sincere lover of civilization my vacant chair was a
  perpetual speech.




AUGUST 17, 1858.

                                HÔTEL AND RUE DE LA PAIX, PARIS,
                                       Tuesday, August 17, 1858.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I have fresh occasion to be unhappy that I am
  still an invalid, because it prevents me from joining in the
  well-deserved honors which our countrymen here are about to offer

  As I would not be thought indifferent to the occasion, I seize
  the moment to express in this informal manner my humble gratitude
  for the great discovery with which your name will be forever
  associated. Through you Civilization has made one of her surest
  and grandest triumphs, beyond any ever won on a field of battle;
  nor do I go beyond the line of most cautious truth, when I add,
  that, if mankind had yet arrived at a just appreciation of its
  benefactors, it would welcome such a conqueror with more than a
  marshal’s baton.

  I write to you frankly, and with a still cordial memory of that
  distant day, when, in the company of a friend who is no longer on
  earth, I first had the happiness of taking you by the hand.

  Believe me, my dear Sir, with much regard,

      Ever sincerely yours,





    This extract is taken from the public papers of the time.

                                  AIX, SAVOY, September 11, 1858.


  Look at the map of Europe, and you will find, nestling in the
  mountains of Savoy, between Switzerland and France, the little
  village of Aix, generally known as Aix-les-Bains, from the baths
  which give it fame. There I am now. The country about is most
  beautiful, the people simple and kind.

  My life is devoted to health. I wish that I could say that I am
  not still an invalid; yet, except when attacked by the pain on my
  chest, I am now comfortable, and enjoy my baths, my walks, and
  the repose and incognito which I find here.

  I begin the day with _douches_, hot and cold,--and when
  thoroughly exhausted, am wrapped in sheet and blanket, and
  conveyed to my hotel, and laid on my bed. After my walk, I find
  myself obliged again to take to my bed for two hours before
  dinner. But this whole treatment is in pleasant contrast with the
  protracted suffering from fire which made the summer a torment.
  And yet I fear that I must return to that treatment.

  It is with a pang unspeakable that I find myself thus arrested
  in the labors of life and in the duties of my position. This is
  harder to bear than the fire. I do not hear of friends engaged in
  active service--like Trumbull in Illinois--without a feeling of





    This meeting was at the City Assembly Rooms, and was addressed
    by Rev. Joseph P. Thompson, Hon. Charles King, Rev. H. W.
    Bellows, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Hon. Joseph Hoxie, and
    Professor O. M. Mitchel. According to the _New York Tribune_,
    the letter of Mr. Sumner “was received with much enthusiasm.”

                              SENATE CHAMBER, February 16, 1860.

  GENTLEMEN,--You do me no more than justice, when you suppose
  that my sympathies are with Italy in her present noble struggle.
  If I do not attend the meeting at New York, according to the
  invitation with which I am honored, it is because other duties
  here keep me away.

  To the cause of Human Freedom everywhere I am bound by all ties,
  whether of feeling or principle. To Italy also--venerable, yet
  ever young, with that fatal gift of beauty which from all time
  she has worn--I confess a sentiment of love and reverence; I am
  sorrowful in her sorrow, and happy in her happiness.

  Surely, by her past history, and all that she has done for human
  improvement, we are her debtors. Without Italian genius what
  now were modern civilization? There is no art, or science, or
  activity, or grace, in which she has not excelled or led the
  way. If I went into detail, I must mention not only sculpture,
  painting, engraving, and music, but also astronomy, navigation,
  bookkeeping, and jurisprudence; and I must present an array of
  great names, such as no other country can boast. And to all these
  I must add the practical discoveries of the mariner’s compass,
  the barometer, the telescope applied to astronomy, and the
  pendulum as a measure of time.

  To the political skeptics and infidels who affect to doubt the
  capacity for freedom of this illustrious people I would say,
  that Italy, in modern times, was the earliest home of political
  science, and the earliest author of some of those political
  truths which have since passed into principles. Besides, divided
  into separate, sovereign States, with separate systems of
  legislation, her condition is coincident with our own, to the
  extent of possessing those local facilities for self-government
  which are our boast. And then there is the spirit of her sons, as
  shown in recent efforts, giving assurance of courage, and of that
  rarer wisdom which knows how to guide and temper courage, both of
  which shone so conspicuous in the Venetian Manin, worthy compeer
  of our own Washington.

  Allow me to add, that I confidently look to the day when we
  may welcome into the fellowship of nations a community new in
  external form, but old in constituent parts,--separate in local
  governments, but bound in perfect union, with one national flag,
  one national coin, and one national principle, giving to all the
  strength of unity,--_E Pluribus Unum_,--and constituting the
  United States of Italy. And may God speed this good time!

  Accept the assurance of the respect with which I have the honor
  to be, Gentlemen,

      Faithfully yours,




                              SENATE CHAMBER, February 21, 1860.

  DEAR SIR,--It would be a pleasure to be with you at your
  celebration of the Birthday of Washington, according to the
  invitation with which you have honored me. But other duties will
  keep me away.

  It is always a delight to listen to the praise of Washington,
  particularly when his full life is set forth, and he is shown
  in his real character, ever wise, firm, and true, teaching two
  commanding lessons: first, by the achievements and trials of
  a seven years’ war, that his fellow-countrymen should not be
  willing to be slaves; and, secondly, by the repeated declarations
  of his life, and especially by his great example in his last will
  and testament, that his fellow-countrymen should not be willing
  to be slave-masters. I do not know for which he is to be most

  Accept my thanks for the personal kindness of your letter, and
  believe me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,





The same paper contained the article of Macaulay entitled “The West
Indies,” from the _Edinburgh Review_, January, 1825, Vol. XLI. pp.
464-488. The day after its appearance, the New York Herald, in a
leader with the caption, “_Macaulay, Sumner, and Slavery,_” sought to
disparage the testimony, saying, among other things:--

    “What Mr. Sumner now introduces is a proof how badly off the
    party must be for weapons, when they rake them up from the
    dead magazines of another generation, and written by a youth
    a little over twenty years of age; or Mr. Sumner has not yet
    recovered his usual strength of mind, since the injury he
    received a few years ago at the Capitol. And what does his
    article amount to? That the British planters in the West Indies
    treated their slaves very badly, which may or may not be true.
    But from the abuse of the institution in one place he argues
    against the policy of its continued existence in any other
    part of the world. He might as well conclude, that, because
    many of the English are cruel to their horses, and that it was
    necessary to pass an Act of Parliament for their protection,
    therefore horses ought to be emancipated in the United States,
    and let loose through the country. An argument from the abuse
    to the disuse of anything is the poorest kind of logic.”

Such was the tone of discussion on the eve of the Presidential election
destined to decide the fate of American Slavery.


    SIR,--I ask attention to an eloquent and characteristic article
    on Slavery, by Macaulay, never yet printed in our country with
    his name. It is in an old number of the “Edinburgh Review,”
    while Jeffrey was its editor, and in point of time preceded
    the famous article on Milton. It is, indeed, the earliest
    contribution of the illustrious writer to that Review, of
    which he became a chief support and ornament. As such, it
    belongs to the curiosities of literature, even if it did not
    possess intrinsic interest from subject and style.

    Here are seen, no longer in germ, but almost in perfect
    development, those same great elements of style which appear
    in the maturer essays and the History,--mastery of language,
    clearness of statement, force, splendor of illustration, an
    irrepressible sequence of thought and argument, and that same
    whip of scorpions which he afterward flourished over Barère:
    all these are conspicuous in this first effort, where he utters
    the honest, gushing indignation of his soul. Never has Slavery
    inspired speaker or writer to more complete and scornful

    The article was called forth by British Slavery in the West
    Indies; but it is just as applicable to American Slavery.
    _Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur._ Every line bears upon
    the slave-drivers of our country, with greater force even than
    upon the slave-drivers of the West Indies; for audacity here
    goes further than it was ever pushed in the British dominions.
    It is interesting to find how exact the parallel becomes. In
    the picture of illiberal men conspiring to support Slavery
    Macaulay seems to delineate us.

        “The slave-drivers may boast, that, if our cause has
        received support from honest men of all religious and
        political parties, theirs has tended in as great a
        degree to combine and conciliate every form of violence
        and illiberality. Tories and Radicals, prebendaries and
        field-preachers, are to be found in their ranks. The only
        requisites for one who aspires to enlist are a front of
        brass and a tongue of venom.”[9]

    Aiming to exhibit Slavery in its laws, without dwelling on
    the accumulated instances of cruelty, he puts the case on the
    strongest ground; and here his unimpeachable witness is the
    statute-book itself. But this same argument bears with equal
    force upon _our_ Slavery; so that, in reading his indignant
    exposure of the West India jurisprudence, we see rising
    before us the kindred enormities of our own Slave States, and
    acknowledge the truth of his generous words.

    He seems also to have anticipated that flagrant sophism, which,
    under the guise of Popular Sovereignty, insists that men shall
    be at liberty--“perfectly free” is the phrase of the Nebraska
    Bill--to buy and sell fellow-men.

        “If you will adopt the principles of Liberty, adopt them
        altogether. Every argument which you can urge in support
        of your own claims might be employed, with far greater
        justice, in favor of the emancipation of your bondsmen.
        When that event shall have taken place, your demand will
        deserve consideration. At present, what you require under
        the name of Freedom is nothing but unlimited power to
        oppress. It is the freedom of Nero.”[10]

    The threats of disunion, coming from slave-drivers, are also
    foreshown, and treated with the scorn they merit.

        “Who can refrain from thinking of Captain Lemuel Gulliver,
        who, while raised sixty feet from the ground on the hand
        of the King of Brobdignag, claps his hand on his sword and
        tells his Majesty that he knows how to defend himself?
        You will rebel!… But this is mere trifling. Are you, in
        point of fact, at this moment able to protect yourselves
        against your slaves without our assistance? If you can
        still rise up and lie down in security,--if you can still
        eat the bread of the fatherless and grind the faces of the
        poor,--if you can still hold your petty Parliaments, and
        say your little speeches, and move your little motions,--if
        you can still outrage and insult the Parliament and people
        of England,--to what do you owe it?”[11]

    The sensitiveness of slave property--the same in our Slave
    States as in the British West Indies--is aptly described in
    the remark, that a pamphlet of Mr. Stephen or a speech of Mr.
    Brougham is sufficient to excite all the slaves in the colonies
    to rebel. And it is shown that in a servile war the master
    _must_ be loser; for his enemies are his chattels. Whether
    the slave conquer or fall, he is alike lost to the owner. In
    the mean time, the soil lies uncultivated, the machinery is
    destroyed. And when the possessions of the planter are restored
    to him, they have been changed into a desert.[12]

    Here also is an exhibition of the incompatibility between
    Slavery and Christianity, which ought to be read in every
    Southern pulpit:--

        “The immorality and irreligion of the slaves are the
        necessary consequences of their political and personal
        degradation. They are not considered by the law as human
        beings.… _They must become men before they can become
        Christians_.… Can a preacher prevail on his hearers
        strictly to fulfil their conjugal duties in a country where
        no protection is given to their conjugal rights,--in a
        country where the husband and wife may, at the pleasure of
        the master or by process of law, be in an instant separated
        forever?… The great body of the colonists have resolutely
        opposed religious instruction; and they are in the right.
        They know, though their misinformed friends in England do
        not know, that Christianity and Slavery cannot long exist

    Such is the philippic against Slavery by the first writer of
    the English language in our day, and one of the first in all
    times. As testimony to a sacred cause, it is priceless; as a
    contribution to literature, it cannot be forgotten. Why it was
    suppressed by American publishers, who gave us the earliest
    collection of Macaulay’s Essays ever printed in England or
    America, I know not. Unhappily, this suppression was too
    much in harmony with the received American system from that
    day to this, whether in publishing Humboldt’s work on Cuba,
    the Bishop of Oxford’s work on the American Church, or the
    engraving of Ary Scheffer’s “Christus Consolator,” from all of
    which the slave is shut out. That this blame may not fall upon
    the author himself, it is important to know that the American
    collection was made without any list supplied by him. In the
    modesty of his nature, he regarded his contributions to Reviews
    as fugitive pieces, which he abandoned to the world, without
    caring to gather them together. It will be for posterity to
    rejudge this judgment.

    In this statement, I rely upon personal recollection of
    conversations with him. More than twenty years ago--as also
    more recently--I was in the habit of meeting the great writer
    in the society of London; and I remember well how, on one of
    these occasions, when told that an American bookseller proposed
    to publish a collection of his articles, he very positively
    protested against it, and refused to furnish a list. Nor
    is it out of place to add here, that, while his wonderful
    conversation left on the mind an ineffaceable impression of
    eloquence and fulness, perhaps without parallel, it also showed
    a character of singular integrity.

    This article is not alone in attesting his sympathy with the
    Antislavery cause. The first public appearance of Macaulay,
    while yet a very young man, was at an Antislavery meeting;
    and one of his most stinging speeches, at the maturity of his
    powers, in the House of Commons, bore testimony to the depth
    and constancy of this sentiment.[14] This was natural; for he
    was son of Zachary Macaulay, one of the devoted Abolitionists
    who helped to carry, first, the abolition of the slave-trade,
    and then, at a later day, the abolition of Slavery itself, in
    the British dominions.

    The services of the father, as friend of the slave, have been
    aptly commemorated by a cenotaph in Westminster Abbey, situated
    in the nave, on the left side of the great door as you enter,
    and close to the imposing monument of Fox. The son now lies
    in the same historic burial-place and beneath the same mighty
    roof,[15] but in Poets’ Corner, distant by more than the whole
    length of the nave from the tablet erected in honor of his
    father. In all that multitude of monuments to the illustrious
    dead, if we except the line of kings, there is but one other
    instance of father and son enshrined in the Abbey, and that is
    Lord Chatham and William Pitt, whose monuments are also distant
    from each other by more than the whole length of the nave.

    Such is the conspicuous fellowship of the two Pitts and
    the Macaulays, father and son, although most unlike in
    circumstances of life and the services which have secured this
    common foothold of immortality. In each case, the father, even
    with the fame of Lord Chatham, has new glory from the son. The
    resting-places of the two Pitts are known at once on entering
    the Abbey. Hereafter, the stranger, who has stood with grateful
    admiration before the grave of the younger Macaulay, will
    seek with reverent step the simple tribute to his father, the
    Abolitionist,--mindful that the love of Human Freedom in which
    the son was cradled and schooled gave to his character some of
    its best features, and to his career of authorship its earliest

    My purpose is simply to introduce this new-found testimony
    against Slavery, and not to dwell on the life or character of
    the author. If I followed a hint from him, the way would be
    open. Nobody can forget that in one of his most magnificent
    essays he has availed himself of the interest, transient it may
    have been, created by a newly discovered prose work of Milton,
    and has reminded his readers that the dexterous Capuchins never
    choose to preach on the life and miracles of a Saint till they
    have awakened the devotional feelings of their auditors by
    exhibiting some relic of him,--a thread of his garment, a lock
    of his hair, or a drop of his blood. Here, indeed, is a relic
    of Macaulay; but I venture no further.

            CHARLES SUMNER.



    From the public papers of the time.

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, March 5, 1860.

  MY DEAR HOWE,--I am glad to know that you are moving in earnest
  for a public statue to Horace Mann.

  Absence, and not indifference, is my excuse for not associating
  myself at first with this purpose. Though tardily, I do it
  now most sincerely, and with my whole heart. I send you for
  it one hundred dollars; but you will please not to measure my
  interest in this tribute to a public benefactor by the sum which
  I contribute. Were I able, it would be ten times as large. If
  each person in Massachusetts who has been benefited by the vast
  and generous labors of Horace Mann,--each person who hates
  Intemperance, and who hates Slavery,--each person who loves
  Education, and who loves humane efforts for the prisoner, the
  poor, and the insane,--should contribute a mite only, then his
  statue would be of gold. Why not at once appeal to good men, and
  insist upon organization throughout the Commonwealth, reaching
  into every School District, so that all may have an opportunity
  to contribute? Pray do this, and if I can serve you any way
  about it, command me, and believe me,

      Always yours,


  P. S.--Mr. Seward, who is not a Massachusetts man, asks me to put
  his name down for fifty dollars. I enclose his subscription.


AND JUNE 15, 1860.

    On his return to the Senate, at the opening of Congress,
    December 5, 1859, Mr. Sumner encountered the agitation arising
    from the famous attempt of John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. Though
    warned to enter slowly into the full responsibilities of his
    position, he was constantly moved by incidents arising from
    this agitation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    On the first day of the session, Mr. Mason, of Virginia, moved
    the appointment of a committee “to inquire into the facts
    attending the late invasion and seizure of the armory and
    arsenal of the United States at Harper’s Ferry, in Virginia,
    by a band of armed men,” and the long resolution concluded
    with “power to send for persons and papers.” The Committee
    was appointed, with Mr. Mason as chairman, and, in the course
    of its duties, summoned John Brown, Jr., of Kansas, and F. B.
    Sanborn and James Redpath, of Massachusetts, who severally
    failed to appear. Thaddeus Hyatt, of New York, appeared, but
    refused to testify. Thereupon Mr. Mason reported from his
    committee the following resolution.

        “Whereas Thaddeus Hyatt, appearing at the bar of the
        Senate, in custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms, pursuant to
        the resolution of the Senate of the 6th of March, instant,
        was required, by order of the Senate then made, to answer
        the following questions, under oath and in writing: ‘1st,
        What excuse have you for not appearing before the select
        committee of the Senate, in pursuance of the summons
        served on you on the 24th day of January, 1860? 2d, Are
        you now ready to appear before said committee, and answer
        such proper questions as shall be put to you by said
        committee?’--time to answer the same being given until
        the 9th day of March following: And whereas, on the said
        last-named day, the said Thaddeus Hyatt, again appearing,
        in like custody, at the bar of the Senate, presented a
        paper, accompanied by an affidavit, which he stated was
        his answer to said questions; and it appearing, upon
        examination thereof, that said Thaddeus Hyatt has assigned
        no sufficient excuse in answer to the question first
        aforesaid, and in answer to said second question has not
        declared himself ready to appear and answer before said
        committee of the Senate, as set forth in said question, and
        has not purged himself of the contempt with which he stands
        charged: Therefore,

        “_Be it resolved_, That the said Thaddeus Hyatt be
        committed by the Sergeant-at-Arms to the common jail of the
        District of Columbia, to be kept in close custody until
        he shall signify his willingness to answer the questions
        propounded to him by the Senate; and for the commitment and
        detention of the said Thaddeus Hyatt this resolution shall
        be a sufficient warrant.

        “_Resolved_, That, whenever the officer having the said
        Thaddeus Hyatt in custody shall be informed by said Hyatt
        that he is ready and willing to answer the questions
        aforesaid, it shall be the duty of such officer to deliver
        the said Thaddeus Hyatt over to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the
        Senate, whose duty it shall be again to bring him before
        the bar of the Senate, when so directed by the Senate.”

    On the question upon its passage, March 12, 1860, Mr. Sumner
    spoke as follows.

MR. PRESIDENT,--It is related in English parliamentary history, that,
on a certain occasion, when the House of Commons was about ordering
the commitment of a somewhat too famous witness to the custody of the
Sergeant-at-Arms, the Speaker interfered by volunteering to say, that
“the House ought to pause before they came to a decision upon a point
in which the liberty of the subject was so materially concerned.”[16]
That same question is now before us. We are to pass on the liberty of a

Pardon me, if I say that such a question cannot at any time be trivial.
But it has an unaccustomed magnitude on this occasion, because the
case is novel in this body; so that what you now do, besides involving
the liberty of the gentleman at the bar, will establish a precedent,
which, in itself, will be a law for other cases hereafter.

Now, if it be conceded that the Senate is invested with all the
large powers claimed by the Houses of Parliament, then I cannot
doubt its power in the present case, although I might well question
the expediency of exercising it. But this is notoriously untrue. It
is well known that Parliament is above the constraint of a written
Constitution; and it has been more than once declared--much to the
indignation of our Revolutionary fathers--that it is “omnipotent” to
such extent that it can do anything it pleases, except make a man of a
woman, or a woman of a man. The Senate has no such large powers; it is
not “omnipotent,” but under the constraint of a written Constitution.
Instead of authority in all possible cases, it has authority only in
certain specific cases.

If the Senate can summon witnesses to its bar, and compel them to
testify, under pains and penalties, it must be by virtue of powers
delegated in the Constitution,--I do not say by express grant, but at
least by positive intendment. I say positive intendment; for nothing is
to be presumed against liberty.

There are certain cases in which the power is clear: first, and most
conspicuously, in the trial of impeachments; secondly, in determining
the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members; and,
thirdly, in punishing its members for disorderly behavior. All these
proceedings are judicial, as well as political, in character, and carry
with them, as a natural incident, the power to compel witnesses to

Beyond these three cases, which stand on the express words of the
Constitution, there are two other cases, quasi-judicial in character,
which, though not supported by express words of the Constitution, have
grown out of necessity and reason, amounting to positive intendment,
and are sanctioned by precedents. I refer, first, to the inquiry into
an alleged violation of the privileges of this body, as where a copy
of a treaty was furtively obtained and published; and, secondly, to
the inquiry into conduct of servants of the Senate, like that now
proceeding with regard to the Printer, on the motion of the Senator
from New York [Mr. KING]. If I were asked to indicate the principle
on which these two cases stood, I should say it was that just and
universal right of _self-defence_ inherent in every parliamentary body,
as in every court, and also in every individual, but which is limited
closely by the simple necessities of the case.

Such are the five cases in which this extraordinary power has been
heretofore exercised: the first three standing on the text of
the Constitution, and the other two on the right of self-defence
necessarily inherent in the Senate; all five sanctioned by precedents
of this body; all five judicial in character; all five judicial also
in purpose and intent; and all five agreeing in this final particular,
that they have no legislative purpose or intent. Beyond these cases
there is no precedent for the exercise by the Senate of the power in

It is now proposed to add a new case, most clearly without any support
in the Constitution, without any support in the right of _self-defence_
inherent in the Senate, and without any support in the precedents of
the Senate.

A committee has been appointed to inquire into the facts attending
the late invasion and seizure of the armory and arsenal at Harper’s
Ferry by a band of armed men, and report whether the same was attended
by armed resistance to the authorities and public force of the United
States, and by the murder of any citizens of Virginia, or of any troops
sent there to protect public property; whether such invasion was made
under color of any organization intended to subvert the government
of any of the States of the Union; the character and extent of such
organization; _whether any citizens of the United States, not present,
were implicated therein or accessory thereto, by contributions of
money, arms, munitions, or otherwise_; the character and extent of the
military equipment in the hands or under the control of such armed
band; where, how, and when the same was obtained and transported to the
place invaded; also, to report what legislation, if any, is necessary
by the Government for the future preservation of the peace of the
country and the safety of public property; with power to send for
persons and papers.

And this committee, after several weeks of session, now invokes the
power of the Senate to compel the witness to testify. The chairman of
the committee, the Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON], who calls for the
imprisonment of an American citizen, has shown no authority for such
an exercise of power in the Constitution, or in the admitted right of
self-defence, or in the precedents of the Senate. He cannot show any
such authority. It does not exist.

Surely, where the Constitution, and reason, and precedent, all three,
are silent, we might well hesitate to exercise a power so transcendent.
But I shall not stop here. I go further, and point out two specific
defects in the resolution of the Senate.

_First._ The inquiry which it institutes is clearly judicial in
character,--without, however, any judicial purpose, or looking to any
judicial end. The committee is essentially a Tribunal, with power of
denunciation, but without power of punishment,--sitting with closed
doors, having the secrecy of the Inquisition or the Star Chamber,
or, if you please, the Grand Jury,--with power to investigate facts
involving the guilt of absent persons, and to denounce fellow-citizens
as felons and traitors. If such a power is lodged anywhere outside of
judicial tribunals, it must be in the House of Representatives, as
the Grand Inquest of the Nation, with its power to impeach all civil
officers, from the President down; but it cannot be in the Senate.
Let me cite an illustration. The Constitution of Maryland provides
expressly that “the House of Delegates may inquire, on the oath of
witnesses, into all complaints, grievances, and offences, as the Grand
Inquest of the State, and may commit any person for any crime to the
public jail, there to remain until discharged by due course of law.”
But I deny that the Senate of that neighbor State can erect itself into
a Grand Inquest.

If the Senate of the United States have power to make the present
inquiry, then, on any occasion of alleged crime, of whatever nature,
whether of treason or murder or riot, it may rush to the assistance of
the grand juries of the District, or, still further, it may rush to the
assistance of the grand juries of Virginia; in short, it will be an
inquest of commanding character, and with far-reaching, all-pervading
process, supplementary and ancillary to the local inquest,--or, rather,
so transcendent in powers, that by its side the local inquest will be
dwarfed into insignificance. This cannot be proper or constitutional.
But perhaps I am especially sensitive on this point; for, as a citizen
of Massachusetts, I cannot forget that her Bill of Rights, originally
the work of John Adams, provides expressly that the legislative
department shall never exercise judicial powers, and the judicial
department shall never exercise legislative powers,--“to the end,” as
is solemnly declared, “it may be a government of laws, and not of men.”

But, assuming that the resolution is defective so far as it constitutes
an inquest into crime, it may be said that the witness should be
compelled to answer the other parts. Surely, the Senate will not resort
to any such refinement in order to imprison a citizen.

_Secondly._ But there is a broader objection still: that, whatever may
be the power of the Senate in judicial cases, it cannot compel the
testimony of a witness in a proceeding of which the declared purpose
is merely legislative. Officers of the Government communicate with
Congress and its committees simply by letter. They are not summoned
from distant posts, or even from their offices here. And I know not
why a distant citizen, charged with no offence, and in every right the
peer of any office-holder, should be treated with less consideration.
If information be desired from him for any legislative purpose, let
him communicate it in the way most convenient to himself, and most
consistent with those rights of the citizen which all are bound to

At all events, if this power is to be exercised, let it not be under a
simple resolution of the Senate, but by virtue of a general law, passed
by both Houses, and approved by the President, so that the citizen
shall be surrounded with certain safeguards.

Mr. President, I confidently submit that a power so entirely without
support, and also so obnoxious to criticism, at the same time that it
is so vast, is not to be carelessly exercised. You cannot send the
witness to prison without establishing a new precedent and commencing a
new class of cases. You will declare that the Senate, at any time,--not
merely in the performance of admitted judicial duties, but also in
the performance of mere legislative duties,--may drag a citizen from
the most distant village of the most distant State, and compel his
testimony, involving the guilt or innocence of absent persons, or, it
may be, of the witness himself. This is a fearful prerogative, and
permit me to say, that, in assuming it, you liken yourselves to the
Jesuits, at the period of their most hateful supremacy, when it was
said that their power was a sword whose handle was at Rome and whose
point was in the most distant places. You take into your hands a sword
whose handle will be in this Chamber, to be clutched by a mere partisan
majority, and whose point will be in every corner of the Republic.

If the present case were doubtful, which I do not admit, I feel that
I cannot go wrong, when I lean to the side of Liberty. But, even
admitting that you have the power, is this the occasion to use it?
Is it, upon the whole, expedient? Is the object to be accomplished
worth the sacrifice? It is well to have a giant’s strength, but it is
tyrannous to use it like a giant.

For myself, Sir, I confess a feeling of gratitude to the witness, who,
knowing nothing which he desires to conceal, and chiefly anxious that
the liberties of all may not suffer through him, feeble in body and
broken in health, hardly able to endure the fatigue of appearing at
your bar, now braves the prison which you menace, and thrusts his arm
as a bolt to arrest an unauthorized and arbitrary proceeding.

    The resolutions were adopted March 12, 1860, and on the same
    day Mr. Hyatt was committed to the common jail of Washington.

       *       *       *       *       *

    On the 15th of June, 1860, Mr. Mason, of Virginia, Chairman of
    the Harper’s Ferry Investigating Committee, in submitting his
    final report, further submitted the following order.

        “_Ordered_, That Thaddeus Hyatt, a witness confined in
        the jail of this city for refusal to appear and testify
        before said committee, be discharged from custody, and
        that a copy of this order be delivered to the jailer by
        the Sergeant-at-Arms, as his warrant for discharging said

    On the question upon its passage, Mr. Sumner spoke as follows.

MR. PRESIDENT,--I welcome with pleasure the proposition for the
discharge of Mr. Hyatt from his long incarceration in the filthy
jail where he has been detained by the order of the Senate. But I am
unwilling that this act of justice should be done to a much injured
citizen, without for one moment exposing the injustice which he has
received at your hands.

The case, it seems to me, can be made as plain as a diagram.

We must not forget a fundamental difference between the powers of the
House of Representatives and the powers of the Senate. It is from the
former that the Senator from Virginia has drawn his precedents, and
here is his mistake.

To the House of Representatives expressly are given by the Constitution
_inquisitorial_ powers, while no such powers are given to the Senate.
This is contained in the words, “The House of Representatives
shall have the _sole_ power of impeachment.” Here, then, obviously,
is something delegated to the House, and not delegated to the
Senate,--namely, those inquiries in their nature preliminary to
impeachment, which may or may not end in impeachment; and since, by
the Constitution, every “civil officer” of the national government may
be impeached, the _inquisitorial_ powers of the House may be directed
against every “civil officer,” from the President down to the lowest on
the list.

This is an extensive power, but it is confined solely to the House.
Strictly speaking, the Senate has no general _inquisitorial_ powers. It
has, we know, _judicial powers_ in three cases under the Constitution:--

1. To try impeachments;

2. To judge the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members;

3. To punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the
concurrence of two thirds, to expel a member.

In the execution of these powers, the Senate has the attributes of
a court, and, according to established precedents, it may summon
witnesses and compel their testimony, although it may well be doubted
if a law be not necessary even to the execution of this power.

Besides these three cases, expressly named in the Constitution, there
are two others, where it has already undertaken to exercise _judicial
powers_, not by virtue of express words, but in _self-defence_:--

1. With regard to the conduct of its servants, as of its Printer;

2. When its privileges have been violated, as in the case of William
Duane,[17] by a libel, or in the case of Nugent,[18] by obtaining and
divulging a treaty while still under seal of secrecy.

It will be observed that these two classes of cases are not sustained
by any text of the Constitution. If sustained at all, it must be by
that principle of universal jurisprudence, and also of natural law,
which gives to every body, whether natural or artificial, the right
to protect its own existence,--in other words, the great right of
self-defence. And I submit that no principle less solid can sustain
this exercise of power. It is not enough to say that such a power
would be _convenient_, highly convenient, or important. _It must be
absolutely essential to the self-preservation of the body_; and even
then, in the absence of any law, it must be open in our country to the
gravest doubts.

“Doubtless,” says Blackstone, “all arbitrary powers, well executed,
are _the most convenient_.”[19] But _mere convenience_ is not a proper
reason, under a free government, for the assumption of powers not
granted; and this is especially the case where the powers are arbitrary
and despotic, and touch the liberty of the citizen.

Now, if the present inquiry were in the House of Representatives, and
were directed against the President or the Secretary of War, on the
ground of negligence or malfeasance at an important moment, it would
be clearly within the jurisdiction of that body, which has the _sole_
power of impeachment; but it would not come within the jurisdiction
of the Senate, until it became the duty of the latter body to try the
impeachment instituted by the House.

But the present inquiry is neither preliminary to impeachment nor on
the trial of an impeachment. It has no such element. It is precisely
the same as if an inquiry should be instituted into the murder of Dr.
Burdell in New York, or into the burning of slaves in Alabama, or into
the banks of New York, or into the conduct of the Supreme Court of
Wisconsin in alleged obstructions of the Fugitive Slave Bill,--with
regard to all which the Senate has no judicial powers. And yet it has
judicial powers in all these cases, precisely to the same extent that
it has in the case of John Brown at Harper’s Ferry.

I know it is said that this power is necessary _in aid of legislation_.
I deny the necessity. _Convenient_, at times, it may be; but
_necessary_, never. We do not drag members of the Cabinet or the
President to testify before a committee, _in aid of legislation_; but
I say, without hesitation, they can claim no immunity which does not
belong equally to the humblest citizen. Mr. Hyatt and Mr. Sanborn
have rights as ample as if they were office-holders. Such a power as
this--which, without the sanction of law, and merely at the will of a
partisan majority, may be employed to ransack the most distant States,
and to drag citizens before the Senate all the way from Wisconsin or
from South Carolina--may be convenient, and to certain persons may seem
to be necessary. Throughout all time alleged necessity has been the
apology for wrong.

    “So spake the Fiend, and with _necessity_,
    The tyrant’s plea, excused his devilish deeds.”

Such, according to Milton, was the practice among the fallen angels.

Let me be understood as admitting the power of the Senate, where it is
essential to its own protection or the protection of its privileges,
but not where it is required merely in aid of legislation. The
difference is world-wide between what is required for _protection_ and
what is required merely for _aid_; and here I part from Senators with
whom I am proud on other matters to act. They hold that this great
power may be exercised, not merely for the _protection_ of the Senate,
but also for its _aid_ in framing a bill or in maturing any piece of
legislation. To aid a committee of this body merely in a legislative
purpose, a citizen, guilty of no crime, charged with no offence,
presumed to be innocent, honored and beloved in his neighborhood, may
be seized, handcuffed, kidnapped, and dragged away from home, hurried
across State lines, brought here as criminal, and then thrust into
jail. The mere statement of the case shows the dangerous absurdity
of such a claim. “Nephew,” said Algernon Sidney in prison, on the
night before his execution, “I value not my own life a chip; but what
concerns me is, that the _law_ which takes away my life may hang every
one of you, whenever it is thought convenient.” It was a dangerous
_law_ that aroused the indignation of the English patriot. But in the
present case there is not even a law,--nothing but an order made by a
fractional part of Congress.

There are Senators here who pretend to find in the Constitution
the right to carry slaves into the National Territories. That such
Senators should also find in the same Constitution the right to make a
slave of Mr. Hyatt or Mr. Sanborn, or of anybody else, merely to aid
legislation, is not astonishing; but I am at a loss how Senators who
love Freedom can find any such right in the Constitution.

I say nothing now of precedents from the British Parliament, for
they are all more or less inapplicable. We live under a written
Constitution, with certain specified powers; and all these are
restricted by the Tenth Amendment, declaring that “the powers not
delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by
it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the
people.” But even British precedents have found a critic at home, in
the late Chief Justice of England, Lord Denman, pronouncing judgment
in the great case of _Stockdale_ v. _Hansard_,[20]--and also in the
words of an elegant and authoritative historian, whose life has been
passed in one or the other of the two Houses of Parliament: I refer to
Lord Mahon, now Earl Stanhope, who, in his History of England, thus

    “I may observe, in passing, that throughout the reign of George
    the Second the privileges of the House of Commons flourished
    in the rankest luxuriance.… So long as men in authority are
    enabled to go beyond the law, on the plea of their own dignity
    and power, _the_ ONLY _limit to their encroachments will be
    that of the public endurance_.”[21]

Nothing can be more true than this warning. But Lord Brougham has
expressed himself in words yet stronger, and, if possible, still more
applicable to the present case.

    “All rights,” says this consummate orator, “are now utterly
    disregarded by the advocates of Privilege, excepting that of
    exposing their own short-sighted impolicy and thoughtless
    inconsistency. Nor would there be any safety for the people
    under their guidance, if unhappily their powers of doing
    mischief bore any proportion to their disregard of what is
    politic and just.”[22]

With these observations I quit this question, anxious only that the
recent Usurpation of the Senate may not be drawn into a precedent

    During Mr. Hyatt’s protracted imprisonment, Mr. Sumner visited
    him constantly, and thus became familiar with the condition
    of the jail. This led to the introduction of the following
    resolution, March 13, 1860.

    “_Resolved_, That the Committee on the District of Columbia
    be directed to consider the expediency of doing something
    to improve the condition of the common jail of the city of

Before the vote on the resolution was taken, Mr. Sumner remarked
that he had visited the jail, and found it neither more nor less
than a mere human sty; and since the Senate had undertaken to send a
fellow-creature there, he thought that the least it could do was to see
that something was done to improve its condition.



    Mr. Sumner submitted the following resolution, which was
    considered by unanimous consent, and agreed to.

RESOLVED, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to consider
whether the numerous custom-house oaths, now administered under Acts of
Congress, may not with propriety be abolished, and a simple declaration
be substituted therefor.



    Mr. Snelling interested himself much with regard to the
    disposition of the lands west of Boston Common, known as
    the “Back Bay Lands,” and owned by the Commonwealth of
    Massachusetts. Beyond a general desire to keep them open, his
    special aim was to have a tidal lake, bordered by avenues
    with trees. In this effort he was aided particularly by John
    A. Andrew, afterwards Governor. Other citizens, including the
    venerable Josiah Quincy, Professor Agassiz, and Dr. Edward
    Jarvis, wrote letters, published at the time, and used before
    the Committee of the Legislature to whom the matter was
    referred. Among these was the following.

                                 SENATE CHAMBER, March 26, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I am grateful for your timely intervention to save
  our Boston Common, by keeping it open to the western breezes
  and the setting sun. It is not pleasant, I know, to separate in
  opinion from those about us; but your object is so disinterested,
  so pure, so benevolent, so truly in the nature of a charity, that
  all, even though differing in details, must be glad that you have
  come forward.

  I know well the value of water in scenery. Perhaps nothing
  else adds so much to the effect of a landscape, which, indeed,
  without water often seems lifeless, or, as was once said by
  a valued friend of mine, “like a face without eyes.” Boston,
  from its peninsular situation, cannot be entirely deprived of
  this picturesque feature. It seems to me, however, that, in
  a region like that now in question, we should hesitate long
  before renouncing the opportunity of adding to its attractions
  by a piece of water, which, from perennial supply, would always
  prove an ornament of unsurpassed beauty, as well as a place of
  recreation, and a source of health.

  On this it is useless to enlarge. All who have ever stood on
  Boston Common will easily see how much this pleasant retreat
  must lose in charm, when its great western vista is closed;
  and all who have ever speculated on the probable growth of our
  metropolis, and the longing of a crowded population for fresh
  air, will recognize the necessity for open spaces, which will be
  _outdoor ventilators_.

  Boston is already growing in every direction. A wise forecast,
  if not able at once to provide all the means needful for its
  salubrity and adornment, will at least avoid embarrassing the
  future, when half a million of souls have built their homes about
  the ancient Trimountain.

  Our Common has been ample enough for the past; but the metropolis
  has already outgrown it in every respect. Besides being too
  narrow in proportions, it is wanting in those accessories of
  beauty and of knowledge especially illustrative of Natural
  History, which, according to the experience of other countries,
  are proper for public grounds. I wish much to see there, among
  other things, an arboretum, where every tree that can bear our
  climate shall find its classified place,--pleasing the eye by its
  beauty, protecting the body by its shade, and speaking to all by
  the voice of Science.

  Accept the thanks of an absent citizen, who never thinks of his
  native Boston without a yearning to see it foremost in all that
  contributes to a true civilization; and believe me to be, my dear

      Very faithfully yours,




IN THE SENATE, APRIL 10, 13, AND 16, 1860.

    The case of Mr. Sanborn illustrates the reach of the Slave
    Power, and the extent to which the Senate did its bidding, at
    the instance of the author of the Fugitive Slave Bill. It is
    one of the skirmishes in the warfare with Slavery.

    April 10, 1860, Mr. Sumner presented the memorial of Mr.
    Sanborn, which he explained as follows.

I have a memorial, Mr. President, from Frank B. Sanborn, of Concord,
Massachusetts, setting forth a gross attempt to kidnap, by men
pretending to act in the name of the Senate of the United States. The
memorial is authenticated by his affidavit before a notary public. It
sets forth, that, on the evening of the 3d of April, certain persons,
who had been prowling about his neighborhood, under shelter of night,
with fraudulent pretence drew him to his door, seized him, handcuffed
him, and then by force undertook to convey him to a carriage. By the
courageous interposition of a refined lady, his sister, neighbors were
aroused; the village was next summoned by the ringing of bells, and at
length that great friend of the oppressed in our country, the writ of
_Habeas Corpus_, arrived on the ground. By intervention of that writ he
was taken from the custody of the kidnappers. The next day a hearing
was had before the Supreme Court of Massachusetts; and Chief Justice
Shaw, for thirty years the honored Chief Justice of Massachusetts,
whose opinions are respected in every part of the country, representing
the full bench, without undertaking to pass upon the question of
jurisdiction in the Senate, went on to declare that the power delegated
to its Sergeant-at-Arms could not be delegated to another, and that
therefore all these proceedings were void, and the prisoner was

Now, Mr. President, this act, it seems to me, is conspicuous, both from
the person against whom it was directed and the place where it was
attempted. It was directed against Mr. Sanborn, a quiet citizen engaged
in the instruction of youth, a scholar of excellent attainments, of
perfect purity, and much beloved by friends and neighbors. It was
attempted at Concord, where another seizure was once attempted, which
began that revolutionary contest that ended in Independence. I affirm,
Mr. President, that a person like Mr. Sanborn, having suffered this
outrage at the hands of persons claiming to act in the name of the
Senate, has a right to redress in this body: and I assert, still
further, that this body owes something to its own character; it ought
to wash its hands of such an outrage. I offer his memorial, and ask its
reference to the Committee on the Judiciary, and, that the Senate may
better understand it, I think it ought to be printed. I move also its

    Mr. Mason, of Virginia, Chairman of the Harper’s Ferry
    Committee, made an explanation of the attempt to arrest Mr.
    Sanborn, in the course of which he said: “This man Sanborn was
    in correspondence either with the man who was not long since
    hung in Virginia for his conduct as a traitor and murderer
    at Harper’s Ferry, or with some of his associates, I do not
    recollect which.” At the call of Mr. Fessenden the memorial was
    read, when Mr. Sumner said, in reply to Mr. Mason:--

I merely wish to correct one error into which the Senator has fallen.
He states that Mr. Sanborn was taken from the custody of those
pretended officers by a mob. Now nothing is within my knowledge except
what is authenticated by that memorial under oath, and there the
statement is express that he was not taken from the custody of these
pretended officers except by the intervention of the writ of _Habeas
Corpus_, sustained by the _posse comitatus_ of the neighborhood.

    Mr. Mason having stated that he expected a return of the
    officer, at his suggestion the memorial was laid on the table
    to await that return. To this Mr. Sumner consented, as he
    declared, with great reluctance, and with the understanding
    that then it should be referred.

    April 13, 1860, Mr. Sumner presented additional papers in the
    case. After reading these, he said:--

There, Sir, is the official response to the assertion of the Senator
from Virginia. The Senator says that Mr. Sanborn was rescued by a mob.
It is true there was a mob in Concord. It was a mob of kidnappers, who
went there in the name of the Senate of the United States to seize a
citizen of Massachusetts. I have here a letter which I have received
from a prominent citizen of Concord, present at the time. This is his

     “No rescue by the crowd was made or attempted, till the writ
    of _Habeas Corpus_ was served; and this, even, Carleton and his
    fellows resisted, till the deputy sheriff was obliged to use
    force to take Mr. Sanborn from him.… The arrest was as brutal,
    cowardly, and outrageous a proceeding as I ever knew in seven
    years’ experience as sheriff of that county.”

Sir, it is not unnatural that an arrest made under such circumstances
should have attracted attention in that town and throughout
Massachusetts. It did so. It has excited a feeling of indignation
against this attempt, increased, perhaps, when people put the question,
“Why all this effort to seize Mr. Sanborn? Why this overthrow of law to
accomplish such a purpose?”

It is notorious that there is a citizen of Virginia, formerly chief
magistrate of that State, who has openly avowed that he knew much in
regard to the very matters in inquiry before that committee, and that
rubies could not bribe him to disclose it. He has thrown the challenge
down to that committee and this Senate, before the whole country,
refusing openly to testify; and yet that committee make no motion to
bring Ex-Governor Wise before the Senate, and compel him to testify.
Instead, the committee seeks a Northern man, Mr. Hyatt, now in jail,
and another Northern man, Mr. Sanborn, who it is well understood know
nothing of the matter; and it follows up Mr. Sanborn by an attempt
which I characterize here as simply an act of kidnapping.

    Mr. Mason, in reply, insisted, at some length, that Mr. Sumner
    could have no information on the action of the committee, which
    had not yet reported. To this Mr. Sumner rejoined:--

Mr. President, I profess to have no information except what is open to
all the world; and there are two things open to all the world, through
the public press: first, that the Ex-Governor of Virginia has more
than once declared that he had important information in reference to
the matter before the committee, and that rubies would not tempt him
to disclose it; and, secondly, it is known that the Ex-Governor of
Virginia has not been brought to Washington, as Mr. Hyatt has been, and
as an attempt has been made to bring Mr. Sanborn. No kidnappers have
been sent into Virginia, nor handcuffs put upon Ex-Governor Wise.

    April 16, 1860, Mr. Mason presented to the Senate the warrant
    for the arrest of Mr. Sanborn, with the return of the Deputy
    Marshal of Massachusetts to whom it was addressed, and
    moved its reference to the Committee on the Judiciary, with
    instructions to inquire and report whether any, and what,
    further proceedings were necessary to vindicate the authority
    of the Senate and to effect the arrest of the witnesses. This
    motion was agreed to. Mr. Sumner then moved that the memorial
    of Mr. Sanborn, with the additional papers, be taken from
    the table and referred to the same committee. Here Mr. Mason
    promptly interposed the very unusual motion _that the memorial
    be rejected_. The Chair decided that the motion “to reject”
    could not take precedence, and therefore the motion to refer
    was first in order. Then it was that Mr. Sumner spoke as

Mr. President, I think that I ought not to listen to such a proposition
as has been made by the Senator from Virginia with reference to
this memorial, without one word in reply. Here is a memorial from a
gentleman of perfect respectability, charged with no crime, presumed
to be innocent, complaining of gross outrage at the hands of certain
persons pretending to act in the name of the Senate. The facts are duly
set forth. They are authenticated also by documents now of record. The
Senator moves--without any reference to a committee, without giving
the petition the decency of a hearing, according to the ordinary forms
of this body--that the memorial be “rejected”; and he makes this
unaccustomed motion with a view to establish a precedent in such a
case. I feel it my duty to establish a precedent also in this case,
by entering an open, unequivocal protest against such attempt. Sir,
an ancient poet said of a judge in hell, that he punished first and
heard afterwards,--“_castigatque auditque_”; and, permit me to say, the
Senator from Virginia, on this occasion, takes a precedent from that

    To this protest Mr. Mason replied: “The Senator from
    Massachusetts, it seems to me, makes an opportunity to use
    language in the Senate Chamber which, so far as my intercourse
    with the world goes, is not usual out of the Senate Chamber.
    There is nothing in it that I have a right to take as
    personally offensive to myself. The Senate is the proper judge
    and arbiter of the decorum of its own proceedings.”

    Then ensued a debate on the return, in which Mr. Bayard, of
    Delaware, and Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, took part, when Mr.
    Sumner, at last obtaining the floor, remarked as follows.

Only one word. I presented a memorial to this body, setting forth
an outrage. The Senator from Virginia moved its rejection, while he
proposed that the case should be proceeded with. I characterized that
motion as I thought I was authorized to do, referring to a precedent
of antiquity, and that was all; and this is the occasion for a lecture
from the Senator on the manner in which one should conduct on this
floor. From the heights of his self-confidence he addresses me. Sir, I
wish to say simply, in reply, that, when an outrage comes before this
body, I shall denounce it in plain terms; and if a precedent from a
very bad place seems to be in point, I shall not hesitate to quote it.

    Mr. Mason rejoined: “I did not undertake to lecture the
    Senator, of all others, upon the subject of manners or
    propriety. I do not mean it offensively, but, for my own
    convenience, I should consider it time thrown away. All that I
    said was, that I was not accustomed, in my intercourse with the
    world outside of this Chamber, to hear language of that sort in
    the circles in which I move.”

    April 17, 1860, the memorial of Mr. Sanborn was referred to the
    Judiciary Committee, according to the motion of Mr. Sumner.

    June 7, Mr. Bayard, of Delaware, from the Committee on
    the Judiciary, to whom was referred the return of the
    Deputy-Marshal and the other papers, reported a “Bill
    concerning the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate and the
    Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives,” authorizing
    the appointment of deputies. This was intended to meet the
    decision of Chief Justice Shaw, of Massachusetts.[23]

    June 15, Mr. Bayard moved to proceed with the consideration
    of his bill. The motion was not agreed to,--there being, on a
    division, ayes 22, noes 25. This was the end of that bill.

       *       *       *       *       *

    This incident was much noticed by the Northern press,
    especially in Massachusetts. The Boston _Atlas and Bee_
    expressed itself thus:--

        “In our opinion the people of the Free States are never
        better satisfied with their representatives than when they
        see them repelling indignantly and manfully the arrogant
        insults of the slave-driving aristocracy. It will not
        diminish their attachment to Mr. Sumner, when they take
        notice that his rebuke of Mr. Mason was not in reply to
        any insult upon himself, but upon one of his outraged and
        abused constituents.”



    The treatment of these petitions illustrates the tyranny of the
    Slave Power to the very eve of its fall. Such an incident is
    not without historic significance.

MR. PRESIDENT,--I present the petition of Henry Elwell, Jr., and
four hundred and fifty-five others, of Manchester, in Massachusetts,
earnestly petitioning Congress to repeal the Fugitive Slave Act
of 1850,--to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, and
in the United States Territories,--to prohibit the inter-State
slave-trade,--and to pass a resolution pledging Congress against
the admission of any Slave State into the Union, the acquisition of
any Slave Territory, and the employment of any slaves by any agent,
contractor, officer, or department of the National Government; also,
a like petition of Alvan Howes and fifty-five others, of Barnstable,
Massachusetts; also, a like petition of John Clement and one hundred
and nineteen others, of Townsend, Massachusetts; also, a like
petition of Samuel L. Rockwood and seventy-three others, of Weymouth,
Massachusetts; also, a like petition of J. H. Browne and sixty-four
others, of Sudbury, Massachusetts; also, a like petition of Daniel
Hosmer and ninety-eight others, of Sterling, Massachusetts; also, a
like petition of Albert Gould and one hundred and thirty-one others
of Leicester, Massachusetts; also, a like petition of James M. Evelett
and two hundred others, of Princeton, Massachusetts; also, a like
petition of Daniel Otis and seventy-nine others, of South Scituate,
Massachusetts; also, a like petition of Calvin Cutter and eighty-four
others, of Warren, Massachusetts; also, a like petition of R. W. French
and thirty others, of Lawrence, Massachusetts; also, a like petition
of Edmund H. Sears and two hundred and forty-five others, of Wayland,

These several petitions I now present. On a former occasion, during
this session, a similar petition presented by me was laid upon the
table. A similar petition presented by another Senator was referred to
the Committee on the Judiciary. An authoritative precedent, established
after debate, since I have been in the Senate, seems to be the best
guide on this occasion. That was on a memorial from four thousand
citizens of Boston, praying the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act.
After ample consideration, during which much was said against the
memorialists, no proposition was made to lay their prayer on the table.
Following that precedent, and another established during the present
session, I move that all these petitions be referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.

    Mr. Mason, of Virginia, at once moved that the petitions lie on
    the table, thus precluding debate and stifling action. The yeas
    and nays were ordered on motion of Mr. Sumner, and resulted as
    follows, 25 yeas and 19 nays:--

    YEAS,--Messrs. Bayard, Bragg, Chesnut, Clay, Clingman,
    Crittenden, Davis, Fitch, Fitzpatrick, Gwin, Hemphill, Hunter,
    Iverson, Johnson of Arkansas, Johnson of Tennessee, Kennedy,
    Lane, Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Rice, Sebastian,
    Slidell, and Thomson,--25.

    NAYS,--Messrs. Bingham, Cameron, Chandler, Clark, Collamer,
    Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Hale, Hamlin, King,
    Seward, Sumner, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson,--19.

    So the petitions were ordered to lie on the table. The
    Democrats all voted yea; the Republicans all voted nay.



    May 21, 1860, Mr. Sumner introduced the following resolution.

    “_Resolved_, That the Committee on Commerce be instructed to
    consider the expediency of further action, in order to secure
    proper accommodations and proper safety for passengers on
    board the steamers between New York and San Francisco, and to
    increase the efficacy of the existing passenger laws of the
    United States in their application to California passengers;
    with liberty to report by bill or otherwise.”

    The Senate, by unanimous consent, proceeded to consider the

MR. PRESIDENT,--I see the Senator from California [Mr. LATHAM] in his
place, and I very gladly take the opportunity of calling his attention
particularly to the resolution which I now have the honor to offer.
By a communication in the newspapers, from a distinguished source,--a
clergyman, who, during the last two months, sailed from Boston to
San Francisco,[24]--it appears that the steamers are overloaded with
passengers, and without adequate accommodations of other kinds for
safety. His statement on the subject is explicit, and has been made
in the newspapers, as also in private letters to his friends. I do
not know that the evil can be reached by any additional legislation;
perhaps no additional legislation is needed; but it is an evil which
should be remedied in some way, or else we shall be startled some
morning by the news of a great calamity,--the loss of one of these
steamers, with, it may be, a thousand passengers.



    This was addressed to a meeting at Buffalo for the ratification
    of the nomination of Abraham Lincoln as President and Hannibal
    Hamlin as Vice-President.

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, May 30, 1860.

  DEAR SIR,--My duties here will not allow me to be with you at
  Buffalo; but I shall unite with you in every generous word
  uttered for Freedom, and in every pledge of enthusiastic support
  to the Republican candidates.

  We have a Platform of noble principles, and candidates, each
  of whom, through his well-known principles and integrity of
  character, is a Platform in himself.

  Accept my thanks for the honor of your invitation, and believe
  me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,




STATE, JUNE 4, 1860.

    Thou art a slave, whom Fortune’s tender arm
    With favor never clasped, but bred a dog.
                          SHAKESPEARE, _Timon of Athens_, Act IV. Sc. 3.

    A universe of death, which God by curse
    Created evil, for evil only good,
    Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds,
    Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things.
                              MILTON, _Paradise Lost_, Book II. 622-625.

    Onward! onward!
    With the night-wind,
    Over field and farm and forest,
    Lonely homestead, darksome hamlet,
    Blighting all we breathe upon!
                                            LONGFELLOW, _Golden Legend_.

    Instrumenti genus vocale, et semivocale, et mutum: _vocale, in
    quo sunt servi_; semivocale, in quo sunt boves; mutum, in quo
    sunt plaustra.--VARRO, _De Re Rustica_, Lib. I. cap. xvii. § 1.

    Nil metuunt jurare, nihil promittere parcunt;
    Dicta nihil metuere, nihil perjuria curant.
                                       CATULLUS, _Carm._ LXIV. 146, 148.

    Pone crucem servo.--Meruit quo crimine servus
    Supplicium? quis testis adest? quis detulit? Audi;
    Nulla unquam de morte hominis cunctatio longa est.--
    O demens, ita servus homo est? Nil fecerit, esto:
    Hoc volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas.
                                            JUVENAL. _Sat._ VI. 219-223.

    There is a tradition of the Prophet having said, that the
    greatest mortification at the Day of Judgment will be when
    the pious slave is carried to Paradise and the wicked master
    condemned to Hell.--SAADI, _The Gulistan_, tr. Gladwin, p. 242.

    “And the Black Oppressor am I called. And for this reason I
    am called the Black Oppressor, that there is not a single man
    around me whom I have not oppressed, and justice have I done
    unto none.” … “Since thou hast, indeed, been an oppressor so
    long,” said Peredur, “I will cause that thou continue so no
    longer.” So he slew him.--_The Mabinogion_, tr. Lady Charlotte
    Guest, Vol. I. pp. 341, 342.

    After we had secured these people, I called the linguists, and
    ordered them to bid the men-negroes between decks be quiet (for
    there was a great noise amongst them). On their being silent, I
    asked, What had induced them to mutiny? They answered, _I was
    a great rogue to buy them_ in order to carry them away from
    their own country, and that they were resolved to regain their
    liberty, if possible.--SNELGRAVE, _New Account of some Parts of
    Guinea and the Slave-Trade_, p. 170.

    A system of concubinage was practised among them worse than the
    loose polygamy of the savages: the savage had as many women as
    consented to become his wives; the colonist as many as he could
    enslave. There is an ineffaceable stigma upon the Europeans in
    their intercourse with those whom they treat as inferior races;
    there is a perpetual contradiction between their lust and
    their avarice. The planter will one day take a slave for his
    harlot, and sell her the next as a being of some lower species,
    a beast of labor. If she be indeed an inferior animal, what
    shall be said of the one action? If she be equally with himself
    a human being and an immortal soul, what shall be said of the
    other? Either way there is a crime committed against human
    nature.--SOUTHEY, _History of Brazil_, Chap. VIII., Vol. I. p.

    Negro slavery exists in no part of the world without
    producing indolence, licentiousness, and inhumanity in
    the whites; and these vices draw after them their earthly
    punishment,--to look no farther into their fearful, but assured
    consequences.--IBID., Chap. XLIV., Vol. III. p. 816.

    I had observed much, and heard more, of the cruelty of masters
    towards their negroes; but now I received an authentic account
    of some horrid instances thereof. The giving a child a slave of
    its own age to tyrannize over, to beat and abuse out of sport,
    was, I myself saw, a common practice. Nor is it strange, being
    thus trained up in cruelty, they should afterwards arrive at
    so great perfection in it; that Mr. Star, a gentleman I often
    met at Mr. Lasserre’s, should, as he himself informed L., first
    nail up a negro by the ears, then order him to be whipped in
    the severest manner, and then to have scalding water thrown
    over him, so that the poor creature could not stir for four
    months after. Another much applauded punishment is drawing
    their slaves’ teeth. One Colonel LYNCH is universally known to
    have cut off a poor negro’s legs, and to kill several of them
    every year by his barbarities.--REV. CHARLES WESLEY, _Journal_,
    Charleston, S. C., August 2, 1736.

    You are to have no regard to the health, strength, comfort,
    natural affections, or moral feelings, or intellectual
    endowments of my negroes. You are only to consider what
    subsistence to allow them and what labor to exact of them
    will subserve my interest. According to the most accurate
    calculation I can make, the proportion of subsistence and
    labor which will work them up in six years upon an average
    is the most profitable to the planter. And this allowance,
    surely, is very humane; for we estimate here the lives of our
    coal-heavers, upon an average, at only two years, … and our
    soldiers and seamen no matter what.--_A West-India Planter’s
    Instructions for his Overseers_: JOHN ADAMS, _Works_, Vol. X.
    pp. 339, 340.

    The unfortunate man would have been tried upon five other
    indictments, some of them still more atrocious than the one
    upon which he was found guilty; and his general character for
    barbarity was so notorious that no room was left for me even to
    deliberate. His victims have been numerous; some of them were
    even buried in their chains, and there have been found upon
    the bones taken from the grave chains and iron rings of near
    forty pounds’ weight.… He had been three times married, has
    left several children; he had been in the Army, had a liberal
    education, and lived in what is called the great world. His
    manners and address were those of a gentleman. Cruelty appears
    in him to have been the effect of violence of temper, _and
    habit had made him regardless of the death and suffering of
    a slave_.--RIGHT HON. HUGH ELLIOT, Governor of the Leeward
    Islands: _Memoir_, by the COUNTESS OF MINTO, pp. 409, 410.

    Is slavery less slavery in a Christian than in a Mahometan
    country? I entreat your attention, while I plead the general
    cause of humanity. In such a cause it is right to appeal to
    your sensibility as well as your reason. It is now no longer
    time to flatter petty tyrants by acknowledging that color
    constitutes a legitimate title for holding men in abject and
    perpetual bondage. In support of this usurpation what can be
    urged but the law of the strongest?--COL. DAVID HUMPHREYS,
    _Valedictory Discourse before the Cincinnati of Connecticut_,
    July 4, 1804, p. 29.

    Christianity suppressed slavery, but the Christians of the
    sixteenth century reëstablished it,--as an exception, indeed,
    to their social system, and restricted to one of the races of
    mankind; but the wound thus inflicted upon humanity, though
    less extensive, was far more difficult of cure.--TOCQUEVILLE,
    _Democracy in America_, ed. Bowen, Chap. XVIII. sec. 2, Vol. I.
    p. 457.

    The Kentuckian delights in violent bodily exertion; he is
    familiar with the use of arms, and is accustomed from a very
    early age to expose his life in single combat.… Were I inclined
    to continue this parallel, I could easily prove that almost all
    the differences which may be remarked between the characters of
    the Americans in the Southern and in the Northern States have
    originated in Slavery.--IBID., pp. 467, 468.

    I visited our State Penitentiary a short time since, and
    from my own personal observation I am led to the inevitable
    conclusion that the plan of sending our slaves to the
    Penitentiary, as a _punishment_ for crime, is exactly the
    reverse: it is rather a reward than punishment. “Let sober
    reason judge.”

    We punish offenders to prevent crime. I would ask any
    reasonable man, Is the sending a slave of any of our farms
    to the Penitentiary a punishment? The white man is punished
    by being deprived of his liberty for that length of time:
    what liberty is the slave deprived of? He has as much, and
    oftentimes _more_, liberty within the walls of the Penitentiary
    than on any of those large sugar or cotton plantations. Then
    where is the punishment? We send white men there, and the dread
    of going is a _stain_ on his character: what character has
    the negro to lose? Hence we must come to the conclusion that
    sending negro slaves to the Penitentiary is not a punishment.

    A moment’s reflection will convince any man who has ever had
    the management of negroes on a plantation, that the well-being
    and safety of societies demand that any offence committed by
    a negro, for which the _lash_ is not a sufficient punishment,
    _death_ should be the penalty.

    Taking these things into consideration, would it not be just
    and laudable to sell all negroes now in the Penitentiary to
    the highest bidder, on or about the first of November next,
    by the Sheriff of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, on the same
    terms and conditions that negroes are sold at present, under
    an ordinary _fi. fa._, and, as near as can be, two thirds of
    the net proceeds of each negro be paid to the former owners or
    their legal representatives, the balance be and remain in the
    State Treasury for ordinary purposes?--_Weekly Advocate_, Baton
    Rouge, La., Jan. 17, 1858.

    A very large edition of this speech was printed at Washington,
    immediately after its delivery. Another appeared at Boston,
    with a portrait; and another at San Francisco, with the
    Republican Platform. While the Rebellion was still warring on
    the National Government, an edition was brought out in New York
    by the “Young Men’s Republican Union,” to which Mr. Sumner
    prefixed a Dedication to the Young Men of the United States,
    which will be found in its proper place, according to date, in
    this collection.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A letter from that devoted friend of the Slave, the late George
    L. Stearns, of Boston, under date of March 1st, 1860, shows
    something of the outside prompting under which Mr. Sumner spoke.

        “I have just read ----’s speech. He stands up to the mark
        _well_, for a politician; but we want one who believes a
        Man is greater than a President, and who would not lift
        his finger to obtain the best office in the gift of our
        nation, to raise this question above the political slough
        into its true position. Charles O’Conor, in his late speech
        in New York, affirmed, that, ‘if Slavery were not a wise
        and beneficent institution for the black as well as the
        white, it could not be defended.’ We want you to take up
        the gauntlet that he has thrown down so defiantly.”

    A letter from William H. Brooks, of Cambridgeport,
    unconsciously harmonized with Mr. Stearns.

        “Feeling that our nation is now in the very throes of her
        deliverance, and I trust her prompt deliverance, from
        bondage to her, not Thirty, but Three Hundred Thousand
        Tyrants, may I frankly say, that, if not inconsistent with
        your health and safety, which are on no consideration to
        be perilled, you could aid more than any single person,
        or score of them, in effectually accomplishing the
        great triumph.… The unseen forces of public opinion are
        gathering and forming for the great November conflict. Your
        long, enforced, and martyr silence will give a depth of
        impression and moving power and ten thousand echoes to your
        words beyond their accustomed might.”

    Something about the menace of violence after this speech, with
    illustrations of its reception at the time, is postponed to an

       *       *       *       *       *

    Kansas was not admitted as a State into the Union until January
    29, 1861, after the slaveholding Senators had withdrawn to
    organize the Rebellion, when the bill on which the present
    speech was made became a law.


MR. PRESIDENT,--Undertaking now, after a silence of more than four
years, to address the Senate on this important subject, I should
suppress the emotions natural to such an occasion, if I did not
declare on the threshold my gratitude to that Supreme Being through
whose benign care I am enabled, after much suffering and many changes,
once again to resume my duties here, and to speak for the cause so
near my heart. To the honored Commonwealth whose representative I
am, and also to my immediate associates in this body, with whom I
enjoy the fellowship which is found _in thinking alike concerning the
Republic_,[25] I owe thanks which I seize the moment to express for
indulgence extended to me throughout the protracted seclusion enjoined
by medical skill; and I trust that it will not be thought unbecoming
in me to put on record here, as an apology for leaving my seat so long
vacant, without making way, by resignation, for a successor, that I
acted under the illusion of an invalid, whose hopes for restoration to
natural health continued against oft-recurring disappointment.

When last I entered into this debate, it became my duty to expose the
Crime against Kansas, and to insist upon the immediate admission of
that Territory as a State of this Union, with a Constitution forbidding
Slavery. Time has passed, but the question remains. Resuming the
discussion precisely where I left it, I am happy to avow that rule
of moderation which, it is said, may venture to fix the boundaries
of wisdom itself. I have no personal griefs to utter: only a vulgar
egotism could intrude such into this Chamber. I have no personal wrongs
to avenge: only a brutish nature could attempt to wield that vengeance
which belongs to the Lord. The years that have intervened and the
tombs that have opened[26] since I spoke have their voices, too, which
I cannot fail to hear. Besides, what am I, what is any man among the
living or among the dead, compared with the question before us? It is
this alone which I shall discuss, and I begin the argument with that
easy victory which is found in charity.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Crime against Kansas stands forth in painful light. Search history,
and you cannot find its parallel. The slave-trade is bad; but even this
enormity is petty, compared with that elaborate contrivance by which,
in a Christian age and within the limits of a Republic, all forms of
constitutional liberty were perverted, all the rights of human nature
violated, and the whole country held trembling on the edge of civil
war,--while all this large exuberance of wickedness, detestable in
itself, becomes tenfold more detestable, when its origin is traced
to the madness for Slavery. The fatal partition between Freedom and
Slavery, known as the Missouri Compromise,--the subsequent overthrow
of this partition, and the seizure of all by Slavery,--the violation
of plighted faith,--the conspiracy to force Slavery at all hazards
into Kansas,--the successive invasions by which all security there was
destroyed, and the electoral franchise itself was trodden down,--the
sacrilegious seizure of the very polls, and, through pretended forms of
law, the imposition of a foreign legislature upon this Territory,--the
acts of this legislature, fortifying the Usurpation, and, among other
things, establishing test-oaths, calculated to disfranchise actual
settlers friendly to Freedom, and securing the privileges of the
citizen to actual strangers friendly to Slavery,--the whole crowned
by a statute, “the be-all and the end-all” of the whole Usurpation,
through which Slavery was not only recognized on this beautiful soil,
but made to bristle with a Code of Death such as the world has rarely
seen,--all these I fully exposed on a former occasion. And yet the most
important part of the argument was at that time left untouched: I mean
that found in the Character of Slavery. This natural sequel, with the
permission of the Senate, I now propose to supply.

Motive is to Crime as soul to body; and it is only when we comprehend
the motive that we can truly comprehend the Crime. Here the motive is
found in Slavery and the rage for its extension. Therefore, by logical
necessity, must Slavery be discussed,--not indirectly, timidly, and
sparingly, but directly, openly, and thoroughly. It must be exhibited
as it is, alike in its influence and its animating character, so that
not only outside, but inside, may be seen.

This is no time for soft words or excuses. All such are out of place.
They may turn away wrath; but what is the wrath of man? This is no time
to abandon any advantage in the argument. Senators sometimes announce
that they resist Slavery on political grounds only, and remind us that
they say nothing of the moral question. This is wrong. Slavery must
be resisted not only on political grounds, but on all other grounds,
whether social, economical, or moral. Ours is no holiday contest; nor
is it any strife of rival factions, of White and Red Roses, of theatric
Neri and Bianchi; but it is a solemn battle between Right and Wrong,
between Good and Evil. Such a battle cannot be fought with rosewater.
There is austere work to be done, and Freedom cannot consent to fling
away any of her weapons.

       *       *       *       *       *

If I were disposed to shrink from this discussion, the boundless
assumptions made by Senators on the other side would not allow me.
The whole character of Slavery, as a pretended form of Civilization,
is put directly in issue, with a pertinacity and a hardihood which
banish all reserve on this side. In these assumptions Senators from
South Carolina naturally take the lead. Following Mr. Calhoun, who
pronounced Slavery “the most solid and durable foundation on which to
rear free and stable political institutions,”[27] and Mr. McDuffie,
who did not shrink from calling it “the corner-stone of our republican
edifice,”[28] the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. HAMMOND] insists
that its “frame of society is the best in the world”[29]; and his
colleague [Mr. CHESNUT] takes up the strain. One Senator from
Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS], adds, that Slavery “is but a form
of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern
themselves”;[30] and his colleague [Mr. BROWN] openly vaunts that it
“is a great moral, social, and political blessing,--a blessing to the
slave, and a blessing to the master.”[31] One Senator from Virginia
[Mr. HUNTER], in a studied vindication of what he is pleased to call
“the social system of the South,” exalts Slavery as “the normal
condition of human society,” “beneficial to the non-slave-owner as it
is to the slave-owner,” “best for the happiness of both races,”--and,
in enthusiastic advocacy, declares, “that the very keystone of the
mighty arch, which, by its concentrated strength, and by the mutual
support of its parts, is able to sustain our social superstructure,
consists in the black marble block of African Slavery: knock that out,
and the mighty fabric, with all that it upholds, topples and tumbles
to its fall.”[32] These are his very words, uttered in debate here.
And his colleague [Mr. MASON], who never hesitates where Slavery is in
question, proclaims that it is “_ennobling_ to both races, the white
and the black,”--a word which, so far as the slave is concerned, he
changes, on a subsequent day, to “elevating,” assuming still that it
is “ennobling” to the whites,[33]--which is simply a new version of
the old assumption, by Mr. McDuffie, of South Carolina, that “the
institution of Domestic Slavery supersedes the necessity of an order of

Thus, by various voices, is Slavery defiantly proclaimed a form of
Civilization,--not seeing that its existence is plainly inconsistent
with the first principles of anything that can be called Civilization,
except by that figure of speech in classical literature where a thing
takes its name from something which it has not, as the dreadful
Fates were called merciful because they were without mercy. Pardon
the allusion, if I add, that, listening to these sounding words for
Slavery, I am reminded of the kindred extravagance related by that
remarkable traveller in China, the late Abbé Huc, where a gloomy hole
in which he was lodged, infested by mosquitoes and exhaling noisome
vapors, with light and air entering by a single narrow aperture only,
was styled by Chinese pride “The Hotel of the Beatitudes.” According to
a Hindoo proverb, the snail sees nothing but its own shell, and thinks
it the grandest palace in the universe. This is another illustration of
the delusion which we are called to witness.

It is natural that Senators thus insensible to the true character of
Slavery should evince an equal insensibility to the true character of
the Constitution. This is shown in the claim now made, and pressed
with unprecedented energy, degrading the work of our fathers, that by
virtue of the Constitution the pretended property in man is placed
beyond the reach of Congressional prohibition even within Congressional
jurisdiction, so that the slave-master may at all times enter the broad
outlying territories of the Union with the victims of his oppression,
and there continue to hold them by lash and chain.

Such are two assumptions, the first of fact, and the second of
Constitutional Law, now vaunted without apology or hesitation. I meet
them both. To the first I oppose the essential Barbarism of Slavery,
in all its influences, whether high or low,--as Satan is Satan still,
whether towering in the sky or squatting in the toad. To the second
I oppose the unanswerable, irresistible truth, that the Constitution
of the United States nowhere recognizes property in man. These two
assumptions naturally go together. They are “twins” suckled by the same
wolf. They are the “couple” in the present slave-hunt. And the latter
cannot be answered without exposing the former. It is only when Slavery
is exhibited in its truly hateful character that we fully appreciate
the absurdity of the assumption, which, in defiance of express letter
in the Constitution, and without a single sentence, phrase, or word
upholding human bondage, yet foists into this blameless text the
barbarous idea that man can hold property in man.

On former occasions I have discussed Slavery only incidentally: as, in
unfolding the principle that Slavery is Sectional and Freedom National;
in exposing the unconstitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Bill; in
vindicating the Prohibition of Slavery in the Missouri Territory; in
exhibiting the imbecility, throughout the Revolution, of the Slave
States, and especially of South Carolina; and, lastly, in unmasking the
Crime against Kansas. On all these occasions, where I spoke at length,
I said too little of the character of Slavery,--partly because other
topics were presented, and partly from a prevailing disinclination
to press the argument against those whom I knew to have all the
sensitiveness of a sick man. But, God be praised, this time has passed,
and the debate is now lifted from details to principles. Grander debate
has not occurred in our history,--rarely in any history; nor can it
close or subside, except with the triumph of Freedom.


Of course I begin with the assumption of fact, which must be treated at

It was the often-quoted remark of John Wesley, who knew well how to use
words, as also how to touch hearts, that Slavery is “the sum of all
villanies.” The phrase is pungent; but it were rash in any of us to
criticise the testimony of that illustrious founder of Methodism, whose
ample experience of Slavery in Georgia and the Carolinas seems to have
been all condensed in this sententious judgment. Language is feeble to
express all the enormity of an institution which is now exalted as in
itself a form of civilization, “ennobling” at least to the master, if
not to the slave. Look at it as you will, and it is always the scab,
the canker, the “barebones,” and the shame of the country,--wrong, not
merely in the abstract, as is often admitted by its apologist, but
wrong in the concrete also, and possessing no single element of right.
Look at it in the light of principle, and it is nothing less than a
huge insurrection against the eternal law of God, involving in its
pretensions the denial of all human rights, and also the denial of that
Divine Law in which God himself is manifest, thus being practically the
grossest lie and the grossest atheism. Founded in violence, sustained
only by violence, such a wrong must by sure law of compensation blast
master as well as slave,--blast the lands on which they live, blast the
community of which they are part, blast the government which does not
forbid the outrage; and the longer it exists and the more completely
it prevails, must its vengeful influences penetrate the whole social
system. Barbarous in origin, barbarous in law, barbarous in all its
pretensions, barbarous in the instruments it employs, barbarous in
consequences, barbarous in spirit, barbarous wherever it shows itself,
Slavery must breed Barbarians, while it develops everywhere, alike
in the individual and the society to which he belongs, the essential
elements of Barbarism. In this character it is conspicuous before the

Undertaking now to expose the BARBARISM OF SLAVERY, the whole broad
field is open before me. There is nothing in its character, its
manifold wrong, its wretched results, and especially in its influence
on the class claiming to be “ennobled” by it, that will not fall
naturally under consideration.

I know well the difficulty of this discussion, involved in the
humiliating truth with which I begin. Senators, on former occasions,
revealing their sensitiveness, have even protested against comparison
between what were called “two civilizations,”--meaning the two
social systems produced respectively by Freedom and Slavery. The
sensibility and the protest are not unnatural, though mistaken. “Two
civilizations!” Sir, in this nineteenth century of Christian light
there can be but one Civilization, and this is where Freedom prevails.
Between Slavery and Civilization there is essential incompatibility.
If you are for the one, you cannot be for the other; and just in
proportion to the embrace of Slavery is the divorce from Civilization.
As cold is but the absence of heat, and darkness but the absence
of light, so is Slavery but the absence of justice and humanity,
without which Civilization is impossible. That slave-masters should be
disturbed, when this is exposed, might be expected. But the assumptions
so boastfully made, while they may not prevent the sensibility, yet
surely exclude all ground of protest, when these assumptions are

Nor is this the only difficulty. Slavery is a bloody Touch-Me-Not, and
everywhere in sight now blooms the bloody flower. It is on the wayside
as we approach the National Capitol; it is on the marble steps which
we mount; it flaunts on this floor. I stand now in the house of its
friends. About me, while I speak, are its most jealous guardians, who
have shown in the past how much they are ready to do or not to do,
where Slavery is in question. Menaces to deter me have not been spared.
But I should ill deserve the high post of duty here, with which I am
honored by a generous and enlightened people, if I could hesitate.
Idolatry has been exposed in the presence of idolaters, and hypocrisy
chastised in the presence of Scribes and Pharisees. Such examples may
impart encouragement to a Senator undertaking in this presence to
expose Slavery; nor can any language, directly responsive to Senatorial
assumptions made for this Barbarism, be open to question. Slavery can
be painted only in sternest colors; nor can I forget that Nature’s
sternest painter has been called the best.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BARBARISM OF SLAVERY appears, _first_, in the _character of
Slavery_, and, _secondly_, in the _character of Slave-Masters_.

Under the first head we shall properly consider (1) the Law of Slavery
with its Origin, and (2) the practical results of Slavery, as shown in
comparison between the Free States and the Slave States.

Under the _second_ head we shall naturally consider (1) Slave-Masters
as shown in the Law of Slavery; (2) Slave-Masters in their relations
with slaves, here glancing at their three brutal instruments; (3)
Slave-Masters in their relations with each other, with society, and
with Government; and (4) Slave-Masters in their unconsciousness.

The way will then be prepared for the consideration of the assumption
of Constitutional Law.


In presenting the CHARACTER OF SLAVERY, there is little for me, except
to make Slavery paint itself. When this is done, the picture will need
no explanatory words.

(1.) I begin with the _Law of Slavery and its Origin_; and here this
Barbarism sketches itself in its own chosen definition. It is simply
this: Man, created in the image of God, is divested of the human
character, and declared to be a “chattel,”--that is, a beast, a thing,
or article of property. That this statement may not seem made without
precise authority, I quote the statutes of three different States,
beginning with South Carolina, whose voice for Slavery has always
unerring distinctiveness. According to the definition supplied by this
State, slaves

    “shall be deemed, held, taken, reputed, and adjudged in law
    to be _chattels personal_ in the hands of their owners and
    possessors, and their executors, administrators, and assigns,
    to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever.”[35]

And here is the definition supplied by the Civil Code of Louisiana:--

    “A slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he
    belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of his person, his
    industry, and his labor. He can do nothing, possess nothing,
    nor acquire anything, but what must belong to his master.”[36]

In similar spirit the law of Maryland thus indirectly defines a slave
as an _article_:--

    “In case the personal property of a ward shall consist of
    specific _articles, such as slaves_, working beasts, animals of
    any kind, … the court, if it shall deem it advantageous for the
    ward, may at any time pass an order for the sale thereof.”[37]

Not to occupy time unnecessarily, I present a summary of the pretended
law defining Slavery in all the Slave States, as made by a careful
writer, Judge Stroud, in a work of juridical as well as philanthropic

    “The cardinal principle of Slavery--that the slave is not to
    be ranked among _sentient_ beings, but among _things_, is an
    article of property, a chattel personal--obtains as undoubted
    law in all of these [Slave] States.”[38]

Out of this definition, as from a solitary germ, which in its pettiness
might be crushed by the hand, towers our Upas Tree and all its gigantic
poison. Study it, and you will comprehend the whole monstrous growth.

Sir, look at its plain import, and see the relation which it
establishes. The slave is held simply _for the use of his master_,
to whose behests his life, liberty, and happiness are devoted, and
by whom he may be bartered, leased, mortgaged, bequeathed, invoiced,
shipped as cargo, stored as goods, sold on execution, knocked off at
public auction, and even staked at the gaming-table on the hazard of
a card or a die,--all according to law. Nor is there anything, within
the limit of life, inflicted on a beast, which may not be inflicted on
the slave. He may be marked like a hog, branded like a mule, yoked like
an ox, hobbled like a horse, driven like an ass, sheared like a sheep,
maimed like a cur, and constantly beaten like a brute,--all according
to law. And should life itself be taken, what is the remedy? The Law of
Slavery, imitating that rule of evidence which in barbarous days and
barbarous countries prevented the Christian from testifying against
the Mahometan, openly pronounces the incompetency of the whole African
race, whether bond or free, to testify against a white man in any case,
and thus, after surrendering the slave to all possible outrage, crowns
its tyranny by excluding the very testimony through which the bloody
cruelty of the Slave-Master might be exposed.

Thus in its Law does Slavery paint itself; but it is only when we look
at details, and detect its essential elements, _five in number_, all
inspired by _a single motive_, that its character becomes completely

_Foremost_, of course, in these elements, is the impossible pretension,
where Barbarism is lost in impiety, by which man claims _property
in man_. Against such blasphemy the argument is brief. According to
the Law of Nature, written by the same hand that placed the planets
in their orbits, and, like them, constituting part of the eternal
system of the Universe, every human being has complete title
to himself direct from the Almighty. Naked he is born; but this
birthright is inseparable from the human form. A man may be poor in
this world’s goods; but he owns himself. No war or robbery, ancient
or recent,--no capture--no middle passage,--no change of clime,--no
purchase-money,--no transmission from hand to hand, no matter how many
times, and no matter at what price, can defeat this indefeasible,
God-given franchise. And a divine mandate, strong as that which guards
Life, guards Liberty also. Even at the very morning of Creation, when
God said, “Let there be Light,”--earlier than the malediction against
murder,--he set the everlasting difference between man and chattel,
giving to man “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of
the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

              “That right we hold
    By his donation; but man over men
    He made not lord: such title to himself
    Reserving, human left from human free.”[39]

Slavery tyrannically assumes power which Heaven denied,--while, under
its barbarous necromancy, borrowed from the Source of Evil, a man is
changed into a chattel, a person is withered into a thing, a soul is
shrunk into merchandise. Say, Sir, in lofty madness, that you own the
sun, the stars, the moon; but do not say that you own a man, endowed
with soul to live immortal, when sun and moon and stars have passed

_Secondly._ Slavery paints itself again in its complete _abrogation of
marriage_, recognized as a sacrament by the Church, and as a contract
by the civil power, wherever civilization prevails. Under the Law
of Slavery no such sacrament is respected, and no such contract can
exist. The ties formed between slaves are all subject to the selfish
interests or more selfish lust of the master, whose license knows no
check. Natural affections which have come together are rudely torn
asunder: nor is this all. Stripped of every defence, the chastity of
a whole race is exposed to violence, while the result is recorded in
tell-tale faces of children, glowing with a master’s blood, but doomed
for their mother’s skin to Slavery through descending generations.
The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. BROWN], galled by the comparison
between Slavery and Polygamy, winces. I hail this sensibility as the
sign of virtue. Let him reflect, and he will confess that there are
many disgusting elements in Slavery, not present in Polygamy, while
the single disgusting element of Polygamy is more than present in
Slavery. By license of Polygamy, one man may have many wives, all bound
to him by marriage-tie, and in other respects protected by law. By
license of Slavery, a whole race is delivered over to prostitution and
concubinage, without the protection of any law. Surely, Sir, is not
Slavery barbarous?

_Thirdly._ Slavery paints itself again in its complete _abrogation
of the parental relation_, provided by God in his benevolence for
the nurture and education of the human family, and constituting
an essential part of Civilization itself. And yet by the Law of
Slavery--happily beginning to be modified in some places--this relation
is set at nought, and in its place is substituted the arbitrary control
of the master, at whose mere command little children, such as the
Saviour called unto him, though clasped by a mother’s arms, are swept
under the hammer of the auctioneer. I do not dwell on this exhibition.
Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

_Fourthly._ Slavery paints itself again _in closing the gates of
knowledge_, which are also the shining gates of Civilization. Under
its plain, unequivocal law, the bondman, at the unrestrained will
of his master, is shut out from all instruction; while in many
places--incredible to relate--the law itself, by cumulative provisions,
positively forbids that he shall be taught to read! Of course the slave
cannot be allowed to read: for his soul would then expand in larger
air, while he saw the glory of the North Star, and also the helping
truth, that God, who made iron, never made a slave; for he would then
become familiar with the Scriptures, with the Decalogue still speaking
in the thunders of Sinai,--with that ancient text, “He that stealeth
a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely
be put to death”[40]--with that other text, “Masters, give unto your
servants that which is just and equal,”[41]--with that great story of
Redemption, when the Lord raised the slave-born Moses to deliver his
chosen people from the house of bondage,--and with that sublimer story,
where the Saviour died a cruel death, that all men, without distinction
of race, might be saved, leaving to mankind a commandment which, even
without his example, makes Slavery impossible. Thus, in order to fasten
your manacles upon the slave, you fasten other manacles upon his soul.
The ancients maintained Slavery by chains and death: you maintain it by
that infinite despotism and monopoly through which human nature itself
is degraded. Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

_Fifthly._ Slavery paints itself again _in the appropriation of all
the toil_ of its victims, excluding them from that property in their
own earnings which the Law of Nature allows and Civilization secures.
The painful injustice of this pretension is lost in its meanness. It is
robbery and petty larceny under garb of law. And even the meanness is
lost in the absurdity of its associate pretension, that the African,
thus despoiled of all earnings, is saved from poverty, and that for his
own good he must work for his master, and not for himself. Alas, by
such fallacy is a whole race pauperized! And yet this transaction is
not without illustrative example. A sombre poet, whose verse has found
wide favor, pictures a creature who

              “with one hand put
    A penny in the urn of poverty,
    And with the other took a shilling out.”[42]

And a celebrated traveller through Russia, more than a generation
ago, describes a kindred spirit, who, while devoutly crossing himself
at church with his right hand, with the left deliberately picked
the pocket of a fellow-sinner by his side.[43] Not admiring these
instances, I cannot cease to deplore a system which has much of both,
while, under affectation of charity, it sordidly takes from the slave
all the fruits of his bitter sweat, and thus takes from him the main
spring to exertion. Tell me, Sir, is not Slavery barbarous?

Such is Slavery in its five special elements of Barbarism, as
recognized by law: first, assuming that man can hold property in man;
secondly, abrogating the relation of husband and wife; thirdly,
abrogating the parental tie; fourthly, closing the gates of knowledge;
and, fifthly, appropriating the unpaid labor of another. Take away
these elements, sometimes called “abuses,” and Slavery will cease to
exist; for it is these very “abuses” which constitute Slavery. Take
away any one of them, and the abolition of Slavery begins. And when I
present Slavery for judgment, I mean no slight evil, with regard to
which there may be reasonable difference of opinion, but I mean this
fivefold embodiment of “abuse,” this ghastly quincunx of Barbarism,
each particular of which, if considered separately, must be denounced
at once with all the ardor of an honest soul, while the whole fivefold
combination must awake a fivefold denunciation. The historic pirates,
once the plague of the Gulf whose waters they plundered, have been
praised for the equity with which they adjusted the ratable shares of
spoil, and also for generous benefactions to the poor, and even to
churches, so that Sir Walter Scott could say,--

              “Do thou revere
    The statutes of the Buccaneer.”[44]

In our Law of Slavery what is there to revere? what is there at which
the soul does not rise in abhorrence?

But this fivefold combination becomes yet more hateful when its
_single motive_ is considered; and here Slavery paints itself finally.
The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS] says that it is
“but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are
not fit to govern themselves.” The Senator is mistaken. It is an
outrage, where five different pretensions all concur in one single
object, looking only to the profit of the master, and constituting
its ever-present motive power, which is simply _to compel the labor
of fellow-men without wages_. If I pronounce this object not only
barbarous, but brutal, I follow the judgment of Luther’s Bible, in the
book “Jesus Sirach,” known in our translation as Ecclesiasticus, where
it is said: “He that giveth not his wages to the laborer, _he is a

Slavery is often exposed as degrading Humanity. On this fruitful theme
nobody has expressed himself with the force and beautiful eloquence
of our own Channing. His generous soul glowed with indignation at the
thought of man, supremest creature of earth, and first of God’s works,
despoiled of manhood and changed to a thing. But earlier than Channing
was Jean Jacques Rousseau, who, with similar eloquence and the same
glowing indignation, vindicated Humanity. How grandly he insists that
nobody can consent to be a slave, or can be born a slave! Believing
Liberty the most noble of human attributes, this wonderful writer will
not stop to consider if descent to the condition of beasts be not to
degrade human nature, if renunciation of the most precious of all God’s
gifts be not to offend the Author of our being; but he demands only by
what right those who degrade themselves to this depth can subject their
posterity to this same ignominy, renouncing for them goods which do not
depend upon any ancestors, and without which life itself is to all
worthy of it a burden; and he justly concludes, that, as, to establish
Slavery, it is necessary to violate Nature, so, to perpetuate this
claim, it is necessary to change Nature. His final judgment, being the
practical conclusion of this outburst, holds up jurisconsults, gravely
pronouncing that the child of a slave is born a slave, as deciding,
in other terms, that a man is not born a man,[46]--thus exposing the
peculiar absurdity of that pretension by which Slavery is transmitted
from the mother to her offspring, as expressed in the Latin scrap on
which the Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON] relies: _Partus sequitur

If the offence of Slavery were less extended, if it were confined to
some narrow region, if it had less of grandeur in its proportions, if
its victims were counted by tens and hundreds instead of millions,
the five-headed enormity would find little indulgence; all would rise
against it, while Religion and Civilization would lavish choicest
efforts in the general warfare. But what is wrong when done to one
man cannot be right when done to many. If it is wrong thus to degrade
a single soul, if it is wrong thus to degrade you, Mr. President, it
cannot be right to degrade a whole race. And yet this is denied by the
barbarous logic of Slavery, which, taking advantage of its own wrong,
claims immunity because its usurpation has assumed a front of audacity
that cannot be safely attacked. Unhappily, there is Barbarism elsewhere
in the world; but American Slavery, as defined by existing law, stands
forth as the greatest organized Barbarism on which the sun now looks.
It is without a single peer. Its author, after making it, broke the

If curiosity carries us to the origin of this law,--and here I
approach a topic often considered in this Chamber,--we shall again
confess its Barbarism. It is not derived from the Common Law, that
fountain of Liberty; for this law, while unhappily recognizing a
system of servitude known as villeinage, secured to the bondman
privileges unknown to the American slave,--guarded his person against
mayhem,--protected his wife against rape,--gave to his marriage equal
validity with the marriage of his master,--and surrounded his offspring
with generous presumptions of Freedom, unlike that rule of yours by
which the servitude of the mother is necessarily stamped upon the
child. It is not derived from the Roman Law, that fountain of Tyranny,
for two reasons: first, because this law, in its better days, when its
early rigors were spent, like the Common Law itself, secured to the
bondman privileges unknown to the American slave,--in certain cases of
cruelty rescued him from his master, prevented separation of parents
and children, also of brothers and sisters, and even protected him in
the marriage relation; and, secondly, because the Thirteen Colonies
were not derived from any of those countries which recognized the Roman
Law, while this law, even before the discovery of this continent, had
lost all living efficacy. It is not derived from the Mohammedan Law;
for, under the mild injunctions of the Koran, a benignant servitude,
unlike yours, has prevailed,--where the lash is not allowed to lacerate
the back of a female,--where no knife or branding-iron is employed upon
any human being, to mark him as the property of his fellow-man,--where
the master is expressly enjoined to favor the desires of his slave for
emancipation,--and where the blood of the master, mingling with that
of his bondwoman, takes from her the transferable character of chattel,
and confers complete freedom upon their offspring. It is not derived
from the Spanish Law; for this law contains humane elements unknown
to your system, borrowed, perhaps, from Mohammedan Moors who so long
occupied Spain; and, besides, our Thirteen Colonies had no umbilical
connection with Spain. Nor is it derived from English statutes or
American statutes; for we have the positive and repeated averment of
the Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON], and also of other Senators, that
in not a single State of the Union can any such statutes establishing
Slavery be found. From none of these does it come.

No, Sir, not from any land of Civilization is this Barbarism derived.
It comes from Africa, ancient nurse of monsters,--from Guinea, Dahomey,
and Congo. There is its origin and fountain. This benighted region, we
are told by Chief-Justice Marshall in a memorable judgment,[47] still
asserts a right, discarded by Christendom, to enslave captives taken in
war; and this African Barbarism is the beginning of American Slavery.
The Supreme Court of Georgia, a Slave State, has not shrunk from this
conclusion. “Licensed to hold slave property,” says the Court, “the
Georgia planter held the slave as a chattel, either directly from
the slave-trader or from those who held under him, and he from the
slave-captor in Africa. The property of the planter in the slave became
thus the property of the original captor.”[48] It is natural that a
right thus derived in defiance of Christendom, and openly founded on
the most vulgar Paganism, should be exercised without mitigating
influence from Christianity,--that the master’s authority over the
person of his slave, over his conjugal relations, over his parental
relations, over the employment of his time, over all his acquisitions,
should be recognized, while no generous presumption inclines to
Freedom, and the womb of the bondwoman can deliver only a slave.

From its home in Africa, where it is sustained by immemorial usage,
this Barbarism, thus derived and thus developed, traversed the ocean to
American soil. It entered on board that fatal slave-ship,

    “Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,”

which in 1620 landed its cruel cargo at Jamestown, in Virginia; and it
has boldly taken its place in every succeeding slave-ship, from that
early day till now,--helping to pack the human freight, regardless of
human agony,--surviving the torments of the middle passage,--surviving
its countless victims plunged beneath the waves; and it has left the
slave-ship only to travel inseparable from the slave in his various
doom, sanctioning by its barbarous code every outrage, whether of
mayhem or robbery, lash or lust, and fastening itself upon his
offspring to the remotest generation. Thus are barbarous prerogatives
of barbarous half-naked African chiefs perpetuated in American
Slave-Masters, while the Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON], perhaps
unconscious of their origin, perhaps desirous to secure for them the
appearance of a less barbarous pedigree, tricks them out with a phrase
of the Roman Law, discarded by the Common Law, which simply renders
into ancient Latin an existing rule of African Barbarism, recognized as
an existing rule of American Slavery.

Such is the plain juridical origin of the American slave code, now
vaunted as a badge of Civilization. But all law, whatever its juridical
origin, whether Christian or Mohammedan, Roman or African, may be
traced to other and ampler influences in Nature, sometimes of Right
and sometimes of Wrong. Surely the law which stamped the slave-trade
as piracy punishable with death had a different inspiration from that
other law which secured immunity for the slave-trade throughout an
immense territory, and invested its supporters with political power. As
there is a nobler law above, so there is a meaner law below, and each
is felt in human affairs.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus far we have seen Slavery only in pretended law, and in the origin
of that law. Here I might stop, without proceeding in the argument; for
on the letter of the law alone must Slavery be condemned. But the tree
is known by its fruits, which I shall now exhibit: and this brings me
to the second stage of the argument.

       *       *       *       *       *

(2.) In considering _the practical results of Slavery_, the materials
are so obvious and diversified that my chief care will be to abridge
and reject: and here I put the Slave States and Free States face to
face, showing at each point the blasting influence of Slavery.

Before proceeding with these details, I would for one moment expose
that degradation of free labor, which is one of the general results.
Where there are slaves, whose office is work, it is held disreputable
for a white man to soil his skin or harden his hands with honest toil.
The Slave-Master of course declines work, and his pernicious example
infects all others. With impious resolve, they would reverse the
Almighty decree appointing labor as the duty of man, and declaring that
in the sweat of his face shall he eat his bread. The Slave-Master says,
“No! this is true of the slave, of the black man, but not of the white
man: he shall not eat his bread in the sweat of his face.” Thus is the
brand of degradation stamped upon that daily toil which contributes
so much to a true Civilization. It is a constant boast in the Slave
States, that white men there will not perform work performed in the
Free States. Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Waddy Thompson made this boast. Let
it be borne in mind, then, that, where Slavery prevails, there is not
only despair for the black man, but inequality and ignominy for the
white laborer. By necessary consequence, the latter, whether emigrating
from our Free States or fleeing from oppression and wretchedness in his
European home, avoids a region disabled by such a social law. Hence
a twofold injustice: practically he is excluded from the land, while
the land itself becomes a prey to that paralysis which is caused by a
violation of the laws of God. And now for the testimony.

The States where this Barbarism exists excel the Free States in all
natural advantages. Their territory is more extensive, stretching over
851,448 square miles, while the Free States, including California,
embrace only 612,597 square miles. Here is a difference of more than
238,000 square miles in favor of the Slave States, showing that Freedom
starts in this great rivalry with a field more than a quarter less
than that of Slavery. In happiness of climate, adapted to productions
of special value,--in exhaustless motive power distributed throughout
its space,--in natural highways, by more than fifty navigable rivers,
never closed by the rigors of winter,--and in a stretch of coast, along
Ocean and Gulf, indented by hospitable harbors,--the whole presenting
incomparable advantages for that true Civilization, where agriculture,
manufactures, and commerce, both domestic and foreign, blend,--in all
these respects the Slave States excel the Free States, whose climate
is often churlish, whose motive power is less various, whose navigable
rivers are fewer and often sealed by ice, and whose coast, while less
in extent and with fewer harbors, is often perilous from storm and cold.

But Slavery plays the part of a Harpy, and defiles the choicest
banquet. See what it does with this territory, thus spacious and fair.

An important indication of prosperity is in the growth of _population_.
In this respect the two regions started equal. In 1790, at the first
census under the Constitution, the population of the present Slave
States was 1,961,372, of the present Free States 1,968,455, showing a
difference of only 7,083 in favor of the Free States. This difference,
at first merely nominal, has been constantly increasing since, showing
itself more strongly in each decennial census, until, in 1850, the
population of the Slave States, swollen by the annexation of three
foreign Territories, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, was only 9,612,969,
while that of the Free States, without such large annexations, reached
13,434,922, showing a difference of 3,821,953 in favor of Freedom.
But this difference becomes still more remarkable, if we confine our
inquiries to the white population, which at this period was only
6,184,477 in the Slave States, while it was 13,238,670 in the Free
States, showing a difference of 7,054,193, in favor of Freedom, and
showing also that the white population of the Free States had not
only doubled, but, while occupying a smaller territory, commenced to
triple, that of the Slave States. The comparative sparseness of the two
populations furnishes another illustration. In the Slave States the
average number of inhabitants to a square mile was 11.29, while in the
Free States it was 21.93, or almost two to one in favor of Freedom.

These results are general; but if we take any particular Slave State,
and compare it with a Free State, we shall find the same marked
evidence for Freedom. Take Virginia, with a territory of 61,352 miles,
and New York, with a territory of 47,000, or over 14,000 square miles
less than her sister State. New York has one seaport, Virginia some
three or four; New York has one noble river, Virginia has several;
New York for 400 miles runs along the frozen line of Canada, Virginia
basks in a climate of constant felicity. But Freedom is better than
climate, river, or seaport. In 1790 the population of Virginia was
748,308, and in 1850 it was 1,421,661. In 1790 the population of New
York was 340,120, and in 1850 it was 3,097,394. That of Virginia had
not doubled in sixty years, while that of New York had multiplied more
than nine-fold. A similar comparison may be made between Kentucky, with
37,680 square miles, admitted into the Union as long ago as 1792, and
Ohio, with 39,964 square miles, admitted into the Union in 1802. In
1850, the Slave State had a population of only 982,405, while Ohio had
a population of 1,980,329, showing a difference of nearly a million in
favor of Freedom.

As in population, so also in _the value of property, real and
personal_, do the Free States excel the Slave States. According to
the census of 1850, the value of property in the Free States was
$4,102,162,098, while in the Slave States it was $2,936,090,737;
or, if we deduct the asserted property in human flesh, only
$1,655,945,137,--showing an enormous difference of billions in favor of
Freedom. In the Free States the valuation per acre was $10.46, in the
Slave States only $3.04. This disproportion was still greater in 1855,
when, according to the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, the
valuation of the Free States was $5,770,197,679, or $14.71 per acre;
and of the Slave States, $3,977,354,046, or, if we deduct the asserted
property in human flesh, $2,505,186,446, or $4.59 per acre. Thus in
five years from 1850 the valuation of property in the Free States
received an increase of more than the whole accumulated valuation of
the Slave States in 1850.

Looking at details, we find the same disproportions. Arkansas and
Michigan, nearly equal in territory, were organized as States by
simultaneous Acts of Congress; and yet in 1855 the whole valuation
of Arkansas, including its asserted property in human flesh, was
only $64,240,726, while that of Michigan, without a single slave,
was $116,593,580. The whole accumulated valuation of all the Slave
States, deducting the asserted property in human flesh, in 1850, was
only $1,655,945,137; but the valuation of New York alone, in 1855,
reached the nearly equal sum of $1,401,285,279. The valuation of
Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, all together,
in 1850, deducting human flesh, was $559,224,920, or simply $1.96
per acre,--being less than that of Massachusetts alone, which was
$573,342,286, or $114.85 per acre.

The Slave States boast of _agriculture_; but here again,
notwithstanding superior natural advantages, they must yield to the
Free States at every point,--in the number of farms and plantations,
in the number of acres improved, in the cash value of farms, in the
average value per acre, and in the value of farming implements and
machinery. Here is a short table.

                                  Free States.    Slave States.

    Number of farms,                    873,608         569,201
    Acres of improved land,          57,720,494      54,970,327
    Cash value of farms,         $2,147,218,478  $1,117,649,649
    Average value per acre,              $19.17           $6.18
    Value of farming implements     $85,840,141     $65,345,625

Such is the mighty contrast. But it does not stop here. Careful tables
place the agricultural products of the Free States, for the year ending
June, 1850, at $888,634,334, while those of the Slave States were
$631,277,417; the product per acre in the Free States at $7.94, and the
product per acre in the Slave States at $3.49; the average product of
each agriculturist in the Free States at $342, and in the Slave States
at $171. Thus the Free States, with a smaller population engaged in
agriculture than the Slave States, and with smaller territory, show an
annual sum total of agricultural products surpassing those of the Slave
States by two hundred and twenty-seven millions of dollars, while twice
as much is produced by each agriculturist, and more than twice as much
is produced on an acre. The monopoly of cotton, rice, and cane-sugar,
with a climate granting two and sometimes three crops in the year, is
thus impotent in competition with Freedom.

In _manufactures, mining, and the mechanic arts_ the failure of the
Slave States is greater still. It appears at all points,--in the
capital employed, in the value of the raw material, in the annual
wages, and in the annual product. A short table will show the contrast.

                            Free States.    Slave States.

    Capital,                $430,240,051     $95,029,877
    Value of raw material,   465,844,092      86,190,639
    Annual wages,            195,436,453      33,247,560
    Annual product,          842,586,058     165,423,027

This might be illustrated by details with regard to different
manufactures,--as shoes, cotton, woollens, pig iron, wrought iron, and
iron castings,--all showing the contrast. It might also be illustrated
by comparison between different States,--showing, for instance, that
the manufactures of Massachusetts, during the last year, exceeded those
of all the Slave States combined.

In _commerce_ the failure of the Slave States is on a yet larger
scale. Under this head the census does not supply proper statistics,
and we are left to approximations from other sources; but these are
enough for our purpose. It appears, that, of products which enter into
commerce, the Free States had an amount valued at $1,377,199,968, the
Slave States an amount valued only at $410,754,992; that, of persons
engaged in trade, the Free States had 136,856, and the Slave States
52,622; and that, of tonnage employed, the Free States had 2,791,096
tons, and the Slave States only 726,284. This was in 1850. But in 1855
the disproportion was still greater, the Free States having 4,320,768
tons, and the Slave States 855,510 tons, being a difference of five to
one,--and the tonnage of Massachusetts alone being 979,210 tons, an
amount larger than that of all the Slave States together. The tonnage
built during this year by the Free States was 528,844 tons, by the
Slave States 52,938 tons. Maine alone built 215,905 tons, or more than
four times the whole built in the Slave States.

The foreign commerce of the Free States, in 1855, as indicated
by exports and imports, was $404,365,503; of the Slave States,
$132,062,196. The exports of the Free States were $167,520,693; of the
Slave States, including the vaunted cotton crop, $107,475,668. The
imports of the Free States were $236,844,810; of the Slave States,
$24,586,528. The foreign commerce of New York alone was more than twice
as large as that of all the Slave States; her imports were larger,
and her exports were larger also. Add to this evidence of figures the
testimony of a Virginian, Mr. Loudon, in a letter written just before
the sitting of a Southern Commercial Convention. Thus he complains and

    “There are not half a dozen vessels engaged in our own trade
    that are owned in Virginia; and I have been unable to find a
    vessel at Liverpool loading for Virginia within three years,
    during the height of our busy season.”

_Railroads and canals_ are the avenues of commerce; and here again the
Free States excel. Of railroads in operation in 1854, there were 13,105
miles in the Free States, and 4,212 in the Slave States. Of canals
there were 3,682 miles in the Free States, and 1,116 in the Slave

The _Post-Office_, which is the agent not only of commerce, but of
civilization, joins in the uniform testimony. According to the tables
for 1859, the postage collected in the Free States was $5,581,749,
and the expense of carrying the mails $6,945,545, leaving a deficit
of $1,363,796. In the Slave States the amount collected was only
$1,936,167, and the expense of carrying the mails $5,947,076, leaving
the enormous deficit of $4,010,909,--the difference between the two
deficits being $2,647,113. The Slave States did not pay one third of
the expense in transporting their own mails; and not a single Slave
State paid for transporting its own mails, not even the small State of
Delaware. Massachusetts, besides paying for hers, had a surplus larger
by one half than the whole amount collected in South Carolina.

According to the census of 1850, the value of _churches_ in the Free
States was $66,177,586; in the Slave States, $20,683,265.

The _voluntary charity_ contributed in 1855, for certain leading
purposes of Christian benevolence, was, in the Free States, $955,511;
for the same purposes in the Slave States, $193,885. For the Bible
cause the Free States contributed $321,365; the Slave States, $67,226.
For the Missionary cause the former contributed $502,174; and the
latter, $101,934. For the Tract Society the former contributed
$131,972; and the latter, $24,725. The amount contributed for Missions
by Massachusetts was greater than that contributed by all the Slave
States, and more than eight times that contributed by South Carolina.

Nor have the Free States been backward in charity for the benefit of
the Slave States. The records of Massachusetts show that as long ago
as 1781, at the beginning of the Government, there was a contribution
throughout the Commonwealth, under the particular direction of that
eminent patriot, Samuel Adams, for the relief of inhabitants of South
Carolina and Georgia.[49] In 1855 we were saddened by the prevalence
of yellow fever in Portsmouth, Virginia; and now, from a report of the
Relief Committee of that place, we learn that the amount of charity
contributed by the Slave States, exclusive of Virginia, the afflicted
State, was $12,182; and including Virginia, it was $33,398; while
$42,547 was contributed by the Free States.

In all this array we see the fatal influence of Slavery. But its
Barbarism is yet more conspicuous, when we consider its _Educational
Establishments_, and the unhappy results naturally ensuing from their
imperfect character.

Of _colleges_, in 1856, the Free States had 61, and the Slave States
59; but the comparative efficacy of the institutions assuming this
name may be measured by certain facts. The number of graduates in the
Free States was 47,752, in the Slave States 19,648; the number of
ministers educated in Slave colleges was 747, in Free colleges 10,702;
and the number of volumes in the libraries of Slave colleges 308,011,
in the libraries of Free colleges 668,497. If materials were at hand
for comparison between these colleges, in buildings, cabinets, and
scientific apparatus, or in standard of scholarship, the difference
would be still more apparent.

Of _professional schools_, teaching law, medicine, and theology,
the Free States had 65, with 269 professors, 4,417 students, and
175,951 volumes in their libraries; while the Slave States had only
32 professional schools, with 122 professors, 1,816 students, and
30,796 volumes in their libraries. The whole number educated at these
institutions in the Free States was 23,513, in the Slave States 3,812.
Of these, the largest number in the Slave States study medicine, next
theology, and lastly law. According to the census, there are only 808
students in the Slave theological schools, and 747 studying for the
ministry in Slave colleges; and this is the education of the Slave
clergy. In the law schools of the Slave States the number of students
is only 240, this being the sum-total of public students in the land of
Slavery devoted to that profession which is the favorite stepping-stone
to political life, where Slave-Masters claim such a disproportion of
office and honor.

Of _academies and private schools_, in 1850, the Free States,
notwithstanding multitudinous public schools, had 3,197, with 7,175
teachers, 154,893 pupils, and an annual income of $2,457,372; the Slave
States had 2,797 academies and private schools, with 4,913 teachers,
104,976 pupils, and an annual income of $2,079,724. In the absence of
public schools, to a large extent, where Slavery exists, the dependence
must be upon private schools; and yet even here the Slave States fall
below the Free States, whether we consider the number of schools, the
number of pupils, the number of teachers, or the amount paid for their

In _public schools_, open to all, poor and rich alike, the preëminence
of the Free States is complete. Here the figures show a difference as
wide as that between Freedom and Slavery. Their number in the Free
States is 62,433, with 72,621 teachers, and with 2,769,901 pupils,
supported at an annual expense of $6,780,337. Their number in the
Slave States is 18,507, with 19,307 teachers, and with 581,861 pupils,
supported at an annual expense of $2,719,534. This difference may
be illustrated by details. Virginia, an old State, and more than a
third larger than Ohio, has 67,353 pupils in her public schools,
while the latter State has 484,153. Arkansas, equal in age and size
with Michigan, has only 8,493 pupils at her public schools, while the
latter State has 110,455. South Carolina, nearly four times as large as
Massachusetts, has 17,838 pupils at public schools, while the latter
State has 176,475. South Carolina spends for this purpose, annually,
$200,600; Massachusetts, $1,006,795. Baltimore, with a population of
169,054, on the northern verge of Slavery, has school buildings valued
at $105,729; Boston, with a population of 136,881, has school buildings
valued at $729,502. Baltimore has only 37 public schools, with 138
teachers, and 8,011 pupils, supported at an annual expense of $32,423;
Boston has 203 public schools, with 353 teachers, and 20,369 pupils,
supported at an annual expense of $237,100. Even these figures do not
disclose the whole difference; for there exist in the Free States
teachers’ institutes, normal schools, lyceums, and public courses
of lectures, unknown in the region of Slavery. These advantages are
enjoyed by the children of colored persons; and here is a comparison
which shows the degradation of the Slave States. It is their habit
particularly to deride free colored persons. See, now, with what
cause. The number of colored persons in the Free States is 196,016, of
whom 22,043, or more than one ninth, attend school, which is a larger
proportion than is supplied by the whites of the Slave States. In
Massachusetts there are 9,064 colored persons, of whom 1,439, or nearly
one sixth, attend school, which is a much larger proportion than is
supplied by the whites of South Carolina.

Among educational establishments are _public libraries_; and here,
again, the Free States have their customary eminence, whether we
consider libraries strictly called public, or libraries of the common
school, Sunday school, college, and church. The disclosures are
startling. The number of libraries in the Free States is 14,893, and
the sum-total of volumes is 3,883,617; the number of libraries in the
Slave States is 713, and the sum-total of volumes is 654,194: showing
an excess for Freedom of more than fourteen thousand libraries,
and more than three millions of volumes. In the Free States the
common-school libraries are 11,881, and contain 1,589,683 volumes;
in the Slave States they are 186, and contain 57,721 volumes. In the
Free States the Sunday-school libraries are 1,713, and contain 474,241
volumes; in the Slave States they are 275, and contain 68,080 volumes.
In the Free States the college libraries are 132, and contain 660,573
volumes; in the Slave States they are 79, and contain 249,248 volumes.
In the Free States the church libraries are 109, and contain 52,723
volumes; in the Slave States they are 21, and contain 5,627 volumes. In
the Free States the libraries strictly called public, and not included
under heads already enumerated, are 1,058, and contain 1,106,397
volumes; those of the Slave States are 152, and contain 273,518 volumes.

Turn these figures over, look at them in any light, and the conclusion
is irresistible for Freedom. The college libraries alone of the Free
States are greater than all the libraries of Slavery; so, also, are
the libraries of Massachusetts alone greater than all the libraries of
Slavery; and the common-school libraries alone of New York are more
than twice as large as all the libraries of Slavery. Michigan has
107,943 volumes in her libraries; Arkansas has 420; and yet the Acts
for the admission of these two States into the Union were passed on
the same day.

Among educational establishments, one of the most efficient is the
_press_; and here again all things testify for Freedom. The Free States
excel in the number of newspapers and periodicals published, whether
daily, semi-weekly, weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly,--and
whatever their character, whether literary, neutral, political,
religious, or scientific. The whole aggregate circulation in the Free
States is 334,146,281, in the Slave States 81,038,693; in Free Michigan
3,247,736, in Slave Arkansas 377,000; in Free Ohio 30,473,407, in
Slave Kentucky 6,582,838; in Slave South Carolina 7,145,930, in Free
Massachusetts 64,820,564,--a larger number than in the twelve Slave
States, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, and
Texas, combined. This enormous disproportion in the aggregate is also
preserved in the details. In the Slave States political newspapers find
more favor than all others together; but even of these they publish
only 47,243,209 copies, while the Free States publish 163,583,668.
Numerous as are political newspapers in the Free States, they form
considerably less than one half the aggregate circulation of the Press,
while in the Slave States they constitute nearly three fifths. Of
neutral newspapers the Slave States publish 8,812,620, the Free States
79,156,733. Of religious newspapers the Slave States publish 4,364,832,
the Free States 29,280,652. Of literary journals the Slave States
publish 20,245,360, the Free States 57,478,768. And of scientific
journals the Slave States publish 372,672, the Free States 4,521,260.
Of these last the number of copies published in Massachusetts alone
is 2,033,260,--more than five times the number in the whole land of
Slavery. Thus, in contributions to science, literature, religion,
and even politics, as attested by the activity of the periodical
press, do the Slave States miserably fail,--while darkness gathers
over them, increasing with time. According to the census of 1810, the
disproportion in this respect between the two regions was only as two
to one; it is now more than four to one, and is still darkening.

The same disproportion appears with regard to persons connected with
the Press. In the Free States the number of _printers_ was 11,812, of
whom 1,229 were in Massachusetts; in the Slave States there were 2,625,
of whom South Carolina had only 141. In the Free States the number of
_publishers_ was 331; in the Slave States, 24. Of these, Massachusetts
had 51, or more than twice as many as all the Slave States; while
South Carolina had but one. In the Free States the _authors_ were 73;
in the Slave States, 6,--Massachusetts having 17, and South Carolina
none. These suggestive illustrations are all derived from the last
official census. If we go to other sources, the contrast is still the
same. Of the authors mentioned in Duyckinck’s “Cyclopædia of American
Literature,” 434 are of the Free States, and only 90 of the Slave
States. Of the poets mentioned in Griswold’s “Poets and Poetry of
America,” 122 are of the Free States, and only 16 of the Slave States.
Of the poets whose place of birth appears in Read’s “Female Poets of
America,” 71 are of the Free States, and only 11 of the Slave States.
If we try authors by weight or quality, it is the same as when we
try them by numbers. Out of the Free States come all whose works
have a place in the permanent literature of the country,--Irving,
Prescott, Sparks, Bancroft, Emerson, Motley, Hildreth, Hawthorne; also,
Bryant, Longfellow, Dana, Halleck, Whittier, Lowell,--and I might add
indefinitely to the list. But what name from the Slave States can find
entrance there?

A similar disproportion appears in the number of _Patents_, during
the last three years, 1857, 1858, and 1859, attesting the inventive
industry of the contrasted regions. In the Free States there were
9,557; in the Slave States, 1,306: making a difference of 8,251 in
favor of Freedom. The number in Free Massachusetts was 1,351; in Slave
South Carolina, 39. The number in Free Connecticut, small in territory
and population, was 628; in Slave Virginia, large in territory and
population, 184.

From these things we might infer the _ignorance_ prevalent in the Slave
States; but this shows itself in specific results of a deplorable
character, authenticated by the official census. In the Slave States
there were 493,026 native white adults, persons over twenty years of
age, unable to read and write; while in the Free States, with double
the native white population, there were but 248,725 persons of this
class in this unhappy predicament: in the Slave States the proportion
being 1 in 5 of the adult native whites; in the Free States 1 in 22.
The number in Free Massachusetts, in an adult native white population
of 470,375, was 1,055, or 1 in 446; the number in Slave South Carolina,
in a like population of only 120,136, was 15,580, or 1 in 8. The number
in Free Connecticut was 1 in 256, in Slave Virginia 1 in 5; in Free New
Hampshire 1 in 192, and in Slave North Carolina 1 in 3.

Before leaving this picture, where the dismal colors all come from
official sources, there are two other aspects in which Slavery may be

1. The first is its influence on _emigration_. The official compendium
of the census (page 115) tells us that inhabitants of Slave States
who are natives of Free States are more numerous than inhabitants of
Free States who are natives of Slave States. This is an egregious
error. Just the contrary is true. The census of 1850 found 606,139 in
the Free States who were born in the Slave States, while only 206,624
born in the Free States were in the Slave States. And since the white
population of the Free States is double that of the Slave States, it
appears that the proportion of whites moving from Slavery is six times
greater than that of whites moving into Slavery. This simple fact
discloses something of the aversion to Slavery which is aroused even in
the Slave States.

2. The second is furnished by the character of the region on the
border-line between Freedom and Slavery. In general, the value of
lands in Slave States adjoining Freedom is advanced, while the value
of corresponding lands in Free States is diminished. The effects of
Freedom and Slavery are reciprocal. Slavery is a bad neighbor; Freedom
is a good neighbor. In Virginia, lands naturally poor are, by nearness
to Freedom, worth $12.98 an acre, while richer lands in other parts of
the State are worth only $8.42. In Illinois, lands bordering on Slavery
are worth only $4.54 an acre, while other lands in Illinois are worth
$8.05. As in the value of lands, so in all other influences is Slavery
felt for evil, and Freedom felt for good; and thus is it clearly shown
to be for the interest of the Slave States to be surrounded by a circle
of Free States.

At every point is the character of Slavery more and more manifest,
rising and dilating into an overshadowing Barbarism, darkening the
whole land. Through its influence, population, values of all kinds,
manufactures, commerce, railroads, canals, charities, the post-office,
colleges, professional schools, academies, public schools, newspapers,
periodicals, books, authorship, inventions, are all stunted, and, under
a Government which professes to be founded on the intelligence of the
people, one in five of native white adults in the region of Slavery
is officially reported as unable to read and write. Never was the
saying of Montesquieu more triumphantly verified, that countries are
not cultivated by reason of their fertility, but by reason of their
liberty. To this truth the Slave States testify perpetually by every
possible voice. Liberty is the powerful agent which drives the plough,
the spindle, and the keel,--opens avenues of all kinds,--inspires
charity,--awakens love of knowledge, and supplies the means of
gratifying it. Liberty is the first of schoolmasters: nay, more; it is
the Baconian philosophy of Civilization, through which the powers and
activities of man are enlarged beyond measure or imagination.

Unerring and passionless figures thus far are our witnesses. But their
testimony will be enhanced by a final glance at the _geographical
character_ of the Slave States; and here there is a singular and
instructive parallel.

Jefferson described Virginia as “fast sinking” to be “the Barbary of
the Union,”[50]--meaning, of course, the Barbary of his day, which
had not yet turned against Slavery. And Franklin also wrote, that he
did “not wish to see a new Barbary rising in America, and our long
extended coast occupied by piratical States.”[51] In this each spoke
with prophetic voice. Though on different sides of the Atlantic and on
different continents, our Slave States and the original Barbary States
occupy nearly the same parallels of latitude, occupy nearly the same
extent of longitude, embrace nearly the same number of square miles,
enjoy kindred advantages of climate, being equally removed from the
cold of the North and the burning heat of the tropics, and also have
similar boundaries of land and water, affording kindred advantages of
ocean and sea, with this difference, that the boundaries of the two
regions are precisely reversed, so that where is land in one is water
in the other, while in both there is the same extent of ocean and the
same extent of sea. Nor is this all. Algiers, for a long time the
most obnoxious place in the Barbary States of Africa, once branded by
an indignant chronicler as “the wall of the Barbarian world,”[52] is
situated near the parallel of 36° 30´ north latitude, being the line of
the Missouri Compromise, which once marked the wall of Slavery in our
country west of the Mississippi, while Morocco, the chief present seat
of Slavery in the African Barbary, is near the parallel of Charleston.
There are no two spaces on the surface of the globe, equal in extent,
(and careful examination will verify what I am about to state,) which
present so many distinctive features of resemblance, whether we
consider the common regions of latitude in which they lie, the common
nature of their boundaries, their common productions, their common
climate, or the common Barbarism which sought shelter in both. I do
not stop to inquire why Slavery--banished at last from Europe, banished
also from that part of this hemisphere which corresponds in latitude to
Europe--should have intrenched itself, in both hemispheres, in similar
regions of latitude, so that Virginia, Carolina, Mississippi, and
Missouri are the American complement to Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli, and
Tunis. But there is one important point in the parallel which remains
to be fulfilled. The barbarous Emperor of Morocco, in the words of a
treaty, so long ago as the last century, declared his desire that “the
odious name of Slavery might be effaced from the memory of men”;[53]
while Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis, whose tenacity for the Barbarism
was equalled only by that of South Carolina, have renounced it one
after another, and delivered it over to the indignation of mankind.
Following this example, the parallel will be complete, and our Barbary
will become the complement in Freedom to the African Barbary, as it
has already been its complement in Slavery, and is unquestionably its
complement in geographical character.


From the consideration of Slavery in its practical results, illustrated
by contrast between the Free States and Slave States, I pass to another
stage of the argument, where Slavery appears in its influence on the
CHARACTER OF SLAVE-MASTERS. Nothing could I undertake more painful,
and yet there is nothing more essential to the discussion, especially
in response to pretensions of Senators on this floor, nor is there any
point on which the evidence is more ample.

It is in the Character of Slavery itself that we are to find the
Character of Slave-Masters. I need not go back to the golden mouth
of Chrysostom to learn that “Slavery is the fruit of covetousness,
of extravagance, of insatiable greediness”;[54] for we have already
seen that this fivefold enormity is inspired by the single idea of
_compelling men to work without wages_. This spirit must naturally
appear in the Slave-Master. But the eloquent Saint did not disclose the
whole truth. Slavery is founded on violence, as we have already too
clearly seen; of course it can be sustained only by kindred violence,
sometimes against the defenceless slave, sometimes against the freeman
whose indignation is aroused at the outrage. It is founded on brutal
and vulgar pretensions, as is unhappily too apparent; of course it can
be sustained only by kindred brutality and vulgarity. The denial of
all rights in the slave can be sustained only by disregard of other
rights, common to the whole community, whether of the person, the
press, or speech. Where this exists there can be but one supreme law,
to which all other laws, statute or social, are subordinate,--and this
is the pretended law of Slavery. All these things must be manifest in
Slave-Masters; and yet, unconscious of their true condition, they make
boasts which reveal still further the unhappy influence. Barbarous
standards of conduct are unblushingly avowed. The swagger of a bully
is called chivalry; a swiftness to quarrel is called courage; the
bludgeon is adopted as substitute for argument; and assassination is
lifted to be one of the Fine Arts. Long ago it was fixed certain that
the day which makes man a slave “takes half his worth away,”--words
from the ancient harp of Homer, sounding through long generations.
Nothing here is said of the human being at the other end of the chain.
To aver that on this same day all his worth is taken away might seem
inconsistent with exceptions which we gladly recognize; but, alas! it
is too clear, both from reason and from facts, that, bad as Slavery is
for the Slave, it is worse for the Master.

In making this exposure I am fortified at the outset by two classes of
authority, whose testimony it will be difficult to question: the first
personal, and founded on actual experience; the second philosophical,
and founded on everlasting truth.

First, _Personal Authority_. And here I adduce words, often quoted,
which dropped from the lips of Slave-Masters in those better days,
when, seeing the wrong of Slavery, they escaped from its injurious
influence. Of these, none expressed themselves with more vigor than
George Mason, a Slave-Master from Virginia, in debate on the adoption
of the National Constitution. This is his language:--

    “Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise
    labor, when performed by slaves. They prevent the emigration
    of whites, who really enrich and strengthen a country. _They
    produce the most pernicious effect on manners._ EVERY MASTER
    OF SLAVES IS BORN A PETTY TYRANT. They bring the judgment of
    Heaven on a country.”[55]

Thus, with a few touches, does this Slave-Master portray his class,
putting them in that hateful list which, according to every principle
of liberty, must be resisted so long as we obey God. And this clear
testimony received kindred support from the fiery soul of Jefferson.
Here are his words:--

    “There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of
    our people produced by the existence of Slavery among us. The
    whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise
    of the most boisterous passions, THE MOST UNREMITTING DESPOTISM
    on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our
    children see this, and learn to imitate it.… _The man must be
    a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved
    by such circumstances._ And with what execration should the
    statesman be loaded, who, permitting one half the citizens thus
    to trample on the rights of the other, _transforms those into
    despots_ and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one
    part and the _amor patriæ_ of the other!… With the morals of
    the people, their industry also is destroyed.”[56]

Next comes the _Philosophic Authority_. Here, while the language which
I quote may be less familiar, it is hardly less commanding. Among names
of such weight I shall not discriminate, but simply follow the order
of time. First is John Locke, the great author of the English system
of Intellectual Philosophy, who, though once unhappily indulgent to
American Slavery, in another place describes it, in words which every
Slave-Master should know, as--

    “The state of war continued between a lawful conqueror and a
    captive.” “So directly opposite to the generous temper and
    courage of our nation, that _’tis hardly to be conceived that
    an Englishman_, MUCH LESS A GENTLEMAN, _should plead for

Then comes Adam Smith, the founder of the science of Political Economy,
who, in his work on Morals, thus utters himself:--

    “There is not a negro from the coast of Africa who does not
    possess a degree of magnanimity which the soul of his sordid
    master is too often scarce capable of conceiving. Fortune never
    exerted more cruelly her empire over mankind than when she
    subjected those nations of heroes to the refuse of the jails
    of Europe, to wretches who possess the virtues neither of the
    countries which they come from nor of those which they go to,
    _and whose levity, brutality, and baseness so justly expose
    them to the contempt of the vanquished_.”[58]

This judgment, pronounced just a century ago, was repelled by the
Slave-Masters of Virginia in a feeble publication, which attests at
least their own consciousness that they were the criminals arraigned by
the distinguished philosopher. This was soon followed by the testimony
of the great English moralist, Dr. Johnson, who, in a letter to a
friend, thus shows his opinion of Slave-Masters:--

    “To omit for a year, or for a day, the most efficacious method
    of advancing Christianity, in compliance with any purposes that
    terminate on this side of the grave, is a crime of which I
    know not that the world has yet had an example, except in the
    practice of _the planters of America, a race of mortals whom, I
    suppose, no other man wishes to resemble_.”[59]

These are British voices. There are French also of equal character,
whose is the same implacable judgment. First I name Condorcet, who did
so much to develop the idea of Human Progress. Constantly he testifies
against Slavery. His brand of it as Barbarism is sententiously
expressed in a letter to Voltaire, describing a successful

    “L’Éprémesnil is a little American, who, by dint of plying his
    negroes with the lash, has succeeded in getting enough sugar
    and indigo to buy an office of King’s Councillor in the revenue

Voltaire adds to this expression other words kindred in scorn:--

    “The American savage of whom you speak does not astonish me;
    but he frightens me, for I know beyond doubt that he is of the
    horde of other French savages who have sworn immortal hate to

In harmony with these is that famous irony of Montesquieu, where,
speaking of the Africans, he says:--

    “It is impossible that we should suppose these people men;
    because, if we supposed them men, the world would begin to
    think that we ourselves were not Christians.”[62]

Other countries might testify; but this is enough.

With such authorities, Personal and Philosophic, American and Foreign,
I need not hesitate in this ungracious task; but Truth, which is
mightier than Mason and Jefferson, than John Locke, Adam Smith, and
Samuel Johnson, than Condorcet, Voltaire, and Montesquieu, marshals
the evidence in unbroken succession.

Proceeding with the argument, broadening as we advance, we shall see
Slave-Masters (1) in the Law of Slavery, (2) in relations with Slaves,
(3) in relations with each other and with Society, and (4) in that
unconsciousness which renders them insensible to their true character.

       *       *       *       *       *

(1.) As in considering the Character of Slavery, so in considering the
Character of Slave-Masters, we must begin with the _Law of Slavery_,
which, as their work, testifies against them. In the face of this
unutterable abomination, where impiety, cruelty, brutality, and robbery
all strive for mastery, it is vain to assert humanity or refinement
in its authors. Full well I know that the conscience, which speaks
so powerfully to the solitary soul, is often silent in the corporate
body, and that, in all ages and countries, numbers, when gathered in
communities and States, have sanctioned acts from which the individual
revolts. And yet I know no surer way of judging a people than by its
laws, especially where those laws have been long continued and openly

Whatever may be the eminence of individual virtue,--and I would not
so far disparage humanity as to suppose that offences so general
where Slavery exists are universal,--it is not reasonable or logical
to infer that the body of Slave-Masters are better than the Law of
Slavery. And since the Law itself degrades the slave to be a chattel,
and submits him to irresponsible control,--with power to bind and to
scourge, to usurp the fruits of another’s labor, to pollute the body,
and to outrage all ties of family, making marriage impossible,--we
must conclude that such enormities are sanctioned by Slave-Masters;
while the refusal of testimony, and the denial of instruction, by
supplementary law, complete the evidence of complicity. And this
conclusion must stand unquestioned, just so long as the Law of Slavery
exists unrepealed. So mild and philosophical a judge as Tocqueville
says, in his authoritative work: “The legislation of the Southern
States with regard to slaves at the present day exhibits such
unparalleled atrocities as suffice to show that the laws of humanity
have been totally perverted, and to betray the desperate position of
the community in which that legislation has been promulgated.”[63]
All of which is too true. Cease, then, to blazon the humanity of
Slave-Masters. Tell me not of the lenity with which this cruel Code is
tempered to its unhappy subjects. Tell me not of the sympathy which
overflows from the mansion of the master to the cabin of the slave. In
vain you assert such “happy accidents.” In vain you show individuals
who do not exert the wickedness of the law. The Barbarism still
endures, solemnly, legislatively, judicially attested in the very SLAVE
CODE, and proclaiming constantly the character of its authors. And this
is the first article in the evidence against Slave-Masters.

       *       *       *       *       *

(2.) I am next brought to _Slave-Masters in their relations with
Slaves_; and here the argument is founded on facts, and on presumptions
irresistible as facts. Only lately has inquiry burst into that gloomy
world of bondage, and disclosed its secrets. But enough is already
known to arouse the indignant condemnation of mankind. For instance,
here is a simple advertisement--one of thousands--from the _Georgia

    “RUN AWAY.--My man Fountain; has holes in his ears, a scar on
    the right side of his forehead; has been shot in the hind parts
    of his legs; is marked on his back with the whip. Apply to
    Robert Beasley, Macon, Ga.”

Holes in the ears; scar on the forehead; shot in the legs; and marks
of the lash on the back! Such are tokens by which the Slave-Master
identifies his slave.

Here is another advertisement, revealing Slave-Masters in a different
light. It is from the _National Intelligencer_, published at the
capital; and I confess the pain with which I cite such an indecency
in a journal of much respectability. Of course it appeared without
the knowledge of the editors; but it is none the less an illustrative

    “FOR SALE.--An accomplished and handsome lady’s-maid. She is
    just sixteen years of age; was raised in a genteel family in
    Maryland; and is now proposed to be sold, not for any fault,
    but simply because the owner has no further use for her. A
    note directed to C. D., Gadsby’s Hotel, will receive prompt

A sated libertine, in a land where vice is legalized, could not expose
his victim with apter words.

These two instances illustrate a class.

In the recent work of Mr. Olmsted, a close observer and traveller in
the Slave States, which abounds in pictures of Slavery, drawn with
caution and evident regard to truth, is another, where a Slave-Master
thus frankly confesses his experience:--

    “‘I can tell you how you can break a nigger of running away,
    certain,’ said the Slave-Master. ‘There was an old fellow I
    used to know in Georgia, that always cured his so. If a nigger
    ran away, when he caught him, he would bind his knee over a
    log, and fasten him so he couldn’t stir; then he’d take a pair
    of pincers, and pull one of his toe-nails out by the roots, and
    tell him, that, if he ever run away again, he would pull out
    two of them, and if he run away again after that, he told him
    he’d pull out four of them, and so on, doubling each time. He
    never had to do it more than twice; it always cured them.’”[64]

Like this story, from the lips of a Slave-Master, is another, where the
master, angry because his slave sought to regain his God-given liberty,
deliberately cut the tendons of his heel, thus horribly maiming him for

In vain these instances are denied. Their accumulating number,
authenticated in every possible manner, by the press, by a cloud of
witnesses, and by the confession of Slave-Masters, stares us constantly
in the face.

Here we are brought again to the Slave Code, under the shelter of which
these things, and worse, are done with complete impunity. Listen to
the remarkable words of Mr. Justice Ruffin, of North Carolina, who, in
a solemn decision, thus portrays, affirms, and deplores this terrible
latitude. The obedience of the slave, he says,--

    “is the consequence only of _uncontrolled authority over the
    body.… The power of the master must be absolute, to render
    the submission of the slave perfect._ I most freely confess
    my sense of the harshness of this proposition. I feel it as
    deeply as any man can. And, as a principle of moral right,
    every person in his retirement must repudiate it. But in the
    actual condition of things it must be so. There is no remedy.
    _This discipline belongs to the state of Slavery.…_ It is
    inherent in the relation of master and slave.”[65]

This same license is thus expounded in a recent judicial decision of

    “It is the policy of the law in respect to the relation
    of master and slave, and for the sake of securing proper
    subordination and obedience on the part of the slave, _to
    protect the master from prosecution, even if the whipping and
    punishment be malicious, cruel, and excessive_.”[66]

Can Barbarism further go? Here is irresponsible power, rendered more
irresponsible still by the seclusion of the plantation, and absolutely
fortified by supplementary law excluding the testimony of slaves. That
under its shelter enormities should occur, stranger than fiction, too
terrible for imagination, and surpassing any attested experience, is
simply according to the course of Nature and the course of history.
Antiquity has illustrations which are most painful. From Ovid we learn
how the porter was chained at his master’s gate;[67] by Plautus we
are introduced to the various instruments of punishment, in fearful
catalogue;[68] and in the pages of the philosopher Seneca we are
saddened by the cruelties of which the slave was victim.[69] A later
writer, the great teacher of medicine, Galen, describes men knocking
out the teeth of slaves with the fist, falling upon them not only with
fist, but with the heels, and gouging the eyes with a pen, if at hand,
as did the Emperor Adrian on one occasion;[70] while Tacitus shows
how four hundred slaves in the house of an assassinated master were
handed over to vindictive death.[71] St. Chrysostom portrays a mistress
dragging a slave-girl by the hair, and herself applying the whip, until
the cries of her bruised victim filled the whole house and penetrated
the street.[72]

All this is ancient Barbarism, according to the evidence; but the
analogies of life show that such things must be, where Slavery
prevails. The visitation of the abbeys in England disclosed vice and
disorder in startling forms, cloaked by the irresponsible privacy of
monastic life. A similar visitation of plantations would disclose more
fearful results, cloaked by the irresponsible privacy of Slavery. Every
Slave-Master on his plantation is a Bashaw, with all the prerogatives
of a Turk. According to Hobbes, he is a “petty king.” This is true;
and every plantation is of itself a petty kingdom, with more than the
immunities of an abbey. Six thousand skulls of infants are reported
to have been taken from a single fish-pond near a nunnery, to the
dismay of Pope Gregory.[73] Under the Law of Slavery, infants, the
offspring of masters “who dream of Freedom in a slave’s embrace,” are
not thrown into a fish-pond, but something worse is done. They are
sold. This is a single glimpse only. Slavery, in its recesses, is
another Bastile, whose horrors will never be known until it shall be
razed to the ground; it is the dismal castle of Giant Despair, which,
when captured by the Pilgrims, excited their wonder, as they saw “the
dead bodies that lay here and there in the castle-yard, and how full
of dead men’s bones the dungeon was.” The recorded horrors of Slavery
are infinite, and each day, by the escape of its victims, they are
still further attested, while the door of the vast prison-house is
left ajar. But, alas! unless examples of history and lessons of
political wisdom are alike delusive, its unrecorded horrors must
assume a form of more fearful dimensions. Baffling all attempts at
description, they sink into that chapter of Sir Thomas Browne entitled
“Of some Relations whose Truth we fear,” and among kindred things
whereof, according to this eloquent philosopher, “there remains no
register but that of Hell.”

       *       *       *       *       *

If this picture of the relations of Slave-Masters with their slaves
could receive any darker coloring, it would be by introducing
figures of the congenial agents through which the Barbarism is
maintained,--_the Slave-Overseer, the Slave-Breeder, and the
Slave-Hunter_, each without a peer except in the brothers, and the
whole constituting a triumvirate of Slavery, in whom its essential
brutality, vulgarity, and crime are all embodied. There is the
Slave-Overseer, with bloody lash,--fitly described, in his Life of
Patrick Henry, by Mr. Wirt, who, born in a Slave State, knew the class,
as “last and lowest, most abject, degraded, unprincipled,”[74]--and
his hands wield at will the irresponsible power, being proper successor
to “the devil,” described by the English dramatist, who appeared

              “_in Virginia_, and commanded
    With many stripes; for that’s his cruel custom.”[75]

There is next the Slave-Breeder, who assumes a higher character, even
entering legislative halls, where, in unconscious insensibility, he
shocks civilization by denying, like Mr. Gholson, of Virginia, any
alleged distinction between the “female slave” and the “brood mare,” by
openly asserting the necessary respite from work during the gestation
of the female slave as the ground of property in her offspring, and by
proclaiming that in this “vigintial” crop of human flesh consists much
of the wealth of his State,--while another Virginian, not yet hardened
to this debasing trade, whose annual sacrifice reaches twenty-five
thousand human souls, confesses the indignation and shame with which
he beholds his State “converted into _one grand menagerie_, where men
are reared for the market, like oxen for the shambles.” Verily the
question may be asked, Have we a Guinea among us? And, lastly, there is
the Slave-Hunter, with the bloodhound as his brutal symbol, who pursues
slaves as the hunter pursues game, and does not hesitate in the public
prints to advertise his Barbarism thus:--

    NEGROES in the Southwest. They can take the trail TWELVE
    HOURS after the NEGRO HAS PASSED, and catch him with ease. I
    live four miles southwest of Bolivar, on the road leading
    from Bolivar to Whitesville. I am ready at all times to catch
    runaway negroes.


    “March 2, 1853.”[76]

The bloodhound was known in early Scottish history; it was once
vindictively put upon the trail of Robert Bruce, and in barbarous
days, by cruel license of war, was directed against the marauders of
the Scottish border. Walter Scott makes one of his heroes “cheer the
dark blood-hound on his way”; but more than a century has passed since
the last survivor of the race was seen in Ettrick Forest.[77] The
bloodhound was employed by Spain against the natives of this continent,
and the eloquence of Chatham never touched a truer chord than when,
gathering force from the condemnation of this brutality, he poured
his thunder upon the kindred brutality of the scalping-knife, adopted
as an instrument of war by a nation professing civilization. Tardily
introduced into this Republic some time after the Missouri Compromise,
when Slavery became a political passion and Slave-Masters began to
throw aside all disguise, the bloodhound has become the representative
of our Barbarism, when engaged in the pursuit of a fellow-man
asserting his inborn title to himself; and this brute becomes typical
of the whole brutal leash of Slave-Hunters, who, whether at home on
Slave Soil, under the name of Slave-Catchers and Kidnappers, or at a
distance, under politer names, insult Human Nature by the enforcement
of this Barbarism.

       *       *       *       *       *

(3.) From this dreary picture of Slave-Masters with their slaves and
their triumvirate of vulgar instruments, I pass to another more dreary
still, and more completely exposing the influence of Slavery: I mean
the _relations of Slave-Masters with each other_, also _with Society_
and _Government_,--or, in other words, the Character of Slave-Masters,
as displayed in the general relations of life. Here again I need your
indulgence. Not in triumph or in taunt do I approach this branch of the
subject. Yielding only to the irresistible exigency of the discussion,
and in direct reply to the assumptions on this floor, especially by the
Senator from Virginia [Mr. MASON], I proceed. If I touch Slavery to
the quick, and make Slave-Masters see themselves as others see them, I
shall do nothing beyond the strictest line of duty in this debate.

One of the choicest passages of the master Italian poet, Dante, is
where we are permitted to behold a passage of transcendent virtue
sculptured in “visible speech” on the long gallery leading to the
Heavenly Gate. The poet felt the inspiration of the scene, and placed
it on the wayside, where it could charm and encourage. This was
natural. Nobody can look upon virtue and justice, if only in images and
pictures, without feeling a kindred sentiment. Nobody can be surrounded
by vice and wrong, by violence and brutality, if only in images and
pictures, without coming under their degrading influence. Nobody can
live with the one without advantage; nobody can live with the other
without loss. Who could pass life in the secret chamber where are
gathered the impure relics of Pompeii, without becoming indifferent
to loathsome things? But if these loathsome things are not merely
sculptured and painted,--if they exist in living reality,--if they
enact their hideous, open indecencies, as in the criminal pretensions
of Slavery,--while the lash plays and the blood spurts,--while women
are whipped and children are sold,--while marriage is polluted and
annulled,--while the parental tie is rudely torn,--while honest gains
are filched or robbed,--while the soul itself is shut down in all the
darkness of ignorance, and God himself is defied in the pretension
that man can have property in his fellow-man,--if all these things
are “visible,” not merely in images and pictures, but in reality, the
influence on character must be incalculably deplorable.

According to irresistible law men are fashioned by what is about them,
whether climate, scenery, life, or institutions. Like produces like,
and this ancient proverb is verified always. Look at the miner, delving
low down in darkness, and the mountaineer, ranging on airy heights, and
you will see a contrast in character, and even in personal form. The
difference between a coward and a hero may be traced in the atmosphere
which each has breathed,--and how much more in the institutions under
which each is reared! If institutions generous and just ripen souls
also generous and just, then other institutions must exhibit their
influence also. Violence, brutality, injustice, barbarism, must be
reproduced in the lives of all living within their fatal sphere. The
meat eaten by man enters into and becomes part of his body; the madder
eaten by the dog changes his bones to red; and the Slavery on which men
live, in all its fivefold foulness, must become part of themselves,
discoloring the very soul, blotting the character, and breaking
forth in moral leprosy. This language is strong, but the evidence
is even stronger. Some there may be of happy natures--like honorable
Senators--who can thus feed and not be harmed. Mithridates fed on
poison, and lived. It may be that there is a moral Mithridates, who can
swallow without bane the poison of Slavery.

Instead of “ennobling” the master, nothing is clearer than that the
slave drags his master down; and this process, beginning in childhood,
is continued through life. Living much in association with his slave,
the master finds nothing to remind him of his own deficiencies, to
prompt his ambition or excite his shame. He is only a little better
than his predecessor in ancient Germany, as described by Tacitus,
who was distinguishable from his slave by none of the charms of
education, while the two burrowed among the same flocks and in the same
ground.[78] Without provocation to virtue, or elevating example, he
naturally shares the Barbarism of the society he keeps. Thus the very
inferiority which the Slave-Master attributes to the African explains
the melancholy condition of the communities in which his degradation is
declared by law.

A single false principle or vicious thought may debase a character
otherwise blameless; and this is practically true of the Slave-Master.
Accustomed to regard men as property, the sensibilities are blunted
and the moral sense is obscured. He consents to acts from which
Civilization recoils. The early Church sacrificed its property, and
even its sacred vessels, for the redemption of captives. On a memorable
occasion this was done by St. Ambrose,[79] and successive canons
confirmed the example. But in the Slave States all is reversed.
Slaves there are hawked as property of the Church[80]; and an instance
is related of a slave sold in South Carolina to buy plate for the
communion-table. Who can estimate the effect of such an example?

Surrounded by pernicious influences of all kinds, positive and
negative, the first making him do that which he ought not to do,
and the second making him leave undone that which he ought to have
done,--through childhood, youth, and manhood, even unto age,--unable,
while at home, to escape these influences, overshadowed constantly by
the portentous Barbarism about him, the Slave-Master naturally adopts
the bludgeon, the revolver, and the bowie-knife. Through these he
governs his plantation, and secretly armed with these enters the world.
These are his congenial companions. To wear these is his pride; to use
them becomes a passion, almost a necessity. Nothing contributes to
violence so much as wearing the instruments of violence, thus having
them always at hand to obey a lawless instinct. A barbarous standard
is established; the duel is not dishonorable; a contest peculiar to
our Slave-Masters, known as a “street fight,” is not shameful; and
modern imitators of Cain have a mark set upon them, not for reproach
and condemnation, but for compliment and approval. In kindred spirit,
the Count of Eisenburg, presenting to Erasmus a handsome dagger, called
it “the pen with which he used to combat saucy fellows.”[81] How weak
that dagger against the pen of Erasmus! I wish to keep within bounds;
but unanswerable facts, accumulating in fearful quantities, attest that
the social system so much vaunted by honorable Senators, which we are
now asked to sanction and extend, takes its character from this spirit,
and, with professions of Christianity on the lips, becomes Cain-like.
And this is aggravated by the prevailing ignorance in the Slave States,
where one in five of the adult white population of native birth is
unable to read and write.

    “The boldest they who least partake the light,
    As game-cocks in the dark are trained to fight.”

There are exceptions, which we all gladly recognize; but it is this
spirit which predominates and gives the social law. Again we see the
lordlings of France, as pictured by Camille Desmoulins, “ordinarily
very feeble in arguments, since from the cradle they are accustomed to
use their _will_ as right hand and their _reason_ as left hand.”[82]
Violence ensues. And here mark an important difference. Elsewhere
violence shows itself in _spite_ of law, whether social or statute;
in the Slave States it is _because_ of law, both social and statute.
Elsewhere it is pursued and condemned; in the Slave States it is
adopted and honored. Elsewhere it is hunted as a crime; in the Slave
States it takes its place among the honorable graces of society.

Let not these harsh statements stand on my authority. Listen to the
testimony of two Governors of Slave States in messages to their
respective Legislatures.

Said the Governor of Kentucky, in 1837:--

    “We long to see the day when the law will assert its majesty,
    and stop the wanton destruction of life which almost _daily_
    occurs within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. _Men
    slaughter each other with almost perfect impunity._ A species
    of Common Law has grown up in Kentucky, which, were it written
    down, would, in all civilized countries, cause it to be
    re-christened, in derision, _the Land of Blood_.”

Such was the official confession of a Slave-Master, Governor of
Kentucky. And here is the official confession made the same year by the
Slave-Master Governor of Alabama:--

    “We hear of homicides in different parts of the State
    continually, and yet have few convictions, and still fewer
    executions. Why do we hear of _stabbings and shootings almost
    daily_ in some part or other of our State?”

A land of blood! Stabbings and shootings almost daily! Such is official
language. It was natural that contemporary newspapers should repeat
what found utterance in high places. Here is the confession of a
newspaper in Mississippi:--

    “The moral atmosphere in our State appears to be in a
    _deleterious and sanguinary condition_. Almost every exchange
    paper which reaches us contains _some inhuman and revolting
    case of murder or death by violence_.”[83]

Here is another confession, by a newspaper in New Orleans:--

    “In view of the crimes which are daily committed, we are led to
    inquire whether it is owing to the inefficiency of our laws, or
    to the manner in which these laws are administered, _that this
    frightful deluge of human blood flows through our streets and
    our places of public resort_.”[84]

And here is testimony of a different character:--

    “As I left my native State on account of Slavery, and deserted
    the home of my fathers to escape the sound of the lash and the
    shrieks of tortured victims, I would gladly bury in oblivion
    the recollection of those scenes with which I have been
    familiar; but this may not, cannot be.”[85]

These are the words of a Southern lady, daughter of the accomplished
Judge Grimké, of South Carolina.

A catalogue of affrays between politicians, commonly known as “street
fights,”--I use the phrase furnished by the land of Slavery,--would
show that these authorities are not mistaken. That famous Dutch
picture, admired particularly from successful engraving, and called
_The Knife-Fighters_,[86] presents a scene less revolting than one
of these. Two or more men, armed to the teeth, meet in the streets,
at a court-house, or a tavern, shoot at each other with revolvers,
then gash each other with knives, close, and roll upon the ground,
covered with dirt and blood, struggling and stabbing, till death,
prostration, or surrender puts an end to the conflict. Each instance
tells its shameful story, and cries out against the social system
tolerating such Barbarism. A catalogue of duels would testify again to
the reckless disregard of life where Slavery exists, while it exhibited
Violence flaunting in the garb of Honor, and prating of a barbarous
code disowned equally by reason and religion. But you have already
surfeited with horrors, and I hasten on.

Ancient Civilization did not condemn assassination. Statues were raised
to Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who slew Hipparchus. Brutus and Cassius
were glorified. Modern Civilization judges otherwise; but Slavery, not
content with the Duel, which was unknown to Antiquity, rejoices in
assassinations also,--rejoices in both.

Pardon me, if I stop for one moment to expose and denounce the Duel.
I do it only because it belongs to the brood of Slavery. Long ago an
enlightened Civilization rejected this relic of Barbarism, and never
was one part of the argument against it put more sententiously than
by Franklin. “A duel decides nothing,” said this patriot philosopher;
and the person appealing to it “makes himself judge in his own cause,
condemns the offender without a jury, and undertakes himself to be the
executioner.”[87] To these emphatic words I add two brief propositions,
which, if practically adopted, make the Duel impossible: first, that
the acknowledgment of wrong, with apology or explanation, can never
be otherwise than honorable; and, secondly, that, in the absence of
such acknowledgment, no wrong can be repaired by gladiatorial contest,
where brute force, or skill, or chance must decide the day. Iron and
adamant are not stronger than these arguments; nor can any one attempt
an answer without exposing his feebleness. And yet Slave-Masters,
disregarding its irrational character, insensible to its folly,
heedless of its impiety, and unconscious of its Barbarism, openly
adopt the Duel as regulator of manners and conduct. Two voices from
South Carolina have been raised against it, and I mention them with
gladness as testimony from that land of Slavery. The first was Charles
Cotesworth Pinckney, who, in the early days of the Republic, after
asking if there were “no way of abolishing throughout the Union this
absurd and _barbarous_ custom,” invoked the clergy of his State, “as
a particular favor, at some convenient early day, to preach a sermon
on the sin and folly of duelling.”[88] The other was Mr. Rhett, who,
on this floor, openly declared, as his reason for declining the Duel,
“that he feared God more than man.”[89] Generous words, for which many
errors will be pardoned. But these voices condemn the social system of
which the Duel is a natural product.

Looking at the broad surface of society where Slavery exists, we find
its spirit actively manifest against all freedom of speech and the
press, especially with regard to this wrong. Nobody in the Slave States
can speak or print plainly about Slavery, except at peril of life or
liberty; and a curious instance shows how this same spirit is carried
by our Slave-Masters into foreign lands. As early as 1789, and in
Paris, a poor play,[90] where Slavery was painted truthfully, excited
the hostility of what Baron Grimm, who reports the incident, calls
“an American cabal,” so that its failure was attributed by some to
this influence, being the early prototype of that so strong among us.
St. Paul could call upon the people of Athens to give up the worship
of unknown gods; he could live in his own hired house at Rome, and
preach Christianity in this Heathen metropolis; but no man can be heard
against Slavery in Charleston or Mobile. We condemn the Inquisition,
which subjects all within its influence to censorship and secret
judgment; but this tyranny is repeated in American Slave-Masters.
Truths as simple as the great discovery of Galileo are openly denied,
and all who declare them are driven to recant. We condemn the “Index
Expurgatorius” of the Roman Church; but American Slave-Masters have
an Index where are inscribed all the generous books of the age. One
book, the marvel of recent literature, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” is treated
thus by the Church as by Slave-Masters, being honored by the same
suppression at the Vatican as at Charleston.

Not to dwell on these instances, there is one which has a most
instructive ridiculousness. A religious discourse of the late Dr.
Channing on West India Emancipation--the last effort of his beautiful
life--was offered for sale by a book agent at Charleston. A prosecution
by the South Carolina Association ensued, and the agent was held
to bail in the sum of one thousand dollars. Shortly afterward, the
same agent received for sale a work by Dickens, “American Notes,”
freshly published; but, determined not to expose himself again to the
tyrannical Inquisition, he gave notice through the newspapers that the
book would “be submitted to highly intelligent members of the South
Carolina Association for _inspection_, and _if_ the sale is approved by
them, it will be for sale,--if not, not.”[91]

Listen also to another recent instance, as recounted in the “Montgomery
Mail,” a newspaper of Alabama.

    “Last Saturday we devoted to the flames a large number of
    copies of Spurgeon’s Sermons, and the pile was graced at the
    top with a copy of ‘Graves’s Great Iron Wheel,’ which a Baptist
    friend presented for the purpose. We trust that the works of
    the greasy cockney vociferator may receive the same treatment
    throughout the South. And if the Pharisaical author should ever
    show himself in these parts, we trust that a stout cord may
    speedily find its way around his eloquent throat. He has proved
    himself a dirty, low-bred slanderer, and ought to be treated

Very recently we had the opportunity of reading in the journals, that
the trustees of a college in Alabama resolved against Dr. Wayland’s
admirable work on Moral Science, as containing “Abolition doctrine of
the deepest dye,” and proceeded to denounce “the said book, and forbid
its further use in the Institute.”

The speeches of Wilberforce in the British Parliament, and especially
those magnificent efforts of Brougham, where he exposed “the wild
and guilty fantasy that man can hold property in man,” were insanely
denounced by the British planters in the West Indies; but our
Slave-Masters go further. Speeches delivered in the Senate are stopped
at the Post-Office; booksellers receiving them have been mobbed; and on
at least one occasion the speeches were solemnly proceeded against by a
Grand Jury.[92]

All this is natural, for tyranny is condemned to be consistent with
itself. Proclaim Slavery a permanent institution, instead of a
temporary Barbarism, soon to pass away, and then, by the unhesitating
logic of self-preservation, all things must yield to its support.
The safety of Slavery becomes the supreme law. And since Slavery
is endangered by Liberty in any form, therefore all Liberty must
be restrained. Such is the philosophy of this seeming paradox in
a Republic. And our Slave-Masters show themselves apt. Violence
and brutality are their ready instruments, quickened always by the
wakefulness of suspicion, and perhaps often by the restlessness of
uneasy conscience. The Lion’s Mouth of Venice is open everywhere in the
Slave States; nor are wanting the gloomy cells and the Bridge of Sighs.

This spirit has recently shown itself with such intensity and activity
as to constitute what is properly termed a Reign of Terror. Northern
men, unless recognized as delegates to a Democratic Convention, are
exposed in their travels, whether for business or health. They are
watched and dogged, as in a land of Despotism,--are treated with the
meanness of disgusting tyranny,--and live in peril always of personal
indignity, often of life and limb. Complaint is sometimes made of
wrongs to American citizens in Mexico; but the last year witnessed
outrages on American citizens perpetrated in the Slave States exceeding
those in Mexico. Here, again, I have no time for details, already
presented in other quarters. Instances are from all conditions of life
and in various quarters. In Missouri, a Methodist clergyman, suspected
of being an Abolitionist, was taken to prison, amidst threats of tar
and feathers. In Arkansas, a schoolmaster was driven from the State.
In Kentucky, a plain citizen from Indiana, on a visit to his friends,
was threatened with death by the rope. In Alabama, a simple person from
Connecticut, peddling books, was thrust into prison, amidst cries of
“Shoot him! Hang him!” In Virginia, a Shaker, from New York, peddling
garden-seeds, was forcibly expelled from the State. In Georgia, a
merchant’s clerk, Irish by birth, who simply asked the settlement of a
just debt, was cast into prison, robbed of his pocket-book containing
nearly one hundred dollars, and barely escaped with life. In South
Carolina, a stone-cutter, also an Irishman, was stripped naked, and
then, amidst cries of “Brand him!” “Burn him!” “Spike him to death!”
scourged so that blood came at every stroke, while tar was poured upon
the lacerated flesh. These atrocities, calculated, according to the
words of a great poet, to “make a holiday in Hell,” were all ordained
by Vigilance Committees, or that swiftest magistrate, Judge Lynch,
inspired by the demon of Slavery.

    “He let them loose, and cried, Halloo!
    How shall we yield him honor due?”[93]

In perfect shamelessness, and as if to blazon this fiendish spirit, we
have this winter had an article in a leading newspaper of Virginia,
offering twenty-five dollars each for the heads of citizens, mostly
Members of Congress, known to be against Slavery, with fifty thousand
dollars for the head of William H. Seward. In still another paper
of Virginia we find a proposition to raise ten thousand dollars for
the kidnapping, and delivery at Richmond, of a venerable citizen,
Joshua R. Giddings, “or five thousand dollars for the production of
his head.” These are fresh instances, but not alone. At a meeting of
Slave-Masters in Georgia, in 1836, the Governor was recommended to
issue a proclamation offering five thousand dollars as a reward for
the apprehension of _either_ of ten persons named in the resolution,
citizens of New York and Massachusetts, and one a subject of Great
Britain,--neither of whom was it pretended had ever set foot on the
soil of Georgia. The Milledgeville “Federal Union,” a newspaper of
Georgia, in 1836, contained an offer of ten thousand dollars for
kidnapping a clergyman residing in the city of New York. A Committee of
Vigilance in Louisiana, in 1835, offered, in the “Louisiana Journal,”
fifty thousand dollars to any person who would deliver into their
hands Arthur Tappan, a liberty-loving merchant of New York; and during
the same year a public meeting in Alabama, with a person entitled
“Honorable” in the chair, offered a similar reward of fifty thousand
dollars for the apprehension of the same Arthur Tappan, and of La Roy
Sunderland, a clergyman of the Methodist Church in New York.

These manifestations are not without example in the history of the
Antislavery cause elsewhere. From the beginning, Slave-Masters have
encountered argument by brutality and violence. St. Jerome had before
him their type, when he described certain persons “whose words are in
their fists and syllogisms in their heels.”[94] If we go back to the
earliest of Abolitionists, the wonderful Portuguese preacher, Vieyra,
we find that his matchless eloquence and unquestioned piety did not
save him from indignity. The good man was seized and imprisoned, while
one of the principal Slave-Masters asked him, in mockery, “where were
all his learning and all his genius now, if they could not deliver him
in this extremity?”[95] He was of the Catholic Church. But the spirit
of Slavery is the same in all churches. A renowned Quaker minister
of the last century, Thomas Chalkley, while on a visit at Barbadoes,
having simply recommended charity to the slaves, without presuming to
breathe a word against Slavery itself, was first met by disturbance
in the meeting, and afterward, on the highway, in open day, was shot
at by one of the exasperated planters, with a fowling-piece “loaded
with small shot, ten of which made marks, and several drew blood.”[96]
In England, while the Slave-Trade was under discussion, the same
spirit raged. Wilberforce, who represented the cause of Abolition
in Parliament, was threatened with personal violence; Clarkson, who
represented the same cause before the people, was assaulted by the
infuriate Slave-Traders, and narrowly escaped being hustled into the
dock; and Roscoe, the accomplished historian, on return to Liverpool
from his seat in Parliament, where he had signalized himself as an
opponent of the Slave-Trade, was met at the entrance of the town by a
savage mob, composed of persons interested in the traffic, armed with
_knives and bludgeons_, the distinctive arguments and companions of the
partisans of Slavery.

Even in the Free States, these same partisans from the beginning acted
under the inspiration of violence. The demon of Slavery entered into
them, and through its influence they have behaved like Slave-Masters.
Public meetings for the discussion of Slavery have been interrupted;
public halls, dedicated to its discussion, have been destroyed or
burned to the ground. In all our populous cities the great rights of
speech and of the press have been assailed precisely as in the Slave
States. In Boston, an early and most devoted Abolitionist was dragged
through the streets with a halter about his neck; and in Illinois,
another, while defending his press, was ferociously murdered. The
former yet lives to speak for himself, while the latter lives in
his eloquent brother, a Representative from Illinois in the other
House.[97] Thus does Slavery show its natural character even at a

Nor in the Slave States is this spirit confined to outbreaks of
mere lawlessness. Too strong for restraint, it finds no limitations
except in its own barbarous will. The Government becomes its tool,
and in _official acts_ does its bidding. Here again the instances
are numerous. I might dwell on the degradation of the Post-Office,
when its official head consented that for the sake of Slavery the
mails themselves should be rifled. I might dwell also on the cruel
persecution of free persons of color, who, in the Slave States
generally, and even here in the District of Columbia, are not allowed
to testify where a white man is in question, and now in several States
are menaced by legislative act with the alternative of expulsion from
their homes or of reduction to Slavery. But I pass to two illustrative
transactions, which a son of Massachusetts can never forget.

1. The first relates to a citizen of purest life and perfect integrity,
whose name is destined to fill a conspicuous place in the history
of Freedom, William Lloyd Garrison. Born in Massachusetts, bred to
the same profession with Benjamin Franklin, and, like his great
predecessor, becoming an editor, he saw with instinctive clearness the
wrong of Slavery, and, at a period when the ardors of the Missouri
Question had given way to indifference throughout the North, he stepped
forward to denounce it. The jail at Baltimore, where he then resided,
was the earliest reward. Afterward, January 1st, 1831, he published the
first number of “The Liberator,” inscribing for his motto an utterance
of Christian philanthropy, “Our country is the world, our countrymen
are mankind,” and declaring, in the face of surrounding apathy: “I am
in earnest,--I will not equivocate,--I will not excuse,--I will not
retreat a single inch,--AND I WILL BE HEARD.” In this sublime spirit
he commenced his labors for the Slave, proposing no intervention by
Congress in the States, and on well-considered principle avoiding
all appeals to the bond-men themselves. Such was his simple and
thoroughly constitutional position, when, before the expiration of
the first year, the Legislature of Georgia, by solemn act, a copy
of which I have before me, “approved” by Wilson Lumpkin, Governor,
appropriated five thousand dollars “to be paid to any person or persons
who shall arrest, bring to trial, and prosecute to conviction under
the laws of this State, the editor or publisher of a certain paper
called _The Liberator_, published in the town of Boston and State
of Massachusetts.”[98] This infamous statute, touching a citizen
absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of Georgia and in no way amenable
to its laws, constituted a plain bribe to the gangs of kidnappers
engendered by Slavery. With this barefaced defiance of justice and
decency Slave-Masters inaugurated the system of violence by which they
have sought to crush every voice raised against Slavery.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. Here is another illustration, of a different character. Free
persons of color, citizens of Massachusetts, and, according to the
institutions of this Commonwealth, entitled to equal privileges with
other citizens, being in service as mariners, and touching at the
port of Charleston, in South Carolina, have been seized, and, with no
allegation against them, except of entering this port in the discharge
of their rightful business, have been cast into prison, and there
detained during the stay of the vessel. This is by virtue of a statute
of South Carolina, passed in 1822, which further declares, that, in
the failure of the captain to pay the expenses, these freemen “shall
be deemed and taken as absolute slaves,” one moiety of the proceeds of
their sale to belong to the sheriff. Against all remonstrance,--against
the official opinion of Mr. Wirt, as Attorney-General of the United
States, declaring it unconstitutional,--against the solemn judgment
of Mr. Justice Johnson, of the Supreme Court of the United States,
himself a Slave-Master and citizen of South Carolina, also pronouncing
it unconstitutional,[99]--this statute, which is an obvious injury
to Northern ship-owners, as it is an outrage to the mariners whom it
seizes, has been upheld to this day by South Carolina.

Massachusetts, anxious to obtain for her people that protection which
was denied, and especially to save them from the dread penalty of being
sold into Slavery, appointed a citizen of South Carolina as her agent
for this purpose, and in her behalf to bring suits in the Circuit Court
of the United States to try the constitutionality of this pretension.
Owing to the sensitiveness of the people in that State, the agent
declined to render this simple service. Massachusetts next selected
one of her own sons, a venerable citizen, who had already served with
honor in the other House of Congress, and was of admitted eminence
as a lawyer, the Hon. Samuel Hoar, of Concord, to visit Charleston,
and there do what the agent first appointed shrank from doing. This
excellent gentleman, beloved by all who knew him, gentle in manners
as he was firm in character, with a countenance that was in itself a
letter of recommendation, arrived at Charleston, accompanied only by
his daughter. Straightway all South Carolina was convulsed. According
to a story in Boswell’s Johnson, all the inhabitants at St. Kilda, a
remote island of the Hebrides, on the approach of a stranger, “catch
cold”[100]; but in South Carolina it is fever that they catch. The
Governor at the time, who was none other than one of her present
Senators [Mr. HAMMOND], made his arrival the subject of special message
to the Legislature, which I have before me; the Legislature all caught
the fever, and swiftly adopted resolutions calling upon his Excellency
the Governor “to expel from our territory the said agent, after due
notice to depart,” and promising to “sustain the Executive authority
in any measures it may adopt for the purpose aforesaid.”

Meanwhile the fever raged in Charleston. The agent of Massachusetts
was first accosted in the streets by a person unknown to him, who,
flourishing a bludgeon in his hand,--the bludgeon always shows
itself where Slavery is in question,--cried out: “You had better be
travelling, and the sooner the better for you, I can tell you; if
you stay here until to-morrow morning, you will feel something you
will not like, I’m thinking.” Next came threats of attack during the
following night on the hotel where he was lodged; then a request from
the landlord that he should quit, in order to preserve the hotel
from the impending danger of an infuriate mob; then a committee of
Slave-Masters, who politely proposed to conduct him to the boat. Thus
arrested in his simple errand of good-will, this venerable public
servant, whose appearance alone, like that of the “grave and pious
man” mentioned by Virgil, would have softened any mob not inspired by
Slavery, yielded to the ejectment proposed, precisely as the prisoner
yields to the officers of the law, and left Charleston, while a person
in the crowd was heard to declare that he “had offered himself as a
leader of a tar-and-feather gang, to have been called into the service
of the city on the occasion.” Nor is this all. The Legislature a
second time caught the fever, and, yielding to its influence, passed
a statute, forbidding, under severe penalties, any person within the
State from accepting a commission to befriend these colored mariners,
and, under penalties severer still, extending even to unlimited
imprisonment, prohibiting any person, “on his own behalf, or under
color or in virtue of any commission or authority from any State or
public authority of any State in this Union, or of any foreign power,”
to come into South Carolina for this purpose; and then, to complete its
work, by still another statute took away the writ of _Habeas Corpus_
from all such mariners.[101]

Such is a simple narrative, founded on authentic documents. I do not
adduce it for present criticism, but simply to enroll it in all its
stages--beginning with the earliest pretension of South Carolina,
continuing in violence, and ending in yet other pretensions--among
the special instances where the Barbarism of Slavery stands confessed
even in official conduct. And yet this transaction, which may well
give to South Carolina the character of a shore “where shipwrecked
mariners dread to land,” was openly vindicated in all its details, from
beginning to end, by both the Senators from that State, while one of
them [Mr. HAMMOND], in the same breath, bore testimony from personal
knowledge to the character of the public agent thus maltreated, saying,
“He was a pleasant, kind old gentleman, well informed, and I had a sort
of friendship for him during the short time that I sat near him in

Thus, Sir, whether we look at individuals or at the community
where Slavery exists, at lawless outbreaks or at official conduct,
Slave-Masters are always the same. Enough, you will say, has been
told. Yes, enough to expose Slavery, but not enough for Truth. The
most instructive and most grievous part still remains. It is the
exhibition of Slave-Masters in Congressional history. Of course, the
representative reflects the character as well as the political opinions
of the constituents whose will it is his boast to obey. It follows that
the passions and habits of Slave-Masters are naturally represented in
Congress,--chastened to a certain extent, perhaps, by the requirements
of Parliamentary Law, but breaking out in fearful examples. And here,
again, facts speak as nothing else can.

In proceeding with this duty, to which, as you will perceive, I
am impelled by the positive requirements of this debate, I crave
indulgence of the Senate, while, avoiding all allusions to private
life or private character, and touching simply what is of record,
and already “enrolled in the Capitol,” I present a few only of many
instances, which, especially during these latter days, since Slavery
became paramount, have taken their place in our national history.
Clarendon has mildly pictured successive Congresses, when, recounting
what preceded the Civil War in England, he says: “It is not to be
denied that there were in all those Parliaments … several passages and
distempered speeches of particular persons, not fit for the dignity and
honor of those places.”[103] But Congress, under the rule of Slavery,
has been worse than any Parliament.

Here is an instance. On the 13th of February, 1837, R. M. Whitney
was arraigned before the House of Representatives for contempt, in
refusing to attend, when required, before a committee investigating the
administration of the Executive office. His excuse was, that “he could
not attend without exposing himself thereby to outrage and violence”
in the committee-room; and on examination at the bar of the House,
Mr. Fairfield, a member of the Committee, afterward a member of this
body, and Governor of Maine, testified to the actual facts. It appeared
that Mr. Peyton, a Slave-Master from Tennessee, and a member of the
Committee, regarding a certain answer in writing by Mr. Whitney to
an interrogatory propounded by him as offensive, broke out in these
words: “Mr. Chairman, I wish you to inform this witness that he is not
to insult me in his answers; if he does, God damn him, I will take his
life upon the spot!” Mr. Wise, another Slave-Master, from Virginia,
Chairman of the Committee, and latterly Governor of Virginia, then
intervened, saying, “Yes, this damned insolence is insufferable.” The
witness, thereupon rising, claimed the protection of the Committee;
on which Mr. Peyton exclaimed: “God damn you, you shan’t speak; you
shan’t say a word while you are in this room; if you do, I will put
you to death!” Soon after, Mr. Peyton, observing that the witness was
looking at him, cried out: “Damn him, his eyes are on me; God damn him,
he is looking at me; he shan’t do it; damn him, he shan’t look at me!”
These things, and much more, disclosed by Mr. Fairfield, in reply to
interrogatories in the House, were confirmed by other witnesses; and
Mr. Wise himself, in a speech, made the admission that he was armed
with deadly weapons, saying: “I watched the motion of that right arm
[of the witness], the elbow of which could be seen by me; and had it
moved one inch, he had died on the spot. That was my determination.”

All this will be found in the thirteenth volume of the “Congressional
Debates,” with the evidence in detail, and the discussion thereupon.

Here is another instance, of similar character, which did not occur
in a committee-room, but during debate in the Senate Chamber. While
the Compromise Measures were under discussion, on the 17th of April,
1850, Mr. Foote, a Slave-Master from Mississippi, in the course of
remarks, commenced personal allusion to Mr. Benton. This was aggravated
by the circumstance that only a few days previously he had made this
distinguished gentleman the mark for most bitter and vindictive
personalities. Mr. Benton rose at once from his seat, and, with
angry countenance, but without weapon of any kind in his hand, or,
as appeared afterward before the Committee, on his person, advanced
in the direction of Mr. Foote, when the latter, gliding backward,
drew from his pocket a five-chambered revolver, full-loaded, which he
cocked. Meanwhile Mr. Benton, at the suggestion of friends, was already
returning to his seat, when he perceived the pistol. Excited greatly by
this deadly menace, he exclaimed: “I am not armed. I have no pistols.
I disdain to carry arms. Stand out of the way, and let the assassin
fire.” Mr. Foote remained standing in the position he had taken, with
pistol in hand, cocked. “Soon after,” says the Report of the Committee
appointed to investigate this occurrence, “both Senators resumed their
seats, and order was restored.”

This will be found at length in the twenty-first volume of the
“Congressional Globe.”[104]

I cite yet another instance from the same authentic record. Mr. Arnold,
of Tennessee, had proclaimed himself as “belonging to the Peace party,”
when Mr. Dawson, of Louisiana, coming to his seat, called him “a damned
coward,” “a damned blackguard,” and then said, that, if Mr. Arnold did
not behave better, “he would cut his throat from ear to ear.”[105]

The Duel, which at home in the Slave States is “twin” with the “street
fight,” is also “twin” with these instances. It is constantly adopted
or attempted by Slave-Masters in Congress. But I shall not enter upon
this catalogue. I content myself with showing the openness with which
it has been menaced in debate, and without any call to order.

Mr. Foote, the same Slave-Master already mentioned, in debate in the
Senate, the 26th of March, 1850, thus sought to provoke Mr. Benton. I
take his words from the “Congressional Globe,” Vol. XXI. p. 603.

    “There are incidents in his [Mr. Benton’s] history, of somewhat
    recent occurrence, which might well relieve any man of honor
    from the obligation to recognize him as a fitting antagonist;
    yet is it, notwithstanding, true, that, if the Senator from
    Missouri will deign to acknowledge himself _responsible to
    the laws of honor_, he shall have a very early opportunity
    of proving his prowess in contest with one over whom I hold
    perfect control; or, if he feels in the least degree aggrieved
    at anything which has fallen from me, now or formerly, he
    shall, on demanding it, _have full redress accorded him_,
    according to the said laws of honor. I do not denounce him as
    a coward; such language is unfitted for this audience; but, if
    he wishes to patch up his reputation for courage, now greatly
    on the wane, he will certainly _have an opportunity of doing
    so, whenever he makes known his desire in the premises_. At
    present he is shielded by his age, _his open disavowal of the
    obligatory force of the laws of honor_, and his Senatorial

With such bitter taunts and reiterated provocations to the Duel was Mr.
Benton pursued; but there was no call to order, nor any action of the
Senate on this outrage.

I give another instance. In debate in the Senate on the 27th February,
1852, Mr. Clemens, a Slave-Master of Alabama, thus directly attacked
Mr. Rhett for undertaking to settle their differences by argument in
the Senate rather than by the Duel. “No man,” said he, “with the
feeling of a man in his bosom, would have sought redress here. He would
have looked for it _elsewhere_. He now comes here, not to ask redress
in the only way he should have sought it.”[106] There was no call to

Here is still another. In the debate on the Bill for the Improvement
of Rivers and Harbors, 29th July, 1854, the Senator from Louisiana
[Mr. BENJAMIN], who is still a member of this body, ardent for
Slavery, while professing to avoid personal altercation in the
Senate, especially “with a gentleman who professes the principles of
non-resistance, as he understood the Senator from New York does,”
proceeded most earnestly to repel an imagined imputation on him by Mr.
Seward, and wound up by saying, “If it came from another quarter, _it
would not be upon this floor that I should answer it_.”[107]

During the present session, the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON
DAVIS], who speaks so often for Slavery, in a colloquy on this floor
with the Senator from Vermont [Mr. COLLAMER], maintained the Duel
as a mode of settling personal differences, and vindicating what is
called personal honor,--as if personal honor did not depend absolutely
upon what a man does, and not on what is done to him. After certain
refinements on the imagined relations between an insult and the
obligation to answer for it, the Senator declared, in reply to the
Senator from Vermont, that, in case of insult, taking another out and
shooting him might be “satisfaction.”[108]

I do not dwell on this instance, nor on any of these instances, except
to make a single comment. These declarations have all been made in
open Senate, without any check from the Chair. Of course, they are
clear violations of the first principles of Parliamentary Law, and
tend directly to provoke a violation of the law of the land. Here, in
the District of Columbia, all duels are prohibited by solemn Act of
Congress.[109] In case of death, the surviving parties are declared
guilty of felony, to be punished by hard labor in the penitentiary; and
even where nothing has occurred beyond the challenge, all the parties
to it, whether givers, receivers, or bearers, are declared guilty of
high crime and misdemeanor, also to be punished by hard labor in the
penitentiary. Of course, every menace of duel in Congress sets this
law at defiance. And yet Senators, who thus openly disregard a law
sanctioned by the Constitution and commended by morality, presume to
complain on this floor because other Senators disregard the Fugitive
Slave Bill, a statute which, according to the profound convictions of
large numbers, is as unconstitutional as it is offensive to the moral
sense. Let Senators, whose watchword is “the enforcement of laws,”
begin by enforcing the statute which declares the Duel to be felony. At
least, let the statute cease to be a dead letter in this Chamber, where
the watchword is so often heard. But this is too much to expect while
Slavery prevails here; for the Duel is part of that System of Violence
which has its origin in Slavery.

It is when aroused by the Slave Question in Congress that Slave-Masters
have most truly shown themselves; and here again I shall speak only
of what has already passed into history. Slavery is a perpetual
fever-and-ague, under which Congress has shaken with alternate heats
and chills. Even in that earliest debate, in the first Congress after
the Constitution, on the memorial of Dr. Franklin, simply calling upon
Congress to “step to the verge of its power to discourage every species
of traffic in the persons of our fellow-men,”[110] the Slave-Masters
became angry, indulged in sneers at “the men in the gallery” being
Quakers and Abolitionists, and, according to the faithful historian,
Hildreth,[111] poured out “torrents of abuse,” while one of them began
the charge so often since directed against all Antislavery men, by
declaring his astonishment that Dr. Franklin had “given countenance”
to “an application which called upon Congress, in explicit terms, to
break a solemn compact to which he had himself been a party,” when it
was obvious that Dr. Franklin had done no such thing. The great man
was soon summoned away by death, but not until he had fastened upon
this debate an undying condemnation, by portraying, with matchless
pen, a scene in the Divan at Algiers, where a Corsair Slave-Dealer,
insisting upon the enslavement of White Christians, is made to repeat
the Congressional speech of an American Slave-Master.[112]

These displays of Violence naturally increase with the intensity of
the discussion. Impelled to be severe, but with little appreciation of
debate in its finer forms, they cannot be severe except by violating
the rules of debate,--not knowing that there is a serener power than
any found in personalities, and that all severity transcending the
rules of debate becomes disgusting as the utterance of a Yahoo, and
harms him only who degrades himself to be its mouthpiece. Of course,
on such occasions, amidst all seeming triumphs, the cause of Slavery
loses, and Truth gains. If men cannot afford to be decent, they ought
to suspect the justice of their cause, or at least the motives with
which they sustain it; but our Slave-Masters, not seeing the indecency
of their conduct, know not their losses. There is waste as well as
economy of character; but the latter is found only in the cultivation
of those principles which make Slavery impossible.

Against John Quincy Adams this violence was first directed in full
force. To a character spotless as snow, and to universal attainments
as a scholar, this illustrious citizen added experience in all the
eminent posts of the Republic, which he had filled with an ability and
integrity now admitted even by enemies, and which impartial history can
never forget. Having been President of the United States, he entered
the House of Representatives at the period when the Slave Question,
in its revival, first began to occupy public attention. In all the
completeness of his nature, he became the representative of Human
Freedom. The first struggle occurred on the Right of Petition, which
Slave-Masters, with characteristic tyranny, sought to suppress. This
was resisted by the venerable patriot, and what he did was always
done with his whole heart. Then was poured upon him abuse “as from a
cart,” according to a famous phrase of Demosthenes. Slave-Masters,
“foaming out their shame,” became conspicuous, not less for the avowal
of sentiments at which Civilization blushed than for an effrontery
of manner where the accidental legislator was lost in the natural
overseer, and the lash of the plantation resounded in the voice.

In an address to his constituents, September 17, 1842, Mr. Adams thus
frankly describes the treatment he experienced:--

    “I never can take part in any debate upon an important subject,
    be it only upon a mere abstraction, but a pack opens upon me of
    personal invective in return. Language has no word of reproach
    and railing that is not hurled at me.”

And in the same speech he shows us Slave-Masters:--

    “Where the South cannot effect her object by browbeating, she

On another occasion, he announced, with accustomed power:--

    “Insult, bullying, and threat characterize the Slaveholders in
    Congress; talk, timidity, and submission, the Representatives
    from the Free States.”

Nor were the Slave-Masters content with violence of words, or with
ejaculation of personalities by which debate became a perpetual syringe
of liquid foulness, and every one seemed to vie with Squirt the
apothecary, according to the verse admired by Pope,--

    “Such zeal he had for that vile utensil.”[113]

True to the instincts of Slavery, they threatened personal indignity of
every kind, and even assassination. And here South Carolina naturally
took the lead.

The “Charleston Mercury,” which always speaks the true voice of
Slavery, said in 1837:--

     “Public opinion in the South would now, we are sure, justify
    an immediate resort to force by the Southern delegation, _even
    on the floor of Congress_, were they forthwith to seize and
    drag from the Hall any man who dared to insult them, as that
    eccentric old showman, John Quincy Adams, has dared to do.”

And at a public dinner at Walterborough, in South Carolina, on the 4th
of July, 1842, the following toast, afterwards preserved by Mr. Adams
in one of his speeches, was drunk with unbounded applause:--

    “May we never want a Democrat to trip up the heels of a
    Federalist, or a hangman to prepare a halter for John Quincy
    Adams! [_Nine cheers._]”

A Slave-Master from South Carolina, Mr. Waddy Thompson, in debate
in the House of Representatives, threatened the venerable patriot
with the “penitentiary”; and another Slave-Master, Mr. Marshall, of
Kentucky, insisted that he should be “_silenced_.” Ominous word!
full of incentive to the bludgeon-bearers of Slavery. But the great
representative of Freedom stood firm. Meanwhile Slavery assumed more
and more the port of Giant Maul in “Pilgrim’s Progress,” who continued
with his club breaking skulls, until he was slain by Mr. Great-Heart,
soon to join the congenial pilgrims, Mr. Honest, Mr. Valiant-for-Truth,
and Mr. Standfast.

Next to John Quincy Adams, no person in Congress has been more
conspicuous for long-continued and patriotic services against Slavery
than Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio; nor have any such services received
in higher degree that homage found in the personal and most vindictive
assaults of Slave-Masters. For more than twenty years he sat in the
House of Representatives, bearing his testimony austerely, and never
shrinking, though exposed to the grossest brutality. In a recent
address at New York he has recounted some of these instances.

On his presentation of resolutions affirming that Slavery was a local
institution and could not exist outside of the Slave States, and
applying this principle to the case of the “Creole,” the House caught
the South Carolina fever. A proposition of censure was introduced by
Slave-Masters, and under the previous question pressed to a vote,
without giving him a moment for explanation or reply. This glaring
outrage upon freedom of debate was redressed by the constituency of Mr.
Giddings, who without delay returned him to his seat. From that time
the rage of the Slave-Masters against him was constant. Here is his own
brief account.

    “I will not speak of the time when Dawson, of Louisiana, drew a
    bowie-knife for my assassination. I was afterward speaking with
    regard to a certain transaction in which negroes were concerned
    in Georgia, when Mr. Black, of Georgia, raising his bludgeon,
    and standing in front of my seat, said to me, ‘If you repeat
    that language again, I will knock you down.’ It was a solemn
    moment for me. I had never been knocked down, and, having some
    curiosity upon that subject, I repeated the language. Then Mr.
    Dawson, of Louisiana, the same who had drawn the bowie-knife,
    placed his hand in his pocket and said, with an oath which
    I will not repeat, that he would shoot me, at the same time
    cocking the pistol, so that all around me could hear it click.”

Listening to these horrors, ancient stories of Barbarism are all
outdone; and the “viper broth,” which was a favorite decoction in a
barbarous age, seems to be the daily drink of American Slave-Masters.
The blaspheming madness of the witches in “Macbeth” is renewed, and
they dance again round the caldron, dropping into it “sweltered venom
sleeping got,” with every other “charm of powerful trouble.” Men are
transformed into wolves, as according to early Greek superstition,
and a new lycanthropy has its day. But Mr. Giddings, strong in
consciousness of right, knew the dignity of his position. He knew that
it is always honorable to serve the cause of Liberty, and that it is a
privilege to suffer for this cause. Reproach, contumely, violence even
unto death, are rewards, not punishments; and clearly the indignities
you offer can excite no shame except for their authors.

Besides these eminent instances, others may be mentioned, showing the
personalities to which Senators and Representatives are exposed, when
undertaking to speak for Freedom. And truth compels me to add, that
it would be easy to show how these are grossly aggravated towards
individuals who notoriously reject the Duel; for then they can be
offered with personal impunity.

Here is an instance. In 1848, Mr. Hale, the Senator from New Hampshire,
who still continues an honor to this body, introduced into the Senate
a bill for the protection of property in the District of Columbia,
especially against mob-violence, when, in the debate that ensued, Mr.
Foote, a Slave-Master from Mississippi, thus menaced him:--

    “I invite the Senator to the good State of Mississippi, and
    will tell him beforehand, in all honesty, that he could not
    go ten miles into the interior before he would grace one of
    the tallest trees of the forest with a rope around his neck,
    with the approbation of every virtuous and patriotic citizen,
    and that, if necessary, _I should myself assist in the

That this bloody threat may not seem to stand alone, I add two others.

In 1836, Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, now a Senator, is reported as
saying in the House of Representatives:--

    “I warn the Abolitionists, ignorant, infatuated barbarians as
    they are, that, if chance shall throw any of them into our
    hands, he may expect _a felon’s death_!”[115]

In 1841, Mr. Payne, a Slave-Master from Alabama, in the course of
debate in the House of Representatives, alluding to the Abolitionists,
among whom he insisted the Postmaster-General ought to be included,
declared that

    “He would put the brand of Cain upon them,--yes, the mark of
    Hell; and if they came to the South, he would _hang them like

And these words were applied to men who simply expressed the recorded
sentiments of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.

Even during the present session of Congress, I find in the
“Congressional Globe” the following interruptions of the eloquent and
faithful Representative from Illinois, Mr. Lovejoy, when speaking on
Slavery. I do not characterize them, but simply cite the language.

By Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi:--

    “Order that black-hearted scoundrel and nigger-stealing thief
    to take his seat.”

By Mr. Boyce, of South Carolina, addressing Mr. Lovejoy:--

    “Then behave yourself.”

By Mr. Gartrell, of Georgia (in his seat):--

    “The man is crazy.”

By Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, again:--

    “No, Sir, you stand there to-day an infamous, perjured villain.”

By Mr. Ashmore, of South Carolina:--

    “Yes, he is a perjured villain; and he perjures himself every
    hour he occupies a seat on this floor.”

By Mr. Singleton, of Mississippi:--

    “And a negro-thief into the bargain.”

By Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, again:--

    “I hope my colleague will hold no parley with that perjured

By Mr. Singleton, of Mississippi, again:--

    “No, Sir! any gentleman shall have time, but not such a mean,
    despicable wretch as that!”

By Mr. Martin, of Virginia:--

    “And if you come among us, we will do with you as we did with
    John Brown,--hang you up as high as Haman. I say that as a

But enough,--enough; and I now turn from this branch of the great
subject with a single remark. While exhibiting the Character of
Slave-Masters, these numerous instances--and they might be multiplied
indefinitely--attest the weakness of their cause. It requires no
special talent to estimate the insignificance of an argument that can
be supported only by violence. The scholar will not forget the ancient
story of the colloquy between Jupiter and a simple countryman. They
talked with ease and freedom until they differed, when the angry god
at once menaced his honest opponent with a thunderbolt. “Ah! ah!” said
the clown, with perfect composure, “now, Jupiter, I know you are wrong.
You are always wrong, when you appeal to your thunder.” And permit
me to say, that every appeal, whether to the Duel, the revolver, or
the bludgeon, every menace of personal violence and every outrage of
language, besides disclosing a hideous Barbarism, also discloses the
fevered nervousness of a cause already humbled in debate. And then how
impotent! Truth, like the sunbeam, cannot be soiled by outward touch,
while the best testimony to its might is found in the active passions
it provokes. There are occasions when enmity is a panegyric.

       *       *       *       *       *

(4.) Much as has been said to exhibit the Character of Slave-Masters,
the work would be incomplete, if I failed to point out that
_unconsciousness_ of its fatal influence which completes the evidence
of the Barbarism under which they live. Nor am I at liberty to decline
this topic; but I shall be brief.

That Senators should seriously declare Slavery “ennobling,” at least
to the master, and “the black marble keystone of our national arch,”
would excite wonder, if it were not explained by examples of history.
There are men who, in the spirit of paradox, make themselves partisans
of a bad cause, as Jerome Cardan wrote an Encomium on Nero. But where
there is no disposition to paradox, it is natural that a cherished
practice should blind those under its influence; nor is there any
end to these exaggerations. According to Thucydides, piracy in the
early ages of Greece was alike wide-spread and honorable; and so much
was this the case, that Telemachus and Mentor, on landing at Pylos,
were asked by Nestor if they were “pirates,”[118]--precisely as in
South Carolina the stranger might be asked if he were a Slave-Master.
Kidnapping, too, a kindred indulgence, was openly avowed, and I doubt
not held to be “ennobling.” Next to the unconsciousness of childhood is
the unconsciousness of Barbarism. The real Barbarian is unconscious as
an infant; and the Slave-Master shows much of the same character. No
New-Zealander exults in his tattoo, no savage of the Northwest Coast
exults in his flat head, more than the Slave-Master of these latter
days--always, of course, with honorable exceptions--exults in his
unfortunate condition. The Slave-Master hugs his disgusting practice
as the Carib of the Gulf hugged Cannibalism, and as Brigham Young now
hugs Polygamy. The delusion of the Goitre is repeated. This prodigious
swelling of the neck, nothing less than a loathsome wallet of flesh
pendulous upon the breast, and sometimes so enormous, that the victim,
unable to support the burden, crawls along the ground, is common
to the population on the slopes of the Alps;[119] but, accustomed
to this deformity, the sufferer comes to regard it with pride,--as
Slave-Masters with us, unable to support their burden, and crawling
along the ground, regard Slavery,--and it is said that those who have
no swelling are laughed at and called “goose-necked.”[120]

With knowledge comes distrust and the modest consciousness of
imperfection; but the pride of Barbarism has no such limitation. It
dilates in the thin air of ignorance, and makes boasts. Surely, if
the illustrations which I have presented to-day are not entirely
inapplicable, then must we find in the boasts of Slave-Masters new
occasion to regret that baleful influence under which even love of
country is lost in love of Slavery, and the great motto of Franklin is
reversed, so as to read, _Ubi Servitudo, ibi Patria_.

It is this same influence which renders Slave-Masters insensible
to those characters which are among the true glories of the
Republic,--which makes them forget that Jefferson, who wrote the
Declaration of Independence, and Washington, who commanded our armies,
were Abolitionists,--which renders them indifferent to the inspiring
words of the one and the commanding example of the other. Of these
great men it is the praise, well deserving perpetual mention, and
grudged only by malign influence, that, reared amidst Slavery, they did
not hesitate to condemn it. Jefferson, in repeated utterances, alive
with the fire of genius and truth, has contributed the most important
testimony to Freedom ever pronounced in this hemisphere, in words equal
to the cause; and Washington, often quoted as a Slave-Master, in the
solemn dispositions of his last will and testament, has contributed
an example which is beyond even the words of Jefferson. Do not, Sir,
call him Slave-Master, who entered into the presence of his Maker only
as Emancipator of his slaves. The difference between such men and the
Slave-Masters whom I expose to-day is so precise that it cannot be
mistaken. The first _looked down_ upon Slavery; the second _look up_
to Slavery. The first, recognizing its wrong, were at once liberated
from its insidious influence; while the latter, upholding it as right
and “ennobling,” must naturally draw from it motives of conduct. The
first, conscious of the character of Slavery, were not misled by
it; the second, dwelling in unconsciousness of its true character,
surrender blindly to its barbarous tendencies, and, verifying the words
of the poet,--

              “So perfect is their misery,
    Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
    But boast themselves more comely than before.”[121]

Mr. President, it is time to close this branch of the argument. The
Barbarism of Slavery has been exposed, first, in the Law of Slavery,
with its five pretensions, founded on the assertion of property in man,
the denial of the conjugal relation, the infraction of the parental
tie, the exclusion from knowledge, and the robbery of the fruits of
another’s labor, all these having the single object of _compelling men
to work without wages_, while its Barbarism was still further attested
by tracing the law in its origin to barbarous Africa; and, secondly,
it has been exposed in a careful examination of economical results,
illustrated by contrast between the Free States and the Slave States,
sustained by official figures. From this exposure I proceeded to
consider the influence on Slave-Masters, whose true character stands
confessed,--first, in the Law of Slavery, which is their work,--next,
in the relations between them and their slaves, maintained by three
inhuman instruments,--then, in their intercourse with each other and
with society: and here we have seen them at home, under the immediate
influence of Slavery, also in the communities of which they are a
part, practising violence, and pushing it everywhere, in street-fight
and duel; especially raging against all who question the pretensions
of Slavery, entering even into the Free States,--but not in lawless
outbreaks only, also in official acts, as of Georgia and of South
Carolina regarding two Massachusetts citizens,--and then, ascending
in audacity, entering the Halls of Congress, where they have turned,
as at home, against all who oppose their assumptions; while the whole
gloomy array of unquestionable facts is closed by the melancholy
unconsciousness which constitutes one of the distinctive features of
this Barbarism.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is my answer to the assumption of fact in behalf of Slavery
by Senators on the other side. But before passing to that other
assumption of Constitutional Law, which forms the second branch
of this discussion, I add testimony to the influence of Slavery
on Slave-Masters in other countries, which is too important to be
neglected, and may properly find place here.

Among those who have done most to press forward in Russia that sublime
act of emancipation by which the present Emperor is winning lustre,
not only for his own country, but for our age, is M. Tourgueneff.
Originally a Slave-Master himself, with numerous slaves, and
residing where Slavery prevailed, he saw, with the instincts of a
noble character, the essential Barbarism of this relation, and in
an elaborate work on Russia, which is now before me, exposed it
with rare ability and courage. Thus he speaks of its influence on

    “But if Slavery degrades the slave, it degrades the master
    more. This is an old adage, and long observation has proved to
    me that this adage is not a paradox. In fact, how can that man
    respect his own dignity, his own rights, who has not learned
    to respect either the rights or the dignity of his fellow-man?
    What control can the moral and religious sentiments have over
    a person who sees himself invested with a power so eminently
    contrary to morality and religion? The continual exercise
    of an unjust claim, even when moderated, ends in corrupting
    the character of the man, and perverting his judgment.… The
    possession of a slave being the result of injustice, the
    relations of the master with the slave cannot be otherwise than
    a succession of wrongs. Among good masters (and it is agreed
    so to call those who do not abuse their power as much as they
    might) these relations are invested with forms less repugnant
    than among other masters; but here the difference ends. Who can
    remain always pure, when, induced by disposition, excited by
    temper, influenced by caprice, he may with impunity oppress,
    insult, humiliate his fellow-men? And be it remarked, that
    enlightenment, civilization, do not avail here. The enlightened
    man, the civilized man, is nevertheless a man; that he may not
    oppress, it is necessary that it should be impossible for him
    to oppress. All men cannot, like Louis the Fourteenth, throw
    the cane out of the window, when they feel an inclination to

Another authority, unimpeachable at all points, whose fortune it has
been, from extensive travels, to see Slavery in the most various forms,
and Slave-Masters under the most various conditions,--I refer to the
great African traveller, Dr. Livingstone,--thus touches the character
of Slave-Masters:--

    “I can never cease to be most unfeignedly thankful that I was
    not born in a land of slaves. No one can understand the effect
    of the unutterable meanness of the slave system on the minds
    of those who, _but for the strange obliquity which prevents
    them from feeling the degradation of not being gentlemen enough
    to pay for services rendered_, would be equal in virtue to
    ourselves. Fraud becomes as natural to them as ‘paying one’s
    way’ is to the rest of mankind.”[123]

And so does the experience of Slavery in other countries confirm the
sad experience among us.


Discarding now all presumptuous boasts for Slavery, and bearing in mind
its essential Barbarism, I come to consider that second assumption of
Senators on the other side, which is, of course, inspired by the first,
even if not its immediate consequence, that, under the Constitution,
Slave-Masters may take their slaves into the National Territories, and
there continue to hold them, as at home in the Slave States,--and that
this would be the case in any territory newly acquired, by purchase or
by war, as of Mexico on the South or Canada on the North.

Here I begin with the remark, that, as the assumption of Constitutional
Law is inspired by the assumption of fact with regard to the
“ennobling” character of Slavery, so it must lose much, if not all of
its force, when the latter assumption is shown to be false, as has been
done to-day.

When Slavery is seen to be the Barbarism which it is, there are few
who would not cover it from sight, rather than insist upon sending it
abroad with the flag of the Republic. Only because people have been
insensible to its true character have they tolerated for a moment
its exorbitant pretensions. Therefore this long exposition, where
Slavery stands forth in fivefold Barbarism, with the single object of
compelling men to work without wages, naturally prepares the way to
consider the assumption of Constitutional Law.

This assumption may be described as an attempt to _Africanize_ the
Constitution, by introducing into it the barbarous Law of Slavery,
originally derived, as we have seen, from barbarous Africa,--and then,
through such _Africanization_ of the Constitution, to _Africanize_ the
Territories, and _Africanize_ the National Government. In using this
language to express the obvious effect of this assumption, I borrow a
suggestive term, first employed by a Portuguese writer at the beginning
of this century, when protesting against the spread of Slavery in
Brazil.[124] Analyze the assumption, and it is found to stand on two
pretensions, either of which failing, the assumption fails also.
These two are, first, the peculiar African pretension of property in
man,--and, secondly, the pretension that such property is recognized in
the Constitution.

With regard to the first of these pretensions, I might simply refer to
what has been said at an earlier stage of this argument. But I should
do injustice to the part it plays in this controversy, if I did not
again notice it. Then I sought particularly to show its Barbarism; now
I shall show something more.

Property implies an owner and a thing owned. On the one side is a human
being, and on the other side a thing. But the very idea of a human
being necessarily excludes the idea of property in that being, just
as the very idea of a thing necessarily excludes the idea of a human
being. It is clear that a thing cannot be a human being, and it is
equally clear that a human being cannot be a thing. And the law itself,
when it adopts the phrase, “relation of master and slave,” confesses
its reluctance to sanction the claim of property. It shrinks from the
pretension of Senators, and satisfies itself with a formula which does
not openly degrade human nature.

If this property does exist, out of what title is it derived? Under
what ordinance of Nature or of Nature’s God is one human being stamped
an owner and another stamped a thing? God is no respecter of persons.
Where is the sanction for this respect of certain persons to a degree
which becomes outrage to other persons? God is the Father of the Human
Family, and we all are his children. Where, then, is the sanction of
this pretension by which a brother lays violent hands upon a brother?
To ask these questions is humiliating; but it is clear there can be but
one response. There is no sanction for such pretension, no ordinance
for it, no title. On all grounds of reason, and waiving all questions
of “positive” statute, the Vermont Judge was nobly right, when,
rejecting the claim of a Slave-Master, he said, “No, not until you show
a Bill of Sale from the Almighty.” Nothing short of this impossible
link in the chain of title would do. I know something of the great
judgments by which the jurisprudence of our country is illustrated; but
I doubt if there is anything in the wisdom of Marshall, the learning of
Story, or the completeness of Kent, which will brighten with time like
this honest decree.

The intrinsic feebleness of this pretension is apparent in the
intrinsic feebleness of the arguments by which it is maintained. These
are twofold, and both were put forth in recent debate by the Senator
from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS].

       *       *       *       *       *

The first is the alleged inferiority of the African race,--an argument
instructive to the Slave-Master. The law of life is labor. Slavery
is a perpetual effort to evade this law by compelling the labor of
others; and such an attempt at evasion is naturally supported by the
pretension, that, because the African is inferior, therefore he may be
enslaved. But this pretension, while surrendering to Slavery a whole
race, leaves it uncertain whether the same principle may not be applied
to other races, as to the polished Japanese who are now the guests of
the nation,[125] and even to persons of obvious inferiority among the
white race. Indeed, the latter pretension is openly set up in other
quarters. The “Richmond Enquirer,” a leading journal of Slave-Masters,
declares, “The principle of Slavery is in itself right, and _does
not depend on difference of complexion_.” And a leading writer among
Slave-Masters, George Fitzhugh, of Virginia, in his “Sociology for the
South,” declares, “Slavery, _black or white_, is right and necessary.
Nature has made the weak in mind or body for slaves.” In the same vein,
a Democratic paper of South Carolina has said, “Slavery is the natural
and normal condition of the laboring man, _black or white_.”

These more extravagant pretensions reveal still further the feebleness
of the pretension put forth by the Senator, while instances,
accumulating constantly, attest the difficulty of discriminating
between the two races. Mr. Paxton, of Virginia, tells us that “the best
blood in Virginia flows in the veins of the slaves”; and more than one
fugitive has been advertised latterly as possessing “a round face,”
“blue eyes,” “flaxen hair,” and as “escaping under the pretence of
being a white man.”

This is not the time to enter upon the great question of race, in
the various lights of religion, history, and science. Sure I am that
they who understand it best will be least disposed to the pretension
which, on an assumed ground of inferiority, would condemn one race to
be the property of another. If the African race be inferior, as is
alleged, then unquestionably a Christian Civilization must lift it
from degradation, not by the lash and the chain, not by this barbarous
pretension of ownership, but by a generous charity, which shall be
measured precisely by the extent of inferiority.

       *       *       *       *       *

The second argument put forward for this pretension, and twice repeated
by the Senator from Mississippi, is, that the Africans are the
posterity of Ham, the son of Noah, through Canaan, who was cursed by
Noah, to be the “servant”--that is the word employed--of his brethren,
and that this malediction has fallen upon all his descendants, who
are accordingly devoted by God to perpetual bondage, not only in the
third and fourth generations, but throughout all succeeding time.
Surely, when the Senator quoted Scripture to enforce the claim of
Slave-Masters, he did not intend a jest. And yet it is hard to suppose
him in earnest. The Senator is Chairman of the Committee on Military
Affairs, where he is doubtless experienced. He may, perhaps, set a
squadron in the field; but, evidently, he has considered very little
the text of Scripture on which he relies. The Senator assumes that it
has fixed the doom of the colored race, leaving untouched the white
race. Perhaps he does not know, that, in the worst days of the Polish
aristocracy, this same argument was adopted as excuse for holding white
serfs in bondage, precisely as it is now put forward by the Senator,
and that even to this day the angry Polish noble addresses his white
peasant as “Son of Ham.”

It hardly comports with the gravity of this debate to dwell on
such an argument; and yet I cannot go wrong, if, for the sake of
a much injured race, I brush it away. To justify the Senator in
his application of this ancient curse, he must maintain at least
five different propositions, as essential links in the chain of
the Afric-American slave: _first_, that by this malediction Canaan
himself was actually changed into a “chattel,”--whereas he is simply
made the “servant” of his brethren; _secondly_, that not merely
Canaan, but all his posterity, to the remotest generation, was so
changed,--whereas the language has no such extent; _thirdly_, that
the Afric-American actually belongs to the posterity of Canaan,--an
ethnological assumption absurdly difficult to establish; _fourthly_,
that each of the descendants of Shem and Japheth has a right to hold an
Afric-American fellow-man as a “chattel,”--a proposition which finds
no semblance of support; and, _fifthly_, that every Slave-Master is
truly descended from Shem or Japheth,--a pedigree which no anxiety can
establish. This plain analysis, which may fitly excite a smile, shows
the fivefold absurdity of an attempt to found this pretension on any

            “successive title, long and dark,
    Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah’s ark.”[126]

From the character of these two arguments for property in man, I am
brought to its denial.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is natural that Senators who pretend, that, by the Law of Nature,
man may hold property in man, should find this pretension in the
Constitution. But the pretension is as much without foundation in the
Constitution as it is without foundation in Nature. It is not too
much to say that there is not one sentence, phrase, or word, not a
single suggestion, hint, or equivocation, even, out of which any such
pretension can be implied,--while great national acts and important
contemporaneous declarations in the Convention which framed the
Constitution, in different forms of language, and also controlling
rules of interpretation, render this pretension impossible. Partisans,
taking counsel of their desires, find in the Constitution, as in the
Scriptures, what they incline to find; and never was this more apparent
than when Slave-Masters deceive themselves so far as to find in the
Constitution a pretension which exists only in their own minds.

Looking for one moment juridically at this question, we are brought
to the conclusion, according to the admission of courts and jurists,
first in Europe, and then in our own country, that Slavery can be
derived from no doubtful word or mere pretension, but only from clear
and special recognition. “The state of Slavery,” said Lord Mansfield,
pronouncing judgment in the great case of Somerset, “is of such a
nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral
or political, but only by _positive law_. It is so odious that nothing
can be suffered to support it but POSITIVE LAW,”--that is, express
words of a written text; and this principle, which commends itself
to the enlightened reason, is adopted by several courts in the Slave
States. Of course every leaning must be against Slavery. A pretension
so peculiar and offensive, so hostile to reason, so repugnant to the
Laws of Nature and the inborn Rights of Man, which, in all its fivefold
wrong, has no other object than to compel fellow-men to work without
wages,--such a pretension, so tyrannical, so unjust, so mean, so
barbarous, can find no place in any system of Government, unless by
virtue of _positive sanction_. It can spring from no doubtful phrase.
It must be declared by unambiguous words, incapable of a double sense.

At the adoption of the Constitution, this rule, promulgated in the
Court of King’s Bench by the voice of the most finished magistrate in
English history, was as well known in our country as any principle
of the Common Law; especially was it known to the eminent lawyers in
the Convention; nor is it too much to say that the Constitution was
framed with this rule on Slavery as a guide. And the Supreme Court
of the United States, at a later day, by the lips of Chief-Justice
Marshall, promulgated this same rule, in words stronger even than
those of Lord Mansfield, saying: “Where rights are infringed, where
fundamental principles are overthrown, where the general system of the
laws is departed from, the legislative intention must be expressed with
_irresistible clearness_, to induce a court of justice to suppose a
design to effect such objects.”[127] It is well known, however, that
these two declarations are little more than new forms for the ancient
rule of the Common Law, as expressed by Fortescue: _Impius et crudelis
judicandus est qui Libertati non favet_: “He is to be adjudged impious
and cruel who does not favor Liberty,”[128]--and as expressed by
Blackstone, “The law is always ready to catch at anything in favor of

But, as no prescription runs against the King, so no prescription
is allowed to run against Slavery, while all the early victories of
Freedom are set aside by the Slave-Masters of to-day. The prohibition
of Slavery in the Missouri Territory, and all the precedents,
legislative and judicial, for the exercise of this power, admitted
from the beginning until now, are overturned. At last, bolder grown,
Slave-Masters do not hesitate to assail that principle of jurisprudence
which makes Slavery the creature of “positive law” alone, to be upheld
only by words of “irresistible clearness.” The case of Somerset, in
which this great rule was declared, is impeached on this floor, as the
Declaration of Independence is also impeached. And here the Senator
from Louisiana [Mr. BENJAMIN] takes the lead, with the assertion,
that in the history of English law there are earlier cases, where a
contrary principle was declared. Permit me to say that no such cases,
even if hunted up in authentic reports, can impair the influence of
this well-considered authority. The Senator knows well that an old and
barbarous case is a poor answer to a principle brought into activity
by the demands of advancing Civilization, and which, once recognized,
can never be denied. Pardon me, if I remind him that Jurisprudence is
not a dark-lantern, shining in a narrow circle, and never changing,
but a gladsome light, which, slowly emerging from original darkness,
grows and spreads with human improvement, until at last it becomes
as broad and general as the Light of Day. When the Senator, in this
age, leaguing all his forces, undertakes to drag down that immortal
principle which made Slavery impossible in England, as, thank God! it
makes Slavery impossible under the Constitution, he vainly tugs to drag
down a luminary from the sky.

The enormity of the pretension that Slavery is sanctioned by the
Constitution becomes still more flagrant, when we read the Constitution
in the light of great national acts and of contemporaneous authorities.
First comes the Declaration of Independence, the illuminated initial
letter of our history, which in familiar words announces “that all
men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, _Liberty_, and
the Pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of
the governed.” Nor does this Declaration, binding the consciences of
all who enjoy the privileges it secured, stand alone. There is another
national act, less known, but in itself a key to the first, when, at
the successful close of the Revolution, the Continental Congress, in a
solemn Address to the States, grandly announced: “Let it be remembered
that it has ever been the pride and boast of America, _that the
rights for which she contended were the Rights of Human Nature_. By
the blessing of the Author of _these rights_ on the means exerted for
their defence, they have prevailed against all opposition, and form
THE BASIS of thirteen independent States.”[130] Now, whatever may be
the privileges of States in their individual capacities, within their
several local jurisdictions, no power can be attributed to the nation,
in the absence of positive, unequivocal grant, inconsistent with these
two national declarations. Here is the national heart, the national
soul, the national will, the national voice, which must inspire our
interpretation of the Constitution, and enter into and diffuse itself
through all the national legislation. Such are commanding authorities
which make “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and, in
more general words, “the Rights of Human Nature,” as the basis of
our national institutions, without distinction of race, or absurd
recognition of the curse of Ham.

In strict harmony with these are the many utterances in the Convention
which framed the Constitution: of Gouverneur Morris, of Pennsylvania,
who announced that “_he never would concur in upholding Domestic
Slavery_; it was a nefarious institution”;[131] of Elbridge Gerry, of
Massachusetts, who said that “we had nothing to do with the conduct
of the States as to slaves, _but ought to be careful not to give any
sanction to it_”;[132] of Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, of
Connecticut, and Mr. Gorham, of Massachusetts, who all concurred with
Mr. Gerry;[133] and especially of Mr. Madison, of Virginia, who, in a
phrase which cannot be quoted too often, “THOUGHT IT WRONG TO ADMIT IN
And, lastly, as if to complete the elaborate work of Freedom, and to
embody all these utterances, the word “servitude,” which had been
allowed in the clause on the apportionment of Representatives, was
struck out, and the word “service” substituted. This final and total
exclusion from the Constitution of the idea of property in man was on
the motion of Mr. Randolph, of Virginia; and the reason assigned for
the substitution, according to Mr. Madison, in his authentic report of
the debate, was, that “the former was thought to express the condition
of slaves, and the latter _the obligations of free persons_.”[135]
Thus, at every point, by great national declarations, by frank
utterances in the Convention, and by positive act in adjusting the text
of the Constitution, was the idea of property in man unequivocally

This pretension, which may be dismissed as utterly baseless,
becomes absurd, when it is considered to what result it necessarily
conducts. If the Barbarism of Slavery, in all its fivefold wrong,
is really embodied in the Constitution, so as to be beyond reach of
prohibition, either Congressional or local, in the Territories, then,
for the same reason, it must be beyond reach of prohibition, even by
local authority, in the States themselves, and, just so long as the
Constitution continues unchanged, Territories and States alike must be
exposed to all its blasting influences. Do we not witness this result
in open attempts now made by Slave-Masters to travel with their slaves
in the Free States? Calling the slave-roll in the shadow of Bunker
Hill, according to well-known menace, will be the triumph of this
consummation. And yet this pretension, which in natural consequences
overturns State Rights, is announced by Senators who profess to be
special guardians of State Rights.

Nor does this pretension derive any support from the much debated
clause in the Constitution for the rendition of fugitives from “service
or labor,” on which so much stress is constantly put. I do not occupy
your time now on this head for two reasons: first, because, having on
a former occasion exhibited with great fulness the character of that
clause, I am unwilling now thus incidentally to open the question upon
it; and, secondly, because, whatever may be its character,--admitting
that it confers power upon Congress,--and admitting, also, what is
often denied, that, in defiance of commanding rules of interpretation,
the equivocal words there employed have that “irresistible clearness”
which is necessary in taking away Human Rights,--yet nothing can be
clearer than that the fugitives, whosoever they be, are regarded under
the Constitution as _persons_, and not as _property_.

I disdain to dwell on that other argument, brought forward by Senators,
who, denying the Equality of Men, speciously assert the Equality of the
States, and from this principle, true in many respects, jump to the
conclusion, that Slave-Masters are entitled, in the name of Equality,
to take slaves into the National Territories, under solemn safeguard
of the Constitution. This argument comes back to the first pretension,
that slaves are recognized as “property” in the Constitution. To that
pretension, already amply exposed, we are always brought, nor can any
sounding allegation of State Equality avoid it. And yet this very
argument betrays the inconsistency of its authors. If persons held
to service in the Slave States are “property” under the Constitution,
then under the provision known as “the three-fifths rule,” which
founds representation in the other House on such persons, there is a
_property representation_ from the Slave States, with voice and vote,
while there is no such _property representation_ from the Free States.
With glaring inequality, the representation of Slave States is founded,
first, on “persons,” and, secondly, on a large part of their pretended
property, while the representation of the Free States is founded
simply on “persons,” leaving all their boundless millions of property
unrepresented. Thus, whichever way we approach it, the absurdity of
this pretension becomes manifest. Assuming the pretension of property
in man under the Constitution, you upset the whole theory of State
Equality, for you disclose a gigantic inequality between the Slave
States and the Free States; and assuming the Equality of States, in the
House of Representatives as elsewhere, you upset the whole pretension
of property in man under the Constitution.

Nor will I deign to dwell on one other argument, which, in the name
of Popular Sovereignty, undertakes to secure for the people in the
Territories the wicked power--sometimes, by confusion of terms,
called “right”--to enslave their fellow-men: as if this pretension
was not crushed at once by the Declaration of Independence, when it
announced that all governments “derive their just powers from the
consent of the governed”; and as if anywhere within the jurisdiction
of the Constitution, which contains no sentence, phrase, or word
sanctioning this outrage, and which carefully excludes the idea of
property in man, while it surrounds all persons with the highest
safeguards of a citizen, such pretension could exist. Whatever it may
be elsewhere, Popular Sovereignty within the sphere of the Constitution
has its limitations. Claiming for all the largest liberty of a true
Civilization, it compresses all within the constraints of Justice; nor
does it allow any man to assert a right to do what he pleases, except
when he pleases to do right. As well within the Territories attempt to
make a king as attempt to make a slave. Beyond all doubt, no majority
can be permitted to pass on the question, whether fellow-men shall be
bought and sold like cattle. There are rights which cannot be “voted
up” or “voted down,” according to phrases of the Senator from Illinois
[Mr. DOUGLAS], for they are above all votes. The very act of voting
upon the question of reducing men to bondage is a heinous wrong, for it
assumes that we may do unto others what we would not have them do unto
us. But this pretension,--rejected alike by every Slave-Master and by
every lover of Freedom,--

    “Where I behold a factious band agree
    To call it Freedom, when themselves are free,”[136]--

proceeding originally from vain effort to avoid the impending question
between Freedom and Slavery,--assuming a delusive phrase of Freedom
as a cloak for Slavery,--speaking with the voice of Jacob, while its
hands are the hands of Esau,--and, by plausible nickname, enabling
politicians sometimes to deceive the public, and sometimes even to
deceive themselves,--may be dismissed with other kindred pretensions
for Slavery; while the Senator from Illinois [Mr. DOUGLAS], who, if not
inventor, has been its boldest defender, will learn that Slave-Masters,
for whom he has done so much, cannot afford to be generous,--that
their gratitude is founded on what they expect, and not on what they
receive,--and that, having its root in desire rather than in fruition,
it necessarily withers and dies with the power to serve them. The
Senator, revolving these things, may confess the difficulty of his
position, and perhaps

                      “remember Milo’s end,
    Wedged in that timber which he strove to rend.”[137]

The pretension that in the Territories Slavery may be “voted up”
or “voted down,” as the few people there see fit, is a novelty,
and its partisans, besides a general oblivion of great principles,
most strangely forget the power of Congress “to regulate commerce
with foreign nations and among the several States,” limited only by
temporary exception in favor of “the migration or importation of such
persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit”
until 1808. These express words, solemnly accepted as part of the
Constitution, attest the power of Congress to prevent “the migration”
of slaves into the Territories. The migration or importation of slaves
into any State existing at the adoption of the Constitution was
tolerated until 1808; but from that date the power of Congress became
plenary to prohibit their “importation” from abroad or “migration”
among existing States, while from the beginning this power was plenary
to prevent their “migration” into the Territories. And as early as 1804
Congress exercised this power, by providing that no slave should be
introduced into the Territory of Orleans, except by a citizen of the
United States removing thither for actual settlement, and at the time
_bonâ fide_ owner of such slave; and every slave imported or brought
into the Territory, contrary to this provision, is declared free.[138]
In this unquestioned exercise of a beneficent power, at a time when
the authors of the Constitution were still on the stage, and the
temporary exception in favor of existing States was in force, we have a
precedent of unanswerable authority, establishing the power of Congress
to exclude Slavery from the Territories, even if it be assumed, that,
under the Constitution, this five-headed Barbarism can find place
anywhere within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Nation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here I close this branch of the argument, which I have treated less
fully than the first, partly because time and strength fail me, but
chiefly because the Barbarism of Slavery, when fully established,
supersedes all other inquiry. Enough is done on this head. At the
risk of repetition, I gather it together. The assumption, that
Slave-Masters, under the Constitution, may take their slaves into
Territories and continue to hold them as in States, stands on two
pretensions,--first, that man may hold property in man, and, secondly,
that this property is recognized in the Constitution. But we have
seen that the pretended property in man stands on no reason, while
the two special arguments by which it is asserted--first, an alleged
inferiority of race, and, secondly, the ancient curse of Ham--are
grossly insufficient to uphold such pretension. And we have next seen
that this pretension has as little support in the Constitution as in
reason; that Slavery is of such an offensive character, that it can
find support only in “positive” sanction, and words of “irresistible
clearness”; that this benign rule, questioned in the Senate, is
consistent with the principles of an advanced Civilization; that no
such “positive” sanction, in words of “irresistible clearness,” can
be found in the Constitution, while, in harmony with the Declaration
of Independence, and the Address of the Continental Congress, the
contemporaneous declarations in the Convention, and especially the
act of the Convention substituting “service” for “servitude,” on the
ground that the latter expressed “the condition of slaves,” all attest
that the pretension that man can hold property in man was carefully,
scrupulously, and completely excluded from the Constitution, so that
it has no semblance of support in that sacred text; nor is this
pretension, which is unsupported in the Constitution, helped by the two
arguments, one in the name of State Equality, and the other in the name
of Popular Sovereignty, both of which are properly put aside.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir, the true principle, which, reversing all assumptions of
Slave-Masters, makes Freedom _national_ and Slavery _sectional_,
while every just claim of the Slave States is harmonized with the
irresistible predominance of Freedom under the Constitution, was
declared at Chicago.[139] Not questioning the right of each State,
whether South Carolina or Turkey, Virginia or Russia, to order and
control its domestic institutions according to its own judgment
exclusively, the Convention there assembled has explicitly announced
Freedom to be “the normal condition of all the territory of the
United States,” and has explicitly denied “the authority of Congress,
of a Territorial Legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal
existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States.” Such
is the triumphant response by the aroused millions of the North to
the assumption of Slave-Masters, that the Constitution, of its own
force, carries Slavery into the Territories, and also to the device
of politicians, that the people of the Territories, in the exercise
of a dishonest Popular Sovereignty, may plant Slavery there. This
response is complete at all points, whether the Constitution acts upon
the Territories before their organization, or only afterward; for, in
the absence of a Territorial Government, there can be no “positive”
law in words of “irresistible clearness” for Slavery, as there can be
no such law, when a Territorial Government is organized, under the
Constitution. Thus the normal condition of the Territories is confirmed
by the Constitution, which, when extended over them, renders Slavery
impossible, while it writes upon the soil and engraves upon the rock
everywhere the law of impartial Freedom, without distinction of color
or race.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. President, this argument is now closed. Pardon me for the time
I have occupied. It is long since I made any such claim upon your
attention. Pardon me, also, if I have said anything I ought not to
have said. I have spoken frankly and from the heart,--if severely,
yet only with the severity of a sorrowful candor, calling things by
their right names, and letting historic facts tell their unimpeachable
story. I have spoken in patriotic hope of contributing to the welfare
of my country, and also in assured conviction that this utterance
to-day will find response in generous souls. I believe that I have said
nothing which is not sustained by well-founded argument or well-founded
testimony, nothing which can be controverted without direct assault
upon reason or upon truth.

The two assumptions of Slave-Masters are answered. But this is not
enough. Let the answer become a legislative act, by the admission of
Kansas as a Free State. Then will the Barbarism of Slavery be repelled,
and the pretension of property in man be rebuked. Such an act, closing
this long struggle by assurance of peace to the Territory, if not of
tranquillity to the whole country, will be more grateful still as
herald of that better day, near at hand, when Freedom will find a home
everywhere under the National Government, when the National Flag,
wherever it floats, on sea or land, within the national jurisdiction,
will cover none but freemen, and the Declaration of Independence, now
reviled in the name of Slavery, will be reverenced as the American
Magna Charta of Human Rights. Nor is this all. Such an act will be
the first stage in those triumphs by which the Republic, lifted in
character so as to become an example to mankind, will enter at last
upon its noble “prerogative of teaching the nations how to live.”

Thus, Sir, speaking for Freedom in Kansas, I have spoken for Freedom
everywhere, and for Civilization; and as the less is contained in the
greater, so are all arts, all sciences, all economies, all refinements,
all charities, all delights of life, embodied in this cause. You may
reject it, but it will be only for to-day. The sacred animosity of
Freedom and Slavery can end only with the triumph of Freedom. The same
question will be carried soon before that high tribunal, supreme over
Senate and Court, where the judges are counted by millions, and the
judgment rendered will be the solemn charge of an awakened people,
instructing a new President, in the name of Freedom, to see that
Civilization receives no detriment.

    When Mr. Sumner resumed his seat, Mr. Chesnut, of South
    Carolina, spoke as follows.

        “Mr. President, after the extraordinary, though
        characteristic, speech just uttered in the Senate, it is
        proper that I assign the reason for the position we are now
        inclined to assume. After ranging over Europe, crawling
        through the back doors to whine at the feet of British
        aristocracy, craving pity, and reaping a rich harvest of
        contempt, the slanderer of States and men reappears in the
        Senate. We had hoped to be relieved from the outpourings
        of such vulgar malice. We had hoped that one who had felt,
        though ignominiously he failed to meet, the consequences of
        a former insolence would have become wiser, if not better,
        by experience. In this I am disappointed, and I regret
        it. Mr. President, in the heroic ages of the world men
        were deified for the possession and the exercise of some
        virtues,--wisdom, truth, justice, magnanimity, courage. In
        Egypt, also, we know they deified beasts and reptiles; but
        even that bestial people worshipped their idols on account
        of some supposed virtue. It has been left for this day, for
        this country, for the Abolitionists of Massachusetts, _to
        deify the incarnation of malice, mendacity, and cowardice_.
        Sir, we do not intend to be guilty of aiding in the
        apotheosis of pusillanimity and meanness. We do not intend
        to contribute, by any conduct on our part, to increase the
        devotees at the shrine of this new idol. We know what is
        expected and what is desired. _We are not inclined again to
        send forth the recipient of_ PUNISHMENT _howling through
        the world, yelping fresh cries of slander and malice. These
        are the reasons_, which I feel it due to myself and others
        to give to the Senate and the country, why we have quietly
        listened to what has been said, and why we can take no
        other notice of the matter.”

    In these words Mr. Chesnut refers to the assault upon Mr.
    Sumner, with a bludgeon, on the floor of the Senate, by a
    Representative from South Carolina, since dead, aided by
    another Representative from that same State, and also a
    Representative from Virginia, on account of which Mr. Sumner
    had been compelled to leave his seat vacant, and seek the
    restoration of his health by travel. As Mr. Chesnut spoke,
    he was surrounded by the Slave-Masters of the Senate, who
    seemed to approve what he said. There was no call to order by
    the Chair, which was occupied at the time by Mr. Bigler, of
    Pennsylvania. Mr. Sumner obtained the floor with difficulty,
    while a motion was pending for the postponement of the
    question, and said:--

Mr. President, before this question passes away, I think I ought to
make answer to the Senator from South Carolina,--though perhaps there
is no occasion for it. [_“No!” from several Senators._] Only one word.
I exposed to-day the _Barbarism of Slavery_. What the Senator has said
in reply I may well print as an additional illustration. That is all.

    Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, said:--

    “I hope he will do it.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The first pamphlet edition of this speech contained a note which is
preserved here.

    “The following letter, from a venerable citizen, an ornament
    of our legislative halls at the beginning of the century, and
    now the oldest survivor of all who have ever been members
    of Congress, is too valuable in testimony and counsel to be
    omitted in this place.

                                            “‘BOSTON, June 5, 1860.

        “‘Dear Sir,--I have read a few abstracts from your noble
        speech, but must wait for it in a pamphlet form, that I may
        read it in such type as eyes in the eighty-ninth year of
        their age will permit. But I have read enough to approve,
        and rejoice that you have been permitted thus truly, fully,
        and faithfully to expose the ‘Barbarism’ of Slavery on
        that very floor on which you were so cruelly and brutally
        stricken down by the spirit of that Barbarism.

        “‘I only hope that in an Appendix you will preserve the
        _vera effigies_ of that insect that attempted to sting you.
        Remember that the value of amber is increased by the insect
        it preserves.

            “‘Yours, very truly,

                “‘JOSIAH QUINCY.’”


The speech on the Barbarism of Slavery was followed by outbursts of
opinion which exhibit the state of the public mind at the time. There
was approval and opposition, and there was also menace of violence. As
this was promptly encountered, it could never be known to what extent
the plot had proceeded.

Mr. Sumner was at his lodgings, alone, on the fourth day after the
speech, when, about six o’clock, P. M., he received a visit from a
stranger, who opened conversation by saying that he was one of the
class recently slandered, being a Southern man and a slaveholder, and
that he had called for an explanation of the speech, and to hold its
author responsible. A few words ensued, in which the visitor became
still more offensive, when Mr. Sumner ordered him out of the room.
After some delay, he left, saying, in violent tone, that he was one
of four who had come from Virginia for the express purpose of holding
Mr. Sumner responsible, and that he would call upon him again with his
friends. Mr. Sumner sent at once to his colleague, Mr. Wilson, who
quickly joined him. While they were together, a person came to the door
who asked particularly to see Mr. Sumner alone, and when told that he
was not alone, declined to enter. About nine o’clock in the evening
three other persons came to the door, who asked to see Mr. Sumner
alone, and receiving the same answer, they sent word by the domestic
who opened the door, that Mr. ---- and two friends had called, but,
not finding him alone, they would call again in the morning, for a
private interview, and if they could not have it, they would cut his
d----d throat before the next night. Such a message, with the attendant
circumstances, put the friends of Mr. Sumner on their guard, and it
was determined, contrary to his desire, that one or more should sleep
in the house that night. Accordingly Hon. Anson Burlingame and Hon.
John Sherman, both Representatives, slept in the room opening into his
bedroom. In the morning other circumstances increased the suspicion
that personal injury was intended.

It was the desire of Mr. Sumner that this incident should be kept out
of the newspapers; but it became known, and caused no small excitement
at Washington, and through the country. It was the subject of
telegrams and of letters. The anxiety in Boston was shown in a letter,
under date of June 9, from his friend Hon. Edward L. Pierce, saying:--

    “We have just heard of the threat of violence made to you last
    evening. Dr. Howe and others meditate leaving for Washington
    forthwith. I wish I could be there; but I feel assured that
    there are enough to protect you, if you will only let them. Do
    be careful, very careful. You will not be safe, until you have
    arrived in the Free States on your way home.”

Messrs. Thayer and Eldridge, booksellers, wrote at once from Boston:--

    “If you need assistance in defending yourself against the
    ruffians of the Slave Power, please telegraph us _at once_, or
    to some of your friends here who will notify us. There is a
    strong feeling here, and we can raise a small body of men, who
    will join with your Washington friends, or will alone defend

Hon. Gershom B. Weston, a veteran, wrote from Duxbury, Massachusetts:--

    “I am ready to shoulder my musket and march to the Capitol,
    and there sacrifice my life in defence of Free Speech and the

Hon. M. F. Conway, then in Washington, and afterwards Representative in
Congress from Kansas, sent in to Mr. Sumner, while in his seat, this
warning and tender of service:--

    “You are not safe to be alone at any time. I will be glad to
    be with you all the time, if practicable. I ask the privilege
    especially of being one of your companions at night. I will
    accompany you from the Senate Chamber, when you leave this

In reply to an inquiry from home, Hon. James Buffinton, of the House of
Representatives, wrote:--

    “The Massachusetts delegation in Congress will stand by Mr.
    Sumner and his late speech. There will be no backing down by
    us, and I am in hopes our people at home will pursue the same

The Mayor of Washington invited Mr. Sumner to make affidavit of the
facts, or to lodge a complaint, which the latter declined to do,
saying that he and his friends had no inducement from the past to rely
upon Washington magistrates. At last the Mayor brought the original
offender, being a well-known Washington office-holder of Virginia, to
Mr. Sumner’s room, when he apologized for his conduct, and denied all
knowledge of the visitors later in the evening who left the brutal

The friends of Mr. Sumner did not feel entirely relieved. Among these
was his private secretary, A. B. Johnson, Esq., afterwards chief clerk
of the Lighthouse Board, who, untiring in friendship and fidelity,
without consulting him, arranged protection for the night, and a
body-guard between his lodgings and the Senate. The latter service was
generously assumed by citizens of Kansas, who, under the captaincy of
Augustus Wattles, insisted upon testifying in this way their sense of
his efforts for them. Apprised of Mr. Sumner’s habit of walking to
and from the Capitol, they watched his door, and, as he came out, put
themselves at covering distance behind, with revolvers in hand, and
then, unknown to him, followed to the door of the Senate. In the same
way they followed him home. This body-guard, especially in connection
with the previous menace, illustrates the era of Slavery.

The personal incident just described was lost in the larger discussion
caused by the speech itself, in the press and in correspondence.


The appearance of the Senate at the delivery of the speech was
described by the correspondent of the _New York Herald_ in his letter
of the same date.

    “During the delivery of this exasperating bill of charges,
    specifications, and denunciation of that ‘sum of all
    villanies,’ Slavery, a profound and most ominous silence
    prevailed on the floor of the Senate and in the galleries.
    We have no recollection in our experience here, running
    through a period of twenty years, of anything like this
    ominous silence during the delivery of a speech for Buncombe,
    on Slavery, by a Northern fanatic or a Southern fire-eater.
    We say ominous silence, because we can only recognize it as
    something fearfully ominous,--ominous of mischief,--ominous of
    the revival in this capital and throughout the country of the
    Slavery agitation, with a tenfold bitterness compared with any
    previous stirring up of the fountains of bitter waters.”

The correspondent of the _New York Tribune_ of the same date wrote:--

    “Mr. Sumner’s speech attracted a large audience to the Senate
    galleries, which continued well filled during the four hours
    of his scourging review of Slavery in all its relations,
    political, social, moral, and economical. There appeared to be
    a studied effort at indifference on the Democratic side; for
    only a dozen Senators were in their seats during the first hour
    or two. Afterward they gradually appeared, and leading Southern
    members from the House contributed to the general interest by
    their presence and attention.

    “As a whole, this speech was regarded as being more offensive
    by the South than the one which created such a sensation
    before, and there is reason to believe, that, but for
    prudential considerations, it might have been attended with
    similar results. It was found quite difficult to restrain some
    decided exhibition of resentment in certain quarters. The
    only expression of indignation which found vent was in Mr.
    Chesnut’s brief and angry reply, from which the general temper
    of the South may be inferred, as he is regarded among the most
    discreet and considerate in his tone and bearing.”

The correspondent of the _Chicago Press and Tribune_, under date of
June 5, wrote:--

    “The speech of Charles Sumner yesterday was probably the most
    masterly and exhaustive argument against human bondage that has
    ever been made in this or any other country, since man first
    commenced to oppress his fellow-man. He took the floor at ten
    minutes past twelve, and spoke until a little after four. The
    tone of the speech was not vindictive, and yet there was a
    terrible severity running through it that literally awed the
    Southern side. There will, of course, be various opinions as to
    the _policy_ of this awful arraignment of the Slave Power, yet
    there can be but one opinion as to its extraordinary logical
    completeness, and, however it may affect public opinion to-day,
    it is an effort that will live in history long after the
    ephemeral contest of this age shall have passed away. Indeed,
    while listening to it, I could not but feel--and the same
    feeling was, I know, experienced by others--that the eloquent
    and brave orator was speaking rather to future generations, and
    to the impartial audience of the whole civilized world, than
    to the men of to-day, with a view of effecting any result upon
    elements with which he was immediately surrounded.”

The correspondent of the _New York Evening Post_ wrote, under date of
June 5:--

    “Mr. Sumner’s speech was a tremendous attack upon Slavery,
    and was utterly devoid of personalities. He attacked _the
    institution_, and not individuals, but his language was very
    severe. There was no let-up in the severity from beginning
    to end. Facts were quoted, and _they_ were allowed to bear
    against States as well as individuals; but Mr. Sumner made no
    comment upon that class of facts. While he was exhibiting the
    barbarous character of Slave-Masters, there was a good deal of
    restlessness on the slaveholding side of the Senate Hall, as if
    it required great self-control to keep silence.”

The correspondent of the _Boston Traveller_ wrote at length on the
delivery, and the impression produced. Here is an extract:--

    “So far as personal violence was to be apprehended, we think he
    was as unconcerned as a man could be. Anxiety on that account
    might have been felt by his friends, but not by him. He seemed
    to be all forgetful of himself, and to have his mind dwelling
    on the cause to which he was devoted, the race for which he was
    to plead, and on the responsibility under which he stood to his
    country and to generations to come.…

    “There was something sublime in the ardor and boldness and
    majesty with which he spoke. At times we could not but forget
    the speech, and think only of the speaker,--the honorable
    emulation of his youth, the illustrious services of his
    manhood, the purity of his aims, the sufferings he had endured,
    and the merciful Providence which had preserved him. Nothing
    could surpass the effect of the concluding paragraphs, in which
    he predicted a Republican triumph in November next.

    “The four hours during which we listened to him can never pass
    from our memory. It would be superfluous here even to enumerate
    the points of the speech, or to suggest its most powerful
    passages, for it will be universally read. An arraignment
    of Slavery so exhaustive has never before been made in our
    history, and it will supersede the necessity of another.
    Hereafter, when one desires to prove Slavery irrational and
    unconstitutional, he will go to that speech as to an arsenal.
    During a part of its delivery, the Southern Senators, as Toombs
    and Wigfall, were very uneasy, walking about the Senate, and
    conversing aloud. Keitt and other members of the House from
    South Carolina were also in the Senate Chamber, and were rather
    unquiet. Near Mr. Sumner, throughout his speech, sat his
    colleague, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Burlingame, and Owen Lovejoy; and
    had any Southern member attempted a repetition of the Brooks
    assault, he would have found in either of them a foeman worthy
    of his steel.

    “The Republican Senators gave excellent attention to the
    speech. Some of them, who are understood to hold very moderate
    and conservative opinions, expressed a strong admiration of the
    speech. One of them called it ‘a mighty effort’; another said
    it was ‘the greatest speech of the age’; another said ‘it was
    an unanswerable refutation of the doctrines which Senators from
    Slave States had repeatedly advanced and debated in favor of
    the justice and policy of Slavery, and It was a good work.’ …

    “Mr. Sumner was called upon last evening by some of the leading
    citizens of Kansas, some of whom are to hold official positions
    upon its admission, who thanked him for his speech, and assured
    him that their cause would rather be advanced than injured by
    it. Their course puts to shame the timidity of some persons
    who were opposed to its delivery, fearing lest it would defeat
    the admission of Kansas,--just as if the Proslavery Democracy,
    in their treatment of that question, are to be governed by any
    consideration except their own party interests and the demands
    of Slavery. It is time that the Republican party pursued its
    own course, without asking the counsel or permission of its

An occasional correspondent of the _Chatauque Democrat_, New York, gave
a familiar sketch of the scene.

    “Mr. Breckinridge remained all the time, and sat with an open
    book in his hands, pretending to read; but his eyes wandered
    from the page, and, with a frown upon his brow, he finally
    gazed at the speaker till he closed. Jeff Davis pretended to
    be reading the _Globe_, but it was plain to be seen by the
    heading of the paper that it was upside down. Wigfall seemed
    in torment. He listened respectfully awhile, and then glided
    silently around from one Senator to another, and conferred in
    whispers. He seemed to be hatching mischief; but the grave
    shake of the head of the older Senators doubtless kept this
    uneasy, restless desperado quiet. Hunter sat like a rock,
    immovable, and listened respectfully to the whole. Not a muscle
    moved upon his placid face to denote what was going on in his
    mind. Toombs heard the most of it quietly, and with as much
    of a don’t-care look as his evil passions would permit. Near
    the close, ‘Sheep’s-Gray’ Mason came in and took his seat, and
    commenced writing a letter. He evidently intended to show the
    galleries that Sumner was too small for him to notice. But he
    soon found a seat in a distant part of the Hall, and an easy
    position, where he sat gloomily scowling upon the orator till
    he sat down. When the speech was about half through, Keitt,
    the accomplice of Brooks in his attempted assassination of
    Mr. Sumner, came in and took a seat near Senator Hammond.
    For a while he sat gazing about the galleries, evidently to
    notice the dramatic effect of his presence upon the audience
    there. But few seemed to notice him. By degrees he began to
    pay attention to the speech.… Curry, of Alabama, and Lamar, of
    Mississippi, members of the other House, though Southerners
    of the straitest sect, could not conceal their delight at the
    oratory and classic and scholarly feast before them. They
    are scholars and orators themselves, and could appreciate
    an intellectual treat, though the sentiments were ever so

    “On the Republican side breathless attention prevailed. Those
    who immediately surrounded the Senator were Mr. Wilson, Senator
    Bingham, John Hickman, Preston King, and Solomon Foot. Mr.
    Seward sat in his usual seat, and scarcely moved during the
    delivery of the great speech.”

As the speech was read, the conflict of opinion began to show itself.
Democrats were all against it; Republicans were divided.

The _New York Tribune_, in an editorial notice, said:--

    “We have said that Mr. Sumner’s was doubtless a strong and
    forcible speech; and yet we wish he had made it on some other
    bill than that providing for the admission of Kansas.”

A Boston paper, in a letter from Washington, contained the following
reply to the _New York Tribune_.

    “And speaking of Kansas, I may here say that a number of
    leading Kansas men have called on Mr. Sumner to assure him that
    the _Tribune’s_ idea, that his speech injured the prospect of
    the admission of their State, never found lodgement in their
    minds. They thank him for it, and assure him, that, of their
    own knowledge, the fate of the bill was decided before he took
    the floor.”

The _New York Evening Post_, after observing that the speech was
“elaborate, learned, eloquent, and exhaustive of every topic on which
it touched,” said:--

    “Though nominally relating to the bill for the admission of
    Kansas, his remarks took a wider range, and were a general
    arraignment of the system of Slavery, as it exists in the
    Southern States of this Union, in all its moral, political, and
    social aspects.…

    “No one, we presume, can fail to admire the ability and cogency
    of this address; but whether the peculiar line of argument was
    called for at this time, or whether it will aid in the passage
    of the Kansas Admission Bill, may admit of doubt.”

The _New York Times_ was as little sympathetic as the _Tribune_.

    “From beginning to end it was a vehement denunciation of
    Slavery. The labor of four leisure years seems to have been
    devoted by Mr. Sumner to collecting every instance of cruelty,
    violence, passion, coarseness, and vulgarity recorded as having
    happened within the Slave States, or as having been committed
    by a slaveholder.… But, aside from its utter irrelevancy to the
    Kansas Question, what general good can be hoped for from such
    envenomed attacks upon the Slave States? Do they tend in any
    way to promote the public welfare? Do they aid in the least the
    solution of what every sensible man acknowledges to be the most
    delicate and difficult problem of this age?”

Then, in another number, the _Times_ said:--

    “Fortunately, it has commanded less attention than was
    anticipated, and has encountered silence in some quarters,
    and positive disapproval in others, usually disposed to judge
    speeches of this class with the utmost forbearance. Even the
    _Tribune_, while it has published the speech in its editions
    intended mainly for the country, has not deemed it judicious
    or wise to give it circulation among its city readers; and
    some of the most decided Republican papers in the country
    have protested against the injustice of holding the party
    responsible for its sentiments.”

The _New York Herald_ took advantage of the speech to hold up the
consequences of “Black Republicanism.” On the day after the delivery,
it wrote thus:--

    “_Important from Washington.--The Great Republican
    Manifesto.--Opening of the Campaign in Earnest.--Charles
    Sumner’s Inflammatory Harangue in the Senate.--Appeal to
    the North against the South.--The Fivefold Wrong of Human
    Slavery.--Its Total Abolition in the United States the
    Sacred Duty of the Republican Party.--The Helper and Spooner
    Programmes fully and emphatically indorsed.--Mr. Sumner the
    Leading Light of the Black Republicans._

    “We give elsewhere, to-day, in full, the speech of Senator
    Sumner, of Massachusetts, on the great question that is
    presented to the whole country for judgment in November next.

    “Not only the argument it contains, but the place where it was
    uttered, and the position and character of the man who uttered
    it, should be taken into consideration, in measuring its
    bearing upon, and relation to, what may truthfully be called
    the greatest question of the present age.…

    “In that Senate which has so often resounded with the sublimest
    utterances of human lips and human hopes, Mr. Sumner stands
    forth the personification of a great and a free State, and the
    representative man of a great and powerful political party in
    fifteen of the sovereign States of this Union. He possesses
    the philosophical acumen of Mr. Seward, without his cautious
    reserve as a politician,--the honesty of Lincoln, without the
    craft of a candidate in nomination,--and literary culture,
    political zeal, and the gift of eloquence, which place him in
    the very foremost rank as a leader and an exponent of the Black
    Republican ideas. All of these circumstances combine to give a
    more deep solemnity to his words, in this grave moment of their

    “Every man admits that our fraternal relations with the
    Southern States are productive of unmixed benefit to us and
    to ours; and yet Lincoln and Seward incite the North to an
    ‘irrepressible conflict’ with the South; and now comes another
    mighty leader among the Black Republicans, and proclaims it to
    be a ‘sacred animosity.’

    “This is the burden of Mr. Sumner’s eloquence, and we need not
    enter upon its details. But there is one characteristic of
    this speech which is in perfect accordance with the policy of
    the Black Republican party in the present campaign. The bloody
    and terrible results which must ensue, if that party succeeds
    in getting possession of the Federal Government, are kept
    carefully out of view. John Brown’s practice is taught, but
    there is no word of John Brown. The social condition of fifteen
    populous, rich, and powerful States is to be revolutionized;
    but not a hint of the possibility of resistance on their
    part, or of the reactive effect of such resistance upon the
    aggressive North, is dropped.”

On the next day the _Herald_ said:--

    “_Sumner’s Truthful Exposition of the Aims of Black
    Republicanism.--Its Teachings in the coming Conventions._

    “The perfect platform of the Black Republican party has been
    laid down by Senator Sumner in his recent speech in the Senate,
    and it is now before the country for approval or rejection.”

In the same spirit, the _Richmond Despatch_ recognized the speech as an
authentic manifestation of Northern sentiment.

     “The fact is, Sumner has spoken but too truly. His is the
    spirit in which the South is regarded by the party to which
    he belongs. He is its mouthpiece. His is the tongue to the
    Abolition lyre, giving it utterance, bringing out its genuine
    tones. Greeley and Raymond are afraid, just at this moment,
    to speak the whole truth. They dare not let the conservative
    portion of the people at the North know that it is the
    design of the party with which they are associated to make
    uncompromising war upon the South,--to destroy its institutions
    at any cost of blood, to hunt down its people even to the
    extremity of death, if it be necessary. The South ought to feel
    obliged to Sumner for betraying the designs of the party. His
    speech is a godsend.”

The _Indianapolis Daily Journal_ wrote:--

    “We have read as much of Senator Sumner’s speech on the
    Barbarism of Slavery as we have had time to read, and must
    bear witness that it is one of the ablest, most exasperating,
    and most useless speeches we ever read. It shows all through
    the genius, the learning, and the hate of its gifted and
    abused author. It is manifestly the revenge of the orator on
    the institution that through Brooks’s arm struck him down so
    brutally. It is intended less to check the growth of Slavery
    than to gall Slaveholders. It is a scalding, excoriating
    invective, almost without parallel in the annals of oratory.…
    As a vengeance for the orator’s own wrongs, it is ample and
    admirable. As an implement to aid the great work of repressing
    Slavery extension, it is simply worthless, or worse. Slavery is
    all that he charges. But slaveholders are not as barbarous as
    their system.”

The _Boston Daily Advertiser_ begins by saying of the speech, that “its
denunciation, although strong, is not hot; its profuse learning and
reference to history show elaboration and study; and the whole mass
of reasoning, of rhetoric, and of authority is brought together and
wielded with such skill and power as the greatest masters of oratory
might well envy”; and then the journal proceeds:--

    “We confess that in our judgment the argument upon Slavery
    itself need be neither long nor elaborate. The Golden Rule
    has exhausted the subject, both upon principle and authority.
    The testimony of one enlightened slaveholder like Jefferson,
    who ‘trembled for his country, when he remembered that God
    was just,’ tells us as much of the actual workings of the
    institution as all the hideous narratives which its opponents
    have culled in such appalling profusion from its current
    history. The subject is one which is governed by principles
    which are essentially and peculiarly elementary, and we confess
    that we see not how any powers of eloquence or reasoning could
    turn him who is not convinced by the simple statement of these
    few original principles.…

    “If the majority of the people are already right upon the main
    subject,--and we should otherwise despair of the Republic,--we
    must conclude that our efforts will be much more efficacious,
    if directed at those constitutional heresies by means of which
    this giant evil is at present carrying on its attack. It is in
    this way, chiefly, that, within those limits of duty which the
    Republican party is ever careful to affirm and observe, we can
    hope to act efficiently upon this great question.”

The tone of the Democratic papers appears in the _Albany Atlas and

    “No one can rise from a perusal of this speech without a
    contempt for the author, and a conviction of his unfitness for
    the place.”

Also in the _Boston Post_.

    “Charles Sumner’s recent speech is a curiosity that has no
    parallel, at least in our Senatorial record. Pedantry, egotism,
    fortuitous hypothesis, malice, rhapsody, and verbosity stripe
    and emblazon it with disgusting conspicuousness.”

Other papers were grateful and enthusiastic, generally in proportion to
their Antislavery character.

The _Boston Traveller_ said:--

    “No nobler specimen of American eloquence can be found than
    this logical, bold, spirited, clear, and learned exposition
    of the ‘Barbarism of Slavery.’ In it we have the views of the
    chivalrous antagonist of Wrong, expressed in the pointed and
    elegant language of the accomplished scholar, and guided by the
    intellect of the sagacious and benevolent statesman. We are the
    more pleased with the plain speaking of Mr. Sumner, because
    there has apparently been a falling off in the language of some
    leading Republicans since the beginning of the Presidential
    contest, as if they were fearful of offending the Oligarchy.
    Mr. Sumner, who has no idea of sacrificing the Right to the
    Expedient, has given utterance to vital truths in language full
    of vital energy,--‘Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.’”

The _Boston Transcript_ said:--

    “Many persons, who read this speech without having previously
    read a number of speeches made on the other side, may be likely
    to consider it too abstract in its character. But, as many
    Southern Senators, who assume to be the representative men
    of their section, have gravely lectured the Senate at great
    length in defence of the principles and practice of Slavery,
    have taken the bold ground that it is in accordance with the
    commands of God and the teachings of experience, have attempted
    to show that it elevates the white man and blesses the black,
    have even gone so far as to assert that labor, whether white
    or black, is happier when owned than when hired, and on the
    strength of these assumptions have eagerly argued for the
    extension of such a beneficent institution into territory now
    free, it is certainly proper that some man from the Northern
    States should make an attempt to save religion, conscience,
    reason, common sense, common sensibility, from being pressed
    into the service of the wickedest and most nonsensical
    paradoxes that ever entered the brain or came out of the mouth
    of educated men.”

The _Boston Atlas and Bee_ said:--

    “It is not too much to say that it is the boldest, most
    thorough, and most uncompromising speech that Mr. Sumner has
    ever delivered; and it is easy to see that it must prove the
    most offensive to the slaveholders of any of his speeches. It
    is a complete hand-book of their offences, and will excite in
    them great and perhaps irrepressible rage.…

    “In vigor of thought and style, this speech will rank among
    the greatest, if not at the head, of Mr. Sumner’s productions.
    It is straightforward, direct, logical, proceeding directly to
    its mark and by the shortest line, striking the swiftest and
    hardest blows, and never for a moment leaving the reader in
    doubt as to its meaning, while it is enlivened by even more
    than the orator’s usual wealth of classical and historical
    lore. It is in every respect a remarkable speech, and will
    arrest the attention of the whole country.”

The _Boston Journal_ said:--

    “We trust that the length of Mr. Sumner’s speech will deter
    none from its perusal. It is what it professes to be, an
    examination of the institution of Slavery itself,--and we
    venture to say a more acute, comprehensive, exhaustive, and
    powerful exposition of the whole subject never was made.
    Whoever wants to understand what American Slavery is must
    read this speech; whoever wants to make headway against the
    ripening public feeling by defending Slavery must first try to
    answer the arguments of this speech. If he does not, he will
    be in danger of imitating the folly of Senator Chesnut, and,
    through an exhibition of passion and scurrility, of becoming a
    living illustration of its truths.… The nation has certainly
    been drifting into a too general acquiescence in the doctrine,
    upheld openly or insidiously by both factions of the Democratic
    party, that slaves are property, precisely like any other
    property known to the Common Law. Any utterance like this of
    Mr. Sumner’s, which shall call the American people from this
    disgraceful and dangerous conclusion, may well be generously
    criticised in other respects.”

The _New Bedford Mercury_ had the following, in a letter from Boston.

    “The chief event of interest, certainly to Bostonians, lately,
    is the astonishing speech delivered by Charles Sumner, in his
    place in the Senate, in which he takes up the Slavery Question
    precisely where he left it off, when stricken down by the cane
    of the deceased bully Brooks. Offensive as that speech proved
    to the Slave-Masters, this one is ten times worse. This speech,
    for the first time in the history of Congressional speeches,
    sets forth, without the slightest veil or mincing of the
    matter, the deformities, obliquities, and immoralities of the
    Slavery system.”

The _Albany Evening Journal_ said:--

     “On the 22d of May, four years ago, we were startled with the
    news that Charles Sumner had been struck down in the Senate
    Chamber and nearly killed. Yesterday, for the first time since
    that event, his eloquence again enchained the attention of the
    Senate. The speech which provoked the assault in 1856 has been
    more than matched in the one just delivered. The former speech
    was read by millions, and the last is undoubtedly destined to
    receive a still wider attention. The glowing eloquence and
    surpassing erudition of Mr. Sumner give to all his speeches an
    attraction difficult to resist, even by those who dislike the
    doctrines he proclaims. His last speech is characterized not
    only by his usual brilliancy of style, but contains a striking
    array of facts and statistics which must have cost much patient
    toil in collecting.”

The _Hartford Evening Press_ said:--

    “It is said in certain quarters that it would have been more
    politic to have left the speech unspoken. It is even urged by a
    leading journal that the admission of Kansas is endangered by
    it. The fact is, that the journal knows--none know better--that
    the Kansas Bill stands just as good a chance at the hands of
    Southern Senators to-day as if Charles Sumner had bent low
    and with bated breath begged the admission of that Territory
    as a favor, instead of demanding it as a right.… The speech
    is demanded by the progress of the assumptions of Slavery.
    It boldly sets itself up as divine in origin, Christian in
    practice, the best form of civilized society, and challenges
    our scrutiny and approbation. This, taken in connection with
    its extraordinary interpretation of the Constitution as a
    charter of Slavery, and not of Freedom, as we have all along
    supposed it to be, forces the discussion upon us. Let us thank
    Heaven that we have men bold enough to take up the gauntlet.
    Charles Sumner deserves well of the country and well of the
    age, for his calm and masterly exposition of the true character
    of that system we are urged to accept and extend, as divine in
    appointment, and adapted to the wants of our time.”

The _New Yorker Abendzeitung_, a German paper at New York, published an
elaborate leader, translated by the _Evening Post_, of which this is an

    “The oration made by Mr. Sumner is not a mere speech in the
    common meaning of the term, but rather a thoroughly digested
    treatise, carefully prepared, on the basis of a great number
    of facts and quotations. It unites the most thorough-going
    philosophical research, regardless of the conflict of its
    results with the nearest practical aims, to that variegated
    poetical coloring, which, appealing to the power of
    imagination, is an indispensable element of an efficient
    speech. Even to the best speeches of Senator Seward Sumner’s
    speech stands in proportion as an oil painting of richest
    coloring and most dramatic grouping of figures to a mere black
    crayon etching. If Mr. Sumner’s speech had been uttered before
    the meeting of the Chicago Convention, he would undoubtedly
    have occupied a prominent rank among the candidates of the
    radical portion of the Republican party.”

The _Sunday Transcript_, of Philadelphia, said:--

    “The greatest speech of the season is certainly Charles
    Sumner’s magnificent philippic against ‘The Great Barbarism.’
    The learning and research, the array of facts, the apt and
    eloquent quotations, the striking illustrations, and the
    vivid imagery of the oration are its least merits. The style
    and diction are as clear as crystal, as pure as water, and
    sonorously musical. The entire tone of the speech is dignified
    and lofty.…

    “Indeed, we admire his courage, his unequalled moral _pluck_.
    In this day of compromise and timidity, of bated breath and
    base concession, when it is the loathsome fashion to say that
    the Slavery Question should be discussed only as a matter of
    profit and loss, it is refreshing to hear a Senator speak in
    the spirit of Jefferson and the Fathers. Besides, does not
    the South challenge us to discuss the abstract question? Do
    not Benjamin, Toombs, Stephens, Curry, Keitt, Lamar, Hunter,
    Slidell, Brown, Hammond, Chesnut, Mason, Pryor, Clingman,
    Fitzhugh, and _all_ the Southern politicians, discuss the
    question of Slavery in the abstract? Do they not deliver
    long arguments to prove that Slavery is right, just, benign,
    civilizing, and necessary,--that it is the proper condition of
    the negro and the working-man? And is any free Northern man so
    poor a poltroon as to say that these men shall not be _replied
    to_? What! shall all the South be privileged to praise and
    applaud Human Slavery, and not even Charles Sumner be allowed
    to _describe it as it really is_?”

The _Daily Democrat,_ of Chicago, said:--

    “This is the great speech of the day. It paints American
    Slavery as it is, and as it has never been painted before.
    No Republican can look upon the picture which Charles Sumner
    draws of this Barbarism without feeling his heart swell with
    hatred against it, and without recording a new vow to labor
    unceasingly for its extinction.”

Early in the controversy _Frederick Douglass’s Paper_ bore testimony as

     “At last the right word has been spoken in the Chamber of
    the American Senate. Long and sadly have we waited for an
    utterance like this, and were beginning at last to despair of
    getting anything of the sort from the present generation of
    Republican statesmen; but Senator Sumner has now exceeded all
    our hopes, and filled up the full measure of all that we have
    long desired in the Senatorial discussions of Slavery. He has
    dared to grapple directly with the Hell-born monster itself.
    It is not the unreasonableness of the demands of Slavery, not
    the aggressions nor the mere arrogance of the Slave Power,
    insufferable and unconstitutional as these have been, that have
    now so thoroughly aroused the soul and fired the tongue of the
    learned and eloquent Senator of Massachusetts, but the inherent
    and brutal barbarism of Slavery itself.… His manner of assault
    is, we think, faultless. It was calm, self-poised, earnest,
    brave, and yet completely guarded. The network of his argument,
    though wonderfully elaborate and various, is everywhere, and
    in all its parts, strong as iron. The whole slaveholding
    Propaganda of the Senate might dash themselves against it in a
    compact body, without breaking the smallest fibre of any of its
    various parts.”

The _Liberator_, in an editorial article by William Lloyd Garrison,

    “Throughout, its spirit was lofty, dignified, and bold,
    indicative of high moral intrepidity and a noble purpose. No
    attempts were made to interrupt him, though the smothered wrath
    of the Southern members must have been excessive.”

The correspondent of an Antislavery paper, with the initials W. P., in
an article entitled “Mr. Sumner’s Last and Greatest Speech,” said:--

    “The Massachusetts Senator has led a column into this fortress,
    which, in the name of God and Humanity, must eventually silence
    all its guns and level its last stone to the ground. Neither
    statesman nor philanthropist has ever, in like manner, rent
    asunder the veil and exposed to the view of an outraged people
    the Barbarism of Slavery. This Mr. Sumner has done, _and no man
    can undo it_. ‘What is written is written.’ Slaveholders may
    rave, Americans may ignore, Republicans may deplore, but the
    speech and the name of Charles Sumner will live and be praised
    when the death-pall of oblivion shall cover the last vestige of
    these unhappy men.”

The _Independent_, of New York, said:--

    “The world will one day acknowledge the debt of gratitude it
    owes to the author of this masterly analysis. For four hours he
    held a crowded audience in attention, including large numbers
    of Southern people, members of Congress, and others.”

The _Antislavery Standard_, of New York, said:--

    “Nothing like it, in elevation of tone and width of scope,
    had ever before been heard in that Chamber. It was worth, to
    the author, to the cause, and to the country, all that it
    cost to produce it. For Mr. Sumner it was a great triumph and
    a revenge. And yet there was nothing vindictive in its tone
    or spirit. The ‘bitterness’ which is ascribed to it was in
    its truth. No doubt it stirred the malignant passions of the
    Slave-Masters to the deepest depths; but the fault was theirs,
    not his. His facts were unquestionable, his logic beyond
    the reach of cavil, and his rhetoric eminently becoming and

While newspapers were discussing the speech, and Republicans were
differing, the Legislature of Massachusetts threw its weight into the
scales by the adoption of resolutions, entitled “Resolves relating to
Freedom of Speech,” containing the following support of Mr. Sumner.

    “_Resolved_, That the thanks of the people of this Commonwealth
    are due and are hereby tendered to the Honorable Charles Sumner
    for his recent manly and earnest assertion of the right of free
    discussion on the floor of the United States Senate, and we
    repeat the well-considered words of our predecessors in these
    seats in approval of ‘Mr. Sumner’s manliness and courage in
    his fearless declaration of free principles and his defence of
    human rights and free institutions.’

    “_Resolved_, That we approve the thorough, truthful, and
    comprehensive examination of the institution of Slavery
    embraced in Mr. Sumner’s recent speech; that the stern morality
    of that speech, its logic, and its power command our entire
    admiration; and that it expresses with fidelity the sentiments
    of Massachusetts upon the question therein discussed.”

The meaning of these resolutions was not left doubtful by the mover, J.
Q. A. Griffin, who, after alluding to “certain Conservative Republican
newspapers, such as the _New York Times_ and the _Courier and
Enquirer_, declaring that Mr. Sumner does not represent the Republican
party in any degree,” said, “It is necessary that Massachusetts should
uphold her Senator.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The conflict of opinion in the American press showed itself abroad. The
London _Times_ took the lead in opposition. Its New York correspondent,
entitled “Our own Correspondent,” in a letter dated June 6, said of
the speech: “A more studied insult to Southern slaveholding members,
who compose nearly one half of the body in which the speech was
delivered, a more vituperative attack upon the institution, a more
bitter, galling, personal assault, or one more calculated to excite the
worst feelings, can hardly be imagined.” Then quoting certain passages
without explanation or context, and asking the reader to “bear in mind
that one half of the gentlemen who listened to him were slaveholders,”
the New York correspondent adds, “These extracts are sample bricks of
the whole structure.”

The _Times_ itself followed in a leader of June, 18, where the tone of
its New York correspondent was reproduced; and here is the beginning
of those attacks on the Antislavery cause in our country for which
this journal became so famous during the war. An extract will show its

     “We must, in the name of English Abolitionism at least,
    protest against these foolish and vindictive harangues.
    Scarcely has the frenzy caused by John Brown’s outrage begun
    to die away than out comes Mr. Sumner with a speech which will
    set the whole South in a flame. We can well believe that the
    prospects of the Republican party have been already damaged
    by it. Mr. Sumner is one of that class of politicians who
    should be muzzled by their friends. The man who can in personal
    irritability so forget the interests of a great cause is its
    worst enemy. Slavery existed on the American Continent long
    before the assembly of which Mr. Sumner is a member. On it
    depends, or is supposed to depend, the prosperity of half the
    Union; the looms of Lancashire and Normandy, as well as those
    of Mr. Sumner’s own State, are supplied by slave-grown cotton,
    and hundreds of millions of Northern dollars are invested in
    slave-worked plantations. Slavery, with its roots thus deep
    in the soil, is not to be rooted up by any peevish effort of
    rhetoric; and we may predict that the man who first gains a
    victory for the cause of Abolition will be of very different
    temper to the Senator from Massachusetts.”

The London _Morning Star_, of June 20, replied at length, and with much
feeling. Here is an extract:--

    “Who invested the _Times_ with the functions of the organ of
    English Abolitionists? Who authorized the hoary charlatan of
    Printing-House Square to speak authoritatively in the name of
    the advocates of negro emancipation, and, as their assumed
    representative, to bespatter with its venom one of the noblest
    champions of that holy cause? Assuredly not the men of whom,
    with the mendacious arrogance which has become to it a second
    nature, it now pretends to be the appointed spokesman. Let it
    canvass, if it will, the whole legion of British sympathizers
    with the groaning slaves in the Southern States of America; it
    will be puzzled to find one whom its coarse and unprincipled
    attack upon Mr. Sumner has not inspired with sentiments of
    mingled indignation and disgust.…

    “We are convinced, that, throughout the length and breadth of
    the United Kingdom, the noble speech of Mr. Sumner will awaken
    reverence for his valor, admiration for his eloquence, and
    sympathetic esteem for his genial sympathy for the down-trodden
    slave; at any rate, we believe that there is but one journal
    whose inveterate malignity would inspire it to heap censure
    upon conduct which cannot be rewarded by too abundant homage.”

The London _Morning Advertiser_ also replied at length. Here is a

    “We are not satisfied with a contemporary who chooses to
    describe the noble oration of Senator Sumner as ‘a vituperative
    attack,’ as ‘a bitter, galling, personal assault.’ It is full
    of noble and manly thoughts, expressed in terms of becoming
    strength, but not too strongly, considering the magnitude of
    the evil against which it is directed, and the determination of
    the party by whom it is maintained.”

The London _Daily News_, of June 22, followed.

     “The barbaric character of Slavery, and of its supporters,
    has been abundantly exhibited through the press of some
    Northern States, but it has never before been displayed in the
    Senate; and all criticism of it is excluded from the Southern
    press, and from most of the Northern. In the progress of the
    revolutionary conflict, the moment has arrived for the truth to
    be told in the Senate; and Mr. Sumner, as the representative
    of the most venerable State of the Union, was the man to utter
    it. He described the character of Slavery; he proved its
    operation upon the liberties of communities and the character
    of individuals; and he declared the resolution of the Free
    States to get rid of the evil of being implicated in such a
    barbarism, and to save every new community from being cursed
    with it against its will.”

Then came _Punch_, July 21st, which said:--

    “Mr. Summer’s speech was chiefly characterized by its closeness
    of argument and lucidity of diction; but he occasionally
    introduced a passage of highly wrought eloquence, or an
    image of singular vividness; and in England, however the
    orator’s sentiments might have been objected to by a political
    antagonist, Mr. Sumner would have received the compliments of
    gentlemen of both sides upon so remarkable an exhibition of
    sustained power and intellectual skill.…

    “Mr. Punch begs leave to offer his respectful congratulations
    to Mr. Sumner upon his magnificent speech, and even more
    earnestly upon the ample and perfect testimony that was
    instantly given by the besotted slave-owners to the truth of
    his assertion of the Barbarism of Slavery. It is not often that
    an orator’s enemies are in such a desperate hurry to prove his
    case for him. But here he was scarcely down, when the Slave
    party rushed together to proclaim themselves the ruffians he
    had painted them, and in the published copy of the oration Mr.
    Sumner has given at once the calmest and the deadliest blow to
    the system he denounces,--for he prints Mr. Chesnut’s speech.
    All the bludgeons in the hands of all the ‘chivalry of the
    South’ cannot beat that demonstration of Mr. Sumner’s case out
    of the heads of the public in and out of the States. The speech
    should be reprinted in England, and circulated in thousands.
    What is the Antislavery Society about?”

To these London articles may be added passages from Miss Martineau’s
correspondence with the _Antislavery Standard_, of New York. In a
letter under date of July 2, the eminent writer said:--

     “I may just say that Senator Chesnut’s commentary on Mr.
    Sumner’s speech is very amusing here. He cannot know much of
    the English aristocracy, if he supposes that strangers can get
    at them by their back doors. Their back doors are well looked
    to; but in Mr. Sumner’s case there was no question of back door
    or front. Our aristocracy went out to seek him,--not he them. I
    need not say that we heartily rejoice in the full truth having
    been spoken in Congress. The occasion brings back vividly to my
    memory Mr. Calhoun’s countenance and voice, when he insisted
    to me, peremptorily putting down all argument, that that day
    would never come: there would be silence about Slavery in
    Congress world without end. This was in 1835. It must be also
    needless for me to say that no unprejudiced man or woman here
    really supposes that any terms can be kept with Slavery and
    Slaveholders. The crisis of your revolution may be precipitated
    by such open defiance in the Federal Legislature; but we see
    that it was the South which brought on the revolution and
    uttered the defiance, and that the only course for the Senator
    from Massachusetts is to take care that the revolution is
    steered straight by compass while there is such a fearful
    tampering with the helm. To speak gingerly of Barbarism, when
    his business was to set before his country the choice between
    Barbarism and Civilization, was, of course, impossible; and
    there could be no fidelity short of such a thorough exposure
    and denunciation as he has offered.”

Then, under date of July 16, Miss Martineau wrote again:--

    “Since I wrote last, we have had the opportunity of reading
    Mr. Sumner’s speech entire. I know no instance in which it was
    so necessary to have read the whole in order to understand any
    part; and certainly I can recall no case in which careless
    and conceited critics have cut a more wretched figure in
    condemning a production before they understood it. They
    supposed themselves on safe ground, when they cited passages
    of denunciation, leaving (as such isolated passages must)
    an impression that the speaker had outraged the principles
    and spirit of legislative debate by personal imputation and
    provocation to passion. Mr. Sumner’s own friends here regretted
    what they saw, simply because personal accusation and insult
    can never do any good, and must, in a crisis like that of your
    polity, render a complete rupture inevitable. As soon as we got
    the whole speech, however, the aspect of the quoted paragraphs
    was entirely changed. Instead of a piece of stimulating
    invective, we find the speech to be a chapter of history,
    and an exposition, calm and rational, of the workings of a
    social institution which is brought forward for discussion,
    and so placed on its trial, by Mr. Sumner’s opponents. To me
    it appears a production of altogether incalculable importance,
    apart from its merits in detail. Till now, if we could have
    met with such a phenomenon in England as a person who was not
    convinced of the wickedness and folly of Slavery, we should not
    have known where to turn for a compact, reliable, serviceable
    statement of the modern case of slave and free labor.”

Another testimony, purporting to be “by a distinguished writer of
England,” appeared in the American papers at the time.

    “Thanks, many thanks, for Sumner’s noble speech. It has been
    read with swelling throats and tearful eyes. It is a mighty
    effort towards wiping out the monstrous blot that disfigures
    your fair country. I like well the way in which he takes head
    after head of the foul Hydra, and severs each as completely
    as ever Hercules did; yet his labor was child’s play in

To this English list may be joined a poem prompted by this speech.
The New York _Independent_, where it first appeared in our country,
announced that the initials subscribed to it were those of Mrs. L. W.
Fellowes, a daughter of Rowland Hill, originator of the cheap postage
system in England.


    “As one who wandering lone is sudden stirred
      With a wild gush of hidden woodland singing,
    Doth picture to himself the beauteous bird
      That with sweet concord sets the greenwood ringing,
    And gazes eager round, and is full fain
    To mark the warbler fair, yet gazes still in vain,--

    “So I, being melted to my inmost soul
      By this thy noble plaint for Freedom’s sake,
    Do grieve that ocean-tides between us roll,
      And that I ne’er can see thee strive to break
    The shackles, e’en more harsh than those that bind
    The slave-born limbs,--the shackles of the mind.

    “Go on, brave heart! and faint not, though thy way
      Be rough and rude, and torn with many a thorn:
    All England would thee hail, if some white day
      Thou, harassed by thy country’s bitter scorn,
    Shouldst seek our friendly shore, and rest awhile
    Thy wearied soul in this our happy Isle.

            “L. W. F.


This speech took its place in foreign bibliography. French writers who
discussed American Slavery cited it, among whom was that excellent
ally of our country, M. Édouard Laboulaye, who wrote always with equal
knowledge and friendship. After quoting the famous words by which
Wesley describes and blasts Slavery, he gives a definition from this

    “The Americans of the North, who calculate even to the
    beatings of the heart, have summed up this multifold crime
    in five axioms. It is, say they, man become the property of
    his fellow-man, marriage abolished, paternity destroyed,
    intelligence systematically stifled, labor forced and
    unpaid,--in other terms, tyranny, confiscation, and robbery.
    Such are the essential vices of Slavery, vices independent
    of the goodness or the wickedness of the master, vices
    irremediable,--for to correct them is to acknowledge that the
    Slave has some rights, it is to make a man of him, it is to
    commence emancipation. Such, without exaggeration and without
    declamation, is the ‘Barbarism of Slavery,’ as the eloquent
    Senator of Massachusetts has justly called it.”

The able Frenchman then adds in a note:--

    “Mr. Sumner is the Senator who was struck down in the Senate
    Chamber by a colleague from the South, for which the assailant
    received a cane of honor, awarded by his admirers at the South.
    The welcome which Mr. Sumner in turn received in England and
    France, where he came to reëstablish his health, must have
    proved to him how much on the Old Continent are still esteemed
    courage and talent put forth in the service of humanity.”[140]


The testimony of correspondents was in harmony with the Antislavery
press. Both in character and number, their letters were of singular
authority. They show the sentiments of good men, and the extent to
which the country was absorbed by the question of Slavery, although
politicians sought to put it out of sight. And since this discussion,
culminated in war, they throw light on the origin of that terrible
conflict, and therefore belong to history. Brief extracts are given
from a portion of the letters within reach.

There can be no better name for the beginning than John G. Whittier,
the poet, who wrote from his home at Amesbury, Massachusetts:--

    “I have just finished reading _the_ speech. It is all that
    I could wish for. It takes the dreadful question out of the
    region of party and expediency, and holds it up in the clear
    sun-blaze of truth and reason, in all its deformity, and with
    the blackness of the pit clinging about it. In the light of
    that speech the civilized world will now see American Slavery
    as it is. There is something really awful in its Rhadamanthine
    severity of justice; but it was needed.

    “It especially rejoices thy personal friends to see in the
    speech such confirmation of thy complete restoration to health
    and strength of body and mind. It was the task of a giant.”

Frederick Douglass, once a slave, wrote from Rochester, New York:--

    “I wish I could tell you how deeply grateful I am to you, and
    to God, for the speech you have now been able to make in the
    United States Senate. You spoke to the Senate and the nation,
    but you have a nobler and a mightier audience. The civilized
    world will hear you, and rejoice at the tremendous exposure of
    the meanness, brutality, blood-guiltiness, hell-black iniquity,
    and barbarism of American Slavery. As one who has felt the
    horrors of this stupendous violation of all human rights, I
    venture thus far to trespass upon your time and attention. My
    heart is full, Sir, and I could pour out my feelings at length,
    but I know how precious is your time. I shall print every word
    of your speech.”

Hon. S. P. Chase, afterwards Chief Justice of the United States, wrote
from Columbus, Ohio:--

    “Your great speech came to me, under your frank, this morning.
    I had read it all--in the _Bulletin_ of Philadelphia, in the
    _Times_ of New York, and in the _Globe_--before I received the
    pamphlet copy. It is gratifying to know that the _New York
    Herald_ also prints it, and that, through various channels of
    publication, it will reach every corner of the land, ‘_cogens
    omnes ante thronum_.’ ‘_C’est presqu’un discours antique_,’
    said a French gentleman to me last Saturday. I say, ‘_C’est
    bien plus._’”

Hon. Francis Gillette, an Abolitionist, and formerly Senator of the
United States from Connecticut, wrote from Hartford:--

    “I cannot tell you how pleased I am with your late speech on
    the ‘Barbarism of Slavery.’ It makes a lustrum in the Senate,
    and an era in the history of the Antislavery cause. But I am
    afraid the bloodthirsty barbarians are intent on assassinating
    you. Look out for them, and when they apologize to you with the
    pretension of drunkenness, understand them to mean they are
    drunk with rage. Do not believe them.”

Hon. Carl Schurz, the German orator, afterwards Senator of the United
States from Missouri, wrote from Milwaukee, Wisconsin:--

    “Allow me to congratulate you on the success of your great
    speech. It did me good to hear again the true ring of the moral
    Antislavery sentiment. If we want to demolish the Slave Power,
    we must educate the hearts of the people no less than their

Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, so long a champion of Freedom in Congress,
wrote from his home at Jefferson, Ohio:--

    “Permit me to congratulate you. My heart swells with gratitude
    to God that you are again permitted to stand in the Senate and
    maintain the honor of a nation and of mankind. I dared not say
    to you how much I feared the effect of that excitement which
    I knew must attend you while speaking in the Senate. But now
    you have passed the most trying point, I hope no evil effects
    will result to your health; but, however health or life may be
    affected, you have again spoken.”

Then again the veteran champion wrote:--

    “Of all the subjects before you, no one was so well adapted
    to the occasion as the ‘Barbarism of Slavery.’ And no man was
    so well adapted to the subject as yourself. I was profoundly
    grateful that you succeeded in pronouncing the speech,--and
    still more so, when I read it. It is worthy of yourself. Thus
    far my desires and prayers in regard to you have been fully
    met. May your services to your country and mankind continue so
    long as life continues!”

Hon. George W. Julian, another champion in Congress, wrote from his
home at Centreville, Indiana:--

    “I am exceedingly rejoiced that you have made your great
    speech, and said just what I understand you have said about
    the whole question of Slavery. But I grow sick, indignant, and
    nervous, on reading the cowardly notices of the speech by windy
    Republican journals.”

Hon. John Jay, afterwards Minister to Austria, wrote from New York:--

    “I wrote you hastily my congratulations and thanks on your last
    powerful effort, the effect of which I think will be stupendous
    and permanent, giving a vigor to the cause, and a definiteness
    to the opinion of the North, and an example of pluck more
    powerful in its persuasive influence than a thousand essays.”

Hon. Gerrit Smith, always champion of the slave, wrote from his home at
Peterborough, New York:--

    “I have this day read your speech as it appeared in the _New
    York Times_ of the 5th. God be praised for the proof it affords
    that you are yourself again,--ay, more than yourself! I say
    more,--for, though the ‘Crime against Kansas’ _was_ the speech
    of your life, this _is_ the speech of your life. This eclipses
    that. It is far more instructive, and will be far more useful,
    and it is not at all inferior to the other in vigor or rhetoric.

    “The slaveholders will all read this speech, and will all be
    profited by its clear, certain, and convincing truths. The
    candid among them will not dislike you for it; not a few of
    them will, at least in their hearts, thank and honor you for
    it. Would that they all might see that there is no wrong, no
    malice whatever, in your heart! Would that they all might see
    that you do not hate the slaveholder, but pity him as the
    victim of a false education!…

    “I have read the editorial of the _Times_ on your speech. It is
    more than unjust, it is wicked. Nor has the _Tribune_, so far
    as I have seen, any praises for you. But this is their way, or
    rather one of their ways, for promoting the interests of your
    Republican party.”

Mr. Smith added in a subsequent letter:--

    “I am scattering through my county the great speech of your
    life: I mean your speech on the Barbarism of Slavery. It is
    just to the taste of Republicans here,--for the Republicans
    here are nearly all Abolitionists.”

Rev. John Pierpont, lifelong Abolitionist, and poet, wrote from the
home of Gerrit Smith, whose guest he was:--

     “I finished the reading of your great speech in the car on
    my way hither, and, permit me to say, thank you for it with my
    whole soul,--notwithstanding the qualified commendations of
    it that may have found their way into some of the Republican

Hon. Samuel E. Sewall, another lifelong Abolitionist, and able lawyer,
wrote from Boston:--

    “I rejoice that you have had the courage to exhibit in a
    systematic manner the essential barbarism of the institution.
    Everywhere I hear your speech spoken of in the highest terms of
    admiration. Even the most desperate conservatives are compelled
    to acknowledge your eloquence and ability. Nor do they deny
    the justice of your attack on the system of Slavery. But they
    say the time you chose for making this assault was inopportune
    and ill-judged, that it could only retard the admission of
    Kansas, that it is likely to have a bad effect on slaveholders,
    etc., etc., etc. It seems to me, however, that no occasion for
    denouncing an institution which is the ruin and disgrace of our
    nation can be inopportune.”

William Lloyd Garrison, who gave his name to a school of Abolitionists,
and was himself a host in constancy and lofty principle, wrote from

    “Allow me warmly to congratulate you upon your complete
    restoration to health, and upon the successful delivery
    of your great speech in Congress, the potency of which is
    seen in the writhings and denunciations of the slaveholding
    oligarchy and their base Northern allies, quite as much as in
    the commendations and rejoicings of your numerous friends and

Wendell Phillips, the orator of Freedom, and early friend, wrote:--

    “I rejoice with a full heart, not only, not so much perhaps, in
    your glorious speech, as in what we so longed for and hoped,
    that you are again on your feet, again in harness,--it is so
    heart-stirring and cheering to hear your voice once more along
    the lines, and just now, too, when you and a very few others
    seem to embody all the real Antislavery there is in politics.
    Those were ‘four’ nobly used hours. ’Twas a blast of the old
    well-known bugle, and fell on welcoming ears, and thankful

Edmund Quincy, the accomplished writer and determined Abolitionist,
wrote from Dedham:--

     “The spirit moveth me to tell you how much I admired your
    speech of last Monday, the rather that I see that the dishes
    of skim-milk that you are trying to stir to an honorable
    action are turning sour to your word. The fact is, the leading
    Republicans not only don’t know enough to go in when it rains,
    but they quarrel with the man that offers them an umbrella.…
    I beg you to believe that the editors do not express the real
    feeling of the Republicans about your speech, as far as I have
    talked with them. The common people received it gladly; and its
    great power, eloquence, and exhaustive and unanswerable quality
    everybody acknowledges, even the enemy. You have done a good
    service to the country, and a great one to your party, if they
    have the sense to make use of it.”

Lewis Tappan, the ancient and leading Abolitionist, wrote from New

    “The speech is timely and valuable. Everywhere I have heard it
    highly commended. Still some Republicans dislike it, at this
    crisis. But the party needs having their attention directed to
    the moral aspects of the question. May the good Lord protect
    and bless you, and enable you to feel a consciousness of his
    presence and inspiration!”

J. Miller M’Kim, an active Abolitionist, who did much for the cause,
wrote from Philadelphia:--

    “The speech is in great demand here. Twenty-five cents a copy
    have been offered for the _Herald_ or _Bulletin_ containing
    it. I am disgusted with the notices of it which have appeared
    in some of the leading Republican prints. Maugre them all, I
    say, and all right-minded men will say, it was _judicious_,
    _well-timed_, and _german to the question before the country_.”

Rev. Parker Pillsbury, the Garrisonian Abolitionist, who thought the
Republican party too feeble, wrote from Cumington, Massachusetts:--

    “Amid the profusion of epistolary plaudits you will doubtless
    receive for your late powerful protest against Slavery, a voice
    humble as mine can be to you only of slight account. And yet
    I cannot forbear my congratulations at your so far recovered
    vigor and health, and the cause of Freedom and Humanity, that
    it still receives the powerful aid and advocacy of your voice
    and influence. I only regret that a speech of such power as
    your last must be laid on the altar of Republicanism, while to
    the leaders of the party your utterances are distasteful, if
    not absolutely terrific.”

Mrs. Maria Weston Chapman, the courageous Abolitionist, always faithful
and intelligent, wrote from Boston:--

    “Will you accept my hearty thanks for your speech? Exciting, as
    it must, a rage of hatred in some, proportionate to the love
    and gratitude it secures from others, I am sure your life is in
    danger; but with you, the greater the danger, the greater the
    courage,--and courage is preservative. No need to bid you be of
    good cheer: one in your place cannot help being so.”

Rev. George B. Cheever, whose soul was in the Antislavery cause, wrote
from New York:--

     “I bless you from the bottom of my heart, and praise God for
    his goodness in sparing you and returning you to your place in
    the Senate for that great work. It is a mighty blow, struck
    just at the right time, with a severity, pungency, and hearty
    earnestness that it does one’s very soul good to witness. God
    bless you, and keep you, my dear friend and brother!--for you
    must allow me to use this language, since you have endeared
    yourself to every lover of freedom and justice, of truth and
    righteousness, and to every friend of the slave, more than
    ever; and your noble course might justify even a personal
    stranger in addressing you thus. You are very dear to us all.”

Rev. William H. Furness, the Unitarian preacher, whose gentle nature
was always aroused by Slavery, wrote from Philadelphia:--

    “I have just read the telegram of your speech, and I must tell
    you that I have no words to express my admiration, gratitude,
    love. It is a grand justification of your non-resignation of
    your seat. The grace of God is on you,--his special favor, in
    that you have had the will and the opportunity for so faithful,
    so noble an utterance. It is a planetary space beyond and above
    the Republican party.”

In another letter he wrote further:

    “I have no words to describe the blessed work you have done.
    Never for one instant mind the ‘cold-shoulderism’ of the
    _Tribune_, or the heartlessness around you; but rest assured
    that you have sent the truth into the inmost being of the
    Southern men who heard you. They may affect contempt by their
    silence, or they may rail and foam like Chesnut, but they
    know that you have spoken the bitter and biting truth without
    bitterness and without fear, as became a Christian gentleman.
    I declare to you that I consider that you are paid for the
    inaction and suffering of the last four years, and so are we.
    You cannot, no one can, begin to estimate the substantial work
    that you have done, both in regard to the essential truth,
    which you have demonstrated, and more to the perfect spirit and
    manner of the work.”

Rev. O. B. Frothingham, the courageous clergyman and reformer, wrote
from New York:--

    “Expressing my satisfaction and delight with your recent
    speech in the Senate, I do not know which most to be thankful
    for,--the complete restoration of your physical and mental
    power indicated by it, or the unabated courage it manifests,
    or the undazzled moral vision it displays in every sentence.
    To read it is like inhaling a draught of air in midsummer from
    the cliffs of Nahant or the hills of New Hampshire. It gives
    a conscience to legislation, and sets us all back upon the
    everlasting truth and rectitude.”

Rev. Nathaniel Hall, an excellent clergyman, beloved by all who knew
him, wrote from Dorchester, Massachusetts:--

     “Nobly you have dared to speak the truth, where to speak the
    truth, as you well knew, was to imperil life: I do not know
    in our day a nobler instance of moral bravery. And the speech
    itself, so clear, so strong, so impregnable in its arguments,
    so unanswerable in its facts, so unexceptionable in its tone,
    so free from personalities (save where for truth’s sake and the
    cause they must have been), so comprehensive, so conclusive,
    so great, so good, so Christian, so worthy,--yes, of a
    Christian statesman,--so lifted in tone and character above the
    utterances of that place,--my soul thanks you for it,--thanks
    God with added fervor, that he spared your life, and brought
    you back to your honored seat, and enabled you to such
    fidelity. It richly pays for these years of waiting.… Whatever
    a partisan press may say, whatever political opponents and
    political _friends_ may say, whatever of coolness and mistrust
    may be expressed, where you had a right to expect sympathy and
    support, be assured that deep in the hearts of multitudes of
    all parties you are honored, and will be by increasing numbers.
    I know it from what I know of human nature in myself. I know
    that my feelings _must_ be shared. I know that the secret
    reverence not only of the true-hearted, but of all who have
    not sunk below the mark where appreciation of true-heartedness
    is impossible, must be given to him who has stood forth in the
    intrepidity of a Christian manliness, to declare, in the face
    and beneath the power of its violators, strong in power and
    reckless in deed, the eternal law of rectitude and mercy.”

Rev. Convers Francis, the learned professor and stanch Abolitionist,
wrote from Harvard University:--

    “Thanks, many and most hearty thanks, for that great, very
    great speech, and for your kindness in sending it to me. What a
    portraiture of the Barbarism of Slavery! And what a master hand
    to draw it! Such a picture none but an artist of the highest
    order could paint. I must tell you, Mr. Sumner, that nothing on
    this great and fearful subject has ever so filled and satisfied
    my whole soul. ‘Too severe,’ say some; ‘not good policy to
    irritate the South.’ I tell them, Not an iota too strong.
    I would not have a single sentence or word less pungent or
    forcible, if I could; because every sentence and every word are
    loaded deep with truth, such truth as I rejoice that somebody
    is found in our Congress to give utterance to.… You have done
    great and excellent things before, Mr. Sumner, but this, I must
    say, seems to me the greatest and most excellent of all. The
    abundance of facts from the most unquestionable sources, the
    admirable arrangement, the keen and searching application of
    the argument, the masterly logic, and the manly eloquence of
    the speech will make it a document of truth and righteousness
    for all coming time.”[141]

Rev. John T. Sargent, Abolitionist and faithful reformer, wrote from

     “Every column of the paper, as I took it up, seemed to gleam
    on me like the golden lamps of the Apocalypse. How irresistible
    are your arguments! How pungent, and yet how Christian, your
    rebuke of this sore iniquity of our time! How sharp and clear
    goes the sword of your spirit through all the sophistry of your
    opponents! My soul has been in a glow all through the reading,
    and over the pathos of parts I have cried as if my heart would

Rev. Frederick Hinckley, Free-Soiler from the start, wrote from

    “I write this hasty note to tell you how much I thank you (and
    I think the heart of New England thanks you, too) for your
    recent speech on the ‘Barbarism of Slavery,’ in its moral tone
    and outspoken truthfulness so far above all other Republican
    speeches in Congress or Convention, carrying us back to the
    remembrance of the old Free-Soil times, when the party had more
    moral than political power, and, not expecting success, could
    speak right out.”

Rev. Beriah Green, one of the most devoted among Abolitionists, wrote
from Whitesborough, New York:--

    “Such massive, enduring truth! uttered so clearly, definitely,
    fully! The argument so perspicuous, compact, conclusive! The
    illustrations so apt, so fresh, so sparkling! The conclusions
    so weighty, grand, impressive! Every paragraph pervaded,
    radiant, with scholarly beauty. When did literature, our own or
    other, ever more willingly, more generously, come, all vigorous
    and graceful, to the aid of any of her sons?

    “I bless God, and thank you, for the deep-toned, comprehensive
    humanity which pervades, which consecrates and hallows your
    paragraphs. I found myself, as I moved on step by step through
    your trains of thought, quickened and encouraged, inspired and
    refreshed. The impression which the speech as a whole made upon
    my innermost spirit it is my privilege to cherish and retain.
    I shall, I trust, be more fraternal in my regards for all my
    fellows forever, for your brave, manly utterances. Blessings on
    your head, heart, and estate!”

Rev. Thomas C. Upham, author, professor, and devoted friend of Peace,
wrote from Bowdoin College, in Maine:--

    “Your history in Congress has been a providential one. I do
    most fully believe that the hand of God has been in it from the
    beginning. I thought that the blow which struck you down in the
    Senate was destined, through the overrulings of Providence, to
    break the chains of the slave, and I think so still. Allow me
    to congratulate you, in connection with multitudes of others,
    on your return to the country and the Senate, and on the
    utterance of great and true and kind words which will have an
    influence on the hearts of thinking men throughout the nation.”

Rev. Henry M. Dexter, religious editor, and zealous historian of the
Plymouth Pilgrims, wrote:--

    “I cannot help feeling, my dear Sir, that you have made the
    most effective argument which the country has yet listened to
    on the general subject of the evils of that horrible system
    under which our nation is reeling like a giant poisoned by
    an adder. God bless you for your faithfulness, so calm, so
    dignified, so just, so overwhelming in its logical results,
    and grant that in ‘the good time coming’ your voice may often
    be lifted in that Senate House to more appreciative and
    coöperative auditors!”

Rev. Joseph P. Thompson, the eminent divine and eloquent preacher,
wrote from New York:--

    “My first duty as a Christian is to thank God that he has
    restored you to the Senate with physical and mental vigor equal
    to the great debate in which you have just borne so noble a
    part. My first duty as a patriot is to thank you for a speech
    which meets fully, squarely, ably, eloquently, conclusively,
    the one issue upon which our national welfare now depends. My
    first duty as a friend is to express the high satisfaction
    with which I have read the speech throughout, every line and
    letter of it, and the peculiar pleasure with which I have
    observed your self-control and avoidance of personalities
    under provocation, and your fearless and searching exposure of
    the barbarism and criminality of Slavery under the very eye
    of its bullying champions and in the very place where you had
    suffered its deadly malice. I am ashamed of the timid comments,
    almost deprecating indeed, of the _Tribune_ and _Post_ upon
    the only speech in the Senate which has reached the core of
    the question. If the Republican party is to seek success by
    blinking the real issue of the right or wrong of Slavery, I am
    prepared to witness its defeat without regret.”

Rev. Thomas T. Stone, the persuasive preacher, and student of Plato,
wrote from Bolton, Massachusetts:--

    “It is scarcely necessary that I should tell you how much I
    thank you for your public deeds. I was one who wished your
    seat in the Senate empty, till either you filled it, or the
    inevitable doom removed you from the possibility of doing it.
    May the words which have ennobled it go forth as thunders,
    arousing souls now deadened by the barbarisms of our country
    and our age!

        “‘Quo bruta tellus et vaga flumina,
        Quo Styx et invisi horrida Tænari
        Sedes, Atlanteusque finis

Rev. Caleb Stetson, the Liberal clergyman, and early foe of Slavery,
wrote from Lexington, Massachusetts:--

    “It is the best and completest word that has yet gone forth
    on the subject. If another as good can be made, it must be by

Rev. Rufus P. Stebbins, the Unitarian divine, wrote from Woburn,

    “I have read your last speech in the Senate on ‘The Barbarism
    of Slavery’ with admiration and gratitude. As a citizen,
    a constituent, I thank you from my heart’s core. It was a
    glorious triumph, such as no Roman consul or general ever won,
    to stand in your place, after such a long absence, for such a
    cause, and through four long hours proclaim such holy truth in
    such distinct language as was never before heard on that floor.
    It is glory enough for one life.”

Rev. William C. Whitcomb, an earnest clergyman and Abolitionist, wrote
from Lynnfield Centre, Massachusetts:--

    “A thousand thanks to you for your speech in Congress this
    week. ’Tis the most thorough, satisfactory, and powerful speech
    I have ever read on the subject of Slavery, or any subject.
    ’Twill secure millions of readers, and I trust open the eyes of
    the nation to the ‘Barbarism of Slavery.’ Ever think of me, and
    the people to whom I preach, as among your warmest admirers,
    lovers, and sympathizers.”

Rev. David Root, retired clergyman and Abolitionist, wrote from
Cheshire, Connecticut:--

    “Though approaching seventy, such is my heartfelt interest
    in the cause you advocate, that I could cry with joy over
    the thought that there is at least one member in Congress
    who is able, and who has the moral courage, to do justice to
    that great enormity, that atrocious wickedness, that deep
    and damning crime of Slaveholding. You seem to have embraced
    in your speech the whole subject, in all its important
    departments, and with a plainness, directness, pith, force,
    and pungency worthy of the highest commendation. It should
    be a permanent and standard document on that subject, and be
    perpetuated through all coming time, that other generations may
    look at it and learn to hate Slavery and love Liberty.… Mind
    not what some timid croakers may say about being ill-timed or
    calculated to injure our Republican campaign. It is not so. You
    have given us just the document we needed, going down to the

Rev. Edgar Buckingham, an early schoolmate of Mr. Sumner, wrote from
his parish at Troy, New York:--

    “I congratulate you upon the fidelity and the courage which you
    have manifested; and though I do not rejoice in all severity, I
    rejoice always in the severity of truth, and I trust that the
    leaders of the Republican party will unanimously decide, that,
    not their expediencies, but God’s opportunity, is always the
    test of the time in which truth is to be spoken.”

Rev. J. S. Berry wrote from New York:--

     “Allow me, though a stranger, to thank you in the name of
    Humanity for the noble speech on the ‘Barbarism of Slavery’
    just delivered by you in the Senate, so just, so truthful,
    and so _timely_. I bless God that he has so far restored you,
    and brought you to ‘this hour.’ Thousands of hearts thrill
    with intense hatred of Slavery, as they read your startling
    disclosures of its workings; and the prayers of these same
    thousands, nay, millions, ascend to the Father of us all, that
    you may be long spared to show up the wickedness and inhumanity
    of the institution. I rejoice that not alone on political
    grounds do you attack the system.”

Rev. Daniel Foster, pastor, Abolitionist, and pioneer in Kansas, wrote
from the town of Sumner there:--

    “I rise from the perusal of your speech on the ‘Barbarism of
    Slavery’ with such feelings of affection and reverence for you
    that I must give my feelings and emotion vent by a word of
    thanks to you. I was grievously disappointed in ----’s speech.
    Yours fully satisfies me, it is so thorough, exhaustive,
    forcible, and withal so lofty and noble and patriotic in its

T. Dwight Thacher, journalist, and Kansas pioneer, wrote from

    “Allow me, though an entire stranger, to express my thanks for
    the delivery of your recent great speech in the Senate of the
    United States. You may rest assured that the true, radical,
    Free State men of Kansas have no kind of sympathy with those
    who are so solicitous lest that speech should have injured our
    prospects for admission. We have learned the Slave Power well
    enough to know that its schemes of injustice toward us are not
    the offspring of sudden and transient excitements, but are the
    deep and well-settled purpose of years. And for one I would
    rather that we should remain out of the Union forever than that
    a single utterance in favor of Freedom should be suppressed in
    the Senate.”

H. R. Helper, of North Carolina, afterwards Consul at Buenos Ayres,
author of the work entitled “The Impending Crisis,” wrote from New

    “I am in ecstasies with your speech of yesterday. Every word is
    put just where it was most needed. One such speech at intervals
    of even four years is worth incomparably more than a _Globe_ of
    ordinary debate every day.”

Theodore Tilton, the eloquent lecturer and journalist, sent this good
word from New York:--

     “I hasten to offer you my congratulations, not merely as a
    personal friend, but as a citizen, for your vindication of
    Liberty. Since the Senate began its sessions, no speech has
    been made on the floor which has satisfied me except this. I
    am glad that you have been neither intimidated to silence nor
    hallucinated by ‘expediency’ into speaking only half the truth.”

Francis H. Upton, lawyer, and author of the work on “The Law of Nations
affecting Commerce during War,” wrote from New York:--

    “Thank God that you are yet stanch and strong, and in all
    things fit for the fight that is before us. I have no sympathy
    with those who prate of the _impolicy_ of your present
    utterance, and also suggest the possibility of its influencing
    Senators to obstruct or postpone the admission of Kansas. It
    seems to me that he is but an ill observer of the signs of the
    times, and has not his finger upon the nation’s pulse, who
    fails to perceive that the day of soft words and bated breath
    and candy-tongued conciliation is gone, and gone forever.
    Slavery has seen its last triumph, and henceforth should
    receive no quarter.”

Hon. William Curtis Noyes, the eminent lawyer and exemplary citizen,
wrote from New York:--

    “I thank you cordially for your speech on the ‘Barbarism of
    Slavery’; and I thank you still more for having delivered it
    in the Senate, where you had a right to speak, and were bound
    to speak upon that subject first of all upon your restoration
    to health. Allow me also to congratulate you on that event, so
    auspicious to yourself and your country.”

Hon. John Bigelow, the able journalist, and afterwards Minister to
France, wrote from New York:--

    “I have not found an opportunity until to-day of reading your
    speech about the Barbarism of Slavery. It is the best arranged
    and by far the most complete exposure of the horrid rite of
    Slavery to be found within the same compass in any language, so
    far as known.”

Hon. Hiram Barney, for many years an Abolitionist, Collector of the
Port of New York under President Lincoln, wrote from New York:--

    “I was mortified to see in some of our Republican papers unkind
    criticisms on the expediency of such a speech at this time. In
    my judgment it is the best speech you have ever made. It was
    made at the best moment practicable to make it, and it would
    have been a wrong to the country and the cause to have withheld
    it. Moreover, it was made by the right man in the right place.
    It is the most valuable Antislavery document that I have ever

Thomas Hicks, the artist, wrote from New York:--

    “I have just read your speech. It is solid with fact,
    eloquence, and courage,--right in matter, place, and time.”

Alfred Willard, a strong Republican, wrote from New York:--

    “The South Carolina Senator spoke truly, in saying your speech
    was ‘characteristic.’ It was so indeed, not only of yourself,
    but glorious old Massachusetts, whose happy fortune it is
    that her Senators dare speak boldly for Truth and Freedom.
    Sir, you spoke yesterday not for yourself alone; thousands,
    ay, millions, of American citizens will sympathize to their
    hearts’ core with every word so fearlessly spoken. As your
    speech was ‘characteristic,’ so also was the brief South
    Carolina response.… Your speech will serve admirably, not only
    as a powerful and able argument for Freedom, but as a campaign
    document in the coming contest.”

Professor Charles D. Cleveland, the accomplished teacher and early
Abolitionist, wrote from Philadelphia:--

    “Many, many heartfelt thanks to you, my dear friend, for your
    noble speech. It takes the only true ground,--the essential
    barbarism and sinfulness of Slavery. The few lines in reply to
    the infamous remarks of Chesnut were admirable, just the thing,
    and I hope his remarks and yours will go with the speech in its
    pamphlet form. What would I have given to hear it!”

E. M. Davis, merchant and constant Abolitionist, wrote from

    “So many people will thank you for your timely, noble, and
    courageous speech that my thanks will hardly reach your ear;
    yet I must thank you for my own sake. Our family here spent the
    last three evenings in reading it out aloud, my son Henry being
    the reader, and you ought to know how sure we are now that you
    _are_ well, and how thankful we are for it, and how much good
    this greatest of all your efforts will do.”

Daniel L. Eaton, journalist, wrote from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania:--

    “You must permit me, a perfect stranger, to express my cordial
    thanks to you for the noble, scathing speech on the ‘sum of
    villanies’ with which you enriched our literature on Monday
    last in the Senate. This contest is no holiday battle, but the
    irrepressible conflict between Right and Wrong. I thank my
    God that he has spared your life to tell the world that the
    bludgeon of Barbarism did not silence your tongue nor subdue
    your spirit. ‘Let the Heathen rage.’ Behind you stand a million
    of your fellow-citizens in whose hearts your speech finds an
    echo. After reading it through with scrupulous care, I could
    not resist the impulse to tell you what I have.”

Thomas MacConnell, lawyer, wrote from Pittsburg:--

    “I hold Slavery to be a curse and a disgrace to our country and
    to mankind; and I rejoice to know that we have one man who is
    not afraid to denounce it as such, in plain Anglo-Saxon, on the
    floor of the Senate, and in the face of the Slaveholders.”

C. B. M. Smith, another lawyer, wrote from Pittsburg:--

    “Will you permit a private in the Republican ranks to thank you
    for your great speech on the Barbarism of Slavery? I do not
    believe that it was ill-timed, or too severe. It was just what
    the occasion and the times called for.”

Rev. N. Warren Everett wrote from Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania:--

    “I have just been reading your masterly and unanswerable speech
    of the fourth instant with thrills of delight. Massachusetts
    can afford to let one of her Senatorial chairs remain vacant,
    if we can have such a speech as that once in four years. I feel
    like thanking God from the bottom of my heart that you have
    been restored to health, and have the nerve, or, as you once
    expressed yourself, the ‘backbone,’ to stand as one of God’s
    noblemen and give utterance to truth.”

Edward Corner wrote from Columbus, Ohio:--

    “It is worth its bulk in gold. I honor the heart and give large
    credit to the head that combined to send forth such a document.
    If it could but reach the eyes and ears of the South generally,
    it would tell upon even that dark and ignorant people; but it
    cannot; a few may see it. There is not brass enough, nor yet
    iron, nor steel, in the Southern Senators to ward off such a
    blow. They will never forget it. There are some weak-kneed
    Republicans who wish the speech had been less severe. I believe
    in the entire speech. As you undertook to give the truth, why
    not tell the whole truth? It is time they were exposed; it is
    time to hold up Slavery’s mirror, not only to the South, but
    before the world.”

Alanson St. Clair wrote from Muskegon, Michigan:--

    “And if my memory is not greatly at fault, you are the first
    Member of Congress who has entered the penetralia of the
    Pandemonium, and fully exposed the diabolical character of the
    system, and the true character of its supporters. Such efforts
    are telling.

    “The efforts of many noble patriots have been manly,
    self-denying, and praiseworthy, and should not be disparaged;
    and yet I know of no one who has taken the high moral ground
    on this subject which you have from the first. This, during
    your whole Senatorial career, has made you the hope of the
    reliable Antislavery men in America; and your last effort will
    increase not a little their reliance on and their affection for
    you. It is a godlike effort, a stunning blow, a blow in the
    right direction and upon the right spot, which has inflicted a
    fearful, if not a deadly wound.… I pray God that you may live,
    and retain your place, to pronounce the funeral oration of
    Slavery, and to receive the exultant blessings of the millions
    to be set free.”

Nathan C. Meeker wrote from Dongola, Illinois:--

    “Notwithstanding what Mr. Greeley said as to its not being
    proper at this time, I think it timely, and that Mr. Greeley
    is not aware of the great prevalence of Antislavery sentiment,
    although he as much as any one has contributed to create it. I
    thank you for the bold words, and also for the pleasure I have
    received in reading a correct performance, since there are so
    many which are hard for me to read. I think your speech will
    long be referred to, as embracing all that has been and well
    can be said on this question, and forever cause men to wonder
    why it was listened to in silence.”

Horace White, the able journalist, afterwards editor of the _Chicago
Tribune_, wrote from Chicago:--

    “I take pleasure in saying that in my opinion your recent
    effort ranks with Demosthenes on the Crown, and with Burke on
    Warren Hastings.”

John H. Rolfe wrote from Chicago:--

    “Nobly and well have you met the expectations of those who,
    like myself, have waited through four years of silence for your
    next utterance on the great sin of our times. Highly as I prize
    the speech, I think your brief and pointed reply to Senator
    Chesnut fully doubles its value, for all practical purposes.”

W. H. Herndon, the able lawyer, associated in business with Abraham
Lincoln, wrote from Springfield, Illinois:--

    “I have received and read your most philosophic, logical, and
    classical speech, made in the Senate of the United States. The
    speech is a withering one to Slavery. It is worthy of you, and
    you of it. I thank you very, _very_ much for it.… We feel well
    out here; are confident of success. We hope the East will do as
    well as the West.”

S. M. Booth, journalist, who, spurning the Fugitive Slave Act, helped
fugitive slaves, and was sentenced to imprisonment, wrote from “U. S.
Custom-House Prison” at Milwaukee:--

    “I bless God for the utterance. It is timely and needed at this
    juncture. I have no sympathy with that craven policy which
    would suppress such a speech, lest it might prejudice the
    rights of Kansas or endanger the election of Lincoln.… Your
    portrait of Slavery is true; its character and effects are all
    you describe it; and the nation needs to have its own sin and
    shame mirrored as you have done it. I see, too, the assassins
    have since sought your life.… You have struck a mighty blow
    at the very _existence_ of Slavery. You have laid the axe at
    the root of the tree. We never can reach the evil as long as
    we fight on the defensive. But if the doctrines of your speech
    are true, it is no longer a question _where_ or _how far_
    Slavery shall go, but whether it shall be allowed to go or to
    be _anywhere_.… In God’s name let it perish, and the sooner the

Hon. A. A. Sargent, delegate from California to the Chicago Convention
which nominated Abraham Lincoln as President, and afterwards
Representative in Congress from California, wrote from Newburyport,

    “You go back of mere political distinctions to lay bare the sin
    and barbarousness of a hoary iniquity, falsely assuming to be a
    form of Civilization. You have taken up a train of thought, and
    pursued it well, which I have long wished to have developed,
    and filled a void in the system of declared truths upon which
    Republicanism is based, too long neglected. Your speech stirred
    my heart with feelings of pride for the representative of my
    native State.”

Hon. Neal Dow, eminent in the cause of Temperance, and afterwards a
general in the War, wrote from Portland, Maine:--

    “You will be glad to know that among all thoughtful men of our
    side your speech is commended without a qualification. There
    is no sympathy with the cowardice of the mere politicians, in
    the fear that it may excite the bad passions of the South, and
    provoke them to do some dreadful thing. I think the general
    wish is that _the whole truth_ should be boldly spoken, and
    that the crisis, whatever it may be, may come soon. The
    indications now are that the South will have an opportunity to
    make up its mind what it will do about it.”

John Neal, the veteran of American literature, wrote from the same

    “I have just finished the reading of your great and conclusive
    speech upon the ‘Barbarism of Slavery,’ and I have only to say
    that I go with you heart and soul, and that I concur entirely
    in the opinion expressed by the venerable Josiah Quincy of your

    “Your manliness, your Christian forbearance, your plainness
    of speech, and your unexaggerating truthfulness are all of a
    piece, and I desire to thank you in the name of this whole
    generation for what you have done and suffered and said.”

Hon. James S. Pike, also of Maine, for many years a journalist,
afterwards Minister of the United States at The Hague, wrote from Cape

    “I think you have got hold of a heavy sledge, and hit between
    the horns at every lick. The style of treatment will do as much
    towards bringing the beast upon his knees as any other, and the
    duty is peculiarly appropriate at your hands. I am very sure
    you are right, and feel prompted to say so.”

Hon. John Appleton, the learned jurist, and Chief Justice of Maine,
wrote from Bangor:--

    “I owe you thanks for your able and unanswerable speech, which
    came in my absence. More truth was never condensed in one
    speech. But woe to those by whom it so becomes the truth!”

Hon. Moses Emery, an eminent citizen, wrote from Saco, Maine:--

    “Permit me to say I have read it through twice, and parts of
    it many times, and that I consider it the most glorious and
    most needed speech ever made in the United States. I rejoice
    that you have been spared to make it. But be on your guard. The
    Demon of Slavery will be revenged, if possible.”

Thomas H. Talbot, a lawyer, who argued well against the Fugitive Slave
Act, wrote from Portland, Maine:--

    “I rejoice at your determination to tell the whole truth,
    so much needed now, when many acting with you either do not
    perceive it or are willing to withhold it, for reasons of
    false, fleeting policy. So far you seem not seriously to have
    been molested; and yet that you have really achieved freedom of
    speech in Washington upon that subject, and to the extent of
    your speech, seems almost too much to hope for at present.”

Hon. Woodbury Davis, an earnest Republican, afterwards Justice of the
Supreme Court of Maine, wrote from Portland:--

    “Your friends here were alarmed on Sunday evening by a rumor
    that you had been attacked again by Southern ruffians. I felt
    thankful yesterday morning, when the despatches were published,
    to learn that it was no worse. I do not believe there is
    another man in the world for whose personal safety so much real
    prayer ascends to Heaven.…

    “Allow me, as one of the people, though not one of your
    immediate constituents, to thank you for your great speech. In
    these times, when there is a tendency to _let down_ the great
    principles of Universal Liberty in order to gain a temporary
    triumph, it was so refreshing to have them so nobly and
    faithfully advocated in the great forum of the nation, that
    I felt truly grateful to you, and to Him who has preserved
    you for such a service. If Slavery is to be restricted, it
    is because of its own inherent wrong, _wheresoever_ and upon
    _whomsoever_ it rests. And if wrong, we are bound not only to
    resist its extension, but by whatever powers we have to seek
    its extinction.”

Professor Benjamin Silliman, distinguished in science and venerable in
years, wrote from Yale College:--

    “It is a terrible indictment, and supported by such an array
    of facts, that, having now gone to the jury, there can be no
    doubt as to the verdict, and a verdict without appeal, except
    to violence,--against which, as regards yourself personally,
    I trust you will exercise a ceaseless, although not a timid

Cyrus R. Sanborn wrote from Rochester, New Hampshire:--

    “After the many anxious inquiries during your long absence in a
    foreign land, your return to the Senate has been a topic of not
    much less interest. Upon the question often being asked, ‘Shall
    we again hear from Mr. Sumner on the question of Slavery?’
    as often it would be answered either in the affirmative or
    negative. Not too late, just at _the_ time, you have answered
    the whole question in your recent elaborate speech. Happy and
    delighted are freemen that the bludgeon and threats have not
    daunted your courage and freedom of speech upon the great
    question of Slavery.”

John A. Andrew, afterwards the great Governor of Massachusetts, wrote
from Boston:--

    “Among the numerous congratulatory letters which your recent
    brilliant Senatorial effort is doubtless bringing to you, I
    doubt not you will derive some pleasure in being remembered at
    No. 4, Court Street.

    “‘The Philosopher’[143] and myself, as you know, always read
    you promptly and carefully. In this recent triumphant success
    I recognize the ‘wonted fires’ which have now these dozen
    years illumined our heavens. And I rejoice at the evidence of
    confirmed physical vigor which is assured by your encounter of
    the fatigues and excitement of such an intellectual exercise.
    May you live a thousand years!”

Hon. Francis W. Bird, one of the ablest and honestest politicians
in Massachusetts, for many years an Abolitionist, and of peculiar
influence, wrote from East Walpole:--

    “You do not need that I should thank you for your speech. I
    confess I considered the risk to your health and life so great
    that I hoped you would keep silent. But I thank God you have
    gone through it, for now we may rest assured your health is
    established. But how I dreaded the test! I rejoice especially
    that you have placed yourself where the next step logically is,
    Slavery has no rights, no recognition (except as an existing
    fact), and no political existence under the Constitution. Then
    comes the end. And you are to be the leader in that final

George L. Stearns, so faithful as Abolitionist, who did so much for the
organization of colored troops during the War, wrote from Boston:--

    “I cannot wait until I have finished your speech to tell you
    how perfectly it meets my most sanguine expectations. It is
    the morning star that heralds the coming day when the vile
    institution shall only live in the history of the Past. Your
    word will become the battle-cry in the coming conflict, showing
    that it is indeed irrepressible, and will not be put down, even
    when the leaders in the fight fall back in terror.”

Hon. James M. Stone, afterwards Speaker of the Massachusetts House of
Representatives, and a reformer, wrote from Charlestown:--

    “I am delighted with your admirable speech on the ‘Barbarism
    of Slavery,’ and I desire to unite with the millions of the
    freemen of the country in tendering you thanks for this effort
    to arouse the attention of the people to the terrible evils of
    Slavery. The power of your facts and logic is unanswerable and
    irresistible. The speech comes just at the right time, too;
    for there was great danger of too much forgetfulness of the
    great fundamental principle of Human Freedom, without which the
    Republican party would never have obtained its present power
    and prospects for the future, and without which it will surely
    and speedily go to destruction.”

William I. Bowditch, the well-known conveyancer, and among the
strictest of Abolitionists, wrote from Boston:--

    “As to the speech, the more I think of it, the heavier I think
    the blow was which you have given. And I am glad to find you
    yourself again.”

Nathaniel I. Bowditch, author, as well as eminent conveyancer,
remarkable also for goodness and moral principle, wrote from

    “I had not the least conception of the immense differences
    effected by Freedom and Slavery. Your statistics were truly
    astonishing. Some of my visitors, friendly in the main to
    the Republican cause, have expressed their doubts as to the
    expediency of your speech,--considering that its effect must
    be to exasperate the slaveholders; but when I find that Bell,
    nominated by the Union party, actually eulogized Slavery as
    the corner-stone of the material prosperity of the country,
    I think that it is well that the true picture should be held
    up to their inspection, however repulsive it may be. As in
    some homely picture of the Dutch school, such as that of _The
    Dentist pulling out a Tooth_, the subject may be distasteful,
    but all must acknowledge the skill of the artist, so I think
    no one can deny the thoroughness of your researches or the
    ability with which you have presented their results. Even your
    opponents cannot fail to acknowledge the manly and fearless
    tone of your remarks.”

George Livermore, a Boston merchant, who loved books, and was always
true to his convictions, wrote from Boston:--

     “I have waited almost a fortnight since the first reading
    of your speech, and have read it again and again, before
    saying anything about it. I have heard the various remarks of
    many persons whom I have met, and have read the contradictory
    criticisms of politicians, philanthropists, and religionists.
    But the first thoughts and the first impressions on reading the
    speech have been strengthened by reflection. I could then find
    no words of my own so suitable to express my views respecting
    it as the words of the wise man of Israel, and I said more
    than once to my nearest friends, ‘Here are _apples of gold in
    pictures of silver_.’ For if ever words were _fitly spoken_, it
    was when you so bravely, truly, and eloquently lifted up your
    voice in the Senate, and shamed the ‘Barbarism of Slavery.’ I
    thank you for it.”

Charles W. Slack, able editor, and ever earnest against Slavery, wrote
from Boston:--

    “If the truth must be suppressed, if every honest aspiration
    must be crushed, if everything manly and heroic is to be tamed
    down, to win a Presidential contest, better be without the
    success, I say, than purchase it at such a sacrifice. Again I
    thank you, over and over again.

    “Let me say that I know the newspapers don’t represent the
    current tone of the Republicans in this community, even where
    bold and brave utterances heretofore have not been popular.”

William S. Robinson, for many years Clerk of the Massachusetts House
of Representatives, and able journalist, who uttered what he thought,
wrote from Boston:--

    “I suppose that you are not disappointed that timid
    Republicanism in some quarters objects to the time and occasion
    of your speech. Of course its real objection is to the speech
    itself. But I assure you that the Antislavery men gladly
    welcome it. I regard it as your best speech, and as calculated
    to do immense good.”

J. P. Blanchard, clear-headed, and vowed against Slavery and War, wrote
from Boston:--

    “I need hardly say that I share in the high admiration and
    satisfaction with which it is received by all intelligent
    persons here, except those few who have sold their souls for
    office, or who have not yet awoke from the political sleep of
    half a century. I esteem it especially, not so much for its
    great research and ability, which were expected, as because it
    discusses the true fundamental question of the wrong as well as
    evil of holding property in man, which, though the real issue
    between the parties, has hitherto been too much slurred over on
    both sides.”

Seth Webb, Jr., appointed by President Lincoln Consul at
Port-au-Prince, Hayti, a Republican of the best quality, and always
Antislavery, wrote from his home in Scituate, Massachusetts:--

    “I have read it with care. It is magnificent, and I am glad on
    every account that it was made. It was all needed,--needed now
    and from you. It not only expresses my own opinions fully, but
    in it you have written on the walls of Eternity the adamantine
    convictions of Massachusetts.

    “That there are some timeserving and tremulous men and presses
    in our ranks who treat the speech coolly only shows that
    Republican leaders do not understand Republicanism, and that it
    is a mighty work to regenerate a nation.

    “The strength of the Republican party lies in the fearless
    utterance of its opinions; its weakness, in the suppression of
    them. A timid policy will be our ruin; a bold one wins friends
    and awes enemies.”

Hon. Amasa Walker, afterwards Representative in Congress, writer on
Currency and Political Economy, and enlisted against Slavery and War,
wrote from his home at North Brookfield, Massachusetts:--

    “I do think it excellent and well-timed, just what you ought to
    say, and no more,--but what no other man in the Senate would
    have dared to say.”

Hon. Willard Phillips, for many years Judge of Probate in Boston,
and author of the excellent work on the Law of Insurance, wrote from

    “I was not a little chagrined and mortified by ----’s notice
    of it, as I expressed to him in a note the moment I had read
    his leader respecting it. Brutality, no less than vice, is a
    monster, and whoever paints it fair, or wishes others to, by
    the false character he gives betrays his own true character.
    I have great faith in plain-spoken truth; and the railing and
    gnashing of teeth in anger by the Southern preservers of the
    Union, and what John Randolph denominated as the white slaves
    of the North, who second them, is a plain confession of the
    truth as you have spoken it.”

Hon. Albert G. Browne, prominent in the politics of Massachusetts, and
ever foe to Slavery, wrote from Boston:--

    “No poor words of mine can convey to you my admiration and
    hearty approbation of your speech. I greatly err in judgment,
    if it is not by universal consent considered your best effort
    in this direction. To my mind it is exhaustive of the subject.”

Daniel Henshaw, a venerable citizen, once a journalist and always a
reformer, wrote from Boston:--

    “I have read your speech on the Barbarism of Slavery
    attentively, having devoted seven hours thereto yesterday, and
    I cannot refrain from offering you my humble thanks, although
    words cannot express my feelings on the subject. You know
    something of my views on Slavery. For thirty years I have
    considered it the leading and most important subject before the

Charles M. Ellis, the lawyer, and always against Slavery, wrote from

    “Especially allow me to thank you for the discourse of the
    Barbarism of Slavery; for it shows you _well_ again, and
    leading on the good fight. It is needed now, when men at the
    South seek to justify the thing,--needed, I think, more than
    anything,--and leaves little to be done in that direction.”

Warren Sawyer, a merchant and active Republican, wrote from Boston:--

    “I have looked over the newspaper reports, and have thanked God
    your life was spared to prepare such a masterly production, so
    full of facts, so happily arranged, so glowingly knit together,
    and that you were able in strength to stand up in the Senate
    and deliver it.

    “To my mind, the speech will do much good; it was needed. The
    great mass of the people have become, or are becoming, what is
    now called conservative on the Slavery Question; they forget,
    amid their business and their many calls, the horrors, the
    crime, and the Barbarism of Slavery.”

C. J. Higginson, a merchant, wrote from Boston:--

    “Notwithstanding all that has been said and written on
    Slavery, I think you have first perceived and expressed this
    ‘unconsciousness’ of slaveholders; and the additional fact of
    this unconsciousness being nearly as general at the North as
    South explains the necessity of proving at this late day, even
    to us of the North, the Barbarism of Slavery. We thought their
    wealth and leisure led them to be generous; nobody has ever so
    plainly shown their accepted necessity of meanness. We have
    been unconscious of their influence in lowering our standing.…
    I only wish to express my satisfaction at finding Massachusetts
    again represented by a man with a constitution, so valuable in
    the latitude of Washington, capable of standing the burning
    heat of the South and the chilliness of the North.”

Hon. J. Q. A. Griffin, the lawyer and earnest Republican, too early
removed from life, wrote from Charlestown:--

    “I must thank you for the great gratification I felt in the
    perusal of your great speech. Twice I have read the whole of
    it, and many times more various parts. It is small praise to
    say, what is here on all lips, that it evinces marvellous
    scholarship, and embraces a sternly logical statement of the
    whole question between Freedom and Slavery. Its amazing courage
    and justice will commend it yet more to the thinking men of
    this and all other countries.”

George Baty Blake, the banker, wrote from Boston:--

    “Its unanswerable arguments will stand forever as monuments
    of manly effort in behalf of an oppressed race,--defending
    principles, too, which ought to be approved by every Christian

A practical Republican, very active in the party, wrote from Boston:--

     “I have read your splendid speech, and find that I cannot
    express in words or with pen my admiration of it. It is one of
    _your_ efforts, the results of which will undoubtedly place our
    great party one more pace onward, as in every case of the past
    you have done. In my opinion it was needed at this time; and
    as I have been something of a prophet in days past, perhaps my
    sanction may give you courage.”

A considerable number of constituents at Boston, among whom were James
Redpath, Richard J. Hinton, and Loring Moody, friends of Kansas, and
Abolitionists, forwarded the following address, signed by them:--

    “Jointly and severally, as men and as citizens, we say, God
    bless you, Charles Sumner! Thank God for one man whom no
    Barbarism frightens, whom no pusillanimous policy deters from
    uttering the truth! Thank Heaven that in our modern Sodom one
    just man and fearless was found, who, in the face of despots,
    has dared to plead the cause of their victims, and to brand
    their tyranny with the titles it has won!

    “Go on,--with God, and the slave, and all good men applauding
    you. Victory is inevitable, and near at hand.

    “With gratitude and love and admiration, your friends,
    constituents, and fellow-citizens.”

Dr. Joseph Sargent, the eminent surgeon and strong Republican, wrote
from Worcester, Massachusetts:--

    “When I first read your speech, as I did immediately after
    its delivery, my blood boiled anew, as after the outrage
    which our country’s Barbarism inflicted on you four years
    ago. God has punished that crime, in the persons of its more
    immediate perpetrators, in his own way. Your speech is the apt
    and condign punishment of that portion of the community who
    supported them. In its learning, its truth, and its eloquence,
    it is worthy of you; while in its comprehensiveness, its
    compactness, and its completeness, it has exhausted the whole
    subject. If you never say a word more, your record will be
    right, and may God bless you!”

Hon. James H. Morton, holding a judicial situation, wrote from
Springfield, Massachusetts:--

    “I have long been expecting to hear from you in your regaining
    health, and my expectation has been fully realized in the
    noble, scorching, withering expression of the true sentiment
    of Massachusetts on this subject. Would to God that every
    man who entertains the sentiments contained in your speech,
    whether of the North or South, had the moral courage boldly to
    express them! We should soon see an end of that accursed thing,

Hon. D. W. Alvord, lawyer and warm Republican, wrote from Greenfield,

     “I write to thank you for your recent speech. There is not
    elsewhere in the English language so powerful an argument on
    the Barbarism of Slavery. In my opinion it is just such a
    speech as you were bound to make,--just such a speech as the
    honor of Massachusetts required from you. It is such a speech
    as few men living but you could make. Hurt the Republican
    party, will it? If it will, then the party does not deserve

Humphrey Stevens, Register of Deeds for Franklin County, Massachusetts,
wrote from Greenfield:--

    “I have just read your speech on the Barbarism of Slavery. God
    be praised that you did not compromise, and that the prayers
    of the good have been answered! Some Republicans may condemn,
    but hosts will rejoice that you regard the cause more than

Rev. William S. Tyler, the learned Greek Professor, wrote from

    “I cannot refrain from expressing to you the deep, though in
    some respects painful, interest with which I have read your
    late speech in the United States Senate.

    “That your life has been spared, your health in such a measure
    restored, and that you were able to begin ‘where you left
    off,’ and finish such a faithful and complete exposition
    of the monstrous Barbarism--that is the word--of American
    Slavery, is just matter of congratulation to the country, and
    of thanksgiving to God. The enemies of Freedom and Humanity
    will of course gnash their teeth upon you, and timid friends
    will question the expediency of such a speech; but when the
    passions and prejudices of the hour have passed away, it will
    be remembered and honored as one of the truest, greatest, best
    utterances of our age.”

Hon. Henry Hubbard, the agent of Massachusetts to visit New Orleans in
behalf of colored seamen imprisoned there, wrote from Pittsfield:--

    “I cannot, even at the hazard of offending you, refrain from
    expressing the sense of honor and gratitude I feel for your
    sending me your immortal and all-conquering speech on the
    Kansas Question, showing and proving the unmitigated atrocity
    and monstrous deformity of Slavery, maintained in many States
    of this confederacy, and threatening all the rest. Boldly,
    manfully, faithfully you have ‘done the austere work,’ not
    letting, by your laches, ‘Freedom fling away any of her
    weapons.’ Oh, no! Freedom stood in all her majesty, and used
    all her weapons.”

Henry D. Thoreau, author and man of genius, wrote from Concord,

     “Especially I wish to thank you for your speech on the
    Barbarism of Slavery, which I hope and suspect commences a new
    era in the history of our Congress, when questions of national
    importance have come to be considered from a broadly ethical,
    and not from a narrowly political point of view alone. It
    is refreshing to hear some naked truth, moral or otherwise,
    uttered there, which can always take care of itself, when
    uttered, and of course belongs to no party. (That was the
    whole value of Gerrit Smith’s presence there, methinks, though
    he did go to bed early.) Whereas this has only been employed
    occasionally to perfume the wheel-grease of party or national

Frank B. Sanborn, teacher and earnest man, afterwards an able
journalist, wrote from Concord:--

    “Whatever politicians and editors may say, or even think, you
    have more endeared yourself to the popular heart by your labors
    in the last Session than by all that you have previously done.
    Neither the North nor the South can soon forget the faithful
    picture held up before us in your speeches.”

Miles Pratt, a business man and active Republican, of Watertown,
Massachusetts, wrote:--

    “I am sure I express the sentiments of nine tenths of the
    Republicans of this town, when I say that your speech is
    received with joy by us all. Strange that such papers as the
    _Tribune_ can wish that it had been made at some other time!
    We don’t want victory, if at such sacrifice as the _Tribune_
    proposes. Let me assure you that such sentiments as you have
    uttered are what keep very many men in the Republican ranks.”

E. P. Hill, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, wrote:--

    “Allow me to congratulate you upon the delivery of one of the
    most effective speeches upon the great question of the age that
    have ever been given to the American people. I rejoice most
    heartily that the facts and sentiments it contains have found
    a timely utterance, and it is safe to predict for it a decided
    effect upon the moral sense of the whole world.”

P. L. Page wrote from Pittsfield, Massachusetts:--

    “I have just read your speech, ‘The Barbarism of Slavery,’ and,
    notwithstanding the opinions of some politicians, am glad you
    have delivered it just as it is. It is terrible, but truthful.
    I think it will do good. While there is immense sympathy
    for the Republican party, as a party, there is too little
    sympathy for the Slave, and too little indignation against that
    abominable system by which he is held in bondage. The tendency
    of that speech is to show that it is not this or that measure
    merely we have to contend with, but the monster Slavery.”

Andrew L. Russell, an excellent citizen, of Pilgrim stock, and an early
Abolitionist, wrote from Plymouth, Massachusetts:--

    “I have just read your speech with great interest, and thank
    you for it. It is just the thing, manly and conclusive. I
    hope in all the copies of your speech Mr. Chesnut’s beautiful
    specimen of Southern Chivalry manners will be printed, with
    your rejoinder.

    “We must be bold and determined now, and the victory is sure.
    The ravings of the Oligarchy show that they are wounded.”

Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, of beautiful genius, and equal devotion to the
cause, wrote from Wayland, Massachusetts:--

    “I presume you were not disappointed that so many Republican
    editors pronounced your speech injudicious, ill-timed, etc.
    I was not surprised, though I confess I did expect something
    better from the _New York Evening Post_. Honest utterance
    generally frightens or offends the wise and prudent; but it
    gains the popular heart, and thus renders political parties
    the greatest service, though it is one they least know how to
    appreciate. They themselves are also carried onward by such
    agencies, as certainly as cars follow the engine.”

       *       *       *       *       *

From representative colored men similar testimony proceeded. That of
Frederick Douglass has been given already. Robert Morris, the colored
lawyer, wrote from Boston:--

    “In behalf of the colored young men of Boston, and following
    the dictates of my own heart, I write to thank you for the
    speech you have just made in exposition of the Barbarism of

    “In battle, when a bombshell is thrown into the camp of the
    enemy, if it creates consternation and surprise, rest assured
    it has been thrown successfully, and done good service. So your
    speech, every word of which is truthful, fearlessly spoken
    to the guilty parties in the iniquitous system of Slavery,
    was properly directed, and has done good service, as is fully
    demonstrated by the renewed attempts on the part of the
    Southerners to assault you again and silence your voice.”

John S. Rock, also a colored lawyer, afterwards, on motion of Mr.
Sumner, admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States,
wrote from Boston:--

    “Your immortal speech has sent a thrill of joy to all the
    lovers of Freedom everywhere, and especially so to the
    down-trodden. We feel the value of it the more since the
    Republican party appears determined to treat us in the spirit
    of the Dred Scott decision.”

J. B. Smith, colored, of New Bedford, wrote from Boston:--

    “Permit me, as a citizen of your native State, and especially
    as a colored man, who has faithfully devoted more than twenty
    years of his brief life to the elevation of his race, most
    sincerely and heartily to thank you for your very masterly
    speech in exposition of the monstrous iniquity of American
    Slavery. I can assure you that the gratitude of the colored
    people of this country towards you, who so eminently deserve
    it, is incalculable.”

Ebenezer D. Bassett, a colored professor, afterwards Minister at Hayti,
wrote from Philadelphia:--

    “The speech, which I read in the _Herald_, is, it seems to
    me, unequalled by anything in the oratory of modern times,
    and I venture to predict that future ages will place it, as a
    work of art, side by side with the matchless _De Corona_ of
    Demosthenes. It is certainly beyond all praise.”

William Still, colored, and with the natural sentiments of his race,
wrote from Philadelphia:--

    “In my humble opinion, you have so effectually laid the axe at
    the root of the tree that thousands and tens of thousands who
    have been indifferent or Proslavery will henceforth work for
    the deliverance of the bondman,--will labor to help cut the
    tree down. Thus I am greatly encouraged, and devoutly hope and
    pray for a better day for my race soon.”

Robert Purvis, an accomplished gentleman, connected by blood with the
colored race, wrote from his home at Byberry, near Philadelphia:--

    “Permit me, out of the fulness of my heart, to make to you my
    grateful acknowledgments for the most powerfully effective
    speech, in my humble opinion, against the ‘Barbarism of
    Slavery,’ ever made in this or any other country. Its
    _timeliness_, as well as its vital power, stirs within me
    the deepest emotions, which, indeed, are poorly expressed in
    subscribing myself as being your grateful and admiring friend
    and obedient servant.”

H. O. Wagoner testifies to the sentiments of the colored people of
Illinois, in a letter from Chicago:--

    “For the great words you have spoken, and the ever-memorable
    services which you have just rendered in the Senate of the
    United States to the cause of my enslaved and down-trodden
    fellow-countrymen, I return you not only my own individual
    heartfelt thanks, but I venture to speak in the name and in the
    behalf of the seven or eight thousand colored people of the
    State of Illinois.… Could the poor slave but know the substance
    of that speech, the circumstances under which it was given, in
    the very face of the Slave Power,--I say could the slaves be
    made to comprehend fully all this, it would thrill their very
    souls with emotions of joy unspeakable.”

       *       *       *       *       *

This collection, which might be extended, is concluded with a voice
from the Land of Slavery. J. R. S. Van Vleet wrote from Richmond:--

    “As a citizen of the ‘Old Dominion,’ and a hater of Slavery, I
    hereby send to you my unqualified approbation of your manly,
    bold, eloquent, and truthful exposition of the great crime
    of our common country; and let this come to you as from the
    slave-pens of Richmond, in the midst of which these lines are
    secretly written, and within which hundreds of human hearts
    this moment feel the crushing weight of the ‘Barbarism’ you
    have so faithfully illustrated. If these poor slaves were
    permitted to give you thanks, their dark and gloomy prisons
    for once would be made vocal with praise, and their tears of
    sorrowing and bitterness be changed to tears of joy.

    “If you knew the deep and secret interest which these people
    take in the great battle now waging, you would be stimulated in
    your efforts to hasten the day when we white men of Virginia
    could unite with the colored slave to celebrate our common

    “Some of the Northern Republicans affect to think that your
    speech was ill-timed; but I think it was just in time, and not
    a moment too soon. The Southern party demand that the area of
    Slavery shall be extended,--that the system shall be protected
    by Congressional legislation backed by the whole power of the
    Government; is it not, therefore, right and proper that the
    people of the Free States should know what that system is which
    they are required to perpetuate and protect? You have torn off
    its mask and exhibited to them its hideous features, and now
    let them say whether they will crush it beneath their feet, or
    foster, caress, and protect it.”

William Rabé, Secretary of the Republican Central Committee of
California, wrote from San Francisco:--

    “We have republished your speech.… I have the honor to hail
    from Mr. Chesnut’s State, but am extremely sorry to be obliged
    to disagree with him, and to be obliged to indorse the
    reasoning of your speech, notwithstanding, or, in fact, in
    consequence of, my having been a planter in South Carolina for
    years.… It may not be for me to eulogize you and your speeches;
    but that you have created an enthusiasm and opened the door for
    free talk on the subject of Slavery no one will deny, and the
    effect has already been electric.”

       *       *       *       *       *

From the press, and from correspondence, it is plain, that, whatever
the efforts or desires of politicians, the question of Slavery had
reached a crisis. Nothing touched the universal heart so strongly, and
the interest extended abroad. For years the South had been growing
passionate for this Barbarism, and determined on its extension. It
now appeared that in the North there was a passion the other way. The
Presidential election turned on Slavery, and nothing else. The precise
point in issue was its limitation by preventing its spread into the
Territories; but this issue, even in its moderate form, involved the
whole character of Slavery, and the supremacy of the Slave Power in the
National Government.

The speeches during the canvass were on this issue. Politicians were
swept into the irresistible current. This appeared in the pressure
upon Mr. Sumner to speak. At the close of the session of Congress,
only a brief period after his exposure of the Barbarism of Slavery,
on the invitation of the Young Men’s Republican Union of New York, he
delivered an address at Cooper Institute, on “The Origin, Necessity,
and Permanence of the Republican Party,” where he presented anew the
argument against Slavery. This was followed by urgent requests to
speak in other places. Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, the Republican candidate
for Vice-President, wrote from Maine: “We want you much, very much.…
Will you come? Don’t say, No.” Hon. William P. Fessenden, learning
that he was coming, wrote: “The news has rejoiced all our hearts.”
Hon. Neal Dow urged: “You may say _all_ that is in your heart, relying
_fully_ upon the entire sympathy of the people.” And John A. Andrew,
who was visiting there, reported: “Your name will draw like a thousand
elephants.” There were other States where there was similar urgency.
A private letter from Thurlow Weed, at Albany, hoping it would be in
Mr. Sumner’s power to visit New York, was followed by a formal letter
from the New York State Republican Central Committee, pressing him to
address the electors of this State, and saying: “The Committee are
very urgent in this request, and hope you will consent to speak for
us as much as possible”; and this was followed by a special appeal
from Simeon Draper, Chairman of the State Committee. A similar call,
with the same urgency, came from Illinois,--and here the agents were
Hon. Elihu B. Washburne, of the Republican Congressional Committee at
Washington, and Hon. N. B. Judd, Chairman of the Illinois Republican
State Committee. In pressing the invitation, the latter said: “We can
promise you such welcome as Western Republicans can give to laborers in
the cause of Freedom”; and then again, in another letter: “The people
expect you, and know that no personal motive or interest induces you
to come,--only a deep conviction of the necessity for the election
of Mr. Lincoln, and the triumph of the principles of which he is the
representative.” Another ardent Republican wrote from Chicago: “A
glorious reception is awaiting you.”

During the canvass, Mr. Sumner spoke several times in Massachusetts,
treating different heads of the Great Question, as will appear in the
course of this volume; but after his address at New York, he did not
speak out of his own State. The appeals from other States attest that
his method was not discarded by the people. As the Rebellion began to
show itself, the Barbarism of Slavery was more and more recognized.



                                  SENATE CHAMBER, June 11, 1860.

  DEAR SIR,--It would give me pleasure to mingle with my
  fellow-citizens at Middleborough in pledges of earnest support
  to our candidates recently nominated at Chicago, but duties here
  will keep me away.

  Be assured, however, of the sympathy, which I offer more freely
  because I find in the Platform declarations full of glorious
  promise. Our victory will be worth having, only as it is a
  victory of principle; but such a victory I expect.

  Because I believe that our candidates hate the _five-headed_
  Barbarism of Slavery, and will set their faces against all its
  irrational and unconstitutional pretensions, I am earnest for
  their success.

  Accept my thanks for the honor of your invitation, and believe
  me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,


  F. M. VAUGHAN, Esq., Secretary, &c., &c.


JUNE 15, 1860.

    June 5, 1860, Mr. Sumner presented a petition of citizens
    of Massachusetts, of African descent, praying the Senate
    to suspend the labors of the Select Committee appointed to
    investigate the facts of the late invasion and seizure of
    public property at Harper’s Ferry, and that all persons now in
    custody under the proceedings of such Committee be discharged,
    which was duly referred to the Select Committee.

       *       *       *       *       *

    June 15, Mr. Mason submitted a report from the Committee,
    accompanied by the following resolution:--

        “_Resolved_, That the paper purporting to be a petition
        from ‘citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of
        African descent,’ presented to the Senate by Charles
        Sumner, a Senator of Massachusetts, on the 5th of June,
        instant, and on his motion referred to a Select Committee
        of the Senate, be returned by the Secretary to the Senator
        who presented it.”

    This resolution was never called up for consideration, but it
    stands on the Journal of the Senate in perpetual testimony of
    the assumption of the Slave Power and its tyrannical hardihood.
    Anticipating its discussion, Mr. Sumner prepared the notes of a
    speech upon it, which are here preserved precisely as sketched
    at the time.

It is difficult to treat this proposition, proceeding from a Committee
of the Senate, except as you would treat a direct proposition of
Atheism. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”; but it was
only in his heart; the fool in Scripture did not openly declare it.
Had he openly declared it, he would have been in a position hardly more
offensive than your Committee.

There is a saying of antiquity, which has the confirming voice of
all intervening time, that “whom the gods would destroy they first
make mad.” And now, Sir, while humbled for my country that such a
proposition should be introduced into the Senate, I accept it as the
omen of that madness which precedes the fall of its authors.

At this moment the number of free persons, African by descent, in the
United States, is almost half a million,--being a population two thirds
larger than the white population in South Carolina, more than one third
larger than the white population in Mississippi, and six times larger
than the white population in Florida. I mention these facts in order to
show at the outset the number of persons whose rights are now assailed.

Already, in several States, free negroes are threatened with expulsion,
under the terrible penalty of being sold into Slavery. The Supreme
Court of the United States has stepped forward, and by cruel decree
declared that they are not citizens, and therefore are not entitled
to sue in the courts of the United States. And now, to complete their
degradation and exclusion from all rights, it is proposed to declare
that their petitions cannot be received by the Senate.

       *       *       *       *       *

The right of petition is not _political_, but _personal_,--born with
Humanity, and confirmed by Christianity,--belonging to all, but
peculiar to the humble, the weak, and the oppressed. It belongs even to
the criminal; for it is simply the right to pray.

There is no country, professing civilization, where this right is not
sacred. In Mahometan countries it is revered. One of the most touching
stories of the East is where a petitioner in affliction came before the
Sultan, crying out,--

              “‘My sorrow is my right,
    And I _will_ see the Sultan, and to-night.’
    ‘Sorrow,’ said Mahmoud, ‘is a reverend thing;
    I recognize its right, as king with king:
    Speak on.’”[144]

To take this right away from any portion of our _fellow-subjects_--even
if you say they are not _fellow-citizens_--will be barbarous. And when
I consider under what influence this proposition is brought forward, I
present it as a fresh illustration of the Barbarism of Slavery,--most
barbarous in the unconsciousness of its Barbarism.

The outrage is apparent from a simple statement.

In all the States--even in the Slave States--a free colored man may
hold property of all kinds, personal or real,--even land, in which
citizenship strikes its strongest root; but you will not allow him the
poor right of petition.

He may own stocks of the United States, Treasury notes, and in other
ways be the creditor of the Government; but you will not allow him the
poor right of petition.

He is strictly bound by every enactment upon our statute-book; and yet
you will not allow him to appear before you with a prayer to modify or
soften this statute-book.

He is rigidly held to pay his quota of taxes; but you will not allow
him to ask for their reduction.

And still further, under all your pension laws for Revolutionary
services, and for services in other wars, whether on land or sea, he is
entitled to a pension precisely as if he were white; but you will not
allow him to solicit aid under these laws.

Such is a simple statement of the injustice you are about to do. On
this statement alone, without one word of argument or illustration, you
will surely recoil.

But this proposition proceeds on two assumptions, each of which is
radically false: _first_, that a free person of African descent is not
a citizen of the United States; and, _secondly_, that none other than a
citizen is entitled to petition Congress.

In support of the first assumption is the recent decision of the
Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott. But against that decision--so
unfortunate for the character of the tribunal from which it
proceeded,--which has degraded that tribunal hardly less than it sought
to degrade the African race--I oppose the actual fact in at least _six_
of the original thirteen States at the adoption of the Constitution.

_First_, in Massachusetts, where the present petitioners reside, all
persons, without distinction of color, are treated as citizens by its
Constitution adopted in 1780.

_Secondly_, in Virginia, the State represented by the Senator [Mr.
MASON] who brings forward this decree of disfranchisement, the same
principle prevailed at the same time. And here I call attention to the
11th volume of Hening’s Virginia Statutes, where, on page 322, may be
found the law of October, 1783, which repeals that of 1779, limiting
citizenship to whites, and enacts, “that _all free persons_ born
within the territory of this Commonwealth … shall be deemed citizens of
this Commonwealth,” without one word referring to descent or color.

_Thirdly_, in New Hampshire, whose Constitution conferred the elective
franchise upon “every inhabitant of the State having the proper
qualifications,”--of which descent or color was not one.

_Fourthly_, in New York, where the Constitution conferred the elective
franchise upon “every male inhabitant of full age who shall have
personally resided,” &c., “if during the time aforesaid he shall have
been a freeholder,” &c.,--without any discrimination of descent or

_Fifthly_, in New Jersey, by whose Constitution the elective franchise
was conferred upon “_all inhabitants_ of this colony, of full age,
who are worth fifty pounds, proclamation money, clear estate,”--also
without any discrimination of descent or color.

_Sixthly_, in North Carolina, where Mr. Justice Gaston, in delivering
the opinion of the Supreme Court of the State in the case of _The
State_ v. _Manuel_, declared that “the Constitution extended the
elective franchise to _every freeman_ who had arrived at the age of
twenty-one and paid a public tax; and it is a matter of universal
notoriety, that, under it, _free persons_, without regard to color,
claimed and exercised the franchise, until it was taken from free men
of color a few years since by our amended Constitution.”[145]

To these authoritative precedents, drawn from the very epoch of the
National Constitution, I might add other illustrations. I content
myself with referring to the Constitution of Missouri, which, in
speaking of “every free _white_ male citizen,”[146] admits by
implication that colored persons may be _citizens_, and to the Code
of Alabama, which declares that certain sections “do not apply to or
affect any free person of color who by the Treaty between the United
States and Spain became _a citizen of the United States, or the
descendants of such_.”[147]

But not only in six of the old thirteen States _all freemen_ without
distinction of color were _citizens_, but also under the Articles
of Confederation they were _citizens_. By the fourth article it was
expressly declared that “the _free inhabitants_ of each of these
States (paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted)
shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of _free citizens_
in the several States.” The meaning of this clause, which is clear
on its face, becomes clearer still, when it is known, that, while
it was under discussion, on the 25th of June, 1778, the delegates
from South Carolina moved to amend it by inserting between the
words “free inhabitants” the word “white,” so that the character of
a citizen should be restricted to white persons. This proposition
was rejected,--two States only voting for it, eight States against
it, and the vote of one State being divided; so that the term “free
inhabitants” was left in its full significance, without any distinction
of descent or color.

The Constitution of the United States next followed. And it contains
not a sentence, phrase, or word of disfranchisement on account of
descent or color, any more than on account of religion.

       *       *       *       *       *

If the present question depended upon citizenship, you could not refuse
to receive the petition. But it does not depend upon citizenship.
The right to petition Congress is not an incident of the elective
franchise. It exists where the elective franchise does not exist.
The Constitution expressly secures it, not simply to _citizens_, but
broadly and completely to THE PEOPLE, declaring, in the first article
of its Amendments, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,
or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, _or the right of
the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances_.”

The term _people_ here naturally means all, without distinction of
class, who owe allegiance to the Government. It is the American
equivalent for _subjects_. If there were any doubt on this point, it
would be removed by the clear and irresistible meaning of the term in
other parts of the Constitution. Thus, in the clause constituting the
House of Representatives, it is declared that it “shall be composed
of members chosen every second year by the _people_ of the several
States, and the _electors_ in each State shall have the qualifications
requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State
Legislature.” Here is an obvious difference between the “people” and
“electors.” The former is broader than the latter. It is the former
that constitutes the _basis of representation_, and the Constitution
then proceeds to declare that this basis “shall be determined by adding
_to the whole number of free persons_, including those bound to service
for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of
all other persons.” Whatever may be the position of the _fractional_
class, nothing can be clearer than that all _free persons_, without
distinction of color or descent, belong to the _people_, and,
so belonging, they are solemnly and expressly protected by the
Constitution in the right of petition.

The Constitution next provides for the “enumeration” of the _people_,
and under this provision there is a decennial census of the whole
_people_, without distinction of color or descent; and yet, while
including all of African descent in your population, you refuse to
receive their petitions.

The present proposition is aggravated by well-attested facts in our
history. A colored man, Crispus Attucks, was the first martyr of our
Revolutionary struggle. Throughout the long war of seven years, while
national independence was still doubtful, colored men fought sometimes
in the same ranks with the whites, and sometimes in separate companies,
but always with patriotic courage, and often under the eye of
Washington. The blood of the two races mingled, and, dying on the same
field, they were buried beneath the same sod. And this same association
was continued throughout the War of 1812, in all our naval contests,
and especially in the Battle of Lake Erie under Perry, and of Lake
Champlain under Macdonough, where colored men performed a conspicuous
part. But no better testimony can be presented than the eloquent
proclamation of General Jackson, before the Battle of New Orleans,
where he calls upon the “free colored inhabitants of Louisiana” to
take part in the contest as _American soldiers_, and speaks of them
by implication as “fellow-citizens.”[148] “American soldiers” and
“fellow-citizens”: such is the language of Andrew Jackson, when
speaking of those whom you would despoil of a venerable right.

Thus, Sir, throughout our history, you have used these men for defence
of the country, you have coined their blood into your own liberties;
but you deny them now the smallest liberty of all,--the last which
is left to the miserable,--_the liberty to pray_. In the history of
misfortune or of tyranny nothing can surpass this final act of robbery.
The words of the classic poet are fulfilled:--

    “‘The wretch, in short, had nothing.’ You say true:
    And yet the wretch _must lose that nothing too_.”[149]

There is a story of General Washington which illustrates by contrast
the wrong of the present proposition. On a certain occasion, being
engaged late at the quarters of his aid, Colonel Pickering, of
Massachusetts, he proposed to pass the night, if the colored servant,
Primus Hall, whom I remember at Boston in my childhood, could find
straw and a blanket. Of course they were found; but it was by the
surrender of the servant’s own blanket. In the course of the night, the
General, becoming aware of the sacrifice, most authoritatively required
the servant to share the blanket, saying, “There is room for both, and
I insist upon it”; and on the same straw, beneath the same blanket, the
General and the faithful African slept till morning sun.[150] You not
only refuse to share your liberties with the colored man, but you now
propose to take from him his last blanket.

       *       *       *       *       *

This is not the time to dwell on the character of the colored race;
for the right of petition can never depend on the character of the
petitioner, while in criminal cases liberty and life even may. But I
mention two facts which speak for this much injured people. The first,
Sir, is the official census, by which it appears that throughout the
Free States among the colored population a much larger proportion
attend school than among the whites of the Slave States, and this
contrast becomes still more apparent when we consider the small
attendance upon school by the whites in South Carolina. The other fact
appears in the last will and testament of Mr. Upshur, of Virginia,
Secretary of State under President Tyler, where he thus speaks:--

    “I emancipate and set free my servant, David Rich, and direct
    my executors to give him one hundred dollars. I recommend him
    in the strongest manner to the respect, esteem, and confidence
    of any community in which he may happen to live. He has been
    my slave for twenty-four years, during which time he has been
    trusted to every extent and in every respect. My confidence
    in him has been unbounded; his relation to myself and family
    has always been such as to afford him daily opportunities to
    deceive and injure us, and yet he has never been detected in
    a serious fault, nor even in an intentional breach of the
    decorums of his station. His intelligence is of a high order,
    his integrity above all suspicion, and his sense of right and
    propriety always correct and even delicate and refined. I feel
    that he is justly entitled to carry this certificate from me
    into the new relations which he now must form. It is due to
    his long and most faithful services, and to the sincere and
    steady friendship which I bear him. In the uninterrupted and
    confidential intercourse of twenty-four years, I have never
    given nor had occasion to give him an unpleasant word. I know
    no man who has fewer faults or more excellencies than he.

            A. P. UPSHUR.”[151]

I do not dwell on precedents; for Senators willing to entertain this
proposition can have little regard for any precedents in favor of
Human Rights. I content myself with saying, that never before has this
assault on Human Rights been made,--that petitions from colored persons
have been often presented and refused, precisely as other petitions.
Here, for example, is an instance on the Journals of the Senate:--

    “Mr. Seward presented a petition of citizens of Ontario County,
    New York, praying that the army may be disbanded, and its
    services hereafter dispensed with; _a petition of male and
    female colored inhabitants of Boston, Massachusetts_, praying
    that colored men may be employed in transporting the mails, and
    enrolled in the militia; _and a petition of male and female
    colored inhabitants of Boston, Massachusetts_, protesting
    against the enactment of a law for the recovery of fugitive

But I have said enough. Most earnestly and sincerely do I protest
against this attempt, on three grounds: _first_, because, being
essentially barbarous in character, it must be utterly shameful to
a government boasting Christianity and professing Civilization;
_secondly_, because it is a flagrant violation of the constitutional
rights of more than half a million of American people; and, _thirdly_,
because, in the present case, it is an insult to the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, where these petitioners reside in the free enjoyment
of all the rights of citizens,--among others, of voting for Members
of Congress. I am unwilling to weaken this argument for Human Rights
by any appeal to State Rights; but I cannot fail to observe that this
proposition, which tramples down State Rights in order to assail Human
Rights, proceeds from a Senator [Mr. MASON] who always avows himself
the defender of State Rights.

For myself, Sir, my course is plain. Whatever may be the action of the
Senate, I shall continue to present such petitions. And permit me to
say, that I should be little worthy of the place I now hold, if, at any
time hereafter, receiving such petitions, I hesitate in the discharge
of this sacred duty.



MR. PRESIDENT,--Some men make themselves felt at once by their simple
presence, and Mr. Schwartz was of this number. No person could set eyes
on him without being moved to inquire who he was, or, if the occasion
presented, to form his acquaintance. His look was that of goodness,
and he acted in a way to confirm the charm of his appearance. Entering
tardily into public life, he followed the prompting of duty, and not of
ambition. At this call he severed friendships, personal and political,
believing that principle was of higher worth than party or politician
or President. Thus, when already reverend with age, he became a
Representative in Congress.

His presence in the other House was a protest. All who saw him there
knew that he came from a constituency which had always been represented
by an unhesitating member of the Democratic party, while he openly
denounced that party,[153] and associated himself cordially and
completely with those who, founding themselves on the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution, sought to bring the National
Government to the ancient ways. I mention this circumstance, because it
is an essential part of his too brief public life, while it illustrates
his character, and proclaims his title to honor. The powerful party
leader, “with a Senate at his heels,” is less worthy of love and
consideration than the simple citizen, who, scorning party ties, dares
to be true and just.

But never did man, who had broken down a party at home, and taken his
seat as representative of Opposition, wear his signal success more
gently. Though decided and firm in conduct, he was winning and sweet
in manner, and by beautiful example showed how to unite two qualities
which are not always found together. Winter was not sterner, summer was
not softer.

In character he did honor to the brave and pure German stock, which,
even from that early day when first revealed to history in the
sharp and clean-cut style of Tacitus, has preserved its original
peculiarities untouched by change, showing, that, though the individual
is mortal, the race is immortal. American by birth, and American in
a generous patriotism, he was German in his clear blue eye, in his
physical frame, in the warmth of his affections, and in the simplicity
of his life. To him alone our tribute is now due; but, in pronouncing
the name of JOHN SCHWARTZ, we cannot forget the “fatherland” of his
ancestors, which out of its abundance has given to our Republic so
many good heads, so many strong arms, with so much of virtue and
intelligence, rejoicing in freedom, and calling no man master.



    An enthusiastic meeting of the Old Men’s and Young Men’s
    Republican Central Committees of the City of New York was held
    on the evening of June 28, for the purpose of extending a
    welcome to the Republican Senators of the Eastern States, on
    their return from Congress. D. D. Conover, of the Old Men’s
    Committee, presided, assisted by Charles S. Spencer, of the
    Young Men’s Committee. The following letter from Mr. Sumner, in
    answer to an invitation, was read by Edgar Ketchum.

                              SENATE CHAMBER, June 27, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I must renounce the opportunity of meeting the
  Republicans of New York to-morrow evening, asking them to accept
  my thanks for the invitation with which they have honored me.

  Let me congratulate them on the good omens which cheer us on
  every side.

  It only remains, that, by _unhesitating assertion of our
  principles_, we continue to deserve victory.

  Believe me, my dear Sir,

      Very faithfully yours,





    This early speech in the Presidential campaign which ended in
    the election of Abraham Lincoln was made by Mr. Sumner while on
    his way home from Washington. It was reported and noticed by
    the New York press. A journal having little sympathy with it
    describes the magnificence and enthusiasm of the auditory, and
    thus abridges the speech in flaming capitals: “The Presidential
    Contest; Great Convulsion in the Republican Camp; Charles
    Sumner on the Stump; A Strong Plea for Old Abe; Another Attack
    upon Slaveholders; The Fivefold Wrong of Human Slavery.”

    The meeting is mentioned in all the journals as one of the
    largest ever assembled within the walls of Cooper Institute,
    and also remarkable for respectability of appearance. One of
    them says it seemed more like an audience of some great concert
    or festival than a political meeting. As soon as the doors were
    opened every available position was occupied, and in half an
    hour afterwards it was impossible to find accommodation. More
    than one third of the vast hall had been reserved for ladies,
    and it was completely filled. The windows of the upper floor
    opening upon the basement were crammed with people. On the
    stage were many distinguished persons, judges and ex-judges.
    The welcome of the speaker is thus noticed by another:--

        “Mr. Sumner appeared on the rostrum precisely at eight
        o’clock, and was received with an outburst of excited
        enthusiasm which defies all description. The applause was
        unanimous and intense. Cheer after cheer arose, loud and
        vociferous; men stood up and waved their handkerchiefs and
        their hats till scarcely anything else could be seen.”

    The scene at this time was chronicled by the _Independent_.

         “The orator’s return to the people, after his long and
        enforced retirement from the platform, was celebrated at
        Cooper Institute with such a welcome as we have rarely seen
        given to any man. On coming forward, he was greeted with
        cheer after cheer, the audience rising and prolonging their
        salutations through many minutes, with continuous shouting
        and waving of handkerchiefs.”

    Mr. Rogers, the President of the Young Men’s Republican Union,
    nominated for chairman of the meeting Hon. Abijah Mann, Jr.,
    which nomination was unanimously accepted. Mr. Mann, on taking
    the chair, said that they had now to listen to the voice of
    one who had stood up manfully for freedom of speech, not only
    against open foes, but even against the opposition of some of
    his colleagues. [_Applause._] He was here to-night to maintain
    this same right to free speech, and to express his views of the
    political condition of the country. It gave him pleasure to
    introduce to the audience Hon. Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts.

    Mr. Sumner, on taking the stand, was again greeted with loud
    and prolonged cheers. After tendering acknowledgments for the
    generous and cordial reception, and regretting his inability to
    express all he felt, he proceeded with his speech, which was
    thus described by the _Evening Post_:--

        “Mr. Sumner was as happy in the manner as he was forcible
        in the matter of his speech. His commanding person, his
        distinct utterance, and his graceful elocution combined
        with the eloquence of his words in keeping the immense
        auditory to their seats for two hours, without a movement,
        and almost without a breath, save when the applause broke
        forth. It is the first time that Mr. Sumner has spoken in
        public since he was laid low in the Senate House, and New
        York, by this grand demonstration, has shown its eagerness
        to welcome him to the field of so many former triumphs.”

    In this speech Mr. Sumner sought to popularize his argument in
    the Senate on the Barbarism of Slavery, with an application to
    the Presidential election, and at the same time to reassert
    the positions he had there taken. Its influence was increased
    by the circulation it enjoyed. Besides the _Tribune_, _Times_,
    _Herald_, and _World_, which printed it in full, there was a
    pamphlet edition of more than fifty thousand copies circulated
    by the Young Men’s Republican Union. The Secretary of the
    Republican Central Committee of California wrote, that this
    Committee, after publishing a large edition of the “Barbarism
    of Slavery,” published ten thousand copies of the New York
    speech, which was “read with that attention which the subject
    elucidated by you readily commands.” Among letters with regard
    to it, two are preserved as friendly voices.

    Hon. W. H. Seward wrote from Auburn:--

        “Your speech, in every part, is noble and great. Even you
        never spoke so well.”

    Another friend, who had not agreed with Mr. Sumner at an
    earlier period, George Livermore, the intelligent merchant of
    Boston, devoted to books as well as business, being in New York
    at the time, heard the speech, and, in a letter dated at the
    Fifth Avenue Hotel, wrote:--

        “I can say in all sincerity, that, of all the political
        addresses I have ever heard,--and for thirty years past I
        have heard a great many, and from the most distinguished
        men in the country,--I have never listened to one that
        would begin to compare with this as a whole. The high and
        broad ground on which you based your views, the clearness
        and force with which you presented the subject, the dignity
        and grace of your manner, and the honest and hearty tone
        in which you uttered your thoughts, all together make your
        speech _the best one that was ever delivered_, as far as my
        knowledge and experience go.”

    These testimonies will at least explain the effect of this
    speech at the time.


Of all men in our history, there are two whose influence at this moment
is peculiar. Though dead, they yet live, speak, and act in the conflict
of principle which divides the country,--standing face to face, like
two well-matched champions. When I add that one was from South Carolina
and the other from Massachusetts, you cannot fail to see that I mean
John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams.

Statesmen, both, of long career, marked ability, and unblemished
integrity,--acting together at first,--sitting in the same Cabinet,
from which they passed, one to become Vice-President, and the other
President,--then, for the remainder of their days, battling in
Congress, and dying there,--each was a leader in life, but each is now
in death a greater leader still.

Mr. Calhoun possessed an intellect of much originality and boldness,
and, though wanting the culture of a scholar, made himself felt in
council and in debate. To native powers unlike, but not inferior, Mr.
Adams added the well-ripened fruits of long experience in foreign
lands and of studies more various and complete than those of any other
public man in our history, besides an indomitable will, and that
spirit of freedom which inspired his father, when, in the Continental
Congress, he so eloquently maintained the Declaration of Independence,
making himself its Colossus on that floor.

Sitting together in the Cabinet of Mr. Monroe, they concurred in
sanctioning the Missouri Prohibition of Slavery as constitutional,
and so advised the President. But here divergence probably began,
though for a long time not made manifest. The diary of Mr. Adams
shows that at that early day, when Slavery had been little discussed,
he saw its enormity with instinctive quickness, and described it
with corresponding force. The record is less full with regard to Mr.
Calhoun; but when they reappeared, one in the Senate, and the other in
the House of Representatives, each openly assumed the position by which
he will be known in history,--one as chief in all the pretensions of
Slavery and Slave-Masters, the other as champion of Freedom.

Mr. Calhoun regarded Slavery as a permanent institution; Mr. Adams
regarded it as something transitory. Mr. Calhoun vaunted it as a form
of civilization; Mr. Adams scorned it as an unquestionable barbarism.
Mr. Calhoun did not hesitate to call it the most stable basis of free
government; Mr. Adams vehemently denounced it as a curse, full of
weakness and mockery, doubly offensive in a boastful Republic. Mr.
Calhoun, not content with exalting Slavery, proceeded to condemn the
early opinions of Washington and Jefferson as “folly and delusion,”
to assail the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence
as “absurd,” and then to proclaim that human beings are “property”
under the Constitution, and, as such, may be transported into the
Territories and there held in Slavery; while Mr. Adams added to the
glory of his long and diversified career by persistent efforts which
are better for his fame than having been President,--upholding the
great rights of petition and of speech,--vindicating the early opinions
of the Fathers, and the self-evident truths of the Declaration of
Independence,--exposing the odious character of Slavery,--insisting
upon its prohibition in the Territories,--denying the asserted property
in man,--and especially, and often, exhibiting the unjust power in the
National Government usurped by what he called “the little cluster” of
Slave-Masters, whose yoke was to him intolerable.

Such, most briefly told, were antagonist opinions of these two
chiefs. Never was great conflict destined to involve a great country
more distinctly foreshadowed. All that the Republican party now
opposes may be found in John C. Calhoun; all that the Republican
party now maintains may be found in John Quincy Adams. Choose ye,
fellow-citizens, between the two.

The rule of “Principles and not Men” is hardly applicable to a man
whose name, bearing the sacred seal of death, has become the synonym
of Principle; yet I do not hesitate to say that our cause is best
appreciated in its precise objects and aims. Proud as we are to
tread where John Quincy Adams leads the way, there is a guide of
more commanding authority--found in the eternal law of Right, and
the concurring mandate of the Constitution itself, when properly
interpreted--that teaches the duties of a good citizen. Such is the
guide of the Republican party, which, I say fearlessly, where most
known, will be most trusted, and, when understood in its origin, will
be seen to be no accidental or fugitive organization, merely for an
election, but an irresistible necessity, which in the nature of things
must be permanent as the pretensions, moral and political, which it
seeks to constrain and counteract.

       *       *       *       *       *

All must admit, too, that, if no Republican party existed now,--even
if that halcyon day had come, so often promised by cajoling
politicians, when the Slavery Question was settled,--still there
would be a political necessity for a great party of Opposition to
act as check on the Administration. A kindred necessity was once
expressed by an eminent British statesman, who gave as a toast, “A
strong Administration and a strong Opposition.” Parties are unknown in
despotic countries. They belong to the machinery of free governments.
Through parties public opinion is concentrated and directed; through
parties principles are maintained above men; and through parties men in
power are held to a just responsibility. If ever there was occasion for
such a party, it is now, when the corruptions of the Administration are
dragged to light by Committees of Congress. On this ground alone good
men might be summoned to rescue the government of our country.

It is an attested fact that Mr. Buchanan became President through
corruption. Money, familiarly known as a “corruption fund,” first
distilled in small drippings from clerks and petty officials, was
swollen by larger contributions of merchants and contractors, and with
this accumulation votes were purchased in Philadelphia, enough to turn
the election in that great metropolis, and in the chain of cause and
effect to assure the triumph of the Democratic candidate. I speak
now only what is proved. Fraudulent naturalization papers in blank,
by which this was perpetrated, were produced before a Committee of
Congress. It was natural that an Administration thus corrupt in origin
should continue to exercise power through the same corruption by which
power was gained; but nothing else than that insensibility to acts of
shame produced by familiarity can explain how all this has been done
with such absolute indecency of exposure, so as to recall the words of
the poet,--

    “How use doth breed a habit in a man!”

A letter from a local politician, addressed to the President himself,
urging without disguise the giving of a large contract for machinery
to a particular house in Philadelphia, employing four hundred and
fifty mechanics, with a view to the approaching election, was sent
to the Secretary of the Navy, with this indorsement, in a well-known
handwriting, signed by well-known initials: “Sept. 15, 1858. The
enclosed letter from Colonel Patterson, of Philadelphia, is submitted
to the attention of the Secretary of the Navy. J. B.” Thus did the
President of the United States, in formal written words, now of record
in the history of the country, recommend the employment of the public
money, set apart for the public service, to influence an election. Here
was criminality as positive as when his supporters purchased votes
in the streets. From one learn all; and from such a characteristic
instance learn the character of the Administration. But there are
other well-known instances; and the testimony before the Congressional
Committees discloses the President on Sundays in secret conclave with
one of his corrupt agents, piously occupied discussing the chances of
an election, and how its expenses were to be met, while, at the same
time, like another Joseph Surface, he was uttering in public “fine
sentiments” of political morality, and lamenting the prevalence of the
very indecencies in which he was engaged.

It was natural that a President, who, with professions of purity on
the lips, made himself the pander of such vulgar corruption, should
stick at nothing needful to carry his purposes. I shall not dwell on
the Lecompton Constitution; but it belongs to this chapter. You all
know its wickedness. Concocted originally at Washington, with the
single purpose of fastening Slavery upon the people of Kansas, it
was by execrable contrivance so arranged as to prevent the people,
when about to become a State, from voting on that question. Next
sanctioned by a convention of usurpers, who in no respect represented
the people of Kansas, then fraudulently submitted to the people for
their votes, it was fraudulently adopted by stuffing ballot-boxes on
a scale never before known. Thus, at the Delaware Crossing, where
there were but forty-three legal voters, four hundred were returned;
at Oxford, where there were but forty-two legal voters, a thousand
were returned; and at Shawnee, where there were but forty legal
voters, twelve hundred were returned. And yet this Constitution,
disowned by the very Governor who had gone to Kansas as agent of the
President,--rotten with corruption, gaping with falsehood, and steaming
with iniquity,--was at once recognized by the President, urged upon
Congress in a special message, and pressed for adoption by all the
appliances of unprincipled power. If the words of Jugurtha, turning his
back upon Rome, cannot be repeated, that the Republic is for sale,
and soon to perish, if it shall find a purchaser,[154] nor the sharper
saying of Walpole, that every man has his price, it was not from any
forbearance in the President. A single editor was offered the printing
of Post-Office blanks worth at least eighty thousand dollars, if by an
article no larger than a man’s hand he would show submission to the
Administration. Bribes of office were added to bribes of money. As the
votes of electors had been purchased to make Mr. Buchanan President,
the votes of Representatives were now solicited to carry out his scheme
of corruption, and the Halls of Congress were changed into a political
market-house, where men were bought by the head. Is not all this enough
to arouse the indignation of the people?

It is true that the President, whose power began in corruption, and who
is responsible author of the corruption by which his administration has
been debased, is no longer a candidate for office. Already judgment
begins. His own political party discards him. The first avenging
blow is struck. Incorruptible history will do the rest. The tablet
conspicuously erected in Genoa to expose the crimes of certain Doges,
branding one as _Fur Magnus_ and another as _Maximus Latronum_, will
not be needed here. The exposed corrupter, the tyrant enslaver, and the
robber of Human Freedom cannot be forgotten. Unhappy President! after a
long career of public service, not only tossed aside, but tossed over
to perpetual memory as an example to be shunned! Better for him the
oblivion of common life than the bad fame he has won!

But, though not himself a candidate for office, his peculiar
supporters, animated by his spirit, linked with him in misrule,
are embodied as a party, and ask your votes. Simply to resist this
combination, and to save the Republic from its degrading influence,
would justify the formation of the Republican party; and I doubt not
that there are many who will be content to unite with us on this ground
alone, anxious to put the National Government once again in pure hands.
To all such, welcome!

While this consummation necessarily enters into the present purposes
of the Republican party, while we naturally begin by insisting upon
purity in the Government, and make this one of our urgent demands, it
is obvious that the quickening impulse of the party is to be found
in other purposes, which cannot pass away in a single election. The
Republican party seeks to overthrow the Slave Oligarchy in the National
Government, and especially at this moment to stay its aggressions
in the Territories, which, through a corrupt interpretation of the
Constitution, it threatens to barbarize with Slavery. But all who seek
purity in the National Government must unite in this purpose; for only
by the overthrow of this base Oligarchy, which, beginning in the denial
of all human rights, necessarily shows itself in barbarism and villany
of all kinds, can a better order prevail. It is out of Slavery that all
our griefs proceed; nor can the offences of the present Administration
be fully comprehended without considering the nature of this Evil,
and its chronic influence over our Government, reaching everywhere
by subtle agencies, or more subtle, far-reaching example, but still
in itself the original and all-sufficient activity. As well attempt
to explain the Gulf Stream without the Gulf of Mexico, or the Origin
of Evil without the human heart, as attempt to explain the present
degraded character of the National Government without Slavery. As well
attempt the play of “Othello” without the Moor. And permit me to say
that our warfare with these iniquities will be feeble, unless we attack
them in their origin.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the beginning of our history Slavery was universally admitted
to be an Evil. Nobody then so hardy as to vindicate it. In the
Convention which framed the Constitution it was branded as “a nefarious
institution,” or more mildly called “wrong”; and these generous voices
came from the South as well as from the North. Out of the Convention
there was a similar accord. I shall not quote the words of Washington,
Jefferson, Franklin, or Jay, for they are familiar to all. Even as
they spoke others spoke, and I might occupy the whole evening simply
reciting this testimony. Nor were these declarations confined to public
life. The Colleges all, by definite action, arrayed themselves against
Slavery, especially the University of William and Mary, in Virginia,
which conferred upon Granville Sharp, the acknowledged chief of British
Abolitionists, the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. The Literature
of the land, such as it was, agreed with the Colleges. The Church,
too, added its powerful voice; and here, amid diversities of religious
faith, we hail that unity of spirit which animated all. Quakers,
Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists seemed to vie with
each other in this pious testimony.

The Constitution was adopted, but the word Slave was not allowed to
pollute its text; and this was in declared deference to the prevailing
opinion, which regarded Slavery as temporary, destined soon to pass
away. All looked to the glad day as almost at hand. In harmony with
this expectation, Slavery was prohibited in all existing territories of
the Union, so that, when Washington, as first President of the United
States, at his inauguration here in New York took his first oath to
support the Constitution, the flag of the Republic nowhere on the land
within the jurisdiction of Congress covered a single slave. Little then
did the Fathers dream that the Evil which they regarded with shame and
exerted themselves to prohibit would elevate its obscene crest as it
now does, and flaunt its monstrous pretensions before the world. Little
did they dream that the Constitution, from which they had carefully
excluded the very _word_, would be held, in defiance of reason and
common sense, to protect the _thing_, so exceptionally that it could
not be reached by Congressional prohibition, even within Congressional
jurisdiction. Little did they dream that the text, which they left so
pure and healthful, would, through corrupt interpretation, be swollen
into such an offensive Elephantiasis.

Two circumstances, civilizing in themselves, exercised an unexpected
influence for American Slavery: first, the abolition of the
slave-trade, which by taking away the supply increased the value
of slaves; and, secondly, the increased cultivation of cotton,
stimulated by the invention of new machinery. The latter has been
of especial moment. Indeed, it is hardly too much to say that out
of this slender cotton fibre are formed the manacles of the slave.
Thus, through sinister activity, and the wickedness of men, is good
made the minister of wrong. Next after Christopher Columbus, who by
sublime enterprise opened a pathway to the New World, Eli Whitney, who
discovered the cotton gin, has been indirectly and unconsciously a
chief agent in the bondage of the African race on the North American
continent; and surely proper gratitude for the advantages we enjoy in
such large store from these two discoveries must prompt us to increased
activity for the welfare of those who, alas! have been such losers,
where we have been such gainers.

The change of opinion, so disastrous in result, was gradual. Though in
its successive stages easily detected by the careful inquirer, it did
not become manifest to the whole country till 1820, when it burst forth
in the Missouri Question. Then, for the first time, Slavery showed
itself openly violent, insolent, belligerent. Freedom was checked,
but saved something by a compromise,--announced, at the moment of its
adoption, by Charles Pinckney, of South Carolina, as a triumph of the
South,--where, in consideration of the admission of Missouri as a Slave
State, thus securing additional preponderance to the Slave Power, it
was stipulated that Slavery should be prohibited in certain outlying
territory, at that time trodden only by savages. Then came a lull,
during which the change was still at work, until, contemporaneously
with the abolition of Slavery in the British West Indies, the
discussion was lighted anew. Meanwhile slaves augmented in price, and
slave-masters became more decided. In timid deference to the world,
they at first ventured no defence of Slavery in the abstract; but at
last, bolder grown under the lead of Mr. Calhoun, they threw aside all
reserve, openly assailed the opinions of the Fathers, audaciously
denied the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence,
and by formal resolution asserted the new dogma of Slavery in the
Territories. This was as late as 1847. A letter of that day, from Mr.
Calhoun, addressed to a member of the Alabama Legislature, shows that
there was an element of policy in this exaggeration. His desire was
“to force the Slavery issue” on the North, believing that delay was
dangerous, as the Slave-Masters were then relatively stronger, both
morally and politically, than they would ever be again.

At last the end has come. Slavery is openly pronounced, at one time,
the black marble keystone of our National Arch,--at another time, the
corner-stone of our Republican edifice; then it is vaunted as the
highest type of civilization,--then as a blessing to the master as well
as the slave,--and then again as ennobling to the master, if not to the
slave. It is only the first step which costs, and therefore the authors
of these opinions, so shocking to the moral sense, do not hesitate at
other opinions equally shocking to the reason, even to the extent of
finding impossible sanctions for Slavery in the Constitution. Listening
to these extravagances, who would not exclaim, with Ben Jonson in the

    “Grave fathers, he’s possessed; again I say,
    Possessed: nay, if there be possession and
    Obsession, he has both.”[155]

And now, fellow-citizens, what is Slavery? This is no question of
curiosity or philanthropy merely; for when the National Government,
which you and I at the North help to constitute, is degraded to be its
instrument, and all the National Territories are proclaimed open to
its Barbarism, and the Constitution itself is perverted to its support,
the whole subject naturally, logically, and necessarily enters into our
discussion. It cannot be avoided; it cannot be blinked out of sight.
Nay, you must pass upon it by your votes at the coming election. Futile
is the plea that we at the North have nothing to do with Slavery.
Granted that we have nothing to do with it in the States, we have much
to do with all its irrational assumptions under the Constitution, and
just so long as these are urged must Slavery be discussed. It must be
laid bare in its enormity, precisely as though it were proposed to
plant it here in the streets of New York. Nor can such a wrong--foul in
itself, and fouler still in pretensions--be dealt with tamely. Tameness
is surrender. And charity, too, may be misapplied. Forgiving those who
trespass against us, I know not if we are called to forgive those who
trespass against others,--to forgive those who trespass against the
Republic,--to forgive those who trespass against Civilization,--to
forgive those who trespass against a whole race,--to forgive those who
trespass against the universal Human Family,--finally, to forgive those
who trespass against God. Such trespassers exist among us, possessing
the organization of party, holding the control of the National
Government, constituting a colossal Power, and

              “what seems its head
    The likeness of a _President_ has on.”

Surely, if ever there was a moment when every faculty should be bent
to the service, and all invigorated by an inspiring zeal, it is now,
while the battle between Civilization and Barbarism is still undecided,
and you are summoned to resist the last desperate shock. To this work
I am not equal; but I do not shrink from the duties of my post. Alas!
human language is gentle, and the human voice is weak. Words only are
mine, when I ought to command thunderbolts. Voice only is mine, when,
like the ancient Athenian, I ought to carry the weapons of Zeus on the
tongue. Nor would I transcend any just rule of moderation, or urge this
warfare too far among persons. Humbly do I recognize the authority of
Him, who, when reviled, reviled not again; but this divine example
teaches me to expose crime, and not to hesitate, though the Scribes
and Pharisees, chief-priests and money-changers, cry out. And it shows
how words of invective may come from lips of peace. “Woe unto you,
Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make
one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child
of hell than yourselves.” Thus spake the Saviour in Jerusalem; and he
still speaks, not in Jerusalem only, but wherever men are won from
truth, wherever crime exists to be exposed and denounced.

What, then, I repeat, is Slavery? The occasion forbids detail; but
enough must be presented to place this outrage in its true light,--as
something worse even than a constant state of war, where the master
is constant aggressor. Here I put aside for the moment all the tales
which reach us from the house of bondage,--all the cumulative, crushing
testimony, from slaves and masters alike,--all the barbarous incidents
which help to arouse a yet too feeble indignation,--in short, all the
glimpses which come to us from this mighty Bluebeard’s chamber. All
these I put aside, not because they are of little moment in exhibiting
the true character of Slavery, but because I desire to arraign Slavery
on grounds above all controversy, impeachment, or suspicion, even from
Slave-Masters themselves. Not on wonderful story, where the genius of
woman has prevailed, not even on indisputable facts, do I now accuse
Slavery, but on its character as revealed in its own simple definition
of itself. Out of its own mouth do I condemn it.

By the _Law of Slavery_, man, created in the image of God, fearfully
and wonderfully made, with sensibilities of pleasure and pain, with
sentiments of love, with aspirations for improvement, with a sense of
property, and with a soul like ourselves, is despoiled of his human
character, and declared to be a mere _chattel_, “to all intents,
constructions, and purposes whatsoever.” I do not stop to give at
length all its odious words; you are doubtless familiar with them. The
heathen idea of Aristotle is repeated,--“a tool with a soul.”[156] But
in this simple definition is contained the whole incalculable wrong of
Slavery; for out of it, as from an inexhaustible fountain, are derived
all the unrighteous prerogatives of the master. These are five in
number, and I know not which is most revolting.

First, there is the pretension that _man can hold property in
man_,--forgetful, that, by a law older than all human law, foremost
stands the indefeasible right of every man to himself.

Secondly, _the absolute nullification of the relation of husband
and wife_, so that all who are called slaves are delivered over to
concubinage or prostitution, it may be with each other, or it may be
with their masters; but with whomsoever it may be, it is the same, for
with slaves marriage is impossible, as they are merely “coupled,”
never married.

Thirdly, _the utter rejection of the relation of parent and child_; for
the infant legally belongs, not to the mother who bore it, but to the
master who bought it.

Fourthly, _the complete, denial of instruction_; for the master may
always, at his own rude discretion, prevent his victim from learning
to read, and thus shut against him those gates of knowledge which open
such vistas on earth and in heaven.

Fifthly, _the wholesale robbery of the labor of another, and of all its
fruits_,--forgetful, that, by the same original law under which every
man has a title to himself, he has also a title to the fruits of his
own labor, amounting in itself to a sacred property, which no person,
howsoever called, whether despot or master, can righteously appropriate.

Such are the five essential elements of Slavery. Look at them, and you
will confess that this institution stands forth as a hateful assemblage
of unquestionable wrongs under sanction of existing law. Take away any
one of these, and just to that extent Slavery ceases to exist. Take
away all, and the Slavery Question will be settled. But this assemblage
becomes more hateful still, when its unmistakable _single motive_ is
detected, which is simply _to compel labor without wages_. Incredible
as it may be, it cannot be denied that the right of a man to himself,
the right of a husband to his wife, the right of a parent to his child,
the right of a man to instruction, the right of a man to the fruits
of his own labor, all these supreme rights, by the side of which
other rights seem petty, are trampled down in order to organize that
_five-headed_ selfishness, practically maintained by the lash, which,
look at it as you will, has for its single object COMPULSORY LABOR

Obviously and unquestionably the good of all is against such a
system; nor, except for the pretended property of the master, and his
selfish interest, could there be any color for it. That Slavery thus
constituted can be good for the master is one of the hallucinations
of the system,--something like the hallucination of the opium-eater.
Fascinating, possibly, it may be for a time, but debasing and
destructive it must be in the end. “I agree with Mr. Boswell,” said Dr.
Johnson, “that there must be high satisfaction in being a feudal lord”;
but the moralist did not consider this a good reason for such a power
at the expense of others.[157] That Slave-Masters should be violent and
tyrannical, that they should be regardless of all rights, especially
where Slavery is concerned, and that the higher virtues of character
should fail in them,--all this might be inferred, even in the absence
of evidence, according to irresistible law of cause and effect. No man
can do injustice with impunity. He may not suffer in worldly condition,
but he must suffer in his own nature. And the very unconsciousness in
which he lives aggravates the unhappy influence. Nor can familiarity
with Slavery fail to harden the heart.

Persons become accustomed to scenes of brutality, till they witness
them with indifference. Hogarth, that master of human nature,
portrayed this tendency in his picture of a dissection at a medical
college, where the president maintains the dignity of insensibility
over a corpse, which he regards simply as the subject of a lecture.
And Horace Walpole, who admired the satire of this picture, finds
in it illustration of the idea, that “the legal habitude of viewing
shocking scenes hardens the human mind, and renders it unfeeling.”[158]
This simple truth, in its most general application, exhibits the
condition of the Slave-Master. How can he show sensibility for the
common rights of fellow-citizens who sacrifices daily the most sacred
rights of others merely to secure _labor without wages_? With him a
false standard is necessarily established, bringing with it a blunted
moral sense and clouded perceptions, so that, when he does something
intrinsically barbarous or mean, he does not blush at the recital.

Here, again, I forbear all detail. The reason of the intellect blending
with the reason of the heart, the testimony of history fortified by
the testimony of good men, an array of unerring figures linked with an
array of unerring facts,--these all I might employ. And I might proceed
to show how this barbarous influence, beginning on the plantation,
diffuses itself throughout society, enters into official conduct, and
even mounts into Congress, where for a long time it has exercised a
vulgar domination, trampling not only on all the amenities of debate,
but absolutely on Parliamentary Law. I shall not open this chapter.

There is one frightful circumstance, unhappily of frequent occurrence,
which proclaims so clearly the character of the social system bred
by Slavery, that I shall be pardoned for adducing it. I refer to
the roasting of slaves alive at the stake. One was roasted very
recently,--not after public trial, according to the forms of law, as
at the fires of Smithfield, but by a lawless crowd, suddenly assembled,
who in this way made themselves ministers of a cruel vengeance. This
Barbarism, which seems to have become part of the customary Law of
Slavery, may well cover us all with humiliation, when we reflect that
it is already renounced by the copper-colored savages of our continent,
while during the present century more instances of it have occurred
among our Slave-Masters than we know among the former since that early
day when Captain Smith was saved from sacrifice by the tenderness
of Pocahontas. Perhaps no other usage reveals with such fearful
distinctness the deep-seated, pervading influence of Slavery, offensive
to Civilization, hostile to Law itself, by virtue of which it pretends
to live, insulting to humanity, shocking to decency, and utterly
heedless of all rights, forms, or observances, in the maintenance of
its wicked power. Here I add, that the proportion of slave to free is
not without influence in determining treatment. Fear is a constant
tyrant, with an inhumanity which does not tire or sleep, and nothing
can quicken its cruelty more than the dread of vengeance for the
multitudinous wrong done to the slave.

I would not be unjust to Slave-Masters. Some there are, I doubt not,
of happy natures, uncorrupted by the possession of tyrannical power,
who render the condition of their slaves endurable, and in private
virtues emulate the graces of Civilization; but the good in these cases
comes from the masters, _notwithstanding_ Slavery. And, besides, there
are the great examples of the Fathers, who, looking down upon Slavery
and regarding it as an Evil, were saved from its contamination. To
all these I render heartfelt homage. But their exceptional virtues
cannot save the essential wrong which I expose. Nor am I blinded by
the blandishments of that wealth which is the fruit of Slavery. With
abhorrence we read of the scandalous man-traffic by which a Hessian
prince of Germany sold his subjects to be used by George the Third
against our fathers; and we share the contempt expressed by Frederick,
surnamed the Great, when he levied on these victims, passing through
his dominions, the customary toll for so many head of cattle, since,
as he said, they had been sold as such; and even now the traveller
turns with disgust from the pleasant slopes of the ducal garden which
was adorned by these unholy gains.[159] But all this, and more, must
be renewed in our minds, when we think of American Slavery, with the
houses and gardens decorated by its sweat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such, fellow-citizens, is Slavery, as manifest in its law, and also in
its influence on society. Bad as it is, if it modestly kept at home,
if it did not stalk into the National jurisdiction and enter into the
National Government, _within reach of our votes_, I should not summon
you on this occasion to unite against it; for, whatever the promptings
of sympathy and of godlike philanthropy, nothing is clearer than that
our political duties depend simply upon our political responsibilities;
and since we are not politically responsible for Slavery in Charleston,
or in Constantinople, so in neither place have we any political duties
in regard to it. Lament it, wherever it exists, we must, and surround
its victims with our prayers; but our action, while inspired by these
sentiments, must rest within the bounds of Law and Constitution.

Here the field is ample. Indeed, if Slavery existed nowhere within
the national jurisdiction, our duty would still be urgent to grapple
with that pernicious influence, which, through an _Oligarchical
Combination_ of Slave-Masters, unknown to the Constitution, never
anticipated by its founders, and in defiance of their example, has
entered into and possessed the National Government, like an Evil
Spirit. This influence, which, wielding at will all the powers of the
National Government, even those of the Judiciary, has become formidable
to Freedom everywhere, clutching violently at the Territories, and
menacing the Free States,--as witness the claim, still undecided in
the court of the last resort, so audaciously presented by a citizen
of Virginia, to hold slaves in New York on the way to Texas; this
influence, now so vaulting, was for a long time unobserved, even
while exercising a controlling power. At first timid and shy, from
undoubted sense of guilt, it avoided discussion, yet was determined
in its policy. The Southern Senator who boasted that for sixty years
the Slave States had governed the country knew well their constant
inferiority to the Free States in population, wealth, manufactures,
commerce, schools, churches, libraries, and all the activities of
a true Civilization,--knew well that they had contributed nothing
to the literature of the country, even in Political Economy and the
science of Government, which they have so vehemently professed, except
the now forgotten “forty bale theory,”[160]--knew well that by no
principle of justice could this long predominance be explained; but
he forgot to confess the secret agency. Though unseen, Slavery was
present always with decisive influence. No matter what the question,
it was the same. Once the Free States inclined to Free Trade, but the
Slave States went the other way; but when the former inclined towards
Protection, the Slave Power in the dark behind dictated Free Trade, and
so it has been till now. Here is the subtle ruling influence, against
which population, wealth, manufactures, commerce, schools, churches,
libraries, and all the activities of a true Civilization are impotent.
The Slave Power is always master, and it is this Power which for sixty
years, according to the boast of the Senator, has governed this broad
and growing country, doing what it pleases, and penetrating far-away
places, while it sacrifices all who will not do its bidding.

The actual number of slaveholders was for a long time unknown, and
on this account was naturally exaggerated. It was often represented
very great. On one occasion, a distinguished representative from
Massachusetts, whose name will be ever cherished for devotion to
Human Rights,--I mean the late Horace Mann,--was rudely interrupted
on the floor of Congress by a member from Alabama, who averred that
the number of slaveholders was as many as three millions.[161] At
that time there was no official document by which this extravagance
could be corrected. But at last we have it. The late census, taken
in 1850, shows that the whole number of this peculiar class, all
told, so unfortunate as to hold slaves, was only 347,525;[162] and
of this number the larger part are small slaveholders, leaving only
92,000 persons as owners of the great mass of slaves, and substantial
representatives of this class. And yet this small Oligarchy, odious in
origin, without any foundation in that justice which is the essential
base of every civilized association, stuck together only by confederacy
in all the _five-headed_ wrong of Slavery, and constituting in itself
what in other days was called _Magnum Latrocinium_, has, by confession
of one of its own leaders, for sixty years governed the Republic. To
this end two things have concurred: first, its associated wealth,
being the asserted value of its human flesh, constituting a flagitious
capital of near two thousand millions of dollars; and, secondly, its
peculiar representation in the House of Representatives, where, under
the three-fifths rule of the Constitution, ninety members actually
hold their seats by virtue in part of this indefensible property.
Thus are our Slave-Masters an enormous Corporation, or Joint-Stock
Company, by the side of which the United States Bank, with its petty
thirty millions of capital, and without any peculiar representation, is
dwarfed into insignificance.

All tyranny, like murder, is foul at the best; but this is most foul,
strange, and unnatural, especially when it is considered that the
States occupied by the Slave Oligarchy are far below the Free States
in resources of all kinds. By the last census there was in the Free
States a solid population of freemen amounting to upwards of thirteen
millions, while in the Slave States there was a like population of
only six millions. In other respects, important to Civilization, the
disparity was as great,--all of which I have amply shown elsewhere.
And yet from the beginning this Oligarchy has taken the lion’s share
among the honors and trusts of the Republic, while it entered into
and possessed both the old political parties, Whig and Democrat,--as
witness their servile resolutions always,--making them one in
subserviency, though double in form, and renewing in them the mystery
of the Siamese twins, which, though separate in body and different
in name, are constrained by an unnatural ligament to a community of

I feel humbled, when I dwell on the amazing disproportion of offices
usurped by this Oligarchy. From the beginning, all the great posts of
the Republic--Presidency, Vice-Presidency, seats in the Cabinet, seats
in the Supreme Court, Presidency of the Senate, Speakership--seem to
be almost perpetually in their hands. At this moment, the Free States,
with double the population of the Slave States, have only four out
of nine Justices of the Supreme Court; and of these four, it must
be said, three are Northern men with Southern principles. And in the
humbler places at the Departments the same extraordinary disproportion
prevails. Out of the whole number there employed, 787 are from the
Slave States and District of Columbia, and 441 from the Free States,
but mostly with Southern principles. These instances are typical.
There is nothing in the National Government which the Oligarchy does
not appropriate. Down to our day it has held the keys of every office,
from President to the humblest postmaster, compelling all to do its
bidding. It makes Cabinets,--organizes Courts,--directs the Army and
Navy,--manages every department of public business,--presides over the
Census,--conducts the Smithsonian Institution, founded by the generous
charity of a foreigner to promote the interests of mankind,--and
subsidizes the national press, alike in the national capital and in the
remotest village of the North.

Mounting the marble steps of the Capitol, it takes the chair of the
President of the Senate, also the chair of the Speaker of the House,
then arranges the Committees of both bodies, placing at their head only
servitors of Slavery, and excluding friends of Freedom, though entitled
to such places by personal character and the States they represent; and
thus it controls the national legislation. From the Capitol to the most
distant confines, the whole country is enslaved. The Mahometan priest
turns in prayer towards Mecca, his pulpit is on the side which fronts
towards Mecca, his auditors face towards Mecca. But Slavery is our
Mecca, towards which everything turns, everything fronts, everything

In maintaining its power the Slave Oligarchy applies a test for
office very different from that of Jefferson: “Is he honest? Is he
capable? Is he faithful to the Constitution?” These things are all
forgotten now in the single question, signalizing the great change
which has taken place, “Is he faithful to Slavery?” With arrogant
ostracism, it excludes from every national office all who cannot
respond to this test, thus surrounding and blockading every avenue
of power. So complete and offensive has this tyranny become, that at
this moment, while I am speaking, could Washington, or Jefferson, or
Franklin, or John Jay, once more descend from his sphere above, to
mingle in our affairs, and bless us with his wisdom, not one of them,
with his recorded, _unretracted_ opinions on Slavery, could receive
a nomination for the Presidency from either fraction of the divided
Democratic party, or from that other political combination known as
the Union party,--nor, stranger still, could either of these sainted
patriots, whose names alone open a perpetual fountain of gratitude
in all your hearts, be confirmed by the Senate of the United States
for any political function whatever, not even for the local office of
Postmaster. What I now say, amid your natural astonishment, I have said
often in addressing the people, and more than once from my seat in the
Senate, and no man there has made answer, for no man who has sat in
its secret sessions, and observed the test practically applied, could
make answer; and I ask you to accept this statement as my testimony,
derived from the experience which is my lot. Yes, fellow-citizens, had
this test prevailed in the earlier days, Washington, “first in war,
first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen,” could not have
been created Generalissimo of the American forces, Jefferson could
not have taken his place on the Committee to draft the Declaration
of Independence, and Franklin could not have gone forth to France,
with the commission of the infant Republic, to secure the invaluable
alliance of that ancient kingdom,--nor could John Jay, as first Chief
Justice, have lent to our judiciary the benignant grace of his name and

Standing on the bent necks of an enslaved race, with four millions
of human beings as the black marble Caryatides to support its power,
the Slave Oligarchy erects itself into a lordly caste which brooks no
opposition. But when I speak of Caste, I mean nothing truly polite;
and when I speak of Oligarchy, I mean nothing truly aristocratic.
As despotism is simply an abuse of monarchy, so Oligarchy is simply
an abuse of aristocracy, unless it be that most vulgar of all,
“aristocracy of the skin.” Derived from Slavery, and having the
interests of Slavery always in mind, our Oligarchy must naturally take
its character from this _five-headed_ wrong.

    “Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.”

All that is bad in Slavery, its audacity, its immorality, its cruelty,
its robbery, its meanness, its ignorance, its barbarous disregard of
human rights, and its barbarous disregard of every obligation, must
all be reproduced in its representative. If the Oligarchy hesitates
at nothing to serve its selfish ends, it simply acts in harmony with
Slavery, from which it draws its life-blood. If in grasp of power it is
like the hunchback Richard, if in falsehood it copies Iago, and if in
character it is low as the brutish Caliban,

    “Which any print of goodness will not take,
    Being capable of all ill,”--

ay, if in all these respects it surpasses its various prototypes,--if
in steady baseness, in uniform brutality, and consummate wickedness
it is without a peer, be not astonished, fellow-citizens, for it acts
simply according to the original law of its birth and the inborn
necessities of its being. With all these unprecedented qualities and
aptitudes combined into one intense activity, it goes where it will and
does what it pleases. The Pterodactyl of an early geological period,
formed for all service and every element, with neck of bird, mouth of
reptile, wing of bat, body of mammifer, and with hugest eye, so that
it could seek its prey in the night,--such was the ancient and extinct
kindred of this Oligarchy, which, like Milton’s fiend,

    “O’er bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare,
    With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way,
    And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.”

The soul sickens in contemplating the acts of dishonest tyranny
perpetrated by this lordly power. I cannot give their prolonged history
now. But looking at the old Missouri Compromise, founded on the
admission of Missouri as a Slave State, and in consideration thereof
the Prohibition of Slavery in other outlying territory, and seeing
how, after an acquiescence of thirty-four years, and the irreclaimable
possession by Slavery of its especial share in the provisions of this
Compromise, in violation of every obligation of honor, compact, and
good neighborhood, and in contemptuous disregard of the outgushing
sentiments of an aroused North, this time-honored Prohibition was
overturned, and the vast region now known as Kansas and Nebraska
opened to Slavery,--looking next at the juggling bill by which this
was accomplished, declaring that its object was to leave the people
“perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in
their own way,” and seeing how, in spite of these express words, the
courageous settlers there were left a prey to invading hordes from
Missouri, who, entering the Territory, organized a Usurpation which
by positive law proceeded to fasten Slavery upon that beautiful soil,
and to surround it with a code of death, so strict, that the famous
bell which once swung in the steeple over the Hall of Independence
at Philadelphia would be nothing but a nuisance in Kansas, while its
immortal inscription, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land, unto
all the inhabitants thereof,” would be an offence, and the sexton who
rang the bell a criminal,--looking at the Lecompton Constitution,
that masterpiece of wicked contrivance, by which this same people,
in organizing a State, were fraudulently prevented from passing upon
the question of Slavery, and seeing how the infamous counterfeit,
though repudiated by the people, was openly adopted by the President,
and by him corruptly urged upon Congress, with all the power of his
Administration,--looking at these things, so recent and menacing,
I feel how vain it is to expect truce or compromise with the Slave
Oligarchy. Punic in faith, as in fear, no compact can bind it,
while all interpretations of the Constitution friendly to Freedom,
though sanctioned by Court and Congress in continuous precedent, are
unceremoniously rejected. Faust, in the profound poem of Goethe, on
being told that in Hell itself the laws prevail, says:--

    “Now that I like: so, then, one may, in fact,
    Conclude a binding compact with you, gentry!”

To which Mephistopheles replies:--

    “Whatever promise in our books finds entry
    We strictly carry into act.”

But no compact or promise binds our gentry, although entered again and
again in their books.

According to a famous saying, Russia is a “despotism tempered by
assassination”; but even the steel of Brutus, refulgent in the Capitol,
without the supplementary fulfilment of the wish of Caligula, that all
should have a single life, must fail to reach our despotism, which
in numbers enjoys an immunity beyond any solitary tyrant. Surely, if
the Oligarchy is to live yet longer, its badges should symbolize its
peculiar despotism born of Slavery. The coin, seal, and flag must be
changed. Let the eagle be removed, giving place to the foul vulture
with vulgar beak and filthy claw,--how unlike that bird of Jove, with
ample pinion, and those mighty pounces, holding the dread thunderbolt
and better olive of peace!--and instead of these, let there be fetter
and lash, borrowed from the plantation, which is the miniature of the
broader plantation to which the Republic is reduced. That appearance
may be according to reality, and that we may not seem what we are not,
this at least must be done. Abandon, too, the stars and stripes,--the
stars numbering the present Union, the stripes numbering that Union
which gave to mankind the Declaration of Independence with immortal
truth; and let these also be replaced by the universal fetter and lash,
for here is typified our Oligarchy, in all present power, as in all
vital principle. Fetter and lash! The schoolboy shall grow up honoring
the chosen emblems; the citizen shall hail them with sympathetic pride;
the Republic shall be known by them on coin, seal, and flag; while
the ruler of the subjugated land, no longer President, shall be called

       *       *       *       *       *

Of course, fellow-citizens, you are now ready to see that the
corruptions by which the present Administration is degraded are the
natural offspring of slaveholding immorality. They have all concurred
in sustaining the policy of the Oligarchy, and in the case of the
Lecompton Constitution in direct effort to fasten Slavery upon a
distant Territory, and they are all marked by the effrontery of
Slavery. There is also its vulgarity; but this is natural; for is not
pretension a fruitful source of vulgarity? and, pray, what is Slavery,
but an enormous Pretension? Smollett attributes the peculiar profligacy
of England at a particular period to the demoralization of the South
Sea Bubble; but what is such a fugitive influence, compared with
Slavery, which, indeed, if it were not a crime, might well be called a
Bubble? A Government which vindicates the sale of human beings need not
hesitate to purchase votes, whether at the polls or in Congress. The
two transactions belong to the same family, though unquestionably the
last is the least reprehensible.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fellow-citizens,--And now we are brought to the practical bearing of
this statement. Beyond all doubt your souls rise in judgment against
these things. Beyond all doubt you are saddened at the shadow which
they cast over the land. Beyond all doubt you are unwilling to bear any
responsibility for their longer continuance. But this is not enough.
There must be opposition, active, constant, perpetual; and this is the
foremost duty of patriotism. From the virtuous Reformer, Wycliffe,
whose name illumines the earlier period of English history, we learn
that men are sharers in evil deeds who from “coward dumbness” fail
to oppose them. There can be no such coward dumbness now. Happily, a
political party is at hand whose purpose is to combine and direct all
generous energies for the salvation of the country.

Would you arrest these terrible corruptions, and the disastrous
influence from which they spring, involving nothing less than
civilization on this continent, the Republican party tells you how,
and, in telling you how, vindicates at once its Origin and its
Necessity. The work must be done, and there is no other organization by
which it can be done. A party with such an origin and such a necessity
cannot be for a day, or for this election only. It cannot be less
permanent than the hostile influence which it is formed to counteract.
Therefore, just so long as the present false theories of Slavery
prevail, whether concerning its character, morally, economically,
and socially, or concerning its prerogatives under the Constitution,
and just so long as the Slave Oligarchy, which is the sleepless and
unhesitating agent of Slavery in all its pretensions, continues to
exist as a political power, the Republican party must endure. If bad
men conspire for Slavery, good men must combine for Freedom; nor can
the Holy War be ended, until the Barbarism now dominant in the Republic
is overthrown, and the Pagan power is driven from our Jerusalem.
And when this triumph is won, securing the immediate object of our
organization, the Republican party will not die, but, purified by long
contest with Slavery, and filled with higher life, it will be lifted
to yet other efforts for the good of man.

At present the work is plain before us. It is simply to elect
our candidates: Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, whose ability, so
conspicuously shown in his own State, attracted at once the admiration
of the whole country, whose character no breath has touched, and
whose heart is large enough to embrace the broad Republic and all its
people,--him you will elect President; and Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine,
whose clear head, firm principles, and ample experience none who
sit with him in the Senate Chamber can contest,--him you will elect
Vice-President. Electing these, we shall put the National Government,
at least in its Executive department, openly and actively on the side
of Freedom; and this alone will be of incalculable influence, not only
in itself, but as harbinger of the Future.

First and foremost, we shall save the Territories from the five-headed
Barbarism of Slavery, keeping them in their normal condition, as they
came from the hand of God, free,--with Freedom written on the soil
and engraved on the rock, while the winds whisper it in the trees,
the rivers murmur it in their flow, and all Nature echoes it in joy

Next, we shall save the country and the age from that crying infamy,
the Slave-Trade, whose opening anew, as now menaced, is but a logical
consequence of the new theories of Slavery. If Slavery be the
“blessing” it is vaunted, then must the Slave-Trade be beneficent,
while they who ply it with fiercest activity take place among the
missionaries and saints of humanity.

Next, we shall save the Constitution, at least within the sphere
of Executive influence, from outrage and perversion; so that the
President will no longer lend himself to that wildest pretension of
the Slave Oligarchy, as Mr. Buchanan has done, declaring that Slavery
is carried under the Constitution into all the Territories, and that
it now exists in Kansas as firmly as in South Carolina. As out of
nothing can come nothing, so out of the nothing in the Constitution on
this subject can be derived no support for this inordinate pretension,
which may be best dismissed in that classical similitude by which the
ancients rebuked a groundless folly, when they called it _ass’s wool_,
or something that does not exist, and plainly said to its author,
_Asini lanas quæris_,--“You are in quest of ass’s wool!”[163]

Next, we shall help save the Declaration of Independence, now
dishonored and disowned in its essential, life-giving truth,--_the
Equality of Men_. This transcendent principle, which appears twice
at the Creation, first, when God said, “Let us make man in our
image,” and, secondly, in the Unity of the Race, then divinely
established,--which appears again in the New Testament, when it was
said, “God, that made the world and all things therein, hath made of
one blood all nations of men,”--which appears again in the primal
reason of the world, anterior to all institutions and laws,--belongs
to those self-evident truths, sometimes called axioms, which no man
can question without exposing to question his own intelligence or
honesty. As well deny arithmetically that two and two make four, or
deny geometrically that a straight line is the shortest distance
between two points, as deny the axiomatic, self-evident, beaming
truth, that all men are equal. As of the sun in the heavens, blind
is he who cannot perceive it. Of course, this principle, uttered in
a Declaration of Rights, is applicable simply to rights; and it is
a childish sophism to allege against it the obvious inequalities of
form, character, and faculties. As axiom, it admits no exception; for
it is the essence of an axiom, whether in geometry or in morals, to be
universal. As abstract truth, it is also without exception, according
to the essence of such truth. And, finally, as self-evident truth,
so announced in the Declaration, it is without exception; for only
such truth can be self-evident. Thus, whether axiom, abstract truth,
or self-evident truth, it is always universal. In vindicating this
principle, the Republican party have a grateful duty, to which they are
moved by justice to a much-injured race, excluded from its protection,
and by justice also to the Fathers, whose well-chosen words, fit
foundation for empire, are turned into mockery. Nor can the madness
of the Propagandists be better illustrated than in this assault on
the Declaration of Independence, stultifying the Fathers for no other
purpose than to clear the way for their five-headed abomination of
_Compulsory Labor without Wages_.

And, finally, we shall help expel the Slave Oligarchy from all its
seats of National power, driving it back within the States. This alone
is worthy of every effort; for, until this is done, nothing else can
be completely done. In vain you seek economy or purity in the National
Government, in vain you seek improvement of rivers and harbors, in
vain you seek homesteads on the public lands for actual settlers, in
vain you seek reform in administration, in vain you seek dignity and
peace in our foreign relations, with just sympathy for struggling
Freedom everywhere, while this selfish and corrupt power holds the
National purse and the National sword. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy,
and the door will be open to all generous principles. Prostrate the
Slave Oligarchy, and the wickedness of the Fugitive Slave Bill will
be expelled from the statute-book. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy,
and Slavery will cease at once in the National Capital. Prostrate
the Slave Oligarchy, and the Slave-Trade will no longer skulk along
our coasts beneath the National flag. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy,
and Liberty will become, in fact, as in law, the normal condition of
all the National Territories. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy, and the
National Government will be at length divorced from Slavery. Prostrate
the Slave Oligarchy, and the National star will be changed from Slavery
to Freedom. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy, and the North will be no
longer the vassal of the South. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy, and the
North will be admitted to its just share in the trusts and honors of
the Republic. Prostrate the Slave Oligarchy, and a mighty victory of
Peace will be won, whose influence on the Future of our country and of
mankind no imagination can paint.

Prostrated, exposed, and permanently expelled from ill-gotten power,
the Oligarchy will cease to exist as a political combination. Its final
doom may be postponed, but it is certain. Languishing, it may live yet
longer; but it will surely die. Yes, fellow-citizens, surely it will
die, when, disappointed in purpose, driven back within the States, and
constrained within these limits, it can no longer rule the Republic as
a plantation of slaves at home, can no longer menace the Territories
with five-headed device to compel _Labor without Wages_, can no longer
fasten upon the Constitution an interpretation which makes merchandise
of men and gives disgraceful immunity to brokers of human souls and
butchers of human hearts, and can no longer grind flesh and blood, with
groans and sighs, tears of mothers and cries of children, into the
cement of a barbarous political power. Surely, then, in its retreat,
smarting under the indignation of an aroused people and the concurring
judgment of the civilized world, it must die,--it may be as a poisoned
rat dies of rage in its hole.

Meanwhile all good omens are ours. The work cannot stop. Quickened
by the triumph now so near, with a Republican President in power,
State after State, quitting the condition of a Territory and spurning
Slavery, will be welcomed into our Plural Unit, and, joining hands
together, will become a belt of fire girt about the Slave States,
within which Slavery must die,--or, happier still, joining hands
together, they will become to the Slave States a zone of Freedom,
radiant, like the ancient cestus of Beauty, with transforming power.

It only remains that we speed these good influences. Others may dwell
on the Past as secure; but to my mind, under the laws of a beneficent
God, _the Future also is secure_,--on the single condition that we
press forward in the work with heart and soul, forgetting self, turning
from all temptations of the hour, and, intent only on the cause,

    “With mean complacence ne’er betray our trust,
    Nor be so civil as to prove unjust.”[164]



                                          BOSTON, July 30, 1860.

  DEAR SIR,--It is still uncertain whether my engagements here and
  elsewhere will allow me to visit Tioga County during the present
  season. But I beg to assure the Republicans there of my sympathy
  in their generous labors.

  There is ample reward simply in working for a good cause; but we
  have before us, also, the assurance that our candidates will be

  Accept my thanks for the honor of your invitation, and believe
  me, dear Sir,

      With much respect,

          Faithfully yours,

              CHARLES SUMNER.




                                          BOSTON, July 30, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--If I forego the opportunity which you offer me
  of uniting with the earnest Abolitionists of Massachusetts in
  celebrating the anniversary of Emancipation in the British
  Islands of the West Indies, I pray you not to believe me
  insensible to the magnanimous teachings of that day,--destined, I
  doubt not, as men advance in virtue, to take its place yet more
  and more among the great days of History.

  Nothing shows the desperate mendacity of the partisans of Slavery
  more than the unfounded persistence with which they call this act
  “a failure.” If it be a failure, then is virtue a failure, then
  is justice a failure, then is humanity a failure, then is God
  himself a failure; for virtue, justice, humanity, and God himself
  are all represented in this act.

  Well-proved facts vindicate completely the policy of
  Emancipation, even if it were not commanded by the simplest rules
  of morality. All testimony, whether from official documents or
  from travellers, shows, beyond question, that in these islands
  the condition of the negro is improved by emancipation; but this
  testimony is especially instructive, when we learn that the
  improvement is most strongly manifest in those who have been
  born in Freedom. Ask any person familiar with these islands,--as
  I have often done,--or consult any unprejudiced authority, and
  such will be the answer. This alone is enough to vindicate the
  act. Moreover, it is enough, if _men_ are raised in the scale of
  being, even though sugar perishes from the earth.

  But careful statistics attest that the material interests of
  these possessions share the improvement of the population. In
  some of the islands, as in Barbadoes and Antigua, the advance is
  conspicuous, while in Jamaica itself, which is the instance most
  constantly cited of “failure,” the evidence is unanswerable, that
  the derangement of affairs cannot be charged upon Emancipation,
  but is a natural incident to the anomalous condition of that
  island throughout its history, aggravated by insane pretensions
  of the Slave-Masters. Two different Governors of this island[165]
  have assured me, that, with all their experience there, they
  looked upon Emancipation as a “blessing.” Thus is it shown that
  the true policy of this world is found in justice. Nothing is
  truer than that injustice, beside its essential wickedness, is
  folly also. The unjust man is a fool.

  Only recently important testimony on this subject has found
  place, where it would be hardly expected, in the columns of the
  “New York Times”; and similar testimony occurs in other quarters,
  both in England and America. And yet, with the truth flashing
  in their faces, our Slave-Masters misrepresent the sublime and
  beautiful act as a “failure”! This, however, is of a piece with
  their whole conduct.

  Let me thank you for the invitation with which you have honored
  me, and for the good wishes with which you cheer me; and believe
  me, my dear Sir,

      Very faithfully yours,





                                          BOSTON, August 6, 1860.

  GENTLEMEN,--Accept my thanks for the invitation with which you
  have honored me. Knowing by recent experience something of the
  generous Republicans of New York, it is with reluctance that I
  renounce the opportunity you give me of mingling with them on an
  interesting occasion.

  As citizens of a great metropolis, they have duties of peculiar
  difficulty. It is in these centres that the Proslavery sentiment
  of the North shows itself with violence often kindred to
  that of the plantation, so as almost to justify the language
  of Jefferson, who called great cities “sores” of the body
  politic.[166] Even this expression does not seem too strong, when
  we recognize the infection of Slavery breaking out sometimes in
  the violence of mobs, and constantly manifest in the press, in
  public speech, and in a corrupt public sentiment. It belongs to
  the Republican party, by gentle, healing influences, guided by a
  firm hand, to inaugurate the work of _cure_, that health may be
  substituted for disease.

  Meanwhile the wretched disease must be understood, and I venture
  to call attention to a work just published in New York, where
  it is exposed with consummate ability: I refer to “Slavery in
  History,” by Adam Gurowski. The learned author, who vindicates
  his new title as American citizen by noble effort for the good
  of his adopted country, exhibits Slavery, from the beginning of
  time, in all nations and places, as nothing more nor less than a
  monstrosity, disturbing, corrupting, and debasing the government
  under which it exists, and all the individuals who are parties to
  it, directly or indirectly: for no man can sustain Slavery, or in
  any way apologize for it, without suffering in moral, if not also
  in intellectual nature. Such a work, founded on careful studies,
  and executed in the spirit of science, will naturally take a
  place in libraries; but I am sure that all inquirers into the
  character of Slavery, and especially all practical Republicans,
  engaged in efforts to stay the spread of this barbarous disease,
  ought to welcome it as an ally. No good citizen who makes himself
  acquainted with Slavery can hesitate to join against it.

  Accept my best wishes for the success of your festival, and also
  the assurance of the respect with which

      I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,

          Your obliged Servant,

              CHARLES SUMNER.




    Mr. Browne died suddenly, May 1st, 1860. A little volume was
    printed in the summer, entitled “In Memoriam J. W. B.,” to
    which Mr. Sumner contributed the following notice. Prefixed
    were the words of Fénelon:--

        “Il n’y a que les grands cœurs qui sachent combien il y a
        de gloire à être bon.”

I should feel unhappy, if this little book of tribute to my
early friend were allowed to appear without a word from me. We
were classmates in college, and for two out of the four years of
undergraduate life were chums. We were also together in the Law School.
Perhaps no person now alive knew him better, during all this period.
Separated afterwards by the occupations of the world, I saw him only
at intervals, though our friendship continued unbroken to the end,
and when we met, it was always with the warmth and confidence of our
youthful relations.

Of all my classmates, I think that he gave, in college, the largest
promise of future eminence, mingled, however, with uncertainty whether
the waywardness of genius might not betray him. None then imagined that
the fiery nature, nursed upon the study of Byron, and delighting always
to talk of his poetry and life, would be tamed to the modest ways
which he afterwards adopted. The danger seemed to be, that, like his
prototype, he would break loose from social life, and follow the bent
of lawless ambition, or at least plunge with passion into the strifes
of the world. His earnestness at this time bordered on violence, and in
all his opinions he was a partisan. But he was already thinker as well
as reader, and expressed himself with accuracy and sententious force.
Voice harmonizes with character, and his was too apt to be ungentle and

They who have known him only latterly will be surprised at this glimpse
of him in early life. A change so complete in sentiment, manner, and
voice, as took place in him, I have never known. It seemed like one
of those instances in Christian story, where the man of violence is
softened suddenly into a saintly character. I do not exaggerate in
the least. So much have I been impressed by it at times, that I could
hardly believe in his personal identity, and I have recalled the good
Fra Cristoforo, in the exquisite romance of Manzoni, to prove that the
simplest life of unostentatious goodness may succeed a youth hot with
passion of all kinds.

To me, who knew him so well in his other moods, it was touching in the
extreme to note this change. Listening to his voice, now so gentle
and low, while he conversed on the duties of life, and with perfect
simplicity revealed his own abnegation of worldly aims, I have been
filled with reverence. At these times his conversation was peculiar and
instructive. He had thought for himself, and expressed what he said
with all his native force refined by new-born sweetness of soul, which
would have commended sentiments even of less intrinsic interest. I saw
how, in the purity of his nature, he turned aside from riches and from
ambition of all kinds, content with a tranquil existence, undisturbed
by any of those temptations which promised once to exercise such sway
over him. But his opinions, while uttered with modesty, were marked by
the hardihood of an original thinker, showing that in him

                      “the Gods had joined
    The mildest manners and the bravest mind.”

His firm renunciation of office, opening the way to a tempting
political career, when formally tendered to him, is almost unique. He
had been Representative from Lynn, in the Legislature of Massachusetts,
and was nominated as Senator for Essex. This was long ago, in 1838,
while he was yet a young man; and here his sagacity seemed to be
remarkable as his principles. At that early day, when the two old
political parties had been little criticised, he announced that their
strife was “occasional and temporary, and that both had forgotten or
overlooked the great principle of equal liberty for all, upon which a
free government must rest as its only true and safe basis.” He then
proceeded to dissolve his connection with parties, in words worthy of
perpetual memory. “I disconnect myself from party,” he said, “whose
iron grasp holds hard even upon the least of us, and mean in my little
sphere, as a private individual, to serve what seems to me the cause
of the country and humanity. I cannot place currency above liberty. I
cannot place money above man. I cannot fight heartily for the Whigs
and against their opponents, when I feel, that, whichever shall be
the victorious party, the claims of humanity will be forgotten in
the triumph, and that the rights of the slave may be crushed beneath
the advancing hosts of the victors.”[167] No better words have
been uttered in our political history. In this spirit, and with his
unquestionable abilities, he might well have acted an important part in
the growing conflict with Slavery. But his love of retreat grew also,
and he shrank completely from all the activities of political life.
There was nothing that was not within his reach; but he could not be

I cannot disguise that at times I was disposed to criticise this
withdrawal, as suggesting too closely the questionable philosophy
concentrated in the saying, _Bene vixit qui bene latuit_. But as often
as I came within the sphere of his influence, and felt the simple
beauty of his life, while I saw how his soul, like the sensitive leaf,
closed at the touch of the world, I was willing to believe that he had
chosen wisely for himself, or at all events that his course was founded
on a system deliberately adopted, upon which even an old friend must
not intrude. Having always the greatest confidence in his resources,
intellectual as well as moral, I was never without hope that in some
way he would make his mark upon his country and his age. If he has not
done this, he has at least left an example precious to all who knew


AUGUST 29, 1860.

    This Convention was organized by the choice of the following

    President,--George S. Boutwell of Groton.

    Vice-Presidents,--At large,--Alfred Macy of Nantucket, Robert
    T. Davis of Fall River, Ezra W. Taft of Dedham, George Morey
    of Boston, Samuel Hooper of Boston, Charles W. Upham of Salem,
    P. J. Stone of Charlestown, B. C. Sargent of Lowell, Ebenezer
    Torrey of Fitchburg, Joel Hayden of Williamsburg, W. B. C.
    Pearsons of Holyoke; Suffolk,--Charles Torrey of Boston;
    Essex,--Henry K. Oliver of Lawrence; Middlesex,--Charles Hudson
    of Lexington; Worcester,--P. Emory Aldrich of Worcester;
    Norfolk,--James Ritchie of Roxbury; Bristol,--Samuel O.
    Dunbar of Taunton; Hampden,--E. B. Gillette of Westfield;
    Hampshire,--William Hyde of Ware; Franklin,--William
    B. Washburn of Greenfield; Berkshire,--Walter Laflin
    of Pittsfield; Plymouth,--Levi Reed of Abington;
    Barnstable,--James Gifford of Provincetown; Nantucket,--Edward
    Field of Nantucket; Dukes,--John Vinson of Edgartown.

    Secretaries,--George W. McLellan of Cambridge, Andrew Tower of
    Malden, Philip Cook of Provincetown, A. B. Underwood of Newton,
    W. C. Sheldon of Ware, W. W. Clapp, Jr., of Boston, Charles H.
    Spring of Holyoke, Franklin Williams of Roxbury, J. J. Piper
    of Fitchburg, Edmund Anthony of New Bedford, Thomas G. Kent of
    Milford, Edwin B. George of Groveland, W. S. George of Adams,
    J. A. Alden of East Bridgewater, S. S. Eastman of Greenfield,
    W. A. Brabiner of Brighton.

    At this Convention John A. Andrew was for the first time
    nominated as Governor.

    The Convention had more than its annual importance, as it was
    on the eve of a Presidential election. Abraham Lincoln, of
    Illinois, and Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, were the Republican
    candidates for President and Vice-President; John C.
    Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon, the
    Democratic candidates; Stephen H. Douglas, of Illinois, and
    Herschell V. Johnson, of Georgia, the candidates of a seceding
    body of Democrats, known as the Douglas party; John Bell, of
    Tennessee, and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, candidates of
    old Whigs, called at the time the Bell-Everett party.

    On motion of J. D. Baldwin, of Worcester, afterwards
    Representative in Congress, Mr. Sumner was invited to address
    the Convention. The report says:--

        “Mr. Sumner then came forward, and his appearance upon
        the platform was hailed with enthusiastic shouts,
        which testified the esteem and admiration in which the
        distinguished Senator is held by his fellow-Republicans of
        the Commonwealth. The cheering was continued some minutes,
        and when it had subsided, Mr. Sumner proceeded to address
        the crowded assembly,--the vast hall being filled to

MR. PRESIDENT,--It is now six years since I had the honor of meeting my
Republican fellow-citizens of Massachusetts in State Convention, drawn
together from all parts of our beloved Commonwealth,--and then also,
I remember well, it was at this good city of Worcester. Returning, at
last, with restored health, to the activities of public life, I am
happy again in this opportunity. It is pleasant to look into the faces
of friends, and to feel the sympathy of kindred hearts.

Nor can I disguise the satisfaction which I find at being here in
Worcester,--early and constant home of the Republican cause. When other
places, even in Massachusetts, were indifferent for Freedom, Worcester
was earnest; and when the cause was defeated in other counties,
here, under the lead of an eminent citizen, now the ornament of the
bench,[168] it triumphed by brilliant majorities; so that Worcester
became known, not only throughout Massachusetts, but everywhere,
throughout the country, as our impregnable stronghold. Long since,
while America was yet an unsettled wilderness, an English poet depicted
a county of our motherland as

    “That shire which we _the heart of England_ well may call”;[169]

and this ancient verse furnishes a descriptive phrase which has been
aptly applied to our Worcester, “the heart,” as it is the central
county, of the Commonwealth. But though truly belonging to Worcester
on this account, I have always been glad to believe that it only
justly depicted her as the “heart” of our cause,--here at least in

       *       *       *       *       *

If this cause were of common political interest, if it turned only
on some question of mere policy, or if it involved simply the honors
and emoluments of office, I should willingly leave the contest to
others. It would have little attraction for me. But it is far above
these things. It concerns the permanent well-being, primarily, of all
the outlying territories of the Republic, broad enough for empires,
now menaced by Slavery; and since one part of the body cannot suffer
without all being affected, it concerns the permanent well-being
and also the good name of the whole country, clouded by the growing
influence of Slavery. Nor is this all. The special motive for the
proposed extension of Slavery is to fortify the Slave Power in the
Senate of the United States, and, through the assured preponderance of
this Power there, to control the National Government in legislation,
diplomacy, and the distribution of office, so that, in short, no
law can be passed, no treaty can be ratified, and no individual,
though possessing all possible fitness for public service, can be
confirmed for office of any kind, without the consent of the Slave
Power,--thus, through the Senate, controlling the Judiciary itself.
Seeking, therefore, by active measures,--I say active and immediate
measures,--to save the Territories, you seek also to save the whole
country, not only from a deadly influence, but also from a degrading
rule, which ostracizes from office all who avow the early opinions of
the Fathers.

Such is our cause, nakedly stated, without illustration or argument.
Strange that it is not recognized at once by every patriot heart!
Strange that we should be compelled to vindicate it, sometimes against
open foes, and sometimes--harder still--against others who betray it
with a kiss!

       *       *       *       *       *

In the coming election this cause has its representative in Abraham
Lincoln. And why has he been selected? Not solely because he is a
popular favorite in the great Northwest,--of blameless life, of
unimpeachable integrity, of acknowledged abilities, and of practical
talent, all of which are unquestionable recommendations, shared,
however, by many others,--but because he had made himself the
determined champion of the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories,
stating the case with knowledge, with moderation, and yet with
firmness,--avowing openly his hatred of Slavery,--likening its
introduction in the Territories now to the Canada thistle, which a few
may plant to the detriment of succeeding generations, and then again to
snakes deposited in the cradle of an infant,--and especially exposing
the dishonest invention of “Squatter Sovereignty,” which would despoil
Congress of all power over this subject, and transfer it to the distant
handful of first settlers.

On two different occasions his views have been put forth and
developed,--first, in elaborate controversy with Mr. Douglas in
Illinois, and, secondly, in his well-known speech at the Cooper
Institute, New York. He does not need my praise; nor would I step aside
from my argument to praise anybody; but I may fitly call attention
to this masterly address, which, in careful research, clearness of
statement, and directness of purpose, may well compare with any one of
the innumerable speeches ever made concerning the power of Congress
over the Territories. On the topic it professes to treat it is a
monograph. Perhaps it is not too much to say that the effort was needed
in establishing his title to that public confidence which made him our
candidate. It is for the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories that
he has labored, and, excepting his brief, but honorable, experience in
Congress, his public life may be summed up in this single service,--nor
more nor less. The magnitude of the service may be measured by his
present position as representative of our cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

Arrayed in opposition are three other candidates for the
Presidency,--Bell, Breckinridge, and Douglas,--I mention them in
alphabetical order,--differing superficially among themselves, but
all concurring in friendship for Slavery and in withstanding its
prohibition anywhere, with followers ready, in warfare against the
Republican party, to coalesce or fuse with each other. In this
readiness you see the common antagonism. No person in the Republican
party can think of coalition or fusion with either of these three
parties; for they each and all represent in some form resistance to the
Prohibition of Slavery, and therefore must be opposed, each and all.
The whole trio are no better than Mrs. Malaprop’s idea of Cerberus,
“three gentlemen at once,” and must be encountered together.

       *       *       *       *       *

Looking at them separately, there is, first, the Bell party. Pardon
me, if I use names familiarly: it is but for the sake of convenience.
This party, known among us only by its boasts, draws its practical
support from the Slave States. It is a Proslavery party,--essentially
hostile to the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories, and dealing
always in treacherous generalities, which, if they have any meaning,
mean Slavery,--exalting the Constitution, as Slave-Masters understand
it,--also exalting the Union, in order to gain credit for “saving”
it,--and calling for the enforcement of the laws, meaning the
enforcement of the only Act of Congress which Slave-Masters specially
recognize, that for the surrender of fugitive slaves. Your indulgence
would hardly excuse me, if I occupied time in argument against this
combination, which, without declaring a single principle, without any
chance of a majority in the electoral colleges, and without any hope
of a single electoral vote in the Free States, runs for luck,--which,
with only a single possible vote in the House of Representatives, where
it seeks, for a revolutionary purpose, to transfer the election, again
proposes to run for luck.

Its plan, so far as known, is this. You will remember, that, by the
Constitution of the United States, in the event of failure to elect
by the people, the House of Representatives is empowered to choose
a President out of the three highest candidates for that office,
and the Senate to choose a Vice-President out of the two highest
candidates for that office. Now, assuming, first, that the Republican
candidate will not be elected by the people, which you know to be a
very wild assumption,--and, secondly, assuming that there will be no
election of President by the House,--this party, turning next to the
Vice-Presidency, assumes, thirdly, that Mr. Everett will be one of
the two highest candidates for the Vice-Presidency, and, fourthly,
that Mr. Everett will be elected by the Senate Vice-President, and
then will become President, like John Tyler and Millard Fillmore,--not
through the death of a President, but through a double failure by the
people and by the House. Such is the calculation by which this band of
professed Conservatives seek repose for the country. Permit me to say
that it is equalled only by the extravagance of Mrs. Toodles, in the
farce. Her passion was auctions, where she purchased ancient articles
of furniture under the idea that they might some day be useful. Once,
to the amazement of her husband, she brought home a brass door-plate
with the name of Thompson spelled with a p. “But what is this for?”
he demanded. “Why,” said Mrs. Toodles, with logic worthy of the Bell
party, “though we have been married many years without children, it
is possible, my dear, that we may have a child, that child may be a
daughter, and may live to the age of maturity, and she _may_ marry
a man of the name of Thompson spelled with a p. Then how handy it
will be to have this door-plate in the house!” I doubt if any person
really familiar with affairs can consider this nomination for the
Vice-Presidency of more practical value than Mrs. Toodles’s brass
door-plate, with the name of Thompson spelled with a p, picked up at an
auction. But then, in a certain most difficult contingency at the end
of a long line of contingencies, how handy it must be to have it in the

       *       *       *       *       *

In speaking of the Breckinridge party, I confess myself at the
outset perplexed between abhorrence of its dogma and respect for its
frankness. No plausible generality is put forward, as by the Bell
party, under which good and evil may alike find shelter; nor is any
plausible invention announced, as in the case of yet another party,
under which the real issue is avoided. But the insufferable claim,
first made by Mr. Calhoun, is unequivocally promulgated, that under
the Constitution the master may at all times carry his slaves into
the Territories, and neither Congress nor Territorial Legislature can
prohibit the outrage. This at least is plain. There is something even
in criminal boldness which we are disposed to admire. We like an open
foe, who scorns to hide in deceit, and meets us in daylight. But we do
not like a foe who dodges and hides so that we cannot find him. Nor
do we like a man who gives us only something counterfeit in exchange
for our votes. We do not like the double-faced prevaricator, who
cozens both sides, and deals in words “that palter in a double sense.”
It is praise to be frank, even on a bad side; and I have no reason
to question this merit of the Breckinridge party. And yet this very
frankness reveals an insensibility to reason and humanity, which, when
recognized, must add to our abhorrence. That men calling themselves
Christians, calling themselves Americans, in this nineteenth century,
should without a blush assert such a dogma may well excite our wonder.

Fully to appreciate this dogma, you must know and feel what Slavery
is. And here I content myself simply with reminding you of what
elsewhere I have demonstrated, that Slavery, as defined by existing
law, is a _five-headed_ Barbarism, composed of five different wrongs,
each of which you must indignantly reject: first, the impudent claim
of property in man; secondly, the gross mockery of the marriage-tie;
thirdly, the absolute nullification of the parental relation; fourthly,
the denial of instruction; and, fifthly, the robbery of another’s
labor, and of all its fruits: that this whole five-headed Barbarism,
sustained by existing law, and enforced by the lash, is simply _to
compel labor without wages_; and that to this end all great rights of
freedom, marriage, family, instruction, and property are trampled down.
This is Slavery. Turn it over, look at it as you will, such it is, and
such it must be seen to be by every honest mind.

    “To those who know thee not no words can paint,
    And those who know thee know all words are faint.”

Believe me, fellow-citizens, I do not present this outline willingly.
Gladly would I drop a veil over the revolting features. But when
audacious claims are made for Slavery, and you are told by one
candidate that it travels with the Constitution into new Territories,
and then by another candidate that the handful of first settlers can
alone deal with it in the Territories, while Congress sits powerless,
it becomes your duty to consider precisely what Slavery is, to study
it in the law from which it derives its character, and to follow it
also in all its effects. Here is the essential and vital part of the
argument, even on the question of Constitutional Law. It is only when
this is done that we can see how irrational is every effort to give it
constitutional force, or to save it from the action of Congress within
the national jurisdiction.

According to the claim now made, Slavery exists under the Constitution
everywhere outside the States,--in other words, Slavery is National;
whereas just the contrary is true. Everywhere outside the States
Freedom must prevail; in other words, Freedom is National. Yes,
Freedom is National, and Slavery Sectional. Read the Constitution,
and tell me if it be not so. Surely, if a pretension so peculiar as
that now set up could be found there, it would be plain to all, so
that no man could question it. Like the Decalogue, it would be in
positive language: “Thou shalt enslave thy brother man.” It would be
left to no doubtful phrase or ambiguous words, but would stand forth
in appalling certainty, a “darkness visible.” It would be stuck up,
like Gessler’s hat in the marketplace, so that all could see it. But
nothing is clearer than that in this well-considered instrument there
is not one clause or word which maintains property in man, not one
clause or word on which any such pretension can be founded. Wherever
there is any imagined reference to slaves, it is at most only to their
possible existence in States, “under the laws thereof”; and then their
designation as “persons” shows, that, whatever may be their condition
in the States, the Constitution does not regard them as “property.”
Thank God, the Constitution does not contain the idea that man can be
the property of man. It was the declared purpose of Mr. Madison to
exclude this idea. So completely has this been done, that it is among
boasts often made, that a stranger in a distant country or a future
age, reading our Constitution, and having no other record of our
history, would not know that any human being had ever been claimed as
“property” within the limits of the Republic. The text, at least, of
the Constitution is blameless. If men find Slavery there, it is only
because they make the Constitution reflect their own souls.

And yet this pretension is now the shibboleth of a great political
party; this is its single inspiration; this is its only principle;
this is all its stock in trade; this is its very “breath of life.” To
this base use has Democracy come. In voting for Mr. Breckinridge, you
declare, first, that man can have property in his fellow-man, and,
secondly, that such property is recognized by the Constitution of the
United States. The soul recoils from both. But even if the first be
true,--which I utterly deny,--it does not follow that such property is
sanctioned in the Constitution.

       *       *       *       *       *

Last in order of alphabet is the Douglas party, whose single cry
is “Popular Sovereignty”; last also in character,--for who can
respect what we know to be a deceit? The statesman founds himself on
principles; sometimes it is his office to frame expedients; but Popular
Sovereignty, as now put forward, is not a principle,--oh, no! not
even an expedient; it is nothing but a device, a pretext, an evasion,
a dodge, a trick, in order to avoid the commanding question, whether
Slavery shall be prohibited in the Territories. That is all.

All hail to Popular Sovereignty in its true glory! This is the grand
principle, first announced in the Declaration of Independence, which
is destined to regenerate the world. It is embodied in those famous
words, adopted by the Republican Convention at Chicago, that among
the unalienable rights of all men are “life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness,” and that “to secure these rights governments are
instituted among men, _deriving their just powers from the consent
of the governed_.” These are sacred words, full of life-giving
energy. Not simply national independence was here proclaimed, but
also the primal rights of all mankind. Then and there appeared
the Angel of Human Liberation, speaking and acting at once with
heaven-born strength,--breaking bolts, unloosing bonds, and opening
prison-doors,--always ranging on its mighty errand, wherever there
are any, no matter of what country or race, who struggle for rights
denied,--now cheering Garibaldi at Naples, as it had cheered Washington
in the snows of Valley Forge,--and especially visiting all who are
down-trodden, whispering that there is none so poor as to be without
rights which every man is bound to respect.

    “The affrighted gods confessed their awful lord;
    _They dropped the fetters_, trembled, and adored.”[170]

None so degraded as to be beneath its beneficent reach, none so lofty
as to be above its restraining power; while before it Despotism and
Oligarchy fall on their faces, like the image of Dagon, and the people
everywhere begin to govern themselves. Such is the Popular Sovereignty
proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence.

But the Great Declaration, not content with announcing certain rights
as unalienable, and therefore beyond the control of any government,
still further, restrains the sovereignty, which it asserts, by
simply declaring that the United States have “full power to do all
acts and things which independent states may OF RIGHT do.” Here is
a well-defined limitation upon Popular Sovereignty. The dogma of
Tory lawyers and pamphleteers--put forward to sustain the claim of
Parliamentary omnipotence, and vehemently espoused by Dr. Johnson in
his “Taxation no Tyranny”--was, openly, that _sovereignty_ is in its
nature _illimitable_, precisely as is now loosely professed by Mr.
Douglas for his handful of squatters. But this dogma is distinctly
discarded in the Declaration, and it is frankly proclaimed that all
_sovereignty_ is subordinate to the rule of _Right_. Mark, now, the
difference. All existing governments at that time, even the local
governments of the Colonies, stood on _Power_, without limitation.
Here was a new government, which, taking its place among the nations,
announced that it stood only on _Right_, and claimed no sovereignty
inconsistent with _Right_. Such, again, is the Popular Sovereignty of
the Declaration of Independence.

And yet this transcendent principle is now degraded into a “dodge,”
and the sacred name of Popular Sovereignty is prostituted to cover
the claim of a master over his slave. It is urged that a handful of
squatters may rightfully decide this claim, and the time-honored
traditional power of Congress over Slavery in the Territories is denied
or voted down. To protect this “villany,” as John Wesley would call it,
the right of the people to govern themselves is invoked,--forgetful
that this divine right can give no authority to enslave others, that
even the people are not omnipotent, and that never do they rise so high
as when, recognizing the everlasting laws of Right, they bend to the
behests of Justice.

Though bearing the name of Mr. Douglas, and now peddled through the
country by him, this contrivance is not of his invention. It comes from
an older head. It first showed itself in the Nicholson Letter of 1847,
by which General Cass, as Presidential candidate, sought to avoid the
Wilmot Proviso. Laborious, studious, exemplary in private life, and
fertile in pretexts, this venerable character has afforded the formula
by which men have voted for Slavery, while making professions for
Freedom. He is author of the artifice--rejected by every Slave-Master,
and rejected by every lover of Freedom, whose eyes are open--which,
under the nickname of Squatter Sovereignty, has been the device of
doughfaces, enabling them sometimes to deceive the public and sometimes
even to deceive themselves. Owing to the peculiar condition of opinion
at that time, not yet stiffened against the compromise of Human Rights,
his very vacillation put him in harmony with the public, and gave him
a commanding position. Once for the Wilmot Proviso, which asserted
the power of Congress over the Territories, and then for a pretended
Popular Sovereignty, which denied this power, he became the pendulum
between Freedom and Slavery, and, thus swinging, imparted motion to a
sham Democracy.

The device next showed itself on the passage of the Kansas and Nebraska
Bill; and here it became a trick, as appears by open confession of one
of the parties to it,--and a trick it has continued ever since. It
was proposed to repeal the old Prohibition of Slavery in the Missouri
Territory, established as part of the Missouri Compromise. But instead
of doing this openly and precisely, by simple words of repeal, language
was invented to mystify the whole question. Then appeared that “little
stump speech injected in the belly of the bill,” according to Colonel
Benton, declaring that the intent was to leave the people “perfectly
free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way,
subject only to the Constitution of the United States.” As in the gray
of the morning the fatal bill containing these words passed, General
Cass, rising from his seat,--I remember well the scene,--exclaimed,
“This is the triumph of Squatter Sovereignty!” The old Prohibition of
Slavery was overthrown, and his Nicholson Letter was vindicated.

And now note well the trick. The Slave-Masters who voted for these
words rejected with scorn the idea that the handful of squatters could
exclude Slavery. According to them, Slavery went with the Constitution,
and was beyond the control of squatters. But formal assertion of this
dogma would have caused trouble, and it was accordingly disguised in
these familiar words,--“subject only to the Constitution of the United
States.” Mr. Benjamin, of Louisiana, in a recent speech, lets us behind
the scenes. He tells, that, at a caucus of Senators, “both wings of the
Democracy agreed that each should maintain its particular theory before
the public,--one side sustaining Squatter Sovereignty, and the other
Protection to Slavery in the Territories, but pledging themselves to
abide by the decision of the Supreme Court, whatever it might be.” Such
was the secret conspiracy, concealed for a long time from the public,
and only recently revealed. And Mr. Douglas was a party to it.

Had the Popular Sovereignty of Mr. Douglas been a reality and not a
sham, had it been a sincere recognition of popular rights instead of a
trick to avoid their recognition, he could not have been party to such
deception. But how was the fact? While professing Popular Sovereignty,
what did his bill really confer upon the people? Not the right to
organize their own government, determining for themselves its form and
character; for all this was done by Act of Congress. Not the right to
choose the Executive; for the Governor and all other officers in this
department were sent from Washington, nominated by the President. Not
the right to nominate the Judiciary; for the judges were also sent from
Washington, nominated by the President. Not even the right completely
to constitute the Legislature; for even this body was placed in many
important respects beyond the popular control. Thus in each of the
three great departments of State, Executive, Judicial, and Legislative,
is Popular Sovereignty disowned.

Search the “Congressional Globe” during the Nebraska debate, and you
will see with what sincerity Mr. Douglas guarded the much vaunted
rights of the people. Mr. Chase moved to allow the people to elect
their Governor and other officers. On the vote by ayes and noes, the
champion of Popular Sovereignty voted _No_. Mr. Chase, whose effort to
unmask this hypocrisy was indefatigable, made another motion, which
put Mr. Douglas still more to the test. After the words of alleged
Popular Sovereignty in the bill, he moved to add, “under which the
people of the Territory, through their appropriate representatives,
may, if they see fit, prohibit the existence of Slavery therein.” Here
was a plain proposition. On the vote by ayes and noes, Mr. Douglas and
his associates again voted _No_. His recent excuse, put forth in his
single peripatetic speech, is, that the proposition was not in the
alternate,--that is, that it gave power only to exclude, and not to
admit. But if he really favored it in that form, why not move to amend
it by adding the power to admit, instead of voting against the whole
proposition? It is clear that such an open and unequivocal declaration
was not congenial with the game to be played.

The bill passed, and then came other opportunities to test the
sincerity of the present knight-errant of Popular Sovereignty. Under
its provisions commenced at once a race of emigration into the new
Territories, and there Free Labor and Slave Labor grappled. Lovers of
Freedom from the North were encountered by partisans of Slavery from
the South, organized by Blue Lodges in Missouri, and incited from every
part of the Land of Slavery. The officials of a government established
under pretended safeguards of Popular Sovereignty all ranged themselves
on the side of Slavery; or, if their allegiance became doubtful,--as in
the case of Governor Reeder,--they were dismissed, and more available
tools sent instead. I spare details. You cannot forget that winter
and spring preceding the Presidential election of 1856, when we were
alternately startled and stunned at tidings from Kansas, as a body of
strangers from Missouri, entering in hundreds, forcibly seized the
polls, and, under pretended forms of law, set up a Usurpation, which
by positive legislation proceeded to establish Slavery there, and to
surround it with a Code of Death. The atrocity of Philip the Second,
when, by violence and through a “Council of Blood,” he sought to fasten
the Inquisition upon Holland, was renewed. Invasion, rapine, outrage,
arson, rape, murder, the scalping-knife, were the agents now employed;
and to crown this prostration of popular rights, Lawrence, home of New
England settlers, and microcosm of New England life, was burned to the
ground by a company of profane and drunken ruffians stimulated from

What then was the course of the champion of Popular Sovereignty? Did he
thunder and lighten? Did he come forward to defend those settlers, who
had gone to Kansas under pretended safeguards of his bill? Oh, no! In
the Senate he openly ranged himself on the side of their oppressors,
mocked at their calamities, denounced them as “insurgents,” insulted
their agents, and told them they must submit,--while the distant
Emigrant Aid Society in Massachusetts was made the butt of his most
opprobrious assaults. All this I myself witnessed.

Then came another scene, with which, owing to my enforced absence from
the Senate, as an invalid, I have less personal familiarity; but it
is known to all of you. The Senatorial election in Illinois was at
hand, when Mr. Douglas suddenly discovered that Popular Sovereignty
was something more than a name. He opposed the Lecompton Constitution;
but my distinguished colleague [Mr. WILSON] will tell you that even
there he was kept from barefaced apostasy only by the stern will and
indomitable principle of the lamented Broderick, the murdered Senator
from California.

Then came stump speeches and Senate speeches without number, and a
magazine article, all to explain Popular Sovereignty. But this simple
principle, which, in the light of the Declaration of Independence, and
also in the light of reason, is plain enough, has been so twisted,
turned, and befogged, now explained away and then explained back, now
enlarged and then limited, now acknowledged and then denied, that I
challenge any person to say with certainty in what, according to Mr.
Douglas, it really consists.

At one time we find him declaring that “Slavery is the creature of
local law, and not of the Constitution of the United States.” Good! Let
him follow this to its natural conclusion, and no Republican asks more.

Then, at New Orleans, after his election to the Senate was secured,
he says: “The Democracy of Illinois accept the decision of the
Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Dred Scott as an
authoritative interpretation of the Constitution. In accordance with
that decision, we hold that slaves are property, and hence on an
equality with all other kinds of property, and that the owner of a
slave has the same right to move into a Territory and carry his slave
property with him as the owner of any other property has to go there
and carry his property.” Here is the extreme dogma of Slavery in
full feather. Let him follow this to its natural conclusion, and no
Breckinridge man could ask more.

At another time we find him declaring that “sovereign States have
the right to make their own constitutions and establish their own
governments, but that he has never claimed these powers for the
Territories, nor has he ever failed to resist such claims, when set
up by others.” How, then, under this theory, can Popular Sovereignty
have any foothold in the Territories? It is clear that all Territorial
legislation against Slavery must be invalid.

And then again, in another place, by roundabout language, he admits,
that, according to the Dred Scott decision, which he declares that
he “approves,” the people of a Territory cannot, by any legislation,
confiscate slave property, or impair the “Constitutional right” of the
master to this property in the Territory. With this limitation, pray,
where, again, is Popular Sovereignty?

But elsewhere, as if to furnish something for the other side, he
intimates a policy of inaction by the Territorial Legislature with
regard to Slavery, and asks, “Would not the _inaction_ of the local
Legislature, its refusal to provide a _Slave Code_, or to punish
offences against that species of property, exclude Slavery just as
effectually as a Constitutional prohibition?” And here is an end of the

Changing forms as often as Proteus, we yet find him admitting, first,
that Slavery goes into the Territories under the Constitution;
secondly, that the right of property in a slave cannot be destroyed
by the Territorial Legislature; and all that this Legislature can do,
by way of opposition, is to fold its hands and to seal its tongue in
inaction. What, then, is this wonderful doctrine? So far as it means
anything, it is simply this: that the people of a Territory have a
right to _introduce_ Slavery, but not to _prohibit_ it. And such is
Popular Sovereignty! Verily, between this and the Breckinridge dogma
there is about the same difference as between the much-vexed doctrines
of Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation, where there was only the
difference of a single syllable, and both involved the same thing.

Nor is even this all. The Convention at Baltimore which nominated
Mr. Douglas has declared by formal resolution, that “the measure of
restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Federal Constitution
on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of
the domestic relations, as the same has been or shall hereafter be
finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, should
be respected by all good citizens, and _enforced with promptness and
fidelity by every branch of the General Government_.” And Mr. Douglas,
in accepting his nomination, has expressly recognized this doctrine,
thus in advance delivering over his bantling Popular Sovereignty to the
tender mercies of the Supreme Court.

Far different is the position of Mr. Lincoln, who has openly said, in
his debate with Mr. Douglas, “If I were in Congress, and a vote should
come up on a question whether Slavery should be prohibited in a new
Territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it
should. That is what I would do.”[171] And allow me to add, that this
doctrine of Mr. Lincoln is the doctrine of the Republican party. Any
doctrine short of this betrays the trick of Mr. Douglas.

The tree is known by its fruits, and if anything further were needed
to expose this cheat of Popular Sovereignty, it might be found in
its fruits as boasted by Mr. Douglas. A slave code most revolting
in character had been adopted by the Territorial Legislature of New
Mexico, not only establishing Slavery there, including the serfdom of
whites, but prohibiting Emancipation. Through the generous activity
of the Republicans, and in the exercise of a just Congressional
intervention, a bill passed the House of Representatives annulling this
slave code. While the bill was on the table of the Senate, attesting
at once the disposition of the House of Representatives to interfere
against Slavery, and also the signal necessity of such interference,
Mr. Douglas took occasion to make his boasts. Surrounded by the chiefs
of Proslavery Democracy, the juggler of Popular Sovereignty thus showed
what the trick had done for Slavery. Here are his words:--

    “It is part of the history of the country, that, under this
    doctrine of Non-Intervention, this doctrine that you delight
    to call Squatter Sovereignty, the people of New Mexico
    have introduced and protected Slavery in the whole of that
    Territory. _Under this doctrine, they have converted a tract
    of Free Territory into Slave Territory more than five times
    the size of the State of New York._ Under this doctrine,
    _Slavery has been extended from the Rio Grande to the Gulf of
    California_, and from the line of the Republic of Mexico, not
    only up to 36° 30´, but up to 38°, _giving you a degree and a
    half more Slave Territory than you ever claimed_.”[172]

As the tree is known by its fruits, so also is the man known by the
company he keeps. At first associated with Mr. Douglas on the same
ticket, as candidate for the Vice-Presidency, was Mr. Fitzpatrick, of
Alabama, belonging to the school of Slave Propagandists, and fresh
from voting in the Senate against Popular Sovereignty; and when he
declined, his place was supplied by Mr. Johnson, of Georgia, also
belonging to the school of Slave Propagandists, who from the beginning
has denounced Popular Sovereignty, and insisted that “it is the right
of the South to demand, and the duty of Congress to extend, protection
to Slavery in the Territories during the Territorial state,” and who,
at Philadelphia, in a public speech, did not hesitate to insult the
mechanics and working-men of the country by the insolent declaration
that “Capital should own Labor.” Such is the associate of Mr. Douglas,
with whom he is so united as candidate that you cannot vote for
one without voting for the other. One of his earnest supporters in
the Convention at Baltimore, Mr. Gaulden, of Georgia, pressed the
opening of the slave-trade with Africa on the very grounds of Popular
Sovereignty and Non-Intervention. After declaring, that, “if it be
right to go to Virginia and buy a negro and pay two thousand dollars
for him, it is equally right to go to Africa, where we can get them
for fifty dollars,” he said, that, “if the Southern men had the
spunk and spirit to come right up and face the North, he believed
the Northern Democracy, at least, would come to the true doctrine of
Popular Sovereignty and Non-Intervention.” This barbarous utterance was
received by the Douglas Convention with “applause and laughter.” Such
are the men with whom this candidate is associated.

If you follow Mr. Douglas in his various speeches, you cannot fail
to be shocked by the heartlessness of his language. Never in history
has any public man insulted human nature so boldly. At the North he
announces himself as “always for the white man against the nigger,”
but at the South he is “for the nigger against the alligator.” It
was natural that such a man, who thus mocked at a portion of God’s
creation made in the Divine image, should say, “Vote Slavery up or vote
it down,”--as if the idea of voting it up were not impious and never
to be endured. Beyond all doubt, no majority can be permitted to vote
that fellow-men shall be bought and sold like cattle. The pretension
is preposterous, aggravated by knowledge on his part that under his
device the settlers could only vote Slavery up, and that they were not
allowed to vote it down. But this speech attests a brazen insensibility
to Human Rights. Not so spoke the Fathers of the Republic, who would
not let us miss an opportunity to vote Slavery down. Not so spoke
Washington, who declared that to the abolition of Slavery “his suffrage
should never be wanting.” Such is the whole political philosophy of
this Presidential candidate. A man thus indifferent to the rights of
a whole race is naturally indifferent to other things which make for
justice and peace.

Again he cries out, that the Slavery agitation is in the way of public
business, and that it must be removed from Congress. But who has thrust
it there so incessantly as himself? Nay, who so largely as himself
has been the occasion of its appearance? His complaint illustrates
anew the old fable. It was the wolf above that troubled the waters,
and not the lamb below. It is the Slave Propagandists--among whom
the champion of Popular Sovereignty must find a place--who, from the
Missouri Compromise in 1820, through all the different stages of
discussion, down to the shutting out of Kansas as a Free State at the
recent session, have rendered it impossible to avoid the exciting
subject. By dishonest, audacious theories of Slavery, both morally and
constitutionally, they have aroused a natural opposition, and put all
who truly love their country on the defensive. Yes, it is in defence
of the Constitution perverted, of reason insulted, and of humanity
disowned, that we are obliged to speak out.

       *       *       *       *       *

True, the country needs repose;--but it is the repose of Liberty,
and not the repose of Despotism. And, believe me, that glad day can
never come, until the mad assumptions for Slavery are all rejected,
and the Government is once more brought back to the spirit of the
founders. It was clearly understood at the beginning that Congress
could not touch Slavery in the States; and this is the doctrine of
the Republican party now. But it was also clearly understood at the
beginning that Slavery everywhere else was within the jurisdiction of
Congress; and this also is the doctrine of the Republican party now.
With the practical acceptance of these two correlative principles the
Slavery Question will cease to agitate Congress and to divide political
parties. Transferred to the more tranquil domain of morals, religion,
economy, and philanthropy, it must continue to occupy the attention of
the good and the humane; but it will cease to be the stumbling-block of
politicians. Not until then is it permitted us to expect that Sabbath
of repose so much longed for.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first stage in securing for our country the repose which all
covet will be the election of Abraham Lincoln as President, and the
election of that well-tried, faithful, and able Senator,--whom I know
well,--Hannibal Hamlin, as Vice-President. I do not dwell on all that
will then follow,--homesteads for actual settlers, improvement of
rivers and harbors, economy and purity in the National Administration,
increased means of communication, postal and commercial, with the
establishment of a Pacific Railroad; nor do I dwell on the extirpation
of the direful African slave-trade, now thriving anew under our
national flag,--nor on our relations with foreign countries, destined
to assume that character of moderation and firmness which becomes
a great republic, neither menacing the weak nor stooping to the
proud, and, while sympathizing with generous endeavors for Freedom
everywhere, avoiding all complicity with schemes of lawless violence.
Ask the eminent Boston merchant, Mr. Clark, whose avocation makes
him know so well the conduct of our Government with Hayti, if there
is not need of change in our course toward a humble people, in order
to save ourselves from the charge of national meanness, if not of
national injustice? But it is by this election that you will especially
vindicate the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories, even in the
face of the Dred Scott decision, and fling your indignant answer at
once at the Proslavery non-committalism of Bell, the Proslavery dogma
of Breckinridge, and the Proslavery dodge of Douglas.

All this can be done, nay, will be done. But let me not beguile you.
The ancient price of Liberty was vigilance; and this price has not
diminished of late years, especially when surrounded by men accustomed
to power and stimulated by rage. Already the news has reached us of
combinations to consolidate the Opposition,--as we read that of old
two inveterate parties among the Jews were reconciled. “The same day,”
writes the sacred historian, “Pilate and Herod were made friends
together; for before they were at enmity between themselves.” This
example is too kindred not to be adopted. Already, also, we hear of
devices at a distance, and even near at home, to distract our friends,
by producing distrust either of our principles or of our candidate.
At one time it is said that the principle of Prohibition is a
mistake,--and then again, by natural consequence, that our candidate is
not sufficiently moderate.

Fellow-citizens, hearken not to any of these things. Keep the
Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories as the fixed and irreversible
purpose of your hearts, and insist that it shall be established by
Congress; for without Congress it may not be established. Old Cato
procured a decree of the Roman Senate that no king should ever enter
Rome, saying that “a king is a carnivorous animal.” A similar decree
must be adopted by Congress against an animal more carnivorous than
king. In upholding this paramount necessity, I utter nothing new.
During the debate on the Nebraska Bill, my eminent colleague at that
time in the Senate, Mr. Everett, now candidate for the Vice-Presidency,
while approving the Prohibition, allowed himself to disparage its
importance. With the convictions which are mine, I felt it my duty to
reply, kindly, but most strenuously. After exhibiting the efficacy of
the Prohibition, I said:--

    “Surely this cannot be treated lightly. But I am unwilling
    to measure the exigency of the Prohibition by the number of
    persons, whether many or few, whom it may protect. Human
    rights, whether in a multitude or the solitary individual, are
    entitled to equal and unhesitating support. In this spirit,
    the flag of our country only recently became the impenetrable
    panoply of a homeless wanderer who claimed its protection in a
    distant sea; and, in this spirit, I am constrained to declare
    that there is no place accessible to human avarice or human
    lust or human force, whether the lowest valley or the loftiest
    mountain-top, whether the broad flower-spangled prairies or
    the snowy caps of the Rocky Mountains, where the Prohibition
    of Slavery, like the Commandments of the Decalogue, should not

And these words, uttered more than six years ago, are still of vital,
practical force. The example of Delaware shows how little Slavery it
takes to make a Slave State, giving two votes to the ascendency of
the Slave Power in the Senate. Be wakeful, then, and do not disparage
that enemy which for sixty years has ruled the Republic. “That man is
dangerous,” exclaimed the Athenian orator, “who does not see danger in
Philip.” And I now say, that man is dangerous who does not see danger
in the Slave Power.

When God created man in his own image, and saw that his work was good,
he did not destine his creature for endless ages to labor without
wages, compelled by the lash. Such degradation we seek to arrest by
careful measures under the Constitution. And this is the cause of
which your candidate is the generous and noble representative. Stand
by him. Let not fidelity to those principles which give dignity and
glory to Massachusetts, and to our common country, be an argument
against him. From the malignity of enemies, from the vacillation of
timeservers, and from the weakness of friends shield him by your votes.
Make him strong to commence the great work by which the Declaration of
Independence shall become a living letter, and the ways of Providence
shall be justified to men.

    “If yet ye are not lost to common sense,
    Assist your patriot in your own defence;
    That stupid cant, ‘He went too far,’ despise,
    And know that to be brave is to be wise.”[174]


[1] This account is compiled from the Boston newspapers of the day.

[2] On the balcony of his house in Beacon Street, as the procession
passed, was William H. Prescott, the historian, with his family, waving
their handkerchiefs. The next day Mr. Prescott called on Mr. Sumner,
and said, that, had he known there would have been decorations and
inscriptions on houses, he should have placed on his these words:--

    “May 22, 1856.

    “Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
    Whilst bloody Treason flourished over us.”

[3] Wordsworth, Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland.

[4] Of Reformation in England, Book II.: Prose Works, ed. Symmons, Vol.
I. p. 29.

[5] Howell’s State Trials, VI. 192.

[6] Odyssey, tr. Pope, Book XV. 410, 411 [450, 451].

[7] Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chap. 60.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Edinburgh Review, Vol. XLI. p. 465.

[10] Edinburgh Review, Vol. XLI. p. 481.

[11] Edinburgh Review, Vol. XLI. p. 481.

[12] Ibid., pp. 486, 487.

[13] Edinburgh Review, Vol. XLI. p. 472.

[14] Speech on the Sugar Duties, February 26, 1845: Speeches, Vol. II.
pp. 126, 127.

[15] Born October 25, 1800; died December 28, 1859.

[16] Case of the witness Mrs. Clarke, in the inquiry into the conduct
of the Duke of York, February 7, 1809: Hansard, Parliamentary Debates,
Vol. XII. col. 436.

[17] Annals of Congress, 6th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 113, March 20, 1800.

[18] As this case was in Executive Session of the Senate, there is no
public record of it. From the daily press of the time it appears, that,
March 23, 1848, Nugent, a correspondent of the _New York Herald_, was
arrested by order of the Senate, and committed to the Sergeant-at-Arms,
for obtaining surreptitiously and publishing the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo; that he remained in such custody until April 25th, and perhaps
longer; that he refused to answer questions concerning the treaty;
that he was twice taken before Judge Cranch, of the United States
Court, by _Habeas Corpus_; that the Sergeant-at-Arms returned for
answer to the writ, that he held the prisoner by virtue of a warrant
of the Vice-President, in pursuance of certain proceedings of the
Senate in Executive Session, which he could not divulge, and that the
question gave rise to much debate in Executive Session. See especially
_Baltimore Sun_, March 24, 26, 29, April 18, 1848.

[19] Commentaries, Vol. IV. p. 350.

[20] 9 Adolphus and Ellis, 1.

[21] Lord Mahon, History of England, Chap. XXXI. Vol. IV. p. 20.

[22] Privilege of Parliament, Introduction: Speeches of Henry Lord
Brougham upon Questions relating to Public Rights, Duties, and
Interests, Vol. IV. p. 353.

[23] Sanborn _v._ Carleton, 15 Gray, 399.

[24] Rev. Thomas Starr King.

[25] “Eadem de Republica sensisse.”--CIC., _Orat. in Pisonem_, c. 32.

[26] Mr. Brooks and Senator Butler were both dead.

[27] Speech in the Senate, February 6, 1837: Works, Vol. II. p. 632.
See Miscellaneous Writings on Slavery, by William Jay, p. 509.

[28] Message to the Legislature of South Carolina, November, 1835.

[29] Speech in the Senate, March 4, 1858: Congressional Globe, 35th
Cong. 1st Sess., p. 961.

[30] Speech in the Senate, February 29, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th
Cong. 1st Sess., p. 917.

[31] Speech in the Senate, March 6, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th
Cong. 1st Sess., p. 1004.

[32] Speech in the Senate, January 31, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th
Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, pp. 104-109.

[33] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., pp. 557, 596: January
23, 26, 1860.

[34] Message to the Legislature of South Carolina, November, 1835.

[35] Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. VII. p. 397, Act No.
670, sec. 1.

[36] Civil Code, Art. 35.

[37] Laws of Maryland, Acts of 1798, Ch. CI. xii. 12.

[38] Stroud, Law relating to Slavery, pp. 22, 23.

[39] Milton, Paradise Lost, Book XII., 68-71.

[40] Exodus, xxi. 16.

[41] Colossians, iv. 1.

[42] Pollok, Course of Time, Book VIII. 632-634.

[43] Clarke, E. D., Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, (London,
1816,) Vol. I. pp. 72, 73.

[44] Rokeby, Canto I. st. 21.

[45] “_Wer dem Arbeiter seinen Lohn nicht gibt, der ist ein Bluthund._”
(Cap. xxxv. 27.) Our less energetic version pictures the same enormity:
“The bread of the needy is their life: he that defraudeth him thereof
is a man of blood.” (Ecclesiasticus, xxxiv. 21.) The prophet Jeremiah
unites in this judgment: “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by
unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor’s
service _without wages_, and giveth him not for his work.” Chap. xxii.

[46] Discours sur l’Origine de l’Inégalité parmi les Hommes, 2nde
Partie: Œuvres, Tom. IV. p. 179.

[47] The Antelope, 10 Wheaton, 66.

[48] Neal _v._ Farmer, 9 Georgia Reports, 580.

[49] Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, Vol. III. pp. 138, 139.

[50] Letter to Joseph C. Cabell, Nov. 28, 1820: Writings, Vol. VII. p.

[51] Letter to David Hartley, May 8, 1783: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. IX.
p. 521.

[52] Purchas’s Pilgrims, Vol. II. p. 1565.

[53] “Deseando ademas S. M. Marroqui que se borre de la memoria de los
hombres el odioso nombre de esclavitud,” etc.--_Treaty between Spain
and Morocco_, March 1, 1799, Art. XIII.: Martens, Recueil des Traités,
2de Édit., Tom. VI. p. 590.

[54] In Epist. ad Ephes. Homil. XXII. 2.

[55] Debates in the Federal Convention, August 22, 1787: Madison
Papers, Vol. III. p. 1391.

[56] Notes on Virginia, Query XVIII.

[57] Of Government, Book II. ch. 4, Book I. ch. 1.

[58] Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part V. ch. 2.

[59] Letter to William Drummond, August 13, 1766: Boswell’s Life of
Johnson, ed. Croker, (London, 1835,) Vol. III. p. 11.

[60] Condorcet, Œuvres, ed. O’Connor, Tom. I. p. 88, Décembre, 1775.

[61] Ibid., p. 98, 6 Février, 1776.

[62] Esprit des Lois, Liv. XV. ch. 5.

[63] Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Chap. XVIII.: _Situation of the
Black Population_.

[64] Journey through Texas, by Frederick Law Olmsted, p. 105.

[65] The State _v._ Mann, 2 Devereux, North Carolina Reports, 266, 267.

[66] Souther _v._ The Commonwealth, 7 Grattan, 680.

[67] Amorum Lib. I. Eleg. VI. 1.

[68] Asinaria, Act. III. Sc. ii. 4, 5.

[69] Epist. XLVII.

[70] De Animi Affectuum Dignotione et Curatione, Cap. IV.: Opera, ed.
Kühn, Tom. V. p. 17.

[71] Annal. Lib. XIV. capp. 42-45. See the memoir of M. de Burigny,
_Sur les Esclaves Romains_: Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions,
1764-1766, Tom. XXXV. pp. 328-359.

[72] In Epist. ad Ephes. Homil. XV. 3.

[73] “Memorabile quod Ulricus epistola refert, Gregorium, quum ex
piscina quadam allata plus quam sex mille infantum capita vidisset,
ingemuisse.”--BURTON, _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III. Sec. 2, Mem.
5, Subs. 5. He quotes Kemnicius, _Examen Concil. Trident., Pars III.,
De Cœlibatu Sacerdotum_.

[74] Life and Character of Patrick Henry, Sec. II. p. 34.

[75] Massinger, The City Madam, Act V. sc. 1.

[76] West Tennessee Democrat.

[77] Scott, Lay of the Last Minstrel, Notes, Canto V. st. 29.

[78] “Dominum ac servum nullis educationis deliciis dignoscas. Inter
eadem pecora, in eadem humo degunt.”--_Germania_, c. 20.

[79] Butler, Lives of the Saints, Vol. XII. p. 114.

[80] This is a natural incident of Slavery. Bishop Warburton, in a
sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign
Parts, recounts how “a very worthy benefactor bequeathed unto us in
trust, for the propagation of the Gospel, a plantation stocked with
slaves,” and he exclaims, “An odd legacy to the promulgators of the Law
of Liberty!”--_Sermon XX._: Works, (London, 1811,) Vol. X. p. 58.

[81] Jortin, Life of Erasmus, A. D. 1532, Ætat. 65, Vol. II. p. 31.

[82] Louis Blanc, Histoire de la Révolution Française, Tom. V. p. 200.

[83] Grand Gulf Advertiser, June 27, 1837.

[84] New Orleans Bee, May 23, 1838.

[85] Narrative and Testimony of Sarah M. Grimké, found in the
remarkable contribution to the Antislavery cause by Theodore D. Weld,
American Slavery as it is, Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, p. 22.

[86] There are two different pictures of this early scene,--one
by Terburg, and the other by Adrian van Ostade,--both engraved by

[87] Letter to Thomas Percival, July 17, 1784: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol.
X. p. 108.

[88] Sabine, Notes on Duels and Duelling, pp. 322, 324.

[89] Speech in the Senate, February 28, 1852: Congressional Globe, 32d
Cong. 1st Sess., p. 655.

[90] L’Esclavage des Nègres, ou l’Heureux Naufrage. See Grimm,
Correspondance, Tom. XVI. pp. 328, 329, Décembre, 1789.

[91] Address to the Inhabitants of New Mexico and California, by
William Jay: Miscellaneous Writings, p. 536.

[92] This was the case with Mr. Sumner’s speech, “The Crime against
Kansas.” More than one person found with a copy of this speech was
compelled to flee.

[93] Coleridge, Fire, Famine, and Slaughter.

[94] “Quorum verba in pugnis sunt, et syllogismi in calcibus.”

[95] Southey, History of Brazil, Vol. II. ch. 27, p. 536.

[96] Journal of Thomas Chalkley, p. 274.

[97] Hon. Owen Lovejoy, who died March 25, 1864.

[98] Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, 1831,
December 26, p. 256.

[99] Report of Committee of U. S. House of Representatives, 27th Cong.
2d Sess., No. 80, January 20, 1843.

[100] Boswell’s Life of Johnson, October 2, 1773, ed. Croker, (London,
1835,) Vol. IV. p. 311. See also, anno 1768, Vol. III. pp. 41, 42.

[101] Massachusetts Senate Documents, 1845, No. 4. Acts of the General
Assembly of South Carolina, 1844, December 18: Statutes at Large, Vol.
XI. pp. 292, 293.

[102] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 595, January 26,

[103] History of the Rebellion, Book I. Vol. I. pp. 8, 9, Oxford, 1826.

[104] See also Senate Reports, 31st Cong. 1st Sess., No. 170.

[105] Speech of Mr. Arnold, January 27, 1841: Congressional Globe,
Vol. XI. p. 182. See also Address to the Inhabitants of New Mexico and
California, by William Jay: Miscellaneous Writings, p. 515.

[106] Congressional Globe, 32d Cong. 1st Sess., p. 647.

[107] Ibid., 33d Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 1163.

[108] Ibid., 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 1686.

[109] Act of February 20, 1839: Statutes at Large, Vol. V. p. 318.

[110] Annals of Congress, 1st Cong. 2d Sess., col. 1198.

[111] History of the United States, Vol. IV. Ch. 2.

[112] Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. II. pp. 517-521.

[113] Garth, The Dispensary, Canto II. 223.

[114] Congressional Globe, 30th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 502.

[115] Congressional Globe, 24th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 567.

[116] Ibid., 27th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 387.

[117] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, pp. 203-207.

[118] Thucydides, Hist. Belli Pelop., Lib. I. cap. 5. Odyssey, III. 73.

[119] “Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus?”--JUVENAL, _Sat. XIII._

[120] Murray’s Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland, 8th ed.,
Introduction, § 18.

[121] Milton, Comus, 73-75.

[122] La Russie et Les Russes, Tom. II. pp. 157, 158.

[123] Missionary Travels, Chap. II. p. 39.

[124] Koster, Travels in Brazil, p. 449.

[125] A considerable embassy with a numerous suite was received at
Washington about this time.

[126] Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel, Part I. 301, 302.

[127] United States _v._ Fisher et als., 2 Cranch, 390.

[128] De Laudibus Legum Angliæ, Cap. XLII.

[129] Commentaries, Vol. II. p. 94.

[130] Address to the States, April 26, 1783: Journal of Congress, Vol.
VIII. p. 201.

[131] Madison’s Debates in the Federal Convention, August 8, 1787.

[132] Ibid., August 22.

[133] Ibid., August 21, 22, 25.

[134] Madison’s Debates in the Federal Convention, August 25, 1787.

[135] Ibid., September 13.

[136] Goldsmith, The Traveller, 383, 384.

[137] Roscommon, Essay on Translated Verse, 87, 88.

[138] Acts of 8th Cong. 1st Sess., Ch. 38, sec. 10, March 26, 1804:
United States Statutes at Large, Vol. II. p. 286.

[139] By the Republican Convention, which nominated Abraham Lincoln and
adopted a platform of principles.

[140] La Guerre Civile aux États-Unis: Études Morales et Politiques, p.

[141] Further testimony of Professor Francis will be found in Weiss’s
_Discourse occasioned by the Death of Convers Francis, D.D._, pp. 57,

[142] Horat. Carm. Lib. I. xxxiv. 9-12.

[143] Hon. Theophilus P. Chandler, who occupied an office with Mr.

[144] Leigh Hunt, Poems: Mahmoud.

[145] 4 Devereux & Battle, 20.

[146] 1 Revised Statutes of Missouri, Art. III. Sec. 10.

[147] Code of Alabama, § 1037, p. 241.

[148] Niles’s Weekly Register, Vol. VII. p. 205, December 3, 1814.

[149] Juvenal, Sat. III., 208, 209.

[150] Anecdotes of Washington, by Rev. Henry F. Harrington: Godey’s
Lady’s Book, June, 1849.

[151] Nell, Services of Colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812,
pp. 23, 24.

[152] Senate Journal, 31st Cong. 1st Sess., p. 313, April 30, 1850.

[153] Mr. Schwartz was of Berks County, and had been a Democrat all
his life, until he felt constrained on the Lecompton Question to take
ground against his old party.

[154] “Urbem venalem et mature perituram, si emtorem
invenerit.”--Sallust, Jugurtha, c. 35.

[155] The Fox, Act V. sc. 8.

[156] Politics, Book I. ch. 4.

[157] Boswell, Life of Johnson, April 6, 1772, ed. Croker (London,
1835,) Vol. III. p. 212.

[158] Anecdotes of Painting in England: _Hogarth_, p. 723.

[159] Here was the prison of the Emperor Louis Napoleon, after his
defeat and surrender at Sedan, September 1, 1870.

[160] This was the special thunder of Mr. McDuffie in the debates on
the Tariff during the administration of General Jackson.

[161] “MR. MANN. … I have seen the number of _actual slaveholders_
variously estimated; but the highest estimate I have ever seen is three
hundred thousand.…

“MR. GAYLE, of Alabama, interrupted, and said: If the gentleman from
Massachusetts has been informed that the number of slaveholders is only
three hundred thousand, then I will tell him his information is utterly

“MR. MANN. Will the gentleman tell me how many there are?

“MR. GAYLE. Ten times as many.”

_Cong. Globe_, 30th Cong. 1st Sess., App., p. 835, June 30, 1848.

[162] Distributed according to the following table:--

    Holders of a single slave                       68,820
       ”     ”        1     and under     5        105,683
       ”     ”        5      ”    ”      10         80,765
       ”     ”       10      ”    ”      20         54,595
       ”     ”       20      ”    ”      50         29,733
       ”     ”       50      ”    ”     100          6,196
       ”     ”      100      ”    ”     200          1,479
       ”     ”      200      ”    ”     300            187
       ”     ”      300      ”    ”     500             56
       ”     ”      500      ”    ”    1000              9
       ”     ”     1000     and over                     2
          Total                                    347,525

DE BOW’S _Compendium of the Seventh Census_, p. 95.

[163] Erasmus, Adagia, Chil. I. Centur. IV. Prov. 79.

[164] Pope, Essay on Criticism, 580, 581.

[165] The Earl of Elgin and Sir Charles Grey.

[166] “The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure
government as sores do to the strength of the human body.”--_Notes on
Virginia_, Query XIX.: Writings, Vol. VIII. p. 406.

[167] Letter to the Whig County Committee of the County of Essex,
November 5, 1838: In Memoriam J. W. B., pp. 9, 10.

[168] Hon. Charles Allen.

[169] Drayton, Poly-Olbion, Song XIII. Warwickshire, the middle county
of England, is the shire referred to.

[170] Iliad, tr. Pope, Book I. 528, 529 [406].

[171] Speech at Chicago, July 10, 1858: Political Debates between Hon.
Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, p. 20.

[172] Speech in the Senate, May 16, 1860: Congressional Globe, 36th
Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 314.

[173] The Landmark of Freedom: _ante_, Vol. III. p. 291.

[174] Swift, To the Citizens, 30-33. These words were introduced to
sustain not merely the speaker, but also John A. Andrew, who was about
to be nominated Governor of Massachusetts, and against whom this very
accusation had been made.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 6 (of 20)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.