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Title: Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 7 (of 20)
Author: Sumner, Charles
Language: English
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                   [Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN

    Copyright by M. P. Rice, Wash. D.C., 1891    Elson, Boston]

      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.



    Letter to a Political Antislavery Convention at Worcester,
    Massachusetts, September 9, 1860                                   1

    Public Meeting at Syracuse, New York, September 9, 1860            3

    Meeting of Republicans, in the Open Air, at Myrick’s Station,
    Massachusetts, September 18, 1860                                  5

    the Agent for receiving Contributions, September 19, 1860         20

    Opening of the Fraternity Lectures of Boston, October 1, 1860     22

    Speech at a Mass Meeting of Republicans, in the Open Air, at
    Framingham, Massachusetts, October 11, 1860                       25

    Speech in the Mechanics’ Hall, Worcester, November 1, 1860        41

    Hall, Boston, November 5, 1860                                    70

    Wide-Awakes of Concord, Massachusetts, November 7, 1860           76

    Wide-Awakes of Boston, at their Festival, after Election,
    November 9, 1860                                                  80

    THE VICTORY AND PRESENT DUTIES. Speech to the Wide-Awakes, at
    Providence, Rhode Island, November 16, 1860                       82

    the Wide-Awakes of Lowell, November 21, 1860                      86

    Sparks, Historian of Washington, November 22, 1860. From the
    Boston Daily Advertiser                                           89

    LAFAYETTE, THE FAITHFUL ONE. Address at the Cooper Institute,
    New York, November 30, 1860                                      101

    Senate, December 10, 1860                                        165

    and Notes, December 18, 1860, to March 4, 1861                   169

    Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts, January 17 to February 20,
    1861                                                             186

    NO SURRENDER OF THE NORTHERN FORTS. Speech in the Senate, on a
    Massachusetts Petition in Favor of the Crittenden Propositions,
    February 12, 1861                                                200

    Undelivered Speech on the Various Propositions of Compromise,
    February, 1861                                                   213

    FOREIGN RELATIONS: ARBITRATION. Report from Committee on
    Foreign Relations, advising the President to submit the San
    Juan Boundary Question to Arbitration, in the Senate, March 19,
    1861                                                             216

    BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT. Speech before the Third
    Massachusetts Rifles, in the Armory at New York, April 21, 1861  224

    PASSPORTS FOR COLORED CITIZENS. Note to the Secretary of State,
    June 27, 1861                                                    229

    OBJECT OF THE WAR. Proceedings in the Senate, on the Crittenden
    Resolution declaring the Object of the War, July 24 and 25, 1861 231

    in the Senate, against Increase of Ten Per Cent on all Foreign
    Duties, July 29, 1861                                            234

    EMANCIPATION OUR BEST WEAPON. Speech before the Republican
    State Convention at Worcester, Massachusetts, October 1, 1861.
    With Appendix                                                    241

    Auspices of the Young Men’s Republican Union of New York, at
    Cooper Institute, November 27, 1861. With Appendix               305

    WELCOME TO FUGITIVE SLAVES. Remarks in the Senate, on a
    Military Order in Missouri, December 4, 1861                     359

    in the Senate, on a Resolution for the Discharge of Fugitive
    Slaves from the Washington Jail, December 4, 1861                361

    in the Senate, on the Death of Hon. Kinsley S. Bingham, late
    Senator of Michigan, December 10, 1861                           364

    the Senate, on the Death of Hon. Edward D. Baker, late Senator
    of Oregon, December 11, 1861. With Appendix                      370



                                       BOSTON, September 9, 1860.

  DEAR SIR,--With you I hate, deplore, and denounce the Barbarism
  of Slavery,--believing that the _nonentity and impossibility_
  of Slavery under the Constitution of the United States can be
  fully seen only when we fully see its Barbarism; so that in the
  Constitutional argument against Slavery the first link is its
  essential Barbarism, with the recognition of which no man will
  be so absurd as to infer or imagine that Slavery can have any
  basis in words which do not plainly and unequivocally declare it,
  even if, when thus declared, it were not at once forbidden by the
  Divine Law, which is above all Human Law. Therefore in much I
  agree with you, and wish you God-speed.

  But I do not agree that the National Government has power under
  the Constitution to touch Slavery in the States, any more than it
  has power to touch the twin Barbarism of Polygamy in the States,
  while fully endowed to arrest and suppress both in all the
  Territories. Therefore I do not join in your special efforts.

  But I rejoice in every honest endeavor to expose the Barbarism
  which degrades our Republic; and here my gratitude is so strong
  that criticism is disarmed, even where I find that my judgment

  Accept my thanks for the invitation with which you have honored
  me, and my best wishes for all Constitutional efforts against
  Slavery; and believe me, my dear Sir,

      Very faithfully yours,


  A. P. BROOKS, Esq.



    This meeting was one of a series, known as “Jerry Rescue
    Celebration,” being on the anniversary of the rescue of the
    fugitive slave Jerry from the hands of slave-hunters.

                                      BOSTON, September 9, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--You know well how much I sympathize with you
  personally, and also how much I detest the Fugitive Slave Bill,
  as a flagrant violation of the Constitution, and of the most
  cherished human rights,--shocking to Christian sentiments,
  insulting to humanity, and impudent in all its pretensions. Of
  course I agree with you that such an enactment, utterly without
  support in Constitution, Christianity, or reason, should not
  be allowed to remain on the statute-book; and so long as it is
  there, I trust that the honorable, freedom-loving, peaceful,
  good, and law-abiding citizens, acting in the name of a
  violated Constitution, and for the sake of law, will see that
  this infamous counterfeit is made _a dead letter_. I am happy
  to believe that this can be accomplished by an aroused Public
  Opinion, which, without violence of any kind, shall surround
  every “person” who treads our soil with all safeguards of the
  citizen, teaching the Slave-Hunter, whenever he shows himself,
  that he can expect from Northern men no sympathy or support in
  his barbarous pursuit.

  At your proposed meeting, which it will not be in my power
  to attend, I trust that just hatred of Slavery in all its
  pretensions will be subjected to that temperate judgment which
  knows how to keep a sacred animosity within the limits of
  Constitution and Law.

  Accept my thanks for the invitation with which you have honored
  me, and believe me, with much personal regard and constant

      Sincerely yours,


  Rev. S. J. MAY.



    A large Republican meeting was held in the open air, at
    Myrick’s Station, September 18, 1860, in Bristol County,
    Massachusetts. The New Bedford and Taunton Branch Railroad, and
    the Old Colony and Fall River Railroad, with their branches,
    were tasked to the utmost in bringing a crowd estimated at
    eight thousand. There were large delegations from New Bedford,
    Fall River, and Taunton.

    Harrison Tweed, of Taunton, was chosen President, with a long
    list of Vice-Presidents and Secretaries. The speaking was from
    a stand in a beautiful grove. After Hon. Henry L. Dawes and
    Hon. Henry Wilson, Mr. Sumner spoke as follows.

FELLOW-CITIZENS,--Knowing well the character of the good people in
the region where we are assembled, I feel that our cause is safe in
your hands; nor do you need my voice to quicken the generous zeal
which throbs in all your hearts. Proceeding from intelligence and from
conscience, your zeal, I am sure, is wise, steady, and determined, even
if it do not show itself in much speaking,--like your own faithful
Representative in Congress, Mr. Buffinton, who never misses a vote, and
whose presence alone is often as good as a speech. He will pardon me,
if I say that I am glad to see him here among his constituents, so
many of whom I now meet for the first time face to face.

You would hardly bear with me, if, on this occasion, I undertook to
occupy your time at length. There is a time for all things; and let me
say frankly, that I have come here to mingle with my fellow-citizens,
and to partake of their social joy, rather than to make a speech.
And yet I cannot let the opportunity pass without undertaking for a
brief moment to impress upon you our duties in one single aspect,--I
mean _simply as citizens of Massachusetts_. Of course you have duties
as men, belonging to the great human family; you have duties also as
American citizens, belonging to this National Republic; and you have
duties especially as citizens of Massachusetts, not inconsistent with
those other duties, but merely cumulative and confirmatory. Happily,
in all good governments duties do not clash, but harmonize; and we may
well suspect any pretension, whatever name it assumes, which cannot
bear this touchstone.

As _men_, our duties have been grandly denoted in that ancient verse
which aroused the applause of the Roman theatre:--

    “Myself a man, nought touching man alien to me I deem.”[1]

What can be broader or more Christian than this heathen utterance?
Sympathy, kindness, succor are due from man to man. This is a debt
which, though daily paid, can never be cancelled while life endures.
And this debt has the sanction of Religion, so that wrong to man is
impiety to God. Of course, in the constant discharge of this debt, we
must be the enemies of injustice, wherever it shows itself. Nor can we
hesitate because injustice is organized in the name of Law and assumes
the front of Power. On this very account we must be the more resolute
against it.

As citizens of the United States, our duties, fixed in the Constitution
and the Declaration of Independence, are of the same character. I say,
fixed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; for
to these, as our guides, I look. Follow Nature, if you would be its
interpreter. This is the Novum Organum of Lord Bacon. And so you must
follow the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, if you
would be their interpreter. This is the Novum Organum of the Republican
party. Nothing can be clearer than that these two instruments, if
followed to their natural meaning, are in harmony with all the
suggestions of justice and humanity; so that our duties as men are all
reaffirmed by our duties as American citizens.

And, lastly, as citizens of Massachusetts our duties are identical,
but reinforced by circumstances in her history; so that, if, as men,
or as citizens of the United States, we hesitate, yet as citizens of
Massachusetts we are not allowed to hesitate. By the example of our
fathers, who laid the foundations of this Commonwealth in knowledge
and in justice, who built schools and set their faces against Slavery,
we are urged to special effort. As their children, we must strive to
develop and extend those principles which they had so much at heart,
and which constitute their just fame.

In the recent conflicts of party it is common to heap insult upon
Massachusetts. Hard words are often employed. Some of her own children
turn against her. But it is in vain. From the past learn the future.
See how from the beginning she has led the way. This has been her
office. She led in the long battle of argument which ended in the
War of Independence, so that European historians have called our
Revolutionary Fathers simply “the insurgents of Boston,” and have
announced the object of the war as simply “justice to Boston.” And she
has also led in all enterprises of human improvement, especially in
the establishment of public schools and the abolition of Slavery. We
are told that a little leaven shall leaven the whole lump; it is the
Massachusetts leaven which is now stirring the whole country. Wherever
education is organized at the public expense, or human rights are
respected, there is seen the influence of Massachusetts, who has been
not only schoolmaster, but chain-breaker. Such are her titles. Men may
rail, but they cannot rail these away. Look at them in her history.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the winter of 1620 the Mayflower landed its precious cargo on
Plymouth Rock. This small band, cheered by the valedictory prayers of
its beloved pastor, John Robinson, braved sea and wilderness for the
sake of Liberty. In this inspiration our Commonwealth began. That same
year, another cargo, of another character, was landed at Jamestown
in Virginia. It was twenty slaves,--the first that ever touched and
desecrated our soil. Never in history was greater contrast. There was
the Mayflower, filled with men, intelligent, conscientious, prayerful,
all braced to hardy industry, who before landing united in a written
compact by which they constituted themselves “a civil body politic,”
bound “to frame just and equal laws.” And there was the Slave-Ship,
with its fetters, its chains, its bludgeons, and its whips,--with its
wretched victims, forerunners of the long agony of the Slave-Trade, and
with its wretched tyrants, rude, ignorant, profane,

        “who had learned their only prayers
    From curses,”

carrying in their hold that barbarous Slavery, _whose single object
is to compel labor without wages_, which no “just and equal laws” can
sanction. Thus in the same year began two mighty influences; and these
two influences still prevail far and wide throughout the country. But
they have met at last in final grapple, and we are partakers in the
holy conflict. The question is simply between the Mayflower and the
Slave-Ship,--which of the two to choose?

True to her origin, Massachusetts began at once that noble system
of Common Schools which continues her “peculiar institution,” while
a College was founded at Cambridge which has grown to be a light
throughout the land. Thus together began Common Schools and the
College, and together they have flourished always. Said one of her
early teachers, in most affecting words,--“After God had carried
us safe to New England, and we had builded our houses, provided
necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s
worship, and settled the civil government, one of the next things we
longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it
to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches
when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.”[2] In this spirit
it was ordered by the General Court, as early as 1642, “That in every
town the chosen men appointed for managing the prudential affairs of
the same … shall have power to take account from time to time of all
parents and masters, and of their children, concerning their calling
and employment of their children, especially of their ability to read
and understand the principles of religion and the capital laws of this
country.”[3] This was followed only a few years later, in 1647, by that
famous law which ordered, “That every township in this jurisdiction,
after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty householders,
shall then forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such
children as shall resort to him to write and read,” and “that, where
any town shall increase to the number of one hundred families or
householders, they shall set up a grammar school, the master thereof
being able to instruct youth so far as they may be fitted for the
University”; and this law, in its preamble, assigned as its object the
counteraction of “one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep
men from the knowledge of the Scriptures,” and also “that learning
may not be buried in the grave of our fathers in the Church and
Commonwealth.”[4] To nothing in her history can Massachusetts look with
more pride than to this commanding example, which, wherever followed,
must open wide the gates of human improvement.

Again, mindful that printing is the indispensable minister of good
learning, they established a printing-press without delay. This was
at Cambridge, as early as 1639, and the first thing printed was “The
Freeman’s Oath.”

Meanwhile the Slave-Ship continued its voyages and discharged its
baleful cargoes. Virginia became a Slave State and the natural
consequences of Slavery ensued. Of course the Common School was
unknown; for, where Slavery rules, the schoolmaster is shut out. One of
her Governors, Sir William Berkeley, said in 1671, “I thank God there
are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these
hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy and
sects into the world, and printing has divulged them and libels against
the best government. God keep us from both!”[5] These remarkable words,
which embodied the political philosophy of Slavery, were in an official
reply to interrogatories propounded from England.

Thus early was the contrast manifest, which has increased ever since.
The evidence is unimpeachable, whether we consult the faithful
historian who tells us that early in the last century Boston alone
contained five printing-offices and many booksellers, while there was
not a single bookseller in Virginia, Maryland, or Carolina,[6]--or
consult the various statistics of the census in our day, where figures
speak with most persuasive power for the Mayflower against the

While Massachusetts thus founded the School and the Printing-Press,
what was her course on Slavery? Alas! not all that we could wish, but
still enough to make her an example. Unhappily, Slavery, although
in much mitigated form, came to be recognized here. But it never
flourished, and it was from the beginning surrounded with impediments
to increase. To our glory let it be known that no person could be
born a slave on our soil. This odious yoke was not transmissible in
the blood. It ended with life, and did not visit itself upon the
children of the slave-mother.[7] It appears also that the slave could
take and hold property,[8]--which no American slave can now do. He
could also testify in courts of justice, like a white man,--which
no American slave, nor colored person in a Slave State, can now do.
A slave, called “Andrew, Mr. Oliver Wendell’s negro,” also “Newtown
Prince, a free negro,” and “Cato, a negro man,” were witnesses in the
proceedings against the British soldiers for what is known as the
Boston Massacre.[9] And still further, there were times when the negro,
whether bond or free, was enlisted in the militia, and “enjoined to
attend trainings as well as the English.”[10] Indeed, as early as 1643,
on the muster-roll of Plymouth is the name of “Abraham Pearse, the
blackamore.”[11] Thus, though Slavery had a certain recognition, it did
not give its unjust law to the body politic and to the social life of

It was natural, therefore, that her General Court should bear witness
against “man-stealing.” This it did as far back as 1646, in formal act
worthy of perpetual memory. A Boston ship had brought home two negroes
kidnapped on the coast of Guinea. Thus spoke the Massachusetts of that

    “The General Court, conceiving themselves bound by the first
    opportunity to bear witness against the heinous and crying sin
    of man-stealing, as also to prescribe such timely redress for
    what is past _and such a law for the future as may sufficiently
    deter all others belonging to us to have to do in such vile and
    most odious courses, justly abhorred of all good and just men_,
    do order that the negro interpreter, with others unlawfully
    taken, be, by the first opportunity, at the charge of the
    country for present, sent to his native country of Guinea, and
    a letter with him of the indignation of the Court thereabouts,
    and justice thereof.”[12]

Mark the energy of this language. Here is an example, more than
a century before Clarkson or Wilberforce, which blasts with just
indignation the horrid crime still skulking beneath our national flag.
The government that could issue this decree was inconsistent with
itself, when it allowed a single person bearing the upright form of man
to be held a slave, even for life, anywhere within its jurisdiction.

Slavery flees before the schoolmaster. As early as 1701, its injustice
was formally declared by the town of Boston, whose Records contain the
following vote, proper for adoption at this day: “The Representatives
are desired to promote the encouraging the bringing of white servants,
_and to put a period to negroes being slaves_.”[13] By this official
corporate act, first of the kind in history, Boston stands foremost in
the warfare with Slavery. Let her be proud of this post. Her wealth may
depart, her warehouses may crumble, her ships may cease to cleave the
seas with their keels, and her writers, too, may lose their charm; but
this early record of justice and humanity will endure in never-failing

Other official acts followed. In 1705 a heavy duty was imposed upon
every negro imported into Massachusetts. In 1712 the importation of
Indians as servants or slaves was strictly forbidden. But the small
number of slaves, and the mildness with which their condition was
tempered, or, perhaps, a still immature public opinion, postponed
definitive action on this great question until our controversy with
the mother country, when the rights of the blacks were blended by all
true patriots with the rights of the whites. James Otis, in pleading
for the Colonies, denounced Slavery of all kinds, while Samuel Adams,
on learning from his wife that she had received the gift of a female
slave, exclaimed at once, “A slave cannot live in my house; if she
comes, she must be free”: she came, and was free.[14] Sparing all
unnecessary details, suffice it to say, that, as early as 1769, the
Superior Court of Massachusetts, anticipating the renowned judgment in
Somerset’s case, established the principle of Emancipation, and under
its touch of benign power changed a chattel into a man. In the same
spirit voluntary manumissions took place,--as by Jonathan Jackson, of
Newburyport, who, in a deed, which may be found in the Probate Records
of the County of Suffolk, declared that it was “in consideration of
the impropriety long felt in holding any person in constant bondage,
more especially at a time when his country is so warmly contending
for the liberty every man ought to enjoy.”[15] At last, in 1780, even
before the triumph of Yorktown had assured that peace which set its
seal upon National Independence, Massachusetts, enlightened by her
common schools, filled with the sentiment of Freedom, and guided by
Revolutionary patriots, placed in front of her Declaration of Rights
the emphatic words, “All men are born free and equal,” and by this
solemn testimony, enforced by her courts, made Slavery impossible
within her borders. From that time it ceased to exist, so that the
first census after the adoption of the National Constitution, in
the enumeration of slaves, contains a blank against the name of
Massachusetts; and this is the only State having this honor. Thus of
old did Massachusetts lead the way.

If all this be good for Massachusetts, if she has wisely rejected
Slavery, then is it her duty to do for others within the reach of
her influence what she has done for herself. And here her sons have
not always been remiss. Follow her history, and you find that on the
national field they have stood forth for the good cause. In 1785, one
of her Representatives in the Continental Congress, the eminent Rufus
King, moved the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories of the United
States; and in 1787, Nathan Dane, another of her Representatives,
reported the Ordinance for the Government of the Northwest Territory,
containing this same prohibition. At a later day, when the Missouri
Compromise was under discussion, that same son of Massachusetts,
Rufus King, whose home was transferred to New York, showed himself
inflexible against compromise with Slavery, and in the Senate of the
United States, with all his weight of years, character, and ability,
led the effort to restrict it. John Quincy Adams, another son of
Massachusetts, was at the time Secretary of State, and he enrolled
himself on the same side. Afterwards, when the discussion of Slavery
was renewed in Congress, this same champion, then a Representative
from Massachusetts, entered the lists for Freedom, and in his old age,
having been President, achieved a second fame. Slavery, now exalted by
its partisans as beneficent and just, he exposed in its enormity; the
knot of Slave-Masters who had domineered over the country he denounced
with withering scorn; while he vindicated the right of petition,
which Slave-Masters assailed, and upheld the primal truths of the
Declaration of Independence, which Slave-Masters audaciously denied.
Thus constantly spoke Massachusetts, and in her voice was the voice of
the Mayflower against the Slave-Ship.

Plainly there is a common bond between the charities, so that one
draws others in its train. And the grand charity for which we to-day
bless our Commonwealth is only one of many by which she is already
illustrious. Goodness grows by activity, and the moral and intellectual
character which inspired Massachusetts to do what she has done for
Freedom makes her active, wherever the suffering are to be relieved,
wherever the ignorant are to be taught, or wherever the lowly are to be
elevated, and enables her, though small in extent and churlish in soil,
to exert a wide-spread power. This character has given her that name
on earth which is a source of pride to her children. Strike out from
her life all that is due to this influence, and how great the blank in
her history! I do not say that her children would disown her; but they
would hardly rise up to call her blessed, as they now do.

It is our duty to keep Massachusetts in her present commanding
position,--true to herself in all respects,--true to that Spirit of
Liberty in which she had her origin,--true to the “just and equal
laws” promised in the Mayflower,--true to her early and long-continued
efforts against Slavery,--true to the declaration in her own Bill
of Rights by which Slavery was abolished within her borders,--true
to the examples of her illustrious representatives, Rufus King,
Nathan Dane, and John Quincy Adams,--and, lastly, true to that moral
and intellectual character which has made her the home of generous
charities, the nurse of true learning, and the land of churches. This
is our duty. And permit me to say, that this can be done now only by
earnest, steadfast effort to arrest the power of Slavery, overshadowing
the whole country, and menacing boundless regions with its malign
influence. And this is the very purpose of the Republican party.

       *       *       *       *       *

Against the Republican party are arrayed three factions, differing
in name, differing superficially in professions, but all concurring
in hostility to the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories, and
therefore all three Proslavery. As the Republican party represents
the Mayflower, so do these three factions, whether fused or apart,
represent the original Slave-Ship,--and you, fellow-citizens, are here
to choose between them.

In this contest we appeal to all good citizens. We appeal alike to the
Conservative and to the Reformer; for our reasonable and most moderate
purpose commends itself alike to both. To the Conservative it says,
“Join us to preserve the work of our fathers, and to maintain the
time-honored policy of Massachusetts.” To the Reformer it says, “Join
us to improve the human family, to support free labor, and to save the
Territories from that deplorable condition where ‘one man ruleth over
another to his own hurt,’ and human character suffers as much from
the arrogance of the master as from the abasement of the slave,--a
condition which is founded on nothing else but force,--

                          ‘the simple plan,
    That they should take who have the power,
      And they should keep who can.’”[16]

Our course is commended also by our candidates. Of Mr. Lincoln and
Mr. Hamlin I have already elsewhere spoken, and know that in this
presence it is needless to speak of Mr. Andrew. You all anticipate his
praise before it can be uttered. Of unquestioned abilities, extensive
attainments, and rare aptitude for affairs, his integrity has already
passed into a proverb, and his broad sympathies cause us to forget the
lawyer in the man. Nobody questions his intelligence, or the happy
faculties which make him at home in all that he attempts. But it is
sometimes complained that he has a “heart,” as if this were dangerous
in a Massachusetts Governor; and fears are excited because he is
“honest,” as if such a character could not be trusted. Thank God,
he has a heart, and is an honest man. In these respects, and in his
well-matured convictions, always expressed with honorable frankness,
he embodies the historic idea of Massachusetts, and treads in the
footsteps of the Fathers.

Fellow-citizens, if I have dwelt exclusively on our duties as citizens
of Massachusetts, it is because I seek to impress these especially
upon your minds. On other occasions I have treated other parts of the
argument; but to-day my hope is to make you feel that you cannot turn
from the Republican party without turning also from those principles by
which Massachusetts has won her place in history, and without turning
from the Mayflower, and its promise of “just and equal laws,” to embark
on that dismal Slave-Ship which in the same year first let loose upon
our country all the cruel wrongs and woes of Human Bondage.



                                       BOSTON, September 19, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--Surely the statue of Horace Mann ought to be made,
  and you are right in appealing for contributions to those who
  have been especially benefited by his noble labors. When I think
  of their extent and variety, embracing every question of human
  improvement, I feel that there are none to whom this appeal may
  not be confidently addressed.

  I know nothing more appropriate or touching than the
  contributions you are gathering from the schools. It is true that
  there is no school in Massachusetts which has not been improved
  by his labors, and therefore no pupil or teacher who is not his
  debtor. But it is pleasant to feel that this debt is recognized.

  I doubt not that every child who gives his “mite” will be happy
  hereafter in the thought, especially when he looks at the statue
  in the public grounds of the Commonwealth. He will of course
  have new interest in the man, and therefore a new and quickening
  example of excellence, which may send its influence through life.
  The teacher, besides sharing these feelings with the pupil, must
  look with grateful pride upon a tribute which, so long as it
  endures, will proclaim the dignity of his profession.

  The engraving of Mr. Mann is faithful and agreeable. I hope it
  may be in every school, so that children may early learn the
  countenance of their benefactor.

  Believe me, dear Sir, with my best wishes,

      Very faithfully yours,




OCTOBER 1, 1860.

    Mr. Sumner delivered the opening address for the season in
    the “Fraternity” Lectures, established by the Society bearing
    that name, of which Theodore Parker was the much-loved pastor.
    Before proceeding with his address he made a brief allusion
    to the great preacher and reformer. This was in the Tremont
    Temple. According to a newspaper of the time, “the immense
    hall was crowded in every part; not only were all the seats
    occupied, but also all available standing-room.” “Mr. Sumner
    spoke two hours and five minutes, and commanded the entire
    attention of the audience to the close,” and “was frequently
    interrupted by the most enthusiastic applause.”

    The address of the evening, on Lafayette, was again delivered
    a few weeks later in New York, and will be found in this
    collection at that date. The introductory words are given here.


In opening this course of lectures, devoted to Human Improvement, I
cannot forget that noble spirit, especially dear to many of you as
pastor, whom we had hoped to welcome at this time in restored health,
instead of mourning dead in a distant land. I knew him well, and never
came within his influence without confessing his many-sided powers,
his marvellous acquirements, his rare eloquence, his soul touched
to so many generous sympathies, and his heart beating warm for his
fellow-men. To the cause of Human Improvement, in every form, his life
was given. For this he labored; for this he died.

It was my fortune to see him during several days in Paris, some time
after he parted from you. He had recently arrived from the West Indies.
I feel that I cannot err in offering a slight reminiscence of that
meeting. I found him the same in purpose and aspiration as I had always
known him,--earnest, thoughtful, and intent on all that helped the good
of man, with the same completeness of intelligence, and the same large,
loving heart. We visited together ancient by-ways and historic scenes
of that wonderful metropolis, which no person was more forward to
appreciate and to enjoy; but, turning from these fascinating objects,
his conversation took the wings of the morning, and, traversing the
Atlantic, rested on our own country, on friends at home, on his
relations to his parishioners, on his unfinished labors, and on that
great cause of Liberty, which contains all other causes, as the greater
contains the less; for where Liberty is not, what is man, whether
slave or master? Observing him carefully, with the fellow-feeling of a
convalescent, I was glad and surprised to find in him so many signs of
health. At that time he was stronger than I was; but he has been taken,
and I am spared. Indeed, it was only in the husky whisper of his voice
that he seemed weak. I envied him much his active step and his power
to walk. But he had measured his forces, and calmly revealed to me his
doubt whether he should live to see home again. If this were permitted,
he did not expect to resume his old activities, but thought that in
some quiet retreat, away from paved streets, surrounded by books, he
might perhaps have strength to continue some of his labors, to bind up
some of his sheaves, and occasionally to speak with his pen. But it was
ordered otherwise. Not even this moderate anticipation was gratified.
The fatal disease had fastened too surely upon him, and was slowly
mastering all resistance. The devotion of friends, travel, change of
scene, the charms of Switzerland, the classic breath of Italy, all were
in vain. It was his wish that he should be buried where he fell, and
this child of New England, the well-ripened product of her peculiar
life, now sleeps in Tuscan earth, on the banks of the Arno, near the
sepulchres of Michel Angelo and Galileo. But I know not if even this
exalted association can make us content to renounce the pious privilege
of laying him in one of our own tombs, among the people that he loved
so well.

Pardon me for thus renewing your grief. But I felt that I could not
address you on any other subject until I had mingled my feelings with
yours, and our hearts had met in sympathy for our great bereavement.



    A Mass Meeting of Republicans was held in Harmony Grove at
    Framingham, October 11, 1860, with the following officers.

    President,--Hon. Charles R. Train of Framingham.

    Vice-Presidents,--A. C. Mayhew of Milford, Milo Hildreth of
    Northborough, Charles Devens of Worcester, Samuel M. Griggs
    of Westborough, William F. Ellis of Ashland, Alden Leland
    of Holliston, John O. Wilson of Natick, Hollis Loring of
    Marlborough, James Moore of Sudbury, J. N. Bacon of Newton,
    Amory Holman of Bolton, S. D. Davenport of Hopkinton, George
    W. Maynard of Berlin, B. W. Gleason of Stowe, J. D. Wheeler
    of Grafton, Charles Campbell of Wayland, Sullivan Fay of
    Southborough, Albert Ballard of Framingham.

    Secretaries,--Thomas W. Fox of Worcester, Nelson Bartholomew
    of Oxford, A. B. Underwood of Newton, and Theodore C. Hurd of

    The meeting was addressed, among others, by Hon. John P. Hale,
    Hon. Henry Wilson, and John A. Andrew, Esq., the Republican
    candidate for Governor. The report at the time says:--

        “While Mr. Wilson was speaking, Hon. Charles Sumner arrived
        upon the ground, and, on stepping upon the platform, was
        greeted with great applause. At the close of the speech
        of Mr. Wilson, the President presented Mr. Sumner, who
        was received with nine hearty cheers. After silence was
        obtained, Mr. Sumner addressed the meeting.”

    This speech was quoted as the Framingham Speech by M.
    Cochin, the philanthropic Frenchman, in his important work,
    _L’Abolition de l’Esclavage_.[17]

FELLOW-CITIZENS,--The German Siebold begins his great treatise on the
“Anatomy of the Invertebrates” with this general remark:--

    “The _Invertebrate_ animals are organized after various types,
    the limits of which are not always clearly defined. There is,
    therefore, a greater number of classes among them than among
    the _Vertebrates_.”

In this remark of the illustrious naturalist I find an explanation
of the number of parties now arrayed against us. On one side is the
Republican party, openly declaring its principles, and looking with
confidence to the Future. Threats of disunion, and menaces of violence,
in constant cry, do not disturb it. Such a party may properly be called
the _Backbone party_, or, adopting the phraseology of the German
naturalist, the party of the _Vertebrates_.

But against the Republican party here in Massachusetts are three
parties, or factions rather, which cannot be precisely named except
from their candidates. Differing from each other superficially,
they all concur in practical support of Slavery. At this moment,
when the propagandists of Slavery insist upon its extension into
the Territories, all these three factions lend themselves actively
or passively to this work, and thus become practically Proslavery.
Unwilling here in Massachusetts openly to advocate a wrong so
unmistakable as Slavery, they find excuse in alleged danger to the
Union, and bend before the threats and menaces of Slave-Masters. Not
in the name of Freedom, which is really in danger, but in the name of
the Union, which is only threatened, do they all three rally against
the Republican party. In their flexibility to threats and menaces, they
show a want of that backbone which characterizes the Republican party.
In short, though differing from each other, they all take their place
among _Invertebrates_, which, according to the naturalist, are of more
various types than _Vertebrates_.

There is the Bell faction, the Breckinridge faction, and the Douglas
faction, all three _Invertebrates_, declaring that the Union is in
danger, and asking your votes in order to save it. That is, they ask
you to abandon cherished convictions, and to allow Slavery, with all
its Barbarism, to enter the outlying Territories of the Republic,
simply because certain Slave-Masters threaten disunion. Instead of
opposing the treason which is threatened, Freedom-loving voters of the
North are summoned to surrender. Instead of scorning the violence which
is menaced, we are asked to cringe before it. I ask you if this is not
the special point of every appeal by any speaker representing either of
these factions? No man so audacious here in Massachusetts as to argue
for Slavery openly. He knows that his argument would be scouted. It is
therefore by appeal for the Union that people are deluded. In this way
the weak are cajoled, the timeserving are seduced, and the timid are
frightened; and people professing opposition to Slavery gravely come
forward as supporters of these Proslavery factions.

       *       *       *       *       *

The unknown is apt to be exaggerated; so that, if these threats of
disunion were now heard for the first time, we might, perhaps, pardon
men who yield to their influence. But since this is not the first time
such cries are heard,--since, indeed, they have been long sounding in
our ears, so that their exact value is perfectly understood from the
very beginning,--there seems no longer excuse or apology for hearkening
to them. They are to be treated as threats, and nothing more. Look at
them from the outset, and you will see their constant recurrence as
weapons of political warfare.

       *       *       *       *       *

Even while the Constitution was under discussion in the National
Convention, the threats began. Georgia and South Carolina announced
that they would not come into the Union, unless the African
Slave-Trade, so dear in their sight, was allowed for twenty years under
the Constitution; and the North ignominiously yielded this barbarous
privilege, thus consenting to piracy. The cry from these States was
then, “We will not come in.” Ever since it has been, “We will not stay

One of the earliest and most characteristic outcries was on the
ratification of Jay’s Treaty in 1795. This famous treaty, negotiated by
John Jay, at that time Chief Justice of the United States, under the
instructions of Washington, provided for the surrender of the Western
posts by Great Britain, and indemnity to our merchants for spoliations
on their commerce, and also the adjustment of claims of British
merchants upon our citizens. In the opposition which it encountered we
meet the following threat of disunion in Virginia, published in Davis’s
Gazette, at Richmond.

    “Notice is hereby given, that, in case the treaty entered
    into by that d--d arch-traitor, J--n J--y, with the British
    tyrant should be ratified, a petition will be presented to the
    General Assembly of Virginia, at their next session, praying
    that the said State may _recede_ [such was the word in that
    early day] from the Union, and be left under the government
    and protection of one hundred thousand free and independent

    “P. S.--As it is the wish of the people of the said State to
    enter into a treaty of amity and commerce and navigation with
    any other State or States of the present Union who are averse
    to returning again under the galling yoke of Great Britain, the
    printers of the (at present) United States are requested to
    publish the above notification.”[18]

Thus early was this menace tried. But the treaty was ratified.

The menace was employed with more effect to secure the adoption of the
Missouri Compromise. This was in 1820. Missouri applied for admission
into the Union as a Slaveholding State. Her admission was opposed by
the North on the declared ground that it was not right to give any such
sanction to Slavery. Thus the whole Slave Question was opened; and it
was discussed with much thoroughness and ability, under the lead of
Rufus King, once an eminent representative of Massachusetts, but at
that time a venerable Senator from New York. Overthrown in argument,
the Slave-Masters resorted to threats of disunion. The Union was
pronounced in danger, and under this cry a compromise, first suggested
in the House by Louis McLane, a Representative from Delaware, and in
the Senate by William Pinkney, a Senator from Maryland, was adopted,
by virtue of which Missouri was admitted as a Slave State, while
Slavery was prohibited in the remaining territory north of 36° 30´, at
that time trodden only by Indians. The special operative gain to the
Slave-Masters was the admission of Missouri as a Slave State, with two
new slaveholding Senators to confirm their predominance in the Senate;
and this was notoriously secured under threats of disunion, by which
weak men at the North were intimidated.

A record at the time by the late Mr. Justice Story, who was then at
Washington, shows the temper especially of Virginia. Writing to a
friend at home, he says:--

    “Mr. Randolph, in the House of Representatives, made a furious
    attack upon all who advocated the Compromise. He said: ‘The
    land is _ours_ [meaning Virginia’s], and we will have it, and
    hold it, and use it as we [Virginians] please.’ He abused all
    the Eastern States in the most bitter style, and intimated in
    the most direct manner that he would have nothing to do with
    them. ‘We,’ said he, ‘will not cut and deal with them, but will
    put our hands upon our pockets and have nothing to do in this
    game with them.’ His speech was a very severe philippic, and
    contained a great many offensive allusions. _It let out the
    great secrets of Virginia, and blabbed that policy by which
    she has hitherto bullied us, and led us, and wheedled us, and
    governed us._ You would not have supposed that there was a
    State in the Union entitled to any confidence or character,
    except Virginia.”[19]

Such is the testimony of a tranquil observer, friend and associate
of that illustrious Virginian, John Marshall, who witnessed this
manifestation of the bullying spirit, and judged it.

Ten years passed, from 1820 to 1830, and the cry was raised again.
It was now on the allegation of injustice in our Tariff. Here South
Carolina took the lead, and openly threatened Nullification,--in the
face of the arguments of Daniel Webster and the proclamations of Andrew
Jackson. A modification of the tariff became necessary before this cry
of “wolf” ceased. General Jackson, in a private letter written at the
time, and now in the possession of our candidate, Mr. Andrew, predicts
that “the Negro Question” will be the next occasion for it;[20] and he
was right.

The subject of Slavery came up in Congress on petitions as early as
1835, and then commenced the great career of John Quincy Adams, as
champion of Freedom, eclipsing even all his glories as diplomatist
and President. At the presentation of petitions by this illustrious
statesman, the old threats were revived; and falling before them, the
Right of Petition itself was sacrificed. You all remember the depth of
this humiliation.

This was followed by still another, on the introduction of the Wilmot
Proviso, which was simply a proposition to prohibit Slavery in the
Territories. The same threats broke forth with increased violence.
Citizens at the North, while avowing hostility to Slavery, professed
to be alarmed for the Union. Again they bowed, and in 1850 assisted
in those Acts of Compromise, by which the Territories of Utah and New
Mexico were left open to Slavery, and a Fugitive Slave Bill was passed,
outraging alike every principle of Constitutional Liberty and every
sentiment of Humanity. Here was surrender to this cry.

The menace of disunion at the South became chronic. Not a day passed
that it was not uttered. At length, in 1856, John C. Fremont was
nominated as candidate for the Presidency by the Republican party. As
his election seemed at hand, we were again encountered by the same
old threats. We were told, that, even if elected according to the
forms of the Constitution, the Slave-Masters would not allow him to
be inaugurated, and people at the North were summoned ignominiously
to vote against him for the safety of the Union; and they surrendered
to the call. Without this, John C. Fremont would have been chosen
President. Thus again did the old menace prevail; and the chronic cry
still continued, showing itself on the election of a Speaker, and
then on the approval of Mr. Helper’s book by sixty-seven Members of

And now Abraham Lincoln is the candidate, instead of John C. Fremont.
Again the threats are renewed with increased animosity, and you are
asked to vote against a statesman of marked abilities and blameless
character, representing the early sentiments of the Fathers, simply
because Slave-Masters menace disunion in the event of his election.
Bending with _invertebrate_ backs before these threats, you are called
to surrender your principles, your votes, and your souls.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus seven times, at seven different stages in our history, since the
adoption of the Constitution, has this menace of disunion been made to
play its part. Whatever it might have been at first, it is now nothing
more than “second childishness and mere oblivion, _sans_ everything.”
There is nothing in it which should not be treated with indignant
contempt, certainly when employed here in Massachusetts to make us
sacrifice our principles.

Absurd on the face, its absurdity is fully appreciated only when we
consider its impotence as a remedy for the alleged grievances of the
Slave States. They complain that fugitive slaves are not faithfully
surrendered,--or, in other words, that some score or two of human
beings, following the North Star, with the assistance of Northern men,
succeed in securing their freedom. But disunion surely would be a poor
remedy for this intolerable grievance; for it would leave them without
even their present protection in this respect, without a Fugitive Slave
Bill, or any constitutional safeguard, so that all fugitives, just so
soon as they crossed the frontiers of the Slave States, would become
free,--precisely as if Canada, with its British welcome to slaves, were
carried down to the borders of Virginia and Maryland. If slaves escape
now, what would they do then? If such things are done in the green
tree, what would be done in the dry? Surely, in this case, it were
better to

                “bear the ills they have
    Than fly to others that they know not of.”

The other grievance is of the same character. The Slave-Masters
complain, that, by the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories, they
are deprived of the opportunity of new Slave States through which their
predominance in the Senate may be continued. But, pray, what remedy for
this loss can be found in disunion? Surely they cannot add to their
present political strength by renouncing securities and dignities which
they now enjoy in the national copartnership. It is true, that, while
in the Union, they may be voted down on matters within the national
jurisdiction and outside of the States; but they may nevertheless exert
an influence, which on their withdrawal must be entirely renounced.

Such are the two grievances which are to justify disunion; and pardon
me, if I venture to illustrate the irrational character of this remedy
by an incident of scientific interest. The monkey in the _Jardin des
Plantes_ at Paris was found biting the rope by which he was suspended
from the roof. “See,” said the learned professor, “that monkey shows
the difference between brutes and men. He sees what he is doing, but
does not see the consequence,--that down he will fall.” And the Slave
States also bite the rope by which they are suspended, and, like the
unreasoning brute, see not the consequence.

Yet more apparent is the absurdity of this threat, when we consider how
it is to be accomplished. If the Slave States were solemnly unanimous
at home, the cry might have a certain force. But it is well known
that they are not unanimous. Whatever the threats of disorganizing
extremists, the large mass of people even in the Slave States do not
desire disunion. They keep aloof now from such threats, and openly
declare their purpose to put down the traitors without assistance from
the North; and this I cannot doubt would be done. Such men as Cassius
M. Clay and the Blairs would find a field for their energies, and they
would see at their side people who have not hitherto acted with them
gladly forgetting past differences for the sake of a common cause. Here
are emphatic words, just uttered by a speaker at the South, in reply to
Mr. Yancey, which show that any such attempt would fare badly, even at

    “I am one of a numerous party at the South, who will, if even
    Lincoln shall be elected under the forms of our Constitution
    and by the authority of law, without committing any other
    offence than being elected, force the vile disunionists and
    secessionists of the South to pass over our dead bodies in
    their march to Washington to break up this government.”

But the absurdity of this threat glares upon us still more, when we
reflect on the unhappy condition in which disunion would leave the
seceding Slave States. Antiquity, by numerous instances, declares
the danger from slaves, and history is continually verifying this
truth. Even now, while I speak, we hear of insurrection at Norfolk, in
Virginia, carrying with it wide-spread alarm, and the necessity for
most especial vigilance. But in the event of disunion this condition
would become permanent, so that life, if not a tragedy, would be a
penance long drawn out. The whole region cursed with Slavery would be
dotted over with fortifications and military posts; communities would
be changed into camps carefully guarded against surprise; life would
be as in Turkey or Tartary; and every Slave-Master would sleep with
all the precautions of a highwayman fearing arrest, or of the mad
prince, Don Carlos of Spain, who had two naked swords and two loaded
pistols under his bed, and two arquebuses with powder and balls in his
closet. The mother, as she heard the fire-bell at midnight, would
clasp her infant to her breast, fearful that at last the long hoarded
resentments of the slave would be vindictively indulged. Even the
soil, now so productive, would refuse its increase; for Nature herself
would cease to smile amidst the alarms of servile war. Thus cruelly
harassed and impoverished at home, the Slave States could find little
comfort abroad. For a brief moment they might brave the scorn and
contempt poured upon them; but they must fail to have the sensibilities
of men, or they would at last shrink before the finger-point of the
civilized world. The house of Lycaon, the cruel king of early Greece,
was destroyed by the thunder of Jove, and the miserable monarch changed
to a wolf. Such would be the doom of a State which set at defiance
the laws of Humanity. It would have a _wolf’s head_, and all would be
against it.

The States which especially threaten secession are on the Mexican
Gulf, and they have become known already as “The Gulf Squadron.” Not
yet wolves, they are now ships. Let them sail, with the black flag at
the mast-head. I know not how the tale would end, but I know well that
Slavery could not gain. Their dismal fate is, perhaps, prefigured in
that of the slaver loaded down with its human cargo, where the crew
were all struck with ophthalmia, and in this condition of blindness,
while vainly striving to navigate the vessel, and weltering on the sea,
were at last picked up by a charitable cruiser and carried into port.
Or perhaps it is prefigured in that of the famous craft known in story
as “The Flying Dutchman,” which, darkened by piracy and murder, was
doomed to perpetual cruise, unable to enter a port:--

    “Faint and despairing on their watery bier,
    To every friendly shore the sailors steer;
    Repelled, from port to port they sue in vain,
    And track with slow, unsteady sail the main.…
    Unblest of God and man! Till time shall end,
    Its view strange horror to the storm shall lend.”[22]

Such is Disunion, in the history of its threats,--also in the reasons
now alleged for it, the difficulties in its way, and its dismal
consequences. But in all these aspects, from the beginning, we find but
one supreme absurdity. It is the same, whether we ask Why? How? or What?

       *       *       *       *       *

And yet you and I here in Massachusetts are summoned, under threats
of disunion, to withdraw opposition to the extension of Slavery, and
in token thereof to vote for Bell, or Breckinridge, or Douglas. I can
do no such thing; nor do I see how any Northern man, with a head on
his shoulders, or a heart in his bosom, or a backbone in his body,
can do any such thing. Nor must fealty to the Union be measured by
loud-mouthed profession. Not Cordelia, loving her father, in all
simplicity, “according to her bond,” but the sisters Goneril and Regan,
so fervent in professions, sacrificed him. And I do not hesitate to
declare that the Republican party is the only true Union party. In the
first place, it is the only party which is not connected in some way,
by association, affiliation, communion, or sympathy, with disunionists;
and, in the second place, it is the only party which seeks the
establishment of those national principles of Freedom on which the
Union was originally founded, and without which it cannot exist in
security or honor.

As it is the only Union party, so the Republican party is the
only Constitutional party. It is the only party which takes the
Constitution unreservedly as guide, according to the spirit in which
it was made, and the light of its Preamble,--rejecting the Proslavery
interpretations adopted by the Bell faction, the Breckinridge faction,
and the Douglas faction, all of which, in whatever form, are abhorrent
to the spirit of the Constitution and the very words of its Preamble.
In that Preamble it is declared that the Constitution is made to
“establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the
common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings
of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Mark these important
words. It is to establish justice: but Slavery is injustice. It is to
insure domestic tranquillity: but Slavery insures domestic discord and
insurrection. It is to provide for the common defence: but Slavery
causes common weakness. It is to promote the general welfare: but
Slavery perils the general welfare. Finally, it is to secure the
blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity: but Slavery
sacrifices these blessings. Such is the Preamble, which is the key to
the Constitution. The Republican party alone adopts its principles, as
it alone adopts most honestly and sincerely the often declared opinions
of its founders. Therefore it is the only Constitutional party.

For the Union and the Constitution, the Republican party is also the
only party which maintains the great principles of Human Freedom. Thus
in every respect is it commended to your support. The man who asks
you here in Massachusetts to vote against it is either very weak, and
believes in his own bad reasoning, or very artful, and laughs in his
sleeve at your credulity, or very spiteful, and allows all things, even
his principles and his country, to be lost in the gratification of a
vindictive temper. Look at your opponents here, and you will find that
weakness, duplicity, and spite are the three main springs to their
conduct. This is a severe analysis, but I think the facts support the

Frankness is not a virtue of our opponents, else we should have
this issue between us more fairly stated. But you will not be
deceived. You will see, that, amidst all disguises and subterfuges,
the great question perpetually recurs: Are you for Freedom, or are
you for Slavery? On this single question you are to vote; and no
cry of “Disunion” can change the issue. Are you for Freedom in the
Territories? Are you for a National Government administered in the
spirit of the Fathers? Are you for the prostration of the Slave
Oligarchy which now rules the country? Vain is the attempt to interpose
other questions, even that of the Union itself; and vain is the attempt
to separate the combatants. The ancient armies of Rome and Carthage
fought on, unconscious of an earthquake which upheaved mountains,
toppled down cities, and turned the course of rivers. But the animosity
between Freedom and Slavery is not less implacable and self-forgetful.
It can end only with the triumph of Freedom.

Freedom, which is the breath of God, is a great leveller; but it raises
where it levels. Slavery, which is the breath of Satan, is also a great
leveller; but it degrades everything, carrying with it master as well
as slave. Choose ye between them; and remember that your first duty
is to stand up straight, and not bend before absurd threats, whether
uttered at the South or repeated here in Massachusetts. Let people
cry, “Disunion.” We know what the cry means, and we answer back: The
Union shall be preserved, and made more precious by its consecration to



    This speech was made on the eve of the Presidential election,
    with the special purpose of sustaining Hon. Goldsmith F.
    Bailey, the Republican candidate for Congress in the Worcester
    District, against Hon. Eli Thayer, the previous Representative,
    who, failing to obtain the Republican nomination, became an
    Independent candidate. When it was known that Mr. Sumner had
    accepted an invitation from the Republican Committee to speak
    in the District, Mr. Thayer addressed him a letter, proposing
    a public discussion together on an evening named. To this
    challenge Mr. Sumner promptly replied in the following letter.

                                          BOSTON, October 30, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--I make haste to acknowledge your favor of 29th
  October, that I may not seem for a moment to fail in any courtesy
  towards you.

  I have been invited by the Republicans of Worcester to address
  them in support of their candidate, and have not felt at liberty
  to decline the invitation. But I should not like to take part in
  any controversy with an Opposition candidate, even had I been
  invited to do so.

  Accept the good wishes which I sincerely cherish for your
  personal welfare, and believe me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,



    Mr. Sumner, yielding with reluctance to the pressure upon him,
    consented to speak on this occasion, solely with the desire of
    striking a last blow at a political heresy which stood in the
    way of establishing Freedom in the Territories, and of helping
    to save an important District of Massachusetts from being
    represented by one of its partisans. The speech is confined
    exclusively to the dogma or device of Popular Sovereignty,
    often called Squatter Sovereignty, in the Territories, which,
    after playing a conspicuous part in other sections of the
    country, at last found a supporter in Mr. Thayer, who gave
    to it certain importance, inasmuch as he had already done
    excellent service in organizing that Liberty-loving emigration
    which contributed so powerfully to the salvation of Kansas.

    Though local in its immediate influence, the speech completes
    the series of efforts by which Mr. Sumner sought to fix the
    power of Congress to prohibit Slavery in the Territories,
    which was the great issue in the Presidential election. It is,
    perhaps, the last speech made anywhere on this topic, which
    unquestionably belongs to the history of the Slavery Question
    in our country. At its delivery there was much enthusiasm. The
    large hall was crowded for an hour before the meeting. Many
    hundreds, some from a distance, were compelled to return home,
    while others thronged the aisles and passage-ways. The effect
    of the speech was attested at the time by the public press, and
    also by correspondents. Mr. Bailey, the successful candidate,
    wrote as follows, under date of Fitchburg, November 10, 1860.

        “Our District was carried on high points. Our triumph is
        one of principle. We were in danger at one time, and felt
        the need of a strong, manly blow from an authoritative
        source. You gave such a blow, and the result is, Mr. Thayer
        has a plurality in but eight of the thirty-seven towns
        comprising our District.

        “The victory is not in any sense a personal one for
        me. But, as a member of the Republican party, a lover
        of the principles of personal liberty cherished by the
        Fathers, and an enemy of human slavery in all forms and
        _everywhere_, I must thank you from a full heart for the
        great and timely aid you then rendered to the cause in this
        District. Your reward, I know, is not in these thanks, but
        it is a satisfaction to me to express them.”

    Edwin Bynner, an energetic citizen of Worcester, who took a
    leading part in the canvass, wrote, under date of November 10,

         “I cannot refrain from tendering to you personally my
        heartfelt thanks for your masterly speech in Mechanics’
        Hall, which, in my opinion, did more to avert our
        threatened defeat than any other instrumentality employed.
        In saying this, I would not for a moment disparage any
        effort put forth by others; but, having devoted my whole
        soul to the contest, having expended every effort of mind
        and body, and believing that I _know_, as well, if not
        better, than others engaged in the fight, to whom the
        laurels really belong, I cannot repress avowal of the
        conviction, that, but for your speech, the event would have
        been at least doubtful. I am impelled to tender you my
        warmest personal gratitude for efforts which others halted
        and hesitated in making.”

    To these local testimonies may be added the words of Hon. Henry
    L. Dawes, who wrote, under date of North Adams, November 6,

        “I desire to thank you, in the name of the Constitution,
        justice, and the cause, for your speech at Worcester. The
        argument was complete and unanswerable.”


On my way to this place, my attention was attracted by a banner,
flaunting over the highway, with these words: “TRUST THE PEOPLE.”
Nothing could be fairer or more seductive. In those simple words is
embodied a principle, long unknown, and to this day often denied, which
may be called the mainspring of Democratic institutions. Here is an
implied assertion of the right of the people to govern themselves.
And here also is an implied denial of all pretensions of Tyranny and
Oligarchy. Such a principle, properly understood in its simplicity and
just limitations, must find welcome in every Republican breast. Reading
it on the banner, I responded with joy: “‘Trust the People,’ and Might
will no longer make Right, Government everywhere will be founded upon
the consent of the governed, and Slavery will become impossible!”

Studying the banner further, I found written above this fair device the
names, “DOUGLAS AND JOHNSON.” And then I was saddened to see how here
in Massachusetts a great principle of human rights is degraded to be a
cover for the denial of all rights. Of course the principles of these
two candidates are understood. Mr. Douglas, with vulgar insensibility
to what is due to all who wear the human form, openly declares that
“at the North he is for the white man against the _nigger_, but that
further South he is for the _nigger_ against the alligator,”--and in
this spirit says, “Vote Slavery up or vote Slavery down”; and such
is the Popular Sovereignty which he proclaims. Mr. Johnson, who is
his associate, declares, in well-known words, that “Capital ought to
own Labor,”--that is, that mechanics, workmen, and farmers, in fine,
all who toil with hands, should be slaves; and this is the Popular
Sovereignty which he proclaims. Surely this Douglas and Johnson Popular
Sovereignty should rather be called Popular Tyranny. And here at the
outset you will observe a wide distinction. Sovereignty is properly
limited by _right_; Tyranny is without any limit except _force_. But
when presented under the captivating device of “Trust the people,” its
true character is concealed. It is the Devil radiant with the face of
an angel. It is an apple of Sodom, fair to the eye, but dust and ashes
to the touch.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are few among us who avow themselves supporters of Douglas and
Johnson; or if they do, they have ceased to look for success in the
coming Presidential election, which seems to be practically decided
already. I should not be justified, therefore, in occupying your time
to-night in considering their cunning artifice, if it were represented
only by Douglas and Johnson, against whom you all stand ready to vote.
To argue against these candidates here in Massachusetts, and especially
in Worcester County, is as superfluous as to argue against King George
the Third, whose ideas of sovereignty were of the same tyrannical
class, yet who was dead long ago.

But the same popular tyranny, misnamed Popular Sovereignty, upheld by
these Presidential candidates, is also upheld by another candidate,
now seeking your votes as Representative to Congress. Let me not do
injustice to Mr. Thayer. I know well the points of difference between
his theory and the theory of Douglas and Johnson; but I know also
that in essential character they are identical,--so much so, that Mr.
Douglas is reported to have hailed him, at the close of one of his
speeches, as an authoritative expounder of the theory. The ancient
Athenian, when praised in a certain quarter, exclaimed, “What bad thing
have I done?” And Mr. Thayer, in earlier days, when doing so much for
Freedom, would have been apt to turn from such praise with a similar

It was natural that Mr. Douglas should praise him; for he gave the
influence of character and ability to that pretension on which this
reckless adventurer had staked his political fortunes. The fundamental
principle of each is, that the question of Slavery in a distant
Territory shall be taken from Congress and referred to the handful
of squatters in the Territory, who, in the exercise of a sovereignty
inherent in the people, and therefore called Popular Sovereignty,
may “vote Slavery up or vote Slavery down.” Of course Mr. Thayer,
thanks to his New England home, has too much good taste to put forth
this pretension in the brutal form it often assumes, when advanced by
Mr. Douglas. He does not say that he is “for the white man against
the _nigger_ and for the _nigger_ against the alligator.” Perhaps
the pretension becomes more dangerous because presented in more
plausible form, and made part of a more comprehensive system. All
that Mr. Douglas claims for the squatters, in the exercise of Popular
Sovereignty, is power over Slavery, and other domestic institutions;
while Mr. Thayer claims for them, besides this power, the power also to
choose their own officers, instead of receiving them from Washington.
But the essential distinctive pretension of each is, that the handful
of squatters is exclusively entitled, in the exercise of Popular
Sovereignty, to pass upon the question of Slavery in the Territories,
and to vote it up or vote it down, without any intervention from

If this principle were asserted only with regard to a single Territory,
or even with regard to a single county or a single town, it ought to
be opposed as fallacious and unjust; but when asserted as a general
principle applicable to all the Territories of the Republic, it must
be resisted, not only as fallacious and unjust, but as fraught with
consequences difficult to measure. Glance for one moment at the vast
spaces which it would open to this mad conflict, and you will be awed
by the immensity of the question.

According to official documents, the whole territorial extent of the
United States, including States and Territories, embraces about three
million square miles. This in itself is no inconsiderable portion of
the earth’s surface. It is nearly ten times as large as Great Britain
and France combined,--three times as large as the whole of France,
Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, and
Denmark together,--only a little less than the whole sixty Empires,
States, and Republics of all Europe,--and of equal extent with the
ancient Roman Empire, or the empire of Alexander, neither of which is
said to have exceeded three million square miles. Of this vast area,
about one half is now organized into States, leaving one million five
hundred thousand square miles in the condition of outlying territory,
whose future fortunes are involved in the decision of the present

If the subject assumes colossal proportions when we regard the
extent of territory, it swells to yet grander form when we look at
the population involved. The whole white population of the United
States at the present moment amounts to 27,000,000. Supposing it
to increase at the rate of 34 per cent in ten years, which may be
inferred from the rate at which it has already increased, it will
number in 1870, 36,000,000; in 1880, 48,000,000; in 1890, 64,000,000;
in 1900, 85,000,000; in 1910, 113,000,000; in 1920, 151,000,000; in
1930, 202,000,000; in 1940, 270,000,000; in 1950, 361,000,000; and in
1960, just one hundred years from now, it will reach 483,000,000 of
white freemen. Here we may well stop to take breath. Add to this white
population 50,000,000 of colored population, whether free or slave,
according to the supposed increase, and we shall have a sum-total of
533,000,000; and in two hundred years, with the same continuing rate
of increase, our population will be ten times larger than that of the
whole globe at the present hour.

This extraordinary multitude will not be confined to the present
States. It will diffuse itself in every direction, covering all
our territory as the waters cover the sea. Precisely how it will
be distributed it is impossible to foreknow. But the tendency of
population is Westward. The Eastern States are becoming stationary.
Assuming that in 1960 the area now unoccupied will be settled at the
rate of Massachusetts in 1850, which was 127 to the square mile, we
shall then have on that territory a white population of 190,000,000.
And the simple question is, Whether this enormous territory, with this
enormous population, shall be exposed to all the accumulating evils of
Slavery, with their hateful legacy, at the mere will of the handful of
first settlers? According to a French proverb, “It is only the first
step which costs,” and there is profound truth in this saying. In
similar spirit the ancient Romans said, _Obsta principiis_, “Oppose

Never were these time-honored maxims more applicable than in the
present case, when such prodigious results are involved. All experience
shows that it takes very little Slavery to constitute a Slave State,
and that Slavery, when once introduced, is most tenacious of existence.
Mr. Lincoln, in one of his speeches, has aptly likened it to the
Canada thistle, which, when once planted, extends with most injurious
pertinacity. Others liken it to a cancer or vicious disease, which,
when once in the system, corrupts the blood forever. It may be likened
to a superstitious usage, which, when once established in the customs
of a people, yields reluctantly to every effort against it. And yet Mr.
Thayer wrests from Congress, representing the whole country, all power
to prevent the introduction of this transcendent evil, and transfers
the whole question to a handful of squatters, who are to act for the
weal or woe of half a continent with teeming millions of population;
and this is done in the name of Popular Sovereignty, as announced in
the Declaration of Independence.

Fellow-citizens, I deny this pretension in every respect and at every
point. I assert the power of Congress, founded on reason and precedent;
and I assert the overwhelming necessity at this moment of exercising
this unquestionable power. Guardians of this mighty territory, the
destined home of untold millions, we must see that it is securely
consecrated to the uses of Freedom, so that it cannot be pressed by
the footsteps of a slave. For the moment we are performing the duty of
_conditores imperiorum_, or founders of States, which Lord Bacon, in
sententious wisdom, places foremost in honor, and calls a “primitive
and heroical work.”[23] In the discharge of this duty, every power,
every effort, every influence for Freedom should be invoked. The angel
at the gates of Paradise, with flaming sword turning to every side,
might be fitly summoned to guard this grand inheritance.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not only do I assert this power, but I deny that sovereignty, when
justly understood, has among its incidents the right to enslave our
fellow-man. Mr. Thayer practically recognizes this incident; for he
insists upon leaving the handful of squatters in the Territories to
vote Slavery up or vote Slavery down without any intervention from
Congress. And here is the vital question: Is there any such power
incident to sovereignty?

And since the Declaration of Independence is invoked as authority for
this new pretension, I shall bring it precisely to this touchstone.
Bear with me, if I am tedious.

On the 4th of July, 1776, was put forth that great state paper, which
constitutes an epoch of history. Its primary object was to dissolve
the bonds which existed between the Colonies and the mother country.
For this purpose a few positive words would have sufficed. But its
authors were not content with this enunciation. Ascending far above the
simple idea of National Independence, they made their Declaration an
example to mankind, in two respects: first, as a Declaration of Human
Rights; and, secondly, as an admission that the Sovereignty which they
established was limited by Right.

In the first place, they declared “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”; and
“that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Note
well these words. Here was a Declaration of Natural Rights, the first
ever put forth in history, unless we except the declaration only a
few months earlier in Virginia. In England there have been Bills of
Rights, beginning with Magna Charta, all declaring simply the rights
of Englishmen, and all founded on concession and precedent. Now came
a Declaration of the Rights of Man, not founded on concession or
precedent, but founded on Nature. And this Declaration, though made
the basis of the new government, was universal in application, so that
people, wherever struggling for rights, have been cheered by its words.

There is another enunciation, by which the Declaration is equally
memorable, although this feature has been less noticed. Certainly
it has not been noticed by Mr. Thayer, or he would never venture to
derive his pretension from a Declaration which positively excludes
all such idea. Other governments, even those of the American Colonies,
have been founded on _force_, and the sovereignty which they claimed
was unlimited, so as to sanction Slavery. That I may not seem to
make this statement hastily, pardon me, if I adduce two illustrative
authorities. I refer first to Sir William Blackstone, the commentator
on the Laws of England, who says: “There is and must be in all forms
of government, however they began, or by what right soever they
subsist, a supreme, irresistible, absolute, uncontrolled authority,
in which the _rights of sovereignty_ reside;”[24] and this power,
which in England is attributed to Parliament, he calls in one place
“that _absolute despotic power_ which must in all governments reside
_somewhere_.”[25] I refer also to the famous Dr. Johnson, who, in his
tract entitled “Taxation no Tyranny,” openly says that “all government
is ultimately and essentially absolute”; that “in sovereignty there
are no gradations”; that “there must in every society be some power
or other from which there is no appeal,” which “extends or contracts
privileges, exempt itself from question or control, and bounded only by
physical necessity.”[26]

In the face of these contemporary authorities, one an eminent jurist,
and the other an eminent moralist, both well known to our fathers,
and in the face of all traditions of government, the Declaration of
Independence disclaimed all despotic, absolute, or unlimited power, and
voluntarily brought the new sovereignty within the circumscription of
_Right_. Not content with declaring that the rights to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable, and therefore beyond
the control of any sovereignty, the Declaration went further, and,
by abnegation worthy of perpetual honor, solemnly restrained the new
sovereignty,--simply claiming for it the “power to do all acts and
things which independent states may OF RIGHT do.” Even had this express
limitation been omitted, no such incident of sovereignty as that
asserted by Mr. Thayer could be derived from an instrument containing
those words with which the Declaration begins; but with these latter
words of special limitation, the pretension becomes absurd.

Such, fellow-citizens, is the Popular Sovereignty of the Declaration
of Independence, drawing its life, first, from the inalienable Rights
of Man, and then, by positive words, restrained to what is Right.
And this is the Popular Sovereignty which, lifting the down-trodden
and trampling on tyrants,--now gentle as Charity, and then terrible
as an army with banners,--is destined to make the tour of the world,
rendering Slavery everywhere impossible.

Of this Popular Sovereignty I have spoken on another occasion,[27]
and I refrain with difficulty from repeating now what I said then,
partly because I believe so completely in its truth and rejoice in its
utterance, but more because I learn that it has been wrested from its
place to cover the Popular Tyranny, misnamed Popular Sovereignty, which
Mr. Thayer so ardently vindicates.

How strange that words which hail the Angel of Human Liberation,
with Liberty and Equality in her glorious train, should be invoked in
support of a wicked tyranny, which, in the name of Popular Sovereignty,
makes merchandise of our fellow-man! Face to face against this wretched
pretension I put the true Popular Sovereignty, with Liberty and
Equality for all, guarded and surrounded by the impassable limitation
of Right, which is the god Terminus, never to be overthrown. Within
these great precincts there can be no Slavery, nor can there be any
denial of Equal Rights. How, then, can any man, in the name of Popular
Sovereignty, vote another to be a slave? How, then, can any man, in
this name, assert property in his fellow-man? By what excuse, with what
reason, on what argument can any such thing be done, without first
denying all that is true and sacred? Liberty, which is the active
principle of Popular Sovereignty,--Equality, which is twin sister
of Liberty,--and Justice, which sets bounds to all that men do on
earth,--these are the irresistible enemies of Slavery, each and all
of which must be trampled out by any rule under which man can be made
a slave. But these, each and all, constitute that Popular Sovereignty
which is the glory of our institutions. Anything else calling itself by
this great name is a mockery and a sham, fit only for hissing and scorn.

The Declaration of Independence gave dignity to our Revolutionary
contest, and made it a landmark of human progress. Here, at last,
the rights of man were proclaimed, and a government was organized in
subjection to the sovereign rule of Right. The people, while lifting
themselves to the duties of sovereignty, bowed before that overruling
sovereignty whose seat is the bosom of God. Such an example became
at once a guide to mankind. It was copied in France, under the lead
of Lafayette; and there is no people struggling for Right in either
hemisphere who have not felt its inspiration. And yet this Declaration,
standing highest among the historic landmarks of our country, is now
assailed and dishonored.

It is assailed and dishonored, first, by denial of these natural
rights which it so gloriously declares. This is done often with a
jeer. Forgetful that these rights were divinely established at the
very Creation, when God said, “Let us make man in our image,” and
then again in the Gospel, when it was said, “God hath made of one
blood all nations of men,”--forgetful that these rights are stamped
by Nature on all who wear the human form,--forgetful also that they
belong to those self-evident truths, sometimes called axioms, which are
universal in their application, as the axiom in arithmetic that two
and two make four, and the axiom in geometry that a straight line is
the shortest distance between two points,--forgetful of the true glory
of our country, these primal truths are sometimes scouted as “absurd,”
sometimes as “splendid generalities,” and sometimes as a “self-evident
lie.” This assault, though proceeding from various voices, originated
with Mr. Calhoun. He is its first author.

And now, secondly, the Declaration is assailed and dishonored by the
claim, that men, in the exercise of sovereignty derived from the
Declaration, may set up on an auction-block their fellow-men, if to
them it seems fit, and that this power is an incident of Popular
Sovereignty. This pretension, first put forth by General Cass, in 1847,
when a Presidential candidate,[28] and now revived by Mr. Douglas, who
peddles it throughout the country, is also practically adopted by Mr.
Thayer, as part of his peculiar Territorial policy. Such a pretension
is hardly less degrading to the Declaration than the open mockery of
its primal truths by Mr. Calhoun. The latter, as is well known, denied
the sovereignty of the people in the Territories, but he agreed, heart
and soul, in the pretension that the right to enslave a fellow-man is
an incident of sovereignty, wherever it exists.

Thus do these two assaults upon the Declaration practically proceed
from one source. In their essential ideas they are _Calhounism_.

On the other side is arrayed a name illustrious for various public
service, and for unsurpassed championship of Freedom: I mean John
Quincy Adams. Entering the House of Representatives after a long life,
at home and abroad, as Senator, as Minister, as Secretary of State,
and finally as President, he added to all these titles by the ability
and constancy with which he upheld the Rights of Man. Mr. Calhoun was
at this time in the Senate; but Mr. Adams incessantly met all his
assumptions for Slavery,--exposing its hateful character, insisting
upon its _prohibition_ in the Territories, and especially vindicating
the Declaration of Independence. Never has the recent pretension, in
the name of Popular Sovereignty, been more completely anticipated and
exposed. And now, that this argument may not stand entirely upon my
words, I quote from him. Says John Quincy Adams, in his oration on the
Fourth of July, 1831, at Quincy:--

    “Unlimited power belongs not to the nature of man, and rotten
    will be the foundation of every government leaning upon such
    a maxim for its support.… The pretence of an absolute,
    irresistible, despotic power existing in every government
    _somewhere_ is incompatible with the first principle of natural
    right.… The _sovereignty_ which would arrogate to itself
    absolute, unlimited power must appeal for its sanction to those
    illustrious expounders of Human Rights, Pharaoh of Egypt and
    Herod the Great of Judea.”[29]

In another passage of the same oration, the patriot statesman says, in
words which answer a portion of Mr. Thayer’s arguments:--

    “It has sometimes been objected to the Declaration, that it
    deals too much in abstractions. But this was its characteristic
    excellence; for upon those abstractions hinged the justice
    of the cause. Without them our Revolution would have been
    but successful rebellion. Right, truth, justice are all
    abstractions. The Divinity that stirs within the soul of man
    is abstraction. The Creator of the universe is a spirit, and
    all spiritual nature is abstraction. Happy would it be, could
    we answer with equal confidence another objection, not to the
    Declaration, but to the consistency of the people by whom it
    was proclaimed!”[30]

These same views were enforced again by Mr. Adams in his oration at
Newburyport, July 4, 1837. There he uses words which reveal the limits
of Popular Sovereignty. Thus he speaks:--

    “The sovereign authority conferred upon the people of the
    Colonies by the Declaration of Independence could not dispense
    them, nor any individual citizen of them, from the fulfilment
    of all their moral obligations.… The people who assumed their
    equal and separate station among the powers of the earth,
    by the laws of Nature’s God, by that very act acknowledged
    themselves bound to the observance of those laws, _and could
    neither exercise nor confer any power inconsistent with

Then alluding to the self-imposed restraints upon the sovereignty which
was established, our teacher says:--

    “The Declaration acknowledged a rule of _Right_ paramount
    to the power of independent states itself, and virtually
    disclaimed all power to do _Wrong_. This was a novelty in the
    moral philosophy of nations, and it is the essential point
    of difference between the system of government announced in
    the Declaration of Independence and those systems which had
    until then prevailed among men.… It was an experiment upon
    the heart of man. All the legislators of the human race until
    that day had laid the foundations of all government among men
    in _Power_; and hence it was that in the maxims of theory, as
    well as in the practice of nations, sovereignty was held to
    be unlimited and illimitable. The Declaration of Independence
    proclaimed another law, … a law of _Right_, binding upon
    nations as well as individuals, upon sovereigns as well as upon
    subjects.… In assuming the attributes of _sovereign power_,
    the Colonists appealed to the Supreme Judge of the world for
    the rectitude of their intentions, and neither claimed nor
    conferred authority to do anything but _of Right_.”[32]

Such is the irresistible testimony of John Quincy Adams. On the other
side are arrayed John C. Calhoun, Stephen A. Douglas, and Eli Thayer.
Choose you between these two sides.

       *       *       *       *       *

Enough, perhaps, has been said. But I shall not leave this question
merely on reason and high authority, decisive as they may be. I appeal,
further, to the practice of the National Government, which from the
beginning has sanctioned the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories.
The pretension of Popular Sovereignty is altogether a modern invention,
unknown to our fathers.

The positive Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories was proposed
in the Continental Congress by Mr. Jefferson, as early as 1784. Thus
did the hand which drew the Declaration of Independence first assert
the practical application of its principles within the jurisdiction of
Congress; and here the Popular Sovereignty of the Declaration receives
most instructive illustration. Although the proposition had in its
favor a majority of all the delegates then present, and also a majority
of all the States then present, yet, under the rules of the Continental
Congress, it failed for the moment. But there is no evidence that
anybody questioned the power of Congress, or claimed Sovereignty for
any handful of squatters.

The following year, in the absence of Mr. Jefferson, the Prohibition
was proposed by Rufus King, a delegate from Massachusetts. It
was afterwards embodied by Nathan Dane, another delegate from
Massachusetts, in the Ordinance for the Government of the Northwest
Territory; and finally, on the 13th of July, 1787, a day ever memorable
in the annals of Human Freedom, it was carried with only one vote in
the negative, and became the corner-stone of those imperial States
destined to exercise such controlling influence in our history. Thus
early did our Commonwealth, through its faithful Representatives,
insist upon Prohibition by Congress. This was before the National

The Ordinance thus adopted by the Continental Congress was affirmed in
August, 1789, by the first Congress that sat under the Constitution, in
a law which bears the signature of George Washington. In pursuance of
its provisions, Ohio was admitted into the Union, 19th February, 1803;
Indiana, 11th December, 1816; Illinois, 3d December, 1818; Michigan,
26th January, 1837; and Wisconsin, 29th May, 1848. In the various Acts
of Congress preparatory to the admission of these States, the validity
of the Ordinance was recognized to the fullest extent. Meanwhile the
same principle was applied in the Missouri Compromise, under which
Slavery was prohibited by Congress in all the territory west of the
Mississippi and north of 36° 30´; also in the organization of Iowa as
a Territory, 12th June, 1838, and especially of Oregon as a Territory,
14th August, 1848. Thus from the beginning has this power been affirmed
by successive Congresses and by successive Presidents, from George
Washington to James K. Polk. It is impossible to present any principle
in our history sustained by a line of precedents so imposing.

The necessity of this Prohibition, as a safeguard to the Territories,
is apparent from well-attested occurrences. The people of the Territory
of Indiana, embracing the larger part of the whole of the Northwestern
Territory, in 1802, then again in 1805, then again in 1807, and at
other times also, with the pertinacity which marks all struggles for
Slavery, petitioned Congress to suspend the Prohibition, so as to
allow the introduction of slaves, if the squatters should desire it.
To the honor of Congress, their petitions were rejected; but they
are memorable from a brief report adverse to their passage by John
Randolph, of Virginia. Here it is, bearing date 2d March, 1803.

    “That the rapid population of the State of Ohio sufficiently
    evinces, in the opinion of your Committee, that the labor of
    slaves is not necessary to promote the growth and settlement
    of colonies in that region. That this labor, demonstrably
    the dearest of any, can only be employed to advantage in
    the cultivation of products more valuable than any known to
    that quarter of the United States. That the Committee deem
    it _highly dangerous and inexpedient to impair a provision
    wisely calculated to promote the happiness and prosperity of
    the Northwestern country_, and to give strength and security
    to that extensive frontier. _In the salutary operation of
    this sagacious and benevolent restraint_ it is believed that
    the inhabitants of Indiana will at no very distant day find
    ample remuneration for a temporary privation of labor and of

With these benignant and most suggestive words of an eminent
Slave-Master Congress happily concurred, and the Prohibition was
confirmed. Had the modern pretension of Popular Sovereignty then
prevailed, the States of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin,
instead of becoming the smiling home of Free Labor, would be suffering
from the blight of Slavery,--instead of joining in triumphant vote for
Lincoln, they would, like their neighbor, Missouri, be linked with the
Slave States in support of Breckinridge, or Bell, or Douglas, and would
constitute part of that Slave Power under whose tyranny the country has
so long suffered.

The advantage of the Prohibition is as clear as its necessity. I do
not dwell on the comparison between Free States and Slave States,
between free labor and slave labor, between the social system fostered
by Freedom and the social system engendered by Slavery, between
the civilization of the one and the barbarism of the other; but I
call attention simply to two States, covering nearly the same spaces
of latitude, resembling each other in soil, climate, and natural
productions, lying side by side, and organized at about the same
time,--Illinois, thanks to the Prohibition, a Free State, and Missouri
cursed with more than one hundred thousand slaves. Look at the
statistics of these two States, if you would know the contrast which
day by day magnifies the Prohibition.

And yet, in the face of all this experience, showing, first, the
necessity of Prohibition as a safeguard to the Territories, and,
secondly, its immeasurable advantages, you are now called to abandon
the early policy of the Republic, to turn your back upon this policy as
irrational and unwise, and to adopt a new pretension, with a plausible
name, which, in the only instance where it has been tried, produced
discord, strife, and blood. You are called to give up the old Aladdin’s
Lamp of magical power, filling the land with infinite treasures and the
true nobility of Freedom, and to take in exchange a new patent article
now hawked about the streets of Worcester.

If this recent pretension, in the name of Popular Sovereignty, were
merely an idea and nothing more, coined in the brain of an ingenious
theorist, but not pressed persistently at all times into practical
application, it might be left with kindred errors to pass away quietly
into the limbo of things lost on earth, as described by Milton:--

                      “then reliques, beads,
    Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
    The sport of winds.”

But unhappily this is not the case.

Such a pretension, espoused with ardor, as a practical rule, must
naturally exercise a disturbing influence. You have not forgotten
its influence on General Cass, who, yielding to it, violated the
instructions of his State and voted against the Prohibition. You all
know its influence on Mr. Douglas. In the name of this pretension he
overturned the time-honored Prohibition of Slavery in the Missouri
Territory, and delivered over Kansas to a conflict where fraud, rapine,
and murder stalked with impunity. Afterward, in the name of this
pretension, he sought to arrest all action by Congress for the relief
of the settlers there. And ever since he has made this pretension a
plain “dodge,” in order to avoid the urgent question: Are you for
Freedom, or are you for Slavery? on which every citizen ought to say
plainly, “Yea” or “Nay.”

It has not been the lot of your Representative to play a part so
conspicuous as that of Mr. Douglas. But this pretension has changed his
course hardly less than it has varied the course of the Presidential
candidate, driving him into acts which only his large ingenuity in
“making the worse appear the better reason” can save from an outburst
of universal and indignant condemnation. And now, as I touch briefly on
these acts, let me say that I do it most reluctantly, most painfully,
and only in obedience to the absolute exigencies of this discussion,
that you may truly understand the character of the pretension on which
you are to pass judgment at the polls.

Surely its _disturbing influence_ is manifest in his vote on the Bill
to annul the Slave Code of New Mexico, under which not only slavery of
blacks, but also serfdom of whites is recognized, while laborers of
all kinds are subjected to be cuffed, flogged, beaten, or otherwise
punished by their employers, without any redress at law. The blood
freezes at the idea of such a code extant in a Territory within the
jurisdiction of Congress. And yet, on the ayes and noes upon declaring
this code null and void, Mr. Thayer’s name is recorded “no,” with
the ninety Proslavery Democrats and Americans, against ninety-seven
Republicans; and thus you, fellow-citizens of Worcester, whose
Representative he then was, have been made parties to an odious crime.
I use plain language; for only in this way can that atrocious code be
characterized, which in itself is the paragon and _ne plus ultra_ of
cold-blooded, scientific, and most cruel tyranny.

Surely its _disturbing influence_ is again manifest in his vote on
the Bill to abolish Polygamy in the vast Territory of Utah, where
Brigham Young with his forty wives repeats the scandal of a Turkish
harem within the jurisdiction of Congress. On the ayes and noes, Mr.
Thayer’s name is found in the small minority of sixty noes, composed
of _ultraists_ of Proslavery, against one hundred and forty-nine ayes;
and you, fellow-citizens of Worcester, whose Representative he then
was, have been made parties to the sanction of Polygamy. It is natural
that the partisans of Slavery, which nullifies the relation of husband
and wife, should be indifferent to this disgusting offence; but nothing
short of a most potent disturbing influence could have brought your
Representative to a similar indifference.

Surely its _disturbing influence_ is again manifest in his course
on the Territorial Bills reported by Mr. Grow from the Committee on
Territories, for the organization of the five Territories of Idaho,
Nevada, Arizona, Dakota, and Chippewa, all of which were tabled by
the vote of Mr. Thayer, and all but one on his motion. Afterward,
in debate, he boasted that he “had taken the lead in this business
of killing off these Territorial organizations, which go upon the
assumption that the people in a Territory are infants,”[34] thus
setting up this disturbing pretension as his apology, and claiming for
squatters a tyrannical power.

Surely its _disturbing influence_ is again manifest in his perversion
of unquestionable facts of history with regard to the operation of the
Ordinance for the Government of the Northwestern Territory, saying
that Freedom was secured in that Territory through Popular Sovereignty
and not through the Ordinance; whereas history shows, by unimpeachable
evidence, that this great work was accomplished through the Ordinance.
Read the able speech of the Republican candidate, Mr. Bailey, if you
would appreciate the extent of this perversion.

Surely its _disturbing influence_ is again manifest in the language by
which he allows himself to disparage that great cause, so dear to the
people of Worcester, which first brought him into public life: saying
that the principle of Prohibition, introduced by Jefferson, approved by
the Fathers, and now amply vindicated by its fruits, is a “humbug”; and
then again saying, “I think the Slave Question is altogether too small
a question to disturb so great a people as inhabit the United States
of America”: thus confessing insensibility to the grandeur of that
question now overshadowing all other questions, which it is the first
duty of a statesman in our country to understand and to appreciate.

Surely its _disturbing influence_ is again manifest in the tone and
manner which he has adopted toward the Antislavery cause, and its
supporters in Congress, as will be seen by all who read his speeches
there. Let the good people of this district know these things, and say
if they are ready to join in such contumely.

And, lastly, the _disturbing influence_ is manifest in his setting
himself up as an independent candidate for Congress, against the
Republican party, whose Presidential candidate he professes to support.

It will be for you to determine, whether a candidate, under this
_disturbing influence_, thus repeatedly manifest in signal acts, can
adequately represent the active, conscientious, Freedom-loving citizens
of Worcester, who oppose Slavery by something more practical than a
theory. I do not doubt his integrity; nor do I utter one word against
his personal character. I speak of him only as a public man, open to
criticism for public acts; and I speak solemnly and sincerely, for the
sake of the cause which I have at heart. Honest men with a false theory
are sometimes as dangerous as bad men. I would not liken Mr. Thayer to
Benedict Arnold; but there is a letter of the latter, immediately after
his defection, addressed to Washington, which your Representative might
adopt. Here it is.

                         “ON BOARD THE VULTURE, 25 September, 1780.

    “SIR,--The heart which is conscious of its own rectitude
    cannot attempt to palliate a step which the world may censure
    as wrong. I have ever acted from a principle of love to my
    country, since the commencement of the present unhappy contest
    between Great Britain and the Colonies. The same principle of
    love to my country actuates my present conduct, however it may
    appear inconsistent to the world, who very seldom judge right
    of any man’s actions.”[35]

The difference between the two cases is obvious. One is flat treason:
the other is flat delusion. One is a crime which history can never
pardon: the other is a mistake over which history will drop a tear.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fellow-Republicans, you are about to choose Abraham Lincoln President.
Of his election there is no reasonable doubt. Under his auspices the
National Government will be brought back to the original policy of
the Fathers, which placed Slavery, so far at least as it is outside
the States, within the jurisdiction of Congress. It was for his
fidelity to this principle, vindicating it against the pretension
of Popular Sovereignty, in his long debate with Mr. Douglas, and
openly declaring, that, “if he were in Congress, and a vote should
come up on a question whether Slavery should be prohibited in a new
Territory, he would vote that it should, in spite of the Dred Scott
decision,”[36]--on this account it was that Mr. Lincoln was eligible as
the Republican candidate. But it is not enough to make him President.
You must see that he is sustained in this fundamental principle by
your Representative in Congress. And since his election is now beyond
question, the vote for a Representative true to this principle becomes
more important than a vote for him. Little good will you do in voting
for him, if at the same time you vote for a Representative pledged to
defeat his declared policy.

Vote, then, so as to vindicate the declared policy of your candidate
for the Presidency.

Vote so as to vindicate the Declaration of Independence, which is
dishonored by being made the authority for a false pretension in the
name of Popular Sovereignty.

Vote so as to vindicate the early policy of the Fathers, who organized
the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories.

Vote so as to vindicate the early policy of Massachusetts, who, in the
Continental Congress, immediately after the Revolution, first by the
voice of Rufus King, and then by the voice of Nathan Dane, insisted
upon the Prohibition of Slavery in the Territories.

Vote so as to vindicate those sentiments and principles of the County
of Worcester, “heart of the Commonwealth,” always so constantly and
honorably maintained.

Vote so as to vindicate the Antislavery cause in its necessity,
practicability, and dignity, and so as to confound its enemies, now
banding together against it, under the lead of Mr. Thayer.

Vote so as to vindicate the existence of the Republican party, which,
if the theory of Mr. Thayer be true, should at once be disbanded.

Vote, finally, so as to settle peacefully this great question, by
taking it away from the chance and peril of conflict, and committing it
to the calm judgment of Congress.

It is vain to say that Slavery cannot exist in the Territories under
the Constitution, and therefore legislation is superfluous. It is there
in fact, and that is enough. It must be struck at once by Congress.
St. Patrick banished snakes from Ireland; but that is no reason why
the woman should not bruise the head of one found there. It is vain to
say, as has been said, that the slaves are few,--amounting to fourteen
only in New Mexico; for human rights, whether in a vast multitude or a
solitary individual, are entitled to equal and unhesitating support.
In this spirit the ancient lawgiver nobly declared that to be the best
government “where an injury to a single citizen is resented as an
injury to the whole state.” It is vain to say that the prohibition by
Congress is superfluous in the present state of opinion; for nothing
is clearer than the remark of Lafayette, that principles strong in
themselves take new force, when solemnly recognized by all in the form
of law. It is vain to say that Freedom is more powerful than Slavery,
and therefore may be safely left face to face with its antagonist. In
the progress of civilization, law has superseded the ordeal by battle;
and law must now supersede this conflict. It is vain to say that the
Territories are protected in any form, whether by the Constitution,
public opinion, or the inherent strength of Freedom. No possible
safeguard should be abandoned. Let there be double locks, double bolts,
and double gates. No lock, no bolt, and no gate should be neglected by
which Slavery may be fastened out. And, lastly, if Popular Sovereignty
is invoked, let it be the Popular Sovereignty of the American people,
counted by millions and assembled in Congress, rather than the
tyrannical, irresponsible sovereignty of a handful of squatters.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fellow-citizens, in taking leave of this question, I bear my testimony
again to the abilities of Mr. Thayer, and to his active labors in
times past. For the good that he has done I honor him; let it all be
enrolled for his benefit. But not on this account can I accept him now
as a representative of our cause. It is an ancient story, consecrated
by the undying verse of Homer, that a ship, with all its canvas spread,
was suddenly changed into a rock at the very mouth of a frequented
harbor; and thus the instrument of commerce became an impediment to

    “Fixèd forever, a memorial stone,
    Which still may seem to sail, and _seem_ alone.”[37]

A similar wonder is now repeated before our eyes, making the former
instrument of Freedom an impediment to Freedom. Deplore this accident
we must; but the remedy is happily within our power.



    This meeting was called to order by Carlos Pierce, Esq., who
    announced the officers of the evening, among whom was Mr.
    Sumner as President. On taking the chair, he made a speech,
    which is preserved here as showing the anticipations of triumph
    at the election, and also the declared magnitude of the result.
    This testimony shows how seriously the election was regarded.
    It foreshadows change, if not revolution,--“not only a new
    President, but a new government.”

FELLOW-CITIZENS,--Five years have now passed since it was my privilege
last to set foot in Faneuil Hall. During this long, unwilling exile,
whether at home or abroad, my “heart untravelled” has fondly turned to
this historic place, and often have I seemed to hear those utterances
for Human Rights which echo along its walls. The distant in place
was confounded with the distant in time, and the accents of our own
Burlingame seemed to mingle with the words of Adams, Hancock, and
Warren, in the past. Let me express my gratitude that I am permitted
once more to enjoy these generous utterances, no longer in dream or
vision only, but in reality.

Could these venerable arches speak, what stories could they not
tell,--sometimes of victory and sometimes of defeat, sometimes of
gladness and sometimes of mourning, sometimes of hope and sometimes
of fear! The history of American Freedom, with all its anxieties,
struggles, and triumphs, commencing before National Independence, and
continued down to the very contest now about to close,--all this might
be written from the voices of this Hall. But, thank God! the days of
defeat, of mourning, of fear, have passed, and these walls will record
only those notes of victory already beginning to sound in our ears.

There are anniversaries in our history noticed by young and old with
grateful emotion; but to-morrow’s sun will set on a day more glorious
for Freedom than any anniversary since the fourth of July, 1776. The
forces for a long time mustering are about to meet face to face;
but the result is not doubtful. That Power, which, according to the
boast of Slave-Masters, has governed the country for more than fifty
years,--organizing cabinets and courts, directing the army and navy,
controlling legislation, usurping offices, stamping its own pernicious
character upon the national policy, and especially claiming all the
Territories for Slavery,--that Power which has taught us by example
how much of tyranny there may be in the name of Democracy, is doomed.
The great clock will soon strike, sounding its knell. Every four years
a new President is chosen, but rarely a new government. To-morrow we
shall have not only a new President, but a new government. A new order
of things will begin, and our history will proceed on a grander scale,
in harmony with those sublime principles in which it commenced. Let the
knell sound!

    “Ring out the old, ring in the new!
    Ring out the false, ring in the true!
      Ring out a slowly dying cause,
    And ancient forms of party strife!
    Ring in the nobler modes of life,
      With sweeter manners, purer laws!”

The eve of election is not the time for argument. Already this has been
amply done in numerous public meetings, where you have been addressed
by the orators of Freedom, and also in the press, which has repeated
their eloquent words, while a new power, in happy harmony with the new
exigencies--the “Wide-Awakes”--has shown how true it is that citizens
by the million would spring forth, whenever the North

    “Stamped her strong foot and said she would be free.”

I need not speak of our candidate for President, whose simple, honest
character has grown constantly upon the public interest, while his
abilities have everywhere commanded most unhesitating respect. Nor need
I speak of our candidate for Governor, whose eminent qualities alike
of head and heart give assurance of a man deserving our most devoted
support. Of their election there is no doubt. Abraham Lincoln will be
President of the United States. John A. Andrew will be Governor of

But this is not enough. Especially must you see to it, so far as
depends on you, that Representatives in Congress are chosen who shall
be true to the principles of the Republican party. And since the
election of our President is now certain, your vote for Representatives
becomes more important than your vote for President. In vain you
will vote for Abraham Lincoln, if at the same time you vote for a
Representative who will oppose his well-known principles. Such a vote
will more than neutralize your vote for President.

Happily there is no occasion to hesitate. Boston is now represented in
Congress by two eminent citizens,--differing from each other in many
respects, unlike in the talents which each so largely possesses, and
dissimilar in character, and yet substantially agreeing in principles,
uniting always in their votes, whether to guard Freedom or to promote
the important interests of the metropolis, and by their very diversity
of character, as the complement of each other, representing completely
and harmoniously a large and diversified constituency. Follow the
record of Mr. Burlingame and Mr. Rice, whether throughout the long
contest for Speaker, or on the proposition to secure Freedom in Kansas,
or on the various matters of local concern, and you will find that they
always keep together.

Besides the merit of services which no candid person can question,
they are also recommended by the practical consideration of their
experience. They know their business, and on this account, if no other,
it is for your interest that they should be continued. This experience
is something which belongs to you, if you are wise enough to use it. On
grounds of self-interest the most simple and obvious, you should vote
for them.

But, besides experience, they will have another advantage, which you
will surely not fling away. Being in harmony with the Administration,
they will naturally have the ear of the President and of his Cabinet;
and this alone will give them opportunities to promote the interest of
Boston such as no Representative of the Opposition could hope to enjoy.

All will see how impossible it will be for Mr. Appleton and Mr. Bigelow
to represent adequately this great metropolis during the coming
administration. Imagine them at Washington, with the whole delegation
from New England, ay, almost of the whole North, against them. Robinson
Crusoe and Friday were not more solitary than these Proslavery
Representatives would be among their colleagues from the Free States.
And when, on the vote for Speaker, involving the organization of
the House and the arrangement of the public business, the forces of
Slavery are rallied against the Northern candidate, John Sherman or
William Pennington, then will the Liberty-loving citizens of Boston be
mortified to find their Representatives, under specious plea of danger
to the Union, ranging with Disunionists. A simple errand-boy, picked
up in the streets, honest and intelligent enough to deposit a vote for
a Northern Speaker, would be better than Representatives who would do
this thing.

The election of such persons would be a positive encouragement to the
disunionists of the South. It would be a signal of sympathy from our
citadel. Still further, it would be a premium for indifference to
fellow-men struggling for their rights. In vain have we read the story
of him who, having fallen among thieves, was succored by the good
Samaritan, if we approve by our votes the conduct of those who, when
Kansas had fallen among thieves and was lying wounded and bleeding,
passed by on the other side without aid or sympathy.

In vain you say that these gentlemen, if elected, may mingle socially
with the propagandists of Slavery at Washington, and through this
intercourse promote your interests. Do not believe it. No good to you
can come from any such artificial fellowship. The enmity of Slavery may
be dangerous, but its friendship is fatal. None have ever escaped with
honor from that deadly embrace.

In vain you appeal in the name of a party, familiarly called from its
candidates Bell-Everett, which, in the recent elections of Vermont,
Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, out of more than 1,300,000
votes, polled less than 20,000,--a party which, from its lofty airs
here in Boston, may remind us of Brahmins, who imagine themselves of
better clay than others, or of Chinese, who imagine themselves cousins
of the Sun and Moon.

Vote, then, for your present Representatives: first, to maintain the
policy of the new President; secondly, as proper recognition of their
merits; thirdly, that you may have the benefit of their experience;
fourthly, that you may have the advantage of their friendly relations
with the new Administration; fifthly, that you may help choose a
Northern Speaker; sixthly, that you may answer with proper scorn the
menaces of disunion, whether uttered at the South or echoed at the

Hereafter, fellow-citizens, let it be one of your satisfactions, that
in this contest you voted for Freedom. The young man should rejoice
in the privilege; the old man must take care not to lose the precious



    The “Wide-Awakes” constituted a new and powerful agency in
    the machinery of American politics. They were companies of
    active voters in uniform of cap and cape with a lamp on a
    staff, organized and drilled with officers, who by display
    in the streets increased their numbers and intensified the
    prevailing enthusiasm. The organization was general throughout
    the Northern States, and constituted the working element of
    the Republican party. It has been sometimes remarked that its
    military discipline was an unconscious preparation for the
    sterner duties at hand.

    The companies were not disbanded immediately after the
    election, and at several places where Mr. Sumner lectured
    he received from them the compliment of a visit after the
    lecture. This was the case at Concord on the evening succeeding
    the Presidential election, when the Wide-Awakes of the town
    appeared before the house of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the admired
    author, where Mr. Sumner was staying, and their Captain, Hon.
    John S. Keyes, made the following address.

        “HONORED SIR,--In behalf of the Republican Wide-Awakes of
        Concord, and of numerous other Republicans, part of that
        gallant army whose victory was yesterday achieved, I have
        the honor to tender to you our respectful greeting on this
        occasion of your first visit, after many years of pain and
        suffering endured in the cause of Republicanism, to the
        old battle-ground of Concord. We could not permit it to
        pass without at least offering to you a warm and earnest
        welcome, especially on the day following that glorious
        victory whose brightness no cloud obscures, and whose
        lustre is owing more, perhaps, to your earnest efforts
        in the cause of Freedom than to any other man. Permit
        me, Sir, in the name of these Wide-Awakes, to say to you
        that we trust with renewed health upon this soil you may
        bear forward the glorious cause of Freedom upon which our
        country has just entered.”

    Mr. Sumner, standing on the steps of the house, replied as


You take me by surprise, absolutely. I am here to-night in the
performance of an agreeable service outside of politics, and have not
anticipated any such contingency as this with which you honor me, nor
any such welcome.

I thank you, Gentlemen, for the kind and good words which have fallen
from your Captain. They are a reward for the little I have been able to
do in the past, and will be an encouragement in the future.

I join with you in gladness at the victory we celebrate to-day,--not
of the cartridge-box, but of the ballot-box. No victories of the
cartridge-box have involved higher principles or more important results
than that just won by the ballot-box. A poet, whose home is in Concord,
has said that the shot fired here was heard round the world. I doubt
not that our victory just achieved will awaken reverberations also to
be heard round the world. All men struggling for rights, vindicating
liberal ideas, seeking human improvement, maintaining republican
government, will be encouraged, when they hear of yesterday. It will be
good news to Garibaldi in Italy, good news to the French now subjected
to imperial power, good news to English Reformers,--and so also will
it be good news to all among us who love Liberty, for it proclaims
that at last Liberty has prevailed. Every four years we choose a new
President; but it rarely happens that we choose a new government, as
was done yesterday. A new order of things is inaugurated, with new
auspices, lifting the Republic once more to that platform of principles
on which it was originally placed by the Fathers. What victory of the
cartridge-box ever did so much?

Looking at the vote in its practical significance, several things may
be considered as established and proclaimed by the American people, so
that hereafter they shall not be drawn in question.

Of these I place foremost the irrevocable decree, according to the very
words of Madison, that it is “wrong to admit in the Constitution the
idea that there can be property in men,”[38]--that, therefore, Slavery,
if it exists anywhere, is sectional, and must derive such life as it
has from local law, and not from the Constitution,--in opposition
to the pretension so often put forward in its name, that Slavery is
national and Freedom sectional.

Then again the American people have declared, that all outlying
Territories, so immense in extent, and destined to the support of
unknown millions, shall be consecrated to Freedom, so that the vast
outstretched soil shall never know the footprint of a slave: all of
which is the natural conclusion and corollary from the first decree.

And yet again it is declared, that in the administration of the
National Government the original policy of the Fathers shall be
adopted, in opposition to the policy of Slavery, which for the last
twelve years has been so tyrannical, and for the last forty years has
made its barbaric impress on the country.

And still further, the decree goes forth that the Slave-Trade shall be
suppressed in reality as in name, that the statutes against it shall be
vigorously enforced, and the power of the Government directed in good
faith against it, all efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

These things were yesterday proclaimed by the American people solemnly,
and in a way from which there is no appeal. It was done by a vote
destined to be ever memorable and a landmark of history.

Having obtained this great victory, let us study to use it with
moderation, with prudence, with wisdom. Through no failure on our part
must its proper fruits be lost. Happily, Abraham Lincoln [_prolonged
cheers_] has those elements of character needed to carry us through
the crisis. He is calm, prudent, wise, and also brave. And permit me
to say, that there are moments in government when bravery is not less
important than prudence. He will not see our cause sacrificed through
menaces of disunion from the South, even if echoed in Massachusetts;
and in this firmness he will be sustained by the American people,
insisting upon all that is promised and secured by the Constitution,
and to all menaces, from whatever quarter, answering back, that the
Union shall be preserved and made more precious by consecration to
Human Rights. [_Three cheers for the Union._]

I thank you for this welcome, and now bid you good night.


NOVEMBER 9, 1860.

    The defeat of Mr. Burlingame, as a Representative of Boston,
    which was keenly felt by Republicans, and especially by Mr.
    Sumner, opened the way to his wider career as Minister of the
    United States to China, and then as Minister of the Chinese
    Empire to the Western Powers. The vote stood 8,014 for Hon.
    William Appleton, and 7,757 for Mr. Burlingame.

                                        BOSTON, November 9, 1860.

  DEAR SIR,--An engagement out of the State will prevent me from
  uniting with the gallant Wide-Awakes this evening in their
  festival at Music Hall. But my heart will be with them in their
  joy and in their sorrow.

  They will naturally rejoice in that great victory by which the
  American people have solemnly declared that _Slavery is sectional
  and Freedom is national_, so that, wherever Slavery exists, if
  it exist at all, it must be by virtue of local law, and not by
  virtue of the National Constitution.

  But even this victory, opening a new epoch in our national
  history, cannot make us forget the backsliders of Boston, through
  whose desertion of principles the delegation in Congress,
  pledged to Freedom, has been weakened, and a blow struck at
  an eminent Representative which has fallen upon the hearts of
  Republicans everywhere throughout the country. To the honor of
  Mr. Burlingame, all good Republicans feel wounded through him;
  and it is also to his honor that he was made the mark of special

  All experience shows that the partisans of Slavery stick at
  nothing, where the imagined interests of Slavery are in question.
  The essential brutality of Slavery showed itself lately in New
  York, when Marshal Rynders personally assaulted a venerable
  citizen who appeared at his office on public business, cursing
  him with most blasphemous oaths; and it showed itself here in
  Boston, when the supporters of Mr. Appleton for weeks traduced
  the Republican candidate, uttering calumnies which were as
  basely false with regard to him as if they had been uttered
  in detraction of Mr. Appleton. Such conduct must make us hate
  Slavery more, and add to our mortification that it prevailed
  among us.

  It belongs to the Republican party, at last triumphant in the
  nation, inflexibly to sustain its principles, and also to sustain
  the men who are true to these principles. In this duty I doubt
  not it will be guided by that temperate judgment which is in
  harmony with the consciousness of right.

  God bless the Wide-Awakes! And believe me, dear Sir,

      Faithfully yours,


  S. B. STEBBINS, Esq.



    Late in the evening, after lecturing[39] in Providence, Mr.
    Sumner, who was the guest of Hon. A. C. Barstow, received a
    serenade from the Wide-Awakes, commanded by Colonel Dexter,
    with a band of music, and accompanied by the “Central Glee
    Club” and the “National Vocalists.” The space in front of the
    house, and the streets, for some distance, were thronged. After
    music by the band, Mr. Sumner appeared on the front steps of
    the house, and addressed the immense crowd.


I had supposed that with our great triumph you would naturally retire
to your homes, like soldiers when peace has come. But this goodly show
assures me that here in Providence you still exist as a distinct body,
ready with sympathy, and I doubt not for duty also.

In the faithful record of recent events, the service performed by the
Wide-Awakes cannot be forgotten. I see it in two different aspects.
Besides contributing immensely to that victory which now gladdens our
hearts, you have shown that here at the North are men ready, if the
exigency requires, to leap forward in defence of Northern rights, which
are only Constitutional rights. In these two things you have done well,
and I am happy in this opportunity of offering you my grateful thanks.

All our hearts, fellow-citizens, are swelling with joy at the
Presidential election. It is in congratulation that you appear to-night
once more with banners and lights, and I rejoice with you,--as I love
Liberty and love my country. It is impossible to exaggerate the result.
Had we merely elected new officers, that would have been much; but
we have done more. A new policy is declared. Thus far the National
Government has been inspired by Slavery. It has seemed to exist for
Slavery only. All is now changed. Liberty will be its inspiration. And
what a change! Liberty instead of Slavery! But you know well that this
change, so beneficent and natural, is in completest harmony with the
Constitution and with the declared sentiments of our fathers.

I can never banish from my mind that picture of Washington taking
his first oath to support the Constitution of the United States,
when nowhere on the land within the national jurisdiction breathed a
single slave. At that time Freedom was national. Surely good men will
rejoice to see our country regain once more that happy condition,
nor can any person regret it who does not deliberately exalt Slavery
above Freedom. But this condition is secured by the recent election.
Already the country seems fairer, the skies clearer, the air purer,
and all good influences more abundant, while Liberty opens the way
to prosperity and renown. Not merely will Slavery cease its baleful
predominance in the Government, but other things will be accomplished.
There will be improvements in rivers and harbors, communications
between the Atlantic and Pacific, homesteads for actual settlers on our
public lands, peace and dignity in our foreign relations, with sympathy
for struggling Liberty everywhere, also economy in administration, and
reform generally,--all of which will naturally ensue, when the Republic
is once more inspired by those sentiments in which it had its being.

While indulging in proper congratulations on such a victory, we can
afford to disregard all menaces, from whatever quarter they come,
whether from the distant South or nearer home. Conscious of right, we
have only to go forward, mindful always of the Constitution, mindful
also of that just moderation which adds to the strength of firmness.
An ancient poet teaches, that, “where Prudence is, no Divinity is
absent.”[40] I cannot doubt that the Republican party, to which we
belong, will be as prudent in government as it has been irresistible at
the ballot-box. Such, at least, is my sincere aspiration.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fellow-citizens and Wide-Awakes, I thank you for this unexpected visit,
and now most sincerely and gratefully wish you good night.

    The speech was followed by vocal music, in a succession of
    pieces, continuing till after midnight. In conclusion, the
    serenaders sang the following words, written by Hon. William M.

    “Bold champion of the Right!
    We welcome thee to-night
      With heartfelt song:
    Once Freedom’s tyrant foe
    Essayed to lay thee low,
    But now we joy to know
      That thou art strong.

    “Life’s purpose to fulfil,
    Stand thou defiant still,
      While life remains:
    For Thraldom’s night will flee,
    Our children yet shall see
    The land redeemed and free
      From Slavery’s chains.

    “Faithful and vigilant!
    To thee our song we chant:
      Good night! Good night!
    Around thy couch be peace,
    From pain may sleep release,
    And strength with years increase!
      Good night! Good night!”



    In the evening after his lecture at Lowell, Mr. Sumner was
    escorted by the Wide-Awakes, with banners and lights, to the
    house of Hon. John Nesmith, whose guest he was. On arrival
    there, he thanked his escort in these words:--


I owe my best thanks for the escort with which you honor me. But I must
say frankly that I attribute it less to any merit of my own than to
your zeal for the good cause in which I have borne a part.

In our recent triumph the Wide-Awakes have rendered conspicuous
service. The light which they have carried, I trust, is symbolical of
that which, under the new Administration, will be directed upon the
dark places of Government, while their activity and promptitude furnish
an example which all may be proud to follow.

The Republican party has prevailed. Its success is the triumph not
only of Freedom, but also of the Constitution, long perverted to the
purposes of Slavery. Nothing is clearer than this. The Republican party
is not _aggressive_, but _conservative_. Its object is to carry the
Government back to the original policy of the Fathers. Pardon me, but
I never tire of reminding my fellow-citizens, that, when Washington
took his first oath as President, the Constitution nowhere on the land,
within the national jurisdiction, covered a slave; and surely the
Republican party cannot err, if it seeks to bring back the condition
of things under Washington. Bear this in mind, if you please; and when
it is said that you are aggressive, reply fearlessly, “Then is the
Constitution aggressive, then was Washington aggressive.” With these
two authorities we cannot hesitate. To all enemies we oppose “the
Constitution and Washington.”

If attacks upon the Republican party here at home have caused a
different impression in any quarter, the responsibility belongs
to those who have constantly and systematically maligned and
misrepresented us. And our severity of judgment should be reserved less
for the Southern States so much excited than for those at the North who
feed the flames.

Our duty is plain and bright before us,--plain as day, and bright as
the sun. It is simply to proceed as we have begun, and to abide by
our declared principles. This is not the moment for any surrender to
threats, even if Massachusetts could ever yield to such compulsion.

It was the saying of Samuel Adams, in the early stage of our
Revolution, that we should be respected abroad just in proportion to
the firmness of our conduct. And this is true now. The victory which
we have won can be assured only by such conduct, tempered always by
that wise moderation which is needful even in victory. There should be
no party act or hasty word to increase present responsibilities. Our
safety is in our principles. They are of living rock, and no power can
prevail against them.

Again I thank you. Good night.

    This was followed by a serenade, with a song for the occasion.



                                      BOSTON, November 22, 1860.

  MY DEAR SIR,--Since our last conversation I have received from
  Earl Spencer precise copies of the two “Memorial Stones” of the
  English family of George Washington, which I described to you
  as harmonizing exactly with the pedigree having the sanction
  of your authority.[41] The copies are, as I understand, of the
  same stone and of the same size with the originals, and have the
  original inscriptions,--being in all respects _fac-similes_. They
  will therefore give you an exact idea of those most interesting
  memorials in the parish church near Althorp, in Brington,

  The largest is of Lawrence Washington, father of John Washington,
  who with his brother Lawrence emigrated to America. It is a slab
  of bluish-gray sandstone, and measures five feet nine inches long
  and two feet six inches broad.

  This is the inscription:--

    OF·DECEMBER·A: D[=N]I: 1616


  Above the inscription, carved in the stone, are the arms of the
  Washingtons, with the arms of the Butlers _impaled_,--the latter
  being, in the language of heraldry, _azure, a chevron between
  three covered cups or_.

  The other stone is placed over Robert Washington and Elizabeth
  his wife. Robert was uncle of the emigrant. This is a slab of the
  same sandstone, and measures three feet six inches long and two
  feet six inches broad.

  The inscription, on a small brass plate set into the stone, is as


  On a separate brass, beneath the inscription, are the arms of
  the Washingtons, without any addition but a crescent, the _mark
  of cadency_, which denotes the _second_ son. These, as you are
  well aware, have the combination of stars and stripes, and are
  sometimes supposed to have suggested our national flag. In
  heraldic language, they are _argent, two bars gules, in chief
  three mullets of the second_.

  In the interesting chapter on the “Origin and Genealogy of the
  Washington Family,” preserved in the Appendix to your “Life of
  Washington,” it appears that Lawrence, father of the emigrant,
  died 13th December, and was buried at Brington 15th December,
  1616. But the genealogical tables followed by you furnish no
  indication of the locality of this church. Had it appeared as the
  parish church of the Spencer family, in Northamptonshire, the
  locality, which I believe was unknown in our country, would have
  been precisely fixed.

  In fact, the slab covering Lawrence Washington is in the chancel
  of the church, by the side of the monuments of the Spencer
  family. These are all in admirable preservation, with full-length
  effigies, busts, or other sculptured work, and exhibit an
  interesting and connected series of sepulchral memorials, from
  the reign of Henry the Eighth to the present time. Among them is
  a monument by the early English sculptor, Nicholas Stone; another
  by Nollekens from a design by Cipriani; and another by Flaxman,
  with exquisitely beautiful personifications of Faith and Charity.
  Beneath these monuments repose successive representatives of this
  illustrious family, whose aristocratic claims are enhanced by
  services not only to the state, but also to knowledge, as shown
  in the unique and world-famous library collected by one of its
  members. In this companionship is found the last English ancestor
  of our Washington.

  The other slab, covering Robert, uncle of the emigrant, is in one
  of the aisles, where it is scraped by the feet of all who pass.

  The parish of Brington--written in Domesday Book “Brinintone,”
  and also “Brintone,” in modern pronunciation _Brighton_--is
  between seven and eight miles from the town of Northampton, not
  far from the centre of England. It contains about 2,210 acres, of
  which about 1,490 belong to Earl Spencer, and about 326 to the
  rector in right of his church. The soil is chiefly dark-colored
  loam, with a small tract of clay towards the north. Nearly four
  fifths of the whole is pasture.

  In the village still stands the house said to have been occupied
  by the Washingtons when the emigrant brother left them. You will
  see a vignette of it on the title-page of the recent English work
  entitled “The Washingtons.” Over the door are carved the words,
  LORD; while the Parish Register gives pathetic commentary, by
  showing that in the very year when this house was built a child
  was born and another died in this family.

  The church, originally dedicated to the Virgin, stands at the
  northeast angle of the village, and consists of an embattled
  tower with five bells, nave, north and south aisles, chancel,
  chapel, and modern porch. The tower is flanked by buttresses
  of two stages. The present fabric goes back in origin to the
  beginning of the fourteenth century, nearly two hundred years
  before the discovery of America. The chancel and chapel, where
  repose the Spencers and Lawrence Washington, were rebuilt by
  Sir John Spencer, purchaser of the estate, at the beginning of
  the sixteenth century. They afford a late specimen of Tudor
  architecture. The church is beautifully situated on the highest
  ground of Brington, and is surrounded by a stone wall lined with
  trees. Dibdin says that a more complete picture of a country
  churchyard is rarely seen. A well-trimmed walk encircles the
  whole of the interior, while the fine Gothic windows at the end
  of the chancel fill the scene with picturesque beauty.

  The Parish Register, which is still preserved, commences in 1560.
  From this it appears that William Proctor was rector from 1601 to
  1627, partly contemporary with the last Washingtons there. Other
  entries occur, relating to this family.

      1616. “Mr. Lawrance Washington was buried the XVth day of

      1620. “Mr. Philip Curtis and M^{is} Amy Washington were maried
             August 8.”

      1622. “Mr. Robert Washington was buried March y^{e} 11th.”

      ----. “M^{rs.} Elisabeth Washington widow was buried March y^{e}

  Of a minister in this church we have an amusing notice in
  Evelyn’s Memoirs, where the following contrast is found, under
  date of August 18th, 1688: “Dr. Jeffryes [a misnomer for
  _Jessop_], the minister of Althorp, who was my Lord’s chaplain
  when Ambassador in France, _preached the shortest discourse I
  ever heard_; but what was defective in the amplitude of his
  sermon he had supplied in the largeness and convenience of the

  Less than a mile from the church is the famous seat of the
  Spencers, surrounded by a park of five hundred acres, with one of
  the gates opening near the church. Bordering on the churchyard
  are oak-trees which were growing at the purchase of the estate
  in the reign of Henry the Seventh. Evelyn was often here, a
  delighted visitor. On one occasion he speaks of “the house, or
  rather palace, at Althorp.”[43] Elsewhere he describes it as
  “in a pretty open bottom, very finely watered, and flanked with
  stately woods and groves in a park.”[44] An engraving by the
  younger Luke Vorsterman, a Dutch artist, attests the attraction
  of the place at this time.

  One feature of the park excited the admiration of Evelyn, and at
  a later day of Mrs. Jameson, who gives to it some beautiful pages
  in her “Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad.” It is a record
  of the dates when different plantations of trees were begun.
  While recommending this practice in his “Sylva,” Evelyn remarks,
  “The only instance I know of the like in our own country is in
  the park at Althorp in Northamptonshire, the magnificent seat of
  the Right Hon. the Earl of Sunderland.”[45] Here are six of these
  commemorative stones. The first records a wood planted by Sir
  John Spencer, in 1567 and 1568; the second, a wood planted by
  Sir John Spencer, son of the former, in 1589; the third, a wood
  planted by Robert Lord Spencer, in 1602 and 1603; the fourth,
  a wood planted by Sir William Spencer, Knight of the Bath,
  afterwards Lord Spencer, in 1624. This stone is ornamented with
  the arms of the Spencers, and on the back is inscribed, VP AND
  BEE DOING AND GOD WILL PROSPER. In this scenery and amidst these
  associations the Washingtons lived. When the emigrant left, in
  1657, the woods must have been well grown. Not long afterwards
  they arrested the attention of Evelyn. The fifth and sixth stones
  were never seen by the Washingtons, or by Evelyn. They were set
  up in 1798 and 1800, by George John, second Earl Spencer, who
  planted trees as well as amassed books.

  The Household Books at Althorp show that for many years the
  Washingtons were frequent guests. The hospitality of this seat
  has been renowned. The Queen of James the First and Prince
  Henry, on their way to London in 1603, were welcomed there in an
  entertainment, memorable for a Masque from the vigorous muse of
  Ben Jonson.[46] Charles the First was at Althorp in 1647, when
  he received the first intelligence of those approaching pursuers
  from whom he never escaped except by the scaffold. In 1695,
  King William was there for a week, and, according to Evelyn,
  “mightily entertained.”[47] At least one of the family was famous
  for hospitality of a different character. Evelyn records that
  he used to dine with the Countess of Sunderland,--the title
  then borne by the Spencers,--when she invited _fire-eaters_,[48]
  stone-eaters, and opera-singers, after the fashion of the day.[49]

  The family was early and constantly associated with literature.
  Spenser, the poet, belonged to it, and dedicated to one of its
  members, Alice Spencer, “the Ladie Strange,” afterwards Countess
  of Derby, his “Tears of the Muses.” For the same Alice Spencer
  Milton wrote his “Arcades,” while Sir John Harrington celebrated
  her memory by an epigram. The Sacharissa of Waller was the Lady
  Dorothy Sydney, wife of the first Earl of Sunderland, third Lord
  Spencer, who perished fighting for King Charles the First at
  Newbury. I do not dwell on other associations of a later day, as
  my object is simply to indicate those which existed in the time
  of the Washingtons.

  “The nobility of the Spencers has been illustrated and enriched
  by the trophies of Marlborough; but I exhort them to consider the
  ‘Fairy Queen’ as the most precious jewel of their coronet.” Thus
  wrote Gibbon in his Memoirs,[50] and all must feel the beauty of
  the exhortation. This nobility may claim another illustration
  from ties of friendship and neighborhood with the Washingtons.
  Perhaps hereafter our countrymen will turn aside from their
  travels to visit the parish church of Brington, in reverence for
  a spot so closely associated with American history.

       *       *       *       *       *

  I trust that this little sketch, suggested by what I saw at
  Althorp during a brief visit last autumn, will not seem
  irrelevant. Besides my own personal impressions and the volumes
  quoted, I have relied upon Dibdin’s “Ædes Althorpianæ,” so
  interesting to all bibliographical students, and especially
  upon Baker’s “History and Antiquities of the County of
  Northampton,”--one of those magnificent local works which
  illustrate English history,--to which you refer in your Appendix.

  The Memorial Stones, which I have received from Lord Spencer,
  are of historic value; and I think that I shall best carry out
  the generous idea of the giver by taking care that they are
  permanently placed where they can be seen by the public,--perhaps
  in the State-House, near Chantrey’s beautiful statue of
  Washington, if this should be agreeable to the Commonwealth.

  Pray pardon this call upon your attention, and believe me, my
  dear Sir, with much regard,

      Ever sincerely yours,



    The following official documents show how these Memorial Stones
    found their way to the State-House of Massachusetts.

                                          BOSTON, March 15, 1861.

        “_To the Honorable the House of Representatives_:--

        “I have the honor to present to the General Court, as a
        gift to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from one of its
        citizens, certain memorials of great historic interest.

        “The home and final resting-place of the ancestors of
        George Washington were until recently unvisited by
        and unknown to Americans. In the genealogical table
        appended to the ‘Life of Washington’ by our distinguished
        fellow-citizen, Mr. Jared Sparks, it is stated that
        Lawrence Washington, the father of John Washington (who
        emigrated to Virginia in 1657), was buried at Brington;
        but, though both Mr. Sparks and Washington Irving visited
        Sulgrave, an earlier home of the Washingtons, neither of
        these learned biographers appears by his works to have
        repaired to this quiet parish in Northamptonshire.

        “Our fellow-citizen, the Hon. Charles Sumner, on a recent
        visit to England, identified certain inscriptions in the
        parish church of Brington, near Althorp, as being those of
        the father and uncle of John Washington, the emigrant to
        Virginia, who was the great-grandfather of the Father of
        his Country.

        “Earl Spencer, the proprietor of Althorp, sought out the
        quarry from which, more than two centuries ago, these
        tablets were taken, and caused others to be made which
        are exact _fac-similes_ of the originals. These he has
        presented to Mr. Sumner, who has expressed the desire that
        memorials so interesting to all Americans may be placed
        where they may be seen by the public, and has authorized me
        to offer them to the Commonwealth, if it be the pleasure
        of the Legislature to order them to be preserved in some
        public part of the State-House.

        “I send with this a letter addressed to myself by the
        learned historian of Washington, bearing testimony to the
        great interest of these memorials, and expressing the
        desire that they may (Mr. Sumner assenting) be placed in
        the Capitol.

        “A letter from Mr. Sumner to Mr. Sparks also accompanies
        this Message, describing the church at Brington, and some
        of the associations which cluster around the resting-place
        of the ancestors of our Washington.

            “JOHN A. ANDREW.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                       MR. SPARKS TO THE GOVERNOR.

                                     “CAMBRIDGE, February 22, 1861.

        “DEAR SIR,--I enclose a copy of a highly interesting letter
        from Mr. Charles Sumner, describing the church at Brington,
        near Althorp, in Northamptonshire. In this church were
        deposited the remains of Lawrence Washington, who was the
        father of John and Lawrence Washington, the emigrants to
        America, and who was therefore the last English ancestor
        of George Washington. A copy of the inscription on the
        stone which covers the grave of Lawrence Washington, and
        also of another inscription over the grave of his brother,
        Robert Washington, who was buried in the same church, are
        given with exactness in Mr. Sumner’s letter. As far as I am
        aware, these inscriptions are now for the first time made
        known in this country.

        “Earl Spencer has sent to Mr. Sumner two stones, being from
        the same quarry, and having the same form and dimensions,
        as the originals, and containing a _fac-simile_ of the
        inscriptions. It has been suggested that these stones
        ought to be placed in the State-House, where they may be
        accessible to the public, and my opinion on the subject has
        been asked. As they are unquestionably genuine memorials
        of the Washington family, and possess on this account a
        singular historical interest, I cannot imagine that a more
        appropriate disposition of them could be made. I understand
        that Mr. Sumner would cheerfully assent to such an
        arrangement, and I cannot doubt that your Excellency will
        be well inclined to take such measures as may effectually
        aid in attaining so desirable an object.

            “I am, Sir, very respectfully yours,

                “JARED SPARKS.

        “His Excellency JOHN A. ANDREW, _Governor of

       *       *       *       *       *


                         “HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, March 23, 1861.

        “The Committee on the State-House, to whom was referred
        the Message of His Excellency the Governor, presenting
        to the General Court, as a gift from the Hon. Charles
        Sumner, certain memorials of Washington, of great historic
        interest, report that they consider it a matter of special
        congratulation that the interesting facts concerning the
        Father of his Country, contained in the papers accompanying
        the Message, should have been first made known to us by a
        citizen of Massachusetts; and deeming it important that
        these valuable memorials should be permanently preserved
        in the capitol of the State, they report the accompanying

            “Per order,

                “R. WARD.”

       *       *       *       *       *

            “_Resolves in relation to certain Memorials of the
                        Ancestors of Washington._

        “_Resolved_, That the thanks of the General Court be and
        hereby are presented to the Hon. Charles Sumner for his
        interesting and patriotic gift to the Commonwealth, of two
        Memorial Tablets in imitation of the originals which mark
        the final resting-place of the last English ancestors of

        “_Resolved_, That the Commissioners on the State-House
        cause the same to be prepared and placed, with appropriate
        inscriptions, in some convenient place in the Doric Hall of
        the State-House, near the statue of Washington.--_Approved
        April 6, 1861._”

       *       *       *       *       *

                                           BOSTON, January 1, 1862.

        “The undersigned, Commissioners on the State-House,
        hereby certify, that, in compliance with the Resolves of
        the Legislature of Massachusetts, passed April 6, 1861,
        they have caused the abovenamed Memorial Tablets of the
        Washington Family to be permanently placed upon the marble
        floor of the area in which the statue of Washington stands,
        within the railing in front of said statue.

            “JOHN MORISSEY, _Sergeant-at-Arms_.
            OLIVER WARNER, _Secretary_.
            HENRY K. OLIVER, _Treasurer_.

    A white marble tablet, placed by the Commissioners near the
    Washington Memorials, bears the following inscription:--





    He [Algernon Sidney] was stiff to all republican principles,
    and such an enemy to everything that looked like monarchy, that
    he set himself in a high opposition against Cromwell, when he
    was made Protector.--BURNET, _History of His Own Time_, Vol. I.
    p. 538.

    Quant à moi, j’avoue que mon indolence sur cet objet tient à la
    confiance intime où je suis que la liberté finira par s’établir
    dans l’ancien monde comme dans le nouveau, et qu’alors
    l’histoire de nos révolutions mettra chaque chose et chacun à
    sa place.--LAFAYETTE, _Mémoires_, Tom. I. Avant-propos, p. v.

    Go on, my friend, in your consistent and magnanimous career;
    and may you live to witness and enjoy the success of a cause
    the most truly glorious that can animate the breast of
    man,--that of elevating and meliorating the condition of his
    race.--JAMES MADISON, _Letter to Lafayette, 1821_: _Letters and
    other Writings_, Vol. III. pp. 237, 238.

       *       *       *       *       *

    This Address was at the invitation of the Young Men’s
    Republican Union of New York, before whom the speech on the
    Republican party had been given.[51] On the present occasion,
    William C. Bryant, justly famous in our literature, took the
    chair and introduced Mr. Sumner in the following words.

        “I am glad, my friends, to see so large an audience
        assembled for the purpose of hearing one of our most
        accomplished scholars and orators discourse on a subject
        lying apart from the ordinary strifes and immediate
        interests of the day. Concerning the services rendered by
        Lafayette to our country, to our own Republic, in the most
        critical stage of its existence, there is no controversy.
        For them we are all grateful. For his personal character
        we all cherish a high veneration. And your presence here
        to-night in such numbers declares that there are multitudes
        among us who cherish and preserve a warm admiration, a
        generous and purifying enthusiasm, for the noble examples
        of self-sacrifice bequeathed to us by a generation which
        has passed away. Among public men, in all times and all
        countries, among all that class who have been actors in
        the events which make up the history of the world, there
        are few, unfortunately, who can compare with Lafayette
        in a course of steady, unswerving virtue. Attend, then,
        my friends, to the portraiture of that virtue drawn and
        set before you in living words by a great artist, Charles
        Sumner, of Boston, whom I now introduce to this assembly.”
        [_Long continued cheering._]

    The newspapers speak of the assembly as crowded and
    enthusiastic, in spite of stormy weather. The _Herald_ says,
    “The cheering was protracted, and the utmost enthusiasm was
    manifested by the audience.” Even the _World_ adds, “The
    lecturer was frequently and vociferously applauded, and the
    audience gave evidence of deep interest in his remarks.” From
    the report in the _Herald_ it appears that the allusions to
    Slavery were received always with “applause,” while, at the
    remark of Lafayette attributing “the evils of France less to
    the madness of violence than to compromise of conscience by
    timid men,”[52] there was what the _Herald_ calls “vehement and
    long continued applause, and waving of hats and handkerchiefs.”
    The temper of the audience was an illustration of prevailing

    Beside the newspaper report at the time, this address was
    printed at New York in a pamphlet, but from notes of reporters
    without revision or help from Mr. Sumner.

       *       *       *       *       *

    In selecting this subject, Mr. Sumner was governed by two
    considerations: first, a long cherished desire to pay the
    homage justly due in his opinion to an illustrious character
    whose place in history was not yet determined, and, secondly,
    the conviction, that, in the actual crisis of our affairs, such
    an example of fidelity would help to fix popular sentiment. The
    sympathy of the audience in all the testimony against Slavery,
    and especially in the condemnation of Compromise, showed that
    the effort was appreciated. The report in the _Herald_ was
    headed “_Sumner on Slavery_.”

    Rumors of compromise in certain quarters and menaces from
    the South increased the anxiety of the more earnest to take
    advantage of every opportunity for demonstration against
    Slavery. To all suggestions of concession the North made haste
    to answer in the negative. Already began that fidelity under
    which the Rebellion finally succumbed and Slavery disappeared.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Mr. Sumner was especially pleased at the appreciation of this
    Address as an effort against compromise,--shown by a letter
    from a citizen of Kansas, who was present:--

        “How timely and impressively that bright example teaches
        adherence to Liberty and Principle, and resistance to
        concession and compromise, at the present crisis!”

    A patriot citizen who heard it at Philadelphia, where it was
    given before an immense audience, wrote:--

        “Your Lecture has done more good than words can tell. There
        is no such thing as calculating its value to our city.”

    The _Pennsylvanian_ of Philadelphia, after entitling it “Clear
    Grit Abolitionism,” said:--

        “The People’s Literary Institute Lecture, at Concert Hall,
        last evening, was by that perfect ensample of Abolitionism,
        Senator Sumner, of Massachusetts. The hall was crowded,
        negroes occupying the front seats and other prominent
        places. Sumner’s nominal subject was ‘Lafayette,’ but he
        made his sketch of the noble Marquis a vehicle for the
        expression of the most ardent wishes and aspirations after
        negro equality. The audience applauded the most radical
        passages, although a stray hiss now and then betrayed the
        whereabouts of a ‘Conservative.’”


MR. PRESIDENT,--I am to speak this evening of one who early
consecrated himself to Human Rights, and throughout a long life became
their representative, knight-errant, champion, hero, missionary,
apostle,--who strove in this cause as no man in history has ever
striven,--who suffered for it as few have suffered,--and whose
protracted career, beginning at an age when others are yet at school,
and continued to the tomb, where he tardily arrived, is conspicuous
for the rarest fidelity, the purest principle, and the most chivalrous
courage, whether civil or military. There is but one personage to whom
this description is justly applicable, and you have anticipated me when
I pronounce the name of Lafayette. As in Germany Jean Paul is known as
“the Only One,” so would I hail Lafayette as “the Faithful One.” If
Liberty be what philosophy, poetry, and the human heart all declare,
then must we treasure the example of one who served her always with a
lover’s fondness and with a martyr’s constancy, nor demand perfections
which do not belong to human nature. It is enough for unstinted
gratitude that he stood forth her steadfast friend, like the good

    Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,--

trampling on all the blandishments of youth, of fortune, and of power,
keeping himself sternly aloof whether from King or Emperor, and always
insisting upon the same comprehensive cause,--with a soul as fearless
and irreproachable as Bayard, from whom generals and kings received
knighthood, as unbending as Cato, who singly stood out against Cæsar,
and as gentle as that best loved disciple, who leaned on the bosom of
the Saviour, and alone of all the Twelve followed him to the Cross.

       *       *       *       *       *

If anything could add to the interest which this unparalleled career is
calculated to awaken, I should find it in special associations which
I have enjoyed. Often, when in Paris halting about as an invalid, I
turned from its crowded life to visit the simple tomb of Lafayette in
the conventual cemetery of Picpus, watched by white-hooded nuns, within
the circle of the old walls, where he lies by the side of his heroic
wife, pattern of noblest womanhood. Gazing on this horizontal slab of
red freestone, in shape like that of Albert Dürer in the republican
graveyard of Nuremberg, bearing an inscription without title of any
kind, and then casting my eyes upon the neighboring monuments, where
every name has the blazon of prince or noble, I seemed to see before
me that youthful, lifelong, and incomparable loyalty to a great cause
with perfect consistency to the end, marking him a phenomenon of
history, which will be my theme to-night. The interest inspired at
the republican tomb was strengthened at Lagrange, the country home of
Lafayette, a possession derived from the family of his wife, where
he passed the last thirty years of life in patriarchal simplicity,
surrounded by children and grandchildren, with happy guests, and where
everything still bears witness to him.

Nor do I believe that my interest goes far beyond that of the American
people, when I think how his name is a household word, dear to all
alike, old and young. Even the list of post-offices in the United
States shows no less than fifty with his venerated name, and eighteen
with the name of Lagrange.

Just before leaving France, now a year ago, on a clear and lovely day
of October, in company with a friend, I visited this famous seat, which
at once reminded me of the prints of it so common at shop-windows in my
childhood. It is a picturesque and venerable castle, with five round
towers, a moat, a drawbridge, an arched gateway, ivy-clad walls, and a
large court-yard within, embosomed in trees, except on one side, where
a beautiful lawn spreads its verdure. Everything speaks to us. The
castle itself is of immemorial antiquity,--supposed to have been built
in the earliest days of the French monarchy, as far back as Louis le
Gros. It had been tenanted by princes of Lorraine, and been battered
by the cannon of Turenne, one of whose balls penetrated its thick
masonry. The ivy so luxuriantly mantling the gate, with the tower by
its side, was planted by the eminent British statesman, Charles Fox,
on a visit during the brief peace of Amiens. The park owed much of its
beauty to Lafayette himself. The situation harmonized with the retired
habits which found shelter there from the storms of fortune. It is in
the level district of Brie, famous for its cheese, and forming part
of the province of Champagne, famous for its wine,--about forty-five
miles to the east of Paris, remote from any high-road, and at some
distance from the railway recently opened through the neighborhood, in
a country rich with orchards and smiling with fertility of all kinds.
The estate immediately about the castle contains six hundred acres,
which in the time of Lafayette was enlarged by several outlying farms.
The well-filled library occupied an upper room in one of the towers,
and near a window overlooking the farm-yard still stood the desk at
which Lafayette was in the habit of sitting, with the speaking-trumpet
by which he made himself heard in the yard, and with the account-book
of the farm lying open as he had left it. All about were souvenirs of
our country, showing how it engaged his thoughts. The castle is now
occupied by the family of one of his grandchildren, whose hospitable
welcome to us as Americans gave token of their illustrious ancestor,
hardly less than these precious memorials and the full-length portrait
by Ary Scheffer which looked down from the walls.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now holding up to view a model of surpassing fidelity in support of
Human Rights, I am not without hope that others may see the beauty of
such a character and try to make it in some measure their own. There is
need of it among us. We, too, must be faithful.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, only child of an ancient
house, was born 6th September, 1757, at the castle of Chavaniac, in
the central and mountainous province of Auvergne, in France. He came
into the world an orphan,--for his father, a colonel of grenadiers in
the French army, had already perished at the Battle of Minden. The
verses which once interested Burns and excited the youthful admiration
of Scott, though suggested by a humbler lot, depict some of the
circumstances which surrounded his:--

    “Cold on Canadian hills or _Minden’s plain_,
    Perhaps that parent mourned her soldier slain,
    Bent o’er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew,
    The big drops mingling with the milk he drew.”[53]

The mother died soon after, leaving her child alone in the world, with
rank and fortune such as few possess.

In the Memoirs, written by his own hand, Lafayette mentions simply his
birth, without allusion to family or ancestry. This was characteristic
of one who had so completely renounced all such distinctions. But the
temptations he overcame and the prejudices he encountered can be fully
appreciated only when we know his origin. His family was not merely
ancient and noble, but for generations historic. It had given to French
renown a Marshal, who, after honorable service in Italian campaigns,
fought by the side of the Maid of Orléans in the expulsion of the
English from France; and it had added to the more refined glories of
the nation an authoress of that name, the friend of Rochefoucauld
and Madame de Sévigné, who shone by literary genius at the court of
Louis the Fourteenth, and became an early example of what woman may
accomplish: so that the young orphan bore a name which, in a land of
hereditary distinctions, seemed to enlist him for their conservation,
while it gave him everywhere an all-sufficient passport.

But as some are born poets and others are born mathematicians, the
Marquis de Lafayette was born with instinctive fidelity to the great
principles of Liberty and Equality, by the side of which all hereditary
distinctions disappear. Liberty, he had the habit of saying, was
with him a religion, a love, and a geometrical certainty; and this
passion, thus sacred, ardent, and confident, was inborn, perpetual,
and irresistible. While still a child in the seclusion of Auvergne, he
sighed for dangerous adventure, and when at the age of eleven he was
transferred to college at Paris, the soul of the young noble responded
instinctively to all instances of republican virtue. In the child may
be seen the man, and he delighted afterwards to remember that during
those early years, when the heart showed itself as it was, in a school
exercise describing “the perfect horse,” he lost the prize by picturing
the noble animal as throwing his rider at sight of the whip. Nor did
his ardent nature express itself in superficial sallies. At every
period of life, and particularly in youth, he was grave and silent even
to coldness,--thus in external manner differing from the giddy and
ostentatious nobles of his day, as he contrasted with them in character.

An early marriage, at the age of sixteen, with the remarkable daughter
of the ducal house of Noailles, enlarged his aristocratic connections,
and completed all that heart could desire for happiness or worldly
advancement. But the life of a courtier, even with the companionship of
royal princes, did not satisfy his earnest nature, and he turned away
from the grandeurs and follies of Versailles to follow in the steps of
his father as captain in the French army. Stationed at Metz, a border
fortification on the Rhenish frontier of France, an incident occurred
which gave impulse and direction to his life.

The Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George the Third, smarting
under slights at court on account of a marriage disagreeable to the
King, turned his back upon England, and in his travels stopped at Metz,
where he was welcomed at dinner by the commander of the garrison. At
that table sat the youthful Lafayette, only nineteen years old, who
there for the first time heard the story of the American “insurgents,”
as they were called,--of their armed resistance to British troops, and
of the Declaration of Independence. His whole nature was thrilled, and
the passionate declamation against arbitrary power to which the English
Duke gave vent, though stirred only by wounded pride and spite, fell
like a spark upon his sincere and sensitive soul, already kindling with
generous emotions, so that, before the dinner was ended, his resolution
was fixed to cross the ocean and offer his sword to distant, unknown
fellow-men struggling for liberty. This was in the autumn of 1776.[54]
Hastening back to Paris, he lost no time in engaging with the American
Commissioners there, who with grateful astonishment welcomed their
romantic ally.

Meanwhile came tidings of melancholy reverses which followed the
Declaration of Independence, and of the scanty forces of Washington
tracking the snow with bloody feet, as they retreated through
New Jersey,--seeming to announce that all was lost. The American
Commissioners frankly confessed that they could not encourage Lafayette
to proceed with his purpose. But his undaunted temper was quickened
anew, and when they told him that with their damaged credit it was
impossible to provide a vessel for his conveyance, he exclaimed: “Thus
far you have seen my zeal only; now it shall be something more. I will
purchase and equip a vessel myself. It is while danger presses that I
wish to join your fortunes.” Noble words, worthy of immortality, and
never to be heard without a throb by an American heart!

Before embarking, Lafayette, partly to mask his enterprise, and also in
the hardihood of courage, visited England, where his wife’s uncle, the
French ambassador, presented him to George the Third, who, unconscious
of his purpose, said, “I hope you mean to stay some time in Britain”;
to which he answered, that it was not in his power. “What obliges you
to leave us?” asked the King. “Please your Majesty,” said our new ally,
“I have a very particular engagement; and if your Majesty were aware
of it, you would not desire me to stay.” During this visit everything
was open to the youthful soldier, and he was even invited to attend the
review of British troops about to embark for America. From instinctive
delicacy he declined, thinking it not right to take advantage of a
hospitable invitation to inspect troops against whom he was about to
array himself in war. “But,” he added, in relating this incident, “I
met them six months after at the Brandywine.”

Quitting England, he traversed France with secrecy and despatch to join
his vessel, which was at a Spanish port, beyond French jurisdiction.
His departure came like a bolt upon the English Court, which he had
just left, also upon the French Court, which was not yet prepared for
a break with England, and upon his most affectionate family, who were
planning for him a tour in Italy, which in his busy life he never
made; but his young wife, who suffered most, loved him too well not to
partake his sentiments and to approve his generous resolution, even
though it separated him from her. To illustrate the general sensation,
I quote the words of the historian Gibbon, in a letter dated April 12,
1777. “We talk chiefly of the Marquis de Lafayette, who was here a few
weeks ago. He is about twenty, with an hundred and thirty thousand
livres a year, the nephew of Noailles, who is ambassador here. He
has bought the Duke of Kingston’s yacht, and is gone to join the
Americans.[55] His family interfered by peremptory command, and the
French Government interfered by that arbitrary mandate, under seal
of the King, known as _lettre-de-cachet_,--but, disregarding the one
and evading the other, in the disguise of a courier, our devoted ally
traversed the Pyrenees, and soon found himself with his companions in
arms on board his vessel, which, on the 26th of April, 1777, set sail
for America.

Undertaking this enterprise at a time when the sea and all beyond were
little known, the youthful adventurer showed a heart of “triple oak.”
Our admiration is enhanced, when we recall the charms of country,
rank, and family left behind,--with perils of capture and war braved
even before reaching the land,--and especially when we contemplate
the motive in which this enterprise had its origin. Rarely has hero
gone forth on so beautiful an errand; for he carried words of cheer to
our fathers, then in despairing struggle for the Great Declaration,
and opened the way for those fleets and armies of France soon after
marshalled on our side; nor is it too much to say, that he was the
good angel of Independence. His family correspondence, which has
seen the light only since his death, exhibits his beautiful fidelity
and the completeness of his dedication to our cause. In a letter to
his distinguished father-in-law, announcing his purpose, he says of
American interests, that they “will always be more dear to him than
his own,” and then declares himself “at the height of joy at having
found so fine an occasion to do something and to improve himself.”[56]
In a letter to his wife, written on the voyage, under date of June 7,
1777, his sympathy with the great objects of the national contest is
tenderly revealed. “I hope, for my sake,” he writes, in words worthy
of everlasting memory, “that you will become a good American. This
is a sentiment proper for virtuous hearts. Intimately allied to the
happiness of the whole Human Family is that of America, destined to
become the respectable and sure asylum of virtue, honesty, toleration,
equality, and of a tranquil liberty.”[57] Where are nobler words of
aspiration for our country than this simple testimony by a youth of
nineteen, pouring out his heart to his wife of seventeen? Where in
history are grander words from youth or man? For seven weeks laboring
through the sea, yet sustained by thoughts like these, he arrived at
last on the coast of South Carolina. It was dark, but, pushing ashore
in a boat, and following the guidance of a light, he found himself
under a friendly roof. His first word, as he touched the land, was a
vow to conquer or perish with it.

The Continental Congress was then sitting at Philadelphia, and,
without stopping for rest, the sea-worn voyager hastened to report
himself there. Most of the way on horseback, for nine hundred miles,
he journeyed on, enjoying the country in its native freshness, and
the simple, cordial welcome which greeted him everywhere on the road.
“The further North I advance,” thus he wrote to his wife, “the more
I like this country and its people.”[58] He had already been struck
by what to him were “black domestics who came to ask his orders.”[59]
Then for the first time he looked upon a slave. His well-known
sentiments, so constantly declared, show clearly how his candid nature
must have been troubled. He had forsaken France, where, amidst gross
inequalities of condition, this grossest was unknown,--where, in the
descending ranks of the feudal hierarchy, there was no place for this
degradation,--where, amidst unjust taxes and injurious privileges
without number, every man had a right at least to his child, to his
wife, and to himself,--and where the boast went forth, as in England,
and was repeated by judicial tribunals, that the air was too pure for
a slave. With heavenly generosity he had turned away from his own
country to help the cause of Freedom in another hemisphere, and here he
found man despoiled of all _personal_ rights, and even degraded to be
property, by those whose own struggles merely for _political_ rights
had thrilled the fibres of his being. Youthful, and little schooled as
yet in the world, he must have recoiled instinctively, as this most
dismal and incomprehensible inconsistency appeared before him. How
faithfully he battled with the demon his life will show.

Arrived in Philadelphia, he announced that he had come to serve at
his own expense and as volunteer. The Continental Congress, touched
by the magnanimous devotion of the youthful stranger, and apprised of
his distinguished connections at home, appointed him without delay
Major-General in the army of the United States, where he took rank
by the side of Gates and Greene, Lincoln and Lee. Born to exalted
condition in an ancient monarchy, he found himself welcomed to the
highest place in the military councils of a struggling republic, and
this while still a youth under twenty,--younger than Fox, younger than
Pitt, when they astonished the world by their precocious parliamentary
powers,--younger than Condé, in his own beautiful France, on the
field of Rocroi. And his modesty was not less eminent than his post.
To Washington, who made apologies for exhibiting his troops before a
French officer, he replied with interesting simplicity, “I have come to
learn, and not to teach.”[60] The Commander-in-Chief, usually so grave,
was won at once to that perpetual friendship which endured unbroken as
long as life,--showing itself now in tears of joy and then in tears of
grief,--watching the youthful stranger with paternal care,--sharing
with him table, tent, and on the field of Monmouth the same cloak for
a couch,--following his transcendent fortunes, now on giddiest heights
and then in gloom, with constant, unabated attachment,--corresponding
with him at all times,--addressing him in terms of unwonted endearment
as “the man he loved,”[61] and saying again that he “had not words to
express his affection, were he to attempt it,”[62]--sending kindly
sympathy to that devoted wife in her unparalleled affliction, and
pleading across sea and continent with the Austrian despot for his
release from the dungeons of Olmütz.

It is much to have inspired the most tender friendship which history
records in the life of Washington. There were with us other strangers,
scarcely less brilliant than Lafayette. There was Kosciusko, the Pole,
who afterwards played so great a part in his own country--Steuben,
the German, who did so much for the discipline of our troops,--De
Kalb, the gallant soldier, who died for us at Camden,--Rochambeau, the
distinguished commander of the French forces, compeer with Washington
at Yorktown,--Lauzun, the sparkling courtier, whose fascinations were
acknowledged by Marie Antoinette,--Ségur, the high-bred youthful
soldier and future diplomatist,--Montesquieu, grandson of the immortal
author of the “Spirit of Laws,”--Saint-Simon, whose military and
ancestral honors are now lost in his fame as social reformer,--also
the unfortunate Count de Loménie, with the Prince de Broglie of the
old monarchy, and Berthier, afterwards a prince of the Empire. All
these were in our revolutionary contest gathered about Washington; but
Lafayette alone obtained place in his heart. Friendship is always a
solace and delight; but such a friendship was a testimony. Let it ever
be said that Washington chose Lafayette as friend, while Lafayette was
to him always pupil, disciple, son.

His intrepidity found early occasion for display at the Battle of the
Brandywine, where, attempting to rally our unlucky troops, he was
severely wounded in the leg, and thus at once, by suffering for us,
increased his titles to regard. As he became known, his simple and
bountiful nature awakened the attachment of officers and men, so that
in writing to his wife he was able to relieve her anxieties by saying
that he had “the friendship of the army in gross and in detail,” and
also what he calls “a tender union with the most respectable, the most
admirable of men, General Washington.”[63] Nor was this unnatural,
when we consider how completely he became American in dress, food, and
habits, as he was already American in heart. Avoiding no privation
or fatigue, this juvenile patrician, educated to indulgence in all
the forms that wealth and privilege could supply, showed himself more
frugal and more austere even than his republican associates, living
sometimes for months on a single ration. The confidence of Congress
soon followed, and by special resolution Washington was requested to
place him at the head of an independent command.

Meanwhile France openly enlisted on our side. Turgot, the philosopher,
and Necker, the financier, counselled, as far-sighted ministers,
against this step, which launched the ancient monarchy in a dangerous
career. Jealous of a rival power, smarting under recent reverses, and
brooding over the accumulated rancors of long generations, the Court
was willing to embarrass England, yet covertly and without the hazard
of open war. The King himself never sympathized with the American
cause. But public opinion, which in that nation inclines to generous
ideas, was moved by the news of a distant people waging a contest for
Human Rights, at first doubtful, and then suddenly illumined by the
victory of Saratoga,--while Franklin, the philosopher and diplomatist,
our unequalled representative at Paris, challenged the admiration
alike of grave and gay, and the example of Lafayette touched the heart
of France. These wrought so far, that Court and King were obliged to
bend before the popular will, and then came the Treaty of Alliance
with the Colonies by which their place in the Family of Nations was
assured. The Treaty was communicated to the British Court, with a note
referring Independence to the Declaration of the 4th of July, on which
Lafayette, with constant instinct for popular rights, exclaimed, “Here
is a principle of national sovereignty which will some day be recalled
at home.”[64] Of course, if Americans could become independent by a
Declaration, so could Frenchmen.

The duties of Frenchman were now superadded to the duties Lafayette
had assumed toward our cause. “As long,” said he, in a letter to
Congress, “as I thought I could dispose of myself, I made it my pride
and pleasure to fight under American colors in defence of a cause
which I dare more particularly call _ours_ because I had the good luck
to bleed for it. Now that France is involved in a war, I am urged
by a sense of duty, as well as by patriotic love, to present myself
before the King, and know in what manner he judges proper to employ my
services. The most agreeable of all will always be such as may enable
me to serve the common cause among those whose friendship I have had
the happiness to obtain, and whose fortune I have had the honor to
follow in less smiling times.” Congress responded by unlimited leave of
absence, with permission to return at his own convenient time, and by
a vote of grateful thanks and a sword, together with a letter to the
French King, where they said, “We recommend this young nobleman to your
Majesty’s notice, as one whom we know to be wise in council, gallant in
the field, and patient under the hardships of war.”[65] Never before
did Frenchman return from service abroad with such a letter to his king.

On his way to embark at Boston, he was attacked by a fever, which in
its violence seemed about to prevail, so that Washington dwelt on the
daily tidings of the physician “with tears in his eyes,” and it was
reported at one time that “the soldier’s friend,” as he was called,
had died.[66] Happily he was spared to his two countries, and to the
affection of his commander. Always true to Liberty, he would not let
the crew of the frigate waiting for him at Boston be recruited by
impressment,--thus in all things guarding the rights of the people.[67]

If the sensation in Europe caused by his departure had been great,
that caused by his return, after two years of brilliant service, with
eminent military rank, with the thanks of Congress and the friendship
of Washington, was greater far. He could not appear anywhere without
greetings of admiration which knew no bounds, while, to borrow his own
account, he was “consulted by all the ministers, and, what is much
better, kissed by all the women.”[68] In a journey to his estate, the
towns through which he passed honored him with processions and civic
pomp. But his distant friends, struggling for the Great Declaration,
were never out of mind. Accustomed to large interests sustained by
small means, he regretted each _fête_ even in his own honor as a
diversion of supplies, while his zeal went so far as to make the
Prime-Minister, M. de Maurepas, declare that for this cause Lafayette
would strip Versailles of its furniture. Such an influence, so sincere
and so constant, from one who spoke not only as a French noble, but
as a Major-General of the American army, was not without result. The
papers of Lafayette attest the ability with which he pressed upon
the French Government an active participation in the contest, and
especially prompted the decisive expedition of Rochambeau.

But he did not loiter at home. Soon he turned from country and family.
Again he crossed the sea, and this time landed at Boston, for which,
at a later day, he recorded a “predilection,”[69] chiefly, it appears,
because there were no slaves there, and all were equal. The hearts of
the people everywhere throbbed with welcome; the army partook of this
delight, and Washington now “shed tears of joy.”[70] The republican
sentiments which animated him appear in the present of a flag to one of
our battalions, with a simple wreath of laurel blending with a civic
crown, and the words beneath, “_No other_.”[71] Farewell to crowns and
coronets, to kings and nobles! Such was the great lesson of the flag.
Then commenced the second part of his American career,--his active
military service,--his command in Virginia,--his campaign against
Cornwallis, when the latter said triumphantly, “The boy shall not
escape me,”--and his coöperation in the final assault at Yorktown,
ending in the capitulation of the British commander to the combined
forces of America and France,--all of which belongs to the history of
both countries.

The campaign in Virginia redounded to the praise of Lafayette in no
common measure. After announcing his designation for this service,
and saying that “the command of the troops in that State cannot be in
better hands,” Washington proceeds:--

    “He possesses uncommon military talents, is of a quick and
    sound judgment, persevering, and enterprising without rashness;
    and besides these, he is of a very conciliating temper and
    perfectly sober, which are qualities that rarely combine in the
    same person. And were I to add that some men will gain as much
    experience in the course of three or four years as some others
    will in ten or a dozen, you cannot deny the fact and attack me
    upon that ground.”[72]

Madison wrote at the time that “his having baffled and finally reduced
to the defensive so powerful an army as we now know he had to contend
with, and with so disproportionate a force, would have done honor to
the most veteran officer.”[73] The General Assembly of Virginia, by
solemn resolution, conceived in the warmest terms of affection and
applause, acknowledged “his many great and important services to this
Commonwealth in particular, and through it to the United States in
general,” and tendered to him therefor “the grateful thanks of the free
representatives of a free people.” They also directed a marble bust
of him, “as a lasting monument of his merit and of their gratitude.”
This judgment was sanctioned by the highest authorities, including
Washington.[74] A recent author adds to this testimony by speaking of
the campaign as “masterly,” and then characterizes it as “the most
brilliant, as well as the most successful, part of his whole public
career.”[75] But this judgment strangely forgets that lifelong loyalty
to Human Rights which in itself is a campaign beyond any in war.

Grim-visaged war now smoothed its wrinkled front, and, in the lull
which ensued after the surrender of Cornwallis, Lafayette returned
again to France, with the renewed thanks of Congress, and with added
trusts. Our ministers abroad were instructed to consult him. The
youthful soldier was changed into the more youthful diplomatist;
nor was he less efficient in the new field. His presence alone was
for our country an Embassy. Through him the haughty Spanish Court
was approached, and gigantic forces were gathered at Cadiz for an
expedition in the common cause. At the same time his republican
character was so far recognized, that the Spanish monarch, anticipating
the capture of Jamaica, exclaimed, “Lafayette must not be its governor,
as he would make it a republic.”[76] Great Britain bowed before the
storm and signed the Treaty of Peace, by which American Independence
was recognized. It was fit that this great news should reach Congress
through our greatest benefactor. It was first known by a letter from
Lafayette, dated at _Cadiz, February 5, 1783_; so that he who had
espoused our cause in its gloom became the herald of its final triumph.

But another letter, bearing date the same day and forwarded by the same
vessel with that announcing the glad tidings, opens another duty which
already occupied his inmost soul. Thus he writes to Washington, under
date of _Cadiz, February 5, 1783_,[77] and the remarkable coincidence
of dates shows how closely he associated the rights of the African
slave with our National Independence.

    “Now, my dear General, that you are going to enjoy some ease
    and quiet, permit me to propose a plan to you, which might
    become greatly beneficial to the black part of mankind. Let
    us unite in purchasing a small estate where we may try the
    experiment to free the negroes and use them only as tenants.
    Such an example as yours might render it a general practice;
    and if we succeed in America, I will cheerfully devote a part
    of my time to render the method fashionable in the West Indies.
    _If it be a wild scheme, I had rather be mad this way than to
    be thought wise in the other task._”[78]

As if this great proposition were not enough, Lafayette, in the same
letter, calls upon Washington to employ himself “in inducing the people
of America to strengthen their Federal Union,” saying, “It is a work in
which it behooves you to be concerned; I look upon it as a necessary
measure.” Thus were Emancipation and Union conjoint in his regard.

At the date of this letter Lafayette was not yet twenty-six years of
age, and now, one struggle ended, he begins another greater still,
or rather he gives to the first its natural development, and shows
how truly he accepts the truths declared by our fathers. Others might
hesitate; he does not. In these few words addressed to Washington will
be seen the same spirit which inspired him originally to enlist for us,
the same instinctive love of Liberty, the same self-sacrifice, the same
generosity, the same nobleness, expressed with affecting simplicity
and frankness. Valuable as is this testimony for the African race, it
is also precious in illustration of that remarkable character, which,
from the beginning, was guided by no transient spirit of adventure,
but by a sentiment almost divine for Human Rights. In this light his
original consecration to our cause assumes new dignity, while American
Independence becomes but a stage in the triumphs of that Liberty which
is the common birthright of all mankind. If Fox was a _boy-debater_,
as he has been called, then was Lafayette a _boy-hero_,--and hero of
Humanity he continued to the end.

During the next year, at the pressing invitation of Washington, he
again crossed the ocean, to witness the peaceful prosperity of the
country whose government he had helped to found by twofold service in
war and in diplomacy. Adopted child of the Republic, he surrendered
himself for six months to the sympathies of the people, the delights
of friendship, and the companionship of Washington, whom he visited
at Mount Vernon, and with whom he journeyed. Nor did his partiality
for Boston fail at this time, as a contemporary record shows. “The
reception I met with in Boston,” he wrote, “no words can describe; at
least it is impossible to express what I have felt.”[79] But, far more
than all, the Slavery of the African race interested his heart, and
would not allow him to be silent. In official answers to addresses of
welcome from Legislatures of Southern States, he declared his desire
to see these Legislatures commence the work of Abolition.[80] This was
in 1784, before Clarkson, then a youth at the University, was inspired
to write his Essay against Slavery, which was the glorious beginning
of his lifelong career, and before Wilberforce brought forward his
memorable motion in the British Parliament for the abolition of the
slave-trade. If these words were of little effect at that early day,
they bear witness none the less to the exalted spirit of their author.
In taking leave of Congress, as he was about to embark, he let drop
other words, exhibiting the same spirit, wherein may be seen the mighty
shadow of the Future. “May this immense temple of Freedom,” he said,
“ever stand _a lesson to oppressors_, _an example to the oppressed_, a
sanctuary for the rights of mankind! and may these happy United States
attain that complete splendor and prosperity which will illustrate
the blessings of their government, and for ages to come rejoice the
departed souls of its founders!”[81] Such utterance by a French noble
tells that the Revolution was approaching.

The friendship of Washington and Lafayette deserves more than passing
mention. It constitutes a memorable part in the life of each. Already
we have witnessed its beginning. They saw each other for the last time
at Annapolis, where Washington had taken his welcome guest in his
carriage from Mount Vernon. There they parted, Washington returning to
his peaceful home, Lafayette hastening across the ocean to the great
destinies and the great misfortunes which awaited him. But before
leaving our shores he wrote a letter from his ship, where he pours out
his devotion to his great chief, calling him “the most beloved of all
friends he ever had or ever shall have anywhere,” declaring his regret
that he cannot have “the inexpressible pleasure of embracing him in
his own house, of welcoming him in a family where his name is adored,”
and to this adding: “Everything that admiration, respect, gratitude,
friendship, and filial love can inspire is combined in my affectionate
heart to devote me most tenderly to you. In your friendship I find a
delight which words cannot express.”[82] Though never meeting again,
their intimacy was prolonged by an interchange of letters, the most
remarkable of any in the life of either, by which their friendship is
made one, and each lives doubly in the affection of the other.

Returned to Europe, Lafayette sought constant opportunities to promote
our interests,--writing especially of Jefferson, our Minister at Paris,
that he was “happy to be his aide-de-camp.”[83] Nor did he confine his
exertions to France. Traversing Germany, from Brunswick to Vienna, he
was everywhere a welcome guest, first with the Emperor, and then with
the King of Prussia, who was the famous Frederick, sometimes called
the Great,--described by Lafayette, in a picture worthy of a Dutch
artist, as “an old, decrepit, and dirty corporal, all covered with
Spanish snuff, the head almost resting on one shoulder, and fingers
almost dislocated by the gout.”[84] Cornwallis of Yorktown, who was
there as a visitor also, confessed that at the camp in Silesia “there
was a most marked preference for Lafayette.”[85] But wherever the
hero appeared, our concerns, whether political or commercial, were
still present to his thoughts. At the table of Frederick he vindicated
American institutions, and especially answered doubts with regard to
“the strength of the Union,” which he upheld always as a fundamental
condition of national prosperity. He confidently looked to our
Independence as the fruitful parent of a new order of ages, being that
rightful self-government, above all hereditary power, whether of kings
or nobles, which he proudly called the “American Era.”

His heart was ever intent on projects of Human Improvement. Aroused
by the disabilities of Protestants in France, amounting to absolute
outlawry, sad heritage of that fatal measure, the revocation of the
Edict of Nantes, Lafayette, though himself a Catholic, entered into
earnest efforts for their liberation, and thus enrolled himself among
champions of Religious Freedom. At the same time his opposition to
African slavery assumed a practical form. Washington acknowledged
his appeal from Cadiz, of 5th February, 1783, but unhappily deferred
action.[86] Lafayette went forward alone. At an expense of 125,000
francs, this foremost of Abolitionists purchased a plantation of slaves
in the French colony of Cayenne, that by emancipation he might try the
great experiment of Free Labor, and set an example to mankind.[87]
The spirit of this enterprise was seen on the arrival of the agent
from Paris, who began by collecting all the slave-whips and other
instruments of punishment on the plantation, and burning them in
presence of the slaves. This was in 1785, two years after the original
proposition to Washington, who, on learning its execution, thus
complimented his more than disciple:--

    “The benevolence of your heart, my dear Marquis, is so
    conspicuous upon all occasions that I never wonder at any fresh
    proofs of it; but your late purchase of an estate in the colony
    of Cayenne, with a view of emancipating the slaves on it, is a
    generous and noble proof of your humanity. Would to God a like
    spirit might diffuse itself generally into the minds of the
    people of this country! But I despair of seeing it.”[88]

Alas! had Washington at that time united with Lafayette, there would
have been a living example of untold value to our country, instead
of that dead despair which was like a stone wall in the path of
Progress. Who can imagine the good from such an instance, teaching the
priceless benefits of Freedom? Who can estimate its happy influence in
extinguishing that great controversy which is not yet ended? It is sad
to think that such an opportunity was lost.

While organizing Emancipation in the distant colony of Cayenne,
Lafayette gave other evidence to his American friends. In a letter
to John Adams, our Minister in London, dated February 22, 1786, he
expresses himself with a vigor never surpassed during the long warfare
with Slavery. “In the cause of my black brethren,” he writes, “I feel
myself warmly interested, and most decidedly side, so far as respects
them, _against the white part of mankind_. Whatever be the complexion
of the enslaved, it does not, in my opinion, alter the complexion of
the crime which the enslaver commits, a crime much blacker than any
African face.”[89]

The following brief note to Alexander Hamilton is another gem of

                                            “PARIS, April 13, 1785.

    “MY DEAR HAMILTON,-- … In one of your New York Gazettes I find
    an association _against the slavery of negroes_, which seems to
    me worded in such a way as to give no offence to the moderate
    men in the Southern States. As I ever have been _partial to my
    brethren of that color_, I wish, if you are one in the society,
    you would move, in your own name, for my being admitted on the
    list. My best respects wait on Mrs. Hamilton. Adieu.

        “Your affectionate friend,


How much in little! The testimony is plain. The witness is a volunteer.
In simple words he records himself once more “against the slavery
of negroes,” and then declares that he has ever been “partial to
his brethren of that color.” For him the degraded slave is brother,
although of a color not his own.

       *       *       *       *       *

That great event was now at hand, which, beginning in a claim of rights
denied, and inspired by generous ideas, was destined, amidst falling
privileges and toppling thrones, to let loose the most direful furies
of Discord and War,--to feed the scaffold with blood of King and
Queen, and of good men in all the ranks of life,--to lift the nation
to unknown heights of audacity and power,--to dash back the hosts
of foreign invasion, as the angry surge from the rock,--to achieve
victory on a scale of grandeur never witnessed since the eagles of
Cæsar passed from Britain to Egypt,--and, finally, to mark a new epoch
in the history of the Human Family. The French Revolution had come.
It was foreshadowed in the writings of philosophers, in the gradual
march of Human Progress, in the wide-spread influence of the American
Revolution, in the growing instincts of the people, and the obvious
injustice of existing things,--and it was begun in the example of
Lafayette. Of all men, he was its natural leader, just so long as it
continued moderate and humane. Alas, that such a cause, so beautiful in
itself and so grand in promise, was wrested from its original character
by the passions of men!

The initial step was the Assembly of the Notables, February 22d, 1787,
brought together for the first time since its convocation to serve
the arbitrary rule of Cardinal Richelieu. There sat the two brothers
of the King, all the princes of the blood, archbishops, bishops,
dukes, peers, the chancellor, high officials of the magistracy, and
distinguished nobles, convoked by the King in the interest of his
crown. But the people had no representative there. Lafayette became
their representative. As he had formerly drawn his sword, so now he
raised his voice for popular rights; nor was he deterred by the courtly
presence. Startled by his boldness, the Count d’Artois, afterwards
Charles the Tenth, attempted to call him to order, as acting on
subjects not before the Assembly. “We are summoned,” said Lafayette,
“to make the truth known to his Majesty. I must discharge my duty.” He
proceeded, and here you see how the great tragedy opened.

By formal propositions, sustained by well-considered reasons, he called
for: 1. Removal of Protestant disabilities, and complete establishment
of religious toleration; 2. Equality of imposts, and suppression of
certain unjust taxes; 3. Abolition of all arbitrary imprisonment,
and especially the odious _lettre-de-cachet_; 4. Revision of the
criminal laws; 5. Economy in the royal household, pensions, and all the
departments of government.

Following these moderate demands, he made a “motion,”--the first
time, it is said, this parliamentary word, so suggestive of liberal
discussion, was ever used in France,--and this motion was for nothing
less than the convocation of a “National Assembly,”--uttering here two
other momentous words, which were then and there for the first time
pronounced. “What!” exclaimed the Count d’Artois, “do you demand the
States General?” “Yes, and even more,” was the reply of Lafayette.[91]

The States General were convened in May, 1789, at Versailles, in
the very shadow of that palace where in latter years the kings and
courtiers of the French monarchy had lived like the gods of Olympus,
and at once this ancient body took the name of “National Assembly.”
Here appeared the imposing figure of Mirabeau, demanding, in the name
of the people, that the troops should be removed. By his side was the
yet youthful Lafayette, seconding the demand, which he followed by
proposing a _Declaration of the Rights of Man_, embodying not merely
specific rights secured by precedent and practice, as in the English
Bill of Rights, but the Rights of Man founded on Nature, and above all
precedent or practice. Such a statement was known in our country. It
constitutes part of the Declaration of Independence, and also of the
Constitution of Massachusetts, giving character to each; but it was now
for the first time put forth in Europe, illustrating that “American
Era” which Lafayette constantly proclaimed. Its importance was immense.
It supplied a touchstone for all wrongs, and elevated the hearts of the
people. It began as follows.

    “Nature has made men free and equal; the distinctions necessary
    for social order are founded on general utility only. Every man
    is born with rights inalienable and imprescriptible: such are
    the liberty of his opinions; the care of his honor and of his
    life; the right of property; the entire disposal of his person,
    of his industry, of all his faculties; the communication of his
    thoughts by all means possible; the pursuit of happiness; and
    resistance to oppression.”[92]

In launching this Declaration, Lafayette vindicated it as “recalling
sentiments which Nature has engraved on the heart of every one, but
which take new force when recognized by all; and this development,” he
said, “becomes the more interesting, since for a nation to love Liberty
it is sufficient that she knows it, and to be free it is sufficient
that she wills it.” He stated its further value as “an expression of
those truths from which all institutions should spring, and by which
the representatives of the nation should be guided.”[93]

The Declaration of the Rights of Man, presented 11th July, 1789, was
a victory whose influence can never die. It redounded immediately to
the glory of Lafayette. Lally-Tollendal, after declaring the ideas
“grand and majestic,” said that their author “speaks of Liberty as he
has already defended it.” These were words of sympathy. Already the
Archbishop of Sens had remarked in the councils of the King, “Lafayette
is the most dangerous of antagonists, as his politics are all in

A few days later, the Bastile, at once fortress and prison, where for
four hundred years the lawless will of arbitrary power had buried its
victims in a living tomb, was levelled to the ground by the people
of Paris, and with it fell the ancient monarchy. Elated by success,
the people looked for a leader, and found him in the author of the
Declaration of the Rights of Man. Amidst heartfelt applause Lafayette
was placed at the head of the embodied militia of the metropolis,
which, under his auspices, was organized as the National Guard. Thus
in a brief time two achievements were his,--first, the introduction of
a Declaration of the Rights of Man, which he was foremost to present,
and, secondly, the organization of the National Guard, which was the
beginning of a citizen soldiery. Each was an event; the two together
make an epoch.

Thus far champion of Liberty, it was now his part to maintain order;
and never was this work more conscientiously pursued. The colors of
Paris were _blue_ and _red_, but his spirit of conciliation was shown
by adding to them _white_, which was the ancient color of France, out
of these three forming that famous _tricolor_, which he then proudly
proclaimed was destined “to make the tour of the world.” Strong in the
popularity he had won, he shrank from none of the responsibilities
of his perilous post, braving alike the multitude and the
assassin,--unharmed himself, treading calmly the burning ploughshares
of civil strife,--throwing over all the shield of his protection, and
by chivalrous intervention at Versailles saving King and Queen from
an infuriated mob,--but always telling the King, that, if his Majesty
separated the royal cause from that of the people, he should remain
with the people: of all which there are details written in blood.

Though engrossed by his post as Commander of the National Guard,
Lafayette did not neglect those other duties as representative of the
people. In the Assembly he boldly proclaimed the right of resistance
to tyranny, saying, with sententious point, “Where Slavery prevails,
the most sacred of duties is insurrection.”[94] He called for trial
by jury,--liberty of worship,--the rights of colored people in the
colonies,--the suppression of all privileges,--the abolition of the
nobility itself. To one who asked, how, after the abolition of titles,
they would replace the words “ennobled for having saved the State
on a particular day,” he answered, “Simply by declaring that on the
day named the person in question saved the State.” The proposition
prevailed, and from that time this sincere and upright citizen laid
down his own time-honored title, borne by his family for successive
generations, and was known only as Lafayette. And otherwise he gave
testimony by example,--accepting the honorary command of the National
Guard formed by colored citizens of San Domingo, although he refused
this distinction from other guards out of Paris, and entertaining
colored men in the uniform of the National Guard at his dinner-table,
where Clarkson, the English Abolitionist, met them in 1789.[95]

Beyond question, he was now the most exalted citizen of France,--centre
of all eyes, all hopes, and all fears,--holding in his hand the
destinies of King and people. Rarely has such elevation been achieved;
never was such elevation so honestly won, and never was it surrounded
by responsibilities so appalling. Nothing of office, honor, or power
was beyond his reach, while peril of all kinds lay in wait for him or
sat openly in his path. But he was indifferent alike to temptation
and to danger. Emoluments in whatsoever form he rejected, saying
that he attached no more importance to the rejection than to the
acceptance. Field-Marshal, Grand-Constable, Lieutenant-General of the
Kingdom, Dictator even,--such were titles which he put aside. Had his
been a vulgar ambition, he might have clutched at supreme power, and
played the part of Cromwell or Napoleon. But, true to the example of
Washington, and, above all, true to himself and those just sentiments
which belonged to his nature, he thought only of the good of all.
Calmly looking down upon the formless chaos, where ancient landmarks
were heaving in confused mass, he sought to assuage the wide-spread
tumult, and to establish that divine tranquillity, which, like the
repose of Nature, is found only in harmony with law, to the end that
Human Rights, always sacred, should have new force from the prevailing
order. And this done, it was his precious desire to withdraw into the
retirement of his home.

The Constitution, with its Declaration of the Rights of Man, was at
length proclaimed. Amidst unprecedented pomp, in a vast field, the
Campus Martius of France, surrounded by delegates from all parts of
the country, and under the gaze of the anxious people gathered in
uncounted multitudes, the King, sitting upon his throne, took the oath
to support it. Lafayette, as Major-General of the Federation, did the
same,--while National Guard and people, by voice and outstretched hand,
united in the oath. How faithfully he kept this oath, true to the
Constitution in all respects, upholding each department in its powers,
subduing violence, watching the public peace, and for the sake of
these hazarding his good name with the people whose idol he was,--all
this belongs to the history of France. Assured that the Revolution had
accomplished its work, he caused an amnesty to be proclaimed, and then
deliberately laid down his vast military power. Amidst the gratulations
of his countrymen and votes of honor, he withdrew to the bosom of his
family at the home of his childhood. Unhappily, this was for a period
very brief.

The emigrant nobles, with two brothers of the King, were gathering
forces on the Rhenish frontier of France. Austria and Prussia had
joined in coalition for the same hostile purpose. France was menaced;
but its new government hurled three armies to meet the invaders. The
army of the centre was placed under the command of Lafayette. At the
mention of his name in the Assembly there was an outburst of applause,
and when he appeared at its bar, the President, addressing him, said,
“France will oppose to her enemies the Constitution and Lafayette.”
Little was then foreseen how soon thereafter both were to fall.

A new influence was showing itself. Danton and Robespierre were active.
Clubs were organized, whose daily meetings lashed the people to lawless
frenzy. Extreme counsels prevailed. Violence and outrage ensued. The
Jacobins, whose very name has become a synonym for counsellors of
sedition, were beginning to be dominant. The Revolution was losing
its original character. The generous Lafayette, who had been its
representative and its glory, in whom its true grandeur and humanity
were all personified, revolted at its excesses. From camp he addressed
the National Assembly, denouncing the Jacobins as substituting license
for liberty,--and then, supporting his letter, gallantly appeared at
the bar of the Assembly and repeated his denunciation. But the Reign
of Terror was lowering, destined to fill France with darkness, and to
send a shudder through the world. After bloody conflict at the gates
of the palace, the King and his family were driven to seek protection
in the bosom of the Assembly. The scaffold was not yet entirely ready.
But the Constitution was overturned, and with it Lafayette. Doubly
faithful, first to the oath he had taken, and then to his own supreme
integrity, he denounced the audacious crime. He was then at the head of
his army; but Jacobin hate had marked him as victim. Shrinking from the
horrors of civil contest, where success is purchased only by the blood
of fellow-citizens, he resolved--sad alternative!--to withdraw from
his post, and, passing into neutral territory, seek the United States,
there from a distance to watch the storm which was desolating his own
unhappy country.

As his eminence was without precedent, so also was his fall. Power,
fortune, family, country, all were suddenly changed for a dungeon,
where, amidst cruel privations, for more than five years, he wore
away life. But not in vain; for who can listen to the story of his
captivity without confessing new admiration for that sublime fidelity
to principle which illumined his dungeon?

With heart rent by anguish and darkened by the gathering clouds,
Lafayette, accompanied by a few friends, left his army at Sedan.
Traversing the frontier, in the hope of reaching Holland, he fell into
the hands of the Royal Coalition; and then commenced the catalogue of
indignities and hardships under which his soul seemed rather to rise
than to bend. His application for a passport was answered by the jeer
that his passport would be for the scaffold, while a mob of furious
royalists sought to anticipate the executioner. The King of Prussia,
hoping to profit from his increasing debility, suggested that his
situation would be improved in return for information against France.
The patriot was aroused at this attempt on his character. “The King
of Prussia is very impertinent,” he replied, while composing himself
to the continued rigors which beset him. First immured at Wesel on
the Rhine, he was next transported in a cart, by a long journey, to
the far-famed Magdeburg, whose secrets have been disclosed by Baron
Trenck, where for a year he was plunged in a damp subterranean dungeon,
closed by four successive doors, all fastened by iron bolts, padlocks,
and chains, when, on the separate peace between Prussia and the French
Republic, he was handed over to Austrian jailers, by whom he was
transferred to Olmütz, an outlying fortress, then little known, but
now memorable in history, on the eastern border of Austria, further
east than the old castle which witnessed the imprisonment of Richard
Cœur-de-Lion and the generous devotion of Blondel. Here his captivity
was complete. Alone in his cell, with no object in sight except the
four walls,--shut out from all communication with the world,--shut out
even from all knowledge of his family, who on their part could know
nothing of him,--never addressed by name,--mentioned in the bulletins
of the prison only by his number,--and, to cut off all possible escape
by self-destruction, deprived of knife and fork: such was now his lot.
If not a slave compelled to work without wages, he was even a more
wretched captive.

But never for one moment was his soul shaken in its majestic fidelity;
never was his example more lofty. At the beginning, he was careful, by
official declaration, to make known his principles, so that he might
not be confounded with fugitive royalists. But his prison cell was a
constant testimony. Letters now exist, written at peril of life, with
toothpick dipped in soot moistened with vinegar, where his wonderful
nature is laid bare.[96] Confessing his joy that he suffers from that
despotism which he combated, rather than from the people he loved so
well, he announces his equal hostility to the committees of Jacobinism
and the cabinet of the Coalition,--declares his firm conviction, that,
amidst all the shocks of anarchy, Liberty will not perish,--remembers
with a thrill the anniversary of American Independence, as that day
comes round,--says of his own Declaration of the Rights of Man, that,
if he were alone in the universe, he would not hesitate to maintain
it,[97] and repels with scorn every effort to vindicate him at the
expense of his well-known sentiments, declaring that he would give his
blood, drop by drop, to the people’s cause, and that on the scaffold
his first and last words should be “Liberty and Equality,” while
he charges all the wrongs, all the crimes, all the perils, all the
sufferings of the Revolution upon the wretched departure from these
sacred principles.[98] His political faith was grandly declared,
when, addressing the Minister of the United States at London, he
calls down a blessing upon our Republic, saying, “May _Liberty and
Equality_, with all the virtues truly republican, honest industry,
moderation, purity of manners, frankness and liberality of spirit,
obedience to the laws, firmness against all usurpation, continue to
prove that American Freedom has its roots deep, not only in the head,
but at the bottom of the heart of its citizens! May public prosperity,
happiness of individuals, and federal concord be a perpetual recompense
to the United States, and an example for other people!”[99] These
words of benediction, original as great, aptly define that “American
Era” which our hero had already hailed, while they invoke upon our
country all that virtuous heart could desire. But never did soul rise
to purer heights than when, at the beginning of his captivity, he
bequeathed this consoling truth as his legacy to mankind, that the
satisfaction from a single service rendered to Humanity outweighs any
suffering inflicted by enemies, or even by the ingratitude of the
people,[100]--and then, as the dungeon closed upon him, forgetting
all that he was called to undergo, his own personal afflictions and
prolonged captivity, he sends his thoughts to the poor slaves on his
distant plantation in Cayenne, whose emancipation he had sought to
accomplish. In the universal wreck of his fortunes he knew not what had
become of this plantation, but he trusts that his wife “will take care
that the blacks who cultivate it shall preserve their liberty.”[101]
Search history, whether ancient or modern pages, let Greece and Rome
testify, but you can find nothing more sublimely touching than this
voice from that heavy-bolted dungeon, serenely pleading for the
liberty of others far away. That noblest woman, mated with him in
soul as in marriage vow, had already exerted herself to accomplish
this purpose,--but, alas! without effect. Cruelly was their liberty
confiscated with his estates.[102]

This confiscation, where Liberty itself disappeared, was the terrible
climax of that proscription which now enveloped his friends and his
family. In the prevailing masquerade of blood the charge of _Fayettism_
was equivalent to a decree of death. Nor was tender woman spared. The
grandmother, the mother, and the sister of his wife, all of the same
ducal house, perished on the scaffold. His wife was thrown into prison,
and escaped the same fate only by the timely overthrow of Robespierre.
Regaining liberty after a cruel imprisonment of sixteen months, her
maternal care was for her son, George Washington Lafayette, still a
boy, whom she sent to his great namesake at Mount Vernon with a letter
from herself, and then, accompanied by her two youthful daughters,
with the protection of an American passport, she makes her way across
Germany to Vienna, where she throws herself before the Imperial
despot. To her prayer for the release of her husband, he answers that
“his hands are tied”; but, moved by her devotion, so womanly, so
wifely, so heroic, he yields so far as to consent that she, with her
daughters, may share his wretched captivity. Penetrating his dungeon,
she learned that the first change of raiment allowed him was on her
arrival, when the tattered rags which scarcely covered his emaciated
form were exchanged for a garb of coarsest material,--an indulgence
not accorded without the insult of informing him that this had been
purposely sought, as with such alone was he worthy to be clothed.[103]
Three silver forks in her little inventory were seized by the jailer,
and this refined family during a lingering imprisonment were driven to
eat with their fingers. These things are not to be forgotten, because,
while exhibiting the cruelty of despotic power, against which the world
now rises in judgment, they show how his fidelity was tried, as also
that of his family. The wife, becoming ill, was refused permission to
leave the dungeon for medical advice at Vienna, except on condition
of not returning, when she beautifully declared, for herself and her
daughters, that they had agreed to participate the rigors of his
captivity, and now repeated, with all their hearts, that they were
happier with him in the dungeon than they could be anywhere else
without him. Lafayette himself, when tempted by offer of release on
certain conditions or promises, was stern as his jailer, and refused
inexorably,--choosing to suffer, sooner than compromise in any respect
his rights and duties as Frenchman or as American citizen, which latter
title he always claimed.

Vain, during this long period, was every effort for his liberation.
Not Fox, thundering in the British Parliament,--not the gentler voice
of Wilberforce, uniting with Fox,--not Cornwallis, his old enemy at
Yorktown, personally pleading with the Emperor himself,[104]--not
Washington, prompting our Ministers abroad and writing directly to the
Emperor, could open these prison doors.[105] Lafayette was declared
to be a representative not only of the French Revolution, but of
Universal Enfranchisement, whose liberty was incompatible with the
safety of European governments: therefore must he be immured in a
dungeon. But private enterprise, inspired by those generous promptings
which are the glory of the human heart, for a moment seemed about
to prevail. This was before the arrival of his wife and daughters.
The health of the imprisoned champion had suffered to such degree,
that, under medical direction, the rigors of confinement were relaxed
so far as to allow occasional exercise in the open air. Here was an
opportunity for which two friends, Bollmann, a German, and Huger, an
American, of South Carolina, had watched for months, and they were able
secretly to apprise the captive of their plans. With their assistance,
after desperate conflict, in which his hand was torn to the bone,
he succeeded in disarming the guards, and then enjoyed a gleam of
liberty. It was a gleam only. Helped on a horse by one of his devoted
friends, he started; but, ignorant of the way, and oppressed with
fatigue, wounded, bleeding, after a flight of twenty-four hours, he was
recaptured, brought back, and plunged again into the worst torments of
his dungeon. This endeavor, though unsuccessful, is never read without
a gush of gratitude towards the courageous men, who, taking life in
hand, braved Austrian tyranny. Human nature seems more beautiful from
their example.[106]

All had now failed, and the dungeon seemed to have closed upon
Lafayette forever. The hearts of his friends were wrung with anguish,
and especially here in America. Washington, at the fireside of Mount
Vernon, shed tears for his friend,--while to that noble wife, who in
all things was not less faithful than her heroic husband, he addressed
an earnest letter, regretting that he had not words to convey his
feelings, and placing a considerable sum of money to her credit, which
he mentioned as the least he was indebted for services, of which he
had never yet received an account.[107] But an intervention was at
hand which would not be denied. It was the early sword of Napoleon
Bonaparte, which, flashing across the Alps from his Italian victories,
broke open the dungeon of Olmütz. Lafayette had been a captive five
years,--his wife and daughters shut up with him twenty-two months.
In the negotiations ending in the Treaty of Campo Formio, it was
required, under special instructions from the French Directory, that
he should be released; and the conqueror was heard to say afterwards,
that, among all the sacrifices exacted of tottering Austria, not one
was so difficult to obtain. The captive of many years, at last in the
enjoyment of liberty, hastened to Hamburg, where he found welcome with
the American consul.

This was in the autumn of 1797, and he was forty years of age. But
life with him, though brief in years, had been extended by events
full of lessons never to be forgotten; above all was that great
lesson of perpetual fealty to Human Rights. And now this same lesson
was illustrated again. As in dungeon, so in exile, Lafayette could
not forget the cause to which his life was devoted, especially the
liberty of the African. From the obscure retreat in Holstein, where
he lingered, he addresses Clarkson, the English Abolitionist, in
eloquent words, against the Slave-Trade, which was still the scandal
of nations, and announces that the mission of France, while healing
the wounds of the past, should be to assure _Liberty for all, whether
white or black_, under the equal protection of Law.[108] Better far
such mission than battle and conquest, which this ambitious nation
craved. In a letter to Washington at the same time he gives utterance
to his aspiration, that, for the good of the world, the North and the
South should gradually adopt the principles on which the Independence
and the Liberty of the United States have been happily founded.[109]
How in thinking of himself Lafayette thought instinctively of the
slave appears in an incident of exile at this time. In the straitened
circumstances to which he was reduced, stripped of the wealth to which
he was born, poor and homeless, his thoughts turned to the broad
continent across the Atlantic, and he conceived the plan of buying
a farm,--although without what he denominates “the first dollar”
necessary,--either in Virginia, not far from what he calls the “Federal
City,” or in New England, not far from Boston,--and thus, in one of
those tender letters to his wife, he balances between these two places.
“I am aware, dear Adrienne,” he writes, under date of 5th August, 1799,
“that I, who complain of the serfs of Holstein, as something very
melancholy to a friend of Liberty, should find in the valley of the
Shenandoah negro slaves; for Equality, which in the Northern States
is for everybody, exists in the Southern States for the whites only.
Therefore, while I perceive all the reasons which should draw us to the
neighborhood of Mount Vernon and the seat of the Federal Union, yet I
should prefer New England.”[110] Never more simply or conclusively was
the special difference between North and South presented for judgment.

Regaining his country at last, while the outlawry, though a dead
letter, was not formally annulled, he withdrew to the retirement of
Lagrange, where, surrounded by his family, he maintained unsullied the
integrity of his great character,--turning aside from all temptation,
and never for a moment swerving from completest devotion to that cause
for which he had done and suffered so much. Others accepted office and
honor; he would not. Bonaparte wished to make him Senator; Lafayette
declined, as he afterwards declined the Grand Cross of the Legion of
Honor from the same hand. Always himself, he touched the key-note of
his life, when, in a brief address to his fellow-citizens, on refusing
a post of dignity in 1802, he announced his hope that the miracles of
battle then surprising them might be followed not only by peace abroad,
but by domestic tranquillity founded on the immutable principles of
Justice. At no moment is he more exemplary in firmness than when on the
proposition that Bonaparte should be Consul for life he openly voted
“No,” and added, “I cannot vote for such a magistracy, until Liberty
has been sufficiently guarantied.”[111] In a noble letter[112] he
pleads with the successful warrior for the re-establishment of Liberty,
saying that all things combine to fit him for this great work, which
shall subdue danger and calm distrust. Bonaparte did not hearken to
these words of patriot wisdom, but drove still further in mad career.
Lafayette, withdrawing yet more into the repose of private life,
avoided a contest, which he foresaw must be futile, with a ruler having
claims upon his gratitude which he never ceased to acknowledge.

But it was not in his nature to despair. President Jefferson urged
him in 1804, after the acquisition of Louisiana, to quit France,
where the ground trembled beneath his feet, and come to a land where
he could do so much good,--holding before him the governorship of
the new Territory, and declaring that his presence alone would be
better for its tranquillity than an army of ten thousand men. But
Lafayette avowed his unwillingness to take a step that should seem to
abandon the destinies of his own country, duty to which forbade him to
despair of seeing established on the foundation of a just and generous
Liberty,--in one word, American Liberty.[113]

While in retirement, he was visited by temptation in yet another form,
and again his fidelity shines forth. By Act of Congress, repaying in
part the accumulated debt of the nation, he had become proprietor of
a large territory in Louisiana, to which in his reduced condition he
naturally looked for means. Persons familiar with the country advised
him to set up a manufacture of tiles, promising from it, what he so
much desired, “a fixed revenue”; but he dismissed the proposition, as
“founded upon a purchased employment of thirty slaves,”--“a thing,”
said he, “_I detest_, and shall never do”; and then, after expressing
his wish that in letting the land there should be “a first condition
to employ none but free hands, or, if negroes of New Orleans be
admitted, to stipulate their liberty in a short time,” he proceeds to
say, in memorable words: “I would not be concerned in transactions in
a negro country, _unless not only my personal doings were unsullied
with Slavery, but I had provided with others to render the very spot
productive of Freedom_.”[114] This was in 1805, before the Slave-Trade
was yet abolished, and when Slavery was just beginning its fatal empire
over our Republic. But it was only part of that faithful testimony
which he bore so constantly.

Such a character was a perpetual protest, and Napoleon in the pride of
colossal power confessed it. Son and son-in-law, though distinguished,
could not obtain promotion,--the Emperor himself on one occasion
erasing their names, with the tyrannical ejaculation, “These Lafayettes
cross my path everywhere.” The true reason was disclosed, when, at
another time, he said: “Lafayette alone in France holds fast to his
original ideas of Liberty. Though tranquil now, he will reappear, if
occasion offers.” Stronger homage to absolute fidelity could not be.
He was tranquil, through all the splendid agony of the Empire, its
marvellous conquests and its tremendous disasters,--tranquil at the
victories of Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, and Wagram, at the retreat
from Moscow, at the stunning news from Leipsic, at the capitulation of
Paris. As little could he participate in the restoration of Louis as in
the usurpation of Napoleon. At last he reappeared. It was on the return
from Elba, hazarding that peace purchased at such sacrifice, when, by
characteristic action in harmony with his whole career, his present
was linked with his past, and the chief of the Great Revolution,
declining again the honors of the Senate and the title of Count,
declaring, that, if ever again he entered public life, it must be as
representative of the people, came forward as simple deputy, and then
at an early day, with happy phrase, rallied the Chamber to an attitude
of independence which should decide “whether it would be called a
national representation or a Napoleon club.” The disaster of Waterloo
hastened the impending crisis. The Emperor menaced a dissolution of the
Chamber and a dictatorship. The time had come for the hero of Liberty.
He spoke, and with a voice that had been silent for a generation
bravely recalled the sacred cause of which he was the veteran, and that
tri-color flag which was the symbol of Liberty, Equality, and Public
Order. On his motion the Chamber declared itself permanent, and any
attempt to dissolve it treason; and then, while vindicating France
against the imputation of fickleness towards Napoleon, whom it had
followed over uncounted fields, from the sands of Egypt to the snows of
Russia, the Defender of Liberty insisted upon his abdication. Yet, true
always to every just sentiment of gratitude and humanity, he scorned
the idea of surrendering the fallen man to the Allies, saying he was
“astonished that such a proposition should be addressed to a prisoner
of Olmütz,”[115] and he sought to provide means for escape to America,
showing him every consideration consistent with duty to the country.

The fall of Napoleon was followed by the restoration of the Bourbons
to the throne of France, lasting from 1815 to 1830, and during much
of this period Lafayette, released from all constraint, was member of
the Chamber of Deputies. The King, who in early life had known him
personally, trembled at his election. As he entered the Chamber for
the first time, every eye turned to him, and every tongue pronounced
his name with admiration, hope, or fear; nor was any member
observed afterwards with equal interest. He took his seat on the
extreme left, and always kept it. His attendance was marked by that
fidelity which belonged to his nature; nor did advancing years or any
disgust interfere with the constant and unwearied discharge of his
parliamentary duties. Here, as everywhere, he was open, sincere, and
brave. Overtopping others in character, he was conspicuous also in
debate. Though not a rhetorician, he spoke with ease and effect, while
every word had the inspiration of noble ideas, often expressed with
sententious force. Especially was he moved whenever Liberty came in
question; nor did the disasters falling upon him and his house, or any
other consideration, make him hesitate to vindicate the Revolution,
alike in substantial results and in principles. “Notwithstanding,”
he said, “all that was afterwards lost through anarchy, terrorism,
bankruptcy, and civil war, in spite of a terrible struggle against
all Europe, there remains the incontestable truth, that agriculture,
industry, public instruction, the comfort and independence of three
quarters of the population, and the public morals, have been improved
to a degree of which there is no example in any equal period of
history, or in any other part of the Old World.”[116] With brilliant
effect he portrayed the wrongs and abuses which disappeared before
what he liked to call “the flag of Liberty, Equality, and Public
Order.”[117] And he attributed the evils of France less to the madness
of violence than to compromise of conscience by timid men. In the same
lofty spirit he denounced the Holy Alliance as “a vast and powerful
league whose object was to enslave and brutify mankind.”[118] By such
utterances were the people schooled and elevated. The inspiration which
was his own inner light he imparted to others.

       *       *       *       *       *

His parliamentary career was interrupted by an episode which belongs
to the poetry of history. On the unanimous invitation of the Congress
of the United States, he again visited the land whose Independence he
helped to secure. This was in 1824. Forty years had passed since he was
last here. But throughout this long period of a life transcendent in
activity and privations, as well as in fame, he had ever turned with
fondness to the scene of his early consecration, and proudly avowed
himself American in heart and American in principle. His early compeers
were all numbered with the dead, and he remained sole survivor among
the generals of Washington. But the people had multiplied, and the
country had grown in wealth and power. All rose to meet his coming, and
he was welcomed everywhere as the Nation’s guest. To the inquiry, on
his landing at New York, how he would be addressed, he replied, “As an
American General,”--thus discarding again the title of his birth. From
beginning to end, men and women, young and old, official bodies, towns,
cities, States, Congress, all vied in testimonies of devotion and
gratitude, while the children of the schools, boys and maidens, swelled
the incomparable holiday, which, stretching from North to South, and
covering the whole country, absorbed for the time every difference, and
made all feel as children of one household. The strong and universal
sentiment found expression in familiar words, repeated everywhere:--

    “We bow not the neck,
      We bend not the knee,
    But our hearts, Lafayette,
      We surrender to thee.”

It belongs to the glory of Lafayette that he inspired this sentiment,
and it belongs to the glory of our country to have felt it. As there
was never such a guest, so was there never such a host. They were alike
without parallel. But amidst this grandest hospitality, binding him
by new ties, he kept the loyalty of his heart: he did not forget the
African slave.[119]

The visit was full of memorable incidents, sometimes most touching,
among which I select a scene little known. At one of those receptions
occurring wherever the national guest appeared, a veteran of the
Revolution, in his original Continental uniform, with the addition of a
small blanket, or rather piece of blanket, upon the shoulders, and with
his ancient musket, that had seen service on many fields, came forward.
Drawing himself up in the stiff manner of the old-fashioned drill,
he made a military salute, which Lafayette returned with affection,
tears starting to his eyes,--for he remembered well that uniform, and
saw that an old soldier, more venerable than himself in years, stood
before him. “Do you know me?” said the soldier,--for the manner of
the General persuaded him that he was personally remembered, although
nearly fifty years had passed since their service together. “Indeed,
I cannot remember you,” the General replied frankly. “Do you remember
the frosts and snows of Valley Forge?” “I can never forget them,” said
Lafayette. The veteran then related, that, one freezing night, as
the General went his rounds, he came upon a sentry thinly clad, with
shoes of raw cowhide and without stockings, about to perish with cold;
that he took the musket of the sentry, saying to him, “Go to my hut;
you will find stockings there, and a blanket, which, after warming
yourself, you will bring here; meanwhile give me your musket, and I
will keep guard.” “I obeyed,” the veteran continued, “and returning
to my post refreshed, you cut the blanket in two, retaining one half
and giving me the other. Here, General, is that half, and I am the
sentry whose life you saved.” Saint Martin dividing his cloak is a
kindred story of the Church, portrayed by the genius of Vandyck.[120]
Lafayette, at the date of his charity, was younger even than the Saint,
and the act was not less saintly. But this is only an instance of the
gratitude he met. By such tribute, in accord with the universal popular
heart, was the triumph of our benefactor carried beyond that of any
Roman ascending the Capitol with the spoils of war.

       *       *       *       *       *

And this might have been the crown even of his exalted life. But at
home in France there was yet further need of him. In the madness
of tyranny, Charles the Tenth undertook by arbitrary ordinance to
trample on popular rights, and to subvert the Charter under which
he held his throne. The people were aroused. The streets of Paris
were filled with barricades. France was heaving as in other days.
Then turned all eyes to the patriarch of Lagrange, who, already hero
of two revolutions, commanded confidence alike by his principles and
his bravery. Summoned from his country home, he repaired to Paris,
imparting instant character to the movement. With a few devoted friends
about him,--one of whom is a dear and honored friend of my own, Dr.
Howe, of Boston,--this venerable citizen, seventy-three years of age,
exposed to all the perils of the conflict hotly raging in the streets
between the people and the troops, was conducted on foot across
barricades to the Hôtel de Ville, and once more placed at the head of
the National Guard. “Liberty shall triumph,” said the veteran, “or we
will all perish together.”[121] Charles the Tenth ceased to reign,
and the Revolution of 1830 was accomplished. The fortunes of France
were now in the hands of Lafayette. He was again what Madame de Staël
had called him at an earlier day, master of events. It rested with
him to choose. He might have made a Republic, of which he would have
been acknowledged head. But, cautious of Public Order, which with him
was next to Liberty, mindful of that moderation which he had always
cultivated, and unwilling, if Liberty were safe, to provoke a civil
contest, drenching France again in fraternal blood, he proposed “a
popular throne surrounded by republican institutions,” and the Duke of
Orléans, under the name of Louis Philippe, became king. Clearly his own
preference was for a Republic on the American model, but he yielded
this cherished idea, satisfied that at last Liberty had prevailed,
while peace was assured to his blood-stained country. If the republican
throne fell short of his just expectations, it was because, against
high injunction, he had put trust in princes.

The loftiness of his character was revealed, when, at a menace of
violence by the excited populace, he issued a general order, as
commander of the National Guard, announcing himself as “the man of
Liberty and Public Order, loving popularity far more than life, but
determined to sacrifice both rather than fail in any duty and tolerate
a crime,--persuaded that no end justifies means which public or private
morals disown.”[122]

Soon again he laid down his great command, contenting himself with his
farm and his duties as deputy. But his heart went wherever Liberty
was struggling,--now with the Pole, and then with the African slave.
To the rights of the latter he had borne true and unfaltering loyalty
at all times and in all places, beginning with that memorable appeal
to Washington on the consummation of Independence, and repeated in
two triumphal visits to our country,--also in public debate, in
conversation, in correspondence,--in the interesting experiment at
Cayenne, and, more affecting still, in the dungeon of arbitrary power.
Every slave, according to him, has a natural right to immediate
emancipation, whether by concession or force; and this principle he
declared above all question.[123] He knew no distinction of color, as
he continually showed. His first letter to President John Quincy Adams,
after return from his American triumph, mentions that he had dined in
the company of two commissioners from Hayti, one a mulatto and the
other entirely black, and he was “well pleased with their good sense
and good manners.”[124] Tenderly he touched this great question in our
own country; but his constancy in this respect shows how it haunted
and perplexed him, like a Sphinx with a perpetual riddle. He could not
understand how men who had fought for their own liberty could deny
liberty to others. But he did not despair, although, on one occasion,
when this inconsistency glared upon him, his impatient philanthropy
exclaimed, that he would never have drawn his sword for America, had he
known that it was to found a government sanctioning Slavery.

       *       *       *       *       *

The time had come for this great life to close. A sudden illness,
contracted in following on foot the funeral of a colleague, confined
him to his bed. As his case became critical, the Chamber of
Deputies, by solemn vote,--perhaps without example in parliamentary
history,--directed their President to inquire of George Washington
Lafayette after the health of his illustrious parent. On the following
day, May 20, 1834, he died, aged seventy-seven.

The ruling passion of his life was strong to the close. As at the
beginning, so at the end, he was all for Human Rights. This ruled his
mind and filled his heart. His last public speech was in behalf of
political refugees seeking shelter in France from the proscription of
arbitrary power.[125] The last lines traced by his hand, even after
the beginning of his fatal illness, attest his joy at that great act
of Emancipation by which England had just given freedom to her slaves.
“Nobly,” he wrote, “has the public treasure been employed!”[126] And
these last words still resound in our ears, speaking from his tomb.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was Lafayette. At the tidings of his death, there was mourning in
two hemispheres, and the saying of Pericles seemed to be accomplished,
that “To the illustrious the whole earth is a sepulchre.”[127] It
was felt that one had gone whose place was among the great names of
history, combining the double fame of hero and martyr, heightened by
the tenderness of personal attachment and gratitude. Nor could such
example belong to France or America only. Living for all, his renown
became the common property of the whole Human Family. The words of the
poet were revived:--

    “Ne’er to these chambers where the mighty rest
    Since their foundation came a nobler guest;
    Nor e’er was to the bowers of bliss conveyed
    A fairer spirit or more welcome shade.”[128]

Judge him by the simple record of his life, and you will confess his
greatness. Judge him by the motives of his conduct, and you will bend
with reverence before him. More than any other man in history he is
the impersonation of Liberty. His face is radiant with its glory, as
his heart was filled with its sweetness. His was that new order of
greatness destined soon to displace the old. Peculiar and original,
he was without predecessors. Many will come after him, but there were
none before him. He was founder, inventor, poet, as much as if he had
built a city, discovered ether, or composed an epic. On his foundation
all mankind will build; through his discovery all will be aided; by his
epic all will be uplifted. Early and intuitively he saw man as brother,
and recognized the equal rights of all. Especially was he precocious in
asserting the equal rights of the African slave. His supreme devotion
to Humanity against all obstacles was ennobled by that divine constancy
and uprightness which from youth’s spring to the winter of venerable
years made him always the same,--in youth showing the firmness of age,
and in age showing the ardor of youth,--ever steady when others were
fickle, ever faithful when others were false,--holding cheap all that
birth, wealth, or power could bestow,--renouncing even the favor of
fellow-citizens, which he loved so well,--content with virtue as his
only nobility,--and whether placed on the dazzling heights of worldly
ambition or plunged in the depths of a dungeon, always true to the same
great principles, and making even the dungeon witness of his unequalled

By the side of such sublime virtue what were his eminent French
contemporaries? What was Mirabeau, with life sullied by impurity
and dishonored by a bribe? What was Talleyrand, with heartless
talent devoted to his personal success? What was Robespierre, with
impracticable endeavors baptized in blood? What was Napoleon himself,
whose surpassing powers to fix fortune by profound combinations, or
to seize it with irresistible arm, were debased by the brutality of
selfishness? These are the four chief characters of the Revolution,
already dropping from the firmament as men learn to appreciate those
principles by which Humanity is advanced. Lafayette ascends as they
disappear, while the world hails that Universal Enfranchisement which
he served so well. As the mighty triumph is achieved, which he clearly
foresaw, immense will be his reward among men.

Great he was, indeed,--not as author, although he has written what
we are glad to read,--not as orator, although he has spoken much and
well,--not as soldier, although he displayed both bravery and military
genius,--not even as statesman, versed in the science of government,
although he saw instinctively the relations of men to government.
Nor did his sympathetic nature possess the power always to curb the
passions of men, or to hurl the bolts by which wickedness is driven
back. Not on these accounts is he great. Call him less a force than an
influence, less “king of men” than servant of Humanity,--his name is
destined to be a spell beyond that of any king, while it shines aloft
like a star. Great he is as one of earth’s benefactors, possessing
in largest measure that best gift from God to man, the genius of
beneficence sustained to the last by perfect honesty; great, too, he is
as an early, constant Republican, who saw the beauty and practicability
of Republican Institutions as the expression of a true civilization,
and upheld them always; and great he is as example, which, so long as
history endures, must inspire author, orator, soldier, and statesman
all alike to labor, and, if need be, to suffer for Human Rights. The
fame of such a character, brightening with the Progress of Humanity,
can be measured only by the limits of a world’s gratitude and the
bounds of time.


    An incident in connection with the delivery of this address at
    Philadelphia illustrates the sensitive condition of the public
    mind at the time. Mr. Sumner was announced to give it before
    “The People’s Literary Institute,” when he received a letter
    from the President of the Institute, which will be understood
    by his reply.

                                “SENATE CHAMBER, December 19, 1860.

        “DEAR SIR,--I have been honored by your official
        communication as President of the People’s Literary
        Institute of Philadelphia, bearing date 17th December,
        in which you say, ‘that the patrons of the Institute are
        persons of all shades of political opinion, and that in the
        present excited state of the public mind it is desirable
        that Slavery and Antislavery should not be touched by its
        lecturers.’ This is written to govern me on the evening of
        the 27th of December, when, according to invitation, I was
        to address the Institute.

        “With much misgiving I accepted the place urged upon me in
        your course. For some time I declined it, and yielded only
        to the most pressing solicitation. Afterwards, in reply to
        an inquiry from one of your officers, I let it be known
        that my subject would be ‘Lafayette,’ and I think you have
        already announced the same in your course. You are too
        familiar with the career of this constant friend of Human
        Freedom not to know that it cannot be adequately presented
        without touching upon the topics which you forbid. It was
        the peculiar glory of this illustrious man, that from his
        early days to his death-bed he strove always for Human
        Freedom, and especially sought to remove the intolerable
        evil of African Slavery. To leave so great a part of his
        life untouched would be an infidelity I cannot commit.
        Indeed, I do not think your careful judgment could approve
        such an act. If at any other time it might be done, you
        will see that at this moment, when persons acting in
        behalf of Slavery openly threaten _treason_, silence upon
        testimony so powerful would be nearly akin to complicity
        with the treason. The pirates of the Caribbean Sea are said
        to have carefully recited the Ten Commandments, omitting
        ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ A precedent like this I have no
        disposition to follow.

         “Even if the subject of my lecture did not require me
        to infringe your instructions, I beg to assure you that I
        could not consent to speak under any such constraint. For
        many years I have addressed associations, societies, and
        meetings of all kinds; but never before have I been met by
        any hint of interference with the completest latitude of
        speech, according to my sense of the duties and proprieties
        of the occasion. Long accustomed to free speech, I am too
        old now to renounce it.

        “There are two recent events in Philadelphia which furnish
        a commentary upon your letter. The first is a resolution
        adopted at a public meeting, with the Mayor in the chair,
        openly proclaiming that free speech must not be permitted
        at the North; and the other is a practical illustration of
        this tyranny in the refusal to hear the accomplished Mr.
        Curtis, when announced to lecture before your Institute on
        ‘The Policy of Honesty.’ All this is done for the sake of
        Slavery, and in the hope of soothing traitors. You can know
        little of me, if you suppose that I can take part in any
        such work. Of course my place in your list is now vacant.

        “I observe that your letter, although signed officially
        as President of the People’s Institute, is marked
        ‘_Confidential_.’ I have no desire to draw your name into
        any public discussion; but it is obvious that my refusal to
        take part in your course cannot be frankly stated without
        reference to what you have written.

            “I have the honor to be, dear Sir,

                “Your obedient servant,

                    “CHARLES SUMNER.

        “---- ----,
        “President of the People’s Literary Institute, Philadelphia.”

    December 22, Mr. Sumner received from the President of the
    Institute the following telegram:--

        “Permit me to withdraw my letter. Come and speak freely. Do
        not decline. I have written you to-day.”

    This was followed by a letter from the President, repeating his
    request, and saying, among other things,--

        “That the public are very desirous to hear you, and will be
        greatly disappointed, if you cancel the engagement.

        “That, in common with the Managers and patrons of the
        Institute, I earnestly hope that you will reconsider your
        determination not to speak on the 27th instant, and that
        you will consent to deliver the lecture on ‘Lafayette,’
        which has been advertised, and which the people expect,
        without any feeling of constraint as to the treatment of
        the subject.”

    Accordingly, December 27, Mr. Sumner spoke for the first time
    in Philadelphia. A few sentences from the _Press_ show how he
    was received.

        “The announcement that Hon. Charles Sumner would lecture
        at Concert Hall, before the People’s Literary Institute,
        last evening, attracted an immense audience. At an early
        hour the hall was filled to its utmost sitting and standing
        capacity, and there must have been enough turned away,
        after the sale of tickets was discontinued at the door, to
        have filled another hall of equal size. The audience was
        also of the most respectable character.…

        “When the lecturer entered the platform, he was greeted
        with uproarious applause. For several minutes the
        audience--the greater part of whom rose to receive
        him--continued clapping, cheering, and waving their

        “He was introduced to the audience by President Allen, of
        Girard College, who said that the scholar, the eloquent
        orator, and the steadfast friend of man, all found a
        synonym in the name of the statesman who was now to address
        them; and his subject was suggestive to all lovers of
        Liberty. He had now the pleasure of introducing the Hon.
        Charles Sumner, who was to speak on Lafayette. The lecture
        which followed occupied two hours and a quarter in its
        delivery, and was given without notes.”

    The address on Lafayette was the last of a series during the
    year, by which Mr. Sumner had striven to direct public opinion
    against Slavery, so at least that it should not be carried
    into the Territories. Amidst hostile criticism there were
    friendly expressions, showing that he had not spoken in vain.
    Of these, one is presented as applicable to the series. It is
    the Dedication of the Thanksgiving Sermon, Sunday Evening,
    November 11, 1860, by Rev. Gilbert Haven, entitled, “The Cause
    and Consequence of the Election of Abraham Lincoln.”


        “Who has spoken the bravest words for Liberty in the most
        perilous places; who has suffered in behalf of the Slave
        only less than those who wear the martyr’s crown; who
        has come forth from that suffering with the profoundest,
        because experimental, sympathy with the Oppressed, with
        a more intense hatred of the Oppression, yet without
        any bitterness of heart against the Oppressor; who will
        stand forth in the future times as the clearest-eyed,
        boldest-tongued, and purest-hearted Statesman of the
        age: these few words of Thanksgiving and Praise, for the
        manifestation of the Presence and Power of the ALMIGHTY
        REDEEMER in this greatest work of our time, are most
        respectfully dedicated.”



    The opening of Congress was signalized by two things:
    first, the Message of President Buchanan, December 4, 1860,
    misrepresenting the North, and practically abdicating the power
    to control rebellious States; and, secondly, the development of
    a determination on the part of certain States at the South to
    secede from the Union. Here South Carolina took the lead.

       *       *       *       *       *

    In the Senate, December 6th, Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, brought
    forward a resolution, which, after modification by himself, was
    as follows.

        “_Resolved_, That so much of the President’s Message as
        relates to the present agitated and distracted condition of
        the country, and the grievances between the slaveholding
        and the non-slaveholding States, be referred to a special
        committee of thirteen members, and that said committee be
        instructed to inquire into the present condition of the
        country and report by bill or otherwise.”

    In the consideration of this resolution a debate ensued
    on the state of the Union, and the resolution was adopted
    December 18th. The committee appointed by the Vice-President,
    Mr. Breckinridge, was Mr. Powell of Kentucky, the mover, Mr.
    Hunter of Virginia, Mr. Crittenden of Kentucky, Mr. Seward
    of New York, Mr. Toombs of Georgia, Mr. Douglas of Illinois,
    Mr. Collamer of Vermont, Mr. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi,
    Mr. Wade of Ohio, Mr. Bigler of Pennsylvania, Mr. Rice of
    Minnesota, Mr. Doolittle of Wisconsin, and Mr. Grimes of Iowa.
    December 31st, Mr. Powell reported to the Senate “that the
    Committee have not been able to agree upon any general plan
    of adjustment.” In the propositions offered in committee by
    Mr. Douglas we first meet that for the disfranchisement of the
    colored race, even where already voters, which was part of the
    Crittenden Compromise in its final form.[129]

    Immediately after the first reading of Mr. Powell’s resolution
    for the appointment of a committee Mr. Sumner spoke as follows.

MR. PRESIDENT,--I have no desire to make a speech at this time, nor
to take any part in the discussion that has commenced. I can bear yet
a little longer the misrepresentations in the President’s Message,
and I believe the North can bear them yet a little longer. The time
will come, perhaps, when I shall deem it my duty to set forth those
things in the light of reason and of history; meanwhile I content
myself with simply offering to the Senate testimony of direct and
most authoritative bearing upon the present state of the Union. If I
may adopt the language of the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. JEFFERSON
DAVIS], it will help us to make the diagnosis of the present disease in
the body politic.

I hold in my hand an unpublished autograph letter, written by General
Jackson while President of the United States, and addressed to a
clergyman in a slaveholding State. Omitting certain sentences which are
of a purely private nature, the letter is as follows.

    “[_Private._]                       “WASHINGTON, May 1, 1833.

    “MY DEAR SIR,-- … I have had a laborious task here, but
    Nullification is dead; and its actors and courtiers will only
    be remembered by the people to be execrated for their wicked
    designs to sever and destroy the only good government on the
    globe, and that prosperity and happiness we enjoy over every
    other portion of the world. Haman’s gallows ought to be the
    fate of all such ambitious men, who would involve their country
    in civil war, and all the evils in its train, that they might
    reign and ride on its whirlwinds and direct the storm. The
    free people of these United States have spoken, and consigned
    these wicked demagogues to their proper doom. Take care of
    your Nullifiers; you have them among you; let them meet with
    the indignant frowns of every man who loves his country. The
    Tariff, it is _now_”--

and he underscores, or italicizes, the word “now”--

    “known, was a mere pretext. Its burden was on your coarse
    woollens. By the law of July, 1832, coarse woollen was reduced
    to five per cent for the benefit of the South. Mr. Clay’s bill
    takes it up and classes it with woollens at fifty per cent,
    reduces it gradually down to twenty per cent, and there it
    is to remain, and Mr. Calhoun and all the Nullifiers agree
    to the principle. The cash duties and home valuation will be
    equal to fifteen per cent more, and after the year 1842 you
    pay on coarse woollens thirty-five per cent. If this is not
    protection, I cannot understand; therefore the Tariff was only
    the pretext, and Disunion and a Southern Confederacy the real
    object. The next pretext will be the Negro or Slavery Question.

    “My health is not good, but is improving a little. Present
    me kindly to your lady and family, and believe me to be your
    friend. I will always be happy to hear from you.



Here is the original autograph letter, in the well-known, unmistakable,
bold, broad handwriting. [_Here Mr. Sumner held the letter up._] These
are the words of a patriot slaveholder of Tennessee, addressed to
a patriot clergyman of a slaveholding State, and they are directly
applicable to the present hour. Of practical sense, of inflexible
purpose, and of various experience, Andrew Jackson saw intuitively the
springs and motives of human conduct, while he loved his country with a
firm and all-embracing attachment. Thus inspired, he was able to judge
the present and to discern the future. The Tariff, in his opinion, was
a pretext only,--Disunion and a Southern Confederacy the real object.
“The next pretext,” says he,--and you, Sir, cannot fail to mark the
words,--“will be the Negro or Slavery Question.” These, Sir, are his
words, not mine. Such is his emphatic judgment. Words and judgment now
belong to history; nor can they be assailed without assailing one of
the greatest examples that a slaveholding community has given to our
common country.



    Before the organization of the Committee of Thirteen on the
    State of the Union, mentioned in the preceding article, Mr.
    Crittenden brought forward a joint resolution, December 18,
    1860, containing propositions of Compromise, which soon became
    known by the name of their author. These propositions were
    extensive in character, covering amendments to the Constitution
    and recommendations to the States. Afterwards, January 3, 1861,
    he reintroduced his propositions, with a new preamble, and
    with two additional amendments to the Constitution. That such
    propositions could have been seriously presented as a basis of
    Union shows the exacting spirit of Slavery, and the deplorable
    insensibility to great principles.

    The Compromise in its final form opened with a Constitutional
    prohibition of Slavery in all territory of the United States
    north of 36° 30´, but on the other hand it was expressly
    declared that “in all the territory now held, or hereafter
    to be acquired, south of said line of latitude, _Slavery of
    the African race is hereby recognized as existing_, and shall
    not be interfered with by Congress, but shall be protected as
    property by all the departments of the Territorial Government
    during its continuance”; and any territory north or south of
    this line was to be admitted into the Union as a State with
    or without Slavery, as the Constitution of such new State
    might provide. It was further declared that Congress should
    have no power to abolish Slavery in places under its exclusive
    jurisdiction and within the limits of slaveholding States;
    that Congress should have no power to abolish Slavery in the
    District of Columbia, so long as it exists in the adjoining
    States of Virginia and Maryland, or either, nor without the
    consent of the inhabitants, nor without just compensation to
    slave-owners who do not consent to such abolishment; that
    Congress should not prohibit officers of the Federal [National]
    Government, or Members of Congress, whose duties require them
    to be in the District, from bringing with them their slaves and
    holding them as such; and that Congress should have no power
    to prohibit or hinder the transportation of slaves from one
    State to another, or to a Territory in which slaves are by law
    permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by land,
    navigable rivers, or by sea.

    Then followed Constitutional amendments, providing that the
    United States should pay to the owner of a fugitive slave
    the full value of such slave, in case of obstruction to the
    recovery thereof,--also providing that no future amendment of
    the Constitution should affect these articles, or the existing
    provisions relating to slave representation and the surrender
    of fugitives from service, or give to Congress any power to
    abolish or interfere with Slavery in any of the States where it

    Then followed another Constitutional amendment, providing
    that “the elective franchise and the right to hold office,
    whether Federal [National], State, Territorial, or municipal,
    shall not be exercised by persons who are in whole or in
    part of the African race,”--and still another, providing
    for the acquisition of “districts of country in Africa and
    South America” for the colonization of “free negroes and

    Besides these amendments to the Constitution, the joint
    resolution, in order “to remove all just cause for the popular
    discontent and agitation which now disturb the peace of the
    country and threaten the stability of its institutions,”
    proceeded to declare, that the laws now in force for the
    recovery of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the
    plain and mandatory provisions of the Constitution, that
    the slaveholding States are entitled to their faithful
    observance and execution, and that laws should be made for the
    punishment of those who illegally interfere to prevent their
    execution,--that State laws interfering with the recovery of
    fugitive slaves (referring to Personal Liberty Laws) should be
    repealed, that the Fugitive Slave Act of September 18, 1850,
    should be amended in certain particulars, and that the laws
    for the suppression of the African Slave-Trade should be made

    The Crittenden Compromise was encountered in the Senate by the
    following counter propositions, offered by Mr. Clark, of New
    Hampshire, January 9, 1861.

        “_Resolved_, That the provisions of the Constitution are
        ample for the preservation of the Union and the protection
        of all the material interests of the country; that it needs
        to be obeyed rather than amended; and that an extrication
        from the present dangers is to be looked for in strenuous
        efforts to preserve the peace, protect the public property,
        and enforce the laws, rather than in new guaranties
        for particular interests, compromises for particular
        difficulties, or concessions to unreasonable demands.

        “_Resolved_, That all attempts to dissolve the present
        Union, or overthrow or abandon the present Constitution,
        with the hope or expectation of constructing a new one, are
        dangerous, illusory, and destructive; that in the opinion
        of the Senate of the United States no such reconstruction
        is practicable; and therefore to the maintenance of the
        existing Union and Constitution should be directed all the
        energies of all the departments of the Government, and the
        efforts of all good citizens.”

    January 16, the question being taken by yeas and nays, on the
    motion to substitute, resulted, yeas 25, nays 23, as follows.

        _Yeas_,--Messrs. Anthony, Baker, Bingham, Cameron,
        Chandler, Clark, Collamer, Dixon, Doolittle, Durkee,
        Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hall, Harlan, King,
        Seward, Simmons, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade,
        Wilkinson, Wilson,--25.

        _Nays_,--Messrs. Bayard, Bigler, Bragg, Bright, Clingman,
        Crittenden, Fitch, Green, Gwin, Hunter, Johnson of
        Tennessee, Kennedy, Lane, Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Pearce,
        Polk, Powell, Pugh, Rice, Saulsbury, Sebastian,--23.

    So the amendment was agreed to, and the proposition of Mr.
    Clark was substituted for that of Mr. Crittenden.

    This important result, by which the Crittenden Compromise
    received a heavy blow, was a surprise, brought about by
    the Senators of the Gulf States,--Iverson of Georgia, Clay
    and Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Brown and Jefferson Davis of
    Mississippi, Benjamin and Slidell of Louisiana, Mallory and
    Yulee of Florida, Hemphill and Wigfall of Texas, and Johnson of
    Arkansas,--who were in attendance, but withheld their votes.
    The two Senators of South Carolina, Hammond and Chesnut, also
    Toombs of Georgia, had not appeared in their seats during the
    session. Three of these Senators voting against the substitute,
    it could not have been carried, and the original propositions
    would have been still before the Senate. The adoption of the
    substitute was used by them to inflame their constituents.
    Their conduct on this occasion showed a “foregone conclusion.”
    Nothing but Disunion would satisfy them,--not even the
    Crittenden Compromise, so full of surrender.

    Then ensued a comedy. Immediately after the adoption of the
    substitute, a reconsideration of the vote was moved by Mr.
    Cameron, of Pennsylvania, at the request of Mr. Crittenden,
    which on a subsequent day was carried. The question was then
    allowed to sleep on the table, until, unexpectedly, on the last
    legislative day of the session, just before the expiration
    of the Congress, and after the withdrawal of the Southern
    Senators, it was called up by Mr. Mason, of Virginia, when
    Mr. Clark again offered his substitute, which was lost by a
    vote of 22 nays against 14 yeas, several Senators expressing a
    desire to vote directly on the original propositions. On these
    propositions the final vote stood, yeas 19, nays 20, as follows.

        _Yeas_,--Messrs. Bayard, Bigler, Bright, Crittenden,
        Douglas, Gwin, Hunter, Johnson of Tennessee, Kennedy, Lane,
        Latham, Mason, Nicholson, Polk, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian,
        Thomson, Wigfall,--19.

        _Nays_,--Messrs. Anthony, Bingham, Chandler, Clark, Dixon,
        Doolittle, Durkee, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Harlan,
        King, Morrill, Sumner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson,

    So the joint resolution of Mr. Crittenden, with its various
    propositions, was rejected. The final withdrawal of the
    Senators from seceding States obviously aided this result.

    As the session was coming to a close, a joint resolution was
    received from the House of Representatives proposing yet
    another amendment to the Constitution, as follows.

        “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will
        authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or
        interfere within any State with the domestic institutions
        thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service
        by the laws of said State.”

    Bills and joint resolutions must be read on three several
    days; but on ordinary occasions they receive their first and
    second readings the same day. Mr. Sumner, unwilling that this
    other attempt should be hurried through the Senate, objected
    to the second reading on the first day, and the next day had
    a question with Mr. Douglas on the correction of the Journal,
    which failed to record his objection. On his motion the Journal
    was corrected.[132] The Senate then suspended the rule
    requiring the three readings of a Constitutional amendment on
    three separate days, and proceeded to the consideration of the
    proposed amendment. Mr. Pugh, of Ohio, spoke lightly of its
    composition, saying:--

        “I think it was De Quincey who said, that, next to the duty
        which a man owes God and his country and his family, it was
        his duty to preserve the purity of his mother tongue. The
        Constitution of the United States is written in excellent
        English; but if this amendment be expressed in the English
        language, or by any rule of grammar, I do not understand

    Mr. Crittenden replied, that he could “bear with bad English,
    when it expressed a good thing.”

    The vote on its passage was 24 yeas to 12 nays, as follows.

        _Yeas_,--Messrs. Anthony, Baker, Bigler, Bright,
        Crittenden, Dixon, Douglas, Foster, Grimes, Gwin, Harlan,
        Hunter, Johnson of Tennessee, Kennedy, Latham, Mason,
        Morrill, Nicholson, Polk, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian, Ten Eyck,

        _Nays_,--Messrs. Bingham, Chandler, Clark, Doolittle,
        Durkee, Foot, King, Sumner, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson,

    Two thirds of the Senate present voting for the joint
    resolution, it was agreed to. The proposed amendment to the
    Constitution was never adopted by the States. It remains in the
    national archives, a singular instance of bad composition, and
    the monument of a fruitless effort.

    This final attempt to appease the spirit of Rebellion was on
    the last legislative day of the session. The 3d of March being
    Sunday, the Senate, without adjourning, took a recess from
    Saturday evening till Sunday evening at seven o’clock, thus
    making the 2d of March the concluding day of that Congress,
    which was prolonged till noon of March 4th. During the sitting
    of Sunday, from seven o’clock in the evening till midnight,
    Mr. Sumner, who had never been in the habit of pairing, was
    induced to pair with Mr. Polk, of Missouri, who was unwilling
    to transact business on Sunday. His scruples did not prevent
    him from joining the Rebellion, for which he was subsequently
    expelled from the Senate on Mr. Sumner’s motion.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The Crittenden Compromise attracted attention not only in
    Congress, but throughout the country.

    Meanwhile a Boston committee arrived at Washington, composed
    of leading citizens, with Hon. Edward Everett as chairman, to
    urge an adjustment by mutual surrender. Mr. Everett called upon
    Mr. Sumner at his lodgings, and with much emotion urged him
    to bring forward some conciliatory proposition, saying, “You
    are the only person who can introduce such a proposition with
    chance of success.” Mr. Sumner replied: “You are mistaken in
    supposing that I might have success with compromise, if I could
    bring it forward. If I am strong with the North, it is because
    of the conviction that I cannot compromise; but the moment I
    compromised, I, too, should be lost.”

    All in Massachusetts were not like this committee. The tone
    of many was expressed by a venerable citizen, and an able
    writer, connected with the press during a long life, Joseph T.
    Buckingham, who closed a firm and courageous letter, under date
    of January 11, 1861, with the words,--

        “God bless _you_, and _all_ who keep a stiff backbone! For
        those who yield, I care not what becomes of them.”

    On the 19th of January, 1861, the General Assembly of Virginia
    adopted a series of resolutions, proposing a Convention
    of States at Washington, February 4, 1861, to attempt an
    adjustment of the pending difficulties, and recommending the
    propositions of Mr. Crittenden reinforced. The action of the
    Virginia Assembly was communicated to the Senate by message of
    President Buchanan, January 28th. Mr. Sumner, being against all
    compromise, could not regard with favor any attempt in that
    direction. A misrepresentation of his position was corrected by
    the following telegram in Northern papers.

                                    “WASHINGTON, January 30, 1861.

        “The report, that Senator Sumner has approved the objects
        of the Convention which is to assemble here at the call of
        Virginia, is a mistake. Mr. Sumner regards that call as
        part of the treasonable conspiracy against the National
        Government, and does not see how Northern men can have
        anything to do with it, unless they are ready in some way
        to play into the hands of the traitors.

        “Mr. Sumner has always held that any change by the North
        from its attitude of firmness and repose can have no other
        effect than the encouragement of treason.”

    A telegraphic correspondence further shows his position.

                                    “BOSTON, January 31, 1861.


        “Do you favor sending Commissioners to Washington 4th

            “GEORGE L. STEARNS.”

                                “WASHINGTON, January 31, 1861.

        “GEORGE L. STEARNS, Esq., Boston:--

        “I am against sending Commissioners to treat for the
        surrender of the North. Stand firm.

            “CHARLES SUMNER.”

    Alone of the Massachusetts delegation Mr. Sumner declined to
    unite with his colleagues in recommending to the Governor
    the appointment of Commissioners. This isolation was the
    occasion of a report which is mentioned in a letter of S. M.
    Booth, written, under date of February 2d, from his prison at
    Milwaukee, where he was suffering for aiding a fugitive slave.

        “The telegraph assigns you the enviable position of
        standing ‘solitary and alone’ among the Massachusetts
        representatives, as inflexibly opposed to compromise with
        rebels for the benefit of Slavery. I cannot believe you
        are so entirely forsaken, yet I greatly fear the country
        is to be dishonored and the Republican party dissolved.…
        Rest assured that the masses of the Republican party do
        not sympathize with the Compromisers of the Republican
        party, nor appreciate that statesmanship which consists
        in yielding vital principles to the demands of the Slave
        Power. The ‘Barbarism of Slavery’ is now demonstrated
        before ‘all Israel and the sun.’ I see little good to
        come from the election of Lincoln, if the platform of the
        opposing candidates is to be adopted by the Republican
        leaders. Indeed, it were far better that Slavery should
        triumph under the rule of Douglas or Breckinridge than
        under the rule of Lincoln.”

    So Mr. Sumner thought, and he acted accordingly. His
    correspondence with Governor Andrew at this time was constant
    and earnest. The latter was resolute against Compromise. In a
    letter of January 20th, the Governor wrote:--

        “From war, pestilence, and famine, from all assaults of
        the world, the flesh, and the Devil, good Lord, deliver
        us,--but most especially from any compromise with traitors,
        or any bargain with Slavery!”

    Under date of January 30th, the Governor wrote:--

        “I think we had better be present by good men in
        the Conference, if there is to be one, than to be
        misrepresented by volunteers, or be wholly outside,
        unheard, and misinformed of the plans and doings
        inside. Our Committee on Federal Relations will report
        good resolutions, I think, which will leave us free of
        complicity with the heresy of the Virginia resolutions, and
        secure the dignity and fairness of our position.”

    Another letter from Massachusetts said, that, if Massachusetts
    did not send representatives, “the Boston Hunkers would send a
    delegation, which would not be desirable.”

    The Commissioners appointed by the Governor were, John Z.
    Goodrich, Charles Allen, George S. Boutwell, Francis B.
    Crowninshield, Theophilus P. Chandler, John M. Forbes, and
    Richard P. Waters,--all firm against any new concession to

    Against their influence and votes, the Convention, known as the
    “Peace Congress,” presented a series of propositions similar
    in character and surrender to those of Mr. Crittenden, sharing
    also a similar fate.

    During these various efforts, President Buchanan was earnest
    for the Crittenden Compromise. An interview of Mr. Sumner with
    him, reported in the Northern papers, shows his desire for this
    terrible concession.

                                           “WASHINGTON, February 4.

        “Much interest is manifested in the interview between
        President Buchanan and Senator Sumner. Mr. Sumner visited
        the President, at the request of Governor Andrew, to learn
        his answer to the Massachusetts offer of military aid; that
        done, Mr. Sumner said,--

        “What else can Massachusetts do for the good of the country?

        “Mr. BUCHANAN. A great deal. No State more.

        “Mr. SUMNER. I should like to know what.

        “Mr. BUCHANAN (after a pause). Adopt the Crittenden

        “Mr. SUMNER. Is that necessary?

        “Mr. BUCHANAN. It is.

        “Mr. SUMNER. Massachusetts has not acted directly on these
        propositions, which seek to give Slavery Constitutional
        protection in Territories, and disfranchise large numbers
        of her citizens; but I believe such are the convictions of
        the Massachusetts people that they would never consent to
        any such thing.

        “Mr. Sumner repeated his assurance in the strongest

        “The President said he felt discouraged by the reply.

        “Mr. Sumner spoke of the common ground where all who truly
        loved the country could stand. It was the Constitution as
        administered by Washington. The verdict of the people last
        November should be recognized without price or condition.

        “The President said he and Mr. Sumner must differ

        “Mr. Sumner assured the President that the people of
        Massachusetts were attached to the Union; that real
        disunionists there might all be put in an omnibus; but
        Massachusetts could not be brought to sacrifice or abandon
        her principles, and in that he sincerely joined.”

    This interview was described by Mr. Sumner in one of his
    familiar letters to Governor Andrew, which is copied from the
    private files of the latter.

                                   WASHINGTON, February 3, 1861.

        MY DEAR ANDREW,--I saw the President yesterday. He was
        astonished to learn that the resolutions had not been
        acknowledged, and said that it should be done.

        Afterwards I said to him, “Mr. President, what else can
        we do in Massachusetts for the good of the country?” A
        pause. “Much, Mr. Sumner.” “What?” said I. “Adopt the
        Crittenden propositions,” said he. “Is that necessary?”
        said I. “Yes,” said he. To which I replied, “Massachusetts
        has not yet spoken directly; but I feel authorized to say,
        that, such are the unalterable convictions of her people,
        they would see their State sunk below the sea, and turned
        into a sand-bank, before they would adopt propositions
        acknowledging _property in men_, and disfranchising a
        portion of her population.” I think I was right.

        In God’s name stand firm! _Don’t cave_, Andrew! God bless

            CHARLES SUMNER.

        Save Massachusetts from any “surrender,” THE LEAST!

            C. S.

    The latter part of the letter alluded to reports that the
    Legislature was disposed to repeal or modify the well-known
    laws for the protection of Personal Liberty, passed originally
    as a defence against the Fugitive Slave Bill. Compromisers
    urged this surrender, particularly after the special call
    in the Crittenden propositions. At the request of anxious
    citizens at home, Mr. Sumner wrote to members of the
    Legislature against any such sacrifice, insisting, that, with
    the manifest determination of the South, it could do no good,
    while plainly the laws should be maintained for the sake of
    Liberty. His views were briefly expressed in a private letter
    to Hon. William Claflin, Chairman of the Republican State
    Committee, and President of the Massachusetts Senate.

        [_Private._]                 WASHINGTON, January 1, 1860.

        MY DEAR CLAFLIN,--Massachusetts has now an important post.
        Her most difficult duty is to be true to herself and her
        own noble history. In the name of Liberty, I supplicate you
        not to let her take any backward step,--_not an inch, not a
        hair’s breadth_.

        It is now too late for any fancied advantage from such
        conduct. The crisis is too far advanced. It only remains
        that she do nothing by which Liberty suffers, or her
        principles are recanted.

        Remember well, that not a word from our Legislature can
        have the least influence in averting the impending result.
        What the case requires is firmness which nothing can shake.

        Let the timid cry, but let Massachusetts stand stiff. God
        bless her!

        We are on the eve of great events, and this month will try
        men’s souls. But our duty is clear as noonday, and bright
        as the sun.

            Ever yours,

                CHARLES SUMNER.

    In a letter dated January 15, Governor Andrew suggested a
    communication from the Massachusetts delegation, “that it is
    not important or desirable that we should repeal the Personal
    Liberty Laws.” February 17th, he announces, with something
    of exultation, the unanimous report of the Committee of the
    Legislature in harmony with his ideas.

        “I had no original expectation of getting such a result;
        but I told some persons that they could not get anything
        _through this room_ [the Council Chamber] not conformable
        to certain principles, and which did not contain certain
        details, unless they marched it through by dragoons.”

    A letter from Hon. D. W. Alvord, written from Greenfield,
    Massachusetts, refers to the action of Mr. Sumner.

        “Those who believe that it is the first duty of a State
        to protect its citizens from oppression, as much when the
        oppression is threatened by the General Government as
        when it comes from any other quarter, owe you especial
        thanks. Your influence has saved the ‘Personal Liberty
        Laws’ of this State from essential change. Such change
        would have been strenuously resisted by many true men in
        the Legislature, even had your advice been different; but
        your letters, shown about among members, and the knowledge
        spread through the Legislature that you advised against
        repeal or essential modification, stiffened many weak
        backs, and rendered any great change impossible.”

    Thus at home, in the Legislature, as well as in Congress,
    people were busy to find some form of surrender inconsistent
    with those principles which had triumphed at the Presidential
    election. Mr. Sumner was positive against any surrender
    anywhere. A letter to Count Gurowski, in New York, which has
    seen the light since his death, is a contemporary record.

                                        WASHINGTON, January 8, 1861.

        MY DEAR COUNT,--Sunday evening I had a visit from Thurlow
        Weed and Seward. The former said that he found himself
        “alone,”--nobody united with him. I rejoiced. ---- and ----
        are here from New York for the same object. They urge that
        we cannot have a united North, unless we make an effort for
        adjustment; to which I reply: “We have the verdict of the
        people last November: that is enough.”

        But these compromisers do not comprehend the glory of a
        principle. _Périssent les colonies plutôt qu’un principe!_
        That exclamation exalts a period which has many things to
        be deplored.

        The Slave States are mad. They will all move. Nothing
        now but abject humiliation on the part of the North can
        stay them. Nobody can foresee precisely all that is in
        the future, but I do not doubt that any conflict will
        precipitate the doom of Slavery. It will probably go down
        in blood.…

            Ever yours,

                CHARLES SUMNER.

    During these efforts at compromise, the conspirators proceeded
    in their work. South Carolina took the lead, adopted an
    Ordinance of Secession December 20, 1860, and shortly
    thereafter raised the Palmetto flag over the custom-house
    and post-office at Charleston. Mississippi followed, January
    9, 1861; Florida, January 10; Alabama, January 11; Georgia,
    January 19; and Louisiana, January 26. January 21st the
    Senators of seceding States withdrew from the Senate. Texas
    was not declared out of the Union until March 4th, when her
    Senators withdrew.

    Another event will properly close this sketch. At the end of
    December, 1860, Commissioners from South Carolina arrived at
    Washington, in order to obtain the complete withdrawal of the
    national troops. Major Anderson, by a sudden movement, had
    transferred his command from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter,
    which was much easier to hold. Fort Moultrie and Castle
    Pinckney were at once occupied by the Rebels. The country was
    aroused, and insisted that Fort Sumter should not be abandoned.
    It was held, until, after a bombardment of thirty-four hours,
    it yielded, April 13, 1861.


FEBRUARY 20, 1861.

    The following letters to Governor Andrew were obviously written
    in the intimacy of personal friendship and under the spur of
    public duty. The constant appeals for firmness at home found
    sympathetic response in one who was himself always firm, and
    they helped him with others. A letter to Mr. Sumner, dated
    January 28th, shows his appreciation of the correspondence.

    “I have had great satisfaction in your constant remembrance of
    me by letters, documents, &c. I bear always in my mind and on
    my heart the honor of the ‘Old Bay State,’ and the claims of
    our holy cause of Liberty upon my devotion and efforts. May
    God help us all to be faithful!… I feel much support in your

                                SENATE CHAMBER, January 17, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--Your timely suggestion with regard to Treasury
  notes I have referred to Mr. Sherman in the House, where any
  measure founded upon it must originate.

  I have letters constantly from New York as well as Massachusetts,
  expressing great solicitude with regard to the safety of the
  capital. I am satisfied, that, had the President persevered in
  his original policy of surrender and treason, we should have
  been driven away before the 1st of February. Others with whom I
  converse do not doubt this. But General Scott has applied his
  best energies to measures of defence. He is satisfied that the
  traitors cannot succeed here, whatever they may do elsewhere. He
  has force enough on hand to hold the capital for hours against
  any attack which can be expected, and within that time he can
  have fifty thousand men from the North. A law maxim says, _Cuique
  in sua arte credendum est._ Should he be mistaken, his military
  reputation will suffer terribly.

  You see as well as I, that any military assistance must be
  invited by the Government. A march of troops on our side would be
  a “first move” towards hostilities. Our safety must depend upon
  the watchfulness of the Government. But I agree with Mr. Stearns,
  that it would be useful to have some faithful men here who would
  make it a business to ascertain the plans and purposes of the

  Mr. Burleigh, a Republican of John Covode’s district, has
  recently made an excursion into Maryland, where, passing himself
  as a speculator in negroes, he thinks he got into secrets. He
  reports a combination of ten thousand men to seize the capital,
  and also another conspiracy to assassinate Mr. Lincoln in
  Maryland, on his way to Washington.

  Our friends are all tranquil, except so far as disturbed by
  Seward’s speech. If his propositions were pressed, I think they
  would split the party. I regret very much that he made them, and
  I protested most earnestly against them. He read me his speech
  four days in advance of its delivery. I pleaded with him, for
  the sake of the cause, the country, and his own good name, to
  abandon all his propositions, and simply to declare that Mr.
  Lincoln would be inaugurated on the 4th of March President of the
  United States, and rally the country to his support. I do not
  think we should allow this opportunity to pass without trying
  the question, whether a single State can break up the Union. What
  is it worth, if held by any such tenure? I have no concession or
  compromise of any kind to propose or favor; least of all can I
  become party to any proposition which sanctions Slavery directly
  or indirectly. I deplore everything of this kind, however
  plausible, as demoralizing to the country.

  Pray keep Massachusetts sound and _firm_--FIRM--FIRM--against
  every word or step of concession. God bless you!

      Ever and ever yours,


       *       *       *       *       *

                               SENATE CHAMBER, January 18, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--I think that our friends are coming to the
  conclusion, that we can offer no terms of concession or
  compromise, in order to please the Border States. The question
  must be met on the Constitution _as it is_ and the facts _as they
  are_, or we shall hereafter hold our Government subject to this
  asserted right of secession. Should we yield now,--and any offer
  is concession,--every Presidential election will be conducted
  with menace of secession by the defeated party.

  There is a disposition to _stand firm_ together.…

      Ever yours,


       *       *       *       *       *

                              SENATE CHAMBER, January 21, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--Pray keep our beloved Commonwealth firm; yet
  a little longer and the crisis will be passed. Save her from
  surrender. Nothing she can do will stay secession. IMPOSSIBLE.
  Let her not write a shameful page in the history of Human
  Freedom. I feel strongly for her fame, her good name, her
  character, her example. In the future let it be said that
  Massachusetts did not waver in the cause for which she has done
  so much.

  How easy it would be for me to give my life rather than have her
  take a single backward step!

      God bless you!

          Ever yours,

              CHARLES SUMNER.

  There is tranquillity now with regard to the capital. General
  Scott feels safe, and others feel safe under his wing. Virginia,
  it is said, will surely go.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, January 23, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--You have doubtless received my telegram. I found
  General Scott with the Secretary of War, and read the letter you
  inclosed. They said at once that no such guns had been ordered by
  the National Government, and General Scott added that they were,
  without doubt, intended for Fort Sumter. He said they were “very
  formidable.” He thought they were “already in a state of great
  forwardness.” Of course you will see that Massachusetts does not
  “imp the wings” of Treason.

  Yesterday, before receiving your letter, I passed an hour and a
  half with General Scott. He is not without solicitude in regard
  to the capital. Information received yesterday confirms the idea
  that there is a wide-spread conspiracy. He will have one thousand
  men here,--three companies of flying artillery, two companies of
  infantry, and five companies from Fortress Monroe. The place of
  the latter at Fortress Monroe will be supplied by recruits from
  New York.

  He cannot ride on horseback, but he proposes to accompany Mr.
  Lincoln on the 4th of March in a carriage with Commodore Stewart,
  each in his uniform.

  Nothing that Massachusetts can do now can arrest one single
  State. There can be no other result except our own humiliation,
  and a bad example, which will be felt by all other States. If
  Massachusetts yields one hair’s breadth, other States may yield
  an inch or foot, a furlong, or a mile. Pray keep the Legislature
  firm. Don’t let them undo anything ever done for Freedom.

      Good bye.

          Ever yours,

              CHARLES SUMNER.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, January 24, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--I have a suggestion to make which is in harmony
  with one of your recent letters.

  Mr. Dix,[133] in his letter of 18th January, on the present
  resources of the country, says: “Before closing this
  communication, I wish to call your attention to the fact that
  there are deposited with twenty of the States, for safe-keeping,
  over $28,000,000 _belonging to the United States_, for the
  repayment of which the faith of these States is pledged by
  written instructions on file in this department.”

  Of course this money might be reclaimed; but the Secretary does
  not propose to do so. These liabilities may be made a basis of
  credit, if the States will volunteer to indorse or guaranty
  the Treasury notes of the Government to the extent of their
  respective liabilities.

  I wish to suggest that our Legislature should at once volunteer
  this aid to the General Government. Without some assistance Mr.
  Lincoln will find the Treasury empty. Beyond this consideration,
  you will appreciate the influence of such an act of loyalty at
  this peculiar moment.

  Mr. Seward writes to-day to the Governor of New York, and makes
  the same suggestion. Other Senators will do the same. General
  Wilson unites with me.

      Ever yours,


  Wilson says he should like to see our State do this promptly.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                      WASHINGTON, January 26, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--Yesterday I was with the Attorney-General,[134]
  an able, experienced, Northern Democratic lawyer, with the
  instincts of our profession on the relation of cause and effect.
  He drew me into his room, but there were clerks there; opening
  the door into another room, there were clerks there, too; and
  then traversing five different rooms, he found them all occupied
  by clerks; when, opening the door into the entry, he told me
  he was “surrounded by Secessionists,” who would report in an
  hour to the newspapers any interview between us,--that he must
  see me at some other time and place,--that everything was bad
  as could be,--that Virginia would certainly secede,--that the
  conspiracy there was the most wide-spread and perfect,--that
  all efforts to arrest it by offers of compromise, or by the
  circulation of Clemens’s speech, were no more than that (snapping
  his fingers),--that Kentucky would surely follow, and Maryland,
  too. “Stop, Mr. Attorney,” said I, “not so fast. I agree with you
  to this point,--Maryland would go, except for the complication
  of the National Capital, which the North will hold, and also the
  road to it.”

  Of course you will keep Massachusetts out of all these schemes.
  If you notice the proposition for a commission, say that it is
  summoned to make conditions which contemplate nothing less than
  surrender of cherished principles, so that she can have nothing
  to do with it.

  My opinion has been fixed for a long time. All the Slave States
  will go, except Delaware, and perhaps Maryland and Missouri,--to
  remain with us Free States.

  The mistake of many persons comes from this,--they do not see
  that we are in the midst of a revolution, where reason is
  dethroned, and passion rules instead. If this were a mere party
  contest, then the circulation of speeches and a few resolutions
  might do good. But what are such things in a revolution? As well
  attempt to hold a man-of-war in a tempest by a little anchor
  borrowed from Jamaica Pond; and this is what I told the Boston
  Committee with regard to their petition.

  I have but one prayer: Stand firm, keep every safeguard of Human
  Rights on our statute-book, and save Massachusetts glorious and

      Ever yours,


       *       *       *       *       *

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, January 28, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--I did not unite with the delegation yesterday in
  recommending commissioners, and I think they signed without much
  reflection, certainly without any general conference.

  My disposition in any matter not involving principle is to
  keep the delegation _a Unit_, and I certainly would not stand
  in the way now. Two things have been pressed, both entitled
  to consideration: first, in the absence of commissioners
  duly appointed, certain “Union-savers” from Massachusetts,
  accidentally here, will work into the Convention, and undertake
  to represent Massachusetts; and, secondly, it is important that
  Massachusetts should not be kept insulated. Both you can judge,
  and I shall defer to your judgment.

  Preston King concurred with me as to the true policy of our
  States; but he did not think it worth while to interfere
  positively by writing to the Governor of New York.

  Should you conclude to move, let two things be guarded: first,
  the principles, by having it known that Massachusetts has taken
  no step towards any acceptance of the resolutions which are made
  the implied basis of the proposed Convention; and, secondly,
  the men, by designating only the firmest, in whom there is
  no possibility of concession or compromise, like ----, ----,
  ----, ----, ----, ----; but you know the men better than I do.

  Last evening the Attorney-General was with me for a long time,
  till after midnight. I know from him what I cannot communicate.
  Suffice it to say, he does not think it probable--hardly
  possible--that we shall be here on the 4th of March. The
  President has been wrong again, and a scene has taken place which
  will be historic, but which I know in sacred confidence. General
  Scott is very anxious. It is feared that the department will
  be seized and occupied as forts. What then can be done by the
  General, surgeons, and flying artillery?

      Ever yours,


       *       *       *       *       *

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, January 28, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--Mr. Dix has proposed a form of State guaranty
  to be used in New York. He thinks it advisable to have the forms
  alike in the different States.

      Ever yours,


  I send a copy.

  P. S.--_Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes._ Don’t let these words be
  ever out of your mind, when you think of any proposition from the

  _They are all essentially false, with treason in their hearts,
  if not on their tongues._ How can it be otherwise? Slavery is
  a falsehood, and its supporters are all perverted and changed.
  Punic in faith, Punic in character, you are to meet all that they
  do or say with denial or distrust.

  Mr. Everett reported to me some smooth words of John Tyler,
  which seem to have gone to the soul of the eloquent son of
  Massachusetts. “Don’t trust him,” said I, “he means to betray

  I know these men, and see through their plot.

  The time has not yet come to touch the chords which I wish to
  awaken. But I see my way clear. O God! let Massachusetts keep
  true. It is all I now ask.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, February 5, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--Ever remember, “Forewarned is forearmed.” Since
  recent sincere propositions to defend the capital, I have had no
  fear except from a revolutionary movement in Maryland. That, as
  I have repeatedly said, will depend upon Virginia. The recent
  elections seem to show that she at least will take time. This
  postpones the danger contingent upon her course.

  More than the loss of forts, arsenals, or the national capital,
  _I fear the loss of our principles_.

  These are now in greatest danger. Our Northern Fort Sumter
  will be surrendered, if you are not aroused. In my view, the
  vacillation of the Republicans is more fatal than that of

  Keep firm, and do not listen to any proposition.

      Ever yours,


       *       *       *       *       *

                                SENATE CHAMBER, February 6, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--It seems to me that nothing is gained for the
  Union by the Virginia election _except delay_, unless the North
  surrender everything. I have always trusted that the North
  would not, and therefore look to the secession of Virginia as
  impending,--sooner or later to occur.

  This delay seems like a beneficent intervention of Providence
  to arrest the conflict, which a sudden movement would have
  precipitated. It suspends the revolutionary movement in Maryland,
  which was to begin the 18th,--five days after the Virginia
  Convention,--and thus gives security to the capital.

  Since General Scott has become wakeful, and has received powers
  from the President, I have felt safe against everything but a
  revolutionary movement.

  Be assured I will keep you advised. I shall scent the coming

  But do not be deceived by that fatal advice which sees nothing
  but peace and security in the recent elections.

  Chase has just left me. He thinks there may be thirty Unionists
  _per se_ in the Virginia Convention; all the rest _only
  conditionally_,--the condition being the resolutions on which the
  Massachusetts commissioners are to deliberate. Bah! A friend,
  who was with Mr. Rives this morning, tells me that he was very
  bitter against Johnson, of Tennessee, for his Union speech, and
  especially for saying “Secession is treason.” He says that the
  persons called Unionists will be for secession, if the South
  cannot have “Constitutional guaranties.” The course of such a
  person as Mr. Rives, who is said to be conservative, foreshadows
  the result.

  I have just seen Colonel Ritchie: a most intelligent gentleman,
  who does honor to our Commonwealth,--God bless her! But the
  crisis is adjourned.

      Ever yours,


  May we all be loyal and true, and never desert great principles!

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  SENATE CHAMBER, February 8, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--Last evening I was greeted by the first
  instalment of the commissioners. The rest I expect this morning.

  Be assured, I shall do all that I can for their comfort and
  information. I am relieved to know that there is not a single
  weak joint in them.…

  I pray constantly for courage at home. Let Massachusetts be true
  and firm, and keep our friends from division.

  The news from Virginia continues to reveal the same
  tendency,--secession, unless constitutional guaranties are
  secured for Slavery. Without some change, contrary to all
  legislative and other declarations, Virginia must go out.

  I hope that our Legislature will not pause in offering its
  guaranty to the bonds of the National Government. It ought to be
  done at once.

  Did I ever tell you how much I enjoyed and admired your old
  musket speech? It was well conceived and admirably done. I am
  glad that Theodore Parker’s name is enrolled in the Capitol.

  I find your commissioners noble, true, good characters, able to
  support Massachusetts.

      God bless you!

          Ever yours,

              CHARLES SUMNER.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  WASHINGTON, February 10, 1861.

  DEAR ANDREW,--It is much to be regretted that our State has
  hesitated so long in giving its indorsement to the United States
  bonds. Let us give Government the means of procuring money at
  once, and put her credit on its legs.

  There is tranquillity now. The Peace Conference has not reached
  any point. It is evident that Virginia and the other Border
  States will have to decide the question, Which to choose, Union
  or Slavery? If they remain, it must be in subjection to the
  Constitution and the antislavery policy of the Fathers.

  I do not tremble at anything from our opponents, whoever they may
  be, but from our friends.

  The New York commissioners, the majority, are stiff and strong.

  Every word of concession thus far has done infinite
  mischief,--first, by encouraging the Slave-Masters, and,
  secondly, by demoralizing our own friends, and filling them with
  doubt and distrust.

      God bless you!

          Ever yours,

              CHARLES SUMNER.

       *       *       *       *       *

                              SENATE CHAMBER, February 20, 1861.

  MY DEAR ANDREW,--I lost no time in seeing the Attorney-General
  and placing your letter in his hands. At the same time I pressed
  the pardon. He will give the subject his best attention, but I
  thought he was rather fixed against it.

  Nothing has occurred to change my view of our affairs. It seems
  to me that Virginia will secede. At all events, if you expect
  this result, you will be best prepared for the future.

  The Peace Conference is like the Senate,--powerless to mature
  any system of harmony. And the question of enforcing the laws
  and retaking the forts,--in other words, _of our existence as a
  Government_,--when presented, must increase the discord.

  If Mr. Lincoln _stands firm_, I do not doubt that our cause will
  be saved. All that we hear testifies to his character. _But he is
  a man._

  The heart-burnings and divisions showing themselves in our party
  a few weeks ago are now less active. Those fatal overtures will
  fall to the ground. Oh, that they never had been made!

      God bless you!

          Ever yours,

              CHARLES SUMNER.



    During weary, anxious weeks, while the Rebellion was preparing,
    and Senators were leaving their seats to organize hostile
    governments, Mr. Sumner resisted appeals to speak. An earnest
    character in Philadelphia wrote to him, January 31st:--

        “May we not look to have _you_ speak once more for us,--as
        a statesman, not as a politician,--as a philanthropist,
        not as the representative of a prospective Cabinet? Mr.
        Sumner, you know that Kansas was yesterday admitted. God
        bless her, and God bless you, to whom under Him she owes
        her deliverance, and the country owes the turning of the
        balances _against_ Slavery for all time to come. Now, if
        the whole country is on the eve of a similar struggle, why
        should we not know it and act accordingly?”

    Another zealous friend, writing from Massachusetts on the same
    day, said:--

        “Why do we not hear your voice uplifted, in this critical,
        this dangerous hour?”

    It was hard to resist such appeals. But there were good
    friends, agreeing with Mr. Sumner, who counselled silence. An
    incident unexpectedly occurred which compelled him to speak,
    although briefly.

    February 12, 1861, Mr. Crittenden presented a petition
    extensively signed by people of Massachusetts, where, after
    setting forth that “their sentiments towards the Union and
    towards their common country have been misrepresented and
    misunderstood,” and further declaring themselves “willing
    that all parts of the country should have their full and
    equal rights under the Constitution, and recognizing in the
    propositions of Hon. J. J. Crittenden a basis of settlement
    which the North and the South may fairly and honorably accede
    to, and which is well calculated to restore peace to the
    country,” the petitioners conclude by asking the adoption of
    these propositions. The petition purported to be from one
    hundred and eighty-two cities and towns of Massachusetts, and
    to be signed by twenty-two thousand three hundred and thirteen
    citizens of Massachusetts. In presenting it, Mr. Crittenden
    remarked on the number of signatures in different towns,
    mentioning especially Natick, the home of Senator Wilson,
    and Boston, where there were more than fourteen thousand
    petitioners out of nineteen thousand voters. And he added, that
    he felt “peculiar and especial satisfaction” in presenting the

    On his motion the petition was laid on the table, which, under
    the rules of the Senate, cut off debate, when Mr. Sumner moved
    the printing of the petition, and on this motion spoke as

MR. PRESIDENT,--As I desire to say a few words on the petition, I move
that it be printed.

These petitioners, I perceive, ask you to adopt what are familiarly
known as the Crittenden Propositions. Their best apology, Sir, for such
a petition is their ignorance of the character of those propositions.
Had they known what they are, I feel sure they could not have put their
names to any such paper.

Those propositions go beyond the Breckinridge platform, already
solemnly condemned by the American people in the election of Abraham
Lincoln. If adopted, they set aside the Republican platform, while
they foist into the National Constitution guaranties of Slavery which
the framers of that instrument never sanctioned,--which Washington,
Jefferson, Franklin, Patrick Henry, and John Jay, according to the
testimony of their lives and declared opinions, would have scorned to
sanction; nor can there be any doubt, that, had such propositions been
made the condition of Union, this Union could not have been formed.

Mr. Madison, in the Convention which framed the National Constitution,
taught his fellow-countrymen that it is “wrong to admit in the
Constitution the idea that there can be property in men.”[135]
What manly vigor and loftiness inspired that warning! Now these
propositions not only interpolate the forbidden idea, but, proceeding
to its practical application, they run a visible black line at
latitude 36° 30´, extending the protection of the Constitution itself
over Slavery south of that line, and then, making the case yet more
offensive and more impossible at the North, they carry it to all
territory hereafter acquired, so that the flag of the Republic, as
it moves southward, must always be the flag of Slavery, while every
future acquisition in that direction must submit to the terrible
doom,--and all this under irrepealable text of Constitution, which, by
supplementary provision, is expressly placed beyond amendment. In an
age of civilization this is bad, very bad; but they go further. There
are to be new guaranties of Slavery in the National capital, and in
other places within the National jurisdiction,--also in transporting
slaves to States and Territories,--also a reinforcement of the Fugitive
Slave Bill; and all these are so placed under Constitutional safeguard
as to exceed the permanence of other provisions. Nor is even this all.
As if to do something inconceivably repugnant to just principles, and
especially obnoxious to the people of Massachusetts, it is proposed to
despoil our colored fellow-citizens there of political franchises long
time assured by the institutions of that Liberty-loving Commonwealth.
Before the adoption of the National Constitution it was declared in
Massachusetts that there could be no distinction of color at the
ballot-box; and this rule of equality is to be sacrificed, while
fellow-citizens are thrust out of rights which they have enjoyed for

Sir, for these things, and others kindred, do these petitioners now
pray, insisting that they shall all be interpolated into the National
Constitution,--while, in entire harmony with this unparalleled
betrayal, those laws which have been established for the protection
of Personal Liberty are to be set aside, that the Slave-Hunter may
have free course. Such are things which in the judgment of these
petitioners “the North and the South may honorably accede to,” while,
in consideration of these impossible sacrifices, the fee of the
Fugitive Slave Commissioners is modified, and it is declared that the
Slave-Trade shall not be revived. And this is the compromise for which
Massachusetts people in such large numbers from cities and towns now

I have infinite respect for the right of petition, and I hope always
to promote the interests and to represent the just and proper wishes
of my fellow-citizens; but I cannot hesitate to declare my unfeigned
regret that these petitioners, uniting in such numbers, have missed the
opportunity of demanding plainly and unequivocally, as lovers of the
Union, two things, all-sufficient for the present crisis, with regard
to which I might expect the sympathies of the Senator from Kentucky:
first, that the Constitution of the United States, as administered
by George Washington, shall be preserved intact and blameless in its
text, with no tinkering for the sake of Slavery; and, secondly, that
the verdict of the people last November, by which Abraham Lincoln was
elected President of the United States, shall be enforced without price
or condition. Here is a platform on which every patriot citizen can
take his stand, having over him the stars of the Union. How much better
than any proposition, scheme, or vain delusion of Compromise! On such
ground, all who really love the Union of their fathers, without an
_if_ or a _but_, can plant themselves.

I remember, Sir, that in the debate on the night of the passage of the
Nebraska Bill,--it was at midnight,--I made the declaration that all
future compromise was impossible.[136] Events now taking place verify
this truth. It is obvious that existing difficulties can be arranged
only on permanent principles of justice, freedom, and humanity. Any
seeming settlement founded in abandonment of principles will be but a
miserable patchwork, which cannot succeed. Only a short time ago the
whole country was filled with shame and dismay, as the reports came
to us of the surrender of the Southern forts; and when it was known
that Fort Sumter, too, was about to be given up, a cry went forth from
the popular heart, by which that fortress was saved, at least for the
present. And now for the parallel. Propositions are brought forward by
the Senator from Kentucky, and enforced by petition from my own State,
calling upon the North to surrender its principles,--to surrender those
impregnable principles of Human Rights which constitute our Northern
forts. It is even proposed to surrender the principle of Freedom in
the Territories,--the Fort Sumter of the North. I trust, Sir, that all
these principles will yet be saved; but plainly their safety depends
upon the people, and not upon a President; therefore must the people be
heard, as in that cry from the heart which only a few days ago saved
the other Fort Sumter, menaced by the representatives of Slavery. For
myself, if I stand with many, with few, or alone, I have but one thing
to say: “No surrender of the Fort Sumter of the North! No surrender of
any of our Northern forts,--no, Sir, not one of them!”

Bankers and merchants of New York and Boston tell us that the
Government shall not have money, if we do not surrender. Then again,
Sir, do I appeal to the people. Surely the American people are not
less patriotic than the French. They only want the opportunity to come
forward and supply the necessities of the Government, as the latter, at
the hint of their Emperor, came forward with money, all in small sums,
for the support of that war which ended in the liberation of Italy.
Our Government stands on the aggregate virtue and intelligence of the
people. Not only the rich and fortunate, but the farmer, the mechanic,
the laborer, every citizen truly loving his country, will contribute
out of his daily life to uphold the Constitution and the flag. From
these small sums, inspired by a generous patriotism, I am glad to
believe we shall have a full treasury, even if bankers and merchants
stand aloof.

There is but one thing now for the North to do: it is to stand firm.
The testimony of a great national benefactor, who helped our country
to Independence, should be heard,--I mean Lafayette,--who, in his
old age, with experience ripened by time, contemplating the terrible
Revolution which had convulsed France, as a surviving actor and a
surviving sufferer, did not hesitate to announce from his seat in the
Chamber of Deputies, after recognizing the unutterable calamities of
that Revolution, that, according to his solemn judgment, they must
be referred not so much to the bad passions of men as to those timid
counsels which sought to substitute _Compromise_ for _Principle_.[137]
The venerable patriot may well speak to his American fellow-citizens
now, and inspire them to stand firm against those timid counsels which
would make any such fatal substitution.

    Mr. Crittenden replied at some length, vindicating his
    propositions, and also the Massachusetts petitioners, who, he
    said, had been charged with “ignorance.” In the course of the
    debate the following passage occurred.

        MR. CRITTENDEN. If the propositions I offered, and which I
        offered with diffidence, are not adequate to the purpose,
        if they ask too much, why have not gentlemen moved to
        amend? Why has the honorable Senator sat here for one month
        and more, and proposed no amendment to the propositions
        which he now rises to condemn his constituents for

        MR. SUMNER. Will the Senator allow me to say that every
        time I could get an opportunity I have voted against his
        propositions? I have missed no opportunity, direct or
        indirect, of voting against them, from beginning to end,
        every line and every word.

        MR. CRITTENDEN. I do not controvert that, Mr. President;
        it may be so; but that is not what I am asking of
        the gentleman. It is, that, if he desired union and
        conciliation at all, why did he not move to amend the
        propositions which he now condemns?

        MR. SUMNER. I will answer the Senator: Because I thought
        there could be no basis of peace on the Senator’s
        propositions, which are wrong in every respect, in every
        line, in every word. That is what I thought. I was for the
        Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of our
        fathers, as administered by George Washington.

        MR. CRITTENDEN. If that was all true, and the gentleman
        desired an amicable settlement of the difficulties which
        now threaten the country, had he no proposition whatever to

        MR. SUMNER. Certainly,--the proposition which I have
        already made, that the Constitution, as administered by
        George Washington, should be preserved pure and free from
        any amendment for the sake of Slavery.

        MR. CRITTENDEN. Why did he not move that? Why did he sit
        sullen and silent here for one month or more, with his
        breast full of resentment? [_Applause in the galleries._]

        THE PRESIDING OFFICER [Mr. FOSTER, of Connecticut]. Order
        will be preserved in the galleries, or they will be cleared

        MR. CRITTENDEN. With such a spirit of opposition to, and
        thinking as he did of these resolutions, why did he not
        propose to strike them all out?

        MR. SUMNER. Will the Senator let me answer?

        MR. CRITTENDEN. Yes, I will.

        MR. SUMNER. I did vote for the substitute of the Senator
        from New Hampshire [Mr. CLARK] just as soon as it
        could come to a vote, and that expresses precisely my
        conviction. That vote displaced the Senator’s propositions

    Before the debate closed, Mr. Sumner replied briefly.

MR. PRESIDENT,--I have no desire to prolong this debate, or to occupy
the time of the Senate. I content myself with two remarks. The Senator
from Kentucky is not aware of his own popularity in Massachusetts, of
the extent to which his name is an authority there, of the willingness
of the people there to adopt anything with the sanction of his
respectable name. I do not think the distinguished Senator is aware
of that fact; consequently he does not see how easily the people of
Massachusetts might be seduced to adopt at sight a proposition brought
forward by him, which otherwise they would at once reject. Now all that
I suggest in regard to these petitioners is, that, under the lead of
the distinguished Senator, they put their names to a petition which I
am sure they did not, in all respects and in all its bearings, fully
understand; and I must do them the justice to believe, that, had they
known the true character of the propositions of the Senator, they would
not have signed petitions for their adoption.

This is all on that point; but I wish to make one other remark. The
Senator intimated, if I understood him aright, that his propositions,
at least in his own mind, were not applicable to territory hereafter

    MR. CRITTENDEN. No: I do not mean to be understood as saying

    MR. SUMNER. I understood the Senator so.

    MR. CRITTENDEN. I said I did not consider that proposition as
    an essential part of mine,--that I did not intend to insist
    upon it, if I found it would not be acceptable. I did not
    intend that that should be any obstacle to an adjustment, and I
    would propose to strike it out, if necessary.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator did not consider that an essential part; and
yet in the Journal of the Senate, now before me, in the yeas and nays,
I find his name recorded in the affirmative on introducing those words,
“now held or hereafter to be acquired.” Here is the record,--the name
of the Senator from Kentucky answering yea, when we were all asked to
answer yea or nay.

    This brief effort of Mr. Sumner at a critical moment found
    response, not only from his constituents, but from the North
    generally. In Massachusetts many made haste to testify that the
    petition praying for such a shameful surrender had been signed
    by large numbers without knowing its true character,--while
    the Common Council of Boston, then controlled by Compromisers,
    also made haste to censure Mr. Sumner, declaring, in formal
    resolution, that his assertion in the Senate with regard to
    the petitioners was “undignified, unbecoming a Senator and a
    citizen of Boston, and untrue.”

    As through this remarkable petition, and the speech of Mr.
    Crittenden in presenting it, Massachusetts was vouched for
    Slavery, a few witnesses may be properly adduced to show how
    the signatures were obtained, and also what was the real
    sentiment of the people there.

    William Lloyd Garrison, always watchful for Human Rights, and
    knowing the wiles of Compromise, wrote from Boston:--

        “For one, I desire to thank you for declaring in the Senate
        that the petition from Boston, asking for any compromise
        to propitiate the South, did not represent the sentiment
        even of the city, but was signed by multitudes ignorantly
        and recklessly,--the left hand not knowing what the right
        hand did. I wish it were in your power to have that
        list of names critically examined. I am quite sure that
        hundreds of names would be proved to be ‘men of straw.’ I
        have been told that the names of Wendell Phillips, Henry
        Ward Beecher, Theodore Parker (!),[139] and my own, were
        appended to it. This is possible, but hardly credible.
        Still, excepting the Border-Ruffian returns in Kansas, I do
        not believe there was ever a petition more impudently and
        fraudulently presented to a legislative assembly than the
        one from this city.

        “I congratulate you upon being the special object of the
        _Courier’s_ malignant abuse. Do not fear of being fully
        sustained by Massachusetts in your boldest utterances; and
        how posterity will decide is easily seen.”

    M. P. Kennard, an excellent citizen and business man, wrote
    from Boston:--

        “The petition was placed in the lobby of our post-office,
        under the charge of a crier, who saluted every one who
        passed him with, ‘Sign this petition?’--and it was
        thoughtlessly signed by men and boys, native and foreign.”

    Charles W. Slack, of the newspaper press, wrote from Boston:--

        “You are entirely right relative to the signers of the
        Crittenden Petition. Boys, non-voters, foreigners, anybody,
        were taken, who could write a name. The city police
        canvassed all the out-of-the-way places, and took the names
        they could gather.… Glad that you spoke as you did. We
        look to you to give the key-note. None knows Massachusetts
        better than you, and none will be more faithful to her,
        come weal or woe.”

    Dr. William J. Dale, afterwards the Surgeon-General of
    Massachusetts, wrote from Boston:--

        “The other day a neighbor of ours, Mr. Brown, an
        intelligent citizen, a provision dealer, corner of Derne
        and Temple Streets, stopped me and said, ‘If you ever write
        Mr. Sumner, tell him that I, with many others, signed that
        Crittenden Petition under an entire misapprehension.’ Says
        he, ‘I would cut off my right hand before it should sign
        so infamous a proposition.’ That is the feeling among the
        middling-interest people. The so-called Union men assume
        the air and manner of slave-overseers. They have overdone
        the thing here.”

    J. Vincent Browne, afterwards Collector of Internal Revenue in
    the Essex District of Massachusetts, wrote from Salem:--

        “At least twenty persons who signed the paper in this city
        have said to me, ‘Why, Mr. Crittenden’s propositions are
        merely to restore the Missouri Compromise. I was told so,
        when I signed.’ When the _truth_ was told them, as usual,
        they were _astonished_. And so men trifle with their
        rights, and are trifled with.”

    John Tappan, a venerable citizen, loving peace, but hating
    Slavery, and anxious that Massachusetts should be right, wrote
    from Boston:--

        “I thank you for it, and believe it speaks the sentiments
        of a vast majority of _all parties_ in this and the other
        New England States. The only reason assigned by some of the
        signers is, that it was not expected that it would pass as
        offered, but lead to some compromise.

        “Be assured the heart of the Commonwealth is with you,
        and that, if ever we were called upon for firmness in
        maintaining our Constitutional rights, it is now; and
        although I pray God no blood may be shed in the conflict,
        yet submission to the demands of Slavery is not to be the

        “I rejoice the conflict has come in my day, although, on
        the verge of four-score, I may not live to see harmony

    Rev. John Weiss, the eloquent preacher and author, wrote from
    Milton, Massachusetts:--

        “Your little speech lies in the hand like an ingot,--dense
        and precious, and of the color which charms my eyes at
        least. Nothing can be truer than your statement, that
        multitudes of people do not know what they sign, when they
        indorse the Crittenden propositions. I, for one, had not
        read them till quite lately. They have not been freely
        ventilated in the newspapers. When, the other day, the
        Boston papers undertook to print them formally, people were
        shocked.… The 4th March will come with a fatal suddenness
        for all the plotters and expecters and adjustment-mongers.
        Just at the proper moment, not a moment too soon nor too
        late, you spoke a word which will help to clear the air.”

    Others wrote correcting the statement with regard to signatures
    in different towns. Some in a few words exposed the petition.
    Professor Convers Francis wrote from Cambridge: “The big
    Boston petition, so far as I can learn, is regarded here as a
    piece of gammon, except, perhaps, in certain quarters of the
    business world.” Rev. R. S. Storrs, the venerable divine, wrote
    from Braintree: “A great hoax, that famous petition for the
    Crittenden Compromise!” This testimony, which might be extended
    indefinitely, will relieve Massachusetts from a painful
    complicity, and help keep her history bright.

    The resolutions of the Boston Common Council did not fare
    better than the petition. Among newspapers, the _Boston
    Advertiser_ remarked:--

        “It is hardly necessary for us to say that we do not
        concur in all respects in the policy which Mr. Sumner is
        understood to follow at this crisis; but in the matter of
        this petition we certainly hold that he was plainly right.
        And we are led to this belief by observing the industrious
        efforts made by those who urged the signing of the petition
        to conceal the true meaning of the scheme which is known as
        Mr. Crittenden’s.… It appears to us also that Mr. Sumner
        gave not only the most friendly, but also a most natural,
        account of the manner in which a large number of these
        petitioners must have been led to this singular mistake.”

    The _New York Tribune_ stated the case.

         “A great many dull people, and a few clever ones,
        lately signed a petition asking Congress to adopt the
        Crittenden Compromise. When this document was taken up in
        the Senate, Mr. Sumner said, with much calmness and in
        the most courteous spirit, that he believed the signers
        had so high a regard for the name of Crittenden that they
        had put their signatures to a paper which they could not
        have fully understood in all its obligations, bearings,
        and propositions. This was a very gentle letting-down
        of the Bostonians, much more tender treatment than they
        deserved. Nevertheless, the remark raised a breeze in the
        respectable city, such as only a small thing can create in
        that place. It would never do to say that any Boston man
        or boy could sign a paper the whole of which he had not
        read and digested. So the Common Council, of all bodies in
        that town, took up the matter, and actually passed a vote
        of censure on Senator Sumner for mildly hinting that the
        signers aforesaid were rather hasty than wicked, stupid, or

    A sonnet by David A. Wasson, which appeared at this time,
    expresses gratitude to Mr. Sumner, with small sympathy for
    compromise in any form.


        “Thou and the stars, our Sumner, still shine on!
        No dark will dim, no spending waste thy ray;
        And we as soon could doubt the Milky Way,
        Whether enduring were its silver zone,
        As question of thy truth. Their light is gone
        Whose beam was borrowed: ever will Accident,
        Upon a day, the garment it hath lent
        Strip off,--make beggars of its kings anon.
        Thou and the stars eternal, inly fed
        From God’s own bosom with celestial light,
        Must needs emit the glory in ye bred;
        Alike it is your nature to be bright:
        And I, while thou art shining overhead,
        Know God is with us in the gloomy night.”



    Mr. Sumner contemplated a speech reviewing the various
    propositions of Compromise, but he never made it. The following
    passages are given, as proposed at the time.


I would not say a word except of kindness and respect for the Senator
of Kentucky [Mr. CRITTENDEN]. But that Senator must pardon me, if I
insist that he is entirely unreasonable in pressing his impracticable
and unconstitutional propositions so persistently in the way of most
important public business. Yesterday it hindered a great measure of
Internal Improvement. To-day it blocks the admission of a State into
this Union, being none other than Kansas, which has earned a better

The Senator makes his appeal in the name of the Union. But I must
remind him that he takes a poor way of showing that attachment to the
Union which he avers. He turns round and lectures us who are devoted to
the Union, when his lecture should be addressed to the avowed and open
Disunionists in this Chamber. Nay, more, he actually sides with the
Disunionists in their claims. Imagine Washington, Franklin, Jefferson,
John Jay, Andrew Jackson, or Henry Clay, in the place of the venerable
Senator. They would not wheel towards the known friends of the Union,
and ask an impossible surrender of sacred principles, but rather face
to face address the Disunionists frankly, plainly, austerely, calling
upon them to renounce their evil schemes; to acknowledge the National
Constitution, and especially in this age of light to make no new
demands for Slavery.

In reply to the Senator, who so constantly lectures us, I say, look
to the good examples of our history; take counsel of the Spirit of
Nationalism, rather than Sectionalism, and be willing to defend the
Constitution _as it is_, rather than _patch it over_ with propositions
which our fathers would have disowned.


Putting aside all question of concession or compromise, the single
question remains, _How shall we treat the seceding States?_ And this
is the question which the new Administration will be called to meet.
I see well that it will naturally bear much and forbear long,--that
it will be moved by principle, and not by passion,--and that it will
adopt the harsh instrumentalities of power only when all other things
have failed. And I see well the powerful allies which will be enlisted
on its side. There will be the civilization of the Christian world,
speaking with the innumerable voices of the press, and constituting
a Public Opinion of irresistible energy. There will be the great
contemporary example of Italy, after a slumber of centuries aroused
to assertion of her rights,--and of Russia also, now completing that
memorable act of Emancipation by which Freedom is assured to twenty
millions of serfs. There will be also the concurring action of
European powers, which, turning with disgust from a new confederacy
founded on Human Slavery, will refuse to recognize it in the Family
of Nations. There will be also the essential weakness of Slavery with
the perils of servile insurrection, which, under the influence of
this discussion, must become more and more manifest in every respect.
There will be also the essential strength of Freedom, as a principle,
carrying victory in its right hand. And there will be Time, which is at
once Reformer and Pacificator. Such are some of the allies sure to be
on the side of the Administration.


MARCH 19, 1861.

    By the withdrawal of Southern Senators, the Republicans were
    left with a majority in the Senate, enabling them to reorganize
    the Standing Committees, which was done March 8, 1861. At the
    head of the Finance Committee was Mr. Fessenden, instead of
    Mr. Hunter,--of the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Trumbull, instead
    of Mr. Bayard,--of the Military Committee, Mr. Wilson, instead
    of Mr. Jefferson Davis,--and of the Naval Committee, Mr. Hale,
    instead of Mr. Mallory. Mr. Sumner was appointed Chairman of
    the Committee on Foreign Relations, in place of Mr. Mason, of
    Virginia, who had held this position from December 8, 1851.
    With the former on the new Committee were Messrs. Collamer,
    of Vermont, Doolittle, of Wisconsin, Harris, of New York,
    Douglas, of Illinois, Polk, of Missouri, and Breckinridge,
    of Kentucky. The appointment of Mr. Sumner to this important
    position was contrasted with his treatment at an earlier day,
    when the omission of his name from any committee was justified
    on the ground that he was “outside of any healthy political
    organization in this country,” and this Senatorial sally was
    received with “laughter.”[141] Mr. Hale and Mr. Chase were in
    the same category. Only Democrats and Whigs were accepted: such
    was the Law of Slavery. At last this was all changed.

    The reorganization of the Committees attracted the attention
    of the press at home and abroad. It was properly recognized
    as marking a change from old to new. The London _Star_, in an
    elaborate article on the transition, welcomed especially the
    new Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations.

        “The Republican Senators have selected for the Chairman
        of this Committee the Hon. Charles Sumner, a statesman
        deservedly honored in this country, not only for his
        eloquence as an orator, but for his unswerving fidelity to
        the cause of Freedom. No man could have been chosen for
        this office in every respect more acceptable to the English
        people. It is not only as the Antislavery legislator, who,
        from the first moment that he took his seat in the Senate
        as the representative of Massachusetts, has ever raised
        his voice and given his vote for the hapless negro,--it is
        not only as the patriot who almost suffered martyrdom on
        the floor of the Senate Chamber from the ruffian hand of
        Preston S. Brooks, that the English people will be disposed
        to regard his appointment with hearty approval: he has
        established other claims to our sympathy and admiration,
        which we must not be slow to recognize. Mr. Sumner is
        well known in this country--scarcely less, indeed, than
        in America--as the stanch friend of Peace. Years ago, in
        his famous oration on the True Glory of Nations, he set
        forth the advantages of a pacific policy, with arguments as
        cogent and irresistible as those which have been employed
        by Mr. Cobden, and with an eloquence of language and a
        fertility of illustration which revived the oratory of
        classic times.…

        “And if during the period of Mr. Lincoln’s administration
        causes of dispute should unhappily arise between America
        and Great Britain, or any other foreign power, Mr.
        Sumner will not fail to point to _arbitration as the
        only reasonable and satisfactory mode_ of settling
        international differences. _He will not, if he can help
        it, permit San Juan to be made a casus belli_, or tolerate
        any more of those periodical expeditions against the weak
        and effeminate republics of South America, by which Mr.
        Buchanan and his predecessors treated with contempt the
        solemn injunctions of the Fathers of the Republic, that
        their posterity should avoid the fatal quicksands of
        European diplomacy, and abstain from intermeddling with the
        affairs of other states.”

    The very questions anticipated by the London journal were
    presented at an early day, even before its article could reach
    Washington. The advice of the Senate was asked by the President
    on submitting the San Juan Question to arbitration.

    March 16, 1861, the following Message from President Lincoln
    was read in Executive Session, and on motion of Mr. Sumner
    referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

        “TO THE SENATE:--

        “The Senate has transmitted to me a copy of the Message
        sent by my predecessor to that body on the 21st day of
        February last, proposing to take its advice on the subject
        of a proposition made by the British Government through its
        minister here to refer the matter in controversy between
        that Government and the Government of the United States
        to the arbitrament of the King of Sweden and Norway, the
        King of the Netherlands, or the Republic of the Swiss

        “In that Message my predecessor stated that he wished to
        submit to the Senate the precise questions following,

        “‘Will the Senate approve a Treaty referring to either of
        the sovereign powers above named the dispute now existing
        between the Governments of the United States and Great
        Britain concerning the boundary line between Vancouver’s
        Island and the American continent? In case the referee
        shall find himself unable to decide where the line is by
        the description of it in the Treaty of June 15, 1846, shall
        he be authorized to establish a line according to the
        Treaty as nearly as possible? Which of the three powers
        named by Great Britain as an arbiter shall be chosen by the
        United States?’

        “I find no reason to disapprove of the course of my
        predecessor in this important matter, but, on the contrary,
        I not only shall receive the advice of the Senate thereon
        cheerfully, but I respectfully ask the Senate for their
        advice on the three questions before recited.

            “ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

        “WASHINGTON, March 16, 1861.”

    From this Message it appears that the subject had been already
    before the Senate on the submission of President Buchanan in
    the last days of his Administration. In his Message the latter
    stated these precise questions:--

        “Will the Senate approve a treaty referring to either of
        the sovereign powers above named [Sweden, the Netherlands,
        or Switzerland] the dispute now existing between the
        Governments of the United States and Great Britain
        concerning the boundary line between Vancouver’s Island and
        the American continent?

        “In case the referee shall find himself unable to decide
        where the line is by the description of it in the Treaty of
        June 15, 1846, shall he be authorized to establish a line
        according to the Treaty as nearly as possible?

        “Which of the three powers named by Great Britain as an
        arbiter shall be chosen by the United States?”

    February 27, 1861, Mr. Mason, from the Committee on Foreign
    Relations, reported the following Resolution, directly
    responsive to the questions proposed.

        “_Resolved_, That in the opinion of the Senate the boundary
        in dispute between the Governments of Great Britain and
        the United States should be referred to the arbitrament
        and final award of an umpire to be agreed on between the
        two Governments; that such umpire should, if practicable,
        determine said boundary as the same is prescribed in the
        Treaty aforesaid; or if that be not practicable, then that
        he be authorized to establish a boundary, conforming as
        nearly as may be to that provided by said Treaty.

        “And that, of the three powers referred to in the Message
        of the President, the Senate would indicate as such umpire
        the Republic of the Swiss Confederation.”

    This was the last diplomatic act of Mr. Mason as Chairman of
    the Committee on Foreign Relations.

       *       *       *       *       *

    March 19, 1861, Mr. Sumner submitted the following Report,
    which was his first diplomatic act as Chairman.

       *       *       *       *       *

  The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the
      Message of the President of the United States dated the 16th
      instant, with the documents accompanying it, have had the same
      under consideration, and now report.

The Treaty concluded between Great Britain and the United States on
the 15th of June, 1846, provided in its first Article that the line of
boundary between the territories of her Britannic Majesty and those
of the United States, from the point on the 49th parallel of north
latitude, to which it was ascertained, should be continued westward
along this parallel, “to the middle of the channel which separates the
continent from Vancouver’s Island, and thence southerly, through the
middle of said channel and of Fuca’s Straits, to the Pacific Ocean.”
When the commissioners appointed by the two Governments to mark the
boundary line came to that part of it required to run southerly
through the channel dividing the continent from Vancouver’s Island,
they differed entirely in their opinions, not only concerning the
true point of deflection from the 49th parallel, but also as to the
channel intended in the Treaty. After long discussion, producing no
result, they reported a disagreement to their respective Governments.
Since then the two Governments, through their ministers here and at
London, have carried on a voluminous correspondence on the matter in
controversy, each sustaining the conclusion of its own commissioner,
and neither yielding in any degree to the other. Meanwhile the
unsettled condition of this question produced serious local
disturbance, and on one occasion threatened to destroy the harmonious
relations existing between Great Britain and the United States, causing
serious anxiety.

If our construction of the Treaty be right, the island of San Juan,
with other small islands, will fall to the United States, while, if
the British interpretation be adopted, these islands will be on their
side of the line. President Buchanan, in his Message to the Senate of
February 21, 1861, declared his conviction that the territory thus in
dispute “is ours by the Treaty fairly and impartially construed.” But
the British Government, on their side, insist that it is theirs. The
argument on both sides seems to have been exhausted.

Under these circumstances, it appears from the correspondence submitted
to the Senate, that General Cass, Secretary of State, by letter of June
25, 1860, to Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, invited
the British Government to make a proposition of adjustment. Here are
his words:--

    “And I have it further in charge to inform your Lordship, that
    this Government is ready to receive and fairly to consider any
    proposition which the British Government may be disposed to
    make for a mutually acceptable adjustment, with an earnest hope
    that a satisfactory arrangement will speedily put an end to all
    danger of the recurrence of those grave questions which have
    more than once threatened to interrupt that good understanding
    which both countries have so many powerful motives to maintain.”

The reply of the British Government to this invitation was communicated
by Lord Lyons, in a letter to General Cass, dated December 10, 1860,
in the course of which he uses the following language.

    “In reference to the line of the water boundary intended by the
    Treaty, with respect to which also her Majesty’s Government
    have been invited by the United States Government to make a
    proposition for its adjustment, I am instructed to inform you
    that her Majesty’s Government are glad to reciprocate the
    friendly sentiments expressed in your note of the 25th of June,
    and will not hesitate to respond to the invitation which has
    been made to them.

    “It appears to her Majesty’s Government that the argument on
    both sides being nearly exhausted, and neither party having
    succeeded in producing conviction on the other, the question
    can only be settled by arbitration.”

Lord Lyons then proceeds to details connected with the offered
arbitration, and, in behalf of his Government, proposes that the King
of the Netherlands, or the King of Sweden and Norway, or the President
of the Federal Council of Switzerland should be invited to be arbiter.

Upon these facts the President submits to the consideration of the
Senate the following interrogatories.

    “Will the Senate approve a Treaty referring to either of
    the sovereign powers above named the dispute now existing
    between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain
    concerning the boundary line between Vancouver’s Island and the
    American continent?

    “In case the referee shall find himself unable to decide where
    the line is by the description of it in the Treaty of June 15,
    1846, shall he be authorized to establish a line according to
    the Treaty as nearly as possible?

    “Which of the three powers named by Great Britain as an arbiter
    shall be chosen by the United States?”

The Committee, in conclusion, recommend to the Senate the adoption of
the following Resolution.

    “_Resolved_, That, in pursuance of the Message of the President
    of the 16th instant, the Senate advises a reference of the
    existing dispute between the Government of the United States
    and the Government of Great Britain, concerning the boundary
    line which separates Vancouver’s Island and the American
    continent, to the arbitration of a friendly power, with
    authority to determine the line according to the provisions
    of the Treaty of 15th June, 1846, but without authority to
    establish any line other than that provided for in the Treaty.

    “And of the three powers named by Great Britain, the Senate
    advises that the Republic of Switzerland be chosen by the
    United States as arbiter.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    On two different days the Senate proceeded with this
    resolution, when, March 27, 1861, the day before the close of
    the Session, it was ordered that its further consideration be
    postponed to the second Monday of December next. This was done
    on the suggestion that the time was not propitious for the
    arbitration of a disputed boundary line. April 12, Fort Sumter
    was bombarded.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A difference between the resolution of Mr. Mason and that
    of Mr. Sumner will be noted. The former declared that the
    umpire “should, if practicable, determine said boundary as
    the same is prescribed in the Treaty aforesaid; or if that be
    not practicable, then that he be authorized to establish a
    boundary, _conforming as nearly as may be to that provided by
    said Treaty_.” The latter resolution declared, that the arbiter
    should have “authority to determine the line according to the
    provisions of the Treaty of 15th June, 1846, _but without
    authority to establish any line other than that provided
    for in the Treaty_.” The obvious purpose was to prevent a
    compromise line. This same purpose appears in the terms of the
    Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, signed at
    Washington, May 8, 1871, where, after mentioning the Article
    of the original Treaty under which the question arose, it is
    declared, that, “whereas the Government of her Britannic
    Majesty claims that such boundary line should, under the
    terms of the Treaty above recited, be run through the Rosario
    Straits, and the Government of the United States claims that it
    should be run through the Canal de Haro, it is agreed that the
    respective claims of the Government of the United States and
    of the Government of her Britannic Majesty shall be submitted
    to the arbitration and award of his Majesty the Emperor of
    Germany, who, having regard to the abovementioned Article of
    the said Treaty, shall decide thereupon, finally, and without
    appeal, _which of these claims is most in accordance with the
    true interpretation of the Treaty of June 15, 1846_.” This
    provision follows substantially the early resolution of Mr.


YORK, APRIL 21, 1861.

    After adjournment of the Senate, Mr. Sumner remained for
    some time in Washington, as was his habit. Meanwhile
    occurred the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and the President’s
    Proclamation, calling for seventy-five thousand men to suppress
    insurrectionary combinations, “and to cause the laws to be duly
    executed.” On the afternoon of 18th April, 1861, amidst the
    general commotion, he left on his way to Boston, stopping over
    night at Baltimore, where an incident occurred, which, besides
    illustrating the state of the country, helps to explain the
    brief speech which follows.

    On arrival by the train, Mr. Sumner drove at once to Barnum’s
    Hotel, where he entered his name in the open book. Taking a
    walk before dark in the principal street, he was recognized
    by excited persons, whose manner and language went beyond
    any ordinary occasion.[142] Early in the evening he called
    on a family friend, with whom he took tea, surrounded by her
    children. Leaving her house about nine o’clock, he walked
    slowly back to the hotel. When descending Fayette Street by
    its side, he could not but observe an enormous assemblage of
    people, with very little apparent government, in the open
    square at the foot of the street. Entering the private door,
    which was at some distance from the riotous crowd, he came upon
    a gentleman, who, addressing him by name, expressed surprise
    at seeing him there, saying, “That mob in the square is after
    you. Their leaders have been to the hotel and demanded you.
    They were told that you were out,--that nobody knew where you
    were, and that you had probably left town”; and he wound up
    by insisting that it was not safe for Mr. Sumner to continue
    at the hotel, or anywhere in town, if his place of stopping
    were known. Without reply to this notice, Mr. Sumner walked
    down the long corridor of the hotel, and, turning into the
    office, asked for his key. At once Mr. Barnum, with one of
    his assistants, took him into a small back room, where they
    explained the condition of things, narrated the visit of the
    leaders, and the answer they were able to give, by which the
    mob were turned aside; but this temporary relief left them
    still anxious, especially if Mr. Sumner’s return should be
    suspected, and therefore they must request him to leave the
    hotel; and this was enforced by saying that his longer stay
    was perilous to the hotel as well as to himself, and that he
    must find shelter somewhere else. Mr. Sumner, while declaring
    his sincere regret that he should be the innocent occasion of
    peril to the hotel, said that there was nowhere else for him
    to go,--that he had no right to carry peril to the house of a
    friend,--that it was impossible for him to do this,--that he
    had come to the hotel as a traveller, and he must claim his
    rights, believing that in so large a structure there was more
    safety than in a private house, even if there were any such
    where he could go. The interview ended in conducting him to
    a chamber on a long entry of the third story, where all the
    rooms were alike, when, after saying that nobody in the hotel
    but themselves would know where he was, they left him alone.
    From the window which opened on the street at the side of the
    hotel, he could see the swaying multitude, and hear their
    voices. In the gray of the morning he left for the Philadelphia

    On the way to Philadelphia, he met a long train for Baltimore,
    containing the Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers,
    hurrying to the defence of the national capital. It was the
    first regiment of volunteers he had seen, and he was struck
    by the gayety of soldier life, which overflowed as the train
    passed. On his arrival at Philadelphia, the telegraph was
    announcing the tragedy which had befallen them.

    The troops were passing through Baltimore from the Philadelphia
    station, in the large horse-cars, and a portion had arrived
    at the Washington station, when those behind were set upon by
    a mob, the successor of that at the hotel on the preceding
    evening. Before they could leave the station, the streets
    were barricaded, and the rails removed, so that they were
    obliged to make their way on foot, amidst the growing fury of
    the mob, which had increased to ten thousand. Stones, bricks,
    and other murderous missiles were thrown at them. Then came
    pistol-shots. As the soldiers saw their comrades fall, they
    fired. Several of the assailants dropped upon the pavements,
    and others were wounded. And so for two miles they fought their
    way to the Washington station. Of the troops, four were killed,
    and thirty-six wounded. That evening the regiment quartered
    at Washington, in the Senate Chamber.[144] Thus, on the 19th
    of April, 1861, began and closed the first encounter of the
    terrible war at hand.

    The mob now reigned in Baltimore. Gun-shops were plundered.
    Other shops were closed. The President was notified that
    no more troops could pass through the city, unless they
    fought their way. That night the bridges on the railroad
    to Philadelphia were burnt, so that this great avenue was

       *       *       *       *       *

    On the 21st of April, the Third Battalion of Massachusetts
    Rifles, with Hon. Charles Devens as Major, consisting of two
    hundred and sixty-six men, arrived at New York from Worcester,
    on their way to the scene of action, and quartered in the
    armory of the famous New York Seventh, which had left on the
    preceding afternoon. On a visit to the armory by Mr. Sumner,
    the Battalion was called into line, and he made the following


Being in New York, on my way home from Washington to our beloved
Massachusetts, and learning that you also were here on your way to
duty, I have called, that I might have the privilege of looking upon
your faces. [_Cheers._] Your commanding officer, whom I have known
long in other walks of life, does me the honor of inviting me to say
a few words. If I have yielded, it is because he is irresistible,
for I feel in my soul that action, and not speech, is needed now.
[_Cheers._] Elsewhere it has been my part to speak. It is your part now
to act. [_Applause._] Nor do I doubt that you will act as becomes the
Commonwealth that has committed to you her name. [_Cheers._]

I cannot see before me so large a number of the sons of Massachusetts,
already moving to the scene of trial, without feeling anew the loss
we have just encountered: I allude to the death, at Baltimore, of
devoted fellow-citizens, who had sprung forward so promptly at the
call of country. As I heard that they had fallen, my soul was touched.
And yet, when I thought of the cause for which they met death, I said
to myself, that, for the sake of Massachusetts, ay, and for their own
sake, I would not have it otherwise. [_Enthusiastic applause._] They
have died well, for they died at the post of duty, and so dying have
become an example and a name in history, while Massachusetts, that sent
them forth, adds new memories to a day already famous in her calendar,
and links the present with the past. It was on the 19th of April that
they died, and their blood was the first offering of patriotism in the
great cause which snatched them from the avocations of peace. Thus
have they passed at once into companionship with those forefathers who
on the 19th of April, 1775, made also the offering of their blood.
[_Loud cheers._] Lexington is not alone. As on that historic field,
Massachusetts blood is again the first to be spilled, and in a conflict
which is but a continuation of the other; and these dying volunteers
have placed Massachusetts once more foremost, as on that morning which
heralded Independence. [_Cheers._] Therefore I would not have it
otherwise. [_Cheers._] Nor do I doubt that the day we now deplore will
be followed, as was that earlier day, by certain triumph. [_Cheers._]

Those other times, when our forefathers struggled for Independence
against the British power, were often said “to try men’s souls”; and
these words are yet repeated to depict those trials. But, witnessing
the willingness and alacrity with which patriot citizens now offer
themselves for country, and to die, if need be, I look in vain for
signs that souls are tried. [_Cheers._] And yet I cannot disguise
from you, soldiers, that there are hardships and perils in your path.
But what is victory, unless through hardship and peril? [_Cheers._]
Be brave, then, and do the duty to which you are called; and if you
need any watchword, let it be, _Massachusetts_, THE CONSTITUTION, and
FREEDOM! [_Loud applause from the soldiers._]

    On the same evening, the Battalion embarked on board the
    transport “Ariel” for Annapolis, where it arrived on the
    morning of April 24th, and on the 2d of May was transferred to
    Fort McHenry, in the harbor of Baltimore. There it remained to
    the end of its term of service.



    The question of Passports for Colored Citizens was embarrassed
    by the Dred Scott decision, and the usage of the State
    Department, refusing to recognize colored persons as citizens.
    The position of the latter was set forth in a letter of Mr.
    Thomas, Assistant Secretary, communicating the judgment of Mr.
    Marcy, Secretary of State.

               “DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, November 4, 1856.

        “Your letters of the 29th ult. and 3d inst., requesting
        passports for eleven colored persons, have been received,
        and I am directed by the Secretary to inform you that the
        papers transmitted by you do not warrant the Department
        in complying with your request. The question whether free
        negroes are citizens is not now presented for the first
        time, but has repeatedly arisen in the administration
        of both the National and State governments. In 1821 a
        controversy arose as to whether free persons of color
        were citizens of the United States, within the intent and
        meaning of the Acts of Congress regulating foreign and
        coasting trade, so as to be qualified to command vessels,
        and Wirt, Attorney-General, decided that they were not, and
        he moreover held that the words ‘citizens of the United
        States’ were used in the Acts of Congress in the same sense
        as in the Constitution. This view is also fully sustained
        in a recent opinion of the present Attorney-General.

        “The judicial decisions of the country are to the same
        effect.… Such being the construction of the Constitution in
        regard to free persons of color, it is conceived that they
        cannot be regarded, when beyond the jurisdiction of this
        Government, as entitled to the full rights of citizens;
        but the Secretary directs me to say, that, though the
        Department could not certify that such persons are citizens
        of the United States, yet, if satisfied of the truth of
        the facts, it would give a certificate that they were born
        in the United States, are free, and that the Government
        thereof would regard it to be its duty to protect them,
        if wronged by a foreign government while within its
        jurisdiction for a legal and proper purpose.”[146]

    Amidst the general anxieties of the time this important
    question was presented for revision. A colored youth of
    Boston, son of Robert Morris, Esq., a practitioner in the
    courts of Massachusetts, unable to obtain a college education
    at home, proposed to seek it in France, where there was no
    exclusion on account of color, and Mr. Sumner, in a written
    communication to the Secretary of State, requested a passport
    for him, at the same time inclosing the description of his
    person duly authenticated, in which his complexion was said
    to be “colored” and his hair “short and curly.” There being
    some delay, Mr. Sumner called at the Department to urge
    personally his formal application. Mr. Seward did not like
    to issue a passport on the description furnished, but at the
    same time would furnish a passport to Mr. Sumner for anybody
    whom he certified to be a citizen, without description. The
    authenticated description was then returned, and Mr. Sumner, at
    Mr. Seward’s own desk, and on the ordinary despatch paper of
    the Department, wrote at once the following.

                                    WASHINGTON, 27 June, ’61.

  SIR,--Please send me a passport for Robert Morris, Jr., of
  Boston, a citizen of the United States.

      Faithfully yours,



    The passport was duly issued, bearing date June 29, 1861, and
    Mr. Sumner’s note was filed in the Passport Bureau, being the
    only paper in the case.

    The opinion of the Attorney-General, affirming the citizenship
    of colored freemen, November 29, 1862,[147] settled this
    question definitively.



    July 4th, 1861, Congress met in extraordinary session, at
    the call of the President, to make provision for the welfare
    of the country, and especially for the prosecution of the
    war. Meanwhile, Mr. Crittenden, so famous for his attempt at
    Compromise, had ceased to be a Senator, but he had become a
    member of the other House. Here he introduced a resolution,
    declaring the object of the war, which was adopted by the House
    with only two dissenting votes.

    July 24, the same resolution, in nearly the same words,
    was introduced into the Senate by Hon. Andrew Johnson, of
    Tennessee, afterwards President, who pressed a vote at once,
    even without having it printed. On Mr. Sumner’s objection it
    was postponed. His few words in making this objection have
    significance, as showing his feeling towards Mr. Johnson at
    that time, and also his unwillingness that the Senate should
    commit itself hastily to a proposition which, under the name of
    the “Crittenden Resolution,” was destined to play an important

    Mr. Sumner said:--

I am unwilling to stand in the way of any desire of the Senator from
Tennessee [Mr. ANDREW JOHNSON]. I hesitate, therefore, to use the
privilege, under the rules, of objecting to a resolution on the day
of its introduction; but I do think, in view of its importance, that
it ought at least to be printed, so that we may have an opportunity
of reading it carefully and considering it well, before we act upon
it. Therefore I object to its consideration at this time. I wish the
Senator to understand that it is with great respect for himself, and
with a desire to do really what the occasion, as I think, requires. I
hope the Senator himself will consent that it lie on the table and be

    Mr. Johnson said that he would not object, and the resolution
    was ordered to be printed, as follows.

        “_Resolved_,--That the present deplorable civil war has
        been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the
        Southern States, now in revolt against the Constitutional
        Government, and in arms around the capital; that in this
        national emergency, Congress, banishing all feeling of
        mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty
        to the whole country; that this war is not prosecuted
        upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any
        purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of
        overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established
        institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain
        the supremacy of the Constitution, and all laws made in
        pursuance thereof, and to preserve the Union, with all
        the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States
        unimpaired; that as soon as these objects are accomplished,
        the war ought to cease.”

    The next day the resolution was taken up, on motion of Mr.
    Johnson. Mr. Trumbull objected to the allegation in it that the
    disunionists were “in arms around the capital,” which in his
    opinion was not true; and he added, that, in his opinion, the
    revolt was occasioned by people who are not here or in this
    vicinity: it was started in South Carolina. He objected also
    to the clause that the war was “not prosecuted for any purpose
    of conquest or subjugation,”--on which he said, “I trust this
    war _is_ prosecuted for the purpose of subjugating all rebels
    and traitors who are in arms against the Government.” For
    these reasons he voted in the negative. Every other Republican
    present voted in the affirmative, except Mr. Sumner, who
    declined to vote. His name does not appear in the record.

       *       *       *       *       *

    This resolution was general in terms, but specious. Though
    not mentioning Slavery expressly, or interfering with the
    requirement of military necessity, it was considered at the
    time as a safeguard of Slavery, even to the Fugitive Slave Bill
    itself, which was included under the words, “the supremacy of
    the Constitution, and all laws made in pursuance thereof.” Nor
    could it be forgotten that it was first brought forward by the
    same person who, during the previous winter, as Senator from
    Kentucky, had most pertinaciously urged an odious compromise,
    by which Slavery was to be intrenched in the Constitution,
    and made dominant in the National Government. Mr. Sumner,
    always sensitive to any recognition of Slavery, saw in it an
    effort to commit Congress the wrong way, so that inaction on
    Slavery should be the policy of the war, when, to his mind,
    the sooner Slavery was attacked, the better. His objection to
    the resolution was radical; but, unwilling to separate openly
    from political associates, anxious also with regard to the
    President, who held back, and hoping that time would bring
    general concurrence in striking at Slavery, he was silent, and
    contented himself by withholding his vote, so that he was not
    committed to the resolution in any respect.

    This statement is made to explain the progress of events, and
    also because Mr. Sumner’s course was the occasion of comment,
    and even of hostile criticism, at the time.


DUTIES, JULY 29, 1861.

    In the consideration of the Tariff Bill at this session, Mr.
    Sumner differed from friends on some of the points involved.
    One of these differences occurred on his motion, July 29, 1861,
    to strike out the following clause:--

        “That, in addition to the duties now imposed by law on
        goods, wares, and merchandise not enumerated in the
        foregoing section, and on all goods not herein otherwise
        provided for, hereafter imported from foreign countries,
        there shall be levied, collected, and paid _a duty of ten
        per centum ad valorem, to include all merchandise subject
        to or exempt from duty by former laws_.”

    On this motion he spoke as follows.

MR. PRESIDENT,--I think we had better take a vote on the simple
proposition, because in that way we shall arrive at the precise wishes
of the Senate. I therefore move to strike out the words just read; and
if I can have the attention of the Senate for two minutes, I think I
can explain why they should be stricken out.

It will be remembered that in the latter days of the last session a new
tariff was adopted; but, owing to the disturbed state of the country,
and the impediments to commerce, it is not too much to say that we
have no present experience of its operation. We do not know to what
extent it will supply revenue. While thus ignorant of its operation,
it is proposed to make an important change, being nothing less than
to pile another story upon what is already criticised as too high.
In addition to all existing duties, we are asked to impose a further
duty of ten per cent. In the present exigencies of the country, if
there were reasonable assurance that out of such extraordinary tax
the revenue would be advanced, I should have nothing to say against
it,--on the contrary, I should hold up both hands for it; but, so far
as I am informed,--and I have taken pains to inform myself,--there is
no reasonable ground to believe that the addition of ten per cent extra
upon present duties would yield any additional revenue.

    MR. POLK. If the Senator will allow me to interrupt him----

    MR. SUMNER. Certainly.

    MR. POLK. I will ask if the result of his investigations is not
    that the addition of ten per cent would actually decrease the

MR. SUMNER. The Senator properly directs attention to an important
point. I said there was no reasonable assurance that there would be an
increase of revenue. I believe that I may go further, as the Senator
has suggested, and say that a tariff so far prohibitory will actually
diminish instead of increasing revenue. Where then will be your
revenue? Revenue comes from commerce, and is just in proportion to the
extent of commerce; but if you make commerce impossible, where is your
revenue? You kill the bird that lays the golden egg.

There is a pleasant story, which I remember to have heard, of a
shopkeeper who once announced to his friends that before breakfast he
had increased his fortune by ten per cent; but, on inquiry, it was
ascertained that he had merely marked his goods on hand at an increased
price of ten per cent, and that was his boasted increase. I much fear
that this additional ten per cent will be equally vain for the increase
of our national revenue.

But, Mr. President, while the advantages of this proposed increase
are all uncertain, there are disadvantages that are certain. It will
add to the bad name which, unhappily, the tariff of the last session
has already with those disposed to criticise it, and especially with
foreign countries. At this moment, when every suggestion of prudence
dictates that in our relations with foreign countries we should
be governed by a supreme policy of moderation, conciliation, and
good-will, you propose to take a step which, to say the least of it,
will be regarded as indicative of hostility or of indifference. Now,
whatever may be the sentiments and the feelings of European Governments
with regard to us, it is perfectly clear that the laboring classes of
Europe do sympathize with us in our present struggle; and all those
sympathies you turn aside, when you impose prohibitory duties which cut
off a market for their labor. I am therefore, Mr. President, opposed to
this increase on two positive grounds: first, because its advantages
are uncertain; secondly, because its disadvantages are certain.

    Mr. Fessenden replied, saying, among other things,--

        “I am very glad that the Senator has made the remarks
        he has, and I desire to say a few words in reply, more
        particularly to the last portion of his speech. As Chairman
        of the Committee on Foreign Relations, it being his duty to
        keep on the best possible terms with all foreign powers,
        he had a right, perhaps, to say what he has said; but,
        after all, that is not the question. I would suggest to
        the honorable Senator, that there is something else to be
        considered, at the present time, besides the good or bad
        opinion which certain foreign ministers and others may have
        of our domestic policy.”

    Then again:--

        “Now the Senator says: ‘Be careful how you lay these duties
        on, because foreign countries will be offended at us.’ What
        right has a foreign country to make any question about what
        we choose to do with reference to these matters,--to say,
        when we are in a state of war, and struggling for national
        existence even, that we shall not impose duties which are
        necessary to enable us to prosecute that war, because,
        forsooth, it may affect the interests of foreign gentlemen?”

    Here Mr. Sumner interposed:--

I know the Senator does not intend to misstate my argument. I assumed
that there would be no increase of revenue from this additional
ten per cent,--at least, that the advantages of the increase were
uncertain, doubtful; and then that it was very certain there would be

    Mr. Fessenden continued at some length, and with much
    earnestness said:--

        “I have heard this argument adduced out of doors, and this
        talk about how foreign powers might feel respecting the
        duties we choose to impose upon articles imported into this
        country. Why, Sir, I say the argument is nothing less than
        an insult.… I say, therefore, that no people have a right
        to be offended with us for acting according to our own
        views of our own interests. They would not have it in time
        of peace, and much less could they have it in time of war.”

    Mr. Sumner restated his position.

MR. PRESIDENT,--The Senator and myself are perfectly agreed in our main
object. Here there is no difference between us. Each desires to secure
the largest revenue. For myself, I know no bounds to this desire. The
simple question is, How will this be best accomplished? The Senator
puts forward the proposition to increase by ten per cent all existing
duties, and he does this while still ignorant of the actual working of
the tariff established in March. To our inexperience with regard to
that tariff he would add further inexperience with regard to the effect
of the proposed increase. Now this may be good policy; but it does not
seem so to me. The commerce of the country cannot bear such constant
change, especially in the direction proposed. The revenue will not gain
by it.

For good or for evil, what is familiarly known as the “Morrill Tariff”
has been adopted. The commerce of the country has taken note of its
requisitions, and is now ready to govern itself accordingly. And it
seems to me that the House of Representatives acted wisely, in seeking
to increase the revenue by duties on selected articles, which it was
thought could bear the tax, rather than by wholesale change, which must
cause the whole system to be remodelled. In this respect the House bill
has an advantage over that brought forward by the Senator from Rhode
Island [Mr. SIMMONS] and maintained so zealously by the Senator from
Maine [Mr. FESSENDEN].

But the Senator from Maine says he is unwilling to hearken to
suggestions from foreign nations.

    MR. FESSENDEN. Not at all. I said no such thing as that. I am
    perfectly willing to hearken to all suggestions, if they are
    respectfully made, and do not assume a right to dictate to us.

MR. SUMNER. Pray, who has dictated to us, or who assumes any such
right? And as to suggestions, which the Senator says he welcomes, I
am not aware that any foreign nation, or any person representing any
foreign nation, has made even a suggestion that could come within the
criticism, swift as it is, of the Senator. Nor, indeed, am I aware
of any suggestion in any form to this body. Surely the Senator is
mistaken. He must in his imagination exaggerate something that he has
heard; or perhaps he misinterprets something that fell from myself.

Let me not be misunderstood. I have said that this ten per cent
proposition, if adopted, will give your tariff a bad name among
those who are disposed to criticise it, and especially with foreign
countries. Was I not right? Is it not true? Willingly I take the
censure of the Senator, while I strive at this moment to secure for
my country sympathy from every quarter, even from foreign nations;
nor shall I be disturbed by anything which fell from the Senator.
I am accustomed to criticism in this body. And I beg to say that I
shrink from no responsibility which belongs to my position. If duty
requires that foreign nations should be encountered by a policy
harassing to their industry, I shall take my full share of this grave
responsibility; but until I see the path of duty in that direction, I
hope that I may be pardoned, if I prefer a policy doubly commended as
most beneficial to us and least hurtful to them.

I am unwilling that my country at this moment should pursue a shadow,
and in the end find that it has gained nothing but ill-will. Strong
as we are, we cannot afford to augment the odium created by our
late tariff. Better husband our resources,--among which I place the
sympathies of the civilized world, and of those laboring classes whose
industry must suffer by your act, without, I fear, any corresponding
benefit to us.

    The amendment of Mr. Sumner was lost.



    Therefore take heed …
    How you awake _the sleeping sword of war_:
    We charge you, in the name of God, take heed!

                     SHAKESPEARE, _King Henry V._, Act I. Scene 2.

    So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the LAW
    OF LIBERTY.--_Epistle of James_, ii. 12.

    This speech, at the time of its delivery, was entitled in
    some quarters “Emancipation the Cure of the Rebellion,” which
    certainly showed an appreciation of its meaning. In the
    pamphlet edition another title was adopted, argumentative in
    form, and intended to suggest the same conclusion,--“Union and
    Peace, how they shall be restored.” It was made at the annual
    State Convention of the Republican party of Massachusetts.

    The Convention was called to order by Hon. William Claflin,
    Chairman of the Republican State Committee. Its permanent
    organization was as follows.

    President,--Hon. Henry L. Dawes, of North Adams.

    Vice-Presidents,--Richard Libbey of Wellfleet, James H.
    Mitchell of East Bridgewater, Joseph N. Bacon of Newton, Albert
    J. Wright of Boston, Nehemiah Boynton of Chelsea, John S. E.
    Rogers of Gloucester, Gerry W. Cochrane of Methuen, N. C.
    Munson of Shirley, Giles H. Whitney of Winchendon, J. H. Butler
    of Northampton, Joel Hayden of Haydensville, by districts;
    with Robert M. Hooper of Boston, Oliver Ames, Jr., of Easton,
    Alexander DeWitt of Oxford, Hapgood Swift of Lowell, Freeman
    Walker of North Brookfield, Marshall P. Wilder of Dorchester,
    Clement Willis of Boston, Lorenzo Sabine of Roxbury, Thomas
    Tucker of Worcester, Francis H. Fay of Lancaster, Columbus
    Tyler of Somerville, George Washington Warren of Charlestown,
    Linus Beck of Boston, Charles O. Rogers of Boston, H. B.
    Staples of Milford, Orlando Burt of Sandisfield, Francis
    Coggswell of Andover, at large.

    Secretaries,--S. N. Stockwell of Boston, J. E. Tucker of
    Worcester, N. A. Horton of Salem, Z. E. Stowe of Lowell, George
    S. Merrill of Lawrence, Joseph B. Thaxter of Hingham, Samuel
    B. Noyes of Canton, William S. Robinson of Malden, Charles A.
    Chase of Boston, L. H. Bradford of Fitchburg, William Martin of
    North Adams, Gardner M. Fiske of Palmer, William W. Clapp, Jr.,
    of Boston.

    The President, on being conducted to the chair, made a speech,
    in which he said:--

        “Since last assembled here for a kindred purpose, the
        mighty march of events has borne the popular efforts on
        to a higher plane than ever before opened to the gaze
        of man.… Massachusetts cannot, if she would, and, thank
        God, she would not, if she could, perform an indifferent
        part in this life struggle of the Republic. She makes no
        boast over her sister States, but the great Disposer and
        Adjuster of events has placed her in the forefront rank, in
        this great battle for the integrity of the nation and the
        existence of free institutions, and she accepts her place
        with alacrity.”

    Immediately after this speech, John A. Andrew was unanimously
    and by acclamation renominated as candidate for Governor, being
    his second nomination for that post. The committees of the
    Convention having been appointed, there was an adjournment till

    In the afternoon, the resolutions of the Committee, seven in
    number, were reported by George S. Hale, of Boston, and at once
    laid upon the table, on motion of Edward L. Pierce, of Milton,
    in order to give an opportunity for Mr. Sumner to address the
    Convention. A report says:--

        “Hon. Charles Sumner came on the platform about this time,
        and his presence was acknowledged with great applause. The
        President introduced him to the Convention, and he made a
        speech about an hour long.”

    “Great enthusiasm” and “warm cheers” are the terms of other
    reports with regard to his reception. These are mentioned
    because the sentiments of the audience were represented
    afterwards as adverse. The pamphlet report says:--

        “Upon the appearance of Mr. Sumner on the platform, he
        was most cordially greeted by the whole Convention and
        the large audience in the galleries. Hon. H. L. Dawes,
        President of the Convention, introduced him in a few
        felicitous words, whereupon the warm applause of the vast
        assembly burst forth again with great enthusiasm, ending
        with three rousing cheers.”

    At the conclusion of Mr. Sumner’s speech, a motion was made
    to take the resolutions of the Committee from the table, when
    Rev. James Freeman Clarke, the Liberal preacher and sincere
    reformer, appeared on the platform, and after a few remarks
    offered the following resolutions.

        “_Resolved_, That, while the people of Massachusetts have
        confidence in the wisdom of the National Administration,
        and are ready hereafter, as hitherto, to give their blood
        and their treasure in answer to its call, yet, believing
        that Slavery is the root and cause of this Rebellion, they
        will rejoice when the time shall come, in the wisdom of the
        Government, to remove this radical source of our present

        “_Resolved_, That, when the proper time shall arrive,
        the people of Massachusetts will welcome any act, under
        the war power of the Commander-in-Chief, which shall
        declare all the slaves within the lines of our armies to
        be free, and accept their services in defence of the
        Union,--compensating all loyal owners for slaves thus
        emancipated, and thus carrying liberty for all human beings
        wherever the Stars and Stripes shall float.”

    There was no direct vote on these resolutions, but authentic
    accounts at the time enable us to trace their fortune.

    They were at once opposed by George S. Hale, the reporter
    of the Committee’s resolutions, and by Artemas Lee of
    Templeton, “declaring that they were calculated to weaken
    the Administration in Kentucky.” Not being moved as an
    amendment to the other resolutions, the first question was
    on the adoption of the latter, which were carried. Pending
    the question on Mr. Clarke’s resolutions, the Committee to
    nominate Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of the Commonwealth,
    Attorney-General, Treasurer and Receiver-General, and Auditor,
    made their report, which superseded the other question,
    and caused an irritating and personal discussion. When the
    nominations were completed, it had become late, and many had
    already left by the trains, among them Mr. Sumner; but Mr.
    Clarke moved to take his resolutions from the table, when,
    according to the report, “a member in front of the chair moved
    to adjourn, and that motion, being first in order, was put and
    carried, with but few dissenting votes.” It was supposed by
    many, that, had a vote been taken on these resolutions while
    the Convention was full, they would have been adopted.

    In the disposition to weaken the speech of Mr. Sumner, it
    was charged at the time that he spoke without official
    invitation,--which was contrary to the fact. Some time in
    advance of the Convention, Mr. Claflin, Chairman of the State
    Committee, called on Mr. Sumner and invited him to address it,
    urging him strongly; and when the latter said that he could
    not consent, without declaring the duty of Emancipation, and
    freeing his mind on this all-important subject, Mr. Claflin
    insisted that he should do so, and Mr. Sumner promised to
    speak. At another call Mr. Sumner read to Mr. Claflin a sketch
    of what he proposed to say, adding that he would not speak
    except with the approval of Mr. Claflin, when the latter
    declared his entire agreement with Mr. Sumner, and insisted
    that the speech should be made.

    An account of the contemporaneous discussion, whether of
    criticism or sympathy, will be found in the Appendix.


FELLOW-CITIZENS,--In meeting fellow-citizens of Massachusetts, who have
come together from all parts of the Commonwealth, I find myself in a
familiar scene, but plainly things are changed. Yes, there is a great
change, and it is manifest in our Convention.

No longer are we met, as so often in times past, on questions of
controversy, or to sustain our cause by argument. That hour has passed.
Formerly I have exhibited to you the atrocities of the Fugitive Slave
Bill; I have rejoiced to show that Freedom was National and Slavery
Sectional; I have striven to prevent the spread of Slavery in the
Territories; I have vindicated especially Freedom in Kansas, assailed
by slaveholding conspirators; I have exposed the tyrannical usurpations
of the Slave Oligarchy; and I have dragged into light the huge and
hideous Barbarism of Slavery. [_Applause._] But these topics have
passed into history, and are no longer of practical interest. They are
not of to-day.

Let us rejoice that at least so much is gained, and from the extent
of present triumph take hope and courage for the future. Providence
will be with the good cause in times to come, as in times past. Others
may despair; I do not. Others may see gloom; I cannot. Others may
hesitate; I will not. [_Applause._] Already is the nation saved. Great
as seems the present peril, there was peril greater far, while it was
sinking year after year under the rule of Slavery. How often have I
exclaimed, in times past, that our foremost object was the Emancipation
of the National Government, so that no longer should it be the slave
of Slavery, ready to do its bidding in all things! But this surpassing
victory has been won. It was won first by the ballot-box, when Abraham
Lincoln was elected President of the United States [_applause_]; and it
was won the second time by the cartridge-box, when, at the command of
the President, the guns of Fort Sumter returned defiance to the Rebel
artillery. [_Three cheers._] Such is the madness of Slavery that the
first was not enough; unhappily, the second was needed to complete the

God be praised, much is already done. The Slave Oligarchy, which,
according to vaunt of a slaveholding Senator, has ruled the Republic
for more than fifty years,--which has stamped its degrading character
upon the national forehead,--which has entered into and possessed
not only the politics, but the literature, and even the religion
of the land,--which has embroiled us at home, and given us a bad
name abroad,--which has wielded at will President, Cabinet, and
even judicial tribunals,--which has superseded Public Opinion by
substituting its own immoral behests,--which has appropriated to
itself the offices and honors of the Republic,--which has established
Slavery as the single test and shibboleth of favor,--which, after
opening all our Territories to this wrong, was already promising to
renew the Slave-Trade and its unutterable woes,--nay, more, which,
in the instinct of that tyranny through which it ruled, was beating
down all safeguard of human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of
the press, security of person, and delivering the whole country to a
sway whose vulgarity was second only to its madness,--this domineering
Slave Oligarchy is dislodged from the National Government, never more
to return. [_Immense sensation._] Thus far, at least, has Emancipation
prevailed. _The greatest slave of all is free._

If at any moment we are disposed to be disheartened, if the Future is
not always clear before us, we may find ample motive for joy in the
victory already achieved. Pillars greater than those of Hercules might
fitly mark this progress.

Among the obvious results of such victory is one to be enjoyed
especially on this occasion. It is Slavery which has been the origin
of our party divisions, keeping men asunder who ought to act together.
But with the expulsion of this disturber the apology for difference
ceases. All patriots, all who truly love their country, may now act
together,--no matter in what party combination they have appeared, no
matter of what accent the speech by which their present duties are
declared. Call them Democrats, Union men, natives, or foreigners, what
you will, are we not all engaged in a common cause? Nor will I claim
as yet the highest praise for those with whom I am most intimately
associated. I have read history too well not to remember that faithful
allies are sometimes superior even to domestic veterans. Hannibal
relied less on his own Carthaginians than on his Spanish infantry and
Numidian horse.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Government is assailed by a rebellion without precedent. Never,
since Satan warred upon the Almighty, has rebellion assumed such a
front [_applause_], and never before has it begun in such a cause.
The Rebels are numerous and powerful, and their cause is Slavery.

It is the very essence of rebellion to be audacious, unhesitating,
unscrupulous. Rebellion sticks at nothing,--least of all, rebellion
beginning in Slavery. It can be encountered successfully only by vigor
and energy surpassing its own. Patriotism as a motive surely is not
less potent than Treason. It must be invoked. By all the memories
of your fathers, who founded this Republic and delivered to you the
precious heritage, by all the sentiments of gratitude for the good
you have enjoyed beneath its protecting care, are you summoned to its
defence. Defence did I say? With mortification I utter the word; but
you all know the truth.

Rebel conspirators have set upon us, and now besiege the National
Government. They besiege it at Washington, where are the President and
his Cabinet with the national archives. They besiege it at Fortress
Monroe on the Atlantic, at St. Louis on the Mississippi, and now
they besiege it in Kentucky. Everywhere we are on the defensive.
[_Sensation._] Strongholds are wrested from us. Soldiers gathered under
the folds of the national flag are compelled to surrender. Citizens,
whose only offence is loyalty, are driven from their homes. Bridges
are burned. Railways are disabled. Steamers and ships are seized. The
largest navy-yard of the country is appropriated. Commerce is hunted on
the sea, and property, wherever it can be reached, ruthlessly robbed
or destroyed. Only within a few days we have read the order of one
Buckner, Rebel commander in Kentucky, directing the destruction of
a most important lock, by which Green River was rendered navigable.
Pardon me, if I ask attention to this intercepted order. It is
instructive, as showing the spirit with which we have to deal.

                                “BOWLING GREEN, September 19, 1861.

    “Lock No. 1 must be destroyed. I rely upon our friends at
    Owenboro’ to do it. Not an hour must be lost. The destruction
    is a great deal to me in crippling our adversary. Assemble our
    friends, without delay, in sufficient force to accomplish the
    object. One of the best ways is to open all the gates but one,
    and to dig down behind the wall at both gates, to put one or
    two kegs of powder behind the wall, to apply a slow match, and
    blow the wall into the lock. If possible, it should be done in
    such a way as to leave a strong current through the lock, which
    will empty the dam. Provide everything in advance. Do not fail.
    It is worth an effort.”[148]

It is still doubtful if the work of destruction was accomplished. But
the military order remains. Thus madly was it attempted to sweep away
the most valuable of the internal improvements of Kentucky, being part
of the pride and wealth of the State.

Do you ask in whose name all this is done? The answer is easy. Not “in
the name of God and the Continental Congress,” as Ethan Allen summoned
Ticonderoga,--but “in the name of Slavery.” In the name of Slavery, and
nothing else, is all this crime, destruction, and ravage perpetrated;
and the work still proceeds.

Look at the war as you will, and you always see Slavery,--as the
renowned orator of Rome saw in the evil about him only the great
conspirator. Never were his words more applicable: _Nullum facinus
exstitit, nisi per te; nullum flagitium sine te_: “No villany but
has owed its existence to thee; no shameful thing has been done
without thee.”[149] Slavery is our Catiline, being to this war
everything,--inspiration, motive power, end and aim, be-all and
end-all. And this brings me to an important statement.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is often said that war will make an end of Slavery. This is
probable. But it is surer still that the overthrow of Slavery will make
an end of the war. [_Tumultuous applause and cheers._]

If I am correct in this averment, which I believe beyond question,
then do reason, justice, and policy unite, each and all, in declaring
that the war must be brought to bear directly on the grand conspirator
and omnipresent enemy. [_Here the vociferous cheers of the Convention
interrupted the speaker._] Not to do so is to take upon ourselves all
the weakness of Slavery, while we leave to the Rebels its boasted
resources of military strength. [_Cheers._] Not to do so is to squander
life and treasure in a vain masquerade of battle, without practical
result. Not to do so is blindly to neglect the plainest dictates of
economy, humanity, and common sense,--and, alas! simply to let slip the
dogs of war on a mad chase over the land, never to stop until spent
with fatigue or sated with slaughter. [_Sensation._]

Believe me, fellow-citizens, I know all imagined difficulties and
unquestioned responsibilities. But, if you are in earnest, the
difficulties will at once disappear, and the responsibilities are such
as you will gladly bear. This is not the first time that a knot hard
to untie was cut by the sword [_cheers_]; and we all know that danger
flees before the brave man. Believe that you can, and you can. The will
only is needed. Courage now is the highest prudence. [_Applause._]

It is not necessary even, borrowing a familiar phrase, to carry the
war into Africa. It will be enough, if we carry Africa into the war
[_here the outburst of applause compelled the speaker to suspend his
remarks_], in any form, any quantity, any way. [_Continued applause._]
The moment this is done, Rebellion will begin its bad luck, and the
Union become secure forever. [_Cheers._]

History teaches by examples. The occasion does not allow me to show how
completely this monitor points our duty and certain triumph. I content
myself with two instances of special mark,--one from ancient Greece,
and the other from ancient Rome.

The most fatal day for ancient Greece was that “dishonest victory” at
Chæronea, when Philip of Macedon triumphed over combined forces, in
which Demosthenes was enlisted as a soldier. The panic was universal.
Athens was thrown into consternation. Her great orator had fought
bravely, but ineffectually. Another orator, called by Milton “that
old man eloquent,” died suddenly on hearing the report of the defeat.
The Book of Fate seemed about to close, while the proud Athenian State
sank to be a Macedonian province. Then it was that a patriot orator,
Hyperides, launched a proposition to emancipate the slaves. The effect
was electric. The royal Philip, already strong in victory, trembled.
King and conqueror, he was statesman also, and saw well that such a
proposition, begun in Athens, would shake all Greece, even to his
powerful throne, which the young Alexander was preparing to mount. His
triumphant course was arrested, and peace secured.[150]

The other instance is in Roman history. You will find it in Plutarch’s
Life of Caius Marius. Six times Consul,--victor over the redoubtable
Jugurtha, also over the innumerable Teutones and Cimbri,--hailed as
Saviour of Rome, and then, in the terrible vicissitudes of civil feud,
driven from his country to find shelter in the ruins of Carthage,--this
great general, returning from exile, was able to effect a landing
in Italy. The incident is recorded in these words,--and you must
acknowledge that such immense military experience gives to the example
highest authority:--

    “Marius upon this news determined to hasten to Cinna. He took
    with him some Marusian horse which he had levied in Africa,
    and a few others that were come to him from Italy, in all
    not amounting to above a thousand men, and with this handful
    began his voyage. He arrived at a port of Tuscany called
    Telamon, _and as soon as he was landed proclaimed liberty to
    the slaves_. [_Immense applause._] The name of Marius brought
    down numbers of freemen too, husbandmen, shepherds, and such
    like, to the shore, the ablest of which he enlisted, and in a
    short time had a great army on foot, with which he filled forty

Thus far Plutarch. It is needless to add that Marius soon found himself
master of Rome. [_Applause._]

These are historic instances. I do not adduce them for blind
acceptance, but simply that you may see how in times past defeat was
stayed and victory won by a generous word for Freedom. Men die and
disappear; but the Human Family continues the same, in passions and
fears, as when Philip was frightened back from Athens, as when Marius
was borne in triumph to Rome. [_Applause._]

To these great teachers I would add the authority of the ancient Roman
Law, and I refer you for it to the common Dictionary of Greek and Roman
Antiquities[152] now used in all our schools. According to that law,
the state of Slavery might be terminated in at least three different
modes: first, by manumission; secondly, by enactment of reward to
the slave; and, thirdly, _by enactment of punishment to the master_.
[_Great sensation._] If the master failed to be a good citizen, he
might be punished, so that he should suffer in property, and at the
same time others gain what is more than property,--freedom. But I do
not cite even this example of a time-honored jurisprudence for absolute
guidance. I will not doubt, that, in the unparalleled circumstances by
which we are encompassed, justice will be done.

Already the way is easy. A simple declaration, that all men within
the lines of the United States troops are freemen, will be in
strict conformity with the Constitution, and also with precedent.
The Constitution knows no man as slave. It treats all within its
jurisdiction as _persons_, while the exceptional provision for the
rendition of _persons_ held to service or labor, you will observe, is
carefully confined to such as have escaped into another State,--so that
in Virginia it cannot require the surrender of a Virginia slave, nor
in Missouri of a Missouri slave. It is clear, therefore, that there is
no sanction under the Constitution for turning a national camp into a
slave-pen, or for turning military officers into slave-hunters. Let
this plain construction be adopted, and then, as our lines advance,
Freedom will be established everywhere, and the national flag in its
triumphant march will wave with new glory. [_Applause._]

A brave General whom Massachusetts has given to the country, though
commencing his career with prejudices derived from the Proslavery
school of politicians, has known how to see this question in its
true light: I mean, of course, General Butler. [_Immense cheering,
interrupting the speaker for some time._] He has declared, in a letter
to the Secretary of War, dated Fortress Monroe, 30th July, 1861, with
reference to fugitive slaves, that it is his duty to “take the same
care of these men, women, and children, houseless, homeless, and
unprovided for, as he would of the same number of men, women, and
children who for their attachment to the Union had been driven or
allowed to flee from the Confederate States.”[153] These words are
better for his reputation than a victory. [_Applause and cheers._]
Humanity and wisdom go together, and here we see both.

There is similar and unimpeachable testimony from a succession of
Generals, all born, living, and dying in the South: I mean Gaines,
Taylor, and Jesup, who, one after another, commanded in that protracted
war instigated by the Slave Power against the Seminoles, and waged
at such cost of treasure and life. Fugitives from Slavery, known as
the Exiles of Florida, found a home among these Indian warriors, and
the question arose how they should be treated, being, on a smaller
scale, the very question which now occupies us. Major-General Gaines
insisted, that, when captured, they were prisoners of war, and, in
reply to claimants, he refused to surrender them, somewhat in the
temper of Hotspur, even to the extent of denying his prisoners.[154]
Then followed Major-General Taylor, afterwards President, who, in reply
to claimants asking him “to turn over certain negroes,” said, “I cannot
for a moment consent to meddle with this transaction,”[155]--thus
giving example of just sensibility. At last the Exiles surrendered to
Major-General Jesup as freemen. Afterwards, when their condition was in
question, the General wrote: “By my Proclamation, and the Convention
made with them, when they separated from the Indians and surrendered,
_they are free_.” And then again he wrote: “I, as commander of the
army, and in the capacity of representative of my country, solemnly
pledged the national faith that they should not be separated, nor
any of them sold to white men or others, but be allowed to settle
and remain in separate villages, _under the protection of the United
States_.”[156] Thus apparent, from beginning to end, are obligations to
fugitives from bondage, while by concurring and consecutive authority
that principle is established under which the camp becomes a refuge
against Slavery.

This conclusion is reinforced by language attributed to General Gaines,
and extensively published in the newspapers. “The military officer can
enter into no judicial examination of the claim of one man to the bone
and muscle of another as property. Nor could he as a military officer
know what the laws of Florida were, while engaged in maintaining the
Federal Government by force of arms. In such case he could only be
guided by the Laws of War; and whatever may be the laws of any State,
they must yield to the safety of the Federal Government.” Nothing can
be clearer, stronger, or more to the point.

Thus have we example in the past as in the present, and from military
quarters, pointing to a rule, which, though of seeming simplicity,
would be of incalculable efficacy, if honestly and sincerely enforced.
Then would our camps become nurseries of freemen, and every common
soldier a chain-breaker, while Slavery shrunk out of sight.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a higher agency that may be invoked, which is at the same time
under the Constitution and above the Constitution: I mean Martial Law
in its plenitude, and declared by solemn Proclamation. It is under the
Constitution, because the War Power to which it belongs is positively
recognized by the Constitution. It is above the Constitution, because,
when set in motion, like necessity, it knows no other law. For the time
it is Law and Constitution. The civil power, in mass and detail, is
superseded, and all rights are subordinate to this military magistracy.
Other agencies, small and great, executive, legislative, and even
judicial, are absorbed in a transcendent triune power, which, for
the time, declares its absolute will, while holding alike the scales
of justice and the sword of the executioner. The existence of this
power nobody questions. If rarely exercised in our country, and never
largely, the power is none the less fixed in our political system. As
well strike out the kindred law of self-defence, belonging to states as
to individuals. Martial Law is only a form of self-defence.

That this law might be employed against Slavery, without impediment
from State Rights, was first proclaimed in the House of Representatives
by a Massachusetts statesman, who was a champion of Freedom, John
Quincy Adams. [_Applause._] His authority is such that I content myself
with the sanction of his name, which becomes more commanding when we
consider the circumstances under which he first put forth this great
rule, then repeated it, and then again most defiantly vindicated it.

Student of history, and of Public Law in all its forms, from earliest
youth, under the teaching of his father, counsellor-at-law, Senator
of the United States, Minister at foreign courts, including Holland,
Prussia, Russia, England, negotiator of Peace at Ghent, then Secretary
of State and President, this illustrious citizen, after such varied
experience, entered the House of Representatives, where it became his
duty to expound the War Power in our government, especially with regard
to Slavery. On such a question, his whole life was the open book from
which he spoke with magistral authority. No well-worn, dog-eared volume
was needed. Himself was enough. And the circumstances of the debate,
with the sensitiveness of the hour, gave new force to the principle
which he announced.

A select committee on the Abolition of Slavery reported a resolution
declaring “That Congress possesses no Constitutional authority to
interfere in any way with the institution of Slavery in any of the
States of this Confederacy.” Before the vote, the Ex-President asked
to be heard, saying, “If the House will allow me five minutes’ time, I
pledge myself to prove that resolution false and utterly untrue.”[157]
Here he was called to order, and resumed his seat. The resolution was
adopted. Immediately thereafter, on the same day, he obtained the floor
on another subject, being a resolution for the distribution of rations
among unfortunate sufferers in Alabama and Georgia, and having first
remarked that his reasons for voting against the former resolution,
founded on the power of Congress, would be a justification for the vote
he should give in favor of the proposed distribution, he proceeded to
discuss the War Power under the Constitution, portraying the various
wars actually menaced, including a civil war, while with prophetic
voice he exclaimed, “Your own Southern and Southwestern States must
be the battle-field upon which the last great conflict must be fought
between Slavery and Emancipation,” and then announced the supreme power
of Congress.

    “From the instant that your slaveholding States become the
    theatre of war, civil, servile, or foreign, from that instant
    the war powers of Congress extend to interference with the
    institution of Slavery in every way by which it can be
    interfered with,--from a claim of indemnity for slaves taken or
    destroyed, to the cession of the State burdened with slavery to
    a foreign power.”[158]

I give but an extract. Again, after other years, with added experience,
we find this exalted citizen asserting the same War Power, and
holding up to terrified Slave-Masters the prospect of Universal

Meanwhile the question was discussed by friend and foe, being always in
the blaze of the public press, when, on the 14th of April, 1842, our
champion returned to it again, asserting the power of Congress with new
vigor and detail. This was after the introduction of resolutions by
Mr. Giddings, setting forth the relations of the National Government
to Slavery, where it was declared without reservation that each of
the several States composing this Union has full and _exclusive_
jurisdiction over the subject of Slavery within its own territory.[160]
The Ex-President, while accepting the other resolutions, was unwilling
to vote for this complete surrender to the Slave States, and here again
he was driven to find opportunity for speech on another question. It
was on the Civil and Diplomatic Appropriation Bill, and the salaries
of our foreign ministers, when, with masterly ability, in a speech of
two days,[161] he reviewed our foreign relations, warning especially
against war with England and Mexico; and then by natural transition
depicted again the power of Congress in such emergency. These are his

    “It is a War Power. I say it is a War Power; and when your
    country is actually in war, whether it be a war of invasion or
    a war of insurrection, Congress has power to carry on the war,
    and must carry it on according to the Laws of War; and by the
    Laws of War an invaded country has all its laws and municipal
    institutions swept by the board, and Martial Law takes the
    place of them. This power in Congress has perhaps never been
    called into exercise under the present Constitution of the
    United States. But when the Laws of War are in force, what, I
    ask, is one of those laws? It is this: that, when a country
    is invaded, and two hostile armies are set in martial array,
    _the commanders of both armies have power to emancipate all the
    slaves in the invaded territory_.”[162]

Still further, he announces, in words precisely applicable to the
present hour:--

    “Nor is this a mere theoretic statement. The history of South
    America shows that the doctrine has been carried into practical
    execution within the last thirty years. Slavery was abolished
    in Colombia, first, by the Spanish General Murillo, and,
    secondly, by the American General Bolivar. It was abolished by
    virtue of a military command, given at the head of the army;
    and its abolition continues to be law to this day.”[163]

Condensing then the whole subject, and bringing it all into one final
statement, he says:--

    “I might furnish a thousand proofs to show that the pretensions
    of gentlemen to the sanctity of their municipal institutions,
    under a state of actual invasion and of actual war, whether
    servile, _civil_, or foreign, are wholly unfounded, and that
    the Laws of War do in all such cases take precedence. I lay
    this down as the Law of Nations. I say that the military
    authority takes, for the time, the place of all municipal
    institutions, _and of Slavery among the rest_; and that under
    that state of things, so far from its being true that the
    States where Slavery exists have the exclusive management of
    the subject, _not only the President of the United States, but
    the commander of the army, has power to order the Universal
    Emancipation of the slaves_.”[164] [_Applause._]

His confidence in this principle was complete. As he uttered it,
he said, addressing the Presiding Officer, “I have no more doubt
of it than that you, Sir, occupy that chair”; and he called upon
Slave-Masters to answer him, if they could, “not by indignation, not
by passion and fury, but by sound and sober reasoning from the Laws
of Nations and the Laws of War.” No attempt to answer him was ever
made; but the wrath of Slavery was poured still more unsparingly upon
the head of the venerable orator. Meanwhile his words have stood as a
towering landmark and beacon-flame.

In the protracted controversy now drawing to a close in blood,
Massachusetts has done much. She, first of all, gave the example of
Universal Freedom within her borders; and ever since that early day she
has taken the leading part against Slavery. It is her children who have
never failed in this cause, where anything was to be done, whether by
word or deed. Massachusetts, for years, has borne the burden of this
discussion, and also the heavier burden of obloquy long resting upon
all who speak for the slave. It is Massachusetts who with patriotic
ardor first leaped to the rescue, when the capital was menaced by
Slavery [_applause_], and by happy coincidence, on the 19th of April,
consecrated herself anew by the blood of her people [_applause_],--thus
being at the same time first to do and first to suffer. [_Immense
applause._] It was also a Massachusetts General who first in this
conflict proclaimed that our camps cannot contain a slave [_vociferous
applause_]; and it was an illustrious Massachusetts statesman who first
unfolded the beneficent principle by virtue of which, constitutionally,
legally, and without excess of any kind, the President, or a Commanding
General, may become more than conqueror, even Liberator. [_Applause and
great sensation._]

Massachusetts will be false to herself, if she fails at this moment.
[_Sensation._] And yet I would not be misunderstood. Feeling most
profoundly that there is an opportunity now for incalculable good,
such as occurs rarely in human annals, seeing clearly that there is
one spot, like the heel of Achilles, where this great Rebellion may be
wounded to death, I calmly deliver the whole question to the judgment
of those on whom the responsibility rests, contenting myself with
reminding you that there are times when _not to act_ carries with it
greater responsibility than _to act_. It is enough for us to review the
unquestioned powers of Government to handle for a moment its mighty
weapons, yet allowed to slumber, without assuming to declare that the
hour has come when they shall flash against the sky.

May a good Providence save our Republic from that everlasting regret
which must ensue, if a great opportunity is lost by which all the
bleeding wounds of war shall be stanched, and prosperity again assured,
while Peace is made immortal in the embrace of Liberty! [_Applause._]
Saul was cursed for not hewing Agag in pieces when this enemy was in
his hands, and Ahab was cursed for not destroying Benhadad. Let no such
curse ever descend upon us!

Anxious as I am, I cannot doubt the result; but I long to make it more
sure and inevitable. Among works of art handed down from Antiquity, and
regarded with greatest wonder, is that unrivalled marble, where Laocoön
with his two sons is sculptured in serpent folds, vainly struggling,
and slowly yielding to terrific death. Poetry also has pictured the
scene. Thus does our country now writhe in the torturing folds of
Slavery, the fearful serpent which came swimming out of the sea and
fastened upon the Republic; but, God be praised! the Republic shall
live, and the serpent be bruised to death.

“So many enemies as slaves!”[165] Unless this ancient proverb has
ceased to be true, there are now four millions of enemies intermingled
with the Rebels, toiling in their fields, digging in their camps,
and sitting at their firesides, constituting four millions of allies
to the National Government. Careful calculation demonstrates, that,
out of this number, more than one million are of an age for military
service,--that in Virginia alone there are 121,564 male slaves of
this important period, in Missouri 21,334, and in Kentucky 51,900.
Can we afford to reject this natural alliance, quickened by a common
interest, and consecrated by humanity? I call the alliance natural. Let
history testify; and here I quote acknowledged authority. In the famous
Peloponnesian War, when Greece suffered as we are suffering now, and
her own people were arrayed under hostile banners, Greek meeting Greek,
slaves often passed over from one side to the other, carrying sometimes
oxen and sheep, and always practical knowledge of the country,--on one
occasion twenty thousand in number, mostly mechanics: all of which is
described by the great historian Thucydides,[166] who records also that
the martial Lacedæmonians, in dread of their Helots, most cruelly took
the lives of two thousand, selected for energy and character.[167]
Thus in other days have slaves played their part, while slave-masters
dwelt in fear. Of this trepidation there are abundant illustrations,
some farcical. From Aristophanes we learn, that, during the same
Peloponnesian War, the Athenians were unwilling to punish their slaves,
lest they should desert. This dramatist, in one of his most famous
comedies, has a character who, after exclaiming that “the slaves snore
as never before,” pours forth his maledictions on the War, because he
can no longer apply to them the wonted castigation.[168] The great
philosopher of Greece accords with the historian and dramatist. Plato
does not hesitate to say that “slaves and masters can never become
friends”;[169] and he tells us how frequent are servile insurrections,
especially in cities where the slaves speak one language, instancing
customary outbreaks of the Messenians, and crowning his statement with
the declaration, prompted by the universal human heart, even without
experience as a slave, which had been his own lot, that “a man is a
difficult possession to hold”:[170] and here our Fugitive Slave Bill
with its terrible conditions, and the fugitive slaves of our country
with their tragedies, are in harmony with this voice from Antiquity.

There is another motive not to be neglected. Without this alliance
insurrection is inevitable, destined to be wild and lawless. This
should be prevented. If Liberty does not descend from the tranquil
heights of power, it will rise in blood, amidst the confusion of
families. And what difference between the two apparitions! One has the
face of an angel, radiant with celestial life; the other the front of
a demon, “shaking from its horrid hair pestilence and war.” [_Great
applause and cheering._] All this was clearly seen by the Emperor of
Russia, when, on the 21st of September, 1858, he called upon his people
to unite with him in Emancipation, “which,” he nobly declared, “ought
to begin _from above_, to the end that it may not come _from below_”;
and now this very year twenty millions of Russian serfs are peacefully
passing from the house of bondage. Cheered by this great example,
forget not that _it began from above_.

There is another practical advantage where the action proceeds
from Government. The interest of loyal citizens can be protected.
Compensation may relieve the hardships of meritorious classes, or of
individual cases; nor can I object. Never should any question of money
be allowed to interfere with human freedom. Better an empty treasury
than a single slave. A Bridge of Gold would be cheap, if demanded by
the retreating Fiend.

Two objects are before us, Union and Peace, each for the sake of the
other, and both for the sake of the country; but without Emancipation
how can we expect either?

       *       *       *       *       *

Fellow-citizens, I have spoken frankly; for such is always my habit.
Never was there greater need of frankness. Let patriots understand
each other and they cannot differ widely. All will unite in whatever
is required by the sovereign exigencies of self-defence; which means
that all will unite in sustaining the National Government, and driving
back the Rebels. But this cannot be by any half-way measure or lukewarm
policy. There must be no hesitation. Hearken not to the voice of
Slavery, no matter what its tone of persuasion. It is the gigantic
Traitor and Parricide,--not for a moment to be trusted. Believe me,
its friendship is more deadly than its enmity. [_Sensation._] If you
are wise, prudent, economical, conservative, practical, you will
strike quick and hard,--strike, too, where the blow will be most
felt,--strike at the mainspring of the Rebellion. Strike in the name
of the Union, which only in this way can be restored,--in the name of
Peace, which is vain without Union,--and in the name of Liberty also,
sure to bring both Peace and Union in her glorious train.

    As Mr. Sumner closed, the hearty approval of the sentiments
    of the speech found utterance in the most enthusiastic and
    long-continued demonstrations of applause.


    Outbursts of the public press, and other exhibitions of
    opinion, showed at least that the speech was felt, even where
    condemned. Some were bitter, and expressed their bitterness
    strongly; others were grateful, rejoicing that at last their
    thoughts and desires found utterance. Its reception at the time
    was peculiarly part of the speech; so also was its origin, and
    the motive which led to it.


    From the beginning Mr. Sumner never doubted that rebellion must
    cause the end of Slavery. So he spoke and wrote often during
    the previous winter. As the Slave States became more perverse,
    he exclaimed, “Slavery will go down in blood!” But this would
    be only in the event of war, which seemed inevitable. A day
    or two before the bombardment of Fort Sumter, when President
    Lincoln mentioned to him confidentially the determination to
    provision and hold this fort, repelling force by force, Mr.
    Sumner remarked, “Then the War Power will be in motion, and
    with it great consequences.” In the solemnity of that moment,
    when peace seemed banished, although saddened inexpressibly,
    he saw at once the mighty instrument before which Slavery must
    fall, and never for one moment afterwards did he doubt the
    final result. He would not and could not believe the success of
    the Rebels possible; but he saw no way to success on our part,
    except through Emancipation. Therefore he awaited anxiously
    the moment when this weapon could be employed. Shrinking from
    bloodshed, he wished this irresistible ally to close the war.
    Vowed against Slavery, he was eager to see it smitten. And
    still further, feeling the peril of European intervention, he
    longed for a declaration on our part that would make such an
    act impossible. In his judgment, our foreign relations depended
    much on Emancipation. So that the whole situation at home and
    abroad was involved in this question.

    At the earliest practicable moment he did not hesitate to press
    these considerations upon the President. This was immediately
    after the Battle of Bull Run. An earlier incident will explain
    what passed on this occasion.

    Some time towards the close of the preceding May, while the
    National troops were gathered about the capital, and during
    an evening drive with the President alone in his carriage,
    Mr. Sumner brought up the subject of Slavery, in order to
    say that the President was right in his course at that time,
    but that he must be ready to strike when the moment came. On
    the day of the disaster he was with the President twice, but
    made no suggestion then. On the second day thereafter, when
    the tidings from all quarters showed that the country was
    aroused to intense action, he visited the President expressly
    to urge Emancipation. The President received him kindly, and,
    when Mr. Sumner said that he had come to make an important
    recommendation with regard to the conduct of the war, replied
    promptly, that he was occupied with that very question, and
    had something new upon it. Mr. Sumner, thinking that he was
    anticipated, said, “You are going against Slavery!” “Oh,
    no, not that!” he replied, impatiently. “I am sorry,” said
    Mr. Sumner, when the President, with increasing impatience,
    reminded him of the evening drive in his carriage, and then
    retorted: “Did you not then approve my course?” “Certainly,”
    said Mr. Sumner, “at that time; but I said also that you must
    be ready to strike at Slavery, and now the moment has come. Of
    this I have no doubt.” And he proceeded to urge his reasons,
    but could not satisfy the President. The interview, which was
    late in the evening, did not terminate till midnight.

    So completely had Mr. Sumner acted on the idea of waiting for a
    moment to strike, that in two different bills introduced by him
    before the disaster at Bull Run, one, July 16th, entitled, “For
    the confiscation of property of persons in rebellion against
    the Constitution and Laws of the United States,” and the
    other, July 18th, entitled, “For the punishment of conspiracy
    and kindred offences against the United States, and for the
    confiscation of the property of the offenders,” there is no
    open mention of Slavery. In the first bill there is a provision
    for the forfeiture of “the property, real and personal, of
    every kind whatsoever, and wheresoever situated within the
    limits of the United States, belonging to any person owing
    allegiance to the United States, who shall be found in arms
    against the United States, or shall give any aid or comfort
    to their enemies.” The other bill contains a clause equally
    stringent, but general in character. But after that disaster
    to our arms, he was satisfied the time had come for a full
    exercise of the War Power, and he desired earnestly to have the
    President lead the way openly and without reservation.


    Meanwhile the policy of forbearance was continued, giving,
    as Mr. Sumner thought, moral strength to the Rebellion, and
    postponing success. By General Orders from Head-Quarters at
    Washington, July 17th, Slave-Masters obtained new security for
    their pretended property, in the following terms.

        “Fugitive slaves will under no pretext whatever be
        permitted to reside, or in any way be harbored, in
        the quarters and camps of the troops serving in this
        department. Neither will such slaves be allowed to
        accompany troops on the march. Commanders of troops will be
        held responsible for a strict observance of the order.”[171]

    In harmony with this military order was an opinion of the
    Attorney-General, of July 23d, by which the marshals of
    Missouri were reminded that the Fugitive Slave Act must be
    executed.[172] Then came the correspondence between General
    Butler and the War Department. The former, in a letter from
    Head-Quarters, Fortress Monroe, July 30th, after speaking of
    “the able-bodied negro fit to work in the trenches as property
    liable to be used in aid of rebellion, _and so contraband of
    war_,” and then with unanswerable force declaring our duty to
    fugitive slaves, announced a definite policy as follows.

        “In a state of rebellion I would confiscate that which
        was used to oppose my arms, and take all that property
        which constituted the wealth of that State and furnished
        the means by which the war is prosecuted, beside being
        the cause of the war; and if, in so doing, it should
        be objected that human beings were brought to the free
        enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
        such objection might not require much consideration.[173]

    To this annunciation Mr. Cameron, Secretary of War, replied,
    under date of August 8th:--

        “It is the desire of the President that all existing rights
        in all the States be fully respected and maintained.”

    And then, after forbidding troops to interfere “with the
    servants of peaceable citizens in house or field,” it was
    declared, as if to help the Fugitive Slave Act:--

        “Nor will you, except in cases where the public good
        may seem to require it, prevent the voluntary return
        of any fugitive to the service from which he may have

    These various declarations were followed, August 16th, by a
    speech of Hon. Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior, at
    a social festival in Providence, R. I., which seemed to give
    point to all. This Cabinet officer said:--

        “The minds of the people of the South have been deceived by
        the artful representations of demagogues, who have assured
        them that the people of the North were determined to bring
        the power of this Government to bear upon them, for the
        purpose of crushing out this institution of Slavery.…
        The Government of the United States has no more right to
        interfere with the institution of Slavery in South Carolina
        than it has to interfere with the peculiar institution of
        Rhode Island, whose benefits I have enjoyed.”[175]

    Then came the reversal by the President of General Fremont’s
    Proclamation in Missouri, where, under date of August 30th,
    this officer, commanding the Western Department, announced a
    system of partial and local Emancipation as follows.

        “The property, real and personal, of all persons in the
        State of Missouri, who shall take up arms against the
        United States, or who shall be directly proven to have
        taken an active part with their enemies in the field,
        is declared to be confiscated to the public use, and
        their slaves, _if any they have, are hereby declared

    The enthusiasm with which this provision was received by the
    country could not save it from the judgment of the President.

    These incidents, still showing in certain quarters a constant
    tendency towards Emancipation, checked always by the Executive,
    attested a policy of forbearance towards Slavery. Regarding
    this condition of things as disastrous and of evil omen for the
    future, Mr. Sumner earnestly strove to arrest it. His speech
    was an appeal to the country.


    Attacks upon the speech were not prompted exclusively by
    friendship to Slavery. Personal opposition to Mr. Sumner, never
    mitigated by compromise on his part, found vent, in the hope
    of influencing his reëlection as Senator, although this could
    not occur till the next year. Such, at least, was the motive of
    some. Hon. William Claflin, President of the Senate, wrote as
    early as February 7, 1861, when the Crittenden Compromise was
    finding support in Massachusetts:--

        “The truth is, there is a desperate effort under the
        surface to drive you from the Senate next winter, and,
        if _nothing_ is done, it is feared by many that the
        Conservative force will get so strong as to drive both you
        and Andrew from your seats.”

    A correspondent of the _Plymouth Memorial_ put this point

        “It is true, the country press spoke out and denounced this
        attack upon Mr. Sumner, and the attempt which is being made
        to take him from his place and put in it some weak-backed
        quietist, who, afraid to look this thing in the face, would
        palter weak commonplaces, and, while the patient writhed
        in the paroxysms of pain, would administer soothing drops
        instead of strong medicine to cure the disease. Mr. Sumner
        struck at Worcester the key-note of an anthem that will,
        ay, that is now being taken up by the people, and the sound
        of which will put the croaking of these penny trumpets far
        out of hearing.”

    The _Norfolk County Journal_, by one of its correspondents,
    explained the opposition.

        “Of course no man with his eyes open needs to be told that
        this furious onslaught on Mr. Sumner has very little to do
        with this speech. _It is the opening of the war to defeat
        his reëlection next fall._ A year ago the same papers made,
        if possible, more savage attacks upon Mr. Andrew. Before
        he was nominated every one of them opposed him, and after
        his nomination not one of them supported him cordially; and
        most of them predicted, that, though he might be carried
        through by the Presidential election, yet in another year
        the reaction would sweep him into oblivion. They will find
        themselves equally mistaken about Mr. Sumner.”

    Wendell Phillips, alluding to the assaults upon the speech,

        “If it had no other advantage, suffice it that it shows you
        who your personal enemies are.”

    Not content with arraigning the policy proposed by Mr.
    Sumner, his assailants became critics of another sort.
    They insisted that he was wrong in his illustrations from
    history,--misrepresenting the decree of Emancipation at Athens,
    and misquoting Plutarch.

    The decree of Emancipation can be read, and also the record of
    the excitement which followed. That Hyperides at a desperate
    moment proposed Emancipation as a measure of defence against a
    triumphant conqueror is indisputable, and that such a measure
    was already known in Athens among war powers is attested by the
    scholiast of Aristophanes,[177] while a candid interpretation
    of all the circumstances, including the acceptable peace
    unexpectedly offered by Philip, points to the conclusion that
    the latter was unwilling to provoke this untried warfare.[178]
    This incident is described by a French writer, who gives to it
    the same effect as Mr. Sumner:--

        “Philippe, au bruit de cette proposition, dont l’adoption
        pouvait ébranler la Grèce entière, _s’arrêta, frappé

    The heaviest blows were on account of Plutarch, and here it
    is not easy to comprehend the anger displayed. Endeavoring to
    present the idea of Emancipation in its proper relief, Mr.
    Sumner brought forward the proclamation of liberty to the
    slaves, saying nothing of others joining Marius, according to
    the familiar translation of Langhorne, well satisfied that
    the slaves were the effective force; and the speech was so
    reported in the newspapers. Then came the attack, with learned
    newspaper _scholia_, garnished with Greek type, insisting that
    the husbandmen and shepherds, called “freemen” in Langhorne’s
    translation, and not the emancipated slaves, were authors of
    the success which carried the illustrious adventurer into the
    Roman Forum, there to clutch with dying grasp his seventh

    The text of Plutarch is the best answer. That interesting
    biographer speaks of the slaves first, _putting the
    Proclamation of Emancipation foremost_; and this is precisely
    what was needed for the argument. Nor was Mr. Sumner alone
    in omitting to mention particularly the husbandmen and
    shepherds, whether freemen or freedmen. Good scholars had done
    precisely the same. Dr. Liddell, head master of Westminster
    School, and one of the authors of the favorite Greek Lexicon,
    describing this event, gives prominence to the Proclamation of
    Emancipation, without mentioning any freemen, saying: “Like
    all the partisan leaders of this period, _he offered liberty
    to slaves_, and soon found himself at the head of a large
    force.”[180] Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography
    and Mythology says that Marius “landed at Telamo in Etruria,
    and, _proclaiming freedom to the slaves_, began to collect
    a large force.”[181] And the great historian Niebuhr, after
    referring to his landing on the coast of Etruria, where he
    was joined by Etruscan cohorts, adds,--“Marius was not at all
    delicate in collecting troops, and even _restored slaves to
    freedom on condition of their taking up arms for him_.”[182]
    Thus both these authorities, in harmony with Dr. Liddell, treat
    the Proclamation as the chief feature, precisely as Mr. Sumner
    presented it, and all three leave out of view the “freemen.”

    Admitting that there were “freemen,” their part was evidently
    secondary, unless in reality they were the new-made “freedmen,”
    as a scholar has suggested. The predominance of the latter
    is conspicuous in the old English translation by Sir Thomas
    North:[183] “_And being landed, proclaimed by sound of
    trumpet liberty to all slaves and bondmen that would come to
    him._ So the laborers, herdmen, and neat-herds of all that
    marsh, for the only name and reputation of Marius, ran to
    the seaside from all parts.” It appears also in the historic
    fact, that, when Marius landed in Etruria, there were few or
    no husbandmen and shepherds already free. They were slaves.
    According to Plutarch, the first prompting of Tiberius Gracchus
    to his career as a reformer was observation in this very
    region. Passing through Etruria, on the way to Spain, he was
    troubled to find “scarce any husbandmen or shepherds except
    slaves from foreign and barbarous nations.”[184] Niebuhr,
    following Plutarch, says that “he saw far and wide no free
    laborers, but numbers of slaves in chains.”[185] The language
    is strong,--“far and wide no free laborers.” This was 137
    years B. C. Somewhat later, 45 years B. C., Julius Cæsar by
    positive law required that of herdmen one third should always
    be free,[186] thus showing that two thirds at least were then
    slaves. It is only reasonable to suppose, that, if slaves were
    everywhere at the earlier date, and so numerous at the later
    date, it would have been impossible at the landing of Marius,
    87 years B. C., to form an army of freemen in a few days. Only
    fourteen years later the gladiator Spartacus called the slaves
    to his standard, and they came by tens of thousands, so as to
    stifle the local power; and here again is testimony to their
    comparative numbers.

    Nothing is clearer than the diminution of the free population
    of Italy at this period. An excellent authority speaks of it
    as “the most notorious evil of the times”;[187] and this is
    attested by others. It is easy to infer that the freemen must
    have been few by the side of the slaves. Naturally, therefore,
    did the experienced general make his appeal to this most
    numerous and sympathetic class: he knew that so his strength
    would be best assured. And this was the very position of Mr.
    Sumner. It is evident that Plutarch himself was of the same
    opinion; for shortly afterwards, in narrating these events,
    he records that the other side did not suffer so much through
    incapacity “as by anxious and unseasonable attention to
    the laws,”[188] in preventing Emancipation. This important
    testimony is most vividly stated in the old translation of
    North, when he describes the opponent of Marius in Rome as
    failing “not so much for lack of reasonable skill of wars _as
    through his unprofitable curiosity and strictness in observing
    the law_; for, when divers did persuade him to set the bondmen
    at liberty to take arms for defence of the Commonwealth,
    he answered, that he would never give bondmen the law and
    privilege of a Roman citizen, having driven Caius Marius out
    of Rome to maintain the authority of the law.”[189] Here was
    passion for consistency, and want of practical sense. Marius
    was not troubled in this way.

    Another circumstance makes the conclusion yet clearer. On
    entering Rome, Marius surrounded himself, according to
    Plutarch, “with a guard _selected_ from the slaves that had
    repaired to his standard,”[190] or, according to the same
    authority in another place, “the slaves, whom he had admitted
    his fellow-soldiers,“[191] thus attesting still further their
    superior importance. In the troubles that ensued these freedmen
    played a bloody part, until they were destroyed by Sertorius;
    and here again their numbers appear. According to Plutarch,
    the guard ”_selected_ from the slaves that had repaired to his
    standard” was four thousand,[192] or not far from the ordinary
    complement of a Roman legion, which the accomplished scholar,
    Mr. George Long, tells us was the very force collected by
    Marius in Etruria.[193] Plainly, therefore, the emancipated
    slaves constituted the main body, if not the whole legion.

    Whatever may be the text of Plutarch, and supposing freemen
    among the recruits, nothing can prevent the conclusion, that
    emancipated slaves constituted the decisive force by which
    success was achieved. Therefore this example illustrates the
    efficacy of a proclamation giving freedom to slaves, and for
    this purpose it was adduced.

    This discussion seems a diversion now; but at the time of the
    speech the criticism was a reality,[194] attracting attention
    and helping to arrest the great cause. To cap the climax, it
    was gravely argued, that, even if the Proclamation had the
    effect attributed to it, we must not imitate Caius Marius,--for
    he was no better than a barbarian.


    Specimens from the press show the condition of the public mind
    at the time, and the controversy which arose, extending to
    foreign countries. If there were enemies, so also were there
    friends, both at home and abroad.

    The _Boston Daily Advertiser_ thus frankly denounced the speech.

        “We are sorry to see a disposition in several quarters to
        represent the Republican party, mainly on the strength of
        Mr. Sumner’s unfortunate speech at Worcester, as a party of
        Emancipation, a ‘John Brown party,’ a party that desires to
        carry on this war as a war of Abolition.… The Convention
        certainly disavowed any intention of indorsing the fatal
        doctrines announced by Mr. Sumner, with a distinctness
        which can scarcely be flattering to that gentleman’s
        conception of his own influence in Massachusetts.… It
        is alleged that the Convention cheered Mr. Sumner. His
        supporters among the delegates and spectators undoubtedly
        did so: but who does not see that this goes for nothing,
        in the face of the obvious fact that the silent party
        who disapproved were so much superior in number as to
        control the action of the whole body?… We hold it for an
        incontestable truth, that neither men nor money will be
        forthcoming for this war, if once the people are impressed
        with the belief that the Abolition of Slavery, and not the
        defence of the Union, is its object, or that its original
        purpose is converted into a cloak for some new design of
        seizing this opportunity for the destruction of the social
        system of the South.… The speech to which we have several
        times referred has certainly done as much as lay within the
        compass of one man’s powers to inspire this suspicion, to
        distract and weaken the loyal, and by indirection to aid
        the disloyal.”

    The _Boston Evening Gazette_ was in harmony with the

        “His appearance this year was not in accordance with the
        wishes of those who do not follow his lead, but regard
        him as one of the most irrepressible impracticables of
        the party.… The sentiments uttered by Mr. Sumner are
        opposed to the spirit of the times, to the policy of the
        Administration, and are detrimental to the prosperity
        of the cause. They are Charles Sumner’s ideas; he is
        responsible for them; and the Convention, by killing the
        resolutions offered by Rev. James Freeman Clarke, of
        Boston, which substantially indorsed the speech of Mr.
        Sumner, repudiated the Emancipation sentiments which Mr.
        Sumner attempted to induce the Republicans to adopt as a
        part of their policy. It was a most lamentable failure,
        and should prove a lesson to men who are so entangled in
        one idea that they imagine the wealth of the country and
        the blood of its sons are being poured out to perpetuate a
        party, instead of securing the safety of the Union and the

        “After reading Mr. Sumner’s speech, one can but regret that
        a mind possessed of such culture should give utterance
        to sentiments that will stimulate the flames which now
        threaten the destruction of the ship of state, and provoke
        discord among the noble men who are striving to save it.
        Had some unknown individual spoken the same words at this
        time, we doubt not many would have regarded him as a fit
        inmate for an insane asylum; but it is the position and
        antecedents of the Senator which alone shield him from the
        suspicion of being a proper person against whom a writ _De
        lunatico inquirendo_ might be issued.… The tone of the
        speech and the manner in which it was delivered are the
        acme of arrogance.”

    The _Boston Journal_ did not differ much from the _Advertiser_,
    except in manner.

        “Mr. Sumner and other radical Antislavery men, dazzled
        by visions of Universal Freedom, entirely overlook the
        insurmountable difficulties which stand in the way of
        immediate emancipation. The unutterable horrors of a
        servile insurrection do not present themselves, or they
        would shrink from the prospect. The economic problem of
        supporting four millions of human beings who have never
        been self-dependent is not considered. All practical
        considerations, in fact, are ignored by a miscalled
        philanthropy which is as impracticable as it is visionary,
        and which would lay waste the most prolific soil, and fill
        our land with vagrants and marauders.

        “We must limit the war to the purposes so distinctly
        avowed by the Administration, or the sun of our national
        prosperity will set in darkness and gloom, to rise again,
        if at all, only after years of bloodshed and anarchy.
        Proclaim the policy of Emancipation, and all hope of a
        reconstruction of the Union will be crushed out. All the
        loyal elements in Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri will
        be alienated at once, and every prospect of awakening the
        dormant loyalty in the seceded States will have passed
        away. It will come to this, that we must subjugate or be
        subjugated. The people of the South would defend their
        homes and their firesides to the last extremity, as we
        would do, should the chances of war favor them. The present
        generation would not see the end of such a contest, unless
        the North should be conquered and subdued by the aid of
        foreign bayonets or internal dissensions. From such a war
        we may well pray to be delivered.”

    The _Norfolk County Journal_ declared dissent.

         “We are not prepared to indorse the doctrines to which
        Mr. Sumner gave utterance in his Worcester speech. They
        strike us as not pertinent to the present stage of the
        Rebellion. Though their application may become a necessity
        in the future, public sentiment is as yet unready to adopt
        and enforce them. They were especially infelicitous in
        being advanced at a Convention to which men of varying
        views of public policy had been invited, and their
        influence has not conduced to that harmony of political
        action in Massachusetts which it is desirable to bring

    The _Springfield Republican_, among many things, said:--

        “We fear it is but an illustration of the mental perversity
        produced by entire absorption in a single aspect of a great
        question, without regard to its manifold relations, and by
        the ‘sacred animosity,’ which, too exclusively nourished,
        renders the best men reckless of means in the pursuit of
        what they consider the chief end of life.”

    On the contrary, the able Boston correspondent of that paper

        “Charles Sumner’s speech was the great event of the day,
        however. It was an epoch and a victory in itself. The
        right thing was said, in the right way, at the right time,
        by the right man. It was wise, conservative, practical,
        as Mr. Sumner always is, and it unquestionably met the
        views of four fifths of the audience. Those who did
        not enthusiastically applaud said, ‘Oh, it isn’t quite
        time; Sumner is right; this will be the _result_, we
        hope and expect; but let us wait for Providence and the

    The _Boston Post_, representing the Democracy, declared itself.

        “Mr. Sumner’s speech at Worcester yesterday was in
        direct opposition to the policy of the Administration,
        the declaration of Congress, and the avowed purpose of
        the war,--overflowing with the same narrow, bitter, and
        unconstitutional sentiments that have done so much to bring
        our present misfortunes upon us, and which tend to render
        the restoration of the Union impossible. If such views as
        he advances governed the action of the Administration, _not
        a brigade could be kept in the field_, or money enough
        raised by the Secretary of the Treasury to buy breeches and
        gaiters for a demagogue Senator. For such men as Sumner and
        his ilk do not fight nor pay; they only brawl, and deserve
        to be treated as were old scolds in days past,--_ducked in
        a horse-pond_.”

    Then in another article:--

        “The error of having listened to this speech cannot be
        repaired. The Republicans can set the matter right, as to
        this being indorsed by the friends of the Administration
        in Massachusetts; and it would seem to be incumbent on the
        Republican State Committee to make a statement of facts,
        going to show, that, as a body, it did not invite Mr.
        Sumner to speak,--that, though the noisy Abolitionists
        shouted, yet the main body of the Convention evidently and
        notoriously heard him with sorrow.”

    And again, by a correspondent, the same Democratic organ said:--

        “Can any patriot read the rodomontade of this classic
        fanatic at the Worcester Convention, without a sense of
        pain, nausea, and disgust? He certainly ought to be put in
        a strait-jacket.”

    The _Boston Courier_ promptly said:--

        “The sincerity of the Republican managers, in appealing to
        Union men of all parties to meet with them in Convention,
        is not certainly placed beyond question by the fact
        that Mr. Sumner (not without invitation, we apprehend)
        comes forward as the organ of the assembly, and makes
        the principal speech of the occasion, as he did at the
        Convention last year. At that period this was felt
        as at least an awkward circumstance, considering the
        unquestionable Antislavery ultraisms of Mr. Sumner. Of all
        men in the community, this, and this alone, was the special
        vocation of this Senator,--to denounce a domestic usage
        of a part of the country, which, whether good or bad, is
        protected by its Constitution and laws.”

    In another issue the same paper characterized the speech as
    one, “the insane counsels of which considerate men of all
    parties regard with such dislike and indignation.”

    The _Newburyport Herald_ said:--

        “Charles Sumner’s speech will be found on our first page
        to-day. We give it not by way of approval, for it seems to
        us the worst speech that could be made. Its only influence
        will be to distract and divide the North, and raise up a
        faction here against the Administration, which has declared
        for an entirely different policy,--while at the South it
        will kill what little Union sentiment remains, and rejoice
        the Rebel hosts, giving them better ammunition for their
        treason than powder would be.… We don’t know how it appears
        to others, but it seems to us, that, if Jeff Davis had
        liberty to send his own agent here to do the worst for us,
        he could have done nothing more. The war can be fought upon
        no such grounds; and before it closes, we shall discover
        that fact.”

    The New York _Journal of Commerce_ was quite sententious.

        “The Republicans of Boston desire to be rid of any
        connection with the fanatic Senator’s remarks. The signs of
        the times improve.”

    The _Carbon Democrat_, of Pennsylvania, breaks forth in

        “If there were any lack of evidence to prove that Charles
        Sumner is really an enemy to our country, and desired only
        to destroy it, and immerse the people in the dreadful,
        crashing slavery of martial tyranny, this speech supplies
        the link, and makes the train of evidence against his
        fealty strong as Holy Writ. He here unblushingly proclaims
        the horrid policy of unloosing the bonds of four million
        slaves, and setting them against the Caucasian race,--to
        murder, pillage, and destroy, without stint, until their
        barbarous appetites may be appeased.…

        “In this connection we might suggest that Marius was a
        very proper example for Senator Sumner and his school of
        politicians to quote. Like them, he was the very prince of

        “He advocates a doctrine which is in direct violation of
        the spirit of the Constitution, and which tends only to
        weaken the hands of the Government, by dividing public
        sentiment at the North, and thus discouraging enlistments.
        Why is it that the Government, thus assailed, does not lay
        its hand upon this fulminator of treason, and secure him
        safely behind the bars and bolts of Fort Lafayette?”

    The _New York Herald_ thus interpreted the speech:--

        “Now we beg leave to submit, that this speech, from this
        Senator, at this crisis, comprehends an Abolition warning
        to the Administration, and a warning to the States involved
        in this Rebellion. Mr. Sumner is supported in his views by
        an active Abolition faction, extending from Massachusetts
        to Missouri, and with this faction an exterminating
        crusade against Slavery is the all-absorbing idea. Let the
        President and his Cabinet, then, exert their energies to
        the uttermost for a speedy blow or two which will break
        the backbone of this Rebellion, or we know not what may be
        the consequences to the Administration from the fanatical
        hostility of this Abolition faction to the conservative
        policy of Mr. Lincoln. On the other hand, we would appeal
        to the Union men of the Border Slave States to turn out
        at once, and en masse, to the active support of the
        Government, and thus restore the Union in its integrity,
        including the integrity of Southern institutions, in the
        speedy expulsion of the Rebels into the Cotton States. With
        the Border Slave States rescued, this whole Rebellion will
        soon fall to pieces from its own weight; but every day
        that the Rebels continue to menace Washington, to desolate
        Missouri, and to hold a threatening lodgement in Kentucky,
        the danger to Southern Slavery is increased, and of a
        protracted and desolating war of sections, factions, and

       *       *       *       *       *

    Against these voices were others very different in tone.

    The _National Antislavery Standard_ of New York, in an
    elaborate leader, united with Mr. Sumner.

        “We lay before our readers to-day the admirable speech of
        Mr. Sumner before the Republican Convention at Worcester,
        Massachusetts. We shall not invite their attention to it,
        for we are sure they cannot keep their attention away from
        it, and it will well repay all that they have to bestow. It
        is a bold, clear, and conclusive exposition of the policy
        which the United States Government should adopt, and make
        the vital principle of their action, in the present war.
        Mr. Sumner is the first public man of eminent station who
        has dared to indicate the true and only way of escape for
        this nation out of its dangers; and whether his counsel be
        hearkened unto or mocked, he will go into history as the
        first man of high political rank who has discerned and not
        shrunk from proclaiming this saving truth.”

    The New York _Independent_ published the speech promptly upon
    its delivery, with the remark:--

        “The following masterly and patriotic speech was made by
        Hon. Charles Sumner at the recent Republican Convention in
        Massachusetts which renominated Governor Andrew.”

    The same paper, in another issue, followed the speech with a
    tribute which has merit of its own.


        “We thank thee, Sumner! Thou hast spoken the word
        God gave to thy safe keeping; thou hast set
        Life, Death, before the nation; thou hast hurled
        Thy single pebble, plucked from Truth’s pure stream,
        Into the forehead of a Giant Wrong,
        And it doth reel and tremble. Men may doubt,
        But the keen sword of Right shall finish well
        Thy brave beginning.

                             “Courage, then, true soul!
        Not vainly hast thou spoken; angels heard,
        And shook from their glad harps a gush of joy
        That the _One Word_ was uttered in men’s ears,
        The ‘Open Sesame’ by which alone
        True Freedom and true Peace might enter in,
        Making earth like to heaven.

                                     “Then bide thy time.
        What thou hast spoken as ’t were in the ear
        Shall be proclaimed on housetops. God locks up
        In His safe garner every seed of Truth,
        Until the time shall come to cast it forth,
        Saying, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill
        The broad earth, till it shouts its harvest-home.’
        His purposes are sure; who works with Him
        Need fear no failure. By my hopes of heaven,
        I’d rather speak one word for Truth and Right,
        That God shall hear and treasure up for use
        In working out His purposes of good,
        Than clutch the title-deed that should insure
        A kingdom to my keeping!--so, in faith,
        I speak my simple word, and, fearing not,
        Commit it to His hands whom I do serve.

        “And thus it is, O friend, that I have dared
        To send thee greeting and this word of cheer.
        God bless thee, Sumner, and all souls like thine,
        Working serene and patient in His cause!
        God give thee of the fruit of thine own hands,
        And let thine own works praise thee in the gates
        Of the new city, whose foundation-stones
        Thy hands are laying, though men see it not!

                                       “CAROLINE A. MASON.

        “FITCHBURG, Mass.”

    The _New York Tribune_ said:--

        “The Hon. Charles Sumner yesterday delivered an eloquent
        speech at the Republican Convention at Worcester, Mass.,
        which we print this morning. He confined himself almost
        exclusively to a consideration of the subject of Slavery
        in its relation to the war; he took the ground that the
        overthrow of Slavery will at once make an end of the war,
        and justified that policy by many historic examples.”

    The _Tribune_ also published a dramatic sketch between a
    Conservative and a Reporter, exposing the reports about the
    reception of the speech. Here are a few lines.

        “CONSERVATIVE. Men took his coming coldly, as they say.

        “REPORTER. My Lord, they lie who say so. On my life,
        The pillars shook with plaudits,--the wide hall
        Was as a sea of joyous countenance.

        “CON. You are mistaken.

        “REP. With these eyes I saw it;
        Heard with these ears.

        “CON. Say they did not applaud.
        So must we dress it in the people’s eyes,
        As he had been a rash, unwelcome guest,
        Who came with little call, and spake with less.

    The Boston _Liberator_ spoke of it as “this dispassionate and
    statesmanlike speech”; but a correspondent complained of Mr.
    Sumner’s confidence in the Administration, saying:--

        “No, we are not yet saved! And it is the Commander-in-Chief
        of the Army, and the elected head of the nation, it is
        Abraham Lincoln himself, who obstructs, by the exercise
        of his individual will, the nation’s entrance upon that
        movement against Slavery which Mr. Sumner has shown to be
        the direct course, and the only course, to success against
        the Rebellion.”

    By another of its correspondents the same paper said:--

         “If I had a fortune, however large, I would exhaust
        the last cent in the way I have chosen, and in getting
        up petitions from the Free States, especially from
        Massachusetts, which should meet Congress at the very
        threshold of the session nearly upon us, and which should
        inspire Senator Sumner to submit his Plan of Emancipation
        to that body at once, and give foundation and impulse for
        an immediate and triumphant vote in his favor.”

    The _Boston Traveller_ announced the following:--

        “Several thousand copies of Senator Sumner’s recent speech
        at Worcester, which disturbed the equanimity of some of
        our contemporaries, have been circulated in Kentucky. A
        Colonel of that State, now in the Union service, writes
        thus: ‘Sumner’s speech strikes the key-note for the Union
        cause in Kentucky, and his policy, if followed up by the
        Administration, will insure us a speedy triumph.’”

    The country press of Massachusetts espoused the speech warmly.

    The New Bedford _Evening Standard_, always ready against
    Slavery, declared its sympathy, while giving testimony to the
    reception of the speech by the Convention.

        “We have no apology to make to our readers for inserting
        the noble speech of Mr. Sumner at the Worcester Convention.
        Its perusal by all earnest and sincere lovers of Freedom
        will no doubt be a rich treat, as it was to those who had
        the pleasure of hearing it from the Senator’s lips. _The
        manner in which it was received by nine tenths of the
        Convention was a true indication of the state of feeling
        in the Old Bay State._ We have been pained, as well as
        surprised, to see the manner in which some Republican
        papers, as well as individual members of the party, have
        spoken in condemnation of this speech.”

    The _People’s Press_, of Fall River, said:--

        “The _Boston Journal_ may call it ‘ill-timed eloquence,’
        but we believe that the people are rapidly coming to the
        conclusion that the Honorable Senator has resolutely spoken
        the needed truth, and has indicated the proper course for
        our Government to pursue, in order to put down rebellion
        most speedily and effectually, and secure a permanent peace
        and an undivided country.”

    The _Taunton Gazette_ said:--

         “This suggestive speech of the eloquent Senator is not
        in a strain which is just now popular. He does not sigh
        for the things which have passed away, but calmly fronts
        the demands of the future; and what he sees and declares
        of swift-coming events is in keeping with the sternest
        struggles for Liberty, and in full accordance with the
        irrepressible instinct which animates our armed free
        laborers, however the trimming politicians may denounce
        their declaration. Let us not speak ill of this forecast
        and courage. None knew better than he, that, for the time
        being, he was rendering a thankless service. Indeed, we
        venture to say that no other man holding high office in the
        government, or desiring to hold, will dare to second or in
        any way publicly approve of the vital suggestions of this

    The _Dedham Gazette_ was positive for the speech, and also as to
    its favorable reception.

        “The most significant feature of the Convention was
        the speech of Mr. Sumner, which was received with the
        strongest expressions of approval by the great mass of
        delegates present. The fixed and earnest attention with
        which every word was received, and the hearty and repeated
        applause which greeted every allusion to the doctrine of
        Emancipation, proved conclusively that upon this question
        the people are far in advance of the Government.”

    The _Charlestown Advertiser_ testified to the reception of the
    speech at the Convention.

        “This speech by the Hon. Charles Sumner has been assailed
        during the last fortnight by a herd of political
        scribblers, none of whom, however, have the wit to refute
        its positions. The Republican Convention sanctioned it, on
        its delivery, with the most hearty applause.”

    The Haverhill _Publisher_ expressed itself with caution.

        “As was said, in remarking upon the Worcester Convention,
        Mr. Sumner furnished the sensation matter for the occasion,
        so it now appears; for all over the country the press
        is lively with comment upon it, and in every circle it
        is the theme of discussion. It may be well to remember
        that the speech of Mr. Sumner will test the spirit of his
        constituents, and time will show whether they will sustain
        this great statesman, not as a partisan, but as a moral
        and philosophical force, in the evidently Heaven-appointed
        mission of keeping the public eye fixed upon a great
        principle, regardless of politicians or parties.”

    The _Northampton Free Press_ said:--

        “Charles Sumner was present at the Convention, and made
        one of his best speeches on Slavery and its relation
        to the war. It is sound in argument, and such a one as
        might be expected from its author. It was received with
        great applause; but the _Springfield Republican_ calls it
        ill-advised and out of place.”

    The _True American_, of Erie, Pennsylvania, said:--

        “The speech from Hon. Charles Sumner, made at Worcester,
        Massachusetts, on the 1st inst., and which is printed in
        full upon our first page, deserves the attention of every
        reader. It is a calm and statesmanlike argument in favor of
        suppressing this guilty Rebellion by removing its guilty
        cause. It is a clear vindication of a necessary policy.
        Coming from a man in his high official position, it is
        significant. And we believe, with a contemporary, that
        he will not have to wait for the verdict of posterity to
        justify and exalt the great truth his speech embodies.
        Indeed, we are confident that his word will find a response
        in all that is best of the North,--and not only in all that
        is best in quality, but strongest in numbers.”

    The Philadelphia _Public Ledger_ held the scales:--

        “Although Mr. Sumner, and Massachusetts at his back, are
        disposed to move faster than the rest of the North upon the
        Slavery Question, there is no doubt that whatever amount of
        injury, consistent with the Laws of War, inflicted on the
        South, will bring this Rebellion most speedily to an end
        will find the next Congress prepared at least to consider
        it. Mr. Sumner has proved very conclusively, that, as a
        punishment to Rebels and bad citizens, the manumission of
        the slaves is fully recognized by those old Roman laws
        which the South-Carolinians have been so fond of quoting in
        their own behalf. But Mr. Sumner has not proved, we think,
        that it would be policy to adopt at once and irrevocably so
        extreme a measure as to set at liberty some four millions
        of slaves.”

    _Le Messager Franco-Américain_, a French journal at New York,
    thus balanced the account:--

        “Mr. Charles Sumner, the eloquent Senator of Massachusetts,
        is indefatigable in his devotion to the cause of Free
        Labor. Always in the breach with the ardor of a true
        patriot and of a friend of Liberty, he contends without
        cessation for the triumph of those great principles
        of Right and Justice consecrated by the National
        Constitution.… Mr. Sumner is a light of the Antislavery
        army. He sees the cause of right and of country in danger.
        As a vigilant sentinel, he gives the signal of alarm. Let
        the civil war continue, and the cry of Emancipation by Mr.
        Sumner will find powerful echoes in the Northern States.
        The conservative and honest population at the South should
        reflect upon this.”

    Crossing the ocean, the same differences appear, with allusions
    to the character of the war. Here was evident disposition
    to recognize in Mr. Sumner exceptional earnestness against
    Slavery, while the country was worse than indifferent. This
    view was presented by no less a person than the Earl of
    Shaftesbury, in a speech at a public meeting, reported in the
    London _Times_, July 25, 1861, where he said:--

        “There had, however, been no great feeling in the country
        for either one or the other of the parties; for the country
        did not believe in the sincerity of either. The North had
        conceded everything to Slavery that it could possibly
        demand; so the South had certainly no cause for rebellion.
        But in the struggle they were entering on, the North never
        thought of putting an end to Slavery; for, _if such a
        declaration had been made, they would have had the sympathy
        of every man in England_: he was almost afraid to say how
        far he thought that sympathy would have gone.… There was
        no honest feeling on the subject of Slavery in America,
        except among the Abolitionists headed by that great and
        good man, Charles Sumner.”

    Similar expressions of good-will to Mr. Sumner had appeared in
    France. Besides allusions in the writings of M. Laboulaye and
    M. Cochin, there was a contemporary notice in a letter from
    Washington, of August 12, 1861, in the _Opinion Nationale_ of
    Paris, evidently by a gentleman who accompanied Prince Napoleon
    on his summer tour in the United States.

        “I have been present at sessions of the Senate and House
        of Representatives. I have had pointed out to me the
        most influential members of both parties, … Mr. Sumner,
        Massachusetts Senator, acknowledged leader of the
        Abolitionists, an amiable, educated man, having travelled
        much in France, the friend of De Tocqueville, and very well
        versed in our literature.”[195]

    In harmony with this testimony was the sketch by Colonel
    Ferri-Pisani, aide-de-camp of Prince Napoleon, in his letter
    from Washington of August 10, 1861.

        “The person with whom the Prince has formed the most
        sympathetic relations is Mr. Sumner, Senator of the
        State of Massachusetts (Boston), and declared partisan
        of the Abolition of Slavery. Mr. Sumner is one of the
        most eloquent men of the United States, a mind highly
        instructed, very cultivated, especially versed in French
        literature, which he studied in France. He was the friend
        of De Tocqueville, and is personally connected with a great
        number of our writers and thinkers. His manners are as
        distinguished as his intelligence. He inspires among the
        partisans of the South a furious hate; in return, he passes
        for the warmest partisan of the French alliance, and for
        the friend of our Legation.”[196]

    These testimonies prepare the way for expressions which found
    utterance abroad after the speech at Worcester, and help
    explain the notice it received.

    The London _Times_, always against the Union in its efforts to
    put down the Rebellion, said:--

        “While statesmen, merchants, and bankers are laboring to
        carry on a suicidal war in a conservative spirit, and to
        spare the interests and prejudices of the foe, a more
        numerous class from the Atlantic to the Mississippi have
        no such scruple, and go to the root of the evil. Slavery,
        they are told by one of the most eloquent of the agitators,
        himself a martyr in the cause, is the original sin of
        the Union, the cause of every subsequent dissension, the
        occasion of this war, and, what is more, the strength
        of the wrong cause, and the weakness of the right. Mr.
        Sumner refers to Slavery every misery, every mishap, every
        difficulty of the Federal cause,--and tells listening
        thousands that all they do, the sacrifices they make, their
        taxation, their life-blood, their commercial interests,
        everything they have, suffer, do, or hope, is all flung
        into that Maelström, never to reappear. The whole American
        nation, with all its wealth and all its glory, is flung as
        a holocaust before the shrine of this hideous idol. The
        remedy he proclaims is to give up the weak scruple which
        paralyzes a righteous arm. Mr. Sumner sees in this war not
        merely a call to rally round a Constitution, to punish
        treason, and reinstate a mighty power; he sees a call to
        a higher level of humanity, and a sublimer doctrine. “Not
        Union, but Freedom,”[197] is his cry. This is the fated
        weapon for the decision of the contest. This alone can
        defeat the foe, whose strength is in Slavery.…

        “Now all this we have heard before. It is a story in Mr.
        Sumner’s mouth, and according to him it is as old as the
        Declaration of Independence itself, and the first struggles
        of the Commonwealth. What, we have to ask, is its fresh
        significance at the present hour? According to Mr. Sumner,
        its significance is most critical. Slavery he makes out to
        be the very balance on which the fortunes of America now

        “Every nation in the world has had to give up its
        pretensions at one time or another; and the Federal
        Government will only follow the example of the most
        powerful sovereigns and the wisest ministers, if it
        makes peace in time, before it is committed to a treble
        war,--with the Confederates, the British, and its own
        Abolitionists at home.”

    The London _Herald of Peace_, in its opposition to the war,
    took pains to insist that it was not Antislavery,--forgetting
    that the North, even when failing to demand the abolition of
    Slavery, sought its limitation, and that the new Government
    openly declared Slavery its corner-stone. After setting forth
    Mr. Sumner’s “proposal to use the War Power to proclaim at
    once, as respects the Rebels, the emancipation of their
    slaves,” and that “the speech was received with many
    demonstrations of applause,” it dwells on the circumstances
    favoring the effort: that it was in Massachusetts, of all
    the States “the most forward in the Antislavery cause”; that
    “the subject was presented by one whose judgment they were
    most bound to honor, and whose lead they were most likely to
    follow,” whom it describes.

        “Mr. Sumner is a man of whom Massachusetts might well be
        proud. His great abilities, his lofty spirit, his spotless
        public life, mark him as a man standing apart, not to be
        confounded with the crowd of selfish politicians that
        besiege the avenues of power in America. He has stood
        forward in evil days to encounter with an undaunted mien
        the obloquy and the peril attaching to the avowal of
        thorough Antislavery principles, and has been not the
        champion merely, but the martyr of the cause.”

    After this presentation, it goes on to ask, “Well, and what
    was the reception which Mr. Sumner’s proposal met from the
    Republican Convention of the State of Massachusetts?” It finds
    an answer in the refusal to act on the resolutions of Mr.
    Clarke, and then says:--

        “After all this, we sincerely hope we shall hear no more
        of this war as a war for the liberation of the slave, as a
        ‘sublime uprising’ of the men of the North for the cause of
        Human Freedom.”

    The London _Post_, which did not sympathize with the National
    cause, said:--

        “If the Federal Government are in want of an _ex parte_
        defender, they will certainly find one in Mr. Charles
        Sumner. When he tells the Republican State Convention
        at Worcester, that Rebellion never assumed such a front
        since Satan made war upon the Almighty, he used first the
        hyperbolical language which the most abject courtier of an
        absolute monarch in the Middle Ages could have suggested
        in condemnation of some insurrection that had broken out
        in one of his provinces.… _Mr. Sumner narrows the question
        now dividing the North and South distinctly into a war
        of Slavery._ Hence he appeals to European sympathies in
        behalf of the North. Now this view is in great part true,
        yet it is not wholly true.… It is not simply in respect
        of Slavery, as Mr. Sumner represents it, that the South
        differs from the North. The leading men of the South
        were commonly of different extraction from the leading
        men of the North. That difference has developed a broad
        distinction in social habits, in political ideas, in
        consent to authority, and in other characteristics which
        constitute the idiosyncrasy of a nation.… We cannot,
        therefore, agree with Mr. Sumner, that the question
        is essentially and wholly a slave question, any more
        than we can regard the secession as a rebellion against
        quasi-Divine authority.”

    But the National cause was not without defenders abroad, nor
    the speech without sympathy.

    The London _Daily News_, in an elaborate leader, with an
    abstract of the speech, said:--

        “The most remarkable circumstance which we have yet
        chronicled is the speech of Mr. Charles Sumner in defence
        of the war.… We regard Mr. Sumner’s speech as most
        important in every point of view. It is the best answer
        which has been yet made on American ground to those who
        complain that hitherto the cause of the North has not met
        with the sympathy it deserved in Britain. But passing
        this, it shows to the Northerners themselves what it is
        that paralyzes their arms, what it is that places them so
        generally on the defensive and prevents their success.
        Let Mr. Sumner’s policy be adopted, and it would not only
        strike terror into the hearts of the Rebels, but would
        animate the masses of volunteers in the North with a
        ‘spirit which would render them still more formidable.’”

    A London commercial paper, _The Floating Cargoes Evening List_,
    published a considerable extract, with a line from the speech
    as its caption, “Look at the war as you will, and you always
    see Slavery,” and the following notice:--

        “The present American war exercises so powerful an
        influence upon commercial affairs in general, that the
        expression of an opinion on this subject by one of the most
        eminent American statesmen deserves special notice.”

    The London _Morning Star_ thus declared its sympathy:--

        “The speech delivered by the Hon. Charles Sumner, at the
        Republican Convention at Worcester, in Massachusetts,
        is one of the most significant events of the American
        crisis.… In vigorous and eloquent words Mr. Sumner has
        told the plain truths which we have frequently reiterated,
        and there was not heard even the whisper of a dissentient
        voice.[198] He pointed out that Slavery is the great enemy
        to the preservation of the Union, and that its eradication
        would bring the war at once to a close.… Emancipation must
        come, and its calm concession by an act of executive power
        can alone prevent its ultimate consummation by red-handed
        insurrection. The enthusiastic assent which was evoked by
        Mr. Sumner’s noble words--words worthy alike of the man and
        of his theme--is a cheering foretaste of the triumph which
        cannot be long deferred.”

    In the English island of Jersey, one of the Channel Isles, on
    the coast of France, the _Independent and Daily Telegraph_
    published the speech at length, with an article entitled “The
    Orator of Freedom,” where it said:--

        “As a general rule, even those who like to listen to good
        speeches do not care to read long speeches, good or bad.
        But even such persons need not our recommendation to give
        their attention to the graceful periods and electrifying
        appeals of, probably, the most accomplished of American
        speakers,--perhaps we might justly say the foremost orator
        speaking the Anglo-Saxon tongue; for, rivalling Gladstone
        in genius, he more than rivals the glory of England’s
        House of Commons by that holy earnestness which imparts
        to eloquence its chief effect, and which naturally is the
        product of circumstances rather than of individual will.…
        The principles of the Massachusetts Senator command our
        thorough adhesion, as his extraordinary talents challenge
        our admiration, and his courageous consistency carries
        with it our respect. But, although we can make every
        allowance for President Lincoln and his ministers, and
        those Massachusetts men who hesitate to invoke the sword of
        Spartacus, still, we repeat, all our sympathies are with
        Mr. Sumner, and the cause of which he is the champion,
        and the policy of which he is the exponent.… Although
        grammarians will not allow the comparative and superlative
        of ‘right,’ and know nothing of ‘righter’ and ‘rightest,’
        we must nevertheless affirm that General Butler was right,
        General Fremont more right, and that Senator Sumner is most

    Crossing to the Continent, the controversy continues.

    The _Précurseur_ of Antwerp, in Belgium, said:--

        “Mr. Charles Sumner has pronounced very energetically in
        favor of the Abolition of Slavery, and demanded, with
        great strength of expression and power of argument, the
        introduction of this question into the conflict. He
        demanded especially, that the Executive Power should
        pronounce in favor of Immediate Abolition by a declaration,
        perfectly legal according to him, that all slaves coming
        within the lines of the Federal [National] army should
        be free. This declaration seems to him at the same time
        constitutional and justified by precedents. The Executive
        Power has this right in virtue of Martial Law. The most
        significant fact, and which augurs the definitive solution
        of the question, is, that the speech was received with
        great enthusiasm by the audience; and since it presents
        in effect the most rapid solution of a burdensome war, it
        becomes now more than probable that the pressure of public
        opinion will not be slow in making itself felt by the
        Federal Government.”

    The _Pays_, at Paris, an Imperialist journal, said:--

        “It appears that in the State of Massachusetts public views
        are divided as to the means to be employed for joining the
        pieces of the American Union. The most violent, represented
        by Senator Sumner, preach war to the knife, and the
        emancipation of the blacks. They propose to give liberty to
        all the slaves in the Union, with indemnities to loyalists
        only. Thus, then, if we are to believe Senator Sumner, the
        surest way of establishing peace in North America will be
        to let loose several millions of blacks, and incite them to
        murder and incendiarism.”

    On the other hand, in France was the testimony of Count Agénor
    de Gasparin, noble friend of the national cause, who, in a
    powerful work, cited the speech at Worcester, and adopted its
    conclusion,[199]--also of M. Édouard Laboulaye, who, at a
    later day, when presiding over the Antislavery Conference at
    Paris, surrounded by the Abolitionists of all countries, paid a
    flattering tribute to Mr. Sumner, winding up with allusion to
    this speech:--

        “Charles Sumner, a man who in his turn took up this cause
        and defended it with the most admirable eloquence, which,
        as you probably all know, was the occasion of his being
        nearly killed in his place in the Senate,--an act for which
        the assassin was rewarded by his Southern friends. They
        gave him a cane, gold-mounted, bearing the inscription,
        ‘_Hit him again._’ Mr. Sumner came to France, and we made
        his acquaintance at that time. The object of his journey
        was the reëstablishment of his health,--and he recovered
        it; for he it was, who, during the whole of the war, was
        the real adviser of America: he felt, and he said, more
        boldly than any one, that the war could be terminated only
        by the Abolition of Slavery.”[200]

    The position accorded to Mr. Sumner in Europe, beginning
    especially with this speech, was attested at a still later
    day in an article by M. Michel Chevalier, a Senator of France
    under the Empire, renowned for various writings, especially
    in Political Economy. In a sympathetic review of the address
    on the “Duel between France and Germany,” this authority thus
    expresses himself:--

        “The opinion embodied in the writing which I am about to
        analyze, and which is a mixture of sympathetic words and
        of severe counsels for France, is not that of one or many
        assemblies, of one or many popular meetings, of one group
        or of many groups of journals; it is that of one man. But
        this man is one of the most distinguished citizens of his
        country; he has exercised a supreme influence in the events
        of which the great Republic has been the theatre since the
        moment when, in 1861, the South declared that it broke the
        Union, and at the mouth of the cannon seized Fort Sumter,
        situated in the harbor of Charleston. Mr. Charles Sumner
        has not figured on the battle-field; he was elsewhere, in
        the Senate of the United States, from which place, it can
        be said, he was the political director of the conflict.…
        But the thought of extirpating Slavery, of obliging the
        Slave States to modify their internal system so as to
        render impossible the reëstablishment of servitude under
        another name, the idea of assimilating by law the black
        and mulatto with the white,--assimilation to which until
        then their habits were as repugnant as their laws,--these
        have belonged to Mr. Charles Sumner more than to any other
        person, and were the basis of a plan which has triumphed by
        the indomitable will and the ever-ready eloquence of this
        statesman. It can therefore be said of Mr. Charles Sumner,
        that he is in himself a public opinion.”[201]


    As after the speech on the Barbarism of Slavery, so now,
    letters came with volunteer testimony. Beyond their interest as
    tokens of strong and wide-spread sympathy with Mr. Sumner, they
    have historic value as illustrations of the intense Antislavery
    sentiment destined so soon to triumph. Sometimes they are
    directly responsive to the press, especially in the severity
    of its criticism on the speech. Here, as before, Abolitionists
    took the lead.

    Wendell Phillips thus earnestly placed himself by the side of
    his friend:--

        “I both thank and congratulate you most heartily on your
        great speech, for some reasons the _boldest_ even you ever
        made,--the first statesmanlike word worthy of the hour
        from any one in a high civil position,--fit response from
        Statesmanship to War,--showing the people the reasons and
        purpose of Fremont’s proclamation, and giving it more
        breadth and a nobler basis.

        “All agree it was a most decided success,--taking the
        Convention wholly off its feet with enthusiasm; and we
        absent ones may measure the strength of the blow from the
        rebound,--witness _Post_, _Courier_, _Journal_, and, basest
        of all, _Advertiser_, of course.…

        “Never fear but that the masses, the hearts, are all with
        you,--and you’ll see your enemies at your footstool, as you
        so often have already.”

    And in another letter:--

        “I could not take the hazard of advising you to make it,
        though I told you in your circumstances I should; but now
        you’ve done it, I can say it was _wise_ and _well_,--your
        duty to the country, to the hour, yourself, the slave,--to
        your fame as a statesman, and your duty as leader.”

    Lewis Tappan, the Abolitionist, wrote from New York:--

        “‘Union and Peace,--how they shall be restored.’ You have
        shown the way, and the only way. We may have peace on other
        terms, but no union _and_ peace. The Free States must
        choose between peace, temporary peace, renewed war, and
        peace founded upon righteousness, justice, and equity.”

    Hon. Amasa Walker, the able writer on Political Economy,
    afterwards Representative in Congress, wrote from North

        “You never made a nobler, braver, or more opportune
        utterance than at Worcester on the first instant. But
        all Hunkerdom is down upon you for it, as I expected. No
        matter,--the people, I trust in God, will sustain you. Your
        words meet a most hearty response in the hearts of all
        true men, you may rest assured. If your positions are not
        sustained by the country, the great contest now going on
        will end in failure, and ought to end so.”

    David Lee Child, the sincere and lifelong Abolitionist, once a
    journalist and lawyer, and always a writer, wrote for himself
    and his wife from Wayland, Massachusetts:--

        “I was, and my wife was, refreshed and strengthened by your
        voice from Worcester. When you gave us the ‘Barbarism of
        Slavery,’ the grandest, the most comprehensive, complete,
        compact, and conclusive of all your noble utterances
        against ‘the sum of all villanies,’ I did not write,
        though never before so much moved to do so. We read it
        the night that it reached us, and were so exalted by it
        that we sat up two hours beyond our time, talking about
        it and rejoicing over it. The foes of justice and freedom
        accuse you of accelerating the crisis and precipitating
        civil war by that speech. I think they are right for once.
        The revived victim of frustrate assassins, the calm and
        undaunted bearing, the inflexible purpose, the overwhelming
        force of facts, argument, and illustration, struck more
        terror to the soul of Richard than could the substance of
        ten thousand soldiers armed in proof.

        “I fully intended to address you as soon as the overflow
        of my heart became somewhat proportionate to the capacity
        of the pen, and to repeat that quotation from Tully which
        Junius aptly uses, though less aptly than it applied then:
        ‘Quod si quis existimat me aut voluntate esse mutata,
        aut debilitata virtute, aut _animo_ fracto, vehementer
        errat.’[202] But my dear wife wrote you our joint offering
        of admiration and gratitude better than I could do it for

    Hon. S. E. Sewall, the able lawyer and devoted Abolitionist,
    whose sympathy with Mr. Sumner had been constant, wrote from

        “As I have not time to call on you just now, I cannot
        forbear writing, merely to say how delighted I am with
        your speech at Worcester. I see it has roused a good deal
        of howling among our wretched editors. But this does not
        convince me that your position is wrong, or that it will
        not be sustained by the country. Almost every one whom I
        see thinks as I do about your speech, and regards it as
        eloquent, statesmanlike, and timely. I trust Congress will
        think as you do, and act accordingly.”

    George Livermore, who so often wrote to Mr. Sumner with entire
    sympathy, and soon afterwards contributed an invaluable service
    to the African race,[203] expressed his present anxiety.

        “I did hope that in this terrible day of our country’s
        trial there would be found sufficient patriotism with those
        sent to Worcester to cast aside _all party_ considerations
        and all disturbing differences, and unite, _before it is
        too late_, in trying to save the Government and the Union.…
        I trembled when I heard that you had been invited to speak,
        and I wept when I read your speech.

        “Unless there is a united North, united on the basis of the
        Constitution as it is, we are doomed to defeat.”

    Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, at the time Consul General at
    Montreal, wrote from that city:--

        “Thanks for your speech at Worcester. I want you to place
        the same question before the Senate.”

    Hon. Carl Schurz, at the time Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
    Plenipotentiary in Spain, wrote from Madrid:--

        “First let me thank you for the glorious speech you have
        delivered before the Massachusetts Convention. I agree with
        you on every point, and expect shortly to fight by your

    William S. Thayer, a writer of admirable sense, and Consul
    General at Alexandria in Egypt, wrote:--

        “Well, after all, your Cassandra-like prophecies as to the
        course of public affairs have come true to the letter. Time
        will show whether your declaration at the Massachusetts
        Convention, that without Emancipation our war will be a
        vain masquerade of battles, will not also be realized.
        At this distance from home I do not feel qualified to
        dogmatize; but we do not appear as yet to have struck our
        opponents in a vital part.”

    Hon. Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General, wrote from

        “Your speech is noble, beautiful, classical, sensible. I
        would have timed it differently; but I will take it now,
        rather than lose it.”

    Hon. Hiram Barney, Collector of New York, wrote:--

        “I was gratified with it. You indicate the proper course
        for the Government to take in this war with Slavery. It is
        the real Rebel, and Providence has brought us at length
        into direct conflict with it. We can destroy it without
        violating any right. Now is our opportunity, and I pray
        God we may have the wisdom and the intrepidity to end the
        war humanely and economically by the speedy destruction of
        the enemy, Slavery. Peace by Emancipation is accomplishing
        a good end by good means. How easily will the President
        make his administration the most eventful and glorious in
        American history!”

    Hon. Thomas Dawes Eliot, Representative in Congress, pure in
    life, and always against Slavery, wrote from New Bedford:--

        “If the party who have the responsible conduct of our war
        do not avail themselves of the power which the Law of
        Nations gives to them, whereby to strengthen themselves and
        defeat the Rebels, we shall find the party opposed to them
        will advocate Emancipation as a party issue. And when the
        time comes, as it must, that the South shall realize their
        own inevitable defeat, and shall see the alternative of
        submission or Emancipation, they will themselves initiate
        Freedom and secure Europe, unless before them we shall have

    Hon. E. G. Spaulding, the eminent Representative in Congress,
    and a leading member of the Committee of Ways and Means, wrote
    from Buffalo:--

        “Our people are earnestly discussing the subject of
        Immediate Emancipation, and I desire to see the views of
        one who has so thoroughly considered this question. Nearly
        all our people have come to the conclusion, that, whenever
        it is necessary to crush out the Rebellion to abolish
        Slavery, then the Government must abolish it.”

    Hon. Robert C. Pitman, afterwards of the Superior Court of
    Massachusetts, wrote from New Bedford:--

        “Permit me to thank you cordially for the service rendered
        by you to our cause, on Tuesday, at Worcester. Ideas must
        reinforce our arms, or we shall neither deserve nor win a

    Epes Sargent, journalist, another and early friend, wrote from

        “I do not think you can be more than two months in advance
        of the public sentiment of the North, in your speech. I
        read it with great satisfaction, and it was not till I
        got down town among the politicians that I realized what
        imprudent things you had been saying.”

    Hon. Daniel W. Alvord, who had coöperated with Mr. Sumner
    before, wrote from Greenfield, Massachusetts:--

        “I thank you for the right word uttered at the right time
        in your Worcester speech. I should not deem it necessary
        to say this, as you could hardly fail to know that such
        a speech would meet my hearty approbation, but for the
        attacks made upon you by the _Springfield Republican_. Be
        assured that the _Republican_ by no means reflects the
        feelings or the opinions of the people of the western
        counties. The thorough, hearty Republicans, who in the
        northwest, if not in the southwest, constitute a great
        majority, cordially indorse the reasoning and positions of
        the speech.”

    Hon. John D. Baldwin, journalist, afterwards Representative
    in Congress, and author of the work entitled “Pre-Historic
    Nations,” wrote from Worcester:--

        “What a wave of Hunkerism has flooded Massachusetts since
        the State Convention, reaching up to the ceiling of nearly
        every editorial sanctum! But the ebb-tide must come.”

    Hon. James H. Morton, the magistrate, wrote from Springfield,

        “I cannot refrain from expressing the satisfaction and
        pleasure I derived from the perusal of your Worcester
        speech. In my opinion it expressed the sentiment of a very
        large majority of the citizens of Massachusetts, and though
        in advance of the sentiment of the whole country, still, if
        I can read the signs of the times, our Government, if it
        has not already reached, is fast approaching, the doctrines
        there enunciated by you. It seems to me they must be
        adopted in their length and breadth.”

    A writer, admired as “Gail Hamilton,” wrote from Hamilton,

        “I glory in that speech. It is logic, and sagacity, and
        morality. Let them maul it. To that complexion must they
        come at last, and perhaps before. Strange that people will
        have so much faith in shilly-shally! Strange they will not
        see that honesty is the best policy, as well as the best
        religion! But never mind. Do you lead the van.”

    Rev. John Weiss, the eloquent preacher, and biographer of
    Theodore Parker, wrote from Milton:--

        “I am surprised and disappointed at the temper shown by
        the Republicans. Before the Worcester Convention I was
        ready to declare that the people were only waiting to
        have the word Emancipation strongly pronounced to repeat
        it with the aggrandizement of a hundred thousand votes. I
        am deeply pained to see how the newspapers receive your
        declarations. They thinly veil a spirit which is ready at
        the first opportunity to forget the Past, and to sacrifice
        its living representatives,--the men who alone preserve the
        glorious Antislavery idea, and whose prophecies can alone
        secure the Future.… ‘Cry aloud, and spare not.’ Reiterate
        more flatly and unsparingly, that the war must destroy the
        evil which engendered it. Give the bullets their billet,
        and the bayonets something to think about, and lend them
        a manifesto of Freedom to punctuate. What a Congress will
        next winter’s be! Compromise will seek to make War its

    Orestes A. Brownson, Catholic thinker and writer, wrote from
    Elizabeth, New Jersey:--

        “I have re-read your speech at Worcester, and I’m even
        better pleased with it than I was at the first reading.
        You have struck the right chord, as the manner in which my
        own article has been received sufficiently indicates. Our
        venerable President and his rhetorical adviser, whatever
        their timidity, or their reluctance, or attachment to the
        ‘Rule of Three,’ must come to the policy you recommend.
        It is clear to me that it is impossible to save both the
        integrity of the Nation and Southern Slavery, and the great
        question before us now is, whether we shall sacrifice the
        Nation to Slavery, or Slavery to the Nation. This is the
        issue before the people, and this issue we must meet.”

    Rev. R. S. Storrs, the eminent Congregational divine, wrote
    from Braintree, Massachusetts:--

        “Your admirable speech before the Worcester Convention
        ought to have been sooner acknowledged, with the fervent
        gratitude of my heart, to Heaven and you, for its delivery.
        The spirit that condemns its argument or author is either
        the spirit of blind infatuation, or of treachery as foul as
        marks the Southern Confederates themselves. It surprises
        and grieves me that _Republicans_ wince and scold at the
        _just_ lashing given to the grand conspirator against
        Liberty and Religion,--for in this contest they are
        identical. The timeserving policy of multitudes who have
        hitherto acted with us, and, as it seems to me, of the
        Administration itself, is revolting, and puts far away the
        day of peace and prosperity.”

    Rev. Francis LeBaron, afterwards of Ohio, earnest against
    Slavery, wrote from Dighton, Massachusetts:--

        “Let me take this opportunity to thank you most heartily
        for your Worcester speech, and for your Boston lecture.
        Such noble words dwarf other men’s actions, and make me
        glad that the feeling of hero-worship is still strong at my
        heart. I can see honor and victory and glory and permanence
        on no other path than that by which you would lead the
        nation. If you will touch men’s hearts so nobly, you must
        not be surprised that they leap toward you; and when men
        move my deepest respect and admiration, I must tell them

    Rev. Moncure D. Conway, the Reformer, so admirable with his
    pen, wrote from Cincinnati:--

        “Allow me to thank you for the exquisite presentation of
        the law and the truth in your Worcester speech, which I
        read in the _Tribune_, to the million of readers guarantied
        it there, and the million others by the Boston press. I
        shall secure a large circulation in this city’s press. It
        is a perfect code for the hour.”

    Rev. Rufus P. Stebbins, who sympathized so strongly with the
    speech on the Barbarism of Slavery, wrote now from Woburn,

        “Accept a ‘thousand thanks’ for your speech at Worcester.
        It was a calm, solid, irresistible word. Adoption or no
        adoption by that Convention was of little consequence.
        Perhaps _delay_ by _such_ bodies is wise; but _the people
        are coming_, and the hour is at hand.”

    Rev. Elnathan Davis, the friend of Peace, wrote from

        “That the position taken in your speech is true I believe
        the judgment of Massachusetts and the country bears full
        testimony to-day; and that it is taken in due season I
        think the very _howl_ of a Hunker political press clearly
        testifies. God give you strength for _this_ battle, and,
        amidst the shifting experiences of the Government, and
        above ‘the confused noise of the warrior,’ make your
        word ‘_On to Freedom_’ clearly and widely heard by our

    Rev. Moses Thacher, the venerable clergyman, formerly of
    Massachusetts, wrote from Fort Covington, New York:--

        “_God bless you!_ Your Worcester speech of the 1st inst.
        is invaluable. It states the _cause_, the _issue_, and the
        _remedy_ of the war.”

    Rev. W. H. Cudworth, chaplain in the army, in a letter from
    Hooker’s Brigade, Camp Union, wrote:--

        “If I bore you, pardon me,--but, sympathizing most heartily
        in your uncompromising hostility to Slavery, and yet placed
        by the laws in an embarrassing, if not helpless position,
        what can I do, in the way of preventing the rendition of
        fugitives? For instance, one was hidden in our regimental
        barn. I knew and encouraged it, intending to trot him
        off, if a favorable chance offered. The owner came, but
        could not accomplish anything. He came next day with a
        United States warrant and the Provost Marshal. It wrung my
        heart, but what could I do?… Meantime let me thank you, as
        a servant of God and in the name of my brother man, for
        your Worcester speech, which I have just read, for your
        magnificent broadside called the ‘Barbarism of Slavery,’
        and for all your efforts to break every yoke and let the
        oppressed go free.”

    Hon. Charles W. Slack, connected with the press, and always
    Antislavery Republican, wrote from Boston:--

        “Whether speaking for others or myself individually, I only
        express a general acknowledgment among all Liberty-loving
        men, when I say that to you preëminently is assigned the
        responsible, yet honorable, task of indicating the advance
        of public sentiment upon the living, overtopping, gigantic
        question of the day. I thank God daily that we have so
        earnest, steadfast, and persistent an exponent in the
        Senate Chamber. May you, then, be delivered and preserved
        from all harm for even greater achievements!”

    John P. Jewett, bookseller, original publisher of _Uncle Tom’s
    Cabin_, wrote from Boston:--

        “I am more than provoked with the unmitigated flunkeyism of
        the Boston ---- and ---- in their criticisms of your manly
        and excellent speech at Worcester. Posterity will do you
        justice, even if the sneaking toadyism of the day refuse
        it to you. I cannot refrain from writing you a word of
        sympathy, although perhaps you do not feel the need of it.
        Rest assured, my noble friend, that God and all truly great
        and good men are with you, therefore you have nothing to
        fear from the malice of cowardly time-servers.”

    William Kenrick, the horticulturist, wrote from Newton,

        “I must thank you for your most timely, outspoken speech
        at the Convention at Worcester. It exactly meets my
        views,--the views I have long entertained. Yes, here are
        our natural allies, amongst the slaves.”

    Frank B. Sanborn, most earnest where Freedom is in question,
    wrote from Concord:--

        “I have to-day read for the second time your speech before
        the Worcester Convention, and I am renewedly glad that
        you made it then and there. I am sure that every passing
        day will but strengthen its positions, and that they must
        soon be accepted by the whole Northern people. Indeed, I
        believe that the people are of that mind now; it is the
        politicians, and those most timid of all created things,
        the Republican partisan leaders, who shiver at the thought
        of raising a _real_ issue to displace their shams.…
        Happily, no great principle like this rests on the turn
        of a period or the position of a comma; and if Boston
        scribblers could show that Marius did not know a slave from
        a barrel of salt-fish, they would not weaken the argument
        of your speech.”

    Hon. Adin Thayer, a strong Republican, wrote from Worcester:--

        “I cannot refrain from expressing to you, even at this late
        day, my hearty thanks for your brave, earnest speech at the
        State Convention. Be assured that neither you nor the great
        truths you advocate will be at all harmed by the malignant
        attacks of the Hunker press.”

    Rev. William Tyler wrote from Pawtucket:--

        “Republicans self-styled Conservative do not like your
        Worcester speech; and yet I meet with some such who admit
        that the liberation of the slaves of the Rebels must yet
        be a war policy,--only that the time has not come for its
        adoption. Well, some must be pioneers, and others will
        follow at a carefully considered distance: editors and
        office-seekers will be farthest in the rear. I was not
        so much surprised at the dissent in yesterday’s _Boston
        Journal_ as at the character of the assault on your speech
        and on you.”

    Hollis Loring, a good Republican, wrote from Marlborough,

        “Some of our public journals seem disposed to criticize
        your speech at Worcester on Tuesday, as not reflecting
        the sentiments of your State. For one, I will say that I
        listened to your speech with much pleasure. I believe you
        take the only correct view of the subject; and I know you
        reflect the sentiment of a large majority of the people in
        this town. Even some of the most Proslavery Democrats of
        the past are fully up to your ground to-day.”

    James Means, a teacher, always against Slavery, wrote from
    Auburndale, Massachusetts:--

        “I have read with great interest and pleasure your speech
        at the late Convention in Worcester. And as it has called
        forth unfriendly criticism, I cannot forbear to express to
        you my cordial thanks for it.”

    Dr. Luther B. Morse, a physician and Republican, wrote from

        “I thank you for those manly, true, and earnest words,
        which it would be well for our country--Government and
        people--to consider. They involve principles of political
        economy of unequalled importance to our country, especially
        in its present condition.”

    William W. Thayer, an earnest Republican, wrote from Boston:--

        “All honor, then, to the man who _dares_ to risk his
        reputation in representing the Emancipation sentiment
        of the country! All honor to you, Sir, for taking the
        leadership of the Emancipationists, who will sooner or
        later be called upon to march to the ballot-box and there
        fight Freedom’s battles!… For one, I am glad that you ‘have
        dragged the eternal Slavery Question’ into politics again,
        and I feel so glad that I had to write and tell you so.”

    Josiah H. Carter, a Boston constituent, wrote:--

        “Allow me to congratulate you on the position you took in
        your speech delivered at Worcester on the first instant.
        You have now struck the _key-note_. I honor you for it.
        May the time soon come, when our military, judicial, and
        executive heads may take their tone from that key! Then,
        and not till then, can we begin to subdue Rebellion and put
        a stop to this bloodshed and enormous expenditure.”

    Dr. Dio Lewis wrote from Boston:--

        “I am more gratified than I can express for your wise,
        noble, patriotic speech at Worcester.”

    Thomas Gaffield, an excellent business man and alderman, wrote
    from Boston:--

        “As you have had, and will have much more, opposition on
        the part of some newspapers and some men, I have felt it my
        duty, although only a humble constituent, to give my word
        of comfort and good cheer, though I doubt not you foresaw
        all which has followed, and find your comfort in the sense
        of duty well and fearlessly done. I have no doubt that your
        speech is prophetic, and of events and ideas not very far
        in the future.”

    Dr. Henry A. Hartt wrote from New York:--

        “I am greatly pleased with your speech at Worcester, and it
        seemed to me a fitting key-note to a general appeal to the

    J. W. Alden, an early Abolitionist, wrote from New York:--

        “Cheered and encouraged by your noble speech at Worcester
        yesterday, which causes a thrill of joy to run through
        the hearts of the friends of Emancipation in this city,
        warned by the action of the President in regard to General
        Fremont’s proclamation, and seeing a disposition in various
        quarters to put down Rebellion without wiping out its
        cause, we have come to the conclusion that there is no time
        to be lost in organizing our committees and inaugurating a
        movement in the direction indicated above.”

    J. P. Lesley, the eminent geologist, wrote from Philadelphia:--

        “Why can’t the golden chance be clutched to say to the
        whole South, ‘Good!--you rebel,--you are no longer
        slaveholders, nor can you ever be again.’ How it would
        ring round the world, and transcendently through Heaven!
        One would think that Abraham Lincoln would be fired at the
        thought of the unrivalled fame that would succeed the act.
        Has he not thought of immortality? Or does he wait for
        Congress to take away the glory from him, or an accident to
        take away the opportunity?”

    Lyman S. Hapgood, paymaster in the army, and a good Republican,
    wrote from Washington:--

        “I have just been reading your speech which was made to
        the Massachusetts Republicans, at their State Convention,
        on the first instant; and the policy therein so fully
        declared, which, in your opinion, it is the duty of the
        National Government to pursue, agrees so completely with
        my own views of our country’s difficulties, and her only
        way of permanent and successful escape, that I could not
        refrain from expressing to you my gratitude, as a citizen
        of the good old Commonwealth, that she has one son, at
        least, who, regardless of all personal misrepresentations
        from political enemies or professed friends, has the moral
        courage to stand up, upon all occasions and under all
        circumstances, and proclaim what he sincerely believes to
        be the true and just policy for the Government to adopt.”

    A. B. Johnson, of the Treasury Department, wrote from

        “I thank you from my heart for that noble speech at
        Worcester. That trumpet gave forth no uncertain sound.
        Hints have come up from the West, and intimations, vague,
        undetermined, from the East, before; but it has been left
        for you to define, announce, and defend a logical policy,
        and you have accomplished your task.”

    H. Catlin, editor of the _True American_, wrote from Erie,

        “How lamentable that we should make Human Slavery the one
        sacred thing under the heavens! Everything else must give
        way,--every other property may be confiscated, every other
        right suspended,--but _Slavery_ cannot be touched! Our
        Proslavery education is costing a great deal,--it threatens
        to cost us our country! Thanks that Senator Sumner so fully
        appreciates the real issue of the hour, and that, _though a
        Senator_, he proclaims it manfully and boldly! The masses
        of the people are with you.”

    A. T. Goodman wrote from Cleveland:--

        “Your speech of October 1st is before me, and I have read
        and read it through and through again, no less than three
        times. There is something about your speeches that has
        endeared your name to me, and something in their tone and
        in their teachings that tells me they are right in their
        meaning, and right in every point, and are very true.”

    Thus, from correspondence, as also from the press, it appears
    that Mr. Sumner was not alone. Others were glowing in the
    same cause, and their number increased daily. But the great
    salvation was postponed. Almost a full year was allowed to
    elapse before the Proclamation of Emancipation. And what a
    year, whether for those in the tented field and Rebel prisons,
    or those others waiting, longing, struggling for Union and
    Peace through Liberty! Nobody could espouse such a cause, and
    feel that its triumph was essential to save the country from
    prolonged bloodshed, without effort and anxiety corresponding
    in some measure to the transcendent interests involved.

    From this time forward Mr. Sumner never missed an opportunity
    of urging Emancipation, whether in addresses before the
    people and in the Senate, or in direct personal appeal to the
    President. In the last he was constant, rarely seeing the
    President without in some way presenting the all-absorbing
    question. These volumes will show the continuity of his public



    _Cassius._ Some to the common pulpits, and cry out,
               _Liberty, Freedom, and Enfranchisement!_

                   SHAKESPEARE, _Julius Cæsar_, Act III. Scene 1.

    The natural strength of the country, in point of numbers,
    appears to me to consist _much more in the blacks than in
    the whites_. Could they be incorporated and employed for
    its defence, it would afford you double security. That they
    would make good soldiers I have not the least doubt; and I am
    persuaded the State has it not in its power to give sufficient
    reinforcements, without incorporating them, either to secure
    the country, if the enemy mean to act vigorously upon an
    offensive plan, or furnish a force sufficient to dispossess
    them of Charleston, should it be defensive.--MAJOR-GENERAL
    NATHANIEL GREENE, _Letter to Governor Rutledge of South
    Carolina_. Life and Correspondence, by William Johnson, Vol.
    II. p. 274.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The assemblage before which this oration was delivered was
    remarkable in numbers and in character.[204] Long before
    the hour for the meeting, the immense hall was crowded; and
    notwithstanding the stormy evening, the proportion of ladies
    present was larger than ever before seen in New York on such an

    Upon the platform were seated many distinguished citizens,
    among whom may be named Hon. William Pennington, ex-Governor
    of New Jersey and ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives,
    Hon. Schuyler Colfax of Indiana, Hon. Lot M. Morrill of Maine,
    Charles King, LL. D., President of Columbia College, Professor
    Francis Lieber, David Dudley Field, Esq., William M. Evarts,
    Esq., John Jay, Esq., Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, D. D., Rev. William
    Hague, D. D., Rev. George B. Cheever, D. D., Rev. Theodore L.
    Cuyler, Rev. Alfred Cookman, John H. Griscom, M. D., Hon. John
    W. Edmonds, General Prosper M. Wetmore, Lewis Tappan, Esq.,
    Rev. William Goodell, Hon. Charles A. Peabody, Rev. Roswell D.
    Hitchcock, D. D., Rev. Henry M. Field, Hon. Thomas B. Stillman,
    Hon. Benjamin F. Manierré, R. M. Blatchford, Esq., William
    Pitt Palmer, Esq., D. A. Harsha, Esq., George P. Putnam, Esq.,
    Elliot C. Cowdin, Esq., Hon. William B. Taylor, Postmaster of
    New York, Hon. Rufus F. Andrews, Surveyor of the Port, Hon. H.
    B. Stanton, Deputy Collector, Hon. Joseph Hoxie, Major A. A.
    Selover, U. S. Army, Oliver Johnson, Esq.

    Charles T. Rodgers, Esq., President of the “Union,” introduced
    William Curtis Noyes, Esq., as presiding officer of the
    meeting, and a list of Vice-Presidents and Secretaries was
    unanimously adopted.

    Mr. Noyes, upon taking the chair, delivered the following

        “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--Thanking you, as I do, gratefully,
        for the kindness which has called me to preside over this
        meeting, let me remind you that within the modest chapel
        which impresses with devotional emotions every visitor to
        Mount Auburn, that most beautiful of American cemeteries,
        stands a marble statue of one of the patriot leaders of the
        American Revolution. Its simple dignity arrests attention
        and commands admiration and respect. Stern resolve and
        unflinching courage are depicted in lineament and attitude.
        We see him voluntarily renouncing a high professional
        office under the crown to take his place in the forum as
        a private citizen, to oppose, without reward, the odious
        violations of the liberties of the people by means of
        Writs of Assistance. His exordium startles the prejudiced

            “‘Let the consequences be what they will, I am
            determined to proceed. The only principles of public
            conduct that are worthy of a gentleman or a man are to
            sacrifice estate, ease, health, and applause, and even
            life, to the sacred calls of country. These principles,
            in private life, make the good citizen,--in public
            life, the patriot and the hero.’

        “Then, rising with the progress of his great theme, he

            “‘Every man in a state of Nature is an independent
            sovereign, subject to no law but the law written upon
            his heart and revealed to him by his Maker. His right
            to his life, his liberty, and his property no created
            being can rightfully contest; these rights are inherent
            and inalienable.’

        “We watch the effect of his indignant words. They convince
        and awe, and yet the royal tribunal dare not decide. It
        prevaricates and postpones; but the victory is won, the
        odious measure is abandoned forever, and the orator’s
        utterances have lighted up a flame which Independence alone
        can ever quench.

        “We go with him from this first theatre of triumph, through
        many long years of toil and anxiety in shaping the measures
        which led to the great conflict with the mother country,
        to the General Court guided by his skill and political
        sagacity, to the popular assembly alike aroused to
        turbulence and hushed to repose by his burning eloquence.
        We see him hurling defiance at the minions of power who
        with secret malevolence assailed his reputation. We witness
        their malignant hatred, and their deadly assault upon his
        person, when alone and unarmed. We see him fall, covered
        with wounds, and carried bleeding to his home.

        “Thenceforward, to the actual opening of the Revolutionary
        drama, and during its progress, this act of regal barbarism
        obscured, but did not wholly extinguish, the light of the
        great intellect which it sought to destroy; but all that
        remained was a wreck, reminding only of the glories of the
        past. The crime against the person added to its atrocity a
        greater crime against the soul, dooming it to pursue its
        earthly career in sadness and gloom. Conscious of being
        only a monument of decay, well might the gradually expiring
        patriot wish, that, when God, in his righteous Providence,
        should call him from time into eternity, it might be by
        a flash of lightning. We may rejoice that his prayer was
        answered, and that, too noble to be permitted to die a
        common death, in a manner equally affecting and sublime,
        JAMES OTIS [_applause_] was removed to the mansions of
        eternal felicity.

        “It is the necessary result of barbarism, in all its
        phases, to furnish historic parallels by reproducing itself
        in viler forms. Not a century elapsed, and a similar
        atrocity is enacted in the Senate Chamber of the United
        States. The ruffians were actuated by as deadly a hate,
        their malice was as foul and murderous, their defiance of
        law was as manifest, their victim was also the friend and
        advocate of universal freedom, and as much distinguished
        and feared, and he also fell beneath the blows of
        assassins in heart and conduct.

        “But here the parallel ends. This outrage did not impair
        the intellect which it sought to destroy; that survived the
        trial, enlarged, strengthened, purified, to set forward in
        a new and more glorious career in the cause of Freedom and
        Humanity. Instead of the lightning’s flash to remove it to
        heaven, a divine influence, equal in potency, has emanated
        thence, inspiring it with a larger love of freedom, more
        zeal in the cause of the oppressed, and a more earnest
        conviction that human slavery produces only evil, and that
        it should be forever eradicated. [_Enthusiastic applause._]

        “Happy, then, for us, and for our country, has been the
        suffering of these martyrs in the cause of Freedom. The
        name of James Otis has descended to posterity on the
        brightest pages of our history, associated with those of
        Hancock, and Adams, and Jay, and Jefferson, and Henry, and
        Rutledge, and there it will remain forever.

        “The name of that other martyr in the cause of Truth and
        Justice will find equal distinction, in future ages, on the
        roll of philanthropists, with those of Howard and Clarkson
        and Wilberforce, and others of that glorious company, ‘of
        whom the world was not worthy.’

        “But history has also its retributions. The infamous actors
        in these tragedies passed away under the scorn and contempt
        of mankind, their names only searched for and remembered
        among the persecutors and slayers of their race. They who
        countenanced and approved the last, by a fitting gradation,
        became the betrayers and assassins of their country, and
        two of these, the highest in station and basest in conduct,
        are now awaiting the punishment due to their crimes in
        a prison within the shadow of Bunker Hill Monument,
        [_applause_,] which indignantly frowns upon them from base
        to summit.

        “In the reality of the present behold the promise of the
        future, when all traitors like them shall meet a similar
        doom. Still devoting himself to the cause of his country
        and to the freedom of the oppressed, the advocate and
        friend of all, of whatever rank or condition or color, the
        scholar, the philanthropist, the martyr, the statesman
        has come again among us, and it is with equal pride and
        pleasure that I present to you the Hon. Charles Sumner, not
        of Massachusetts, but of the United States of America, one
        and indivisible.”

    Mr. Sumner then came forward, and was received by the vast
    audience with tumultuous applause, in which the ladies joined
    with every manifestation of delight. The cheers, and waving of
    hats and handkerchiefs, lasted several minutes.


MR. PRESIDENT,--It is my nature to be more touched by the kindness of
friends than by the malignity of enemies; and I know something of both.
You make me feel that I am among friends. Beyond this satisfaction, I
have additional pleasure in being welcomed by the Republican Union:
first, as you represent the young men, who are the hope and strength of
the country; and, secondly, as you constitute an association which has
rendered already signal service in saving the country from the rule of
the Slave Oligarchy. I know well how you brought forward and supported
Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency, and how you adopted and circulated
that masterly speech, made in this very hall, which completed those
titles to regard that caused his nomination at Chicago and his triumph
with the people.

       *       *       *       *       *


In the presence of such an auditory, so genial and almost festive in
character,--assembled for no purpose of party, or even of politics, in
the ordinary sense of the term,--I incline naturally to some topic of
literature, history, science, or art,--to something, at least, which
accords with peace. But at this moment, when our whole continent
is beginning to shake with the tread of mustering armies, the voice
refuses any such theme. The ancient poet, longing to sing of Achilles
and the house of Atreus, found that he could sing of love only; and he
snatched from his lyre its bloody string. Alas! for me the case is all
changed. I can speak to you of war only; but be assured, that, if I
speak of war, it is because, unhappily, war has become to us the only
way of peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Present is apt to appear trivial and unimportant, while the Past
and the Future are grand. Rarely do men know the full significance
of the period in which they live, and we are inclined to sigh for
something better in the way of opportunity,--such as was given to
the hero of the Past, or as imagination allots to the better hero of
the Future. But there is no occasion for this repining now. There is
nothing in the Past, and it is difficult to imagine anything in the
Future, more inspiring than our Present. Even with the curtain yet
slightly lifted, it is easy to see that events are gathering, which,
in their development, must constitute the third great epoch in the
history of this Western Hemisphere,--the first being its discovery
by Christopher Columbus, and the second the American Revolution. It
remains to be seen if this epoch of ours may not surpass in grandeur
either of its two predecessors, so that the fame of the Discoverer and
the fame of the Liberator, of Columbus and of Washington, shall be
eclipsed by the mild effulgence beaming from an act of godlike justice,
creating within its immediate influence a new heaven and a new earth,
and extending to other lands a life-giving example, so long as men
struggle for rights denied, so long as any human being wears a chain.
And this sublime act will be the present substitute for armies. The
ancient Spartan, being asked, “Which is the greater virtue, justice or
valor?” answered in memorable words, “Where justice is, there can be no
need of valor.”

War is always an epoch. Unhappily, history counts by wars. Of these,
some are wars of ideas,--like that between Catholics and Huguenots
in France, between Catholics and Protestants in Germany, between the
arbitrary crown of Charles the First and the Puritanism of Oliver
Cromwell, and like that between our fathers and the mother country,
when the Declaration of Independence was put in issue. Some originate
in questions of form, some in the contentions of families, some in the
fickleness of princes, and some in the machinations of politicians.
England waged war on Holland, and one of the reasons openly assigned
was an offensive picture in the Town-Hall of Amsterdam. France
hurled armies across the Rhine, carrying fire and slaughter into the
Palatinate, and involving great nations in most bloody conflict,--and
all this wickedness is traced to the intrigue of a minister, to divert
the attention of his sovereign. But we are now in the midst of a war
which, whatever the reasons assigned by the unhappy men who began it,
or by those who sympathize with them elsewhere, has an origin and
mainspring so clear and definite as to be beyond question. Ideas are
sometimes good and sometimes bad; and there may be a war for evil as
well as for good. Such was that earliest rebellion waged by fallen
spirits against the Almighty Throne; and such is that now waged by
fallen slave-masters of our Republic against the National Government.
I adopt the language of Milton, in his masterly prose, when I call it
“a war fit for Cain to be the leader of,--an abhorred, a cursed, a
fraternal war.”[205] Nor can any courage in Rebels give true honor. If
victorious, they will be only Satanic saints of Slavery, with place in
a most hateful hagiology.

If you will kindly listen, I shall endeavor to unmask this Rebellion in
its Origin and Mainspring. Only when these are known can you determine
how it is to be treated. Your efforts will be governed by the character
of the adverse force,--whether regarded as motive power or as disease.
A steam-engine is stopped at once by stopping the steam. A ghastly
cancer, which has grappled the very fibres of the human frame, and shot
its poison through every vein, will not yield to lip-salve or rosewater.

                “Diseases desperate grown
    By desperate appliances are relieved,
    Or not at all.”

On the sixth of November last, the people of the United States, acting
in pursuance of the Constitution and laws, chose Abraham Lincoln
President. Of course this choice was in every particular perfectly
constitutional and legal. As such, it was entitled to the respect
and acquiescence of every good citizen. It is vain to say that the
candidate represented opinions obnoxious to a considerable section
of the country, or that he was chosen by votes confined to a special
section. It is enough that he was duly chosen. You cannot set aside or
deny such an election, without assailing not only the whole framework
of the Constitution, but also the primal principle of American
institutions. You become a traitor at once to the existing government
and to the very idea of popular rule. You snatch a principle from the
red book of despotism, and openly substitute the cartridge-box for the

And yet scarcely had this intelligence flashed across the country
before the mutterings of sedition and treason began to reach us from an
opposite quarter. The Union was menaced; and here the first distinct
voice came from South Carolina. A Senator from that State, one of the
largest slaveholders of the country, and a most strenuous partisan
of Slavery, [Mr. HAMMOND,] openly declared, in language not easily
forgotten, that before the 18th of December South Carolina would be
“out of the Union, high and dry and forever.” These words heralded the
outbreak. With the pertinacity of demons its leaders pushed forward.
Their avowed object was the dismemberment of the Republic, by detaching
State after State, in order to found a Slaveholding Confederacy. And
here the clearest utterance came from a late Representative of Georgia
[Mr. STEPHENS], now Vice-President of the Rebel States, who did not
hesitate to proclaim that “the foundations of the new government are
laid upon the great truth, that Slavery, subordination to the superior
race, is the negro’s natural and moral condition,”--that “it is the
first government in the history of the world based upon this great
physical, philosophical, and moral truth,”--and that “the stone which
was rejected by the first builders is in the new edifice become _the
chief stone of the corner_.”[206] Here is a savage frankness, with
insensibility to shame. The object avowed is hideous in every aspect,
whether we regard it as treason to our paternal government, as treason
to the idea of American institutions, or as treason to those commanding
principles of economy, morals, and Christianity, without which
civilization is no better than barbarism.

And now we stand front to front in deadly conflict with this
double-headed, triple-headed treason. Beginning with those States most
peculiarly interested in Slavery, and operating always with intensity
proportioned to the prevalence of Slavery, it fastens upon other States
less interested,--Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia,--and with much
difficulty is prevented from enveloping every State containing slaves,
no matter how few: for such is the malignant poison of Slavery that
only a few slaves constitute a Slave State with all the sympathies and
animosities of Slavery. This is the Rebellion which I am to unmask.
Bad as it is on its face, it becomes aggravated, when we consider its
origin, and the agencies by which it is conducted. It is not merely
a Rebellion, but it is a Rebellion begun in conspiracy; nor, in all
history, ancient or modern, is there any record of conspiracy so vast
and so wicked, ranging over such spaces both of time and territory,
and forecasting such results. A conspiracy to seize a castle or to
assassinate a prince is petty by the side of this enormous, protracted
treason, where half a continent is seized, studded with castles,
fortresses, and public edifices, where the Government itself is
overthrown, and the President, on his way to the national capital,
narrowly escapes most cruel assassination.

But no conspiracy could ripen such pernicious fruit, if not rooted in a
soil of congenial malignity. To appreciate properly this influence, we
must go back to the beginning of the Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

South Carolina, which takes so forward a part in this treason,
hesitated originally, as is well known, with regard to the Declaration
of Independence. Once her vote was recorded against this act; and
when it finally prevailed, her vote was given for it only formally
and for the sake of seeming unanimity.[207] But so little was she
inspired by the Declaration, that, in the contest which ensued, her
commissioners made a proposition to the British commander which is
properly characterized by an able historian as “equivalent to an offer
from the State to return to its allegiance to the British crown.”[208]
The hesitation with regard to the Declaration of Independence was
renewed with regard to the National Constitution; and here it was
shared by another State. Notoriously, both South Carolina and
Georgia, which, with the States carved from their original territory,
Alabama and Mississippi, constitute the chief seat of the conspiracy,
hesitated in becoming parties to the Union, and stipulated expressly
for recognition of the slave-trade in the National Constitution as an
indispensable condition. In the Convention, Mr. Rutledge, of South
Carolina, while opposing a tax on the importation of slaves, said:
“The true question at present is, _whether the Southern States_ shall
or shall not be parties to the Union.” Mr. Pinckney, also of South
Carolina, followed with the unblushing declaration: “South Carolina
can never receive the plan [of the Constitution], _if it prohibits the
slave-trade_.” I quote now from Mr. Madison’s authentic report of these
important debates.[209] With shame let it be confessed, that, instead
of repelling this disgraceful overture, our fathers submitted to it,
and in that submission you find the beginning of present sorrows. The
slave-trade, whose annual iniquity no tongue can tell, was placed for
twenty years under safeguard of the Constitution, thus giving sanction,
support, and increase to Slavery itself. The language is modest, but
the intent was complete. South Carolina and Georgia were pacified, and
took their places in the Union, to which they were openly bound only by
a most hateful tie. Regrets for the past are not entirely useless, if
out of them we get wisdom for the future, and learn to be brave. It is
easy to see now, that, had the unnatural pretensions of these States
been originally encountered by stern resistance worthy of an honest
people, the present conspiracy would have been crushed before it saw
the light. Its whole success, from its distant beginning down to this
hour, has been from our timidity.

There was also another sentiment, of kindred perversity, which
prevailed in the same quarter. This is vividly portrayed by John Adams,
in a letter to General Gates, dated at Philadelphia, 23d March, 1776:--

    “However, my dear friend Gates, all our misfortunes arise from
    a single source: _the reluctance of the Southern Colonies to
    Republican Government_.”[210]

And he proceeds to declare in strong language that “popular principles
and axioms are abhorrent to the inclinations of the barons of the
South.” This letter was written in the early days of the Revolution.
At a later date John Adams testifies again to the discord between the
North and the South, and refers particularly to the period after the
National Constitution, saying: “The Northern and the Southern States
were immovably fixed in opposition to each other.”[211] This was before
any question of Tariff or Free Trade, and before the growing fortunes
of the North had awakened Southern jealousy. The whole opposition had
its root in Slavery,--as also had the earlier resistance to Republican

In the face of these influences the Union was formed, but the seeds of
conspiracy were latent in its bosom. The spirit already revealed was
scarcely silenced; it was not destroyed. It still existed, rankling,
festering, burning to make itself manifest. At the mention of Slavery
it always appeared full-armed with barbarous pretensions. Even in the
first Congress under the Constitution, at the presentation of that
famous petition where Benjamin Franklin simply called upon Congress to
step to the verge of its power to discourage every species of traffic
in the persons of our fellow-men, this spirit broke forth in violent
threats. With kindred lawlessness it early embraced that extravagant
dogma of State Rights which has been ever since the convenient cloak of
treason and conspiracy. At the Missouri Question, in 1820, it openly
menaced dissolution of the Union. Instead of throttling the monster, we
submitted to feed it with new concessions. Meanwhile the conspiracy
grew, until, at last, in 1830, under the influence of Mr. Calhoun, it
assumed the defiant front of Nullification; nor did it yield to the
irresistible logic of Webster or the stern will of Jackson without
a compromise. The pretended ground of complaint was the Tariff; but
Andrew Jackson, himself a patriot Slaveholder, at that time President,
saw the hollowness of the complaint. In a confidential letter, only
recently brought to light, dated at Washington, May 1, 1833, and which
during the last winter I had the honor of reading and holding up before
the Senatorial conspirators in the original autograph, he says:--

    “The Tariff was only the _pretext_, and Disunion and a Southern
    Confederacy the real object. _The next pretext will be the
    Negro or Slavery Question._”[212]

Jackson was undoubtedly right; but the pretext which he denounced in
advance was employed so constantly afterwards as to become threadbare.
At the earliest presentation of Abolition petitions,--at the Texas
Question,--at the Compromises of 1850,--at the Kansas Question,--at the
possible election of Fremont,--on all these occasions, the Union was
threatened by angry Slave-Masters.

The conspiracy is unblushingly confessed by recent parties to it.
Especially was this done in the Rebel Convention of South Carolina,
where, one after another, the witnesses testified all the same way.

Mr. Parker said: “Secession is no spasmodic effort that has come
suddenly upon us. _It has been gradually culminating for a long period
of thirty years._”

Mr. Inglis followed: “Most of us have had this matter under
consideration for _the last twenty years_.”

Mr. Keitt, Representative in Congress, gloried in his work, saying:
“I have been engaged in this movement _ever since I entered political

Mr. Rhett, who was in the Senate when I first entered that body, and
did not hesitate then to avow himself a Disunionist, declared in
the same Convention: “It is not anything produced by Mr. Lincoln’s
election, or by the non-execution of the Fugitive Slave Law: _it is a
matter which has been gathering head for thirty years_.”[213]

The conspiracy, thus exposed by Jackson, and confessed by recent
parties to it, was quickened by the growing passion for Slavery
throughout the Slave States. The well-known opinions of the Fathers,
the declared convictions of all most valued at the foundation of the
Government, and the example of Washington were discarded, and it was
recklessly avowed that Slavery is a divine institution, the highest
type of civilization, a blessing to master and slave alike, and the
very key-stone of our national arch. A generation has grown up with
this teaching, so that it is now ready to say with Satan,--

    “Evil, be thou my good! by thee at least
    Divided empire with Heaven’s King I hold;
    By thee, and more than half perhaps, will reign:
    As man, erelong, and this new world, shall know.”

It is natural that a people thus trained should listen to the
voice of conspiracy. Slavery itself is a constant conspiracy; and
its supporters, whether in the Slave States or elsewhere, easily
become indifferent to all rights and principles by which it may be

This rage for Slavery was quickened by two influences, which have
exhibited themselves since the formation of our Union,--one economical,
and the other political. The first was the unexpected importance of the
cotton crop, which, through the labor of slaves and the genius of a New
England inventor, passed into an extraordinary element of wealth and
of imagined strength, so that we have all been summoned to homage to
cotton as king. The second was the temptation of political power, than
which no influence is more potent,--for it became obvious that this
could be assured to Slavery only through the permanent preponderance
of its representatives in the Senate; so that the continued control
of all offices and honors was made to depend upon the extension of
Slavery. Thus, through two strong appetites, one for gain and the other
for power, was Slavery stimulated; but the conspiracy was strong only
through Slavery.

Even this conspiracy, thus supported and nurtured, would have been more
wicked than strong, if it had not found perfidious aid in the very
Cabinet of the President. The Secretary of the Treasury, a Slave-Master
from Georgia, the Secretary of the Interior, a Slave-Master from
Mississippi, the Secretary of War, the notorious Floyd, a Slave-Master
from Virginia, and I fear also the Secretary of the Navy, who was a
Northern man with Southern principles, lent their active exertions.
Through these eminent functionaries the treason was organized and
directed, while their important posts were prostituted to its infamy.
Here again you see the extent of the conspiracy. Never before, in
any country, was there a similar crime which embraced so many persons
in the highest places of power, or took within its grasp so large a
theatre of human action. Anticipating the election of Mr. Lincoln, the
Cabinet conspirators prepared the way for rebellion.

First, the army of the United States was so far dispersed and exiled,
that the commander-in-chief found it difficult, during the recent
anxious winter, to bring together a thousand troops for the defence of
the national capital, menaced by the conspirators.

Secondly, the navy was so far scattered or dismantled, that on the
4th of March, when the new Administration came into power, there were
no ships to enforce the laws, collect the revenues, or protect the
national property in the Rebel ports. Out of seventy-two vessels of
war, counted as our navy, it appears that the whole available force at
home was reduced to the steamer Brooklyn, carrying twenty-five guns,
and the store-ship Relief, carrying two guns.

Thirdly, the forts on the extensive Southern coast were so far
abandoned by the public force, that the larger part, counting upwards
of 1,200 cannon, and built at a cost of more than six million dollars,
became at once an easy prey to the Rebels.

Fourthly, national arms were transferred from Northern to Southern
arsenals, so as to disarm the Free States and equip the Slave States.
This was done on a large scale. Upwards of 115,000 arms, of the latest
and most approved pattern, were transferred from the Springfield and
Watervliet arsenals to different arsenals in the Slave States, where
they were seized by the Rebels; and a quarter of a million percussion
muskets were sold to various Slave States for $2.50 a musket, when
they were worth, it is said, on an average, $12. Large quantities of
cannon, mortars, powder, ball, and shell received the same direction.

Fifthly, the National Treasury, so recently prosperous beyond example,
was disorganized and plundered even to the verge of bankruptcy. Upwards
of six millions are supposed to have been stolen, and much of this
treasure doubtless went to help the work of Rebellion.

Thus, even before its outbreak, the conspiracy contrived to degrade
and despoil the Government, so as to secure free course for the
projected rebellion. The story seems incredible. But it was not enough
to disperse the army, to scatter the navy, to abandon forts, to disarm
the Free States, and to rob the Treasury. The President of the United
States, solemnly sworn to execute the laws, was won into a system of
inactivity amounting to practical abdication of his great trust. He saw
treason plotting to stab at the heart of his country, saw conspiracy,
daily, hourly, putting on the harness of rebellion, but, though warned
by the watchful general-in-chief, he did nothing to arrest it, standing

          “like a painted Jove,
    With idle thunder in his lifted hand.”[214]

Ay, more; instead of instant lightnings, smiting and blasting in their
fiery crash, which an indignant patriotism would have hurled, he nodded
sympathy and acquiescence. No page of history is more melancholy,
because nowhere do we find a ruler who so completely abandoned his
country: not Charles the First in his tyranny, not Louis the Sixteenth
in his weakness. Mr. Buchanan was advanced to power by Slave-Masters,
who knew well that he could be used for Slavery. The Slaveholding
conspirators were encouraged to sit in his Cabinet, where they doubly
betrayed their country, first by evil counsels, and then by disclosing
what passed to distant Slaveholding confederates. The sudden act of
Major Anderson, in removing from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, and
the sympathetic response of an aroused people, compelled a change of
policy, and the Rebellion received its first check. After painful
struggle, it was decided at last that Fort Sumter should be maintained.
It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of that decision, which, I
believe, was due mainly to an eminent Democrat,--General Cass. This, at
least, is true: it saved the national capital.

Meanwhile the conspiracy increased in activity, mastering State after
State, gathering its forces and building its batteries. The time had
come for the tragedy to begin. “At Nottingham,” says the great English
historian, speaking of King Charles the First, “he erected his royal
standard, the open signal of discord and civil war throughout the
kingdom.”[215] The same open signal now came from Charleston, when the
conspirators ran up the Rattle-Snake flag, and directed their wicked
cannonade upon the small, half-famished garrison of Sumter.

Were this done in the name of Revolution, or by virtue of any
revolutionary principle, it would assume a familiar character. But such
is not the case. It is all done under pretence of constitutional right.
The forms of the Constitution are seized by the conspirators, as
they have already seized everything else, and wrested to the purposes
of treason. It is audaciously declared, that, under the existing
Constitution, each State, in the exercise of its own discretion, may
withdraw from the Union; and this asserted right of secession is
invoked as cover for Rebellion begun in conspiracy. The election of
Mr. Lincoln is made the _occasion_ for the exercise of this pretended
right; certain opinions at the North on the subject of Slavery are made
the _pretext_.

Who will not deny that this election can be a just _occasion_?

Who will not condemn the _pretext_?

But both occasion and pretext are determined by Slavery, and thus
testify to the part it constantly performs.

       *       *       *       *       *

The pretended right of secession is not less monstrous than the pretext
or the occasion; and this, too, is born of Slavery. It belongs to that
brood of assumptions and perversions of which Slavery is prolific
parent. Wherever Slavery prevails, this pretended right is recognized,
and generally with an intensity proportioned to the prevalence of
Slavery,--as, for instance, in South Carolina and Mississippi more
intensely than in Tennessee and Kentucky. It may be considered a fixed
part of the slaveholding system. A pretended right to set aside the
Constitution, to the extent of breaking up the Government, is the
natural companion of the pretended right to set aside human nature,
making merchandise of men. They form a well-matched couple, and travel
well together,--destined to perish together. If we do not overflow
toward the former with the same indignation which we feel for the
latter, it is because its absurdity awakens our contempt. An English
poet of the last century exclaims, in mocking verses,--

    “Crowned be the man with lasting praise
      Who first contrived the pin,
    To loose mad horses from the chaise,
      And save the necks within.”[216]

Such is the impossible contrivance now attempted. Nothing is clearer
than that this pretension, if acknowledged, leaves to every State
the right to play the “mad horse,” with very little chance of
saving anything. It takes from the Government not merely unity, but
all security of national life, and reduces it to the shadow of a
name, or, at best, a mere tenancy at will,--an unsubstantial form,
to be decomposed at the touch of a single State. Of course, such
an anarchical pretension, so instinct with all the lawlessness of
Slavery, must be encountered peremptorily. It is not enough to declare
dissent. We must so conduct as not to give it recognition or foothold.

Instead of scouting this pretension, and utterly spurning it, new
concessions to Slavery were gravely propounded as the means of
pacification,--like a new sacrifice offered to an obscene divinity.
It was argued, that in this way the Border States at least might
be preserved to the Union, and some of the Cotton States perhaps
won back to duty: in other words, that, in consideration of such
concessions, these States would consent to waive a present exercise
of the pretended right of secession. Against all such propositions,
without considering their character, stands on the threshold one
obvious and imperative objection. It is clear that the very bargain
or understanding, whether express or implied, is a recognition of
this pretended right, and that a State yielding only to such appeal,
and detained through concessions, practically asserts the claim, and
holds it for future exercise. Thus a concession called small becomes
infinite; for it concedes the pretended right of secession, and makes
the permanence of the National Government impossible. Amidst all the
grave responsibilities of the hour, we must take care that the life of
the Republic is sacredly preserved. But this would be sacrificed at
once, did we submit its existence to the conditions proposed.

Looking at these concessions, I have always found them utterly
unreasonable and indefensible. I should not expose them now, if they
did not testify constantly to the Origin and Mainspring of this
Rebellion. Slavery was always the single subject-matter, and nothing
else. Slavery was not only an integral part of every concession, but
the single integer. The one idea was to give some new security, in
some form, to Slavery. That brilliant statesman, Mr. Canning, in one
of those eloquent speeches which charm so much by style, said that he
was “tired of being a security-grinder”; but his experience was not
comparable to ours. “Security-grinding,” in the name of Slavery, has
been for years the way in which we have wrestled with this conspiracy.
[_Laughter and applause._]

The propositions at the last Congress began with the President’s
Message, which in itself was one tedious concession. You cannot forget
his sympathetic portraiture of the disaffection throughout the Slave
States, or his testimony to the cause. Notoriously and shamefully his
heart was with the conspirators, and he knew intimately the mainspring
of their conduct. He proposed nothing short of general surrender; and
thus did he proclaim Slavery as the head and front, the very _causa
causans_, of the whole crime.

Nor have you forgotten the Peace Conference, as it was delusively
styled, convened at Washington on the summons of Virginia, with John
Tyler in the chair, where New York, as well as Massachusetts, was
represented by her ablest and most honored citizens. The sessions
were with closed doors; but it is now known that throughout the
proceedings, lasting for weeks, nothing was discussed but Slavery.
And the propositions finally adopted by the Convention were confined
to Slavery. Forbearing all detail, it will be enough to say that
they undertook to provide positive protection for Slavery under
the Constitution, with new sanction and immunity,--making it,
notwithstanding the determination of our fathers, _national_ instead of
_sectional_; and even more, making it an essential and permanent part
of our republican system. Slavery is sometimes deceitful, as at other
times bold; and these propositions were still further offensive from
their studied uncertainty, amounting to positive duplicity. At a moment
when frankness was needed above all things, we were treated to phrases
pregnant with doubt and controversy, and were gravely asked, in the
name of Slavery, to embody them in the National Constitution.

There was another string of propositions much discussed during the
last winter, which acquired the name of the venerable Senator from
whom they came,--Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky. These also related to
Slavery, and nothing else. They were more obnoxious even than those
from the Peace Conference. And yet there were petitioners from the
North, even from Massachusetts, who prayed for this great surrender.
Considering the character of these propositions,--that they sought
to change the Constitution in a manner revolting to the moral sense,
to foist into its very body the idea of property in man, to protect
Slavery in all present territory south of 36° 30´, and to carry it into
all territory hereafter acquired south of that line, and thus to make
our beautiful Stars and Stripes in their southern march the flag of
infamy,--considering that they provided new constitutional securities
for Slavery in the national capital and in other places within the
exclusive national jurisdiction, new constitutional securities for the
transit of slaves from State to State, opening the way to a roll-call
of slaves at the foot of Bunker Hill or the door of Faneuil Hall, and
also the disfranchisement of nearly ten thousand of my fellow-citizens
in Massachusetts, whose rights are fixed by the Constitution of that
Commonwealth, drawn by John Adams,--considering these things, I felt at
the time, and I still feel, that the best apology of these petitioners
was that they were ignorant of their true character, and that in
signing the petition they knew not what they did. But even in their
ignorance they bore witness to Slavery, while the propositions were the
familiar voice of Slavery, crying, “Give! give!”

There was another single proposition from still another quarter,
but, like all the rest, it related exclusively to Slavery. It was to
insert in the text of the Constitution a stipulation against any
future amendment authorizing Congress to interfere with Slavery in
the States. If you read this proposition, you will find it crude and
ill-shaped,--a jargon of bad grammar, a jumble and hodge-podge of
words,--harmonizing poorly with the accurate text of our Constitution.
But even if tolerable in form, it was obnoxious, like the rest, as a
fresh stipulation in favor of Slavery. Sufficient, surely, in this
respect, is the actual Constitution. Beyond this I cannot I will not
go. What Washington, Franklin, Madison, and Hamilton would not insert
we cannot err in rejecting. [_Applause._]

I do not dwell on other propositions, because they attracted less
attention; and yet among these was one to overturn the glorious
safeguards of Freedom set up in the Free States, known as the Personal
Liberty Laws. Here again was Slavery--with a vengeance.

There is one remark which I desire to make with regard to all these
propositions. It was sometimes said that the concessions they offered
were “small.” What a mistake is this! No concession to Slavery can be
“small.” Freedom is priceless, and in this simple rule alike of morals
and jurisprudence you find the just measure of any concession, how
small soever it may seem, by which Freedom is sacrificed. Tell me not
that it concerns a few only. I do not forget the saying of Antiquity,
that the best government is where an injury to a single individual is
resented as an injury to the whole State; nor am I indifferent to that
memorable instance of our own recent history, where, in a distant sea,
the thunders of our navy, with all the hazards of war, were aroused
to protect the liberty of a solitary person claiming the rights of an
American citizen. By such examples let me be guided, rather than by
the suggestion, that Human Freedom, whether in many or in few, is of so
little value that it may be put in the market to appease a traitorous
conspiracy, or soothe accessories, who, without such concession,
threaten to join the conspirators.

Warnings of the past, like the suggestions of reason and of conscience,
were all against concession. Timid counsels always are an encouragement
to sedition and rebellion. If the glove be of velvet, the hand must be
of iron. An eminent master of thought, in some of his most vivid words,
has bravely said,--

    “To expect to tranquillize and benefit a country by gratifying
    its agitators would be like the practice of the superstitious
    of old with their sympathetic powders and ointments, who,
    instead of applying medicaments to the wound, contented
    themselves with salving the sword which had inflicted it. Since
    the days of Dane-gelt downwards, nay, since the world was
    created, nothing but evil has resulted from concessions made to

These are the words of Archbishop Whately, in his annotation to an
Essay of Bacon,--and how applicable to our times, when it is so often
proposed _to salve the sword of Secession_!

In the same spirit spoke the most shining practical statesman of
English history, Mr. Fox.

    “To humor the present disposition, and temporize, is a certain,
    absolutely certain, confirmation of the evil. No nation ever
    did or ever can recover from Slavery by such methods.”[218]

Pardon me, if I express regret, profound and heartfelt, that the
pretensions of Slavery, whether in claim of privilege or in doctrine of
secession, were not always encountered boldly and austerely. Alas! it
is ourselves that have encouraged the conspiracy, and made it strong.
Secession has become possible only through long continued concession.
In proposing concession we encourage secession, and while professing
to uphold the Union, we betray it. It is now beyond question that the
concessionists of the North have from the beginning played into the
hands of the secessionists of the South. I do not speak in harshness,
or even in criticism, but simply according to my duty, in unfolding
historically the agencies, conscious and unconscious, at work, while I
hold them up as a warning for the future. They all testify to Slavery,
which from earliest days has been at the bottom of the conspiracy, and
also at every stage of the efforts to arrest it. It was Slavery which
fired the conspirators, and Slavery also which entered into every
proposition of compromise. Secession and concession both had their root
in Slavery.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, after this review, I am brought again to the significance
of that Presidential election with which I began. The Slave-Masters
entered into that election with Mr. Breckinridge as their candidate,
and their platform claimed constitutional protection for Slavery in
all territories, whether now belonging to the Republic or hereafter
acquired. This concession was the ultimatum on which was staked their
continued loyalty to the Union,--as the continuance of the Slave-Trade
was the original condition on which South Carolina and Georgia
entered the Union. And the reason, though criminal, was obvious. It
was because without such opportunity of expansion Slavery would be
stationary, while the Free States, increasing in number, would obtain
a fixed preponderance in the National Government, assuring to them the
political power. Thus at that election the banner of the Slave-Masters
had for open device, not the Union as it is, but the extension and
perpetuation of human bondage. The popular vote was against further
concession, and the conspirators proceeded with their crime. The
_occasion_ so long sought had come. The _pretext_ foreseen by Andrew
Jackson was the motive power.

Here mark well, that, in their whole conduct, the conspirators acted
naturally, under instincts implanted by Slavery; nay, they acted
logically even. _Such is Slavery, that it cannot exist, unless it
owns the Government._ An injustice so plain can find protection only
from a Government which is a reflection of itself. Cannibalism cannot
exist except under a government of cannibals. Idolatry cannot exist
except under a government of idolaters. And Slavery cannot exist except
under a government of Slave-Masters. This is positive, universal
truth,--at St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Timbuctoo, or Washington.
The Slave-Masters of our country saw that they were dislodged from the
National Government, and straightway they rebelled. The Republic, which
they could no longer rule, they determined to ruin. And now the issue
is joined. Slavery must either rule or die.

Though thus audaciously criminal, the Slave-Masters are not strong in
numbers. The whole number, great and small, according to the recent
census, is not more than four hundred thousand,--of whom there
are less than one hundred thousand interested to any considerable
extent in this peculiar species of property.[219] And yet this
petty oligarchy--itself controlled by a squad still more petty--in
a population of many millions, has aroused and organized this
gigantic rebellion. But success is explained by two considerations.
First, the asserted value of the slaves, reaching at this date
to the enormous sum-total of two thousand millions of dollars,
constitutes an overpowering property interest, one of the largest in
the world,--greatly increased by the intensity and unity of purpose
naturally belonging to the representatives of such a sum-total,
stimulated by the questionable character of the property. But,
secondly, it is a phenomenon attested by the history of revolutions,
that all such movements, at least in their early days, are controlled
by minorities. This is because a revolutionary minority, once embarked,
has before it only the single, simple path of unhesitating action.
While others doubt or hold back, the minority strikes and goes forward.
Audacity then counts more than numbers, and crime counts more than
virtue. This phenomenon has been observed before. “Often have I
reflected with awe,” says Coleridge, “on the great and disproportionate
power which an individual of no extraordinary talents or attainments
may exert by merely throwing off all restraint of conscience.… The
abandonment of all _principle of right_ enables the soul to choose
and act upon _a principle of wrong_, and to subordinate to this one
principle all the various vices of human nature.”[220] These are
remarkable and most suggestive words. But when was a “principle of
wrong” followed with more devotion than by our Rebels?

The French Revolution furnishes authentic illustration of a few
predominating over a great change. Among the good men at that time
who followed “principle of right” were others with whom success was
the primary object, while even good men sometimes forgot goodness;
but at each stage a minority gave the law. Pétion, the famous mayor
of Paris, boasted, that, when he began, “there were but five men in
France who wished a Republic.”[221] From a contemporary debate in the
British Parliament, it appears that the asserted power of a minority
was made the express ground of appeal by French revolutionists to the
people of other countries. Sheridan, in a brilliant speech, dwells
on this appeal, and by mistake ascribes to Condorcet the unequivocal
utterances, that “revolutions must always be the work of the
minority,”--that “every revolution is the work of a minority,”--that
“the French Revolution was accomplished by the minority.”[222] This
philosopher, who sealed his principles by a tragical death, did say,
in an address to the Parliamentary Reformers of England, that from
Parliamentary reform “the passage to the complete establishment
of a republic would be short and easy”;[223] but it was Cambon,
the financier of the Revolution, and one of its active supporters,
who, in the National Convention, put forth the cries attributed to
Condorcet.[224] The part of the minority was also attested by Brissot
de Warville, who imputed the triumph of the Jacobins, under whose
bloody sway his own life became a sacrifice, to “some twenty men,” or,
as he says in another place, “a score of anarchists,” and then again,
“a club, or rather a score of those robbers who direct that club.”[225]

The future historian will record, that the present rebellion,
notwithstanding its protracted origin, the multitudes it enlisted, and
its extensive sweep, was at last precipitated by fewer than twenty
men,--Mr. Everett says by as few as eight or ten.[226] It is certain
that thus far it has been the triumph of a minority,--but of a minority
moved, inspired, combined, and aggrandized by Slavery.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now this traitorous minority, putting aside the sneaking,
slimy devices of conspiracy, steps forth in full panoply of war.
Assuming all functions of government, it organizes States under a
common head,--sends ambassadors into foreign countries,--levies
taxes,--borrows money,--issues letters of marque,--and sets armies in
the field, summoned from distant Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, as well
as from nearer Virginia, and composed of the whole lawless population,
the poor who cannot own slaves as well as the rich who pretend to own
them, throughout the extensive region where with Satanic grasp this
Slave-Master minority claims for itself

      “ample room and verge enough
    The characters of Hell to trace.”

Pardon the language I employ. The words of the poet picture not too
strongly the object proposed. And now these parricidal hosts stand
arrayed against that paternal Government to which they owe loyalty,
defence, and affection. Never in history did rebellion assume such
front. Call their number 400,000 or 200,000,--what you will,--they far
surpass any armed forces ever before marshalled in rebellion; they are
among the largest ever marshalled in war.

All this is in the name of Slavery, and for the sake of Slavery, and at
the bidding of Slavery. The profligate favorite of the English monarch,
the famous Duke of Buckingham, was not more exclusively supreme, even
according to the words by which he was placarded to the judgment of his

    “Who rules the kingdom? The King.
    Who rules the King? _The Duke._
    Who rules the Duke? The Devil.”

Nor according to that decree by which the House of Commons declared him
“the cause of all the national calamities.” The dominant part of the
royal favorite belongs now to Slavery, which is the cause of all the
national calamities, while in the Rebel States it is a more than royal

    Who rules the Rebel States? The President.
    Who rules the President? _Slavery._
    Who rules Slavery?

The last question I need not answer. But all must see--and nobody will
deny--that Slavery is the ruling idea of this Rebellion. It is Slavery
that marshals these hosts and breathes into their embattled ranks its
own barbarous fire. It is Slavery that stamps its character alike
upon officers and men. It is Slavery that inspires all, from General
to trumpeter. It is Slavery that speaks in the word of command, and
sounds in the morning drum-beat. It is Slavery that digs trenches and
builds hostile forts. It is Slavery that pitches its wicked tents and
stations its sentries over against the national capital. It is Slavery
that sharpens the bayonet and runs the bullet,--that points the cannon,
and scatters the shell, blazing, bursting with death. Wherever this
Rebellion shows itself, whatever form it takes, whatever thing it does,
whatever it meditates, it is moved by Slavery; nay, the Rebellion is
Slavery itself, incarnate, living, acting, raging, robbing, murdering,
according to the essential law of its being. [_Applause._]

Not this is all. The Rebellion is not only ruled by Slavery, but,
owing to the peculiar condition of the Slave States, it is for the
moment, according to their instinctive boast, actually reinforced
by this institution. As the fields of the South are cultivated by
slaves, and labor there is performed by this class, the white freemen
are at liberty to play the part of rebels. The slaves toil at home,
while the masters work at rebellion; and thus, by singular fatality,
is this doomed race, without taking up arms, actually engaged in
feeding, supporting, succoring, invigorating those battling for their
enslavement. Full well I know that this is an element of strength only
through the forbearance of our own Government; but I speak of things as
they are; and that I may not seem to go too far, I ask attention to the
testimony of a Southern journal.

    population of the eleven States now comprising the Confederacy
    is six millions, and therefore, to fill up the ranks of the
    proposed army, six hundred thousand--about ten per cent of the
    entire white population--will be required. In any other country
    than our own such a draft could not be met; but the Southern
    States can furnish that number of men, and still not leave the
    material interests of the country in a suffering condition.
    Those who are incapacitated for bearing arms can oversee the
    plantations, and _the negroes can go on undisturbed in their
    usual labors_. In the North the case is different; the men who
    join the army of subjugation are the laborers, the producers,
    and the factory operatives. Nearly every man from that section,
    especially those from the rural districts, leaves some branch
    of industry to suffer during his absence. _The institution of
    Slavery in the South alone enables her to place in the field
    a force much larger in proportion to her white population
    than the North_, or indeed any country which is dependent
    entirely on free labor. The institution is a tower of strength
    to the South, _particularly at the present crisis_, and our
    enemies will be likely to find that the ‘moral cancer,’ about
    which their orators are so fond of prating, is really _one
    of the most effective weapons employed against the Union by
    the South_. Whatever number of men be needed for this war we
    are confident our people stand ready to furnish. We are all
    enlisted for the war, and there must be no holding back, until
    the independence of the South is fully acknowledged.”[227]

As the Rebels have already confessed the conspiracy which led to the
Rebellion, so in this article do they openly confess the mainspring of
their power. With triumphant vaunt, they declare Slavery the special
source of their belligerent strength.

But Slavery must be seen not only in what it does for the Rebellion,
of which it is indisputable head, fountain, and life, but also in what
it inflicts upon us. There is not a community, not a family, not an
individual, man, woman, or child, that does not feel its heavy, bloody
hand. Why these mustering armies? Why this drum-beat in your peaceful
streets? Why these gathering means of war? Why these swelling taxes?
Why these unprecedented loans? Why this derangement of business? Why
among us _Habeas Corpus_ suspended, and all safeguards of Freedom
prostrate? Why this constant solicitude visible in your faces? The
answer is clear. Slavery is author, agent, cause. The anxious hours
that you pass are darkened by Slavery. _Habeas Corpus_ and the
safeguards of Freedom which you deplore are ravished by Slavery. The
business you have lost is filched by Slavery. The millions now amassed
by patriotic offerings are all snatched by Slavery. The taxes now wrung
out of diminished means are all consumed by Slavery. And all these
multiplying means of war, this drum-call in your peaceful streets and
these gathering armies, are on account of Slavery, and that alone.
Are the poor constrained to forego their customary tea, or coffee, or
sugar, now burdened by intolerable taxation? Let them vow themselves
anew against the criminal giant tax-gatherer. Does any community mourn
gallant men, who, going forth joyous and proud beneath their country’s
flag, have been brought home cold and stiff, with its folds wrapped
about them for a shroud? Let all mourning the patriot dead be aroused
against Slavery. Does a mother drop tears for her son in the beautiful
morning of his days cut down upon the distant battle-field, which he
moistens with his youthful, generous blood? Let her feel that Slavery
dealt the deadly blow which took at once his life and her peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

I hear a strange, discordant voice saying that all this proceeds not
from Slavery,--oh, no!--but from Antislavery,--that the Republicans,
who hate Slavery, that the Abolitionists, are authors of this terrible
calamity. You must suspect the sense or loyalty of him who puts forth
this irrational and utterly wicked imputation. As well say that the
early Christians were authors of the heathen enormities against which
they bore martyr testimony, and that the cross, the axe, the gridiron,
and the boiling oil, by which they suffered, were part of the Christian
dispensation. But the early Christians were misrepresented and falsely
charged with crime, even as you are. The tyrant Nero, after burning
Rome and dancing at the conflagration, denounced Christians as the
guilty authors. Here are authentic words by the historian Tacitus.

    “So, for the quieting of this rumor, Nero judicially charged
    with the crime, and punished with most studied severities, that
    class, hated for their general wickedness, whom the vulgar call
    Christians. The originator of that name was one Christ, who,
    in the reign of Tiberius, suffered death by sentence of the
    procurator Pontius Pilate. The baneful superstition, thereby
    repressed for the time, again broke out, not only over Judea,
    the native soil of that mischief, but in the city also, where
    from every side all atrocious and abominable things collect and

The writer of this remarkable passage was the wisest and most
penetrating mind of his generation, and he lived close upon the events
which he describes. Listening to him, you may find apology for those
among us who heap upon contemporaries similar obloquy. Abolitionists
need no defence from me. It is to their praise--destined to fill an
immortal page--that from the beginning they saw the true character
of Slavery, and warned against its threatening domination. Through
them the fires of Liberty have been kept alive in our country,--as
Hume is constrained to confess that these same fires were kept alive
in England by the Puritans, whom this great historian never praised,
if he could help it. And yet they are charged with this Rebellion.
Can this be serious? Even at the beginning of the Republic the seeds
of the conspiracy were planted, and in 1820, and again in 1830, it
appeared,--while nearly thirty years ago Andrew Jackson denounced
it, and one of its leading spirits recently boasted that it has been
gathering head for this full time, thus, not only in distant embryo,
but in well-attested development, antedating those Abolitionists whose
prophetic patriotism is made an apology for the crime. As well, when
the prudent passenger warns the ship’s crew of the fatal lee-shore,
arraign him for the wreck which engulfs all; as well cry out, that the
philosopher who foresees the storm is responsible for the desolation
that ensues, or that the astronomer, who calculates the eclipse,
is author of the darkness which covers the earth. [_Enthusiastic

Nothing can surpass that early contumely to which Christians were
exposed. To the polite heathen, they were only “workers in wool,
cobblers, fullers, the rudest and most illiterate persons,”[229] or
they were men and women “from the lowest dregs.”[230] Persecution
naturally followed, not only local, but general. As many as ten
persecutions are cited,--two under mild rulers like Trajan and
Hadrian,--while, at the atrocious command of Nero, Christians, wrapped
in pitch, were set on fire as lights to illumine the public gardens.
And yet against contumely and persecution Christianity prevailed, and
the name of Christian became an honor which confessors and martyrs
wore as a crown. But this painful history prefigures that of our
Abolitionists, who have been treated with similar contumely; nor have
they escaped persecution. At last the time has come when their cause
must prevail, and their name become an honor.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, that I may give practical character to this whole history,
I bring it all to bear upon our present situation and its duties.
You have discerned Slavery, even before the National Union, not
only a disturbing influence, but an actual bar to Union, except on
condition of surrender to its immoral behests. You have watched Slavery
constantly militant on the presentation of any proposition with regard
to it, and more than once threatening dissolution of the Union. You
have discovered Slavery for many years the animating principle of a
conspiracy against the Union, while it matured flagitious plans and
obtained the mastery of Cabinet and President. And when the conspiracy
had balefully ripened, you have seen how only by concessions to
Slavery it was encountered, as by similar concessions it had from
the beginning been encouraged. Now you behold Rebellion everywhere
throughout the Slave States elevating its bloody crest and threatening
the existence of the National Government, and all in the name of
Slavery, while it sets up a pretended Government whose corner-stone is
Slavery. [_Hisses, and cries of “Never!”_]

Against this Rebellion we wage war. It is our determination, as it is
our duty, to crush it; and this will be done. Nor am I disturbed by any
success which the Rebels may seem to obtain. The ancient Roman, who,
confident in the destiny of the Republic, bought the field on which the
conquering Hannibal was encamped, is a fit example for us. I would not
have less trust than his. The Rebel States are our fields. The region
now contested by the Rebels belongs to the United States by every tie
of government and of right. Some of it has been bought with our money,
while all of it, with its rivers, harbors, and extensive coast, has
become essential to our business in peace and to our defence in war.
Union is a geographical, economical, commercial, political, military,
and (if I may so say) even a fluvial necessity. Without union, peace on
this continent is impossible; but life without peace is impossible also.

Only by crushing this Rebellion can union and peace be restored. Let
this be seen in its reality, and who can hesitate? If this were done
instantly, without further contest, then, besides all the countless
advantages of every kind obtained by such restoration, two special
goods will be accomplished,--one political, and the other moral as well
as political. First, the pretended right of secession, with the whole
pestilent extravagance of State sovereignty, supplying the machinery
for this Rebellion, and affording a delusive cover for treason, will
be trampled out, never again to disturb the majestic unity of the
Republic; and, secondly, the unrighteous attempt to organize a new
confederacy, solely for the sake of Slavery, and with Slavery as
its corner-stone, will be overthrown. These two pretensions, one so
shocking to our reason and the other so shocking to our moral nature,
will disappear forever. And with their disappearance will date a new
epoch, the beginning of a grander age. If by any accident the Rebellion
should prevail, then, just in proportion to its triumph, through
concession on our part or successful force on the other part, will the
Union be impaired and peace be impossible. Therefore in the name of the
Union and for the sake of peace are you summoned to the work.

       *       *       *       *       *

But how shall the Rebellion be crushed? That is the question. Men,
money, munitions of war, a well-supplied commissariat, means of
transportation,--all these you have in abundance, in some particulars
beyond the Rebels. You have, too, the consciousness of a good cause,
which in itself is an army. And yet thus far, until within a few days,
the advantage has not been on our side. The explanation is easy.
The Rebels are combating at home, on their own soil, strengthened
and maddened by Slavery, which is to them ally and fanaticism. More
thoroughly aroused than ourselves, more terribly in earnest, with
every sinew vindictively strained to its most perfect work, they
freely use all the means that circumstances put into their hands,--not
only raising against us their white population, but fellowshipping
the savagery of the Indian, cruising upon the sea in pirate ships to
despoil our commerce, and at one swoop confiscating our property to the
amount of hundreds of millions, while all this time their four million
slaves undisturbed at home freely contribute by their labor to sustain
the war, which without them must soon expire.

       *       *       *       *       *

It remains for us to encounter the Rebellion calmly and surely by a
force superior to its own. To this end, something more is needed than
men or money. Our battalions must be reinforced by ideas, and we must
strike directly at the Origin and Mainspring. I do not say now in
what way or to what extent, but only that we must strike: it may be
by the system of a Massachusetts General,--Butler; it may be by that
of Fremont [_here the audience rose and gave long continued cheers_];
or it may be by the grander system of John Quincy Adams. Reason and
sentiment both concur in this policy, which is according to the most
common principles of human conduct. In no way can we do so much at so
little cost. To the enemy such a blow will be a terror, to good men it
will be an encouragement, and to foreign nations watching this contest
it will be an earnest of something beyond a mere carnival of battle.
There has been the cry, “On to Richmond!” and still another worse cry,
“On to England!” Better than either is the cry, “On to Freedom!”[231]
[_Tremendous cheering._] Let this be heard in the voices of our
soldiers, ay, let it resound in the purposes of the Government, and
victory must be near.

With no little happiness I make known that this cry begins at last
to be adopted. It is in the instructions from the Secretary of War,
dated War Department, October 14, 1861, and addressed to the General
commanding the forces about to embark for South Carolina. Here are the
important words.

    “You will, however, in general, avail yourself of the services
    of any persons, whether fugitives from labor or not, who may
    offer them to the National Government; you will employ such
    persons in such services as they may be fitted for, either
    as ordinary employees, or, if special circumstances seem to
    require it, in any other capacity, with such organization, in
    squads, companies, or otherwise, as you deem most beneficial
    to the service. This, however, not to mean a general arming of
    them for military service. You will assure all loyal masters
    that Congress will provide just compensation to them for the
    loss of the services of the persons so employed.”[232]

This is not the positive form of proclamation; but analyze the words,
and you will find them full of meaning. First, Martial Law is declared;
for the powers committed to the discretion of the General are derived
from that law, and not from the late Confiscation Act of Congress.
Secondly, fugitive slaves are not to be surrendered. Thirdly, all
coming within the camp are to be treated as freemen. Fourthly, they
may be employed in such service as they are fitted for. Fifthly, in
squads, companies, or otherwise, with the single slight limitation
that this is not to mean “a _general_ arming of them for military
service.” And, sixthly, compensation, through Congress, is promised to
loyal masters,--saying nothing of Rebel masters. All this falls little
short of a Proclamation of Emancipation,--not unlike that of old Caius
Marius, when, landing on the coast of Etruria, according to Plutarch,
he proclaimed liberty to the slaves. As such, I do not err, when I call
it, thus far, the most important event of the war,--more important
because understood to have the deliberate sanction of the President
as well as of the Secretary, and therefore marking the policy of the
Administration. That this policy should be first applied to South
Carolina is just. As the great Rebellion began in this State, so should
the great remedy. [_Applause and cheers._]

Slavery is the inveterate culprit, the transcendent criminal, the
persevering traitor, the wicked parricide, the arch rebel, the open
outlaw. As the less is contained in the greater, so the Rebellion is
all contained in Slavery. The tenderness which you show to Slavery
is, therefore, indulgence to the Rebellion itself. [_Applause._] The
pious caution with which you avoid harming Slavery exceeds that ancient
superstition which made the wolf sacred among the Romans and the
crocodile sacred among the Egyptians; nor shall I hesitate to declare
that every surrender of a slave back to bondage is an offering of human
sacrifice, whose shame is too great for any army to bear. That men
should hesitate to strike at Slavery is only another illustration of
human weakness. The English Republicans, in bloody contest with the
Crown, hesitated for a long time to fire upon the King; but under the
valiant lead of Cromwell, surrounded by his well-trained Ironsides,
they banished all such scruple, and you know the result. The King was
not shot, but his head was brought to the block.

The duty which I announce, if not urgent now, as a MILITARY NECESSITY,
_in just self-defence_, will present itself constantly, _as our armies
advance in the Slave States or land on their coasts_. If it does not
stare us in the face at this moment, it is because unhappily we are
still everywhere on the defensive. As we begin to be successful, it
must rise before us for practical decision; and we cannot avoid it.
There will be slaves in our camps, or within our extended lines, whose
condition we must determine. There will be slaves also claimed by
Rebels, whose continued chattelhood we should scorn to recognize. The
decision of these two cases will settle the whole great question. Nor
can the Rebels complain. They challenge our armies to enter upon their
territory in the free exercise of all the powers of war,--according to
which, as you well know, all private interests are subordinated to the
public safety, which, for the time, becomes the supreme law above all
other laws and above the Constitution itself. If everywhere under the
flag of the Union, in its triumphant march, Freedom is substituted for
Slavery, this outrageous Rebellion will not be the first instance in
history where God has turned the wickedness of man into a blessing; nor
will the example of Samson stand alone, when he gathered honey from the
carcass of the dead and rotten lion. [_Cheers._]

Pardon me, if I speak in hints only, and do not stop to argue or
explain. Not now, at the close of an evening devoted to the Rebellion
in its Origin and Mainspring, can I enter upon this great question
of military duty in its details. There is another place where this
discussion will be open for me.[233] [_Cheers._] It is enough now,
if I indicate the simple principle which is the natural guide of
all really in earnest, of all whose desire to save their country is
stronger than the desire to save Slavery. You will strike where the
blow is most felt; nor will you miss the precious opportunity. The
enemy is before you, nay, he comes out in ostentatious challenge,
and his name is Slavery. You can vindicate the Union only by his
prostration. Slavery is the very Goliath of the Rebellion, armed with
coat of mail, with helmet of brass upon the head, greaves of brass upon
the legs, target of brass between the shoulders, and with the staff of
his spear like a weaver’s beam. But a stone from a simple sling will
make the giant fall upon his face to the earth. [_Prolonged cheering._]

       *       *       *       *       *

Thank God, our Government is strong; but thus far all signs denote
that it is not strong enough to save the Union, and at the same time
save Slavery. One or the other must suffer; and just in proportion
as you reach forth to protect Slavery do you protect this accursed
Rebellion, nay, you give to it that very aid and comfort which are the
constitutional synonym for treason itself. Perversely and pitifully
do you postpone that sure period of reconciliation, not only between
the two sections, not only between the men of the North and the men
of the South, but, more necessary still, between slave and master,
without which the true tranquillity we all seek cannot be permanently
assured. Believe it, only through such reconciliation, under sanction
of Freedom, can you remove all occasion of conflict hereafter; only in
this way can you cut off the head of this great Hydra, and at the same
time extirpate that principle of evil, which, if allowed to remain,
must shoot forth in perpetual discord, if not in other rebellions;
only in this way can you command that safe victory, without which this
contest is vain, which will have among its conquests Indemnity for
the Past and Security for the Future,--the noblest indemnity and the
strongest security ever won, because founded in the redemption of race.

Full well I know the doubts, cavils, and misrepresentations to which
this argument for the integrity of the nation is exposed; but I turn
with confidence to the people. The heart of the people is right, and
all great thoughts come from the heart. All hating Slavery and true to
Freedom will join in effort, paying with person, time, talent, purse.
They are our minute-men, always ready,--and yet more ready just in
proportion as the war is truly inspired. They, at least, are sure. It
remains that others not sharing this animosity, merchants who study
their ledgers, bankers who study their discounts, and politicians who
study success, should see that only by prompt and united effort against
Slavery can the war be brought to a speedy and triumphant close,
without which, merchant, banker, and politician all suffer alike.
Ledger, discount, and political aspiration will have small value, if
the war continues its lava flood, shrivelling and stifling everything
but itself. Therefore, _under spur of self-interest, if not under the
necessities of self-defence_, we must act together. Humanity, too,
joins in this appeal. Blood enough has been shed, victims enough have
bled at the altar, even if you are willing to lavish upon Slavery the
tribute now paying of more than a million dollars a day.

Events, too, under Providence, are our masters. For the Rebels there
can be no success. For them every road leads to disaster. For them
defeat is bad, but victory worse; for then will the North be inspired
to sublimer energy. The proposal of Emancipation which shook ancient
Athens followed close upon the disaster at Chæronea; and the statesman
who moved it vindicated himself by saying that it proceeded not from
him, but from Chæronea[234]. The triumph of Hannibal at Cannæ drove
the Roman Republic to the enlistment and enfranchisement of eight
thousand slaves[235]. Such is history, which we are now repeating. The
recent Act of Congress giving freedom to slaves _employed against us_,
familiarly known as the Confiscation Act, passed the Senate on the
morning after the disaster at Manassas[236]. In the providence of God
there are no accidents; and this seeming reverse helped to the greatest
victory which can be won.

Do not forget, I pray you, that classical story of the mighty hunter
whose life in the Book of Fate was made to depend upon the existence
of a brand burning at his birth. The brand, so full of destiny, was
snatched from the flames and carefully preserved by his prudent mother.
Meanwhile the hunter became powerful and invulnerable to mortal weapon.
But at length the mother, indignant at his cruelty to her own family,
flung the brand upon the flames and the hunter died. The life of
Meleager, so powerful and invulnerable to mortal weapon, is now revived
in this Rebellion, and Slavery is the fatal brand. Let the National
Government, whose maternal care is still continued to Slavery, simply
throw the thing upon the flames madly kindled by itself, and the
Rebellion will die at once. [_Sensation._]

       *       *       *       *       *

Amidst all surrounding perils there is one only which I dread. It is
the peril from some new surrender to Slavery, some fresh recognition
of its power, some present dalliance with its intolerable pretensions.
Worse than any defeat, or even the flight of an army, would be this
abandonment of principle. From all such peril, good Lord, deliver us!
And there is _one way of safety_, clear as sunlight, pleasant as the
paths of Peace. Over its broad and open gate is written JUSTICE. In
that little word is victory. Do justice and you will be twice victors;
for so will you subdue the Rebel master, while you elevate the slave.
Do justice frankly, generously, nobly, and you will find strength
instead of weakness, while all seeming responsibility disappears in
obedience to God’s eternal law. Do justice, though the heavens fall.
But they will not fall. Every act of justice becomes a new pillar of
the Universe, or it may be a new link of that

                          “golden everlasting chain
    Whose strong embrace holds heaven and earth and main.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    At the conclusion of Mr. Sumner’s address the following
    resolutions were offered and adopted by acclamation.

        “_Resolved_, That the doctrine enunciated by Major-General
        Fremont with respect to the emancipation of the slaves of
        Rebels, and the more recent utterances of General Burnside,
        Senator Wilson, and the Hon. George Bancroft, in this city,
        and of Colonel John Cochrane and the Hon. Simon Cameron
        at Washington, foreshadowing the eventual rooting out of
        Slavery as the cause of the Rebellion, indicate alike a
        moral, political, and military necessity; and, in the
        judgment of this meeting, the public sentiment of the
        North is now in full sympathy with any practicable scheme
        which may be presented for the extirpation of this national
        evil, and will accept such result as the only consistent
        issue of this contest between Civilization and Barbarism.

        “_Resolved_, That the thanks of this meeting be and
        are hereby tendered to the Hon. Charles Sumner, the
        distinguished orator of this evening, for his reassertion
        and eloquent enforcement of the political principle herein


    The bill to confiscate property used for insurrectionary
    purposes, reported by Mr. Trumbull from the Judiciary
    Committee, came up in regular order in the Senate, Monday,
    July 22, when, on his motion, the following amendment was
    adopted, every Republican voting for it: “That whenever any
    person, claiming to be entitled to the service or labor of any
    other person under the laws of any State, shall employ such
    person in aiding or promoting any insurrection, or in resisting
    the laws of the United States, or shall permit him to be so
    employed, he shall forfeit all right to such service or labor,
    and the person whose labor or service is thus claimed shall
    be thenceforth discharged therefrom, any law to the contrary
    notwithstanding.”[237] This very moderate proposition was the
    beginning of Emancipation. In the House of Representatives it
    was changed in form, but not in substance, and the Bill was
    approved by the President August 6, 1861.[238]

       *       *       *       *       *

    This address appeared in numerous journals, and also in the
    _Rebellion Record_, besides being circulated extensively in
    pamphlet form at home and abroad. Evidently the hostility to
    Emancipation was softening, although the old spirit found
    utterance in some of the newspapers.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The _New York Herald_ thus declared itself.

        “The Hon. Charles Sumner, the famous orator of the Satanic
        Abolition school, which first introduced into our happy
        republic the elements of dismemberment and dissolution, as
        the Old Serpent introduced sin and death into the Garden
        of Eden, held forth last evening at the Cooper Institute
        before the Young Men’s Republican Union of New York. His
        audience were Abolitionists of the true-blue stamp, and
        the design of his harangue was to stir up in this city
        mutiny and rebellion against the Government in the interest
        of General Fremont, around whom the revolutionary forces
        of fanatical Puritanism have been gathering ever since
        he issued his proclamation emancipating the negroes of

        “Till the head of the serpent of Abolitionism is crushed by
        the heel of Abe Lincoln, there can be no salvation for the
        South, and no hope of redeeming its rebels from the fatal
        error and delusion into which they have been led by the
        Antislavery propagandists and sympathizers with John Brown.”

    But this same journal spoke otherwise of the auditory.

        “Rarely has there been such a large audience assembled in
        the Cooper Institute,--never one of such general reputation
        and intelligence. Several hundred ladies were present. As
        Mr. Sumner made his appearance on the platform, he was
        hailed with enthusiastic applause.”

    The New York _Journal of Commerce_ followed the _Herald_.

        “_It was a labored, but concealed, attack on the
        Constitution and its framers._ Mr. Sumner did not dare
        speak his sentiments fully, and boldly attack Washington
        and the illustrious Fathers. He preferred the insidious
        course of instilling into the minds of his audience
        sentiments of hatred to the Constitution, so that they
        might look complacently hereafter on the Abolition
        revolution which he contemplates.”

    An extract from the _Principia_, at New York, the
    organ of Abolitionists insisting always upon the utter
    unconstitutionality of Slavery, will suffice on the other side.

        “Our readers at a distance will be interested and
        encouraged to know that the most radical portions of it
        received the most enthusiastic applause from the immense
        assemblage, on that occasion, without eliciting the
        slightest expression of dissent. This was remarkably true,
        even of that portion of it which defended the Abolitionists
        from the charge of having caused our present national
        troubles, and, on the contrary, gave them ample and due
        credit for keeping alive the flame of Freedom by their
        opposition to Slavery, and forewarning the country of the
        evils it was bringing upon us. To ourselves and a remnant
        of our old associates, on the platform and in the meeting,
        who remembered the scenes of mob violence in this city in
        1833-34, and the attempted renewal of the same riots in
        the same Cooper Institute only about two years since, when
        Cheever and Phillips were interrupted and threatened, the
        contrast was most striking and cheering.”

    Correspondents expressed themselves warmly.

    Richard Warren, of Plymouth stock, wrote from New York:--

        “Congratulating you, Sir, and our country, that the day now
        seems not far distant when America is to fulfil the destiny
        assigned to her, and be throughout all her borders a land
        of freemen without slaves, and honoring you for the labor
        you have so well performed in the past and in the present,
        I have to express the gratification with which I listened
        to your true words on Wednesday last in this city, and to
        subscribe myself as one who heard you at Plymouth,[239] and
        who always hears you when opportunity offers.”

    Richard J. Hinton, the courageous and liberal journalist, was
    moved to write from Kansas:--

        “Having just finished the perusal of your late oration in
        New York City, I cannot let the opportunity pass of sending
        my thanks, and I know therein I speak for Kansas, for the
        emphatic opinions and masterly _exposé_ of the cause of,
        and remedy for, this most stupendous rebellion. Such things
        as you there so eloquently express give the soldiers of
        Freedom in Kansas heart and courage in the work of giving
        Freedom to all.”

    Orestes A. Brownson, whose able and learned pen was so active
    on the same line with Mr. Sumner, wrote from Elizabeth, New

        “I have read with great pleasure your discourse on the
        ‘Origin and Mainspring of the Rebellion.’ It is conclusive,
        and powerfully so, and does you infinite credit. I see you
        are afraid of some attempt at compromise. I am very much
        afraid of it. There must be no compromise. The battle must
        be fought out, and we must settle the question once and
        forever, whether we are a nation or are not. Everything, I
        fear, depends on the vigilance, firmness, and patriotism of

    Henry C. Wright, the veteran of Abolition, wrote:--

        “I am sixty-four years old. Thirty of those years have been
        almost exclusively spent in a war of ideas against Slavery,
        as a Garrisonian Abolitionist. _Conquer by suffering!
        Victory or death! Resistance to tyrants, obedience to God!_
        Such have been the watchwords of the battle. You know what
        it has cost those who have waged this war of ideas. But I
        felt fully rewarded last evening in seeing that audience
        so earnestly listening to such sentiments as fell from
        your lips. What a revolution in thought and feeling in
        twenty-five years! Never again let man be discouraged in a
        conflict between _humanity_ and its _incidents_.”

    A citizen of Washington confessed the change in his mind from
    this speech.

        “I have through all my life been a Democrat, and I confess
        I have had no great love for you, or what I thought to be
        your principles. But a cardinal principle in my ethics
        is, that men should always be ‘open to conviction.’ I am
        happy to confess that I have been doubly deceived: first,
        in the principles and intentions of the Democratic party;
        and, second, in the principles and intentions of the
        Republicans,--or Abolitionists, as we call them. A friend
        handed me your great oration delivered in New York, and I
        am so favorably struck with its logic and patriotism that
        I am completely proselyted. Mr. Sumner, I want my children
        and my children’s children to know that I am a ‘Sumner

    These expressions from different parts of the country show the
    wakeful sympathy which prevailed.



    The first regular session of Congress, after the breaking out
    of the Rebellion, opened on Monday, December 2, 1861. Mr.
    Sumner renewed at once his movement against Slavery.

    December 4th he submitted the following resolution, as a mode
    of calling attention to an abuse, and of obtaining a hearing
    while he exposed it.

        “_Resolved_, That the Secretary of War be requested to
        furnish to the Senate copies of any General Orders in
        the military department of Missouri relating to fugitive

    On this he spoke briefly.

MR. PRESIDENT,--My attention has been called, by letter from St. Louis,
to certain General Orders purporting to be by Major-General Halleck,
in command of the Department of Missouri, relating to fugitive slaves,
wherein it is directed that such persons shall not be received within
his camps, or within the lines of his forces when on march, and that
any such persons now within such lines shall be thrust out; and the
reason strangely assigned for this order is, that such fugitive slaves
will carry information to the Rebels.

It is difficult to speak of an order like this, and keep within bounds.
Beside being irrational and inhuman on its face, it practically
authorizes the surrender of fugitive slaves beyond any constitutional
obligation. Such an order must naturally be disheartening to our
soldiers, and it gives a bad name to our country, both at home and

General Halleck is reported to be a good tactician; but an act like
this, with which he chooses to inaugurate his command, does not give
assurance of great success hereafter. He may be expert in details of
military science; but something more is needed now. Common sympathy,
common humanity, and common sense must prevail in the conduct of this
war. I take the liberty of saying--and I wish that my words may reach
his distant head-quarters--that every fugitive slave he surrenders will
hereafter rise in judgment against him with a shame which no possible
victory can remove.

    A letter from St. Louis, written the day after these remarks,
    shows the necessity for them, and also how promptly they
    reached Missouri, thanks to the telegraph.

        “We thank you most kindly for your motion yesterday, and
        I beg to inclose you some extracts which will show you
        the workings of that unfortunate Order No. 3. The slaves
        advertised, in some instances, to my own knowledge, belong
        to Secessionists in Price’s army. For that matter, they may
        all belong to that class of people. Is it not an inhuman
        act for these poor people to be made outlaws for no crime,
        only that they refused to join their traitor masters in
        onslaught on our beneficent Government?”



    December 4th, Mr. Wilson introduced a joint resolution for
    the release of certain persons confined in the county jail
    for the County of Washington in the District of Columbia,
    which was read a first and second time. A debate ensued, in
    which the jail and the judiciary of the District were severely
    handled. Mr. Hale hoped that Mr. Wilson, who had introduced the
    resolution, would “pursue his inquiries further, and find out
    where the cause of all this evil is, and apply the remedy.” Mr.
    Fessenden, after calling attention to the administration of
    justice in the District and hoping for an inquiry, concluded:
    “It is well, perhaps, that we should begin here; it is a
    tangible point; but I hope it will be followed up to any extent
    that may be necessary in order to accomplish the purpose.” Mr.
    Sumner at once took advantage of the debate, and turned it
    against Slavery and the Black Code.

MR. PRESIDENT,--The Senator from Maine [Mr. Fessenden] has pointed
to abuses of the judiciary in this District, and he insists that at
last we shall have decent men on the bench. But that is not going
far enough, Sir. Something more is needed. We must have decent laws.
A Black Code still prevails in this District, imported from the old
legislation of Maryland, which is a shame to the civilization of our
age. If any one wishes to know why such abuses exist in prisons and in
courts as have been so eloquently portrayed, I refer him to that Black
Code. There you will find apology for every outrage. If, therefore,
Senators are really in earnest, if they are determined that the
national capital shall be purified, that the administration of justice
here shall be worthy of a civilized community, they must expunge that
Black Code from the statute-book: but to do this is to expunge Slavery
itself; and here we are brought precisely to the point.

Senators mistake, if they treat this question merely on the outside.
They must penetrate its interior. Why is that prison so offensive as I
know it to be?--for it has been my fortune to visit it repeatedly. It
is on account of Slavery, with the Black Code, which is its offspring.
Why is justice so offensively administered in this District? It is on
account of those brutal sentiments generated by Slavery, and manifested
in the Black Code, which the courts here but enforce.

I listened with gratitude to my distinguished friend from New Hampshire
[Mr. HALE], when he reviewed this subject, and announced that he would
soon bring in a bill to remove the evil. He did not tell us what the
bill would be; but the Senator is apt to be thorough. I doubt not that
he understands the case; but I am sure, that, to meet it, he must deal
directly with Slavery, the fountain and origin of all the noisome
inhumanity exposed before us to-day.

    This was the first open word against Slavery in the District
    since the breaking out of the Rebellion.

    The resolution of Mr. Wilson was referred to the Committee
    on the District of Columbia. He followed at once by another
    resolution, which was referred to the same committee, where,
    among other things, the committee was “instructed to consider
    the expediency of abolishing Slavery in the District, with
    compensation to the loyal holders of slaves.”

    December 16th, Mr. Wilson introduced a bill “for the release
    of certain persons held to service or labor in the District
    of Columbia,” which was afterwards referred to the Committee
    on the District, who reported it with amendments February 14,
    1862. The further part Mr. Sumner took on this question will
    appear hereafter.



MR. PRESIDENT,--There are Senators who knew Mr. Bingham well, while he
was a member of the other House. I knew him well only when he became a
member of this body. Our seats here were side by side, and, as he was
constant in attendance, I saw him daily. Our acquaintance soon became
friendship, quickened by common sympathies, and confirmed by that bond
which, according to the ancient orator, is found in the _eadem de
Republica sensisse_.[240] In his death I have lost a friend; but the
sorrow of friendship is deepened, when I think of loss to the country.

If he did not impress at once by personal appearance or voice or
manner, yet all these, as they became familiar, testified continually
to the unaffected simplicity and integrity of his character. His
life, so far as not given to his country, was devoted to the labors
of agriculture. He was a farmer, and, amidst all the temptations
of an eminent public career, never abandoned this vocation, which
does so much to strengthen both body and soul. More than merchant,
manufacturer, or lawyer, the agriculturist is independent in
condition. To him the sun and rain and the ever-varying seasons
are agents of prosperity. Dependent upon Nature, he learns to be
independent of men. Such a person, thus endowed, easily turns from the
behest of party to follow those guiding principles which are kindred
to the laws of Nature. Of such a character our friend was a beautiful

In him all the private virtues commingled. Truthful and frank, he was
full of gentleness and generous sympathy. He had risen from humble
fortunes, and his heart throbbed warmly for all who suffered in any
way. Especially was he aroused against wrong and injustice, wherever
they appeared, and then his softer sentiments were changed into an
indomitable firmness,--showing that he was one of those admirable
natures where

    “Mildness and bravery went hand in hand.”

It was this character which gave elevation to his public life. Though
companions about him hesitated, though great men on whom he had
leaned apostatized, he stood sure and true always for the Right. Such
a person was naturally enlisted against Slavery. His virtuous soul
recoiled from this many-headed Barbarism, entering into and possessing
the National Government. His political philosophy was simply moral
philosophy applied to public affairs. Slavery was wrong; therefore
he was against it, wherever he could justly reach it. No matter what
form it took,--whether of pretension or blandishment,--whether, like
Satan, stalking lordly, or sitting squat like a toad,--whether, like
Mephistopheles, cozening cunningly, or lurking like a poodle,--whether,
like Asmodeus, inquisitorial even to lifting the roofs of the whole
country,--he was never deceived, but saw it always, in all its various
manifestations, as the Spirit of Evil, and was its constant enemy. And
now, among the signs that Freedom has truly triumphed, is the fact that
here, in this Chamber, so long the stronghold of Slavery, our homage
can be freely offered to one who so fearlessly opposed it.

There was something in our modest friend which seemed peculiarly
adapted to private life. Had he not been a public man, he would have
been, in his own rural neighborhood, at home, the good citizen, active
and positive for human improvement, with an honored place in that
list whose praise Clarkson pronounces so authoritatively. “I have had
occasion,” says this philanthropist, “to know many thousand persons in
the course of my travels, and I can truly say that the part which these
took on this great question [of the Abolition of the Slave-Trade] was
always a true criterion of their moral character.”[241] But he was not
allowed to continue in retirement. His country had need of him, and he
became a member of the Michigan Legislature and Speaker of its House,
Representative in Congress, Governor, and then Senator of the United
States. This distinguished career was stamped always with the plainness
of his character. The Roman Cato was not more plain or determined. He
came into public life when Compromise was the order of the day, but he
never yielded to it. He was a member of the Democratic party, which was
the declared tool of Slavery, but he never allowed Slavery to make a
tool of him. All this should now be spoken in his honor. To omit it on
this occasion would be to forget those titles by which hereafter he
will be most gratefully remembered.

       *       *       *       *       *

There were two important questions, while he was a member of the other
House, on which his name is recorded for Freedom. The first was the
famous proposition introduced by Mr. Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, for
the prohibition of Slavery in the Territories. On this question he
separated from his party, and courageously voted in the affirmative.
Had his voice at that time prevailed, Slavery would have been checked,
and the vast Conspiracy under which we now suffer would have received
an early death-blow. The other question on which his record is so
honorable was the Fugitive Slave Bill. There his name is found among
the noes, in generous fellowship with Preston King among the living,
and Horace Mann among the dead.

From that time forward his influence for Freedom was felt in his own
State, and when, at a later day, he entered the Senate, he became
known instantly as one of our surest and most faithful Senators, whose
inflexible constancy was more eloquent than a speech. During all recent
trials he never for one moment wavered. With the instincts of an honest
statesman, he saw the situation, and accepted frankly and bravely the
responsibilities of the hour. He set his face against concession in any
degree and in every form. The time had come when Slavery was to be met,
and he was ready. As the Rebellion assumed its warlike proportions,
his perception of our duties was none the less clear. In his mind,
Slavery was not only the origin, but vital part of the Rebellion,
and therefore to be attacked. Slavery was also the mainspring of the
belligerent power now arrayed against the Union,--therefore, in the
name of the Union, to be destroyed. While valuing the military arm as
essential, he saw that without courageous counsels it would be feeble.
The function of the statesman is higher than that of general; and our
departed Senator saw that on the counsels of the Government, even more
than on its armies, rested the great responsibility of bringing this
war to a speedy and triumphant close. Armies obey orders, but it is
for the Government to organize and to inspire victory. All this he saw
clearly; and he longed impatiently for that voice, herald of Union and
Peace, which, in behalf of a violated Constitution, and in the exercise
of a just self-defence, should change the present contest from a bloody
folly into a sure stage of Human Improvement and an immortal landmark
of Civilization.

Such a Senator can be ill spared at this hour. His cheerful confidence,
his genuine courage, his practical instinct, his simple presence,
would help the great events now preparing, nay, which are at hand.
Happily he survives in noble example, and speaks even from the tomb.
By all who have shared his counsels he will ever be truly remembered,
while the State which trusted him so often in life, and the neighbors
who knew him so well in his daily walks, will cherish his memory with
affectionate pride. Marble and bronze are not needed. If not enough for
glory, he has done too much to be forgotten; and hereafter, when our
country is fully redeemed, his name will be inscribed in that faithful
company, who, through good report and evil report, held fast to the

    “By fairy hands their knell is rung,
    By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
    There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
    To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
    And Freedom shall awhile repair,
    To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.”[242]



    This occasion was remarkable for the presence of President
    Lincoln, thus described in the _Congressional Globe_:--

        “The President of the United States entered the Senate
        Chamber, supported by Hon. Lyman Trumbull and Hon. O. H.
        Browning, Senators from the State of Illinois; he was
        introduced to the Vice-President, and took a seat beside
        him on the daïs appropriated to the President of the
        Senate. J. G. Nicolay, Esq., and John Hay, Esq., Private
        Secretaries to the President of the United States, took
        seats near the central entrance.”

MR. PRESIDENT,--The Senator to whom we now say farewell was generous
in funeral homage to others. More than once he held great companies
in rapt attention, while doing honor to the dead. Over the coffin of
Broderick[243] he proclaimed the dying utterance of that early victim,
and gave to it the fiery wings of his own eloquence: “They have killed
me because I was opposed to the extension of Slavery, and a corrupt
Administration”; and as the impassioned orator repeated these words,
his own soul was knit in sympathy with the departed; and thus at once
did he win to himself the friends of Freedom, though distant.

    “Who would not sing for Lycidas? He knew
    Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.”

There are two forms of eminent talent which are kindred in effect,
each producing instant impression, each holding crowds in suspense,
and each kindling enthusiastic admiration: I mean the talent of the
orator and the talent of the soldier. Each of these, when successful,
gains immediate honor, and reads his praise in a nation’s eyes. Baker
was orator and soldier. To him belongs the rare renown of this double
character. Perhaps he carried into war something of the confidence
inspired by the conscious sway of great multitudes, as he surely
brought into speech something of the ardor of war. Call him, if you
will, the Rupert of battle; he was also the Rupert of debate.

His success in life attests not only a remarkable genius, but the
benign hospitality of our institutions. Born on a foreign soil, he was
to our country only a step-son; but, were he now alive, I doubt not he
would gratefully declare that the country was never to him an ungentle
step-mother. Child of poverty, he was brought, while yet in tender
years, to Philadelphia, where he began life an exile. His earliest
days were passed at the loom rather than at school; and yet from this
lowliness he achieved the highest posts of trust and honor, being at
the same time Senator and General. It was the boast of Pericles, in
his funeral oration, in the Ceramicus, over the dead who had fallen in
battle, that the Athenians readily communicated to all the advantages
which they themselves enjoyed, that they did not exclude the stranger
from their walls, and that Athens was a city open to the Human
Family.[244] The same boast may be repeated by us with better reason,
as we commemorate our dead fallen in battle.

From Philadelphia the poor man’s son was carried to the West, where
he grew with the growth of that surpassing region. He became one of
its children; and his own manhood was closely associated with its
powerful progress. The honors of the bar and of Congress were soon
his; but impatient temper led him from these paths into the Mexican
War, where he gallantly took the place of Shields--torn with wounds
and almost dead--at Cerro Gordo. But the great West, beginning to
teem with population, did not satisfy his ambition, and he repaired
to California. With infancy rocked on the waves of the Atlantic, and
manhood formed in the broad and open expanse of the Prairie, he now
sought a home on the shores of the Pacific. There again his genius was
promptly recognized. A new State, which had just taken its place in the
Union, sent him as Senator; and Oregon first became truly known to us
on this floor by his eloquent lips.[245]

In the Senate he took at once the part of orator. His voice was not
full and sonorous, but sharp and clear. It was penetrating rather
than commanding, and yet, when touched by his ardent nature, became
sympathetic and even musical. Countenance, body, and gesture all shared
the unconscious inspiration of his voice, and he went on, master of his
audience, master also of himself. All his faculties were completely at
command. Ideas, illustrations, words, seemed to come unbidden and range
in harmonious forms,--as in the walls of ancient Thebes each stone took
its proper place of its own accord, moved only by the music of a lyre.
His fame as a speaker was so peculiar, even before he appeared among
us, that it was sometimes supposed he might lack those solid powers
without which the oratorical faculty itself exercises only a transient
influence. But his speech on this floor in reply to a slaveholding
conspirator, now an open rebel, showed that his matter was as good
as his manner, and that, while master of fence, he was also master
of ordnance. His oratory was graceful, sharp, and flashing, like a
cimeter; but his argument was powerful and sweeping, like a battery.

You have not forgotten that speech. Perhaps the argument against the
sophism of Secession was never better arranged and combined, or more
simply popularized for general apprehension. A generation had passed
since that traitorous absurdity, fit cover of conspiracy, was exposed.
For a while it had shrunk into darkness, driven back by the massive
logic of Daniel Webster and the honest sense of Andrew Jackson.

                  “The times have been,
    That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
    And there an end; but now they rise again.”

As the pretension showed itself anew, our orator undertook again to
expose it. How thoroughly he did this, now with historic and now with
forensic skill, while his whole effort was elevated by a charming,
ever-ready eloquence, aroused to new power by the interruptions he
encountered,--all this is present to your minds. That speech passed
at once into general acceptance, while it gave its author an assured
position in this body.

Another speech showed him in a different character. It was his instant
reply to the Kentucky Senator,[246]--not then expelled from this body.
The occasion was peculiar. A Senator, with treason in his heart, if not
on his lips, had just sat down. Our lamented Senator, who had entered
the Chamber direct from his camp, rose at once to reply. He began
simply and calmly; but, as he proceeded, the fervid soul broke forth
in words of surpassing power. On the former occasion he presented the
well-ripened fruits of study; but now he spoke with the spontaneous
utterance of his natural eloquence, meeting the polished traitor at
every point with weapons keener and brighter than his own.

Not content with the brilliant opportunities of this Chamber, he
accepted a commission in the Army, vaulting from the Senate to the
saddle, as he had already leaped from Illinois to California. With a
zeal that never tired, after recruiting men, drawn by the attraction of
his name, in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere, he held his brigade
in camp near the Capitol, so that he passed easily from one to the
other, and thus alternated between the duties of Senator and of General.

His latter career was short, though shining. At a disastrous encounter
near Ball’s Bluff, he fell, pierced by nine balls. That brain, once
the seat and organ of subtile power, swaying assemblies, and giving to
this child of obscurity place and command among his fellow-men, was
now rudely shattered, and the bosom that throbbed so bravely was rent
by numerous wounds. He died with his face to the foe,--and he died so
instantly, that he passed without pain from the service of his country
to the service of his God. It is sweet and becoming to die for country.
Such a death, sudden, but not unprepared for, is the crown of the
patriot soldier.

But the question is painfully asked, Who was author of this tragedy,
now filling the Senate Chamber, as already it has filled the country,
with mourning? There is a strong desire to hold somebody responsible,
where so many perished so unprofitably. But we need not appoint
committees, or study testimony, to know precisely who took this
precious life. That great criminal is easily detected,--still erect and
defiant, without concealment or disguise. The guns, the balls, and the
men that fired them are of little importance. It is the power behind
all, saying, “The State, it is I,” that took this precious life; and
this power is Slavery. The nine balls that slew our departed brother
came from Slavery. Every gaping wound of his slashed bosom testifies
against Slavery. Every drop of his generous blood cries out from the
ground against Slavery. The brain so rudely shattered has its own
voice, and the tongue so suddenly silenced in death speaks now with
more than living eloquence. To hold others responsible is to hold the
dwarf agent and dismiss the giant principal. Nor shall we do great
service, if, merely criticizing some local blunder, we leave untouched
that fatal forbearance through which the weakness of the Rebellion is
changed into strength, and the strength of our armies is changed into

May our grief to-day be no hollow pageant, nor expend itself in this
funeral pomp! It must become a motive and impulse to patriot action.
But patriotism itself, that commanding charity, embracing so many other
charities, is only a name, and nothing else, unless we resolve, calmly,
plainly, solemnly, that Slavery, the barbarous enemy of our country,
the irreconcilable foe of our Union, the violator of our Constitution,
the disturber of our peace, the vampire of our national life, sucking
its best blood, the assassin of our children, and the murderer of our
dead Senator, shall be struck down. And the way is easy. The just
avenger is at hand, with weapon of celestial temper. Let it be drawn.
Until this is done, the patriot, discerning clearly the secret of our
weakness, can only say sorrowfully:--

              “Bleed, bleed, poor country!
    Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
    For goodness dares not check thee!”[247]


    The tributes to Bingham and Baker were accepted at the time as
    more than eulogies. The protest against Slavery and the cry
    for Emancipation were not lost. They were noticed extensively
    by the press and by correspondents. The effect shows the
    development of that sentiment before which Slavery was falling.
    A Philadelphia newspaper, even while praising the eulogy on
    Senator Baker, seemed to shrink from the demand with which it

        “The speech of Senator Sumner surpassed all others in
        powerful effect, clear and manly style, and an undisguised
        expression of opinion which all must respect, and which
        but few can condemn at the present juncture. His learned
        eloquence captivated the heart, even where it did not
        convince the judgment.”

    Another recorded the impressions of a correspondent.

        “Mr. Sumner, in his splendid eulogy on Baker this morning,
        uttered a stupendous thought, when, in commenting on the
        unfortunate reconnoissance at Ball’s Bluff, he scoffed at
        the idea of an investigating committee to ascertain where
        the blame should justly be charged, and said that the
        great criminal stood before the country and the world, and
        that great criminal was Slavery. You will have his words
        in print, and can judge of this point for yourselves. I
        confess that it thrilled me like an electric shock.”

    The _Antislavery Standard_, of New York, exulted that Slavery
    was arraigned.

        “To see men like Bright and Powell sit still, when Charles
        Sumner charged Baker’s murder on Slavery, was worth at
        least ten years of Antislavery privations. The Proslavery
        interest in the Senate is quite respectful, and does not
        indulge in the old-time bluster and parade.”

    On the contrary, the “Editorial Correspondent” of the _New York
    Express_, writing on the day of the eulogy on Baker, gave vent
    to his sentiments with regard to Mr. Sumner.

        “Even in the burial services of the dead he mingles his
        sectional hate and personal wrath.

        “Such a man will never consent to a peaceful reunion of
        the States, nor to an equal representation of all the
        States in the Federal Congress. He deeply wounds the
        self-sacrificing, loyal Union men of the Border States and
        Far South; in every breath he utters, and in every speech
        he makes, he sets back upon the clock of advancing time
        the hour-hand of Peace. His presence in the Senate Chamber
        is a signal of protracted war, renewed sectional hate, and
        offensive intermeddling.…

        “If Massachusetts were to-day represented in the spirit of
        her early Revolutionary men, or in the spirit in which so
        many thousands of her sons have rushed to the defence of
        the country, Mr. Sumner, as a long standing enemy of the
        Constitution and the Union, would be sent back to Boston,
        and there sandwiched between Slidell and Mason within the
        casemates of Fort Warren. These three men are each old
        acquaintances here, and each old enemies of the Government,
        the Union, and the Constitution; and the only difference
        between the extremes is, that the Senator from Boston
        remains in council here to fight the Government, and men
        and institutions belonging to it from its foundation, while
        the others fled from its service to render more available
        aid to those in arms against it.”

    Hon. Edward G. Parker, author of “The Golden Age of American
    Oratory” and “Reminiscences of Rufus Choate,” wrote from

        “I thank you sincerely for a copy of your exquisite
        panegyrics on Bingham and Baker. I often heard Baker,
        and recognize at once the beautiful fidelity of your

        “The touch of Plutarch and of Addison--both, if you will
        allow me to say so--are there.

        “I had, before receiving this, cut out of the newspaper
        your portrait of Baker, and put it in a choice book devoted
        to great men and memorable thoughts.

        “It is to me like a medallion of that _true_ man, who, in
        so shining a manner, and yet so suddenly, ‘passed from the
        service of his country to the service of his God.’

        “Pardon what you may perhaps consider the superfluous
        enthusiasm of this note; but it is written right away
        upon reading these oratoric odes, and I feel a little of
        the _lava_ struggling even in the attempt to acknowledge
        receiving them.”

    Hon. John Jay, afterwards Minister at Vienna, wrote from New

        “They are not only eloquent tributes to the dead, but
        powerful appeals to the living.”

    Epes Sargent, the friend and writer, showed his sympathy in a
    letter from Boston.

        “Your remarks in the Senate on Senator Baker pleased me
        so much that I could not forbear speaking my pleasure in
        print. They are level with the theme and the time, and the
        trumpet-note at the close is in just the right key. Oh, if
        it were not for Kentucky, that neither hot nor cold State,
        we might hope for a policy up to the height of this great
        argument! ‘I would she were hot or cold.’

        “Our Boston papers do not yet speak out, as I would like to
        see them, on this question of proclaiming emancipation to
        the slaves of Rebels. We need another disaster to carry us
        forward a little further.”

    William Lloyd Garrison declared himself with his accustomed
    directness in a letter from Boston.

        “Thanks for your eloquent eulogy upon the late Senator
        Baker, (which I have published in the _Liberator_ this
        week,) and its forcible application to Slavery as the
        primary cause of his untimely death, as it is of all
        our national woes. Be in no wise daunted, but rather
        strengthened and stimulated, by the abusive clamors and
        assaults following all your efforts, on the part of the
        ‘Satanic press,’ and unprincipled demagogues generally.
        These are surer evidences of the wisdom, goodness, and
        nobility of your cause than all the praises of your
        numerous friends and admirers. You may confidently make
        ‘the safe appeal of truth to time,’ and rely upon a
        universal verdict of approval at no distant day. To be in
        the right is as surely to be allied to victory as that God
        reigns. When there is howling in the pit, there is special
        rejoicing in heaven.”



    “Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto.”

                                  TERENT., _Heaut._ Act. I. Sc. i. 25.

[2] New England’s First Fruits: Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc., Vol. I. p. 242.

[3] Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, Vol.
II. p. 6, June 14, 1642.

[4] Ibid., p. 203, November 11, 1647.

[5] Enquiries to the Governor of Virginia by the Lords Commissioners of
Foreign Plantations, with the Governor’s Answers: Hening, Statutes at
Large of Virginia, Vol. II. p. 517.

[6] Oldmixon, British Empire in America, 2d ed., Vol. I. p. 195.

[7] 4 Mass. R., 128, note; 16 Mass. R., 75; 10 Cushing, R., 410; 14
Allen, R., 562. See, _ante_, Vol. III. p. 384.

[8] New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. VI. p. 156.

[9] A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston, perpetrated
in the Evening of the Fifth Day of March, 1770, by Soldiers of the
XXIXth Regiment, to which is added an Appendix containing the several
Depositions, etc., (Boston, 1770,) App., p. 56. Trial of William Wemms
and others, Soldiers in his Majesty’s 29th Regiment of Foot, for the
Murder of Crispus Attucks and others, (Boston, 1770,) pp. 110, 111.

[10] Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, Vol.
III. p. 268, May 27, 1652.

[11] Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, Vol. VIII. p. 187, August,

For most of the foregoing particulars, see also Palfrey’s History of
New England, Vol. II. p. 30, note.

[12] Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, Vol.
III. p. 84, November 4, 1646.

[13] Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc., 2d Ser., Vol. VIII. p. 184.

[14] Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, Vol. I. p. 138.

[15] Jackson’s History of Newton, p. 336. See, _ante_, Vol. II. pp.
289, 290.

[16] Wordsworth, Rob Roy’s Grave.

[17] Tom. II. p. 155.

[18] Collection of Papers on Political, Literary, and Moral Subjects,
by Noah Webster, pp. 325, 326.

[19] Letter to Stephen White, February 27, 1820: Life and Letters of
Joseph Story, by his Son, Vol. I. p. 362.

[20] See, _post_, p. 435, Remarks in the Senate, Dec. 10, 1860.

[21] _The Impending Crisis_, by H. R. Helper, containing a radical
arraignment of Slavery, was recommended by Members of Congress.

[22] Leyden, Scenes of Infancy, Part III.: Poetical Remains, pp. 373,

[23] Essays: Of Plantations.

[24] Commentaries, Vol. I. p. 49.

[25] Ibid., p. 160.

[26] Works, (Oxford, 1825,) Vol. VI. p. 234.

[27] _Ante_, p. 251.

[28] Letter to A. O. P. Nicholson, December 24, 1847.

[29] Oration at Quincy, pp. 13, 14.

[30] Ibid., p. 18.

[31] Oration at Newburyport, p. 24.

[32] Ibid., pp. 26, 27.

[33] Annals of Congress, 7th Cong. 2d Sess., 613, 1353. At a later day
the tone of Mr. Randolph was different. See, _ante_, p. 298.

[34] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 2073, May 11, 1860.

[35] Writings of Washington, ed. Sparks, Vol. VII., Appendix, p. 533.

[36] Speech at Chicago, July 10, 1858: Political Debates between
Lincoln and Douglas, p. 20.

[37] See Odyssey, tr. Pope, Book XIII. 180, 181.

[38] Debates in the Federal Convention, August 25, 1787: Madison
Papers, Vol. III. pp. 1429, 1430.

[39] In opening his lecture, Mr. Sumner, according to the newspaper
reports, alluded to the new hall in which he spoke, called after the
founder of Providence, as follows.--“In the honored name assumed for
this most beautiful and spacious hall, you pledge yourselves that here
Toleration shall prevail, and Liberty be a constant word. It was the
gratulation of the Roman historian in the days of the good Emperors,
that he could think what he pleased and speak what he thought. Should
this privilege ever fail in your new hall, or anywhere within its
influence, then must you forget the great example consecrated in the
name of Roger Williams. With this privilege securely established, you
may proudly point to a higher token of civilization than a column of
the Roman Forum or a frieze of the Parthenon.”

[40] “Nullum numen abest, si sit Prudentia.”--JUVENAL, _Sat._
X. 365.

[41] Life of Washington, Appendix, pp. 510, 511: Writings, Vol. I.,
Appendix, pp. 552, 553.

[42] Vol. I. p. 652.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid., p. 478.

[45] Sylva, ed. Hunter, (York, 1776,) p. 497.

[46] The Satyr: Works, ed. Gifford, (London, 1816,) Vol. VI. p. 468.

[47] Memoirs, Vol. II. p. 50.

[48] At the date of Mr. Sumner’s letter the extremists of Slavery in
our country were known as “fire-eaters.”

[49] Memoirs, Vol. I. pp. 458, 483, 579.

[50] Introduction, p. 4, ed. Milman, London, 1839.

[51] The Republican Party, its Origin, Necessity, and Permanence:
_Ante_, pp. 191-229.

[52] See, _post_, p. 420.

[53] Langhorne, The Country Justice, Part I. 161-164. See also
Lockhart’s Life of Scott, Vol. I. ch. 5.

[54] Grahame, History of the United States, Book XI. ch. 5. Writings
of Washington, ed. Sparks, Vol. V., Appendix, No. 1. Mémoires,
Correspondance et Manuscrits du Général Lafayette, publiés par sa
Famille, Tom. I. pp. 9, 10, note.

[55] Letter to J. Holroyd, Esq.: Miscellaneous Works, ed. Lord
Sheffield, (London, 1814,) Vol. II. p. 197.

[56] Lettre au Duc d’Ayen, 9 Mars, 1777: Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 83.

[57] Ibid., p. 89.

[58] Letter of 17th July, 1777: Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 98.

[59] Ibid., p. 16, note.

[60] Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 21.

[61] Letter of January 4, 1782: Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. VII. p. 225.

[62] Letter of December 8, 1784: Ibid., Vol. IX. p. 78. See also
Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 62, note.

[63] Letter of 6th November, 1777: Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 119. See also
p. 133.

[64] Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 78.

[65] Mémoires, Tom. I. pp. 240-243. Washington’s Writings, ed. Sparks,
Vol. VI., Appendix, pp. 503, 504.

[66] Mémoires, Tom. I. pp. 61, 62. According to his Memoirs, the
Madeira wine of Boston completed his restoration. “Malgré sa faiblesse
extrême, M. de Lafayette, accompagné du docteur, alla sur ses chevaux à
Boston, où le vin de Madère acheva de le rétablir.” Ibid., p. 63.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid., p. 65.

[69] Lettre à Madame de Lafayette, 5 Août, 1799: Mémoires, Tom. V. p.

[70] Mémoires, Tom. I. p. 259.

[71] Ibid., p. 261, note.

[72] Rives’s Life and Times of James Madison, Vol. I. p. 294, note.

[73] Letter to Judge Pendleton, November 13, 1781: Ibid., p. 289, note.

[74] Rives’s Life and Times of James Madison, Vol. I. pp. 289, 290,

[75] Ibid. An American citizen, who, after enjoying the honors of the
nation as Senator and as Minister to France, could become a Proslavery
Rebel, was incompetent to sit in judgment on Lafayette. In declaring
“the comparative nullity” of his career at home, “contrasted with the
unquestionable splendor of his American services and deeds,” he writes
as a Slave-Master, whose standard of merit excludes what is done for
Liberty and Equality.

[76] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 4.

[77] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 58.

[78] Correspondence of the American Revolution: Letters to Washington,
ed. Sparks, Vol. III. p. 547. Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 58.

[79] Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Boston, October 22, 1784: Hamilton’s
Works, edited by his Son, Vol. I. p. 422.

[80] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 8. Madison, writing to Jefferson, under
date of October 17, 1784, says: “The time I have lately passed with
the Marquis has given me a pretty thorough insight into his character.
With great natural frankness of temper he unites much address and very
considerable talents. In his politics, he says his three hobby-horses
are the alliance between France and the United States, the union of
the latter, and the manumission of the slaves.” (Madison’s Letters
and other Writings, Vol. I. p. 106.) Call these hobby-horses! They
were three practical policies, having their foundation in everlasting
principles. How many of our own statesmen saw as wisely?

[81] Journal of Congress, Vol. X. p. 20: December 13, 1784. Mémoires,
Tom. II. p. 106.

[82] Letter of December 21, 1784: Correspondence of the Revolution, ed.
Sparks, Vol. IV. pp. 87, 89; Mémoires, Tom. II. pp. 111, 113.

[83] Letter to Washington, October 26, 1786: Correspondence of the
Revolution, ed. Sparks, Vol. IV. p. 144; Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 157.

[84] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 131.

[85] Correspondence of Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis, ed. Ross,
Vol. I. p. 205.

[86] Letter of 5th April, 1783: Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. VIII. p.
414; Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 74.

[87] Mémoires, Tom. II. pp. 9, 139; Tom. III. p. 72.

[88] Letter of 10th May, 1786: Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. IX. p. 163.

[89] Works of John Adams, Vol. VIII. p. 376.

[90] Hamilton’s Works, edited by his Son, Vol. I. pp. 423, 424.

[91] Lady Morgan’s France, Vol. I. p. 71. Ticknor’s Outlines of the
Life of Lafayette, p. 19. Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 177.

[92] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 252.

[93] Mémoires, Tom. II. p. 251.

[94] Speech in the National Assembly, February 20, 1790: Mémoires, Tom.
II. p. 383.

[95] Mémoires, Tom. III. p. 71, note. Clarkson, History of the
Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, (Philadelphia, 1808,) Vol. II.
pp. 106, 107.

[96] Mémoires, Tom. IV. pp. 221, 230, 231.

[97] Mémoires, Tom. IV. p. 288.

[98] Ibid., pp. 237, 238.

[99] Ibid., p. 242.

[100] Mémoires, Tom. III. p. 412; Tom. IV. p. 229.

[101] Lettre à Madame d’Hénin, Magdebourg, 13 Mars, 1793: Mémoires,
Tom. IV. p. 224; Sparks’s Life of Gouverneur Morris, Vol. I. p. 410;
Washington’s Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. IX. p. 163, note.

[102] Mémoires, Tom. III. pp. 72 and 401, note.

[103] Speech of Gen. Fitzpatrick in the House of Commons, December 16,
1796: Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XXXII. col. 1353.

[104] “M. de la Fayette est de ces hommes que nous devons aimer, et
lors de sa captivité je me présentai à l’Empereur pour réclamer sa
liberté, que je n’ai pas eu le bonheur d’obtenir.” This is the report,
by Joseph Bonaparte, of the conversation of Lord Cornwallis at the
dinner-table of the former, in 1802.--_Mémoires du Roi Joseph_, Tom. I.
pp. 86, 87.

[105] In this effort Washington responded to the appeal of Madame de
Lafayette by letter to himself. “In this abyss of misery,” she wrote,
“the idea of owing to the United States and to Washington the life and
liberty of M. de Lafayette kindles a ray of hope in my heart. I hope
everything from the goodness of the people with whom he has set an
example of that Liberty of which he is now made the victim.”--_Letter
of October 8, 1792_: Washington’s Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. p. 316,

[106] Exhibiting this chivalrous incident, Mr. Sumner had in mind our
fugitive slaves and the generous souls who did not shrink from helping

[107] Letter to the Marchioness de Lafayette, January 31, 1793:
Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. p. 315.

[108] Letter dated Lemkuhlen, 27 Janvier, 1798: Mémoires, Tom. IV. p.

[109] Letter of 20th April, 1798: Ibid., p. 432.

[110] Ibid., Tom. V. p. 71.

[111] Mémoires, Tom. V. p. 198.

[112] May 20, 1802. Ibid., pp. 199, 200.

[113] Mémoires, Tom. V. pp. 257, 258, 261.

[114] Letter to Mr. Madison, 22d April, 1805, MS.

[115] Biographie Universelle (Michaud), Supplément, Tom. LXIX. p. 382,

[116] Speech in the Chamber of Deputies, June 4, 1819: Mémoires, Tom.
VI. pp. 50, 51.

[117] Speech in the Chamber of Deputies, May 27, 1820: Ibid., p. 83.

[118] Speech in the Chamber of Deputies, July 9, 1829: Mémoires, Tom.
VI. p. 313. Biographie Universelle (Michaud), Supplément, Tom. LXIX. p.
388, art. LAFAYETTE.

[119] Mémoires, Tom. VI. pp. 185, 220. There is also a correspondence
with Colonel Seaton, of the _National Intelligencer_, on this
interesting subject. A letter to the latter, dated January 1, 1827,
has seen the light since this address, where, alluding to the District
of Columbia, Lafayette says: “The state of Slavery, especially in
that emporium of foreign visitors and European ministers, is a most
lamentable drawback on the example of independence and freedom
presented to the world by the United States.”--_William Winston Seaton,
a Biographical Sketch_, p. 267.

[120] Mrs. Jameson’s Sacred and Legendary Art, pp. 424-427.

[121] Ordre du Jour du 29 Juillet, 1830: Mémoires, Tom. VI. p. 391.

[122] Ordre du Jour du 19 Décembre, 1830: Mémoires, Tom. VI. p. 491.

[123] Lettre à Thomas Clarkson, 11 Mai, 1823: Ibid., p. 159.

[124] Mémoires, Tom. VI. p. 222.

[125] Ibid., p. 754, note.

[126] Lettre à M. Murray, Président de la Société d’Émancipation des
Noirs, à Glasgow, 1 Mai, 1834: Mémoires, Tom. VI. p. 763, note.

[127] Funeral Oration over the first who fell in the Peloponnesian War:
Thucydides, Hist., Book II. c. 43.

[128] Tickell, On the Death of Mr. Addison, 43-46. Latterly these
verses have been inscribed on the pavement of Westminster Abbey, over
the resting-place of the author by whom they were originally inspired.

[129] McPherson’s Political History of the United States during the
Great Rebellion, p. 72.

[130] This testimony was an evident surprise at the time. The venerable
F. P. Blair, of Silver Spring, heard it from the gallery of the Senate,
and expressed himself most confidently with regard to its importance
and probable influence. But the plot had gone too far. Shortly
afterwards the autograph letter was destroyed by the person to whom it
was addressed, but not until after it had been photographed in Boston.

[131] These two were in the series of January 3, 1861, and according to
Mr. Crittenden were “proposed by the honorable Senator from Illinois”
(Mr. Douglas), although nothing in the _Congressional Globe_ shows that
the propositions of Mr. Douglas offered to the Committee of Thirteen
(_ante_, p. 433) were ever before proposed in the Senate. Whatever
their origin, they were adopted by Mr. Crittenden, and became part of
his Compromise. Of the original copies printed for the Senate only a
single copy _containing the important additions_ remains on the files.
The propositions in their first form are in the _Globe_, under date
of December 18, 1860, p. 114, also in McPherson’s _Political History
of the Rebellion_, pp. 64, 65. They do not appear in the _Globe_ on
reintroduction with additions, January 3, 1861, p. 237, but the first
addition is found at a later date, March 2, 1861, p. 1368, when they
were voted on. Nor do the additions appear in McPherson’s History. It
is proper that the disfranchisement of the colored race, where already
voters, should not be forgotten as one of the terms of this sacrifice.

[132] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 2d Sess., pp. 1338-1340, March 2,

[133] Secretary of the Treasury.

[134] Hon. Edwin M. Stanton.

[135] Debates in the Federal Convention, August 25, 1787: Madison
Papers, Vol. III. pp. 1429, 1430.

[136] See, _ante_, Vol. III. p. 343; also Congressional Globe, 33d
Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 785.

[137] Speech, March 8, 1820: Mémoires, Tom. VI. p. 70. _Ante_, p. 4.

[138] For Mr. Clark’s substitute, see, _ante_, p. 440.

[139] He was already dead.

[140] Mr. Tappan died March 25, 1871, in the ninetieth year of his age.

[141] Speech of Hon. Jesse D. Bright, December 13, 1852: Congressional
Globe, 32d Cong. 2d Sess., p. 40.

[142] A telegraphic despatch in the Philadelphia _Inquirer_ records the
feeling. “Senator Sumner, who is now stopping at Barnum’s Hotel, causes
much excitement. There is great indignation felt among all parties at
his presence among us.”

[143] The lady at whose house Mr. Sumner took tea was warned to leave
without delay, unless she was willing to brave the vengeance of the
mob; and she left.

[144] Schouler’s History of Massachusetts in the Civil War, p. 97.

[145] Rebellion Record, Vol. I. Diary, pp. 34, 35.

[146] McPherson’s Political History of the United States, p. 382,

[147] Opinions of the Attorneys-General, Vol. X. p. 382.

[148] Rebellion Record, Vol. III. Diary, p. 35.

[149] Cicero, Oratio in Catilinam I. c. 7. The orator here personifies
his country, which speaks. More of the passage is applicable to
Slavery: “Tu non solum ad negligendas leges ac quæstiones, verum etiam
ad evertendas perfringendasque valuisti. Superiora illa, quamquam
ferenda non fuerunt, tamen, ut potui, tuli; nunc vero me totam esse in
metu propter te unum.” In the same spirit, Niebuhr, the great German,
says of Catiline: “He was so completely diabolical that I know of no
one in history that can be compared with him, and you may rely upon it
that the colors in which his character is described are not too dark.”
(Lectures on the History of Rome, ed. Schmitz, London, 1849, Vol. III.
p. 13.) All of which, whether by Cicero or Niebuhr, is true of Slavery.

[150] See Appendix, pp. 34, 35.

[151] Langhorne’s translation is here given, as the most common. For
the discussion on this citation, see Appendix, pp. 35-37.

[152] Smith, art. SERVUS.

[153] Rebellion Record, Vol. II., Documents, p. 438.

[154] Executive Documents, 25th Cong. 3d Sess., H. of R., No. 225, pp.
31, 37, 38.

[155] Giddings’s Exiles of Florida, p. 226.

[156] Giddings’s Exiles of Florida, pp. 326, 327. Opinions of
Attorneys-General, Vol. IV. p. 722.

[157] Congressional Globe, 24th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 499; Congressional
Debates, Vol. XII. Part 4, col. 4031: May 25, 1836.

[158] Congressional Globe, 24th Cong. 1st Sess., Appendix, p. 435;
Congressional Debates, Vol. XII. Part 4, col. 4047: May 25, 1836.

[159] Congressional Globe, 27th Cong. 1st Sess., pp. 27, 38, June
7th and 9th, 1841. The speech of June 7th was long, but was never
reported. Mr. Charles J. Ingersoll, of Philadelphia, while declaring
his devotion to his Southern brethren, and tendering his services,
“even as a corporal or a private,” said that he heard this speech with
“astonishment and horror.” (Ibid., pp. 38, 39.) The speech of June 9th
is brief.

[160] Congressional Globe, 27th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 342, March 21, 1842.

[161] April 14 and 15, 1842.

[162] Congressional Globe, 27th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 429.

[163] Congressional Globe, 27th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 429.

[164] Ibid.

[165] “Totidem esse hostes, quot servos.” A saying of Cato the elder.
(Seneca, Epist. XLVII.). Archdeacon Paley, the lucid moralist, in a
speech at Carlisle, February 9, 1792, on the Slave-Trade, announced,
as “a principle inherent in every man, ‘that a slave watches his
opportunity to get free.’” Works, (Boston and Newport, 1810-12,) Vol.
V. p. 498.

[166] History, Book I. ch. 101; Book VII. ch. 27; Book VIII. ch. 40.

[167] Ibid., Book IV. ch. 80.

[168] The Clouds, 5-7.

[169] The Laws, Book VI. ch. 5.

[170] Ibid., ch. 19.

[171] Rebellion Record, Vol. II., Diary, p. 33.

[172] Letter of Attorney-General Bates: McPherson’s Political History
of the United States during the Great Rebellion, p. 235, note; also
Appleton’s Annual Cyclopædia, 1861, art. SLAVES, p. 642. This
letter is not found in the Opinions of the Attorneys-General.

[173] Rebellion Record, Vol. II., Documents, pp. 437, 438.

[174] Rebellion Record, Vol. II., Documents, p. 493.

[175] Appleton’s Annual Cyclopædia, 1861, art. SLAVES, p. 643.
The Secretary spoke at a “clam-bake.”

[176] Rebellion Record, Vol. III., Documents, p. 36.

[177] On the Frogs, 190.

[178] Plutarch, Decem Oratorum Vitæ: Hyperides. See also Demosthenes,
Contra Aristogitonem II. pp. 803, 804; Allgemeine Encyklopädie
von Ersch und Gruber, art. HYPERIDES; Smith’s Dictionary
of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Vol. I. p. 985, art.

[179] From a MS. note-book; but the reference is accidentally omitted.

[180] History of Rome, Vol. II. p. 300.

[181] Art. CAIUS MARIUS.

[182] History of Rome, ed. Schmitz, Vol. I. (forming the fourth volume
of the entire History) p. 400.

[183] From the French of Amiot, Cambridge, 1676, p. 367.

[184] Life of Tiberius Gracchus, tr. Langhorne.

[185] History of Rome, ed. Schmitz, Vol. I. p. 326.

[186] Suetonius, Julius Cæsar, c. XLII.

[187] Merivale, History of the Romans under the Empire, Vol. I. p. 52.

[188] Life of Caius Marius, tr. Langhorne.

[189] Ibid., from the French of Amiot, Cambridge, 1676, p. 368.

[190] Ibid., tr. Langhorne.

[191] Life of Sertorius, tr. Langhorne.

[192] Ibid.

[193] “Out of which materials he made up a legion.”--_Decline of the
Roman Republic_, Vol. II. Chap. XVIII. p. 239.

[194] Mr. Charles C. Hazewell, in an elaborate article, brought his
rare acuteness and reading in reply to the critics. _Daily Evening
Traveller_, October 19, 1861.

[195] The _New York Herald_, in reproducing the letter, attributed it
to Prince Napoleon. In like spirit, Maurice Sand, son of George Sand,
who was in the suite of the Prince, in his _Six Mille Lieues à toute
Vapeur_, in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, 1862, Jan.-Fév., p. 686.

[196] Lettres sur les États-Unis d’Amérique, par le Lieutenant-Colonel
Ferri-Pisani, Aide-de-Camp de S. A. I. Prince Napoléon, pp. 121, 122.

[197] Mr. Sumner insisted that the Union could be saved only through

[198] Strictly true, during the delivery of the speech.

[199] L’Amérique devant l’Europe, pp. 262, 268, 440.

[200] Special Report of the Antislavery Conference in Paris, August 24
and 27, 1867, pp. 30, 31.

[201] Journal des Débats, 11 Oct., 1871.

[202] Cicero, Oratio ad Quirites post Reditum, c. 8,--quoted in Private
Letters of Junius to H. S. Woodfall, No. 59, March 5, 1772: Woodfall’s
Junius, (London, 1812,) Vol. I. p. 253.

[203] An Historical Research respecting the Opinions of the Founders of
the Republic on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers: read
before the Massachusetts Historical Society, August 14, 1862. Reprinted
from Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1862-63.

[204] This introduction is taken from the pamphlet edition of the

[205] Of Reformation in England, Book II.: Prose Works, ed. Symmons,
Vol. I. p. 45.

[206] Rebellion Record, Vol. I. pp. 45, 46.

[207] The Debates in 1776 on the Declaration of Independence, etc.,
preserved by Thomas Jefferson: Madison Papers, Vol. I. p. 17;
Jefferson’s Writings, Vol. I. p. 18.

[208] Bowen, Life of Benjamin Lincoln: Sparks’s American Biography, 2d
Ser. Vol. XIII. p. 286.

[209] Debates in the Federal Convention, August 21, 22, 1787: Madison
Papers, Vol. III. pp. 1389-1395.

[210] Works of John Adams, Vol. I. p. 207.

[211] Letter to James Lloyd, 11th February, 1815: Works, Vol. X. p. 119.

[212] Congressional Globe, 36th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 32, December 10,
1860. _Ante_, Vol. V. p. 430.

[213] Greeley’s American Conflict, Vol. I. p. 345.

[214] Dryden, Annus Mirabilis, st. 39.

[215] Hume, History of England, (London, 1786,) Chap. LV. Vol. VI. p.

[216] Soame Jenyns, The American Coachman, st. 1,--a poem at the time
of our Revolution, suggested by a pamphlet of Dean Tucker proposing to
let the Colonies go.

[217] Whately, Bacon’s Essays, with Annotations, 3d edit. revised, p.
140, Essay XV.

[218] Charles James Fox, Letter to Lord Holland, 18th June, 1804.

[219] See, _ante_, Vol. V. p. 215.

[220] The Friend, Essay XVI.

[221] Lafayette, Mémoires, Tom. III. p. 376.

[222] Speech, January 21, 1794: Hansard, Parliamentary History, Vol.
XXX. 1221, 1222.

[223] Hansard, XXX. 1114.

[224] Ibid., 1118. Brissot to his Constituents, translated, (London,
1794,) p. 81.

[225] Brissot to his Constituents, translated, (London, 1794,) pp. 9,

[226] The Causes and Conduct of the Civil War. Address before the
Mercantile Library Association of Boston, October 16, 1861: Orations
and Speeches, Vol. IV. p. 485.

[227] Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser.

[228] Annal., Lib. XV. c. 44.

[229] Origen, Contra Celsum, Lib. III. c. 55.

[230] Minucius Felix, Octavius, c. 8.

[231] This cry found echo out of the hall in a stirring poem by A. J.
H. Duganne, entitled, “On to Freedom.”

[232] Rebellion Record, Vol. III., Documents, p. 101.

[233] Later speeches show how this pledge was fulfilled.

[234] Plutarch, Decem Oratorum Vitæ: Hyperides.

[235] Liv., Lib. XXII. c. 57; Lib. XXIV. c. 14-16.

[236] _Post_, Appendix, p. 116.

[237] Congressional Globe, 37th Cong. 1st Sess., pp. 218, 219.

[238] Statutes at Large, Vol. XII. p. 319.

[239] Finger-Point from Plymouth Rock: _ante_, Vol. III. p. 269.

[240] Cicero, Oratio in Pisonem, c. 32.

[241] History of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade,
(Philadelphia, 1808,) Vol. II. p. 460, note.

[242] Collins, Ode written in the beginning of the year 1746.

[243] Hon. David C. Broderick, Senator of the United States from
California, killed in a duel by David S. Terry, Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of that State, September 16, 1859.

[244] Thucydides, History, Book II. ch. 39.

[245] Since admission as a State its Senators had been of the
Democratic party.

[246] John C. Breckinridge.

[247] Macbeth, Act IV. Scene 3.

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