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light, will lodge in the minds they inform, and influence the will which votes, as well as the judgment which assents."
The Albany Morning Express said:
"Let us call Senator Sumner a fanatic, if we will; let us pronounce him a man of one idea, if we choose; but let us at least award him the honor he deserves. . . . . If Charles Sumner is wrong, his example is right. We have not so many politicians true to eternal principle, we have not so many statesmen devoted with a single purpose even to their own conception of the best interests of the country, we have not so many counsellors studious only of strict justice, that we can afford to throw away the Senator from Massachusetts. Whether we regard him as right or wrong, there is something sublime in his steady, persistent, unwavering devotion to his idea. Such honesty cannot be impugned. Such fidelity cannot be misinterpreted. . . . . Senator Sumner has always been in advance of the mass. He is a leader a long way ahead, a pioneer through trackless mazes. It is his mission to discover a path where the throng shall follow."
With different spirit, the New York Herald, in an article entitled "Senator Sumner on the Rampage," said :
"We now have an essay from Senator Sumner, who, mounted on his 'Bay horse,' makes a furious assault upon the President and his policy, and, in fact, everybody, except the blacks in the South. . . . . He is determined to fight it out, if it takes the remainder of his life. The public now know his position, and just what the Jacobins intend to do. The President can also understand the nature of the opposition which he is to have arrayed against him in the next Congress. The Rebellion, he declares, is not ended, nor Slavery abolished. If he means by the former term Northern rebellion, he is not far out of the way; for it is very evident that a rebellion has commenced in the North, and has been inaugurated in Massachusetts, with Senator Sumner as high-priest and prophet"
The New York World, in an article entitled "The Massachusetts Declaration of War against the President," said :
"It is not worth while to spend words on the formal resolves of the Massachusetts Convention. They but condense, in more staid and decorous language, the sentiments of Mr. Sumner's speech; and we prefer to dip out of the fountain. The unanimous election of Mr. Sumner as the presiding officer, the applause which greeted his speech, the panegyrics lavished upon it by the Republican press of Boston, and its harmony with every public utterance in Massachusetts, from the Faneuil Hall meeting in May down, are so many seals of its authentication as a true exposition of the purposes of the Republican party. Charles Sumner is the Republican platform incarnate."
Other papers show how it was received in States lately in rebellion.
The Memphis Argus, of Tennessee, said :—
Yesterday we received, under the frank of 'C. Sumner,' his recent infamous speech at Worcester, Massachusetts. We use the word infamous advisedly, temperately; for viler or more wilful and malicious slanders of a great, suffering, and submissive people, vanquished in war by overwhelming odds, but honestly accepting all the legitimate results of their defeat, and patriotically anxious to resume their old places in a full, restored Union, were never published to the world by the filthiest political scavenger that ever plied his trade in the foul services of party."
The Augusta Transcript, of Georgia, said :—
"To show the infamous slanders to which the fanatical leaders are obliged to resort, in order to goad on their followers to the new crusade against the South, we republish an extract from Mr. Sumner's last speech in Massachusetts."
In England, Colonel T. Perronet Thompson, the Freetrader, and former Member of Parliament, in his series of articles in the Bradford Advertiser, after enumerating the topics, said: —
"The man who has no curiosity to know what the first statesman in America says on all these heads would go to bed without asking whether the fire in the next street was put out, or if the house next his own began to smoke. The very jobbers in Rebel bonds, or builders of the Shenandoah, might feel a desire to know which way the thing was going."
The Scotsman, a foremost journal at Edinburgh, commenced a leader on this speech as follows:
"It would be at least difficult to name a man in the United States, or rather the States now under process of being reunited, who is better entitled to a respectful hearing, all the world over, than Mr. Charles Sumner. He has had but one object, — a noble object, worthy any calculable amount of struggle and sacrifice; and he has pursued it ardently, bravely, disregarding both party and personal consequences, and letting no other object stand in the way or turn him aside for a moment from the straight path. He has sought only the Abolition of Slavery, and has deemed nothing else worth fighting for."
The response by correspondence was prompt and earnest from various parts of the country. The letters from which extracts are taken, with the exception of that from Great Salt Lake City, were received immediately after the delivery of the speech.
Charles Stearns, ardently against Slavery, and familiar with the Rebel States, wrote from Springfield: —
"After an absence from good old Massachusetts of eleven years, my heart was made glad, the other day, by seeing a notice in the papers that you were to speak at the Republican Convention at Worcester. I immediately hastened thither, and felt happy beyond measure, as I listened to the deafening applause with which your appearance upon the platform was greeted."
Rev. John T. Sargent, the Liberal clergyman, wrote from Boston:
"That noble speech of yours at the Worcester Convention, so complete in its analysis of our national condition, dangers, and duties, ought to be printed in letters of gold, and emblazoned henceforth as the established moral code of every one of our States."
David A. Wasson, the honest thinker and student of philosophy, wrote from Boston:
"God bless you, and make you strong for the arduous and immense work that is immediately before you! The coming session of Congress will, I think, be preeminently the critical and cardinal day in all American legislation. I look forward to it with unspeakable anxiety. If only your counsels had been accepted, how clear, how easy, all would be! Now the situation is fearfully complicated."
Rev. George C. Beckwith, Secretary of the American Peace Society, wrote from Boston:
"Let me express the earnest hope that you will economize your strength for the great conflict soon to come during the approaching Congress. I never doubted the final success of our arms; but when the sword should be sheathed, I have always expected to see our worst crisis in our last grapple with slaveholders. We shall quite need all your prudence, forecast, energy, courage, and decision, to meet the dangers ahead from returning Rebels."
Rev. Charles Brooks, eminent for his services to education, wrote from Medford :
"I thank you, I thank you a thousand times, for your sound, comprehensive, and patriotic speech at Worcester. Shakespeare says, 'Things by season seasoned are.' Never was a word more fitly spoken. It is the best speech I have read for years, and will become historic."
William I. Bowditch, the able conveyancer and Abolitionist, wrote from Boston:
"I read your speech yesterday morning with great satisfaction, and yet with considerable misgiving as to whether its truths will be acted on. I doubt if the North has been punished enough to induce it to forego the attempt of trying again to circumvent God."
P. R. Guiney, on the day the speech was delivered, wrote from Boston:
"I am under an overwhelming conviction, that, unless the views which you express are substantially adhered to, Despotism will have gained all that Liberty won in our recent war. The Battle of Gettysburg was not more of a crisis than this. May God prosper you!"
Professor George W. Greene, scholar and author, wrote from East Greenwich, R. I. :
"I received your Worcester speech this morning. I must write a line to say I have read it carefully and thoughtfully, and say 'Amen' to it all. God grant it may go into every house and every heart! I look with deep anxiety for the opening of Congress. You have yet your hardest fight to win; but it is the fight of God and Humanity, and you will win it."
Professor Charles D. Cleveland, an ardent Abolitionist and successful teacher, recently Consul at Cardiff in Wales, wrote from Philadelphia:
"Many, many thanks to you for your noble speech at the Worcester Convention. Oh that your words might unite with the heart of the President and bring forth appropriate fruits! For the last two or three months I have been quite desponding as to his course."
John Penington, the scholarly bookseller, wrote from Philadelphia:
"With its matter I fully sympathize; but I was particularly struck with the aptitude and felicity of your illustrations of the various points of your argument."
William Goodell, the early and constant Abolitionist, author of "Slavery and Anti-Slavery," a history also of the "American Slave Code," wrote from Bozrahville, Connecticut, where he was then residing:
"In my rural retreat, where I am for the present recruiting my health, a copy of the Commonwealth containing your great speech at Worcester, September 14th, providentially falls into my hands, and I cannot forbear trespassing upon your time one moment to congratulate and to thank you, which I do most heartily, upon your great achievement, and for your signal service to your country, in the hour of its greatest peril, greatest I say, because, as I fear, so little perceived and so little understood. ... If you had spent the whole summer in preparing that speech, I see not how you could have improved it, nor how your time and talents could have been more worthily or more usefully employed. . . . . You well say, 'We must look confidently to Congress'; to which permit me to add, that for the
leadership of Congress the country must look to you, whose 'course is fixed,' who 'will not hesitate,' who will not surrender.'"'
Hon. Wayne MacVeagh, Chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, afterwards Minister at Constantinople, wrote from West Chester, Pennsylvania:
"I have just finished reading your superb speech at Worcester, in the complete form in which you sent it to me, and cannot go to bed without thanking you for it. The right word, in the right time, by the right man, what more should we ask?"
William Hickey, Chief Clerk of the Senate, where he had been a life-long officer, and author of a well-known edition of the Constitution with accompanying documents, wrote from Washington :
"Your speech ably maintains the consistency, ability, and patriotism which have uniformly distinguished your course, from your first essay in the sacred cause of Liberty, which has elicited so much of disinterested zeal and indomitable courage and perseverance on your part as to call forth, in my hearing, from the most honorable and intelligent of your political opponents from the South, declarations attributing those qualities to you in an eminent degree, giving you credit for consistency and unmistakable integrity of purpose. Your exertions have in a very great degree contributed towards the defeat of the Rebellion and the victory of the Government over its enemies, and you have now the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of your labors and the exercise of your literary superiority and transcendent talents."
Hon. John C. Underwood, who had written shortly before on Reconstruction,1 wrote from Alexandria, Virginia:
"I thank you for your Convention speech. Its positions and arguments are so overwhelming that I feel almost certain that your efforts will succeed with our people, and that you will be acknowledged the wise statesman and enlightened Christian patriot that I know you are."
General Saxton, an Antislavery army officer, commanding in South Carolina, wrote from Charleston :
"I most fully sympathize with and cordially indorse every word and line. In the future, the wisdom of your position will be fully established and vindicated."
Hon. Charles D. Drake, an eminent lawyer and law-writer, afterwards United States Senator from Missouri, and Chief Justice of the Court of Claims, wrote: