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THE LATE RICHARD COBDEN.
LETTER TO MRS. COBDEN, COVERING RESOLUTIONS OF THE REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION OF MASSACHUSETTS, OCTOBER 5, 1865.
THE letter of Mr. Sumner first appeared in the London papers.
BOSTON, October 5, 1865.
Y DEAR MADAM,— I have been charged by the
the Republicans of Massa
chusetts, over which I had the honor of presiding, to communicate to you resolutions unanimously adopted by them, expressing their grateful regard for the memory of your late husband, and their sympathy in your bereavement.1
Knowing Mr. Cobden personally, as I did for many years, and corresponding with him on public questions, I confess a sense of personal loss beyond even that of my fellow-citizens. He was the good friend of my country, and he was my own private friend. Therefore, in making this communication, I desire to express my own individual grief.
His lamented death has caused a chasm not only in his own home and country, but here in the United States. We all miss him and mourn him. He was a wise and good man. An Englishman by birth, his heart and all his faculties were given to mankind, knowing 1 Ante, pp. 439, 440.
well that the welfare and true glory of his own great country were best assured by such a dedication.
Hoping that you may be consoled in your sorrow, and that your children may be blessed in life, I ask you to accept the respect with which I have the honor to be, dear Madam,
Your very faithful servant,
The following reply was received from Mrs. Cobden.
DUNFORD, MIDHURST, December 27, 1865.
MY DEAR MR. SUMNER, On behalf of myself and my children, I beg most kindly to thank you, and the members of the Republican State Convention of Massachusetts, for the resolutions, passed by them, of sympathy with us in our terrible bereavement.
These resolutions are rendered more valuable by the letter from yourself which accompanies them.
The expressions of sympathy and condolence which have reached us from public bodies and private individuals, in your and other countries, have been deeply grateful to my stricken heart; for they assure me of the wide-spread appreciation of the efforts of my beloved husband to promote the cause of international prosperity and peace
From America they are especially grateful; for his sympathy with the cause of liberty to the slave was undoubted and intense. And it was on his way to Parliament, to speak on the Canadian question in its relation to the American Union, that he contracted the illness which ended his dear and noble life.
Pray accept the kindest remembrances of myself and children, and believe me to remain,
My dear Mr. Sumner,
Yours very sincerely,
C. A. COBDen.
EQUAL RIGHTS VS. THE PRESIDENTIAL POLICY IN RECONSTRUCTION.
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK INDEPENDENT, OCTOBER 29, 1865.
BOSTON, October 29, 1865. EAR MR. EDITOR,- I rejoice that "The Independent" has planted itself firmly on the sure ground of Equal Rights. It is natural that a journal which has from the beginning so bravely and constantly opposed Slavery in all its pretensions should now insist that these pretensions shall be trampled out, so that nothing shall be left to breed future trouble. This can be done only through the establishment of Equal Rights.
To my mind, there never was a duty plainer or more instinctive. It is plain as the Moral Law, and it is instinctive as self-defence. If the country fails to do this justice now, it will commit a crime where guilt and meanness strive for mastery. On this head it is enough to say that it is a debt we owe to saviours and benefacBut here all the instincts of self-defence harmonize with justice.
For the sake of the whole country, which suffers from weakness in any part, -for the sake of the States lately distracted by war, which above all things need security and repose, for the sake of agriculture, which
is neglected there, for the sake of commerce, which has fled, for the sake of the national creditor, whose generous trust is exposed to repudiation, — and, finally, for the sake of reconciliation, which can be complete only when justice prevails, we must insist upon Equal Rights as the condition of the new order of things. So long as this question remains unsettled, there can be no true peace. Therefore I would say to the merchant, who wishes to open trade with this region, — to the capitalist, who would send his money there, - to the emigrant, who seeks to find a home there, — begin by assuring justice to all men. This is the one essential condition of prosperity, of credit, and of tranquillity. Without this, mercantile houses, banks, and emigration societies, having anything to do with this region, must all fail, or at least suffer in business and
To Congress we must look as guardian, under the Constitution, of the national safety. I do not doubt its full power over the whole subject; nor do I doubt its duty to see that every pretended government organized by recent Rebels is treated as a present nullity. President Johnson then spoke well, when in Tennessee he said that "in the work of reorganization Rebels must take back seats, leaving place to those who have. been truly loyal." There is the key-note of a just policy, which I trust Congress will adopt.
It is difficult to measure the mischief already accumulating from the policy that has been pursued. Looking at the positive loss to business and the productive industry of the country, it is painful. Looking at the distress it has caused among loyal people by the revival of the Rebel spirit, it is heart-rending.
Looking at it in any way, it is a terrible failure. will be for Congress to apply the remedy.
Meanwhile you have the thanks of good people for your loyalty to the cause, and your strenuous efforts in its behalf. Go on, I entreat you, nor ever hesitate. I am, dear Sir,
Your grateful fellow-laborer,