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chamber, you treat them with an indignity which becomes more marked, because it is the constant habit of the Senate to welcome remonstrances from members of the Society of Friends in their religious character, and from all other persons, by any designation which they may adopt. Booksellers remonstrate against the internaţional copyright treaty; last-makers against a proposed change in the patent laws; and only lately the tobacconists have remonstrated against certain regulations touching tobacco : and all these remonstrances are received with respect, and referred to appropriate committees in the Senate. But the clergy of New England, when protesting against a wicked measure, which, with singular unanimity, they believe full of peril and shame to our country, are told to stay at home. Almost the jeer is heard, “Go up, thou bald head !” If not well, it is at least natural, that the act you are about to commit should be attended by this concordant outrage.
From the Kansas and Nebraska Bill came forth a demon.. Down to this time the hostility to Mr. Sumner in the Senate was limited. It now became more general, although he had said nothing in any way to justify it, except that he had exposed Slavery and the pretensions in its behalf. From the Senate it extended among the partisans of Slavery.
Meanwhile an incident in Boston was used to arouse a feeling against him. On the evening of the 24th of May Anthony Burns was seized there as a fugitive slave, on the claim of a citizen of Virginia, and detained by the marshal in a room of the Court-House. In the course of the evening of the 26th, immediately after a meeting at Faneuil Hall, addressed by Abolitionists, the Court-House was attacked by a number of citizens, and in the defence, James Batchelder, one of the guard, was killed. The report of his death caused a great sensation at Washington. It was received while the impression of Mr. Sumner's midnight speech was still fresh, and was at once attributed to that effort. Mr. Sumner was treated as responsible for this act, and the official organs of the Administration openly denounced him as “murderer.” It was predicted in the speech that the bill would “scatter dragons' teeth,” which he was assured would “fructify in civil strife and feud”; but plainly there was nothing to suggest or excite violence, even if at the time the speech had been known in Boston, as it was not. It was concluded on the morning of the 26th of May, at too late an hour for the telegraph, and in fact was not known in Boston until it reached there by mail on the 27th ; but Batchelder was killed on the previous evening. And yet, in the face of these unquestionable facts, there was a cry against Mr. Sumner.
The Union, which was the official organ, thus broke forth on the morning of May 30th.
"Boston in arms against the Constitution, and an Abolition fanatic, the distant leader, safe from the fire and the fagot he invokes from his seat in the Senate of the United States, giving the command. Men shot down in the faithful: discharge of duty to a law based upon a constitutional guaranty, and the word which encourages the assassin given by a man who has sworn on the Holy Evangelists and in the presence of his Maker to support the Constitution of the country. But our Charles Sumner tells us that a new era has been inaugurated, that the Constitution shall not be obeyed, and that Slavery shall at all and every hazard be uprooted and destroyed, in spite of all that has been pledged and written in other days.”.
The Star, another organ of the Administration, repeated the imputations of the Union, in a long article, of which the following is a speci
“ If Southern gentlemen are threatened and assaulted, while legally seeking to obtain possession of property for the use of which they have a solemn constitutional guaranty, if legal rights can only be sought for and established at the bayonet's point, certain Northern men now in our midst will have to evince a little more circumspection than they have ever evinced in their walk, talk, and acts.
“Public sentiment in Alexandria is intensely excited in condemnation of Sumner and his allies. We know that it increases in this city every hour. The masses look upon Sumner as responsible for the death of Batchelder. They attribute, and justly, the action of the murderers to the counsel of Sumner. We hope that the public sentiment against these Abolition miscreants who infest Congress and our fair city, and fill the atmosphere in which they move with the odor of a brothel, will not descend to acts of personal violence. Such conduct can find no justification. But let public opinion condemn these men everywhere, in the street, in the Capitol, in every place where men meet. Let Sumner and his infamous gang feel that he cannot outrage the fame of his country, counsel treason to its laws, incite the ignorant to bloodshed and murder, and still receive the support and countenance of the society of this city, which he has done so much to vilify.
". While the person of a Virginia citizen is only safe from rudeness and outrage behind the serried ranks of armed men, Charles Sumner is permitted to walk among the “slave-catchers' and 'fire-eaters' of the South in peace and security. While he incites his constituents to resist the Federal laws even to the shedding of blood, concocts his traitorous plots, and sends forth his incendiary appeals under the broad protecting panoply of the laws he denounces, he retains his seat in the Senate, and yet daily violates the official oath which he took to support the Constitution of the United States."
Such articles were plainly intended to excite a mob against Mr. Sum
The conspiracy obtained headway in Alexandria. sition was, to seize him as hostage for the surrender of the fugitive slave whose case was then pending in Boston ; another was, to inflict upon him personal indignity and violence; another was, “ to put a ball through his head.” These menaces were communicated to him, and he was warned to leave Washington. This he refused to do, and he insisted upon walking to the Senate by Pennsylvania Avenue, always unarmed. At a restaurant, where he dined, he was directly menaced and insulted. The following telegram in the New York Times, under date of May 31, states the case briefly.
"A strenuous and systematized effort is making here and in Alexandria to raise à mob against Senator Sumner, in retaliation for the Boston difficulty..... The Star of this evening has two articles, the incendiary purpose
of which cannot be mistaken. Senator Sumner himself has been seyeral times warned to-day of personal danger, and assured that persons bearing close relation to the Administration are inciting the people to violence against him. Northern men are much excited in consequence, and if an outrage is committed, there is a probability that there will be serious trouble."
The same telegram was sent to other places. Throughout New England it excited great sensation, attested at once by the public press and by private letters. The following was received by Mr. Sumner, under date of May 31, from Joseph R. Hawley, of Connecticut, afterwards a general in the War, and Governor of Connecticut.
"If you really think there is any danger worth mentioning, I wish you would telegraph me instantly. I will come to Washington by the next train, and quietly stay by. I have revolvers, and can use them, and while there should not be a word of unnecessary provocation, still, if anybody in Alexandria or Washington really means to trouble you, or any other Free Democrat there, you know several can play at that game. I feel comparatively little anxiety as to the result in Boston. Let them hunt slaves till the people get sick of it. But such threats as are conveyed by that despatch should be quietly prepared for, and met as they deserve."
George Livermore, of Boston, gave expression to the same anxiety in a different form. He wrote thus, under date of June 3.
“There is but one feeling here respecting the infamous threats of the Union and Star. Let the minions of the Administration and of the Slavocracy harm one hair of your head, and they will raise a whirlwind that will sweep them to destruction. I have read your closing remarks on the Nebraska Bill with the greatest admiration, and most heartily indorse every word and sentiment. You never made a better speech. What higher praise could I offer? Many persons not of the Free-Soil party have spoken of it in terms of the highest commendation.”
The violence was postponed ; but the malignant spirit continued active.
Beyond the sentiment of indignation at the menaces to which Mr. Sumner was exposed arose another against Slavery. Persons who had been cold or lukewarm before were excited now. Here again contemporary newspapers and private letters testify. John B. Alley, for several years afterwards the representative from Essex, wrote thus, under date of June 5.
• The most eventful week that Boston has ever seen has just passed, and I cannot refrain from troubling you with a description of the state of feeling here. In the first place, allow me to congratulate you upon the glorious position you occupy in the hearts of the people of Boston. Praises from the lips of the most ultra Hunker Whigs have greeted my ears (I need not tell you with how much pleasure) during the past week.
“ Boston, it is true, has been humbled in the dust, and it is hard, terribly hard, to be compelled to witness the surrender of a panting fugitive into the hands of the Slave-Hunters; but never, since I have been engaged in the Antislavery cause, have I seen occasion for rejoicing as now.
“ Thank God, the chains that have bound the people to their old organizations have been snapped ásunder, and they have proved in this case but as packthreads upon the arms of an unshorn Samson. ... Your speech in defence of the clergy is noble, and wonderfully effective, apparently, in stirring up their sympathies for the slave."
Numerous letters describe the surrender to which Mr. Alley alludes. The following from R. H. Dana, Jr., under date of June 5, gives details.
"Judging from present appearances, there are few Compromise men left in Boston. I firmly believe that in the providence of God it has been decreed that one cup more should be put to our lips, and that it should not pass away until we had drained it to the dregs. To this end, a folly has been put in their counsel and a madness in their hearts, that they might do the things that should work in the end the utmost good. The delays, the doubts as to the propriety of the decision (more than doubts even with the moderate), the military indignities and violepce, the noonday procession, the refusal to sell, the Presidential intervention, all have tended to the desired effect. Poor Burns himself looked with terror to a renewal of slavery. Not that Colonel Suttle was cruel. He has sever lived with Suttle, but he is intelligent, reads and writes, is weak in his injured head, and therefore of little value, and liable to be sold and abused.
- Batchelder was not a deputy-narshal. He is only a man who has volunteered, this third time, against advice, to help catch and keep a fugitive slave. You observe the marshal only calls him one of his ' guards.' This guard were a precious set of murderers, thieves, bullies, blacklegs, — with a very few men who went into it from party bias, old Hunker Democratic truckmen. Batchelder was a truckman, I am told, and may be personally respectable for aught I know. I can give you no advice as to the pension They ought to know what Batchelder was. It seems to me unconstitutional and unprecedented. If it can be defeated without your stir, it woul be better, no doubt. I do not find there is any feeling for his case here He volunteered for the duty, and met the consequences. He voluntarily risked his life for pay, in an odious and dangerous business, and lost it.”'
George Livermore, always a decided Whig, who had written under date of June 3, wrote again, under date of June 13:—
“I am, as I always have been, a Conservative Whig, but I am ready to fraternize with anybody who will do the most for Freedom; and if one who has heretofore been called a Democrat or a Free-Soiler will do more for this cause than a candidate who has been called a Whig, he shall have my vote, and my hearty coöperation in every way in my power."
A merchant of Boston wrote at the same time :
"I rejoice that a man of your sympathies and sensibilities is not here to see the Court-House again in chains, and justice administered behind bayonets. The only retaliation at present proposed is a petition to repeal the Fugitive Slave Act, now in the News-Room, on its second day, with several thousand names attached. But what is the use of petition, or polished sentences and rounded periods, in a contest with the pirate honor of Slavery? It is like an attempt to hew down a mountain of granite with a glass pick
The sentiments of the people, and particularly of the clergy, are sketched by Rev. George C. Beckwith, Secretary of the Peace Society, in a letter dated June 2, from which an extract is given.
“ You will have learned ere this that the deed is done, -- the deed of shame and degradation to our good old State. I witnessed the scene from an insurance office on State Street, and never before felt such a sense of degradation. I am glad that so many seemed to share it with me: for I observed a sort of funereal sadness on the vast masses before and around me. There were groans and hisses at even our own troops, the militia, that had come