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and thrown back upon her assailants the taunts and insults which they had never ceased to heap upon her. The cheering, as our Senator appeared upon the platform and took his seat, was loud and long continued.”

Mr. Sumner was at once called to speak. His speech is given as reported by the Boston Traveller, which ran a special train in one hour from Worcester, a distance of forty miles, in order to lay it before the public without delay.

In this speech Mr. Sumner had two objects, — first, to vindicate the necessity of the Republican party, and, secondly, to destroy the operation of the Fugitive Slave Act in Massachusetts, showing especially that citizens are not constrained to its support. His position with regard to the oath to support the Constitution was much discussed at the time, and the National Intelligencer, in elaborate articles by Mr. Gales, undertook to call him to account. To the latter he replied by letter. The speech had an extensive circulation.

Mr. Sumner came to the Convention at the invitation of Mr. Andrew, Chairman of the Provisional State Committee, whose first letter, dated July 22, 1854, was as follows.

• You will have seen, before receiving this note, the report of the meeting at Worcester, at which a new party was begun, and the steps preliminary to a State nominating convention taken. I think, in spite of strong opposition from the Whig presses and fuglemen, who cannot bear to give up their factitious powers and influence, that there is a great popular movement commenced, which may, under proper cultivation, disclose a splendid result in the fall. But more depends upon the aid you can give than upon that of any one man. Your recent battles in the Senate have shut the mouth of personal opposition, wrung applause from the unwilling, excited a State's pride and gratitude, such as rarely it is the fortune of any one to win. Your presence at the nominating convention, to be held on the 10th of August, probably at Springfield, — is a point which must be agreed to at once. It will secure a most triumphant meeting, certainly in point of numbers and enthusiasm. I want you to write to me at once, permitting me to say to any of our friends that you will attend the meeting. A speech of half an hour, or an hour, is all that you need make, though you could have three hours, if you would use them. I am bold, speak urgently, since I am, as Chairman of the Provisional State Committee, officially responsible for the utmost exertions to serve the cause in this behalf."

This was followed by another letter from Mr. Andrew, dated August 28, 1854, as follows.

“I, however, wish to have the authority now to say definitely to all inquirers that you will be present on the 7th, and address the convention, and I wish this to be considered as a formal and official invitation. There are constant references made to the hope of seeing and hearing you there, on all hands. Everybody counts for that gratification. And we can do nothing which will so completely secure a triumphant gathering as to announce your name. The whole Free-Soil party, proud of your recent achievements, and grateful for the many exhibitions of your devotedness to our principles at all times of hazard and necessity, and the people of all parties, who feel you to have been the most conspicuously representative man to whom Massachusetts has intrusted her interest in Congress since the death of John Quincy Adams, are alike anxious to greet you.

“I do not wish you to feel under the necessity of preparing for one of your greatest speeches. No one will demand that of you. They only want you to come, and to say what seems to yourself proper to say at the time.”

The speech drew from Mr. Chase the following expression.

“ Your speech was just the thing. I read it with delighted admiration. Only one thing abated my pleasure, – the dissolution of the Independent Democracy. I am now without a party: but no matter; I shall soon cease to have any connection with politics."

Mr. Seward wrote thus :

“I have read your noble speech. It is eminently able, and in a tone that is as characteristic as it is worthy of you. Of its particular direction, as relates to parties, it is not becoming me to speak. Its merits as an argument are unsurpassed."



A ,

FTER months of constant, anxious service in an

other place, away from Massachusetts, I am permitted to stand among you again, my fellow-citizens, and to draw satisfaction and strength from your generous presence. [Applause.] Life is full of change and contrast. From slave soil I have come to free soil. [Applause.] From the tainted breath of Slavery I have passed into this bracing air of Freedom. [Applause.] And the heated antagonism of debate, shooting forth its fiery cinders, is changed into this brimming, overflowing welcome, while I seem to lean on the great heart of our beloved Commonwealth, as it palpitates audibly in this crowded assembly. [Loud and long applause.]

Let me say at once, frankly and sincerely, that I am not here to receive applause or to give occasion for tokens of public regard, but simply to unite with fellowcitizens in new vows of duty. [Applause.] And yet I would not be thought insensible to the good-will now swelling from so many honest bosoms. It touches me more than I can tell.

During the late session of Congress, an eminent supporter of the Nebraska Bill said to me, with great animation, in language which I give with some precision, that you may appreciate the style as well as the sentiment, “I would not go through all that you do on this nigger question for all the offices and honors of the country.” To which I naturally and promptly replied, “ Nor would I, for all the offices and honors of the country.” [Laughter and long applause.] Not in such things are the inducements to this warfare. For myself, if I have been able to do aught in any respect not unworthy of you, it is because I thought rather of those commanding duties which are above office and honor. [Cries of " Good ! good !and loud applause.]

And now, on the eve of an important election in this State, we are assembled to take counsel how best to perform those duties which we owe to our common country. We are to choose eleven Representatives in Congress,- also, Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and members of the Legislature, which last will choose a Senator of the United States, to uphold, for five years ensuing, the principles and honor of Massachusetts. If in these elections you were governed by partialities or prejudices, personal or political, or merely by the exactions of party, I should have nothing to say now, except to dismiss you to the ignoble work. [" That is it!Good! good !] But I assume that you are ready to renounce these influences, and press forward with single regard to the duties now incumbent.

Here two questions occur, absorbing all others : first, what are our political duties here in Massachusetts at the present time? and, secondly, how, and by what agency, shall they be performed ? What and how ? These are the two questions, of which I shall briefly speak in their order, attempting no elaborate discussion, but aiming to state the case so that it will be intelligible to all who hear me.

And first, what are our present duties here in Massachusetts ? Unfolding these, I need not dwell on the wrong and shame of Slavery, or on the character of the Slave Power — that Oligarchy of Slaveholders — now ruling the Republic. These you understand. And yet there are two outrages, fresh in recollection, which I must not fail to expose, as natural manifestations of Slavery and the Slave Power. One is the repeal of the Prohibition of Slavery in the vast Missouri Territory, now known as Kansas and Nebraska, contrary to time-honored compact and plighted faith. The other is the seizure of Anthony Burns on the free soil of Massachusetts, and his surrender, without judge or jury, to a Slave-Hunter from Virginia, to be thrust back into perpetual bondage. ["Shame! shame!”] These outrages cry aloud to Heaven, and to you, people of Massachusetts ! [Sensation.] Their intrinsic wickedness is enhanced by the way in which they were accomplished. Of the first I know something from personal observation; of the latter I am informed only by public report.

It is characteristic of the Slave Power not to stick at the means supposed needful in carrying forward its plans; but never, on any occasion, were its assumptions so barefaced and tyrannical as in the passage of the Nebraska Bill

This bill was precipitated upon Congress without one word of public recommendation from the President, without notice or discussion in any newspaper, and without a single petition from the people. It was urged by different advocates, on two principal arguments, so opposite and inconsistent as to slap each other in the face slaughter] : one, that, by the repeal of the Prohibition, the territory would be absolutely open to the entry of slaveholders with their slaves; and the other, that the people there would be left to determine whether slaveholders should enter with their slaves. With some, the apology was the alleged rights of slaveholders; with others, the alleged rights of the people. With some, it was openly the extension of Slavery; and with others, openly the establishment of Freedom, under the pretence of “popular sovereignty.” The measure thus upheld in defiance of reason was carried through Congress in defiance of all the securities of legislation.

It was carried, first, by whipping in; through Executive influence and patronage, men who acted against their own declared judgment and the known will of their constituents; secondly, by thrusting out of place, both in the Senate and House of Representatives, important business, long pending, and usurping its room; thirdly, by trampling under foot the rules of the House of Representatives, always before the safeguard of the minority; and, fourthly, by driving it to a close during the

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