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The Good Farmer and the Good Citizen : Acting in conformity with the laws of God, rather than the statutes of man, they know that in this way only can true prosperity be obtained. Believe me, dear Sir, with much respect,

Very faithfully yours,

CHARLES SUMNER.

Hon. MARSHALL P. WILDER.

THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT TO BE DISOBEYED.

LETTER TO A COMMITTEE AT SYRACUSE, NEW YORK,

SEPTEMBER 28, 1854.

The escape of the Fugitive Slave, Jerry, at Syracuse, was commemorated at a public meeting, to which Mr. Sumner was invited. His answer was published at the time as "from a man who is not afraid to speak out."

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BOSTON, September 28, 1854. EAR SIR, — I cannot be with you at Syracuse, ac

cording to the invitation with which I have been honored; but I shall rejoice at every word uttered there which helps to lay bare the true nature of Slavery, and its legitimate offspring, the Fugitive Slave Bill.

That atrocious enactment has no sanction in the Constitution of the United States or in the law of God. It shocks both. The good citizen, at all personal hazard, will refuse to obey it.

Yours very faithfully,

CHARLES SUMNER.

POSITION AND DUTIES OF THE MERCHANT,

ILLUSTRATED BY THE LIFE OF

GRANVILLE SHARP.

ADDRESS BEFORE THE MERCANTILE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION OF BOSTON,

ON THE EVENING OF NOVEMBER 13, 1854.

Veluti in speculum.

HERE was another effort to obtain a hearing for unwelcome truth. While portraying the life and character of Granville Sharp, Mr. Sumner was saying what he had most at heart on Slavery, and exposing that swiftness which had been shown here in support of the Fugitive Slave Act. Describing the simple championship of the Englishman, he presented an example for imitation. Showing how Slavery had been overturned in England, he exhibited the essential rule of interpretation, by which, in the absence of precise words of sanction, it necessarily becomes impossible. Condemning the London merchants who contributed to support this wrong, and also the able lawyers who lent themselves to the same cause, he presented a picture where our merchants and lawyers might see themselves. Extolling that conscience which sustained Granville Sharp in his career, he vindicated all among us who would not bow before injustice.

The address was well received. The tide was then turning. Since then the lecture-room has been free. The condition of the public mind was noticed at the time. One newspaper said, that “a Boston audience of the kind then and there present would not have listened to it with patience four years ago," —that, “valuable as the lecture is on account of its literary merits, its real importance consists in marking an era in Boston opinion.” Another paper says, with enthusiasm, “That Mr. Sumner should have delivered such a lecture before the solid men of Boston' is a great, a sublime fact in American history,” and, after proceeding in this strain, concludes with the remark, that “it is one of the most striking examples of whipping one set of people over the backs of another that we ever heard of."

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ADDRESS.

I

MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE MERCANTILE
LIBRARY ASSOCIATION :
HAVE been honored by an invitation to deliver

an address, introductory to the annual course of lectures which your Association bountifully contributes to the pastime, instruction, and elevation of our community. You know, Sir, something of the reluctance with which, embarrassed by other cares, I undertook this service, yielding to kindly and persistent pressure, which only a nature sterner than mine could resist. And now I am here to perform what I promised.

I am to address the Mercantile Library Association of Boston, numbering, according to your last Report, two thousand and seventy-eight members, and possessing a library of more than fifteen thousand volumes. With so many members and so many books, yours is an institution of positive power.

Two distinct features appear in its name. It is, primarily, an association of persons in mercantile pursuits ; and it is, next, an association for the improvement of its members, particularly through books. In either particular it is entitled to regard. But it possesses yet another feature, more interesting still, which does not appear in its name.

It is an association of YOUNG MEN, with hearts yet hospitable to generous words, and with resolves not yet vanquished

VOL. III.

21

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