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REFUSAL TO RECEIVE TESTIMONIAL

IN APPROBATION OF KANSAS SPEECH.

LETTER TO A COMMITTEE IN BOSTON, JUNE 13, 1856.

IMMEDIATELY after the assault on Mr. Sumner a subscription was started for a testimonial to him. The terms of the paper were as follows.

"Being desirous of expressing to the Hon. Charles Sumner, in some permanent and appropriate form, our admiration of his spotless public and private character, of our lively gratitude for his dauntless courage in the defence of Freedom on the floor of Congress, and especially our unqualified approbation of his speech in behalf of Free Kansas, delivered in the Senate on the 20th of May last, — a speech characterized by comprehensive knowledge of the subject, by logical acuteness, and by Spartan intrepidity in the chastisement of iniquity, for which he has wellnigh lost his life at the brutal and cowardly hands of the creature for which (thanks to the rarity of its appearance) the English tongue has as yet no appropriate name, we deem it alike a privilege and an honor to participate in offering him some suitable token of our sentiments. For this purpose we subscribe the sums set opposite our names.

Among the early signers were the venerable Josiah Quincy, Henry W. Longfellow, Jared Sparks, F. D. Huntington, R. H. Dana, Jr., Edward Everett, Edwin P. Whipple, Alexander H. Rice, Charles Hudson, Charles Francis Adams, Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Charles A. Phelps, Amasa Walker, William Claflin, Eli Thayer, and George Bliss.

Mr. Sumner was on his bed when he heard of this purpose. He at once dictated the following letter.

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WASHINGTON, June 13, 1856. papers speak of a token approbation of my recent

Y DEAR SIR,- The planned by you, in speech exposing the Crime against Kansas. Pardon me, if, in advance of any direct information, I say to

you frankly that I cannot allow this flattering project to proceed further.

It is enough for me that you and your generous associates approve what I said. Such sympathy and support in the cause, of which I am a humble representative, is all that I ask for myself, or am willing to accept. But the cause itself has constant claims on us all. And I trust you will not deem me too bold, if I express a desire that the contributions intended for the testimonial to me may be applied at once, and without abatement of any kind, to the recovery and security of Freedom in Kansas.

For this I spoke in the Senate, and I shall be proud to regard these contributions thus applied as my words hardened into deeds.

Believe me, my dear Sir, with much regard,

Very faithfully yours,

CARLOS PIERCE, Esq.

CHARLES SUMNER.

This letter was laid before a meeting of the subscribers in Mercantile Hall, with Rev. F. D. Huntington, afterwards Bishop of the Western Diocese of New York, in the chair. A contemporary newspaper records what ensued.

"A beautiful design of the testimonial which it had been proposed to offer Mr. Sumner was also submitted to the meeting. It was to have been a massive and elaborate silver vase, two feet in height, and was planned by Messrs. Bailey, Kettell, and Chapman. Upon its summit was a figure representing Charles Sumner holding his Kansas speech in his right hand. On either side were the figures of Justice and Freedom, crowning him with a wreath of laurels. A winged genius sits at his feet, and is inscribing his name on a tablet. Figures representing Victory are upon the arms of the vase, heralding the triumph of Freedom. Above the inscription to Mr. Sumner, and in the centre, was the coat of arms of Massachusetts. On the foot of the vase was the coat of arms of the nation, between masks and appropriate emblems of Liberty and Slavery.

"Although all were unwilling to abandon this favorite plan of expressing to Mr. Sumner by a substantial token their sympathy and their support, yet they were of the opinion that his letter left them no choice in the matter, and, after discussing many plans for the disposition of the funds already raised, the suggestion of Mr. Sumner was unanimously adopted by the following resolves.

"Resolved, That, the Secretary of this meeting be instructed to subscribe the amount of funds in his hands to aid the cause of Freedom in Kansas, in the name of Hon. Charles Sumner.

'Resolved, That the subscribers be notified by the Secretary of the above vote, and have leave to withdraw their subscriptions.'

"The amount already subscribed is one thousand dollars, and by the action of the meeting Mr. Sumner's noble and eloquent speech has 'hardened into deeds,' for which we hope many a poor sufferer in Kansas will long have occasion to bless his memory."

The resolutions of the meeting were communicated to Mr. Sumner by the Chairman in the following letter.

“CAMBRIDGE, June 25, 1856. "MY DEAR SIR, You have already been made acquainted with the earnest movement of some of your host of friends in this quarter to convey to you a tangible evidence of their profound esteem for your character, and their enthusiastic admiration of your conduct. The arrival of your generous letter stopped their proceedings. At your own request one thousand dollars will go to Kansas instead of to you.

"At the public meeting where this decision was taken, I was directed, as being Chairman, to acquaint you with the acquiescence of the subscribers to the testimonial in your wishes, and to assure you that all your motives in this act, and throughout the recent signal and portentous events, are by us fully appreciated and honored. I will not add to your fatigues, and to the crowd of communications which must be pouring in upon you, by a long communication. Your name is inseparably and nobly associated with the history of Freedom, in America and in the world, henceforth. We confide in you for the future. We thank you for the past. We supplicate, in your behalf, from the Almighty Source of Good a rapid restoration of your health and strength, and ever-increasing powers of will, of faith, of action, and of speech, in the infinite service of Humanity.

"You will believe, my dear Sir, that my personal feelings go undivided into these assurances of good-will.

"I beg you to account me, now as always,

"Your faithful friend and servant,

"HON. CHARLES SUMNER."

"F. D. HUNTINGTON.

The following extract from a letter of Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, the much-loved and always popular author, shows how this act was regarded at the time.

"Your letter declining the testimonial proffered by your native Commonwealth pleased me more than anything you ever did. I had previously said, 'I hope Massachusetts will express her gratitude toward him with princely magnificence, and I hope he will transfer the gift to Kansas: that would be morally grand on both sides.' And Mr. Child answered: 'Depend upon it, he will do it. Nothing could be more characteristic of the man.' That letter and Mr. Wilson's answer to the challenge have revived my early faith in human nature. It is impossible to calculate the salutary influence of such examples."

APPEAL FOR THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES.

LETTER TO THE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE AT BOSTON,
JUNE 21, 1856.

THE selection of a Republican candidate for the Presidency gave rise to the customary discussion in the newspapers, in the course of which the New York Tribune, under date of June 6, 1856, expressed itself as follows.

"The People's Convention, which assembles at Philadelphia on the 17th instant, will be called first to decide this question: Can the opponents of Slavery Extension elect whomsoever they may choose to nominate? If, on a careful comparison of views, this question can be confidently answered in the affirmative, we have next to consider who, by early, earnest, faithful, protracted, unswerving service to the cause, has done most for the triumph of Humanity and Impartial Freedom; and in that view but three names can be seriously considered, namely, those of WILLIAM H. SEWARD, of New York, SALMON P. CHASE, of Ohio, and CHARLES SUMNER, of Massachusetts. They are all capable, reliable, and deserving, and either of them would worthily fill the highest office in the Republic. We will not weigh their respective claims, but we shall support to the utmost of our ability whichever (if either) of them shall be nominated."

The Republican National Convention assembled at Philadelphia, June 17, 1856, and chose Henry S. Lane, of Indiana, as presiding officer. At an informal ballot for President there were 359 votes for John C. Fremont and 196 for John McLean; New York also gave two votes for Mr. Sumner and one for Mr. Seward. Mr. Fremont was thereupon nominated unanimously. At an informal ballot for VicePresident there were 259 votes for William L. Dayton, 110 for Abraham Lincoln, 46 for N. P. Banks, 43 for David Wilmot, 35 for Charles Sumner, 15 for Jacob Collamer, 9 for John A. King, 8 for S. C. Pomeroy, 7 for Thomas Ford, 5 for Henry Wilson, 4 for Cassius M. Clay, 3 for Henry C. Carey, 2 for J. R. Giddings, 2 for W. F. Johnston, and 1 for A. C. M. Pennington. On a formal ballot, Mr. Dayton was nominated unanimously.

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