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No, not even when the laws of the land have been violated! And they were not violated by an outrage in the Senate! The House could not even try a man who killed a waiter in a hotel because its privileges were not violated by that act. Where, then, is the protection to Free Speech and Free Thought?
If such is the correct view, the Senate is lost, and if the Senate is lost, the Union must also fall. I stand here alarmed at that weak portion of the Union because of its madness; for it depends alone upon the Senate, and if the privileges of the Senate are to be without protection, when can its privileges be secured? For in the duties of a Senator many a nephew must be affected; and I would ask, are nephews to govern the country?
In conclusion, I would say to you that you must mark the men who looked coldly on when such outrages were done. There are seventy thousand men on whom the politicians cannot calculate except upon the most important occasions. This is such an occasion; and I hope they can be calculated upon with safety to proscribe such men at the ballot-box.
Made at the Indignation Meeting in Boston, May 24th, 1856.
REMARKS OF GOVERNOR GARDNER.
Governor Gardner, on taking the Chair, said this was not a personal ovation. We come here as citizens of Massachusetts, simply and solely because a senator of Massachusetts has been assaulted, with a grossness and brutality which history, until now, has never had written upon her pages. This was not a party meeting; if so, he would not, as Governor of Massachusetts, sanction it with his presence. [Cheers.] He would consider himself recreant to his duty were he not to meet on an occasion like this, with his friends, to give utterance to his sentiments. He referred to the occasion when Senator Sumner last addressed the citizens of Boston, from this rostrum, against himself (Gardner), who was then the candidate of an opposite party to that to which Mr. Sumner belonged, and he thanked the Committee,
who, by requesting him to preside on this occasion, had given him an opportunity to rise superior to party prejudice. While Mr. Sumner is in the Senate, he would do all in his power and ability to strengthen his arm and aid him in his official duties. [Renewed cheers.] In years gone by outrages have been committed in Congress, aye, even murder committed by its members, but this is the first time that a senator has been struck down, in his seat, in the Senate chamber. We now call upon Congress to expel the assailant from the Halls of Congress. [Cheers.] The Governor animadverted briefly upon the harsh invective and opprobrium that prevailed among all parties, which, to some extent, has engendered the bitter personal feelings between opposing political factions. [A few persons in the gallery, thinking this referred to Mr. Sumner's late speech, commenced hissing, but were effectually drowned by repeated cheers, and Mr. Gardner continued.] He said the question before us was, shall a senator from Massachusetts be denied the indulgence in debate, and in the same manner, that sixty other senators are allowed. The Governor then alluded to the speech of Mr. Sumner as being far less objectionable than many that have been made by others in the halls of Congress, and concluded by saying, that when the just and equitable rights of our Massachusetts representatives were denied them, that he who would not rise in opposition to such proceedings is not worthy of the rights he enjoys. [Tremendous cheering.]
The President then introduced Judge Russell, who read the following
Resolved, That we have heard with deep grief and indignation of the brutal assault on our esteemed Senator, Charles Sumner, for words spoken in debate, and of the insult offered in his person to the honor of our Commonwealth.
Resolved, That in this outrage we see new encroachments upon freedom, new violations of State rights, and a strange disregard of chivalrous principles, while in the conduct of such men as Senator Crittenden we gladly recognize proofs of the fact, that in all sections of the country there are men of high honor, of pure principles, and of true patriotism.
Resolved, That this attack is to be rebuked, not only as a cow
ardly assault upon a defenceless man, but as a crime against the right of free speech and the dignity of a free State.
Resolved, That as American citizens, we deeply lament the odium which such acts cast upon our country and upon the cause of republicanism throughout the world.
Resolved, That although sixty-eight members of the national House of Representatives have voted that they think no inquiry regarding the outrage is necessary, still we feel confident that Congress will free itself from the same crime, by expelling the offender from the seat which he has disgraced.
Resolved, That we regard every blow inflicted upon our Senator as a blow aimed at us; that in our estimation his wounds are honorable wounds; that as citizens of Massachusetts, without distinction of party, we pledge him here, in old Faneuil Hall, our sympathy and support in the fearless and independent discharge of his duty.
REMARKS OF HON. JOHN C. PARK.
Hon. John C. Park, in seconding the resolutions, said he came here entirely divested of party feelings, as a citizen of Boston. Every hour, by every railroad train and by telegraph, we receive tidings of spontaneous outbursts from all our neighboring cities, and the city of Boston, true to her cherished principles, will not be backward in an expression of indignation at this great outrage. He claimed that the citizens of Boston were a law-loving people, a law-abiding people, and in proof of this assertion stated that it was but two years previous to the day Mr. Sumner was beaten down so cowardly in the Senate chamber, that the citizen soldiery of Massachusetts were displayed in force to show our adhesion to constituted law. [Sensation.] He denounced the attack upon our senator as an unwarrantable exhibition of brute force. If free speech and free discussion are not to be granted, our forefathers landed at Plymouth Rock for no purpose; our fathers at Bunker Hill, and South Carolina's fathers at Yorktown, bled in vain. If free speech is to be beaten down, then Webster and Clay and other patriots labored in vain. [Cheers.] From the time of the Reformation to the liberty (enslavement?) of free Kansas, free speech had been baptized in blood. The speaker concluded by saying, that if South Car
olina will ignore this base outrage, committed by one of her sons, she will find that Massachusetts, now as of old, is ready to meet her, and again unite in fraternal bonds. [Cheers.]
REMARKS OF HON. GEORGE S. HILLARD.
Hon. George S. Hillard said he came to the meeting as a citizen of Boston, in the broadest acceptation of the term. The moral effect and significance of this meeting will be just in proportion as it is kept clear of party issues. Assaults in Washington are not rare [laughter], but the assault which we have met to condemn greatly exceeds in malignity all former ones. The principle that a man can resort to personal violence to redress a private wrong, we all most emphatically repudiate. There is no palliation for the offence. The assault was not a hot-headed one, for he had at least one sun to set upon his wrath. The attack was cowardly in the extreme, and the act was that of an assassin. We come together to-night to express our sympathy with our now prostrate senator. It is not that he is a member of any party, but that he is a representative of the State of Massachusetts, that we tender him our expressions of sympathy. In conclusion, he expressed his detestation of the act, and would calmly record his unqualified indignation against the outrageous proceeding. [Great applause.]
REMARKS OF HON. E. C. BAKER.
Hon. E. C. Baker, President of the Senate of Massachusetts, was then introduced. He said: "Fellow-citizens of Boston, fellow citizens of Massachusetts-Of what do you complain? It is because Massachusetts has been stabbed through her senator." He then referred, in indignant terms, to the assault, but counselled coolness and moderation, relying upon the future that the right might triumph.
REMARKS OF HON. CHARLES A. PHELPS.
Hon. Charles A. Phelps next addressed the audience, and made a spirited and truly New England speech. In the course of his remarks he said he hoped the people of Massachusetts would teach the federal government that there is a Massachusetts as well as a federal government, and that she will have
her rights. cheering.
This was received with the most tremendous
REMARKS OF HON. SAMUEL H. WALLEY.
Hon. Samuel H. Walley, formerly member of Congress, was the next speaker. His remarks were highly appropriate, and were enthusiastically received. He concluded as follows: "I believe that the blows which fell upon Mr. Sumner will, in the results they will bring about, make us a more united and a more happy, because a more free people.”•
REMARKS OF COL. A. D. BREWSTER.
Col. A. D. Brewster was received with hearty cheers. He said he was prepared to make a clean breast of it. [Cheers.] Under the flag of our country, floating over our National Capitol, a senator of Massachusetts had been cloven down by a dastardly coward. He trusted that a voice would go forth from Faneuil Hall to-night that would shake the country from battlement to foundations. [Cheers.] He knew not what course others might take, but as for him, give him liberty or give him death. [Enthusiastic applause.] He also quoted the remark of Webster, that there was a blow to give as well as to take, and said, "If it comes to that, fellow-citizens, I say, let it be war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt." [Terrific cheers.] If the South wants to play at that game, let her remember that two can play at it. [Cheers, and cries of "That's it."] The duty of the North is to arm to the teeth, and submit no more to such indignities as have been heaped upon her. [Repeated cheers, and cries of "Good, good."] He concluded by counselling firmness on our part, and when the time does come, the North would come out of the battle as she did in the times that tried men's souls, with victory perched upon her banners. His remarks throughout were warmly endorsed by the immense audience.
Col. Brewster was followed by John A. Andrew and Peleg W. Chandler, when the resolutions were unanimously adopted, and at 11 P. M. the meeting adjourned.