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turn. Sir, it is the best Bill on which Congress ever acted; for it annuls all past Compromises with Slavery, and makes all future Compromises impossible. Thus it puts Freedom and Slavery face to face, and bids them grapple. Who can doubt the result? It opens wide the door of the Future, when, at last, there will really be a North, and the Slave Power will be broken; when this wretched Despotism will cease to dominate over our Government, no longer impressing itself upon every thing at home and abroad; when the National Government shall be divorced in every way from Slavery, and, according to the true intention of our fathers, Freedom shall be established by Congress everywhere, at least beyond the local limits of the States.
Slavery will then be driven from its usurped foothold here in the District of Columbia, in the National Territories, and elsewhere beneath the National flag; the Fugitive Slave Bill, as vile as it is unconstitutional, will become a dead letter; and the domestic Slave-trade, so far as it can be reached, but especially on the high seas, will be blasted by Congressional Prohibition. Everywhere within the sphere of Congress, the great Northern Hammer will descend to smite the wrong; and the irresistible cry will break forth, No more Slave States !
“ Thus, sir, now standing at the very grave of Freedom in Nebraska and Kansas, I lift myself to the vision of that happy resurrection, by which Freedom will be secured, not only in these Territories, but everywhere under the National Government. More clearly than ever before, I now penetrate that All-Hail-Hereafter,' when Slavery must disappear. Proudly I discern the flag of my country, as it ripples in every breeze, at last become in reality, as in name, the Flag of Freedom-undoubted, pure, and irresistible. Am
— I not right, then, in calling this Bill the best on which Congress ever acted ?
“Sorrowfully I bend before the wrong you are about to commit. Joyfully I welcome all the promises of the future.”
Delivers his speech in the Senate on the Boston Memorial for the
Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Bill, etc.--makes an address before the Mercantile Library Association of Boston-delivers his speech in the Senate, entitled the Demands of Freedom—Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Bill-pronounces an address at the Metropolitan Theatre, New York-eloquent extracts.
On the 26th and 28th of June, 1854, Mr. Sumner delivered eloquent speeches in the Senate, on the Boston Memorial for the Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Bill, and in reply to Messrs. Jones, of Tennessee, Butler, of South Carolina, and Mason, of Virginia. This speech contains a masterly defence of Massachusetts, and is full of interesting facts. It exhibits a high order of bold declamation.
The next most important effort of Mr. Sumner for the cause of human freedom was his memorable “Struggle for the Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Bill,” in the Senate, July 31, 1854, when he showed in the clearest manner his remarkable ability as a parliamentary debater, and vindicated his position by unanswerable assertions. The proposition which he brought forward was as follows:
“ Provided, that the Act of Congress, approved 18th September, 1850, for the surrender of fugitives from service or labor, be, and the same hereby is repealed.” After a long struggle the Senate refused to grant leave to introduce the Bill; but it will be seen, in this instance, that, in order to cut off an effort to repeal the Fugitive Slave Bill, at least two unquestionable rules of parliamentary law were overturned. For the firmness with which Mr. Sumner maintained his ground, and for the forcible eloquence with which he defended his proposition, he is entitled to the warmest thanks of all American citizens who are actuated by the liberty-loving spirit of their forefathers.
After the close of the Congressional session in 1854, he addressed the Republican State Convention, at Worcester, Mass. (7th September, 1854), on The Duties of Massachusetts at the Present Crisis. It is hardly necessary to remind the citizens of that honored and patriotic State of the closing powerful sentiments of this speech. We trust that they will ever be inspired by such sentiments, and be always found in the front ranks of freedom, struggling for those great principles which nerved the arın of their venerated fathers in the days of the Revolution. The speech closes in the following words:
"By the passage of the Nebraska Bill, and the
Boston kidnapping case, the tyranny of the Slave Power has become unmistakably manifest, while, at the same time, all compromises with Slavery are happily dissolved, so that Freedom now stands face to face with its foe. The pulpit, too, released from ill-omened silence, now thunders for Freedom, as in the olden time. It belongs to Massachusettsnurse of the men and principles which made the earliest Revolution—to vow herself anew to her ancient faith, as she lifts herself to the great struggle. Her place now, as of old, is in the van, at the head of the battle. But to sustain this advanced position with proper inflexibility, three things are needed by our beloved Commonwealth, in all her departments of government—the same three things, which once in Faneuil Hall, I ventured to say were needed by every representative of the North at Washington. The first is backbone; the second is BACKBONE; and the third is BACKBONE. With these, Massachusetts will be respected, and felt as a positive force in the National Government, while at home, on her own soil, free at last in reality as in name, all her people, from the islands of Boston to Berkshire hills, and from the sands of Barnstable to the northern line, will unite in the cry:
"No slave hunt in our borders—no pirate on our strand; No fetter on the Bay State ; no slave upon her land.'”