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foulest blot in our national character. On the 4th of November, 1845, during the agitation which prevailed through the north, in consequence of the proposed annexation of Texas as a slave State, Mr. Sumner delivered a thrilling speech at a public meeting in Faneuil Hall, Boston, against such an admission by which the slave power would be so widely extended. It was a speech worthy of its author, and of the great principles of liberty. In tones of glowing eloquence the speaker exclaimed:
“I cannot banish from my view the great shame and wrong of slavery. The Judges of our courts have declared it to be contrary to the law of nature, finding its support only in the positive enactments of men. Its horrors who can tell ? Language fails in the vain effort to depict them.
"By the proposed measure, we not only become parties to the acquisition of a large population of slaves, with all the crime of slavery; but we open a new market for the slaves of Virginia and the Carolinas, and legalize a new slave-trade. A new slave-trade! Consider this well. You cannot forget the horrors of what is called the middle passage,' when the crowds of unfortunate human beings, stolen, and borne by sea far from their warm African homes, are pressed on shipboard into spaces of smaller dimensions for each than a
coffin. And yet the deadly consequences of this middle passage have been supposed to fall short of those which are sometimes undergone by the wretched caravans, driven from the exhausted lands of the Northern slave States to the sugar plantations nearer to the sun of the South. It is supposed that one-quarter part often perish in these removals. I see them, in imagination, on this painful passage, chained in bands or troops, and driven like cattle, leaving behind what has become to them a home and a country (alas ! what a home, and what a country !)-husband torn from wife, and parent from child, and sold anew into a more direful captivity. Can this take place with our consent, nay, without our most determined opposition? If the slave-trade is to receive a new adoption from our country, let us have no part or lot in it. Let us wash our hands of this great guilt. As we read its horrors, may each of us be able to exclaim, with a conscience void of offence, Thou canst not say I did it.' God forbid, that the votes and voices of the freemen of the North should help to bind anew the fetter of the slave!—God forbid, that the lash of the slave-dealer should be nerved by any sanction from New England ! God forbid, that the blood which spirts from the lacerated, quivering flesh of the slave, should soil the hem of the white garments of Massachusetts !”
The stirring appeal to Massachusetts which occurs in this address, we trust, will never be forgotten by her patriotic sons—descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers, and of those whose blood moistened the sod of Bunker Hill, of Lexington, of Concord, and of many a well-fought battle-field.
“Let Massachusetts, then, be aroused. Let all her children be summoned to join in this holy
There are questions of ordinary politics in which men may remain neutral; but neutrality now is treason to liberty, to humanity, and to the fundamental principles of our free institutions. Let her united voice, with the accumulated echoes of freedom that fill this ancient Hall, go forth with comfort and cheer to all who labor in the same cause everywhere throughout the land. Let it help to confirm the wavering, and to reclaim those who have erred from the right path. Especially may it exert a proper influence in Congress upon the representatives of the free States. May it serve to make them as firm in the defence of freedom as their opponents are pertinacious in the cause of slavery.
“ Let Massachusetts continue to be known as foremost in the cause of freedom; and let none of her children yield to the fatal dalliance with slavery. You will remember the Arabian story of the magnetic mountain, under whose irresistible attraction the iron bolts which held together the strong timbers of a stately ship were drawn out, till the whole fell apart, and became a disjointed wreck. Do we not find in this story an image of what håppens to many Northern men, under the potent magnetism of Southern companionship or Southern influence? Those principles, which constitute the individuality of the Northern character, which render it staunch, strong, and seaworthy, which bind it together, as with iron, are drawn out one by one, like the bolts from the ill-fated vessel, and out of the miserable loosened fragments is formed that human anomaly – a Northern man with Southern principles. Such a man is no true son of Massachusetts.”
Pronounces an oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Har
vard University--beautiful extracts-sentiment of John Quincy Adams--delivers a speech on the anti-slavery duties of the Whig party-glowing passages from this speech--delivers a brilliant lecture on white slavery in the Barbary States.
On the 27th of August, 1846, Mr. Sumner delivered an oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard University, entitled The Scholar, the Jurist, the Artist, the Philanthropist, in which we have touching and eloquent tributes to the memory of John Pickering, the scholar; Joseph Story, the jurist; Washington Allston, the artist; William Ellery Channing, the philanthropist. This beautiful oration, which is well worthy the study of the student and admirer of eloquence, as well as the lover of law, art, and literature, concludes in the following lofty strains :
“ Thus have I attempted, humbly and affectionately, to bring before you the images of our departed brothers, while I dwelt on the great causes in which their lives were made manifest. Servants of Knowledge, of Justice, of Beauty, of Love, they have ascended to the great Source of Know