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monuinent. Nor can the State that gave him to the national service and trusted him so long fail to remember with pride that he was always an honest man.
With this completeness of integrity there was a certain wild independence and intensity of nature which made him unaccommodating and irrepressible. Faithful, constant, devoted, indefatigable, implacable, he knew not how to capitulate. Dr. Johnson, who liked “a good hater," I would have welcomed him into this questionable fellowship. Here I cannot doubt. Better far the opposite character, and even the errors that may come from it. Kindred to hate is prejudice, which was too often active in him, seeming at times, especially where we differed from him, to take the place of reason. On nothing was this so marked as Slavery. Here his convictions were undisguised; nor did they yield to arguinent or the logic of events. How much of valuable time, learned research, and intellectual effort he bestowed in support of this dying cause, the chronicles of the Senate attest. How often have we listened with pain to this advocacy, regretting deeply that the gifts he possessed, and especially his sterling character, were enlisted where our sympathies could not go! And yet I cannot doubt that others would testify, as I now do, that never on these occasions, when the soul was tried in its depths, did any fail to recognize the simplicity and integrity of his nature. Had he been less honest, I should have felt his speeches less. Happily, that great controversy is ended; nor do I say anything but the strict truth, when I add that now we bury him who spoke last for Slavery.
1 Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D., during the last Twenty Years of his Life, by Hesther Lynch Piozzi, (London, Cadell, 1786,) p. 83.
Time is teacher and reconciler; nor is it easy for any candid nature to preserve a constant austerity of judgment toward persons. As evening approaches, the meridian heats lose their intensity. While abiding firmly in the truth as we saw it, there may be charity and consideration for those who did not see it as we saw it. A French statesman, yet living, whose name is indissolubly connected with the highest literature, as well as with some of the most important events of his age, teaches
, how with the passage of life the judgment is softened toward others. “The more,” says M. Guizot, “I have penetrated into an understanding and experience of things, of men, and of myself, the more I have perceived at the same time my general convictions strengthen and my personal impressions become calm and mild. Equity, I will not say toleration for the faith of others, in religion or politics, has come to take place and grow by the side of tranquillity in my own faith. It is youth, with its natural ignorance and passionate prejudices, which renders us exclusive and biting in our judgments of others. In proportion as I quit myself, and as time sweeps me far from our combats, I enter without difficulty into a serene and pleasant appreciation of ideas and sentiments which do not belong to me.” Even if not adopting these words completely, all will confess their beauty.
Here let me be frank. Nothing could make any speech for Slavery tolerable to me; but when I think how much opinions are determined by the influences about us, so that a change of birth and education might have made the Abolitionist a partisan of Slavery and the partisan of Slavery an Abolitionist, I feel, that, while always unrelenting toward the wrong, we cannot
be insensible to individual merits. In this spirit I offer a sincere tribute to a departed Senator, who, amid the perturbations of the times, trod his way with independent step, and won even from opponents the palm of character.
EQUALITY IN CIVIL RIGHTS.
LETTER TO THE COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE CEL
EBRATION OF THE ANNIVERSARY OF EMANCIPATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, APRIL 16, 1873.
The long procession stopped before Mr. Sumner's house, where one of the bands played "Auld Lang Syne." Arriving in front of the City Hall of Washington, they were addressed by R. T. Greene, Esq., and also by Hon. Frederick Douglass. Letters were read froin President Grant, Senators Anthony, Pratt, and Sumner, Hon's Horace Maynard, B. F. Butler, A. G. Riddle, S. J. Bowen, N. G. Ordway, and A. M. Clapp. Mr. Sumner's letter was as follows:
Washington, April 16, 1873. EAR SIR, – I regret that it is not in my power to
be with you according to the invitation with which
have honored me. This is a day whose associations are as precious to me as to you.
Emancipation in the national capital was the experiment which prepared the way for Emancipation everywhere throughout the country. It was the beginning of the great end.
Here, as in other things, you are an example to our colored fellow-citizens in the States. Your success here will vindicate the capacity of colored people for citizenship, and your whole race will be benefited thereby. Let me speak frankly. Much has been done, but
more remains to be done. The great work is not yet accomplished. Until your equality in civil rights is assured, the pillar of your citizenship is like the column in honor of Washington,- unfinished and imperfect.
– There is constant talk of finishing that column at great cost of money, but the first thing to be done is to finish the pillar of your citizenship. Here I shall glailly work; but I trust that you will all work likewise, nor be content with anything less than the whole.
Accept my thanks and best wishes, and believe me, dear Sir, Faithfully yours,
CHARLES SUMNER. TO THE CHAIRMAN.