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excellent in influence. And I further reply by insisting now, as I always do, upon that justice to an oppressed race which has been too long delayed, and which never fails to be a well-spring of strength and happiness, blessing all who help it and all who receive it.

Feeling as I do on this question, you will understand that I cannot see without regret any opportunity neglected of advancing the cause, especially among colored fellow-citizens. On this they should be a unit. Wherever the question presents itself, whether in Congress, or the Legislative Chambers of the District, or the popular assembly, there should be a solid vote against every discrimination on account of color. It is easy for lawyers and politicians to find excuses according to their desires; but no fine-spun theory or technicality should be allowed to prevail against the commanding principle. Accept my best wishes, and believe me, Gentlemen, Your faithful friend,




ANNEXION TO Boston OF THE SUBURBAN Towns, OctoBER 4, 1873.

COOLIDGE HOUSE, October 4, 1873.


EAR MR. WARREN, -- I should be glad to meet

your friends in a conference on the question, How Boston shall be rounded so as to be in reality itself. I cannot meet with you, but I unite in your purpose, as I understand it, and especially with regard to Charlestown.

I doubt if the future Boston will be content until it holds and possesses all the territory which hugs the harbor bearing its name, so that in Boston harbor nobody shall land except in Boston.

Evidently Boston should contain all Bostonians, which it does not now. I know no better way of accomplishing this result than by widening the circle of its jurisdiction.

But there is a stronger reason. Every capital is a natural focus of life, politically, socially, and commercially; and every person living in this natural focus properly belongs to the capital. So it is with London, Paris, and Vienna, - each of which is composed of suburbs and faubourgs grouped about the original city;

and so in reality it is with Boston, - for the places about the city, though called by different names, are parts of the same unity, which needs nothing now but a common name.

A capital may be artificial or natural. The artificial body is that formed by original unchangeable boundaries. The natural body is that combination, cluster, or expansion which changes with the developments of time and to meet the growing exigencies.

With these views, I find the various processes of annexion only a natural manifestation, to be encouraged lways, and to be welcomed under proper conditions of population and public opiniou.

annexion” rather than “annexation.” Where a word is so much used, better save a syllable, - especially as the shorter is the better. Ever sincerely yours,


I say

This letter appeared just previously to the vote on the annexion to Boston of Charlestown, West Roxbury, Brighton, and Brookline, which was taken on the first Tuesday of October, 1873, with a favorable result as to the first three municipalities.




OCTOBER 24, 1873.

At a meeting in aid of the sufferers by yellow fever in Memphis (Tennessee) and Shreveport (Louisiana), held at the rooms of the Board of Trade in Boston, at which the Mayor, Hon. Henry L. Pierce, presided, after remarks by Mr. Pierce and Hon. Alexander H. Rice, Mr. Sumner said :


R. MAYOR, - I have come less for speech than

to show by my presence here the sincere interest I feel in the present meeting. For what can I say to prompt the generosity of Boston merchants? They understand this call, and their hearts have already answered it.

It is hard to hear of suffering anywhere without longing to relieve it. But happily now all impediment of distance is removed ; and such are the facilities of communication that before the set of sun your contributions will brighten the faces of those distant sufferers. Do not think of distance. It is nothing. If Boston should be startled by hearing to-day that pestilence had appeared in one of our new-found possessions, as in Charlestown,

or even in Brookline, which will not be annexed, –

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we should feel the ties of neighborhood. But Memphis and Shreveport are neighbors by telegraph and steam, and the grander ties of a common country, which the ancient Roman orator called the "great charity comprehending all."1 Besides, there is that other more touching neighborhood which springs from suffering, — for I do not forget the divine hymn which teaches that

“Our neighbor is the suffering nian,

Though at the farthest pole.” 2 In these latter days, my friends, distress has come less from pestilence than from conflagration. The Fire Fiend has been more active than the other demon, and property has suffered more than life. Such are the favoring conditions of climate and the general security of health in our country, that we are rarely disturbed by contagion. But it has coine at last with the "reaper whose name is Death.”

To arrest this contagion, to help those exposed to its ravages, we perform a simple duty, as when we direct water upon the bursting blaze. Pestilence is a conflagration, and human life is the sacrifice. In this illustration I bring home to Boston merchants the urgency of the present call. Too well you know the terrible scene, when your magnificent and well-filled warehouses, borrowed in style and form from Venetian palaces, were seized and devoured by the flames. But other flames, not less vindictive, are now seizing and devouring fellow-men, our fellow-countrymen, in fair and beautiful

1 “Cari sunt parentes, cari liberi, propinqui, familiares; sed omnes omnium caritates patria una complexa est.” – CICERO, De Officiis, Lib. I.

cap. 17.

2 Dr. Williain Drennan's Hymin,

" All Nature feels attractive power.”

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