Secession Era Editorials Project

No Title.

Boston, Massachusetts, Post [Democratic]

(24 May 1856)

The despatches from Washington yesterday afternoon were that "Mr. Sumner was better, and would be able to occupy his seat in a day or two. This shows that his wounds could not have been so very dangerous as has been represented. The hollow gutta percha cane which was broken over his head was evidently not a weapon to do murder with. It appears that the reason why Mr. Brooks took a seat in the senate chamber, and waited, was because there were several ladies present, whose nerves he did not wish to shock. One account says the only person who knew beforehand of the attack was Mr. . Edmundson, a member from Virginia, and that Mr. . Crittenden caught Mr. Brooks around the body and arms. Mr. Wilson, who it is said carries deadly weapons, rushed in after the fracas was over, and found that Mr. Sumner had been carried to the vice-President's room. He then helped to put his colleague into a carriage, and went with him to his lodgings.

The affair was disgraceful and we lament and condemn it; and not even the slander of an absent and aged relative or libel on his native state, affords sufficient apology to the assaulter. But surely the bitter tirade of personality, the wanton vituperation of high personal character, the absolute vulgarity of language, poured forth for two days by Charles Sumner ought not to be countenanced by those who would respect the dignity of the senate or the honor of the country.

The free soil politicians are prompt in their endeavors to make party capital out of this affair. It will be seen under our local head that there was a public meeting in this city on the subject last evening, composed, in part at least, of those who figured when Mr. Batchhelder was killed while assisting in the defence of that temple of justice, the court house in this city, when assailed by an infuriate mob.

The following brief notice of Mr. Sumner's speech is given in the Washington Star of Wednesday:--

In the whole history of the legislation of congress, a day of greater violence and more excitement than yesterday is unknown. The two day's speech of Senator Sumner, we are pained to say, was little more than a tissue of personal accusation and assault, and charges against all his opponents without the slightest effort to sustain their truth other than by here and there citing a newspaper paragraph penned in malice and for the express purpose of deceiving the public. Such was the substance of Mr. Sumner's violent harangue, which was of course interlarded with classical allusions, many of them dragged in by the ears, as it were, into inappropriate connections. His personal vilification and abuse of Senator Butler -- than whom a more considerate and higher-toned gentleman never graced a seat in the national councils, caused a blush of shame to mantle the cheeks of all present who respect the character of the body before whom it was uttered; because it was wholly unjust and untrue, and, in style, far better suited to some low doggery in a region of country wherein billingsgate is uttered with impunity, because it is not customary there to resent and punish such language personally.


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