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Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History

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Possuming.

Richmond, Virginia, Whig [American]

(31 May 1856)

The daily and hourly reports from Washington concerning the condition of Sumner, are all very strange and funny, and lead us to believe that the Abolition wretch, with his Abolition physicians as accomplices in the trick, is playing possum. We hear one moment that he is "comfortable and deing well" --we hear the next, that his condition is "extremely critical," and that no one is allowed to see him; and then a few hours afterwards we are favored with a different story.

Now, for our part, we never have believed that Sumner was sufficiently hurt to make it necessary for him to take to his bed at all. Least of all do we believe that the well-deserved gutta- perching he received was of so severe a character as to detain him in confinement for more than a week. But we believe it is a miserable Abolition trick from beginning to end -- resorted to to keep alive and diffuse and strengthen the sympathy awakened for him among his confederates at the North Nigger-worshipping fanatics of the male gender, and weak-minded women and silly children, are horribly affected at the thought of blood oozing out from a pin-scratch. And Sumner is wily politician enough to take advantage of this little fact.

We suggest that the Senate appoint a committee, consisting of one Southern man, to ascertain Sumner's actual condition. We think the bare sight of a hundredth part of a Southern man would impart to the possuming wretch strength enough to enable him to take up his bed and walk -- yea, walk even to Boston.

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