Excerpt from Charles Sumner: An Eulogy Delivered Before the Faculty and Societies of Kalamazoo College, by Hon. Chas. S. May, June 16, 1874
In that body of slave-holders and slavery-supporters, sumner received no political or social recognition. He was assigned no place on th... e Committees, and when in the summer of 1852 he raised his voice for the first time in that splendid and memorable speech against the Fugitive Slave Law, he met the scornful and defiant glances of an enraged Senate. Other great speeches succeeded, arraigning Slavery at the bar of the public judgment and conscience. Then followed the murderous assault of Brooks, which planted physical, nervous torture in his frame and shortened his life. By and-by came the war, and then, as the haughty representatives of slavery retired, sumner for the first time found himself with the majority and was entrusted with the practical direction of meas ures and policies. How he filled that important chairmanship which was then given him, until within recent years he was dismissed from it under circumstances of honor to him but of everlasting shame to those who did it all the world knows. And all the while he was true to Freedom and the Union, never losing heart or hope. Finally, at the last, when the war had long been over and when the great work of reconstruction was finished, there came that separa tion from the administration of his party and from old political and personal friends, which tried anew his courage, and furnished the last severe test of his absolute obedience to his convictions of duty.
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