Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History Volume 02.

For Fremont, free-States, Connecticut, 6; Iowa, 4; Maine, 8; Massachusetts, 13; Michigan, 6; New Hampshire, 5; New York, 35; Ohio, 23; Rhode Island, 4; Vermont, 5; Wisconsin, 5.  Total, 114.

For Fillmore, slave-State, Maryland, 8.

[5] For President, Buchanan (Democrat), 105,344; Fremont (Republican), 96,180; Fillmore (American), 37,451.  For Governor, Richardson (Democrat), 106,643; Bissell (Republican), 111,372; Morris (American), 19,241.

CHAPTER III

CONGRESSIONAL RUFFIANISM

The official reports show that the proceedings of the American Congress, while in the main conducted with becoming propriety and decorum, have occasionally been dishonored by angry personal altercations and scenes of ruffianly violence.  These disorders increased as the great political struggle over the slavery question grew in intensity, and reached their culmination in a series of startling incidents.

Charles Sumner, one of the Senators from the State of Massachusetts, had become conspicuous, in the prevailing political agitation, for his aggressive and radical anti-slavery speeches in the Senate and elsewhere.  The slavery issue had brought him into politics; he had been elected to the United States Senate by the coalition of a small number of Free-soilers with the Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature.

The slavery question, therefore, became the dominant principle and the keynote of his public career.  He was a man of liberal culture, of considerable erudition in the law, of high literary ability, and he had attained an enviable social eminence.  Of large physical frame and strength, gifted with a fine presence and a sonorous voice, fearless and earnest in his opposition to slavery, Charles Sumner was one of the favorite orators of the early declamatory period of the Republican party.

He joined unreservedly in the exciting Senate debates, provoked by the rival applications from Kansas for her admission as a State.  On the 19th and 20th of May, 1856, he delivered an elaborate speech in the Senate, occupying two days.  It was one of his greatest efforts, and had been prepared with his usual industry.  In character it was a philippic rather than an argument, strong, direct, and aggressive, in which classical illustration and acrimonious accusation were blended with great effect.

It described what he called “The Crime against Kansas”; and the excuses for the crime he denominated the apology tyrannical, the apology imbecile, the apology absurd, and the apology infamous.  “Tyranny, imbecility, absurdity, and infamy,” he continued, “all unite to dance, like the weird sisters, about this crime.”

In the course of his speech he alluded, among others, to A.P.  Butler, of South Carolina, and in reply to some severe strictures by that Senator during preceding debates, indulged in caustic personal criticism upon his course and utterance, as well as upon the State which he represented.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook