• No Tickets Available For Abolitionist Charles Sumner's Event; Friends Memorialize Him In Poetry, Remarks

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    Orator and abolitionist CHARLES SUMNER (1851-1874) served as a US Senator from Massachusetts (1851-1874); and the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1861-1871). His radical views had caused a series of conflicts throughout his political career, perhaps most notably when he was the victim of an assault by Congressman Preston Brooks on May 22nd, 1856. Brooks, angered by Sumner's speech, "Crime against Kansas," had approached Sumner in his office, and beat him over the head with his cane until he fell, bloody and unconscious. Sumner did not waver in his resolve throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, where he continued to fight for the rights of freed man.


    An assemblage of four items defending Sumner and abhorring slavery, and an ALS by Sumner, likely referencing his eulogy on Abraham Lincoln along with the postmarked Free Frank cover, attached, containing a second Sumner signature.  The ALS, dated 8th June, [18]’65 is to Martin Parry Kennard: “My dear sir, I take advantage of a moment of leisure to say that when I rec’d your note all my tickets were already distributed & I had none at command. Otherwise you would have heard from me promptly. Faithfully yours, Charles Sumner.”


    Parry was a Boston merchant of the firm of Bigelow, Kennard & Co., retailers of domestic & imported silver, glass and clocks. The tickets spoken of by Sumner were most likely to Sumner’s “Promises of the Declaration of Independence: Eulogy on Abraham Lincoln,” which was delivered in Boston on June 1, 1865.


    Attached to the verso of the first page is a copy of a poem written in Quaker style and entitled “The Fireside. My Story Upon Charles Sumner, a poem by William Westmore Story, who had been a friend of Sumner. It addresses the spirit of the departed statesman. Last stanza reads, “Stern Duty’s champion, at thy bier we bow!/ Brave, honest, faithful to the end—thy vow/ To God and Freedom kept—unbribed, unbought, Rest thee—or rise to loftier labors now.”  A second clipping, unattached, is an original newspaper article entitled, “The outrage upon Mr. Sumner,” containing coverage of remarks made by R.W. [Ralph Waldo] Emerson at Concord [MA], offering a strong rebuke to the attack on Sumner and rebuke of slavery. The Emerson article is hand dated 1856, the year of the attack.


    Wonderful assemblage highlighting the work of this influential statesman and abolitionist. Light toning and couple insignificant ink brushings to the letter.

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