• Radical Republican, Abolitionist Charles Sumner, Recommends Friend For U.S. Senate Position

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    CHARLES SUMNER (January 6, 1811 – March 11, 1874) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a notable abolitionist and leader of the Radical Republicans. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the freedman. On May 22, 1856, South Carolina Democratic Congressman Preston Brooks nearly killed Sumner with a cane on the Senate floor after Sumner delivered an anti-slavery speech, “The Crime Against Kansas.  In it, he characterized Brooks’ first cousin, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, as a pimp for slavery while mocking Butler’s stroke and subsequent speech impediment.

    Offering a 1 ½ pp, 5 x 7 ¾, ALS, to Mr. Forney [John W. Forney], Secretary of the Senate, n.p., n.d., but c. 1861, offering a recommendation for his friend L.D. Johnson.  He erroneously refers to Johnson as Reverenced, which Johnson corrects at the bottom of the first page.  Johnson writes, “The title does not belong to me. Mr. Sumner knows I have lectured publicly and done more or less missionary work in this city. He therefore almost always writes my name with the above title. L.D.J.”

    Sumner’s recommendation reads, “I know Revd L.D. Johnson well & take...interest in his welfare. His is of many abilities...If there be any...in the office of the Secretary of the Senate, I hope that Mr. Johnson may be preferred. I recommend him cordially. Charles Sumner”

    Letter has been tipped to another page. Even toning.  The name Charles Sumner has been written in another hand below Sumner’s actual signature.

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