Thursday, November 8, 2018

Charles Sumner to Gerrit Smith, October 16, 1855

Boston, 16th Oct., '55.

My Dear Gerrit Smith — Pardon me; but I do not see on what ground you can be excused from a public lecture here in Boston and also in New York. Here is an opportunity to do much good. Your presence would give character and weight to our cause. It cannot afford to miss you.

You excuse yourself on account of your many engagements at home. I understand these; but we have a right to expect you to make the necessary sacrifice. You are rich, and can afford it. Let your great fortune miss for a short time your watchful eye, and come to us in Boston and New York. One lecture will do for both places.

Here also is an opportunity to commend your views by argument, and personal presence, which you should not abandon.

I do long to have our great controversy, which is so much discredited in the large cities, upheld by your voice. Come among us. Let us have those rich tones, and that generous heart, and that unmitigable hatred of slavery to leaven our masses. Come. Do.

Ever sincerely yours,
Charles Sumner.
Honorable Gerrit Smith.

SOURCES: Octavius Brooks Frothingham, Gerrit Smith: A Biography, p. 225

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