Boston, Dec. 12, 1851.
My Dear Sumner: — But for an aching head and a sad heart (my spirits always sink to zero when my body is out of working gear), I should write you fully about your speech, which everybody likes and praises, everybody but I! I think you made a mistake, and went too far — and I'll tell you why I think so, when I have any nervous energy to stimulate the brain.
I am glad to hear its praises however, though not so much from Hunkers as others.
Would I could have heard you! And had I known you were to speak I should have done so at any cost. I had determined upon one thing as what I would not swerve from — hearing your maiden speech. But on the 8th you did not know you were to speak.
I fear we shall not succeed in the attempt to get up a Kossuth demonstration here. I have tried in many quarters in vain. I had faint hopes of Hillard, though others said he was earnest in favour of K——. I found him in a poor mood, evidently ill and irritated. He swore by all his Gods, and with an earnestness amounting almost to fierceness, that he would never again as long as he lived take any part in anything of the kind; he denounced politics and political movements, and vowed never to go one inch out of his way for any public matter whatever.
The prospect is that we shall not have a meeting.
I saw Miss Catherine Sedgwick last evening: she felt most warmly about K—— and was indignant at the coldness here. She said she had been here two weeks and seen many people, but I was the first one who had expressed any feeling in favour of K—— being received with honour.
If our party leaders write to you they will tell you there is trouble ahead. I hope to Heaven they have not in any way pledged the party to the Democrats; we have been their bottle holders long enough. Oh! that we had nominated Mann for Governor! It may be Palfrey will go in.
We must fight the Democrats before long. They have not — the masses have not — intelligence enough to overcome their prejudices about colour. The Whigs have more — and when their tyrant oppressor — the Lord and master of their bodies and souls — Black Dan1 — is dead politically or corporeally — if it happens soon — they will be better allies than the Dems.
But I cannot write more.
S. G. Howe.
1 Daniel Webster.
SOURCE: Laura E. Richards, Editor, Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, Volume 2, p. 352-3