1862 March 31 Washington, D. C.

RANSOM OF SLAVES AT THE NATIONAL CAPITAL
___________________________________________

SPEECH

OF

HON. CHARLES SUMNER,

OF MASSACHUSETTS,

ON THE BILL FOR

ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

IN THE

SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, MARCH 31, 1862

____________________________________________

WASHINGTON:
PRINTED AT THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE OFFICE.
1862

[page 1]

SPEECH

_____________________________________________

Mr. Sumner said:
Mr. President, with unspeakable delight I hail
this measure and the prospect of its speedy adop-
tion. It is the first installment of that great debt
which we all owe to an enslaved race, and will be
recognized in history as one of the victories of
humanity. At home, throughout our own coun-
try, it will be welcomed with gratitude; while
abroad it will quicken the hopes of all who love
freedom. Liberal institutions will gain every-
where by the abolition of slavery at the national
capital. Nobody can read that slaves were once
sold in the markets of Rome, beneath the eyes of
the sovereign Pontiff, without confessing the scan-
dal to religion, even in a barbarous age; and no-
body can hear that slaves are now sold in the
markets of Washington, beneath the eyes of the
President, without confessing the scandal to lib-
eral institutions. For the sake of our good name,
if not for the sake of justice, let the scandal dis-
appear.

[a lengthy speech follows concluding:]

Amidst all present solicitudes, the future can-
not be doubtful. At the national capital slavery
will give way to freedom; but the good work will
not stop here. It must proceed. What God and
nature decree rebellion cannot arrest. And as
the whole wide-spread tyranny begins to tumble,
then, above the din of battle, sounding from the
sea and echoing over the land, above even the
exultations of victory on well-fought fields, will
ascend voices of gladness and benediction, swell-
ong from generous hearts wherever civilization
bears sway, to commemorate a sacred triumph,
whose trophies, instead of tattered banners, will
be ransomed slaves.

E445 .D6 S9 1862

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