The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 10

Author: Lucius Q. C. Lamar  | Date: 1874

Lamar

On Sumner and the South*
(1874)

Charles Sumner in life believed that all occasion for strife and distrust between the North and South had passed away, and there no longer remained any cause for continued estrangement between those two sections of our common country. Are there not many of us who believe the same thing? Is not that the common sentiment, or if not, ought it not to be, of the great mass of our people, North and South? Bound to each other by a common constitution, destined tolive together under a common government, forming unitedly but a single member of the great family of nations, shall we not now at last endeavor to grow toward each other once more in heart, as we are indissolubly linked to each other in fortunes? Shall we not, while honoring the memory of this great champion of liberty, this feeling sympathizer with human sorrow, this earnest pleader for the exercise of human tenderness and heavenly charity, lay aside the concealments which serve only to perpetuate misunderstandings and distrust, and frankly confess that on both sides we most earnestly desire to be one—one not merely in political organization; one not merely in community of language, and literature, and traditions, and country; but more and better than all that, one also in feeling and in heart?

Am I mistaken in this? Do the concealments of which I speak still cover animosities, which neither time nor reflection nor the march of events have yet sufficed to subdue? I can not believe it. Since I have been here I have scrutinized your sentiments, as expressed not merely in public debate, but in the abandon of personal confidence. I know well the sentiments of these my Southern friends, whose hearts are so infolded that the feeling of each is the feeling of all; and I see on both sides only the seeming of a constraint which each apparently hesitates to dismiss.

The South—prostrate, exhausted, drained of 64 her life-blood as well as her material resources, yet still honorable and true—accepts the bitter award of the bloody arbitrament without reservation, resolutely determined to abide the result with chivalrous fidelity. Yet, as if struck dumb by the magnitude of her reverses, she suffers on in silence. The North, exultant in her triumph and elevated by success, still cherishes, as we are assured, a heart full of magnanimous emotions toward her disarmed and discomfited antagonist; and yet, as if under some mysterious spell, her words and acts are words and acts of suspicion and distrust. Would that the spirit of the illustrious dead, whom we lament to-day, could speak from the grave to both parties to this deplorable discord, in tones which would reach each and every heart throughout this broad territory: My countrymen! know one another and you will love one another.65

*From a speech in the House of Representatives on April 28, 1874--soon after the death of Sumner.

Related Resources

A Nation Reborn, 1861–1905

Download Options


Title: The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 10

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 10

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Lucius Q. C. Lamar, The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 10 in The World’s Famous Orations, ed. William Jennings Bryan (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906), 63. Original Sources, accessed October 16, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=H6F9VME54FSHWUX.

MLA: Lamar, Lucius Q. C. The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 10, in The World’s Famous Orations, edited by William Jennings Bryan, Vol. 10, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906, page 63. Original Sources. 16 Oct. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=H6F9VME54FSHWUX.

Harvard: Lamar, LQ, The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 10. cited in December, 1906, The World’s Famous Orations, ed. , Funk and Wagnalls, New York, pp.63. Original Sources, retrieved 16 October 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=H6F9VME54FSHWUX.