Charles Sumner Quotes

My worst preconception of their appearance and their ignorance did not fall as low as their actual stupidity . . . They appear to be nothing more than moving masses of flesh unendowed with anything of intelligence above the brutes

He was describing his first face to face encounter with Southern Negro slaves. He was totally shocked as the Negroes he had seen before were mostly free Blacks in the North-—many of whom were educated and cultured. He became an even more avowed abolitionist but like most anti-slavery whites at the time did not see the majority of Blacks as equal. See Abraham Lincoln: {587773}.

Charles Sumner, 1811-1874, U. S. Senator (Democrat, Free Soiler and Republican, MA), Quoted in David Donald, Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War

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Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner
  • Born: January 6, 1811
  • Died: March 11, 1874
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician

Charles Sumner was an American politician and United States Senator from Massachusetts. As an academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the anti-slavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the U.S. Senate during the American Civil War. He worked hard to destroy the Confederacy, free all the slaves, and keep on good terms with Europe. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the freedmen. He fell into a dispute with fellow Republican President Ulysses Grant on the question of taking control of Santo Domingo. Grant's allies stripped Sumner of his power in the Senate in 1871, and he joined the Liberal Republican movement in an effort to defeat Grant's reelection in 1872.

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