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Sumner, Charles (1811-1874) to [Edward W.] Kinsley

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02095.16 Author/Creator: Sumner, Charles (1811-1874) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 10 April 1872 Pagination: 4 p. ; 20.5 x 12.8 cm.

Marked private. Written from the Senate Chamber. Complains about the Boston press being hard on him, criticizes President Ulysses S. Grant's attempt to annex Santo Domingo, and rails against Grant's leadership in general: "I did not write to promote any personal interest. I have none. I am a candidate for nothing. I desire no office. But I am not insensible to misrepresentat[ion] & injustice. Never was the Boston press so hardened & her[2]metically sealed against even Fair Play where I am concerned. Even [Slack] cannot do justice to me.This madness for Grant upsets every thing. All this is laying up mortificat[ion] & regret for the future. Grant is unfit, this will be conferred in history. I have no personal griefs- to influence me by a hairs breadth. I know my sincerity & the Sense [3] of duty which governs me. His treatment of the Black Republic deserves impeacht & it shews an insensibility to law & constitut[ion]; so also the violation of our neutral duties & an act of Congress in the sale of arms to belligerent France. Then comes his indifference to duty making his office a plaything & a perquisite- all of which must be [met] if the Republicans are guilty of the suicidal folly of renominating him. The French arms inquiry has already sustained me in every essential point...but the Boston Press will not let this be known. I claim very little; but I have done the State some service, & I am trying to do more now."

This letter was likely written to Edward W. Kinsley, a Boston businessman and abolitionist. In 1870, President Grant strongly urged annexation of the Dominican Republic. Sumner opposed the project on many grounds, including that it was not the wish of the "black republic" and that the negotiation had been irregularly conducted with Buenaventura Báez, President of the Dominican Republic.

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