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To Charles Sumner.

WASHINGTON, March 24, 1850.

MY DEAR SUMNER: I thank you for your letter. It is not my purpose to go at all fully into the various questions presented by Mr. Clay's resolution now before the Senate. I limit myself to three propositions, mainly; 1. That the original policy of the Government was that of slavery restriction. 2. That under the Constitution Congress cannot establish or maintain slavery in territories. 3. That the original policy of the Government has been subverted and the Constitution violated for the extension of slavery, and the establishment of the political supremacy of the Slave Power. Having discussed these points I shall have no time to go into a full examination of the proposition in detail now before the Senate.
How I wish that someone occupied my place more able to satisfy the expectations of the Friends of Freedom, and the obligation of the Crisis! Never in my life did I so painfully feel my incompetency as now. May God help me.
I thank you for your suggestion, and promised documents. They have not yet come to hand.
Very faithfully yours,


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Annual Report of the American Historical Association; Volume II; Washington, Government Printing Office; 1903

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