On Sumner’s death, (and Fillmore’s)

March 18, 1874

“With but two exceptions in our national history — Washington and Lincoln — the death of no public man has been so universally deplored, or has elicited such tokens of public honor and appreciation, as that of Charles Sumner.  Never before has Boston presented such an impressive and august spectacle as at his obsequies, nor Massachusetts sounded through all her towns and villages such a knell of bereavement,  nor the country manifested such heartfelt expressions of grief over a common loss … By a striking coincidence, only five days before Mr. Sumner’s translation the signer of the Fugitive Slave Law, Millard Fillmore, was summoned to the bar of eternal justice.  For that most iniquitous deed he was held in abhorrence by the friends of freedom throughout the world…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI