His signature and inscription to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts:
[To] Charles Sumner Esq., With the best respects of Edward Everett.
Conservation framed with an original, period engraving of Everett.
Edward Everett (1794-1865), an American
statesman, was considered one of the greatest orators of his day. He
was the chief speaker in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 19, 1863,
the day that Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address.
Everett was impressed by Lincoln's logic and ability to say so much
in so few words. He declared Lincoln's speech would live for
generations. Everett was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. At age 19
he became a Unitarian minister, but resigned from his first pastorate
in less than two years. He studied in Germany and England and
returned to become professor of Greek literature at Harvard College.
For four years, he was editor of the North American Review.
Then he served five terms in Congress. He was governor of
Massachusetts from 1836 to 1840, U.S. minister to Britain from 1841
to 1845, and president of Harvard from 1846 to 1849. In 1852, he
became Secretary of State in President Millard Fillmore's Cabinet.
Soon after, Everett was elected U.S. senator from Massachusetts. He
resigned from his Senate post in 1854. In 1860, he was the
Constitutional Union Party's candidate for Vice President.
Charles Sumner (1911-1874) was an abolitionist
Republican senator from Massachusetts. He became one of the most
hated men in the South. In 1856 he was assaulted by a cane-wielding
South Carolina congressman. A lawyer and professor, Sumner had
vehemently opposed the war with Mexico and the resultant expansion of
slavery before being sent to the senate in 1851. He quickly became
known for his extreme rhetoric against the South and her
representatives. One particularly strong attack, on May 19 and 20,
1856, against South Carolina Senator Andrew P. Butler, resulted two
days later in a severe caning at the hands of Representative Preston
Brooks. Temporarily blinded at the first blow, he was driven under
his desk while the blows kept coming. In an effort to rise, Sumner
actually ripped the desk from the floor. The attack was finally
broken up by other congressmen, and Sumner was taken from the chamber
bleeding. Brooks' cane was also shattered. Sumner's condition was a
matter of dispute for years, and the true extent of his injuries will
never be known. Southerners believed they were exaggerated by the
North for political advantage. But the fact remains that, despite
short periods at the Capitol, he sought treatment at home and abroad
and did not return to the Senate on a regular basis until December
1859. During his absence he had been reelected without campaigning.
He blocked efforts to negotiate following the secession of the
Southern states and became a Lincoln supporter but opposed his
lenient plans for Reconstruction. He remained in the Senate during
the Civil War as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and a
Radical Republican until his death in office. (adapted slightly from
S. Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Union,
11 3/4" w x 14 3/4" h
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Historical Figures - Civil War
- Edward Everett