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Stone Collection: Volume 42 - Item 37
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 42

37. Wendell Phillips, Argument of Wendell Phillips, Esq. before the Committee of Federal Relations, (of the Massachusetts Legislature,) in Support of the Petitions for the Removal of Edwin Greely Loring from the Office of Judge of Probate, February 20, 1855 (Boston: J. B. Yerrington & Son, 1855). (43 p.)

Legal argument accusing Judge Loring of having committed a removable offense by denying a fugitive slave his right to due process. The broader issue at hand is opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law, as is apparent from the speaker’s comments toward the end of his presentation. “Every man who touched the Fugitive Slave Act was shrunk from as a leper. Every one who denounced it was pressed to our hearts. Political sins were almost forgotten, if a man would but echo the deep religious conviction of the State on this point. When Charles Sumner, himself a Commissioner, proclaimed beforehand his determination not to execute the Fugitive Slave Act, exclaiming, in Faneuil Hall, ‘I was a man before I was a Commissioner!” all Massachusetts rose up an blessed him, and say, Amen! The other Slave Commissioner who burdens the city with his presence, cannot be said to have lost the respect and confidence of the community, seeing he never had either. But slave-hunting was able to sink even him into a lower depth than he had reached before.”