Charles Sumner to his Constituents

June 4, 1858

In a letter written while on board the steamer Vanderbilt, Sumner writes that his condition still requires caution.  He indicates that had he realized his wounds would have made it impossible for him to resume his Senate seat for such a long time, he would have resigned.  He did not do so because he was “reluctant to renounce the opportunity of again exposing the hideous barbarism of slavery …. Besides, I was often encouraged to feel that, to every sincere lover of civilization, my vacant chair was a perpetual speech.”