On October 27, 1861 Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner wrote to Quaker peace advocate and abolitionist Joshua P. Blanchard.
“My dear Sir, I always read you writings with interest & sympathy. We are both arriving at the same results; for we both hate Slavery & love Peace…”
Sumner was a leading abolitionist, intimate of Lincoln, and radical republican. Before the Civil War, he joined the ranks of abolitionism’s martyrs when he was savagely attacked on the floor of the Senate by Congressman Preston Brooks because of remarks that Sumner made about Brooks’ relative, Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina.
Blanchard was a Boston merchant who was active in the American Peace Society and American Anti-Slavery Society and was a frequent contributor to The Liberator and other publications. During the War of 1812 he was a conscientious objector and was tried in New York. He advocated mass conscientious objection during the Civil War and despite his moral objection to slavery wrote that the South had the legal right to secede.
See this letter, written 151 years ago today . . .