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put themselves in the condition of armed assistance to the Government. For this letter I was severely censured as an alarmist. The most sagacious men did not give up the hope of reconciliation. Mr. Lincoln's inaugural, conceived in the best Christian spirit, was easily construed into a prayer for compromise; and one of the most thoughtful speeches of Judge Douglas, in which he contended that the difficulties could be amicably arranged, was inspired by that inaugural. In recurring to my letters of March, 1861, I find myself busily seconding these efforts. The firing upon Sumter, on the 14th of April, however, dissipated all these expectations, and men began to look for the worst. From that day Baltimore city became an obedient echo of the agitation throughout the South. Lying directly across the great highway leading to Washington, it was soon evident that no troops could be sent to the defense of the latter without danger. But even then few persons were willing to admit that the pro-slavery mob of the city would dare to attack the soldiers on their way to the immediate scene of peril. Among these was Charles Sumner, Senator in Congress from Massachusetts, who relates an incident that typifies the prevailing sentiment in Baltimore, and his own characteristic firmness and self-reliance. At noon on the 18th of April, 1861, he bought a ticket at Washington for Baltimore, and arriving there, entered his full name on the books of Barnum's Hotel. Preferring a quiet hour, he crossed the street and ordered an early dinner at Guy's Monument House, always famous for its good fare, and a favorite resort of the celebrities when they visited the Monumental City. Dinner over, he called on a New England friend and resident, remained to tea, and then returned through a by-street to Barnum's, entering at the side door. In the hall he met a gentleman who seemed much excited by his presence, and anxious for his safety. Conscious of his own rectitude, he walked up to the office and demanded the key of his room, to which he was soon followed by the proprietor of
SENATOR SUMNER IN BALTIMORE.
the hotel, the late lamented Zenos Barnum, and another gentleman. There he was informed that the fact of his being in the house had obtained publicity, and that a large and angry crowd was outside threatening violence and demanding his life. His answer was that he felt perfectly secure as long as he was under that roof, and that he would hold the proprietors responsible for any outrage that might be attempted upon him. Mr. Barnum did not conceal his apprehensions alike for his great establishment and for the safety of his guest. Under his advice Mr. Sumner consented to remove to a more inaccessible room, where he remained for some time, discussing the situation of the country with his kind-hearted and generous host. He could distinctly hear the threatenings of the surging mob outside, and he felt that there was little doubt that nothing was needed but the opportunity to stimulate them to the wildest violence. Baltimore was completely in the hands of reckless and blood-thirsty men. They thought the Government powerless. Freedom of opinion was only tolerated on one side. The newspapers, with the exception of the Baltimore American, added fuel to the fire, and Union men were constrained to silence to save person and property. The nation's capital was almost entirely unprotected, and, although the North was at last rousing to a full sense of the public peril, as yet no troops had gone forward in response to the call of the Executive. Acting under the advice and the exhortations of Mr. Barnum, Mr. Sumner rose early on the morning of the 19th, and in a private carriage crossed the then quiet streets of the city to the Philadelphia station, where he entered the first train eastward, reaching Philadelphia in a few hours. On the way, and I think at Havre-de-Grace, he met the men of the 6th Massachusetts going South, and saw their happy faces and heard their joyous shouts. When he got to Philadelphia he found the streets crowded with people discussing the crisis. To get exact information, he called at the office of The Press, 413 Chestnut Street, near Fourth, where he met Mr. J. G. L. Brown, then as now my business manager, and learned for the first time the particulars of the attack upon the 6th Massachusetts on their way through Baltimore. Had he taken the train of the 19th instead of the 18th, he would undoubtedly have been among the first victims of the rebellion, and possibly Barnum's Hotel would have fallen before the infuriated fiends who were seeking for objects upon which to wreak their vengeance and their ingratitude. Zenos Barnum is dead, but I can not withhold a tribute to his
а memory, nor refuse to recall the many happy hours I spent in his society, when he, McLaughlin, and Dorsey had charge of the old hotel, still one of the best in the South. In the days before the war, when politics were not divided or disturbed by slavery, it was very agreeable to Northern men to stop over and enjoy its superior comforts, spacious rooms, unrivaled table, and really refined society. Every such visit was followed by an entertainment at Guy's Monumental House, where the men of both parties met in friendly consultation, and where Whigs and Democrats canvassed candidates, prepared platforms, and laid plans for future campaigns.
Baltimore was for many years the chosen spot for political national conventions, and Barnum's and Guy's the head-quarters of the respective factions. It was in Baltimore that Martin Van Buren was nominated and renominated. It was in Baltimore where Joseph Holt, of Kentucky, thrilled the nation by an electric speech in vindication of Richard M. Johnson, in 1840. It was in Baltimore that James K. Polk was nominated, in 1844. It was in Baltimore, in 1848, that Lewis Cass was nominated. It was in Baltimore that Franklin Pierce was nominated by the Democrats, and Winfield Scott by the Whigs, in 1852. It was in Baltimore that John C. Breckinridge was presented as the candidate of the slaveholders, and Stephen A. Douglas ratified as the candidate of the Independent Democracy, in 1860. It
was in Baltimore that Abraham Lincoln was renominated for President in 1864, with Andrew Johnson as Vice-President.
Perhaps it was the meeting of these quadrennial assemblages, their exciting debates, and the extreme personal animosities to which they gave rise, which made Baltimore the seat and centre of such persistent opposition to the Government when the war finally took place. In all these conflicts Zenos Barnum was never a partisan. He was the prince of good fellows, warmly welcoming his friends and making no enemies. I suspect he was an Old-line Whig in the days of Webster and Clay, but when the South resolved to take issue with the North, in 1861, it was natural that he should sympathize with his own people; yet, if he did, it was always with due regard to the feelings of others. As the war progressed, Baltimore became more than ever an important point to the Government, and the responsibilities of a hotel-keeper like Barnum, in the midst of an inflammable community, were painfully increased. On one occasion the general in command of the Department closed the hotel, and Mr. Barnum came to Washington to ask me to intercede for him, which I did promptly and effectively, by appealing to President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton. After the doors of the old hotel were reopened, I received from my good friend a letter abounding in grateful expressions. He regarded it as an unusual obligation, and I revive the circumstance now, not because I had a hand in relieving an innocent man from the follies of one or two of his youthful employés, but to show that the humane and gentle spirit which induced him to interfere to protect Charles Sumner from the cruelty of the proslavery mob was not forgotten in darker or more exciting times, either by himself or by the men in command of the Government at Washington.
[August 21, 1871.]
STEAM is your real revolutionist. It has altered the physical geography of the civilized world. It has bridged the seas, partially annihilated space and time, opened new highways into and redeemed the wilderness, neighbored far-distant States, converted old cities into new ones, changed deserted villages into thriving towns, leveled the forest, crossed chasms and connected mountains, and elevated skilled labor into a science. Imagination is baffled by its present, and vainly attempts to anticipate its future triumphs. But in nothing has steam so transformed the face of the country and the habits of the people as in the substitution of railroads for turnpikes. While I was preparing my last sketch, in which I recalled the genial Zenos Barnum, of Baltimore, to the thousands who knew him in bygone days, the famous hotel and inn keepers of the past rose before me, with the stage-coach, the Conestoga wagon, and the ancient system of land transportation. Where are they now? Who that has passed his half-century does not remember them with pleasure? In my young manhood their decay had begun, but it requires no strong effort to revive the long train of canvas-covered wagons passing through my native town on their way to and from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, carrying the produce of the West in exchange for the merchandise of the East, with their hale, rough drivers, and their long leather whips, the coronal of bells on their horses, and their stoppage at the old taverns for food and water. They were to the more ostentatious stage-coach what the baggage train is to the lightning express of the present day.
And when these coaches dashed into Lancaster, and rushed down the streets, the driver winding a merry air on his horn, accompanied by the crack of his long whip, women, children, and dogs rushed out to greet the meteoric chariot as it drew up