Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was an American politician and statesman. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction along with Thaddeus Stevens. He jumped from party to party, gaining fame as a Republican. One of the most learned statesmen of the era, he specialized in foreign affairs, working closely with Abraham Lincoln. He devoted his enormous energies to the destruction of what he considered the Slave Power, that is the conspiracy of slave owners to seize control of the federal government and block the progress of liberty. Sumner was a leading proponent of abolishing slavery to weaken the Confederacy. The annexation of Texas - a new slave-holding state - in 1845 pushed Sumner into taking an active role in the anti-slavery movement. He helped organize an alliance between Democrats and the newly created Free-Soil Party in Massachusetts in 1849. His works include The Duel Between France and Germany (1870), Works (1870) and The Best Portraits in Engraving (1875).