part, it is difficult to discover the extent of our indebtedness, whether, for example, to Charlemagne or to the scholars who have revealed him. Yet everything we know and live by is due to the mind of someone in the past: its formulation, at any rate, was the act of a man.
These same illuminations of history that we have been speaking of were due to the enlightenment of individual minds.
Our Revolution of 1776 was made interesting by its state papers, and to-day our knowledge of that time is a knowledge of the minds of Washington
, and the other patriots.
Now the light by which we to-day see the Anti-slavery period was first shed on it by one man-William Lloyd Garrison
That slavery was wrong, everyone knew in his heart.
The point seen by Garrison
was the practical point that the slavery issue was the only thing worth thinking about, and that all else must be postponed till slavery was abolished.
He saw this by a God-given act of vision in 1829; and it was true.
The history of the spread of this idea of Garrison
's is the history of the United States
during the thirty years after it loomed in his mind.
From the day Garrison
established the Liberator