Chapter 6: Retrospect and prospect.
It seems to be always the case in human affairs that conditions grow better and worse at the same time.
An evil reaches its climax at the very moment that the corrective reform is making a hidden march upon it from an unexpected quarter.
And so this epoch of crisis in mob violence against Abolition must be recorded as the epoch during which Abolition passed from the stage of moral agitation into the arena of practical politics.
The Anti-slavery men had begun by heckling the clergy; they divided up the country into districts and sent their dreaded emissaries with lists of questions which the parsons had to answer.
This process rent the churches, or rather it revealed the fact that the churches were Pro-slavery.
In like manner the questioning of all candidates for office was taken up by the Abolitionists.
In the year 1840 there were two thousand Anti-slavery societies with a membership of