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[130] of the oath still flourishes. The late Senator Tim Campbell, a local politician of some fame in the City of New York, once astounded the legislature by exclaiming during an acrimonious debate, “What is a little thing like the Constitution between friends?” There was a certain elemental truth in this statement. Laws and constitutions are made for men, and not men for laws and constitutions.

It is no wonder that Garrison denounced the legal obstacles which stood in his way. The Abolitionists were ready to revolt, passively, against the government, and the convention in Massachusetts demanded the secession of the North. The Constitution of the United States was a “covenant with death and hell,” and there must be no “Union” with slave-holders. Thoreau issued a personal declaration of independence and seceded by himself from the Union. He filed the following document with the town clerk: “Know all men by these presents that I, Henry Thoreau, do not wish to be regarded as a member of any incorporated society which I have not joined.” 1

And Garrison had as little affection for the government as Thoreau. He would not even use it for his own ends, beyond petitioning it; and I suppose a man might address a petition

1 Essay on the Duty of Civil Disobedience.

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