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[15]

Chapter 2: the Abolitionists — who and what they were

In selecting those who are to receive its remembrance and its honors, the world has always given its preference to such as have battled for freedom. It may have been with the sword; it may have been with the pen; or it may have been with a tongue that was inflamed with holy rage against tyranny and wrong; but whatever the instrumentality employed; in whatever field the battle has been fought; and by whatsoever race, or class, or kind of men; the champions of human liberty have been hailed as the bravest of the brave and the most worthy to receive the acclaims of their fellows.

Now, if that estimate be not altogether inaccurate, what place in the scale of renown must be assigned to those pioneers in the successful movement against African slavery in this country who have commonly been known as “Abolitionists” --a name first given in derision by their enemies? It should, in the opinion of the writer hereof, be the very highest. He is not afraid to challenge the whole record of human achievements by great and good men (always save and except that which is credited to the Saviour of mankind) for exhibitions of heroism superior to theirs. Nay, when it is remembered that mainly

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