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[30]

Chapter 4: pro-slavery prejudice

The intensity-perhaps density would be a better word in this connection — of the prejudice that confronted the Abolitionists when they entered on their work is not describable by any expressions we have in our language. In the South it was soon settled that no man could preach Anti-Slaveryism and live. In the North the conditions were not much better. Every man and woman-because the muster-roll of the Abolition propagandists was recruited from both sexes-carried on the work at the hazard of his or her life. Sneers, scowls, hootings, curses, and rough handling were absolutely certain. One incident throws light on the state of feeling at that time.

When Pennsylvania Hall, which the Abolitionists of Philadelphia-largely Quakers-had erected for a meeting place at a cost of forty thousand dollars was fired by a mob, the fire department of that city threw water on surrounding property, but not one drop would it contribute to save the property of the Abolitionists.

Why was it that this devotion to slavery and this hostility to its opposers prevailed in the non-slaveholding States? They had not always existed. Indeed,

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