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Chapter 6: Anti-slavery pioneers

The early Abolitionists were denounced as fanatics, or “fan-a-tics,” according to the pronunciation of some of their detractors. They were treated as if partially insane. The writer when a boy attended the trial of a cause between two neighbors in a court of low grade. It was what was called a “cow case,” and involved property worth, perhaps, as much as twenty dollars. One of the witnesses on the stand was asked by a lawyer, who wanted to embarrass or discredit him, if he were not an Abolitionist. Objection came from the other side on the ground that the inquiry was irrelevant; but the learned justice-of-the-peace who presided held that, as it related to the witness's sanity, and that would affect his credibility, the question was admissible. It is not, perhaps, so very strange that in those days, in view of the disreputableness of those whose cause they espoused, and the apparently utter hopelessness of anything ever coming out of it, the supporters of Anti-Slaveryism should be suspected of being “out of their heads.”

Although Don Quixote, who, according to the veracious Cervantes, set out with his unaided strong right arm to upset things, including wind-mills and

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