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[313] Tappan contended not only that such a party had not been contemplated at the foundation of the Constitution of the American Society, but that it would be unconstitutional to form it. Mr. Garrison, without assenting1 to this proposition, agreed to the argument from inexpediency. No such party, certainly, had been considered as a measure near or remote at the inception of the Society:
The anti-slavery enterprise was commenced as one strictly2 moral and religious. It never contemplated the extinction of any religious sect or political party as necessary for its success, because it found in the doctrines of every sect and party enough, if practically carried out, to ensure the overthrow of slavery—the one great object it has ever had in view. It is just as easy to prove that it is the duty of abolitionists to form a new religious sect as to organize a distinct political party. And we ask, suppose such a proposition should be urged upon them, because it is lawful, and because they are pledged to do “all that is lawfully in their power,” what would be the inevitable consequence?

The anti-third-party sentiment in Ohio, the scene of the coming convention, was in accord with that of Lewis Tappan and the Massachusetts Board. ‘Our object,’ protested the Western Reserve Anti-Slavery Convention, in an address on the subject of political action, ‘is not3 the formation of a distinct political party. Such a design we now disclaim, as we have always disclaimed it. We repudiate the name of party.’ At the southern extremity of the State, Gamaliel Bailey, in his Philan-4 thropist, took the same ground, furnishing fresh reasons in addition to those already advanced by Mr. Garrison. The new party, while a minority, could offer no political rewards, and therefore would have to rely upon moral means. But why, he asked, not continue to do so in the old way? And again, touching the marrow of the question, a political party, he said, would necessarily be5 on a narrower basis than Anti-slavery, which is against slavery everywhere, whereas a party could only be against

1 Cf. ante, p. 245.

2 Lib. 9.203.

3 Lib. 9.173.

4 Lib. 9.193.

5 Lib. 9.205.

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