Speech delivered at the First Annual Meeting of the British India
Society, held at Freemason's Hall, London
, July 6, 1840.
In presenting a resolution relating to the effect of the cultivation of cotton in British India
upon slavery in the United States
, Mr. Phillips
It is now ten years since the friends of the negro in America
first put forth the demand for the unconditional abolition of slavery.
They thought they would have nothing more to do than to show that emancipation would be safe, that it would be just; and having proved that, that it would, in such a liberty-loving country, at once be cordially and willingly acceded to in every State from Maine
; but at the end of the long period of ten years they have done almost nothing.
Had it not been for their perseverance and zeal, the more devoted because of the difficulties they had met with, long, long ago they would have been put down, they must have folded their arms in despair, and have given up all hope of bloodless emancipation.
When they heard of the British India
Society and its objects, the news burst upon their ear, and was as startling and as grateful as must have been the first cry of land to Columbus
when he was plunged almost in despair.
[Cheers.] They through it saw again a peaceful hope for the slave, and then every friend of abolition rallied round it, and