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[372] questions to Cresson which Wilberforce had dictated and which the speaker now read. Nor, in spite of his blindness, which compelled him to take things on trust, was it unlikely that Thomas Clarkson would soon be found among the enemies of the Colonization agent.

Mr. Garrison's proper theme, however, was ‘a delineation of American slavery and the American Colonization Society,’ and to this the remainder of his speech was devoted. It is only needful here to record some of its incidental features, beginning with this arraignment of his guilty country:

I cherish as strong a love for the land of my nativity as1 any man living. I am proud of her civil, political and religious institutions—of her high advancement in science, literature and the arts—of her general prosperity and grandeur. But I have some solemn accusations to bring against her.

I accuse her of insulting the majesty of Heaven with the grossest mockery that was ever exhibited to man—inasmuch as, professing to be the land of the free and the asylum of the oppressed, she falsifies every profession, and shamelessly plays the tyrant.

I accuse her, before all nations, of giving an open, deliberate and base denial to her boasted Declaration, that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I accuse her of disfranchising and proscribing nearly half a million free people of color; acknowledging them not as countrymen, and scarcely as rational beings, and seeking to drag them thousands of miles across the ocean on a plea of benevolence, when they ought to enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities of American citizens.

I accuse her of suffering a large portion of her population to be lacerated, starved and plundered, without law and without justification, at the will of petty tyrants.

I accuse her of trafficking in the bodies and souls of men, in a domestic way, to an extent nearly equal to the foreign slave trade; which traffic is equally atrocious with the foreign, and almost as cruel in its operations.

I accuse her of legalizing, on an enormous scale, licentiousness, fraud, cruelty and murder.

1 Lib. 3.178.

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