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[400] agreed that the composition of the document should be given to him who had called the Convention into being.

‘We left him,’ says Mr. May,

about ten o'clock, agreeing1 to come to him again next morning at eight. On our return at the appointed hour, we found him, with shutters closed and lamps burning, just writing the last paragraph of his admirable draft. We read it over together two or three times very carefully, agreed to a few slight alterations, and at nine went to lay it before the whole committee. By them it was subjected to the severest examination. Nearly three hours of intense application were given to it, notwithstanding repeated and urgent calls from the Convention for our report. All the while, Mr. Garrison evinced the most unruffled patience. Very few alterations were proposed, and only once did he offer any resistance. He had introduced into his draft more than a page in condemnation of the Colonization scheme. It was the concentrated essence of all he had written or thought upon that egregious imposition. It was as finished and powerful in expression as any part of that Magna Charta. We commented upon it as a whole and in all its parts. We writhed somewhat under its severity, but were obliged to acknowledge its exact, its singular justice, and were about to accept it, when I ventured to propose that all of it, excepting only the first comprehensive paragraph, be stricken from the document, giving as my reason for this large erasure that the Colonization Society could not long survive the deadly blows it had received; and it was not worth while for us to perpetuate the memory of it in this Declaration of the Rights of Man, which will live a perpetual, impressive protest against every form of oppression, until it shall have given place to that brotherly kindness which all the children of the common Father owe to one another. At first, Mr. Garrison rose up to save a portion of his work that had doubtless cost him as much mental effort as any other part of it. But so soon as he found that a large majority of the committee concurred in favor of the erasure, he submitted very graciously, saying, “Brethren, it is your report, not mine.”

‘With this exception, the alterations and amendments which were made, after all our criticisms, were surprisingly few and unessential; and we cordially agreed to report it to the Convention very much as it came from his pen.’

All this time the Convention was speeding the hours as2 best it might with speeches and resolves. After an opening

1 Recollections, p. 86.

2 Lib. 3.202.

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