previous next
[406] cause was passed on motion of Wm. Goodell and Thomas Shipley. R. B. Hall, C. W. Denison, and S. J. May were appointed a committee to communicate the sentiments of the Convention to both Lundy and Garrison.

The hour had now arrived,—it was past noon of Thursday, December 5,—when the Committee on the Declaration was ready to report. Dr. Atlee, the chairman, read the result of their labors to the Convention. ‘Never in my life,’ says Mr. May, ‘have I seen a deeper1 impression made by words than was made by that admirable document upon all who were there present. After the voice of the reader had ceased, there was a profound silence for several minutes. Our hearts were in perfect unison. There was but one thought with us all. Either of the members could have told what the whole Convention felt. We felt that the word had just been uttered which would be mighty, through God, to the pulling down of the strongholds of slavery.’

An impulse to proceed at once to the adoption of the Declaration came from one of the weightiest Friends, who feared that much tampering with it would impair its forcibleness. But it seemed to the Convention more becoming to deliberate, and haply to amend and improve its fundamental utterance. The criticisms were mostly verbal.

Thomas Shipley, that good man and faithful friend of the2 slave, objected to the word “man-stealer” as applied indiscriminately to the slaveholders. To this it was replied that the term was an eminently proper one; that it described the exact relation between the master and the slave. It was urged that things should be called by their right names; that Luther had said he would “call a hoe a hoe, and a spade a spade.” Besides, it was added, it was a Scriptural phrase, and the chapter and verse were quoted in which it was used. This mollified Friend Shipley, though it did not set his mind entirely at rest. At length, some one suggested that the term should be retained, but that it should be preceded by the words, “according to Scripture.” This met the difficulty, and the paper was amended so as to read: “Every American citizen who holds [retains] a human ”

1 Recollections, p. 88.

2 J. M. McKim, Proceedings at 3d Decade, p. 35.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: