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Chapter 13: Marriage.—‘shall the Liberator die?’—George Thompson.—1834.

Garrison marries Helen Eliza Benson, of Brooklyn, Conn., after the Liberator has been barely saved from going under. In the same month, September, George Thompson arrives from England, come at Garrison's request to aid the anti-slavery agitation in this country. Foreign interference is resented, and he is mobbed in sundry parts of New England.


‘Freedom's Cottage, Roxbury,’ is the superscription of a letter addressed on September 12, 1834, by Mr. Garrison to George W. Benson, of Providence, and which began as follows:

A year ago, I was just about half-way across the Atlantic,1 between England and the United States, as little dreaming that I should be a married man within twelve months as that I should occupy the chair of his holiness the Pope. At that time I knew nothing of Freedom's Cottage, and my acquaintance with Helen was too slight to authorize me to hope that a union for life might take place between us.

It has been the most eventful year in my history. I have been the occasion of many uproars, and a continual disturber of the public peace. As soon as I landed, I turned the city of New York upside down. Five thousand people turned out to see me tarred and feathered, but were disappointed. There was also a small hubbub in Boston on my arrival. The excitement passed away, but invective and calumny still followed me. By dint of some industry and much persuasion, I succeeded in inducing the abolitionists in New York to join our little band in Boston, in calling a National Convention at Philadelphia. We met—and such a body of men, for zeal, firmness, integrity, benevolence and moral greatness, the world has rarely seen in a single assembly. Inscribed upon a Declaration which it was my exalted privilege to write, their names can perish only with the knowledge of the history of our times. A National Anti-Slavery Society was formed, which astonished the country by its novelty, and awed it by its boldness. In five months its first annual meeting was held in the identical city in which,2

1 Ms.

2 May, 1834.

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