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[422] ranks;1 nor the several anniversaries above referred to, and the attendant and subsequent mobs; nor the daily multiplication of anti-slavery societies; nor Judson's retributive defeat as candidate for the2 Connecticut Legislature; nor Charles Stuart's arrival in3 America; nor Gerrit Smith's founding a manual-labor4 school at Peterboroa, for colored males. All these cheering signs of the times, following close upon the organization of the American Anti-Slavery Society, were well calculated to elate the editor of the Liberator. But one is made aware of a special exaltation seeking a vent in verse—mainly in sonnets—of which the last two,5 ‘Helen, if thus we tenderly deplore,’ and ‘Thou mistress of my heart! my chosen one!’ reveal the cause.

Of that touching farewell scene at the African Church6 in Providence in April, 1833, Miss Helen Benson was a witness, and for the first time looked on the speaker whose name was household in her father's family. They met again the next day at her brother's store—Mr. Garrison deeply impressed by her ‘sweet countenance and pleasant conversation’; she, who had found him to surpass even her imagination of him, ‘riveted to the spot,’ lingering long to hear him converse, and bidding him farewell, perhaps forever, with a dull weight upon her mind. In his fancy she accompanied him on his outward voyage and during his sojourn in England, and lightened the tedium of his return. On his subsequent journeys to and from Boston he never omitted an opportunity to visit the Bensons at Brooklyn, and every interview confirmed him in his admiration of her. She was a plump and rosy creature, with blue eyes and fair brown hair, just entering, when first seen by him, her twenty-third year.7

1 First signified by a letter to the corresponding secretary of the Kentucky Colonization Society, dated July 15, 1834. Printed in pamphlet form by Garrison & Knapp in the same year. See, for Birney's general account of his change of mind, p. 76 of the 2d Annual Report of the American A. S. Society, 1835.

2 Lib. 4.63.

3 Lib. 4.59, 79.

4 Lib. 4.27, 38.

5 Lib. 4.59, 63, Garrison's Poems, pp. 42, 43.

6 Ante, p. 338.

7 Helen Eliza Benson was born in Providence, R. I., February 23, 1811. The family removed to Brooklyn, Conn., in 1824.

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