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In truth, if any seal was needed on the match between Miss Benson and Mr. Garrison, it was to be found in the character and history of her father.1 A retired merchant, whose moderate fortune had been earned in Providence, George Benson could look back on more than half a century of personal and associated opposition to slavery. He had a hand in founding and incorporating (1790) the third of those interesting abolition societies of the first2 years of the Republic, of which the Pennsylvania Society, with Franklin at its head, was the earliest and the longest-lived.3 Of the Providence Society he was latterly made the Secretary; of the Pennsylvania Society promptly an honorary member (October, 1792). The fugitive slave had in him a friend at all hazards; and ‘it deserves to be recorded that while so many worthy persons were beguiled by the cunningly devised scheme of the American Colonization Society, Mr. Benson clearly comprehended its spirit and tendency, and wrote a long and an elaborate document in opposition to it even before the Liberator made its appearance.’ Lundy had been his guest on his lecturing tour in New England in 18284 In May, 1833, against his gentle protest, Mr. Benson was chosen President of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Kenrick, and in February, 1834, was unanimously reelected to the same office. His health was now very feeble, but his sympathy with the cause was undiminished, as with that other cause of which Abolition was but a part—the cause of Peace. He was one

1 See, for details, the “Benson family of Newport, R. I.,” pp. 31-47; Memoir of S. J. May, “ pp. 113-115, and his ” Brief Account of his Ministry, “ p. 47; ” Helen Eliza Garrison: In Memoriam, “ pp. 7-15; Larned's History of Windham County,” 2.473, 475, 484.

2 Ante, p. 89. Constitution of a Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade (Providence, 1789).

3 According to a letter dated April 10, 1835, from Thomas Fowell Buxton to Prof. Elizur Wright, the former had then in his possession ‘the original document by which your first anti-slavery society was formed, and signed by Benjamin Franklin’ (Lib. 5.87).

4 ‘June 9th. Had a large meeting at Brooklyn, Ct., where I tarried at the house of George Benson, a zealous friend of Emancipation as well as of the Peace Society’ ( “Life of B. Lundy,” p. 26).

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