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[439] must hesitate to pronounce it ill-advised, whether Mr. Garrison's object was to cement the philanthropic English alliance, to shame his country anew,1 to prick the guilty or arouse the sleeping consciences of his countrymen. For one thing, Mr. Thompson's tour united and inspired afresh the existing anti-slavery organizations, and gave a great impulse to their multiplication— a service which the cares of the Liberator prevented its editor from performing. That it thus prodigiously intensified the agitation of the slavery question, invested the abolitionists with greater formidableness in the eyes of the South, arrested the attention of Congress as never before, and forced the issue of toleration and freedom of speech, nobody will ever be able to disprove. It precipitated the ‘irrepressible conflict,’ but Mr. Garrison's peculiar policy was to precipitate it. In his rapid series of assaults upon the slave system—the doctrine of immediate emancipation; the organization of antislavery societies, local and national; the discrediting of the Colonization Society, at home and abroad; the annexation, so to speak, before it had cooled off, of the profound anti-slavery sentiment of Great Britain to his struggling enterprise—the invitation to George Thompson to accept a lecturing agency in this country ranks as the last but, strategically, by no means the least.

A friendly critic, however, himself a foreigner,2 has declared that ‘the national spirit (Nationalsinn) of no ’

1 George Ticknor writes to William H. Prescott from Dresden, Feb. 8, 1836: ‘Your remarks about Dr. Channing's book on Slavery bring up the whole subject afresh before me. You cannot think how difficult and often how disagreeable a matter it is to an American travelling in Europe, to answer all the questions that are put to him about it, and hear all the remarks that are made in consequence. . . . One good, and only one that I know of, can come from this state of opinion in Europe: the Southern States must be rebuked by it, and it is better the reproach should come from abroad than from New England and the North’ ( “Life of George Ticknor,” 1.480).

2 Von Holst, “Constitutional History of the United States, from the Administration of Jackson,” pp. 104, 105 (pp. 107, 108, of the German original). The present translation is our own; that of the American edition being a betrayal.

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