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[471]

The news from Boston respecting the abolition movements1 of last week is not very agreeable. You have seen, I suppose, the doings of the convention that formed a society called the American Union, and the course pursued toward them by Garrison. Well, at the close of the convention, Arthur Tappan appeared in Boston, and spent nearly a day or more. The evening before his departure, he met with a large number of the anti-slavery men of that city, and put to them several queries: first, if it was the intention of the Anti-Slavery Society to carry on a war of extermination against the Colonization Society; to which they all answered in the affirmative. Secondly, Does the Anti-Slavery Society mean to endorse and approve of all the sentiments put forth by Garrison? They all assented to the reply of Mr. Sewall, that they did approve of the principles advanced by Mr. Garrison heretofore; that Garrison acted on his own responsibility; that by that they did not feel bound to sustain him in anything he might hereafter do, without they approved of it. He then wished to know what they meant by political action. They explained in reply what they meant—in substance, the same as the Liberator.

At this stage of the interview, Mr. Garrison, who had till then sat in profound silence, rose, and said he felt very much embarrassed. “There,” said he, “is the man who relieved me from a prison, and who has heaped upon me innumerable favors.” He then went on to state his view of duty in relation to the above queries, and what he thought of the American Union; and asked, with considerable emotion, whether he should compromise principle and sacrifice what he believed to be his duty to his colored brethren, to gratify that man to whom he felt under so many and great obligations. He said, after a pause, “No, I cannot,” and immediately left the room.

The conference continued till near midnight, and then broke up, without Mr. Tappan's fully explaining himself, except that he said he did not mean to lower the standard of his principles on this subject, but that he thought we might unite with the Union men so far as they felt disposed. He left Boston the next morning for New Haven, where he penned the letter to the Boston Recorder which you can see by referring to that paper of2 the 23d inst. I give you these facts as I received them from Mr. Prentice, who spent several days in Boston last week. I believe I have got the substance correct. A breach is confidently anticipated by the Boston abolitionists. Several persons have written Mr. Tappan from different places, I understand, enquiring

1 Ms. Providence, Jan. 27, 1835.

2 Also, Lib. 5.19.

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