if he meant the sentiments contained in that letter should be received as coming from an individual, or the President of the American A. S. Society. . . . I sincerely hope the difficulty will be healed, if it can be, without yielding principle.Mr. Tappan's letter to the Recorder, which was eagerly copied by pro-slavery papers, expressed the hope that the1 Union and the anti-slavery societies could work in harmony, as he believed there already existed a substantial agreement in principle. He defended Mr. Garrison against the charge of atheism;2 said his friends were not insensible of his faults, of which ‘the most prominent is the severe and denunciatory language with which he often assails his opponents and repels their attacks,’ but hoped ‘to see this corrected, and that argument will take the place of invective’; and declared that much was due him for his noble and disinterested efforts. Mr. Garrison replied by denying that the leading3 anti-slavery men were in sympathy or connection with the new organization: it was the laughing-stock of abolitionists. He took the liberty of appending a private letter from Lewis Tappan, in reference to ‘the late convention in Boston to form what I should call an Anti-Garrison Society.’4 To the Liberator's editorial comments on its proceedings this writer gave his approval: ‘They will meet a hearty response from every truehearted emancipationist in the land. The times require decision and courage, and I feel thankful to God for your steadfastness at the post which His providence has assigned you. Go on and prosper, thou friend of the oppressed! The Lord will be thy shield and buckler.’5
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4 Amasa Walker called this hitting the nail on the head (Lib. 5.27). The promoters of the American Union, said a writer in the N. E. Spectator, ‘hate Garrisonism more than they detest slavery’ (Lib. 5.26). And a correspondent of the Liberator described the proceedings of the convention as ‘thoroughly imbued with the “Hang Garrison” spirit’ (Lib. 5.22).
5 Even more plainly spoke Lewis Tappan in a letter pardoning Mr. Garrison for having placed him before the public as antagonistic to his brother (Ms. Feb. 5, 1835): ‘When I first heard of the American Union, I looked upon it as a device of Satan, using many good men to effect his nefarious purposes.’
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