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[473]

Arthur Tappan's aberration, however, was but momentary. Within a fortnight after his return from1 Boston he subscribed five thousand dollars for the year to the funds of the American Anti-Slavery Society, and waited for developments as to the course of the American Union, which lost no time in making itself ridiculous.2 It held one meeting, at which Leonard Bacon proposed3 getting statistics of the colored population, and information about the results of emancipation in other countries; and at which the constitution adopted the same day was amended by leaving the ‘abandonment’ of slavery absolutely indeterminate. On the following day it would not4 listen to the statistics offered to be read, and eliminated the Unitarians from the board of officers. Some weeks later it brought out its ‘plans,’ which included the5 incidental abolition of slavery, and much of Mr. Garrison's thunder,—such as the improvement of the colored people in the large cities and towns by religious and secular instruction, furthering their employment, and inculcating saving habits; and the higher education of the more promising young men, to fit them to civilize the West Indies; but above all, statistics, statistics, as the basis of action by the Union! It professed no hostility to slaveholders, nor any opposition to the American Anti-Slavery or American Colonization Society. It sought to gather — in the clergy and churches and individuals who could cooperate with neither organization. With much difficulty it formed one or two microscopic auxiliary6 societies; in July despatched Prof. E. A. Andrews7 on a

1 Ms. Feb. 5, 1835, Lewis Tappan to W. L. G.

2Arthur Tappan is still firmly with us. He keeps very still respecting the American Union, but the impression is that he regrets the course he pursued in regard to it. He has given the American A. S. Society $1000 this month’ (Ms. New York, Feb. 25, 1835, Henry E. Benson to his brother George). On March 16, Mr. Garrison wrote from New York to his wife, of an Executive-Committee meeting on March 14: ‘Arthur Tappan was in the chair, and manifested a truly noble spirit. When the American Union caught him, “it caught a Tartar,” and it will be glad to get rid of him.’

3 Lib. 5.19.

4 Lib. 5.19.

5 Lib. 5.49.

6 Lib. 5.55, 63, 99.

7 Author of the well-known Latin Grammar and Lexicon. See his apologetic “Slavery and the Domestic Slave Trade in the United States: In a series of letters addressed to the Executive Committee of the American Union for the Relief and Improvement of the Colored Race” (Boston, 1836); and Lib. 6.38, where, under the caption, ‘A Pernicious Publication,’ Mr. Garrison banteringly reviews the book. Andrews's account of his interview with Arthur Tappan in New York shows how completely the American Union had lost its hold on the latter. Another unobjectionable publication was “Letters from the West Indies,” by Prof. Sylvester Hovey (Lib. 8.87).

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