that, in the sight of God, (and it is of very little consequence how we stand in the sight of men), there is not more guilt attaching to the people of the free States from the continuance of slavery, than in those of the slave States.
At least, I am ready to affirm, upon your authority, that New England is as really a slaveholding section of the republic as Georgia or South Carolina!
To Peleg Sprague
's taunt that the abolitionists affirmed ‘we must do right, regardless of consequences,’ but carefully avoided going to the South
where they should most desire to make converts, Mr. Garrison
Sir, there may be wit, but there is little truth, in the above1 extract.
To do right is always to regard consequences, both to ourselves and to others.
Since you are pleased to banter us for prosecuting our labors at the North, I will take for my text the interrogation that is so constantly, either by ignorance or impudence, propounded to us. It is this:
Why don't you go to the South?
I proudly answer—Not because we are afraid to go there.
Not because we are not prepared for danger, persecution, outrage, and death.
Not because the dungeon, or the halter, the rack or the stake, appals us. Yet the question is sneeringly put, and sometimes with murder evidently in the heart, as if we were deficient in fortitude and courage, with all our seeming boldness.
“O, forsooth, it is very safe and convenient for Mr. Garrison to denounce the holders of slaves a thousand miles off, in Boston.
A great deal of heroism is required to do this!
But he is very careful to keep out of the slave States.
Why don't he go to the South?
Let him go there and denounce slavery, and we will then believe that he is sincere.”
This is the language which is constantly uttered—by men, too, permit me to say, who have never peculiarly signalized themselves in any hazardous enterprise, whether moral or physical.
I am vain enough to believe that those who bring this charge of cowardice against me, do not doubt my readiness to go wherever duty requires.
Will they give me no credit for having published an anti-slavery publication in Maryland, as long as it could be sustained by meagre patronage?—a publication in which my denunciations of slavery and slaveholders were as severe as any to be found in the Liberator. Did my spirit quail under my imprisonment in a Southern cell, for