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[99]

I am now strengthened in the hope, that I shall not only1 find a valuable coadjutor in the person of my friend Garrison, but that the “ice is broken” in the hitherto frozen—no, no, not frozen—cool regions of the North. (Ask pardon for the metaphor—but, really, you have all been “cool,” on the subject of slavery, too long.) I should have been pleased to learn that you had fairly and formally organized a society; but you have the substance, and I heartily rejoice. Your “committee” will form a nucleus, around which the elements of a society will congregate; and in process of time you will, if you remain active—mark that—imperceptibly, as it were, fall into as regular a plan of organization as can be desired. When you have the substance, it is useless to contend for, or even too earnestly desire, the shadow. But, I repeat—for it is important that it be indelibly impressed on the memory—that everything depends on activity and steady perseverance. And you will also find, that the burthen will mostly fall on the shoulders of a few. A few will have the labor to perform, and the honor to share. . . .

I hope you will persevere in your work, steadily, but not make too large calculations on what may be accomplished in a particularly stated time. You have now girded on a holy warfare. Lay not down your weapons until honorable terms are obtained. The God of hosts is on your side. Steadiness and faithfulness will, most assuredly, overcome every obstacle.

During the month of August, 1828, Mr. Garrison had had a controversy with John Neal of Portland, then editing a newspaper called the Yankee, in that city. He had frequently, in the Philanthropist, ridiculed Neal's egotistical and bombastic style of writing, and an assertion of Neal's that his retirement from that journal was compulsory, because of his attacks on himself, aroused all the hot blood in the young man's veins, and caused him to send a wrathful epistle of denial, which was printed in the Yankee. After refuting the assertion,2 he demanded a retraction,—‘that the public mind may be disabused of the untruth, that I was ejected from office. It is important to me that this correction be made. My reputation, trifling as it is, is worth something; if I ’

1 Jour. of the Times, Oct. 10, 1828.

2 August 13, 1828.

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