‘I believe there is no man, however indifferent about the interests of this country, who will not readily confess that the situation to which we are now reduced, whether it has arisen from the violence of faction, or from an aberration of government, justifies the most melancholy apprehensions, and calls for the exertion of whatever wisdom or vigor is left among us.’
Some lines in blank verse, ‘To the American People
,’ signed ‘A. O. B.,’ expressed in more impassioned phrase the editor's grief at the national disgrace.
Where is your wisdom fled—or sense of shame—1
Or boasted virtue, strong in every siege?
Doth valor teach the head or mend the heart?
Is ignorance to legislate and rule,
And crime but lead the way to high renown?
he concluded with,
oh my country!
I could weep,
In agony of soul, hot, bloody tears
To wipe away the blemish on your name,
Fix'd foully by one fatal precedent.
The slavery question engaged his attention from the outset, and the flame kindled by Lundy
now burned without cessation, and with ever-increasing intensity.
In the very first number of the Journal
, Mr. Garrison
proposed the formation of anti-slavery societies in Vermont
, and spoke of the ‘importance of petitioning Congress this session, in conjunction with our Southern brethren, for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.’
A few weeks later he recommended ‘the immediate 2
formation of an anti-slavery society in every considerable town in the twelve free States, for the purpose (among other things) of providing means for the transportation of such liberated slaves and free colored people as are desirous of emigrating to a more genial clime’; arguing that ‘if the Southern
slaveholders will consent to part with their “property” without recompense, every other section of the Union
is bound, by the principles of equity and interest, to sacrifice some money for the removal of the ’