in Congress, while the slave States had 90 (i. e
., about 25 more than they were fairly entitled to); and a similar advantage was of course gained in the Electoral College, insuring, with the votes easily obtained from three or four Northern States, the election of Presidents
subservient to the Slave Power
Recognizing the force of these Constitutional provisions while they remained unrepealed, he declared a dissolution of the Union
, if that should prove the only way of escape from such sinful obligations, infinitely preferable to continued complicity.
‘I acknowledge that immediate and complete 1
emancipation is not desirable,’ he went on to say. ‘No rational man cherishes so wild a vision.’
But when he came to reflect upon the matter, he saw that his feet were on the sand, and not on the solid rock, so long as he granted slavery the right to exist for a single moment; that if human beings could be justly held in bondage one hour,2
they could be for days and weeks and years, and so on, indefinitely, from generation to generation; and that the only way to deal with the system was to lay the axe at the root of the tree and demand immediate and Uncondi-Tional emancipation.
This conviction forced itself upon his mind during the five or six weeks which elapsed between the delivery of his address and his departure for Baltimore
, and when, after a fifteen days voyage by sea, he reached the latter city, some time in August, 1829, and presented himself to Lundy
, he lost no time in acquainting his partner with the change in his views, and the necessity he should be under, if he joined him, of preaching the gospel accordingly.
‘Well,’ said Lundy
, who was not prepared to accept the new doctrine himself, ‘thee may put thy initials to thy articles, and I will put my initials to mine, and each will bear his own burden.’
‘Very good,’ responded Garrison
, ‘that will answer, and I shall be able to free my soul.’
And thus the partners, little known, with few friends, and without money, began their joint warfare upon American slavery.