made penal the teaching of free colored persons or slaves to read or write; and it was rushed through in a single day on the discovery of Walker
's incendiary pamphlet.
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a similar bill a few weeks later, but it was defeated in the Senate.
‘The circulation of this ‘seditious’ pamphlet,’ said Garrison
, in the last number (for him) of the Genius
, ‘has proven1
one thing conclusively—that the boasted security of the slave States, by their orators and writers, is mere affectation, or something worse.’
With a diminishing subscription-list and trivial remittances from those subscribers who still consented to receive the Genius
, it was evident that some change would be necessary at the end of the first half-year.
remarked in one issue that good wishes were so abundant2
that they were ‘not worth picking up in the street,’ and informed those who were so prodigal of them that they must give them a substantial form to prove their sincerity.
, in a later number, betrayed the inevitable result of their experiment when he stated that,3
though their terms required payment in advance, the voluntary remittances of their subscribers for more than four months had not exceeded fifty dollars, while their weekly expenses were at least that amount; and, in the personal meditations in which he indulged on the completion of his twenty-fourth year, he mentioned that he4
was so seldom troubled with bits of silver, he had not deemed it a piece of economy to buy so useless an article as a purse.
Hitherto the partners had struggled constantly against poverty and the indifference of the public to their cause.
Conducting their labors in a slave State, they had naturally experienced various forms of persecution, but it remained for a Northern man to institute an attack on the Genius
and its editors which the community was ready and eager to make effective.
This, if it did not hasten, at least insured, the discontinuance of the paper as conducted by them.