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[167] keep silence. Unhappily for him, he could not. This first direct, ad-hominem blow at Northern complicity with slavery stung him to the quick,1 and he soon took measures to bring his accuser to punishment.

The Genius of January 8, 1830, contained this brief announcement:

‘A suit has been commenced against the Editors of this paper, by Mr. Francis Todd, of Newburyport, (Mass.,) for an alleged libel published in our Black List Department of Nov. 20, 1829. Damages laid at $5000. Our strictures were predicated upon the sound proverb—Qui non vetat peccare cum possit, jubet.’

Mr. Todd was not left to conduct his attack singlehanded. A few weeks after notice of his suit had been served, there came the following presentment from the Grand Jury:

Baltimore City Court, February Term, 1830.
The Grand Jurors of the State of Maryland, for the body of the City of Baltimore, on their oaths do present, that Benjamin Lundy and William Lloyd Garrison did, in a certain newspaper printed and published in the City of Baltimore, on the 20th day of November last, called the Genius of Universal Emancipation, publish a gross and malicious libel against Francis Todd and Nicholas Brown.

H. W. Evans, Foreman.
Witnesses, Henry Thompson, John W. Thompson.
True Copy from the original Presentment.
Teste, Wm. Medcalf, Clerk Baltimore City Court.

1 A similar sensitiveness was betrayed by some Northern members of Congress on the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, in his autobiographical “Memoir of the Convention” (p. 15, ed. 1830), makes this record: ‘The clause, too, reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa was struck out in compliance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves, and who, on the contrary, still wished to continue it. Our Northern brethren also, I believe, felt a little tender under these censures; for though their people had very few slaves, themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others.’

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