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1 That Captain Brown was personally a kind and humane man was undoubtedly true, and that Mr. Garrison had esteemed him up to this time is apparent from his expression of surprise and regret, in the ‘libellous’ article, that one of whom he ‘should have expected better conduct’ should be in any way implicated in the involuntary transportation, from their homes and kindred, of those whose right to liberty was as clear and sacred as his own. It is a fact, which did not come out at the trial, and of which Mr. Garrison himself was probably never aware, that these helpless victims whom Mr. Todd consented, in view of the ‘hard times, dull freights, and scarce money,’ to receive as freight and cargo, had the utmost horror of being carried South, and secreted themselves in the woods to escape going. They were hunted, captured, and driven aboard in a half-naked condition, as Captain Brown himself narrated, and so utterly destitute were they that the agent of Millighan, their new master, sent bales of clothing aboard for them. Needles and thread were provided for the women, the Captain further stated, the entire space between decks was given to the slaves, and a prayer-meeting was held by them every day. When they reached their destination (on the Mississippi river, below New Orleans), they expressed their gratitude to Captain Brown for his kindness to them, and when, later, on his return down the river from New Orleans, he anchored off the plantation, they again thanked him and professed themselves satisfied with their new home. ‘It was one of the happiest hours of my father's long life,’ writes a daughter of Captain Brown, in the Southern Workman, May, 1883, ‘as I have often heard him say,—and further, that there was no act of his life that he could look back upon with more satisfaction.’ He was not so well satisfied with the philanthropy of the undertaking, however, that he cared to repeat the experiment, and that was the first and last voyage on which he ever carried slaves from one taskmaster to another; and the last, also, it is believed, on which Francis Todd allowed a vessel of his to be chartered for such a purpose.Mr. Garrison derived the information on which he based his article, ‘indirectly, from Captain Brown and the mate of the Francis, the latter a son of Mr. Todd; and directly,’ as he has recorded, ‘from a young gentleman who went as passenger in the vessel to New Orleans, and who expressed some fears of an insurrection on board, but whose testimony I could not obtain in season to produce at my trial. I sent a copy of the paper to Mr. Todd, according to my promise. Instead of vindicating his conduct in the columns of the Genius, and endeavoring to show that my statement was materially false, he entered a civil action against me, . . . estimating damages at five thousand dollars’ ( “Brief Sketch of the Trial of William Lloyd Garrison,” p. 3).
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