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“ [178] the greatest which goes under the name of Law; and of all sorts of tyranny, the forcing of the letter of the Law against the equity is the most insupportable.” Is it supposed by Judge Brice that his frowns can intimidate me, or his sentence stifle my voice, on the subject of African oppression? He does not know me. So long as a good Providence gives me strength and intellect, I will not cease to declare that the existence of slavery in this country is a foul reproach to the American name; nor will I hesitate to proclaim the guilt of kidnappers, slave abettors, or slave owners, wheresoever they may reside, or however high they may be exalted. I am only in the alphabet of my task; time shall perfect a useful work. It is my shame that I have done so little for the people of color; yea, before God, I feel humbled that my feelings are so cold, and my language so weak. A few white victims must be sacrificed to open the eyes of this nation, and to show the tyranny of our laws. I expect, and am willing, to be persecuted, imprisoned and bound, for advocating African rights; and I should deserve to be a slave myself if I shrunk from that duty or danger.

To show the vindictiveness of the prosecutor, in the present instance, I would state that, not content with punishing the author of the ‘libellous’ article in the Genius, he has also brought a suit against my philanthropic friend Lundy, on the same ground. This is a grief to me—not so, however, to him. The court was aware that he was out of the State when I published my strictures upon Mr. Todd, and that he never saw them until they appeared in print—and yet another prosecution!1

Deeply as I am indebted to my editorial brethren throughout the country, for their kind expressions toward me, I solicit them to publish the facts growing out of this trial, and to make such comments as may seem expedient. I think it will appear that the freedom of the press has been invaded, and that power, and not justice, has convicted me; and I appeal to the people for a change of the verdict. Certainly the fact would astonish all Europe, if it were trumpeted in that quarter, that an American citizen lies incarcerated in prison, for having denounced slavery, and its abettors, in his own country!

William Lloyd Garrison. Baltimore Jail, May 1, 1830.

The following sonnet, which he had written on the wall of his cell, also appeared in the pamphlet, and is

1 This suit was never pressed to trial.

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Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (1)

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Francis Todd (1)
Benjamin Lundy (1)
William Lloyd Garrison (1)
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May 1st, 1830 AD (1)
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