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[185]

But while condemning the domestic slave trade, and applauding Garrison's reprobation of it, Mr. Allen thought that in assailing Todd he had stepped aside to wound those who were not and never would be guilty of joining in the traffic; and that his charge had been based on ‘vague rumor, hasty conversation, and scattered facts,’ and not fully sustained. That Todd considered such a charge a libel on his reputation, was a circumstance highly in his favor, and showed that he himself thought, with the just and benevolent, that the traffic ought not to be supported,—a very amusing theory, in view of the facts proved at the trial.

To this article Mr. Garrison promptly replied in a letter which filled nearly three columns of the Herald:

W. L. Garrison to Ephraim W. Allen.

To the editor of the Newburyport Herald.1

Dear sir: I thank you for a copy of the Herald containing a notice of my late trial for an alleged libel on Mr. Francis Todd. Your encomiums I receive with pleasure and humility. The esteem of a good man is always worth possessing; but to him who stands comparatively alone in the world—fatherless, motherless, without wealth, and unassisted by the influence of relatives—and who has just passed the vestibule of manhood, it is invaluable. I have received too many kindnesses at your hands to doubt your friendship; and too many ever to forget the obligations under which I labor.

Yet there are some passages in your review which seem to require a brief interrogation:

You say:

When carried on by system, for purposes of traffic, the domestic slave trade deserves the reprobation of every man who dares call himself free, or just, or humane.’

Surely, sir, you do not mean to justify or palliate the occasional transportation of slaves? If the whole system be abhorrent to humanity, can any part of it be venial? If Austin Woolfolk (a slave-exporter of devilish notoriety in Maryland) deserves the withering indignation of a virtuous community for carrying on the trade regularly, does not Francis Todd (or any other merchant) merit reprobation—in a less degree, certainly—for


1 N. P. Herald, June 11, 1830.

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