previous next

[186] dipping into it irregularly? In a case of theft, is it not an orthodox maxim, that ‘the receiver (i. e. he who knows that the goods are stolen) is as bad as the thief?’ Even if a man connives at crime, though he is not the immediate perpetrator thereof, the law does not hold him guiltless; and common sense tells us that it should not.

The above quotation carries a pernicious inference—contrary, I am sure, to your intention. But why not have explicitly declared, that no device should protect the man from public indignation who assists in any way, or however rarely, in extending and perpetuating the horrible traffic? For myself, neither the terrors of the law, nor the fires of martyrdom,1 shall deter me from invoking confiscation and imprisonment upon every such abettor. Pope illustrates the distinction with admirable conciseness:

‘Friend, spare the person, and expose the vice.’
‘How! not condemn the sharper, but the dice!’

Moreover, you remark: ‘If, in assailing the traffic, Mr. Garrison steps aside to wound those who are not, and would never be, guilty of joining in it, he is neither to be justified nor commended,’—&c., &c. [Certainly not.] ‘And he who is made the object of the odious charge, if innocent, is not to be browbeaten for taking lawful steps to vindicate his character.’ [Ditto.]

There is a gratuitous insinuation in these truisms, which is calculated to injure my character with those who are ignorant of the merits of the present case. Have I gone out of my way to attack an innocent man? If not, where is the pertinency of your remarks? Now, I substantially proved the truth of my allegations at my trial—namely, that the Francis carried slaves to New Orleans, and that she was owned by Mr. Todd: nay, that thirteen more were taken than I had represented. Yet you do not apprise your readers of these facts, but leave them to infer that I have slandered the character of this gentleman in the most wilful and unpardonable manner!! Is this suppression commendable? . . .

If Mr. Todd had been innocent, he would not have instantaneously kindled into a passion, and presented me as a libeller to a jury whom he suspected of cherishing hostile feelings towards


1 A few days since, Judge Brice observed to the Warden of the Jail, that ‘Mr. Garrison was ambitious of becoming a martyr.’ ‘Tell his Honor,’ I responded, ‘that if his assertion be true, he is equally ambitious of gathering the faggots and applying the torch.’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Francis Todd (2)
W. L. Garrison (2)
Pope (1)
Nicholas Brice (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: