Among the friends to whom Garrison had written, from his prison cell, a bright and cheerful letter, similar to that printed in the Boston Courier, was the poet Whittier, who felt deeply troubled about his confinement and he who does not assist, but slumbers away his life in idleness, defeats one great purpose of his creation. But he who, not only refusing to labor himself, endeavors to enlarge and perpetuate the ruin, by discouraging the hearts of the more industrious, and destroying their beautiful works, is a monster and a barbarian, in despite of his human nature and of civilization. With sentiments of high esteem and ardent affection, I subscribe myself, Yours, to the grave, New England will condemn me, for the significant reason urged by the editors [of the Boston Commercial Gazette], namely, ‘a proper regard for their own characters.’ Why? Because they are guilty, and dread exposure. It is a shameful fact,—and in private conversation it is thrown at me repeatedly,—that the transportation of slaves is almost entirely effected in New England bottoms!!!—The case of Mr. Todd is not a rare one. I was very warmly conversing, the other day, with a slave-owner on the criminality of oppressing the blacks, when he retorted— ‘Your preaching is fine, but it is more especially needed at home. I detest the slave trade—it is cruel and unpardonable: yet your Eastern merchants do not scruple to embark in it.’ ‘Sir,’ I replied, ‘I do not endorse their conduct. The fact that you state is humiliating. Am I not confined in prison for exposing one of their number? Let them beware! Every one whom I detect in this nefarious business—merchant or master —shall be advertised to the world.’ My punishment does not dishearten me. Whether liberated or not, my pen shall not remain idle. My thoughts flow as copiously, my spirit towers as loftily, my soul flames as intensely, in prison, as out of it. The court may shackle the body, but it cannot pinion the mind.W. L. G. Baltimore Jail, June 1, 1830.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : Ancestry.— 1764 - 1805 .
Chapter 2 : Boyhood.— 1805 - 1818 .
Chapter 3 : Apprenticeship.— 1818 - 1825 .
Chapter 4 : editorial Experiments.— 1826 - 1828 .
Chapter 5 : Bennington and the Journal of the Times — 1828 - 29 .
Chapter 6 : the genius of Universal emancipation. — 1829 - 30 .
Chapter 7 : Baltimore jail, and After.— 1830 .
Chapter 8 : the Liberator — 1831 .
Chapter 9 : organization: New-England Anti-slavery Society .—Thoughts on colonization.— 1832 .
Chapter 10 : Prudence Crandall .— 1833 .
Chapter 11 : first mission to England .— 1833 .
Chapter 12 : American Anti-slavery Society .— 1833 .
Chapter 13 : Marriage.— shall the Liberator die? — George Thompson .— 1834 .
Chapter 14 : the Boston mob ( first stage).— 1835 .
Among the friends to whom Garrison had written, from his prison cell, a bright and cheerful letter, similar to that printed in the Boston Courier, was the poet Whittier, who felt deeply troubled about his confinement
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