if possible, than those of slaveholders. Objections were started on every hand; apologies for the abominable system constantly saluted my ears; obstacles were industriously piled up in my path. The cause of this callous state of feeling was owing to their exceeding ignorance of the horrors of slavery. What was yet more discouraging, my best friends—without an exception —besought me to give up the enterprise, and never to return to Baltimore! It was not my duty (they argued) to spend my time, and talents, and services, where persecution, reproach and poverty were the only certain reward. My scheme was visionary—fanatical—unattainable. Why should I make myself an exile from home and all that I held dear on earth, and sojourn in a strange land, among enemies whose hearts were dead to every noble sentiment? &c., &c., &c. I repeat—all were against my return. But I desire to thank God, that he gave me strength to overcome this selfish and pernicious advice. Opposition served only to increase my ardor, and confirm my purpose. But how was I to return? I had not a dollar in my pocket, and my time was expired. No one understood my circumstances. I was too proud to beg, and ashamed to borrow. My friends were prodigal of pity, but of nothing else. In the extremity of my uneasiness, I went to the Boston Post-office, and found a letter from my friend Lundy, enclosing a draft for $100, from a stranger—yourself, as a remuneration for my poor, inefficient services in behalf of the slaves! Here Providence had again signally interfered in my behalf. After deducting the expenses of travelling, the remainder of the abovenamed sum was applied in discharging a few of the debts incurred by the unproductiveness of the Genius. As I lay on my couch one night, in jail, I was led to contrast my situation with that of the poor slave. Ah! my dear Sir, how wide the difference! In one particular only, (I said,) our conditions are similar. He is confined to the narrow limits of a plantation—I to the narrow limits of a prison-yard. Further all parallels fail. My food is better and more abundant, as I get a pound of bread and a pound of meat, with a plentiful supply of pure water, per diem. I can lie down or rise up, sit or walk, sing or declaim, read or write, as fancy, pleasure or profit dictates. Moreover, I am daily cheered with the presence and conversation of friends;—I am constantly supplied with fresh periodicals from every section of the country, and, consequently, am advertised of every new and interesting occurrence.
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 .
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