previous next
[203] left that city in the fourth week of August, and did not revisit it for thirty-four years. Philadelphia was the first city in which he paused, on his northward journey, and he was there a week before he could obtain the free use of a hall in which to hold his meetings. He was about giving up in despair and leaving the city, when the hall of the Franklin Institute was offered to him, and on Tuesday evening, August 31, 1830, he gave his first lecture there to an audience composed almost exclusively of members of the Society of Friends and of colored people. They listened to this and to the lectures of the two succeeding evenings with marked attention and interest, though his ‘hard language’ troubled some. The Inquirer, while professing friendship and sympathy for Mr. Garrison, reproved him for his excess of zeal and intemperance in advocating his views; yet it spoke warmly of his first lecture, which it declared to be ‘elevated and impassioned, bespeaking the thorough1 acquaintance of the author with his subject, and evincing the deep and philanthropic interest which animated him in behalf of the poor Africans. The declamation of Mr. Garrison,’ it furthermore said, ‘is in some respects uninviting and defective; but it is impossible for an intelligent auditor to be unimpressed with the strength and beauty of his composition. Indeed, we thought the former quality too predominant, though its attractiveness is a sufficient excuse for its display.’

The friends who welcomed him to Philadelphia were those who had long been actively interested in the antislavery cause, and who, as personal friends of Lundy and subscribers to the Genius, were not unfamiliar with Garrison. Among them were Thomas Shipley, Dr. Edwin P. Atlee, and James and Lucretia Mott, all of whom proffered the hospitality of their homes and gave him words of encouragement.2

1 Phila. Inquirer, Sept. 2, 1830.

2 Of the Motts he afterwards wrote: ‘Though I was strongly sectarian in my religious sentiments (Calvinistic) at that time, and hence uncharitable in judgment touching theological differences of opinion, . . . yet they manifested a most kind, tolerant, catholic spirit, and allowed none of these considerations to deter them from giving me their cordial approbation and cheering countenance as an advocate of the slave. If my mind has since become liberalized in any degree, (and I think it has burst every sectarian trammel.)—if theological dogmas which I once regared as essential to Christianity, I now repudiate as absurd and pernicious,—I am largely indebted to them for the change’ (Lib. 19.178; Life of James and Lucretia Mott, pp. 296, 297).

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.
W. L. Garrison (3)
Lucretia Mott (2)
Thomas Shipley (1)
Benjamin Lundy (1)
Lib (1)
Edwin P. Atlee (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 31st, 1830 AD (1)
1830 AD (1)
September (1)
August (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: