If the most unremitted labor had not occupied my time1 since your departure, I should feel very culpable for my long silence. Without means, and determined to ask the assistance of no individual,–and, indeed, not knowing where to look for it, so unpopular was the cause,—you may suppose that I have been obliged to make severe personal exertions for the establishment of the Liberator. I am ashamed of the meagre aspect which the paper presents in its editorial department, because the public imagine that I have six days each week to cater for it, when, in fact, scarcely six hours are allotted to me, and these at midnight. My worthy partner and I complete the mechanical part; that is to say, we compose and distribute, on every number, one hundred thousand types, besides performing the press-work. mailing the papers to subscribers,2 &c., &c. In addition to this, a variety of letters, relative to the paper, are constantly accumulating, which require prompt answers. We have just taken a colored apprentice,3 however, who will shortly be able to alleviate our toil. I cannot give you a better apprehension of the arduousness of my labors than by stating that it is more than six weeks since I visited Mr. Coffin4—perhaps more properly the Misses Coffin; for, certainly, there is no place in Boston I am disposed to visit so often as in Atkinson Street.Already, in replying publicly to a correspondent, he5 had said: ‘It cannot be supposed that we, who perform every day but the Sabbath fourteen hours of manual labor on our paper, independent of mental toil, . . . are inimical to the prosperity or improvement of the working ’
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2 Many numbers in the bound Volume I. now (1885) in possession of Mr. Oliver Johnson bear in Mr. Garrison's own hand the name of the Protestant, an exchange newspaper edited by the Rev. George Bourne in New York City.
3 Thomas Paul, son of the highly respected pastor (of the same name) of the African Baptist Church in Belknap Street, who died in April, 1831 (Lib. 1.63). From the printing-office the lad went to the Noyes Academy in Canaan, N. H. (Lib. 5.71), and thence to Dartmouth College (Lib. 7.203), where he graduated in 1841 (Lib. 11.151). Afterwards he became a teacher.
4 Peter Coffin, father-in-law of Mr. May. Atkinson Street was that part of Congress now lying between Milk and Purchase Streets; the family lived, therefore, at no great distance from the Liberator office. They were remotely related to Joshua Coffin, the historian of Newbury, Mass., of whom more anon.
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