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[231] their impending destruction. The heat, therefore, with which they passed from reading this warning to the oppressor, this injunction of non-resistance to the oppressed, this absolutely just prediction that their redemption would come from without, was not likely to be allayed by the editorial notice, on the third page, of an interesting piece of current intelligence: the Legislature of North Carolina was sitting with closed1 doors to consider a message from the Governor about “Walker's appeal.” They had good reason to be alarmed, observed Mr. Garrison, ‘for a better promoter of insurrection was never sent forth to an oppressed people.’ As ‘one of the most remarkable productions of the age,’ he proposed to examine it in a future number, together with the opinions of the press about it; adding, ‘We have already publicly deprecated2 its spirit.’ He himself did not get beyond a first and very brief article, in which he again deprecated the3 ‘spirit and tendency’ of the “Appeal,” but declared that it was not for his guilty countrymen as a nation ‘to denounce it as bloody or monstrous. . . . Every Fourth of July celebration must embitter and inflame the minds of the slaves. And the late dinners, and illuminations, and ovations, and shoutings, at the South, over the downfall of the French tyrant, Charles the Tenth, furnish so many reasons to the slaves why they should obtain their rights by violence.’ Subsequently, an able analysis of the “Appeal,” with extracts, by an anonymous contributor, filled the place of honor in several numbers of the paper,4 at no great interval before the Nat Turner rising in Virginia.5

The ‘incendiary’ character of the Liberator was not fully developed till its seventeenth number, when the plain heading gave way to an ornamental one, surmounted by a rude but effective cut, representing a slaveauction,

1 Cf. ante, p. 159.

2 Ante, p. 161.

3 Lib. 1.6.

4 Lib. 1.69, 77, 85.

5 The Virginia House of Delegates took notice of “Walker's appeal” in a bill ‘To prevent the circulation of seditious writings’ (ante, p. 162, James Stuart's “Three years in America,” and the monthly Abolitionist, p. 98).

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