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‘ [237] in terms of indignation. They will surely be destroyed if they do not repent. Men must be free.’1

As usual in this fervent time, Mr. Garrison's feelings sought expression in verse, producing the sonnet afterwards entitled

True courage.

2 I boast no courage on the battle-field,
     Where hostile troops immix in horrid fray;
For love or fame I can no weapon wield,
     With burning lust an enemy to slay:—
But test my spirit at the blazing stake,
     For advocacy of the rights of man,
And truth—or on the wheel my body break;
     Let persecution place me 'neath its ban;
Insult, defame, proscribe my humble name;
     Yea, put the dagger at my naked breast;
If I recoil in terror from the flame,
     Or recreant prove when peril rears its crest,
To save a limb, or shun the public scorn—
     Then write me down for aye, Weakest of woman born.


After the Virginia insurrection, which infected the whole South with panic, the menaces through the mails grew more frequent and violent:

‘The Editor of the Liberator,’ we read in the issue for4 October 15, 1831, ‘is constantly receiving from the slave States letters filled with the most diabolical threats and indecent language—fair specimens of Southern courage and morality—on which is charged double or treble postage. He ’

1 As soon as this copy of the Liberator reached Arthur Tappan, he sat down and wrote as follows (Ms.):

New York, Sept. 12, 1831.
Friend Garrison: As I see your life is threatened, I feel anxious to have all the advantage of it while you live, and therefore enclose you one hundred dollars, to be applied to the distribution of your paper to the leading men in our country. I could wish to see more argument in your columns to show the impossibility of the Colonization Society's ever effecting the entire removal of our colored slave population, supposing the slave-owners to be willing to emancipate their slaves. This idea has got such hold of the minds of many good people that it shuts out every feeling of doing good to the colored people in any other way.

2 Lib. 1.160; Writings of W. L. G., p. 88.

3 See, also, the sonnet ‘Persecution,’ in Lib. 1.55, though in both cases the sentiment is more remarkable than the verse.

4 Lib. 1.167.

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