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That there was no law in Massachusetts for suppressing the Liberator, or that any was needed, was a cause of the greatest surprise to the South. In December, Governor Hamilton, of South Carolina, sent a special message to the Legislature, accompanied by copies of the1 Liberator and of Mr. Garrison's “Address to the free people of color” delivered in June in various cities of the North. In this message he referred to a letter of the Governor of Virginia which ‘leaves no doubt that the spirit of insubordination in that State was excited by incendiary newspapers and other publications, put forth in the non-slaveholding States and freely circulated within the limits of Virginia’; also, to a complaint made by the Savannah authorities respecting the publication and distribution of the above-mentioned incendiary documents ‘as inconsistent with a just regard to the obligations of the Union,’ and calling for their suppression with suitable punishments—a complaint which was answered by the constituted authorities of Boston ‘that they had no power to interfere, however justly they might reprehend the mischievous tendency of these publications.’ Governor Hamilton was confident that the same agencies were at work in South Carolina and throughout the South, and thought it an extraordinary fact that, ‘in a peaceful and united confederacy of States,’ it was necessary to submit without remedy to acts of hostility and annoyance from citizens of one of its members, whereas, if the States were separate, these

1 Lib. 1.207.

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