pamphlet forthwith; and the legislative bodies to offer a large reward for their apprehension.’
He also points out that it does not appear that Turner
, who could both read and write, ‘ever saw a copy of the “infernal Liberator
” or of “Walker
’ A great marvel remained to be noticed: a Quaker petition, ‘praying for1
some attention to the evils of slavery,’ was received and respectfully referred in the Virginia Legislature; and the Richmond Whig
, using a liberty of speech only too short-lived, announced in December that ‘The question of remote and gradual abolition is under the consideration of the General Assembly.
Circumstances have subdued the morbid sensitiveness which disallowed even a public allusion to the topic.
Public opinion can now act out its wishes’ in regard to ‘an evil which all men confess to be the sorest which ever a nation groaned under.’
In its ardor, the Whig
could even imagine the day when this subject was taken up for discussion being celebrated by posterity like another Fourth of July.
The Virginia debates of 1831-2, which, unlike those at the close of the year 1800 concerning Gabriel's conspiracy, were public, had, indeed, all the marvellousness of a sudden utterance by a dumb man—who never lisps2
Copious extracts from them occur in the second volume of the Liberator
. The fair promise of the resolution reported by Mr. Faulkner
to the House of Delegates, favoring a scheme of gradual emancipation with 3
compensation—which Mr. Garrison
ironically held up as an ‘incendiary procedure’—was unfulfilled.
In vain Mr. Moore
spoke of slavery as a ‘curse’—‘the heaviest4
calamity which has ever befallen any portion of the human race’; of its ‘irresistible tendency . . . to undermine and destroy everything like virtue and morality in the community’; of its disastrous effects on the general prosperity by making agriculture degrading for the whites; of its check upon population, its danger in case of invasion.
In vain did the Richmond Enquirer