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[253] population. In their fifteenth annual report (1832) they speak of the ‘great movements’ then going on in Maryland and Virginia, and continue: ‘Indeed, the whole1 American community appears to be awakened, as by one powerful spirit, to the consideration and adoption of measures for the more complete accomplishment of the great objects of the American Colonization Society.’ The spirit was worth more to them than the stringent and persecuting legislation, which was nugatory when passed. It was the spirit which everywhere at the North, either by statute or by custom, denied to a dark skin civil, social and educational equality—which in Boston forbade any merchant or respectable mechanic2 to take a colored apprentice; kept the colored people out of most public conveyances, and permitted any common carrier by land or sea, on the objections of a white passenger, to violate his contract with a ‘nigger,’ however3 cultivated or refined; in Park-Street Church (March, 1830) forbade the black owner (the accidental black owner) of a pew on the lower floor to occupy it, and4 5 actually took possession of it and let it (the deacons being reenforced by a constable), and in all the churches provided negro pews in remote corners of the building.6 ‘I never,’ says Mr. Garrison, ‘can look up to these7 wretched retreats for my colored brethren without feeling my soul overwhelmed with emotions of shame, indignation, and sorrow’; and almost he believes ‘that in Boston we have merely the form of religious worship, without the substance.’ Even in towns, like the Quaker New Bedford, where pupils of both colors were admitted to the public schools, ‘the black boys were seated by themselves, and the white offenders were punished by being obliged to sit with them.’ In a word, the free

1 Lib. 2.63.

2 Lib. 1.69.

3 Lib. 1.11, 199; 2.109, 127; 3.123, 172, 207.

4 Lib. 1.65; Abdy's Journal of a Residence in U. S., 1.133.

5 Lib. 1.81.

6 In the old Baptist meeting-house at Hartford, Conn., the negro pews were boarded up in front, so that only peep-holes gave an outlook (Lib. 1.129); truly a ‘human menagerie’ (Lib. 1.87). In Stoughton, Mass., the floor was cut from under a colored member's pew by the church authorities (Mrs. Child's “Oasis,” p. 54).

7 Congdon's Reminiscences of a Journalist, p. 38.

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