‘I do not despair of seeing the time when our State and 1 National Assemblies will contain a fair proportion of colored representatives.’2
Behind this prophecy was Mr. Garrison
's dedication of himself to the redemption of the blacks:
‘I never,’ he says, in the beginning of the “Address to the3
Free People of Color,” from which we have been chiefly quoting,
I never rise to address a colored audience without feeling ashamed of my own color; ashamed of being identified with a race of men who have done you so much injustice, and who yet retain so large a portion of your brethren in servile chains.
To make atonement, in part, for this conduct, I have solemnly dedicated my health, and strength, and life, to your service.
I love to plan and to work for your social, intellectual, political, and spiritual advancement.
My happiness is augmented with yours: in your sufferings I participate.
Henceforth I am ready on all days, on all convenient occasions, in all suitable places, before any sect or party, at whatever perils to my person, character, or interest, to plead the cause of my colored countrymen in particular, and of human rights in general.
For this purpose, there is no day too holy, no place improper, no body of men too inconsiderable to address.
For this purpose I ask no church to grant me authority to speak— I require no ordination—I am not careful to consult Martin Luther, or John Calvin, or His Holiness the Pope.
It is a duty which, as a lover of justice, I am bound to execute; as a lover of my fellow-men, I ought not to shun; as a lover of Jesus Christ, and of his equalizing, republican and benevolent precepts, I rejoice to meet.
Small wonder that there were some who took Mr. 4 Garrison
for a black man. For those who knew the contrary, he had these words in the Introduction to the pamphlet edition of the Address:
‘It is not probable that I shall be able to satisfy the great body of the people of my own color otherwise than by entirely abandoning the cause of emancipation.
They who do not hesitate ’