‘I am truly rejoiced to learn that you are no colonizationist.1 I say rejoiced—because, after the most candid and prayerful investigation, I am persuaded the Colonization Society is based upon wrong principles; and, as for its leading doctrines, my judgment tells me they are abhorrent. Like many other good people, I was myself, for a time, deceived with regard to its character and tendency. I took the scheme upon trust; but my eyes are now open. I find, wherever I go, that thorough-going abolitionists do not support the Society. Great changes are taking place on this subject. The Society is fast losing many of its most worthy supporters; and by and by, I trust, none but slave-owners will be found in its support. Among those who have left it is Arthur Tappan, who is a host in himself.’In February, 1831, Mr. Garrison attended a meeting, in the Boston State-house, whose object was to form a State Colonization Society, but he was denied permission to2 speak; nor did he meet with much success in inviting the friends of colonization to defend it in the columns of3 the Liberator. Meantime, the Massachusetts Legislature was induced to pass resolutions approving the Society,4 and favoring the annual appropriation by Congress of $240,000 to effect the removal of the entire free black population in twenty-eight years. Lyman Beecher, pastor of the Bowdoin-Street Church (and Mr. Garrison's pastor if he had any), was taking up Fourth of July collections5 for the Society (whose opponents, he said, were only ‘a few foolish whites’), and advocating colonization on the curious ground that ‘The blacks are justly entitled to the whole Southern territory; and how shall we liquidate their claim? By sending them to Africa’—‘unquestionably,’ as Mr. Garrison remarked, ‘a New Way to pay Old Debts.’ Even his warm and admiring friend S. J. May took alarm at the Liberator's tone towards a movement which seemed at least ‘introductory to more efficient measures,’ and entreated with him at length, saying:6 ‘I cannot go along with you in your opposition ’
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6 Ms. March 26, 1831, and again, July 18. Mr. May was then and for some time afterwards a member of the Colonization Society. To him wrote Henry E. Benson, Aug. 4, 1831: ‘I should think that he [Mr. Garrison] paid little regard to the seven pages you wrote him in regard to African colonization, by the perusal of three or four of his last numbers; for his opposition grows stronger, he says, the more he reflects upon it.’ And again, Sept. 2, after a visit to Boston: ‘Mr. Garrison says he shall write you soon, and has no doubt that, as you are such an unprejudiced man, he shall soon make you a convert to his views of the Colonization Society.’
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