previous next
[279] reported to an adjourned meeting appointed for the evening of Friday, January 6, in the school-room under the African Baptist Church, in Belknap Street.

‘Of that adjourned meeting,’ says Mr. Johnson, ‘my recollections are very vivid. A fierce northeast storm, combining snow, rain and hail in about equal proportions, was raging, and the streets were full of slush. They were dark, too, for the city of Boston in those days was very economical of light on “Nigger hill.” 1 It almost seemed as if Nature was frowning upon the new effort to abolish slavery. But the spirits of the little company rose superior to all external circumstances.’

Mr. Child presided, and the preamble, as drawn by Mr. Snelling, was read as follows:

‘We, the undersigned, hold that every person, of full age2 and same mind, has a right to immediate freedom from personal bondage of whatsoever kind, unless imposed by the sentence of the law, for the commission of some crime. We hold that man cannot, consistently with reason, religion, and the eternal and immutable principles of justice, be the property of man. We hold that whoever retains his fellow-man in bondage is guilty of a grievous wrong. We hold that a mere difference of complexion is no reason why any man should be deprived of any of his natural rights, or subjected to any political disability. While we advance these opinions as the principles on which we intend to act, we declare that we will not operate on the existing relations of society by other than peaceful and lawful means, and that we will give no countenance to violence or insurrection.’

This declaration manifestly disregarded the point of expediency raised at the first meeting, which was again the cause of much earnest discussion without unanimity3 being reached; Messrs. Child, Loring and Sewall withholding their signatures from the perfected instrument.4

1 The north side of Beacon Hill, and the colored settlement of Boston par excellence.

2 Lib. 2.25.

3 Lib. 5.3.

4 Their scruples could not long keep them aloof from a work in which their hearts were enlisted. At the monthly meeting in July, Mr. Sewall was appointed one of the Board of Managers to take the place of Mr. John Stimson, in August to succeed Mr. John S. Williams as Treasurer; and at the annual meeting in January, 1833, to succeed Mr. Garrison as Corresponding Secretary, while Messrs. Child and Loring were elected Counsellors. Mr. Sewall, however, only became a life member (by the payment of $15) in November, 1833 (Lib. 3.187).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Negro Hill (California, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November, 1833 AD (1)
January, 1833 AD (1)
August (1)
July (1)
January 6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: