In opposing the American Colonization Society, I have also1 counted the cost, and as clearly foreseen the formidable opposition which will be arrayed against me. Many of the clergy are enlisted in its support: their influence is powerful. Men of wealth and elevated station are among its contributors: wealth and station are almost omnipotent. The press has been seduced into its support: the press is a potent engine. Moreover, the Society is artfully based upon and defended by popular prejudice: it takes advantage of wicked and preposterous opinions, and hence its success. These things grieve, they cannot deter me. “Truth is mighty and will prevail.” It is able to make falsehood blush, and tear from hypocrisy its mask, and annihilate prejudice, and overthrow persecution, and break every fetter. . . . In the progress of this discussion I shall have occasion to2 use very plain and sometimes very severe language. This would be an unpleasant task, did not duty imperiously demand its application. To give offence I am loath, but more to hide or modify the truth. I shall deal with the Society in its collective form—as one body—and not with individuals. While I shall be necessitated to marshal individual opinions in review, I protest, ab origine, against the supposition that indiscriminate censure is intended, or that every friend of the Society cherishes similar views. He to whom my reprehension does not apply, will not receive it. It is obviously impossible, in attacking a numerous and multiform combination, to exhibit private dissimilarities, or in every instance to discriminate between the various shades of opinion. It is sufficient that exceptions are made. My warfare is against the American Colonization Society. If I shall identify its general, preponderating and clearly developed traits, it must stand or fall as they shall prove benevolent or selfish. . . . The denunciations which I am now hurling against slavery3 and its abettors,—which seem to many so violent and unmerited,—will be considered moderate, pertinent and just,
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