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[30] Phillips at Weymouth, speaking as an anti-slavery1 lecturer, ‘we know, we feel instantly, whether the minister is for or against us. We judge instinctively.’ But that the presumption was that the minister would be adverse, is clear from such a report on the attitude of the clergy2 as was made for Middlesex, one of the largest counties in Massachusetts, yet within easy radius of Boston, the Liberator office, and the engine of the State anti-slavery machinery, and by no means a neglected field.3 As for the great representative religious bodies, they successfully pursued this year either the policy of silence and suppression on the subject of slavery—like the Presbyterian4 General Assembly; or of satisfying the South by the exclusion of anti-slavery officers from the Board of Missions—as in the case of the Baptist Triennial Convention5 at Baltimore, under Southern threats of turning mission contributions into other channels. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, whose agents among the slaveholding Cherokees, Creeks, and Choctaws were themselves slaveholders, met a ministerial petition6 that they should not keep silent about slavery, by7 replying that they could neither approve nor condemn it, and that they could not scrutinize the source of money contributed to their funds. And this, too, satisfied the South.

The great political event of the year was the death8 of President Harrison and the succession of John Tyler. How much this change of Administration affected the destiny of slavery, either immediately or remotely, can only be matter of speculation. We can, however, affirm with certainty, that whatever legislation the Slave Power might have obtained from Congress, President Harrison

1 July 2, 1841; Lib. 11.123.

2 Lib. 11.173.

3 Collins, who, after his return from England, devoted all his spare time to lecturing and recruiting in Massachusetts and the neighboring States, delivering more than ninety addresses in upwards of sixty towns and parishes, and travelling some 3500 miles, reported on Jan. 18, 1842: ‘All the opposition I have met with in the prosecution of my mission has originated, with scarcely an exception, with clergymen.’ Still, in all the places above enumerated except two, he was able to obtain a meeting-house from some one of the religious denominations (Lib. 12: 11).

4 Ante, p. 27.

5 Lib. 11.86, 87, 97, 105, 109, 113.

6 Lib. 11.158.

7 Lib. 11.154.

8 Apr. 4, 1841.

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