Chapter 1: re-formation and Reanimation.—1841.

Actively accused of infidelity, on both sides of the Atlantic, Garrison restates his religious belief, but attends the closing sessions of the Chardon-Street Convention. He labors diligently in the field to revive the anti-slavery organization with Frederick Douglass at Nantucket, with N. P. Rogers in New Hampshire. He begins to entertain disunion views. Alienation and hostility of Isaac Knapp.

If a man's reputation were his life, the scene of this biography would now properly shift once more to England. Collins's mission to raise funds for the support1 of the Standard encountered the obstacles for which Mr. Garrison had prepared him “in consequence of the introduction of the new-organization spirit . . . in England,” Ante, 2.417. in connection with and as a sequel to the World's2 Convention. The defence of the old organization was imposed upon him from the start, and this, of course, involved a special vindication of its leader—a task made doubly difficult after Colver's slanders had been3 industriously put in circulation under the official cover of the4 Executive Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. ‘The Sabbath [Chardon-Street] Convention,’ wrote Collins to Mr. Garrison, from Ipswich, the home of Clarkson, on January 1, 1841, “has completely changed the issue. Woman's rights and non-governmentism are quite respectable when compared to your religious views.” Ms. In a recent interview, procured with much difficulty, and only in an unofficial capacity, with [2] Clarkson, his family were unwilling to have Collins touch on the subject of the division among the American abolitionists. Allusion to this or to Mr. Garrison led the venerable philanthropist to speak of the evils resulting from destroying the Sabbath or religion, and of the dangerous influence of Owenism. ‘It required no sagacity,’ adds Collins, ‘to see his design in referring to Owen,5 etc. . . Owenism, in Great Britain, is considered6 double-distilled infidelity. Your views are being considered of the Owen school.7 You are the Great Lion which stands in my way.’ Likewise, on February 3, Collins writes to Francis Jackson: “Garrison is a hated and persecuted man in England. Calumny and reproach are heaped upon him in the greatest possible degree.” Ms. And, in a letter to Mr. Garrison himself, Richard D. Webb,8 on May 30, reported that Joseph Sturge, the weightiest member of the London Committee, regarded the mere defence of Garrison and Collins by Elizabeth Pease and William Smeal ‘as a species of persecution directed against himself, and as a gratuitous giving up of the slave's cause.’ When Miss Pease had obtained from9 America a truthful statement of Mr. Garrison's part in the Chardon-Street Convention, at the hands of the Quaker James Cannings Fuller, the London Committee10 refused her request to give it the same currency which11 they had given to Colver's libel.

W. L. Garrison to Elizabeth Pease, Darlington, England.

Boston, March 1, 1841.
12 I am very much obliged to you for your letter by the Britannia, and do not regret, on the whole, that bro. Collins has concluded to remain until the sailing of the steamer of the 4th inst., though I trust he will not miss coming at that time, for his presence here now is indispensable. In whatever he has been called to encounter, on your side of the Atlantic, by the evil spirit that reigns there, as well as here, in the anti-slavery ranks, I deeply sympathize with him. The [3] attempt of Nathaniel Colver to injure his character is exciting among all the true-hearted friends of our cause among us an intense feeling of indignation and abhorrence; and in the sequel it will be sure to recoil upon the head of that unhappy man.

Equally abortive will be the effort of N. C. to affect my13 religious character by his absurd and monstrous statement to Joseph Sturge, that I have headed an infidel convention. Even supposing the charge were true, I should like to know by what authority British abolitionists, as such, undertake to judge me, for this cause, on the anti-slavery platform. I need not say to you, that the charge is both groundless and malicious; that my religious views are of the most elevated, the most spiritual character; that I esteem the holy scriptures above all other books in the universe, and always appeal to ‘the law and the testimony’ to prove all my peculiar doctrines; that, in regard to my religious sentiments, they are almost identical with those of Barclay, Penn, and Fox; that, respecting the Sabbath, the church, and the ministry, Joseph Sturge and I (if he be a genuine Friend) harmonize in opinion; that I believe in an indwelling Christ, and in his righteousness alone; that I glory in nothing here below, save in Christ and him crucified; that I believe all the works of the devil are to be destroyed, and our Lord is to reign from sea to sea, even to the ends of the earth; and that I profess to have passed from death unto life, and know by happy experience that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

The truth is, N. Colver has a mortal antipathy to all the distinctive views of Friends, and he regards them all as infidel; yet he writes to Joseph Sturge as though he fully agreed with him as to the nature of the Sabbath, and as though I held purely infidel views on this subject!! Why does not Joseph Sturge, as an honest man and a sincere friend to the anti-slavery cause (I will not refer to his former professions of personal friendship for me), inform me by letter of what he has received from N. Colver and others, touching my religious character? Why does he not express a wish to hear what I can say in self-defence? I confess, I am grieved and astonished at his conduct, and am forced to regard him much less highly than I once did. By the next packet, I hope to be able to address a letter to him on this subject.

I am sorry, very sorry (and very much surprised, too), that14 bro. Collins should have applied to the London Committee for [4] aid or approbation. It was an error of judgment, simply; but,15 after what we, who sent him out, have said of that Committee, it looks upon the face of it like an imposition.16 We supposed he would make his appeal to the abolitionists at large and take17 his chance accordingly. I fear, also, that he may not have been so guarded at all times in his language as could have been desirable, respecting the transfer of the Emancipator—a18 transfer that was certainly very dishonorable, and wholly unworthy of the character of those who participated in it.19 Yet I doubt not that the mission of J. A. C. will do much for our persecuted20 enterprise.

For what you have done to aid him, we all feel under the deepest obligations. May Heaven reward you a hundred-fold! Fear not that truth shall not triumph over falsehood, right over wrong, and freedom over slavery.21


Colver was efficiently seconded by Torrey, temporarily22 conducting the Massachusetts Abolitionist, who brought the most cruel accusations against Collins's integrity and manhood; and by Phelps, who dressed up Mrs. Chapman's report of his own remarks at the Chardon-Street Convention, and gave his personal coloring to what was said by others—all to prove the Convention's infidel character and Mr. Garrison's complicity. This he first ventilated in the New England Christian Advocate,23 and24 then despatched abroad through the sectarian channels controlled by the London Committee. Mr. Garrison's reply was prompt, and warmed with a natural25 indignation, for to the charge of infidelity were added fresh insinuations of ‘no marriage’ doctrines, calculated to26 horrify still more the English mind. In fact, Phelps's27 ‘priestly candor and magnanimity’ proved more injurious than Colver's and Torrey's combined defamation, and caused great temporary damage abroad.

Colver's effrontery was equal to a reaffirmation of his falsehoods on the platform of the Massachusetts 28 Anti-Slavery Society at its ninth annual meeting, where they had come up for emphatic condemnation.

Edmund Quincy to J. A. Collins, in England.

Dedham, Jan. 30, 1841.
29 The annual meeting is just over, and went off in the best30 possible manner. . . .

The morning of the first day (Wednesday, 27th) was taken up by Garrison's report,31 which, for a marvel, was finished and printed (!) before the meeting. . . .

In the afternoon (Thursday) we passed a severe resolution on Colver's letters to the London Committee-he being present. Bradburn was down upon him in his usual tomahawk and32 scalping-knife style. Colver then made a most demoniacal speech, saying but little on the subject-matter, but wandering over the [6] whole universe of abuse which the New Organization have created for their delectation. I never saw a man who seemed to be more possessed with a devil. One of the Westons well said, that the Society might now be thought to have done something to justify his denunciation of it as a Non-Resistance Society, as an ordinary assembly of men of the world would have thrown him out of the window on less provocation. Bradburn and Garrison replied briefly, and the matter ended by the passage of the resolution.

We cannot nowadays understand the superstition formerly attached to the stigma of infidelity, both on the part of those who sought to fasten and of those who sought to avoid it. In the popular imagination it belonged in the category of self-operative curses, and was conclusive of all argument. Hence it availed little for Mr. Garrison33 to reason that if the Chardon-Street Convention was infidel because some infidel addressed it, it was Orthodox because Phelps, Baptist because Colver, and Methodist34 because Father Taylor, did likewise. Nor could he hope to escape the imputation of being a double and treble dyed infidel for his attendance at the adjourned second and third sessions of that Convention, which fell in the year now under consideration. Convicted, too, of having ‘headed’ this ungodly gathering in the beginning, the head and front of its offending he must remain to the bitter end. True, Edmund Quincy, who actually headed it, declared that the first suggestion of such a convention35 was made at Groton, where Garrison was not; that when36 he heard of it at a private dinner-table, he did not encourage it, and refused to be one of the committee to call it,37 and even urged Mr. Quincy (in vain) to strike out a strong passage in the call. But, continues the latter—

But, then, these new ideas were first started by you, and therefore you are accountable for this development of them! My dear friend, they who say this, do you honor overmuch. You have but obeyed, you have not created, the spirit of the age, which is busy with old ideas, and will in due time change them, and with them the institutions which are their outward manifestations. Lib. 11.47.


However, it could not be denied that the Convention which assembled for the second time at the Chardon-Street Chapel on Tuesday, March 30, 1841, had met in38 pursuance of Mr. Garrison's motion, at the previous session, to discuss the origin and authority of the Ministry. The participants and combatants were much the same as before, and a preliminary skirmish again took place over a clerical attempt to restrict discussion within the lines and sanction of the Bible. The defeat of this movement was the only positive action of the Convention, which then freely took sides individually for or against the proposition, ‘That the order of the ministry, as at present existing, is anti-scriptural and of human origin.’ In this discussion Mr. Garrison appears to have said nothing, being unable to attend except for a few hours during the39 three days; but he forestalled fresh clerical misrepresentation of the Convention by moving a committee to prepare resolutions explanatory of its nature and doings, and these resolutions were from his pen. He also prevented any notice being taken, by way of reply, of a Sabbatarian letter from Clarkson, which Nathaniel Colver had craftily procured, and introduced at the earliest moment. The snare was too obviously meant—on the one hand for Mr. Garrison himself, on the other for the40 Convention, whose members sought, as Emerson well said, ‘something better and more satisfying than a vote or a definition.’

This peculiar body met once more and finally on the41 26th, 27th, and 28th of October, 1841, taking for its last topic the Church. Various causes kept away its main clerical antagonists, but they were represented by Phelps, who found it as infidel as ever. Mr. Garrison's resolutions are all of the proceedings that can be noticed here:

Resolved, That the true church is independent of all human42 organizations, creeds, or compacts.

Resolved, That it is not in the province of any man, or any body of men, to admit to or to exclude from that church any one who is created in the divine image. [8]

Resolved, That it is nowhere enjoined as a religious duty, by Christ or his apostles, upon any man, that he should connect himself with any association, by whatever name called; but all are left free to act singly, or in conjunction with others, according to their own free choice.

While the glow of this truly spiritual occasion was still on him, Mr. Garrison produced four sonnets, which contain the pith of his contributions to the theological interchange of the Chardon-Street Convention. They appeared in successive numbers of the Liberator, under43 the titles, ‘The Bible,’ ‘Holy Time,’ ‘Worship,’ ‘The True Church.’ As poesy, none deserves to be quoted entire. As landmarks, they may yield a line or two. From the first, ‘The Bible’:

O Book of Books! though skepticism flout44
     Thy sacred origin, thy worth decry;
Though transcendental45 folly give the lie
     To what thou teachest; though the critic doubt
This fact, that miracle, and raise a shout
     Of triumph o'er each incongruity
He in thy pages may perchance espy, . . .
     Thy oracles are holy and divine. . . .

[9] We may perhaps detect in this sonnet a squint at a movement made, during a pause in the last session at Chardon Street, to hold a convention “to consider the authority of the Scriptures, and the extent of their obligation on men,” Lib. 11.178; 12.3, 51. in which the Transcendentalists Emerson and Alcott were united as a committee with Edmund Quincy and Mrs. Chapman. That Mr. Garrison was not in sympathy with it seems likely from his disclaimer of46 responsibility for Quincy's justification of it, which was allowed to be copied from the Non-Resistant into the Lib47 erator, and in which one remarks not only Mr. Quincy's emancipation from the supernatural sanction of the Bible, but his exposition of the way in which the question of its authority was forced on thoughtful minds by clerical48 opposition to reform.

The sonnet on ‘Holy Time’ is a reflection of the poem,49 ‘True Rest.’ We cite the close of it:

Dear is the Christian Sabbath to my heart,
     Bound by no forms, from times and seasons free;
The whole of life absorbing, not a part;
     Perpetual rest and perfect liberty!
Who keeps not this, steers by a Jewish chart,
     And sails in peril on a storm-tossed sea.

Lib. 11.183; Writings of W. L. G., p. 98.

From ‘Worship’ let us take the first half:

They who, as worshippers, some mountain climb,50
     Or to some temple made with hands repair,
As though the godhead specially dwelt there,
     And absence, in Heaven's eye, would be a crime,
Have yet to comprehend this truth sublime:—
     The freeman of the Lord no chain can bear—
His soul is free to worship everywhere,
     Nor limited to any place or time. . . .

In lieu of Mr. Garrison's metrical apostrophe to “The true Church,” Lib. 11.191; Writings of W. L. G., p. 115. we shall do better to seek a prose definition of that entity in the following profession of faith, which was calculated for private circulation by the friend to whom it was addressed: [10]

W. L. Garrison to Elizabeth Pease, Darlington, England.

Boston, June 1, 1841.
51 I am an ‘infidel,’ forsooth, because I do not believe in the inherent holiness of the first day of the week; in a regular priesthood; in a mere flesh-and-blood corporation as constituting the true church of Christ; in temple worship as a part of the new dispensation; in being baptized with water, and observing the ‘ordinance’ of the supper, etc., etc., etc. I am an ‘infidel’ because I do believe in consecrating all time, and body and soul, unto God; in ‘a royal priesthood, a chosen generation’; in a spiritual church, built up of lively stones, the head of which is Christ; in worshipping God in spirit and in truth, without regard to time or place; in being baptized with the Holy Spirit, and enjoying spiritual communion with the Father, etc., etc. If this be infidelity, then is Quakerism infidelity.

With regard to the ‘Church, Sabbath, and Ministry’ Convention, it should be understood that it was called not to determine what is or is not inspiration, or whether the Bible is or is not the only rule of faith and practice, but simply to hear the opinions of ‘all sorts of folks’ in relation to the Church, the Sabbath, and Ministry—leaving every one free to appeal to that standard which, in his judgment, might seem to be infallible. Hence, the Convention could not have properly entertained or decided upon any ‘extraneous’ question. It was a trick of priestcraft, to induce the Convention to cut off free discussion, that led to the introduction of the Bible test by Colver, Phelps, Torrey, St. Clair, etc. These disorganizers and defamers resorted to this device merely to make capital for New Organization, and to bring a false accusation against the leading friends of the old organization, some of whom happened to be in the Convention. All who were present saw at once the spirit that animated this band of priestly conspirators; so that they took the cunning in their own craftiness, and carried the counsels of the froward headlong. . . .

Have you attentively read the little work I left with you, by J. H. Noyes? If you have done with the file of the Perfectionist which I left in your care, I will thank you to send it to me by a private conveyance whenever perfectly convenient.

The difference between Noyes's Perfectionism and Mr.52 Garrison's was soon to be illustrated in a very signal [11] manner. President Mahan and the Rev. Charles G.53 Finney, of Oberlin, who belonged to the same school with Noyes and (nominally) the editor of the Liberator, assumed an attitude of hostility to non-resistance very afflicting to the last-named. Finney held, in a Fast54 sermon, ‘that circumstances may arise, not only to render fighting in defence of liberty a Christian duty, but also to justify Christians in actively supporting despotism.’ Noyes's society at Putney, Vt., some months afterwards,55 discussed the question: ‘Is it according to Scripture and reason that women should act as public teachers in the Church, in large assemblies, except in cases of special inspiration?’ and unanimously sided with Paul in the negative.56 Their organ, the Witness, for the same reason, pronounced the doings of Boyle, the Grimkes, and57 Garrison against the same Apostle ‘acts of flagrant sedition against God,’ and spoke of ‘the whole phalanx of Massachusetts Ultraists, with Garrison at its head.’ This outburst served a useful purpose in ridiculing the attempts58 to connect Mr. Garrison with the marriage views of the Perfectionists because he was in agreement with some other part of their doctrine. It was a poor rule that would not work both ways, and the identification of Noyes with Phelps, Torrey, and Colver on the woman question was sufficient to prove that these clergymen, therefore, thought lightly of the marriage institution.

All this did not prevent Mr. Garrison from coming to the rescue of the Perfectionists against attacks from59 ecclesiastical bodies all over the country on ‘the doctrine of sinless perfection, or entire sanctification in the present life.’ [12]

‘Now, what,’ he asked,

is the point in controversy? Not,60 who is a Christian, or whether this or that individual has attained to a state of “sinless perfection” ; but whether human beings, in this life, may and ought to serve God with all their mind and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves! Whether “total abstinence” from all sin is not as obligatory as it is from any one sin!. . . .

We feel authorized to refer to this subject, not only as a public journalist, but also because it has a very important connection with the righteous reforms of the day. Holiness is incompatible with robbery, oppression, love of dominion, murder, pride, vainglory, worldly pomp, selfishness, and sinful lusts. But these ecclesiastical bodies are determined to make a Christian life compatible with a military profession, with killing enemies, with enslaving a portion of mankind,61 with the robbing of the poor, with worldliness and ambition, with a participation in all popular iniquities. Hence, when abolitionism declares that no man can love God who enslaves another, they deny it, and assert that man-stealing and Christianity may co-exist in the same character.62 When it is asserted that the [13] forgiveness instead of the slaughter of enemies is necessary to constitute one a Christian, they affirm that to hang, stab, or shoot enemies, under certain circumstances, is perfectly consonant with the spirit of Christ. Thus they make no distinction between the precious and the vile, sanctify what is evil, perpetuate crime, and honor what is devilish. They are cages of unclean birds, Augean stables of pollution, which need thorough purification.

We affirm that this is not a question of sectarian theology, but of sound morality and vital godliness. As men who are conscious of guilt should not attempt to excuse themselves, so should they not countenance sin in others. If they are forced to exclaim, “Who shall deliver us from the body of this death?” let them not revile those who feel prepared to say from joyful experience, “There is now no condemnation to them which are63 in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made us free from the law of sin and death.” If a man has passed from death unto life, how much of death is attached to him? If he has crucified the old man with his lusts, how corrupt is the new? If he has the spirit of Christ, how can he have, at the same time, the spirit of Satan? If he has put on Christ, what of iniquity has he not cast off?

Instead, therefore, of assailing the doctrine, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” let us all aim to establish it, not merely as theoretically right, but as practically attainable;64 and if we are conscious that we are not yet wholly clean, not yet entirely reconciled to God, not yet filled with perfect love, let us, instead of resisting the [14] light and the truth, and denying that freedom from sin is a Christian's duty and privilege, confess and forsake our sins— give no quarter to unrighteousness—put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil —believe with all the heart—exercise that faith which overcomes the world, and therefore that cannot be overcome by anything that is in the world—and be willing to be wholly delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh65 the world” —not half succeeds in the struggle, but wholly triumphs. “ Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth66 righteousness is righteous [not partly righteous, and partly sinful], even as he [Christ] is righteous.” And how righteous was Christ? Was any sin found in him? Did he not come expressly to do the will of his heavenly Father, and to teach his disciples to pray that that will might be done on earth as it is done in Heaven? “He that committeth sin is [what? a saint,67 possibly? no, is] of the devil.” “For this purpose the Son of68 God was manifested [what purpose?], that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Therefore, ‘Whosoever is born of God69 doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin [what a “dangerous doctrine,” what a “delusive error,” and how ‘utterly destructive to the life and growth of true holiness’!], because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil.’

A sentiment attributed to the Rev. Edward Beecher,70 President of Jacksonville (Ill.) College, in the course of some lectures in Boston, furnished another occasion for the display of Mr. Garrison's magnanimity, towards Noyes in particular. The stanch friend of Lovejoy was reported71 to have ‘prognosticated the speedy end of the world by “the general wickedness which prevailed, the doctrines of the perfectionists, non-resistants, deists, atheists, and pantheists, which are all those of false Christs.” ’

‘With “perfectionists,” as such,’ rejoined Mr. Garrison,

we72 have little or no personal acquaintance. We have never met with more than two or three individuals who bear that name,73 and then have had no opportunity to converse with them in regard to their peculiar religious views. Some of their writings we have perused, in which we have found (as in other writings) much to approve and something to condemn. We are not their [15] advocate or expositor; for we choose to be responsible only for what we shall utter or write, and to let every man answer for himself. Doubtless, there are some diversities of views among them; and also some, who profess to be of their number, who do not walk worthily of their profession. “All are not Israel who are of Israel,” yet the true Israel of God remain loyal. If what we have heard of the sayings and doings of the perfectionists, especially those residing in Vermont, be true, they have74 certainly turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, and given themselves over to a reprobate mind. So, also, if a tithe of the allegations that have been brought against the abolitionists by their enemies be true, they are a body of madmen, incendiaries, and cut-throats. We know how to make allowance for calumny in the one case, and it leads us to be charitable in the other. . . .

Now, whatever may be the conduct of these perfectionists, the duty which they enjoin, of ceasing from all iniquity, at once and forever, is certainly what God requires, and what cannot be denied without extreme hardihood or profligacy of spirit. It is reasonable, and therefore attainable. If men cannot help sinning, then they are not guilty in attempting to serve two masters. If they can, then it cannot be a dangerous doctrine to preach; and he is a rebel against the government of God who advocates an opposite doctrine. No matter how many, who pretend to keep “the royal law” perfectly, break it in their walk and conversation, and are either hypocrites or self-deceivers: that law should be proclaimed as essential to the recovery of mankind from their fallen condition; and no violation of it by those who profess to observe it, can make it nugatory. What though the American people, while they declare it to be a self-evident truth that all men are created equal, hold in unmitigated thraldom one-sixth portion of their number? Is that truth thereby proved to be a lie? Is it no longer to be asserted in the presence of tyranny? Christianity has been dishonored and betrayed by millions who have assumed the Christian profession; but is it henceforth to be abjured on that account?

The attempt of Pres. Beecher to associate non-resistants with deists and atheists is not merely absurd—not merely unfortunate—not merely censurable—but it is a flagrant assault upon the character of Jesus, “who suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps.” Non-resistance is based upon the teachings, doctrines, examples, and spirit of Christ. Christ is its pattern, its theme, its hope, its rejoicing, [16] its advocate and protector, its author and finisher, its Alpha and Omega. . . .

‘It appears that the subject of his [Beecher's] discourse was “The last times,” or the end of the world; and, in order suitably to affect the minds of those who listened to him, and to prepare them for the speedy coming of the Son of Man (an event, by the way, which we believe transpired eighteen75 hundred years ago),76 he warns them to beware of those who abjure all stations of worldly trust and preferment; who insist that Christians cannot wield carnal weapons for the destruction of their enemies; who, when smitten on the one cheek, turn the other also to the smiter; and who are willing to die for their foes, as did Jesus for his, rather than to imprison, maim, or destroy them!’

The doctrines defended in the foregoing extracts continued, as heretofore, to be merely subsidiary to Mr. Garrison's lifework. They were the unfailing feeders of his77 anti-slavery courage, energy, and persistence. ‘We have never,’ said the editor of the Liberator in June, ‘devoted78 more of our time to the anti-slavery movement than we have for the last three years. We are literally “absorbed” 79 in that movement. We have yet to deliver our first public lecture on “the Church,” “the Sabbath,” or “the Ministry,” or even on “non-resistance.” We have been nominally80 one of the editors of the Non-Resistant for a period of two and a half years; and, during that time, we have not devoted half a day to the writing of editorial matter for its pages.’ His activity as an anti-slavery lecturer during the year 1841 is especially notable. The paralysis of this mode of propagandism as a consequence of the hard times, the Harrison Presidential campaign, the schism in the American Society, and the Liberty-Party secession, was lamentably felt at the close of 1840, and Mr. Garrison had done what he could, by taking the field in person, to81 supply the lack of a full corps of agents. At the ninth annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society [17] in January, 1841, Abby Kelley moved that he again go82 forth and meet his detractors. Accepting this commission impersonally, he labored for the cause in a great number of towns in eastern Massachusetts, in Connecticut, in New Hampshire, with the annual May visit to New York, and an excursion, with N. P. Rogers, to Philadelphia. Edmund Quincy made good his editorial delinquencies, and, on the return of Collins, himself also83 turned lecturer.

Collins's absence was, to the friends at home, unaccountably prolonged, and the most urgent private and official84 appeals to him to come back to his post, which no one else could fill, were disappointed. Month after month the date of his sailing was postponed; and, what with two visits to Ireland, the publication of a controversial pamphlet,85 and the confirmation of the Scotch alliance with the old organization, summer overtook him before he felt free to rejoin his associates in America. He crossed in the same steamer with the Phillipses, arriving86 July 17, 1841, ten days after the Chapmans had returned8788 from Hayti.89 Great was the rejoicing over this reunion, which was signalized by a formal reception.90 The family91 [18] circle of the abolitionists was now complete; discouragement gave way to hopeful, harmonious action, in which the organizing skill and “Herculean powers of despatch” Lib. 11.139. of the man who had ‘saved the cause’ in 184092 were speedily manifested.93

Of the numerous meetings and conventions now instituted, that at Nantucket in August was a conspicuous94 example of the glad renewal of anti-slavery fellowship (the sectarian spirit having been exorcised), and was otherwise memorable. No report is left of the social delights of companionship between Bradburn (a sort of95 island host), Quincy, Garrison, and Collins; but the significant incident of the public proceedings has been recorded by the chief actor in them. This was Frederick96 Douglass of New Bedford, formerly a Maryland slave, and only for three years a freeman by virtue of being a fugitive. His extraordinary oratorical powers were hardly suspected by himself, and he had never addressed any but his own color when he was induced to narrate his experiences at Nantucket.

‘It was,’ he says,

with the utmost difficulty that I could97 stand erect, or that I could command and articulate two words [19] without hesitation and stammering. I trembled in every limb.98 I am not sure that my embarrassment was not the most effective part of my speech, if speech it could be called. At any rate, this is about the only part of my performance that I now distinctly remember. The audience sympathized with me at once, and, from having been remarkably quiet, became much excited. Mr. Garrison followed me, taking me as his text; and now, whether I had made an eloquent plea in behalf of freedom, or not, his was one, never to be forgotten. Those who had heard him oftenest, and had known him longest, were astonished at his masterly effort. For the time he possessed that almost fabulous inspiration, often referred to but seldom attained, in which a public meeting is transformed, as it were, into a single individuality, the orator swaying a thousand heads and hearts at once, and, by the simple majesty of his all-controlling thought, converting his hearers into the express image of his own soul. That night there were at least a thousand Garrisonians in Nantucket!99


Collins, at Mr. Garrison's instance,100 lost no time in securing Mr. Douglass as an agent of the Massachusetts Society; and the late ‘graduate from the “peculiar101 institution,” with his diploma written on his back,’ as Collins used to say, proved an invaluable accession to the apostles102 of abolition.

One other glimpse of Mr. Garrison's lecturing at this period must suffice. ‘We bargained last year,’ wrote N. P. Rogers in his Herald of Freedom for October 1, 1841,103 ‘with our beloved fellow-traveller Garrison, in the Scottish Highlands, either on Loch Katrine, on board the barge rowed by McFarlan and his three Highlanders, or else as we rode the Shetland ponies from Katrine to Loch Lomond, through “Rob Roy's country,” and along his “native heath,” and when we were gazing upward at the mist-clad mountains, that if ever we lived to get home again to our dear New England, we would go and show him New Hampshire's sterner and loftier summits, her Haystacks and her White Hills, and their Alpine passes.’ Released from the extra care of editing the Standard by104 the consenting of David Lee and Lydia Maria Child to105 conduct the new organ of the American Society,106 Rogers in July began to urge his ‘very brother’ to make the107 trip in question, then far from fashionable or well-known, or well-provided with houses of entertainment. ‘Forgive me for writing so much,’ he concluded. ‘You are the only person, almost, I love to write to well enough to attempt it, and the only one I can't write anything like a merchantable letter to.’ Such warm affection easily found a sentimental reason for a trip up the Merrimac by two friends, of whom the younger was born at the mouth,108 and the elder near the sources, of that noble river—thus [21] ‘native’ to both of them. Mr. Garrison, on his part, fully responded to an invitation which was to gratify also his keen admiration for natural scenery.109

This (in the main) pleasure excursion was the first ever undertaken by Mr. Garrison in his own country, and it made a lasting impression upon his memory. It began at Concord, N. H., on August 23, and ended at Conway on August 30; and in that time the Merrimac was ascended to the Franconia Notch, Littleton was visited, Mt. Washington ascended from Fabyan's, and the return made by way of the Crawford Notch. Rogers, in the Herald of110 Freedom, was the willing and graphic chronicler of the week's jaunt, which was put to anti-slavery account by111 holding meetings along the route, with little aid and much obstruction from the clergy. In Rogers's native town of Plymouth no meeting-house could be obtained, and recourse was had to a maple grove across the river112 in Holderness.

Semi-circular seats, backed against a line of magnificent113 trees, to accommodate, we should judge, from two to three hundred, though we did not think about numbers, were filled principally with women, and the men who could not find seats stood on the greensward on either hand, and at length, when wearied with standing, seated themselves on the ground. Garrison, mounted on a rude platform in front, lifted up his voice and spoke to them in prophet tones and surpassing eloquence, from half-past 3 till I saw the rays of the setting sun playing through the trees on his head. It was at his back-but the auditory could see it, if they had felt at leisure to notice the decline of the sun or the lapse of time. They heeded it not, any more than he, but remained till he ended, apparently undisposed to move, though some came from six, eight, and even twelve miles' distance. . . .

Garrison spoke the better for being driven to the open air.114 The injustice and meanness of it aroused his spirit, and the beauty of the scene animated his eloquence. We never heard him speak so powerfully; and as he spoke the more earnestly, the people, from like cause, heard with deeper interest. He scarcely alluded to the miserable jesuitry that excluded us from the synagogue.


We cannot dilate here on the wonderful horn at115 Fabyan's, waking the echoes of the mountains; on the singing—of that air which, along with the name of Rogers, became household in Mr. Garrison's family, ‘In the days when we went gypsying,’ or else of psalms, “in good time and harmony,” Ibid., p. 190. on the descent of Mt. Washington;116 or on the visit to the Willey House, where, says Rogers, ‘we wrote brother Garrison's [name] and our own linked117 together on the wall with a fragment of coal.’ But the following incident is too characteristic of the men and the118 time to be omitted:

As we rode through the [Franconia] Notch after friends119 Beach and Rogers, we were alarmed at seeing smoke issue from120 their chaise-top, and cried out to them that their chaise was afire! We were more than suspicious, however, that it was something worse than that, and that the smoke came out of friend Rogers's mouth. And it so turned out. This was before121 we reached the Notch tavern. Alighting there to water our beasts, we gave him, all round, a faithful admonition. For anti-slavery does not fail to spend its intervals of public service in mutual and searching correction of the faults of its friends. We gave it soundly to friend Rogers—that he, an abolitionist,122 on his way to an anti-slavery convention, should desecrate his123 anti-slavery mouth and that glorious Mountain Notch with a stupefying tobacco weed. We had halted at the Iron Works tavern to refresh our horses, and, while they were eating, walked to view the Furnace. As we crossed the little bridge, friend Rogers took out another cigar, as if to light it when we124 should reach the fire. “ Is it any malady you have got, brother Rogers,” said we to him, “that you smoke that thing, or is it125 habit and indulgence merely?” “It is nothing but habit,” said he gravely; “or, I would say, it was nothing else,” and he significantly cast the little roll over the railing into the Ammonoosuck. “A revolution!” exclaimed Garrison, “a glorious revolution without noise or smoke,” and he swung his hat cheerily about his head.

‘It was a pretty incident, and we joyfully witnessed it and as joyfully record it. It was a vice abandoned, a self-indulgence denied, and from principle. It was quietly and beautifully done. We call on any smoking abolitionist to take notice and to take pattern. Anti-slavery wants her mouths for other uses [23] than to be flues for besotting tobacco-smoke. They may as well almost be rum-ducts as tobacco-funnels. And we rejoice that so few mouths or noses in our ranks are thus profaned. Abolitionists are generally as crazy in regard to rum and tobacco as in regard to slavery. Some of them refrain from eating flesh and drinking tea and coffee. Some are so bewildered that they won't fight in the way of Christian retaliation, to the great disturbance of the churches they belong to, and the annoyance of their pastors. They do not embrace these ‘new-fangled notions’ as abolitionists—but then one fanaticism leads to another, and126 they are getting to be mono-maniacs, as the Reverend brother Punchard called us, on every subject.’


Rogers's light-heartedness was manifested under difficulties. In January the circulation of the Herald of Freedom had dwindled to some 900, and, the publisher being unable to sustain it, the New Hampshire Society had to take the paper on their hands again. ‘J. R. French and two other boys,’ as Quincy wrote to Collins, “print it for nothing, asking only board and clothes.” Ms. Jan. 30, 1841. In July, a frank review of the struggles of paper and editor, made128 by Rogers in his own columns, showed that very little of his salary had reached him, that much was due him, and that he forgave much.129 Meantime he had given up the130 law, in which his career might have been brilliant. He had likewise broken with the church at Plymouth, N. H., —‘excommunicated’ it, as Quincy said, and as was,131 indeed, the fashion of a ‘come-outer’ period. He was, furthermore, in sympathy with that spirit of ‘no-organization’ which we have seen manifested at the Chardon-Street Convention, and which had now to be combated by the abolitionists along with ‘new organization.’

No-organization and come-outerism were twin brothers; protests, both, against pro-slavery clerical and ecclesiastical despotism. But the ranks of the disorganizers were swelled by the followers of Channing, whose dread of132 organization was most acute, and belief in the ‘superiority [24] of individual to associated action’ almost fatuous;133 and especially by the Transcendental wing, who pushed individualism to its furthest limits. Finally, some nonresistants were alarmed for their consistency when134 submitting to presidents, vice-presidents, and committees. In these currents of opinion Mr. Garrison did not lose his head. At the Middlesex County Anti-Slavery Society's quarterly meeting at Holliston on April 27, 1841, he drew the resolution which declared ‘That if “new135 organization” be in diametrical opposition to the genius of the anti-slavery enterprise, no-organization (as now advocated in certain quarters) would, in our opinion, be still more unphilosophical and pernicious in its tendencies.’ Yet a like resolution from his hand was staved off at the closely136 following New England Convention, under the lead of137 William Chace, who had imbibed most deeply what Abby Kelley called the ‘transcendental spirit,’ and who at138 Nantucket flatly proclaimed the anti-slavery organization ‘the greatest hindrance to the anti-slavery enterprise, because of its sectarianism,’ and hence called on abolitionists to shake the dust from their feet against it “when they called upon others to leave church organizations.” Lib. 11.147.139

George Bradburn wrote to Francis Jackson on June 1,140 1841: “William Chace has gone to tilling the soil, deeming it a crime against God to get a living in any other way! This seems not less strange than his condemnation of associations.” Plain Speaker, 1.23. Chace had, however, a partner in141 husbandry, Christopher A. Greene, with whom he lived in a sort of community; and notable in this very year were [25] the attempts—in advance of the great wave of Fourierism—to reconcile individualism with association and organization. As Emerson notified Carlyle in the142 previous autumn, ‘We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform. Not a reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waistcoat pocket.’ And on December 31, 1840, Quincy wrote to Collins:143Ripley is as full of his scheme of a community as ever.144 He has made some progress towards establishing one at West Roxbury, where he lived last summer. The main trouble is the root of all evil, as he finds plenty of penniless adventurers and but few moneyed ones. Emerson thought of it but retired. Still, R. is sanguine, and I hope will succeed, for what a residence such a neighborhood would make Dedham!’ On January 30, 1841: “Ripley is actually going to commence the ‘New State and the New Church’ at Ellis's farm. . . . in the spring.” Ms. Quincy to J. A. Collins. The idea of ‘Brook Farm,’ as it was henceforth to be known, notoriously proceeded from Dr. Channing. In his recent work on West India Emancipation he had even professed to see in the original principles of the abolitionists “a struggling of the human mind towards Christian union,” Lib. 11.10. and said he had hoped that this body, purified,145 would found a religious community. One of their number, the Rev. Adin Ballou, presently set forth, in his146 Practical Christian, the scheme and constitution of Fraternal Community No. 1 at Mendon, Mass., afterwards known as the Hopedale Community, with non-resistance as one of its corner-stones.

As little as he had been attracted to Noyes's religious community, was Mr. Garrison drawn towards any of these experiments, one of which, yet in the bud, would approach him from the side of his brother-in-law.147 In the application [26] of his peculiar views to the conduct of life, there was nothing utopian or extravagant. He sympathized with148 every honest motive and effort for the regeneration of mankind, and could make allowance for aberration either of judgment or of intellect. He saw the abolition cause (like other fervid moral movements) unavoidably draw to149 itself the insane, the unbalanced, the blindly enthusiastic. He remained calm, collected, steadfast; hewing to the line of principle, but tolerant to the last degree of150 temperament, expression, measures, not his own.

This contrast may be pursued, in the anti-slavery ranks, between their leader and some of his coadjutors who lacked either his breadth, his tact, his humor, his persuasiveness, or his felicitous command of phraseology— qualities which make it doubtful if Mr. Garrison was ever mobbed for words actually spoken in public. Certain strongly marked individualities among the New England field agents of the era succeeding the schism fall under the description just given negatively. As New Organization and the Liberty Party had furnished a cover to parsons and congregations to quit the anti-slavery field, and emboldened them to shut out and to persecute the lecturers of the old organization, the iniquity of the American churches became the chief theme of those whose meetings were disturbed or suppressed, and persons assailed, in consequence. The logic of the picturesque group we have in mind was severe and relentless, their discourse ‘harsh’ and not seldom grim, their invective sweeping; and, in one instance in particular, a deliberate policy of church intrusion brought upon itself physical151 and legal penalties but little softened by passive resistance. It would be rash if not censorious to deny that these moral ploughshares were fitted for the rough work allotted to them. The self-denying and almost outcast lives they led for the slave's sake compel admiration and gratitude. Their anti-slavery character was tried by all manner of tests short of martyrdom without embittering them, and in private their disposition was singularly [27] mild, gentle, and amiable. In spirit Mr. Garrison was completely in harmony with them. In details of language, of policy, he was free to differ from them.

Thus, at the New England Convention in May, 1841,152 Mr. Garrison's resolution in regard to the church read as follows:

Resolved, That among the responsible classes in the nonslaveholding States, in regard to the existence of slavery, the religious professions [professors], and especially the clergy, stand wickedly preeminent, and ought to be unsparingly exposed and reproved before all the people. Lib. 11.90.

To Henry C. Wright, however, it appeared that it should read as follows:

‘Resolved, That the church and clergy of the United States,153 as a whole, constitute a great brotherhood of Thieves,154 inasmuch as they countenance and support the highest kind of theft, i. e., man-Stealing; and duty to God and the slave155 demands of abolitionists that they should denounce them as the worst foes of liberty and pure religion, and forthwith renounce them as a Christian church and clergy.’

To this substitute rallied Parker Pillsbury, Stephen S. Foster, and N. P. Rogers, while Mr. Garrison and Charles C. Burleigh contended for the original formula; the debate raging long, with a drift toward the obnoxious expression in capitals, which was at last abandoned.156

So in a question of measures. At a quarterly meeting of the Massachusetts Society held at Millbury on August 17, 1841, Mr. Foster moved the following:157

‘Resolved, That we recommend to abolitionists as the most158 consistent and effectual method of abolishing the “negro pew,” [28] to take their seats in it, wherever it may be found, whether in a gentile synagogue, a railroad car, a steamboat, or a stagecoach.’159

This had the approval of Messrs. Pillsbury and Collins, but not of H. C. Wright, or of Garrison, or of Edmund Quincy, and did not prevail. In fact, what J. H. Noyes called ‘the whole phalanx of Massachusetts Ultraists’160 had a conservative element of which the editor of the Liberator was, paradoxical as it might seem, the head. He was himself a shining example of moderate and calculated utterance, while little disturbed by the want of it in those whose anti-slavery sincerity, courage, zeal, and devotedness he felt to be equal to his own. “There is danger,” Lib. 12.94. he wrote in June, 1842, in a fine plea for toleration of idiosyncrasies, ‘of abolitionists becoming invidious and censorious toward each other, in consequence of making constitutional peculiarities virtuous or vicious traits,’ or, in other words, “on account of the manner in which the cause is advocated” Lib. 12.95. by this person or that. ‘I see by the Post,’ writes George Bradburn to Francis161 Jackson, on August 7, 1841, ‘that friend Loring does162 not choose to be understood as discussing abolition163 topics in the style of our friends Wright and Pillsbury. 164 [29] Neither would I, though I am quite a tomahawk sort of165 man myself.’ On the other hand, Abby Kelley, writing to G. W. Benson, censures Charles Burleigh for not166 wanting S. S. Foster sent to lecture in Connecticut, where the new-organized State Society was carrying on an active campaign and the old organization was doing nothing. ‘His [Burleigh's] manner will do much for a certain class, at certain times; but another class, and the same class, indeed, at other times, need Foster's preaching.’167

So far as the preaching was directed against pro-slavery clericalism and denominationalism, the need of it cannot be doubted for the year 1841. Dr. Channing, in his work on West India Emancipation, sorrowfully admitted the168 pro-slavery character of American ‘religion’; and Gerrit Smith, speaking to this text, said: “I do not hesitate to make the remark, infidel though it may seem in the eyes of many, that were all the religion of this land—the good, bad, and mixed—to be this day blotted out, there would remain as much ground as there now is to hope for the speedy termination of American slavery.” Lib. 11.7. The sooner, added Mr. Garrison, this truth is realized by abolitionists,169 the better. ‘When we go into a place,’ said Wendell [30] Phillips at Weymouth, speaking as an anti-slavery170 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 clergy171 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.172 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 Presbyterian173 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 Convention174 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 petition175 that they should not keep silent about slavery, by176 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 death177 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 [31] would have sanctioned with alacrity. His inaugural address, with its sophistical argument for the limitation178 of the powers of Congress over slavery in the District, had been preceded by a speech at Richmond repudiating,179 as a native Virginian, the slightest sympathy with abolitionism. Tyler's message, on the other hand, made no180 allusion to the subject. In the confusion caused by an extra session of Congress, the gag-rule was momentarily relaxed, and John Quincy Adams improved the181 opportunity to reopen his inexhaustible budget of anti-slavery petitions. At the regular session in December a new182 gag-rule was promptly applied. Meanwhile, two incidents showed unmistakably the Southern purpose to make ‘pro-slavery’ and ‘national’ (or Federal) synonymous terms. One was the reluctance of the Senate, till the North showed its teeth, to confirm Edward Everett's183 nomination to the court of St. James, on account of his anti-slavery views.184 The other (for no game was too small for this inquisition) was the same body's refusal to confirm the postmaster of Philadelphia unless he discharged Joshua Coffin (newly appointed) from his letter-carriers; Coffin's alleged offence being that he had once assisted in ransoming a kidnapped free person of color.185 The sacrifice demanded was made, and even letter-carriers were taught to know the hand that fed them.

More significant of the nominal character of the socalled Union were the efforts of Georgia and Virginia, on186 account of the refusal of Northern governors to surrender as felons citizens charged with aiding slaves to escape, to establish quarantine against the ships of Maine and New York. More desperately unconstitutional was the proposal of Governor McDonald of Georgia, that even187 packages from New York or any like offending State [32] should be subjected to inspection, and suspicious persons therefrom be obliged to give security for good behavior— in the midst of a contented slave population. The Governor of Virginia declined to honor Governor Seward's188 demand for the extradition of a New York forger—a piece of retaliation too dangerous to escape the censure of his own Legislature, though it subsequently passed an ‘inspection law’ for vessels destined for New York, as189 did South Carolina.190 Referring to McDonald's ‘bluster,’191 Mr. Garrison said that the South had “long threatened a dissolution of the Union; and she may yet be taken at her word, in an hour when she is least prepared for such an event. The alternative is ultimately to be presented to her, either to put away her diabolical slave system, or to be put beyond the pale of a free republic.” Lib. 11.183. Already he had exclaimed, in view of the revived prospect of the annexation of Texas, ‘Sooner let the Union be dashed in pieces’192 than that the Northern States should submit to this infamy. A little later, forecasting the doings of Congress at the first regular session—

‘We expect,’ he said, ‘the sacred right of petition to be193 maintained impartially, and vindicated at all hazards. If this should be done, we are willing to risk all the consequences. The desperadoes from the South, in Congress, will fume and swagger, and threaten to blow up the Union, as a matter of course. Let them retire whenever they choose, if they wish to be alone. We would sooner trust the honor of the country and the liberties of the people in the hands of the inmates of our penitentiaries and prisons, than in their hands, for safe keeping. All that appertains to burlesque, paradox, imposture, effrontery, is embraced in the fact that they are allowed to represent a people professing to believe in the Declaration [33] of Independence! They ought not to be allowed seats in194 Congress. No political, no religious co-partnership should be had with them, for they are the meanest of thieves and the worst of robbers. We should as soon think of entering into a “ compact” with the convicts at Botany Bay and New Zealand. So far as we are concerned, we “dissolved the Union” with them, as slaveholders, the first blow we aimed at their nefarious slave system. We do not acknowledge them to be within the pale of Christianity, of republicanism, of humanity. This we say dispassionately, and not for the sake of using strong language. With us, their threats, clamors, broils, contortions, avail nothing; and with the entire North they are fast growing less and less formidable.’

Like sentiments began to be heard from others at195 antislavery meetings in Massachusetts,196 but as yet disunion formed no part of the official creed or programme of the State Society, which did, however, include, as an object197 to be striven for, an amendment to the Constitution either abolishing slavery, or exonerating the people of each free State from assisting in sustaining it.198 So far, indeed, the Liberty Party might have gone, though not free, as being a party, to advocate disunion pure and simple. Towards this organization Mr. Garrison maintained a dignified attitude, not denying to his personal friends like Mr. Sewall, or to bitter enemies like Torrey, the moderate use199 of his columns for Liberty Party notices and reports. He still held, with Channing, that, by such a conversion of200 their anti-slavery energies, abolitionists would ‘lose the reputation of honest enthusiasts, and come to be considered [34] as hypocritical seekers after place and power.’ Practically, he viewed it as “an attempt to make bricks without straw—to propel a locomotive engine without steam-to navigate a ship without water. As an act of folly, it is ludicrous; as a measure of policy, it is pernicious; as a political contrivance, it is useless. . . . The question is not one that relates to purity of motive, but to the safety and success of the anti-slavery enterprise.” Lib. 11.7. Again:

‘We admit that the mode of political action to be pursued by201 abolitionists is not strictly a question of principle, but rather one of sound expediency. We have never opposed the formation of a third party as a measure inherently wrong, but have always contended that the abolitionists have as clear and202 indisputable a right to band themselves together politically for the attainment of their great object as those of our fellow-citizens who call themselves Whigs or Democrats. . . . But every reflecting mind may easily perceive that to disregard the dictates of sound expediency may often prove as injurious to an enterprise as to violate principle. It is solely on this ground that we oppose what is called the “Liberty Party.” . . . The rash, precipitate, almost factious manner in which it was formed, early excited our distrust as to the disinterestedness of the movement; and though we are not disposed to question the honesty of many who support it, we still remain to be convinced that its tendency is good.’

We cannot follow here the doings or fortunes of the Liberty Party. In spite of its brave words at Albany203 about maintaining the moral agitation along with the new political movement, the task was impossible in the nature of things. If the anti-slavery organization was to be made partisan, it must be wholly so; otherwise there would have to be two sets of machinery, and two sets of workers promoting different objects on different planes— of pure principle and of half-a-loaf expediency.204 One or [35] other arm must suffer, either by neglect or by the conflict of ideals—the religious becoming the critic of the political, and the political in turn denying and disowning the205 religious. Such, in fact, became the attitude of the Abolitionists (whose name henceforth is as technical as Whig or Democrat) and the anti-slavery party in its various transformations down to the Rebellion.

For like reasons it was impossible that two purely moral agitations could be kept up side by side, as some had fondly imagined who would have let the sectarian seceders from the old organization go their own way, without exposure or refutation. The field from which one barely derived sustenance could not have given material support to both, and the weaker must have become, in the mere struggle for existence, less a propaganda of common doctrine than a professional opposition, thriving by the discredit it could throw on its rival and the recruits it could seduce from it. New organization, in short, had but one destiny—to be swallowed up in the Liberty Party. Its nominal head at New York, the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, was a mere mask for Lewis Tappan, who drew up its annual report, and bore the expenses of its single (annual) meeting and of its short-lived organ, the206 (monthly) Anti-Slavery Reporter, which Whittier helped edit.207 It had no agents in the field; it rendered no208 financial accounts. Joshua Leavitt, who had been made its [36] secretary, while continuing to edit the Emancipator, found that it had no vital or organizing power, and at the close of the year was obliged to seek his living elsewhere. ‘It is not necessary,’ he said in his valedictory, “to recount the causes which prevented an effective meeting [in New York] in May, nor those which have hindered the Society from going into operation in a way to obtain a general sympathy and support of abolitionists. One great cause, doubtless, is that the generality of those who are willing to work and to give are engaged in political action, and in carrying on the State and other local societies. Many think, in fact, there is not, just at present, any very essential service for which a central Board is needed.” Lib. 11.193. So much for the American side of the Society. Its Foreign209 department was occupied with calumniating Mr. Garrison and the old organization, in concert with the Rev. John Scoble, who was the Lewis Tappan of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, another specious organization.210

Extraordinary, we are reminded by Leavitt's unsettling, was the dispersion of those whom hostility to the Liberator had momentarily banded together to break it down. On the occasion of Torrey's valedictory in the Free Amer-211 ican (as the Massachusetts Abolitionist was styled, with delightful vagueness, on becoming the organ of the212 Massachusetts Liberty Party), Mr. Garrison inquired:

Once consecrated to the anti-slavery enterprise—where are213 they? Stanton has retired from the field, and is said to be214 aiming for a seat in Congress.215 Wright is—we scarcely know216 where; and doing—we know not what.217 Phelps is a city missionary, [37] and on the most amicable terms with Hubbard218 Winslow, George W. Blagden, et id., etc. Torrey is engaged in vilifying the old anti-slavery organization and its friends, and manufacturing political moonshine for a third party.219

More pitiful, if not more picturesque, than any of these dislocations was that of Mr. Garrison's old partner, now, ‘worse than foe, an alienated friend.’ The following letter bespeaks at once his outcast condition and his trust in the benevolence of the person to whom it was addressed:

Isaac Knapp to W. L. Garrison.

A. S. Office, Sept. 31 [1841].
220 long Dearly beloved friend:
My circumstances are such that [I] am induced to solicit an interview with you at your earliest convenience. For several reasons I am reluctant to call at the Printing Office, and therefore take this method to make known my desire. I am sincerely sorry to disturb you with my troubles, but for the sake of my dear wife, and her alone, I wish to do it.

Wishing you and yours every blessing, I remain your old coadjutor and friend,

The next communication from this unhappy man of which we have any trace, reached Mr. Garrison when his house had for a week ‘been turned into a hospital.’ Its221 formal tone was a menace: [38]

Isaac Knapp to W. L. Garrison.

Boston, Dec. 8, 1841.
222 To the editor of the Liberator.
Sir: I have this day issued the annexed circular. You, in my opinion, being, next to myself, the most interested, are herewith furnished with the first copy I send forth.

This circular, dated Boston, December 6, 1841, professed to be dictated by ‘a sense of private wrong alone,’ and alleged that Knapp had been deprived, ‘by treachery and duplicity,’ of his former right and interest in the223 Liberator—by an arrangement, it will be remembered, which would expire on January 1, 1842. All his offers to resume the publication of the paper, giving ample security, had been rejected, “mostly through the influence of one merciless, hard-hearted rich man.” E. G. Loring; see Knapp's Lib., p. 2. ‘I have even,’ continued Knapp, ‘been denied the most humble situation in the Liberator office; at a time, too, when Mr. Garrison well knew that I was absolutely suffering for the want of employment’—the same rich man opposing. In order to tell his story, and to show ‘that, however many inferior causes may have been at work, the great and overshadowing reason why there has been so much division and mutual alienation in the anti-slavery ranks, has been the selfish and deceptive conduct of Mr. Garrison and others at his elbows,’ he proposed ‘to start the “true” Liberator’ (calling it Knapp's Liberator) ‘as often as there may be a call for it.’ Garrison's Liberator ‘is no longer a free-discussion paper, but has departed from its original character, and is the organ of a clique, always ready to puff and extol all those who will obsequiously bow to and profess the utmost faith in their rescript—and as ready to condemn, as pro-slavery and enemies of virtuous liberty, all who dare express a doubt of its infallibility.’ A note appended to the circular (in which the hand of the New Organization Esau was manifest) testified to the knowledge and belief of the signers, [39] J. Cutts Smith and Hamlett Bates, in the facts as stated by Knapp, for whom they offered to serve as a finance committee.

On the same sheet containing the circular and Knapp's autographic letter of transmission, Mr. Garrison wrote thus to his brother-in-law:

W. L. Garrison to G. W. Benson, at Northampton, Mass.

Cambridgeport, Dec. 17, 1841.
224 You will see, by the accompanying Circular, what mischief is brewing, and what a hostile position is assumed toward me, the Liberator Committee, and the Massachusetts A. S. Society, by my old, erring, and misguided friend Knapp, and his more crafty and malignant abettors—to wit, Smith, Bates,225 and226 Bishop. I have every reason to believe that it was drawn up by Bishop,227 and that it has been sent to a great number of persons in all parts of the country. A copy was sent to our venerable friend Seth Sprague, at Duxbury (the superscription being in Bishop's handwriting), who, thinking I might not have seen it, promptly and kindly forwarded it to me, with the following characteristic lines:

Respected Friend—I received the enclosed Circular, a few days since, by mail; and although I think it most likely that you are informed that it is in circulation, yet it is possible that you may not. I see that there is another storm brewing. If the devil was ever chained, certainly he has been let loose on the old Massachusetts A. S. Society.

Yours with much respect, Seth Sprague.

Thus far, we have not deemed it expedient to take any notice of the Circular, in the Liberator. The committee will probably wait until the first number of the ‘true’ (!!) Liberator shall have made its appearance, when it will, doubtless, be necessary for them to make a calm and plain statement of the facts in the case. This, of course, will suffice to satisfy all candid and honorable minds; for nothing can be more absurd, or more untrue [40] (as you well know), than the charges brought against them and myself in the Circular. So artfully, however, is the Circular drawn up, and so widely has it been disseminated, that it will probably do a great deal of mischief, and penetrate where no reply will be allowed to follow. I presume it will be widely disseminated in England, and not unlikely through the agency of the London Committee. Well, I can truly say, ‘none of these things move me.’ . . .

You will doubtless be anxious to know what is Knapp's prospect of success in the publication of his new paper. I have no means of knowing; but take it for granted that, among the numerous enemies of the anti-slavery cause in general, of the Massachusetts A. S. Society in particular, of the Liberator, and of myself (slavery, pro-slavery, new organization, and priestcraft, all combined), he will not find it a very difficult matter to obtain an amount of funds sufficient to enable him to publish several numbers of the scandalous publication. The editing of the paper will be done, I presume, by Bishop. . . . As soon228 as the paper is issued, I will send you a copy.

The receipts of the Liberator for the present year will fall short of its expenses to the amount of about $500. This sum will probably be made up by the kindness of friends. If you can obtain any new subscribers for the new year in your region, or any one else, send their names along as a New Year's present.229

Bishop, as was expected, filled the entire first page of the first number of Knapp's Liberator230 with his own quarrel with the Massachusetts Board in regard to231 Collins's accounts. Smith and Bates followed with intended corroborations of the truth of Knapp's circular, which was here reprinted. Knapp had little to say in his own behalf, being the merest tool of his false friends; but there were many anonymous communications aimed at Mr. Garrison and the Board. [41]

The solitary issue of this ‘paper’ being industriously232 circulated in England by Capt. Charles Stuart, Mr. Garrison was induced to give a very minute account of his entire business relations with Knapp, in a long letter to233 Elizabeth Pease, from which an extract has been already made. The decisive fact appears, that, in less than three months after the transfer had been made, ‘Mr. Knapp failed in business, and conveyed all the property in his hands to his creditors,’ including his half-interest in the subscription-list of the Liberator. In the fall of 1841, Mr. Ellis Gray Loring effected a purchase of this234 interest for the sum of $25, in order to rid the paper of all embarrassment from a divided ownership. The refusal of this offer would have led to the issue of a new paper, on January 1, 1842, with the title of Garrison's Liberator; and the creditors, being informed of this, gladly consented to make a legal transfer to Mr. Garrison. Knapp's overtures to buy back his interest were of course not entertained.

‘After we separated,’ continues Mr. Garrison, in reference235 to the arrangement of 1839-1840,

I endeavored to stimulate Mr. Knapp to active exertions to retrieve his character, and promised to exert all my influence to aid him, if he would lead a sober and industrious life. I pointed out to him a mode in which I felt certain that he could do well for himself; and I assured him that all my friends were his friends, who would cheerfully contribute to his relief, provided he would only respect himself, and evince a disposition to work for a livelihood. Instead of listening to this advice, or to the friendly suggestions of others, he gave himself up to idleness, the use of strong drink, and even to gambling—often wandering about, not knowing where to find a place of rest at night—leaving his poor wife a prey to grief and shame—and making a complete wreck of himself. For a number of weeks I sheltered him and his wife under my roof—assisted him in other respects—and collected for him between thirty and forty dollars, from a few friends in a distant place; for, kindly disposed as were the anti-slavery friends in this region toward him, it was in vain to solicit aid from them so long as he gave himself to the intoxicating bowl and the gambling table. You perceive what returns [42] he has made for my kindness; but my heart yearns over him, and I cannot reproach him.

No direct notice was taken of the circular, or of Knapp's publication, in the Liberator; but the simple facts of the final transfer were stated by the financial236 committee on renewing their trust for the twelfth volume.

Amid all the vexatious cares of this year 1841, Mr. Garrison's health and spirits were at their height. With his verse the Liberator volume had opened, and with his verse it closed; the last half being freely sprinkled with sonnets, lyrics, and other forms from the editor's active muse. To the new volume of the Liberty Bell he contributed ‘The Song of the Abolitionist,’ which, to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ was sung at countless gatherings in237 hall and grove for twenty years. A verse or two shall close the present chapter:

I am an Abolitionist!238
     I glory in the name;
Though now by Slavery's minions hissed,
     And covered o'er with shame:
It is a spell of light and power—
     The watchword of the free:—
Who spurns it in the trial-hour,
     A craven soul is he!

I am an Abolitionist!
     Then urge me not to pause,
For joyfully do I enlist
     In Freedom's sacred cause:
A nobler strife the world ne'er saw,
     Tha enslaved to disenthrall;
I am a soldier for the war,
     Whatever may befall!

I am an Abolitionist—
     Oppression's deadly foe;
In God's great strength will I resist,
     And lay the monster low;
In God's great name do I demand,
     To all be freedom given,
That peace and joy may fill the land,
     And songs go up to Heaven!

1 Ante, 2.415.

2 Ante, 2.353, 368, 370, 431.

3 Ante, 2.429.

4 Lib. 11.174; Ms. Mar. 2, 1841, Collins to E. Quincy.

5 Robert Owen.

6 Ante, 2.390.

7 ‘Socialism is thrown upon us both’ (Ms.—1841, Collins to W. L. G.).

8 Ms.

9 Mss. Jan. 14, Mar. 17, 1841, E. Pease to Collins.

10 Ante, 2.425.

11 Mss. Apr. 27, E. Pease to J. Scoble (May?), 1841, to Collins.

12 Ms.

13 N Colver.

14 Lib. 11.37, 42.

15 Lib. 11.26; cf. Free American, 3.2.

16 Miss Pease did not so judge the application (Ms. Dec. 10, 1840, to Collins); and there can be little doubt that it was ultimately of great advantage to the cause. It at once forced the discussion of the merits of the American schism, and the shamefully partisan action of the London Committee determined many to side with the old organization who might else have remained either indifferent or deceived. See Collins's letter to E. Quincy, Mar. 2, 1841 (Ms.). The attempt of the Executive Committee of the Glasgow Emancipation Society, under the influence of Captain Stuart, to follow suit in rebuffing Collins and disavowing the old organization, led to a division and reconstitution by which that important body was saved to the cause in America, at the cost of the resignation of a few members like Dr. Wardlaw (Lib. 11.77, 89, 93, 149; Mss. Feb. 23, 1841, R. Wardlaw to J. A. Collins, and May 2, 1841, Collins to W. L. G.; and Collins's letter to the Glasgow Argus, April 26, 1841). Finally, Harriet Martineau took her stand with Mr. Garrison, Collins, and their associates in the most pronounced manner (Lib. 11: 51; Ms. Feb. 20, 1841, Miss Martineau to Collins). George Thompson's open adhesion came later (Lib. 11.145, 201). The result was in all respects, pecuniary and moral, disastrous to the British and Foreign A. S. Society.

17 Lib. 11.53.

18 Ante, 2.342, 343, 351.

19Gerrit Smith says the transfer of the Emancipator was a great outrage—told Burleigh so—not publicly’ (Ms. Feb. 10, 1841, J. S. Gibbons to W. L. G.). ‘The transfer of the Emancipator was indefensible’ (Ms. Nov. 26, 1870, Gerrit Smith to W. L. G.).

20 Collins.

21 No one can read the private advisory correspondence of Miss Pease with Collins without feeling admiration for her sagacity, sound judgment, practical business talent, and unfailing grasp of principles. She was the Mrs. Chapman of the British agitation. ‘What mistakes people make! They think Victoria Queen of England, when it is Elizabeth Pease; and know not that the Allens and Webbs [of Dublin] are the Lords Spiritual and Temporal’ (Ms. Jan. 30, 1841, E. Quincy to Collins). ‘What more of royalty has England's queen?’ asked Mr. Garrison in his sonnet to Elizabeth Pease (Lib. 12.4).

22 Lib. 11.11; Ms. Mar. 2, 1841, J. A. Collins to W. L. G. Lib. 11.23, 55, 79; 14: 31; Ms. Feb. 1, 1841, J. W. Alden to London Committee.

23 Edited in Lowell, Mass., by the Rev. Luther Lee.

24 Lib. 11.79.

25 Lib. 11.43.

26 Ante, 2.289.

27 Mss. Apr. 3, 1841, J. A. Collins to W. L. G., May 2, 1841, E. Pease to Collins.

28 Lib. 11.22, 23, 26.

29 Ms.

30 Lib. 11.22.

31 This document, to be found in the regular series of reports, is an elaborate review of the origin of the Mass. Abolition Society and the schism in the American Society, with a brief glance at the Third Party.

32 Geo. Bradburn.

33 Lib. 11.43.

34 Ante, 2.427.

35 Lib. 11.47.

36 Ante, 2.421, 426.

37 Ante, 2.422.

38 Lib. 11.58.

39 Lib. 11.55.

40 Lectures and Biog. Sketches, ed. 1884, p. 354.

41 Lib. 11.175, 178, 179.

42 Lib. 11.179.

43 Lib. 11.179, 183, 187, 191.

44 Lib. 11.179.

45 This adjective was changed to ‘atheistic’ in the edition of Mr. Garrison's “Sonnets and other poems,” published in Boston in 1843 (p. 64), showing the liberalizing effect upon himself, unsuspected at the time, of those ‘memorable interviews and conversations, in the hall, in the lobbies, or around the doors,’ of which Emerson tells ( “ Lectures and Biographical Sketches,” ed. 1884, p. 354). On the appearance of Theodore Parker's epochmaking ordination sermon on ‘The Transient and Permanent in Christianity,’ preached May 19, 1841 (Frothingham's “Life of Parker,” p. 152, Weiss's “Life,” 1.165), Garrison said gravely to his friend Johnson, ‘Infidelity, Oliver, infidelity!’ So thought most of the Unitarian clergy; and the denomination first gave it official currency, as at once respectable and conservative doctrine, in 1885 (see the volume, “Views of religion,” a selection from Parker's sermons). In reviewing, in January, 1842, a volume of religious poetry by Mrs. Sophia L. Little, of Pawtucket, Mr. Garrison said: ‘Whatever goes to exalt the character of the Saviour is at all times valuable; but never more than when, as at the present time, attempts are made to decry his mission, to associate him with Socrates and Plato, and to reject him as the great mediator between God and man’ (Lib. 12: 7). The reference is to a letter of Christopher A. Greene's in the Plain Speaker (1: 22): ‘And we felt . . . that we were the brothers and equals of Socrates and Plato and Jesus and John—of every man who had written or spoken or walked or worked in the name of God.’

46 Lib. 11.183.

47 Lib. 11.183.

48 Cf. ante, 1.463, note 2.

49 Ante, 2.153.

50 Lib. 11.187; Writings of W. L. G., p. 115.

51 Ms.

52 Cf. ante, 2.206.

53 Ante 2.285, 286.

54 Lib. 11.151, 176.

55 Lib. 11.183.

56 The assumption of the headship of the male is curiously involved in the Putneyite affirmation ‘that there is no intrinsic difference between property in persons and property in things; and that the same spirit which abolished exclusiveness in regard to money, would abolish, if circumstances allowed full scope to it, exclusiveness in regard to women and children. Paul expressly places property in women and property in goods in the same category, and speaks of them together, as ready to be abolished by the advent of the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Noyes's “American Socialisms,” p. 625; and cf. ante, 2.289). See, on the other hand, Adin Ballou's scriptural defence of the equality of the sexes as maintained by his community (Lib. 12.16).

57 Ante, 2.286.

58 Lib. 11.183, 195, and see 191.

59 Lib. 11.167.

60 Lib. 11.167.

61 ‘Twenty years have passed since the abolition of serfdom [in Russia], and no one has taken the trouble to strike out the phrase which, in connection with the commandment of God to honor parents, was introduced into the catechism to sustain and justify slavery. With regard to the sixth commandment, “ Thou shalt not kill,” the instructions of the catechism are from the first in favor of murder. . . . The Christian Church has recognized and sanctioned divorce, slavery, tribunals, all earthly powers, the death penalty, and war. . . . The world does as it pleases, and leaves to the Church the task of justifying its actions with explanations as to the meaning of life. The world organizes an existence in absolute opposition to the doctrine of Jesus, and the Church endeavors to demonstrate that men who live contrary to the doctrine of Jesus really live in accordance with that doctrine’ (Count Leo Tolstoi's “My religion,” New York, 1885, pp. 214, 215, 221).

62 On Aug. 30, 1841, Henry C. Wright wrote to Edmund Quincy: ‘I once met Rev. Francis Wayland, D. D., President of Brown University, in the presence of several friends, to converse on the subject of slavery. The conversation turned on the question—Can a slaveholder be a Christian? To bring it to a point, addressing myself to the Doctor, I asked him— “Can a man be a Christian and claim a right to sunder husbands and wives, parents and children—to compel men to work without wages—to forbid them to read the Bible, and buy and sell them—and who habitually does these things?” “Yes,” answered the Rev. Dr. and President, “provided he has the spirit of Christ.” “Is it possible for [a man] to be governed by the spirit of Christ and claim a right to commit these atrocious deeds, and habitually commit them?” After some turning, he answered, “ Yes, I believe he can.” “Is there, then, one crime in all the catalogue of crimes which, of itself, would be evidence to you that a man had not the spirit of Christ?” I asked. “Yes, thousands,” said the Dr. “What?” I asked. “Stealing,” said he. “ Stealing what, a sheep or a man? ” I asked. The Doctor took his hat and left the room, and appeared no more’ (Lib. 11.143).

63 Rom. 8.1, 2.

64 ‘Then as I read these maxims [of the Sermon on the Mount] I was permeated with the joyous assurance that I might that very hour, that very moment, begin to practise them. The burning desire I felt led me to the attempt, but the doctrine of the Church rang in my ears: Man is weak, and to this he cannot attain. My strength soon failed. On every side I heard, “You must believe and pray” ; but my wavering faith impeded prayer. Again I heard, “ You must pray, and God will give you faith; this faith will inspire prayer, which in turn will invoke faith that will inspire more prayer, and so on, indefinitely.” Reason and experience alike convinced me that such methods were useless. It seemed to me that the only true way was for me to try to follow the doctrine of Jesus’ (Tolstoi's “ My Religion,” p. 6).

65 1 John 5.4.

66 1 John 3.7.

67 1 John 3.8.

68 1 John 3.8.

69 1 John 3.9, 10.

70 Lib. 11.191.

71 Elijah P. Lovejoy.

72 Lib. 11.191.

73 Ante, 2.144.

74 Ante, 2.289; Noyes's American Socialisms, p. 624.

75 Lib. 13.23, 27.

76 Father Miller, the head of the Second-Adventists, and so-called ‘end-ofthe-world man,’ was at this epoch preaching in Massachusetts that the ‘day of probation,’ preceding the millennium, was no further off than a date somewhere between the vernal equinoxes of 1843-44.

77 Ante, 2.305.

78 Lib. 11.99.

79 1839-1841.

80 Ante, 2.326.

81 Ante, 2.428.

82 Lib. 11.23.

83 Lib. 11.191, 211.

84 Ms. Apr. 1, 1841, W. L. G. and E. G. Loring to Collins.

85 “Right and Wrong among the Abolitionists of the United States: or, the Objects, Principles, and Measures of the Original American A. S. Society Unchanged. By John A. Collins, Representative of the A. A. S. S. Glasgow: Geo. Gallie, 1841” (Lib. 11: 77, 138). This was begun, with the aid of Elizabeth Pease, in the latter part of January, and was out by the third week in March (Mss. Feb. 2, 1841, E. Pease to W. L. G., and Mar. 24, to Collins).

86 July 4, 1841.

87 Lib. 11.119

88 III.

89 They had embarked for the island on Dec. 28, 1840 (Lib. 11: 3), for the sake of Mr. Henry G. Chapman's health, which was only temporarily benefited.

90 In the evening there was a collation given by the colored people. ‘Garrison,’ wrote Wendell Phillips to Elizabeth Pease (Ms. Aug. 26, 1841), ‘was in fine vein-witty and fluent; his wife's eyes worth a queen's dowry. Miss Southwick and I were tied to a Haytian to speak bad French to him, as he could talk only [to] two beside ourselves. Bradburn and W. L. G. brightened each other by their retorts. Said Himes, alluding modestly to his wish to be always acting, though only effecting a little, “ I am but a cipher, but I keep always on the slate.” “ Yes,” said W. L. G., “ and always on the right side.” [S. J.] May, whose extra care to be candid led some new-organized ones to fancy he was going to join them, took occasion to explain his position. Said he: “One asked me the other day if I was going to Chardon-St. Chapel [i. e., to the reception to Phillips and Collins]. —Yes.—Why, Mr. May, I heard you were leaving the old party.—Who told you so?—Many people.—Well,” said Samuel, “ when I am going to be myself the first to tell it. When I leave W. L. G., I'll tell him so first.” Good, was it not? You'd say so if you had seen the noble, calm, wholesouled speaker.’

91 Lib. 11.127.

92 Ante, 2.346.

93 Mr. Garrison wrote to Miss Pease on Sept. 16, 1841 (Ms.): ‘Our antislavery struggle is constantly increasing in vigor and potency; and never were our spirits better, or our blows more effective, or our prospects more encouraging, than at present. Our fall and winter campaign will be carried on with unwonted energy. The return of our friends Phillips, Chapman, and Collins infuses new life into the general mass. The people are everywhere eager to hear. I am covered all over with applications to lecture in all parts of the free States. The many base attempts that have been made to cripple my influence, and to render me odious in the eyes of the people, have only served to awaken sympathy, excite curiosity, and to open a wide door for usefulness.’ Notice the large and harmonious meeting of the Eastern Pennsylvania A. S. Society at Philadelphia in December, 1841, at which, however, the temporary suspension of the Freeman in favor of the Standard was voted (Lib. 12: 2, 3, 7, 8).

94 Aug. 10, 11, 12, 1841; Lib. 11.130, 134.

95 Geo. Bradburn.

96 S. J. May's Recollections, p. 292.

97 Life of F. Douglass, ed. 1882, p. 216; Cf. Anna Gardner's Harvest Gleanings, pp. 17-19.

98 Lib. 15.75.

99 Another eye witness, Parker Pillsbury, reports ( “Acts of the A. S. Apostles,” p. 327):

When the young man [Douglass] closed, late in the evening, though none seemed to know nor to care for the hour, Mr. Garrison rose to make the concluding address. I think he never before nor afterwards felt more profoundly the sacredness of his mission, or the importance of a crisis moment to his success. I surely never saw him more deeply, more divinely, inspired. The crowded congregation had been wrought up almost to enchantment during the whole long evening, particularly by some of the utterances of the last speaker, as he turned over the terrible Apocalypse of his experiences in slavery.

But Mr. Garrison was singularly serene and calm. It was well that he was so. He only asked a few simple, direct questions. I can recall but few of them, though I do remember the first and the last. The first was: “Have we been listening to a thing, a piece of property, or to a man?” “A man! A man!” shouted fully five hundred voices of women and men. “And should such a man be held a slave in a republican and Christian land?” was another question. “No, no! Never, never!” again swelled up from the same voices, like the billows of the deep. But the last was this: “ Shall such a man ever be sent back to slavery from the soil of old Massachusetts?” --this time uttered with all the power of voice of which Garrison was capable, now more than forty years ago. Almost the whole assembly sprang with one accord to their feet, and the walls and roof of the Athenaeum seemed to shudder with the “No, no!” loud and long-continued in the wild enthusiasm of the scene. As soon as Garrison could be heard, he snatched the acclaim, and superadded: “ No!—a thousand times no! Sooner [let] the lightnings of heaven blast Bunker Hill monument till not one stone shall be left standing on another!”

Compare a similar scene in the Boston State House on Jan. 27, 1842 (Lib. 12.26).

100 Lib. 15.75, from the preface to Douglass's Autobiography. But Edmund Quincy wrote: ‘I believe I was the first person who suggested to him becoming an A. S. speaker’ (Ms. Dec. 13, 1845, to R. D. Webb).

101 Life of F. Douglass, p. 217.

102 Lib. 12.11.

103 Writings of N. P. Rogers, p. 167.

104 Lib. 11.78.

105 Lib. 11.75.

106 They reached this conclusion at the close of March, 1841, and it was arranged that both names should appear in the paper, but that Mrs. Child should have immediate charge, removing to New York, while her husband remained on his beet-sugar farm near Northampton, Mass. (Ms. Mar. 30, 31, 1841, J. S. Gibbons to W. L. G.).

107 Ms. July 16, 1841, Rogers to W. L. G.

108 Rogers's Writings, p. 158.

109 Lib. 11.147.

110 Rogers's Writings, pp. 156, 193.

111 Cf. Lib. 11: 147, 167.

112 Aug. 24, 1841.

113 Writings of N. P. Rogers, p. 160.

114 Ibid., p. 162.

115 Rogers's Writings, pp. 184, 190.

116 Aug. 28, 1841.

117 Writings, p. 192.

118 Ibid., p. 177.

119 Aug. 25, 1841.

120 Thos. Parnell Beach, Ezekiel Rogers.

121 E. Rogers.

122 E. Rogers.

123 At Littleton, N. H., Aug. 26, 1841.

124 E. Rogers.

125 E. Rogers.

126 Cf. ante, 2.423.

127 George Punchard.

128 Herald of Freedom, 7.82, Lib. 11.118.

129 On Sept. 7, 1842, he writes to H. C. Wright (Ms.): ‘To-morrow I must go to my native village to hunt up some means of support, having received only half-a-dozen chairs and a bureau as my first quarter's salary.’

130 Ms. Mar. 14, 1841, Rogers to W. L. G.

131 Ms. Jan. 30, 1841, to J. A. Collins.

132 Lib. 15.29; ante, 2.56.

133 His flatterers pretended that the abolition societies had cost him the public ear on the subject of slavery. ‘Dr. Channing himself,’ said the Unitarian Monthly Miscellany, ‘has not a tithe of the influence he would have had, had there been no organization. Protest as he may, he will be identified with the organized mass’ (Lib. 11: 69). Mrs. Child, on the contrary, asserted in the Standard that Channing had intended to preach a sermon on slavery after his return from the West Indies (ante, 1: 466), but never did, and only broke silence after he had caught the glow of associated anti-slavery action (Lib. 11: 93).

134 Lib. 11.79.

135 Lib. 11.70.

136 Lib. 11.90.

137 May 25, 1841.

138 Ms. Sept. 30, 1841, to W. L. G.

139 N. H. Whiting of Marshfield wrote to Mr. Chace on Aug. 29, 1841: ‘Old and new organization are alike beneath my feet now’ (Lib. 11: 199).

140 Ms.

141 Ms. Aug. 15, 1841, G. W. Benson to W. L. G.

142 Oct. 30, 1840.

143 Ms.

144 Rev. Geo. Ripley.

145 Lib. 11.1.

146 Lib. 11.33.

147 George W. Benson, early in 1841, having disposed of the family property in Brooklyn, Conn.: ‘Where do you settle?’ asked Mr. Garrison; and, suggesting that he remove to Cambridgeport, ‘What say you to a little social community among ourselves? Bro. Chace is ready for it; and I think we must be pretty bad folks if we cannot live together amicably within gun-shot of each other’ (Ms. Jan. 7, 1841).

148 Lib. 13.47.

149 Ante, 2.428.

150 Lib. 12.94.

151 Lib. 11.193; post, p. 29.

152 May 25.

153 Lib. 11.90.

154 See Mr. Wright's exposition of this expression in his letter to A. A. Phelps entitled, ‘The Methodist Episcopal Church and Clergy of the United States a Brotherhood of Men-Stealers’ (Lib. 11.130).

155 Ante, pp. 12, 13.

156 Speaking for himself, however, and not for the Society, Mr. Garrison presently declared ‘a great brotherhood of thieves’ tame language to apply to the action of the Presbyterian General Assembly at Philadelphia on May 20. The Committee of Bills and Overtures unanimously refused to report on the ‘exciting topic’ of slavery, and desired to return the papers on that subject to the presbyteries which had presented them. By an overwhelming vote the whole business was indefinitely postponed (Lib. 11: 95).

157 S. S. Foster.

158 Lib. 11.139.

159 With the extension of the railroad system, the inhuman prejudice against color was catered to by corporations even in excess of the requirements of average public sentiment. A ‘Jim Crow’ car was provided, in which colored travellers were forced to sit although they had purchased first-class tickets. They were expelled in the most ruffianly manner from white cars, against the remonstrances of white passengers, who not seldom were themselves dragged out for condemning such brutality (Lib. 11: 175, 180, 182), or for taking seats in the Jim Crow car by way of testimony, in the spirit of Mr. Foster's resolution. Colored servants, on the other hand, were allowed to accompany their employers (Lib. 11.132). The Eastern Railroad of Boston, of which a Quaker was the malignant superintendent (Lib. 12: 35), attained an evil preeminence in these outrages (Lib. 11: 47, 94, 143, 157, 162, 163, 165, 166, 170). Worst of all, police justices refused to punish the assaults even upon white passengers (Lib. 11.127, 128, 180). Yet it was asked, What has the North to do with slavery? And it is even now pretended that the North was peopled with abolitionists until the Liberator was founded (New-Englander, 45: 1, et seq.). See in Lib. 12: 56 the ‘Travellers' Directory’ time-tables of the several railroads, with a caption showing whether they make any distinction in regard to color.

160 Ante, p. 11.

161 Boston Post.

162 Ms.

163 E. G. Loring.

164 H. C. Wright, P. Pillsbury.

165 Cf. ante, p. 5.

166 Ms. Sept. 13, 1841.

167 See Cyrus Peirce's protests against Abby Kelley's and S. S. Foster's resolutions at Fall River, Nov. 23, 1841, and against their ‘style’ generally (Lib. 12: 3, 19), with Mrs. Chapman's comment (Lib. 12: 23). Miss Kelley offered a resolution in these terms at the tenth anniversary meeting of the Mass. A. S. Society (Jan. 28, 1842): ‘Resolved, That the sectarian organizations called churches are combinations of thieves, robbers, adulterers, pirates, and murderers, and, as such, form the bulwark of American slavery’—this last phrase being probably suggested by James G. Birney's tract, “The American Churches the Bulwarks of American Slavery” (published first, anonymously, in London, Sept. 23, 1840; in a second and third [American] edition in Newburyport, Mass., in 1842; and again, in Boston, in May, 1843). Phoebe Jackson wrote from Providence, Nov. 18, 1842, to Mrs. Garrison, of the recently held annual meeting of the Rhode Island A. S. Society: ‘The strong ground taken by Rogers, Foster, and a few others occasions considerable feeling among our friends. By the way, Rogers is not a favorite speaker of mine, but Foster is deeply impressive. I do not always agree with him, but he has great power. ... I do not think it wise in him to disturb the assemblies of others: it appears to me like an infringement on their rights. Neither do I sympathize in the Christian (?) course they pursue toward him and others’ (Ms.).

168 Lib. 11.6.

169 Lib. 11.7.

170 July 2, 1841; Lib. 11.123.

171 Lib. 11.173.

172 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).

173 Ante, p. 27.

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

175 Lib. 11.158.

176 Lib. 11.154.

177 Apr. 4, 1841.

178 Lib. 11.43.

179 Lib. 11.46.

180 Lib. 11.62.

181 Lib. 11.97, 98, 102, 106, 125.

182 Lib. 11.206.

183 Lib. 11.146, 149, 150, 154.

184 In response to the abolition catechism of 1837, Gov. Everett had professed his conviction that slavery was an evil, and should be abolished as soon as this could be done peacefully. He asserted the power of Congress over slavery and the slave trade in the District, and opposed the admission of any new slave State. Finally, such progress had he made within two years (ante, 2: 76), he maintained the right of free discussion (Lib. 7: 182).

185 Lib. 11.146, 211.

186 Lib. 10.1, 5, 9; 11.14, 54, 57, 183.

187 Lib. 11.183.

188 Lib. 11.54.

189 Lib. 12.10.

190 These laws could be suspended by the Executive when New York surrendered the alleged fugitives from justice to Virginia, and its Legislature repealed the act of 1840 extending the right of trial by jury to citizens whose freedom was called in question by kidnappers or Southern slaveowners (Lib. 12: 32, 33). Noteworthy is the making of common cause with Virginia on the part of South Carolina in seeking to coerce New York, and the justification of the means, viz., a ‘regulation of commerce’ concurrently with that exercised by Congress under the Constitution. For a typical instance of the operation of the Virginia law, see Lib. 12: 118.

191 Lib. 12.32, 33.

192 Lib. 11.179.

193 Lib. 11.191.

194 Cf. Lib. 12.31.

195 Lib. 11.189.

196 Thus, at Hingham, Nov. 4, 1841, Edmund Quincy showed that slavery had already destroyed the Union; and Frederick Douglass, that the Union pledged the North to return fugitives—wherefore, ‘He is no true abolitionist who does not go against this Union’ (Lib. 11: 189).

197 Lib. 11.166.

198 Noteworthy is the appearance of a book (midsummer madness, one might think it, considering the time of year, the deranged author, and the vain doctrine) by G. W. F. Mellen (ante, 2: 428), entitled, “ An Argument on the Unconstitutionality of Slavery.” Mr. Garrison, on a hasty reading, judged it to deserve attention (Lib. 11.123); but when, at the Millbury quarterly meeting of the Mass. A. S. Society, in August, Mellen, in conjunction with S. S. Foster, attempted to embody this argument in a resolution, they were defeated (Lib. 11.139). It will be seen hereafter how the doctrine was forced upon the Third Party.

199 Lib. 11.31, 38, 155, 159, 179.

200 Lib. 11.1.

201 Lib. 11.159.

202 Ante, 2.245, 313.

203 Ante, 2.434.

204 Mrs. Child, telling in the Standard of the first anti-slavery meeting she ever attended ‘in which political rather than moral arguments gave a leading tone to the proceedings,’ relates: ‘I came from that meeting sad and disheartened. The moral elevation, the trust in God, which had been usually inspired by abolition gatherings, was wanting’ (Lib. 11: 109). ‘It is as impossible,’ wrote Mr. Garrison, ‘for men to be moral reformers and political partisans at the same time, as it is for fire and gunpowder to harmonize together’ (Lib. 12: 179).

205 Lib. 12.179.

206 Ante, 2.386; Lib. 11.137, 167, 193.

207 Mrs. Mott writes to Hannah Webb of Dublin, Feb. 25, 1842 (Ms.): ‘Maria W. Chapman wrote me that he [Whittier] . . . was in the [A. S.] office a few months since, bemoaning to Garrison that there should have been any divisions. “ Why could we not all go on together?” “Why not, indeed?” said Garrison; “ we stand just where we did. I see no reason why you cannot cooperate with the American Society.” “ Oh,” replied Whittier, “but the American Society is not what it once was. It has the hat, and the coat, and the waistcoat of the old Society, but the life has passed out of it.” “Are you not ashamed,” said Garrison, “to come here wondering why we cannot go on together! No wonder you can't cooperate with a suit of old clothes!” ’

208 Lib. 11.37; 12.127.

209 Lib. 11.37.

210 Lib. 22.9.

211 Lib. 11.59.

212 Lib. 11.38, 39.

213 Lib. 11.59.

214 H. B. Stanton.

215 Stanton—like Birney, who had gone to rusticate at Peterboroa, N. Y. (Lib. 12.127)—had prudently declined a secretaryship under Lewis Tappan's alias (Lib. 11: 47), and had betaken himself to the law (Ms. Mar. 14, 1841, N. P. Rogers to W. L. G.; Lib. 12: 127), of which he would begin the practice in Boston the following year (Stanton's “Random Recollections,” 2d ed., p. 58). He was supposed to be aiming at a seat in Congress (Lib. 12: 127), and though he never attained it, in spite of a Liberty Party nomination (Lib. 14: 174), he remained a politician to the end of his days.

216 Elizur Wright. A. A. Phelps.

217 Beriah Green knew, though he put the question to Mr. Wright (Lib. 11: 82), ‘What are you at? Has La Fontaine led you off altogether from the field of battle?’ The preface to Wright's translation bears date September, 1841. Meantime the apologetic, pro-slavery conduct of the Free American by a clerical successor of Torrey (Lib. 11: 82, 91), whom even he had to denounce, forced the Mass. Abolition Society to make a shift of securing Mr. Wright's services as editor once more in June, 1841 (Lib. 11.99). He was succeeded by Leavitt as above, and the paper became the Emancipator and Free American (Lib. 11: 191, 203). In 1842 Mr. Wright, in a desperate struggle with poverty, was trying personally to find purchasers for his translation (Lib. 12: 127).

218 Lib. 12.127.

219 In June, 1841, Mr. Torrey was active in forming in Boston a Vigilance Committee against kidnapping and for the prompt assistance of fugitives closely pursued by their owners (Lib. 11: 94). In December he went to Washington as a newspaper correspondent (Lib. 12: 10; Memoir of C. T. Torrey, p. 87). Those who are curious as to other leading new organizationists will find the above list extended in Lib. 12.127.

220 Ms. [Boston] The day of the month is copied as written. The year is conjectural.

221 Ms. Dec. 17, 1841, W. L. G. to G. W. Benson.

222 Ms.

223 Ante, 2.331, 332.

224 Ms.

225 A former clerk in the Anti-Slavery Office.

226 J. Cutts Smith (ante, 1.278).

227 Joel Prentiss Bishop had likewise been a clerk in the Anti-Slavery Office, and took advantage of Collins's absence to attack the office accounts (Lib. 11.2, 23), and to play into the hands of New Organization. He presently left the Old (Lib. 11.99). He was associated with Torrey in his Vigilance Committee (ante, p. 37). He was admitted to the bar while a student in Stanton's office (Stanton's “Random Recollections,” 2d ed., p. 65), and became the author of many well-known legal treatises.

228 J. P. Bishop.

229 Mr. Garrison wrote to Mr. Benson on January 7, 1841 (Ms.), that in the twelvemonth the Liberator had lost nearly five hundred subscribers net, and cut off two or three hundred delinquents. Once firm friends had ordered the paper stopped. ‘The Sabbath Convention has been more than they could tolerate; and to save the formal observance of the first day of the week, they are willing that slavery should be perpetuated.’

230 Dated Boston, Saturday, Jan. 8, 1842. The printed page was about 9 3/4 x 14 1/2 inches. No subscription price was named, nor any regular date of publication.

231 Ante, p. 39.

232 Ms. Feb. 26, 1842, E. Pease to Wendell Phillips.

233 Ms. May 15, 1842; ante, 2.331.

234 Oct. 22, 1841; Lib. 12.3.

235 Ms. May 15, 1842, to E. Pease.

236 Lib. 12.3.

237 Lib. 12.205, etc.

238 Lib. 11.212; Writings of W. L. G., p. 134.

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