John A. Dix
, lately United States
Senator from that State, wrote on June 17, 1850:
Commercial interests rule the day. The prices of stocks and of merchandise are considered, by a large portion of the business men, as of more importance than the preservation of great principles.
A merchant told me the other day he was satisfied our whole policy in relation to slavery was wrong— that we ought to repeal all laws prohibiting the introduction of slaves into the United States, beginning with an amendment of the Constitution.
This gentleman is one of the most wealthy and respectable in this city [New York]. Another, of equal wealth and respectability, told me he had no objection to the reestablishment of slavery in this State.
A few such examples of perverted principle and feeling are quite enough to satisfy me that our only hope is from the country.
To Hon. Chas. A. Mann; in Mag. Am.
Hist., June, 1885, p. 585.
The readiness of ‘wealth and respectability’ to suppress the anti-slavery agitation by force was again to be illustrated, in 1850 as in 1835, in the person of Mr. Garrison
He began the year in poor health, though still in the lecture1
field, and taking some, if not his usual, part in the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti
-Slavery Society in2
He there offered a resolution condemning Longfellow
's newly published ode to the Union
, which he had already characterized in the Liberator
as “a eulogy dripping with the blood of imbruted humanity.”
He now (in terms which, truthful and prophetic as they were, elicited hisses from the hostile part of his audience and3
vehement censure from the press) set over against the poet's conception of the ‘Ship of State’ rather a
Built ia tha eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
rotting through all her timbers, leaking from stem to stern, laboring heavily on a storm-tossed sea, surrounded by clouds of disastrous portent, navigated by those whose object is a piratical one (namely, the extension and perpetuity of slavery), and destined to go down, “full many a fathom deep,” to the joy and exultation of all who are yearning for the deliverance of a groaning world.Zzz He