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[300] Ledger, ‘an offence against the abolitionists that the mob comemitted when they broke up Garrison's meeting, but an offence against the Constitution, against the Union, against the people, against popular rights and the great cause of human freedom. As such, every republican must denounce it.’

So did the Quaker poet of Massachusetts:

John G. Whittier to W. L. Garrison.

Amesbury, 13th 5th mo., 1850.
1 dear friend Garrison: I have just laid down a New York paper giving the disgraceful details of the outrage upon Free Speech at your late meeting in New York; and I cannot resist the inclination to drop a line to thee, expressive of my hearty sympathy with thee in this matter. We have not always thought alike in respect to the best means of promoting the anti-slavery cause, and perhaps we differ quite as widely now as ever; but when the right to advocate emancipation in any shape is called in question, it is no time to split hairs, or to be fastidious in our exclusiveness. Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, and thyself were assailed, not because of any peculiarities of opinion which you may entertain on other subjects, but because you were abolitionists and practical believers in the doctrine of the Declaration of Independence. So understanding it, I thank you for your perseverance and firmness in vindicating rights dear to us all.

The great battle for free speech and free assembling is to be fought over. The signal has been given at Washington, and commercial cupidity at the North is once more marshalling its mobs against us. The scandalous treachery of Webster, and the backing he has received from Andover and Harvard, show2 that we have nothing to hope for from the great political parties and religious sects. Let us be prepared [for] the worst, and may God give us strength, wisdom, and ability to withstand it.

With esteem and sympathy,

I am very truly thy friend,


Boston would fain have aped New York in dealing with the New England Anti-Slavery Convention, which opened at the Melodeon on May 28, and closed in Faneuil3

1 Ms., and Lib. 20:[79].

2 Ante, p. 278.

3 Lib. 20.87.

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