Chapter 11: George Thompson, M. P.—1851.Thompson renews his old triumphs in the Eastern and Middle States, and takes a leading part in the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Liberator, at which a gold watch is presented to Garrison.
Thompson was the great central fact in Mr. Garrison's inner life and public activity during the eight months of the Englishman's stay in America. They had been well-nigh inseparable but for exceptionally numerous indispositions which now and again, throughout the year 1851, drove the editor of the Liberator from his post to a sick bed. As it was, they journeyed and lectured not a little together, in Massachusetts and New York State, and enjoyed such genial social intercourse as all the circumstances of an inspiriting time, the hospitality of abolitionists like Bourne Spooner of Plymouth, John T. Sargent of Boston, or Samuel J. May of Syracuse, N. Y., the companionship of wits like Quincy and Phillips and the Westons, and the fusion of noble and charming elements effected by the annual Anti-Slavery Bazaar, fostered in an ever memorable degree. Two occasions of this sort in particular stand out as unsurpassable in feeling, and in the talent which gave them lustre. The first, and the most touching, was the soiree held in1 Cochituate Hall, Boston, on the evening of January 24, 1851, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Liberator. The time selected was at the close of the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. ‘You would have enjoyed the Soiree,’ wrote Wendell Phillips2 to Elizabeth Pease:
perfectly extempore—so much so that E. Q. did not know he was to be chairman till I moved it, and3 then he filled the chair with all that wit and readiness that is possessed by all the Quincys. It was unique—the heartiest