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[318] position as the leader of the anti-slavery hosts of America. We wish our gift to express our unqualified and profound admiration of your character in all the private relations of life. Those who, like myself, have been privileged to enter the sanctuary of your home, and have had the opportunity of studying your character there, have often for a while forgotten the editor of the Liberator, while contemplating the husband, the father, and the friend. (Enthusiasm.) And now, may the God who first put it into your heart to consecrate your life to this holy cause—who has so often covered your head in the day of battle —who has so greatly prospered you while you have been pleading for his oppressed children—continue to guard, guide, and bless you! May he be your strength in the work that lies before you! the defender and keeper of those who are dear to you! and finally crown your efforts and your prayers by granting you the desire of your heart in the consummation of the great cause of Universal Emancipation!

In much embarrassment, the totally surprised recipient of this gift rose in acknowledgment:

Mr. President,’ he said,

if this were a rotten egg [holding1 up the watch], or a brickbat, I should know how to receive it. (Laughter and cheers.) If these cheers were the yells of a frantic mob seeking my life, I should know precisely how to behave. But the presentation of this valuable gift is as unexpected by me as would be the falling of the stars from the heavens; and I feel indescribably small before you in accepting it. A gold watch! Why, I have been compensated in this cause a million times over. In the darkest hour, in the greatest peril, I have felt just at that moment that it was everything to be in such a cause. I know that the praises which have fallen from the lips of my beloved brother and faithful coadjutor have been spoken in all sincerity; otherwise they would be intolerable. I know that I am among those not accustomed to flatter, and who do not mean to flatter. I know how to appreciate such demonstrations as greet me here to-night. Had it not been for such as are here assembled, we should not have had an antislavery struggle. I am sorry, my friends, that I have not a gold watch to present to each one of you. (Laughter.) You all deserve one! . . .

As to the Liberator, no one can say that it has not been conducted in an independent and fearless spirit. No man who

1 Lib. 21.19.

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W. L. G. Lib (1)
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