Wendell Phillips to Elizabeth Pease.Boston, March 9, 1851.1 The Garrisons and ourselves were delighted to hear again from you, and see your welcome handwriting. We had talked you over often with George Thompson, and squeezed out of him all the news we could: little enough, I am sorry to say, at the best. But your own hand was better than all. G. T.'s visit, by the by, has had a wonderful effect: calling out into something of activity some who were alive during his former stay, but had fallen off, or fallen asleep, in the long and hard trials of the years since; and some who were awkwardly conscious of having ratted when trouble lowered, and longed for some occasion that would open the door for a return without imposing too palpable a confession of repentance. Then his name gathers immense audiences, the fame of his former achievements still haunting our towns, the plebeians of the cause (the converts since 18352) hankering after the sound of that voice whose echoes had reached them in the stirring tales of the nobles of earlier conversion. The rage, too, of opposition raises him into an object of universal attention. It is generally voted that he has not grown a day older since 1835, though the dissentients are not few. Then many scold, more laugh, at his snuff; but his vivacity, brilliancy, and variety of accomplishment in private life3 charm every one that has the good luck to get near him. He is a universal idol. His project of lecturing on general topics would, in my opinion, have been a failure even had no disturbance intervened4 to prevent it. Your English mode of lecture is so totally different from ours that, lacking the impetus of being abused, he would have got on but poorly in his voyage. As it is, he has delivered his India course in five or six towns, and with tolerable success, owing to the extra exertions of friends, and the wish of many to hear the ‘Great Unheard’ without compromising their dignity by being seen in an abolition meeting. In our anti-slavery gatherings
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : re-formation and Reanimation.— 1841 .
Chapter 2 : the Irish address.— 1842 .
Chapter 3 : the covenant with death. — 1843 .
Chapter 4 : no union with slaveholders! — 1844 .
Chapter 5 : Texas .— 1845 .
Chapter 6 : third mission to England .— 1846 .
Chapter 7 : first Western tour.— 1847 .
Chapter 8 : the Anti-Sabbath Convention .— 1848 .
Chapter 9 : Father Mathew .— 1849 .
Chapter 10 : the Rynders Mob .— 1850 .
Chapter 11 : George Thompson , M. P.— 1851 .
Chapter 12 : Kossuth .— 1852 .
Chapter 13 : the Bible Convention.— 1853 .
Chapter 14 : the Nebraska Bill .— 1854 .
Chapter 15 : the Personal Liberty Law .— 1855 .
Chapter 16 : Fremont .— 1856 .
Chapter 17 : the disunion Convention.— 1857 .
Chapter 18 : the irrepressible Conflict.— 1858 .
Chapter 19 : John Brown .— 1859 .
2 Like the writer.
4 As at Springfield, Mass., at the instigation of the Republican on Feb. 17, 18 (Lib. 21: 31, 35, 41, 46, 49). In the House of Representatives, Joshua R. Giddings asked but was refused leave to introduce a resolution inquiring of the President whether a subject of the British crown, and also a member of Parliament, had been recently insulted in Springfield and his personal liberty endangered, in violation of treaty stipulations (Lib. 21: 34).
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