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[335] a successful one; for there is no virtue in loving freedom for ourselves.

Of the Syracusans at least this selfish love of freedom could not be predicated. The freemen's spirit which had welcomed Thompson and the American Anti-Slavery Society, in confirmation of the local defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law, wrested, on October 1, 1851, the slave Jerry1 by force from the clutches of the police, and rebuked the dishonoring prophecy of the apostate Webster.2

Samuel J. May to Miss Charlotte G. Coffin.3

Syracuse, Oct. 15, 1851 [Oct. 16].
4 I am too busy to write you a long letter, but I must write a few lines to relieve your anxiety to know what is the present aspect of our controversy with the Government.

After a fortnight's diligent search after materials to make out a case of ‘constructive’ treason against Gerrit Smith, Charles A. Wheaton, Samuel J. May, and five others, and to find grounds for the indictment of sixteen for aiding and abetting the rescue of poor Jerry, we were informed last evening that the District Attorney had made application to the Judge for warrants for the alleged twenty-four offenders, and had been refused, on account of the insufficiency of his evidence. How this may be, we shall know, I suppose, to-day or to-morrow. It is probably true, and the bluster of the Attorney and his compatriots will die away in examinations before the Commissioner, which I think will end in the commitment of no one; for I am told that all those individuals who can be identified as having taken part in the rescue of Jerry, have gone away where they cannot be followed.

We yesterday had a large county Convention here, that the5 people might express their detestation of the Fugitive Slave Law. It was fully attended. Several excellent speeches were made, and an address was prepared for publication, as the sentiment of the Convention, to be signed by the President, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries, and circulated far and wide. It is an excellent and bold document, which I think will make some impression. I made a speech which the Convention voted also to publish and send throughout the land, so I must hasten

1 Lib.21.162,166.

2 Ante, P. 331

3 A sister of Mrs. May.

4 Ms.

5 Lib. 21.170.

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