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[336] to prepare it for publication. The sentiment of our city and county is nobly right on the question which the rescue has raised. Men that I supposed cared not at all for the enslavement of our colored countrymen, have taken pains to express to me their detestation of the attempt to rob Jerry of his liberty. You may, if you please, give this half-sheet to Mr. Garrison —not, however, to be published, though he may use the facts (or the rumors) I have given you.


Samuel J. May to W. L. Garrison.

Syracuse, Nov. 23, 1851.
1 Through all the season of trial and commotion that we have had here since Oct. 1st, not a word has passed directly between you and myself. But I have felt as if our spirits were all the while in close communion, so that you knew what I was doing or intending to do, and I knew that you were consenting to it all. In the whole course of our struggle with the monster Slavery, I have never been so active, bold, tranquil, and happy. I have felt the strongest assurance that our Government was clearly in the wrong, and could not maintain its position except by the grossest abuses of its powers—such abuses as the people could not, would not, tolerate. I have seen that it was necessary to bring the people into direct conflict with the Government, that the Government may be made to understand that it has transcended its limits and must recede. This will be the result. The Union will not be dissolved much more than it is now dissolved; and the Fugitive Slave Law will not be, for it cannot be, generally enforced.

As far as I can learn, twenty-five persons have been indicted —twelve of them colored men, all but three of whom have escaped to Canada, beyond the reach of our Government; and four of the white men have also gone thither. So that not more than twelve or thirteen will be put under bonds. Of these I trust not more than two or three will ever be tried, and not one of them convicted.

I am afraid that those who are tried will not take the right ground. They will attempt to avoid conviction by breaking down the witnesses, many of whom are men of very bad character; or they will destroy their evidence by opposing testimony. I long to have some one acknowledge the fact, if he did anything to help Jerry's escape, and rest his defence, 1st, upon the unconstitutionality


1 Ms.

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