I go home more discouraged than ever.1 Giddings
etc. are full of hope, but I am yet to see that there is a North
Well did Lysander Spooner
write to the editor3
of the Commonwealth
, refusing to be a delegate to an Anti-Nebraska
Bill Convention in Faneuil Hall:
I trust you will allow me space to say, that I decline the4 appointment; that I have never been a member of the “Free Soil Party” ; that I have never adopted its absurd and contradictory motto, “Freedom National, Slavery Sectional” ; that I have no sympathy with the pusillanimous and criminal sentiment, “If slavery will let us alone, we will let it alone” ; that I am in favor of neither making nor keeping any compacts with slavery in regard to boundaries; that I am glad to see that slavery intends neither to make nor keep any such compacts with freedom; that I do not believe the Constitution authorizes any such compromises; that I am glad that all excuses for the discussion of such compacts are likely soon to be swept away; that I hope the Nebraska bill will pass; and that I hope then to see freedom and slavery meet face to face, with no question between them except which shall conquer and which shall die.
While the newest and most formidable encroachment on the rights and liberties of the North
found the people too demoralized by the Compromise of 1850 to rally to the one effectual checkmate—disunion—it secured a greater toleration in that section for the abolitionists, shielding them for the moment with a wounded and passionate sentiment, which demanded that at least speech be free.
This was signalized in the case of Mr. Garrison
when, on the invitation of the New York City A. S. Society, he went on to deliver a lecture in the Tabernacle, on February 14, 1854.
W. L. Garrison to his Wife.