‘The new chapter in the history of America
opened twenty-five years ago by the organization of the New England
Anti-Slavery Society—may it soon be closed with the record of the accomplishment of its object, the complete, peaceful, unconditional abolition of American slavery.’
To this toast, proposed by Quincy
, Mr. Garrison
responded in an historical retrospect, mingled with2
tributes to his departed co-laborers, whether steadfast or alienated.
Had the division in the anti-slavery ranks in 1840 not taken place, he thought emancipation might already have been achieved.
T. W. Higginson
thanked the abolitionists of Massachusetts
, “not alone that they first told the secret of slavery, twenty-five years ago, to the astonished nation, but that they have told another secret, more recently, more daringly, to a nation yet more astonished—told the secret of anti-slavery, and told it in one word—disunion!”
‘As God is in heaven,’ he continued, ‘our destiny and our duty are to be found there.
It is our only hope.’
With the thought of Kansas
weighing heavily on his mind, he concluded his remarks by saying: ‘To-morrow may call us to some work so stern that the joys of this evening will seem years away.
To-morrow may make this evening only the “sound of revelry by night” before Waterloo
, sending a letter in3
lieu of a speech, was likewise in no ‘festal mood.’
He found “the Republican Party in Congress which carried eleven of the States at the last election, apologizing, and ‘defining its position,’ declaring it is ‘not an abolition party,’ ‘not an anti-slavery party,’ ‘not even hostile to the extension of bondage,’ ‘only opposed to spreading it into Kansas
,’ but ‘never intending to interfere with slavery in the States,’ and ‘ does not propose to discuss the relation between master and slave,’ or ‘the right to hold property in man.’
” Cf. 27.24.
‘Twenty-five years ago,’ he said, ‘I thought this terrible battle might be fought with the pen, and our victories written only in ink. Now, it seems quite otherwise. . . . Absent in body, I send you a word as a sentiment for the festivity: The triumph of Free