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‘ [450] dom in America—peaceably if we can, forcibly if we12 must.’

The call for a State Convention “to consider the practicability, probability, and expediency of a separation between the Free and Slave States, and to take such other measures as the condition of the times may require,” Lib. 27.2. was issued by citizens of Worcester, with T. W. Higginson and Thomas Earle at their head—

Believing the result of the recent Presidential election to3 involve four years more of pro-slavery government, and a rapid increase in the hostility between the two sections of the Union;

Believing this hostility to be the offspring, not of party excitement, but of a fundamental difference in education, habits, and laws;

Believing the existing Union to be a failure, as being a hopeless attempt to unite under one government two antagonistic systems of society, which diverge more widely with every year;

And believing it to be the duty of intelligent and conscientious men to meet these facts with wisdom and firmness.

The Convention met on January 15, with Frank W.4 Bird of Walpole in the chair, Mr. Garrison being one of the vice-presidents. To the latter it was no disappointment to find it “ ‘nothing more than a Garrisonian meeting,’ with the exception of a very few others hitherto acting with the Republican Party.” Lib. 27.19. Nor could Mr. Higginson have been surprised. At the anti-slavery festival he had complained—“I talk with my Republican friends in vain to know whence comes this wondrous change which has altered their whole horizon since election. I talk with a man who said, before election: ‘If Buchanan is elected, I am with you henceforward—I am a Disunionist,’ and I find he thinks there must have been some mistake about that remark; he thinks it must have been his partner who said it, not he. They all have their partners!” Lib. 27.9. The Rev. Samuel May, Jr., was painfully aware that, on the subject of disunion, public opinion outside the abolition body had retrograded in the past decade. He recalled another5 gathering in the same hall in 1845, representing Worcester


2 1857.

3 Lib. 27.2.

4 Lib. 27.14.

5 Lib. 27.20.

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