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[452] encroachments to strengthen the Slave Power so long as12 its policy was to postpone secession), believing that the Union could be wielded for the benefit of liberty. In the event of Republican success, ‘we will then say to the slaveholders of those [slave] States, Unbind the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free; or, if you prefer to maintain that institution, “perish with it!” ’

The one letter to the Convention which astonished and offended its recipients by its tone came from Sumner's colleague in the U. S. Senate, Henry Wilson. He had read the call with profound regret, believing that the3 movement could have no other effect than to put a burden on the Republican Party, by arraying against it ‘that intense, passionate, and vehement spirit of nationality which glows in the bosoms of the American people.’ He frankly avowed his want of sympathy with it, and refusal to be connected with it. ‘The logic of the head and the logic of the heart,’ he declared, ‘teach me to regard all such movements, either in the North or [in] the South, as crimes against liberty.’ He hoped the Convention would ‘conclude to leave all the impotent and puerile threats against the Union to the Southern slave-propagandists; and proclaim their readiness to follow, in the conflicts of the future, the banner of Liberty and Union! ’

Mr. Garrison's speech at the Convention was, in part, as follows:

Mr. President, it was my intention to have prepared, with4 some care and deliberation, the views I desired to express on this grave occasion; but, having been ill for the last two weeks, I have not been able to give a moment to the preparation of a set speech. It is true, sir, with me, the subject is familiar; nevertheless, this is no ordinary gathering, and nothing should be hastily uttered on a question so vast, so solemn, and so revolutionary.

Sir, I do not marvel at the general hesitancy which I find in the community to come up to the high position of demanding a dissolution of the Union. I remember how men are born, and how they are bred. I know, in regard to my own case, with what tenacity I clung to this Union, inspired by the patriotic


2 1857

3 Lib. 27.14.

4 Lib. 27.15.

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