For the annual meeting itself Mr. Garrison had prepared a letter of like tenor with the foregoing: the American Society, at its present anniversary, should be entirely unbiassed by anything that I might say or do; so that it might appear, beyond all cavil, that the Society marked out its own course, and came to its own conclusions, without any aid from me. I hear that the meetings are proceeding in a very quiet manner, and that none of the sons of Belial have rallied either to molest or make afraid. The great question of a repeal of the Union has been boldly and earnestly discussed; but I do not know how the debate terminated. To-morrow morning, all our Eastern delegates will return—about 250 of whom went on in the Mohegan, via Stonington–and then all the particulars will be made known. I have not at any time supposed that a majority of old organizationists are prepared openly to go for repeal; for the question is one of recent agitation, and should be carefully examined before a verdict is made up, either pro or con. Yet I have no doubt whatever, that, in the progress of the discussion, all who mean to be consistent, uncompromising abolitionists will ere long be found on the side of repeal. As for the disclaimer of our New York friends, I am sorry it was made; not only as it took a false position, but as it was extorted under circumstances that seemed to indicate a lack of self-possession, and an improper dread of mobocratic violence. It was certainly an error of judgment; but how different is this from a dereliction of principle! It need not, and will not, I trust, create any breach of friendship, or lead to personal alienation, in any quarter.
W. L. Garrison to the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society.Boston, May 9, 1842.1 Dear friends: After much reflection, I have come to the conclusion not to be present at the annual meeting of the Parent Society in New York. The motives which induced me to forego the pleasure of being with you on that interesting and important occasion, I trust will be accurately understood and duly appreciated. In a recent number of the Liberator, I ventured to state (not with the intention of committing the Society to any definite course of action, but merely on my own responsibility),