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[66] they now exist. A very deep impression was evidently made. This evening, I am to deliver a lecture on slavery in the same1 place; and at 12 o'clock at night shall leave in the cars for Syracuse to attend the conventions to be held in that place, commencing to-morrow forenoon. This is pretty close work,2 and draws upon all my mental and physical powers; but, thus far, my health remains good, and my lungs do not seem to suffer from so much speaking. Collins's pleuritic complaint hangs on to him, and his whole constitution seems to be greatly impaired. He will probably not return until after the Utica conventions. Abby Kelley is tasking her lungs too severely, and ought to be more careful for the future. She will continue in this part of the country during the winter.

My dear one, how are you and the little ones, and all the household? Do send me a letter to Utica, and give me all the little domestic particulars that you can think of. I shall hasten back to you, on the wings of love, as soon as possible. To-day3 we are all thrilled with emotion to think that poor Latimer's4 case is to be decided now. Great interest is felt in it here and elsewhere, and thousands are waiting with much anxiety to learn the result of the trial. All hope that Latimer will be rescued.5 The Liberator has just come, and is extremely interesting.


1 Nov. 21, 1842.

2 Nov. 22, 1842.

3 Nov. 21.

4 George Latimer.

5 This was the first of the fugitive causes celebres which periodically produced tremendous excitement in the leading cities of the North, and, by contagion, throughout the country. George Latimer, a fine-looking man, almost white, had escaped with wife and child to Boston from Norfolk, Va. He was arrested without a warrant on a charge of theft. Brought before Judge Lemuel Shaw, on a writ of habeas corpus, with S. E. Sewall as one of his counsel, he was remanded to be tried before Judge Story, of the U. S. Circuit Court; Judge Shaw assenting to the doctrine of the Prigg case (ante, p. 59), and denying him a trial by jury. A public meeting was at once called in Faneuil Hall for Oct. 30 (to the great scandal of a portion of the clergy, because it was a Sunday evening—Lib. 12: 175). Prayers were asked on that day by Latimer, and were offered in some pulpits. The meeting was very turbulent, and Remond, attempting to speak, was howled down by the mob. Wendell Phillips indignantly told them: ‘We presume to believe the Bible outweighs the statute-book. When I look upon these crowded thousands, and see them trample on their consciences and the rights of their fellow-men, at the bidding of a piece of parchment, I say, my curse be on the Constitution of these United States!’ (Lib. 12: 178. See Georgiana Bruce Kirby's “Years of experience, ” pp. 142-144.) The resolutions adopted denounced the Prigg decision; declared the fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution to be morally not binding; called for a repeal of the fugitive-slave law, and for State legislation against the surrender of fugitives, and particularly against the use of State prisons, officials, etc., for their detention and rendition. The illegality of Latimer's confinement in Leverett-Street jail was, in fact, made so patent to the sheriff of the county that the latter ordered his release, and he might have gone scot free but for a philanthropic cross-action, which ended in his being ransomed at a low figure. This event Mr. Garrison had the pleasure of announcing at the Syracuse convention on Nov. 22, 1842, amid cries of ‘God bless old Massachusetts!’ (Lib. 12: 205.) Meantime, in that State, Latimer meetings had been held in various towns; and a North Star and Latimer's Journal, edited by Dr. Henry I. Bowditch, issued every other morning in Boston, satisfied the public craving for news, and kept the antislavery flame at a white heat. Afterwards a Latimer and Grand Massachusetts Petition to the Legislature was industriously circulated, with a view to prohibiting State or municipal intervention in the arrest of fugitives, and to separating Massachusetts forever from all connection with slavery through an amendment to the Constitution (ante, p. 33). In these public demonstrations old and new organizationists participated, but the initiative came from the Board of the Mass. A. S. Society. See, for the whole story, Lib. 12.171,174, 175, 178, 179, 186, 187, 199, 205; 13: 34; Mss. Nov. 5, 1842, A. A. Phelps to F. Jackson, Dec. 18, N. Barney to F. Jackson, Jan. 29, 1843, E. Quincy to R. D. Webb, and an unpublished communication to the Courier by F. Jackson, Nov. 17, 1842. Add Whittier's true Northern lyric, ‘Massachusetts to Virginia’ (Lib. 13: 16).

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