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[94] So Judge Jay, about to sail for Europe, wrote to Gerrit Smith: “Rather than be in union with Texas, let the confederation be shivered. My voice, my efforts will be for dissolution, if Texas be annexed.” Lib. 13.191; of. Lib. 15; 58, [62]. ‘We go one step further,’ commented Mr. Garrison, ‘dissolution now, Texas out of the question.’ The sequel will show which of these classes of disunionists had root, and which would1 wither away before the glare of the Slave Power. But it may be noticed here that the group of anti-slavery Whigs led by Adams, who were content with the Union as it had been formed, and even as it had been altered by the admission of fresh slave States, but drew the line at Texas, did not find an enthusiastic response to their disunion2 menace in the Liberty Party.

As usual, Mr. Garrison's mind had been occupied with many subjects besides that which claimed his chief attention. Great was the popular fermentation over Millerism,3 which drew off many abolitionists from the ranks, including Charles Fitch and J. V. Himes, and was controverted by the editor of the Liberator in two elaborate articles. Communism and socialism also diverted many. In June, Mr. Garrison attended as a spectator two meetings, in the Chardon-Street Chapel, “for the discussion of the questions pertaining to the reorganization of society and the rights of property,” Lib. 13.91. in which Collins took a leading part. He heard nothing which attracted him to the doctrines advocated.4 A few weeks previously he had replied to

1 Lib. 15.82.

2 Lib. 13.191.

3 Mss. Mar. 31, 1843, M. W. Chapman to H. C. Wright; June 27, E. Quincy to R. D. Webb; Lib. 13: 23, 27.

4 On Dec. 16, 1843, Mr. Garrison wrote to H. C. Wright in Dublin (Ms.): ‘John A. Collins is almost entirely absorbed in his “Community” project at Skaneateles, and is therefore unable to do much directly for the antislavery cause. He goes for a community of interest, and against all individual possessions, whether of land or its fruits—of labor or its products; but he does not act very consistently with his principles, though he says he does the best he can in the present state of society. He holds, with Robert Owen, that man is the creature of circumstances, and therefore not deserving of praise or blame for what he does—a most absurd and demoralizing doctrine, in my opinion, which will make shipwreck of any man or any scheme under its guidance, in due season. Still, it cannot be denied that circumstances are often very unfavorable to the development of man's faculties and moral nature; and if, by a reorganization of society, these can be rendered more favorable,—as doubtless they can,—let it take place. But it is an internal rather than an outward reorganization that is needed to put away the evil that is in the world.’ Compare Lib. 14.3, 168.

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