previous next

William A. White was joined by Richard Hildreth in1 renewing his protest against the resolutions so triumphantly adopted. The general tenor of it was, that the2 proposed policy, besides being narrow and proscriptive, would make ‘no government’ men of the abolitionists as a body, and would, in all consistency, preclude them from any use of the existing State and Federal machinery against slavery, as by petitions and the like. Practically, disunion would end either in forcible emancipation initiated by the free States, or in a servile insurrection having their countenance. George Bradburn, with some qualification, but also with a peculiar bitterness to be more fully3 revealed ere long, assented to these objections—his first step towards joining the Liberty Party outright. Among the nays we remark further Maria, the sister of William4 A. White, and her affianced, James Russell Lowell, though the latter had been moved at the Convention to compose verses of a stiffer tone on the main question, as thus:

Whate'er we deem Oppression's prop,5
     Time-honored though it be,
We break, nor fear the heavens will drop
     Because the earth is free.6

The conclusion of the struggle for the acceptance of the disunion policy was marked by a bit of scenic effect. On the evening of the last day of the Convention, C. C. Burleigh presented in its behalf to Mr. Garrison, as President of the American Anti-Slavery Society, a silken banner (still preserved), bearing on one side a satirical symbol of American oppression,—the national eagle with one foot7 on the Constitution and the other on a prostrate slave, with accessories,—and on the reverse this inscription:

1 Ante, p. 101.

2 Lib. 14: 1.

3 Lib. 14: 130, 138, 142, 174, 185, 186, 195.

4 Lib. 14.95.

5 Lib. 14.152.

6 More pointedly, Whittier, stirred by the prospect of Texan annexation, had written, earlier in the year (Lib. 14: 63):

Make our Union-bond a chain,
     We will snap its links in twain,
We will stand erect again.

These lines, however, like the entire poem, ‘Texas,’ were much altered and weakened by the writer's second thought.

7 Lib. 14.91.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: