I have been thinking, all summer, of addressing Garrison2 a long letter for the Press, and I communicated my intention to our Boston friends. They urged, that I might revive old sores, now healed; that my private intercourse might do all the good such a letter could; and that, in prison, I ought not to risk the recurrence of unpleasant feelings among my friends, of either the “ Old ” or “ New ” organizations, some of whom, on both sides, would needs be offended by the views of one who told both plainly their faults—faults that pride, still, might make a few leaders loath to acknowledge.3 And then, as my views on the “confounded woman question” are materially modified,4 so far as it is connected with our cause, I might hurt the feelings of my personal friends. These ideas made me delay. Then came my two months prostrating sickness, and now, my trial, in which I suppose you and all my kind friends in Philadelphia feel a deep interest.
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1 A former Methodist minister, at this time an anti-slavery lecturer, and very intimate with Mr. Garrison, to whom he wrote from Galveston, Texas, July 13, 1866, apropos of the fund then being raised for the latter's support: ‘My dear old friend, I have nothing to give, but I have the memory of obligations for kindnesses received at your hands which, if I had thousands, I could scarcely repay. When an exile from my home, more than twentythree years ago, and living temporarily in Cambridgeport, you were a friend and brother most precious. You sympathized in my misfortunes and poverty; and, later, in Boston, you sheltered my little family in your own house, while I struggled, as I never did before, to find them bread. You shared with us your own bounty, and your excellent and noble wife was a companion and friend to mine. Your patience and kindness to all who sought your door for relief—your open-handed, large-hearted charity— your gentleness in the family, and your cheerful song as you came in and went out before us, are, and ever will remain, green in my memory. Alas! how little the world knew of the heart of that man whom they reviled as the offscourings of all things!’ (Ms.)
2 Ms. Nov. 29, 1844.
3 Compare the letter to Elias Smith cited above. Torrey was well-advised, considering how far his old associates lagged behind the Garrisonian abolitionists in exciting public sympathy on his behalf, or in turning his case to anti-slavery account (Lib. 14: 147).
4 Ante, 2.318.
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