W. L. Garrison to his Wife.London, August 4, 1846.2 This day the World's [Temperance] Convention began its sessions. The cause which it seeks to promote being the first that I ever publicly espoused, I went to the meeting for the purpose of observing its proceedings. It was held in a comparatively small room, and the public were not allowed to listen to the discussions. Though not a delegate from any temperance society at home, I was politely furnished (with others) with a ticket, which admitted me as a member of the Convention; but I soon perceived that the same spirit which controlled the Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840, had entire mastery over this. In the course of the afternoon session, the Rev. Mr. Kirk3 of Boston incidentally defended the American slaveholder, and eulogized the Sabbath as worthy of being maintained by pains and penalties, ‘not in the name of the Lord, but on the ground of expediency.’ As soon as I could, I rose to reply, and was at first received with very great applause; but the moment I began to rebuke Kirk for his conduct, sundry individuals raised the cry of personality, and protested against the discussion of extraneous topics! Great excitement followed, and the result was that Kirk took back his pro-slavery sentiment, not to repudiate it, but to avoid the issue and escape censure. Everything in the Convention is under the most stringent regulations. As for free discussion, its toleration is out of the question. I do not think, after the treatment that I have received, that I shall attend another session. Not that the Convention at all sympathized with Kirk, for they did not; but they were afraid of giving offence, or of getting into a controversy on another topic, aside from the object which had specially brought them together. Still, they behaved quite unfairly, and are under too much ‘management’ to suit me—though Henry Clapp,4 notwithstanding his horror of an organized meeting on our side
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : re-formation and Reanimation.— 1841 .
Chapter 2 : the Irish address.— 1842 .
Chapter 3 : the covenant with death. — 1843 .
Chapter 4 : no union with slaveholders! — 1844 .
Chapter 5 : Texas .— 1845 .
Chapter 6 : third mission to England .— 1846 .
Chapter 7 : first Western tour.— 1847 .
Chapter 8 : the Anti-Sabbath Convention .— 1848 .
Chapter 9 : Father Mathew .— 1849 .
Chapter 10 : the Rynders Mob .— 1850 .
Chapter 11 : George Thompson , M. P.— 1851 .
Chapter 12 : Kossuth .— 1852 .
Chapter 13 : the Bible Convention.— 1853 .
Chapter 14 : the Nebraska Bill .— 1854 .
Chapter 15 : the Personal Liberty Law .— 1855 .
Chapter 16 : Fremont .— 1856 .
Chapter 17 : the disunion Convention.— 1857 .
Chapter 18 : the irrepressible Conflict.— 1858 .
Chapter 19 : John Brown .— 1859 .
 But that distinction was reserved for the Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher, who was introduced and often referred to as1 ‘the father of the temperance movement in America.’
W. L. Garrison to his Wife.
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