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[167] man. My speech was frequently interrupted by a certain portion of the audience, in a rowdyish manner, something after the pattern we occasionally exhibit in Boston and elsewhere. My remarks frequently stung to the quick, and the snakes hissed and twisted as though they felt that the hour of doom had come. Still, the applause overpowered all the opposition—but the interruption was very considerable, and made my speech less consecutive than it otherwise would have been. Knowing that Thompson and Douglass were to follow me, I had more to say about the sectarian character of the Alliance than about its proslavery action; and this it was that called down upon my head the special ‘blessings’ of the priests and their tools in the vast assembly.

Thompson, though quite poorly all day, acquitted himself with more than ordinary ability, and made so powerful an impression that he swept away all symptoms of opposition; so that, when the resolutions were presented for adoption, only three or four hands were raised in opposition to them!1 Douglass followed in a very effective speech, and was warmly applauded. We regard the result of the meeting as a great triumph, and as giving a staggering blow to the Alliance at the very moment most opportune.

My manner of expressing my thoughts and feelings is somewhat novel, and not always palatable, in this country, on account of its plainness and directness; but it will do more good, in the end, than a smoother mode. At least, I think so, and will ‘bide my time.’ I am led to be more plain-spoken because almost every one here deals in circumlocution, and to offend nobody seems to be the aim of the speaker. If I chose, I could be as smooth and politic as any one; but I do not so choose, and much prefer nature to art.


The Alliance died by its own hand, though Mr. Garrison could rightly claim its demise as one of the results of2

1 The last of the resolutions read as follows: ‘That the conduct of the Evangelical Alliance recently held in this city, first, in adopting a proposition, declaring that men might be slaveholders without any fault of their own, and from disinterested motives; and then, to gratify the pro-slavery spirit of the American delegates, erasing from their proceedings all reference to the subject of slavery, in order to prevent an explosion, was at variance with the uncompromising spirit of Christian truth, and a virtual approval of the acts of those who, while they profess to be the followers of the great Redeemer, make merchandise of slaves and the souls of men’ (Lib. 16.166).

2 Lib. 16.198.

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