previous next

W. L. Garrison to his Wife.

[Bensonville], July 23, 1848.
1 Aside from the daily incidents which occur under the 2 WaterCure roof (and these are very slightly varied, and of no interest to any but the patients), there is nothing in all this region to stimulate the mind, excepting a contemplation of the beautiful and grand in Nature—nothing occurring worth putting on record. Perhaps a continued residence in the country would operate upon me differently; but I have been so long accustomed to the bustle and excitement of a city life that it is quite essential to the activity of my brain. My ideality is a large organ—so the phrenologists say, and so I believe; and if I were sufficiently transcendental to live in an ideal state, I could well enjoy the solitude of a country residence, where one is cut off from intercourse with society. But I see too many things on terra firma that need to be corrected or destroyed—the earth is too much stained with human blood—there are too many of my race suffering for lack of food, trampled beneath the hoofs of tyranny, plundered of sacred and inalienable rights, groping in mental darkness, victimized by those twin monsters, bigotry and superstition, wallowing in the mire of sensuality, and sighing to be brought into the glorious ‘liberty of the sons of God’—to allow me to dwell in an ideal state, or to gaze upon imaginary rainbows in the clouds, pleasant as it might be under other circumstances. Therefore my benevolence overtops my ideality, and makes me greatly prefer the practical to the fanciful. I want, first of all, to see the horrid system of slavery abolished in this country; and then everything else that is evil.3 . . .

Of the nineteen patients who are here, a majority are men. They are all well behaved, and very pleasant. I believe I am the gayest of the lotperhaps it is because I am the least advanced in the ‘cure.’ My organ of mirthfulness is constantly excited. . . . Most of the females are young ladies, all of them remarkably silent (for their sex, of course), and none of them very interesting (though I dare say they are all very worthy), excepting a Miss Thayer from Rochester, N. Y., who,4

1 Ms.

2 Sunday afternoon.

3 In this analysis we discern the limitations of Mr. Garrison's poetic faculty. As will have been remarked, his aversion to living in the country did not prevent him from being an ardent admirer of fine natural scenery.

4 Abby G. Thayer.

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Rochester (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Abby G. Thayer (2)
William Lloyd Garrison (1)
W. L. Garrison (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 23rd, 1848 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: