previous next

[231] being a ‘Garrisonian’ abolitionist, and a thoroughgoing reformer, must, of course, be very agreeable. She reminds me a little of Elizabeth Pease of Darlington, though younger by one-half. She is a rigid Grahamite, and deems it wrong to take the life of any animal for food—even to destroy a spider or snake. She was surprised, she said, to see me, yesterday, take up a stone to kill a snake which lay across my pathway, a few yards from the house, with his forked tongue thrust out in self-defence; though he got away unharmed.

W. L. Garrison to his Wife.

Bensonville, July 26, 1848.
1 To-day there is to be a Free Soil Convention in Northampton, and several of us will go down this afternoon to judge of its character and spirit—dispensing with our usual bath. The defection from the Taylor and Cass ranks, in this section of the2 State, appears to be considerable, and is every day increasing.3 It seems probable, now, that there will be no choice of electors in Massachusetts, by the people, at the November election.4 I long to see the day when the great issue with the Slave Power, of the immediate dissolution of the Union, will be made by all the free States, for then the conflict will be a short and decisive one, and liberty will triumph. The Free Soil movement inevitably leads to it, and hence I hail it as the beginning of the end.

The new movement had had a somewhat rapid development. From Cincinnati, in May, had issued a call for a5 People's Convention to be held at Columbus, Ohio, on June 21, to form a party based on opposition to slavery extension. Whigs, Democrats, and Liberty Party men mingled in the three thousand signers to the call. Mr. Garrison did not see in this combination and its object the ‘moral display’ which its promoters alleged.

‘Our gratification,’ he said,

at this movement is found6 only in the evidence that it gives, that the anti-slavery agitation is spreading among all classes at the North. As for the issue that is presented—free territory—it is weaker than the spider's web; a single breath of the Slave Power will blow it away. Never again, while remaining in the Union, will the free States

1 Ms.

2 Zachary Taylor.

3 Lewis Cass.

4 So the event proved (Lib. 18: 182).

5 Lib. 18.82.

6 Lib. 18.82.

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)
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.
W. L. G. Lib (3)
Zachary Taylor (1)
Elizabeth Pease (1)
William Lloyd Garrison (1)
W. L. Garrison (1)
Lewis Cass (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 26th, 1848 AD (1)
November (1)
June 21st (1)
May (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: