previous next
[51] in his trying and difficult position, when other speakers seemed too sweeping in their denunciations.1 ‘Those who hold office by the will of the people,’ he reminded them,2 ‘cannot be judged wholly like private men.’ And he further declared: “The gains of freedom have been so rapid and magnificent that we fail to appreciate them.” Lib. 32.90. The nineteen resolutions which he drafted for the Convention, and which were adopted by a rising vote, fully recognized these, however, while emphasizing what remained to be done. At the New York meetings, earlier3 in the month, he presented a carefully prepared “Statement of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society,” Lib. 32.74. referring to the omission of the annual meeting the previous year, and defining the position of the Society in view of the altered state of things.4

Joshua R. Giddings to W. L. Garrison.

Jefferson, Ohio, June 12, 1862.
5 dear Garrison: Thanks for that speech before the Anti-6 Slavery Convention. You gave such utterance to my own feelings that I felt truly grateful on reading it this morning. I thank God that you are yet able to attend such meetings. My friends will not permit me to be present on such occasions. Indeed, it is all I dare do to read their proceedings. Even they give rise to feelings that apparently endanger my existence.

1 Stephen S. Foster, for instance, held Mr. Lincoln responsible for the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law in the District of Columbia, whither scores of Maryland slaves flocked after the passage of the Emancipation Act, only to be seized, imprisoned, and returned to their masters. The resolutions introduced by Mr. Garrison very properly called upon Congress to end this ‘frightful paradox’ (Lib. 32: 92).

2 Lib. 32.90.

3 May 6.

4 In a letter urging the preparation of this Statement, Gerrit Smith wrote (April 16) to Mr. Garrison: ‘There is one point at which the meeting should, in my judgment, put forth a clear defence of the “Garrisonian abolitionist.” His influence, especially in the case of such a man as yourself or Wendell Phillips, is too important to the cause of freedom that injustice should be allowed to impair it. The “Garrisonian abolitionist” was formerly a Disunionist, and is now a Unionist; and hence he is charged with being inconsistent, or at least with being a convert. . . . There is a conversion. It is, however, to him, and not of him. There is a change; but it is around him, and not in him’ (Ms. and Lib. 32: 74).

5 Ms.

6 In Boston.

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)
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.
June 12th, 1862 AD (1)
May 6th (1)
April 16th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: