I have been the friend of the South, and, in the desire to save her from this great retribution, demanded in the name of the living God that every fetter should be broken, and the oppressed set free.1 I have not come here with reference to any flag but that of freedom. If your Union does not symbolize universal emancipation, it brings no Union for me. If your Constitution does not guarantee freedom for all, it is not a Constitution I can subscribe to. If your flag is stained by the blood of a brother held in bondage, I repudiate it, in the name of God. I came here to witness the unfurling of a flag under which every human being is to be recognized as entitled to his freedom. Therefore, with a clean conscience, without any compromise of principles, I accepted the invitation of the Government of the United States to be present, and witness the ceremonies that have taken place to-day. And now let me give the sentiment which has been, and ever will be, the governing passion of my soul: “Liberty for each, for all, and for ever.” (Cheers.)Before retiring for the night to his room at the Charleston Hotel, the editor of the Liberator paid a fraternal visit to the office of the Charleston Courier,2 where, true
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1 The following tribute to Mr. Garrison by a South Carolinian will not be out of place here. In an address on the ‘Parallelisms of Negro Slavery and Protection in the United States,’ delivered in Brooklyn, N. Y., March 19, 1886, Mr. John J. Dargan, President of the South Carolina Free Trade Association, said: ‘The North furnished, up to the outbreak of the war, many able and zealous defenders of the right of human bondage. But in the fulness of time there arose a party in New England led by William Lloyd Garrison. Words fail me when I contemplate the moral stature of this man. Grand, noble embodiment of liberty and justice, of courage and perseverance. He was for putting aside all calculations on consequences, and doing right, giving justice, and establishing freedom. . . . For . . . his fearless fight for liberty in America, his native State of Massachusetts had then only vituperation and imprisonment and stones and the hangman's halter to bestow upon him. But now it has come to pass that a citizen of South Carolina, upon whose soil he dared not set his foot twenty-five years ago, lest he be swung to the first convenient tree, as a malefactor blacker in crime than that unrepentant one who hung by Christ on the cross—a South Carolinian now proclaims his unbounded admiration for the man's courage and foresight, and his immeasurable gratitude to him for doing more, probably, than any other one man to liberate South Carolina from the curse of negro slavery.’
2 This journal, but recently a noisy secession sheet, was now conducted by Northern men who had taken possession of the deserted office and types, and made a loyal paper of it.
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