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[167] Washington for the opening of the new session. ‘I am constantly urging the importance of not admitting any of the rebel States into the Union until a longer probation,’ he wrote to his wife, “and find leading men to accept my views.” Ms. Nov. 29.

After his long absence at the West,1 Mr. Garrison had hoped to devote the last three weeks of the year wholly to the Liberator, but he had scarcely reached Boston before he was summoned to New York to attend a committee2 meeting of the American Freedman's Aid Commission; and three days later he was compelled to fulfil an engagement at Philadelphia, for a lecture at the Academy of Music. Even while he was speaking, the telegraph wires3 were bearing to every part of the land the official proclamation of Secretary Seward, issued that day, announcing the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, and its consequent incorporation as a part of the Constitution. Hurrying back to Boston, the editor of the Liberator took the composing-stick and himself set up the proclamation for insertion in the number just going to press,—the last issue but one of the paper,—and to it appended this paean:4

With our own hands we have put in type this unspeakably5 cheering and important official announcement that, at last, the old “covenant with death” is annulled, and the “ agreement with hell” no longer stands. Not a slave is left to clank his fetters, of the millions that were lately held in seemingly hopeless bondage. Not a slaveholder may dare to present his claim of property in man, or assume the prerogative of trafficking in human flesh and blood. Henceforth, personal freedom is secured for all who dwell on the American soil, irrespective of complexion or race. It is not merely the abolition of slavery, with the old recognized right of each State to establish the system ad libitum, but it is the prohibition, by “the supreme law of the land,” duly ratified, to enslave a human being in any part of our national domains, or to restore what has been overthrown. It is,

1 During this and many previous absences, Charles K. Whipple kindly assumed much of the editorial care of the paper. Samuel May, Jr., and Edmund Quincy contributed editorials, the latter giving an admirable review of the Liberator's career, in the last number before Mr. Garrison's return (Lib. 35.190).

2 Dec. 15.

3 Dec. 18.

4 Dec. 22.

5 Lib. 35.202.

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