being urged in behalf of American slavery at this time.
wrote of the lecture many years after: ‘This was another attempt to expose slavery before a promiscuous audience, at a time when the subject was too delicate to be treated directly. . . . Professedly historical in character, and carefully avoiding any discussion of slavery in our country, it escaped censure, although jealous defenders of compromise were disturbed.
Others were pleased to find their sentiments against slavery represented in the lecture room.’1 Josiah Quincy
wrote, May 15, 1847, after reading the lecture: ‘The perusal once commenced could not be remitted until it was closed, so interesting were the details, so just the reflections, so noble the spirit, and so happy its adaptation.
It is alike honorable to the heart and head of its author.’
C. F. Adams
wrote a notice of the address for his paper, ‘The Boston Whig.’2
Like others of Sumner
's friends, he had dissented from some of the broadest affirmations of the latter's Fourth of July oration, and in this notice he remarked improvement in the orator's style and method, which would make his appeals more persuasive with practical men. He said: ‘There is the same glow in the style and richness of illustration that has marked all his preceding performances, whilst with the same high moral tone is blended greater caution than formerly in the statement of propositions which may give rise to dispute.’
An illustrated edition of the ‘White Slavery’ was published in March, 1853,3
at the instance of Mrs. Stowe
, who had become interested in it while preparing her ‘Key’ to ‘Uncle Tom's Cabin.’
She wrote, Nov. 7, 1852:—
Last evening I sat up and read with breathless interest your Algerine Slavery.
It appears to me to be fitted to a high class of mind, just that class which it is exceedingly difficult to reach.
Therefore I am certain that as an element of this struggle it should not be overlooked.
I do not imagine that it will be popularly called for; its refined irony may not strike the unobservant eye of those, who, as Browne says, “need something as visible as a tow string to connect an inference with a premise.”
On this latter point alone I am in doubt, but still think, in the scarcity of material to influence refined mind, we must lay hold of this.
Brother Henry is going to send to New York for the match engravings representing African and Algerian slavery, and those reduced will form admirable illustrations.