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Chapter 6: the schism.—1840.

The nomination of Birney and Earle is finally effected in a pseudo-national A. S. Convention at Albany. The New York State A. S. Society becomes disorganized, and the Executive Committee of the American Society call in its agents, dispose of its organ, and shut up the office in New York City. At the annual meeting in May, Garrison and his New England supporters outnumber the partisans of the Executive Committee, and recover control of the Parent Society. A secession ensues, upon the issue of equal female membership, and the American and Foreign A. S. Society is formed, under the lead of the Tappans. Garrison is appointed one of the American Society's delegates to the World's A. S. Convention in London, and sails in May.


The sectarian reaction against the moral leadership of Mr. Garrison, as an abolitionist, culminated in the year upon which we now enter. So far as it took the phase of a Third Party movement, it was aided by the unparalleled excitement of the Presidential campaign which ended in the election of General Harrison. Under the guise of ‘New Organization’ (whose clerical origin must ever be kept in view) it fell in with the proslavery mastery of the leading denominations, notably the Methodist and the Presbyterian. Hence, the resolutions in which the great majority of the abolitionists expressed their sentiments during 1840, were directed against the formation of a political anti-slavery party; against giving support at the polls to either Harrison or Van Buren (on the ground of their notorious subserviency to slavery); against the exclusive and oligarchical spirit of the seceders from the old organization; and against churches either silent towards or in active fellowship with slaveholders.

The common action and identity of interest between New Organization and Third Party have already appeared in this narrative, and will be more and more conspicuous as we proceed. Mr. Garrison's opposition to the latter will be understood only by bearing in mind the facts: (1) that Holley, Stewart, Birney and Gerrit Smith proposed to convert the existing anti-slavery (immediate-emancipation) organization into a political [334] machine—in other words, to substitute one mode of action for another; (2) that they expected to do this without subtracting from the existing constitutions of the national and subsidiary societies—in other words, without lowering the standard of anti-slavery aims and demands. Holding firmly to this clew, the reader will not be misled into thinking the case the same as if a body of men, not members of any abolition society, nor ready to become such because not satisfied with purely religious modes of agitation and achievement, but accustomed to vote with either the Whig or the Democratic party, had decided to form a new party having slavery for its main issue. Such an organization would have been judged by Mr. Garrison according to its performances, but would never have been regarded otherwise than as an encouraging sign of the times.

The abundant private correspondence of this year will enable us to present the story largely in the words of the chief actors. Let us begin with an extract from a letter of Mr. Garrison's to G. W. Benson, dated Boston, January 4, 1840:

How sorry I am to say that it will be utterly out of my1 power to be with you at Hartford on the 8th inst. But what I cannot do, I cannot. I know how great will be the disappointment of the Connecticut friends—your own—and all the household at Brooklyn. And, what is worse, Quincy tells me2 that he will not be able to go. He made the attempt before3 —got half-way, or part way—was forced to stay in the cars all night, and then return home, in consequence of the storm. The annual meeting of our State Society takes place on the 22d. With a thousand other things I have to do between that brief space and this, I have the Annual Report to write, reviewing the events of the past year—which must, of necessity, be a very long and elaborate document. 0, I groan to think of it! Not a syllable of it is yet prepared—nor can I get one hour to devote to it; and yet it must be all written [335] before the meeting. Dear George, you see how I am situated: therefore, apologize for my absence to the friends at Hartford. If I can possibly get time, I mean to write a letter to Cowles,4 to be read at the meeting—but it is doubtful whether I shall succeed. I will do the best I can, and who can do more? Do not fail to be at the meeting yourself, and save Connecticut abolitionism from the political gulf which yawns to devour. And by all means be at our annual meeting on the 22d, if possible: we shall need your presence on many accounts.

Somehow Mr. Garrison contrived to write his report in time to be partly read, and to be cordially received.5 It embodied a letter of the Massachusetts Board, dated6 December 6, 1839, declining to come to the aid of the New York Executive Committee in its financial strait. The Society endorsed this refusal, and further declined to accept the Massachusetts apportionment made at the futile meeting of January 15, 1840, towards covering the7 Committee's liabilities.

If the resolutions on the death of Lundy and the8 awful destruction of Dr. Charles Follen9 gave a peculiar solemnity to the occasion, those which welcomed back the penitent author of the following letter (it was Mr. Garrison himself who reported them) inspired a cheerful thanksgiving. Its recipient had read it ‘with a10 thrill of sacred joy’:

Rev. Charles Fitch to W. L. Garrison.

Newark, Jan. 9, 1840.
11 Dear Sir: Herewith I attempt the discharge of a duty to which I doubt not that I am led by the dictates of an enlightened conscience, and by the influences of the Spirit of God. I have been led, of late, to look over my past life, and to inquire what I would think of past feelings and actions, were I to behold Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven, coming to judge the world, and to establish His reign of holiness and righteousness and blessedness over the pure in heart. From such an [336] examination of my past life, I find very much, even in what I have regarded as my best actions, deeply to deplore; but especially do I find occasion for shame and self-loathing and deep humiliation before God and man, when I see in what multiplied instances the ruling motive of my conduct has been a desire to please men, for the sake of their good opinion. In seeking the promotion of good objects, I have often acted with this in view; but I feel bound in duty to say to you, sir, that to gain the good — will of man was the only object I had in view, in everything which I did relative to certain writings called ‘Clerical Appeal.’ I cannot say that I was conscious at the time, certainly not as fully as I am now, that this was the motive by which I was actuated; but as I now look back upon it, in the light in which it has of late been spread before my own mind, as I doubt not by the Spirit of God, I can clearly see that, in all that matter, I had no true regard for the glory of God or the good of man. I can see nothing better in it than a selfish and most wicked desire to gain thereby the good opinion of such men as I supposed would be pleased by such movements; while I can clearly see that I did not consult the will of God or the good of my fellow-men, in the least, and did indulge toward yourself and others, and toward principles which I now see to be according to truth, feelings which both my conscience and my heart now condemn, which I know a holy God never can approve, and which I rejoice to think He never will approve.

I send you this communication because my conscience and my heart lead me to do it; because I think the truth and the Spirit of God approve it, and influence me to do it; and not because I expect or wish thereby to secure the applause of man, or even to regain any good — will of man which I may have lost by actions which I now wholly disapprove. I trust I have learned higher principles of action; at least, I know I must learn them, or be in fearful circumstances in that day when ‘every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit must be hewn down and cast into the fire.’

The acknowledgment which I now make, I expect to approve when I appear before God with my final account; and this is reason enough to induce me to make it. I believe it is according to the will of God, and that will I fully approve.

You are at liberty, sir, to do with it what you please. If God can be honored and good done thereby, I would like that the confession I make be as public as the sin I committed. I [337] believe that I should do what I now have done, if I knew I should be despised for it by the whole world. There is One by me who searches my heart, and there is a judgment-seat before me where I must stand. There is, also, a despised, cast-out, and crucified Saviour, who was none other than ‘God manifest in the flesh,’ whom I wish to please and honor. If you can make any use of this communication that you think will be an honor to Him, or a service to the cause of truth, dispose of it at your pleasure.

The Lord strengthen you to do His will.


The resolutions on the church to which the Massachusetts Society gave its assent at its annual meeting, were from Mr. Garrison's hand. They contained no doctrine that was not published by him at the very inception of his anti-slavery labors; but they may be quoted as a type of formal anti-slavery utterance on this subject during the year—and as a progressive example of the grounds of clerical hostility to their author:

Resolved, That no man who apologizes for slavery, or12 refuses to bear an open and faithful pulpit testimony against it, or who neglects to exert his moral and official influence in favor of the cause of human freedom and of the rights of his enslaved fellow-men, can have the least claim to be regarded as a minister of Him who came to preach deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; and that for abolitionists to recognize such men as ministers of Christ, or to aid in supporting them as such, is as inconsistent with their principles, and must be as displeasing to God, as it would be for them to support in that capacity a slaveholder, or an open defender of slavery.

Resolved, That no association of men can have any just claim to be considered a Church of Jesus Christ which withholds its sympathy and aid from the oppressed, or which either refuses or neglects to bear its testimony against the awful sin of slavery; and that abolitionists are bound by the holy principles they profess, and by their regard for the rights of their enslaved and imbruted fellow-men, to withhold their support from such associations, and to endeavor to bring the members of them to repentance for the sin of stopping their ears at the cry of the poor.

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At Lynn, on March 10 and 11. 1840, before a large and13 enthusiastic assembly gathered in quarterly meeting of the Essex County Anti-Slavery Society, Mr. Garrison shaped kindred resolutions more pointedly, affirming ‘that the indifference or open hostility to anti-slavery principles and measures of most of the so-called religious sects, and a great majority of the clergy of the country, constitutes the main Obstruction to the progress of our cause.’ And for the special reproof of the Quaker community of which Lynn was the seat, he14 offered, with the necessary exceptions in favor of individuals, the following:

Resolved, That the Society of friends,—by shutting its15 meeting-houses against the advocates of the slave, and by its unchristian attempts to restrain the freedom of such of its members as are abolitionists—has forfeited all claims to be regarded as an anti-slavery society, and practically identified itself with the corrupt pro-slavery sects of the land.16

Two other resolutions, bearing the stamp of the editor of the Liberator, and anticipating Mr. Seward's famous dictum as to an ‘irrepressible conflict,’ were also adopted at Lynn, in these words:

Resolved, That Freedom and Slavery are natural and 17 irreconcilable enemies; that it is morally impossible for them to endure together in the same nation; and that the existence of the one can only be secured by the destruction of the other.

Resolved, That slavery has exercised a pernicious and most dangerous influence in the affairs of this Union, from its foundation to the present time;18 that this influence has increased, is increasing, and cannot be destroyed, except by the destruction of slavery or the Union.

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The Lynn resolutions against a Third Party found a special motive in the call for another convention to19 nominate Presidential candidates (again at Albany) on April 1, which had emanated from an anti-slavery convention held at Arcade, N. Y., a week after the Massachusetts annual meeting. The date was obviously fixed in anticipation of the annual meeting of the American Society in New York City. The following letter reveals the struggle going on for the possession of the State anti-slavery organization, in the region inhabited by the chief promoters of the political enterprise:

Henry C. Wright to George W. Benson.

Cato, Cayuga Co., N. Y., Feb. 20, 1840.
20 I am in an anti-slavery convention. All is bustle and noise around. Discussion about Ministers, Church, and politicians. Many excited. To discuss the character of political candidates seems the great object of Myron Holley, Gerrit Smith, Wm. L. Chaplin21 and others, but the great body of the Abolitionists are sound. The State Society is defunct, because its President, Agent, and Committee are all turned politicians, and the people are determined not to be gulled into a political party. It is evident that the Committee, H. B. Stanton, Birney and others in New York are determined to organize a great political party, to regenerate the Government. They made the first onset upon Massachusetts. Defeated there, they formed a political party there—Abolition Society. Then they got up the Albany Convention. Defeated there, the meeting at Cleveland22 was called. Defeated there, they have made an onset on Western New York,23 and are determined to convert this State Society into a political party, or have a New Organization [340] here. They are determined to make a desperate push at the Anniversary in May. If they cannot convert the Parent Society into a political party, they will move to form another American Society, and proceed to form State societies for the purpose of nominating candidates, and urging the people to the polls to vote. Thus matters stand. A great move is to be made, under the auspices of Myron Holley and Gerrit Smith, to form a great national political party. I expect Goodell will aid them.

Now, my brother, I write this, in the midst of much agitation, to entreat you to exert all your influence in Connecticut and Rhode Island to get delegates to New York in May—men and women delegates. There is to be a desperate struggle for political power in that meeting, unless something occurs to prevent. Write to friends in Connecticut. See Thomas Davis and Wm. Chace;24 get them to stir. The abolitionists, the working ones, in Western New York are determined to cut loose from the State Society, and form a society for Western New York. They are not willing that Myron Holley, Gerrit Smith, Wm. L. Chaplin, and Wm. Goodell should any longer be regarded as fit representatives of the abolitionism of Western New York.

I have attended six State and county conventions. Am to attend several more. I came here to lecture on Non-Resistance. The door is thrown wide open for me. But the friends here insist on my attending these conventions. I am brought into personal acquaintance with thousands. I have to discuss the party question everywhere. All opponents cry out against my Non-Resistance, and they bring it into every meeting. This sets the people inquiring, and they are anxious to hear for themselves. So it goes. . . .

I am just informed25 that a convention is to be held at Albany, to organize an anti-slavery political party, and to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President. This convention, it would seem, originated with the members of the Executive Committee at New York. They have put up their [341] tools, Myron Holley and others, to call it. So at a county convention at Arcade, near Rochester, they (Holley, Smith and Chaplin) got a resolution passed to this effect. There has been no general concert among the friends. It is to be a kind of packed meeting of political office-hunters calling themselves abolitionists. They make this move to be prepared for the May meeting in New York, to have candidates ready to present to that meeting. Thus it appears to me. I may be mistaken. I hope I am. But our office-seeking abolitionists are desperate. Gerrit Smith has lost much of his moral influence by the stand he has taken. As a non-resistant, I care not how quick such a party is formed. It must be based on the Divinity of the Ballot-box, or it is useless. Of course they will have to argue the question of the rightfulness of governments of human will and human slaughter.


The Massachusetts Board lost no time in opposing the call for the Albany Convention. As soon as Mr. Garrison could prepare an address to the abolitionists of the United States, it was promulgated. It reviewed the26 causes of division in the anti-slavery ranks, and the rise of the Third Party movement, in spite of its unanimous condemnation by the anti-slavery societies, State and local; pointed out the unwise and reprehensible conduct of the Emancipator in advocating it, and the culpable complicity of the Executive Committee by its silent approval; and called upon the various anti-slavery bodies and periodicals to give no countenance to the approaching ‘National Anti-Slavery Convention for Independent Nomination.’ The call was presumptuous and without authority. ‘It is evident that there is, in the western part of New York, a small but talented body of restless, ambitious men, who are determined to get up a third party, come what may—in the hope, doubtless, of being lifted by it into office.’ ‘Let the meeting be insignificant and local, and thus rendered harmless’; and let there be no more calling of national conventions by irresponsible persons. The Executive Committee, in concurrence with the State boards, should call them, through the official organ. The address closed with an [342] appeal for an overwhelming attendance at the May meeting in New York.

This manifesto, and especially the charge of ambition and self-seeking (though these were early recognized as a probable danger to political abolitionism by Wright,27 Goodell, and William Jay), were feelingly retorted by Leavitt in the Emancipator, by Goodell in the Friend of28 Man, by Gerrit Smith—whom Mr. Garrison expressly disavowed having had in mind among the office-seekers.29 Though rebuked by the Executive Committee, Leavitt renewed his attack on the address and on the 30 nonresistant abolitionists, denying the right of the Massachusetts Board to strike the keynote for abolitionists, and ridiculing Mr. Garrison as the ‘King of day’ at Boston.

The Albany Convention mustered a hundred and31 twenty-one members enrolled, of whom one hundred and four were from New York State alone. Neither Pennsylvania nor Ohio—nor any more western State—was represented. Alvan Stewart presided. Torrey was one32 of the vice-presidents, Leavitt one of the secretaries; Holley and Elizur Wright members of the business committee, Gerrit Smith and Goodell of the committee on correspondence. ‘Will it be credited by the abolitionists of the United States,’ exclaimed Mr. Garrison,33 ‘the handful of abolitionists thus brought together had the folly, the presumption, the almost unequalled infatuation, to put candidates in nomination in their behalf for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States!—namely, James G. Birney, of Kentucky, and Thomas Earle, of Pennsylvania!’34

Simultaneously with this event came the intelligence that the Executive Committee was about to transfer the official organ into the hands of a private individual, though, as N. P. Rogers said, the Emancipator was as35 [343] clearly the property of the National Society as the Herald of Freedom was that of the New Hampshire Society. Against this extraordinary action the Massachusetts Society, in quarterly meeting, protested in vain.36 The transfer was made, before the close of April, by sale37 to Joshua Leavitt, on account of the New York City38 Anti-Slavery Society (virtually the Executive Committee itself, under another name), whose organ it quickly became. The books and other property of the Society were likewise assigned to Lewis Tappan and S. W. 39 Benedict, to secure the Society's indebtedness, and in all but name the Society was extinct before the annual meeting—a literal clearing of the decks for action.40

Henry C. Wright to W. L. Garrison.

Philadelphia, [May], 1840.
41 If you see fit, publish this; if not, lay it aside. In a little42 interview with brother Goodell, I found his mind in a most43 rabid state—perfectly New-Organized. He appeared a changed man. Politics have made him mad. He is nettled and stung to death by your remarks upon his inconsistency. He is determined, like E. Wright, Leavitt & Co., to lay all the opposition to the political party scheme to Non-Resistance. I would send you extracts from his writings to demonstrate his former position, but I have them not by me.

Lee and Leavitt are expected in Philadelphia to attend the44 meeting of the State Society. I rather think it will be a stormy time if they come. Whittier is here, and will be here at the meeting. . . .

Thomas Earle informed me and Bradburn, who is here,45 last night, that he should not accept the nomination unless they would form a democratic party. His views are most radical. He will not go with any party that will not go for universal suffrage; poverty and crime constitute no forfeiture of suffrage, [344] in his opinion. So he said last night. He goes against all customs and tariffs. There is great excitement respecting the meeting in New York: generally opposed to the doings at Albany, and to all connexion of the cause with party politics. The first thing to come before that meeting will be the woman question: if possible, women will be excluded. Some women are expected to go as delegates from Pennsylvania. The contest will be a hard one. The Committee at New York may carry the day, through the N. Y. city members, whom they have long been drilling and stirring up for the occasion.

Much dissatisfaction is shown at their selling the Emancipator. Do call attention to it, and comment on it. It is a dishonest transaction—done solely to get it into Leavitt's hands, that he may control it as he pleases. The ministers will rally at New York to get control of the A. S. cause.


The Massachusetts Board were fully alive to the impending crisis. They had already put forth a second address to the abolitionists of the United States, again46 from Mr. Garrison's pen. The same sectarian spirit, it said, that had sought the life of the Massachusetts Society, was now plotting the overthrow of the American. It would, at the approaching meeting, attempt to reconsider the vote of the last anniversary, by which the equal privileges of women as members were recognized; to pass resolutions enforcing the duty to vote, favoring a Third Party, and endorsing the Presidential nominations made at Albany, or at least averting condemnation of them by the auxiliary societies; to disband the Society, or effect a secession, and make the organization more narrow, under clerical control, and with proportional representation at the annual meeting; finally, to encourage the formation of sectarian societies. These were not idle imaginings. Amendments to the Constitution in conformity with the foregoing programme had already been broached in the Emancipator; and Birney47 and Lewis Tappan, having been charged by the Executive Committee to propose changes in the organization, recommended that the Parent Society should either48 ‘resume their whole power as to auxiliary societies— [345] as to territory, funds, etc.,’ or else disband.49 The Eman-cipator, speaking for itself, declared bluntly:

The true question is, whether the policy of the American50 Anti-Slavery Society shall be guided by its Constitution, in the hands of a committee of its own choice, responsible at its bar, and representing impartially the abolitionists of the whole land —or whether it shall be controlled at pleasure by a local Board, elected by a single auxiliary society, and representing a section of the abolitionists of a single State.

Goodell was no less explicit, in his own paper. 51 Abolition and Non-Resistance, he wrote, can no more walk together than can Abolition and Colonization. He predicted a strong rally at New York ‘of non-resistants and of whole-Whig-ticket abolitionists combined.’ If they should succeed in censuring and displacing the Executive Committee, it would be equivalent to a dissolution of the Society. A new spur would be given to combined political action ‘if the National Society should slip out of the way, or get into the hands of the friends of Harrison and the opponents of civil government.’52 Combined ecclesiastical action would also receive a stimulus. ‘Or, perhaps, among the local churches and among abolitionists connected with them, the query might be revived with fresh interest, whether the Lord Jesus Christ did not institute, and does not require them to organize, Christian churches, which shall occupy and cultivate the ground attempted to be cultivated hitherto by the great reformatory and evangelizing voluntary associations of the day.’ ‘We shall be,’ continued Goodell, ‘as charitable as we can to men's motives, but their anti-abolitionism we shall steadfastly oppose, even if it shelters itself under the banners of Wm. Lloyd Garrison.’ And he bitterly threw off the last remnant of his old friendship for the editor of the Liberator in a short article entitled, ‘How to Make a Pope’: [346]

Take an ardent and strong-minded leader in a good but53 hated cause. Place him in the fires of persecution, and surround him with devoted and generous friends. Just in proportion to the frequency of his proving himself in the right, when almost everybody said he was wrong, will the conviction fasten upon his admirers that he is infallible. They will act, and perhaps speak, in conformity with their impressions. Almost of necessity, the same idea will insinuate itself imperceptibly, yet firmly, into his bosom. He soon shows that he expects to be implicitly followed, and his expectations realized. Thus it was with the bishops of Rome, and hence the rise of their exorbitant power.— Vide “Natural history of spiritual Despotism.”

The wit of Collins found a way to forward the largest possible New England delegation to New York. On May 2, 1840, James C. Jackson wrote from New York to G. W. Benson:

J. A. Collins wishes me to say to you that he calculates on54 chartering the steamboat Massachusetts at Providence, for the purpose of carrying on our friends to the Annual Meeting of the A. A. S. Society. He wishes you to write to him immediately into what port you will have her put to take on the friends of truth from Connecticut. The fare will be cheap, and the expenses cheap.

I need not say that the devil is arousing his myrmidons for the conflict, and that a defeat awaits us unless superior vigilance prevents. New York city, where I write this, is all alive.

Public announcement of this mode of conveyance was made the next week in the Liberator. Mammon 55 consented, under the circumstances, to make no distinction between white and black passengers on the boat and in the special trains connecting with it—a prime 56 consideration in securing the attendance of colored delegates. On Monday, May 11, the great rally began at the depot in Boston:

‘A few came from the land of “down east,” ’ reported Mr.57 Garrison,

and from the thick-ribbed hills of the Granite State; but especially from the counties of old Essex, and Middlesex, [347] and Norfolk, and Plymouth, and Suffolk, in Massachusetts, they came promptly and numerously at the summons of humanity, in spite of ‘hard times’ and the busy season of the year, to save our heaven-approved association from dissolution, and our broad platform from being destroyed. An extra train of cars had been engaged for the occasion; but so numerous was the company, another train had to be started—our numbers continually augmenting at every stopping-place between the two cities. 0, it was a heart-stirring and rare spectacle—such as has never before been witnessed in the progress of our all-conquering enterprise; and many were the spectators who were looking on with wonder and surprise at such a gathering of fanaticism, and such a “ dying away” of abolitionism.

On arriving at Providence, the company embarked on board of the steamboat Rhode Island, which had the American flag flying in the breeze, (the flag of Liberty has not yet been fashioned), a considerable number of delegates from Bristol County and from the city of Providence joining us; so that, huge and capacious as were the dimensions of our chartered boat, it was very difficult to move about with facility, notwithstanding the accommodating disposition of all on board. On making an enumeration, it appeared that there were about 450 anti-slavery men and women in our company, of whom about 400 were from Massachusetts.58 (Probably another hundred went by other routes.) There never has been such a mass of “ultraism” afloat, in one boat, since the first victim was stolen from the fire-smitten and blood-red soil of Africa. There were persons of all ages, complexions and conditions—from our time-honored and veteran friend Seth Sprague, through ripened manhood down to rosy youth. They were, indeed, the moral and religious élite of New England abolitionism, who have buckled on the anti-slavery armor to wear to the end of the conflict, or to the close of life. It was truly a great and joyful meeting, united together by a common bond, and partaking of the one spirit of humanity. Such greetings and shaking of hands! such interchanges of thoughts and opinions! [348] such zeal, and disinterestedness, and faith! Verily it was good to be there! . . .

The northeasterly storm which had lasted for several days previous, cleared up finely just as we left Providence, and a glorious sunset and a bright moonlight evening followed. All was tranquil, all happy. In the course of the evening, spirited addresses were made by Wm. M. Chace, Dr. Manford,59 C. M. Burleigh, Samuel J. May, N. P. Rogers, and J. A. Collins, which were frequently responded to in an enthusiastic manner.

The muster was not confined to the friends of the old organization. The New Organizationists, too, and the60 New York Executive Committee did what they could to ‘pack’61 the Convention. The Fourth Free Church could hardly contain the delegates alone, who numbered62 more than a thousand. As the President, Arthur Tappan, purposely absented himself, Francis Jackson, a63 Vice-President of the American Society, took the chair. His first duty was to appoint a business committee, and this he composed as follows, with an obviously liberal representation of Third Party and New Organization: W. L. Garrison, chairman; Ichabod Codding (Maine); Thomas Davis (Rhode Island); Rowland T. Robinson (Vermont); Amos A. Phelps, Abby Kelley (Massachusetts); William L. Chaplin, Lewis Tappan (New York); Charles C. Burleigh, Charles W. Gardiner (Pennsylvania); and Charles W. Denison (New Jersey). On Miss Kelley's confirmation by the meeting the fate of the Society depended. The viva-voce vote being questioned, a count by the tellers showed a total of 1008,64 with about a hundred majority in her favor. The deathknell [349] of sectarianism had sounded. Tappan, Phelps, and Denison at once asked to be excused from serving on65 the committee, the first assigning as his reasons that ‘to66 put a woman on a committee with men is contrary to the Constitution of the Society; it is throwing a firebrand into the anti-slavery ranks; it is contrary to the usages of civilized society.’ And his clerical associates added, that it was contrary to the gospel and to their consciences. Messrs. Tappan and Denison then arose, and asked those who had voted against the appointment of women to meet and form a new society.

The battle being thus ended on the first day, the meeting proceeded to dispose of the pending amendments to the Constitution, which were all rejected save one, viz., that the Executive Committee should thereafter be elected by the Society instead of by the Board of Managers. The result of this change was, that Lucretia Mott, Lydia Maria Child, and Maria W. Chapman were made members of the Committee for the ensuing year. Among the resolutions adopted, that on political duty proved the most troublesome to frame, and in its final shape was offered by C. C. Burleigh. It read (a large majority approving):

Resolved, That the Constitution of the American 67 AntiSlavery Society does not settle, or attempt to settle, either affirmatively or negatively, the question whether it is or is not the duty of any of the members of the Society, as such, to vote at the polls.

The series which this resolution introduced contained also the following:

Resolved, That, as abolitionists, we cannot give any 68 countenance to the election of Martin Van Buren or William Henry Harrison to the Presidency of the United States, without violating our anti-slavery principles and professions; inasmuch as both of them have publicly committed themselves in support of slavery.

Resolved, That, without intending to pass a censure on those abolitionists who urge the formation of an abolition [350] political party, or the nomination of candidates for office on abolition grounds, we heartily disapprove the adoption of such measures, as inexpedient and injurious to the cause they are designed to promote.

Resolved, therefore, That we regret the course pursued by the recent Convention of the friends of immediate emancipation at Albany, in nominating candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States; and highly as we respect the gentlemen whose names were brought before the public as nominees of that Convention, we cannot advise our friends to waste their energies in futile efforts to promote their election.

The resolution on the Church proceeded from Mr. Garrison, and, after modification, was adopted as follows:

Whereas, the American Church, with the exception of some69 of its smaller branches, has given its undisguised sanction and support to the system of American Slavery, in the following among other ways, viz.:

1. By profound silence on the sin of slaveholding;

2. By tolerating slave-breeding, slave-trading, and slaveholding in its ministers and members;

3. By receiving the avails of the traffic in “slaves and the souls of men” into the treasuries of its different benevolent institutions; and

4. By its indifference and opposition to the Anti-slavery enterprise;70

Therefore,

Resolved, That the Church ought not to be regarded and treated as the Church of Christ, but as the foe of freedom, humanity and pure religion, so long as it occupies its present position.

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Mr. Garrison further offered resolutions expressing71 dissatisfaction with the reasons given by the Executive Committee, in their annual report, for the sale and transfer of the Emancipator, inasmuch as the assets of the Society much exceeded its liabilities. The New York City Anti-Slavery Society was held morally bound to restore the paper, on being properly indemnified for expenses incurred; and a committee, consisting of E. G. Loring, N. P. Rogers, J. S. Gibbons, Nathan Winslow, and Thomas Earle, was appointed to negotiate for that end. The terms demanded being too onerous, there was nothing left for the American Society but to resolve, on72 motion of Mr. Loring, to establish a new organ.

One other resolution, or series of resolutions, offered by David Lee Child on behalf of the business committee, still calls for notice:

Resolved, That the American Anti-Slavery Society regard73 with heartfelt interest the design of “the World's Convention,” about to assemble in London; and anticipate from its labors a powerful and blessed influence upon the condition and prospects of the victims of slavery and prejudice, wherever they are found.

Resolved, That our beloved friends William Lloyd Garrison, Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, Charles Lenox Remond, and Lucretia Mott be and they hereby are appointed Delegates, to represent this Society in the said Convention, and we heartily commend them to the confidence and love of the universal abolition fraternity.

Resolved, That the Anti-slavery enterprise is the cause of universal humanity, and as such legitimately calls together the World's Convention; and that this Society trusts that that Convention will fully and practically recognize, in its organization [352] and movements, the equal Brotherhood of the entire human family, without distinction of color, sex, or clime.

The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society had74 been founded in London in April, 1839, at the instance of Joseph Sturge, an eminent member of the Society of Friends. His first public proposal of it, on reaching75 America, led the editor of the Emancipator to suggest that a world's anti-slavery convention be held in London76 in the following year; and this idea was quickly adopted by the new society. The official circular invitation reached Mr. Garrison, as corresponding secretary of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, in October. It was77 broadly addressed to ‘friends of the slave of every nation and of every clime,’ and, besides inviting them to a General Conference on June 12, 1840, strongly urged them ‘to associate themselves, and unitedly, as well as individually, to labor for the extinction of slavery.’ Stirred by the call of his co-sectaries, Whittier echoed it in sounding verse in the little collection of anti-slavery poems called “The North star,” —78

Yes, let them gather!—Summon forth
The pledged philanthropy of Earth.

‘Amen,’ said his old friend, the editor of the Liberator,79 ‘with all our souls! Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers —Jews, Gentiles, Ishmaelites—Women, Non-Resistants, Warriors, and all— “let them come” —all but those who refuse to associate for the slave's redemption with others who do not agree with them as to the divinity of human politics, and the scriptural obligation to prevent woman from opening her mouth in an anti-slavery gathering for “the suffering and the dumb” —and they cannot come, conscientiously—they are, par excellence, new organizationists!’ The Convention, he remarked later, had been80 distinctly placed on a non-resistant basis, in accord with the constitution of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which pledged its members to the employment [353] of measures of ‘a moral, religious, and pacific 81 character’ solely.

The New Organizationists did not need these signals82 to prepare themselves for renewing in England their sectarian warfare. The result of their private correspondence was manifested in a second, modified call,83 dated February 15, 1840, in which the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society desired ‘early to receive, from the different anti-slavery bodies who may appoint deputies, the names of the gentlemen who are to represent them’; and in a letter from Joseph84 Sturge to a member of the Executive Committee, dated March 3, 1840, in which he deprecated the sending of female delegates to the World's Convention, and desired it might be discouraged. It would encounter a strong adverse feeling in England, from which country there would be no female representation.

In the meantime, however, the Massachusetts Board had already chosen its delegates, including not only Mr.85 Garrison, Wendell Phillips, George Bradburn, William Adam (Professor of Oriental Languages at Harvard College), Isaac Winslow, and many other leading abolitionists, white and black, but a large proportion of women— Harriet Martineau, a life-member of the Massachusetts Society; Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Chapman and Mrs. Child, as well as their respective husbands; Miss Abby Kelley, Miss Emily Winslow, and still others. The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, unabashed by Sturge's rebuke, named a full contingent of their sex, with Lucretia86 Mott at their head.87 Mrs. Mott, with Garrison and Rogers (already a delegate from New Hampshire), being88 now selected to represent the American Society, went in a double capacity, and so offered the completest test of the Convention's disposition to ‘fully and practically recognize, in its organization and movements, the equal brotherhood of the entire Human Family, without distinction [354] of color, sex, or clime’—to quote once more the89 resolution of the American Society.

The closeness of the time of the anniversary meeting in New York to that of the World's Convention had led to a request from Massachusetts for an anticipation of90 the former date; but the Executive Committee, not indisposed to put obstacles in the way of a transatlantic representation from that quarter, refused to comply.91 Mr. Garrison quickly decided that for him the nearest duty was to attend the anniversary, whether it cost him92 a punctual arrival in London, or even the trip itself. As the event proved, he incurred the former penalty.

W. L. Garrison to George Bradburn.

Boston, April 24, 1840.
93 Your note of yesterday, requesting letters of introduction to anti-slavery friends in England, has just come. As you intimate that you may leave to-morrow, and Francis Jackson informs me that he has a bundle for you, you see I have scarcely a moment to comply with your request. But George Thompson will be sufficient to obtain for you an introduction to a host of noble men and women across the Atlantic. How glad, how very glad, I am that Lucretia Mott and her husband are going to the Convention! And how sorry, how very sorry, I am that I cannot go with them and with you! My dear Bradburn, it is not probable that I shall arrive in season to be at the opening of the Convention; but, I beseech you, fail not to have women recognized as equal beings in it. Interchange thoughts with dear Thompson about it. I know he will go for humanity, irrespective of sex.

God speed you!


William M. Chace to G. W. Benson.

Boston, May 6, 1840.
94 Bro. Garrison wished me to write to you because he has not time. He can't leave here until next Monday. He is in great95 doubt about going to England. I hope he will not go. That Convention will be sectarian; and if he don't go, and writes Geo. Thompson a letter giving all the reasons, I believe they will defeat this half-souled Worldly Convention.


[355]

W. L. Garrison to his wife.

New York, May 15, 1840.
96 Our campaign has just closed, and a severe siege we have had of it, and a glorious triumph we have achieved. It was our anti-slavery boat-load that saved our Society from falling into the hands of the new-organizers, or, more correctly, disorganizers. They had drummed up recruits from all quarters, by the most dishonorable means, and a formidable appearance they presented at the opening of the meeting on Tuesday. The first subject that came up to try the strength of the parties was the appointment of Abby Kelley on the Business Committee. The vote stood about 560 in her favor to 450 against her. Where these 450 belonged, or who they were, we had no means of ascertaining, because the question was not taken by yeas97 and nays. The minority finally seceded, and formed a society with the title, ‘The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.’ Arthur Tappan declined a re-election, and Lindley Coates, one of the signers of the Philadelphia Declaration of Sentiments,98 was chosen in his stead. Not one of the Executive Committee was re-elected, except James S. Gibbons. We have made clean work of everything—adopted the most thoroughgoing resolutions, and taken the strongest ground, with crashing unanimity.

The excitement in the city has been great. The spirit of mobocracy has been roused, in consequence of so many of the ‘Garrison party’ having come from Massachusetts; and our delegation have been driven out of the halls we had engaged,99 and had to go from pillar to post to find a place where to lay their heads. Goss's Graham House has been assailed by a100 mob, several windows broken, the door burst open, etc., etc.; though not many were engaged in this work of mischief. What particularly excited these ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort’ was, the mixing of our white and colored friends on terms of equality. One of our friends from Oberlin was severely injured. As Rogers and myself have been stopping with our colored101 friend Van Rensalaer,102 we have seen nothing of the mobocrats. It has not amounted to anything like a popular tumult. . . . [356]

Yesterday forenoon, in the meeting, your little package was put into my hands; and my heart was delighted to read the hasty note which you penned for me. I am rejoiced and strengthened greatly to see with how much fortitude and composure you bear our separation.103 Nobly done, dear Helen! May the Lord be with you in spirit, and enable you to sustain your mind until we meet again, which I trust will be in the course of three or four months. I assure you that nothing but a strong sense of duty will ever lead me to separate myself from you; for there is no place so dear to me in the world as my home, and I am never so happy as when by your side. You know I am not given to making many professions; but I do not feel the less, but the more, on this account. O no! Be assured that you shall hear from me frequently, when I am across the ‘big waters.’

You shall have a long letter from me before I leave this city, which will be on Tuesday afternoon next, in the fine large ship Columbus, for Liverpool. Rev. C. P. Grosvenor,104 [357] William Adams,105 C. L. Remond, and Rogers, will go with me. . . . You shall hear from me again in a day or two.


New York, May 19, 1840.
106 To-day, at 12 o'clock, was the time advertised for the sailing of the Columbus. The wind, however, is ‘dead ahead,’ so that the packet will not sail until to-morrow, and perhaps not till the day after, should the wind not haul round. This delay renders it more than probable that we shall not arrive in season to be at the opening of the World's Convention. No doubt, our new-organization opponents are hoping that we shall have a long voyage; for they now understand that if we are present when the Convention commences, the ‘woman question’ will inevitably be brought up, or, rather, the question whether the delegates appointed by the American Anti-Slavery Society (among whom is Lucretia Mott) shall be entitled to seats in the Convention. Father Bourne, who107 goes against ‘woman's rights,’ is now sitting by my side; and he predicts, with all confidence, that no woman will be allowed a seat in the Convention. Such a thing, he says, was never heard or thought of in any part of Europe.108 It is, perhaps, quite probable that we shall be foiled in our purpose; but the subject cannot be agitated without doing good, and you and the dear friends of human rights may be assured that we shall not easily allow ourselves to be intimidated or put down. . . .

My poor dear brother James! I am sorry to hear that his health does not seem to improve, and that he has another ulcer internally; but let us hope that the warm weather, with proper care and treatment, will yet restore him. I love him with all a brother's affection—of that, he cannot doubt. Earnest is my prayer to God, that he may be led to review his past life, and to perceive how widely he has departed from the path of rectitude, to the ruin of his immortal soul. O that he may be led to speedy and hearty repentance, that he may rejoice in God, and be made an heir of glory, through Jesus Christ our Saviour! But, without repentance, there can be no reconciliation; and unless we are reconciled to God, how can we be happy? I shall think a great deal about dear James during my absence, and shall endeavor to write to him soon. A letter from him would be regarded as a special token of his love by me. Whether he had better go to the Hospital, or to Brooklyn,109 in view of his present situation, George can decide far110 better than myself. . . .

The more I see of Rogers, I love him; and his friendship for111 me is ardent and sincere. He has never before been separated from his family, and you may naturally imagine how homesick he must feel. Yet he is full of pleasing anticipations as it respects the Convention in London, and longs to be on the water.

Last evening, I addressed a very respectable audience of112 colored people in T. S. Wright's meeting-house, in relation to the difficulties which had arisen in our cause, and to the charges brought against myself. I went into the matter, root and branch—Lewis Tappan and La Roy Sunderland being present, neither of whom ventured to deny or [ ]. . . .


113

New York, May 20, 1840.
114 I am writing in Wall Street, where the money-changers congregate, and where affluence and beggary are seen side by side, but acknowledging no relationship by creation, and at mutual enmity with each other. It is rightly named—Wall Street— for those who habitually occupy it in quest of riches at the expense of mankind, are walled in from the sympathies of human nature, and their hearts are as fleshless and hard as the paving-stones on which they tread, or the granite and marble buildings which they have erected and dedicated to their idol Gain. Love—pure, benignant, all-sympathizing, allembrac-ing Love—where art thou? Son of God, whose aim and end were to do good even to enemies—to reconcile man to man by reconciling man to God—to bind up the broken-hearted, succor the distressed, and rescue the fallen—where is thy blessed spirit to be seen? . . . All misery, all want, all suffering from famine and nakedness, is contrary to the will of God. He desires that all may be fed with the abundance of fatness, and that every man should sit under his own vine and fig-tree, and have none to molest him or make him afraid. That time shall yet arrive—for Jesus has not died in vain. He shall save his people from their sins—and, being saved from these, they will be saved from all the consequences of sin; for they will then love their neighbor as themselves, and love ‘worketh no evil.’

This detention by the storm makes it almost certain that we shall be too late to be at the opening of the World's Convention. [359] I am not impatient, however, nor do I feel any disposition to grieve. My confidence in the wisdom, forecast, benevolence of God is perfect. . . .


New York, May 21, 1840.
115 The storm still continues, and the notice is, that the Columbus will not sail until to-morrow at 11 o'clock—which means that she cannot get out of the harbor with the present head-wind, even if that wind should continue a week longer. . . .

As soon as I came over from Brooklyn this morning (for116 Rogers and myself are still making our headquarters at Mrs. Truesdell's), whom should I see but Wm. M. Chace and James C. Jackson, just arrived from Boston, via Connecticut! The sight was as unexpected as it was pleasant. Many inquiries about home and friends were quickly made on my part, and as quickly answered on theirs. William informed me that dear Anne was with you, and that bro. James and dear little117 Georgie came with him to Killingly, in good spirits, and 118 wellpleased with the prospect before them. . . .

I am gratified to hear that the Board of Managers in Boston are disposed to act in a very liberal and spirited manner, in reference to the National Society. Friend C. informs me that119 the Boston Female Society will pay over to the national treasury, in the course of a few weeks, the sum of $500. This is noble. The abolitionists of the country will yet be constrained to acknowledge, as one man, that the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society has been shamefully calumniated by those who have seceded from our ranks. Everything will come out right, if we only put unshaken trust in God, and care not what evil-minded persons may say or do to us.120 . . .

I have had a good many letters to write since I have got over the fatigue of the annual meeting, as well as many [360] other things to attend to. Hence, together with the continual anxiety of my mind about the packet, I have not felt in the mood of writing anything in relation to the anti-slavery controversy, for the Liberator. Rogers has scarcely done any better for the Herald of Freedom. His cough still continues, and his spirits flag a little. I have luckily been able to buy some balsam of liverwort for him, and have administered a few doses, to good effect. Last evening, we had a long talk about his native place, and the hills and valleys, and lakes and rivers of New Hampshire; and it revived him exceedingly. Between us both, it is difficult to say which has the stronger yearning after home, and the wife, and children, and friends which cluster around that sacred spot. . . .

To-morrow morning, before I go on board of the packet, I hope to get a glimpse at this week's Liberator. Dear Johnson, I feel that he has an arduous task to perform in editing the paper,121 and superintending the concerns of the printing establishment. May his health and his spirits not fail him.


The Columbus at last put to sea at noon on May 22, 1840, and Mr. Garrison, from near Sandy Hook, sent back a farewell to a friend in Boston (perhaps Mrs. Chapman), from which the following is an extract:

Knowing how many enfranchised spirits I leave behind me,122 who will be anxious to receive the earliest intelligence of the proceedings of the Convention, I shall write to you by the first conveyance. How that body will be organized, or how comprehensive will be the spirit which may pervade it, it is not for me to predict. The object of the Convention is to promote the interests of Humanity. It is, then, a common object, in which all who wear the human form have a right to participate, [361] without regard to color, sex or clime. With a young woman placed on the throne of Great Britain, will the philanthropists of that country presume to object to the female delegates from the United States, as members of the Convention, on the ground of their sex? In what assembly, however august or select, is that almost peerless woman, Lucretia Mott, not qualified to take an equal part?

‘I have no wish to mar the harmony, or disturb the repose, of the Convention by the introduction of any topic, but I cannot consent to have one human being excluded from the World's Platform, even for the sake of peace. If I should be outvoted on this particular point, I may enter my protest against the decision, but neither secede nor “new organize.” ’123

Though fair weather ensued, the winds were baffling or disappointing, and the voyage of the Columbus was prolonged by nearly a week beyond the opening of the World's Convention. The captain (Cropper) was a Virginian, but did not discriminate against his white abolition passengers. Remond, however, on account of his124 color, was compelled to go in the steerage; and the second mate, who began by striking William Adams on125 account of a remonstrance against his cruelty to a sailor, on finding that Remond was to be the Rhode Island delegate's companion, caused a narrow bed, two feet wide, to be put up, said Adams might sleep there with his ‘nigger,’ and assigned his berth to other parties. As these failed to occupy it, the two friends had each a resting-place, though in very uncongenial company.126 But the cabin passengers, with their drinking and 127 gambling habits and their pro-slavery sentiments, were hardly more to the taste of Garrison and Rogers.

On the thirteenth day out not one-third of the course had been made, though the ship had a reputation for speed. [362]

W. L. Garrison to James H. Garrison.

Near the Grand Banks, June 4th, 1840.
128 Unless we have uncommon good luck the remainder of our129 trip, we shall be at least one month between the two ports [of New York and Liverpool]. Hence, it is highly probable that the World's Convention will have nearly closed its session by the time that we arrive in London. If so, my trip will have been almost in vain, and I shall retrace my steps homewards without much delay—probably by the first of August. I have come hither against my own inclinations, from the first; and now, with such a prospect before me, I sigh to think where I am, and that it is too late to beat a retreat.

June 11, lat. 48° 48′, long. 25° 4′.

My mind is becoming more and more concerned for the poor sailors. Their condition is a pitiable one. They are awfully oppressed, degraded, and contemned, as a class. If my life be spared, I will lift up my voice mightily in their behalf. Their wrongs shall be redressed.


W. L. Garrison to Maria W. Chapman.

[At Sea,] June 12, 1840.
We have had very favorable winds for the last ten days, and130 are now within four hundred miles of Cape Clear. In four days more we hope to be in Liverpool. To-day the Convention meets in London. May it lay a broad foundation upon which to build the superstructure of Humanity! If it shall exclude from a participation in its proceedings a single human being, on account of complexion or sex, it will excite the pity and amazement of after ages. I am inclined to think it will act upon the ‘new organization’ basis, and, while it will not proscribe color, will make a distinction in sex. If so, there will not be a delegate more forward to condemn such conduct than your friend,


W. L. Garrison to his wife.

within sight of land, June 14, 1840.
Since I penned a few lines to you in the Gulf Stream,131 nothing of special importance has occurred to break the [363] monotony of a sea-voyage. Our passengers (of whom I complained) have not improved either in their manners or morals, and most cordially hate me for the burning rebukes which I have faithfully administered to them. Unspeakably happy as I should be to enjoy your society at the present time, I have felt thankful that you did not accompany me; for no virtuous woman could tolerate, for one moment, the language and conduct of such immoral creatures. Not a good thought, not a sensible remark, has fallen from any of their lips since we started; but swearing, drinking and smoking have been the order of the day. . . .132

And O! how my soul yearns to be again by your side! All last night I lay in my berth, unable to obtain the least repose, and thinking of you, your situation, the children, home, and friends. This I have done repeatedly, till my heart has been borne down by the rush of tumultuous emotions and the weight of affectionate longings. . . . Dear Helen, I can truly affirm, that I have never absented myself one hour from you as a matter of choice, but only as duty and friendship imperatively demanded the sacrifice. The strength of my love you will probably never fully know; for I am not accustomed to the use of fond terms, and feel a thousand-fold more than I can express. . . .

By this time I conclude that you have passed through the perils of childbed. Would that some carrier-pigeon could bring me swift intelligence of the result! I cannot but hope that all has gone well with you and the new-born babe. The idea of [364] having a third child, to be called my own, is almost as pleasing and novel to me as it was at the prospect of the birth of dear little Georgie. Should I hear good tidings from you, perhaps my Muse may manufacture some verses in honor of the newcomer; though I ought first, in order, to celebrate the advent of my little paragon, Willie Wallie. Well, he shall not be forgotten. I shall love all my children (and mine are thine, dearest), equally well.133


Fog and a gale retarded the passage from Holyhead to Liverpool, and brought the only perilous moments of the voyage.

W. L. Garrison to his wife.

June 15, 1840.
134 8 o'clock.—Another pilot-boat comes dancing over the waves to the wild music of the gale, and is evidently intending to reach us. Now she makes a circuit around us, having a light skiff or wherry floating at her stern, with the pilot and two or three oarsmen in it, ready to be cast off, that he may be put on board; now it is alongside—and now the man of all men, at this crisis, leaps on to the deck—and now we all breathe freely once more. It is astonishing to see how instantaneous has been the relief afforded by his presence. Once more we are under weigh, slowly and cautiously.

All at once, too, we are in the midst of a great hubbub! The pilot has brought a copy of the Liverpool Chronicle of June 13, in which are detailed, at great length, the particulars of an attempt to assassinate Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince135 Albert, by a youth only 17 years of age, named Edward Oxford. As these particulars will be spread before you in the Boston papers quite as soon as the contents of this sheet will meet your eye, I will not attempt to make even a synopsis of them here. Suffice it to say, the mad attempt at murder proved abortive.

As a large proportion of our passengers are Englishmen, the news created no little sensation in their breasts; but when, on reading the account aloud at their request, I came to the statement, that ‘the prisoner's father was a mulatto, and his grandfather was a black,’ they yelled like so many fiends broke loose from the bottomless pit—(remember! they have been to America, and have got the virus of slavery and prejudice [365] infused into their veins!)—swore that Oxford ‘ought to be strung up, without judge or jury, and cut in pieces,’ in true Lynch-law style—the whole ‘nigger race’ made to suffer for so foul an act, ay, and all those who are disposed to act as their advocates! I have seldom seen so horrid an exhibition of fiendish exultation and murderous malignity.

It was useless, of course, to attempt to argue the matter, especially as some of them were none the better for strong drink. Why it is any worse for a colored man or boy to perpetrate a crime than for a white one, I have never been able to understand. I ventured to remind one of the most violent, who was in favor of killing Oxford instanter, without any trial, that the law presumed every person to be innocent until he is proved to be guilty, and that it was possible, nay probable, that the lad was deranged;136 but he scouted it all, and declared that it was not possible that he could be insane. O no! Because he had some colored blood in his veins! For a colored person, who does wrong, to be insane at the time, is an impossibility!

More was made of this affair because bros. Grosvenor, Rogers and myself were known to be abolitionists, on our way to attend the World's Convention. Poor creatures! they know not what they do. Their hearts are full of the spirit of murder, while they are professing to be horror-struck in view of an attempt to commit murder. . . . One of them said that he should not have cared if it had been an attempt to assassinate Daniel O'Connell! They all cordially detest O'Connell, because he is an ‘agitator’ and an ‘abolitionist.’ . . .


Tuesday morning, 11 o'clock.
137 Safely arrived at Liverpool! Laus Deo! I feel very grateful for all the mercies that have been vouchsafed to us on our passage. We are all now grouped together in the Custom House, waiting to have our trunks examined. I have just heard that all our anti-slavery friends who preceded us, have arrived, and are now in London. We shall be there to-morrow afternoon, Deo volente! O for an opportunity to obtain rest—rest—rest!


1 Ms.

2 Edmund Quincy.

3 The meeting was originally appointed for Dec. 18, 1839, and actually met on that date, Birney being present. A resolution against Third Party was laid on the table, and the meeting adjourned on account of the weather (Lib. 9.206; 10.2).

4 S. S. Cowles, Sec. Conn. A. S. S.

5 Lib. 10.18.

6 Lib. 10.25.

7 Ante, p. 321.

8 Ante, p. 323.

9 By fire in the steamboat Lexington, on the passage from New York to Stonington, on the night of Jan. 13-14, 1840 (Lib. 10.15, 18, 20; see also, 10: 59, 63, 67, 97, and p. 357 of Hudson's “History of Lexington” ).

10 Lib. 10.15.

11 Lib. 10.15.

12 Lib. 10.34.

13 Lib. 10.46, 47.

14 Life of J. and L. Mott, p. 141.

15 Lib. 10.46.

16 See Mr. Garrison's twelve charges in support of this resolution (Lib. 10.47). The organs, speaking phrenologically, of modern Quakerism in our country, he found to be ‘approbativeness, cautiousness, acquisitiveness, all uncommonly large, and exercising a predominating influence over all the other faculties.’

17 Lib. 10.46.

18 ‘It gave us,’ wrote Mr. Garrison, later in the year, ‘the Embargo— and how much were the interests of the North benefited by that insane act? It gave us the last war—and what did that war effect but the frightful accumulation of a national debt, which has had to be liquidated mainly at the expense of Northern industry? It gave us a national bank, and has also destroyed it—and what has been the advantage of that experiment to the free States? It gave us the tariff—and for a time succeeded in its malignant purpose of crippling the commerce and paralyzing the free labor of the North; and now it finds that Northern skill and industry have turned it to profitable account, it is for destroying the tariff. It has given us a sub-treasury—and the next thing it contemplates is the destruction of the sub-treasury’ (Lib. 10.179).

19 Lib. 10.31.

20 Ms.

21 Of Farmington, N. Y., formerly of Groton, Mass.

22 Ante, pp. 307, 314.

23 Witness the West Bloomfield convention ending Feb. 6, 1840, the Waterloo convention, on Feb. 24, and ‘some dozen minor county conventions,’ like this at Cato, in the interval (Lib. 10: 29).

24 Chace and Davis were brothers-in-law, and both of Providence; the latter a native of Ireland, a manufacturing jeweller, and afterwards (1853-55) a Representative in Congress. His wife was a very dear friend of Mrs. Garrison.

25 A new letter is here begun, in a different ink, on the same sheet, probably on Feb. 21, 1840, as the letter is postmarked Feb. 22.

26 Lib. 10.35.

27 Lib. 10.35, 43.

28 Lib. 10.47, 49, 51, 57, 65.

29 Lib. 10.75.

30 Lib. 10.47, 57.

31 Apr. 1, 1840.

32 Emancipator, 4.198; Life of Myron Holley, p. 259.

33 Lib. 10.59.

34 Acceptance by these candidates was delayed till after the May meeting of the American A. S. Society, when a second nominating convention was held (May 13, 14) in New York City.

35 Lib. 10.93.

36 Lib. 10.63.

37 Lib. 10.71.

38 Lib. 10.75.

39 Lib. 10.125.

40 The full details of these transactions belong to a history of the antislavery cause. See Edmund Quincy's account in the National A. S. Standard, Sept. 19, Oct. 24, Nov. 7, 1844, and Joshua Leavitt's statement in Mass. Abolitionist, 2.112. Wendell Phillips called the transfer of the Emancipator ‘the last utter breach of faith—mere swindling’ (Lib. 10.119).

41 Postmarked May 6.

42 Ms.

43 Presumably at Utica.

44 Luther Lee, J. Leavitt.

45 Geo. Bradburn.

46 Lib. 10.66.

47 Lib. 10.66.

48 Lib. 10.70.

49 James S. Gibbons, the third member of the sub-committee, a son-in-law of Isaac T. Hopper, dissented from this report (Lib. 10: 70. 71).

50 Lib. 10.59.

51 Lib. 10.77.

52 Gen. W. H. Harrison.

53 Lib. 10.77.

54 Ms.

55 Lib. 10.75.

56 Lib. 10.122.

57 Lib. 10.79.

58 Of the large body of delegates from Massachusetts, only 27, as Edmund Quincy pointed out (Non-Resistant, July 8, 1840), were known NonResist-ants; the remainder, of course, adhering to Mr. Garrison solely upon antislavery grounds, without assenting either to his views of peace or to the peculiar religious sentiments on account of which he was assailed, but with the fixed resolve to see fair play in the anti-slavery ranks. A very large proportion of them were members of orthodox churches. Seth Sprague was among the most prominent Methodist laymen in New England.

59 Alias John Colman. His titulary name, like his anti-slavery profession, was put on (Lib. 10: 111, 131, and Ms. July 16, 1841, Oliver Johnson to W. L. G.)

60 Lib. 10.90, 122.

61 They were very sore over their failure to effect a larger rally. The Rev. Samuel May, of Leicester, Mass., one of the delegates to the Convention, wrote to Francis Jackson on May 18, 1840 (Ms.): ‘I found a number of New Organizationists in the Norwich boat on my return; and, from conversation with them, I find that there is no accusation, however mean or flagrant, which some of them are not ready to make against the old Massachusetts Society, and the Board of Managers in particular.’

62 Lib. 10.86.

63 Lib. 10.82.

64 Lib. 10.86.

65 Lib. 10.82.

66 Lib. 10.83.

67 Lib. 10.82.

68 Lib. 10.82.

69 Lib. 10.82.

70 In this very month of May, the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, sitting at Baltimore, and beset with memorials from Northern and Southern conferences on the subject of slavery, voted (74 to 46) ‘that it is inexpedient and unjustifiable for any preacher among us to permit colored persons to give testimony against white persons, in any State where they are denied that privilege in trials at law’ (Lib. 10: 91, 98; “Journal of General Conference,” pp. 60, 86-88, 109). On June 3, the Conference voted ‘that, under the provisional exception of the general rule of the church on the subject of slavery, the simple holding of slaves, or mere ownership of slave property, in States or Territories where the laws do not admit of emancipation and permit the liberated slave to enjoy freedom, constitutes no legal barrier to the election or ordination of ministers to the various grades of office known in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. . . .’ ( “Journal,” pp. 34, 47, 129, 167-171). Both the majority and minority reports of the Committee on Slavery were laid upon the table, conformably to the desire of the Bishops. At this same time the General Assembly of the New School Presbyterian Church, sitting in Philadelphia, refused to commit itself on the subject of slavery, but censured presbyteries which had excluded slaveholders from their pulpits and communion (Lib. 10.93, 94).

71 Lib. 10.82.

72 Lib. 10.82.

73 Lib. 10.82.

74 Lib. 9.93.

75 Lib. 9.61.

76 Emanc. March 21, 1839; Lib. 9.116.

77 Lib. 9.163.

78 P. 108; Lib. 10.8.

79 Lib. 10.3.

80 Lib. 10.47.

81 Lib. 9.163.

82 Lib. 10.119.

83 Lib. 10.46.

84 Lib. 10.75.

85 Lib. 10.55.

86 Lib. 10.83.

87 Her sister delegates were Mary Grew, Sarah Pugh, Abby Kimber, and Elizabeth Neall—all Quakers, except Miss Grew.

88 Lib. 10.55.

89 Lib. 10.82.

90 Lib. 10.47.

91 Lib. 10.51.

92 Life of J. and L. Mott, p. 141.

93 Ms.

94 Ms.

95 May 11, 1840.

96 Friday afternoon. Ms.

97 Lib. 10.83.

98 This statement is erroneous. Mr. Coates's name was not subscribed to the Declaration.

99 Lib. 10.85.

100 63 Barclay Street.

101 N. P. Rogers.

102 N. P. Rogers reports (in Herald of Freedom, 6.126): ‘At the National Meeting in May, Thomas Van Rensalaer opened his heart and his home in New York to brother Garrison and us, without money and without price. He had no house there, where he could do for us as he wished to do. His table, in his victualling cellar, was abundant and excellent—too good, “if anything,” for an abolitionist. Our noble-hearted colored friend bade us welcome to it, and treated us with all the kindness and affection of a brother. As his table was underground, his lodging was far above ground. He had not his New Haven dwelling in New York. Such as he had there, he generously provided for us. He made us a “nest on high.” Not so high as his own—but still in the 3d or 4th story of a Wall Street cotton storehouse. There we lodged with the “Liberator,” Henry C. Wright and Geo. Benson of Connecticut,— “on the soft side” of the best accommodations at friend Van Rensalaer's command, and as good as we required,—better far than our poor plantation clients share. Brother Van Rensalaer would have gladly furnished us all a bed of down. We could not pass over the circumstance unnoticed, that the great anti-slavery city of New York, the headquarters of the American Anti-Slavery Society, before the anti-slavery “property and standing” seceded from it, while they were yet in its bosom, —where there is a City Anti-Slavery Society—the place of the Tappans and the Jays—that it had not a place for Wm. Lloyd Garrison to lay his head, below that cotton loft. We trust our new-organized brother Jonathan Curtis had snugger quarters. We take this late opportunity of acknowledging, too, the kind hospitality of Thomas Truesdell and family, who gave us, with brother Garrison, the shelter of his beautiful home on Brooklyn Heights, from the close of the meeting until the departure of our vessel for England.’ (See also Lib. 10: 87.)

103 Mrs. Garrison was on the eve of her third confinement.

104 Of Worcester, Mass. Grosvenor, together with the Rev. Nathaniel Colver, of Boston, and the Rev. Elon Galusha, of Perry, N. Y., had been deputed to attend the World's Convention by the body called the National Baptist A. S. Convention organized in New York on Apr. 28-30, 1840 (Mass. Abolitionist, 2.53). Colver was also a delegate of the Mass. Abolition Society, and Galusha of the American and Foreign A. S. Society (ibid., 2.111, and Lib. 10.118).

105 A most worthy Scotch Quaker, from Pawtucket, a Rhode Island delegate (see Lib. 10.165).

106 Ms.

107 Geo. Bourne.

108 It will be remembered that Bourne was a native of England.

109 He [358] went to Brooklyn, Conn.

110 G. W. Benson.

111 N. P. Rogers.

112 Mass. Abolitionist, 2.59.

113 Mutilated.

114 Wednesday forenoon. Ms.

115 Thursday forenoon. Ms.

116 Brooklyn, N. Y.

117 Anne Benson.

118 J. H. Garrison.

119 W. M. Chace.

120 J. C. Jackson writes on the same date as that of the above letter, to G. W. Benson (Ms.): ‘1st. We have secured the old depository for $550, and shall induct—probably—Isaac T. Hopper as publishing ag't. We have written to Boston and Phila. for books sufficient to open a depository. 2d. We shall start a paper as large as the Emancipator, and call it the American or National A. S. Standard (!), and shall have the execution polished and complete. It will shine nicely, and you “sons of the fatherland” must come up to its support nobly.’ Jackson was probably fresh from a conference with Mrs. Chapman, whose reminiscences concerning the founding of the National A. S. Standard are given in a letter of Jan. 11, 1881 (Ms.): ‘My husband and myself took counsel together. I pledged myself to raise the money, which he borrowed of Dr. Farnsworth, of Groton, and we immediately started the plan of the Standard. . . . It was sustained—mainly by means of the Fair—ever after by the Society (unwillingly, however, as the best men, both financially and as abolitionists— Francis Jackson, for example—preferred the Liberator, and thought it sufficient), up to the time when the abolition of slavery made it needless. Various friends contributed to sustain it editorially, till, some time in 1841, Mrs. [Lydia Maria] Child was appointed editor by the Exec. Com.not Mr. C., who was never editor, although I obtained and paid for his services as a reporter, at Washington, for a short time).’

121 Oliver Johnson was again supplying Mr. Garrison's place in his absence.

122 Lib. 10.87.

123 Compare his action at Albany in July, 1839, ante, p. 309.

124 Lib. 10.134.

125 Lib. 10.127.

126 Remond had had worse treatment at home on a Sound steamboat, being denied admittance to the cabin, and confined to the forward deck, on account of his color (Lib. 10: 123).

127 Lib. 10.123.

128 Noon.

129 Ms.

130 Non-Resistant, August 12, 1840.

131 Ms., and Lib. 10.123.

132 On this same day, when opposite Cork, fresh haddock and flounders were brought on board by a fishing-boat from off shore; and Mr. Garrison writes to another friend (Lib. 10.123): ‘I have just excited the hot indignation of a medicinal doctor on board (an otherwise intelligent but profligate Englishman), because, on his declaring that every haddock bore the mark of the fingers of Jesus, ever since Peter made his memorable draught of fishes, I pleasantly pronounced it “a fish story” —not supposing, for one moment, that he gave credence to so ridiculous a fable, for he is no Catholic. He instantly took fire at my “ impeachment of his veracity” —said the miracle was as duly authenticated as any other performed by the Saviour —admonished me that we were drawing near his native land, and that it behooved me to be careful how I came across his track—and, with a menacing air, gave me to understand that if I were a non-resistant, he was not! All this would have been quite ludicrous, had he not been in his cups. It is proper to add, that I have excited his animosity, as well as that of others in the cabin, on various occasions, on account of my reprobating the use of brandy, whiskey, wine and every other intoxicating drink—profane language—gambling, etc.’

133 The Muse, however, observed the law of primogeniture.

134 Monday afternoon. Ms., and Lib. 10.123.

135 June 10, 1840.

136 So the court found.

137 June 16, 1840.

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