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Chapter 6: ‘the genius of Universal emancipation.’—1829-30.

Garrison advocates, on his own responsibility and under his own signature, the doctrine of immediate emancipation, and causes a ruinous decline in the patronage of the genius. for denouncing the transfer of slaves between Baltimore and New Orleans, in a ship belonging to Francis Todd, of Newburyport, he is indicted for libel by the Grand Jury,

American slavery, according to John Wesley, was1 ‘the vilest that ever saw the sun.’ In an eloquent passage of his Park-Street address, Mr. Garrison had briefly pictured the awful features of the system, and had recounted the list of wrongs and outrages which the slaves, if they were to imitate the example of the Revolutionary fathers and rise in revolt, might present to the world as their justification, after the manner of the Declaration of Independence. The invasion of African soil, the kidnapping of the natives, the indescribable horrors of the middle passage, the brutal treatment of the slaves, the abrogation of the marriage institution, the cruel separation of families, the miseries of the domestic slavetrade, and the absolute power over the life, property2 and person of his slaves accorded and insured to the master by the laws of the slave States, were all touched upon; but it was not to these alone that Garrison was keenly alive. We have already seen, in his address at Park Street, that he fully appreciated the political 3 advantage given to the South by the clause of the Constitution which permitted her to add three-fifths of her slave population to the number of her free inhabitants, in fixing the basis of representation in the lower house of Congress. He showed that the free States, with a free population more numerous by nearly one hundred per cent. than that of the slave States, had only 121 representatives [140] in Congress, while the slave States had 90 (i. e., about 25 more than they were fairly entitled to); and a similar advantage was of course gained in the Electoral College, insuring, with the votes easily obtained from three or four Northern States, the election of Presidents subservient to the Slave Power. Recognizing the force of these Constitutional provisions while they remained unrepealed, he declared a dissolution of the Union, if that should prove the only way of escape from such sinful obligations, infinitely preferable to continued complicity.

‘I acknowledge that immediate and complete 4 emancipation is not desirable,’ he went on to say. ‘No rational man cherishes so wild a vision.’ But when he came to reflect upon the matter, he saw that his feet were on the sand, and not on the solid rock, so long as he granted slavery the right to exist for a single moment; that if human beings could be justly held in bondage one hour,5 they could be for days and weeks and years, and so on, indefinitely, from generation to generation; and that the only way to deal with the system was to lay the axe at the root of the tree and demand immediate and Uncondi-Tional emancipation. This conviction forced itself upon his mind during the five or six weeks which elapsed between the delivery of his address and his departure for Baltimore, and when, after a fifteen days voyage by sea, he reached the latter city, some time in August, 1829, and presented himself to Lundy, he lost no time in acquainting his partner with the change in his views, and the necessity he should be under, if he joined him, of preaching the gospel accordingly. ‘Well,’ said Lundy, who was not prepared to accept the new doctrine himself, ‘thee may put thy initials to thy articles, and I will put my initials to mine, and each will bear his own burden.’ ‘Very good,’ responded Garrison, ‘that will answer, and I shall be able to free my soul.’ And thus the partners, little known, with few friends, and without money, began their joint warfare upon American slavery. [141]

The first number of the Genius of Universal Emancipation under these new auspices was dated Wednesday, September 2, 1829, and was the 227th issued since its foundation by Lundy eight years before.6 It now appeared after an interval of eight months (during which Lundy had made his trip to Hayti with the twelve7 emancipated slaves), in a much enlarged and improved sheet of eight pages, the printed page of four columns measuring about 9x13 inches. A vignette of the American eagle surmounted the title of the paper, and the motto below the title was the immortal assertion from the Declaration of Independence (the ‘glittering generality’ which the Abolitionists were to make—as Emerson, in his retort to Rufus Choate's sneer, declared it— a ‘blazing ubiquity’), ‘We hold these truths to be selfevident: that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ At the head of the first column stood Curran's eloquent idealization of the spirit of liberty, from which the paper derived its name, with editorial applications interpolated.8

For the first and only time during his editorial career Mr. Garrison was not obliged to labor at the case, or to [142] perform any part of the manual labor of the office, as the Genius was printed by contract,9 and it was agreed that he should be the resident and managing editor, while Lundy took the field and went forth to canvass for subscribers; the list of patrons being far too meagre to support the large and handsome sheet which they had essayed to issue. In the two salutatory addresses which they wrote, each under his own signature, Lundy confined himself to a simple announcement of the arrangement, while Garrison gave a brief exposition of his views on slavery and colonization:

To the public.

Ten months ago, as editor of the Bennington Journal of the Times, publickly declared that, on whatever spot I might afterward be located, the energies of my life should be directed to the overthrow of three of the greatest evils which curse our race—namely: slavery, intemperance, and war. My resolution is unchanged.

In devoting my services to the extinction of slavery, I do not mean to lose sight of the other specified abominations; but they must necessarily receive less of my attention and aid. . . .

It may be proper, at this time, as assistant editor of this paper, to state my views relative to the removal of slavery from our land. This exposition must be made briefly.

First, in regard to the plan of the American Colonization Society. No man contemplates with more intense interest and unmingled satisfaction the colony at Liberia than the subscriber. I have elsewhere termed it the lungs and heart of Africa, full of generous respiration and warm blood. But the work of colonization is exceedingly dilatory and uncertain. It can never entirely relieve the country. It may pluck a few leaves from the Bohon Upas, but can neither extract its roots nor destroy its withering properties. Viewed as an auxiliary, it deserves encouragement; but as a remedy, it is altogether inadequate. I wish to see its funds as exhaustless as the number of applicants for removal, and the fruits of its enterprise yet more abundant.

I fear, however, that a majority of the people place too much reliance upon the ability of this Society. Many are lulling [143] themselves into a belief that the monster has received his mortal wound, and they scarcely feel any interest to be in at the death. The crafty advocates of slavery rejoice at this delusion, for they can now repose in comparative security. For my own part, I do not believe that the removal of the great body of the blacks can be effected by voluntary contributions or individual sacrifices; and if we depend alone upon the efforts of colonization societies, slavery will never be exterminated.

As a home for emancipated slaves, I view the republic of Hayti with a favourable eye. In many points it is superior to Liberia. Its climate is more salubrious, its government is stable, its locality is near, and transportation can be effected more cheaply. Emigrants are received with cordial affection, and allowed extraordinary privileges. Our free coloured people, moreover, generally cherish less repugnance to Hayti than to Liberia.

But while I would encourage every feasible plan for the reduction of this part of our population, I shall rely on nothing but the eternal principles of justice for the speedy overthrow of slavery. Since the delivery of my address in Boston, relative to this subject, I am convinced, on mature reflection, that no valid excuse can be given for the continuance of the evil a single hour. These, therefore, are my positions:

1. That the slaves are entitled to immediate and complete emancipation: consequently, to hold them longer in bondage is both tyrannical and unnecessary.

2. That the question of expediency has nothing to do with that of right, and it is not for those who tyrannise to say when they may safely break the chains of their subjects. As well may a thief determine on what particular day or month he shall leave off stealing, with safety to his own interest.

3. That, on the ground of expediency, it would be wiser to set all the slaves free to-day than to-morrow—or next week than next year. To think of removing them all out of the land is visionary: not two-fiftieths of the annual increase are taken away during the same period. Hence the sooner they receive the benefits of instruction, the better for them and us. We can educate two millions of slaves, now, with more facility and success than four millions at the expiration of twenty-five years. Give them liberation, and every inducement to revolt is removed; give them employment as free labourers, and their industry will be more productive and beneficial than mines of gold; give them religious and secular instruction, restrict them [144] with suitable regulations, and they will make peaceable citizens. One million of degraded slaves are more dangerous to the welfare of the country than would be two millions of degraded freemen.

4. That, as a very large proportion of our colored population were born on American soil, they are at liberty to choose their own dwelling-place, and we possess no right to use coercive measures in their removal.

Cherishing these views, therefore, I shall give no quarter to the open advocates of slavery, nor easily excuse those pseudophilanthropists who find an apology for its continuance in the condition of the slaves.

It would give me pleasure, in concluding these remarks, to pass an elaborate eulogium upon the zealous and amiable philanthropist with whom I am associated; but, for obvious reasons, I forbear. Elsewhere I have not hesitated to bear testimony to his worth, and witnesses thereto are multiplying in every quarter. Two republics will assist in building his monument, which no time shall crumble.

For myself, whatever else I may lack, I bring to this great cause a warm heart and a willing hand; nor shall I spare any efforts, in conjunction with the senior editor, to make the Genius of Universal Emancipation worthy of extensive partronage.


Lundy and his partner boarded with two Quaker ladies, Beulah Harris and sister, who lived at 135 Market Street, and their circle of acquaintances was limited to a few Quaker friends and some of the more intelligent colored people of the city.11 Associated with them in the conduct of the Genius was a young Quaker woman, Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, a resident of Philadelphia, who possessed considerable literary taste and skill and decided poetic talent. Early attracted by Lundy's efforts in behalf of the slaves, she had become a contributor to the Genius in 1826, when in her nineteenth year, and some of her productions were widely copied. She now consented to take charge of a department of the paper styled the ‘Ladies' Repository,’ which occupied a page and a half of each number. Her industry was unceasing, and her brother editors greatly valued her aid.12

The last page of the Genius was printed in French, for the benefit of Haytian subscribers, and also contained a list of agents for the paper in different cities. This included the names of James Mott, of Philadelphia, Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, of Kennett Square, Pa., and Samuel Philbrick, of Boston, none of whom were then personally known to Mr. Garrison, but who subsequently [146] became his life-long friends and co-workers; and also James Cropper, of Liverpool. It was doubtless to the last-named gentleman, an active supporter of Wilberforce and Buxton in the English anti-slavery movement, that Lundy and Garrison were indebted for a frequent supply of reports and other publications showing the progress of the agitation for West-India emancipation. They published considerable extracts from these in the Genius, contrasting the activity of the British with the apathy of the American abolitionists, and trying to incite the latter to similar effort. Special attention was called to the English Ladies' Anti-Slavery Societies, in the ‘Ladies' Repository,’ which also gave many extracts from Elizabeth Heyrick's “Letters on the Prompt Extinction of British Colonial Slavery,” as clear and cogent productions as the same author's pamphlet, “Immediate, not gradual emancipation.” 13

Colonization was a theme of constant discussion in the pages of the Genius. Lundy, fresh from his visit to Hayti, began in the very first number a series of nine articles on that country, describing its climate, soil, and products, and giving the fullest information he could concerning the Haytian government and people. He evidently took little interest in Liberia, and, as has been already mentioned, had early expressed his distrust of14 the Colonization Society, because it did not make emancipation a primary object, but was actively supported by15 prominent slaveholders like Clay, Randolph, and Bushrod Washington. Hayti was near our own shores, and its Government was ready to give land to all immigrants who would settle upon it, while a few large land-owners offered to pay the cost of transportation of such as [147] would come from the United States. Few were tempted even by these inducements, and the fruitless insertion of the following advertisement in the Genius for several successive weeks indicated that the eagerness on the part of many slaveholders to liberate their slaves, if free transportation from the country could be secured for them, did not exist to the extent to which the Colonization Society would have had it believed:

Emigration to Hayti.16

To humane, conscientious Slaveholders.
Wanted, immediately, from twenty to fifty slaves, to remove and settle in the Republic of Hayti, where they will be forthwith invested with the rights of free men, and receive constant employment and liberal wages, in a healthy and pleasant section of the country.

The price of passage will be advanced, and everything furnished of which they may stand in need, until they shall have time to prepare their houses and set in to work. None will be taken, however, but such as reside in country places, and (those who are of sufficient age) accustomed to agricultural or mechanical labor.

Application may be made to the undersigned, at No. 135 Market Street, Baltimore.

Lundy & Garrison. November 10th, 1829.
N. B.—Editors of Newspapers, friendly to the colonization of the colored race, are respectfully requested to notice the above.

L. & G.

Lundy was anxious to establish colonies of free colored people in Hayti, Canada, Texas, or any place fairly accessible from the Southern States, so that no master disposed to emancipate his slaves, if an asylum could be found for them, and their removal assured, could have excuse for not doing so. He apparently did not stop to analyze the motives of the Colonization Society, and Garrison was slow to discover its real animus. The latter came, ere long, to regard it as ‘a doubtful 17 auxiliary,’ and to view it with growing distrust and hostility. Some of his colored friends in Baltimore were the first to [148] point out to him its dangerous character and tendency, and its purpose to strengthen slavery by expelling the free people of color, whom the slaveholders instinctively deemed a constant source of danger on account of their intelligence and their ability (if so disposed) to disaffect the slaves. One of these, under the signature of ‘A Colored Baltimorean,’ contributed two remarkably able and vigorous articles in reply to another colored correspondent, a eulogist of the Society, and exposed with great keenness its fraudulent pretences.18

So eager were the Southern Colonizationists to get rid of the free colored people that they even invoked special appropriations for the purpose from their State Legislatures and from Congress, and the proposition was favored by Henry Clay, who was the foremost supporter of the Colonization Society in Kentucky; but these schemes failed.19 A long address by Clay before the Kentucky society was elaborately reviewed and criticized in the Genius by Garrison, who began his series of articles with a fresh avowal of his admiration for Clay, and of the 20 satisfaction with which he looked forward to his ultimate elevation to the Presidency,—‘the champion who is destined to save this country from anarchy, corruption and ruin.’ This did not prevent his dealing faithfully with the errors, sophistries and shortcomings of the address, and he hastened to assert, at the outset, the equality of the human race:—

‘I deny the postulate that God has made, by an irreversible decree, or any inherent qualities, one portion of the human race superior to another. No matter how many breeds are amalgamated—no matter how many shades of color intervene between tribes or nations—give them the same chances to improve, and a fair start at the same time, and the result will be equally brilliant, equally productive, equally grand.’


Pointing to the fact that the Colonization Society had transported only thirteen hundred emigrants to Liberia in thirteen years, while the slave population had increased half a million during the same period, he added:

‘And yet, such is the colonization mania, such the implicit21 confidence reposed in the operations of the Society, that no demonstration of its inefficiency, however palpable, can shake the faith of its advocates. . . . My complaint is, that its ability is overrated to a disastrous extent; that this delusion is perpetuated by the conduct and assurances of those who ought to act better—the members of the Society. I complain, moreover, that the lips of these members are sealed up on the subject of slavery, who, from their high standing and extensive influence, ought to expose its flagrant enormities, and actively assist in its overthrow.’

In the condition of the free colored people, who were despised and persecuted in the Northern cities no less than in the Southern,22 the editors of the Genius naturally took a deep interest, urging the establishment of schools and the formation of temperance societies among them;23 and Mr. Garrison wrote thus in their vindication:

‘There is a prevalent disposition among all classes to traduce24 the habits and morals of our free blacks. The most scandalous exaggerations in regard to their condition are circulated by a thousand mischievous tongues, and no reproach seems to them too deep or unmerited. Vile and malignant indeed is this practice, and culpable are they who follow it. We do not pretend to say that crime, intemperance and suffering, to a considerable [150] extent, cannot be found among the free blacks; but we do assert that they are as moral, peaceable and industrious as that class of the whites who are, like them, in indigent circumstances—and far less intemperate than the great body of foreign emigrants who infest and corrupt our shores.’

Although slavery in the cities was considered to be of a milder type than on the plantations, Lundy and Garrison were frequent witnesses of some of its iniquities and horrors. Slave auctions were of course of common occurrence in Baltimore, and the shipment of slaves to the New Orleans market was constantly going on. During the first month of their partnership, they received a call, one Sunday, from a slave who had just been severely whipped with a cowskin, and on whose bleeding25 back, from his neck to his hips, they could count thirtyseven terrible gashes. His head also was much bruised. And this man, whose offence was that he had not loaded a wagon to suit his overseer, had lately been emancipated by the will of his master, and was to receive his freedom a few weeks afterwards. The partners sheltered and nursed him for two days, and sought the heirs of the estate to expostulate against this cruelty, but they were received with abuse and contempt for their pains. A few days later, while passing along the street on which their office was situated, Garrison heard, from the upper story of a house, ‘the distinct application of a whip, and the26 shrieks of anguish’ from the victim which succeeded every blow. ‘This is nothing uncommon,’ he added, in recording the circumstance.

But though in the midst of the Philistines, the courage of the two editors was undaunted. The brutal slavetrader, Woolfolk, who had assaulted and nearly killed27 Lundy, in the street, three years before, still had his den in Baltimore; and when Garrison commented on the 28 inconsistency of the American and Gazette, which refused his advertisements (because his cruelty was so notorious) while inserting those of slave auctions generally, Woolfolk ascribed the authorship of the paragraph to Lundy, and [151] threatened dire vengeance. Garrison thereupon retorted in this wise:

An inquiry.29

I would inquire of Mr. Austin Woolfolk if it was decent or manly in him, last week, to multiply his curses and his threats to the senior editor of this paper, for the insertion of a paragraph which was written by another—by me? Has he forgotten his alphabet? The letters ‘L.’ and ‘G.’ attached to the bottom of our separate articles no more resemble each other than the persons of Lundy and Garrison—and certainly the antithesis between them is remarkable. If he wishes to discuss the subject of slavery, or to complain of any slander of his character, I shall be happy to see him at my boarding-house, No. 135 Market Street, where I will endeavor to convince him that he is pursuing a wicked traffic; or if I fail in the argument, I will make a public apology for my strictures upon his conduct. Let me assure him, however, that I am not to be intimidated by the utterance of any threats, or the perpetration of any acts of violence. Dieu defend le droit.—

W. L. G.

Garrison early declared against paying any money compensation to slaveholders for emancipating their slaves; and in reply to the inquiry of a colonizationist,— ‘Who can doubt that it might be the soundest policy to extinguish the master's claim throughout our territory at the price of six hundred millions of dollars?’ he said:

‘We unhesitatingly doubt it, in a moral point of view. It30 would be paying a thief for giving up stolen property, and acknowledging that his crime was not a crime. Once hold out the prospect of payment by the General Government, and there will soon be an end to all voluntary emancipation. Moreover, to rely upon private charities and public donations for the extinction of slavery is madness. If the moral sense of the people will not induce them to let the oppressed go free without money and without price, depend upon it their benevolent sympathies will be most unproductive. No; let us not talk of buying the slaves—justice demands their liberation.’

To the same writer, who had spoken of the ‘delicate subject’ of slavery, he replied: ‘In correcting public vices and aggravated crimes, delicacy is not to be consulted. [152] Slavery is a monster, and he must be treated as such—hunted down bravely, and despatched at a blow.’31

Considerable space was devoted in the Genius to accounts of a ‘Free Produce Society’ established by Friends in Philadelphia, for the purpose of discouraging the purchase and use of products of slave labor, and thus restricting the growth of slavery by destroying the market for them. Two or three stores were opened for the sale of cotton and cotton goods, sugar, molasses, and other articles, the cultivation and manufacture of which were free from any taint of slave labor, and they received a moderate patronage and support; but the movement never assumed such proportions as in England, where, it was computed by Clarkson, no less than32 three hundred thousand persons voluntarily abandoned the use of sugar during the struggle for the abolition of the slave trade. Garrison was at this time disposed to regard it with favor, and welcomed it as ‘perhaps the most33 comprehensive mode that can be adopted to destroy the growth of slavery, by rendering slave labor valueless.’ [153]

In the second number of this volume of the Genius, Lundy sounded a vigorous alarm against the plot just being developed to wrest Texas from Mexico, ‘for the34 avowed purpose of adding five or six more slaveholding States to this Union’; and called upon the people of the United States who were opposed to slavery ‘to arouse from their lethargy and nip the monstrous attempt in the bud.’ He pointed to the fact that slavery had already been abolished in Texas by the Mexican Government, and that Senator Benton and his Southern35 associates, who were pushing the scheme, were resolved to re-introduce slavery, with all its barbarities, into a State now free. ‘Should the territory be added to the Union,’ he continued, ‘upon the condition that slavery should still be interdicted, a great portion of the colored population in the other States, at least on this side of the Mississippi, might be induced to remove thither. It would be the most suitable place for them in the world.36 But a greater curse could scarcely befall our country than the annexation of that immense territory to this republic, if the system of slavery should likewise be reestablished there.’ Other papers took up and echoed the alarm, and joined in the vigorous protest, but the plot against Texas was not yet ripe for accomplishment.

The Genius urged the renewed circulation of petitions against slavery in the District of Columbia, though [154] acknowledging that nothing was to be hoped for from an Administration in which six out of eight members— the President, Vice-President, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy, Attorney-General, and Postmaster-General—were from slaveholding States. It also supported, as a candidate for the Legislature from Baltimore, Daniel Raymond, who was regarded as anti-slavery, but he polled less than 200 of the more than 7000 votes cast. Further, it gave much attention to the proceedings of the Virginia Convention for the revision of the State37 constitution, a body remarkable for the number of able and distinguished men it contained; ex-Presidents Madison and Monroe, and John Randolph, being among them. As it has always been a favorite assertion and pretence of some Northern apologists for slavery that Virginia and38 Kentucky were on the verge of instituting schemes for emancipation when the anti-slavery agitation broke out, but were alarmed and deterred from attempting it by the violent and abusive spirit in which that was conducted, it is worthy of note that no proposition to this end was even broached in the Convention. The most exciting topic under discussion during its sessions was the demand of the western portion of the State that representation in the Legislature should be apportioned to the several counties on the basis of the white population, instead of on the Federal basis, as the latter, by adding three-fifths of all the slaves, gave an undue preponderance to the eastern counties, where the slaves were far more numerous than in the mountainous western district. This was hotly debated for many days, but Madison and Monroe threw their influence against it, and it was finally defeated by a close vote, leaving the control of the State in the hands of the slaveholding section. It is easy to see what fate any scheme of emancipation, however remote and gradual, would have met with in such a body; and this was more than two years before the organized anti-slavery movement began. [155]

Less germane to the purpose of the Genius was the nullification debate between Hayne and Webster in the Senate; but Garrison could not resist printing those portions of Webster's famous reply which have become classic in American political and patriotic oratory. To the various moral and philanthropic questions in which he felt deep interest,—temperance, peace, the treatment of the Indians, imprisonment for debt, and the discountenancing of lotteries,—he made frequent reference. He found two temperance addresses which had been sent him for notice ‘too cold, too didactic, too speculative, to create a stirring sensation in the reader, or to rouse a slumbering community to a just apprehension of its danger,’ and he defined his own method of dealing with the subject:

‘We, who are somewhat impetuous in our disposition, and39 singular in our notions of reform,—who are so uncharitable as to make no distinction between men engaged in one common traffic, which shall excuse the destroyer of thousands, and heap contumely on the murderer of a dozen—we demand that the whole truth be told, on all occasions, whether it impeaches this man's reputation or injures that man's pursuit; whether it induces persecution, or occasions a breach of private friendship. If the atmosphere around us is thick and contagious, must it not be purified by thunder, and lightning, and storms? If we would destroy the withering influences of the poisonous Upas, must we not tear it up by the roots? We are not content with seeing proofs multiplied that temperance is better than ebriation, that a drunkard is a wretch without hope and beyond rescue, that rum costs money, that “moderate drinking is the downhill road to intemperance.” No—we go to the fountain-head of the evil. If it be injurious, or criminal, or dangerous, or disreputable to drink ardent spirits, it is far more so to vend, or distil, or import this liquid fire. ‘Woe unto him who putteth the cup to his neighbor's lips’—who increases his wealth at the expense of the bodies and souls of men—who takes away the bread of the poor, and devours the earnings of industry—who scatters his poison through the veins and arteries of community, till even the grave is burdened with his victims! Against him must the artillery of public indignation be brought to bear; and the decree [156] must go forth, as from the lips of Jehovah, that he who will deal in the accursed article can lay no claims to honesty of purpose or holiness of life, but is a shameless enemy to the happiness and prosperity of his fellow-creatures.’

A week after he wrote the above, Mr. Garrison attended and spoke at the formation of a Baltimore Temperance Society; the presiding officer of the evening being Judge Nicholas Brice, whom he was destined to meet, a few months later, in somewhat different relations, growing out of his ‘intemperate’ use of language on the subject of slavery.

The phase of the Indian question at that time before the public was the conscienceless attempt of Georgia to dispossess the Cherokees of the lands which they held by solemn treaty with the United States, and to expel them from the State; or, if they remained after being robbed of their homes, to tax them and use their numbers (on the three-fifths basis) to swell the Federal representative population. President Jackson betrayed his sympathy with this scheme of spoliation, and was willing to see the State of Georgia set at naught the treaty obligations of the National Government; and in this, as in all previous and subsequent invasions of their sacred rights, the Indians had to submit to be plundered. There were many and loud protests from the benevolent and philanthropic portions of the community, and Mr. Garrison joined in them, insisting that the nation should keep its40 plighted faith. ‘Expediency and policy,’ he declared, ‘are convertible terms, full of dishonesty and oppression. Justice is eternal, and its demands cannot safely be evaded.’ Nevertheless, although he was invoking the aid of women in the temperance and anti-slavery movements, he was shocked when seven hundred women of Pittsburgh, Pa., petitioned Congress in behalf of Indian rights. He declared it ‘out of place,’ and said, ‘This41 is, in our opinion, an uncalled — for interference, though made with holiest intentions. We should be sorry to have this practice become general. There would then be [157] no question agitated in Congress without eliciting the informal and contrarient opinions of the softer sex.’42

He had not yet outgrown sectarian narrowness, and he still denounced Paine and Jefferson for their ‘infidelity,’ and lamented because a fete was given to Lafayette in France on the Sabbath. He could not even express his enthusiastic admiration of Mrs. Lydia Maria Child's genius without saying that he did not like her43 ‘religious notions.’ And yet he protested against the current religion in these terms:

‘With reverence, and in the name of God, we ask, what sort44 of religion is now extant among us? Certainly not such as cheered the prophets through the gloom of the old dispensation, and constrained them to denounce the abominations of the Jews;—not such as Jesus Christ laid down his life to vindicate;—not such as was preached by the Apostles and Martyrs, to their own destruction;—no, not a whit! It is a religion which complacently tolerates open adultery, oppression, robbery, and murder! seldom or never lifting up a warning voice, or note of remonstrance, or propitiatory sacrifice!—a religion which is graduated by the corrupt, defective laws of the State, and not by the pure, perfect laws of God!—a religion which quadrates with the natural depravity of the heart, giving license to sin, restraining no lust, mortifying not the body, engendering selfishness and cruelty!—a religion which walks in “silver slippers,” on a carpeted floor, having thrown off the burden of the cross and changed the garments of humiliation for the splendid vestments of pride!—a religion which has no courage, no faithfulness, no self-denial, deeming it better to give heed unto men than unto God!’

Early in October, Lundy went forth to canvass for subscribers, leaving Garrison in full charge of the Genius. The latter's articles in favor of immediate, instead of gradual emancipation, had speedily evoked letters of expostulation and remonstrance from subscribers, though a few approved and endorsed the doctrine; but, as Garrison [158] afterwards described it, ‘Where Friend Lundy could get one new subscriber, I could knock a dozen off, and I did so. It was the old experiment of the frog in45 the well, that went two feet up, and fell three feet back, at every jump.’ The diminishing subscription-list had no deterrent effect upon the editors. Garrison steadily urged immediatism, and replied vigorously to his critics. He was strengthened by Elizabeth Heyrick's admirable letters on Colonial Slavery, and cheered by the act of President Guerrero of Mexico in proclaiming immediate emancipation to the ten thousand slaves in that country. Of those critics who declared that the slaves, if freed and turned loose, would cut the throats of their late oppressors, he exclaimed:

‘Is it worth our while to reason with such men? Need they46 be told, that if fire be quenched, it cannot burn—if the fangs of the rattlesnake be drawn, he cannot be dangerous—if seed be annihilated, it cannot germinate? Will they continue to multiply their bugbears, and exaggerate their idle fears, and prophesy evil things, and weary our ears with their ridiculous cant? If we liberate the slaves, and treat them as brothers and as men, shall we not take away all motive for rebellion? And if we persist in crushing them down to the earth, and lacerating their bodies with our whips, will they not rise up, sooner or later, like an army of unbound giants, and carry rapine and slaughter in their path? No—respond our sapient advisers and far-sighted philanthropists—there will be a reversal of the case!’

The twenty-first biennial session of the ‘American Convention for the Abolition of Slavery and Improvement of the African Race in the United States’ was held in Washington early in December, 1829, a room in the City Hall being offered for its sessions by the Mayor and Aldermen. The number of delegates present was small, and their proceedings were of little value, consisting largely of a discussion of various colonization schemes as a means of abolishing slavery. Lundy was a delegate, Garrison remaining in Baltimore. Prior to the assembling of the Convention, the Genius had announced the [159] appointment of delegates to it by various anti-slavery organizations in Baltimore,—a ‘National Anti-Slavery Tract Society,’ the ‘First Baltimore Branch of the Anti-Slavery Society of Maryland,’ and a ‘Convention of the Anti-Slavery Societies of Maryland,’—but these seem to have possessed no vitality, and to have had little more than ‘a local habitation and a name.’ The Convention adopted an Address to the Public,47 and adjourned to meet two years later.

An extraordinary sensation was caused at the South during the winter of 1829-30 by the appearance of “Walker's appeal,” a pamphlet written by an obscure and unknown colored man in Boston,48 who printed and circulated it among people of his color as widely as his means would permit. It seems singular that a production [160] so original, able, and important, coming from such a source, should not have been promptly noticed in the Genius, even if critically and with exceptions; but it was not until the Richmond Whig had reported, with ridicule, the secret session of the Virginia Legislature to consider a message from Governor Giles on the subject, and the Savannah Georgian had announced similar action on the part of Governor Gilmer and the Georgia Legislature, that Garrison alluded to it in any way. After copying the two articles above referred to, he said:

‘We have had this pamphlet on our table for some time past,49 and are not surprised at its effect upon our sensitive Southern [161] brethren. It is written by a colored Bostonian, and breathes the most impassioned and determined spirit. We deprecate its circulation, though we cannot but wonder at the bravery and intelligence of its author. The editor of the Whig must not laugh at Governor Giles: his alarm was natural.’

In a subsequent number of the Genius he again spoke50 of it as ‘a most injudicious publication, yet warranted by the creed of an independent people.’

The law passed by the Georgia Legislature prohibited the admission of free colored persons into the ports of the State, declared ‘the circulation of pamphlets of evil tendency among our domestics’ a capital offence, and [162] made penal the teaching of free colored persons or slaves to read or write; and it was rushed through in a single day on the discovery of Walker's incendiary pamphlet. The Virginia House of Delegates passed a similar bill a few weeks later, but it was defeated in the Senate. ‘The circulation of this ‘seditious’ pamphlet,’ said Garrison, in the last number (for him) of the Genius, ‘has proven51 one thing conclusively—that the boasted security of the slave States, by their orators and writers, is mere affectation, or something worse.’

With a diminishing subscription-list and trivial remittances from those subscribers who still consented to receive the Genius, it was evident that some change would be necessary at the end of the first half-year. Lundy remarked in one issue that good wishes were so abundant52 that they were ‘not worth picking up in the street,’ and informed those who were so prodigal of them that they must give them a substantial form to prove their sincerity. Garrison, in a later number, betrayed the inevitable result of their experiment when he stated that,53 though their terms required payment in advance, the voluntary remittances of their subscribers for more than four months had not exceeded fifty dollars, while their weekly expenses were at least that amount; and, in the personal meditations in which he indulged on the completion of his twenty-fourth year, he mentioned that he54 was so seldom troubled with bits of silver, he had not deemed it a piece of economy to buy so useless an article as a purse.

Hitherto the partners had struggled constantly against poverty and the indifference of the public to their cause. Conducting their labors in a slave State, they had naturally experienced various forms of persecution, but it remained for a Northern man to institute an attack on the Genius and its editors which the community was ready and eager to make effective. This, if it did not hasten, at least insured, the discontinuance of the paper as conducted by them. [163]

In a department of the Genius which he styled the ‘Black List,’ and which bore at its head the figure of a chained and kneeling negro,55 with the motto, ‘Am I not a Man and a Brother?’ Mr. Garrison recorded each week some of the terrible incidents of slavery,—instances of cruelty and torture, cases of kidnapping, advertisements of slave auctions, and descriptions of the horrors of the foreign and domestic slave trade. By common consent of the principal maritime nations, the foreign slave trade was now adjudged felony, and their navies united in efforts for its suppression. When the additional term of twenty years allowed it by the iniquitous compromise clause in the United States Constitution had expired, the bill forbidding its continuance, which Congress promptly passed, received general support, even the Southern members voting for it, after securing certain modifications.56 The traffic went on, nevertheless, and it was estimated that as many as twelve or fifteen thousand kidnapped Africans were annually smuggled into this country in defiance of law.57 The willing consent of some of the Southern States to the legal prohibition of the foreign slave trade was notoriously owing less to conscientious scruples against the traffic, than to the fact that they saw an opportunity of making greater gains through a domestic slave trade, based on the deliberate and systematic breeding of slaves in Virginia and the Northern tier of slave States, for the Southern market. The deadly influences of the climate in the Gulf States, the terrible hardships of plantation labor in the cotton fields, [164] the cane-brakes, and the rice swamps, caused a high rate of mortality, retarded the increase of population, and created a constant demand for fresh victims; and these it was found more safe and profitable to import from Virginia than from Africa, the mortality of the inland or coastwise transportation being far less than that of the ocean passage. Likewise the risks of a traffic sanctioned and protected by the State and National Governments were trivial compared with those of a trade outlawed by the civilized world.

And yet the difference between the domestic and foreign slave trade was only one of degree,58 and in many respects the former equalled and even exceeded the latter in its dreadful features. Coffles of slaves, chained together and driven under the lash, were constantly wending their way on foot, under the scorching sun, along the Southern highways to the distant States of Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, or were conveyed in steamers down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, or in sailing vessels along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to New Orleans, the great slave mart of the South. The arrivals of these cargoes of living freight were reported in the newspapers as unblushingly as if they had been cattle, or bales of cotton, or other merchandise.59

Fully fifty thousand slaves a year, it was estimated,60 were sold and transported from one State to another, in this infernal traffic, whose victims, torn from their kindred and friends, and the homes in which they had been literally ‘bred’ and born (often having the blood of their masters in their veins), went forth with hearts full of despair to what they believed to be a certain, slow and torturous death. Not infrequently they chose instant [165] death by suicide in preference. Alexandria, Baltimore, and Norfolk were the ports from which the Maryland and Virginia slaves were chiefly shipped; and as Lundy's soul had been stirred within him by the sight of the daily processions of manacled slaves before his door at Wheeling, so now was Garrison's indignation aroused by this constant exportation of hapless victims to the Southern markets. The discovery that a Massachusetts man, and one of his own townsmen, was implicated in it elicited his prompt and stinging rebuke. In the Genius of November 13 he wrote, under the ‘Black List,’ as follows:

Domestic slave trade.61

This horrible traffic continues to be pursued with unabated alacrity. Scarcely a vessel, perhaps, leaves this port for New Orleans without carrying off in chains large numbers of the unfortunate blacks. The ship Francis, Brown, which sailed hence a few weeks since, transported seventy-five. This vessel hails from my native place (Newburyport, Mass.), and belongs to Francis Todd.—So much for New England principle!— Next week I shall allude more particularly to this damning affair.

Following this was an account of another ship, not Todd's, which had just sailed for New Orleans with 115 slaves. The next week, true to his promise, he returned to the subject of

The ship Francis.62

This ship, as I mentioned in our last number, sailed a few weeks since from this port with a cargo of slaves for the New Orleans market. I do not repeat the fact because it is a rare instance of domestic piracy, or because the case was attended with extraordinary circumstances; for the horrible traffic is briskly carried on, and the transportation was effected in the ordinary manner. I merely wish to illustrate New England humanity and morality. I am resolved to cover with thick infamy all who were concerned in this nefarious business.

I have stated that the ship Francis hails from my native place, Newburyport, (Massachusetts,) is commanded by a Yankee captain, and owned by a townsman named Francis Todd. [166]

Of Captain Nicholas Brown I should have expected better conduct. It is no worse to fit out piratical cruisers, or to engage in the foreign slave trade, than to pursue a similar trade along our own coasts; and the men who have the wickedness to participate therein, for the purpose of heaping up wealth, should be sentenced to solitary confinement for life; they are the enemies of their own species—highway robbers and murderers; and their final doom will be, unless they speedily repent, to occupy the lowest depths of perdition. I know that our laws make a distinction in this matter. I know that the man who is allowed to freight his vessel with slaves at home, for a distant market, would be thought worthy of death if he should take a similar freight on the coast of Africa; but I know, too, that this distinction is absurd, and at war with the common sense of mankind, and that God and good men regard it with abhorrence.

I recollect that it was always a mystery in Newburyport how Mr. Todd contrived to make profitable voyages to New Orleans and other places, when other merchants, with as fair an opportunity to make money, and sending to the same ports at the same time, invariably made fewer successful speculations. The mystery seems to be unravelled. Any man can gather up riches if he does not care by what means they are obtained.

The Francis carried off seventy-five slaves, chained in a narrow place between decks. Capt. Brown originally intended to take one hundred and fifty of these unfortunate creatures; but another hard-hearted shipmaster underbid him in the price of passage for the remaining moiety. Capt. B., we believe, is a mason. Where was his charity or brotherly kindness?

I respectfully request the editor of the Newburyport Herald to copy this article, or publish a statement of the facts contained herein—not for the purpose of giving information to Mr. Todd, for I shall send him a copy of this number, but in63 order to enlighten the public mind in that quarter.—


The editor of the Newburyport Herald did not comply with this request, not deeming it prudent to offend so respectable and influential a citizen as Mr. Todd by informing his townsmen what manner of freight he authorized his vessel to carry; and it is probable that the fact would have been little known and soon forgotten if Mr. Todd himself had been able to restrain his wrath and [167] keep silence. Unhappily for him, he could not. This first direct, ad-hominem blow at Northern complicity with slavery stung him to the quick,64 and he soon took measures to bring his accuser to punishment.

The Genius of January 8, 1830, contained this brief announcement:

‘A suit has been commenced against the Editors of this paper, by Mr. Francis Todd, of Newburyport, (Mass.,) for an alleged libel published in our Black List Department of Nov. 20, 1829. Damages laid at $5000. Our strictures were predicated upon the sound proverb—Qui non vetat peccare cum possit, jubet.’

Mr. Todd was not left to conduct his attack singlehanded. A few weeks after notice of his suit had been served, there came the following presentment from the Grand Jury:

Baltimore City Court, February Term, 1830.
The Grand Jurors of the State of Maryland, for the body of the City of Baltimore, on their oaths do present, that Benjamin Lundy and William Lloyd Garrison did, in a certain newspaper printed and published in the City of Baltimore, on the 20th day of November last, called the Genius of Universal Emancipation, publish a gross and malicious libel against Francis Todd and Nicholas Brown.

H. W. Evans, Foreman.
Witnesses, Henry Thompson, John W. Thompson.
True Copy from the original Presentment.
Teste, Wm. Medcalf, Clerk Baltimore City Court.


This was filed on the 19th of February, and an action in accordance therewith was promptly entered by the State of Maryland against the editors of the Genius, charging them with ‘contriving and unlawfully, wickedly, and maliciously intending, to hurt, injure and vilify’ Todd, ‘and to deprive him of his good name, fame and reputation, and to bring him into great contempt, scandal, infamy, and disgrace, to the evil example of all others in like manner offending, and against the peace, government and dignity of the State.’ The case was pressed to an early trial, on the first day of March, the counsel for the prosecution being Jonathan Meredith and R. W. Gill, while the defence was conducted by Charles Mitchell, one of the most brilliant and able members of the Baltimore bar. Although a stranger to Garrison (on whom, as the author of the obnoxious article, the brunt of the trial fell), he generously volunteered his services as counsel, refusing all compensation, and defended him in a brave and masterly manner.65

The counsel for the prosecution, finding that the extracts from the libellous article which they had incorporated in their indictment were too weak to rest their case upon, sought to have the entire article read to the jury, to prove the malicious intent of the writer, which was done, the court (Judge Nicholas Brice) overruling the objections of the defendant's counsel that according such liberty to a plaintiff was utterly without precedent. The witnesses were Mr. Henry Thompson (Mr. Todd's agent), the Pilot of the Francis, the Customs officers, and the printers of the Genius, the latter being called to acknowledge that they had printed the paper containing the alleged libel; but no evidence was offered to show that the defendant had printed or published, or written [169] or caused to be written, the obnoxious article. The Pilot testified that eighty-eight slaves (thirteen more than had been stated in the Genius)—men, women and children—were received on board the Francis at Annapolis; and Mr. Thompson, who had acted as Todd's agent for many years, acknowledged that, while he had contracted for the transportation of slaves before consulting Mr. Todd, he had immediately written to the latter, stating the conditions on which the contract was made. ‘Mr. Todd, in reply, said he should have preferred another kind of freight, but as freights were dull, times hard, and money scarce, he was satisfied with the bargain.’ The slaves were purchased by a planter of New Orleans, named Millighan, of whom Thompson (and also Judge Brice) spoke in warm terms. He likewise testified that Captain Brown was a humane man, by whom the slaves were doubtless kindly treated on the passage.66

The defence deemed it unnecessary to offer further evidence, having proved the shipment of slaves on the Francis, and Mr. Todd's ownership of the vessel being [170] admitted. Mr. Mitchell made an eloquent plea in behalf of his client, addressing the jury for nearly two hours. ‘Indignation and shame for the continuance of the accursed traffic in human flesh,’ wrote Mr. Garrison in describing it, ‘sympathy for the poor victims of oppression, love for the cause of universal liberty, kindled his feelings into a blaze. His eloquence “was a torrent that carried everything before it. He thundered—he lightened.” ’ He declared that the law of libel was ‘the last and most successful engine of tyranny, and had done more to perpetuate public abuses, and to check the march of reform, than any other agent’; dwelt upon the inconsistency of the Government which tolerated the domestic slave trade while treating the foreign traffic as piracy; and pointed out the fatal defect in the indictment, which showed no libel upon Mr. Todd, quoted nothing from the article to implicate or charge him with being privy or consenting to the transportation of slaves, and merely stated the fact of his ownership of the vessel. The postulate assumed by the writer of the article, that the domestic slave trade was as heinous as the foreign, that it was a war upon the human species, murderous and piratical, was certainly not punishable by law, but was a general view of the traffic, expressed in general terms; and ‘the extraordinary license which [171] had been given to the prosecution to read other parts of the publication not contained in the indictment, in order to obtain a verdict of guilty, was neither jure humano nor jure divino. It was taking the defendant by surprise, by giving him no notice to prepare his evidence of the truth of those parts omitted.’ In concluding, Mr. Mitchell paid a warm tribute to the editors of the Genius, and expressed the hope that they would be sustained by the jury and by their country.

The prosecuting attorney, Mr. Gill, made a brief rejoinder, defending the domestic slave trade, and denouncing Lundy and Garrison for their ‘fanaticism and virulence.’ Judge Brice said that the jury would acquit or convict upon the matter contained in the indictment, but that they might also derive ‘auxiliary aid’ from the remainder of the article, in making up their verdict! It took the jury only fifteen minutes to return a verdict in favor of the prosecution, and to declare Garrison guilty of libel. Mr. Mitchell at once moved for arrest of judgment, and for judgment of acquittal; but these motions, as well as one for a new trial, made by the advice of the Court itself, were all overruled on the 3d of April, and judgment was given on the verdict. Two weeks later, the Court imposed a fine of fifty dollars and costs on the offending editor, the whole amounting to upwards of one hundred dollars. This was a large sum at that period—more, probably, than the young printer had ever possessed at one time, and far more than any friend to whom he might apply could afford to lend him. He had no alternative, therefore, but to submit to imprisonment; and on the 17th of April, 1830, he entered Baltimore Jail, amid shouts of ‘Fresh fish! fresh fish!’ from the prisoners who peered at him from behind their grated doors, and received him with the playful salutation which they impartially extended to all new-comers.

The publication of the weekly Genius had ceased six weeks previous to this event, the final number being dated March 5, 1830, and completing the sixth month of [172] the partnership, the dissolution of which was therein announced. Lundy's valedictory was a frank statement of their inability longer to continue the Genius on the scale which they had essayed, and the necessity he should again be under of issuing it as a monthly, in a reduced form.

Instead of a patronage that would enable us to pursue our67 course with vigor, we are not afforded the means of continuing our labors upon the present plan, even with the greatest exertions of body and mind. Instead of being placed in circumstances that would enable us to act independently—which is all we have asked, and which a proper advocacy of our cause requires—we are compelled to struggle (harder than nature will long endure) for existence itself.

In addition to the ordinary difficulties arising from a scanty patronage, as above mentioned, others of the most aggravated character have presented themselves. Persecution, in some of its worst forms, has been meted out with unsparing hand. Threats and slanders, without number or qualification, as well as libel suits and personal assaults, have been resorted to, with the view of breaking down our spirits and destroying the establishment. . . .

It would be useless to say much now as to the manner in which the work has been conducted the last six months. Having been nearly the whole of the time (as I now am) from home, with the exception of the first few weeks, the management of it devolved, principally, upon the junior editor. In some few instances, as might have been expected, articles were admitted that did not fully meet my approbation; but I fully acquit him of intentionally inserting anything knowing that it would be thus disapproved; and we have ever cherished for each other the kindliest feelings and mutual personal regard. Wherever his lot may in future be cast, or whatever station he may occupy, he has my best wishes for happiness and prosperity, both temporal and eternal. It would be superfluous in me to say that he has proven himself a faithful and able coadjutor in the great and holy cause in which we are engaged.— Even his enemies will admit it. But I cheerfully take this opportunity to bear testimony to his strict integrity, amiable deportment, and virtuous conduct, during the period of our acquaintance. [173]

On many accounts I extremely regret the necessity of taking the steps above mentioned. It will not be encouraging to our friends; and our opponents will chuckle at this failure of the attempt to sustain a weekly publication for the promotion of our cause. But that cause is not yet to be abandoned. Every energy of my mind shall still be devoted to it.

To this, Garrison added these farewell words:

A separation from my philanthropic friend is painful, yet68 owing to adverse circumstances, unavoidable. Although our partnership is at an end, I trust we shall ever remain one in spirit and purpose, and that the cause of emancipation will suffer no detriment.

My views on the subject of slavery have been very imperfectly developed in the Genius,—the cares and perplexities of the establishment having occupied a large share of my time and attention. Every pledge, however, that I have made to the public, shall be fulfilled. My pen cannot remain idle, nor my voice be suppressed, nor my heart cease to bleed, while two millions of my fellow-beings wear the shackles of slavery in my own guilty country.

In all my writings I have used strong, indignant, vehement language, and direct, pointed, scorching reproof. I have nothing to recall. Many have censured me for my severity—but, thank God! none have stigmatized me with lukewarmness. “Passion is reason—transport, temper—here.”

1 Matlack's Anti-Slavery Struggle, p. 42.

2 Stroud's Laws relating to Slavery (1827). Goodell's American Slave Code (1853).

3 Ante, p. 133.

4 Nat. Philan. and Investigator, July 29, 1829.

5 W. L. G. at Franklin Club Dinner, Oct. 14, 1878.

6 From 1821 to 1825, inclusive, Lundy published the paper monthly, and occasionally fortnightly, as means permitted. The weekly issue began in September, 1825.

7 Ante, p. 123.

8 ‘I speak in the spirit of the British [American?] law, which makes liberty commensurate with, and inseparable from, the British [American?] soil—which proclaims, even to the stranger and the sojourner, the moment he sets his foot upon British [American?] earth, that the ground on which he treads is holy, and consecrated by the Genius of Universal Emancipation. No matter in what language his doom may have been pronounced;— no matter what complexion, incompatible with freedom, an Indian or an African sun may have burnt upon him;—no matter in what disastrous battle his liberty may have been cloven down;—no matter with what solemnities he may have been devoted upon the altar of slavery: the first moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain [America?], the altar and the god sink together in the dust; his soul walks abroad in her own majesty; his body swells beyond the measure of his chains, that burst from around him, and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled, by the irresistible Genius of Universal Emancipation.’

9 By Lucas & Deaver. The publication office was at 19 South Calvert Street. The subscription price of the Genius was $3.00 a year.

10 The only direct appeal for immediate, as opposed to gradual, emancipation which appears to have been made in the United States prior to the above declaration of Garrison's, was in “A Treatise on Slavery, in which is shown forth the Evil of Slaveholding, both from the Light of Nature and Divine Revelation, by [Rev.] James Duncan.” This was a small volume printed at the Indiana Register office, in Vevay, Indiana, in the year 1824, in which the author showed the fallacy of gradualism, at the very outset, in his preface. The work is a remarkable one, and indicates that Mr. Duncan possessed great powers of reasoning, and rare clearness of vision, for that day, on the subject of slavery. He devoted much space to proving slavery to be a violation of all the Commandments, and of the Divine Law, opposed to republicanism, and hurtful to masters as well as slaves. Slaveholders were warned that they could not escape perdition for their sins, if they failed to repent and release their captives. The book, written from the extreme orthodox standpoint, bore evidence on every page of the vigor and earnestness of the writer, though he weakened it by an Appendix, in which he assented that the blacks should be kept under a certain tutelage for a time after emancipation, subject to patrols, obliged to bear passes, etc. It seems strange that so masterly an argument should have fallen dead, making no stir or impression, and being consigned to a speedy oblivion, in which it remained until discovered and reprinted in 1840 by the American Anti-Slavery Society; but the writer had the disadvantage of publishing his work in an obscure town and a remote State, where he had no facilities for forcing it upon the attention of the country at large. Nor did he follow it up by dedicating his life to the cause.

11 Among the former, John Needles, who subsequently attained a ripe age and lived to see slavery abolished, was one of the truest and most devoted; while among the latter were William Watkins (probably the ‘Colored Baltimorean’ subsequently referred to), Jacob Greener, and his sons Richard W. and Jacob C. Greener. Jacob Greener was earnestly opposed to the Colonization Society. His sons were afterwards the Baltimore agents of the Liberator. A grandson, Prof. Richard T. Greener, was the first colored graduate of Harvard University (Class of 1870).

12 She died Nov. 2, 1834, in her twenty-seventh year, while residing with her brother in Michigan. Her literary productions were subsequently published in a volume for which Mr. Lundy wrote the introductory memoir (Philadelphia, 1836). Mr. Garrison's tribute to her memory, after visiting her grave in 1853, will be found in Lib. 23.190. He declared her ‘worthy to be associated with Elizabeth Heyrick of England,’ and she certainly deserves to be known and honored as the first American woman who devoted her time and talents to the cause of the slave.

13 To Elizabeth Heyrick, of Leicester, England, a member of the Society of Friends, belongs the high distinction of having been the first to enunciate the doctrine of Immediate Emancipation. Her pamphlet on that subject, published in 1825, was so able and convincing that the abolitionists of Great Britain, then struggling for the overthrow of slavery in the West Indies, quickly adopted the principle thus proclaimed by her, and conquered under that sign.

14 Ante, p. 91.

15 G. U. E., Mar., 1824.

16 G. U. E., Nov. 13 to Dec. 18, 1829.

17 Ibid., Jan. 15, 1830, p. 147.

18 An admirable letter from the same writer, on the proposition of the Colonization Society to civilize and evangelize Africa with a population which it declared to be the ‘most vicious of all classes in this country,’ had appeared in the Genius of June 28, 1828, more than a year before.

19 A committee of the Maryland Legislature reported favorably, but in Georgia and Missouri the proposal met with decided disapproval.

20 G. U. E., Feb. 12, 1830, p. 179.

21 G. U. E., Mar. 5, 1830, p. 202.

22 So bitter was the feeling against them in Cincinnati, in 1829, that the local authorities enacted certain oppressive regulations with the avowed purpose of driving them from the city. The result was a furious riot lasting three days—during which the persons, homes and property of the blacks were at the mercy of the mob—and the final flight of more than a thousand of them to Canada. (See Wilson's “Rise and fall of the slave power in America,” 1.365.)

23 The labors of the Rev. Simeon S. Jocelyn among the colored people of New Haven were deservedly praised and commended as an example of what should be done in other places. Jacob C. Greener established a school for orphan and indigent children in Baltimore, and a colored temperance society was also formed there. The erection of a college, on the manuallabor system, was proposed privately, though no reference to it appears in the Genius (Lib. 1.111).

24 Ibid.

25 G. U. E., Oct. 2, 1829, p. 27.

26 Ibid., Oct. 16, 1829, p. 43.

27 Ante, p. 91.

28 G. U. E., Oct. 30, 1829, p. 62.

29 G. U. E., Nov. 6, 1829, p. 70.

30 Ibid., Oct. 2, 1829, p. 25.

31 The laissez-faire method of dealing with slavery which was commonly recommended by those who discussed the subject—whether ministers, journalists, or politicians—has already been illustrated by an abstract of Caleb Cushing's article in the Newburyport Herald (ante, p. 45), and is still more strikingly shown in the reply of Hezekiah Niles to an Eastern friend who had sent him an essay for his Register, in favor of emancipation without compensation: ‘But the great question then presents itself, Would the public good be promoted by an emancipation of the slaves without some efficient and costly provisions for essential changes in their location or condition? Our own experience would give a resolute negative to this question—much as we are, and always have been, opposed to the principle and practice of slavery. . . . We cannot entertain the idea that negro slavery is to go on, and on, and on, in the United States without limit— but how to arrest it, we have not yet been able to discover, with benefit to the slaves or safety to ourselves. The subject is beset with difficulties on every side—and when not knowing what to do, the most prudent way, generally, is to stand still. But on the other hand, if discussions and investigations are avoided, then what should be done, or might be done, to relieve an alarming and rapidly increasing evil, will never be ascertained’ (Niles' Register, 47.4, Sept. 6, 1834). Mr. Niles had apparently failed to discover that standing still necessitated keeping still, and stifling all investigation and discussion.

32 Hist. of the Slave Trade, p. 496.

33 G. U. E., Oct. 30, 1829, p. 58.

34 G. U. E., Sept. 16, 1829, pp. 13, 14.

35 Thos. H. Benton.

36 It was a favorite idea of Lundy's to establish a colony for the free blacks and emancipated slaves in Southern territory. So firm was his belief that Texas was the most appropriate region for it, that he subsequently (between 1831 and 1835) made three journeys thither, traversing the country, living there for months at a time, falling back on his saddler's trade for support when his funds gave out, incurring constant peril from disease or violence, yet laboring year after year, in season and out of season, to obtain a grant of land from the Mexican Government for his colony. In 1835 he succeeded in securing a grant of 138,000 acres, on condition that he should bring to it two hundred and fifty settlers with their families, and he returned to the United States to secure these; but the disturbances arising from the lawless Southern invasion of Mexico put an end to his scheme. His journeys had no other result than to make him the best informed man in the country in regard to the Mexican province, and of great assistance subsequently to John Quincy Adams and the other opponents of annexation in Congress.

37 Oct., 1829, to Jan., 1830.

38 G. T. Curtis's Life of Buchanan, 2.273.

39 G. U. E., Oct. 2, 1829, p. 30.

40 G. U. E., Dec. 25, 1829, p. 125.

41 Ibid., Feb. 12, 1830, p. 182.

42 Forty years later, his friend Mrs. Abby Kelley Foster, at a Woman Suffrage meeting in Boston, laughingly confronted him with these longforgotten words of his; to which he rejoined, ‘Whereas I was blind, now I see.’

43 G. U. E., Oct. 30, 1829, p. 60.

44 Ibid., Oct. 23, 1829, p. 50.

45 Speech to Franklin Club, Oct. 14, 1878.

46 G. U. E., Oct. 30, 1829, p. 59.

47 In this Address the Convention recapitulated its objects and methods, which were substantially those of all the State Societies of the close of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. The anti-slavery sentiment of that period was organized, (1) with a view to getting rid of slavery, whose abolition was regarded as a foregone conclusion; (2) to protect the free blacks against kidnapping and reenslavement; (3) to establish schools for, and otherwise improve the condition of, the colored people. It was satisfied with gradual emancipation (as in Pennsylvania), and with the prohibition of slave importations. Its sense of responsibility for slavery was chiefly for that under its own eyes and in its own State. Its mode of action was confined to memorials to legislative bodies and governors, and to the courts. It did not feel that responsibility for slavery everywhere which Garrison was now seeking to enforce, nor did it, while attacking slavery on grounds adopted by him, personally arraign the slaveholder, hold him criminal for not immediately emancipating his slaves, and seek to make him odious and put him beyond the pale of intercourse. Hence its failure to awaken any interest in the public mind, or to disturb the consciences and peace of the slaveholders.

48 David Walker was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, Sept. 28, 1785, of a free mother and a slave father, following, by slave law, the condition of the former. He travelled extensively through the South, regarding the degradation and sufferings of his race with a bitter sympathy, acquired a sufficient education, and read and pondered such general historical works as were procurable. At the age of forty-two, being then a resident of Boston, he opened a store on Brattle Street for the sale of second-hand clothes. From this unpromising laboratory there issued, two years later, an octavo pamphlet of 76 pp., now very rare, entitled “Walker's Appeal, in four articles, together with a Preamble to the Colored Citizens of the World, but in particular, and very expressly, to those of the United States of America. Written in Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, Sept. 28th, 1829. Boston: Published by David Walker. 1829.” The author had already delivered an address before the General Colored Association of Boston, which was printed in Freedom's Journal, Dec. 20, 1828. He now urged the free colored people to make the slave's cause their concern, as inseparably connected with their own condition, and to aspire to be something more than barbers and bootblacks. His first article set forth ‘Our wretchedness in consequence of slavery’; his second, ‘Our wretchedness in consequence of ignorance’; his third, ‘Our wretchedness in consequence of the preachers of the religion of Jesus Christ’; his fourth, ‘Our wretchedness in consequence of the colonizing plan.’ This last was so full and thorough an exposure of the animus of the Colonization Society that it might almost seem to have been the leading motive of the pamphlet. But Jefferson's disparaging estimate of the capacity of the negro is also examined and confuted at such length as to entitle his “Notes on Virginia” to be considered at least equally the occasion of the “Appeal.” Its tone was distinctly religious and prophetic. ‘For although the destruction of the oppressors God may not effect by the oppressed, yet the Lord our God will bring other destructions upon them—for not unfrequently will he cause them to rise up one against another, to be split, divided, and to oppress each other, and sometimes to open hostilities with sword in hand’ (p. 5). The meek and unresisting character of the blacks was sternly censured; but while contending for the right of self-defence, Walker counselled entire forgiveness of the past if the slaveholders would let their victims go in peace. The pamphlet ended with quotations from the Declaration of Independence and some Methodistical hymns.

It had at once so great a vogue that a second edition was called for, and, reaching the South, it produced much consternation among the whites, especially in the seaboard slave States, where incoming vessels were searched for it. On Dec. 12, 1829, the Mayor of Savannah addressed the Mayor of Boston (Harrison Gray Otis) with reference, as would appear, to the possible punishment of the author. Mayor Otis replied that, ‘notwithstanding the extremely bad and inflammatory tendency of the publication,’ the author had not made himself amenable to the laws of Massachusetts; that he was an old-clothes dealer, and openly avowed to an emissary from the Mayor's office the sentiments of his book, declaring that he meant to circulate it by mail at his own expense, if need be. Mayor Otis expressed his determination to warn sea-captains and others of the consequences of transporting incendiary writings into the Southern States. He sent (February 10, 1830) a copy of this letter to Governor Giles of Virginia, at the same time belittling the weight of the “Appeal,” from ‘the insignificance of the writer, the extravagance of his sanguinary fanaticism,’ and ‘the very partial circulation’ of the book, which had caused no excitement in Boston. The Governor submitted these documents to the House of Delegates on February 16, and the communication was laid on the table. (See Richmond Enquirer, Feb. 18, 1830, and Boston Courier, Feb. 26; the Abolitionist, monthly, 1.98; Williams's History of the negro race in America, 2.553.)

From internal evidence it appears that the third edition of the “Appeal” was published shortly after March 6, 1830. It was wholly reset, and contained many corrections and important additions, both to the body of the text and in the shape of notes. The additions were for the most part explicitly indicated, and were designedly of a character to justify the epithet ‘sanguinary’ applied by Mayor Otis. They favored a servile insurrection as soon as the way was clear; the superiority of the blacks in numbers and their greater (historic) bravery in battle being dwelt upon. Walker also insisted more plainly on his having had a divine commission to write, and in truth he may be regarded as a sort of John the Baptist to the new anti-slavery dispensation. It is curious that no allusion is made in the “Appeal” to Lundy's labors on behalf of the slave. Walker did not long survive the third edition of his pamphlet, dying on June 28, 1830— some thought by foul play, as a price was set upon his head at the South; but this surmise was incorrect. His noble intensity, pride, disgust, flerceness, his eloquence and his general intellectual ability, have not been commemorated as they deserve. (See May's “Recollections,” p. 133, and Lib., 1.17.) He is a unique figure in the anti-slavery movement. The late Rev. Henry Highland Garnet reprinted the “Appeal” in 1858, but this edition has become as scarce as the original. A copy of the third edition is in the May Collection at Cornell University, inscribed ‘Rev. Samuel J. May, from his friend and admirer, Wm. Lloyd Garrison.’ Mr. Garrison was never acquainted with Walker.

49 G. U. E., Jan. 15, 1830, p. 147.

50 G. U. E., Feb. 26, 1830, p. 195.

51 G. U. E., Mar. 5, 1830, p. 202.

52 Ibid., Nov. 20, 1829, p. 82.

53 Ibid., Jan. 22, 1830, p. 158.

54 Ibid., Jan. 1, 1830, p. 133.

55 This figure, originally designed for the seal of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, in October, 1787, had a powerful influence in kindling anti-slavery sentiment in Great Britain, and was, with its direct and pathetic appeal, no less an inspiration and incentive to the American abolitionists. (See Clarkson's “History of the slave trade,” Chapter XX:)

56 Wilson's Rise and Fall of the Slave Power, 1.102, 103.

57 How thoroughly the prohibition was disregarded can be judged from the fact, that although the law required the forfeiture to the Government of all slaves illegally imported after 1807, the Register of the Treasury was obliged to confess, in 1819, that of more than a hundred thousand thus introduced up to that time, not one had been forfeited. Frequent record of the capture of slavers by English vessels was made in the Genius.

58 Any coast slave-trader, indeed, which came within British jurisdiction, was as liable to forfeit its human freight as a foreign cruiser, and this happened to one such, the Enterprise, driven into Bermuda by stress of weather (Lib. 5.47, 51, 85).

59 In a single week—that ending Oct. 16, 1831—371 slaves were landed in New Orleans, chiefly from Alexandria, Norfolk, and Charleston (Niles' Register, Nov. 26, 1831).

60 Lib. 4.91.

61 G. U. E., Nov. 13, 1829, p. 75.

62 Ibid., Nov. 20, 1829, p. 83.

63 Cf. ante, p. 114.

64 A similar sensitiveness was betrayed by some Northern members of Congress on the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, in his autobiographical “Memoir of the Convention” (p. 15, ed. 1830), makes this record: ‘The clause, too, reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa was struck out in compliance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves, and who, on the contrary, still wished to continue it. Our Northern brethren also, I believe, felt a little tender under these censures; for though their people had very few slaves, themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others.’

65 ‘Of his attainments as a lawyer,’ wrote Mr. Garrison, in noticing his death, a year later, ‘the fertility and amplitude of his mind, and the sweetness and energy of his eloquence, it is difficult to speak in sober terms. The benevolence of his heart was as expansive as the ocean.’ Mr. Mitchell was a native of Connecticut, and a son of Judge Stephen Mitchell of that State (Lib. 1.111).

66 That Captain Brown was personally a kind and humane man was undoubtedly true, and that Mr. Garrison had esteemed him up to this time is apparent from his expression of surprise and regret, in the ‘libellous’ article, that one of whom he ‘should have expected better conduct’ should be in any way implicated in the involuntary transportation, from their homes and kindred, of those whose right to liberty was as clear and sacred as his own. It is a fact, which did not come out at the trial, and of which Mr. Garrison himself was probably never aware, that these helpless victims whom Mr. Todd consented, in view of the ‘hard times, dull freights, and scarce money,’ to receive as freight and cargo, had the utmost horror of being carried South, and secreted themselves in the woods to escape going. They were hunted, captured, and driven aboard in a half-naked condition, as Captain Brown himself narrated, and so utterly destitute were they that the agent of Millighan, their new master, sent bales of clothing aboard for them. Needles and thread were provided for the women, the Captain further stated, the entire space between decks was given to the slaves, and a prayer-meeting was held by them every day. When they reached their destination (on the Mississippi river, below New Orleans), they expressed their gratitude to Captain Brown for his kindness to them, and when, later, on his return down the river from New Orleans, he anchored off the plantation, they again thanked him and professed themselves satisfied with their new home. ‘It was one of the happiest hours of my father's long life,’ writes a daughter of Captain Brown, in the Southern Workman, May, 1883, ‘as I have often heard him say,—and further, that there was no act of his life that he could look back upon with more satisfaction.’ He was not so well satisfied with the philanthropy of the undertaking, however, that he cared to repeat the experiment, and that was the first and last voyage on which he ever carried slaves from one taskmaster to another; and the last, also, it is believed, on which Francis Todd allowed a vessel of his to be chartered for such a purpose.

Mr. Garrison derived the information on which he based his article, ‘indirectly, from Captain Brown and the mate of the Francis, the latter a son of Mr. Todd; and directly,’ as he has recorded, ‘from a young gentleman who went as passenger in the vessel to New Orleans, and who expressed some fears of an insurrection on board, but whose testimony I could not obtain in season to produce at my trial. I sent a copy of the paper to Mr. Todd, according to my promise. Instead of vindicating his conduct in the columns of the Genius, and endeavoring to show that my statement was materially false, he entered a civil action against me, . . . estimating damages at five thousand dollars’ ( “Brief Sketch of the Trial of William Lloyd Garrison,” p. 3).

67 G. U. E., Mar. 5, 1830, p. 205.

68 G. U. E., Mar. 5, 1830, p. 205.

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