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Chapter 10: death of Mrs. Garrison.—final visit to England.—1876, 1877.

The death of his wife and his own growing infirmities induce Garrison to seek diversion and strength by revisiting England in June, 1877. his social experiences prove surpassingly delightful, with new acquaintance and old; and he is able in public and private to give efficient aid to several reforms, particularly to the movement for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. He bids a last adieu to Thomp-son, whose end approaches.

In January, 1876, the heaviest bereavement of his life befell Mr. Garrison in the loss of his wife, who was taken from him, after a short and sharp attack of pneumonia, on the 25th of that month. It had been evident for several weeks that her health was seriously impaired, but the event, when it came, was unexpected, and Mr. Garrison, himself suffering from a severe cold and worn by care and watching, was so prostrated by it that grave anxiety was felt for a time as to his own recovery.1 During his weeks of convalescence he found solace in preparing a memorial sketch of Mrs. Garrison, which was printed, with the addresses at the funeral and many tributes from friends, in a small volume for private presentation.2

In June he visited Pennsylvania, and attended, for the3 last time, the Progressive Friends' Meetings at Longwood, with his usual active participation. He subsequently devoted several days to the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, but the resultant fatigue crippled him for [268] weeks, and the summer, as a whole, was a quiet and sober one for him. ‘What a solitude is the house!’ he wrote to his absent daughter, and his letters repeatedly reflected his sense of loneliness. Nevertheless, he wrote and read much, received and visited many friends, and contributed two or three letters to the Presidential campaign. In4 June he received a note from Harriet Martineau, acknowledging the Memorial of Mrs. Garrison, and this was swiftly followed by the announcement of her own death, which it5 foreshadowed. He was deeply interested in the advance proofs of her Autobiography, which Mrs. Chapman sent6 him, and as to which she frequently conferred with him during that autumn.

Harriet Martineau to W. L. Garrison.

Ambleside, May 30, 1876.
7 my dear friend: When you kindly sent me the memorial card announcing your precious wife's departure and burial, I asked our dear Mrs. Chapman to thank you on my behalf; and her latest letter brings me your response. With it comes the Memoir—the picture of her beautiful life and death. I wish I could convey to you any idea of the emotion excited in my household by the reading of this narrative; but I have strength for no more than a bare acknowledgment of your valued gift, and assurance of sympathy under the pain of your bereavement. What a woman she was! I am thankful to have been in Boston at the crisis which proved that she was worthy of the8 honor of being your wife.

I can say no more. My departure is evidently near, and I hold the pen with difficulty.

Accept the sympathy and reverent blessing of your old friend,

W. L. Garrison to Maria W. Chapman.

Roxbury, Jan. 18, 1877.
9 dear Mrs. Chapman: I have forwarded by the Weymouth Express, to-day, H. M.'s Autobiography and your supplemental10 volume, hoping I have not put you to any inconvenience by not returning them at an earlier date, and proffering you many [269] thanks for so kindly allowing me to peruse them in advance of their publication.

The result is a higher appreciation, if possible, of the intellectual strength, solid understanding, conscientious integrity, fearless independence of thought and expression, courageous ‘heretical’ non-conformity, far-reaching humanity, intuitional grasp, varied knowledge, and literary fertility of that extraordinary woman. I was not aware of the extent of her writings, or the wide range of her investigations pertaining to political economy, statesmanship, government, mental and moral philosophy, psychology, history, biography, international law, philanthropy, well-founded reform, etc., etc. It is not doing any injustice to the eminent women of the world to place her at the head, in comprehensiveness of mind and devotion to the general welfare, working through numerous channels, and discussing with masterly ability questions and measures which for ages have been exclusively assigned to the male sex. Then, privately and socially, how admirable her characteristics!—But all this is superfluous to you.

I had high expectations as to your portion of the forthcoming work, but these have been transcended by the manner in which you have discharged so delicate and responsible a task. Your appreciation of H. M. is in no instance exaggerated; and you evince excellent judgment, rare critical acumen, profound philosophic insight, united with personal and historical fidelity. It was fortunate for you that you had such a trust committed to you, and fortunate for H. M. that she selected you to complete that portion of her life not contained in her Autobiography. I congratulate you on the successful achievement of a most arduous performance.

I am profoundly grateful to you for the kind and generous manner in which reference is made to myself and my anti-slavery labors in the closing volume. The thought has never come into my mind how I should or might be estimated in my own day or generation, or by those coming after me, if remembered at all; but it is none the less gratifying to me to be recognized by two such women as H. M. and M. W. C. as entitled to their esteem and approbation, and the favorable judgment of all true friends of liberty and equal rights.

I am pleased to see my letter to Miss Jane Martineau printed with others, especially those from H. M.'s maid-servants, paying a just and sincere tribute to the memory of the deceased. [270]

Of course, that portion of the work which relates to H. M.'s views of theology and a future life will elicit more or less invective and traducement from a sectarian religious press; but the best answer to it all will be—

For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.

Judging by this test, H. M. is surely entitled to a conspicuous place in ‘the household of saints.’ Anyhow, ‘it is a small thing to be judged of man's judgment.’

Though, through much overworking and years of bodily prostration, I think she seemed to covet at last ‘the sleep that knows no waking,’ my faith is absolute that she ‘still lives,’ with all her faculties unimpaired, and there as here eager to know and serve the true and the right.

With kindest regards to you all,

The winter of 1876-77 was a very trying one to Mr. Garrison, and his health became so much impaired that he finally yielded to the urgent solicitation of his physician and children that he should try a transatlantic trip. His friends in England, who hailed with delight the prospect of another visit from him, were warned that public meetings and receptions were out of the question, and that they must permit him to move among them quietly and obtain all the rest possible. He was doubly afflicted, on the eve of his departure, by the death of a beloved11 daughter-in-law, who was to have accompanied him on12 his voyage, and, a few days later, by that of his dear friend, Edmund Quincy, whose funeral he was unable to13 attend, being already in New York and about to embark when the news reached him.

His companion, as on his previous visit to England, was his youngest son. Leaving New York on the 23d of May,14 in the steamer Algeria, they arrived in Liverpool on the 3d of June, in good condition for the twelve weeks of delightful travel and social intercourse which followed, and of which it is difficult to give any adequate conception in this brief narrative. [271]

Obeying the injunctions which had been reiteratedly sent them, Mr. Garrison's friends endeavored, with a fair degree of success, to abstain from precipitating meetings and receptions upon him; but the desire to see and hear him was so strong that they could not resist the temptation to fill their parlors with invited guests, when he came among them, and to ask him to tell them about his early life, his anti-slavery experiences, and his views on one or another question of morals and reform. Young and old thus gathered to listen to his discourse on slavery, war, intemperance, non-resistance, and the rights of women, and to gather inspiration from his clear and simple exposition of fundamental principles. To his companion, who had been familiar from childhood with the facts he narrated, and his habitual phraseology in discussing these themes, it was a constant surprise to note the freshness with which he invested, and the vigor with which he presented them, and to find himself listening as to a new rather than an oft-told tale. As to the effect on Mr. Garrison's auditors generally, who listened with riveted attention as to one indeed ‘having authority,’ the evidence does not rest on filial testimony. Expressions as to the influence thus exerted and the deep impression made came to him from many sources. ‘For three days we have heard the gospel preached,’ said one of the most admirable and intellectual women in the15 kingdom, after spending that length of time in Mr. Garrison's company, and conversing with him on a wide range of topics; and a cultivated gentleman who met him for16 the first time, and entertained him for a single night in his charming country home, wrote subsequently, “He came among us like a perfected spirit, bearing testimony.” Evesham.

The first person whom Mr. Garrison sought, on his arrival in Liverpool, was Mrs. Josephine E. Butler, whom he had wished to meet ever since her inauguration of the movement for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts17 had become known to him. The high opinion he had formed of her from her writings was more than confirmed [272] by personal acquaintance, and she on her part received his expressions of sympathy and support with the deepest gratitude and encouragement. He spent an evening in informal discourse to a number of gentlemen whom she convened at her house, with what effect she subsequently wrote him:

Josephine E. Butler to W. L. Garrison.

Liverpool, June 10, 1877.
18 I wished one more word in reply to your most kind and encouraging letter—it is this, that if you should have the opportunity again—and you will—to speak to friends as you did at our house, I wish most earnestly that you should exactly do as you did here; you can and will, thereby, wonderfully serve the different sacred movements of reform going on here. I mean, that it seems to me and my husband the very best thing possible that you should relate that wonderful narrative of your labors—or some portion of your labors—with all its deep and suggestive lessons, enforced in a few words, as you can enforce them, and then, having quite won your hearers, speak at the end a few grave and earnest words concerning the struggles going on here—our own great conflict for justice and purity, the temperance movement, etc. You won several at our house, and you can do us thus immense service with, I trust, not too much effort yourself, and without any public meetings at all.

You perhaps scarcely realize the gladness imparted by your visit to England to all of us, and we are many now, who have to fight so sacred a battle against great odds—a battle which in some of its essential features resembles the great and marvellous anti-slavery struggle.

To another, Mrs. Butler wrote of Mr. Garrison:

I think he has a peculiar gift for awakening the conscience,19 and for making us all feel to what extent we have severally failed to see, or to live up to, the principles we profess or love. To me, his influence is that of a visit to a fortifying mountaintop where a strong, pure breeze is blowing, and where mists are cleared away and one gets above the strife of earth for a moment, though still, and more widely, beholding all that strife.

From Liverpool, where he passed pleasant hours with20 his friends, the Crosfields, Mr. Garrison went to Manchester [273] for five days, enjoying the society of his hosts,21 Dr. Louis Borchardt and family, and of the Steinthals,22 and other friends. Thence he made a trip through Derbyshire, visiting Chatsworth and Edensor, and spending23 a day or two amid the lovely scenery about Mayfield and24 Ashbourne, and at Dovedale, the favorite haunt of Izaak Walton, whither his friend and host, Joseph Simpson, drove him. At Oxford he was too late to see the throngs25 of graduation week, but enjoyed all the more the summer quiet of the fine old town, to which this was his first visit. He declined the urgent invitation of Prof. Jowett, who was26 just starting for London, to occupy his apartments at Balliol College, but accepted the services of his secretary as guide through the several colleges, and subsequently spent an agreeable hour with Prof. Jowett in London. He27 had the privilege of meeting that modest scholar and public-spirited citizen, Thomas H. Green, whose early death was such a loss to the town and to every good movement with which he had identified himself, and of becoming still better acquainted with that genial and charming gentleman, Prof. George Rolleston, Linnaean Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Oxford, who gave a dinner party in his honor, and listened with28 approval to his guest's testimony in favor of total abstinence.29

Two weeks were devoted to London, every day of which was fully occupied. The Chessons, Ashursts, and30 Stansfelds were the first to welcome their old friend, and social [274] gatherings were given by the first two in his honor. He31 spent an evening also at Jacob Bright's, and an hour or32 two in the lobby of the House of Commons, one afternoon,33 exchanging greetings with his friends in the House,— John and Jacob Bright, Sir Wilfred Lawson, Joseph Cowen, Samuel Morley, Henry Richards, Duncan McLaren, Benjamin Whitworth, and Sir Thomas Bazley. One day was given to Kew, Twickenham, Hampton Court, and34 Richmond, and another to the Handel Triennial Festival35 at the Crystal Palace. Mr. Garrison attended and spoke briefly at the annual meeting of the National Woman36 Suffrage Association; and at a meeting in behalf of the London School of Medicine for Women he listened to37 speeches by the Earl of Shaftesbury, Mr. Stansfeld, Mrs.38 Westlake, Prof. Fawcett, Miss Jex Blake, and Dr. Garrett-Anderson. He also heard a liberal discourse by Dean39 Stanley at St. Stephen's. One of his pleasantest mornings40 was spent at Argyll Lodge, in Kensington, where he breakfasted with the Duke and Duchess of Argyll and their41 daughters,—John Bright, Hon. Charles Howard, and Hon. Lyulph Stanley being the other guests; and he had a cheerful interview also with Lord Houghton, who was just then42 confined to his room by a painful accident, but who insisted on seeing him, though other callers were turned away.

The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society would not consent to Mr. Garrison's leaving London without receiving some mark of attention from them. Among the fifty gentlemen present at the breakfast which they43 tendered him, at the Devonshire House Hotel, there were over a dozen members of Parliament, including William E. Forster, Evelyn Ashley, and Sir George Campbell, who all spoke. The guest of the occasion had understood that it would be entirely informal, and was unprepared for any speech-making, but he complied with the request of the President (Edmund Sturge) that he would give some account of the progress of the colored people in the South since emancipation, and spoke with ease and fluency to deeply interested auditors. [275]

One more meeting awaited him, at which, with no expectation on his part, he was the principal figure, and his speech the chief feature of the occasion. This was a general Conference, held the day before he left London,44 of the various Associations for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, representatives from all parts of the kingdom being present. The slow and painful fight with legalized vice and iniquity had now been going on for eight years, and the small number of faithful women and men who had borne the heat and the burden of this battle for the protection of womanhood, and the honor and dignity of manhood, for social purity and the equal accountability of the sexes to the moral law, met to take counsel together. The discouragements and reverses had been many. The clergy as a body had hesitated to take up a question presenting so many revolting aspects, and from the very mention and discussion of which timid and sensitive natures shrank; the press, especially the large dailies, treated it with deliberate and systematic silence; and Parliament steadily refused to repeal the law. Meetings held now and then in different cities and towns, but usually unreported; tracts and documents, petitions and appeals, scattered broadcast, seemed to produce little impression on the public, and still less on Parliament, which appointed Royal Commissions of Inquiry, but went no further. A deep seriousness pervaded the hundred earnest men and women who now came together, and an almost overpowering sense of the magnitude of their task and the formidable obstacles yet to be overcome seemed to rest upon them.

William Shaen,45 a long-time friend of Mr. Garrison, presided, and, after giving a clear and able summary of their past labors and the present position of the movement, and introducing Professor James Stuart and Sir Harcourt Johnstone (the latter the Parliamentary leader [276] for repeal of the Acts) to make their reports, he asked for a few words of encouragement from their American guest, the thought of whose career ought to relieve any momentary depression on their part. Especially did he invite him to give an account of his early labors and sufferings; but Mr. Garrison, on rising, brushed aside, with a smile, those ‘light afflictions’ which ‘were but for a moment and were hardly worth talking about,’ and indulged instead in an account of the labors and sacrifices of George Thompson in America, as an introduction to the reasons why his own participation with them in the present struggle was not improper.

‘I have heard of your doings,’ he said,

when on the other46 side of the Atlantic, and my heart went out to you. I felt myself one with you in spirit, one with you in your aim. I often said,—you did not hear me, but I said it in my heart, many times,—with my heart's voice I said, “God bless the noble men and women now striving to cleanse the land of England from the foul pollution implied by such atrocious laws as they are working to abolish.” Generally, where I stand up to speak, I am “ native and to the manner born,” but here I am a foreigner, standing on foreign soil; and I ask myself, “ What right have I to be here, an intermeddler, an agitator, if you will?” . . . But I have in my own mind long come to this conclusion, that “the earth is the Lord's” ; and wherever on His footstool I may be placed, if iniquity is to be arraigned, and immorality is to be confronted, I claim my right before God to denounce it. And so I feel at home here, and that I have a perfect right to speak; and I do denounce the iniquitous and infamous Acts as disgraceful to Great Britain and the Government thereof. (Loud applause.) I bid you God-speed; and if I were to continue here I would try whether I could help you in any way whatsoever, however feebly; and whatever I could do, I would be very sure to do. Your cause is righteous. This question of pollution—what! not to be confronted! not to be talked about! Men and women to be separate when they talk about it! Why separate? If they are virtuous, shall they not speak of that which is not virtuous and denounce it in common? It struck me as rather singular when I heard . . . [of] certain gentlemen so exceedingly virtuous, so exceedingly afraid of anything indelicate in the presence of ladies, that they cannot discuss this [277] matter. . . . I have no respect for virtue which will not have pollution brought forward into the very light of the sun, so that, being seen, it may be abhorred and forever put away. And this is not a matter of statistics. Your Government sanctions pollution; and you say pollution is not to be sanctioned. You are bound to confront it as a great immorality, an impiety against God; and statistics cannot but show (if they are correctly compiled) that immorality does and will work evil in every direction. For God does not make it possible that that which in itself is immoral and iniquitous shall be good anyhow, at any time, or under any circumstances. And thus it is that I would have you take up this matter, and press it home. Let every man and every woman make it a moral test of purity; but let not any men dare to assume that they are the advocates of virtue while they are saying, “ Let us have a class of women set apart for infamous purposes, and so regulate them that men may go on in a lustful course with impunity, as far as that is possible.” No, friends, we must not have any squeamishness about this; we must speak out plainly—call things by their right names; and, especially, we must say, “It is immoral, it is unclean, it is an offence against the Divine Law, and therefore it must be put down.” (Applause.)

I am very sorry indeed that one to whom reference has been made this afternoon, is not here—I mean Mrs. Josephine Butler. I have, on the other side of the Atlantic, felt the force of her moral magnetism, and the uplifting power of her influence, and I have desired for a long time to be able to see her, to make her personal acquaintance. I cannot express to you the estimation in which I hold her, so well balanced as she is in intellect, in mind, in soul: such purity, such completeness of character, such judgment, such circumspection, everything to make up a noble and complete character; such feeling, such firmness, such courage, to dare to stand up and grapple with the nation! (Loud applause.) . . . Oh, she is a worthy leader. And I honor the women as well as the men who are working with her, also doing nobly, and striving to do all that she is striving to do, and has done so well—I honor you all. But the work, as a matter of justice, belongs to ourselves; to us, who are men. It is the men who have wrought this evil. It is the men who have done this wrong. It is the men who are responsible for it—the women did not pass the law. Had there been one single woman in Parliament, do you suppose that there would have been any one man audacious enough, [278] indecent enough, to have dared to stand up and advocate such a measure? But I believe this thing was born in darkness; it was carried through nobody knew how. It had the very stamp of unrighteousness about it. All in the dark these Contagious Diseases Acts were passed. How very innocent in name, and yet how thoroughly iniquitous and polluting in intention, while making the best professions—regard for sanitary measures, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth!

Well, friends, you will go on, of course. (Applause.) Not one of you will think of retreating. Why, it is the best investment for the soul's welfare possible, to take hold of something which is righteous but unpopular. (Hear, hear.) Righteous but unpopular, for men may get hold of an unpopular cause which deserves to be unpopular and is not righteous. But it invigorates and strengthens us to work in a righteous but unpopular cause; it teaches us to know ourselves, to know what it is we are relying on-whether we love the praise of men or the praise of God. As for me, I think I should not know how to take part in a popular movement—it would seem so weakening, so enervating. Everybody is there, and there is nothing to be done, excepting to shout. Let others do that if they like; but while this world remains as it is, while so much has yet to be done to make the world better, God grant that while I live I may be connected still, as far as possible, with causes which, being righteous, are unpopular, and struggling, in God's name, against wind and tide. Living and dying I will give my support to such, and look to God for His blessing in the end.

The effect produced by this little speech, delivered, as the report betrays, without premeditation, was wonderfully inspiring.47 To Mr. Garrison's companion it remains one of the three most impressive incidents and memories of that fortnight in London. The second was the interview between Mr. Garrison and John Bright, which was marked by great tenderness of feeling and mutual affection. Meeting first in the lobby of the House of Commons,48 [279] where, withdrawn from the throng of members, and sitting together in a retired corner, they discussed the events and changes of the last ten years, they subsequently went into the Library of the House and stood by one of the windows looking out upon the Thames, with its multitudinous craft passing to and fro in the bright sunlight of the June afternoon. The conversation turned on war and the recent imminence of complications between England and Russia. ‘The danger is past,’ said Mr. Bright, ‘for fortunately we have now no allies.’ ‘How would it do,’ said Mr. Garrison, “to place this interrogation above the door of the House of Commons?— ‘Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?’ ” Psalm XCIV. 20. ‘I used to quote that in the Anti-Corn Law Days,’ replied Mr. Bright, with a smile. Then he alluded to Lewis Morris's recent poem, ‘The Epic of Hades,’ which had greatly impressed him, and repeated, with exquisite feeling, Whittier's beautiful apostrophe to his sister in ‘Snow Bound.’ Descending next to the river terrace, the two friends talked of the future life, and Mr. Garrison narrated the curious circumstance of Henry C. Wright's49 post-mortem suggestions about his burial-place. The story greatly interested Mr. Bright, who had known the author of “A kiss for a blow” thirty years before, and he speedily repeated it to others.

The third memorable incident, which an artist might well have depicted on canvas, was when, during a quiet stroll through the aisles of Westminster Abbey, one afternoon when the proceedings in the House of Commons had ceased to interest, and it was a relief to escape to the cool seclusion of the old sanctuary, Mr. Garrison paused before the admirable statue of Wilberforce, and, leaning backwards upon his cane, long contemplated the face and figure, and read the elaborate inscription which covers the front of the pedestal.

The last night in London was spent in listening to the50 closing debate on the County Franchise Bill in the House of Commons. The Liberals were then in a minority and [280] occupying the Opposition benches; but with two exceptions they mustered their entire strength in favor of the measure, which was defeated by fifty-six majority.

In spite of all the labor and excitement, Mr. Garrison gained perceptibly in health during his stay in London. Besides the friends already named, he met many others with whom he enjoyed a renewal of intercourse—among them, Henry Vincent, Madame Emilie Ashurst Venturi, Mrs. Priscilla Bright McLaren, Mrs. Fawcett, Miss Helen Taylor, Thomas Hughes, Professor James Bryce, Justin McCarthy, and George J. Holyoake. But he was glad at last to leave the great metropolis for the rural quiet and beauty of Somersetshire, whither he now went to visit Mr. Bright's daughter, Mrs. Helen Bright Clark, and her husband. With them he spent a delightful Sunday in51 their home at Street, near Glastonbury and its ruined52 Abbey. Thence he drove with them by way of Wells53 (whose cathedral, with its Bishop's Garden and ancient moat and wall, he greatly admired) and Cheddar to Sidcot, where he enjoyed the hospitality of Mrs. Margaret A. Tanner, a staunch supporter of Mrs. Butler, in her beautiful home overlooking the Bristol Channel and Welsh hills. In Bristol he was to have been the guest of the well-known philanthropist, Miss Mary Carpenter, but her letter making the arrangements for his coming had reached54 him at Oxford simultaneously with the public55 announcement of her sudden death the very night after she had written to him. His two days in that neighborhood were56 spent at Clifton with Miss Mary A. Estlin,57 who was unwearied in her attentions to him and his companion. With her they visited Tintern Abbey and the lovely valley58 of the Wye, which they saw under peculiarly favorable conditions of weather and sky. At Evesham, where they spent a night under the hospitable roof of Mr. Herbert59 [281] New, they had a glimpse of the quiet rural scenery along the Avon, and from Leamington they drove to Warwick60 and Kenilworth Castles, which Mr. Garrison had never before found time to visit.

In Birmingham he again bore testimony in behalf of Mrs. Butler's movement to a private gathering of friends at the house of his host, Mr. Robert F. Martineau, and61 responded to an address presented to him on the occasion by the Committee of the Repeal Associations.62 He also visited the grave of Harriet Martineau, in one of the63 Birmingham cemeteries. At Sheffield he paused only long enough for an hours call on his venerable friend,64 Mrs. Rawson, at Wincobank Hall, after an interval of65 thirty-one years since his previous visit to her, and then hastened to Leeds to spend a week with Mr. and Mrs.66 Joseph Lupton, and to be near George Thompson; for, in the ten years since they had last met, Mr. Thompson had taken up his residence in Leeds, and was now hopelessly shattered in health and barely able to walk. The meeting between the old friends was most affecting, the invalid dropping his head on Mr. Garrison's shoulder as he embraced him, too overcome for speech. Indeed, paralysis had so far affected his utterance that conversation was difficult, but he rallied his powers after a time, and showed his unabated interest in public and personal matters. Mr. Garrison, whose heart was wrung by his sadly altered appearance, devoted as many hours as possible to him each day during his stay. When the final parting came,67 Mr. Thompson sobbed aloud as he gave his brother beloved the last fervent embrace, and watched his retreating form till it was out of sight.

This was the only sorrowful experience in Mr. Garrison's English visit. From Leeds he made delightful excursions to Bolton Abbey and Wharfedale, to Ripon68 [282] and Fountains Abbey, and to Scarborough, where he saw69 a typical English watering-place, and was handsomely entertained by Sir Harcourt Johnstone, who gave a supper70 in his honor at the Royal Hotel. About fifty prominent residents of the town were present, and Mr. Garrison spoke with much felicity on the marked progress made in the various reformatory movements in England since his previous visit. After touching upon temperance, education, the extension of the franchise, municipal suffrage for women, and the Contagious Diseases Acts, he enlarged, by request, upon the duty of the State to provide secular education only, not knowing at the time that several of his hearers were unsettled on the question, which was then being discussed, and that his utterances were helping to clear their minds.

A drive with Sir Harcourt Johnstone through his fine estate,71 with its model farmhouse and stables, and its ancient church dating back eight or nine centuries, was only one of the experiences of the following day, which72 included glimpses of York Minster and Durham Cathedral on the journey to Newcastle-on-Tyne. John Mawson was no longer living to welcome him to the latter city, but his73 beautiful home at Gateshead remained, and the hospitality of his family was unstinted during the four days of Mr.74 Garrison's visit. The evenings witnessed successive gatherings of friends to meet him, and a semi-public breakfast was tendered him in Newcastle by Mrs. Butler's75 supporters, to which he consented only because of their earnest assurance that his endorsement would greatly help their cause in the North of England.

Twenty days were allotted to Scotland, the first seven of which were spent in Edinburgh, with Elizabeth Pease76 Nichol. Very precious and happy days they were, for Huntly Lodge was like a second home to Mr. Garrison, and communion with its dear and honored mistress one of his greatest delights. Thither came, during the week, [283] many friends to greet and converse with him—Dr. John Brown77 and Thomas Constable among them, and Alfred78 Webb,79 who came from Dublin for the purpose. These social reunions, with frequent drives and excursions in the neighborhood, made the week pass all too quickly, but happily Mrs. Nichol was able to accompany him and his son to Glasgow, where they were all the guests of Prof. John Nichol, at the University. The four days there were80 also full, one day being occupied by a trip to Largs, on the coast, with superb views on the journey to and fro, of Wemyss and Rothesay Bays and of the mountains from Arran to Ben Lomond. Mr. Garrison spent as many hours as possible with the Patons and Smeals,81 and, by invitation of the Town Council of Glasgow, accompanied that body in their annual inspection of the four public parks of the city—a significant honor, in view of the Southern proclivities of Glasgow during the slaveholders' rebellion. By a pleasant coincidence, it occurred on the first day of August, and Mr. Garrison, in his after-dinner speech at the Council Chambers, did not forget to allude to the anniversary of West India Emancipation.

Three days sufficed for a most enjoyable trip through82 the Highlands, which embraced the sail up the coast to83 Oban and Ballachulish, the stage-ride through the Pass of Glencoe, a sail and row on Loch Lomond at sunset, and84 Loch Katrine, the Trosachs and Callander as the return85 route to Edinburgh. One more excursion was made—to Newport,86 opposite Dundee—before the concluding visit87 at Huntly Lodge, whose hospitable door never opened [284] more reluctantly for a departing guest. A brief tour through the English Lake District followed, the region88 being new to Mr. Garrison, who thoroughly appreciated its beauty, and enjoyed rowing, successively, on the placid waters of Derwentwater, Windermere, and Ullswater. At Ambleside he visited ‘The Knoll,’ Harriet Martineau's89 late home, and rejoiced to find the house occupied by sympathizing friends, who welcomed him with especial90 cordiality.

Little leisure remained for him in the few days that now intervened before his departure for America. He spent a night at Worsley, and two days at Lymm (near91 Warrington), where a banquet was tendered him by his old friend,92 William Robson. At Chester he saw the antiquities of the town under the delightful guidance of Rev. Charles93 Wicksteed, with whom he spent more time the following day94 at his home in St. Asaph, Wales. This was the region where Mrs. Hemans had lived, and it inspired in Mr. Garrison lively reminiscences of his youthful ardor and extravagant admiration for the poetess. He took the fine railroad ride along the north coast of Wales to Bangor95 and Llanberis, to see the bridges over the Menai Straits, and Conway and Carnarvon Castles, and, after a farewell visit to Manchester, he hastened to spend his last two days96 among his Liverpool friends. Mrs. Butler convened a special meeting of adherents at her house to bid him97 farewell, and to present him with the following Address, written by herself and signed by eighteen representative women in different parts of the kingdom. This, beautifully engrossed and illuminated, Mr. Garrison had carefully framed on his return home, and it is doubtful if he left any heirloom to his children in which he took greater pride and pleasure.

Woman's To William Lloyd Garrison of Boston, U. S. A.98

dear and honored friend: We, the undersigned, members of the Executive Committee of the Ladies' National Association for the Abolition of the State Regulation of Vice, [285] desire, before you leave this country, to tender to you the expression of our deep gratitude for the invaluable service you have rendered the sacred cause of Liberty and of Social Purity, by the repeated public expression of your sympathy with and approval of the principles and labors of the Repeal Association.

We desire also to express our acknowledgment of the strength and hope we have derived from personal intercourse with you, or from reading your encouraging words—words which derive an extraordinary force and vitality from the fact of your own noble life-work for the redemption of the slave.

As women, especially,—and in the name of hundreds of women of the Association we represent, as well as our own,— we thank you, from the depths of our hearts, for the stand you have made in America, throughout your life, for the principle of the absolute equality of all human beings; and, more lately, in our own land, for the application of that principle as between men and women, in presence of the moral law.99

Another farewell reception was given at the house of William Crosfield, Jr., on the evening of the 24th of August, and on the following day Mr. Garrison and his son began their homeward voyage in the Bothnia, landing in New York ten days later.100101

‘Now that our transatlantic tour has been consummated,’ he wrote to his daughter, on returning to102 Rockledge, ‘it seems almost like a delicious dream; and yet, from beginning to end, nothing could be more realistic. We did not pass an idle hour, whether in England, Scotland, or Wales, but were busily engaged either in sightseeing or receiving or making calls, or participating in social parties drawn together to give us a most cordial reception. . . . Nothing could exceed the courtesies and kindnesses showered upon us by our multitudinous [286] friends, whose respect and affection are in value beyond all price.’ And to his friend May he wrote: “From the time of our departure from New York to our leaving Liverpool, everything went auspiciously with us. Our good angels seemed to be ever at our side. We lost no appointment, met with no accident, and had our cup of enjoyment filled to overflowing.” Ms. Sept. 14, 1877, to S. May, Jr.

1 He was unable to be present at the funeral services, which were held at Rockledge, and conducted by the Rev. Samuel May, assisted by Wendell Phillips, Lucy Stone, and the Rev. George Putnam. Mr. Phillips's tribute was an exquisite portrayal of Mrs. Garrison's character.

2Helen Eliza Garrison. A Memorial.” 1876. ‘While writing it, my head and heart were heavily oppressed, and in my enfeebled condition the task was as laborious as it was delicate. I hope it will not seem to indicate anything of mental weakness to those into whose hands it will be put’ (Ms. March 30, 1876, W. L. G. to W. P. G.). The volume contains an excellent photograph of Mrs. Garrison.

3 1876.

4 Hayes-Tilden.

5 June 27, 1876.

6 Maria W. Chapman.

7 Ms.

8 Ante, 2.27, 28.

9 Ms.

10 Harriet Martineau.

11 May 11, 1877.

12 Lucy McKim Garrison.

13 May 17.

14 F. J. G.

15 Helen Bright Clark.

16 Herbert New.

17 Ante, p. 248.

18 Ms.

19 Ms. June 26, 1877, to F. J. G.

20 Mr.Crosfield and Mrs. Wm. Crosfield.

21 June 6-11, 1877.

22 Rev. S. A. Steinthal.

23 June 11.

24 June 12, 13.

25 June 14-16.

26 Benjamin Jowett.

27 June 17.

28 June 15.

29 It was naturally elicited by Mr. Garrison's refusal to take any of the wines offered, which the host, though himself an abstainer, felt obliged to provide for his guests. ‘We have talked and thought a good deal about you since you left,’ he wrote, two days later (Ms. June 17, 1877, Rolleston to F. J. G.). ‘Very sorry am I to have heard so little of your father's words, “which make a man feel strong in hearing truth.” I do hope we shall see him again. May he prolong his days, and may the work of goodness prosper in his hand. But he did me real good, of a kind which I wanted, at a moment when the detestable spirit of the Pall Mall Gazette [then a Jingo organ] appears to have wholly entered into and entirely filled up the minds of so many Englishmen. We are just now in a very unwholesome state, and I fear nothing short of some national calamity is likely to shake us out of it.’

30 June 16-30.

31 June 21, 25, 1877.

32 June 24.

33 June 19.

34 June 18.

35 June 22.

36 June 21.

37 June 25.

38 James Stansfeld, Henry Fawcett.

39 Sophia Jex Blake.

40 June 24.

41 June 23.

42 June 28.

43 June 26.

44 June 29.

45 An eminent solicitor, who received his legal training under Wm. H. Ashurst. No man in London was more active in every philanthropic movement.

46 The Shield, London, July 7, 1877.

47Mr. Butler would tell you of the pleasant meeting we had on Friday afternoon. He could not tell you how much we missed you and longed for you amongst us. But he could say what a grand speech we had from Mr. Garrison, so sympathetic and encouraging that it made one feel almost ashamed of ever having felt, even for a passing moment, disheartened at the apathy which we sometimes have to meet’ (Ms. July 1, 1877, R. F. Martineau to Josephine E. Butler).

48 June 19.

49 Ante, p. 253.

50 June 29.

51 William S. Clark.

52 July 1.

53 July 2.

54 June 14.

55 June 16.

56 July 3-5.

57 The daughter of his old friend, Dr. J. B. Estlin, and one of the most steadfast of the English supporters of the American abolitionists. Miss Estlin had visited the United States in 1868, in company with Richard D. Webb and his daughter.

58 July 5.

59 July 5.

60 July 6, 1877.

61 July 7.

62 The Midland Electoral Union for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. The address and a subsequent written reply of Mr. Garrison's were published in the (London) Shield of Sept. 8, and (Boston) Woman's Journal of Nov. 17, 1877.

63 July 8.

64 July 9.

65 Ante, 2.395.

66 July 9-15.

67 July 15.

68 July 10.

69 July 13, 1877.

70 July 16.

71 Hackness Hall, six miles from Scarborough. The place is one of great natural beauty.

72 July 17.

73 Ante, pp. 219, 235.

74 July 17-21.

75 July 20.

76 July 21-28.

77 The author of Rab and his friends was greatly impressed by Mr. Garrison's seemingly unabated vigor and animation, after ten years, and said to a friend: ‘What a beautiful face he has! It's really wonderful.’

78 July 24, 1877.

79 A son of Richard D. Webb. He had visited ‘Rockledge’ in 1872.

80 July 28Aug. 1.

81 Both Andrew Paton and William Smeal were living, and the latter seemed remarkably bright and vigorous when Mr. Garrison spent his last evening with him. He died suddenly, a fortnight later, at the ripe age of 84.

82 Aug. 2-4.

83 Aug. 2.

84 Aug. 3.

85 Aug. 4.

86 Mr. Garrison was entertained at Newport by Mr.Parker and Mrs. Edward Parker, who gave a reception in his honor. The newly completed, but illfated, Tay Bridge greatly excited his wonder and admiration.

87 Aug. 7-10.

88 Aug. 10-15, 1877.

89 Aug. 12.

90 Mr.Hills and Mrs. W. H. Hills.

91 Aug. 15.

92 Aug. 17.

93 Aug. 18.

94 Aug. 19.

95 Aug. 20.

96 Aug. 21-23.

97 Aug. 23.

98 Woman's Journal, Nov. 17, 1877.

99 Thanks to the untiring efforts of Mrs. Butler and her noble host of supporters, and to the splendid leadership in the House of Commons of the Right Hon. James Stansfeld, Jr., the revolting features of the Contagious Diseases Acts were finally repealed in April, 1886.

100 The tedium of the days at sea was beguiled not a little by the perusal of Edmund Quincy's letters of many years to Richard D. Webb, which the latter's son had entrusted to Mr. Garrison, and from which we have extracted somewhat freely in the third volume of this biography.

101 Sept. 4, 1877.

102 Ms. Sept. 10, 1877.

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