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Chapter 12: Inner traits.

Love of sports (p. 309), handwriting (p. 309), epistolary style (p. 310), dexterity (p. 311), preference of city to country (p. 311), fondness for cats (p. 312), aesthetic sense (p. 312), musical passion (p. 313), reading (p. 314), poesy (p. 315), oratory (p. 316), personal appearance (p. 319), constitution and ailments (p. 322), medical experimentation (p. 323), service and courtesy (p. 324), considerateness in the printing-office (p. 325), domestic helpfulness and happiness (p. 326), cheerfulness in adversity (p. 327), burden of hospitality (p. 327), fondness for light (p. 329), editorial disorderliness (p. 329), accessibility and charity (p. 330), discipline and care of his children (p. 331), delightin infants (p. 332), vocal animation and humor in the home (p. 333), forward-looking and unhistoric mind (p. 334), close friendships and fidelity to friends (p. 334), initiative in the antislavery agitation (p. 335), judgment (p. 336), theological emancipation (p. 336), relations to the clergy (p. 337), views on spiritualism (p. 338), his indebtedness to his wife (p. 340), devotedness to her (p. 341).

To the hand which began this narrative has been allotted the vastly more difficult task of concluding it in the pages which are to follow. It has not seemed to me hard to stand off and view, and accordingly depict, my father as an historical personage. Critics must decide how far this objective treatment has been successful; yet, given the materials for this biography, in print and in manuscript, ours, I would fain hope, is the portrait that would be drawn by any seeker after the truth. To attempt, on the other hand, to exhibit my father from the side of his private and domestic life, or in the light of a psychological analysis, fills me first of all with a sense of insufficiency, and imposes a restraint quite different from that exacted by the foregoing documentary narrative. In another place and connection I might, giving a free rein to filial feeling, strive to convey an adequate impression of what my father was in his home to wife and children, and in common intercourse with friend and fellow-man. Some glimpses of this have been already incidentally afforded, and much has been able to be inferred as to the absolute consistency of his public and private behavior—a uniform simplicity, humility, self-abnegation, sympathy with all suffering, detestation of all forms of cruelty and oppression, active benevolence, charitable toleration, endless patience in adversity, indomitable courage, perennial cheerfulness. Something, too, has been observable of the magnetic power to charm and move others which displayed itself both on and off [309] the public stage. These scattered threads I will now draw together in such fashion as I can.

The lineaments of the boy were, as ordinarily happens, partly preserved and partly effaced in the man. My father's childish love of out-door sports naturally1 succumbed to the stern requirements of his twofold struggle for existence and for the cause which he founded. I recall his indulging in quoits while at the water-cure near2 Northampton, a game in which he was fairly skilful, as if by virtue of that balanced judgment which showed itself in so many other ways; and in later years he was fond of croquet. His love of skating utterly died out from3 disuse, but, what is perhaps surprising, his passion for swimming equally became a mere reminiscence, though his4 home was always by tide-water. Among indoor games, he enjoyed checkers as long as his children were interested in it; and to us he seemed a good player, but not an expert. In the evening of his life, whist afforded him solace for his failing eyesight; but in this he remained a tyro, and his naive revelations of the quality of his hand were most amusing.

I never saw my father draw even a diagram, and he had had not the least training in drawing; yet his penmanship was handsome, and wonderfully persistent in its5 uniformity. It was always, however, very labored and inflexible, and latterly he wrote much in pencil, having begun with quills, then taken to steel nibs, and sometimes used a gold pen. Greater suppleness in this art would have made writing much less abhorrent to him, and resulted in a far more copious editorial productiveness. But this was as much a matter of temperament as of manual proficiency. He had an innate love of thoroughness, which was developed in the printing-office and was6 fostered by his experience of bad ‘copy.’ His own manuscript was flawless, punctilious to the last degree, and as legible as the print itself. He seldom, except on grave occasions, resorted to a rough draft, but wrote almost without correction, his afterthought coming so quickly [310] that his finger could generally blot out the faulty word while the ink was still wet. He had a habit of gently tapping the paper with his pen-hand while deliberating for a phrase. The psychical and moral side of this was an extreme scrupulousness, that weighed every word and uttered nothing at random. It is seldom that anything like abandon is found in his private correspondence, despite the haste in which he commonly wrote. In his letters, as in his speeches, he had always first in mind justness and aptness of expression, not the pleasure of the reader or listener, least of all the effect (how will it sound?), as gratifying his own vanity or sense of rhetorical power. He thus lacked both the ease and versatility and the perfect sympathy which are combined in the great letterwriters. His tact, however, was remarkable, and his letters were highly prized by the recipients, especially when of a consolatory nature. In controversy or in exhortation they partook of the best qualities of his public style; and I cannot imagine, for example, that such an appeal as his to Dr. Channing in 1834 could have been7 read without a thrill.

His domestic correspondence did not escape the general stiffness of his epistolary manner. A man so much in the glare of public censure could not shake off the consciousness of the scrutiny to which his most trivial and private utterances might be subjected. Even when addressing his wife, especially if he was absent on a lecturing tour, he either wrote so that extracts might be made for the Liberator as a quasi-report, or in view of the necessity of the letter being shown to the abolition circle for their information. When any of the children were away from home, it was our mother chiefly who kept us supplied with the family news. On the whole, the volume of my father's private correspondence was large enough to be a monument to his resolute grappling with the mechanical impediment, even if not to be compared with that of purely literary men. As for his editorial writing, that could doubtless be claimed for it which Edmund Quincy once [311] asserted of his own journalistic total—that it was equal to the sum of Voltaire's works. He never had a study, and seldom a ‘den,’ in which to write in quiet. The guest-room was his refuge when he could not bear or forget the ordinary distractions about him.

My father's hand—not to relax quite yet my grasp on this sympathetic member—was more mechanical than his mind. His unsatisfactory experiments in cobbling and in8 cabinet-making proved this, showing that tools had no attraction for him. Printing, of course, is a mechanic art, and this he mastered; but it is of a simple sort, making but a small demand on ingenuity. His ambidextrousness abided with him to the end: he shaved himself9 with great facility, using either hand; at table he held his knife in his left. He was what would be called a handy man about the house, though not fertile in contrivances. He hung the window-shades and the pictures—the latter with a good eye to symmetry, squareness, and general effect. He helped in everything.

The town boy was quickly absorbed in the citizen, and my father, once a Bostonian, never coveted a return to rural life, though he enjoyed his suburban residence at Rockledge. Revisiting Brooklyn, Conn., in the summer of 1854, after an absence of fourteen years, he wrote to his Aunt Newell of the fine landscape, but added: “I could not long, however, be contented with the quietude of the country, unless I had withdrawn from public life.” Ms. Aug. 19, 1854. Yet a broad prospect was ever a delight to him, and to mark eligible house-sites as if for himself was his customary way of praising the scene before him. He had neither a scientific nor, strictly speaking, a poetic love of nature. He had no botanical knowledge whatever, and small cognizance of the varieties of trees or flowers.10 A solitary walk in the country could hardly have been congenial to him, at least as an habitual diversion. Though as a walker not easily fatigued, he is not to be described as a11 [312] pedestrian in the sense of one who made excursions for pleasure. Time and opportunity were here desiderata.

My father's love of pets never forsook him—or, rather,12 of cats: towards dogs he had an aversion. With my mother the opposite was the case, though she yielded sweetly to his preference. When away from home, he thought of the well-being of puss as much as of that of any member of the family. ‘Remembrances to Mary Ann [the one maidservant]. My good — will to the cat. Love to all the friends’—seemed the natural order of affectionate solicitude in writing to his wife in 1858. And again to my13 mother from Albany: “I need not ask George to look after the cat during my absence, for he is my natural successor in that line—only he must not give her too much at a meal.” Ms. Feb. 8, 1857. ‘See that pussy is put down cellar,’ he wrote on a memorandum slip to one of us returning home14 after bedtime; ‘you will find plenty of milk for her and for yourself.’ I remember one cat who attached himself unbidden to the family (and was therefore distrusted as not having been bred from kittenhood), who used to mount my father's shoulders while carving at table. My father did not quite share a cat's local attachments. For his birthplace—meaning Newburyport and not the little15 house on School Street — for Boston, he had a deep and16 undying attachment; towards this or that house of the many which successively became his home, he evinced no17 special sentiment. He was, on the contrary, rather fond of moving into new houses—of being the first occupant. Such were those in Pine Street, in Suffolk Street, in Concord Street.

The love of a pretty face was inextinguishable in my18 father. It pleased him, as it does many a man, more than any other beautiful thing in nature. His aesthetic sense in general was uncultivated, but it would have repaid cultivating. He had a great fondness for pictures, with but little artistic discrimination, his modest purchases being often dictated by pure sentiment. His visit to the Louvre gave him pleasure, in spite of much that seemed [313] to him rubbish, while the acres of gory battle canvases at Versailles offended his moral sensibilities. He took real delight and lingered long in the art section of the Paris Exposition of 1867, of which he especially enjoyed the19 statuary where the intent was chaste. It fell to his lot to befriend artists among other struggling and impecunious fellow-beings, and his charity to them was undoubtedly reinforced by his love of art.

To music he was attuned from infancy, and he never20 ceased to sing. He had a correct ear, and his vocalization was always agreeable, though time had robbed his voice of its youthful capacity. Excessive public speaking, and that21 bronchial deterioration which the east wind of the New England coast works in almost every inhabitant, told inevitably upon my father. Sacred music was particularly dear to him, and struck a responsive chord even in his22 last conscious moments. He liked nothing better than to join with two or three friends—with Francis Jackson, or Henry C. Wright, or Samuel May, Jr., or Oliver Johnson —in singing hymns in his own parlor, or wherever they were met together.23 At the anti-slavery grove meetings he always took a leading part in the singing. He did not conceal his fondness for martial music, and, when taxed with this as a non-resistant, would reply: ‘It is just as valuable for the moral warfare.’ His taste for instrumental performances grew with his opportunities, and these in Boston were at first furnished by the Germania orchestra. He could not immediately appreciate the great classical productions, but in the end he took a complete satisfaction in listening to the best concerts of the day. He heard most of the famous prime donne, from Jenny Lind to Parepa-Rosa, and these afforded him the greatest [314] delight. At home, he drew unfailing enjoyment from the piano, both indirectly profiting by the musical education of his children, and performing himself in a rude way with one hand, while spelling out his psalm-tunes,24 accompanying the notes with his voice as he went along. An ‘aeolian attachment’ to his daughter's instrument gave an organ effect and support which somewhat smoothed the imperfections of the exercise, while calling up the associations of church and congregation.

The reading habit of his boyhood could not be25 maintained by my father amid the unremitting cares and occupations of his life-work. The list of authors already mentioned as his early favorites cannot be greatly26 extended; but in prose, Algernon Sydney and Jonathan Dymond; in poetry, Shakespeare, Milton, Cowper, Coleridge, Shelley, Montgomery (to say nothing of Whittier), should be added. About the year 1850, certain publishers began with some regularity to send books to the Liberator for review; and it is pathetic to observe the scrupulous acknowledgment of them, generally with a notice, however brief, when the readers of the paper might have grudged both the space used in this way, and the diversion from much more urgent editorial writing. The books in question were, as a rule, of a rather poor grade, on religious or reformatory topics; yet it must have been a pastime to read them under a sense of discharging one duty by way of exemption from another. The value of the criticism depended very much upon the material. That of the Life of Channing, cited above,27 will rank as a specimen of the best; the reflections suggested by the writings of Thomas Paine are in the28 same category. Very frequently the review had to be controversial.

A college education would have been likely to confirm my father's evident literary bias from the start. He made an ineffectual effort to unite literature and polemics in29 the original scheme of the Liberator, but he soon found he could do no more than make selections, and that [315] neither freshly nor systematically. His poetical talent had a better chance for expression, but it too was conditioned by the reformer's needs, and took on a quite different development from what might have been the case had the higher education, pecuniary ease, and leisure for letters been his. The total product was considerable in amount, the lyrical portion being relatively small, though it could boast some successes as being singable and often30 sung. A lack of imagination is perceptible here, among other limitations; and nearly every piece bore the stamp of the moralist. The sonnet proved attractive above all other forms of verses, suiting well my father's habit of condensation.31 Some of this variety found immediate recognition. The sonnet on ‘The Free Mind,’ composed in32 Baltimore jail, was reprinted in at least two literary collections, one being “The Boston Book” (Boston: Geo. W. Light, 1841, p. 272), the other as thus related by the Rev. Jacob M. Manning, who called it ‘the immortal sonnet.’ ‘It may not be uninteresting to you to know,’ he wrote to my father in 1860, ‘that the circumstance33 which first settled me in my abhorrence of slavery, was learning and declaiming, while a school-boy in Western New York, a sonnet entitled The Free Mind, written by you while in a Southern prison. I found the piece in Dr.34 Cheever's “Commonplace Book of poetry.” ’

This sonnet maintains its place in the anthologies of more recent years—either alone, as in “The Cambridge Book of poetry and song” (New York, 1882), or with other examples, as in the “Library of religious poetry” (New York, 1885), and in “Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry” (New York, 1881). To the numerous collections of this sort which my father owned and enjoyed reading, he purposed adding one of his own, [316] consisting of reformatory pieces, and virtually did get it together. But his standard of admission was the moralist's. His Liberator column of poetical selections and contributions exhibits his indulgence for mediocre original verse in view of its reformatory motive—‘and it will please the writer,’ he used to add apologetically.

The boy's fondness for declaiming did not betoken the35 natural orator. My father had, at the outset, to overcome much diffidence in appearing before an audience, being conscious that his strength lay in his pen. In this respect he was the exact opposite of the incomparable Phillips.36 He lacked the latter's memorizing power which enabled him to block out a discourse and partly formulate it in advance; and, in fact, he generally had no time for such preparation. When he had, he wrote out his speeches; but he was so far rid of this practice, in my recollection, that I never heard him read any but a lecture such as he delivered in the intervals of the weekly issues of the Liberator, and which he might have repeated forty times, I believe, without feeling free to dispense with his manuscript. His custom was, for anti-slavery meetings, to fortify himself with notes; and, in pursuit of his main object—to persuade—he was also commonly provided with newspaper clippings (choice extracts from or for the ‘Refuge of Oppression’) with which to intersperse his remarks. This, of course, was destructive of finished oratory, to which he seldom rose except under37 extraordinary inspiration. Then, indeed, in respect of weight, fervor, or diction, he might justly claim the name of orator. In general, it may be said, he revised but little the stenographic report of his speeches, again in marked contrast to his friend Phillips.3839 [317]

Some disinterested testimony is here admissible. Quincy, humorously describing in the N. Y. Tribune the abolition celebration of Forefathers' Day at Plymouth, Dec. 21, 1856, wrote thus of my father:

His expression is rather mild than otherwise, until he40 kindles with his subject, when one can detect the fire which has had such incendiary results. His head, which is very bald, is what I suppose phrenologists would call a full one, and his eye is remarkably good. Indeed, if one could divest one's self of the associations connected with his name, he would pass for a very well-looking man, indeed. . . . His style of speaking is earnest and forcible, deriving its power from the substance of what he says, rather than from the rhetorical pains he takes to say it. . . . And he has a very unpleasant41 way of producing proofs of the charges he makes. . . .

And Oliver Johnson records, in his Life of my father:

He was not, in the usual sense of the word, an orator;42 nevertheless, he was one of the most impressive and forcible public speakers to whom it has ever been my good fortune to listen. In early life, he was a complete slave to his pen; he could not trust himself to make a speech without carefully writing it out beforehand. He grew tired of this sort of slavery after a while, and resolved to emancipate himself, which he did immediately and triumphantly. He found, upon trial, that thoughts and words on his favorite themes flowed freely. He was so thoroughly alive to his subject, and so intensely in earnest, that he never failed to command the sympathy and attention of his audience. His personal presence disarmed prejudice and inspired confidence, and his constant identification of himself, in thought, principle, and feeling, with “those in bonds as bound with them,” the clear moral insight that enabled him to comprehend principles and penetrate every disguise of sophistry and false pretence, and his strong appeals to reason and conscience, gave him great power over men, both in public [318] speech and private intercourse. If he lacked the resources which a classical culture alone can furnish, he possessed others of the very highest importance, and which such a culture often fails to supply. If he did not please the imagination or tickle the fancy of his hearers, he did what was better—he enlightened their minds, stirred their consciences, and swayed their judgments. No cause, in his hands, was ever put to shame by any hasty or ill-considered word. In dealing with opponents, his tact was unfailing. Thoughtful people especially heard him with delight, and the largest audiences felt the power of his logic and the magnetism of his voice and presence.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Tuttle, President of Wabash College, wrote in the N. Y. Independent: ‘In [1844] I first43 saw Wm. L. Garrison and Wendell Phillips in Broadway Tabernacle. Mr. Garrison's eloquence was like to that which Clarendon attributes to Sir Thomas Coventry: “He44 had, in the plain way of speaking and delivery, without much ornament of elocution, a strange power of making himself believed—the only justifiable design of eloquence.” ’ Finally (and it is praise from Sir Hubert Stanley), James Russell Lowell testifies: “It may interest you to know that I thought Mr. Garrison the most effective speaker among anti-slavery orators.” Ms. Nov. 17, 1885, to F. J. G. Whatever judgment may be arrived at on this point, there can be no question that, next after the doctrine of immediatism and anti-colonization, what most distinguished my father from Lundy and all his anti-slavery predecessors was his oratorical capacity. Without it we can hardly conceive of his having created the anti-slavery organization.

No speaker on the anti-slavery platform cared to follow Mr. Phillips, and he was commonly reserved for the very close of an evening session. But this place also frequently fell to my father, especially after stormy debates and roused or despondent feelings, when his function was to soothe and to cheer. ‘It was, besides, getting quite late,’ wrote N. P. Rogers in January, 1842, of the anti-slavery45 meeting at the State House, ‘and we felt that the meeting needed a winding — up from Garrison.’ [319]

There were, I think, few set occasions for testing my father's ability as a close debater. Certainly he was not to be compared with Charles Burleigh, who, in this respect,46 was easily first of all the abolition orators. In repartee, especially with a mob, my father was quick and effective,47 as witness the Rynders mob. His speeches were, though often severe and ‘radical’ in the extreme, impersonal and not calculated to excite combativeness in his hearers. His whole appearance was placid and peaceful. The impression he made on the prejudiced who heard him for the first time was the more favorable because his mild and benevolent aspect, the manner and the matter of his discourse, were so opposed to his evil reputation.48 He was sparing of gesture, though using more than the more graceful Phillips; and a familiar attitude on rising was with his right hand thrust in his bosom (as in the portrait at p. 358 of Vol. III.). He stood very erect, and presented a good figure.49 His voice was strong and sonorous, his enunciation and delivery good. He could easily sway an audience50 in the right mood.

Of my father's beauty in youth and early manhood I51 cannot doubt, and I may be permitted to repeat here the description of him by an artist companion in Newburyport, the late Thomas B. Lawson, already cited: ‘His52 hair a rich dark brown; his forehead high and very white; his cheeks decidedly roseate; his lips full, sensitive, and ruddy; his eyes intent—wide open, of a yellowish hazel; with fine teeth, rather larger than the average, and a complexion more fair, more silvery white, than I ever saw upon [320] a man.’ Baldness set in early; and as my father always shaved, he presented a uniform appearance throughout his adult life. His complexion always retained traces of the red that originally adorned it, and which is said to have been heightened by his blushing when spoken to. The53 remnant of his hair was slow to gray. Mary Grew, who saw him first in Hartford in 1830, found him to tally with a friend's description of him as ‘ a young man with a very black beard, which he shaved very close, giving the lower part of his face a bluish appearance.’ When let grow, however, his beard, with a parental reminiscence, was of54 a sandy or light brown color; and I think my father liked it none the better for that. A man of singularly few prejudices, he never freed himself from the public opinion in which he grew up as regards beards, which were, even till Kossuth came over and broke the fashion, associated with men of no reputation—just as the conventional stage villain was bearded. He fostered independence in his children,55 but almost rated it a moral delinquency that his sons, one and all, eschewed the razor.56

My father's eye was known to the public only in combination with his glasses, which were always kept on except for reading or writing; nor was it to his family so pleasing when the glasses were removed. None of his children can remember the full lips of which the early portraits bear unmistakable evidence, as late as that daguerreotype of 1846 which serves as frontispiece to the third volume. When he fell into the hands of the [321] dentist, its shapeliness was lost forever. This feature he derived from the Palmer side of his ancestry, and it was a mouth of extraordinary mobility, the despair of photographer, painter, and sculptor. Of the Jocelyn engraved57 likeness, a relative wrote (some fifty years after): “The features I believe to be nearly perfect, yet to me there is something lacking in it—the want of an expression which he always bore on his countenance when I knew him—an expression of sympathy or commiseration manifested by his lips in some way, doubtless better understood by you than I should be able to describe.” Ms. Sept. 27, 1880, Wm. A. Garrison to W. P. G. Circa 1840. Nothing could be truer than this suggestion of what was, in fact, indescribable. To this expression of the mouth,58 in harmony with the beaming eye, was due the wonderful benevolence and geniality of aspect which made my father so attractive—so bewitching, as he59 seemed to Miss Martineau. There were two other faces akin to his in the anti-slavery group—that of Samuel J. May, well called a benediction, and the brimming, soulful, angelic countenance of Mrs. Follen. To say that my father was worthy to be classed with either of these spiritual presences is to make a large, but not too large, claim for him.

His head was imposing not from its size, for it was very compact, but from its balanced parts, culminating in the bump—a visible bump—of firmness, humorously commemorated by Lowell, which was the opposite pole60 of the benignity residing in his face. Quincy has just [322] called it, phrenologically speaking, a ‘full’ one; and61 Bronson Alcott, in his Boston ‘conversations’ on62 Representative Men, in 1851, characterized my father in one masterly stroke as a ‘phrenological head illuminated.’

My father inherited an enviably strong constitution, as was proved both by his longevity and by his exceptional recuperative powers when prostrated by illness. His digestion was perfect, and he used to say that he never knew what it was to have a stomach. He was wholly unfastidious about his food, bringing to whatever was set before him a good appetite, and abstaining from only one or two easily dispensable articles. The home table was plainly but abundantly supplied, my mother being an excellent housekeeper. My father was a good sleeper, of which I can give no better token than the fact that he could fall asleep directly after his return from a speech in the evening. He dreamed habitually except in sickness, and I have heard him remark on the singular experience that, despite his daily contemplation of the horrors of slavery, and the not infrequent apprehensions concerning his own safety, he had almost never in his sleep been troubled with images of either. The advent of the hot weather usually found him run down in health, and needing to get away from the printing-office and the city. The most serious illness of his life was the attack of Western fever in Cleveland in 1847, from which his63 system never recovered. It affected his brain64 periodically, and was, I presume, the cause of that spinal inflammation and weakness which from time to time disabled him, and made him exclaim against his paradoxical ‘want of backbone.’ In following his life day by day in the ample records available to us, I have been struck with the total amount of his ailing (particularly after 1847), as compared with our childish recollection of his physical condition. I attribute this to the fact that he never dwelt upon his distresses and sufferings, but maintained a cheerful mien and conversation. Low spirits, like dyspepsia, were unknown to him. [323]

First and last he certainly took a good deal of medicine, largely by his own prescription.

‘He is quite ignorant of physiology,’ wrote Quincy to Webb65 in 1853, ‘and has no belief in hygiene, or in anything pertaining to the body except quack medicines. That he has survived all he has taken is proof of an excellent constitution. . . . You remember his puff of Dr. C——'s Anti-Scrofulous Panacea, . . . in which he said that he felt it “permeating the whole system in the most delightful manner.” “Permeating the system!” said Hervey Weston, with the malice of a regular practitioner; “why, it was the first time he had taken a glass of grog, and [he] did n't know how good it was!” —some sort of spirits being the basis of all these sort of quackeries.’

The want of physiological instruction combined with my father's acquired distrust of authority, creeds, and schools to make him a thorough eclectic in matters medical. His first experiment was with Thomsonian remedies, and for these he retained a fondness to the last, and regarded their inventor as a benefactor and a martyr to66 innovation.67 I fancy that the pungent or at least positive taste of some of these gave him an idea of their efficacy. He thought himself a poor subject for homoeopathy, whereas my mother was noticeably susceptible to this treatment, which was also provided for the children from the time of making Dr. Wesselhoeft's acquaintance.68 Hence they were, to their lasting gratitude, saved from the nauseous doses of the old school, and knew not the meaning of blue pill or castor oil. The hydropathic treatment was agreeable to my father, and was applied by him to his children in case of cold or fever; but it had the disadvantage of sometimes being awkward for family use. For himself, he bought a great variety of patent medicines of whose potency the advertised testimonials69 (owing to his spontaneous trust in human nature) had persuaded him; and often, as would appear, rather [324] against a rainy day than for present need, for they remained unopened in his closet. Or, if not unopened, their contents were frequently very slightly diminished, for my father carried his immediatism into medicine: it was instant relief he sought, and he was impatient of gradual recovery. A few doses determined him. In May, 1836, he wrote to my mother from Providence, of70 being about to visit a botanical doctor, ‘having more willingness to try a new medicine than faith in its efficacy.’ ‘It may do me good,’ he added; ‘it certainly will not if I do not try it.’ There was in this experimenting a trace of both the Yankee and the reformer, and I class it with my father's fondness for labor-saving inventions, which he indulged, in a spirit of domestic benevolence, as freely as his means would permit.

The name of gentleman, like that of Christian, is sadly abused; but if my father did not deserve to bear both the one and the other, there is no reason why the world should cherish either. The root of gentlemanliness, as of Christianity, is in the preferment of others to self, and I cannot believe that any human being ever lived in whom this affection was more innate, more constant, or more gracious, than in this ‘infidel of a most degraded class.’ There71 was no creature wearing God's image to whom he had to condescend, none before whom he felt abashed because of wealth or station. A simple dignity, free from self-consciousness, marked his carriage in any society—and abroad he was received with respect by all classes. At home, he saved his wife and the one maid-of-all-work the heavier burdens of lifting and carrying, taking water and wood to the upper stories of the house, attending to the furnace till his children could relieve him, and the like. Had he a guest, he would black his shoes for him with the same readiness that he would show him about the city. In short, he performed as a part of his religion those menial services which Calhoun, in a famous conversation72 with J. Q. Adams, drew the line at, as impossible for [325] white men without degradation (in distinction from mere mechanic employment).73 He did it, too, without forfeiting the respect or respectful demeanor of servants, not one of whom, I am sure, ever failed to feel (as they seldom failed to manifest) esteem for my fathers goodness of heart. And here let me cite the testimony of one who worked with him at the ‘case’ for many years, besides (in the capacity of official reporter to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society) preserving his speeches stenographically, with admirable fidelity—Mr. J. M. W. Yerrinton. He prefaces the following lines by saying: “They are not what I could wish, but it is hard for me to write of your father without feeling that others, who did not know him so well, may think the picture too highly colored—which it would be impossible for me to make it, or, as I think, any other man, in respect of the qualities of which I speak” Ms. July 5, 1888, to F. J. G.:

Mr. Garrison's presence in the printing-office was “like sunshine in a shady place.” The “art preservative of all the arts” is not commonly attended by many of the aesthetic graces, and the Liberator office was no exception to the general rule. Lowell's description of it in his early days as “ dark,74 unfurnitured, and mean ” fitly characterized it until its removal to the Washington Building [on Washington, opposite Franklin Street], in 1860, when, for the first time, even the cheap luxury of gas was enjoyed. But the poor and dingy surroundings were little heeded by those who served under its editor, who, from the master-workman to the office-boy, felt “e'en drudgery divine” in such service, and daily labor became a daily delight. So uniformly cheerful was he, so patient, so careless of his own ease, and so considerate of the feelings and comfort of others, [326] that he won the admiration, respect, and affection of all connected, in any capacity, with the paper.75 The many annoyances, almost inevitable in every printing-office, never disturbed his serenity. The worst “proof,” though studded with dark spots as the Milky Way with light, never called forth an impatient, still less a harsh or reproachful, word. An excellent printer and careful proof-reader, he took great pride in the “ make-up” and typographical accuracy of the paper, and often “made up” and corrected the ‘forms’ with his own hands. On the evening preceding publication day he would frequently insist on the printers going home, while he remained until a late hour, or came down to the office at daylight the next morning, to prepare the paper for the press. And thus in very many ways his sweet and gracious spirit, his self-abnegation, and his thoughtfulness for others were made manifest; and thus it was that he endeared himself to all.

Oliver Johnson, more than once an inmate of our family,76 and as intimate a visitor as could be named, has this to say:

Of Mr. Garrison's private, domestic, and social life I hardly dare trust myself to speak. A man of more spotless excellence in every relation of life I have never known. As a husband, father, and friend he was indeed a model, and his home was ever the abode of love and peace. His wife . . . was a noble woman and a true helpmate. Mr. Garrison's devotion as a husband and father was one of his most beautiful characteristics. He never made his public relations an excuse for neglecting his family. Did one of the children cry in the night, it was in his arms that it was caressed and comforted. In every possible way, in the care of the children and in all household matters, he sought to lighten the cares of his wife, taking upon himself burdens which most husbands and fathers shun. In short, he made his home a heaven, into which it was a delight to enter. He was never so happy as when surrounded by his wife and children and a few favored guests. Under such circumstances, he was at his best—happy as a bird, genial, witty, and full of a generous hospitality. W. L. G. and his Times, p. 397.

Wendell Phillips said at his funeral:77

His was the happiest life I ever saw. . . . No man gathered into his bosom a fuller sheaf of blessing, delight, and [327] joy. In his seventy years, there were not arrows enough in the whole quiver of the Church or State to wound him. As Guizot once said from the tribune, “Gentlemen, you cannot get high enough to reach the level of my contempt,” so Garrison, from the serene level of his daily life, from the faith that never faltered, was able to say to American hate, “You cannot reach up to the level of my home mood, my daily existence.” I have seen him intimately for thirty years, while raining on his head was the hate of the community, when, by every possible form of expression, malignity let him know that it wished him all sorts of harm. I never saw him unhappy; I never saw the moment that serene, abounding faith in the rectitude of his motive, the soundness of his method, and the certainty of his success did not lift him above all possibility of being reached by any clamor about him.

And Mr. Johnson again:

‘He was always courageous and hopeful. Never in a single78 instance did I see him in a discouraged mood. His faith in the goodness of his cause and in the overruling Providence of God was so absolute that he was calm and cheerful alike under clear or cloudy skies. I have seen him again and again when the expenses of the Liberator were running far beyond its receipts, and he did not know whence the money was to come to supply the wants of his family; but never once did any shadow fall upon his spirits on this account. He had given himself and all his powers to a cause that he believed had the favor and support of Heaven, and he did not doubt that in some way he would be taken care of. And help always did come— sometimes in unexpected and surprising ways. His unselfish79 devotion to his work touched and opened the hearts of all who witnessed it, disposing them to stay up his hands and relieve him of pecuniary embarrassment. If in his greatest extremity he had been absolutely certain that he could make his paper profitable by the slightest dereliction of principle, by trimming a little on this side or that, or by the suppression of unpopular truth, he never would have yielded to the temptation.’80

The hospitality proffered by my parents and imposed upon them greatly augmented their expenses. Apart [328] from my father's leadership and editorship, the peculiar circumstances of the anti-slavery circle in Boston caused our home to be singled out as a hostelry; and besides native guests there was a large foreign contingent, whose sojourn was often prolonged. In anniversary and convention times, invitations were always freely extended at the meetings to come to dinner, when the table was stretched to its utmost capacity, and the flow of conversation—often in continuation of the morning's debates— was inexhaustible. ‘My house is a semi-hotel, with the numerous anti-slavery friends and visitors whom I am called to entertain, and whose presence is ever welcome,’ wrote my father to Mr. Johnson in 1857, with reference81 to the difficulty he had in making both ends meet. ‘I am never so far in funds as to have a spare dollar by me, using what economy I can,’ he said in the same letter; and to my mother (writing from Ohio the next82 year), he spoke of ‘being all the time pressed pecuniarily to keep out of debt—for debt is my dread, and yours not less.’ The more, by the way, he went afield as a lecturer, the greater the obligations of hospitality he incurred.

One guest above all others had the freedom of our83 home. ‘I shall never forget,’ said Wendell Phillips at84 my mother's funeral, ‘the deep feeling—his voice almost breaking to tears—with which Henry C. Wright told me of the debt his desolate life owed to this home. And who shall say how much that served the great cause?’ Mr. Wright wrote to my parents in 1858—just after the financial panic: ‘I have nowhere to take my things but85 to your own home, which has so long been the centre of my life so far as a Home is concerned. . . . Your love and kindness to me have been the joy and life of my life. My heart and my grateful tears often bless you for the home feeling you have permitted me to cherish with you and yours. . . . Well I know your home is the hotel of anti-slavery mankind. I feel anxious and troubled lest, in these times, you are perplexed to meet your current family expenses.’ [329]

My mother's hospitality, like her kindliness of heart, did not fall behind my father's, though her extreme modesty, with perhaps a natural reserve, made her less expansive towards strangers. She accepted without a murmur of dissent, and in all cheerfulness, the obligation to receive the bidden and the unbidden guest, of all colors and conditions. Again, like the conventional housewife, she sometimes wished the shades drawn, to shield her carpets from the sun, but she never contested her husband's preference for abundance of light. ‘In the warmest days of summer,’ writes Mary Grew, “he would open window-blinds and draw aside curtains, and let the sunlight pour into the parlors regardless of the heat. He said that the Crystal Palace was not too light nor too large to suit him for a residence. Yet how readily he could accommodate himself to any house which he occupied!” Ms. Dec. 4, 1888, to F. J. G. The hygienic maxim that where the sun does not enter the physician will, had less to do with this practice than had my father's aversion to gloom, physical or mental, and his sense of the identity of light and life and energy.86 As a result, our home made the impression of being lived in in every part, with nothing formal, or kept for show, or too good for daily use.

Along with this, in my father's domain, there was naturally some disorder, against which my mother strove incessantly and patiently. Seated in one corner of the sofa, he would strew the floor with his exchanges, or he would leave table or desk covered with heaps of clippings and manuscripts. She could easily have escaped detection if she had destroyed the older piles, whose contents [330] her husband had well forgot; but they were somehow mostly saved, if even in barrels in the cellar, and were a part of the Penates moved from house to house in our family wanderings. To her forbearance we owe a large measure of the manuscript material preserved to become available for this biography. My father rarely came up from the Liberator office without a roll of exchanges under his arm, which had their interest for his boys, as a source both of reading and of pocket-money, being salable in the stores for wrapping-paper. On Saturday evenings he brought the proofs of the first and last pages of the Liberator, and his jocose inquiry after supper—‘Come, boys! who wants to get the Liberator in advance of the mail?’—was the invitation for one of us to ‘follow copy’ while he read aloud from the proof-slip and corrected the typographical errors, which were apt to be pretty numerous. He often groaned in spirit (and audibly to us) over these, but he never said anything at the office that savored of complaint or87 faultfinding. On Wednesdays, when the inside pages were made ready for the press, he seldom came home to dinner, but went without, making a long day at the office, and returning thoroughly fatigued from the culmination of the week's work. The next day his wife would try— often with success—to take him off with her for an excursion into the suburbs or a round of calls.

At the office, as at home, being the most accessible of men, he was often interrupted by callers—dear friends whom he was glad to see and converse with—or bores and cranks whom he tolerated and allowed to consume his precious time, or beggars to whose more or less plausible and deserving cases he never refused to listen. If he was wont to give to these last more generously than he could afford, he nevertheless did not give hastily or impulsively; and I was often struck by the singular expression in his face of sympathetic and respectful attention, while listening to their stories, and of reserve and caution withal, as he would occasionally cross-question the applicant (not [331] very severely). One day he was detained from the dinnertable by a man who begged for a pair of trousers; and, thinking he might as well give him the pair he had on, and don a new pair he had lately purchased, he went up-stairs and made the change. He was somewhat dashed, on coming to the table and explaining matters, by my mother's exclamation: ‘If you gave him the pair you had on, you gave him your new trousers!’ But he laughed and said: ‘Well, he has a good pair, anyhow.’ If my mother sometimes chided him for his excess of generosity, she was not less prone to give freely to those who needed it; and not only did she part with her own things, but she would unshrinkingly assume the far harder, and, to her, particularly disagreeable, task of soliciting aid from others. On one occasion she went from store to store the whole length of Washington Street, selling the pamphlet narrative of a French political refugee who had escaped from Cayenne, until88 she had disposed of four hundred copies and thus made a hundred dollars for him.

Of necessity, my father was a great wanderer on both continents, and he never wearied of seeing new faces and new types of mankind, and making new friends. Yet, like Wordsworth's ‘Happy Warrior,’ his was

A soul whose master-bias leans
To home-felt pleasures and to gentle scenes.

I cannot recall his ever coming home in other than a bright and joyous mood, bringing with him the ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.’ Had he arrived distraught or depressed, I think the mere sight of wife and children would have gladdened him. The brunt of domestic discipline generally falls on the mother, and ours, in sheer fatigue, sometimes laid the day's naughtiness before her husband for his moral support of her censure; but the offence was too remote, and the child-nature too near, to evoke the proper warmth of reproof from him. Both our parents appealed to us as reasonable and affectionate beings, never using violence and seldom force with tolerably [332] unruly subjects. He played with us either romping games when small, or games of skill when older. He could not assist us much in our studies, but encouraged us in competitions in penmanship, he being the umpire. Rarely he read aloud to us, but he frequently recited favorite verses, like Derzhavin's ‘Ode to the Deity,’ in Bowring's translation, Byron's apostrophe to the Ocean in ‘Childe Harold,’ Cowper's ‘I would not have a slave,’ or Campbell's ‘Hohenlinden’—with stock repetitions of ‘My name is Norval’; or sang (with dance accompaniment)

Of all the little boys [girls] I know,
There is none like my——y.

At table, his hands prepared the food for us, and later for his grandchildren—our mother's broken arm excusing89 her; and when urged by her to satisfy his own hunger, he would protest: ‘I must scratch gravel for my little chickens first.’ When we were sick, he provided the invalid meal, with the instinct and tenderness of a nurse. His daughter has her first distinct remembrance of him as he came to kiss her good-night in her little crib, and said: ‘How glad I am that my darling has such a nice warm bed and kind parents to love her. The poor little slave child is torn away from its mother's arms. How good my darling ought to be, and how we must pity the poor slaves!’ She once asked him if she had ever been baptized (having had the question put to her at school). He promptly responded: ‘No, my darling, you have had a good bath every morning, and that is a great deal better,’ —which being reported by the little girl to her inquirers, ‘Oh yes!’ they cried, ‘you are the daughter of an infidel.’

The childish age had a peculiar fascination for my90 father, who often told his wife that if there was one thing he was fitted for, it was to tend babies. ‘I found several babies at Longwood,’ he wrote to her in 1870, ‘and so91 have not been wholly disconsolate on account of the absence of the dear little ones at Rockledge and Linwood [333] Street.’ “I can stand being a grandfather to an indefinite extent,” Ms. Mar. 5, 1867, to F. J. G. he wrote after he had become one. ‘Instead of feeling older, I shall feel all the younger for it.’ Other people's infants, like his own, came to him without fear and of their own motion. Seldom indeed was it that a sick, tired, or fractious child, once held in his strong and sympathetic embrace, did not become soothed and yield to his singing of ‘Olmutz’ or the ‘Portuguese Hymn.’ Once, when a two-year-old granddaughter was ill with brain fever, and would no longer go to his comforting arms, he could not refrain from tears. He liked a smiling infant, and was disturbed by the gravity of one of his grandchildren, who developed, however, a very merry disposition.

The vocal animation which he lent the household was92 remarked by all visitors. When the family were taking a summer recreation in New Hampshire in 1860, Miss Caroline Putnam, left in friendly occupancy of the house in Dix Place, wrote to my mother: ‘Dick [the canary]93 seems to share in the feeling of your absence, and is dispirited—as Miss Coffin declares—because he is not94 cheered by Mr. Garrison's voice. . . . At breakfast there was one assent when Miss Holley said: “ How we do95 miss Mr. Garrison's pleasant voice!” ’ At table, where the gravest topics were in place,—the atmosphere of the home being surcharged with moral ideas and considerations connected with the great cause of human rights,—his conversation was enlivened with puns. These were not always repressed on public occasions, where his pleasantry96 helped to make him the good presiding officer that Quincy —the best of judges—pronounced him. His humor was,97 in fact, the great preserving quality of my father's mind as a reformer: it saved him both from compromising his dignity and from undue sensitiveness to abuse and ridicule; it enabled him to see men and things as they were; it was anti-sectarian. He derived much innocent amusement from the idiosyncrasies of his co-laborers,—as they98 were free to do from his,—and he contributed his full [334] share to the flow of wit in those choice gatherings where Thompson, Phillips, and Quincy vied with each other. There was, however, a limitation to this humor: ‘On anything that he deems a serious subject, he won't bear a jest,’ wrote Quincy to Webb in 1843.99

Mrs. Stowe has borne witness to my father's singular tact in conversation, adapting himself unconsciously to100 his auditor. As he had a very poor memory for past events even in his own experience, he seldom indulged in reminiscence.101 His life was strictly from day to day, his thoughts projected into the future—shall we say, like a sailor's, like his father's?

Where lies the land to which the ship would go?102
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know;
And where the land she travels from? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

Had he been otherwise fitted for an historian, it is certain that he would have been as punctilious as his penmanship, as just and accurate as his habitual expression. His letters are noticeably minute as chronicles, and free from blunders as to dates. The Liberator may be searched in vain for his being called to account for any serious misrepresentation as the result of carelessness: of deliberate misrepresentation he was as incapable as of vindictiveness.

My father's goodness was so transparent that to be known by the good was equivalent to his being loved. His friendships in both hemispheres were numerous and very wide, and of a kind to do honor to any man; his companionships more restricted, and of very different degrees of intimacy. Quincy, who proclaimed my father's103 friendship one of the chief pleasures and honors of his life, was less often seen at our home than Phillips (being, to be [335] sure, a suburban resident of Boston), or Hovey, or Francis Jackson, or Samuel May, Jr., for example; another group of closer attachments consisted of S. J. May, Oliver Johnson, and H. C. Wright. But, taking one degree of nearness with another, the one man who stood next to my father in a bond of warm and romantic friendship, was unquestionably George Thompson. This more than any other pairing suggested David and Jonathan; and the days of their intercourse were to my father, I am sure, the very happiest of his life. The affinity for N. P. Rogers was of course very strong, and was in a fair way to be confirmed when the unhappy104 separation took place; but it lacked the parity of age and the historic roots which the attraction for Thompson had. It can be said that my father never forsook or cast off a friend, and was ever ready to forgive and to be reconciled to one who had broken with him. In four conspicuous instances his fidelity and magnanimity were put to the105 proof by the changed and even hostile feelings of old, familiar, and beloved associates. The test was severe, but it was met.

I speak with diffidence of my father's relation to his immediate colleagues in the cause, but I think no one who survived the sectarian division in 1840 ever chafed under106 his primacy, which was held unobtrusively, with invariable deference to others, and by common consent, while it involved a deal of unshared labor. In the counsels of the Massachusetts Society and of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society after its transfer to Boston, his was commonly the initiative in107 devising practical measures, and he was expected to prepare the address, the petition, the call, the appeal. In conventions, when he was present, his place was always on the Business Committee, usually at the head of it, and to him fell the task of drafting the resolutions. The amount of drudgery thus performed was enormous. He was entirely tolerant of criticism, not a stickler for108 phraseology, and disposed to keep in the background [336] when others were ready to take the floor. Confidence in his judgment was universal, and I cannot do better than quote the words of John Bishop Estlin, in a letter to Crabb Robinson in 1847:109

I am very glad to learn from you Dr. Boott's opinion upon110 the slavery question. In the infallibility of Mr. Garrison's judgment I certainly do not place full confidence, but unlimited in his singleness of purpose, his noble disinterestedness, and his indefatigable zeal in the anti-slavery cause. I am, however, compelled to confess that, as regards judgment on his subject, what he has effected by his fifteen years of labor ought to plead for his wisdom; and those friends who have longest and most minutely watched his course, are very accordant in their decision that his views have evidenced a prophetic sagacity.

My father's theological evolution has been already sufficiently indicated. It would not be easy to name the exact dates of his relinquishing his belief in the111 supernatural sanction of the Bible or in the divine nature and atoning mission of Jesus. This radical change made no difference in his regard for the Scriptures, or in his use of them, as a moral engine, and he never failed to urge the reading of them upon his children. We were encouraged also to go to Sunday-school, at the Warren-Street Chapel and afterwards with Theodore Parker's congregation; and Sunday (in the forties, at least) had a certain staidness, not to call it solemnity, in our home that did not wholly proceed from a civil respect for the scruples of neighbors. Long before my father had quite freed himself from the trammels of orthodoxy, he was loosening the fetters of others. At the twenty-seventh anniversary of112 the American Anti-Slavery Society, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton remarked: ‘My own experience is, no doubt,113 that of many others. In the darkness and gloom of a false theology, I was slowly sawing off the chains of my spiritual bondage when, for the first time, I met114 Garrison in London. A few bold strokes from the hammer of his truth, I was free! . . . To Garrison we owe, [337] more than to any other one man of our day, all that we have of religious freedom.’

It is small wonder that the clergy were reluctant even115 to baptize any namesake of my fathers. Nor was there anything peculiar in their ferocious attacks on him for the heresies he ventilated while still in full accord with them as to the authority of the Scriptures–attacks parallel at all points with those of the Slave Power on political abolitionists who acknowledged the binding force of the Constitutional compromises, while proposing nothing unconstitutional. On the other hand, it took him some time to recover from the shock which he sustained on being repelled or neglected by the clergy116 in his first ingenuous appeals to them; and if he never ceased to hold them rigidly accountable as moral teachers and professors, he came to see that neither they nor the body of our church members were separable from the average morality of the age. There was something ludicrous in the contrast between his simple and childlike character, his absolute blamelessness as a citizen, with the clergy's holy horror and denunciation of him as, in one aspect, an arch-conspirator against the very frame-work of society; in another, a wretch for whom the penitentiary was too good. The more he used the Scriptures in his agitation, the more he appeared to them a poacher on their preserves; and his secular movement was a standing irritation to them as an obvious work of Christian charity conducted without the aid and direction of the cloth. But they never could succeed in organizing a clerical anti-slavery society having any vitality, whereas,117 in our war time, we saw the U. S. Sanitary Commission call a U. S. Christian Commission into existence. His identifying his peace doctrine with the Saviour capped the climax of his audacity and their indignation. Probably they will never forgive his succeeding without their patronage or permission (as an organized body), nor allow that slavery went under in any but ‘God's good time’ and way. [338]

My father's standing with the clergy was not improved by his belief in the reality of the so-called spiritual manifestations—i. e., in proofs of the future existence not resting solely on human aspiration or on the Bible. Some hints have already been given of his attitude towards118 these phenomena, and little need be added here. A letter written in 1871 well portrays it:

In reply to your letter, inquiring what are my views of119 Spiritualism, I will state for your private information that, after long and close investigation of the subject, I have had sufficient evidence, again and again, to convince me that it is more or less practicable for those who have left the body to hold communion with relatives and friends still in the flesh, and to make known their presence by signs and tokens in the shape of what are called “manifestations.” I believe that this has been true in all ages and in all countries of the world, but only to a limited extent; whereas, in our own times, mediumship is multiplied indefinitely, and the number of believers in direct communication with the departed may be safely reckoned as legion, embracing persons of all ranks and conditions, from the most cultivated and refined to the most rude and ignorant. The Old and New Testaments abound with analogous manifestations; and these we are taught from childhood to regard as unquestionable, simply because they are recorded in that particular volume—for there are no living witnesses to authenticate any of them. And it is a noticeable fact, that those who are the most credulous in regard to ancient spirit intercourse, are the most sceptical in regard to similar intercourse in their own day, though the latter is vouched for by multitudes of living and reliable witnesses.

Personally, I give very little time or attention to this matter, needing no further evidence, and having had my curiosity fully gratified. There is no reason why you should not investigate it, exercising all possible caution, and receiving nothing as true that does not commend itself to your reason and judgment. There are many weak-minded and deluded Spiritualists, who are easily imposed upon by unprincipled “mediums,” and who foolishly waste a great deal of time in gratifying a morbid love for the marvellous; and the greater proportion of spiritliterature is utterly worthless. But this is no more to the120 disparagement of Spiritualism itself than the follies and extravagances [339] of professed Christians are to Christianity, or the unprincipled acts of Democratic partisans are to genuine Democracy. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God,” is as needful advice to-day as it was in the Apostolic age.

In the following year he wrote thus to Edward M. Davis of a certain adventuress:

Mrs.——thinks “there is no more thoughtless and121 irrational conclusion than that people acting under Spirit guidance are less to be trusted, and less personally trustworthy, than those acting under other guidances.” But this is to beg the question; for it assumes, first, that when any persons claim to be “acting under Spirit guidance,” their word is not to be questioned; and secondly, that conceding that they are thus influenced (which certainly I do not doubt), it is not to be supposed that they are not wisely led. Now this is a sieve that will not hold water. . . . Hers is not the first case of Spirit hallucination which has come under my notice; and in every instance it has seemed to me to border closely upon lunacy. Certainly, immense credulity attends it.

It must be freely admitted that my father was himself too credulous in regard to marvels, such as the ‘spirit photographs,’ which have been thoroughly exposed as sheer imposition. Partly he was misled by his assumption of integrity in every human being with whom he came in contact, but partly also by the fact that if you say A in any class of spiritual phenomena, there is no reason why you should not say B. For example, if a bell is lifted from the table by the unseen agency, it is not past belief that the table itself may in turn be lifted from the floor; and so on through the whole round of physical manifestations. He witnessed, as he says above, a very great variety of manifestations in daylight and in dark, at the houses of122 friends, at the rooms of mediums, in his own home, both with and without mediums. As to this class he wrote to Mrs. Child in 1857: ‘I do not greatly wonder at your123 “distrust of professional paid mediums”; and yet, is it unreasonable, if I ask a person to give me his time, his [340] room, etc., for him to require some remuneration, especially when (as is generally the case) he is very poor? Beyond a doubt, some mediums are base impostors, and are pursuing the business merely as selfish adventurers.’

My mother did not look kindly on Spiritualism, not124 envying my father's realizing sense of the actual presence of the departed; and he was not inconsiderate of her repugnance. Such differences only revealed their perfect union. His estimate of her at the end of the first year of125 their marriage held true to the hour of their final separation. She supplied a needful element of repose, a useful example of punctuality and executive efficiency; added no care to his life (so long as she was in health), and warded off many. She steadily combated the procrastinating habit which was probably inborn in my father, and which journalism easily fostered. She reminded him of editorial writing to be done, of letters to be answered. Her order and system were in such sharp contrast with his lack of these qualities that another kind of temperament than hers would have been worn with chafing. Happily, if my father was slow to begin, he was not inefficient; and if,126 for example, he habitually left himself too little time to reach the depot without ‘running for dear life,’ he seldom missed a train or an appointment. All her energy and self-denial were employed in keeping the family out of debt; and her constant concern in this regard was a wholesome correction of her husband's trust in Providence, which in turn lightened her own spirits. In her despondency, he would put his arm round her and lead her up and down the parlor, while he sang his favorite air,

In the days when we went gypsying

127 till the cloud was lifted.

She was ever solicitous for the respectable appearance of her children, as well as for their moral purity and their enlightenment. His own want of early training made my father underrate the value of education; but, while her schooling had been much more narrow than her parents' [341] circumstances might have afforded at a period when, to be sure, the higher education was withheld from women, she all the more was ambitious for her children. She encouraged and stimulated us in our studies, and, according to our respective love of them, would have had us advance as long and as far as her self-sacrifice could maintain us.

‘If any man,’ wrote my father to Elizabeth Pease in 1846,128

was ever blessed with an affectionate and loving wife, I am that man; and if ever children had a watchful, assiduous, devoted mother, mine have. I tell Helen that the only fear I have is, that her attachment for me is carried to an undue extent. She always feels my absence so keenly that I never leave home without great reluctance, though she never wishes me to forego the discharge of any duty to please her. May I ever prove worthy of one so confiding, faithful, and loving!

Most anxious hours my mother certainly passed in these absences, if one considers only her responsibility for the health of a large family. But her husband's health also caused solicitude, and when he left her, in stormy times, to attend the anniversaries in New York, with the certainty of violent disturbance from the mob, her forebodings were natural and most poignant. They often arose over the daily delays in my father's arriving home from the printing-office, he being exposed even in Boston to personal attack, and in frequent receipt of menaces through the mails.

My mother's paralysis devolved the care of her—and it was a very great care at night—upon her husband and only daughter, who repaid to the full all the tenderness and affection she had lavished upon them. For an extremely active person reduced to sudden dependence, she bore her fate with singular fortitude. ‘If I needed to learn a lesson of patience and resignation, the example of your invalid mother would be most instructive,’ wrote my father to his absent son, in 1874. ‘How closely in129 her waking hours, during the long period of eleven years, has she been confined to her chair at the window, without [342] a murmur at her hard lot!’ She was inexpressibly —grateful for all the attentions she now received, and made heroic exertions to diminish them as far as lay in her power. I remember one instance in which she toiled up the long flight from the sitting-room to the chamber above, holding her skirt in her teeth, and dragging the useless limb from stair to stair, rather than call her daughter, who was putting her baby to sleep, to bring down the forgotten handkerchief. And during all these years of weary waiting for release from the thraldom of the flesh, she was ever thinking and planning for the welfare of each member of the family. ‘Outwardly and inwardly, she was loveliness itself,’ wrote my father just130 after the grave had closed over her. ‘No choice could have been a more fortunate one for me, and our married life was fraught with such blessings and enjoyments as have seldom been realized in a state of wedlock.’

1 Ante, 1.28, 314.

2 Ante, 3.228.

3 Ante, 1.28.

4 Ante, 1.28, 29.

5 Ante, 1.28; 3.397.

6 Ante, 1.40.

7 Ante, 1.464.

8 Ante, 1.31, 34.

9 Ante, 1.28.

10 The elm-tree near the gate at Rockledge was planted by W. L. G. and his son Frank in May, 1868.

11 Cf. ante, 1.72.

12 Ante, 1.30; 2.47, 48.

13 Ms. Oct. 28.

14 Ms. Feb. 21, 1878, to F. J. G.

15 Ante, 1.467.

16 Ante, 1.79; 2.407.

17 Ante, 2.51.

18 Ante, 1.29, 78.

19 Ante, p. 191.

20 Ante, 1.29, 30.

21 Ante, 1.29.

22 Ante, 1.30; 4.305.

23 ‘Adjourned from the stormiest meeting, where hot debate had roused all his powers as near to anger as his nature ever let him come, the music of a dozen voices—even of those who had just opposed him—or a piano, if the house held one, changed his mood in an instant, and made the hour laugh with more than content; unless, indeed, a baby and playing with it proved metal even more attractive’ (Wendell Phillips, “Tributes to W. L. G. At the funeral services,” p. 48).

24 Ante, 1.30.

25 Ante, 1.42, 56.

26 Ante, 1.42.

27 Ante, 3.239.

28 Ante, 3.145.

29 Ante, 1.219.

30 Ante, 1.330; 3.42.

31 Speaking of his resolutions at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he said: ‘——in which, by a sort of hydraulic pressure, I have endeavored to concentrate my thoughts, feelings, and ideas as pertaining to our struggle generally, and in regard to its particular aspects during the past year’ (Lib. 28: 82).

32 Ante, 1.179.

33 Ms. Apr. 13.

34 Geo. B. Cheever.

35 Ante, 1.56.

36 Wendell Phillips.

37 Ante, 3.19.

38 Compare, for an example of felicitous improvement, the leading epigraph following the title-page of our Vol. I. (the passage is also repeated at 3.14) with the verbatim report, viz.: ‘The truth is, they who start any reform which at last grows into one of surprising magnitude, are always illjudged and unfairly treated at the outset. They are looked upon with utter contempt, and are treated in the most opprobrious manner, which is unfair and unjust. In due season the cause grows and expands and advances to its sure triumph; and in proportion as it nears the goal, in that proportion does praise and panegyric fall to the lot of him who may have suffered somewhat in the course of the struggle. The praise on the one hand and the defamation on the other are both unmerited; and in the sober judgment of a distant posterity, if the thing . . .’ (here the fragment breaks off).

39 Ante, p. 39.

40 Lib. 27.2.

41 I. e., for his opponents, as the omitted context shows.

42 W. L. G. and his Times, p. 395.

43 May 29, 1884.

44 Hist. of the Rebellion, Book I., § 99.

45 Lib. 12.26.

46 Ante, p. 289.

47 Ante, 3.298.

48 Sarah Pugh noted in her diary for Dec. 6, 1853: ‘Spent at the [A. S.] fair [in Philadelphia]. Garrison's speech in the evening pleased every one. An orthodox Friend who came from curiosity to see and hear “the monster,” was perfectly fascinated. “Never heard a more impressive and solemn speech;” begged to be introduced to him, to express his great satisfaction with what he had heard’ ( “Memorial of Sarah Pugh,” p. 89).

49 In his prime, my father may have measured five feet nine to ten. His limbs were straight and shapely, his trunk perhaps slightly longer than his legs, so that he seemed in sitting a taller man than he was. His head was set well forward on his shoulders, which grew rounded with bending over the printer's form, and with age; but he was never bowed.

50 Ante, 3.19.

51 Ante, 1.55, 56.

52 Ante, 1: XV.

53 R. Purvis to W. P. G., Feb., 1881.

54 Ante, 1.13.

55 ‘If I give my children no other precept,’ he wrote in the Liberator (16: 18), ‘if I leave them no other example, it shall be a fearless, impartial, thorough investigation of every subject to which their attention may be called, whether those principles agree or conflict with my own, or with those of any other person.’

56 Here may belong an anecdote related to me by Oliver Johnson. A good abolitionist in the rural districts of Massachusetts, who went down to Boston to annual meetings and conventions, was filled with a great admiration for Charles Burleigh, concerning whom he carried back glowing reports to his family. In the fulness of time he arranged a lecture in his own town for Burleigh, and was sorely troubled when the one stage arrival brought not the expected guest. An hour after, a knock was heard at the door, and the curious children scrambled pell-mell to answer it. There stood a tall figure with long beard and ringlets, dusty with foot-travel, and carrying a pack of anti-slavery publications slung at the end of a rough staff resting on his shoulder. The first child to catch sight of him rushed back to the sitting-room, crying: ‘Oh, mother, mother! the Devil has come!’ ‘And no wonder,’ said Garrison, when told the story; ‘hair 'em scare 'em.’ It is worth remarking, by the way, since Burleigh was an available model of Christ for artists, that the fashionable abhorrence of beards prevailed in spite of the conventional representations of the great Exemplar.

57 Ante, 1.344.

58 See, for the nearest approach to it ever made in portraiture, the frontispiece to the present volume.

59 Ante, 2.69-71.

60 Ante, 3.178.

61 Ante, p. 317.

62 Mrs. E. D. Cheney in the Open Court newspaper, p. 1143.

63 Ante, 3.206.

64 Ms. July 20, 1858, W. L. G. to S. J. May.

65 Ms. Jan. 13.

66 Ms. Mar. 4, 1879, W. L. G. to W. P. G.

67 See Thomson's own account of his being imprisoned Nov. 10, 1809, on a charge of murder brought by a rival practitioner of the old school. The place of confinement was the Newburyport jail, the condition of which was loathsome in the extreme, and the whole management barbarous.

68 Ante, 3.82.

69 Ante, 1.37.

70 Ms. May 5.

71 Ante, 3.438.

72 Diary of J. Q. Adams, 5.10.

73 Mrs. J. G. Swisshelm relates, in her “ Half a Century,” p. 60 (circa 1838): ‘To a white woman in Louisville, work was a dire disgrace, and one Sabbath four of us sat suffering from thirst, with the pump across the street, when I learned that for me to go for a pitcher of water would be so great a disgrace to the house as to demand my instant expulsion’ (Cf. Niles' Register, 41: 131). ‘Mrs. Trollope says a Virginia gentleman told her that ever since he had been married he had been accustomed to have a negro girl sleep in the same chamber with himself and wife, and that, being asked why he had this nocturnal attendant, he replied: “ Good Heaven, if I wanted a glass of water during the night, what would become of me!” ’ (Lib. 2: 107).

74 Ante, 1.245.

75 See the poetical tribute of one of his apprentices on the Journal of the Times on the occasion of his departure from that paper (Lib. 1: 56).

76 Ante, 2.329; 3.84.

77 Tributes to W. L. Garrison at the Funeral Services, p. 47.

78 W. L. G. and his Times, p. 396.

79 Ante, 3.464.

80 So far was he from this, that he admitted articles from correspondents whose views or whose modes of expression he knew would cost him the support of his more narrow-minded subscribers. This sacrifice he made in the interest of free thought.

81 Ms. Apr. 16.

82 Ms. Oct. 14, 1858.

83 Ante, 3.478.

84 Helen E. Garrison, a Memorial, p. 40.

85 Ms. Jan. 19, 1858.

86 After hearing his neighbor, the Rev. Dr. George Putnam's Thanksgiving discourse in 1866, my father wrote him a complimentary note about it, but added a remonstrance against the sepulchral darkness of the church (amply provided with windows, which were carefully blinded and curtained), which he said was enough to prevent his going often to hear the Doctor, even if the latter had ‘the eloquence of Paul, the zeal of Peter, and the love of John.’ The Doctor acknowledged that his people closed more blinds than was necessary, and seemed to prefer a ‘dim religious light’; ‘but,’ he added, with a playful allusion to the skylight over his pulpit, ‘you know I get my light from above!’

87 Ante, p. 326.

88 Ante, 3.464.

89 Ante, 3.84.

90 Ante, 2.115, 118.

91 Ms. June 6.

92 Ante, 3.132.

93 Ms. Aug. 1.

94 Charlotte G. Coffin.

95 Sallie Holley.

96 Ante, 2.125; 3.381.

97 Ante, 3.91.

98 Ante, 3.82-84, 91, 156, 198; 4.323.

99 Ms. Nov. 27.

100 Ante, 3.401.

101 The only autobiographical sketch known to have been drafted by him was (on request) for Oliver Johnson's use in preparing the article Garrison in Appletons' “New American Cyclopaedia,” in 1859. This Ms. is probably still in existence, but its whereabouts is unknown.

102 A. H. Clough.

103 Lib. 20.152; cf. ante, p. 256.

104 Ante, 3.120.

105 Ante, 2.322; 3.37, 125; 4.156, 238.

106 Ante, 2.333.

107 Ante, 3.91.

108 Ante, 1.400; 3.127.

109 Oct. 27.

110 Diary of H. C. Robinson, 3.301.

111 Cf. ante, 3.8, 95, 145.

112 May 8, 9, 1860.

113 Lib. 30.78.

114 Ante, 2.383.

115 Ms. Jan. 2, 1866.

116 Ante, 1.204, 211, 215, 464, 465.

117 Ante, 1.469; 2.306.

118 Ante, 3.375.

119 Ms. Jan. 31, 1871, to J. S. Adams.

120 Ante, 3.375, 376.

121 Ms. Jan. 4, 1872.

122 Ante, 3.375, 408; 4.253.

123 Ms. Feb. 6.

124 Ms. Feb. 17, 1857, W. L. G. to H. E. G.

125 Ante, 1.423.

126 Ante, 3.87.

127 Ante, 3.22.

128 Ms. Nov. 15.

129 Ms. Dec. 14, to W. P. G.

130 Ms. Feb. 27, 1876, to W. P. G.

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