Chapter 9: Journalist at large.—1868-1876.Through Oliver Johnson, Garrison becomes a regular contributor to the New York independent, and writes much for that and for many other papers, chiefly upon the following topics: the Freedmen (p. 237), Temperance (p. 239), the rights of women (p. 242), National politics (p. 258), free Trade and civil-service Reform (p. 262). he also makes many contributions to the history of the anti-slavery cause, and is entreated to undertake his autobiography, but in vain. He celebrates rather his deceased coadjutors in funeral addresses or in obituary notices; nor does he omit to praise the survivors.
With renewed health, Mr. Garrison again tried to face the task of writing a History of the Anti-Slavery Movement; but an invitation to become a regular paid contributor to the New York Independent, with liberty to write as often as he chose, and to select his own topics, proved irresistibly attractive. His name was attached to all his articles, and he practically enjoyed all the freedom and opportunity of utterance which the Liberator had afforded him, with none of the responsibility and drudgery of editorial life. Moreover, he now addressed sixty thousand readers instead of twenty-five hundred. ‘You will speak,’ wrote Oliver Johnson, who had become1 the associate editor of the Independent, ‘to a great audience, to many of whom your real sentiments are hardly known, and some of whom, doubtless, are filled with prejudice against you.’ And a few weeks later he wrote:2 ‘One of the very best and ablest of our orthodox ministers expressed himself as highly delighted with your articles, and said they were not only specimens of fine English, but pervaded by an eminently noble and Christian spirit.’ In the hundred articles which he contributed to that paper during the next seven or eight years, Mr. Garrison discussed all the reforms and topics of the day which attracted him, whether pertaining to the freedmen and the reconstruction problem, temperance, the rights of women, peace, popular religion, or the issues of the two Presidential campaigns. Nor was his active interest in these by any means confined to writing about them in  the Independent, but by voice and pen, on the platform, and in many avenues of the press, he was constantly bearing his testimony, and giving the prestige of his name and vigorous support. For the years included in this chapter we shall, abandoning the chronological presentation hitherto observed, deal with successive topics, and shall quote briefly Mr. Garrison's utterances on questions which still await their just settlement. the Freedmen.—As an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the New England branch of the Freedman's Union Commission, Mr. Garrison attended3 many committee meetings during the closing years of the organization, and occasionally presided or spoke at the public meetings of the Society and its tributary organizations in other places. As one of the Trustees for the expenditure of the money left to the Anti-Slavery cause by Francis Jackson (which did not become available until two years after slavery was abolished), he urged that the entire fund should be devoted to the education of the freedmen, as the nearest possible method of carrying out Mr. Jackson's wishes; and in this he was sustained by two of his co-Trustees, Edmund Quincy and Samuel May. Mr. Phillips, on the other hand, advocated its appropriation for the support of the Anti-Slavery Standard, on the ground that the political enfranchisement of the freedmen, which the Standard (not alone, however, but in common with some of the ablest and most influential journals in the country) was especially urging, was more important than their education. Others of the Trustees sided with Mr. Phillips,4 and, for the sake of adjusting the matter, Mr. Garrison proposed that five thousand dollars be given to the freedmen, and the balance ($4200) to the Standard; but when Congress, a month or two later, passed the Reconstruction Act enfranchising the freedmen, the special  plea for the continuance of the Standard seemed to him no longer weighty or plausible, and he again expressed his opinion that the entire fund should go to the freedmen. The Master in Chancery to whom the matter was5 referred by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, coincided in this view, and, acting upon his recommendation, the Court directed the Trustees to so appropriate the money; but, the majority refusing to obey the mandate, they were removed by the Court, who directed Messrs. Garrison, May, and Quincy to nominate four persons in their place, and the money finally reached the treasury of the New England branch of the Freedman's Union Commission. This fresh controversy with old co-laborers was inexpressibly painful to Mr. Garrison, who felt obliged, by the sharp reflections on his course which appeared in the Standard, to write an exhaustive review of the whole matter, and a vindication of himself, which was printed by6 that paper and was both unanswered and unanswerable. At the numerous jubilations held by the colored people over the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which gave them the elective franchise, Mr. Garrison was in much request. He spoke at the Faneuil7 Hall celebration in Boston, and at Providence, but had to decline invitations from New York, Baltimore, Richmond, and Vicksburg—the last-named being extended by the Mayor and citizens. Four years later, after Charles Sumner's death, he urged the passage of the Civil Rights Bill by Congress, and protested against its emasculation by the omission of the clause forbidding all complexional distinctions in the public schools.
‘The common school,’ he wrote, must be open to all and for all, whether white or black, whether native or foreign. Those who, for any reason, do not choose to avail themselves of its benefits, may consult their own choice or prejudice, as the case may be; but they must not make it subservient to their exclusiveness. To gratify them in this respect would be to lay the axe at the root of our free institutions and to engender animosities that no community can afford to tolerate. Independent, Apr. 16, 1874. And again:
For one, I would prefer to have the bill defeated as it stands,8 rather than adopted with the sanction of separate schools on account of complexional distinctions by Congress. I deny the constitutional right of that body or of any State Legislature to approve or recognize any such distinctions; and I am surprised that so plain a point has not been earnestly maintained by the advocates of the bill at Washington as originally reported. ‘The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land; and, as amended, Congress may as lawfully set up a king to rule over us as to stamp with the badge of inferiority, by a senseless proscription on account of the color of the skin, any enfranchised American citizen. How the land would rock with excitement if the Irish, German, Scandinavian, or any other foreign population now naturalized, and with the ballot in their hands, should be invidiously excluded from our common schools and compelled to herd together. Even demagogues would then grow eloquently patriotic amid the thunderings and lightnings of popular indignation, and somebody would be very likely to see his political prospects blasted.’As a shining example of the success of co-education, irrespective of color or sex, he pointed to Berea College9 in Kentucky, saying: ‘It is the most interesting educational institution to contemplate in the United States, and deserves the highest encomiums and the most liberal patronage for the good it has wrought and the grand example it has furnished how to pacificate and bless the entire South.’10 With perfect consistency, he deprecated the attempt, on the part of the colored people in a town near Boston, to start a church of their own, when they were free to connect themselves with any of the white churches in the place, as establishing “a precedent which logically ends in endorsing the old pro-slavery doctrine that there should be no fraternization between the two races on account of color.” Ms. Dec. 8, 1874, to N. T. Allen. Temperance.—In the political revulsion which marked the autumn of 1867, the opponents of the prohibitory law in  Massachusetts succeeded in electing a Legislature pledged to its repeal, and the announcement of this unpleasant and unexpected event greeted Mr. Garrison on his arrival from England, the same week; but neither this, nor the reverses of the Republican party in other States, though of grave moment on the eve of the first Presidential election after the war, disturbed his buoyant and hopeful mind. In the lecture on his summer's experiences in Europe which he gave a few weeks later at Music Hall,11 and repeated in other places, he predicted a speedy reaction in favor of the law in Massachusetts, and of the Republican party in the country at large; and at a great temperance rally held in Boston the following May, he12 was one of the principal speakers. The Legislature elected in the fall of 1868 reenacted the law, and, in the annuallyrenewed conflict of the next three or four years, he frequently wrote and spoke in behalf of prohibition—in the Independent and at various temperance meetings. “Whether as a question of public safety or general prosperity, of enlightened patriotism or disinterested philanthropy, of personal freedom or popular government,” Independent Mar. 3, 1870. he wrote in 1870,
I am an inflexible, uncompromising prohibitionist. If there is anything left to us worth contending for, in matters of legislation, or as a principle of society, or with reference to the common weal, surely it must be the right not merely to restrain but to suppress that traffic which produces more pauperism, more crime, more lunacy, more misery in every conceivable shape than all other predisposing causes put together. Where such suppression is not generally practicable, there must be a comparatively low standard of public virtue, a great lack of moral stamina, deplorable ignorance of physiological law, and criminal disregard of the duties and responsibilities of American citizenship. . . . The licensed sale of intoxicating liquors, no matter how guardedly, for drinking purposes, not only injures and imperils the individual consumer, but brings woe into the family circle, riot and murder into the community, and makes the State accessory to three-fourths of all the pauperism and crime within its borders. No such sale can be granted without moral culpability. It cannot be too often reiterated that there are some  acts which no legislative assembly, no representative body, not the people themselves, though in entire agreement, have a right to do or sanction; and they are those acts from which necessarily and inevitably flow more of evil than good, more of damage than recompense, more of wretchedness than solace, more of peril than security, and which lead to a violation of those physical and moral laws which are binding upon the whole human race. The Legislature of Massachusetts may not find, therefore, in any amount of opposition to the prohibitory law, any warrant or justification for passing a license law as a substitute. Even if it shall feel constrained to repeal the former, on the ground of the impracticability of its enforcement, it has no moral, and therefore should exercise no legal, right to enact the latter, thus throwing around the most demoralizing of all licenses the sanction of the Commonwealth.When, by the passage of a local-option law in 1871, the question of License or No License was submitted to popular vote, Mr. Garrison cast his first (and only) ballot since that he had given for Amasa Walker in 1834. He did not13 favor the formation of a Prohibitory political party, however, and, after Mr. Phillips's defeat as the candidate of the Prohibition and Labor parties for Governor in the fall of 1870, he expressed his disbelief in third-party14 movements, in an article on ‘Moral and Political Action.’ Time had only confirmed the objections to them first15 evoked by the Liberty Party.
I trust not to be misapprehended. I am not for divorcing16 moral from political action, nor do I deprecate an earnest interest in the results of our State and national elections. Perhaps there are few who watch those results with more vigilance than I do; or who despise more heartily the hollow outcry that men are not to be made good—i. e., better citizens—by legislative enactments. But I fail to see the wisdom or expediency of adding a third wheel to a mill when there is not sufficient water-power to turn the two great wheels which are already in position, which are ample to do all the work required, and which only need a greater supply of water to move with celerity and efficiency in accordance with the law of gravitation. This was the conviction I cherished throughout the anti-slavery struggle, and it remains unchanged, unless in growing more profound. Likewise, when Judge Pitman was the Prohibition17 candidate in 1871, Mr. Garrison deprecated a movement which could only draw votes from the Republican nominee, who was a firm Prohibitionist, to the advantage of his Democratic and License opponent. In 1876 he declined18 an overture to stand as the candidate of the Prohibition party for President. He always avoided public dinners where wine and cigars were permitted, and, in declining a pressing invitation to the annual dinner of the New England Society of New York, in 1877, he wrote, in a private note to the president: ‘I will frankly state, that one reason why I decline participating in such commemorations is the habitual wine-drinking and smoking so generally indulged in—a custom, I am sure, that would be far “more honored in the breach than in the observance.” ’19 the rights of women.—The question of woman suffrage was first submitted to popular vote in Kansas in the fall of 1867, when amendments to the State Constitution enfranchising women and negroes were both defeated after a long and exciting canvass, in which Lucy Stone, Henry B. Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton bore an active part. A curious outcome of this contest was a temporary partnership between Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony and George Francis Train, a notorious charlatan, who was exciting the mirth of the country by posing as a self-constituted candidate for President. Imagining that an espousal of the women's cause would further his own success, he had delivered, just before the election, several of his disjointed harangues in favor of their amendment, while opposing contemptuously that establishing negro suffrage; and he now offered to furnish capital with which to start a woman-suffrage paper in New York, in which, also, he was to ventilate his own vagaries on trade finance, and other topics. His offer was eagerly  accepted, and in the series of meetings which they held in the principal cities on their return journey from Kansas to New York, the ladies named shared the speaking with him, and listened without protest to his constant ridicule and vulgar abuse of the negro. The annoyance and mortification felt by many suffragists at this entangling alliance and its consequent degradation of the movement, led to the formation at Cleveland, in November, 1869, of the American Woman Suffrage Association, of which Henry Ward Beecher was made President, and to the subsequent establishment at Boston20 of the Woman's Journal. To both of these movements Mr. Garrison gave his active cooperation, and was especially helpful in launching the Journal, of which, for a time, he was an associate editor with Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, Mrs. Lucy Stone, and T. W. Higginson. He was one of the Vice-Presidents also of the American and of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Associations, and President of the former for two years. In the wintry months of February and March, 1870, he made two journeys to Vermont, and addressed suffrage conventions at Rutland and Burlington in company with Mrs. Howe and Mrs. Livermore, the question of a constitutional amendment being then before the State Board of Censors. From the exposure thus incurred he narrowly escaped a severe illness, and the gradual impairment of his health may be said to date from that time. When well enough, he never failed to attend the semi-annual suffrage conventions in Boston, in January and May; and at the annual hearings at the State House before the Committees on suffrage and other bills affecting the rights of person and property of women, he was ever a faithful champion. He spoke also at many suffrage meetings in other cities and States, and wrote repeatedly on the subject for the Independent, and to conventions in distant places which he could not attend.21 
With an optimism natural and common to many, after the marvellous events of the previous decade, Mr. Garrison was confident in 1870 that women would be enfranchised by a Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution before 1876. He scouted, however, an attempt to prove that political equality had been already obtained by the 14th and 15th Amendments ‘as on a par with Bishop Berkeley's sublimated theory that there  is no such thing as matter, it being only a projection of the mind or spirit.’
It is precisely like the attempt made, by certain individuals,24 to prove that there were no pro-slavery clauses or provisions to be found in the United States Constitution, sticking to the letter thereof, and disregarding all the historical facts pertaining to its adoption, the clear understanding of it by the people, and the uniform concurrence of all legislative and judicial proceedings under it pertaining to slavery and the slave trade. Such criticism is neither fair nor sensible, and totally at variance with the truth. In the name of common sense, with nineteen-twentieths of the male voters of the land hostile to woman suffrage, how has it been possible for them to consent to any amendment of the Constitution granting what they stoutly resist?25Miscellaneous topics.—Never before had Mr. Garrison been able to address so large a clerical audience as the Independent afforded him—a fact of which he did not lose sight, for he dwelt much upon the duty and the unrivalled opportunity of the pulpits to deal with living26 issues and condemn present wrong and injustice. He criticised the pulpit method of preaching; inquired, in a27 clever catechism, what really constitutes a ‘Christian,’ and maintained the rights of conscience against all assumptions of infallibility, whether Papal or Protestant. When the decision of the Cincinnati Board of Education to discontinue Bible-reading in the schools was agitating that city, and exciting much discussion throughout the country, he warmly commended the action of the Board, deeming it as reasonable to insist ‘that only the28 Protestant religion shall be tolerated in the land as that our Protestant Bible shall be read in the public schools.’ ‘If,’ he continued,
this root of bitterness extracted, the29 Catholics, or any other sect, shall refuse to accept of the common schools for the instruction of their children, and proceed to  establish separate schools to represent their sectarian spirit and purpose, they can do so; but they may not therefore be gratified by the overthrow of that impartial, beneficent system which must be inflexibly adhered to as essential to the general welfare, the support of free institutions, the life of the Republic. So men who do not choose to vote may stay away from the polls; but they may not arbitrarily insist that the people shall not be allowed to carry on the government, and cast their ballots to that end.No suitable occasion for bearing peace and non-resistance testimonies was neglected by Mr. Garrison, and he strenuously and successfully opposed, with others, the enactment of a bill for compulsory military drill in the public schools of Massachusetts, which had already passed30 its second reading in the Legislature. One day in the fall of 1875, he received a call from a young Japanese student in Boston University, who had been sent to the United States by his Government with the ultimate view of obtaining a military and naval education. A perusal of Charles Sumner's oration on the “True grandeur of nations” 1845. had first caused the youth to reflect on the nature of war and the military profession, and he now came to hear what Mr. Garrison had to say on the subject. To the two enthusiastic young girls—fellow-students—who accompanied and introduced him, the rapt expression of his face, as he listened to a kind and impressive statement of the underlying principles of peace and non-resistance, remains a vivid and memorable picture. ‘Mr. Garrison's words did more harm to my military pride and inclinations than even the “ True Grandeur of Nations,” ’ he said to them as they left the house. Returning to Japan, he informed his Government that his conscience forbade him to enter upon a military career, and was promptly cast into prison for his contumacy; but he unflinchingly adhered to his resolution. He was released after a time, and degraded to a position which gave him a scanty subsistence; but, when last heard from, he was still true to his principles.  When Mrs. Josephine E. Butler of England instituted the agitation against the laws of Parliament which, under the specious name of the Contagious Diseases Acts, provided for the licensing of prostitution in the garrison towns of Great Britain, Mr. Garrison was prompt to welcome the movement, and make it known to the American31 public, in an article full of burning indignation over the iniquity of the Acts. Of Mrs. Butler and her noble women associates he said:
To her, and to them all, I desire thus publicly to pay my homage; regretting that I can find no words adequately to express my admiration of the moral courage they have displayed, the intellectual and moral force they have brought into the field, the masterly ability with which they have conducted the argument, the noble dignity of character which they have exemplified under the vilest provocation, and the exalted purity of sentiment to which they have given utterance. They have helped to make the present age illustrious, and deserve the plaudits of mankind. Had they been represented in the British Parliament, no such infamous acts could have been passed or proposed. Such legislation is possible only where women are excluded; and it furnishes another potential argument for their political enfranchisement to the full extent enjoyed by men. Ibid.A few years later, it was his privilege to cooperate32 personally with them in their own country, and to give them timely encouragement and aid. He also heartily seconded Dr. William G. Eliot of St. Louis in his long33 and arduous struggle for the repeal of the ordinances licensing prostitution in that city, which ended triumphantly in April, 1879. On the so-called ‘Labor question,’ Mr. Garrison thus expressed himself to a correspondent who had appealed for his aid in a movement for ‘industrial reform’:
retrospect.—While constantly using the salient lessons of the anti-slavery conflict by way of illustration and analogy in his treatment of current topics, Mr. Garrison had no disposition to reproach pro-slavery or personal antagonists with their past delinquencies, unless compelled to do so in order to vindicate the truth of history. There were several occasions on which he performed such necessary  tasks very effectively.37 His best contribution of this nature was a letter addressed to the Boston Journal on the38 gross conduct of the Massachusetts Legislature, when, on the death of Millard Fillmore, they passed resolutions commending the signer of the Fugitive Slave Law as entitled to the ‘affectionate remembrance of the American people, and an honorable place in the long line of their illustrious public servants.’ The shame of this perfunctory and insincere act was rendered all the more glaring by the eulogies which the same body was forced to pay immediately afterwards to Charles Sumner, whose death at Washington occurred the day after the Legislature of39 his State had thus disgraced itself. Both Samuel J. May and Henry Wilson appealed to Mr.40 Garrison for facts and criticism while they were preparing their respective contributions to anti-slavery history, and he was very frank in his strictures on certain passages in the latter's chapters touching the abolitionists. These41 were modified in some degree before they appeared in the printed work, but were still left inaccurate and unsatisfactory,42 and the third and last volume, finished by another  hand after Mr. Wilson's death, was even more open to criticism in its treatment of the churches and their relation to the struggle. To Mr. May, who had just given his antislavery library to Cornell University, Mr. Garrison wrote as follows:
The ‘translation’ of Thomas Garrett was soon followed by that of the beloved and saintly pastor of Syracuse45 himself, and Mr. Garrison journeyed to Central New York to attend the obsequies of this “brother beloved incomparably beyond all blood relationship,” July 6. to whom he felicitously applied Wordsworth's description of the ‘Happy Warrior.’ For many years the duties of ministers at large to the ‘come-outers’ of the anti-slavery host had devolved upon Mr. Garrison and Mr. Phillips, and one or both of them were called to officiate or speak at many a funeral (and doubtless would have been asked to perform many a marriage ceremony, had they possessed the legal right to do so). Their services in this direction naturally became more and more in request as the veterans in the cause passed in quick succession from the stage. Notable among these occasions was the funeral of Henry C. Wright, at Pawtucket, R. I., in the summer of 1870, at which Mr. Garrison delivered an admirable46 address, and Mr. Phillips and Senator Wilson spoke im-47  pressively.48 In the following letter two more instances are recorded:
55 Ever generous in panegyric to those who had passed from their earthly labors, Mr. Garrison was no less given to rehearsing the praises of his old coadjutors who still remained. He constantly took occasion, if writing them on other themes, to express his exalted regard for them. He was even repeatedly at pains to write a kindly word to some of his former antagonists in the anti-slavery ranks, recognizing the services they had rendered in the day of small things, and rejoicing with them in the triumph of freedom. One of these was Lewis Tappan, from whom a letter touching his brother Arthur elicited the following reply:
Edmund Quincy received his laurel wreath with characteristic lightness and jest.
In March, 1873, Mr. Garrison was earnestly besought to write his autobiography, and an appeal to that end, inspired by Oliver Johnson, was addressed to him by many of his old associates.
The signatures to this letter included the familiar names of Quincy, Sewall, Chapman, Weston, Whittier, Mott, McKim, May, Smith, Weld, Grimke, Grew, and Burleigh, with those of Henry Wilson, Henry Ward Beecher, Mrs. Stowe, James Freeman Clarke, and others. But the labor  asked of him seemed scarcely less formidable to Mr. Garrison than the still unwritten history of the anti-slavery movement, and he preferred discussing the topics of the day to recording his life-experiences for posterity. Referring to the ill-health which had in part deterred him from attempting the larger work, he said, in replying to65 these friends:
It is extremely problematical, therefore, whether I shall yet be strengthened to depict, even on a limited scale, the most noteworthy moral and political struggle in the annals of civilization. Covering as it did a period of nearly forty years, and rending the nation by the antagonistic elements which it aroused, to portray it in all its multitudinous phases, without exaggeration or abatement, exceeds my ability, notwithstanding your encouraging voices. Moreover, my connection with it, from its commencement to its close, was so close and peculiar that a sense of delicacy almost precludes me from trying to record my views and recollections of it. So far as I am personally concerned, I feel no interest in any history of it that may be written. It is enough for me that every yoke is broken and every bondman set free. Yet there are lessons to be drawn from it that cannot fail to be serviceable to posterity. The millennial state, if it ever come on earth, is yet in the far distant future. There are innumerable battles yet to be fought for the right, many wrongs to be redressed, many evil customs abolished, many usurpations overthrown, many deliverances wrought; and those who shall hereafter go forth to defend the righteous cause, no matter at what cost or with what disparity of numbers, cannot fail to derive strength and inspiration from an intelligent acquaintance with the means and methods used in the Anti-Slavery movement.National politics.—In the three Presidential campaigns which followed the civil war, Mr. Garrison naturally took a deep interest, being ever apprehensive that a Democratic triumph would lead to a negation of the civil and political rights of the freedmen. During the perplexing and anxious decade of ‘reconstruction,’ at first under the hostile Administration of Andrew Johnson, it is enough to say here that Mr. Garrison was in general accord with the measures adopted by Congress to thwart  the reactionary designs of the Executive, and to maintain Republican control of the States lately in rebellion— not a party control, in his eyes. The failure to impeach President Johnson was a great disappointment to him. In the Presidential campaign of 1868 (when General Grant and Horatio Seymour were the rival candidates), the terrorism rampant at the South, and the Southern hopes of Democratic restoration, furnished themes for several of his articles in the Independent; but he refused66 to preside at a Republican ratification meeting in Faneuil Hall, or, at the request of Horace Greeley, to write an67 address to the freedmen, urging them to vote for Grant—68 believing himself too little known to the beneficiaries of his life-long endeavors in behalf of freedom. He was not found, either, among the partisans of69 President Grant when the latter, in 1870-71, was bent on annexing San Domingo to the United States. He both sustained Mr. Sumner's opposition to the measure, and protested against the Senator's consequent removal from70 the head of the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Mr. Garrison had to take issue with his friend in the following year, when the Democracy made a final rally under Horace Greeley, and Sumner (for personal reasons and general considerations of public policy) joined a portion of the reform element in the Republican Party in opposing Grant's reelection at all hazards. A long letter by Mr. Garrison, in confutation of Sumner's letter74 to the colored voters of Washington on behalf of Greeley, was very widely copied by the press, and presumably had its effect. In another letter, addressed to the Boston75 Journal (to which he contributed frequently during the76 campaign, both editorially and in his own name), Mr. Garrison replied at length to Mr. Sumner's last appeal for Greeley on the eve of departing for Europe. Of Mr. Greeley's course in consenting to stand as the candidate of the Democratic Party, he wrote with great77 plainness and severity, though the opinion of him which he now expressed was one he had long entertained, namely, that the editor of the Tribune was “the worst of all counsellors, the most unsteady of all leaders, the most pliant of all compromisers in times of great public emergency” Ind. Oct. 24, 1872.— a judgment since strikingly confirmed by the publication78 of Greeley's extraordinary letter to President Lincoln after the battle of Bull Run. When, after Mr. Sumner's death in 1874, there was a deadlock in the Massachusetts Legislature over the election  of his successor, Mr. Garrison was approached by one of the Republican leaders to know if he would accept the position, and replied:
Your friendly and complimentary letter of inquiry causes79 me very great surprise, because, although we have lived to see many strange occurrences in our day, I deem it scarcely more supposable that, under any fortuitous combination of circumstances or rallying of forces, I should be chosen successor of Charles Sumner in the U. S. Senate by the Legislature of Massachusetts, than that “Birnam wood will come to Dunsinane.” What, therefore, is utterly out of the question cannot be with me a matter of grave consideration. Besides, if, by any possible “change of base,” such a choice should happen to be made as a dernier ressort, I have some conscientious difficulties, particularly as respects the war provisions of the Constitution of the United States, that would prevent my qualifying under that instrument.In the latter years of the reconstruction period, when one after another of the Southern States was wrested from the control of the so-called ‘carpet-bag governments,’ Mr. Garrison saw in the violent uprising of the whites not so much a revolt against thieving and corrupt adventurers who were sustaining themselves in office by the aid of the colored vote on the one hand, and the military support of the Federal Government on the other, as a determined effort to rob the freedmen of the ballot and make them again a subject race. If he had no adequate conception of the financial misrule under some of these governments, he knew accurately the still unquenched spirit of slavery, and that nothing which was alleged against it was impossible. And in truth there was, especially in communities in which black voters were in the ascendency, enough of genuine outrage and calculated terrorism practised (under the general name of Kukluxism) to make exaggeration or invention of them for political effect unnecessary. These and worse he anticipated if the restraining Federal arm should be withdrawn, with iniquitous and oppressive legislation directed against the disfranchised blacks (such as is to be found in most of the  Southern statute-books to-day). He could not see that any Constitutional obstacle existed to maintaining with Federal troops the governments in South Carolina and Louisiana—the last that remained to be artificially held up in this manner—so long as the legally constituted State Governments invoked their aid. He therefore viewed with foreboding President Grant's admission, towards the close of his second term, that the military administration could no longer be maintained at the South; and entered an earnest protest against President Hayes's retirement of the troops directly after the latter assumed office in 1877. free Trade.—In January, 1869, Mr. Garrison was elected a Vice-President of the American Free Trade League, of New York, and actively assisted in the formation of a Revenue Reform League in Boston, the following April, making one of the principal speeches at the Boston80 meeting. In justification of his part in it he said:
This is a meeting with special reference to business81 interests in their most substantial form. In a technical sense, I am not a business man, and have nothing more at stake in matters of commerce or manufactures than others whose pursuits lie in another direction. Yet, perhaps, no man has had more to do with the business of the country—at least as a disturbing force—for the last forty years than I have; and, certainly, the industrial elements have had a good deal to do with me, in an antagonizing way, during the same period. Happily, we are no longer at variance for any such cause. As to mere details and statistics respecting free trade on the one hand, and the protective policy (so-called) on the other, I am but a novice; but as to those principles which underlie all national prosperity, and determine the legitimate scope of legislation in regard to international reciprocity and interchange of commodities, I profess to be considerably enlightened. . . . For the cause of human liberty covers and includes all possible forms of human industry, and best determines how the productions thereof may be exchanged at home and abroad to mutual advantage. Though never handling a tool, nor manufacturing a bale of cotton or wool, nor selling a yard of cloth  or a pound of sugar, he is the most sagacious political economist who contends for the highest justice, the most far-reaching equality, a close adherence to natural laws, and the removal of all those restrictions which foster national pride and selfishness. The mysteries of government are only the juggles of usurpers and demagogues. There is nothing intricate in freedom, free labor, free institutions, the law of interchange, the measure of reciprocity. It is the legerdemain of class legislation, disregarding the common interests of the people, that creates confusion, sophisticates the judgment, and dazzles to betray. The law of gravitation needs no legislative props or safeguards to make its operations more effective or more beneficent ... It is to be supposed—other things being equal—that those whose lives are devoted to business affairs and financial matters will have a clearer perception of what concerns their interests than those whose pursuits are simply professional or philanthropic. Other things being equal, I say—that is a very important qualification! Alas! they are often most unequal, because of a profligate disregard of principle; and then follow incongruity, entanglement, loss of vision, impaired judgment, desperate expedients, calamitous results. This was strikingly illustrated in the insane conduct of the business men of the nation, of all classes, in burning incense and servilely bowing the knee to the Southern Moloch for a period of threescore years and ten, animated by the belief that it was a paying business investment! What came of it, we have all had bitter occasion to know. . . . Believing that the interests of the American people in no wise materially differ from those of the people of any other country, and denying the rectitude or feasibility of building ourselves up at their expense by an exclusive policy, obstructing the natural flow of material exchanges, I avow myself to be a radical free trader, even to the extent of desiring the abolition of all custom-houses, as now constituted, throughout the world. That event is far distant, undoubtedly, but I believe it will come with the freedom and enlightenment of mankind. My faith is absolute that it will prove advantageous to every branch of human industry, whether at home or abroad. Its advocacy, however, will not be the object of the proposed Reform League. That object has been stated to you to be the procurement of a simple, moderate, and effective tariff, for revenue purposes exclusively, with the least possible interference with the industrial pursuits of the people; opposition to  all special legislation intended to foster private or class interest; the negotiation of treaties of reciprocity with all States upon the continent of North America; the abatement of some of the most onerous taxes imposed under the existing tariff; the restoration of the specie standard of value at as early a day as practicable; and, finally, to promote reform in the civil service, and the appointment of all Government officers upon the sole ground of fitness and ability to discharge the duties of their respective offices. I trust it will meet the hearty approval of this assembly, and at no distant day that of the people of Massachusetts and of the whole country. . . . Gentlemen, the object which has brought us together is neither partisan nor geographical, but patriotic and all-comprehensive; not for any one interest in special, but for all interests; not for Massachusetts alone, but for the whole country. Its realization cannot fail to bring great and signal blessings along with it, and to foster a more noble and expansive spirit of human brotherhood, through which at last all the nations of the earth shall strike hands in amity and peace.82In an article in the Independent on ‘Protection vs. Free Trade,’ he declared, ‘There is not a more deceptive and at the same time more plausible word in popular use than “protection.” ’
“The protection of American labor” has a taking sound;83 but it really means the restriction and taxation of that labor. Protection against what? Have we not the best educated and most intelligent population on earth? And does not this imply industry, thrift, skill, enterprise, invention, capital, beyond any other forty millions of people? Have we not muscles as well as  brains? Have we not a country unrivalled in the variety and abundance of its natural productions, and the abounding riches of its mineral resources? What more need we to claim, or ought we to have? If, in an open field, we cannot successfully compete with “the cheap and pauperized labor of Europe,” in all that is necessary to our comfort, or even to our luxury, then let us go to the wall! Was the slave labor of the South at all a match for the free labor of the North? In which section of the Union was industry best protected or wealth most augmented? Is it not ludicrous to read what piteous calls are made for the protection of the strong against the weak, of the intelligent against the ignorant, of the well-fed against the half-starving, of our free republican nation against the effete governments of the Old World, in all that relates to the welfare of the people? With all that God has done for us in giving us such a goodly heritage, cannot we contrive to live and flourish without erecting barriers against the freest intercourse with all nations? Must we guard our ports against the free importation of hemp, iron, broadcloth, silk, coal, etc., etc., as though it were a question of quarantine for the smallpox or the Asiatic cholera? Refusing to do so, will the natural consequences be “vacant factories, furnaces standing idle, the shops of manufacturing industry closed, labor begging and starving for the want of employment,” and all the other fearful results that are so confidently predicted by the advocates of the protective policy, falsely so-called? Similar predictions were made by the defenders of Southern slavery in regard to the abolition of that nefarious system, and in order to subject to popular odium those who demanded the immediate and unconditional emancipation of the oppressed. Freedom, as well as Wisdom, is justified of her children; and in proportion as she bears sway will it go well with any people.On the 10th of December, 1875, Mr. Garrison celebrated at once his 70th birthday and the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation from the Herald office, by going to Newburyport and again taking up the composing-stick in the familiar place. Selecting Whittier's beautiful poem, ‘My Psalm,’ he set it with almost his old-time rapidity and expertness; and though the type was small, and the ‘case’ not over well supplied with it, not an error was found in the seventeen verses when the first proof was  pulled. While he was at work, an old fellow-apprentice84 came in to greet him, and though, from the latter's indifference to the anti-slavery movement, there had been little sympathy and intercourse between them in the intervening half century, they now fraternized and found common ground in reminiscences of their boyhood days, and in unexpected sympathy of views on other topics. Very fitting, therefore, seemed the closing verses of the poem, when the veteran printer and agitator, turning once more to his task, put them in type: