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John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Preface for second edition: 1921 (search)
of minds rush to his aid, while all religion and philosophy stand at his elbow. It is easy to explain why Garrison has never been adopted as a popular hero in America. He gave a purge to his countrymen, and the bitter taste of it remained in our mouths ever after. Moreover, the odium of Slavery, which he branded on America's America's brow, seemed to survive in the very name of Garrison, and we would willingly have forgotten the man. After the Civil War there was not, apparently, time for our scholars to think about him. Certain it is that the educated American has known little about him, and shies and mutters at his name. And yet equally certain is it that the one of my best friends, and a very learned gentleman, said to me, A book about William Lloyd Garrison? Heave a brick at him for me! --and the popular feeling in America of that day seemed to support the remark. But the times have changed. The flames of the Great War have passed through us. The successive shocks of that experien
John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Chapter 1: introduction (search)
's history and emerge, as it were, a new man at the close of your perusal;--that war was no accident. It was involved in every syllable which every inhabitant of America uttered or neglected to utter in regard to the slavery question between 1830 and 1860. The gathering and coming on of that war, its vaporous distillation from thhe history of the United States during the thirty years after it loomed in his mind. From the day Garrison established the Liberator he was the strongest man in America. He was affected in his thought by no one. What he was thinking, all men were destined to think. How had he found that clew and skeleton-key to his age, which el, from which radiated vibrations in larger and in ever larger, more communicative circles and spheres of agitation, till there was not a man, woman, or child in America who was not a-tremble. We know, of course, that the source of these radiations was not in Garrison. They came from the infinite and passed out into the infini
John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Chapter 2: the Background (search)
ed. The savage feeling which led up to war developed rapidly at the North after this time. The war came as the final outcome of a great malady. But we must return to 1820. During the decade that followed the Missouri Compromise everyone in America fell sick. It was not a sickness that kept men in bed. They went about their businessthe lawyer to court, the lady to pay calls, the merchant to his wharf. The amusements, and the religious, literary, and educational occupations of mankind we that all men are created free and equal, and the horrible fact of human slavery. The thought of this incongruity troubled every American. No recondite or difficult reasoning was required to produce the mental anguish that now began to oppress America. The only thing necessary was leisure for anguish, and this leisure first became possible at the close of the second war with Great Britain. The operation of the thought was almost entirely unconscious, and its issue in pain almost entirely un
John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Chapter 6: Retrospect and prospect. (search)
as early as 1832. Let us now remember some of the phases of the nightmare which, like a continuous Dreyfus case, perplexed all honest men, all thinking men in America for two generations. The Constitution was so inwoven with our social life that the conflict between the letter and the spirit was ubiquitous. The restless probend. Even in this crisis no one in political life was allowed to speak in plain terms. To do so was regarded as most unwise. The misguided and halfminded man of America had been trained to believe that Slavery was sacred; but for the Union he will die. So long as you call it Union he is ready to die for humanity. Lincoln, thenn brought by the march of events. The truth is that the whole vast problem was constantly moving forward. Not only Garrison and Jay, but every soul who lived in America during these years held fluctuating views about the matter of slavery; and the complex controversy moved forward like a glacier, cracking and bending and groaning
John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Chapter 7: the man of action (search)
a glacial epoch — crawling out from a volcano that was all the time hidden beneath the ice-crust. It is through the hot breath of this salamander that verdure is to be brought back to the earth, and the benign climate of modern life restored to America. To the conservative minds of his own time he appeared to be a monster; and he was a monster---a monster of virtue, a monster of love a monster of power. Let us not judge but only examine him. Fortunately the materials are abundant, the recowance, indeed, than we ought to make. We have, by inheritance, rather weak eyes on this subject ourselves. The true cause for wonder as to the age of Abolition is not that Garrison was right, but that there should have been only one person in America with a clear head. Let us now turn forward over ten years of historyeluding all the pictures of struggle and incidents referred to in the earlier pages, and let us read Garrison's most famous exposition of his theme uttered in 1842: We a
John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Chapter 10: foreign influence: summary (search)
n them. As we have seen, George Thompson came to America in 1835, as an apostle to the Abolition Cause. Hary her writings, and especially by her Martyr age in America, she explained to the English mind the Anti-slavery bond between the philanthropists of England and of America. Constant intercourse, the sending of money and articles from England to the Cause in America, and an affectionate personal correspondence between the most unselt encouragement of the whole Abolition movement in America and elsewhere. This procedure occupied but a few dderstood by reflecting upon his social isolation in America and upon the natural warmth of temperament in himseer classes in England saw that the battle raging in America was their own battle, and that upon the maintenanceis plain that some terrible drug is in operation in America. Whether this hot liquid was first born in the vitcompletely break down in the whole legal history of America. Never did so much ability prove so impotent to un
John Jay Chapman, William Lloyd Garrison, Epilogue (search)
e the surface of social and political life in America, like a great golden serpent,--a mysterious a historic focus. If then we look about us in America to-day, having in our minds some reminiscenceso much concern to all intelligent persons in America, does not indicate death. It is due to two cce more upon the discouraging side of life in America — on the decay of learning. From an externbe very simply seen as the epoch during which America was returning to the family of European natiory. Such great wealth as has been created in America since 1865 would have hardened the eyes of ann it. We have indeed been born to calamity in America, and our miseries have come thickly upon us. wn in the unwillingness of the average man in America to go to the bottom of any subject, his menta truth; and when, as at the present moment in America, we have commerce dominant in an era whose ch thereafter as a national possession. But in America all that the educated man of to-day knows of