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Cassius M. Clay (search for this): chapter 8
to live out their lives under the pitiful inferiority of not being Garrison. For instance, Cassius M. Clay of Kentucky went to Yale College, and was, as a youth, converted to Anti-slavery by a lecture of Garrison's at New Haven. Clay returned to Kentucky, emancipated his slaves, and thereafter made relentless war on slavery, thus furnishing, say Garrison's biographers, an example without parallst slavery in Kentucky? It seems to me that to do so was right. I believe that the agitation of Clay in Kentucky somehow went to a spot in the slavery question that nothing else could have reached. fected Garrison himself as nothing else ever affected him: it softened him. It was the conduct of Clay and Rankin (another Southerner) which caused Garrison to offer a resolution at the Cincinnati consake of using strong language. Garrison, then, was touched by the almost miraculous courage of Clay. If there had been a few more such Southern Abolitionists, the bitterness of this whole epoch mi
Oliver Cromwell (search for this): chapter 8
uld produce a text to fit a political emergency with such startling felicity as Garrison. Take for example, the text provided by him for Wendell Phillips's speech on the Sunday morning following Lincoln's call for troops in 1861. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberty everyone to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine. I doubt whether Cromwell or Milton could have rivaled Garrison in this field of quotation; and the power of quotation is as dreadful a weapon as any which the human intellect can forge. From his boyhood upward Garrison's mind was soaked in the Bible and in no other book. His Causes are all drawn from the Bible, and most of them may be traced to the phrases and thoughts of Christ, as for instance Peace (Peace I give unto you), Perfectionism (Be ye therefore perfect), Non-resistance (Resist not evil), Anti-sabbata
John C. Fremont (search for this): chapter 8
had not the mental training to perceive this, and to do so would have involved his retirement from the camp to the closet: it would have involved his being someone else. Suffice it to say that from time to time his nature drew a veil over his theories, and so obscured them that he was able to support the Constitution of the United States, to rejoice in bloodshed, to take active part in political contests,--both in the great occasional National elections (as when he came out for Lincoln or Fremont), and in the continuous petty politics of the Anti-slavery cause. After having supported one of these human institutions with zeal, and having justified his conduct with facile and selfdeceiving casuistry, he would again ascend the mountain, the veil would be withdrawn from his intellect, and he would see his true vision once more and proclaim it with renewed fervor: the vision, namely, that no institution should be held sacred. Let us now look upon Garrison's dealings with Anti-slav
himself, was not going to be bound, and never was bound, by any declaration nor by any document. He even arrived at distrusting the Bible itself, perceiving that the Bible itself was often a tyrant — much as Christ saw the tyranny of the law of Moses. All this part of Garrison's mental activity is his true vocation. Here he rages like a lion of Judah. By these onslaughts he is freeing people from their mental bonds: he is shaking down the palaces of Babylon. His age was the age of sociamade vigilance essential. He might be outvoted, his newspaper might be taken from him, his control might be destroyed at any juncture. He is obliged, at intervals, to throw himself into the intrigue of Anti-slavery government, with the words of Moses on his lips and some vote-getting, hall-packing device in his mind. This was not true of the earliest years of the movement; but came about through the mighty logic of natural law as the movement spread. Persecution purifies any new religion.
he deep apothegm of the sage, and the words of Christ, are ever on his lips. Such things pass muste may be traced to the phrases and thoughts of Christ, as for instance Peace (Peace I give unto you)rough organization, nor how far the sayings of Christ were parts of one another, nor whether at the eling as to who should be greatest even during Christ's lifetime. As soon as any organization is foway a man speaks who feels as Christ felt. If Christ's way of feeling be right, there is something uld you see as clearly, feel as keenly, as did Christ. Your calmness is only possible because your t mild gentlemen those Pharisees were, to whom Christ used such strong language. How inoffensive ths probably were, we shall have to confess that Christ's rebuke fell on men whose faults were mild cocalp. Now in all these cases — in the case of Christ, of the Abolitionists, and of the denouncers onception. His utterances are not always, like Christ's, lyrical utterances; they are calculated att[3 more...]
John S. Wise (search for this): chapter 8
the horrors of slavery, and taught their children not to see them; they glossed them over, as the inevitable unpleasantnesses of life are always glossed over. John S. Wise was a typical child of the South, save that he had a Northern mother. He was the son of Henry A. Wise, the famous Governor of Virginia, and he has given us a book of memoirs, The end of an era, which will be read as long as the Civil War is remembered. John S. Wise had never heard of a slave-auction, till a Northern uncle, whom he met or visited in Philadelphia, took him to see Uncle Tom's Cabin on the stage. This was in the fifties, and when John S. Wise was a young lad. On returniJohn S. Wise was a young lad. On returning to Richmond he visited a slave-auction, and was as much horrified as a Northern boy would have been. The horrors of slavery were unknown to the South, and ten times more unknown to the North, when the Abolitionists discovered them. I have noticed in recent years one or two denunciations of business wickedness, in which a fi
Wendell Phillips (search for this): chapter 8
Bible so well, or could produce a text to fit a political emergency with such startling felicity as Garrison. Take for example, the text provided by him for Wendell Phillips's speech on the Sunday morning following Lincoln's call for troops in 1861. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberto politics. ... It is disheartening to see that every blow we strike thus tells in a degree against ourselves, and yet duty bids us keep on striking. It is Wendell Phillips who in this passage is accurately describing the operation of a great law of influence, and who yet seems to see in it merely evidence of human perversity. wer of enjoyment which Garrison possessed he shared with all, or almost all, the Abolitionists; their work made them happy. I have seen him intimately, said Wendell Phillips, 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 h
Henry Clay (search for this): chapter 8
may turn over Garrison's utterances and pick out the lyrical from the political by the light of his own feeling. In doing so he will find himself forgiving more, the more he becomes acquainted with Garrison's world. The following words about Henry Clay seem cruel: Henry Clay — with one foot in the grave, and just ready to have body and soul cast into Hell — as if eager to make his damnation doubly sure, rises in the United States Senate and proposes an inquiry into the expediency of passing yHenry Clay — with one foot in the grave, and just ready to have body and soul cast into Hell — as if eager to make his damnation doubly sure, rises in the United States Senate and proposes an inquiry into the expediency of passing yet another law, by which every one who shall dare peep or mutter against the execution of the Fugitive Slave Law shall have his life crushed out. When we learn, however, that the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 provided that the negro in Massachusetts might be identified through the mere affidavit of the slaveholder agent; that the slave could not testify himself; that there was no trial by jury; that the commissioner's fee was doubled if the slaveholder prevailed; that the bystander could be sum
Theodore D. Weld (search for this): chapter 8
like the following from the Charleston Courier in 1825: Twenty dollars reward. Ran away from the subscriber, on the 14th instant, a negro girl named Molly. She is 16 or 17 years of age, slim made, lately branded on her left cheek, thus, R, and a piece is taken off her left ear on the same side; the same letter is branded on the inside of both her legs. Abner Ross Fairfield District, S. C. Let any serious-minded man read a few pages of the Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, or of Theodore D. Weld's book on American Slavery, before he decides to discountenance strong language. The people of the South did not know about the horrors of slavery, and taught their children not to see them; they glossed them over, as the inevitable unpleasantnesses of life are always glossed over. John S. Wise was a typical child of the South, save that he had a Northern mother. He was the son of Henry A. Wise, the famous Governor of Virginia, and he has given us a book of memoirs, The end of an er
John C. Calhoun (search for this): chapter 8
Chapter 7: the man of action In calling up the spirit of Garrison out of the irrecoverable past we must never forget that he was but a part of something;we must call up the whole epoch. Garrison was as much an outcome of slavery as was Uncle Tom's Cabin or John C. Calhoun. He is a spiritual product; he is that suppressed part of man's nature, which could not co-exist with slavery. He is like a fiery salamander, who should emerge during 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 record is complete. His life in four enormous volumes
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