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January 15th (search for this): chapter 21
of the slave-power had ended, and the North and the National Constitution had been divorced from all criminal connection with slavery. The anti-slavery agitation for the dissolution of the Union went on with increased zeal. A State convention, called by T. W. Higginson and others, to consider the practicability, probability, and expediency of a separation between the free and slave States, and to take such other measures as the condition of the times may require, met at Worcester, Mass., January 15, 1857, with Frank W. Bird in the chair, and William Lloyd Garrison among the vice-presidents. The pioneer's speech on the occasion was a characteristic and noteworthy utterance. Its tone throughout was grave and argumentative. Here is a specimen of it, and of the way in which he met the most serious objection to the Abolition movement for disunion : The air is filled with objections to a movement of this kind. I am neither surprised nor disquieted at this. One of these is of a
ins. Give me, as a non-resistant, Bunker Hill, and Lexington, and Concord, rather than the cowardice and servility of a Southern slave plantation. The unmistakable signs of disintegration, the swift action of the national tragedy, the Charleston Convention, the disruption of the Democratic party, the last bond between the North and the South, filled the heart of the pioneer with solemn joy. Only think of it! he exulted at the anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York, May 8, 1860; only think of it! the party which has for so many years cried out, There must be no agitation on this subject is now the most agitated of all the parties in the country. The party which declares that there ought not to be any sectionalism as against slavery, has now been sundered geographically, and on this very question! The party which had said, Let discussions cease forever, is busily engaged in the discussion, so that, possibly, the American Anti-Slavery Society might adj
December 2nd (search for this): chapter 21
the thirty years of moral agitation — a change so great indeed, that whereas, ten years since, there were thousands who could not endure my lightest word of rebuke of the South, they can now easily swallow John Brown whole and his rifle into the bargain. In firing his gun, he has merely told us what time of day it is. It is high noon, thank God! But there is another circumstance hardly less significant of another change at the North even more momentous than the one just noted. On December 2d, the day on which Brown was hung, solemn funeral observances were held throughout the North by Abolitionists. At the great meeting in Boston, held in Tremont Temple, and presided over by Samuel E. Sewall, Garrison inquired as to the number of non-resistants who were present. To this question there came a solitary reply. There was but one non-resistant beside himself in the hall. Where were his followers? Why had they forsaken their principles? The tide of Northern belligerency, whic
he jar from that battle-ax at the roots of the slave system hurled together in a death struggle right and wrong, freedom and slavery, in the republic. This attempt on the part of John Brown to liberate the slaves seemed to Garrison misguided, wild, and apparently insane, though disinterested and wellintended. On non-resistant grounds he deplored this use of the sword to effect emancipation, and condemned the leader. But, judging him according to the standard of Bunker Hill and the men of 1776, he did not doubt that Brown deserved to be held in grateful and honorable remembrance to the latest posterity, by all those who glory in the deeds of a Wallace or Tell, a Washington or Warren. The raid of Brown and his subsequent execution, and their reception at the North revealed how vast was the revolution in public sentiment on the slavery question which had taken place there, since the murder of Lovejoy, eighteen years before. Lovejoy died defending the right of free speech and the
orth and the men of the South came into actual physical collision in defence of their respective ideas and institutions. The possession of land is nine points of the law among Anglo-Saxons, and for this immense advantage both sides flung themselves into Kansas--the North by means of emigrant aid societies, the South by means of bands of Border ruffians under the direction of a United States Senator. It was distinctly understood and ordained in connection with the repeal of the compromise of 1820, that final possession of the Territories then thrown open to slave labor should be determined by the people inhabiting the same. In the contest for peopling Kansas the superior colonizing resources of the free States was presently made manifest. They, in any fair contest with ballots, had a majority of the polls, and were, therefore, able to vote slavery down. Worsted as the South clearly was in a show of heads, it threw itself back upon fraud and force to decide the issue in its favor.
rpose to aid us in the specific work we are striving to accomplish, namely, the dissolution of the Union, and the abolition of slavery throughout the land. While bating no jot of his anti-slavery principles, he all the same put in practice the apostolic injunction to give credit to whom credit is due, by cordially commending what he found worthy of commendation in the purpose and policy of the Republican party, and by urging a like conduct upon his followers. In the Presidential canvass of 1856 his sympathies went strongly with Fremont as against Buchanan and Fillmore, although his Abolition principles precluded him from voting for the Republican candidate or from urging his disciples to vote for him. But, barring this moral barrier, had he a million votes to bestow he would cast them all for Fr6mont . . . not because he is an Abolitionist or a Disunionist . . . but because he is for the non-extension of slavery, in common with the great body of the people of the North, whose attach
W. Higginson and others, to consider the practicability, probability, and expediency of a separation between the free and slave States, and to take such other measures as the condition of the times may require, met at Worcester, Mass., January 15, 1857, with Frank W. Bird in the chair, and William Lloyd Garrison among the vice-presidents. The pioneer's speech on the occasion was a characteristic and noteworthy utterance. Its tone throughout was grave and argumentative. Here is a specimen of he more peaceful it will be; but that peace or war is a secondary consideration in view of our present perils. Slavery must be conquered, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must. The projected general convention, owing to the monetary crisis of 1857, did not take place; but the extraordinary public excitement on the slavery question increased rather than diminished during the year. The increasing menace to the domination of the slave-power from this source had become so great that it was dee
October 16th, 1859 AD (search for this): chapter 21
ot endure permanently half slave and half free. The darkness and tumult of the rising tempest were advancing apace, when suddenly there burst from the national firmanent the first warning peal of thunder, and over Virginia there sped the first bolt of the storm. John Brown with his brave little band, at Harper's Ferry, had struck for the freedom of the slave. Tired of words, the believer in blood and iron as a deliverer, had crossed from Pennsylvania into Virginia on the evening of October 16, 1859, and seized the United States Armory at Harper's Ferry. Although soon overpowered, captured, tried, and hanged for his pains by the slave-power, the martyr had builded better than he knew. For the blow struck by him then and there ended almost abruptly the period of argument and ushered in the period of arms. The jar from that battle-ax at the roots of the slave system hurled together in a death struggle right and wrong, freedom and slavery, in the republic. This attempt on the p
e me, as a non-resistant, Bunker Hill, and Lexington, and Concord, rather than the cowardice and servility of a Southern slave plantation. The unmistakable signs of disintegration, the swift action of the national tragedy, the Charleston Convention, the disruption of the Democratic party, the last bond between the North and the South, filled the heart of the pioneer with solemn joy. Only think of it! he exulted at the anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York, May 8, 1860; only think of it! the party which has for so many years cried out, There must be no agitation on this subject is now the most agitated of all the parties in the country. The party which declares that there ought not to be any sectionalism as against slavery, has now been sundered geographically, and on this very question! The party which had said, Let discussions cease forever, is busily engaged in the discussion, so that, possibly, the American Anti-Slavery Society might adjourn sine
Frank W. Bird (search for this): chapter 21
ded, and the North and the National Constitution had been divorced from all criminal connection with slavery. The anti-slavery agitation for the dissolution of the Union went on with increased zeal. A State convention, called by T. W. Higginson and others, to consider the practicability, probability, and expediency of a separation between the free and slave States, and to take such other measures as the condition of the times may require, met at Worcester, Mass., January 15, 1857, with Frank W. Bird in the chair, and William Lloyd Garrison among the vice-presidents. The pioneer's speech on the occasion was a characteristic and noteworthy utterance. Its tone throughout was grave and argumentative. Here is a specimen of it, and of the way in which he met the most serious objection to the Abolition movement for disunion : The air is filled with objections to a movement of this kind. I am neither surprised nor disquieted at this. One of these is of a very singular nature, an
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