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To Miss Henrietta Sargent.

Why do you not write? Are you ill? “Are you sorry with me,” as the little French girl used to say; or what is the matter? I really hunger and thirst to hear from you. . .

My husband and I are busy in that most odious of all tasks, that of getting signatures to petitions. We are resolved that the business shall be done in this town more thoroughly than it has been heretofore. But, “Oh Lord, sir!”

I have never been so discouraged about abolition as since we came into this iron-bound Valley of the Connecticut. I have ceased to believe that public opinion will ever be sincerely reformed on the question till long after emancipation has taker place. I mean that for generations to come there will be a very large minority hostile to the claims of colored people; and the majority will be largely composed of [32] individuals who are found on that side from any and every motive rather than hearty sympathy with the down-trodden race. Public events, probably of the most unexpected character, will help along the desired result. The injudicious course of the South has identified the claims of emancipation and free discussion, and thus thousands have already been roused who care little or nothing for the poor slave. The stupidity and recklessness of Stevenson, in his mad encounter with O'Connell, have fairly laid before the gaze of Europe that most disgusting feature of slavery which abolitionists have been obliged to leave partially veiled, for decency's sake. What God is preparing for us along the Indian frontier, in Mexico, Cuba, and Hayti, I know not; but I think I see “coming events cast their shadows before.” We certainly have done all we could to secure the deadly hostility of the red man and the black man everywhere. I think God will overrule events to bring about a change, long before the moral sense of this nation demands it as a matter of justice and humanity. What would have become of the Protestant reformation in England (at least for several generations) if the Pope had acknowledged the legitimacy of Queen Elizabeth. She was as ready to be a Catholic as a Protestant, and a very large proportion of the people were favorable to their ancient form of worship, though they did not care enough about it to sacrifice important interests. God so ordered it that the Pope, desirous of supporting Mary Stuart's claim, and little foreseeing the result of his proceedings, denied the legitimacy of Elizabeth. She was obliged to throw herself on the Protestants, and, of course, carried with her the ambitious, the timid, and the time-serving.

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