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Chapter 5: Texas.—1845.

Garrison joins in the Massachusetts movement of the conscience Whigs against the annexation of Texas, but their disunionism oozes away after the event.

Formal assent to the Disunion doctrine was given, with a will, by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery1 Society at its annual meeting in January, 1845. As a2 consequence of this action, Ellis Gray Loring resigned his place on the Board of Officers. ‘Poor Garrison,’ exulted the Boston Post, “who appears to be broken down, mentally and physically, has taken such a rabid course that he is driving from him some of those who have heretofore been his most active supporters.” Lib. 15.19. Mr. Loring hastened to notify this Democratic sheet that the alienation was not personal:
Not concurring in the “ disunion” doctrines adopted by the3 Society, I thought I should misrepresent it by remaining an officer; but it is painful to me to have it intimated that an honest difference on a single point of duty could drive Mr. Garrison and me asunder. On other points we cooperate; and never, during the fourteen years in which I have been honored by his friendship, have I felt for him a deeper attachment and respect.4 I cannot accept even an implied compliment at the expense of one whose past services and present value to the cause of human freedom I feel to be unequalled.

Elsewhere, the Liberator's cry, ‘No Union with Slaveholders!’ (now printed weekly at the head of the paper) was caught up and re-echoed in the abolition ranks—by the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society, in5 February; by a vast majority of the Eastern Pennsylvania [135] Anti-Slavery Society at Kennett, in August. In Ohio, the6 Anti-Slavery Bugle was founded as the disunion organ of the Ohio American Anti-Slavery Society.7

The levers of disunion ready to the hands of the Massachusetts abolitionists were the recent expulsions of the8 State's delegates from South Carolina and Louisiana, and the impending annexation of Texas. At the annual meeting just referred to, Wendell Phillips reported9 resolves that the Governor should demand of the Federal Executive an enforcement of the Constitution, and the maintenance of Mr. Hoar's right to reside in Charleston; in default of which the Legislature should authorize the Governor to proclaim the Union at an end, recall the Congressional delegation, and provide for the State's foreign relations. This was the logic of the situation. So far as Massachusetts (or any free State) was concerned, South Carolina had dissolved the Union: Federal rights were disregarded in her borders, the Federal laws were subordinate or inoperative, Federal protection could have been exercised only by force and at the cost of a civil war. There could be no better occasion for weighing the value of the Union, or for taking the initiative in peaceable separation as advocated by the abolitionists. But no other class or party in the State was equal to this simple and manly procedure. Governor Briggs's messages in10 regard to Messrs. Hoar and Hubbard were unexceptionable in tone and temper, rhetorically considered; but they meant nothing and could effect nothing, since disunion was the only remedy. The Legislature did, indeed, pass the equally unexceptionable joint resolves prepared by11 Charles Francis Adams, suggesting retaliation with reference to South Carolina; but no enactment followed, nor, notoriously, could any such have been sustained in the Federal courts.

The same paralysis befell the political opposition to the annexation of Texas. Governor and Legislature pledged12 Massachusetts anew to the position that annexation would have no binding force on her. But how would it have no [136] binding force? Texas once in the Union, would laws passed by the aid of her representatives be resisted? No one not an abolitionist ever advocated any measure of irreconcilability—so to call it—except Henry Wilson in the Massachusetts Senate. His proposal, to “provide by law that the moment a man held as a slave in Texas stepped upon the soil of Massachusetts, his liberty should be as sacred as his life,” Wilson's Rise and Fall of Slave Power, 1.637; Lib. 15.39, 77. and to ‘make it a high crime to molest him,’ fell dead, and was, in fact, though well meant, absurd, either as a practicable mode of opposition or as a quid pro quo, even supposing the whole North to have taken this stand along with Massachusetts. The truth was, slavery was dragging the country down an inclined plane, and there was no escape but by cutting the rope that bound the North to the South. The impracticable politicians of all parties, therefore, who struggled against the inevitable, while refusing to look facts in the face, filled the year at which we have now arrived with the emptiest of empty words.

On January 29, an Anti-Texas Convention was held in13 Faneuil Hall.14 Edmund Quincy, writing the next day to Richard Webb, said of it:

It was called by political gentlemen, mostly Whigs, not by15 abolitionists. It was very fully attended, and the galleries were crowded. Garrison was made a delegate from his ward by the16 influence of F. Jackson. Phillips could not be elected, to our17 great grief. The Convention only put forth an Address,18 protesting against annexation, and appointed a Committee of Correspondence; on the ground that they would not suppose [137] the possibility of annexation until it was done, and that then would be soon enough to take further measures. If they do this, it will be well; if not, the Convention will be a farce.

The anti-slavery spirit of the Convention was surprising. The Address and the speeches of the gentlemen, not abolitionists, were such as caused Garrison to be mobbed ten years ago, and such as we thought thorough three or four years ago. There were no qualifications, or excuses, or twaddle. What it is a sign of, I don't know, but it must be of good in some way. I send you a paper or two containing the account of the Convention. Garrison was received with more enthusiasm than any man, on his first appearance, and carried the house with him while he spoke, though they would not accept his proposition.

So Wendell Phillips, writing to Elizabeth Pease:

Well, Texas, you'll see, is coming in. We always said it would, and were laughed at. Garrison grew popular and was19 chosen a delegate to the Convention here, quite unanimously in his ward—made a great speech—created the most stir in the whole matter—was rapturously applauded. The fact is, there were many abolitionists in the body, and when men get together, however little they may desire to act themselves, they do relish strong talk.

So Charles Sumner, writing to Judge Story:20

The debates in the Convention were most interesting. I21 never heard Garrison before. He spoke with natural eloquence. Hillard spoke exquisitely. His words descended in a golden22 shower; but Garrison's fell in fiery rain. It seemed doubtful, at one time, if the abolitionists would not succeed in carrying the Convention. Their proposals were voted down; though a very respectable number of the Convention were in favor of a dissolution of the Union in the event of the annexation of Texas.

Mr. Garrison's share in the proceedings was effective in two particulars. He secured for the Convention a chance to criticise the address before it was issued, and he had the Committee of Correspondence enlarged so as to include members of the Democratic Party. His speech, delivered in the evening, was to second a motion made in the23 afternoon by the Rev. Joseph C. Lovejoy of Cambridge (a [138] brother of the martyr), of this tenor: that the threatened extension of the area of slavery would release the North from all obligations to that piratical institution, whether, to return fugitive slaves or to suppress insurrections. He was received, on rising, with ‘deafening cheers,’ and offered an additional resolution, in these words:

That, in view of the fact that two branches of the Government have already declared their wish and concurrence in the project of annexation, we deem it our duty distinctly to declare what ought to be, and what we have faith to believe will be, the course of Massachusetts, should the infamous plan be consummated. Deeming the act utterly unconstitutional and void, we declare that the people of this Commonwealth will never submit to it as the law of the land, but look upon the Union as dissolved, and proceed to form a new government for herself and such of the free States as will aid her in carrying out the great purposes of our fathers in behalf of civil liberty. And we call upon the several towns of the Commonwealth, whenever the President shall announce that Texas is annexed to this Union, immediately to assemble and choose delegates for a second session of this Convention, which shall take measures for the formation of a new Union with such States as do not tolerate domestic slavery—the Union of 1789 having then ceased to exist. Lib. 15.18.

The mover sustained this resolution with unpremeditated remarks which the daily press pronounced24 treasonable. He recalled a similar convention on the admission of Missouri, whose protest was embodied by Webster in an address. ‘That movement ended in words, words. Did they mean,’ asked Mr. Garrison, ‘to act that farce over again?’ Charles Francis Adams objected to jeoparding united action by any such radical proposition, and both the Lovejoy and Garrison resolutions were laid on the25 table.

Months passed, during which inaction on the part of the North paved the way to the catastrophe, and sapped the26 courage of the resistants—the political and ‘practical’ resistants. William H. Seward, in a public letter to Salmon P. Chase, submitted in advance to the inevitable 27 annex [139] ation of Texas, repudiating disunion. His counter measure was to enlarge the area of freedom—as if the South did not provide for that by coupling the admission of a slave State with that of a free State. Already, in February, Florida had been thus admitted into the Union, paired with28 Iowa, in spite of the intense Northern feeling against more slave States aroused in the case of Texas; in spite, too, of the Florida Constitution making slavery perpetual,29 and authorizing the Legislature to forbid the landing of30 any colored seaman—the toleration of which by Congress was a virtual approval of the action of South Carolina towards Mr. Hoar. Yet still Mr. Seward contended— “We must resist unceasingly the admission of slave States, and demand the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia” Lib. 15.113.; and he even dreamed, when one independent Congress had been elected, that the ‘internal slave-trade may be subjected to inquiry. Amendments to the Constitution will be initiated.’ Robert C. Winthrop made his surrender on the Fourth of July, and in Faneuil Hall, toasting, in famous words, “Our country . . . however bounded; . . . to be cherished in all our hearts, to be defended by all our hands” Lib. 15.118.—an abasement which accepted war with Mexico, along with that spread of slave territory which he had hitherto strenuously opposed. In the same hall of heroic memories the Whig State Convention in October withdrew from the opposition, and left31 the Constitutional question to the Supreme Court of the United States! Governor Slade of Vermont could no longer urge his State to take, unsupported, an unrelenting attitude, and sought comfort in the illusion that32 the entrance of Texas into the Union would make slavery a national institution as never before, and expose it to attack as such. Webster, accusing the Liberty Party33 (by its defeat of Clay) of having procured annexation, hoped, or professed to hope, the consummation might yet be averted; as Charles Francis Adams, seeing34 nothing further left, and disregarding the example of Florida, vainly looked for some modification of the pro-slavery [140] Constitution of Texas. Abbott Lawrence and Nathan Appleton, ex-members of Congress, not only desisted from opposition35 to a deed actually accomplished, but rebuked those of their colleagues whose conscience and36 zeal outran their discretion as ‘practical men.’

Meantime in Massachusetts a mass meeting for37 Middlesex County had been called at Concord to consider the encroachments of the Slave Power. Hardly a Liberty Party man was present, but Mr. Garrison again38 endeavored to inspire his Whig political associates with his doctrine of action—to proceed as if they meant it when they declared the admission of Texas would be the dissolution of the Union:

‘Sir,’ he said,

I know how nearly alone we shall be. An39 overwhelming majority of the whole people are prepared to endorse this horrible deed of Texan annexation. The hearts of the few who hate it are giving way in despair; the majority have got the mastery. Shall we therefore retreat, acknowledge ourselves conquered, and fall into the ranks of the victors? Shall we agree that it is idle, insane, to contend for the right any longer?

Sir, I dreaded, almost, when I heard this Convention called. I will be frank with you. I am afraid you are not ready to do your duty; and if not, you will be made a laughing-stock by tyrants and their tools; and it ought to be so.

I have nothing to say, Sir—nothing. I am tired of words —tired of hearing strong things said, where there is no heart to carry them out. When we are prepared to state the whole truth, and die for it, if necessary—when, like our fathers, we are prepared to take our ground, and not shrink from it, counting not our lives dear unto us—when we are prepared to let all earthly hopes go by the board—then let us say so; till then, the less we say, the better, in such an emergency as this. [141]

“But who are we,” will men ask, “that talk of such things? Are we enough to make a revolution?” No, Sir; but we are enough to begin one, and, once begun, it never can be turned back. I am for revolution, were I utterly alone. I am there because I must be there. I must cleave to the right. I cannot choose but obey the voice of God. Now, there are but few who do not cling to their agreement with hell, and obey the voice of the devil. But soon the number who shall resist will be multitudinous as the stars of heaven.

In the beginning, what a gross absurdity did our fathers exhibit!—trying to do what is not in the power of God—to reconcile the irreconcilable—to make Slavery and Freedom mingle and cohere! It can never be. Look at the lover of freedom and the advocate of slavery, the slaveholder and the abolitionist, at this day. Do they acknowledge the same God? Do they worship at the same shrine? A government composed of both is impossible; and he who would pass for a lover of freedom, should have found it out. Do not tell me of our past union, and for how many years we have been one. We were only one while we were ready to hunt, shoot down, and deliver up the slave, and allow the Slave Power to form an oligarchy on the floor of Congress! The moment we say no to this, the Union ceases—the Government falls.

The question now is, Shall there longer remain any freemen in this country?—for, of course, if we continue with the South, standing with her and by her, in her aggressions upon Mexico; if we see her taking foreign territory to herself, and yet aid her in retaining it; we are as bad as she—betrayers of our sacred trust of freedom, and forgers of our own chains.

I thank God that, as has been stated by you, Sir, we stand on common ground here to-day. I pray God that party and sect may not be remembered. I trust the only question we shall feel like asking each other is, Are we prepared to stand by the cause of God and Liberty, and to have no Union with slaveholders?

The meeting was adjourned to Cambridge, where it40 attracted a small popular attendance, and again adjourned41 till October 21. Mr. Garrison spoke on both occasions,42 and on the latter the following resolution, of his moving, was adopted:

That should the perfidious and illegal act of Texan43 annexation be consummated at the next session of Congress, it will [142] be the constitutional duty of the Legislature of Massachusetts promptly to declare, in the name of the people, that such act is null and void, and can never receive their sanction, be the consequences what they may.

Mr. C. F. Adams again objected to such an affirmation44 on the part of the meeting, because it could not unite all, though the resolution merely echoed his own utterances in the Legislature, and that body's agreement with him. He confessed sadly to have learned that the people at large were not behind him, that they were divided, and that a low tone must be adopted towards them. In other words, a right public sentiment had to be created, and to that end Wendell Phillips, while approving his friend's resolution, at the same time urged that a committee be formed. ‘As to disunion,’ he remarked, “it must and will come. Calhoun wants it at one end of the UnionGarrison wants it at the other. It is written in the counsels of God. Meantime, let all classes and orders and interests unite in using the present hour to prevent the consummation of this annexation of Texas.” Lib. 15.177.

A State Anti-Texas Committee resulted from a mass45 meeting held in Faneuil Hall on November 4, with Charles Francis Adams in the chair; the stirring resolutions being offered by John G. Palfrey, the Massachusetts Secretary of State. At the head of this committee stood Mr. Adams, and Mr. Garrison was among his colleagues, consenting ‘to become a member of the Committee as an experiment,46 and to help more clearly to demonstrate the futility of any and every attempt to assail slavery in its incidents and details. The Slave Power must be attacked and vanquished openly, as such, and no quarter given to it either in the gross or in part. To this conclusion, we are happy to say, the Committee unanimously came; and this47 is a sign of the times of no ordinary significance. In what mode it is best to assail that power, the Committee could not as unanimously agree; but we are every hour more deeply convinced that there is but one mode and one alternative presented to the people of the free States, and [143] that is, to have no religious, no political Union with slaveholders. On this ground we stand ready to unite again with Whigs, Democrats, and Liberty men; but on nothing short of this can we see any utility in attempting to make effectual resistance to the encroachments of Slavery.’

Senate and House at Washington had, on the last day of48 February, 1845, agreed upon the joint resolution prescribing the terms of admission for Texas; Tyler sped the news49 with indecent haste, considering the nearness of his successor in office; the Mexican minister at the capital50 withdrew; the new President, Polk, made his disposition of forces by land and sea to deter Mexico from asserting in51 arms her claims to the territory of Texas, and at the same time began to negotiate for the purchase of California. When Congress assembled, the House was in no humor52 to entertain memorials against the admission of Texas, nor was John Quincy Adams disposed to struggle against a foregone conclusion. Stephen A. Douglas's resolution to admit Texas was promptly passed by a majority of five53 to two, and the Senate confirmed it (on Forefathers' Day)54 by a majority of nearly three to one. The year closed amid general despondency at the North in all anti-slavery breasts except those of the abolitionists. ‘Apparently,’55 wrote Mr. Garrison to Richard Webb, with reference to annexation, ‘the slaveholding power has never been so strong—has never seemed to be so invincible—has never held such complete mastery over the whole country—has never so successfully hurled defiance at the Eternal and Just One—as at the present time; and yet never has it in reality been so weak, never has it had so many uncompromising assailants, never has it been so filled with doubt and consternation, never has it been so near its downfall, as at this moment. Upon the face of it, this statement looks absurdly paradoxical; but it is true, nevertheless. We are groping in thick darkness; but it is that darkest hour which is said to precede the dawn of day.’56 And Edmund Quincy notified the same correspondent in [144] regard to Garrison—“He is in good spirits,. . . . as he always is, and as we all have a trick of being. Mrs. Follen says that when she wants to be put in spirits, she goes among the abolitionists, and there she is sure to find cheerfulness, wit, humor, and fun. And who should be cheerful and merry, in this country, except the abolitionists?” Eliza Lee Follen.

There can be no doubt that the acquisition of Texas hastened the overthrow of the Slave Power, by making it over-confident, by fostering dreams of an indefinite Southern expansion in case of separation from the North, by training the hot youth of the South to arms when Mexico was invaded and reduced—yet training not only Jefferson Davis, Lee, ‘StonewallJackson, the two Johnstons, and so many other future chiefs of the Confederate army, but also Grant, Thomas, Meade, Hancock, and their fellow-emancipationists of the Federal army; above all, by enlarging with the national domain the points of contact between free and slave institutions, involving fresh conflicts and compromises—perpetual irritation of the national sore.57 It also surely effected the division of the North into two political camps, by the open, shameless and final alliance of the Democratic Party with the Slave Power, for the sake of ‘an unchanging ascendancy’ in58 national politics. For some time yet the Whig label would not necessarily connote a supporter of slavery; but with the Democratic label it was otherwise. From 1845 it meant nothing but complete subserviency to the mandates of the Southern oligarchy.

True to his instincts as a universal reformer, Mr. Garrison had varied his anti-slavery discourse with speeches59 before legislative committees and before conventions or simple meetings against capital punishment; or in favor60 of temperance and peace; on the Sabbath and on public61 worship. His progress towards greater theological enlightenment [145] was manifested in his treatment of Theodore Parker's heresies, at a time when the preacher's own denomination could not even tolerate a Unitarian62 clergyman who would exchange pulpits with him. Mr. Garrison was not shocked by the denial of a superhuman nature or attributes to Jesus. The pother, he declared, was caused by Mr. Parkers disbelief in the miraculous; yet, “surely, the obligations and duties of man to his fellow-man and to God are in no degree affected by the question whether miracles were wrought in Judea or not, with whatever interest that question may be invested.” Lib. 15.55. Later in the year, the publication of a Boston edition of the theological works of Thomas Paine brought the volume to him for review. His reception of it was characteristic:

Until it was put into our hands a few days since, it had so63 happened that we had never perused a single page or paragraph64 of all the writings of Mr. Paine, whether theological or political. We were educated to regard him as a monster of iniquity, and were therefore intimidated in early life from seeking an acquaintance with his opinions and doctrines as expressed by himself, without priestly distortion or caricature. Since we have been delivered from the thraldom of tradition and authority, we have had no opportunity to examine any of Mr. Paine's sentiments respecting the Bible and Christianity, until the present time. His works are before us; we have given them a candid and careful perusal; and, though it may not be politic for us to do so, we feel in duty bound to state the impressions we have received.

To the length of a full column of the Liberator Mr. Garrison proceeded with his judgment of Paine (whose65 anticipation of his favorite motto was still unknown to him), finding in him a great intellect and reasoning power, who attacked the marvellous in the Bible rather than its morality; an honest man, having the courage of his convictions; one who always addressed the reason and never the fears of his audience—as would appear from sundry citations.

Of the millions who profess to believe in the Bible as the66 inspired word of God, how few there are who have had the [146] wish or the courage to know on what ground they have formed their opinion! They have been taught that, to allow a doubt to arise in their minds on this point, would be sacrilegious, and to put in peril their salvation. They must believe in the plenary inspiration of the “sacred volume,” or they are “infidels,” who will justly deserve to be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.” Imposture may always be suspected when reason is commanded to abdicate the throne; when investigation is made a criminal act; when the bodies or spirits of men are threatened with pains and penalties if they do not subscribe to the popular belief; when appeals are made to human credulity, and not to the understanding.

Now, nothing can be more consonant to reason than that the more valuable a thing is, the more it will bear to be examined. If the Bible be, from Genesis to Revelation, divinely inspired, its warmest partisans need not be concerned as to its fate. It is to be examined with the same freedom as any other book, and taken precisely for what it is worth. It must stand or fall on its own inherent qualities, like any other volume. To know what it teaches, men must not stultify themselves, nor be made irrational by a blind homage. Their reason must be absolute in judgment, and act freely, or they cannot know the truth. They are not to object to what is simply incomprehensible—because no man can comprehend how it is that the sun gives light, or the acorn produces the oak; but what is clearly monstrous, or absurd, or impossible, cannot be endorsed by reason, and can never properly be made a test of religious faith, or an evidence of moral character.

To say that everything contained within the lids of the67 Bible is divinely inspired, and to insist upon the dogma as fundamentally important, is to give utterance to a bold fiction, and to require the suspension of the reasoning faculties. To say that everything in the Bible is to be believed, simply because it is found in that volume, is equally absurd and pernicious. It is the province of reason to “search the scriptures,” and determine what in them is true, and what false—what is probable, and what incredible—what is historically true, and what fabulous—what is compatible with the happiness of mankind, and what ought to be rejected as an example or rule of action—what is the letter that killeth, and what the spirit that maketh alive. When the various books of the Bible were written, or by whom they were written, no man living can tell. This is purely a matter of conjecture; and as conjecture is no [147] certainty, it ceases to be authoritative. Nor is it of vast consequence, in the eye of reason, whether they to whom the Bible is ascribed wrote it or not; whether Paul was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, or of any other Epistle which is attributed to him; whether Moses wrote the Pentateuch, or Joshua the history of his own exploits, or David the Psalms, or Solomon the Proverbs; or whether the real authors were some unknown persons. “What is writ, is writ,” and it must stand or fall by the test of just criticism, by its reasonableness and utility, by the probabilities of the case, by historical confirmation, by human experience and observation, by the facts of science, by the intuition of the spirit. Truth is older than any parchment, and would still exist though a universal conflagration should consume all the books in the world. To discard a portion of scripture is not necessarily to reject the truth, but may be the highest evidence that one can give of his love of truth.

Towards midsummer the art of phonography alighted in Boston, with Andrews and Boyle for its apostles and68 teachers. It found a cordial welcome in the Liberator. Mr. Garrison recalled his first visit to England in 1833,69 and his regret that his ignorance of any language but his own overruled his desire to cross to the Continent; how, on his second visit, in 1840, the need of a universal language for mankind was again impressed upon him at Bowring's table, when he could hold no conversation70 directly with Isambert and the other French delegates to the World's Convention, so that at the Crown and Anchor71 soiree he had to ‘testify against the existing diversity of tongues among mankind,’ to him so ‘unnatural, fraudulent, afflictive, insupportable.’ Phonography seemed a long stride towards the desideratum, as promising to ‘render each national dialect simple and exact,’ and make easy ‘the transition from many rectified languages to one pure language.’ With millennial hopefulness, he repeated his belief that some then living would witness a world's convention ‘either to devise a common language, or to provide ways and means for the universal propagation of such a language.’ [148]

The fancied every-day uses of the art he thus pictured in a letter to S. J. May:

My attention has recently been drawn to the subject of72 Phonography and Phonotypy, and I want you, as a friend of universal reform, to look into it; for I am persuaded you will be delighted with it, as I have been. It is a new system of writing and printing, invented by Mr. Isaac Pitman, a teacher in Bath, England, by which the ignorant masses may be taught to read and write in an almost incredibly short space of time— compressing the labor of months into weeks, and of years into months. As a teacher and a scholar, you know how monstrous and endless are the absurdities and perplexities of English orthography, and how laborious is the ordinary mode of writing. But here is a system devised which brings order out of chaos, makes everything plain, simple, consistent, and infallibly sure, surpasses stenography in the rapidity of writing, and is perhaps next in importance to the discovery of printing in the fifteenth century. It is making great progress in England, and is receiving in this quarter a strong impetus. Several hundred persons in this city (a large number of school-teachers included) have already taken lessons in it, among whom I am one. Our teacher is Mr. Augustus F. Boyle, an English young gentleman, who has been teaching the French language for the last three years, and who enters into this new reform with zeal and spirit. He will probably hand this letter to you, as he leaves immediately to attend a convention of teachers which is to be held in a few days in Syracuse. As he will be able to give you all the information you may desire in regard to this matter, I need not add any more. I understand Mr. Peirce, of the Normal School,73 is much interested in it. This evening we meet to form an American Phonographic Society.

Of this Society Mr. Garrison became an officer, and his74 friend May was quickly made president of the branch75 organization established in Syracuse. Anyone who has ever attempted phonography will correctly surmise that Mr. Garrison, with his multiplicity of cares and engagements, and his rigid and laborious, if elegant, penmanship, never acquired the art he dabbled in. Its utility to the abolition cause was the one thing that escaped his prophetic vision. It enormously increased the audience [149] of every anti-slavery speaker whose words were worth quoting verbatim. An orator like Wendell Phillips76 quickly appreciated the fact that he was addressing, not merely the little handful of the faithful who were gathered before him, but a bench of reporters for the local daily press, in addition to the official phonographer of the Liberator and the Standard.77 These reports the telegraph by and by dispersed to all the newspapers in the country.

1 Lib. 15.19.

2 Jan. 24-26, 1845.

3 Lib. 15.19.

4 On Jan. 11, Mr. Garrison acknowledged a New Year's gift of twenty dollars from Mrs. Loring, renewing one of the year before (Ms.).

5 Feb. 5-7, 1845; Lib. 15.33.

6 Aug. 11-13; Lib. 15.135, 142.

7 Lib. 15.109.

8 Ante, pp. 130, 131.

9 Lib. 15.19.

10 Lib. 15.7, 25.

11 Lib. 15.25, 39.

12 Lib. 15.6, 26, 31.

13 Lib. 15.18.

14Mr. Webster united in the Convention,’ and ‘consulted with and assisted Stephen C. Phillips, Charles Allen, and Charles Francis Adams, in preparing the Address of the Convention—an address filled with noble sentiments of hostility to slavery domination’ (Henry Wilson in the Massachusetts Senate, 1852; Lib. 22.41). ‘I remember that when, in 1845, the present leaders of the Free Soil Party, with Daniel Webster in their company, met to draw up the Anti-Texas Address of the Massachusetts Convention, they sent to abolitionists for anti-slavery facts and history, for the remarkable testimonies of our Revolutionary great men which they wished to quote’ (Wendell Phillips, speech before the Mass. A. S. Society, Jan. 27, 1853; Lib. 23: 26). See Chas. Sumner's Life, 2: 331.

15 Ms. Jan. 30, 1845.

16 Lib. 15.23.

17 W. Phillips.

18 Lib. 15.22.

19 Ms. Feb. 24, 1845.

20 Feb. 5, 1845.

21 Life of Sumner, 2.331.

22 G. S. Hillard.

23 Lib. 15.18.

24 Lib. 15.23.

25 Lib. 15.18.

26 Lib. 15.82.

27 Lib. 15.113.

28 Lib. 15.34, 39.

29 Lib. 15.39.

30 Lib. 15.54.

31 Lib. 15.162.

32 Lib. 15.170.

33 Lib. 15.182.

34 Lib. 15.185; cf. 206.

35 On March 25, 1837, Mr. Lawrence wrote to his constituents: ‘The independence of this infant nation [Texas] has already been recognized by our Government. The next movement of the friends of Texas will be its annexation to the United States. . . . Should their object be attained, where will be the patronage and Executive power of the Government? Will it not be gone, forever departed, from the free States? Let us maintain the Constitution in letter and spirit as we received it from our fathers, and resist every attempt at the acquisition of territory to be inhabited by slaves’ (Hill's Memoir of Abbott Lawrence, p. 21).

36 Lib. 15.194.

37 Lib. 15.146; Sept. 22, 1845.

38 Lib. 15.154.

39 Lib. 15.158.

40 Oct. 7.

41 Lib. 15.163.

42 Lib. 15.163, 174.

43 Lib. 15.174.

44 Lib. 15.177.

45 Lib. 15.178.

46 Lib. 16.19.

47 Lib. 16.17.

48 Lib. 15.18, 38, 39.

49 Mar. 3, 1845; Lib. 17.162.

50 Lib. 15.43, 54.

51 Lib. 15.197.

52 Lib. 15:[202].

53 Lib. 15.206.

54 Dec. 22, 1845; Lib. 16.2.

55 Ms. Mar. 1, 1845.

56 Ms. Mar. 29, 1845.

57 Thomas Corwin correctly predicted that, ‘in the event of a cession of territory by Mexico to the United States, the question of the further extension of slavery must arise in a form which would necessarily array the North and the South against each other,’ and ultimately lead to a dissolution of the Union (Letter of Sept. 23, 1847; Lib. 17: 169).

58 Lib. 15.42.

59 Lib. 15.27, 31, 84, 92, 158;

60 Lib. 15.43, 115, 176;

61 Lib. 15.47, 148.

62 Lib. 15.55.

63 Lib. 15.186.

64 Ante, 1.219.

65 Ante, 1.219.

66 Lib. 15.186.

67 Cf. Lib. 18.186.

68 Stephen Pearl Andrews.

69 Lib. 15.110.

70 Ante, 2.378.

71 Ante, 2.384.

72 Ms. July 17, 1845.

73 Cyrus Peirce.

74 Lib. 15.132.

75 Lib. 15.140.

76 See the first phonographic report of a speech by Mr. Phillips, taken down by Henry M. Parkhurst in Boston, Dec. 29, 1846 (Lib. 17: 7), and the orator's testimony to the superiority of the new method of reporting (Lib. 17: 83).

77 The official report soon became a necessary self-defence against systematic caricature or neglect on the part of a hostile press. See Lib. 20: 95, 96, 98.

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