Chapter 1: ‘no union with non-slaveholders!’—1861.

The final resolve of the South to have no Union with nonslaveholding States creates a Union-saving panic in the North, and secures Republican assent in Congress to the most abject conditions of a restoration of the Status quo by Constitutional amendment, with explicit guarantees for the perpetuity of slavery. Concurrently, mob violence against the abolitionists breaks out afresh, with Wendell Phillips for its chief object in Boston. Garrison employs his pen actively against the compromising cowardice of Seward and other Republican leaders. He sides with the Federal Government as against the Constitutional pretences of the secessionists, but would seize the opportunity for a peaceable separation. He reviews President Lincoln's inaugural address with Anti-slavery fidelity. The attack on Sumter breaks the spell that has bound the North, and Garrison lends his full weight to the wave of public feeling which resists the overthrow of the Union. He counsels a temporary self-effacement of the abolitionists, and omits the anniversary meeting of the American Anti-slavery Society. He defends his consistency as a non-resistant and (for the benefit of his English friends) as an abolitionist in his support of the Government at this crisis. Nevertheless, he censures the President's revocation of a military edict of emancipation, and his wishy-washy message to Congress in December. He draws up a memorial to that body, praying for an abolition enactment with compensation to loyal slave-holders. He enforces John Quincy Adams's doctrine of the war powers of the Government over slavery, and, among his Liberator mottoes, substitutes for “ the United States Constitution is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell” the more timely “proclaim Liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof! ”

‘To me,’ wrote George Thompson to Mr. Garrison, on1 hearing of Lincoln's election,

it seems that the triumph just achieved has placed the cause in a new, a critical, and a trying position; demanding (if it be possible) additional vigilance, inflexible steadfastness to fundamental moral principles, and unrelaxed energy in the employment of anti-slavery means. You have now to grapple with the new doctrine of Republican conservatism, and will be called to contend with those in power who, having gained their object by the assistance derived from the abolition ranks, will use their power to repress, if not to punish, the spread of the true gospel of freedom. You have now to make genuine converts of those who have as yet only been baptized into the faith of non-extension, and whose zeal in that direction is mere white-man-ism. Forgetting the things that are behind, you have to reach forth to the things that are before, pressing towards the object you had in view when starting— the utter extermination of slavery wheresoever it may exist.

The fears of this sagacious observer were quickly justified. While the abolitionists, without pause, renewed in2 the fall their campaign of petitions for the perfecting (in a disunion sense) of the Massachusetts Personal Liberty [2] Law, leading Republican papers, like the Boston Journal and Transcript, and the Springfield Republican,—alarmed at once by the very success of the party in the national election, and by the rapid movement of the South towards3 secession,—earnestly advocated the repeal of the law. They were reenforced by an address to the people of the4 State signed by the weightiest members of the legal profession, as Judge Lemuel Shaw, ex-Judge Benjamin R. Curtis, Joel Parker, Sidney Bartlett, Theophilus Parsons, and by equally shining lights in the world of scholarship and letters, as George Ticknor, Jared Sparks, and the Rev. James Walker, President of Harvard College, by George Peabody, the Rev. George Putnam, ex-Governors Henry J. Gardner and Emory Washburn, and some thirty others, representing all parties. These citizens were moved (in the immoral jargon of that day) by a ‘sense of responsibility to God for the preservation and transmission of the priceless blessings of civil liberty and public order which his providence has bestowed upon us.’ They would repeal the Personal Liberty Law from their ‘love of right,’ ‘their sense of the sacredness of compacts.’ To their aid came George Ashmun, who had presided over the Chicago5 Convention that nominated Lincoln, and, in the last act of his truckling official life, Gov. N. P. Banks. But his successor John A. Andrew, triumphantly elected in spite of6 his having presided over a meeting in aid of John Brown's7 family, gave immediate notice in his message to the Legislature that reaction in deference to the Slave Power would8 find no supporter in him.

Foiled in this direction, the ‘respectable’ classes fell to mobbing again, being made desperate by the quick adhesion of the Gulf States, during January, to South Carolina in rebellion. Their fury was directed afresh against Wendell Phillips, whose lineage made him a sort of renegade in their eyes, and whose invectives were unendurable when directed against themselves. Scenes similar to those witnessed on December 16 attended his 9 Music-Hall discourse in Mr. Parker's pulpit, on ‘The Lesson of10 [3] the Hour,’ on January 20; and for weeks it was deemed necessary to guard his home with volunteer defenders from among the young men of the congregation.

W. L. Garrison to Oliver Johnson.

Boston, Jan. 19, 1861.
11 It will be a fortnight, to-morrow, since I have been out-ofdoors. I have had a very severe cold, or succession of colds (for I am growing more and more susceptible to such attacks), and a slow fever hanging about me; and, though the latter seems to be broken up, I am still weak, so as to make any effort burdensome.

It is on this account I have not replied to your letter, giving me an extract from Mary Ann's,12 relative to her vision of a plot in embryo for a murderous assault upon our dear and noble friend, Wendell Phillips. I thought it best, on the whole, to say nothing to him about it; but that his precious life is in very great danger, in consequence of the malignity felt and expressed against him in this city since the John Brown meeting, there is no doubt among us. Hence, we are quite sure of a mobocratic outbreak at our annual meeting on Thursday and Friday13 next; and, though some of us may be exposed to personal violence, Phillips will doubtless be the object of special vengeance. The new mayor, Wightman, is bitterly opposed to us, refuses to14 give us any protection, and says if there is any disturbance, he will arrest our speakers, together with the Trustees of Tremont Temple! What a villain! I should not wonder if blood should be shed on the occasion, for there will be a resolute body of men present, determined to maintain liberty of speech. Whether an attempt will be made to break up the A. S. Festival at Music Hall, on Wednesday evening, remains to be seen. But all will15 work well in the end.

Phillips is to speak at the Music Hall to-morrow forenoon,16 before Mr. Parker's congregation, and another violent demonstration is anticipated. Mayor Wightman refuses to order the police to be present to preserve order. This makes the personal peril of Phillips greater than it was before. . . .

Dark as the times are, beyond them all is light. I would have nothing changed; for this is God's judgment-day with our guilty nation, which really deserves to be visited with civil and [4] servile war, and to be turned inside out and upside down, for its unparalleled iniquity. I fervently trust this pro-slavery Union is broken beyond the possibility of restoration by Northern compromises; yet, when I see our meetings everywhere mobbed17 down, and the cities swarming with ruffians in full sympathy with the Southern traitors, and the Northern pulpits more satanic than ever, as far as they speak out against Abolitionism, and the Republican Party constantly ‘shivering in the wind,’ I am not sure but the whole country is to come under the bloody sway of the Slave Power—for a time—as it has not yet done.

Mr. Garrison's illness confined him to the house through the entire month of January, so that he was unable to attend the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, which began its sessions at Tremont Temple on the morning of January 24, and missed being an active participant in that memorable occasion. At his request the 94th Psalm was read at the opening of the meeting by the Rev. Samuel May, Jr. The following letter was also read by Mr. Quincy:

W. L. Garrison to Edmund Quincy.

Boston, Jan. 24, 1861.
18 My dear coadjutor: . . . I am still not sufficiently strong to justify me, as a matter of common prudence, in being present at our annual State gathering to-day. ‘The spirit is willing,’ and restless for liberation, ‘but the flesh is weak.’ I believe this will be the first of the long series of anniversaries held by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, which I have failed to attend—held ‘through evil report’ and ‘much tribulation’— in storm and sunshine—in the midst of impending violence, or with undisturbed composure—but always held hopefully, serenely, triumphantly. It is a great cross to me to break the connection at this crisis; especially as, judging from ‘the fury of the adversary,’ the meeting, to-day, will be the most encouraging and the most potential ever held by the Society, whether broken up by lawless violence, or permitted to proceed without molestation. The cause we advocate being not ours, but God's—not ours, but human nature's—appealing to all that is just, humane, noble, and true, and upheld by an omnipotent [5] arm—it is beyond all defeat, unconquerable and immortal; ‘therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.’

May a Divine patience, firmness, and spirit of peace be vouchsafed to all the friends of impartial freedom who may be present at the meeting to-day, not returning railing for railing, but looking calmly and joyfully to the end of this tremendous conflict with the powers of darkness—namely, the liberation of every bondman on the American soil, and thenceforward the commencement of an era of universal reconciliation, happiness, and prosperity, such as the world has never yet witnessed.

Yours, to break every yoke,

The resolutions, which were presented to the meeting by Wendell Phillips, were drawn by Mr. Garrison with his usual tact, and enunciated the fundamental principles of the abolitionists in a series of quotations from the speeches and writings of Webster, Channing, and Clay, and from the first article of the Constitution of Massachusetts. It was not easy for a Union-saving mob of Webster idolators to take exception to, or howl down, a resolution beginning: ‘Resolved, That (to quote the language of Daniel Webster),’ and they were compelled to listen in silence, if not with composure.

The first speaker of the morning was the Rev. James Freeman Clarke, who made a forcible speech, interrupted only by occasional hisses from the rear gallery, where a crowd of turbulent fellows were gathered. The appearance of Wendell Phillips, who followed Mr. Clarke, was the signal for a pandemonium of cat-calls, yells, cheers, hisses, songs, and derisive remarks, which the orator parried and punctuated with ready wit. At last, forbearing to strain his voice in the vain attempt to make himself heard, he quietly addressed the reporters at his feet, saying: ‘While19 I speak to these pencils, I speak to a million of men. What, then, are those boys? We have got the press of the country in our hands. Whether they like us or not, they know that our speeches sell their papers. With five newspapers we may defy five hundred boys. . . . My voice [6] is beaten by theirs, but they cannot beat types. All hail and glory to Faust, who invented printing, for he made mobs impossible!’ Those who were present on this occasion will long remember the orator's triumph in compelling, by these tactics, the very miscreants who had drowned his voice to weary of their useless clamor, and, lapsing into comparative quiet, to beg him to “speak louder,” Cf. Letters of L. M. Child, pp. 147-49. that they might hear him. He finished his speech without further difficulty, and was followed by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who had seldom appeared on an antislavery platform, but who came now to bear his testimony in behalf of free speech, and to face a mob for the first time. He, too, was assailed by insult and interruption, but he nevertheless held his ground and made his speech, protesting against further compromise or concession to the South. The last speaker of the morning was T. W. Higginson.20

The afternoon session was even more exciting, for the mob, finding the police passive, and counting on the sympathy [7] of the new Democratic Mayor, became more21 virulent, made speaking fruitless, and began hurling the cushions from the gallery seats to the floor below. The behavior of the audience on the floor, and especially of the women, was admirable. They quietly kept their seats, and refused to be intimidated or stampeded. The avenues to the platform were guarded by trusty friends, to prevent the mobocrats from capturing the meeting as22 they did on December 3d. Presently the Mayor appeared with a posse of police, and, stating that the Trustees of the building had asked him to disperse the meeting, he requested the audience to leave. Unhappily for him, the Trustees were present and promptly denied his statement, demanding that he should read their letter, and, on his reluctant compliance, it appeared that they had requested him to quell the riot and protect the meeting! Convicted of falsehood in this humiliating manner, before his ‘fellow-citizens,’ the ‘Chief Magistrate’ turned to Edmund Quincy, who was in the chair, and abjectly asked his commands. ‘Clear the galleries,’ said Mr. Quincy, and it was done. ‘Give us fifty policemen this evening to protect the meeting,’ he continued. ‘You shall have them,’ responded the Mayor, who, returning to the City Hall, straightway wrote an order to close the hall and “prevent any meeting being held there” Lib. 31.18. that evening.23 This was the last triumph of pro-slavery violence in Boston.

With the exception of a brief session in the Anti-Slavery Office, the next morning, the abolitionists made [8] no further attempt to hold their meetings, but adjourned sine die, well knowing that the indignation excited by this outrage would be worth many conventions to the cause; and so, of course, it proved. But the spirit of compromise was still rampant, and the most abject propositions were urged for the conciliation of the seceding States and the maintenance of the Union with fresh guarantees for the protection of the Slave Power. In this the Republican leaders were conspicuous. In Congress, Charles Francis Adams, representing the Third Massachusetts District, proposed the admission of New Mexico as a State, with or24 without slavery, and favored an amendment to the Constitution requiring that all subsequent amendments affecting slavery should be proposed by a slave State and ratified by all the States (instead of the customary threefourths).25 Mr. Seward, speaking in the U. S. Senate,26 favored the repeal of the Personal Liberty laws, and the amendment of the Constitution so as to prohibit Congress from ever abolishing or interfering with slavery in any State. Thomas Corwin of Ohio, a Republican Representative and the chairman of the Congressional Committee of Thirty-three to devise compromise measures, not only urged the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, but27 declared it to be ‘the duty of every free State in the Union to suppress’ any incendiary publications, especially of the ‘newspaper press,’ against slavery, and ‘to punish their authors.’28 Andrew G. Curtin, the29 Republican Governor of Pennsylvania, urged the Republican legislators of that State to defeat a resolution reaffirming their party's cardinal doctrine of the non-extension of [9] slavery, and appointed delegates to the so-called Peace Congress (convened in Washington in February) who were utterly subservient to the demands there made by the border slave States.

Had the Senators and Representatives from the seceded States only retained their seats in Congress, they could easily have insured the adoption of the measures recommended by this ‘Peace Congress,’ and substantially embodied in the Compromise bill which bore the name of its author, Mr. Crittenden of Kentucky; and the guarantees thus secured to it would have given slavery a fresh lease of life and power. They included the admission of slavery30 to the Territories south of latitude 36° 30′; forbade Congress to abolish the institution in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and made it virtually perpetual in the District of Columbia; prohibited interference with the inter-State slave trade; required the United States to compensate the owner of any fugitive slave rescued from his clutches ‘by violence or intimidation’ in the free States; empowered them to sue the county in which the rescue occurred, and the county in turn to sue the individual rescuers; and forbade that any future amendment of the Constitution should modify these stipulations or affect the fugitive-slave and three-fifths representation clauses of the original instrument.

Even without the votes of the seceding Senators, the Crittenden Compromise commanded 19 votes in the Senate to 20 in opposition;31 and the parallel propositions submitted by the Peace Congress having been also dismissed, the following amendment to the Constitution, proposed by Thomas Corwin, was adopted by the requisite two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, a large number of Republicans voting in its favor:32 [10]

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State. Wilson's Rise and Fall of Slave Power, 3.104.

The answer of the South to this last act of cowardice was the bombardment of Sumter, and Northern legislators were thus saved the humiliation of giving the amendment the ratification which would probably otherwise have been wrung from the larger number of them. ‘The South,’ wrote George Thompson to Mr. Garrison, “has reversed your motto, and has hoisted the banner of ‘No Union with Non-Slaveholders!’ Thank God for it!” Ms. March 29, 1861.

Mr. Garrison's pen was never more active than during this critical period, and never more searching, faithful, and discriminating. Even from his sick room he sent forth, in January, a vigorous editorial in criticism of Mr. Seward's compromise speech in the Senate. After33 referring to the significance attached to it, on account of Mr. Seward's position in the Republican party and the admitted fact that he was to be Mr. Lincoln's Secretary of State, Mr. Garrison wrote:

Formerly, we entertained a high opinion of the34 statesmanlike qualities of Mr. Seward, and were ready to believe, in consequence of several acts performed by him in the service of an oppressed and despised race, that he was inspired by noble sentiments, lifting him above all personal considerations; but we have been forced, within the past year, to correct that opinion, and to change that belief. His intellectual ability is unquestionably of the first order; he writes and speaks with remarkable perspicuity, and often with great rhetorical beauty; nothing with him is hastily done; his caution is immense; he aims to be axiomatic and oracular. But it is evident that his moral nature is quite subordinate to his intellect, so as to taint his philosophy of action, and prevent him from rising to a higher level than that of an expedientist and compromiser. The key to his public life is contained in this very speech. Here it is:

If, in the expression of these views, I have not proposed what is desired or expected by many others, they will do me the justice to believe [11] that I am as far from having suggested what, in many respects, would have been in harmony with cherished convictions of my own. I learned early from Jefferson that, in political affairs, we cannot always do what seems to be absolutely best. Those with whom we must necessarily act, entertaining different views, have the power and right of carrying them into practice. We must be content to lead when we can, and to follow when we cannot lead; and if we cannot at any time do for our country all the good that we would wish, we must be satisfied with doing for her all the good that we can.

Now, a declaration like this, expressed in such carefully considered language, carries upon its face nothing startling or objectionable; because it is the merest truism to say, that where there are many minds of conflicting views to be reconciled, mutual concessions must be made to secure the desired unity of action. And where no moral principle, no sacrifice of justice, is involved, a course like this is the dictate of common sense; otherwise, the state of society would be chaotic, and an efficient administration of public concerns impossible. But in the sentence, “ In political affairs we cannot always do what seems to be absolutely best,” there is to be found the germ of all political profligacy, and the nest-egg of all those sinful compromises which have cursed this nation since the adoption of the Federal Constitution. There is no position in which men may place themselves, or be placed by others, where they can be justified, whether to reach “a consummation devoutly to be wished,” or to avoid formidable danger or great suffering, in violating their consciences, or conniving at what their moral sense condemns. Personal integrity and straightforward regard for the right can allow no temptation to make them swerve a hair's-breadth from the line of duty; for they are of more consequence than all the compacts and constitutions ever made. Disregardful of this, the doctrine that “ the end sanctifies the means,” or that “ we cannot always do what seems to be absolutely best,” becomes the doctrine of devils. Mr. Seward means just this: a compromise of principle to propitiate the perverse wrongdoers of the South—or his language is a mockery in this emergency. He is dealing, not with a material question of dollars and cents, but with the most momentous moral question ever presented to the world— not with well-meaning but deluded men, but with sagacious desperadoes and remorseless men-stealers. All his talk of adhering to old compromises, and making additional ones to appease the ferocious and despotic South, relates to slavery, “the sum of all villany” —and to nothing else. Hence, he is for continuing to slaveholders the inhuman privilege of hunting [12] their fugitive slaves in any part of the North. Hence, he is willing to vote for an amendment of the Constitution, declaring that under no circumstances shall Congress have the power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any State. Hence, his readiness to enact laws subjecting future John Browns to the punishment of death for seeking to deliver the slaves Bunker-Hill fashion, and after the example of Lafayette, Kosciusko, Pulaski, and DeKalb, as pertaining to our own Revolutionary struggle. Yet, in another speech delivered at Madison, Wisconsin, not long since, Mr. Seward solemnly declares:

By no word, no act, no combination into which I might enter, shall any one human being of all the generations to which I belong, much less of any class of human beings of any race or kindred be oppressed, or kept down in the least degree in their efforts to rise to a higher state of liberty and happiness. . . . Whenever the Constitution of the United States requires of me that this hand shall keep down the humblest of the human race, then I will lay down power, place, position, fame, everything, rather than adopt such a construction or such a rule.

What shall we think of the consistency or veracity of Mr. Seward in this matter of freedom? He knows, he concedes, in the speech we are criticising, that, under the United States Constitution, the fugitive slave is not entitled to safety or protection in any Northern State; and those who rush to the rescue of the enslaved millions at the South, as John Brown and his associates did, he is for hanging as felons under that same Constitution. It is time for him to lay down power, place, and position!

Look at the present state of the country! The old Union breaking up daily, its columns falling in every direction—four35 Southern States already out of it, and all the others busily and openly preparing to follow—the national Government paralyzed through indecision, cowardice, or perfidy—the national flag trampled upon and discarded by the traitors, and a murderous endeavor on their part, by firing heavy shot, to sink a Government vessel entering the harbor of Charleston upon a36 lawful errand, compelling her to flee in disgrace and to avoid37 certain destruction—treason and traitors everywhere, in every slave State, in every free State, at the seat of Government, in both houses of Congress, in the army and navy, in the Executive department, at the head of the press, audacious, defiant, diabolical—the United States arsenals and fortifications already seized, or rapidly falling into the hands of the Southern conspirators, through the blackest perfidy—every movement contemplating [13] the enforcement of the laws, and the protection of its property, on the part of the national Government, impudently denounced by the traitors and their accomplices as “coercion,” “tyranny,” and “a declaration of war” —with the murderous avowal that Abraham Lincoln shall never be inaugurated President of the United States, and the unquestionable purpose of these Catilines and Arnolds to seize the Capital, and take possession of the Government by a coup daetat, which we have long prophesied would be their last desperate effort to keep the reins of power in their own grasp, and which we have no doubt will be successful, in spite of all the precautions of Gen. Scott.38

In this state of things,—when the elements are melting with fervent heat, and thunders are uttering their voices, and a great earthquake is shaking the land from centre to circumference, threatening to engulf whatever free institutions are yet visible,—Mr. Seward, with the eyes of expectant millions fastened upon him as “ the pilot to weather the storm,” rises in the Senate to utter well-turned periods in glorification of a Union no longer in existence, and to talk of “meeting prejudice with conciliation, exaction with concession which surrenders no principle (!), and violence with the right hand of peace” ! The tiger is to be propitiated by crying “pussy-cat!” and leviathan drawn out with a hook! The word “treason” or ‘traitors’ is never once mentioned—--no recital is made of any of the numberless outrages committed—no call is made upon the President to be true to his oath, and to meet the public exigency with all the forces at his command—no patriotic indignation flushes his cheek—but all is calm as a summer's morning, cool, compliant, unimpassioned! His boldest word is, “We already have disorder, and violence is begun.” How very discreet! It is a penny-whistle used to hush down a thunderstorm of the first magnitude—capping Vesuvius with a sheet of straw paper! And this is all the statesmanship of William H. Seward, in a crisis unparalleled in our national history! Stand aside! “The hour” has come, but where is “the man” ?39


Even while commenting severely on the cowardice and recreancy of the Republican leaders whom we have named, Mr. Garrison vindicated them and their party against the false accusations hurled at them and the abolitionists alike by the Southern conspirators. Not only, he maintained, had the abolitionists uniformly recognized and40 conceded the Constitutional limitations of the powers of Congress respecting slavery, but the Republican platform contained not a sentiment, having a direct relation to slavery, contrary to the views entertained by all political parties twenty years ago. It was not that the Republican party was guilty of any aggression or intermeddling, any waywardness or injustice; but the South had wholly changed its former position, and insisted upon undreamed — of subserviency to its tyrannical dictation. The seceding States were therefore without excuse, guilty of ‘treachery, perjury, treason of the blackest character, for the worst of purposes.’ ‘Their subjugation,’ he declared, ‘and the punishment of the leading traitors, are fully authorized by the Federal Government; and when that Government ceases to maintain its rightful sovereignty, the American Union ceases to exist.’

Under these circumstances, what is the true course to be41 pursued by the people of the North? Is it to vindicate this sovereignty by the sword till the treason is quelled and allegiance [15] restored? Constitutionally, the sword may be wielded to this extent, and must be, whether by President Buchanan or President Lincoln, if the Union is to be preserved. The Federal Government must not pretend to be in actual operation, embracing thirty-four States, and then allow the seceding States to trample upon its flag, steal its property, and defy its authority with impunity; for it would then be (as it is at this moment) a mockery and a laughing-stock. Nevertheless, to think of whipping the South (for she will be a unit on the question of slavery) into subjection, and extorting allegiance from millions of people at the cannon's mouth, is utterly chimerical. True, it is in the power of the North to deluge her soil with blood, and inflict upon her the most terrible sufferings; but not to conquer her spirit, or change her determination.

What, then, ought to be done? The people of the North should recognize the fact that the Union is dissolved, and act accordingly. They should see, in the madness of the South, the hand of God, liberating them from “a covenant with death and an agreement with hell,” made in a time of terrible peril, and without a conception of its inevitable consequences, and which has corrupted their morals, poisoned their religion, petrified their humanity as towards the millions in bondage, tarnished their character, harassed their peace, burdened them with taxation, shackled their prosperity, and brought them into abject vassalage. . . .

Now, then, let there be a Convention of the free States called to organize an independent government on free and just principles; and let them say to the slave States— “Though you are without excuse for your treasonable conduct, depart in peace! Though you have laid piratical hands upon property not your own, we surrender it all in the spirit of magnanimity! And if nothing but the possession of the Capital will appease you, take even that, without a struggle! Let the line be drawn between us where free institutions end and slave institutions begin! Organize your own confederacy, if you will, based upon violence, tyranny, and blood, and relieve us from all responsibility for your evil course!”

A somewhat similar attitude was assumed by other42 leaders of public opinion, who shrank from the horrors of a civil war, and the apparently hopeless task of conquering a united South with a divided North, and who [16] believed a peaceful separation the surer and swifter way in which to shake the foundations of slavery. Few guessed the depth and fervor of the Union sentiment which the cannon-shot in Charleston harbor was to rouse.

Disappointed by Mr. Seward's ‘penny-whistle,’ Mr. Garrison anxiously watched the bearing of the Presidentelect, on whose patriotism, courage, and firmness the destinies of the republic rested, and waited for his utterance. ‘It is much to the credit of Mr. Lincoln,’ he wrote in43 February, ‘that he has maintained his dignity and selfrespect intact, and gives no countenance to any of the compromises that have yet been proposed.’44 That his inauguration would be permitted in peace seemed hardly possible, and when the telegraph announced to the country on the afternoon of the 4th of March that the Buchanan Administration had ended, and the first Republican President had actually assumed office and delivered his inaugural address without interruption or disturbance, a day of feverish anxiety was succeeded, as Mr. Garrison wrote, “by a night of profoundest satisfaction and repose, . . . as though not a cloud rested upon the future.” Lib. 31.38.45 [17]

Two columns of the Liberator were devoted to the editor's review of the inaugural address. Containing, as the latter did, a frank and unflinching acknowledgment that all who took their oaths of office to support the Constitution and the laws were under obligation to maintain and enforce the Fugitive Slave Law, and surrender the hunted fugitive; a declaration that the President himself took his official oath ‘with no mental reservations’; and an expression of his willingness to see the Constitutional amendment just passed by Congress ratified by the46 States,—it was hardly a document to inspire the hope or the enthusiasm of the abolitionists. But, while dealing faithfully with it in these respects, Mr. Garrison treated it with his customary discrimination and fairness. Admitting the ‘manly courage’ of Mr. Lincoln, and the ‘rare self-possession and equanimity’ with which he had passed through the fearful ordeal of threatened violence and assassination, he commended the President's clear and simple style, and the brevity and directness of his address. His argument against Southern secession he regarded as ‘compact and conclusive,’ and certainly the Republican Party had given the South no justification for revolt.

The position of the Republican party, on this subject, is very47 truthfully and most explicitly defined by Mr. Lincoln in his inaugural address. Wherein does it differ from that of the old Whig or the old Democratic party, so far as non-intervention with slavery at the South, or the recapture of fugitive slaves, or the suppression of slave insurrections, or the three-fifths representation, is concerned? As if this were not enough, the party, in its Chicago platform,—after recognizing “ the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, according to its own judgment exclusively,” —goes out of its way to “denounce the lawless invasion by an armed force of any State or [18] Territory, no matter under what pretext, as the greatest of Crimes ” ! This is a cruel stigma cast upon the memory of John Brown and his martyr-associates at Harper's Ferry. What has the South to fear from such a party as this? And how can its triumph furnish a shadow of justification for the rebellious movement of the seven Confederated States, now in open hostility to the Union?

See what Mr. Lincoln says in his address—an address, remember! to be read by all the civilized world—respecting that thoroughly inhuman and most revolting business, the surrendering of fugitive slaves by the people of the North! After quoting the Constitutional clause, he says:

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves, and the intention of the law-giver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution, to this provision as much as any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause shall be delivered up, their oaths are unanimous.

Very true, but such oaths are impious, and of no validity. Whoever returns, or consents to return, a fugitive slave to the clutches of his master, is, in the sight of God, an accomplice in man-stealing. To this extent Mr. Lincoln and the Republican party are guilty. We are equally shocked and surprised that he should gratuitously parade this infamous pledge in his inaugural address. Nor is it any atonement when he says:

In any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not in any case surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well, at the same time, to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States?

These safeguards of liberty ought indeed to be provided— not merely “ that a free man be not in any case surrendered as a slave,” but that no fugitive should ever be carried back to bondage. The right of one man to freedom is by creation and destiny the right of every other; and President Lincoln has no better claim to be protected than any of the hunted refugees in the Dismal Swamp. He seems to have no bowels of mercy, under the Constitution, for those who are seeking their liberty by flight, and who deserve to be specially commiserated and aided on their way. He would modify the Fugitive Slave Law (so he said before his nomination), but only to make its operation the [19] more effectual! And yet he is the man—mirabile dictu!— whose election causes seven of the slaveholding States to revolt, and in hot haste withdraw from the Union! Surely they must be desperately hard to “conciliate” !

No transformation was ever more sudden, overwhelming, and amazing than that effected by the bombardment48 and capture of Fort Sumter, and President Lincoln's call49 for troops to suppress the rebellion. That which the South had expected would complete the demoralization of the North, and be the signal for riots and outbreaks in its great cities, evoked a whirlwind of patriotism that swept all before it, and caused “such an uprising in every city, town, and hamlet of the North, without distinction of sect or party, as to seem,” Lib. 31.66. wrote Mr. Garrison, ‘like a general resurrection from the dead.’ To those who were puzzled to know how he, as a disunionist, could rejoice in the determination of the Government to crush the rebellion which sought to dissolve the Union, he speedily made clear, in two lucid editorials, the difference between50 Northern Disunionists and Southern Secessionists, and the utter absence of any justification for the latter. Neither he nor the American Anti-Slavery Society had ever advocated the right of a State to secede from the Union ad libitum, without reason; and only a revolutionary right, for the causes set forth in the Declaration of Independence, could justify the South in its course.

‘On the issue raised by the secessionists,’ he reiterated, in51 rejoinder to a letter from Beriah Green,

they are wholly and fearfully in the wrong, while President Lincoln is indisputably in the right. On his side all the elements of freedom will coalesce, sympathetically and approvingly, as against their thoroughly infernal spirit and purposes, and a thousand times over wish him success in the struggle. At the same time, as pertaining to a continued union with the South, God grant that the North may speedily see the folly, danger, and iniquity of trying it any longer! Let . . . the North take the right, with not a Border Slave State left to mar her free policy, and let the South take the left, and the consequences!


On the Sunday morning following the President's call for troops, Wendell Phillips addressed an immense congregation at Music Hall on the War for the Union, the platform being decorated with the stars and stripes, “for the first time seeming to symbolize the cause of impartial freedom.” Lib. 31.66. Some of the very men who had hissed and hooted at him in January, were now ready to applaud him to the echo, and the scene was in every way thrilling and inspiring. The text of his discourse was suggested by Mr. Garrison:

Therefore thus saith the Lord: Ye have not hearkened unto me in proclaiming liberty every one 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. Jer. 34.17.

The selections from Scripture were likewise chosen by him, and the 50th and 51st chapters of Jeremiah seemed so remarkably applicable to the times that, when Mr. Phillips had finished his reading of them, the audience broke forth in loud applause! The peroration of the discourse, eloquent in its prophecy, fitly expressed the instinct of the abolitionists as to the certain result of the war now inaugurated.52

The same number of the Liberator in which Mr. Phillips's discourse appeared contained the following announcement, written and signed by Mr. Garrison as President of the American Anti-Slavery Society:

In view of the unparalleled excitement now existing53 throughout the country, arising from the treasonable attempt of the Southern slave oligarchy to overturn the General Government, and to erect an exclusively slaveholding despotism upon its ruins, to the overthrow of all free institutions, it is deemed by the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society [21] a measure of sound expediency to postpone the usual anniversary of the Society, in the city of New York, in May next, until further notice—a decision which they are confident will be most cordially ratified by the members and friends of the Society; especially in view of the cheering fact that there is at last a North as well as a South, and that the present tremendous conflict is in its tendencies strongly and irresistibly toward the goal of universal emancipation, or else a separation between the free and slaveholding States in accordance with the principle of “No Union with slaveholders!” Let nothing be done, at this solemn crisis, needlessly to check or divert the mighty current of popular feeling which is now sweeping southward with the strength and impetuosity of a thousand Niagaras, in direct conflict with that haughty and perfidious Slave Power which has so long ruled the republic with a rod of iron for its own base and satanic purposes.

The annual meeting of the Society stands postponed until further notice.54

This conclusion was the result of a correspondence55 between the leading members of the Society in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, who were united in the opinion that it would be folly to attempt to arrest the public ear at such a moment. As Mr. Garrison wrote to Oliver Johnson:

‘Now that civil war has begun, and a whirlwind of violence56 and excitement is to sweep through the country, every day increasing in intensity until its bloodiest culmination, it is for the abolitionists to “stand still, and see the salvation of God,” rather than to attempt to add anything to the general commotion. It is no time for minute criticism of Lincoln, Republicanism, or even the other parties, now that they are fusing for a death-grapple with the Southern slave oligarchy; for they are instruments in the hands of God to carry forward and help achieve the great object of emancipation for which we have so long been striving. The war is fearfully to scourge the nation, but mercy will be mingled with judgment, and grand results are to follow, should no dividing root of bitterness rise up at the North. All our sympathies and wishes must be with the Government, as against the Southern desperadoes and buccaneers; [22] yet, of course, without any compromise of principle on our part. We need great circumspection and consummate wisdom in regard to what we say and do, under these unparalleled circumstances. We are rather, for the time being, to note the events transpiring, than seek to control them. There must be no needless turning of popular violence upon ourselves, by any false step of our own.’57

The omission of the annual meeting called forth private protests and expressions of regret from a few anti-slavery friends, who deemed it a sacrifice of principle and dereliction from duty, and thought the outlook for the slave never more depressing than then. It was with these in mind, no less than the New Haven correspondent to whom he was more directly replying, that Mr. Garrison wrote:

There seems to be some diversity of feeling and sentiment58 among abolitionists, in regard to the bearing of the present civil war in our land upon the anti-slavery cause. This arises from no wish or purpose, in any direction, to retreat a hair'sbreadth from the line of duty originally marked out by them, and adhered to, through countless temptations and trials, with unsurpassed fidelity; but solely, we think, from a difference in the standpoint of judgment and observation occupied by the parties. By some, this tremendous conflict of hostile forces is regarded as without any cheering significance, or sign of promise, to those who have so long struggled for the utter abolition of slavery; by others, it is deemed to have a mighty bearing towards hastening the day of universal emancipation, if not intentionally on the part of the Government (and they attribute no such design to it primarily), at least by the necessities of the case,— being essentially the South against the North,—and is therefore to be viewed hopefully. It would be absurd to deny that the war presents some very paradoxical and complex features, so as to render it extremely difficult to speak of it without being misunderstood, either on one side or on the other. Nevertheless, we shall venture to express our opinions of it in a spirit of [23] just discrimination, as far as in our power, leaving those who cannot adopt them entire liberty to criticise or refute them in our columns. . . .

For thirty years, the abolitionists have been faithfully warning the nation that, unless the enslaved were set free, a just God would visit it with tribulation and woe proportional to its great iniquity. Now that their predictions have come to pass, are they to indulge in morbid exclamations against the natural operation of the law of immutable justice, and to see in it no evidence of the growth of conscience, the power of truth, or the approach of the long-wished — for jubilee? Surely, this would be to arraign Infinite Wisdom, to be blind to the progress of events. Surely, emancipation is nearer than when we believed, and the present struggle cannot fail to hasten it mightily, in a providential sense.

It is alleged that the Administration is endeavoring to uphold the Union, the Constitution, and the laws, even as from the formation of the Government; but this is a verbal and technical view of the case. Facts are more potential than words, and events greater than parchment arrangements. The truth is, the old Union is non est inventus, and its restoration, with its pro-slavery compromises, well-nigh impossible. The conflict is really between the civilization of freedom and the barbarism of slavery—between the principles of democracy and the doctrines of absolutism—between the free North and the man-imbruting South; therefore, to this extent hopeful for the cause of impartial liberty. So that we cannot endorse the assertion, that this is “the darkest hour for the slave in the history of American servitude.” No, it is the brightest!

The readers of the Liberator had often had cause for complaint that the editorials from Mr. Garrison's pen were infrequent and irregular, but they were now treated to a stirring blast each week, and there followed successively articles on the cause and cure of the war, the relation of59 the anti-slavery cause to the war, the offer of General Benjamin F. Butler to suppress slave insurrections (if60 any should occur) in Maryland, the bewilderment of mind of the English people in relation to the struggle, and the61 taunts at non-resistance on the part of those who imagined62 that the doctrine had been ‘scattered to the wind’ by recent events. The President and Congress were invoked [24] to use their war-power to proclaim emancipation, in accordance with the doctrine laid down by John Quincy Adams twenty-five years before, and the North was63 warned that peace without freedom would be no peace.

Gen. Butler's gratuitous offer to use his Massachusetts troops in putting down any slave insurrection was still eliciting the indignant comments of the Northern press when, presto, change! the astute General opened the gates of Fortress Monroe to the fleeing slaves, and pronounced them ‘contraband of war’; and the anti-slavery education of the soldiers in the field and the people at home who were ‘no abolitionists,’ while anxious to save the Union, began. The ‘Refuge of Oppression’ still gathered columns of outpourings from the Southern press,64 and many of these were reprinted in a tract for the further enlightenment of soldiers as to the spirit of diabolism prevalent at the South.65 The object-lessons of Libby Prison, Belle Isle, Andersonville, and other Southern torture pens were yet to come, but already they were foreseen by the editor of the Liberator. Alluding to the sudden change of attitude and language towards the South on the part of many who were lately its apologists and defenders, he wrote:

There is nothing so promotive of clearness of vision and66 correct judgment as to be subjected to wrongs and insults in our own persons. So long as those traitors confined their outrages and atrocities to their helpless, friendless slaves, it was all well enough, and not at all derogatory to their character as gentlemen, patriots, and Christians. They might deprive their victims of every human right, work them under the lash without wages, buy and sell them in lots to suit purchasers, and subject them to every species of brutal violence as passion or cupidity prompted, and still not forfeit their claim to be honest, upright, high-minded men! Nay, for abolitionists to brand them as robbers of God's poor and needy, and the basest of oppressors, was to deal in abusive language, and to manifest a most unchristian spirit! For were they not exemplary and [25] beloved Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist brethren, whose piety was unquestionable, whose zeal for the Lord was worthy of all praise, whose revivals of religion were preeminently owned and blessed of Heaven? Were they not the very pinks of Democracy, and the most courtly and chivalrous of gentlemen? But as soon as they began to seize forts, arsenals, custom-houses, and mints belonging to the general Government, to lay their piratical hands upon Northern property, to repudiate their entire Northern indebtedness, and to trample upon the ‘stars and stripes’—then, indeed, another view of their character is taken, and they are suddenly transformed from the most estimable Christian brethren and the staunchest Democratic allies into the meanest of scoundrels and the vilest of robbers!

Truly, “wisdom is justified of her children.” It will yet be seen and acknowledged throughout the North, in view of the shocking developments of the slaveholding spirit in this terrible conflict, that the abolitionists have correctly delineated the nature of slavery–its disregard of all the rules of morality, all the claims of a common humanity, all the principles of justice—its wolfish greed, its savage ferocity, its fiendish malignity—its utter contempt and murderous hatred of whoever or whatever interferes with the extension of its domains, or attempts to limit its power—its embodiment of the blackest perfidy, the most revolting licentiousness, the most unscrupulous villany, and the most barbarous cruelty; and as there is no sin without a sinner, no oppression without an oppressor, so the abolitionists have exaggerated nothing, but have used language guardedly, justly, and with all possible truthfulness in their exposition of the Southern character, spirit, and purposes, whether in relation to their miserable victims, or to free institutions and the cause of freedom generally. Our Northern soldiers will find that they are not in conflict with men who are governed by the laws of civilized warfare, or by any rules of honor, but with thoroughly demonized spirits, capable of perpetrating deeds of horror such as have never been surpassed in the annals of savage barbarity.

To those who asked him, ‘What of your peace principles now?’ he replied:

This question is exultingly put to the friends of peace and67 non-resistance by those whose military ardor is now at a white heat, as though it could not be satisfactorily answered, and deserved [26] nothing but ridicule. Our reply to it is, that the peace principles are as beneficent and glorious as ever, and are neither disproved nor modified by anything now transpiring in the country, of a warlike character. If they had been long since embraced and carried out by the people, neither slavery nor war would now be filling the land with violence and blood. Where they prevail, no man is in peril of life or liberty; where they are rejected, and precisely to the extent they are rejected, neither life nor liberty is secure. How their violation, under any circumstances, is better than a faithful adherence to them, we have not the moral vision to perceive. They are to be held responsible for nothing which they do not legitimately produce or sanction. As they neither produce nor sanction any oppression or wrong-doing, but elevate the character, control the passions, and lead to the performance of all good offices, they are not to be discarded for those of a hostile character ..

But are we not giving our sympathies to the Government as against the secession movement? Certainly—because, as between the combatants, there is no wrong or injustice on the side of the Government, while there is nothing but violence, robbery, confiscation, perfidy, lynch law, usurpation, and a most diabolical purpose, on the side of the secessionists. The weapons resorted to, on both sides, are the same; yet it is impossible not to wish success to the innocent, and defeat to the guilty party. But, in so doing, we do not compromise either our anti-slavery or our peace principles. On the contrary, we wish all the North were able to adopt those principles, understandingly, heartily, and without delay; but, according to the structure of the human mind, in the whirlwind of the present deadly conflict, this is impracticable. As, therefore, Paul said to the Jews who would not accept of the new dispensation, “Ye that are under the law, do ye not hear the law? Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them” —so we measure those who, rejecting the doctrine of non-resistance, profess to believe in the right and duty of maintaining their freedom by the sword. The worst thing they can do is to be recreant to their own convictions in such a crisis as this.

But this is, obviously, not the time to expect a dispassionate hearing on this subject. After the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, comes the still small voice. The war must go on to its consummation; and among the salutary lessons it will teach will be the impossibility of oppressing the poor and the needy, [27] or consenting thereto by entering into “ a covenant with death,” without desolating judgments following in its train.

In this connection, also, Mr. Garrison endeavored to make clear the issues and the certain tendencies of the war to the many persons in England who, even among the abolitionists there, were confused and bewildered by the kaleidoscopic aspect of affairs from that distance. His replies to Dr. Guthrie of Edinburgh and the London68 Herald of Peace were especially effective. But there was one man who needed no instruction on the points at issue. George Thompson was already preparing himself for the task of enlightening his fellow-countrymen, and enlisting their sympathies in behalf of the American Government in its struggle with slavery in arms.

George Thompson to W. L. Garrison.

Tynemouth, Northumberland, June 7, 1861.
69 My dear Garrison: Yours of the 21st ultimo has within the present hour reached me at this place, where I am staying for a few days, going almost daily into Newcastle to consult with my anti-slavery friends there on the progress of the cause in America, and the means we may legitimately employ to promote it. . . .

I have been a deeply interested observer of late events on your side of the ocean, and have studied them with all the powers of reflection I can command. My talk is incessantly in reference to them, and I miss no opportunity of publicly addressing my countrymen upon them. I enclose you copies of reports made of my late speeches in London and Leeds, the tenor of which I trust you will approve. I have endeavored to make myself master of the constitutional argument, in relation to the doctrine of State rights and secession, which I am often called upon to debate.

I am extremely glad to find the views expressed in your letter before me so coincident with my own. I have pondered much and deeply upon the probable issues of the present war. I was occupied in writing all day yesterday upon the subject, and could not resist the conclusion, that the present struggle must end in the downfall of slavery. I dare say, if I had time to [28] develop my process of reasoning, it would be found that our ratiocinations are alike. May God grant that our hopes may be realized!

To me it appears that, by the conduct of the South, the North is released forever from the obligations imposed by the Constitution of ‘87. The despots of the South are traitors in arms. They have trampled the Constitution in the dust; they have disgraced the national flag; they are seeking the destruction of the North; they have reversed the Declaration of Independence; they have proclaimed the rightfulness of human slavery; they have inscribed upon the corner-stone of the atheistical edifice they seek to rear, ‘The black man is always, and forever, the property of the white man.’ If these things be so, will the North spare the accursed domestic institution? Will the armies of New England and the free West return before they have planted the flag of personal freedom side by side with that of the Union, and decreed that slavery is forever abolished in every part of the national domain? God forbid!

I am not discouraged because the abolition of slavery is not one of the declared objects of the President in the struggle he has commenced. I am not discouraged because the thousands who are flocking to the Federal standard, while they shout, ‘The Union,’ ‘The Constitution,’ and ‘Our star-spangled banner,’ do not also shout, ‘Down with Slavery!’ I am not discouraged because kidnapping has been permitted in Chicago, and General Butler has played so infamous a part in Maryland, and slaves have been driven from Fort Pickens, and even Greeley has talked with ‘bated breath’ on the subject of slavery, in recent articles in the Tribune. No! I have confidence in the inevitable tendency of events, and their resistless influence. The doom of slavery is sealed! Witness, the judicial blindness of the slaveholders! Witness, the madness that ever precedes destruction! Witness, the universal expectancy of a nation of slaves, waiting to be ‘born in a day’! Witness, the feverish excitement of the free colored population, who, when the hour strikes, and the conflagration rages, will have their part to play, and will enact it! The spirit of John Brown walks abroad! Being dead, he yet speaketh, and points with shadowy finger to Harper's Ferry and Charlestown! Witness, in every company of every regiment forming the vast army of volunteers, some few at least who have vowed to fight, not for the restoration of the Union alone, but for a Union without slavery—a Union of free men, of all colors, from Passamaquoddy Bay to [29] the northern bank of the Rio Grande! Witness, the recent pregnant utterances of politicians, statesmen, and editors, who deal with slavery as a gangrene that must be cut out! Witness, the altered tone of that recreant and guilty church which, till the roar of Charleston cannon was heard, and the stars and stripes succumbed to the black flag of secession, hugged the men-stealers of the South to its bosom, and, while it could not fellowship the Church of the Puritans on account of its70 Abolitionism, could break sacramental bread with the traffickers in slaves and the souls of men!

Need I say, my faithful friend and brother, how fervently my heart returns thanks to God that we are permitted to see this day? Need I tell you that my spirit is always with you? If my own heart condemned me for infidelity to our early vows, I should be most miserable; but I can appeal to him who knoweth all things, and say, Thou knowest how truly I have cherished, warm as when the flame was first kindled, my friendship and love for those with whom I labored—

When first we saw the cloud arise,
Little as a human hand!

Continue to trust me, and let me look forward with joyful anticipations to the day when I shall once more stand upon the soil from which I was banished by the demon of slavery, and gaze upon that vision beheld by the eye of your prophet and unequalled orator—the great and (better still) the good and gracious Phillips—‘The Genius of Liberty on the banks of the Potomac, robed in light; four-and-thirty stars for her diadem, broken fetters at her feet, and an olive branch in her right hand.’71

The whirlwind of war, which was so rapidly hastening the end of slavery, was also threatening, by its absorption of public attention and drain on private resources, [30] the existence of the anti-slavery journals. The Anti-Slavery Bugle succumbed within a month after the fall72 of Sumter, and the possibility of continuing the Standard soon became a matter of anxious consideration. There was a proposition to merge the Liberator with it, in the hope that the combined list of the two papers might suffice to support one, and that Mr. Garrison, while still remaining the chief editorial writer, might be relieved of the drudgery, both editorial and mechanical, which consumed so much of his time. But he would not listen to the project, and the necessary funds to support the Standard were raised by private subscriptions. It was a matter of doubt how long the Liberator could be kept alive, but the editor was resolved to float or sink in his own craft. He was in the best of spirits when he spoke at the anti-slavery picnic at Framingham on the 4th of July, and confident that the abolition of slavery would ere long be decreed. Objecting to a resolution73 offered by Stephen S. Foster, he said:

I cannot say that I do not sympathize with the Government,74 as against Jefferson Davis and his piratical associates. There is not a drop of blood in my veins, both as an abolitionist and a peace man, that does not flow with the Northern tide of sentiment; for I see, in this grand uprising of the manhood of the North, which has been so long grovelling in the dust, a growing appreciation of the value of liberty and of free institutions, and a willingness to make any sacrifice in their defence against the barbaric and tyrannical power which avows its purpose, if it can, to crush them entirely out of existence. When the Government shall succeed (if it shall succeed) in “conquering a peace,” in subjugating the South, and shall undertake to carry out the Constitution as of old, with all its pro-slavery compromises, then will be my time to criticise, reprove, and condemn; then will be the time for me to open all the guns that I can [31] bring to bear upon it. But, blessed be God, that “covenant with death” has been annulled, and that “agreement with hell” no longer stands. I joyfully accept the fact, and leave all verbal criticism until a more suitable opportunity. . . .

Under these circumstances, I take great courage, and am full of hope. I should cry, “ Shame to the people of the North!” if they did not, with their principles, and their ideas of government, come up to the support of the Administration, offering all they have of blood and treasure, until this band of conspirators shall be put down and slavery utterly obliterated. What we ought to do is to take the resolution we have just adopted,75 put it into our hearts, plead for it everywhere, and create a great Northern sentiment which shall irresistibly demand of the Administration, under the war power, the emancipation of every slave in the land; and then God will give us peace and prosperity, and we shall have, for the first time, a “great and glorious Union.”

Oh, Mr. President, how it delights my heart when I think that the worst thing we propose to do for the South is the very best thing that God or men can do! That while they are confiscating our property, refusing to pay their honest Northern debts, covering the ocean with their piratical privateers, tarring and feathering, hanging, and driving out innocent Northern citizens from their borders, all we threaten to do, in the excess of our wrath, as a retaliatory measure, is to abolish their iniquitous and destructive slave system, and thus give them light for darkness, good for evil, heaven for perdition! Yes, we will make it possible for them to be a happy and prosperous people, as they never have been, and never can be, with slavery. We will make it possible for them to have free schools, and free presses, and free institutions, as we do at the North. We will make it possible for the South to be “as the garden of God,” under the plastic touch of liberty; and for the nation to attain unparalleled glory, greatness, and renown. Assuredly, we have no enmity to the South; the enmity is on the other side. Liberty knows how to be magnanimous, forbearing, longsuffering, [32] patient, hopeful; and therefore it is that, in the very whirlwind which is now sweeping over the land, Southern men as safely reside among us as they ever did. They are not threatened with tar and feathers, nor compelled to flee from our presence because of their Southern origin, but enjoy unimpaired all their constitutional rights. The brutality, the barbarity, the demonism, are all at the South. Yet, I pray you to remember that the slaveholders are just as merciful and forbearing as they can be in their situation—not a whit more brutal, bloody, satanic than they are obliged to be in the terrible exigencies in which, as slaveholders, they are placed. They are men of like passions with ourselves; they are of our common country; and if we had been brought up in the midst of slavery, as they have been,—if we had our property in slaves, as they have,—if we had had the same training and education that they have received,—of course, we should have been just as much disposed to do all in our power to support slavery, and to put down freedom, by the same atrocious acts, as themselves. The tree bears its natural fruit—like causes will produce like effects. But let us return them good for evil, by seizing this opportunity to deliver them from their deadliest curse—that is Christian.

In August, the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, in a letter to General Butler, cited the Act of Congress76 approved on the 6th of that month, by which slaves77 employed in the military and naval service of the rebellion were declared free, and authorized him further to receive and employ slaves escaping from loyal masters as well, keeping a careful record of such, that Congress might remunerate the masters after the return of peace. Mr. Garrison read this with delight, and wrote: “It goes quite as far as we could expect, and is almost tantamount to a proclamation of general emancipation” Ms. Aug. 13, 1861, to W. P. G.; and when, on the 31st of the same month, General Fremont issued78 his proclamation emancipating the slaves of actively disloyal masters in his military district (Missouri), the Liberator hailed it with a Laus Deo, and as the “beginning of the end.” Lib. 31.143. The popular response was quick and enthusiastic, even journals like the New York Herald and Boston Post admitting, for the moment, the propriety of Fremont's act; but the letter of President Lincoln revoking that79 [33] portion of the proclamation chilled the hearts and hopes of all who felt that the time was ripe for radical measures. To the abolitionists the disappointment was especially keen, and faith in Lincoln's purpose or desire to use his war-powers for the destruction of slavery rapidly waned. The Liberator printed the letter between heavy black80 rules, and declared the President “guilty of a serious dereliction of duty” Lib. 31.150. in not making Fremont's proclamation applicable to all the other slave States in revolt. The loyal press generally expressed disappointment and regret at the President's course, while the pro-slavery and semi-disloyal papers were jubilant, and altered their tone to one of fulsome praise of Mr. Lincoln, whom they now hoped to commit to a settled policy of non-interference with slavery; and there seemed much in the events of the next three months to justify their expectations. A period of reaction set in, during which the President permitted without protest the Order No. 3 of General Halleck (who succeeded Fremont as Commander of the Missouri department), forbidding his officers to receive fugitive slaves within the lines, and modified that portion of Secretary Cameron's annual report which advocated the confiscation and arming of the slaves of rebel masters. In his message to Congress, on its assembling in December, Mr. Lincoln proposed colonization as a scheme for disposing of the freed people who, under the name of contrabands, flocked to the camps of the Union armies, and he gave no word to awaken the hopes of the emancipationists that he would ere long initiate an active anti-slavery policy. The message seemed to Mr. Garrison ‘feeble and rambling,’ and he81 could find nothing to praise in it except the recommendation that Congress should recognize the independence and sovereignty of Hayti and Liberia. To Oliver Johnson he wrote:

What a wishy-washy message from the President! . . . 82 He has evidently not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins; and he seems incapable of uttering a humane or generous sentiment respecting the enslaved millions in our land. No wonder [34] that such villanous papers as the Journal of Commerce, the 83 Express, Bennett's Herald, and the Boston Courier and Post, are his special admirers and champions! If there be not soon an “irrepressible conflict” in the Republican ranks, in regard to his course of policy, I shall almost despair of the country.

In fact, I shudder at the possibility of the war terminating without the utter extinction of slavery, by a new and more atrocious compromise on the part of the North than any that has yet been made. We must continue to brand as accessories of the Southern traitors all those who, now that the Government can rightfully do it under the war power, denounce and oppose the emancipation of those in bondage. A curse on that Southern “loyalty” 84 which is retained only by allowing it to control the policy of the Administration!

Yet Mr. Lincoln, in his hesitancy to commit the Administration to that policy of emancipation which each day made more inevitable, could have pointed not only to the bitter opposition of the Border States, but to the timidity of the Republicans of Massachusetts, who declined, at their State Convention in October, to respond to Mr.85 Sumner's eloquent address to them and to pass resolutions approving his utterances in favor of emancipation. The Republican press of Boston, too, poured contempt on the86 great Senator for these utterances. ‘The enemy in Boston,’ wrote Sumner to Garrison, in December, from87 Washington, ‘seem more malignant than ever,’ and he added: ‘You know that for some time I have been very sanguine that emancipation was at hand. Of course I am pained by the impediments which I find in the small ideas and little faith of men in public life. A courageous, earnest purpose would settle the question at once, for all time.’

Garrison's course in the Liberator, and in “masterly inactivity,” has been statesmanlike. . . . He is wise as a serpent,’ wrote Mrs. Chapman to J. M. McKim, in88 September. With the revocation of Fremont's proclamation, and the approaching session of Congress, the time for more aggressive measures seemed to Garrison to have come, and he drew up the following Memorial to Congress, [35] which was extensively circulated and signed, and forwarded to Washington:

To the Congress of the United States:

The undersigned, citizens of . . ., respectfully submit—

That, as the present formidable rebellion against the General Government manifestly finds its root and nourishment in the system of chattel slavery at the South; as the leading conspirators are slaveholders, who constitute an oligarchy avowedly hostile to all free institutions; and as, in the nature of things, no solid peace can be maintained while the cause of this treasonable revolt is permitted to exist; your honorable body is urgently implored to lose no time in enacting, under the war-power, the total abolition of slavery throughout the country— liberating unconditionally the slaves of all who are rebels, and, while not recognizing the right of property in man, allowing for the emancipated slaves of such as are loyal to the Government a fair pecuniary award, as a conciliatory measure, and to facilitate an amicable adjustment of difficulties; and thus to bring the war to a speedy and beneficent termination, and indissolubly to unite all sections and all interests of the country upon the enduring basis of universal freedom.

In an editorial on ‘The Time for National Deliverance,’90 he said, with all the emphasis of italics, to President Lincoln and his Cabinet advisers: ‘To refuse to deliver those captive millions who are now legally in your power, is tantamount to the crime of their original enslavement; and their blood shall a righteous God require at your hands. Put the trump of jubilee to your lips!’

In October Mr. Garrison visited Pennsylvania to attend the annual meeting of the State Anti-Slavery Society at91 West Chester, and wrote the ‘Statement of Principles’92 there adopted—a succinct exposition of the position held by the Society and by the abolitionists at large, with a final word for Mr. Lincoln again. On his way to West Chester, he tarried for a day or two in New York, where a brilliant evening reception was given him at a friend's93 house, and he “appeared in greatly improved health, full of a fine animation, exhibiting (as everywhere) his characteristic mirthfulness and seriousness,” A. S. Standard, Oct. 26, Lib. 31.174. and made ‘a happy [36] speech—full of good feeling, full of high hopes, full of trust in God.’ Dr. George B. Cheever and Horace Greeley also participated in the occasion.

W. L. Garrison to his Wife.

New York, Oct. 21, 1861.
94 Yesterday, Mrs. Savin, Oliver, Wendell, and myself, went to95 Brooklyn in the morning, to hear Ward Beecher preach. It was the first time I had been in his spacious chapel. We were provided with the best seats, near to the pulpit, and directly in front of the speaker. Old Dr. Beecher sat directly in front of96 me, and at the close of the services I gave him my hand, which he grasped cordially, and when I gave him my name, he seemed desirous to have me go to his house in the evening; but I was engaged elsewhere. Besides, age and time have done their work upon him: he is in a state of second childhood, with broken memory, and his speech badly affected, so that continuous conversation is beyond his ability.

The house, which is admirably constructed for an auditorium, holds about as many as the Tremont Temple, and was crowded97 in every part, aisles and all. So it is always. The immense assembly united with the choir in singing, which gave much life to that part of the service. The sermon was upon the nature and functions of conscience, and was a wide-awake and racy discourse. In the audience was Mr. Forbes of Milton Hill, with98 his daughter. Also, Mrs. Shaw of Staten Island, who, at the close of the proceedings, pressed eagerly forward to take me by the hand, and to express the hope that I would visit Staten Island before my return home. . . .

Wendell and I then spent a few moments with Ward Beecher,99 who seemed well pleased to see us, and who playfully said he thought he could do such a heretic as I some good, if he could only see me often enough! . . .

Last evening, we took tea and spent a very agreeable hour with the two female poets, Alice and Phoebe Cary, whose house is much visited. Horace Greeley was one of the company. We had some little discussion together on the peace question. He thinks there is no other way of dealing with tyranny than by knocking the tyrants in the head.

After tea, I went with Oliver and Wendell, and Phoebe Cary,100 to Dr. Cheever's church, to hear one of the series of anti-slavery [37] lectures he is delivering Sunday evening. The assembly was very large, and the Dr. earnest as usual, but his discourse was a hair-splitting defence of the anti-slavery character of the Constitution, and to me excessively tedious and wonderfully absurd, in view of the history of this nation. William Goodell was present, and, of course, enjoyed it to the brim, as it was but the echo of his own chop-logic. He grasped my hand warmly, and urged me to call and see him.

In Philadelphia there were more social gatherings and delightful days and evenings with the Motts, McKims, and others of that choice circle.101 Mr. Garrison found many of his Quaker friends deeply troubled by the fact that their sons, whom they had supposed firmly grounded in the peace principles of their Society, had been among the earliest to catch the infection of patriotic fervor and enlist in the army, and there was scarcely a household from which one or more of the young men had not gone forth to the conflict. ‘I told them,’ he said, with his usual cheerful philosophy, ‘that however much they might regret that their sons could not meet the test when it was applied, they should at least rejoice that the boys were true to their real convictions when the shot at Sumter revealed to them that they were simply birthright Quakers, and had not fully comprehended and absorbed the principles of their fathers. They had imagined they were on the plane of the Sermon on the Mount, and they found they were only up to the level of Lexington and Bunker Hill; but they should be honored none the less for their loyalty to truth and freedom.’

On his return to Boston, Mr. Garrison delivered a Sunday [38] morning discourse on the state of the country to an102 audience that filled Music Hall and applauded his103 strongest utterances. A week later, he and Mr. Phillips104 conducted the funeral services of Francis Jackson, who passed away, after a long illness, on the 14th of November, in his 73d year.105 Like Charles F. Hovey, he left a noble bequest to the cause so dear to them both, and provided a fund which lasted beyond the abolition of slavery and helped to swell the contributions for the education of the freedmen.106 More fortunate than Hovey, he survived to see the beginning of the end, and to know that the sum of all villanies was fast tottering to its fall.

By the capture of Port Royal and Beaufort in November, and the immediate emancipation thus effected of the thousands of slaves in the Sea Islands of South Carolina, the problem of the education and civilization of the degraded blacks of the rice and cotton belt of that section was presented to the consideration of the philanthropic people of the North, and a few weeks later it was seriously accepted and grappled with; but the last weeks of the year were absorbed in exultation over the victory on the Carolina coast and the seizure of the rebel emissaries Mason and Slidell on the steamer Trent. That the chief promoter of the Fugitive Slave Law should himself be107 incarcerated in a Boston fort seemed a rare bit of poetic justice, and it was natural that Mr. Phillips's allusion to it in his lecture (on ‘The War’) at New York, in108 December, should be rapturously applauded. The lecture itself [39] occupied seven columns of the Liberator, and is referred109 to in the following letter from Mr. Garrison to Oliver Johnson:

You will see in the Liberator, this week, the speech of Mr.110 Phillips, delivered at New York, as revised and corrected by himself. And such revision, correction, alteration, and addition you never saw, in the way of emendation! More than two columns of the Tribune's report were in type before P. came into our office; and the manipulation these required was a caution to all reporters and type-setters! I proposed to P. to send his altered ‘slips’ to Barnum as a remarkable curiosity, and111 Winchell suggested having them photographed! But P. desired to make his speech as complete and full as he could, and I am glad you are to receive it without being put to any trouble about it. Doubtless, you will be requested to make some new alterations; for he is constantly criticising what he has spoken, and pays no regard to literal accuracy. This speech will be eagerly read, as it touches ably upon many interesting points.

Gerrit Smith at Peterboroa, and Charles Sumner at Washington, both write to me in discouraging tones as to the prospects before us. The Administration has neither pluck nor definite purpose. What tremendous events will hinge upon an actual war with England! Mss. G. S., Dec. 23, 1861; C. S., Dec. 22.

In the Liberator for December 13, the passage from John Quincy Adams on the iniquity of the three-fifths representation clause in the Constitution, which had so long stood at the head of the first page (replaced for a time by a corresponding extract from Dr. Channing) was supplanted by Adams's declaration of the war-powers of the Government with respect to slavery; and the shibboleth, ‘The United States Constitution is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell,’ gave way to the command, ‘Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof.’

1 Nov. 23, 1860; Lib. 30.198.

2 Lib. 30.186.

3 Lib. 30.186, 189, 190.

4 Lib. 30.205.

5 Lib. 31.5.

6 Lib. 30.178.

7 Nov. 19, 1859; Lib. 30.141.

8 Lib. 31.6.

9 Ante, 3.505.

10 Lib. 31.14.

11 Ms.

12 Mrs. Oliver Johnson. She had clairvoyant powers.

13 Jan. 24, 25.

14 Joseph M. Wightman.

15 Jan. 23.

16 Jan. 20.

17 Lib. 31.6, 11, 12.

18 Ms. and Lib. 31.17.

19 Lib. 31.17.

20 The Rev. Jacob M. Manning, the associate pastor of the Old South Church, and as liberal and progressive as his colleague (Dr. George Blagden) was the reverse, had courageously spoken at the meeting in behalf of John Brown's family, held in Tremont Temple, in November, 1859, and was among the speakers invited to participate in this meeting of the Massachusetts A. S. Society. Heartily sympathizing, he at first agreed to do so, but subsequently wrote to Mr. Garrison that he felt he ought to withdraw his promise, as the safety of his brother-in-law, then resident in South Carolina, might be endangered if he should take part at this time. ‘Great God, what a country!’ he exclaimed—‘that I cannot speak for liberty without perilling the life of my brother!’ (Ms. Jan. 8, 1861.) Mr. Garrison, from his sick-bed, dictated a reply, freely absolving him, and said: ‘If it were a question relating to a compromise of principle, then, I am sure, you would be as unwilling to allow father or mother, brother or sister, wife or child, to deter you from uttering your sentiments on the occasion alluded to, as I should be to exonerate you from the discharge of a duty which would then imperatively devolve upon you. But, as there is no moral obligation for you to speak at any particular meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society, it simply becomes a question of expediency and sound discretion, and therefore I think you have acted considerately . . . in wishing to recall your promise. . . . You have, on various occasions, shown rare moral courage and independence in bearing a frank, bold, and unequivocal testimony against the colossal sin of our country; and your last effort, on Fast Day, in your own pulpit, must satisfy all of your determination to be true to your conscientious convictions, come what may’ (Ms. copy, Jan. 8, 1861).

21 J. M. Wightman.

22 Ante, 3.505.

23 Doubtless there would have been a stormy time, had the evening meeting been held, for the mob, knowing the Mayor was in sympathy with them, and inflamed by liquor, were prepared for a murderous onslaught under the cover of darkness; but a fearless magistrate, resolved to execute the laws, could have protected the meeting and preserved the peace, for the police force was ample. Mr. Phillips appealed in person to Gov. Andrew, hoping that he would use the militia, and do, in the name of the State, what the recreant Mayor refused to do in the name of the city; but the Governor, with every desire to protect free speech, felt that he lacked the statutory power to interfere, unless the Mayor should call upon him to do so. This led to an agitation for a Metropolitan Police, under State control, such as New York enjoyed—or, rather, possessed; but the Legislature refused to grant it.

24 Lib. 31.9.

25 He subsequently withdrew his propositions, on the ground that it was ‘of no use to propose as an adjustment that which has no prospect of being received as such by the other party’; and, as a member of the Committee of Thirty-three to consider the state of the country, he finally voted against making any proposition whatever (Lib. 31: 13; Wilson's “ Rise and Fall of the Slave Power,” 3: 106).

26 Jan. 12, 1861; Lib. 31.10.

27 Lib. 31.26.

28 Speech of Thomas Corwin in the U. S. House of Representatives, Jan. 21, 1861; Appendix to “ Congressional Globe,” 36th Congress, 2d session, pp. 73, 74. See, also, the comments of Owen Lovejoy in his fearless speech two days later (ibid., p. 85).

29 Mss. E. W. Capron and E. H. Irish to J. M. McKim, Jan. 29, 30, 1861.

30 Greeley's American Conflict, 1.376, 377, 399-402.

31 In the House the vote was more decisive, 113 Nays to 80 Yeas.

32 Senators Sumner, Wilson, Wade, and others in both houses of Congress were firm in resisting every step towards compromise; but even Senator Wilson spoke so apologetically concerning the Massachusetts Personal Liberty Law, in his speech of Feb. 21, in the U. S. Senate, that Mr. Garrison was compelled to criticise him sharply (Lib. 31: 46).

33 Jan. 12.

34 Lib. 31.10.

35 S. C. Miss., Fla., Ala.

36 Star of the West.

37 Jan. 9, 1861.

38 Winfield Scott.

39 This article extorted a frank confession and tribute from the Boston Courier, then under the editorship of George Lunt, and the most virulent and disloyal journal in New England at that time: ‘We ask our readers to ponder carefully these telling and effective sentences, and to ask themselves whether there is not a good deal of truth as well as of force in them. They serve to show the degree of power which a man like Mr. Garrison wields, who plants himself upon an immutable principle, and firmly stands there, regardless of consequences. . . . His path of duty lies as clear before him as the travelled highway. He has no temptation to turn to the right hand or the left. He has no doubts, no misgivings, no questionings. Onward, straight onward, like the flight of an arrow through the air, does he move to his aim. It is not necessary for us to disclaim all sympathy with the ends and objects for which Mr. Garrison lives. To us, he and his party are all wrong; but they are consistently, manfully, and resolutely wrong. We never read a speech or an article of Mr. Garrison's without a consciousness of the power which his deep and fervid convictions give him. . . . The incurable weakness of Mr. Seward's position is, that he is ever halting between two opinions. . . . He is obliged to say one thing at Washington, and another at Rochester; one thing in the spring, and another in the autumn. . . . He blows hot and cold; he speaks with two voices; he backs and fills; he utters a brave threat, and then seems to shrink back from the echo of his own voice’ (Boston Courier, Jan. 21, 1861; Lib. 31: 20).

40 Lib. 31.26.

41 Lib. 31.27.

42 Greeley's American Conflict, 1.358-9.

43 Lib. 31.26.

44 This was evidently penned just after Mr. Garrison had seen a private letter from W. H. Herndon of Springfield, Ill., Mr. Lincoln's law partner, to S. E. Sewall, which concluded: ‘Mr. Lincoln yet remains firm as a rock. He is true game, and is strong in the faith of Justice, Right, Liberty, Man, and God. He has told me, not only once, but often and often, that rather than back down—rather than concede to traitors, his soul might go back to God from the wings of the Capitol. I believe it. He and I have been partners in law for thirteen years, and I know him’ (Ms. copy, Feb. 1).

45 It was not without a little surprise, after the election of Mr. Lincoln and Gov. Andrew, that Mr. Garrison found himself frequently appealed to by aspirants for office under the new Administration to endorse their applications. Standing wholly aloof, as he did, from the Republican party organization, and being a frequent and severe critic of the acts of its leaders, he had not imagined that he had any influence to lend in that direction, but he consented with some reluctance to recommend two or three persons whom he believed worthy and competent to Governor Andrew, at the same time apologizing for doing so. The Governor promptly sent this cordial and characteristic reply (Ms.):

Boston, March 5, 1861.

My dear Sir: I am much obliged to you for introducing Mr. T——of Dorchester. I shall do my best to favor the strong, real, and true-hearted men who are sincerely with us in the Republican cause. And I am glad to try to help him. I will do so.

You need never apologize for any such introduction—nor for any hint or advice you may feel disposed to give me. I hope and trust the best good of our people, of every condition, will be served by the new Administration. I shall support it faithfully in that hope and confidence, and shall do my little to give it the best direction. Faithfully yours, J. A. Andrew.

46 Ante, pp. 9, 10.

47 Lib. 31.38.

48 Apr. 12-14.

49 Apr. 15.

50 Lib. 31.58, 62.

51 Lib. 31.63.

52 As a manifestation of their antipathy to Mr. Phillips, and with a lack of enterprise amazing in these days of competition in journalism, the Boston dailies, with the exception of the Advertiser, refrained by common consent from reporting or making any allusion to this discourse. Even the Republican Atlas and Daily Bee, which usually gave full reports of Mr. Phillips's speeches, and had secured one of this, was induced to suppress it. The result was a sale of sixteen thousand copies of the Liberator Extra containing it.

53 Lib. 31.66.

54 For ‘the same weighty considerations’ the usual May meetings in Boston were also omitted (Lib. 31: 70).

55 Mss. W. L. G. to O. Johnson; E. M. Davis, J. M. McKim, J. S. Gibbons, O. Johnson to W. L. G., April 19-25.

56 Ms. April 19, 1861.

57 The Superintendent of Police in New York (John A. Kennedy), who had promised ample protection to the meetings of the Society in case they should be held and any violence attempted, on the pretext of suppressing ‘disunionism,’ had formerly been secretary of an anti-slavery society in Baltimore, and a partner of Benjamin Lundy in publishing the Genius prior to 1827, when he removed to New York (Ms. April 13, 1861, Oliver Johnson to W. L. G.).

58 Lib. 31.74.

59 Lib. 31.70, 74.

60 Lib. 31.78, 82.

61 Lib. 31.86.

62 Lib. 31.94.

63 Ante, 2.75; Lib. 31.74, 90.

64 Lib. 31.77, 81, 85, 89, 93.

65 The spirit of the South towards Northern Freemen and soldiers defending the American flag against traitors of the deepest Dye. Boston: R. F. Wallcut, 1861.

66 Lib. 31.86.

67 Lib. 31.94.

68 Lib. 31.86, 98, 102.

69 Lib. 31.102.

70 Rev. Geo. B. Cheever's church, N. Y. City.

71 In 1856 Mr. Thompson had made a second visit to India, where he was prostrated, in the midst of his labors, by the climate, and he returned to England apparently a helpless paralytic. The timely pecuniary aid sent him by his American friends in 1859 saved him from sore distress, and doubtless hastened his recovery, and towards the close of 1860 he became the active (but untitled) and salaried agent in England of the American Anti-Slavery Society. The arrangement proved unexpectedly fortunate and important; for the Society, by thus sustaining Mr. Thompson in his extremity, saved and prepared him for the yeoman service which he was to perform in behalf of the American Government during the most critical period of the war.

72 Lib. 31.75.

73 ‘That, until the Government shall take this step [of emancipation] and place itself openly and unequivocally on the side of freedom, we can give it no support or countenance in its effort to maintain its authority over the seceded States, but must continue to labor, as we have hitherto done, to heap upon it that obloquy which naturally attaches to all who are guilty of the crime of enslaving their fellow-men’ (Lib. 31: 111).

74 Lib. 31.111.

75 Also introduced by Mr. Foster: ‘That, as citizens deeply interested in the honor and welfare of our common country, we earnestly ask and demand of our national Government that it at once proclaim an act of emancipation to all our enslaved countrymen, wherever held, as the only honorable, just, and efficient means of settling our present national troubles, and establishing our Union upon a solid and enduring basis’ (Lib. 31: 111).

76 Lib. 31.131.

77 Wilson's Anti-Slavery Measures in Congress, pp. 14-16.

78 John C. Fremont.

79 Sept. 11.

80 Lib. 31.151.

81 Lib. 31.194.

82 Ms. Dec. 6, 1861.

83 New York.

84 I. e., the Border slaveholding States.

85 Oct. 1.

86 Advertiser, Journal.

87 Ms. Dec. 22, 1861.

88 Ms.

89 Lib. 31.154.

90 Lib. 31.162.

91 Oct. 24, 25.

92 Lib. 34.175.

93 Oct. 21.

94 Ms.

95 Oliver Johnson, W. P. Garrison.

96 Lyman Beecher.

97 Boston.

98 John M. Forbes, Sarah B. Shaw.

99 W. P. G.

100 O. Johnson, W. P. G.

101Garrison is a real Bishop of souls,’ wrote Mrs. Chapman to Miller McKim, at this time. And again: ‘I enjoyed the account of your meeting in the Standard. Garrison is bringing up the rear like a good captain. “Our dear chief” (as Florence Nightingale calls Sidney Herbert) is one to be proud of. He is so great as a social reformer that, as H. M. [Harriet Martineau] says, in her sketch of him in the Once a Week, “he is too great, as such, to be a representative man at present; however, his example may raise up a class hereafter.” I wonder why we have never republished that sketch? I dare say Johnson did not see it, and Garrison would not give it out for the Liberator’ (Ms. Nov. 2, 1861).

102 Nov. 10, 1861;

103 Lib. 31.182.

104 Nov. 18.

105 They were held in the same parlors of the old Hollis Street house in which the ladies of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society met after the mob of 1835, and received a new ally in Harriet Martineau (ante, 2: 52, 57, 60).

106 The amount was $10,000, subsequently increased by residuary rights. Mr. Garrison, who for twenty-five years was constantly indebted to Mr. Jackson's generous help in meeting the deficit of the Liberator, was also the recipient of a liberal bequest, and the sum of $5,000 was given in aid of the Woman's Rights movement. Through a contest of the will and an unjust decision of the Supreme Court, this last provision was subsequently annulled, in consequence of which a daughter of Mr. Jackson (Mrs. Eliza F. Eddy) twenty years later bequeathed over $50,000 for the same object, as her protest against the violation of her father's will.

107 James M. Mason.

108 Dec. 19.

109 Lib. 31.206.

110 Ms. Dec. 26, 1861.

111 P. T. Barnum, the showman, J. M. W. Yerrinton.

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