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Chapter 4: the reelection of Lincoln.—1864.

Thompson lands in February, and is made the object of marked public attention, lecturing in the National Capitol before the President and the leaders of Congress. A division arises in the abolition ranks over the reelection of Lincoln, Wendell Phillips opposing it with much vehemence, and Garrison favoring it with equal earnestness, as does Thompson also. Garrison attends as a spectator the National Convention of the Republican party at Philadelphia, which unani-mously renominates Lincoln, while demanding the utter extinction of slavery. He proceeds to Baltimore, and finds the jail in which he was confined in 1830 demolished; visits Washington for the first time, and is heartily received by the President, and very courteously in the Senate chamber. In a controversy with Professor F. W. Newman of London, he defends the renomination of Lincoln, whose reelection presently crowns the repeal by Congress of the Fugitive Slave Law, and the abolition of slavery by Maryland.

The new year opened with the shadow of a great sorrow resting upon the household in Dix Place. On the night of December 29, 1863, Mrs. Garrison was prostrated by a severe stroke of paralysis, which entirely crippled her left side, and for several days made her recovery doubtful. The blow was utterly unexpected, for she had ever enjoyed the best of health, and her energetic exertions, not only in the management of her domestic affairs, but in outside works of kindness and benevolence, were unceasing. Early in the month she had accompanied her husband and two of their sons to the Decade Meeting at Philadelphia, to her great enjoyment and the gratification of her friends in that city, for her devotion to home and children had seldom allowed her to indulge in such excursions. She returned happy in the memory of her delightful experience, and in the thought that she might attempt such visits oftener in future, now that her children no longer needed her constant maternal care, and that the approaching downfall of slavery promised more opportunities of relaxation for her husband. She had seldom looked more fresh and blooming than on the day which proved to be her last of active, vigorous health, and the friends on whom she called, on an errand in behalf of the freedmen, were impressed by her fine appearance. In the evening she attended a lecture with her husband and children, and an hour or two after she had retired for the [94] night, the blow fell which crippled her for the remainder of her life.1

The physical strain put on Mr. Garrison in the first moments of his wife's helplessness temporarily disabled him also; but he was able, in the latter part of January, to attend the Anti-Slavery Subscription Festival, and the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery2 Society. At this meeting Mr. Phillips made an elaborate speech on the danger of a premature reconstruction of the seceded States, and the importance of demanding the political enfranchisement of the freedmen in any scheme that might be devised, as the only means of preventing the enactment of apprenticeship or other oppressive laws by their late masters. His text was a resolution, introduced by himself, in these terms:

That, in our opinion, the Government, in its haste, is ready to sacrifice the interest and honor of the North to secure a sham peace, thereby risking the introduction into Congress of a strong Confederate minority to embarrass legislation, and leaving the freedmen and the Southern States under the control of the late slaveholders, embittered by their defeat in war, and entailing on the country intestine feuds for another dozen years; and we listen in vain, either from the leaders of the Republican party or from its journals, for any such protest as would arrest national attention, or create a public opinion definite enough to avert the sacrifice. Lib. 34.22.

There was good reason for exclaiming against the crude and hasty methods by which the President seemed anxious to reestablish the machinery of local self-government (by the whites) in the conquered territory held by the Northern armies, and for demanding that no State should be readmitted to the Union until equal rights, fair-play, and protection to the freedmen had been fully secured; but [95] to the opening sentence of the resolution Mr. Garrison, with his usual scrupulousness of phraseology, felt compelled to take exception, and he did so as follows:

Mr. President, in consequence of a severe domestic3 affliction and of bodily debility, I am not mentally or physically in a condition to make a speech; and, therefore, I shall not attempt to make one. But I wish to propose an amendment to the resolution which was submitted to the meeting by my friend Mr. Phillips this forenoon, and which he advocated with his usual ability and eloquence. As it now stands, it reads thus:

“Resolved, That, in our opinion, the Government, in its haste, is ready to sacrifice the interest and honor of the North to secure a sham peace,” etc.

I am not prepared to bring this charge, nor to cast this imputation. I believe that there is only one party at the North that is ready to make such a sacrifice for such an object, and that is the party of Copperheads. I would therefore propose that the resolution be amended as follows:

“Resolved, That, in our opinion, the Government, in its haste, is in danger of sacrificing,” etc.

This, Mr. President, is what I am willing to admit, and what I believe; but I would always rather err on the side of charitable judgment than of excessive condemnation. The resolution, as offered, is an impeachment of motives, not of ability or vigilance. It commits us to the assertion, that we believe the Government—meaning Mr. Lincoln in particular—is ready to do a most infamous act, namely, “to sacrifice the interest and honor of the North to secure a sham peace,” whereby the President's Emancipation Proclamation shall be rendered null and void, and the slave oligarchy restored to their original supremacy. Now, sir, I do not believe a word of it, and therefore I cannot vote for it. To be ready to do a base thing for a base end implies both will and purpose; it means something more than liability: it amounts to perfidy. There was a time when I had little confidence in Abraham Lincoln, and very little respect for him: it was when, for almost eighteen months after secession had taken place, he was evidently averse to seeing that slavery had any vital connection with the rebellion, and so refused to strike a blow at its existence. . . . But the time [96] came at last when the President, unless he was determined to be wilfully and wickedly blind, was compelled to see that slavery and the rebellion were indissolubly bound up together. Then came the proclamation of unconditional and everlasting emancipation to three million three hundred thousand slaves, leaving not one to clank his fetters in any rebel State; and then, all that is vile and seditious in the Copperhead, pro-slavery, rebelsympathizing element in the North burst forth against him, and to this hour continues to pour every vial of its wrath upon his head. Since that event, and in view of what has followed in the enrolment of tens of thousands of colored soldiers, I have changed my opinion of Abraham Lincoln. In proportion as he has fallen in the estimation of the disloyal portion of the North, he has risen in my own. True, he is open to criticism for his slowness, and needs spurring on to yet more decisive action; but I am not willing to believe that he is “ready to sacrifice the interest and honor of the North to secure a sham peace” with the rebels. That is a very grave charge.

The amendment was earnestly opposed by Mr. Phillips, who instanced the President's attitude towards the4 Missouri radicals, his pains to humor Kentucky (‘the Gibraltar of the Border-States obstacle’), and his recent Amnesty proclamation, in confirmation. Mr. Garrison5 had no apology to make for the Amnesty, which he had ‘elsewhere condemned in unequivocal terms,’ nor for the Government's course in paying the negro troops as laborers instead of as soldiers.6 But he maintained his objection to the resolution. The vote of the Society was so close as to be doubtful for a moment, but the amendment [97] was finally declared defeated, and the resolution adopted by a narrow majority.

So unusual a divergence between the two foremost leaders of the anti-slavery movement naturally attracted general attention and comment, and caused no little7 disturbance of mind in some of their immediate followers; but both protested that the difference was simply one of opinion and judgment, and not of fundamental principles, and Garrison defended Phillips against some of the sharp criticisms of the press, and warmly eulogized him. “The honesty of his conviction is not to be impeached,” Lib. 34.34. he declared, ‘while its soundness may be questioned without any personal feeling.’ ‘I was glad to see that you were able to be at the anti-slavery meetings,’ wrote Samuel J. May to Mr. Garrison, “and to attempt to qualify the only expression that marred the excellence of what Mr. Phillips said. It does seem to me that Mr. Lincoln has shown himself anxious to be and to do right, though liable to err through the influences of his education, of his evil advisers, and the complicated difficulties which beset his course of action.” Ms. Feb. 10, 1864. And J. M. McKim wrote: “Wendell's speech and resolution not only laid him open to criticism, but demanded and made necessary criticism. It was due to us all that there should be some objection, some disclaimer, and you were the person to make it. We can admire genius, love virtue, and honor fidelity, without surrendering to either, or to all combined (as in this case), our judgment.” Ms. Feb. 9, to W. L. G.

Owen Lovejoy to W. L. Garrison.

Washington (D. C.), Feb. 22, 1864.
8 dear friend Garrison: I write you, although ill-health compels me to do it by the hand of another, to express to you my gratification at the position you have taken in reference to Mr. Lincoln. I am satisfied, as the old theologians used to say in regard to the world, that if he is not the best conceivable President, he is the best possible. I have known something of the facts inside during his administration, and I [98] know that he has been just as radical as any of his Cabinet. And although he does not do everything that you or I would like, the question recurs, whether it is likely we can elect a man who would. It is evident that the great mass of Unionists prefer him for reflection; and it seems to me certain that the providence of God, during another term, will grind slavery to powder. I believe now that the President is up with the average of the House.

You will notice that the House paid the hundred dollars to the master instead of the slave. And you will have noticed, perhaps, also, that Henry Winter Davis has made a report in reference to Arkansas, where he has put in the word ‘white’ as a qualification for voting. It is my purpose (by the way), if I am ever able to be in my seat again, to move to amend by striking out the word ‘white.’ And, if possible, I mean to bring the House to a vote on it, and let them confront the question face to face.

Recurring to the President, there are a great many reports concerning him which seem to be reliable and authentic, which, after all, are not so. It was currently reported among the anti-slavery men of Illinois, that the Emancipation Proclamation was extorted from him by the outward pressure, and particularly by the delegation from the Christian Convention that met at Chicago. Now, the fact is this, as I had it from his own lips: He had written the Proclamation in the summer (as early9 as June, I think, but will not be certain as to the precise time), and called his Cabinet together, and informed them that he had written it and he meant to make it, but wanted to read it to them for any criticism or remarks as to its features or details. After having done so, Mr. Seward suggested whether it would not be well for him to withhold its publication until after we had gained some substantial advantage in the field, as at that time we had met with many reverses, and it might be considered a cry of despair. He told me he thought the suggestion a wise one, and so held on to the Proclamation until after the battle of Antietam.10

I mention this as a sample of a great many others. But I am wandering from my purpose, which was simply to tell you how much pleasure your position gives me.

I am also very glad to see that Mr. Thompson of England11 speaks in friendly terms of the President. If I were acquainted with him, I would write and thank him also; and I hope you will say so to him. I congratulate him and the country on the [99] change which has taken place in relation to slavery since he visited us before, and hope I may have the pleasure of seeing him in Washington during the session of Congress; and will be glad to introduce him to the President.

I have also to thank you for sending me the Liberator. During the past sessions, when pro-slaveryism was in the ascendant, I used to read your articles to renew and strengthen my faith.

Very truly yours,

Early in February, George Thompson landed in Boston13 on his third and final visit to America. Both in the Liberator and in speeches and resolutions at the various antislavery conventions of the preceding months, Mr. Garrison had done his utmost to insure a fitting welcome for his bosom friend;14 and the farewell soirees with which Thompson's admirers in London, Manchester, and15 Liverpool had honored him, were but a prelude to the series of ovations awaiting him in the land which he had so long loved and served, and which was ready now to recognize his heroism, his sacrifices, and his magnanimity. For whereas, in 1835, he had been secretly hurried out of16 Boston harbor, he was now received with special courtesies by the Customs officers of the United States, and treated as a distinguished visitor. The Collector of the port solicited17 his presence at a levee, a few days after he landed, and in18 a company comprising the representative men of the city and State he was greeted with the heartiest cheers. His first public appearance was at Music Hall, on February 16, when he addressed an immense audience on “The Popular Sentiment of England in regard to America and the Rebellion,” Lib. 34.31. and described the agitation which had [100] kept the British Government from interfering in the American struggle. A week later, the same hall was19 packed to its utmost capacity on the occasion of a formal reception tendered to Mr. Thompson by leading citizens of Massachusetts, the name of John A. Andrew heading the list. Governor Andrew presided with rare felicity, declaring it to be an agreeable service, and in the direct20 line of his public duty, to attempt the chairmanship of the meeting, and ‘to accord an honorable welcome to George Thompson,’ both for his earlier achievements and21 for his recent services in behalf of the North. Mr. Thompson's response was worthy of himself and of the22 magnificent occasion. Mr. Garrison would fain have kept in the background, preferring that the welcome to his friend should be seen to be a spontaneous and popular one; but the audience insisted on hearing him, and gave him three cheers as he came forward to express his delight at the atonement which Boston and Massachusetts were now offering. Addressing the Governor, he said:

Sir, it has been the custom of those who have occupied the23 Executive chair in this State, to close their Fast Day and Thanksgiving proclamations with the exclamation: “God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!” Now, sir, in view of the altered state of things among us, in view of this glorious meeting, justly and fairly representing the people of Massachusetts, and in view of the fact that your Excellency is here to preside on this occasion, I have to say that at last I believe Massachusetts is saved—saved from her old pro-slavery subserviency and degradation—saved from her blind, selfish, calculating slaveholding complicity with the South—saved to honor, justice, humanity, and impartial freedom.

The Boston reception was speedily followed by one at24 Cooper Institute, New York, with General John C. Fre--25 mont in the chair; by another at Plymouth Church,26 Brooklyn, with Henry Ward Beecher presiding; by others27 still in Springfield,28 Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, and [101] Worcester, and especially at the Academy of Music in29 Philadelphia, on the invitation of the most prominent30 citizens, and with Horace Binney, Jr., presiding. But the climax of dramatic contrasts to the incidents of the Englishman's first visit to America was reached at Washington, where the House of Representatives voted him the use of its Hall for the lecture which John Pierpont and others had invited him to deliver at the Capital.31 Vice-President Hamlin presided, and the hall was thronged32 by a brilliant audience, which included President Lincoln,33 members of the Cabinet, and a majority of both Houses of Congress. At the close of the lecture, the President, Speaker Colfax, and many Senators and Representatives congratulated Mr. Thompson. Among them was Senator Reverdy Johnson of Maryland, only a few years before counsel on the pro-slavery side in the Dred Scott case, but now an earnest advocate of the Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery, which passed the Senate (38 to 6)34 two days after Mr. Thompson's lecture. Marked35 attentions were also shown the latter in the House and Senate, the following day; by Mr. Lincoln at the White House; and by Secretaries Stanton, Seward, and Chase.

Mr. Garrison had at first intended to accompany Mr. Thompson to Washington, but decided not to do so, because, as he wrote to Oliver Johnson, who enjoyed that privilege in his stead—

I wish him to be the one sole object of attention, and to have concentrated upon him all the honors that might be divided between us, provided we were together. I want him thus to be individually and conspicuously noticed for various reasons— especially for international ones: it will tell well in England, [102] and help to strengthen the ties of friendship and amity between both countries. Possibly, but not probably, I may conclude to visit Washington before the final adjournment of Congress. Ms. Mar. 14, 1864.

Oliver Johnson to W. L. Garrison.

Philadelphia, April 11th, 1864.
36 You see we are thus far on our way home. We halt here to-night to allow Mr. Thompson to be presented to the Union League, at their Club House, and to make them a brief colloquial address. It is intended to clinch the nail which he drove a week ago in the Academy of Music—or, changing the figure, to cap the climax of the former meeting. McKim assures us37 that the speech here a week ago made a grand impression, not merely upon the intelligent mass, but upon leading men, heretofore conservative. Horace Binney, Jr., the Chairman, is a man of the very highest social standing, the representative of the wealth and culture of the city. Many eminent clergymen were on the platform—among them Bishop Potter! Verily38 the day of miracles is not past.

I wrote you, I think, of every important incident connected with our visit to Washington. We left there Friday morning,39 and were in the house of dear old Thomas Garrett by 4 1/2 P. M.40 In the evening there was a good audience to hear Mr. Thompson. As he was rather feeble, I opened the meeting (at his41 earnest request) by giving the people some account of his life. He followed in a most admirable extemporaneous address, which charmed his auditors, and of which the most radical portions were loudly cheered. The influence on the city was most happy, and dear old Thomas Garrett was more than delighted. . . .

To-morrow we are off to Newark, where Mr. Thompson will speak in the evening. Then he will go to New York for a couple of days, and after that to Elmira, Syracuse, Auburn, and Rochester.

I need not tell you, my dear Garrison, that I have enjoyed every moment spent in Mr. Thompson's company. The more I see of him, the more I love and reverence him, and the more I hear him, the more I admire his eloquence. How fine are his instincts, how clear his intellect, how true his heart! How admirably poised is his mind, how rare his moral discernment, how nice his discrimination in all things! He is so generous, so catholic in spirit, so comprehensive in his aims, that he wins [103] at once the respect and love of all whom he meets. It makes me sad at moments to think how feeble he is in body, and that age and sickness are making inroads upon his constitution.

Mr. Thompson's lecture engagements throughout the year were numerous, and took him as far west as St. Louis, in December. On the fifth of that month he wrote from Cincinnati to Mr. Garrison: ‘Within the42 last forty-eight hours I have been in two slave States, yet here I am, safe from harm, with not so much as the smell of tar upon me.’ Stranger, almost, was what befell him in Connecticut in July.

George Thompson to W. L. Garrison.

Wesleyan University,43 Middletown, July 20, 1864.
44 Times change, and men with them. Once, as you know, I was vilified and denounced by the President and professors45 of this institution. Now, I am respectfully invited, hospitably entertained; and students, and Faculty, and the Trustees, and the editor of the Christian Advocate encourage, caress, and46 applaud me. I had a truly splendid meeting here yesterday. These commencement meetings are rare opportunities for sowing the good seed. I had a good deal to say about you, and was rejoiced to find that the mention of your name drew forth loud and repeated cheers. The town is very fall. I am surprised to find how many have heard me in days gone by, who I was not aware had ever come within the sound of my voice. I suppose they were the Nicodemuses of the day. . . .

July 22.
My meeting here was a very beautiful sight, my reception most cordial. Yesterday, I went to listen to the college exercises; judge of my consternation and confusion when, without a dream of such an event, I found myself made an Ll. D., amidst the acclamations of all present! This compliment was paid me as a proof of the sympathy entertained in the objects47 to which I have devoted myself, and as an atonement for the conduct of certain parties connected with the University, long ago. Dr. Whedon was present, concurring in the proceedings;48 and also Dr. Curry, the successor of Dr. Bangs in the49 editorship of the Christian Advocate and Journal. [104]

I shall be in Northampton on Saturday, speak again in50 Florence on Sunday, and be ready to welcome you next week, should you signify your intention to come. Should you say no, I shall shorten my stay, and get back to Boston, and try to spend the 1st of August with you somewhere else.

As early as January the movement in favor of Mr. Lincoln's nomination for a second term had begun to take shape in the resolutions passed by several State legislatures in favor of that course, and found constant expression in many other ways. In his speech at the January51 meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Mr. Garrison had alluded to these manifestations of the popular will as proving that the loyal people did not believe the President ready ‘to sacrifice the interest and honor of the North to procure a sham peace,’ and he added, for himself:

Taking all things into consideration,—especially in view of the fact that he has not only decreed the liberation of every slave in Rebeldom forever, but stands repeatedly committed, as no other man does, before heaven and earth, to maintain it so long as he is in office,—in my judgment the reelection of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States would be the safest and wisest course, in the present state of our national affairs, on the part of those who are friendly to his Administration. No other candidate would probably carry so strong a vote in opposition to Copperhead Democracy. Such, at least, is my conviction. Lib. 34.23.

In March he repeated and emphasized this opinion in52 an editorial, on ‘The Presidency,’ which attracted wide attention. Declaring the approaching election to be ‘a matter of the gravest consideration in its relation to the stability of the Government, the suppression of the rebellion, and the abolition of slavery,’ he deemed it none too early to discuss who should be the Republican candidate, in view of the various schemes that were already on foot to prevent Mr. Lincoln's re-nomination, and to push53 Chase, Butler, or Fremont for the position.54

Standing, as we have stood for more than thirty years, outside of every party organization,—yet taking the deepest [105] interest in every political struggle of national concernment as indicative of progress or retrogression,—we occupy a position not only absolutely independent of all party ties and obligations, but sufficiently elevated and disinterested to make our judgment impartial, if not conclusive to others. The crisis is too solemn to justify heat or dogmatism, or even that personal preference or rivalry which, under other circumstances, would be allowable and attended with no danger. Never was the apostolic injunction more impressive than now: “ Let every one be fully persuaded in his own mind ” —and act in accordance with his clearest instincts and his highest convictions. There are, and there will be, honest differences of opinion among those who are thoroughly loyal to the Government, as to the best course to be pursued; yet it is none the less certain that the fewer these differences can be made, the less danger will there be of the success of that party at the North which is essentially, brutally, persistently pro-slavery, and eager to strike hands with the rebels of the South in an arrangement that shall be mutually satisfactory, by allowing the latter to dictate terms and have their own way.

In stating our convictions, we ask no approval of them on the part of our readers beyond what may seem reasonable and just.

The policy of the Copperhead party, continued Mr. Garrison, was clearly to sow dissensions in the Republican ranks, and profit by their division, but Secretary Chase had already bowed to the adverse decision of his own State55 to his candidature, and had withdrawn his name. Fremont could have no hope of success as opposed to Lincoln, than whom no man living had so strong a hold on the mass of the people.

Not that Mr. Lincoln is not open to criticism and censure;56 we have both criticised and censured him again and again. Not that there is not much to grieve over, and to be surprised at, in his administration, on account of its inconsistent and paradoxical treatment of the rebellion and slavery; of this we have spoken freely. Nevertheless, there is also much to rejoice over and to be thankful for; and a thousand incidental errors and blunders are easily to be borne with on the part of him who, at one blow, severed the chains of three million three hundred thousand slaves—thus virtually abolishing the whole slave [106] system (the greater necessarily including the less) in quick progression, as an act dictated alike by patriotism, justice, and humanity.

This declaration gave great satisfaction to the loyal press and public, and was a welcome evidence to Mr. Lincoln that he was not to have the influence of the abolitionists against him in the pending struggle, but could rely on their forbearance and faith in his purpose to carry the nation through to peace and freedom. Hitherto his own utterances respecting the emancipation policy had had, as George Thompson said, “the alloy of expediency.” Ante, p. 68. Now, for the first time, he seemed to recognize the divine hand in chastisement for national oppression, and to regard the war as something more than a struggle for the Union and the Constitution, in which the question of slavery had only a subordinate part. In his honest and thoroughly characteristic letter of April 4 to A. G. Hodges of Kentucky, after frankly stating the rule which had guided his course with regard to the suppression of the rebellion, and under which, while himself ‘naturally anti-slavery,’ and believing ‘if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong,’ he had done no official act in deference to his mere abstract judgment and feeling on slavery, he concluded with a passage which was the forerunner of the solemn utterances in his final message to Congress and his second inaugural:

In telling this tale, I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years struggle, the nation's condition is not what either party, or any man, devised or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North, as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new causes to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God. Raymond's History of Lincoln's Administration, pp. 482-3.57


The Presidential theme occupied the attention of the May meetings of the American and Massachusetts Societies, to the exclusion of almost everything else, and the debates at times were earnest and exciting. Mr. Phillips, at the opening session in New York, introduced his speech58 with a, resolution that, “while we do not criticise the wishes of the Administration, still, as abolitionists, we feel bound to declare that we see no evidence of its purpose to put the freedom of the negro on such a basis as will secure it against every peril” Lib. 34.81.; and he proceeded to criticise the delays and shortcomings of Mr. Lincoln and his advisers, and the attempts to patch up a reconstructed State in Louisiana without giving suffrage to the negroes. ‘My charge,’ he said, ‘against the Administration, as an abolitionist, is, that it seeks to adjourn the battle from cannon shot to the forum; from Grant to the Senate-house; and to leave the poisoned remnants of the slave system for a quarter of a century to come’; and he manifested his decided opposition to Mr. Lincoln's renomination, accusing him of having, by his dilatory course respecting slavery, solidified Southern sentiment against the Union, and made a Confederacy where Jefferson Davis had only made a rebellion. ‘To-day,’ he continued, “the man who takes the helm of the vessel of State in his hand has a tenfold harder work to do than Abraham Lincoln had in March, 1861, for he has got the South, as near as such a thing can be, unanimous against him.” Lib. 34.81.

In the business meetings of the Society, Mr. Phillips was even more sweeping and extravagant in his language, for he declared that he would sooner have severed his right59 hand than taken the responsibility which his dear and [108] faithful friend Garrison had assumed in favoring Mr. Lincoln's reelection. ‘There are no hundred men in the country,’ he continued, ‘whose united voices would be of equal importance in determining the future of the Government and country. A million dollars would have been a cheap purchase for the Administration of the Liberator's article on the Presidency.’ And at the final session he60 closed his despondent speech with a renewed avowal of his hostility to Lincoln, the day of whose reelection, he said, “I shall consider the end of the Union in my day, or its reconstruction on terms worse than Disunion.” Lib. 34.86.

Mr. Garrison's rejoinders to these speeches were in harmony with his previous charitable consideration for Mr. Lincoln, in view of the perils which had surrounded him,—“perils and trials unknown to any man, in any age of the world, in official station” Lib. 34.82; and he quoted Mr.61 Phillips's own words the year before, which contemplated Mr. Lincoln's being President four or eight years longer, in these terms:

I told him myself, and I believed it then, and I believe it now,—I meant it then, and I mean it now,—that the man who would honestly put his right hand to the plow of that proclamation, and execute it, this people would not allow to quit while the experiment was trying. Whoever starts the great experiment of emancipation, and honestly devotes his energies to making it a fact, deserves to hold the helm of the Government until that experiment is finished. Lib. 33.110.

Mr. Garrison's hopeful view was shared by Miller McKim and George Thompson, in their speeches, and62 at all the public sessions the sympathy of the audiences was clearly with them and in favor of Lincoln. At the business meetings of the Society, Mr. Phillips was63 supported by Stephen S. Foster and Parker Pillsbury, and the resolution offered by him at the outset was adopted by the close vote of 21 to 18. The regular series of resolutions introduced by Mr. Garrison, and unanimously adopted, made no allusion whatever to the Presidential question, but urged the enactment of the Thirteenth [109] Amendment to the Constitution, and cited the massacre of colored soldiers at Fort Pillow and elsewhere as justifying the severest accusations of the abolitionists against slavery, of which it was the natural outgrowth.

W. L. Garrison to his wife.

New York, May 13, 1864.
64 Our two public meetings, at the Cooper Institute and at Dr. Cheever's church, were attended with large and truly respectable and intelligent numbers, and went off with high interest and hearty approval. Thompson acquitted himself admirably on each occasion. Phillips was brilliant and eloquent as usual, but somewhat contradictory in statement, and decidedly opposed to the reflection of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, I briefly expressed my dissent, and gave the reasons why I thought the people would stand by him for another term. The audiences were overwhelming in their approval of my views, though disposed generously to applaud Phillips as far as they could. I trust nothing fell from my lips which was deemed personal or unkind by dear Phillips. He is frank and outspoken in his own sentiments, and will not desire me to be less so. But I did not wish to seem to be in antagonism to himself,—for I know that our enemies would like to see us or put us at personal variance,—and so I said but very little in reply to two long speeches.

Our business meetings would have been very harmonious, had it not been for Stephen and Parker. We had some plain65 things said on both sides; but, on the whole, we got along66 better than I expected, and the Presidential election received no partisan countenance.

Before the Boston meetings occurred, Mr. Phillips had carried his hostility to Lincoln so far as to seek and accept, for the first time in his life, the votes of a political caucus, and he appeared as a delegate from his Ward in Boston67 at the State Convention to elect delegates to the approaching National Republican Convention at Baltimore. In this new role he made a speech in opposition to the68 resolution endorsing Mr. Lincoln, but without the slightest effect, for it was carried by acclamation. His utter failure [110] to influence the Convention69 served to intensify the bitterness with which, in a speech before the Emancipation League, four days later, he spoke of Mr. Lincoln,70 declaring that, as the President had delayed so long before touching slavery, while he had suspended habeas corpus (‘the barriers of liberty set up two hundred years ago’) in sixty days, no negro in America owed anything to him. Mr. Lincoln, he asserted, did not desire to crush the rebellion, and he pledged himself to leave no stone unturned, from that time until November, to defeat his reelection.

At the New England Convention, the same week, he71 went still farther, and accused the President of “carrying on the war now to reelect himself, to conciliate the disloyal white man.” Lib. 34.93. As at New York, he was sustained in these extreme views by the Fosters and Parker Pillsbury,72 while the defence and vindication of the President fell to Mr. Garrison, Henry C. Wright,73 and George Thompson. The final evening meeting of the two days sessions was intensely interesting and exciting. Mr. Phillips renewed his arraignment of Lincoln, and sought to depreciate George Thompson's eulogy of the latter by impeaching his competency as a foreigner to judge as to the state of affairs in this country. This reflection elicited a rare outburst of eloquence from Thompson, who showed all74 his pristine fire and power, and roused the audience to [111] the highest pitch of feeling. Mr. Garrison quoted, as the75 most effective reply possible to Mr. Phillips's present attacks on the President, from speeches which his colaborer had made in 1861 and 1862, before either proclamation of emancipation had been issued, and in which he had repeatedly praised Lincoln as in advance of public sentiment, and declared himself satisfied with the rapid progress of events. Passing from these, he replied specifically to Phillips's current criticisms and complaints, expressing his conviction that the people could not do better, politically speaking, than to reelect Lincoln, and that they ought, as a matter of justice and to vindicate the democratic principle, to keep him in office until he should be the acknowledged President of the whole United States. He also animadverted upon the Convention which was to meet in Cleveland the following week,76 to nominate Fremont for the Presidency:

Gen. Fremont, as yet, has not shown a single State, a single77 county, a single town or hamlet in his support. Who represents him from Massachusetts, on the call for the Cleveland Convention? Two men, both non-voters, I believe, and neither of78 them has a particle of political influence. Now I call that the step from the sublime to the ridiculous. Is that the best Massachusetts can do for Fremont? For, remember, I am speaking now of the “coming man” in the next election, who is to run Abraham Lincoln off the track. If I were speaking on a moral issue, I should speak in a very different manner of those whose names appear on that call; for the man who stands alone in a moral cause, though all the world be against him, if God be for him, stands in a majority, and is conqueror. But when you come to politics, that is another sphere. Then you must have79 men and money; then you must have votes; then you must have something of political influence and respectability. But, with one exception, the signers to the call for the Cleveland80 Convention have not one ounce of political weight in this country.

Mr. President, we are getting on well. We are to have all our friends contend for, in the end. There is no difference among us in this respect. We all go for equal rights, without regard to race or color. We have not relaxed our vigilance or [112] our testimony; and I am sorry to hear any intimation thrown out that we do not call for the amplest justice.

Mr. Phillips was dissatisfied because the National A. S. Standard would not commend the Cleveland movement and oppose Lincoln, but the course of the paper was sustained by the Executive Committee. ‘If I am required either to set the Standard in opposition to Lincoln's reelection,’ wrote Oliver Johnson to Mr. Garrison, “or to suppress my honest convictions in regard to the Fremont movement, its candidates and platform, I shall resign the editorial chair.” Ms. June 20, 1864.

The Republican National Convention met in Baltimore on the 7th of June, and unanimously nominated Mr. Lincoln for a second term. Among those who witnessed its proceedings, from the gallery, was Mr. Garrison. He was revisiting Baltimore for the first time since 1830, having just come from the Progressive Friends' Meeting at Longwood, with Theodore Tilton, editor of the New York Independent. Of the Convention Mr. Garrison wrote, on his return:

It was well worth going from one end of the country to the81 other to witness its proceedings; yet it came in my way incidentally, and I was glad to have the opportunity to be “a looker — on in Venice.” As a delegated body representing all the loyal States and Territories in the Union, it presented an imposing appearance, and indicated, both in the choice of its candidates and platform it adopted, the overwhelming sentiment of the people. Prior to its coming together, all the loyal States had, with a unanimity unexampled since the days of George Washington, officially declared in favor of the reelection of Abraham Lincoln; so that its duty was simply to record its votes for the man thus unmistakably designated. From Maine to Oregon, the response was the same, with the single exception of the Radical delegates from Missouri, who, on the first ballot, voted for General Grant, in accordance with their instructions; and then transferred their votes to Abraham Lincoln, making the grand total of 519 for his reelection. Though this unanimity was strongly to be desired for the weightiest considerations, it was hardly to be expected; for what had the enemies of the Administration left undone to create division in the ranks? [113] When the result was announced, the enthusiasm was indescribable; and yet it was not comparable to the electric outbreak which followed the adoption of the following resolution:

3. Resolved, That as slavery was the cause and now constitutes the strength of this rebellion, and as it must be always and everywhere hostile to the principles of republican government, justice and the national safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the republic; and that we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defence, has aimed a death-blow at this gigantic evil. We are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the existence of slavery within the limits or the jurisdiction of the United States.

The whole body of delegates sprang to their feet as by one impulse, giving vent to their feelings in prolonged cheering and warm congratulations,—again and again renewing their joyful demonstrations in the most enthusiastic manner. Was not a spectacle like that rich compensation for more than thirty years of universal personal opprobrium, bitter persecution, and murderous outlawry? It is impossible for me to describe my emotions on that occasion—for what had God wrought! It was the first national verdict ever recorded, in form and fact, in letter and spirit, against slavery, as a system “incompatible with the principles of republican government,” and therefore no longer to be tolerated in the land. It was the sublime decree— “Let the covenant with death be annulled, and the agreement with hell no longer stand!” It was a full endorsement of all the abolition “fanaticism” and “incendiarism” with which I had stood branded for so many years. The time for my complete vindication had come, from the Atlantic to the Pacific—the vindication of all who had labored for the extinction of “the sum of all villanies,” whether through evil report or good report—yea, the vindication of Eternal Truth and Justice!

W. L. Garrison to his wife.

Baltimore, June 8, 1864.
82 I arrived here in the evening train on Monday, and met with83 a very kind welcome from the Needleses, who were expecting my coming, with George Thompson as my companion. Since then, I have been constantly occupied in seeing the city, which [114] has almost wholly grown out of my recollections. It is ahead of Boston in population and extent, but has not as many good residences or handsome stores. The old jail that I once had the honor and happiness to occupy for a time has been torn down, and a new and handsome prison erected upon its site; so the charm was broken, and it was useless to think of visiting my old cell.84

High walls and huge the body may confine, etc.

The city is very quiet and very clean; and the general appearance of the people, including the colored people, is creditable.

Yesterday and to-day, I have attended the National Convention for the nomination of President and Vice-President of the U. S. It has been a full one, and its proceedings have been such as to gladden my heart, and almost make me fear that I am at home dreaming, and not in the State of Maryland. Even my friend Phillips would have been highly gratified [115] with the tone and spirit of the Convention. In the speeches made, every allusion made to slavery as a curse to be extirpated, and a crime no longer to be tolerated, has been most enthusiastically responded to; in several instances the assembly rising to their feet, and giving vent to their feelings in rousing cheers. . . . Each evening there has been a mass meeting held in Monument Square, addresses made, and the most radical sentiments rapturously applauded, without a single Copperhead daring to peep or mutter. This evening there will be an immense ratification meeting held in the same Square, with speech-making, etc., etc.

I have been introduced to various members of the Convention85—among them the redoubtable Parson Brownlow, who86 looks very sick, and is probably not long for this world. I have made up my mind not to speak in public, either here or in Washington, though there is a desire to hear me in both places. . . .

I am very well indeed, and find the jaunt, with all its fatigues, good for me.

Washington, June 9, 1864.
87 If I am not dreaming, I am at last in the Capital of the United States. Right from the cars, this forenoon, Judge Bond88 of Baltimore and Tilton took me up to the White House, and forthwith introduced me to the President, who was receiving a group of persons fresh from the Baltimore Convention, congratulating him on his renomination. He received me very heartily, and expressed a desire to see me again, and I expect to do so to-morrow. He referred to my imprisonment in Baltimore thirty-four years ago, and said: ‘Then you could not get out of prison; now you cannot get in’—referring playfully to the demolition of the old prison. I was . . . introduced to a large number [of persons] from various parts of the country, many of them of more or less prominence. Leaving the East [116] Room, we went to see Secretary Stanton, and had a long private89 interview with him of a most interesting character. I was very much pleased with him, and have no doubt of his thoroughgoing anti-slavery spirit and purpose.90 But I cannot give particulars.

Secretary Chase is out of the city. Neither Seward nor Blair will get a call.

From the White House, we then went to the Capitol, and there found Congress in session. We sent in our cards to Sumner and Wilson, who instantly came out and insisted on our going upon the floor of the Senate, where we really had no right to be. Sumner conducted me to John P. Hale's chair, which I occupied for some time—Hale not being present. A great number of the Senators were introduced to me; among them were Fessenden, Wade, Wilkinson, Morgan, etc. Quite a91 sensation was produced by my presence. Sumner and Wilson were exceedingly marked in their attentions.

Tilton and I went afterwards to see where we could find a room at the principal hotel to occupy, but our application was in vain. Every hotel is more than full. Fortunately for us, Senator Wilson insisted on our coming to his hotel (the Washington), and by his influence got a room for us. We have dined and taken tea with Wilson, who is unremitting in his attentions. To-morrow we shall go to the House of Representatives—to Arlington Heights—etc., etc. . . .

Washington, June 10, 1864.92 At the White House.
I am now at the White House, with Tilton, waiting to have a second interview with the President. He has been receiving, for the last hour, the delegates from the several States that voted for his nomination at the Baltimore Convention. I have no special desire to see him again, except that yesterday he expressed the hope that I would call again; for I know he must be bored with callers.


Philadelphia, June 11, 1864.
93 It is now 3 o'clock P. M. I left Washington this morning, and have just arrived here—very dusty and tired, but in good health and spirits.

Yesterday noon, Tilton and I had an hour's private interview with the President at the White House, and it was a very satisfactory one indeed. There is no mistake about it in regard to Mr. Lincoln's desire to do all that he can see it right and possible for him to do to uproot slavery, and give fair-play to the emancipated. I was much pleased with his spirit, and the familiar and candid way in which he unbosomed himself.

Last evening I spent with Solicitor Whiting (the brother of94 Anna), and had a good time.95

In his interview with the President, Mr. Garrison said to him: ‘Mr. Lincoln, I want to tell you frankly that for every word I have ever spoken in your favor, I have spoken ten in favor of General Fremont’; and he went on to explain how difficult he had found it to commend the President when the latter was revoking the proclamations of Fremont and Hunter, and reiterating his purpose to save the Union, if he could, without destroying slavery; ‘but, Mr. President,’ he continued, ‘from the hour that you issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and showed your purpose to stand by it, I have given you my hearty support and confidence.’ Mr. Lincoln received this good-naturedly, set forth the difficulties under which he had labored, and expressed his anxiety to secure the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment, that the question might be forever settled and not hazarded by his possible death or failure of reelection. The resolution in favor of it adopted at Baltimore had been prepared and introduced at his own suggestion.

The Amendment failed to pass the House of Representatives before Congress adjourned for the summer,96 but [118] was saved from final defeat by a motion to reconsider, which carried it over to the winter session. Thanks to the untiring exertions of Senator Sumner, the long spring session did not end until the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850 had both been swept from the statute-books.97 One of the obstacles he encountered was reported in the following private note:

Charles Sumner to W. L. Garrison.

Senate chamber,98 23d April, 1864.
dear Mr. Garrison:

You will see what has occurred in the Senate. We were on the point of passing a little bill repealing ‘all acts or parts of acts’ for the surrender of fugitive slaves, when John Sherman of Ohio interfered to keep alive the old act of 1793; and Foster99 of Connecticut has followed with an elaborate speech vindicating the atrocity.

The vote in favor of slave-hunting stood 24 to 17, including ten Republicans in the majority.100 If the anti-slavery sentiment had not become so sluggish, this could not have taken place. Cannot you help to revive it? The practical measures are to clean the statute-book of all support of slavery.

Ever yours,

Not only was the repeal of both laws secured by Mr. Sumner, but through his efforts the coastwise slave-trade, which Mr. Garrison had earned his prison-cell by denouncing in 1830, was abolished, and the exclusion of colored witnesses from United States Courts prohibited. No less cheering than these gains was the action of the newlyreconstructed States of Arkansas and Louisiana, in adopting free Constitutions, the former by popular vote, and the latter by a Constitutional Convention; but in both cases [119] only a fraction of the voters of 1860 participated, and the influence of the Administration at Washington was controlling. Much more significant, therefore, was the regeneration of Maryland, which worked out its own salvation,101 and adopted, in June, a Constitutional amendment by which, on its ratification by the people in October, slavery was at once and unconditionally abolished, without any pecuniary compensation to the masters.102

In November came the triumphant reflection of Lincoln, an event whose importance was justly estimated by the friends of Union and Emancipation abroad, anxious103 watchers of the progress of the campaign. To these Mr. Garrison's support of the President had given the liveliest satisfaction, which was increased by his rejoinders to two letters written by Prof. Francis W. Newman of London104 University, a solitary sympathizer with the utter distrust of Mr. Lincoln shown by Mr. Phillips and his followers. In the first of these Mr. Garrison wrote:

I am neither the partisan nor eulogist of President Lincoln,105 in a political sense. Since his inauguration, I have seen occasion sharply to animadvert upon his course, as well as occasion to praise him. At all times I have endeavored to judge him fairly, according to the possibilities of his situation and the necessities of the country. In no instance, however, have I censured him for not acting upon the highest abstract principles of justice and humanity, and disregarding his Constitutional obligations. His freedom to follow his convictions of duty as an individual is one thing—as the President of the United States, it is limited by the functions of his office; for the people do not elect a President to play the part of reformer or philanthropist, nor to enforce upon the nation his own peculiar ethical or humanitary ideas, without regard to his oath or [120] their will. His primary and all-comprehensive duty is to maintain the Union and execute the Constitution, in good faith, according to the best of his ability, without reference to the views of any clique or party in the land, and for the general welfare. And herein lies the injustice of your criticism upon him. You seem to regard him as occupying a position and wielding powers virtually autocratic, so that he may do just as he pleases—yea, just as though there were no people to consult, no popular sentiment to ascertain, no legal restrictions to bind.106

Harriet Martineau to W. L. Garrison.

Ambleside, August 10, 1864.
107 I have been thinking of you with strong sympathy for a long time past. Indeed, as you know, I always did; but I mean particularly since your precious wife's illness, and since the peculiar trial . . . of your being misunderstood and unkindly treated by old comrades and disciples who should have distrusted their own judgment rather than doubt you. . . . If there was any way in which I could publicly express my own views in the matter, I should be very glad to bear my testimony to what seems to me our entire agreement on the question of Mr. Lincoln's character, deserts, and claims to reelection; and to express my hearty admiration of the magnanimity of your conduct, as well as of the justness and clearness of your views in the most critical hour of the history of your Republic. All who know me here know what I think; and if it could be of any use (which I hardly suppose), its being understood on your side of the water, I should be glad that it was known.

Professor Cairnes called here ten days ago. I seldom or never108 see any visitor now (being too ill), except near neighbors and friends; but I could not send away that stranger-friend (for we had never met) without a word, and I rejoice that he came. He had been travelling, and had not seen the Liberator containing Mr. Newman's letter. He took it away with him; and when109 he brought it back next day, he expressed strong surprise,— well as he knows Mr. Newman,—at the absurdity, and regret [121] at the tone of that letter. . . . Professor Cairnes and I were anxious each to know what the other thought of Mr. Lincoln, and of your course; and it was pleasant to find how entirely we agreed. . . .

We judge it best to avow on all reasonable occasions our wish for Mr. Lincoln's reflection, and our respect for the patriotism and wisdom of abolitionists who are forbearing with his human frailties, for the sake of the national welfare. ... I say as much as circumstances permit in honor of Mr. Lincoln in the Daily News, and I shall try my best to work in that, the best possible direction.

Yours, dear friend, affectionately,

Thomas Hughes to W. L. Garrison.

3 old Square, Lincoln's Inn,110 London, Sept. 9, 1864.
111 my dear Sir: I cannot resist writing you a line, though you have probably scarcely ever heard my name, to say how right and wise I and many other Englishmen think the course you have taken upon the question of supporting Mr. Lincoln for reelection. I was much pained by Professor Newman's letter to you; still more by the line which many of the leading American abolitionists have taken upon the question, and by the tone they have thought fit to adopt as to yourself. I think I may safely say that the great majority of Englishmen who have really taken the trouble to study the question, agree with me in thinking that Mr. Lincoln has proved himself thoroughly honest and trustworthy in the fearfully difficult and trying position in which your nation have placed him, and that these qualities far more than outweigh his faults, which have been only such as arise from caution and distrust of himself.

It would be impertinent in me to add any opinions of my own as to your great revolution. My only excuse for writing at all is, that I have taken the deepest interest for many years in American politics, and especially in the noble stand which you and others have made against slavery in the United States; and I could not remain silent when some of the ablest and best of your own friends are turning against you for conduct which seems to me most wise, and consistent with all you have said and written for the last thirty years.

Whatever other issue your tremendous struggle may have, it seems clear that God will, through it, make an end of slavery on [122] your continent; and that end will have been cheaply purchased even if the Union should perish.

Believe me, with all good wishes for your own and your country's future,

Most truly yours,

As we have already stated, one of Mr. Lincoln's chief offences, in the eyes of Mr. Phillips and his supporters, was his apparent willingness to have Louisiana readmitted to the Union without enfranchising the freedmen. They pointed to the fact that when the free colored men of New Orleans, who had raised a regiment for the defence of the city within forty-eight hours, pending a threatened rebel attack, had asked to be enrolled as voters at the election which soon after ensued for the reorganization of the State, the Military Governor who had112 invoked their aid, and was now ordering the election, and the General commanding the Department, refused their113 application. Military power could abrogate the provisions114 of the old State Constitution so far as to allow white soldiers and sailors to vote, but declined to recognize those who were black. The assumption that Mr. Lincoln was either hostile or indifferent to the matter was erroneous, however. On the contrary, he favored the extension of the suffrage to such colored men as were qualified by115 intelligence or by having borne arms in defense of the Union, and he suggested that a provision to that effect be made in the new Constitution.116 In May, Miller McKim wrote from Washington to Mr. Garrison: “I have had an interview with the President since I have been here— not of my seeking. I . . . have seen some of the correspondence between Mr. Lincoln and New Orleans. It is greatly to Mr. Lincoln's credit as a friend to the black man. Mr. Lincoln is in advance of his party on the question of negro suffrage. Not in advance of all, but of the majority.” Ms. May 5, 1864. [123]

In his reply to Professor Newman, who had especially dwelt upon the Louisiana question, and condemned the President for not enfranchising the colored men of that State, Mr. Garrison asked:

‘By what political precedent or administrative policy, in any117 country, could he have been justified if he had attempted to do this? When was it ever known that liberation from bondage was accompanied by a recognition of political equality? Chattels personal may be instantly translated from the auction-block into freemen; but when were they ever taken at the same time to the ballot-box, and invested with all political rights and immunities? According to the laws of development and progress, it is not practicable. To denounce or complain of President Lincoln for not disregarding public sentiment, and not flying in the face of these laws, is hardly just. Besides, I doubt whether he has the constitutional right to decide this matter. Ever since this government was organized, the right of suffrage has been determined by each State in the Union for itself, so that there is no uniformity in regard to it. In some free States, colored citizens are allowed to vote; in others, they are not. It is always a State, never a national, matter. In honestly seeking to preserve the Union, it is not for President Lincoln to seek, by a special edict applied to a particular State or locality, to do violence to a universal rule, accepted and acted upon from the beginning till now by the States in their individual sovereignty. Under the war power, he had the constitutional right to emancipate the slaves in every rebel State, and also to insist that, in any plan of reconstruction that might be agreed upon, slavery should be admitted to be dead, beyond power of resurrection. That being accomplished, I question whether he could safely or advantageously—to say the least—enforce a rule, ab initio, touching the ballot, which abolishes complexional distinctions; any more than he could safely or advantageously decree that all women (whose title is equally good) should enjoy the electoral right, and help form the State. Nor, if the freed blacks were admitted to the polls by Presidential fiat, do I see any permanent advantage likely to be secured by it; for, submitted to as a necessity at the outset, as soon as the State was organized and left to manage its own affairs, the white population, with their superior intelligence, wealth, and power, would unquestionably alter the franchise in accordance with their prejudices, and exclude those thus summarily brought to the polls. Coercion would gain [124] nothing. In other words,—as in your own country,—universal suffrage will be hard to win and to hold without a general preparation of feeling and sentiment. But it will come, both at the South and with you; yet only by a struggle on the part of the disfranchised, and a growing conviction of its justice, “in the good time coming.” With the abolition of slavery in the South, prejudice or “colorphobia,” the natural product of the system, will gradually disappear—as in the case of your West India colonies—and black men will win their way to wealth, distinction, eminence, and official station. I ask only a charitable judgment for President Lincoln respecting this matter, whether in Louisiana or any other State.’118

In the closing numbers of the Liberator volume, Mr. Garrison laid stress on the grave problems involved in the reconstruction of the rebellious States, at the hands of119 Congress, and on the duty of securing the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery. For this120 Amendment the President, in his Message to Congress, made an earnest plea, and solemnly renewed his vow never to retract or modify his Proclamation, or to return to slavery any person emancipated by its terms, or by any of the acts of Congress. ‘If the people should,’ he added,121 ‘by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to reenslave such persons, another, not I, must be their instrument to perform it.’

Once more the expediency of consolidating the Liberator and Standard was privately considered, the everincreasing cost of paper making it difficult to sustain [125] both,122 but it was finally decided to increase the price of each, and try to prolong their individual existence until the passage and ratification of the Amendment should warrant their discontinuance. To Oliver Johnson, who had strongly urged their union, on the ground that Mr. Garrison would thus be relieved of the toil of the printing-office, and could, by editorial correspondence with the Standard, easily satisfy the Liberator subscribers, whose interest in the paper was largely personal to him, the latter wrote:

I am not insensible to the compliment intended to be123 conveyed in the assurance, that it is what I write that alone interests the readers of the Liberator; but I am not willing to believe, after an editorial experience of thirty-eight years, that, aside from my own lucubrations, I have neither the tact nor the talent to make an interesting journal. This touches me too closely. If the Liberator has been at all effective in the past, it has been owing to its completeness, as a whole, from week to week, and not to what I have written. This is the true value of every journal. My selections have cost me much labor, and they have been made with all possible discrimination as to their interest, ability, and appositeness. The amount of communicated original matter has always been much larger than that of the Standard; and though not always of special interest or value, [126] it has made the Liberator less a transcript, and more readable on that account.

The Liberator has an historic position and a moral prestige which would be lost should it be merged in the Standard. True, the loss would be the same should the paper be discontinued; but I shall try to prevent this by increasing the subscription price for the next volume. I confess to a strong desire to keep it along till the Amendment of the Constitution is secured, and slavery abolished. It will then have accomplished its antislavery mission. . . .

Though you may still feel that the plan you have urged, as to the union of the two papers, is wisest and best, I know you will readily acquiesce in the decision to which I have come; especially as that decision seems to accord with the judgment of the Executive Committee at the present time.

Accept, dear Johnson, a renewal of my grateful acknowledgments for your many kindnesses, and the lively interest you have ever evinced in my welfare and happiness. I have not a more attached or a more disinterested friend in the world than yourself. And the anti-slavery cause has never found a truer advocate or a more faithful laborer than you have been from the hour you espoused it.

1 ‘How good and true she has always been!’ wrote Samuel J. May, on hearing of Mrs. Garrison's paralysis. ‘Unselfish, she has always found her own happiness in promoting the happiness of others. She was born and brought up in a family that seemed to me full of lovingkindness; and I considered her the most equable and affectionate of them all. . . . How cheerful and bright she was at our meetings in Philadelphia, and how much she enjoyed them’ (Ms. Jan. 5, 1864, to W. L. G.).

2 Jan. 27, 28, 1864.

3 Lib. 34.23.

4 Ante, p. 85.

5 Ante, p. 85.

6 ‘Laborers’ received only ten dollars a month, while the pay of white soldiers was thirteen dollars. Congress at last voted equal pay to colored soldiers from Jan. 1, 1864, and the Massachusetts 54th and 55th regiments were finally awarded (by a decision of the Attorney-General) full pay from the time of their enlistment. With wonderful spirit and fortitude, they refused to receive any pay from the Government until their claim to the full amount was recognized, though in the year and a half during which the matter was unsettled their families were in want. The Legislature of Massachusetts offered them the pay withheld by the Government, but they refused it, with proper acknowledgments, and held the Government to the pledge under which they were enlisted. Gov. Andrew was unceasing in urging their claim, and addressed the President warmly on the subject, May 18, 1864 (Lib. 34: 87).

7 Lib. 34.33.

8 Lib. 34.54.

9 Ante, p. 62.

10 Sept. 16, 1862.

11 George Thompson.

12 This worthy brother of the martyr of Alton died within five weeks after the above letter was written. Mr. Garrison then printed it, with a proper tribute to his memory (Lib. 34: 54).

13 Feb. 6.

14 An interesting and valuable sketch of Mr. Thompson's life and philanthropic labors, by William Farmer, ran through seven numbers of the Liberator, filling eighteen columns—probably the fullest and best outline of his remarkable career that has been written (Lib. 34: 25, 29, 34, 37, 41, 45, 49).

15 Lib. 34.25, 26, 29.

16 Ante, 2.50.

17 J. Z. Goodrich.

18 Feb. 10.

19 Feb. 23, 1864.

20 Lib. 34.37.

21 Cf. Lib. 27.7.

22 Lib. 34.37.

23 Lib. 34.38.

24 Feb. 29.

25 Lib. 34.39.

26 Mar. 11.

27 Lib. 34.46.

28 The Springfield Republican aggravated its disgraceful course at the time of Mr. Thompson's visit in 1851 (ante, 3: 322) by now repeating its calumnies, and coolly asserting that Mr. Thompson's recent services to the Union cause were “but an act of justice and due reparation for past injuries” done by him to this country! Mr. Thompson made a scathing reply (Lib. 30: 50).

29 April 4, 1864.

30 Lib. 34.61.

31 The invitation was signed by twenty-four Senators and twenty-two Representatives, and assured Mr. Thompson of their appreciation of his labors ‘as a statesman and teacher—labors which we feel persuaded have wrought an important influence for public good in both hemispheres’ (Lib. 34: 42).

32 April 6.

33 Lib. 34.62.

34 Lib. 34.72.

35 April 8.

36 Ms.

37 J. M. McKim.

38 Alonzo Potter.

39 April 8.

40 Wilmington, Del.

41 Lib. 34.70.

42 Ms.

43 Ms.

44 Wednesday.

45 Ante, 2.139.

46 Daniel Curry, D. D.

47 Lib. 34.122.

48 Daniel D. Whedon.

49 Nathan Bangs.

50 July 23, 1864.

51 Ante, p. 95.

52 Lib. 34.46.

53 S. P. Chase.

54 B. F. Butler. J. C. Fremont.

55 Ohio.

56 Lib. 34.46.

57Mr. [Samuel J.] May and I have read together, this morning, the President's letter of the 4th inst. to A. G. Hodges, Esq., of Kentucky. We think it a remarkably clear and satisfactory exposition of his acts and policy on the question of slavery. It is, essentially, what he said to me when he gave me an interview at Washington, on the 7th. I am glad to see from his pen what he verbally communicated to me. My remark, since I saw him, has been, that he kindly and frankly furnished me with a key to the right understanding of the course he had pursued, and that I was glad to find that I had, in England, explained his acts correctly, and had not misunderstood either his private views or the motive of his public conduct’ (Ms. April 30, 1864, George Thompson at Syracuse, N. Y., to W. L. G., Lib. 34: 74).

58 May 10.

59 Lib. 34.83.

60 May 11.

61 Lib. 34.86.

62 J. M. McKim.

63 Lib. 34.83.

64 Ms.

65 S. S. Foster.

66 Parker Pillsbury.

67 May 23.

68 Lib. 34.87, 94.

69 Mr. Phillips made special and unsuccessful efforts, also, to have an anti-Lincoln delegation sent to the Baltimore Convention from Vermont (Ms. June 13, 1865, S. May, Jr., to Mary A. Estlin).

70 Lib. 34.86.

71 May 27.

72 S. S. and A. K. Foster.

73 Radical as he always was, none of the anti-slavery workers more clearly perceived the irresistible tendency of events, the difficulties surrounding the President's Administration, and the duty of sustaining the Government, than Henry C. Wright. Travelling over a larger portion of the country than any of his associates, and thoroughly acquainted with the great West, he had peculiar opportunities for noting the drift of public sentiment and learning the opinions of all classes of people. His letters to the Liberator during 1864, when he was constantly on his lecture missions, East and West, and watching the dangerous plots in Indiana and Illinois of the ‘Knights of the Golden Circle,’ testify to his sound sense and judgment. On Lincoln's reelection, he declared, the preservation of the republic, the destruction of slavery, and the rights of the laboring classes everywhere depended (Lib. 34: 103, 106, 110, 147, 158,163).

74 Lib. 34.94, 95.

75 Lib. 34.94.

76 May 31, 1864.

77 Lib. 34.94.

78 S. S. Foster, Karl Heinzen.

79 Cf. ante, 2.436.

80 B. Gratz Brown.

81 Lib. 34.102.

82 Ms.

83 June 6.

84 “Our travelling companion was no other than that fanatical, heretical, and incendiary gentleman, Mr. William Lloyd Garrison of Bunker Hill— whose company in the cars, a few years ago, would not have rendered a journey southward eminently enviable; to whom, however, on his late journey, as far south of Mason and Dixon as we could get, all hats went off, all hands were thrust in welcome, and all hospitable honors shown—in the midst of which the bewildered man stood a modest and meek-minded conservative before those more fiery radicals on whom the new pentecost has fallen with its tongues of flame. Not having been in Baltimore since he was there imprisoned, thirty-four years ago, and never in his life having been in Washington (honest man!), his journey was full of strange emotions at every turn. Condemned as a criminal for speaking in a slave city against slavery, he returned to that city to find it so far regenerated that to-day Baltimore is ready to give a larger proportional vote than Boston for universal liberty; The court in which Mr. Garrison was tried and sentenced is now presided over by a radical Abolitionist—Judge Hugh L. Bond, one of the most indefatigable and influential Unionists in the State, who, to gratify our curiosity, hunted up from the old records of the court the time-yellowed papers of indictment against Mr. Garrison, which that gentleman, putting on his spectacles, perused with eyes as full of merriment as we noticed in Horace Greeley's, on being dismissed from his contempt of Judge Barnard's court. As we had threatened to put Mr. Garrison into his old cell, and shut him up for a night, we were disappointed to learn that the city authorities, not foreseeing how they were spoiling a good historical incident, had torn down the old jail and built a new one in its place—where, however, not the opposers but abettors of slavery and treason are now confined! Thus the gallows which was built for Mordecai, is used for hanging Haman! Eight or nine of the original jurymen who gave the verdict against Mr. Garrison are still living, and Judge Bond jocosely threatened to summon them all into court, that Mr. Garrison might forgive them in public! We bargained in advance for a photograph of the scene” (Theodore Tilton, in the Independent; Lib. 34: 104).

85 The temporary president of the Convention was the Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, D. D., of Kentucky, Mr. Garrison's old-time Colonization antagonist (ante, 1: 448-450), now a warm advocate of the Constitutional Amendment. Another indication of the revolution in public sentiment was the action of the General Conference of the M. E. Church, at Philadelphia in May, excluding from membership all persons guilty of holding. buying or selling slaves, and receiving a deputation from the colored Conference, in session at the same time; and of the Old School and New School Presbyterian General Assemblies, at Newark, N. J., and Dayton, O., in favor of emancipation (Lib. 34: 99).

86 Wm. G. Brownlow.

87 Ms.

88 Hugh L. Bond. Theodore Tilton.

89 Edwin M. Stanton.

90 As a boy, Stanton had often sat on the knees of Benjamin Lundy, who used to visit his father's house when on his anti-slavery missions. In a letter urging Mr. Garrison to visit Washington, Senator Wilson wrote (Ms. Feby. 11, 1864) that, in a recent interview with Secretary Stanton, the latter stated that his father gave Lundy the money to start his paper, and ‘then remarked that there was one person whom he wished to see before he died, and that person was yourself. I therefore write to request you to pay your numerous friends here a visit, and at the same time gratify the wish of the Hon. Secretary.’

91 W. P. Fessenden, B. F. Wade, M. S. Wilkinson, E. D. Morgan.

92 Ms.

93 Ms.

94 William Whiting.

95 Solicitor William Whiting, whom Secretary Stanton appointed to expound the war powers of the Government under the Constitution, especially as relating to slavery, was a son of Mr. Garrison's early and steadfast supporter, Col. William Whiting of Concord, Mass.

96 The vote was 93 in favor to 65 against, less than the necessary two-thirds.

97 Lib. 34.99, 118.

98 Ms.

99 L. S. Foster; ante, 1.392.

100 The position taken by these Republican opponents was, that, having sworn to support the Constitution with its slave-hunting proviso, they could not vote to repeal all acts for the rendition of fugitive slaves, though they had already voted for the Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery! Such of these conscientious gentlemen as he could not convert, Mr. Sumner persuaded to absent themselves when the final vote was taken, and Messrs. Sherman and Foster were among these (Lib. 34: 118).

101 Lib. 34.107.

102 Potential in causing this remarkable conversion was the perception of the poor whites of Maryland that the free enlistment of colored troops in the State would wonderfully aid in filling the State's quota, and relieve themselves from entering the army. See the speech of Henry Winter Davis in Congress, Feb. 25, 1864, Lib. 34: 65. The amendment, though adopted by 53 to 27 votes in the Convention, would have failed of ratification but for the soldier vote, which gave it a bare majority (Lib. 34: 107, 171). For Mr. Garrison's jubilant letter on its ratification by the people, see Lib. 34: 198.

103 Lib. 34.6, 54, 157, 177, 185.

104 Lib. 34.106, 114, 118, 158.

105 Lib. 34.114.

106 ‘I regarded your father as a man of noble nature, but with concentrated views—I do not say “narrow,” because they were as wide as a race and included their emancipation. But in his reply to Prof. Newman there was that largeness of view and recognition of outside difficulties which we call the statesmanlike quality of mind’ (Ms. May 14, 1887, Geo. Jacob Holyoake to W. P. G.).

107 Ms.

108 J. E. Cairnes.

109 F. W. Newman.

110 Ms.

111 Lib. 34.158.

112 Brig.-Gen. Geo. F. Shepley.

113 Gen. N. P. Banks.

114 Lib. 34.55, 63.

115 Letter to Gov. Michael Hahn.

116 Under pressure from General Banks, a clause authorizing the Legislature to extend the suffrage to such citizens was finally inserted (Lib. 34.182).

117 Lib. 34.118.

118 Another indictment, constantly reiterated, against Mr. Lincoln was his assent to the Labor System established in Louisiana by General Banks, who was accused of having forced the freedmen back under their old masters and reduced them to a state of serfdom scarcely better than slavery. Mr. Garrison refused to accept these assertions until he could investigate the matter, and it subsequently appeared that they were altogether unjust and exaggerated. The Labor System, which insured employment at fair wages to the men, and provisions and shelter for their families, saved hundreds from the demoralization and death which decimated them when they swarmed about the Union camps; and the Educational System, which went hand in hand with it, gave instruction to more than 11,000 children. Both departments were under the charge of radical abolitionists and friends of Mr. Garrison, Major B. Rush Plumly of Philadelphia, and Rev. Edwin M. Wheelock of New Hampshire (Lib. 34: 155, 160, 181, 182; 35: 30, 34).

119 Lib. 34.194.

120 Lib. 34.190.

121 Lib. 34.199.

122 An additional embarrassment arose, in the case of the Liberator, from the action of the Hovey Committee, who had hitherto paid for one hundred copies of the paper, for gratuitous circulation. They now stopped the appropriation, ‘on the alleged ground . . . that the Liberator, for the countenance it has given to President Lincoln and his administration, “ has no more claim to be circulated by the Committee than any other Republican paper” ’ (Lib. 34: 210). The Draper Brothers of Hopedale, Mass., Edward Harris of Woonsocket, R. I., Samuel E. Sewall, and others voluntarily assumed the burden thus dropped by the Committee. From Henry Ward Beecher there came the following gay and characteristic note (Ms.):

Brooklyn, Feb. 4, 1865.
my dear Mr. Garrison: I have had the Liberator sent to me, free, for several years; on the principle, I presume, that I needed it. So long as I was in a state of nature, I consented to have a free gospel preached to me. But, as I have made up my mind, at length, that slavery is an evil, and ought to be abolished, I suppose that I can find no good reason for taking the Liberator without paying for it. I am truly yours, H. W. Beecher.

Please find a check for $25.00.

123 Ms. Nov. 26, 1864.

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