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WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON:
1838, at the burning by a mob of newspaper ever issued in that State. Pennsylvania Hall-built by Aboli- Though earnestly devoted to the retionists, because they could be heard ëlection of John Quincy Adams, as in no other—his little property, con- President, it gave a hearty support sisting mainly of papers, books, to the Temperance, Anti-Slavery, and clothes, etc., which had been collected other Reform projects, and promoted in one of the rooms of that Hall, the extensive circulation and signawith a view to his migration west- ture of memorials to Congress, urging ward, was totally destroyed. In July, the banishment of Slavery from the he started for Illinois, where his chil- District of Columbia. But its padren then resided, and reached them tronage was unequal to its merits ; in the September following. He and, Mr. Adams having been defeatplanted himself at Lowell, La Salle ed, its publication was soon afterward county, gathered his offspring about discontinued. him, purchased a printing-office, and Mr. Garrison was, about this time, renewed the issues of his “Genius." visited by Lundy, and induced to But in August, 1839, he was attacked join him in the editorship of The by a prevailing fever, of which he Genius at Baltimore, whither he acdied on the 22d of that month, in the cordingly proceeded in the Autumn 51st year of his age. Thus closed of 1829. Lundy had been a zealous the record of one of the most heroic, supporter of Adams; and, under his devoted, unselfish, courageous lives, auspices, a single Emancipation canthat has ever been lived on this con- didate for the Legislature had been tinent.10
repeatedly presented in Baltimore,
receiving, at one election, more than WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, born in nine hundred votes. Garrison, in obscurity and indigence, at Newbury- his first issue, insisted on immediate port, Massachusetts, in 1805, and and unconditional Emancipation as educated a printer, after having tried the right of the slave and the duty of his boyish hand at shoe-making, wood- the master, and disclaimed all temsawing, and cabinet-making, started porizing, all make-shifts, all comThe Free Press, in his native place, promises, condemning Colonization, directly upon attaining his majority; and everything else that involved but Newburyport was even then a or implied affiliation or sympathy slow old town, and his enterprise soon with slaveholders. Having, at proved unsuccessful. He migrated length, denounced the coastwise to Boston, worked a few months as slave-trade between Baltimore and a journeyman printer, and then be New Orleans as “domestic piracy," came editor of The National Philan- and stigmatized by name certain thropist, an organ of the Temperance Baltimoreans concerned therein, he movement. He left this early in 1828, was indicted for “a gross and malito become editor, at Bennington, Ver- cious libel” on those worthies, conmont, of The Journal of the Times, a victed, sentenced to pay fifty dollars' “National Republican" gazette, and fine and costs, and, in default thereabout the ablest and most interesting of, committed to jail. A judgment
10 Condensed from the “Life of Benjamin Lundy," by Thomas Earle.
in behalf of one of these aggrieved was adopted as a principle some persons of $1,000 and costs was like years later; as was the doctrine that wise obtained against him on a civil “ The [Federal] Constitution is a suit, but never enforced. He remain- covenant with death, and an agreeed forty-nine days in prison, during ment with hell.” To wage against which his case excited much sympa Slavery an uncompromising, unrethy, a protest against his incarcera lenting war, asking no quarter and tion having been issued by the Manu- giving none-to regard and proclaim mission Society of North Carolina. the equal and inalienable rights of At length, the fine and costs were every innocent human being as infepaid by Arthur Tappan, then a rior or subordinate to those of no wealthy and generous New York other, and to repudiate all creeds, all merchant, who anticipated, by a few alleged revelations, rituals, constitudays, a similar act meditated by Hen tions, governments, parties, politics, ry Clay. Separating himself from that reject, defy, or ignore this funLundy and The Genius, Mr. Garri- damental truth-such is and has been son now proposed the publication of the distinctive idea of the numericalan anti-Slavery organ in Washington ly small, but able and thoroughly City; but, after traveling and lec- earnest class, known as “ Garrisonituring through the great cities, and ans.” 11 They for many years generbeing prevented by violence from ally declined, and some of them still speaking in Baltimore, he concluded decline, to vote, deeming the Govto issue his journal from Boston in- ernment and all parties so profoundly stead of Washington; and the first corrupted by Slavery, that no one number of The Liberator appeared could do so without dereliction from accordingly on the 1st of January, principle and moral defilement. And, 1830. It was, from the outset, as though the formal and definitive septhorough-going as its editor; and its aration did not take place till 1839, motto—“Our Country is the World the alienation between the Garrisoni-Our Countrymen are all Mankind" ans and the larger number of Anti-truly denoted its character and Slavery men had long been decided spirit. “No Union with slaveholders” and irremediable. A very few years,
116 The broadest and most far-sighted intellect ment commenced in usurpation and oppression; is utterly unable to see the ultimate consequen- that liberty and civilization, at present, are nothces of any great social change. Ask yourself, | ing else than the fragments of rights which the on all such occasions, if there be any element of scaffold and the stake have wrung from the right or wrong in the question, any principle of strong hands of the usurpers. Every step of clear, natural justice, that turns the scale. If progress the world has made has been from so, take your part with the perfect and abstract | scaffold to scaffold, and from "stake to stake. It right, and trust God to see that it shall prove would hardly be exaggeration to say, that all the the expedient.”- Wendell Phillips's Speeches and great truths relating to society and government Lectures, p. 18.
have been first heard in the solemn protests of 66 The time has been when it was the duty of | martyred patriotism, or the loud cries of crushed the reformer to show cause why he offered to
and starving labor. The law has been always disturb the quiet of the world. But, during the wrong."--Ibid., p. 14. discussion of the many reforms which have been
“An intelligent democracy says of Slavery as advocated, and which have more or less succeeded, one after another-freedom of the lower
of a church, This is justice and that iniquity.' classes, freedom of food, freedom of the press,
The track of God's thunderbolt is a straight line freedom of thought, reform in penal legislation,
from one to the other, and the Church or State and a thousand other mattersmit seems to me
that cannot stand it, must get out of the way." to have been proved conclusively, that govern- | 1010., P. 401.
THE CHURCHES AND SLAVERY.
England and ties were formed re
dating from 1832-3, when the New | Slavery, refused either to withhold England and the American Anti- their votes, or to throw them away Slavery Societies were formed re-on candidates whose election was imspectively, sufficed to segregate the possible, but persisted in voting, at American opponents of Slavery into nearly every election, so as to effect four general divisions, as follows: good and prevent evil to the extent
1. The “Garrisonians” aforesaid. of their power.
possible, but persisted
party,” 12 who, regarding the Federal of all distinction between these classConstitution as essentially anti-Slave- es, and thus covering Abolitionists inry, swore with good conscience to discriminately with odium, as hostile uphold it, and supported only can- to Christianity and to the Constitudidates who were distinctively, deter- tion, was long the most effective minedly, pre-eminently, champions of weapon in the armory of their com“ Liberty for all.”
mon foes. Thousands, whose con3. Various small sects and parties, sciences and hearts would naturally which occupied a middle ground be have drawn them to the side of hutween the above positions; some of manity and justice, were repelled by the sects agreeing with the latter in vociferous representations that to do interpreting and revering the Bible so would identify them with the “disas consistently anti-Slavery, while re union” of Wendell Phillips, the fusing, with the former, to vote. “radicalism” of Henry C. Wright,
4. A large and steadily increas- and the “infidelity of Pillsbury, ing class who, though decidedly anti- Theodore Parker, and Garrison.
THE CHURCHES AND SLAVERY.
We have seen that the Revolution- | deed, a religious opposition to Slaveary era and the Revolutionary spirit ry, whereof the society of Christian of our country were profoundly hos- Friends or Quakers were the piotile to Slavery, and that they were neers, had been developed both in not content with mere protests the mother country and in her coloagainst an evil which positive efforts, nies. George Fox, the first Quaker, determined acts, were required to bore earnest testimony, so early as remove. Before the Revolution, in- 1671, on the occasion of his visit to
12 Sundry differences respecting “Woman's | but the ultimate causes of the rupture were Rights”-whereof the Garrisonians were stanch deeper than these. As a body, the Garrisonians asserters and other incidental questions, were were regarded as radical in politics and heterodox the immediate causes of the rupture between in theology ; and the more Orthodox, conservathe Garrisonians and the political Abolitionists, tive, and especially the clerical Abolitionists, inwhereby the American Anti-Slavery Society was creasingly disliked the odium incited by the convulsed by the secession of the latter in 1840; / sweeping utterances of the Garrisonian leaders.
Barbadoes, against the prevalent cru- | under this head was reported; and elty and inhumanity with which ne- in 1783, it duly appeared that there gro slaves were then treated in that were no slaves owned by its memisland, and urged their gradual eman-bers. The coincidence of these later cipation. His letter implies that some dates with the origin, progress, and of his disciples were slaveholders. Yet close of our Revolutionary struggle, it was not till 1727 that the yearly is noteworthy. The New York and meeting of the whole society in Lon- Rhode Island yearly meetings passed don declared "the importing of ne- almost simultaneously through the groes from their native country and same stages to like results; that of relations, by Friends, not a commend- | Virginia pursued a like course; but, able or allowable practice." Nearly meeting greater obstacles, was longer thirty years before, the yearly meet- in overcoming them. It discouraged ing in Philadelphia (1696) took a the purchasing of slaves in 1766 ; urstep in advance of this, admonishing gently recommended manumission in their members to be careful not to 1773; yet, so late as 1787, its annual encourage the bringing in of any reports stated that some members still more negroes, and that those who held slaves. But it is understood that have negroes be careful of them, Slavery and Quakerism, throughout bring them to meeting, etc., etc. It the South, had very little communion thus appears that Quakers, like other or sympathy after the Revolution, Christians, were then not only slave- and were gradually and finally diholders, but engaged in the Slave-vorced so early as 1800. Hence, as Trade. In 1754, the American Qua- Slavery grew stronger and more inkers had advanced to the point of tolerant there, Quakerism gradually publicly recommending their socie- faded out; so that its adherents were ties to “advise and deal with such as probably fewer in that section in engage in” the Slave-Trade. Again: 1860 than they had been eighty years slaveholding Quakers were urged before. not to emancipate their slaves but 1 Of other religious denominations, to care for their morals, and treat none of the more important and poputhem humanely. The British Qua- lar, which date back to the earlier kers came up to this mark in 1758— periods of our colonial history, can four years later, and more decidedly show even so fair a record as the in 1761 and 1763. In 1774, the Phil- above. By the Roman Catholics and adelphia meeting directed that all Protestant Episcopalians, generally, persons engaged in any form of slave Slaveholding has never been, and is trading be “disowned ;” and in 1776 not yet, considered inconsistent with took the decisive and final step by di- piety, and a blameless, exemplary, recting that the owners of slaves, who Christian life. Individuals in these, refused to execute the proper instru- as in other communions, have conments for giving them their freedom, spicuously condemned and earnestly be disowned likewise.” This blow opposed Human Slavery; but the hit the nail on the head. In 1781, general influence of these churches in but “one case” requiring discipline our country, and especially of their
1 Clarkson's History.
THE PRESBYTERIANS AND SLAVERY.
hierarchies, has been adverse to the delay than a regard for the public practical recognition of every inno- welfare demands !” and recommendcent man's right to his own limbs and ed that, if “a Christian professor sinews, and to sell or employ his own shall sell a slave, who is also in comlabor as to himself shall seem best. munion with our Church”-said slave
The Presbyterian, Congregational, not being a consenting party to the ; Baptist, and kindred “Orthodox” sale—the seller be “suspended till he
denominations, have no very consist- shall repent and make reparation !” ent or luminous record on this sub- It need hardly be added that, with ject. Thus, the Presbyterian Gen- few and spasmodic exceptions, the eral Assembly did, at its session in Presbyterian Church thenceforth was 1794 long before its division into found apologizing for Slavery, and “Old School" and "New School” — censuring its determined assailants adopt a note to one of the questions far oftener than doing or devising in its longer Catechism, wherein, ex- anything to hasten that “total abolipounding and applying the Eighth tion,” which it had solemnly proCommandment, it affirmed that the nounced a requirement of ChristianBiblical condemnation of "man- ity. And, though the Synod of Kenstealers"
tucky, in 1835, adopted a report on “ comprehends all who are concerned in Slavery, which condemned slavebringing any of the human race into Slavery, holding broadly and thoroughly and or retaining them therein. Stealers of men are those who bring off slaves or freemen, reprobated the domestic slave-trade and keep, sell, or buy them. To steal a as revolting, even horrible, in its freeman, says Grotius, is the highest kind of theft," etc., etc.
cruelty, the same report admits that
6 those who hold to our communion, But this note was directed to be
are involved in it;" and no action erased by the General Assembly of
was taken whereby they should be 1816, in a resolve which characterizes
required to choose between their conSlavery as a “mournful evil,” but
nection with the Church and persistdoes not direct that the churches be
ence in buying, holding, and selling purged of it. In 1818, a fresh As
men, women, and children, as slaves. sembly adopted an “Expression of
Nor did the division of this Church, Views,” wherein Slavery is reprobat
which occurred rot long afterward, ed as a
work any improvement in this re“gross violation of the most precious and
spect. A majority of the slaveholding sacred rights of human nature, utterly inconsistent with the law of God, which requires members, doubtless, adhered to the us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to “Old School ;" but the “New tally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the gospel of Christ, which enjoin
School” did not see fit to make that all things whatsoever ye would that slaveholding a bar to its communion. men should do to you, do ye also to them.'”.
On the contrary, certain Presbyteries But, instead of requiring its mem- having done so, the General Assembers to clear themselves, and keep bly of 1843 censured their action, and clear, of slaveholding, the Assembly required that it be rescinded. And exhorted them to “continue and in- though, in 1846, the next General crease their exertions to effect a total Assembly reiterated, in substance, abolition of Slavery, with no greater the broad condemnation of Slavery