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[[double line: heavy line on top, light line on bottom; broken after first column, third column and fifth column]] 26 | THE LIBERATOR. | FEB. 18. [[double line: both light lines; broken after first, third, and fifth columns]] [[NEWSPAPER FORMAT IN SIX COLUMNS]] [[Start Column 1]] Before leaving the Halls of Congress, I have great pleasure in recognizing one exception to my remarks, Mr. Giddings. Perhaps he is no real exception, since it would not be difficult to establish his claim to be considered one of the original Abolition party. But whether he would choose to be so considered or not, it is certainly true that his long presence at the seat of government, his whole-souled devotedness, his sagacity and unwearied industry, have made him a large contributor to our anti-slavery resources. The relations of the American Church to slavery, and the duties of private Christians,--the whole casuistry of this portion of the question, so momentous among descendants of the Puritans,--have been discussed with great acuteness and rare common sense by Messrs. Garrison, Goodell, Gerrit Smith, Pillsbury and Foster. They have never attempted to judge the American Church by any standard except that which she has herself laid down--never claimed that she should be perfect, but have contented themselves with demanding that she should be consistent. They have never judged her except out of her own mouth, and on facts asserted by her own presses and leaders. The sundering of the Methodist and Baptist denominations, and the universal agitation of the religious world, are the best proof of the sagacity with which their measures have been chosen, the cogent arguments they have used, and the indisputable facts on which their criticisms have been founded. In nothing have the abolitionists shown more sagacity or more thorough knowledge of their countrymen, than in the course they have pursued in relation to the Church. None but a New Englander can appreciate the power which Church organizations wield over all that share the blood of the Puritans. The influence of each sect over its own members is overwhelming, often shutting out, or controlling, all other influences. The tyranny of our Methodism need not fear comparison with the darkest picture of Catholicism that Protestant pencils ever painted. That each local church is independent of all others, we have been somewhat careful to assert, in theory and practice. But the individual's independence of all organizations that place themselves between him and his God, some few bold minds have asserted in theory, but most even of those have stopped there. In such a land, the abolitionists early saw, that for a moral question like theirs, only two paths lay open : to work through the Church--that failing, to join battle with it. Some tried long, like Luther, to be Protestants, and yet not come out of Catholicism; but their eyes were soon opened. Since then, we have been convinced that to come out from the Church, to hold her up as the Bulwark of Slavery, and to make her shortcomings the main burden of our appeals to the religious sentiment of the community, was our first duty and best policy. This course alienated many friends, and was a subject of frequent rebuke from such men as Dr. Channing. But nothing has ever more strengthened the cause, or won it more influence; and it has had the healthiest effect on the Church itself. British Christians have always sanctioned it, whenever the case has been fairly presented to them. Mr. J. Q. Adams, a man far better acquainted with his own times than Dr. Channing, recognized the soundness of our policy. I do not know that he ever uttered a word in public on the delinquency of the churches; but he is said to have assured his son, at the time the Methodist Church broke asunder, that other men might be more startled by the eclat of political success, but nothing, in his opinion, promised more good, or showed more clearly the real strength of the anti-slavery movement, than that momentous event. In 1838, the British Emancipation in the West Indies opened a rich field for observation, and a full harvest of important facts. The abolitionists, not willing to wait for the official reports of the government, sent special agents through those islands, whose reports they scattered, at great expense and by great exertion, broadcast through the land. This was at a time when no newspaper in the country would either lend or sell them them the aid of its columns to enlighten the nations on an experiment so vitally important to us. And even now, hardly a press in the country cares or dares to bestow a line or communicate a fact toward the history of that remarkable revolution. The columns of the [[italics]]Anti-Slavery Standard, Pennsylvania Freeman, [[/italics]] and [[italics]]Ohio Bugle[[/italics]], have been for years full of all that a thorough and patient advocacy of our cause demands. And the eloquent lips of many whom I see around me, and whom I need not name here, have done their share toward pressing all these topics on public attention. I remember that when, in 1845, the present leaders of the Free Soil party, with Daniel Webster in their company, met to draw up the Anti-Texas Address of the Massachusetts Convention, they sent to abolitionists for anti-slavery facts and history, for the remarkable testimonies of our Revolutionary great men which they wished to quote. ('Hear, hear.') [[indent]]When, many years ago, the Legislature of Massachusetts wished to send to Congress a resolution affirming the duty of immediate emancipation, the Committee sent to [[font change]]Wm. LLOYD GARRISON[[/font change]] to draw it up, and it stands now on our Statute Book as he drafted it. How vigilantly, how patiently did we watch the Texas plot from its commencement ! The politic South felt that their first move had been too bold, and thenceforward worked underground. For many a year, men laughed at us for entertaining any apprehensions. It was impossible to rouse the North to its peril. D.L. Child was thought crazy, because he would not believe there was no danger. I remember being one of a Committee which waited on Abbott Lawrence, a year or two only before annexation, to ask his countenance to some general movement, without distinction of party, against the Texas scheme. He smiled at our fears, begged us to have no apprehensions; stating that his correspondence with leading men at Washington enabled him to assure us that annexation was impossible, and that the South itself was determined to defeat the project. It was but a short while after that the Senators and Representatives from Texas took their seats in Congress ! Many of these services to the slave were done before I joined his cause. In thus referring to them, do not suppose me merely seeking occasion of eulogy on my predecessors and present co-laborers. I recal these things only to rebut the contemptuous criticism which some about us make the excuse for their past neglect of the movement, and in answer to [[font change]]ION'S[[/font change]] representation of our course as reckless fanaticism, childish impatience, utter lack of good sense, and of our meetings as scenes only of excitement, of reckless and indiscriminate denunciation. I assert that every social, moral, economical, religious, political and historical aspect of the question has been ably and patiently examined. If the people are still in doubt, it is from the inherent difficulty of the subject, or a hatred of light, not from want of it. And all this has been done with an industry and ability which have left little for the professional skill, scholarly culture, and historical learning of the new laborers to accomplish. [[indent]]So far from the anti-slavery cause having a lacked a manly and able discussion, I think it will be acknowledged hereafter, that this discussion has been one of the noblest contributions to a literature really American. Heretofore, not only has our tone been but an echo of foreign culture, but the very topics we discussed, and the views we maintained, have been too often pale reflections of European politics and European philosophy. No matter what dress we assumed, the voice was ever 'the voice of Jacob.' At last we have stirred a question thoroughly American. The subject has been looked at from a point of view entirely American; and it is of such deep interest, that it has called out all the intellectual strength of the nation. For once, the nation speaks its own thoughts, in its own language, and the tone also is all its own. It will hardly do for the defeated party to claim that, in this discussion, all the ability is on their side. [[indent]] We are charged with lacking foresight, and said to exaggerate. This charge of exaggeration brings to my mind a fact I mentioned, last month, at Horticultural [[end column 1]] [[begin column 2]] Hall. The theatres, in many of our large cities, bring out, night after night, all the radical doctrines and all the startling scenes of 'Uncle Tom.' They preach immediate emancipation, and slaves shoot their hunters to loud applause. Three years ago, sitting in this hall, I was myself somewhat startled by the assertion of my friend, Mr. Pillsbury, that the theatres would receive the gospel of anti-slavery truth earlier than the churches. A hiss went up from the galleries, and many in the audience were shocked by the remark. I asked myself whether I could endorse such a statement, and felt that I could not. I could not believe it to be true. Only three years have passed, and what was then deemed rant and fanaticism, by seven out of ten who heard it, has proved true. The theatre, bowing to its audience, has preached immediate emancipation, and given us the whole of 'Uncle Tom' ; while from the pulpits, and in the columns of the theological papers, the work is subjected to criticism, to reproach, and its author to severe rebuke. Do not, therefore, friends, set down as extravagant every statement which your experience does not warrant. It may be that you and I have not studied the signs of the times quite as accurately as the speaker. Going up and down the land, coming in closer contact with the feelings and prejudices of the community, he is sometimes a better judge than you are of its present state. An abolitionist has more motives for watching and more means of finding out the true state of public opinion, than most of those careless critics who jeer at his assertions to-day, and are the first to cry 'Just what [[italics]]I[[/italics]] said,' when his prophecy becomes fact tomorrow. [[indent]]Mr. [[change font ION[[/change font]] thinks, also that we have thrown away opportunities, and needlessly outraged the men and parties about us. Far from it. The anti-slavery movement was a patient and humble suppliant at every door whence any help could possibly be hoped. If we now repudiate and denounce some of our institutions, it is because we have faithfully tried them, and found them deaf to the claims of justice and humanity. Our great Leader, when he first meditated this crusade, did not [[centered on line]]'At once, like a sunburst, his banner unfurl.'[[/centered on line]] O, no ! he sounded his way warily forward. Brought up in the strictest reverence for church organizations, his first effort was to enlist the clergymen of Boston in the support of his views. On their aid he counted confidently in his effort to preach immediate repentance of all sin. He did not go, with [[italics]]malice prepense[[/italics]], as some seem to imagine, up to that 'attic' where Mayor Otis with difficulty found him. He did court hostility or seek exile. He did not sedulously endeavor to cut himself off from the sympathy and countenance of the community about him. O, no ! A fervid disciple of the American Church, he conferred with some of the leading clergy of the city, and laid before them his convictions on the subject of slavery. (1) He painted their responsibility, and tried to induce them to take from his shoulders the burden of so mighty a movement. He laid himself at their feet. He recognized the colossal strength of the Church; he knew that against their opposition it would be almost desperate to attempt to relieve the slave. He entreated them, therefore, to take up the cause. But the Church turned away from him ! They shut their doors upon him ! They bade him compromise his convictions--smother one half of them, and support the Colonization movement, making his own auxiliary to that, or they would have none of him. Like Luther, he said--'Here I stand; God help me; I can no other !' But the men who joined him were not persuaded that the case was so desperate. So they returned, each to his own local sect, and remained in them until some of us, myself among the number--later converts to the anti-slavery movement--thought they were slow and faltering in their obedience to conscience, and that they ought to have cut loose much sooner than they did. But patience, that old sympathies would not allow to be exhausted, associations, planted so deeply in youth, and spreading over so large a part of their manhood, were too strong for any mere argument to dislodge them. So they still persisted in remaining in the church. Their zeal was so fervent and their labors so abundant, that in some towns large societies were formed, led by most of the clergymen, and having almost all the church members on their lists. In those same towns now, you will not find one single abolitionist, of any stamp whatever. They excuse their falling back by alleging that we have injured the cause by our extravagance and denunciation, and by the various other questions with which our names are associated. This might be a good reason why they should not work with us, but does it excuse their not working at all? These people have been once awakened, thoroughly instructed in the momentous character of the movement, and have acknowledged the rightful claim of the slave on their sympathy and exertions. It is not possible that a few thousand persons, however extravagant, could prevent devoted men from finding some way to help such a cause, or at least manifesting their interest in it. But they have not only left us, they have utterly deserted the slave, in the hour when the interest of their sects came across his cause. Is it uncharitable to conjecture the reason? [[indent]]At the early period, however, to which I have referred, the Church was much exercised by the persistency of the abolitionists in not going out from her. When I joined the anti-slavery ranks, sixteen years ago, the voice of the clergy was, 'Will these pests [[italics]]never[[/italics]] leave us? Will they still remain to trouble us? If you do not like us, there is the door !' When our friends had exhausted all entreaty, and tested the Christianity of that body, they shook off the dust of their feet, and came out of her. Afterwards, Mr. Garrison called on the head of the Orthodox denomination--a man, compared with whose influence on the mind of New England, that of the statesman whose death you have just mourned was but as dust in the balance, in my opinion--a man who then held the Orthodoxy of Boston in his right hand, and who has since taken up the West by its four corners, and given it so largely to Puritanism--I mean the Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher. Mr. Garrison was one of those who bowed to the spell of the matchless eloquence that then fulmined over our Zion. He waited on his favorite divine, and urged him to give to the new movement the incalculable aid of his name and countenance. He was patiently heard. He was allowed to unfold his plans and array his facts. The reply of the veteran was, 'Mr. Garrison, I have too many irons in the fire to put in another.' My friend said, 'Doctor, you had better take all the irons you have in the fire out, and put this one in, if you mean well either to the religion or the civil liberty of our country.' (Cheers.) [[indent]]The great Orthodox leader did not rest with merely refusing to put another iron into his fire; he attempted to limit the irons of other men. As President of Lane Theological Seminary, he endeavored to prevent the students from investigating the subject of slavery. The result, we all remember, was a strenuous resistance on the part of a large number of the students, led by that remarkable man, Theodore D. Weld. The Right triumphed, and Lane Seminary lost her character and noblest pupils at the same time. She has languished ever since, even with such a President. Why should I follow Dr. Beecher into those Ecclesiastical Conventions where the weight of his heavy hand has been felt against the slave? He has done no worse, indeed, he has done---- (1) 'The writer accompanied Mr. [[change font]]Garrison[[/change font]], in 1829, in calling upon a number of prominent ministers in Boston, to secure their coöperation in this cause. [[Italics]]Our expectations of important assistance from them were, at that time, very sanguine.'[[/Italics]]--[ [[Italics]]Testimony of [[/Italics]] [[change font]]WILLIAM GOODELL[[/change font]], [[italics]]in a recent work entitled[[/italics]] [[change font]] 'SLAVERY AND ANTISLAVERY.' [[/CHANGE FONT]] ] [[INDENT]] In an address on Slavery and Colonization, delivered by Mr. [[change font]]GARRISON[[/change font]], in the Park Street Church, Boston, July 4, 1829, (what was subsequently published in the [[italics]]National Philanthropist,[[/italics]]) he said--'I call on the ambassadors of Christ, every where, to make known this proclamation, "Thus saith the Lord God of the Africans, Let this people go, that they may serve me." I ask them to "proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." I call on the churches of the living God to LEAD in this great enterprise.' [[end column 2]] [[start column 3]] much better, than most of his class. His opposition has been always open and manly. [[indent]]But, Mr. Chairman, there is something in the blood, which, men tell us, brings out virtues and defects, even when they have lain dormant for a generation. Good and evil qualities are hereditary, the physicians say. the blood whose warm currents of eloquent aid my friend solicited in vain in that generation, has sprung voluntarily to his assistance in the next,--both from the pulpit and the press,--to rouse the world by the vigor and pathos of its appeals. (Enthusiastic cheers.) Even on that great triumph I would say a word. Marked and unequalled as has been that success, remember, in explanation of the phenomenon--for [[change font]]UNCLE TOM'S CABIN[[/change font]] is rather an even that a book--remember this: if the old anti-slavery movement had not roused the sympathies of Mrs. Stowe, the book had never been written; if that movement had not raised up hundreds of thousands of hearts to sympathize with the slave, the book had never been read. (Cheers.) Not that the genius of the author has not made the triumph all her own; not that the unrivalled felicity of its execution has not trebled, quadrupled, increased ten-fold, if you please, the number of readers; but there must be a spot even for Archimedes to rest his lever upon, before he can move the world, (applause,) and this effort of genius, consecrated to the noblest purpose, might have fallen dead and unnoticed in 1835. It is the anti-slavery movement which has changed 1835 to 1852. Those of us familiar with anti-slavery literature know well that Richard Hildreth's '[[change font]]ARCHY MOORE,[[/change font]]' now '[[change font]]THE WHITE SLAVE,[[/CHANGE FONT]]' was a book of eminent ability; that it owed its want of success to no lack of genius, but only to the fact, that it was a work born out of due time; that the anti-slavery cause had not then aroused sufficient numbers, on the wings of whose enthusiasm even the most delightful fiction could have risen into world-wide influence and repute. To the cause shich had changed 1935 to 1852 is due something of the influence of [[italics]]Uncle Tom's Cabin[[/italics]]. [[indent]]The abolitionists have never overlooked the wonderful power that the wand of the novelist was yet to wield in their behalf over the hearts of the world. O, no ! Frederika Bremer only expressed the common sentiment of many of us, when she declared that 'the fate of the negro was the romance of our history.' Again and again, from my earliest knowledge of the cause, have I heard the opinion, that, in the debateable land between freedom and slavery, in the thrilling incident of the escape and sufferings of the fugitive, and the perils of his friends, the future Walter Scott of America would find the 'border-land' of his romance, and the most touching incidents of his 'sixty years since;' and that the literature of America would gather its freshest laurels from that field. [[indent]] So much, Mr. Chairman, for our treatment of the church We clung to it as long as we hoped to make it useful. Disappointed in that, we have tried to expose its paltering and hypocrisy on this question, broadly and with unflinching boldness, in hopes to purify and bring it to our aid. Our labors with the great religious societies, with the press, with the institutions of learning, have been as untiring, and almost as unsuccessful. We have tried to do our duty to every public question that has arisen, which could be made serviceable in rousing general attention. The Right of Petition, the Power of Congress, the Internal Slave Trade, Texas, the Compromise measures, the Fugitive Slave Law, the motions of leading men, the tactics of parties, have all been watched and used with sagacity and effect as means to produce a change in public opinion. Dr. Channing has thanked the abolition party, in the name of all the lovers of free thought and free speech, for having vindicated that right, when all others seemed ready to surrender it; vindicated it at the cost of reputation, ease, property, even life itself. The only blood that has been shed, on this side of the ocean, in defence of the freedom of the press, was the blood of [[change font]]LOVEJOY[[/change font]], one of their number. In December, 1836, Dr. Channing spoke of their position in these terms :-- [[indent]]'Whilst, in obedience to conscience, they have refrained from opposing force to force, they have still persevered, amidst menace and insult, in bearing their testimony against wrong, in giving utterance to their deep convictions. Of such men, I do not hesitate to say, that they have rendered to freedom a more essential service than any body of men among us. The defenders of freedom are not those who claim and exercise rights which no one assails, or who win shouts of applause by well-turned compliments to liberty in the days of her triumph. They are those who stand up for rights which mobs, conspiracies, or single tyrants put in jeopardy; who contend for liberty in that particular form which is threatened at the moment by the many of the few. To the abolitionists this honor belongs. The first systematic effort to strip the citizen of freedom of speech they have met with invincible resolution. From my heart I thank them. I am myself their debtor. I am not sure that I should this moment write in safety, had they shrunk from the conflict, had they shut their lips, imposed silence on their presses, and his themselves before their ferocious assailants. I know not where these outrages would have stopped, had they not met resistance from their first destined victims. The newspaper press, with few exceptions, uttered no genuine indignant rebuke of the wrong-doers, but rather countenanced by its gentle censures the reign of Force. The mass of the people looked supinely on this new tyranny, under which a portion of their fellow-citizens seemed to be sinking. A tone of denunciation was beginning to proscribe all discussion of slavery; and had the spirit of violence, which selected associations as its first objects, succeeded in this preparatory enterprise, it might have been easily turned against any and every individual, who might presume to agitate the unwelcome subject. It is hard to say, to what outrage the fettered press of the country might not have been reconciled. I thank the abolitionists that, in this evil day, they were true to the rights which the multitude were ready to betray. Their purpose to suffer, to die, rather than surrender their dearest liberties, taught the lawless that they had a foe to contend with, whom it was not safe to press, whilst, like all manly appeals, it called forth reflection and sympathy in the better portion of the community. In the name of freedom and humanity, I thank the.' [[indent]]No one, Mr. Chairman, deserves more of that honor than he whose chair you now occupy. Our youthful city can boast of by few places of historic renown. But I know no one which coming time is more likely to keep in memory, than the roof which [[change font]]FRANCIS JACKSON[[/change font]] offered to the anti-slavery women of Boston, when Mayor Lyman confessed he was unable to protect their meeting, and when the only protection the laws could afford mr. [[change font]]GARRISON[[/change font]] was the shelter of,the common jail. [[indent]]Sir, when a nation sets itself to do evil, and all its leading forces, wealth, party and piety, join in the career, it is impossible but that those who offer a constant opposition should be hated and maligned, no matter how wise, cautious and well-planned their course may be. We are peculiar sufferers in this way. The community has come to hate its reproving Nathan so bitterly, that even those to whom the relenting part of it is beginning to look as standard-bearers of the anti-slavery host, think it unwise to avow any connection or sympathy with him. I refer to some of the leaders of the political movement against slavery. They feel it to be their mission to marshal and use as effectively as possible the present convictions of the people. They cannot afford to encumber themselves with the odium which twenty years of angry agitation have engendered in great sects sore from unsparing rebuke, parties galled by constant defeat, and leading men provoked by unexpected exposure. They are willing to confess, privately, that our movement produced theirs, and that its continued existence is the very breath of their life. But, at the same time, they would fain walk on the road without being soiled by too close contact with the rough pioneers who threw it up. They are wise and honorable, and their silence is very expressive. [[indent]]When I speak of their eminent position and acknowledged ability, another thought strikes me. Who converted these men and their distinguished associates? It is said we have shown neither candor in plans, nor sagacity in discussion, nor ability in argument. Who then or what converted Burlingame and Wilson, Sumner and Adams, Palfry and Mann, Chase and Hale, and Phillips and Giddings? Who taught the [[italics]]Christian Register,[[/italics]] the [[italics]]Daily Advertiser[[/italics]], and that class of prints, that there were such things as a slave and a slaveholder [[end column 3]] [[start column 4]] in the land, and so gave them some more intelligent basis than their mere instincts to hate WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON? (Shouts and laughter.) What magic wand was it whose touch made the toadying servility of the land start up the real demon that it was, and at the same time gathered into the slave's service the professional ability, ripe culture and personal integrity that grace the Free Soil ranks? We never argue! These men, then, were converted by simple denuneiation! They were all converted by the 'hot,' 'reckless,' 'ranting,' 'bigoted,' 'fanatic' Garrison, who never troubled himself about facts, nor stopped to argue with an opponent, but straightaway knocked him down! (Roars of laughter and cheers.) My old and valued friend Mr. Sumner often boasts that he was a reader of THE LIBERATOR before I was. Do not criticise too much the agency by which such men were converted. That blade has a double edge. Our reckless course-our empty rant- our fanaticism, has made abolitionists of some of the best and ablest men in the land. We are inclined to go on and see if even with such poor tools we cannot reach some more. (Enthusiastic applause.) Anti-slavery zeal and the roused conscience of the 'godless come-outers' made the trembling South demand the Fugitive Slave Law; and the Fugitive Slave Law 'provoked' Mrs. Stowe to the good work of 'UNCLE TOM.' That is something! (Cheers.) Let me say, in passing, that of none of these men, or their efforts, will you find an earlier or more generous appreciation, or more flowing eulogy, than in the columns of THE LIBERATOR. No one, however feeble, has ever peeped or muttered, in any quarter , that the vigilant eye of the Pioneers has not recognized him. He has stretched out the right hand of a most cordial welcome the moment any man's face was turned Zionward. (Loud cheers.) I do not mention these things to praise Mr. Garrison; I do not stand here for that purpose. You will not deny--if you do, I can prove it--that the movement of the abolitionists converted these men. Their constituents were converted by it. The assault upon the right of petition, upon the right to print and speak of slavery, the denial of the right of Congress over the District, the annexation of Texas, the Fugitive Slave Law, were measures which the anti-slavery movement provoked. The anti-slavery cause gave them their votes, gave them their offices, furnished their facts, gave them their audience. If you tell me they cherished all these principles in their own breasts before Mr. Garrison appeared, I can only say, if the anti-slavery movement did not give them their ideas, it surely gave them the courage to utter them. In such circumstances, is it not singular that the name of WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON has never been pronounced, for fourteen years, on the floor of the United States Congress, linked with any epithet but that of contempt! No one of these men who owe their ideas, their station, their audience, to him, have ever thought it worth their while to utter one word in grateful recognition of the power that called them into being. When obliged, by the course of their argument, to treat the question historically, they can go across the water to Clarkson and Wilberforce-yes, to a safe salt-water distance. (Laughter.) As Daniel Webster, when he was talking to the farmers of Western New York, and wished to contrast slave labor and free labor, did not dare to compare New York with Virginia-sister States under the same government, planted by the same race, worshipping at the same altar, speaking the same language,-identical in all respects, ave that one in which he wished to seek the contrast;-but, no; he compared it with [[italics]]Brazil[[/italics]]-(cheers and laughter)-the contrast was so close! (Renewed cheers.) Catholic-Protestant; Spanish-Saxon; despotism-municipal institutions; readers of Lope de Vega and of Shakespeare; mutterers of the Mass-children of the Bible! But Virginia is too near home! So is Garrison! One would have thought there was something in the human breast that would sometimes break through policy. These no[[2 words illegible --crease in paper]] whom I have named must surely have found quite irksome the constant practice of what Dr. Gardner used to call 'that despicable virtue, [[italics]]prudence'![[/italics]]-(laughter)-one would have thought, when they heard that name spoken with contempt, their ready eloquence would have leaped from its scabbard to avenge even a word that threatened him with insult. But it never came-never! (Sensation.) I do not say I blame them. Perhaps they thought they should serve the cause better by drawing a broad back line between themselves and him. Perhaps they thought the devil could be cheated;-I do not think he can. (Laughter and cheers.) We are perfectly willing--I am for one--to be the dead lumber that shall make a path for these men into the light and love of the people. We hope for nothing better. Use us freely, in any way, for the slave. When the temple is finished, the tools will not complain that they are thrown aside, let who will lead up the nation to put on the topstone with shoutings. But while so much remains to be done, while our little camp is beleaguered all about, do nothing to weaken his influence, whose sagacity, more than any other single man's, has lead us up hither, and whose name is identified with that movement which the North still heeds, and the South still fears the most. After all, Mr. Chairman, this is no hard task. We know very well, that, notwithstanding this loud clamour about our harsh judgments of men and things, our opinions differ very little from those of our Free Soii[[as in text]] friends, or of intelligent men generally, when you really get at them. When men lay aside the judicial ermine, the senator's robe, or the party collar, and sit down in private life, you can hardly distinguish their tones from ours. Their eyes seem as anointed as our [[italics]]own.[[/italics]] As in Pope's day - -'At all we laugh, they laugh, no doubt; The only difference is, we dare [[italics]]laugh out.'[[/italics]] Caution is not always good policy in a cause like ours. It is said that when Napoleon saw the day going against him, he used to throw away all the rules of war, and trusted himself to the hot impetuosity of his soldiers. The masses are governed more by impulse than conviction; and even were it not so, the convictions of most men are on our side, and this will surely appear, if we can only pierce the crust of their prejudice or indifference. I observe that our Free Soil friends never stir their audience so deeply as when some individual leaps beyond the platform, and strikes upon the very heart of the people. Men listen to discussions of laws and tactics with ominous patience. It is when Mr. Sumner, in Faneuil Hall, avows his determination to disobey the Fugitive Slave Law, and cries out, 'I was a man before I was a commissioner'-when Mr. Giddings says of slave insurrections, 'If that is the only path to freedom, let them come,'-that their associates on the platform are sure they are wrecking the party-while many a heart beneath beats its first pulse of anti-slavery life. These are brave words. When I compare them with the general tone of Free Soil men in Congress, I distrust the atmosphere of Washington and of politics. These men move about Sauls and Goliaths among us, taller by many a cubit. There they lose port and stature. Mr. Sumner's speech in the Senate unsays no part of his Faneuil Hall pledge. But, discussing the same topic, no one would gather from any work or argument that the speaker ever took such ground as he did in Faneuil Hall. It is all through, the [[italics]]law,[[/italics]] the [[italics]]manner[[/italics]] of the surrender, not the surrender itself, of the slave that he objects to. As my friend Mr. Pillsbury so forcibly says, so far as any thing in the speech shows, he puts the slave behind the jury trial, behind the [[italics]]habeas corpus[[/italics]] acts, and Constitutions built high as yonder monument, would he permit so much as the shadow of the little finger of the slave claimant to [[end fourth column]] [[start fifth column]] touch the slave! (Great applause.) At least, so he was understood. In an elaborate discussion by the leader of the political anti-slavery party, of the whole topic of Fugitive Slaves, you do not find one protest against the surrender itself, one frank expression on the constitutional clause, or any indication of the speaker's final purpose, should any one be properly claimed under that provision. It was under no such uncertain trumpet that the anti-slavery host was originally marshalled. The tone is that of the German soldiers whom Napoleon routed. They didn't care, they said, for the defeat, but only that they were not beat according to rule. (Laughter and cheers.) Mr. Mann said in one of his speeches, that 'he felt for the fugitive slave as for his own blood brother--that he ought to do as much for him as for his blood-brother; and BUT for the Constitution of the United States, he would risk every thing rather than let him be surrendered.' What a 'BUT'!--from the lips, too, of a champion of the higher law! Spite of all constitutions, neither my mother's son nor any other mother's son shall, with my consent, go back to bondage. (Enthusiastic cheers.) So speaks the heart--Mr. Mann's version is that of the politician. Mr. Mann's recent speech in August, '52, has the same non-committal tone to which I have alluded, as Mr. Sumner's. While professing, in the most eloquent terms, his loyalty to the Higher Law, Mr. Sutherland asked--'Is there, in Mr. Mann's opinion, any conflict between that Higher Law and the Constitution? If so, what is it? If not so, why introduce an irrelevant topic into the debate?' Mr. Mann avoided any reply, and asked not to be interrupted! Is that the frankness which becomes an abolitionist? Can such concealment help any cause? The design of Mr. Sutherland is evident. If Mr. Mann had allowed there was no conflict between the Higher Law and the Constitution, all his remarks were futile, and out of order. But if he asserted that any such conflict existed, how did he justify himself in swearing to support that instrument?--a question our Free Soil friends are slow to meet. Mr. Mann saw the dilemma, and avoided it by silence! The same speech contains the usual deprecatory assertions that Free Soilers have no wish to interfere with slavery in the States; that they 'consent to let slavery remain where it is.' If he means that he, Horace Mann, a moral and accountable being, 'consents to let slavery remain where it is,' all the rest of his speech is sound and fury, signifying nothing. If he means that he, Horace Mann, as a politician and party man, consents to that, but, elsewhere and otherwise, will do his best to abolish this 'all-comprehending wickedness of slavery, in which every wrong and every crime has its natural home'--then he should have plainly said so. Otherwise, his disclaimer is but an unworthy trick, which could have deceived none. He must have known that all the South care for is the action, not in what capacity the deed is done. Mr. Giddings is more careful in his statement; but, judged by his speech on the 'Platforms,' how little does he seem to understand either his own duty, or the true philosophy of the cause he serves! He says-- 'We, sir, would drive the slave question from discussion in this Hall. It never had a constitutional existence here. Separate this Government from all interference with slavery; let the Federal Power wash its hands from that institution; let us purify ourselves from its contagion; leave it with the States, who alone have the power to sustain it--then, sir, will agitation cease in regard to it here; then we shall have nothing more to do with it, our time will be no more occupied with it; and, like a band of freemen, a band of brothers, we could meet here, and legislate for the prosperity, the improvement of mankind, for the elevation of our race.' Mr. Sumner speaks in the same strain. He says-- 'The time will come when Courts or Congress will declare, that nowhere under the Constitution can man hold property in man. For the republic, such a decree will be the way of peace and safety. As slavery is banished from the National jurisdiction, it will cease to vex our National politics. It may linger in the States as a local institution, but it will no longer endanger national animosities when it no longer demands national support.' * * * 'For himself, he knows no better aim under the Constitution than to bring the Government back to the precise position which it occupied' when it was launched. This seems to me a very mistaken strain. Whenever slavery is banished from our National jurisdiction, it will be a momentous gain, a vast stride. But let us not mistake the half-way house for the end of the journey. I will not say that it matters not to abolitionists under what special law slavery exists. Their battle lasts while it exists any where, and I doubt not Mr. Sumner and Mr. Giddings feel themselves enlisted for the whole war. I will even suppose, what neither of these gentlemen states, that their plan includes not only that slavery shall not only be abolished in the District and in the Territories, but that the slave basis of representation shall be struck from the Constitution, and the slave-surrender clause construed away. But even then, does Mr. Giddings or Mr. Sumner really believe that slavery, existing in its full force in the State, 'will cease to vex our national politics'? Can they point to any State where a powerful oligarchy, possessed of immense wealth, has ever existed, without attempting to meddle in the government? Even now, do not manufacturing, banking and commercial capital perpetually vex our politics? Why should not slave capital exert the same influence? Do they imagine that a hundred thousand men, possessed of two thousand millions of dollars, which they feel the spirit of the age is seeking to tear from their grasp, will not eagerly catch at all the support they can obtain by getting the control of the Government? In a land where the dollar is almighty, 'where the sin of not being rich is only atoned for by the effort to become so,' do they doubt that such an oligarchy will generally succeed? Besides, banking and manufacturing capital are not urged by despair to seek a controlling influence in politics. They know they are about equally safe, whichever party rules--that no party wishes to legislate their rights away. Slave property knows that its being allowed to exist depends on its having the virtual control of the Government. Its constant presence in politics is dictated, therefore, by despair as well as by the wish to secure fresh privileges. Money, however, is not the only strength of the Slave Power. That indeed were enough in an age when capitalists are our feudal barons. But, though driven entirely from National shelter, the slaveholders would have the strength of old associations, and of peculiar laws in their own States, which give those States wholly into their hands. A weaker prestige, fewer privileges, and less comparative wealth, have enabled the British aristocracy to rule England for two centuries, though the root of their strength was cut at Naseby. It takes ages for deeply rooted institutions to die. And driving slavery into the States will hardly be our Naseby. Whoever, therefore, lays the flattering unction to his soul, that while slavery exists anywhere in the States, our legislators will set down 'like a band of brothers,'--unless they are all slaveholding brothers,--is doomed to find himself wofully mistaken. Mr. Adams, ten years ago, refused to sanction this doctrine of his friend, Mr. Giddings, combatting it ably and eloquently in his well-known reply to Ingersoll. But is Mr. Giddings willing to sit down with slaveholders, 'like a band of brothers,' knowing all the time that they are tyrants at home, and not seek to use the common strength to protect their victims? Does he not know that it is impossible for free States and slave States to unite under any form of Constitution, no matter how clean the parchment may be, without the compact resulting to new strength to the slave system? It is the unimpaired strength of Massachusetts and New York, and the youthful vigor of Ohio, that, even now, enable bankrupt Carolina to hold up the institution. Every nation must maintain peace within her limits. No government can exist which does not fulfil that function. When we say the Union will maintain peace in Carolina, that being a slave State, what does 'peace' mean? It means keeping the slave beneath the heel of his master. Now, even on the principle of two wrongs making a right, if we put this great weight of a common government into the scale of the slaveholder, we are [[end fifth column]] [[start sixth column]] bound to add something equal to the slave's side. But no; Mr. Giddings is content to give the slaveholder the irresistible and organic half of a common government, and bind himself to utter no word, and move not a finger, in his civil capacity, to help the slave? An abolitionist would find himself not much at home, I fancy, in that 'band of brothers'! And Mr. Sumner 'knows no better aim, under the the Constitution, than to bring back the Government' to where it was in 1789! Has the voyage been so very honest and prosperous a one, in his opinion, that his only wish is to start again with the same ship, the same crew, and the same sailing orders? Grant all he claims, as to the state of public opinion, the intentions of leading men, and the form of our institutions at that period; with all these checks on wicked men, and helps to good ones, here we are! according to his own showing, ruled by slavery, tainted to the core with slavery, and binding the infamous Fugitive Slave Law like an honorable frontlet on our brows. The more accurate and truthful his glowing picture of the public virtue of 1789, the stronger my argument. If even all those great patriots, and all that enthusiasm for justice and liberty, did not avail to keep us safe, what will? In such desperate circumstances, can his statesmanship devise no better aim than to try the same experiment over again, under precisely the same conditions? What new guarantees does he propose to prevent the voyage from being turned again into a piratical slave-trading cruise? None! Have sixty years taught us nothing? In 1660 the English thought, in recalling Charles II., that the memory of that scaffold which had once darkened the windows of Whitehall, would be guarantee enough for his good behavior. But, spite of the spectre, Charles II. repeated Charles I., and James outdid him. Wiser by this experience, when the nation, in 1689, got another chance, they trusted to no guarantees, but so arranged the very elements of their government, that William III. could not repeat Charles I. Let us profit by the lesson. These mistakes of leading men merit constant attention. The anti-slavery awakening has cost too many years and too much labor to risk letting its energy be turned into a wrong channel, or balked by fruitless experiments. Neither the slave nor the country must be cheated a second time. Mr. Chairman, when I remember the grand port of these men elsewhere, and witness this confusion of ideas, and veiling of their proud crests to party necessities, they seem to me to lose in Washington something of their old giant proportions. How often have we witnessed this change! It seems the inevitable result of political life under any government, but especially under ours: and we are surprised at it in these men, only because we fondly hoped they would be exceptions to the general rule. It was Chamfort, I think, who first likened a Republican Senate House to Milton's Pandemonium;--another proof of the rare insight French writers have shown in criticising Republican Institutions. The Capitol at Washington always brings to my mind that other Capitol, which in Milton's great Epic 'rose like an exhalation' 'from the burning marl'--that towered palace, 'with starry lamps and blazing cressets' hung--fixed in stately height, with 'roof of fretted gold,' its hall 'like a covered field.' You remember, Sir, the host of archangels gathered round it, and how thick the airy crowd 'Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given, Behold a wonder! They but now who seemed In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room Throng numberless, like that pygmean race Beyond the Indian mount; or fairy elves, Whose midnight revels, by a forest side Or fountain, some belated peasant sees. * * * * * * Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large, Though without number still, amid the hall Of that infernal court.' Mr. Chairman, they got no farther than the hall! (Cheers.) They were not a healthy party! The healthy party,--the men who made no compromise in order to come under that arch,--Milton describes further on. where he says-- ----'But far within, And in their own dimensions, like themselves, The great seraphic lords and cherubim, In close recess and secret conclave, sat; A thousand demi-gods on golden seats Frequent and full.' These were the healthy party! (Loud applause.) These are the Casses and the Houstons, the Footes and the Soules, the Clays, the Websters and the Douglasses, that bow no lofty forehead in the dust, but can find ample room and verge enough under the Constitution. Our friends go down there, and must be dwarfed into pigmies before they can find space within the lists! (Cheers.) It would be superfluous to say that we grant the entire sincerity and true-heartedness of these men. But in critical times, when a wrong step entails most disastrous consequences, to 'mean well' is not enough. Sincerity is no shield for any man from the criticism of his fellow-laborers. I do not fear that such men as these will take offence at our discussion of their views and conduct. Long years of hard labor, in which we have borne at least our share, have resulted in a golden opportunity. How to use it, friends differ. Shall we stand courteously silent, and let these men play out the play, when, to our thinking, their plan will slacken the zeal, balk the hopes, and waste the efforts of the slave's friends? No! I put that confidence in Charles Sumner's love for the slave, that I know he will welcome my criticism whenever I deem his counsel wrong; that he will hail every effort to serve our common client more efficiently. (Great cheering.) It is not his honor nor mine that is at issue; not his feeling nor mine that is to be consulted. The only question for either of us is, What in these golden moments can be done--where can the hardest blow be struck? (Loud applause.) I hope I am just to Mr. Sumner; I have known him long, and honor him. I know his genius--I honor his virtues; yet if from his high place he sends out counsels which I think dangerous to the cause, I am bound to raise my voice against them. I do my duty in a private communication to him first, then in public to his friends and mine. The friendship that will not bear this criticism is but the frost-work of a winter's morning, which the sun shines on, and it is gone. His friendship will survive all that I say of him, and mine will survive all that he shall say of me; and this is the only way in which the anti-slavery cause can be served. Truth, success, victory, triumph over the obstacles that beset us--this is all either of us wants. (Cheers.) If all I have said to you is untrue, if I have exaggerated, explain to me this fact. In 1831, Mr. Garrison commenced a paper advocating the doctrine of immediate emancipation. He had against him the thirty thousand churches and all the clergy of the country--its wealth, its commerce, its press. In 1831, what was the state of things? There was the most entire ignorance and apathy on the slave question. If men knew of the existence of slavery, it was only as a part of picturesque Virginia life. No one preached, no one talked, no one wrote about it. No whisper of it stirred the surface of the political sea. The Church heard of it occasionally, when some Colonization agent asked funds to send the blacks to Africa. Old school books tainted with some anti-slavery selections had passed out of use, and new ones were compiled to suit the times. Soon as any dissent from the prevailing faith appeared, every one set himself to crush it. The pulpits preached at it: the press denounced it: mobs tore down houses, threw presses into the fire and the stream, and shot the editors: religious conventions tried to smother it: parties arrayed themselves against it. Daniel Webster boasted in the Senate, that he had never introduced the subject of slavery to that body, and never would. Mr. Clay, in 1839, makes a speech for the Presidency, in which he says, that to discuss the subject of slavery is moral treason, and that no man has a right to introduce the subject into Congress. Mr. Benton, in 1844, laid down his platform, and he not only denies the right, but asserts he never has and never will discuss the subject. Yet Mr. Clay, from '39 clown to his death, hardly made [[end sixth column]]
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