Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the last four years, have been regarded in Great Britain with the deepest interest. At first, many were dazzled and beguiled by the specious representations given of the principles and operations of the Colonization Society, but the exposures of that Society by Capt. Stuart, and Mr. Cropper, and lastly, by our devoted brother Mr. Garrison, during his visit to our country, have caused its doctrines to be almost universally repudiated. There is every disposition among British abolitionists to extend to you their sympathy, their counsel, and their contributions. My presence amongst you to-day is a proof and a pledge of their desire and determination to be associated with you,

in

your hallowed enterprize. In thus tendering you our help, we disclaim the remotest intention of interfering to an unwarrantable extent in the political questions of your country. Ours is a question of morals, humanity, and religion. We are the friends of mankind universally, and have made an appeal to christians throughout all the world, to join with us in abolishing slavery and the slave-trade, wherever they exist. In doing so, we believe we have a sanction and commission from Heaven, and we long for the day, when in this country there shall no longer be heard the clank of fetters and the moan of the oppressed; but freed from the guilt of slavery and prejudice, you will be united with us in the blessed work of carrying the tidings of redemption to the ends of the earth.'

Mr. Thompson proceeded to give an account of the formation in London of a British and Foreign Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade ihroughout the world,' and read several extracts, explanatory of its principles and proposed plans of operation.

I have thus (said Mr. T.) very briefly glanced at what has been done, and is still doing, both here and in Great Britain. We stand, however, but upon the threshold of the great work of universal freedom. In this country, you have but barely commenced. Take courage, however, and

go forward. The hottest part of the battle is to come. Colonizationism is not yet dead. Follow up your blows until it gives up the ghost, and its mis-shapen trunk is buried from your sight. You have yet to contend with slaveholders, their kindred, friends, agents and mercenaries ; with those who supply the south; with the haters of the colored

population ; with a fierce and malignant press; with mistaken philanthropists; with fearful abolitionists; with thousands of christians who apologize for slavery ; and with ignorance and apathy, in every direction. Let none of these things dismay you. Let your measures be bold and uncompromising, yet governed by wisdom and charity. The struggle will be hard, but victory is certain. A few short years will sweep away the frail fabrics which ignorance, prejudice, and dim-sighted expediency have reared upon this blood-bought soil; but your principles, like a foundation of adamant, will remain unsullied and unmoved, and the lapse of ages will only reveal to the world, in the light of a clearer demonstration, the divinity of their origin, and the immutability of their duration.'

LETTER FROM PORTLAND.

PORTLAND, (Me.) Oct. 28, 1834. My Dear GARRISON,

It is now more than a fortnight since I parted with you in Boston, on my way to the Anti-Slavery Convention at Augusta. The time has rolled rapidly away. Each day has brought with it duties and occupations, which have either absorbed the mind in the study and discussion of the great question,' or engaged the feelings of the heart in communion with those who are nobly seeking the welfare of the oppressed. Besides the claims exerted by kind friends and solemn duties upon the heart and head, the eye has been continually arrested by some new object. Wherever I have travelled, by land or by water, I have been constantly reminded that I am in New and not Old England. The size, beauty, construction, and management of your unrivalled steam vessels :—the splendid autumnal tints of your forest foliage ;--the appearance of your cities and towns, as they are seen from the deck of one of your floating palaces, as she proudly approaches the port, walking the water like a thing of life; '--your stage coaches and tavern accommodations ;-your hedgeless fields, covered with antediluvian fragments, or the stumps of hundreds of demolished trees, or plentiful crops of Indian corn and pumpkins ;-the garbs and vehicles of your happy, enterprising and independent Yankee farmers ;- your beautifulmeetinghouses, every where visible, their modest spires directing the mind of the thoughtful traveller upward to nature's God ;-All these novel and striking scenes, calculated to interest, most deeply, every intelligent stranger. In my mind they have awakened new and strong emotions. Nor have I been less affected by the more romantic portions of the scenes I have witnessed. Every thing is full of thrilling association and historical interest. Already, in imagination, I have lived a thousand years upon your soil. I have roamed the banks of the Kennebeck and the

Penobscot with the Indian hunter ;-I have plunged with him into your pathless woods,

• Where rang of old the rifle shot;'

have mingled with the untutored worshippers of the

Great Spirit;-have listened to the eloquence of barbarian sages, and witnessed the deeds and death of generations, whose kindlier fate it was to have their being' ere science guided the white man to those shores, and the hand of an insatiate dominion commenced by the guilty work of conquest, robbery, and extermination. I have passed downwards through the bloody period of your political regeneration, and have caught a spark of genuine patriotism from off the purest altar on which its hallowed fire was ever seen to glow—the heart of Washington. I have lived through ages yet to come.

I have seen this people rise like Nineveh of old ; and proclaim a fast, and put on sackcloth and ashes, from the greatest even to the least; and cry mightily to God, and turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. I have heard the omnipotent voice of Justice thundering in the Capitol, and echoing from the Halls of Legislation in the South. I have seen exulting millions trample in the dust the galling chain of an execrated tyranny, and with uplifted hands invoke the blessing of God on a nation, that had at last broke every yoke,' and set the oppressed free.' But I will forbear to describe further the visions I have had of the past and the future, and return to speak of recent efforts in which I have been honored to join-efforts, to bring near the day of redemption, which, in fancy, Í have already realized.

Sunday, Oct. 12. I spent this day in Portland. In the morning, I accompanied Gen. Fessenden to the meetinghouse of the Third Parish, and heard a very excellent sermon preached by the Rev. Mr. Dwight. In the afternoon I enjoyed the privilege of addressing a congregation of colored persons in the Abyssinian church. This was the first time I had ever worshipped in a place, exclusively appropriated to colored persons; nor had I ever, on any occasion, seen so many assembled together. I analyzed my mind, with some anxiety, to discern, if, in these entirely

new circumstances, any feelings of prejudice or dislike were called forth. I can with truth declare, that I experienced none.

The attention paid to the services was apparently deep. The deportment of all, decent and devout. The singing good; and the whole appearance of the audience that of intelligence and respectability. In the evening I lectured in the First Christian church. The audience numbered upwards of 1200. I was heard with the greatest patience and attention for upwards of two hours.

Monday, 13. Proceeded with Mr. Phelps to Brunswick, and in the evening lectured in the Rev. Mr. Titcomb's church, to a numerous and respectable auditory. The students from Bowdoin College were all present.

Tuesday, 14. Left Brunswick, and reached Hallowell about 6 o'clock.

Wednesday, 15. Went to Augusta, the Capital of this state. At 11, the Anti-Slavery Convention assembled. I was introduced by a very kind and flattering speech from Gen. Fessenden; and on his motion, was elected a corresponding member of the Convention. In the evening, I delivered a somewhat long address. Was very hospitably entertained by the Rev. Mr. Tappan. Some remarks of mine, during the speech referred to, gave offence to a certain party in the town; and the first manifestation of their displeasure, was to visit the house of my host, about, 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning, and break nine or ten squares of glass.

Thursday, 16. Attended the morning meeting of the Convention. A little before 1, was called out of the Convention by Mr. Tappan, and informed that five gentlemen were in an anti-room wailing to see me. On being introduced to them, they said that they came from a meeting of citizens, that morning held, to inform me, that my speech of the previous night, had given great offence --that I was regarded as a foreign emissary, an officious intermeddler, &c. &c.—and that, therefore, I should not be permitted to attend the afternoon sitting of the Convention, but must leave the town immediately. I returned a calm and respectful answer, declining, however, to say whether I should comply with the · Notice to quit.' At dinner, I consulted with some friends, and it was finally

« AnteriorContinuar »