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During the past year, a number of lectures on the subject of slavery have been delivered in Boston before the Society and large audiences, by the Rev. Mr. Phelps, and an address by the Rev. Mr. May. These discourses were listened to with deep interest. Mr. Phelps's lectures have just been issued from the press. Professor Wright also had several public discussions with Mr. Finley, on the merits of the Colonization Society, which we believe had a beneficial influence on the public mind.
During the year the New-England Anti-Slavery Society, in connexion with the Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society of Boston, has commenced the formation of an Anti-Slavery Library, called the Wilberforce Library. A number of volumes have already been procured by donation and purchase. This institution will, it is believed, prove a powerful instrument in aid of
The most important measure of the Society during the year, was sending Mr. Garrison to England. The objects of this mission were to solicit aid for the Manual Labor School for Colored Children contemplated by the Society, and to expose the principles and measures of the Colonization Society. In both these objects, the mission has been abundantly successful. Funds to a considerable amount have, in consequence of Mr. Garrison's exertions, been collected for the school, since he left England. The whole amount to be expected from this source is not yet known, but it is supposed that two or three thousand dollars will be realized.
Mr. Garrison, by his public and private labors in England, succeeded in convincing almost all the leading abolitionists in that country, of the injustice and absurdity of the schemes of the Colonization Society. The Protest which he obtained signed by a number of distinguished abolitionists in Britain, deserves great attention in this country as the honest expression of opinion of able men, far removed from the prejudices which operate in the United States. One of the last acts of the long, unstained, and glorious life of the venerable Wilberforce, was putting his name to this protest. We mention this circumstance, because an attempt has been made to represent him as favoring the
Colonization Society, by publishing a letter of his to Elliott Cresson, which was written some time before, at a time when he had adopted favorable impressions in regard to the Society, which fuller information led him to reverse.
During the year, the Society has been deprived by death of its venerable and excellent President, John Kenrick, Esq.
He was a man of great benevolence and integrity. He had for many years before his death taken an active part in the antislavery cause.
• In the year 1816, he published a small volume compiled by himself, entitled the “ Horrors of Slavery.” This work is in two parts, the first chiefly composed of extracts from the speeches of British statesmen ; the second chiefly of extracts from American writers. It contains also an introduction and concluding remarks by the compiler. He printed 3000 copies of the work at his own expense, which he distributed chiefly among the members of Congress, and of the State Legislatures, and other persons in the Northern and Western States.'*
He was a liberal benefactor of our Society, having given donations to it to the amount of six hundred dollars, including two hundred and fifty dollars to the Manual Labor School.
We trust that the example of this active and devoted philanthropist will animate the surviving members of our Society to renewed exertions in the glorious cause in which they are engaged.
The friends of the abolition of slavery in this country have been far more active during the past year than at any previous period, and are now, undoubtedly, more numerous and powerful than they ever have been. One of the strongest evidences of this fact, is the number of new anti-slavery societies that have been formed. The following are those, accounts of the formation of which have fallen under our notice.
Maine.-Maine [Portland] Anti-Slavery Society; Bath do.; Waterville do.; Brunswick do.; Augusta do.; Hallowell do. ; Portland Female do.
NEW HAMPSHIRE.--Plymouth do. VERMONT.–Jamaica do.; Peacham do.; Cabot do.; Craftsbury do.; Waitsfield do.; Walden do.
MASSACHUSETTS.--Reading do.; Amherst College do.; Amesbury do.; Uxbridge do.; Lowell do.; Salem and Vicinity do.; Nantucket Colored
* From the Abolitionist.
do.; Boston Female do.; Reading Female do.; Amesbury Female do. ; Boston Young Men's Anti-Slavery Association; Waltham Anti-Slavery Society.
RHODE ISLAND.Providence do.; Pawtucket do.; Assonet do.
CONNECTICUT.-New Haven do.; Middletown do.; Plainfield and Vicinity do.; Pomfret do.
New York. New York City do.; Oneida Institute do.; Rochester do.; Rochester Female do.; Hudson Female do.
PennsyLVANIA.—Pittsburgh do.; Philadelphia Female do.
Oh10.-Vernon do.; New Garden do.; Medina do.; Western Reserve do.; Paint Valley do.; Lane Seminary do. Illinois.-Putnam County do.*
In addition to these, the last year has been rendered memorable by the formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society. This institution was formed by a Convention at Philadelphia under most favorable auspices. Its proceedings are already before the public. The Declaration signed by its members, which has been published, exhibits the holy resolution of martyrs. It is difficult to estimate the effect which this Society is to have on the great cause of abolition. The members of the Convention which formed it, coming from all parts of the country, and all devoted to the work on which they had entered, had their hopes animated and their zeal invigorated by the meeting. Most, we believe all, of those whom we have seen, regard it as one of the most delightful events of their lives. We believe that this Society is to have a permanent and powerful influence in our country, not only from the character of the men who have formed it, but also from the principles which they have embraced. The great truths that to hold slaves is a sin, and therefore that slavery ought immediately to be abolished, are the foundations on which the American Society rests.
Founded upon these true principles, its success is certain. It commends itself to the hearts and the consciences of the people.
We have not yet alluded to the event, which, more than all others which have happened during the year, important as they are, is to hasten the abolition of American slavery-we mean the act abolishing slavery in the Colonies of the British empire. This glorious work, for which so many philanthropists have prayed and labored so long, is at last accomplished. It is true that there are great defects in the measure —that the full enjoy
* Some of these Societies have been organized since the Report was read,
ment of the rights of the emancipated slaves is delayed to them for some years, and that the plan of apprenticing them is liable to serious objections. But after making all deductions, we must admit that a great end has been gained. Eight hundred thousand fellow men, who were slaves, have become freemen.
* This event,' we borrow the words of a recent publication, is an era in the history of the British nation, to which its past records afford no parallel. When the memory of the bloody victories of Cressy and Agincourt, Blenheim and Waterloo, shall become dim in the lapse of ages, future generations of Britons will look back to the abolition of slavery as the brightest and most godlike act in the annals of their country. It is a triumph of the higher principles of our nature,—of justice and humanity, over selfishness, prejudice, and avarice.
• The apparent apathy with which the news of an event so striking and momentous has been received in this country, would be surprising, if it were not that we had been prepared for the measure by slow and successive stages of information, so that long before the passage of the act was known, the result was considered certain.
• The abolition of slavery in the British colonies, however, cannot be looked upon with unconcern in the United States. Though the restoration of their natural rights to eight hundred thousand men, however distant from us, is an event interesting on its own account, yet the effects which it is to produce in this and other slaveholding countries, are even more important. When the British king put his name to the statute for abolishing slavery in the colonies, he signed the death warrant of slavery throughout the civilized world.
" In vain will slaveholders and their adherents attempt to resist the moral influence of Great Britain. The moral courage of the benevolent will be strengthened, the moral sensibility of the lukewarm will be roused, and the moral force of the great body of the people will be called into action, to exterminate at once and forever the system which has so long disgraced manhood and Christianity.'
* The Abolitionist for October, 1833.
Among the memorable proceedings of the last year must be ranked the persecution of a lady, Miss Prudence Crandall, for the heinous offence of keeping a school for colored females.
Miss Crandall, who had for some years kept a boarding school for young ladies in Canterbury, Connecticut, with considerable success, about a year ago determined to devote herself to the instruction of young ladies of color. Her intention having been announced, soon occasioned great excitement in the town. A town meeting was in consequence called, at which some violent proceedings took place, and resolutions denouncing the school were passed. Miss Crandall, having formed her plans deliberately, was not to be deterred from what she felt to be her duty, by any personal considerations. She established her school. Since that time, she has been subjected to a bitter persecution from the inhabitants of the town. They petitioned the legislature of the State, and through the influence of a leading man in the town, Andrew T. Judson, Esq., procured the passage of a statute in May last, making it a penal offence to establish any school for the instruction of colored persons not inhabitants of the State, or to instruct or board or harbor such
persons coming into the State for the purpose of being instructed.
Miss Crandall, believing this law to be unconstitutional, as a violation of that clause of the constitution which gives the citizens of each state all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States, did not hesitate in the course which she ought to adopt, but persevered in continuing her school.
She was, in consequence, arrested for a violation of the law, carried before a justice of the peace, by whom she was committed to jail, to take her trial at the next session of the County Court. She was there confined in the same room which the murderer Watkins had occupied during the last days of his life.* She was, however, only confined for one day, as bail was given
* There has been some dispute upon this subject. If our memory does not deceive us, Miss Crandall's friends having published that she had been confined in the same cell which Watkins had occupied, they were loudly accused of falsehood and misrepresentation. The fact, however, is as stated in the text, but it seems the persecu. tors of Miss Crandall think the apartment ought not to be called a cell. We confess ourselves unable to decide whether the room should be called a cell or not, but are ready to grant that the term is inappropriate, if that admission has any tendency to illustrate the humanity of her enemies.