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cause they saw nothing, even remotely, to confirm them in England. When I told them that in the United States, even in those parts where actual slavery does not exist, and where learning, intelligence and piety stand pre-eminent, a black man is not permitted to occupy a pew on the floor of a meeting-house, or to travel in a coach, or to enjoy any cabin privileges in a steam-boat; astonished, they would inquire, “Why?' My answer invariably was— Because he is a black man.' This I thought would solve the enigma, but it seemed only to add to their perplexity; for they would with great simplicity ask, “What of that ?' Truly, it is no good reason whatever; and I was happy to confess it, and to unite with them in deploring and execrating that brutal prejudice which is so diametrically opposed to brotherly love, and to all the injunctions of our holy religion. But that love and that religion shall yet conquer it, not only in this country, but throughout the world!
Having spent four days in Liverpool, in a manner so agreeable as to make me deeply regret my inability to return to it again, I took a seat in one of the rail-road cars, and was almost too impetuously conveyed to Manchester. Tarrying only a few hours in that dense and bustling city, I went from thence in a coach directly to London, and soon had the happiness of surveying that august abode of the congregated humanity of the world.*
As in duty bound, both by my instructions and my obligations of gratitude, I immediately called upon JAMES CROPPER, in Finsbury Circus, at whose hands I experienced the utmost hospitality and kindness, and from whose lips I received congratulations upon my arrival at the very crisis of the anti-slavery cause in England. He informed me that a large number of delegates, from various anti-slavery societies in the kingdom, were then in London, vigilantly watching the progress of the Abolition Bill through Parliament; that they took breakfast together every morning at the Guildhall Coffee House, and from thence adjourned to the anti-slavery rooms at No. 18, Aldermanbury, for the purpose of devising plans and discussing propositions for the accomplishment of their grand design; and that if I would attend, he would give me a general introduction.
My heart was full of gratitude to him for his kindness, and to God for ordering events in a manner so highly auspicious.
Accordingly, I was prompt in my attendance at the Coffee House the next morning. About sixty delegates were present, most of whom were members of the Society of Friends.t After the reading of a portion of
As iny object, in this Report, is to give as concise an account of my mission as will serve to develope its most important features, I shall purposely avoid all descriptions of the country, the habits of the people, &c. &c.
+ It is remarkable that while the Friends in England have been the courageous pioneers, the undaunted standard-bearers, in the anti-slavery conflict, and have liberally expended their wealth, and given their time and talents, to achieve a victory more splendid than any yet recorded in the pages of history, those in this country, as a body, seem to have degenerated from their parent-stock, to have measurably lost their primitive spirit on the subject of slavery, and to have become ensnared by wicked prejudices, and by a cruel scheme to banish our colored population from their native to a foreign and barbarous land. There are many noble exceptions to this remark; and I am confident that ere long, the example of the Friends in England will stimulate the great mass of those who reside in this country to go and do likewise.'
the Scriptures, breakfast was served up, at the close of which Mr. Cropper rose and begged leave to introduce to the company, William Lloyd Garrison, the Agent of the New-England Anti-Slavery Society, from America. He then briefly stated the object of my mission, and expressed a hope that I would be permitted, at a suitable opportunity, to lay my purposes more fully before them. This request was afterwards readily granted. They individually gave me a generous welcome, and evinced a deep interest to learn the state of public opinion in the United States, in relation to the subject of slavery and the merits of the American Colonization Society.
Having ascertained that Mr. Elliott Cresson, the Agent of that Society, was in London, I addressed the following letter to him: “To Mr. Elliott Cresson, Agent of the American Colonization Society.
Sir-I affirm that the American Colonization Society, of which you are an Agent, is utterly corrupt and proscriptive in its principles; that its tendency is to embarrass the freedom and diminish the happiness of the colored population of the United States; and, consequently, that you are abusing the confidence and generosity of the philanthropists of Great Britain. As an American citizen, and the accredited Agent of the New-England Anti-Slavery Society, I invite you to meet me in public debate in this city, to discuss the following
PROPOSITIONS. 1. The American Colonization Society was conceived, perfected, and is principally managed by those who retain a portion of their own country. inen as slaves and property.
2. Its avowed and exelusive object is, the colonization of the free people of color, in Africa, or some other place.
3. It is the active, inveterate, uncompromising enemy of immediate abolition, and deprecates the liberation of the slaves, except on condition of their being simultaneously transported to Africa.
4. It maintains that possessors of slaves, in the southern States, are not such from choice but necessity; and that, of course, they are not, under present circumstances, blameworthy for holding millions of human beings in servile bondage.
5. Its tendency is, to increase the value of the slaves, to confirm the power of the oppressors, and to injure the free colored population, by whom it is held in abhorrence, wherever they possess liberty of speech and the means of intelligence.
6. It is influenced by fear, selfishness, and prejudice, and neither calls for any change of conduct on the part of the nation, nor has in itself any principle of reform,
7. Its mode of civilizing and christianizing Africa is preposterous and cruel, and calculated rather to retard than promote the moral and spiritual improvement of her benighted children.
These charges, Sir, are grave and vital. I dare you to attempt their refutation. Let them be taken up in their present order, and each discussed and decided upon separately. And may God prosper the right!
Yours, &c. WM. LLOYD GARRISON. 18, Addle-street, Aldermanbury, June 4, 1833.'
It will be perceived that I made the strongest allegations against the Society, and, therefore, that if they were in the least degree untrue, they would completely ensure my defeat, and give Mr. Cresson the victory.
Here let me premise two things:
1st. Nothing but the official authority with which he was clothed, elevated him to the level of my notice.. Aside from his connexion with the Society which he represented, no independent position assumed by him could have attracted my attention, or challenged my resistance.
2d. As he had pre-occupied the ground in England nearly three years, and made his statements ex parte, I was not strictly obligated to invite him to a public debate ; but I chose to do so, in order to epitornize the controversy, as I felt confident that he would advance my objects faster than I could myself.
To prevent any miscarriage of my letter, I entrusted it to my esteemed friend Mr. Joseph Phillips, by whom it was presented to Mr. Cresson, who, in the most offensive manner, refused to receive it from Mr. Phillips. It was then tendered to him by Mr. WiLLIAM HORSENAIL, of Dover, but he declined taking it, stating that arrangements had been made with Dr. Hodgkin and Joseph T. Price for an interview with me. Afterwards, it was presented a third time by Mr. JEREMIAH Barrett, and again rejected. Mr. Cresson was finally induced to receive it from the hands of Mr. Phillips, in the presence of Messrs. J. T. Price and Emanuel Cooper. His answer to it was as follows:
• Elliott Cresson wishes W. L. Garrison informed, in reply to his letter of the 4th, and note of to-day, that having agreed to follow the course which J. T. Price and Dr. Hodgkin should recommend, as to a private or public discussion of the merits of the American Colonization Society, with reference to slavery in the U. S. and the slave trade in Africa-E. C. awaits their recommendation for the government of his conduct on the occasion.
6 mo. 6, 1833.
On the receipt of the above note, I immediately addressed the following to the gentlemen selected by Mr. Cresson to save him from a public overthrow:
‘London, June 7, 1833. Messrs. Price and Hodgkin:
Gentlemen-I have received, this morning, a note from Mr. Elliott Cresson, acknowledging the receipt of my letter to him of the 4th instant; in which he informs me that having agreed to follow the course which J. T. Price and Dr. Hodgkin should recommend as to a private or public discussion of the merits of the American Colonization Society, with reference to slavery in the United States and the slave trade in Africa, E. C. awaits their recommendation for the government of his conduct on the occasion.'
I wait to learn the course, which you may recommend Mr. Cresson to adopt, as to my proposition to him for a public discussion. An answer this day, as so much time has already elapsed in this negociation, will much oblige
WM. LLOYD GARRISON.' A copy of the following letter was sent to Mr. Cresson and myself
«Guy's Hospital, 2 o'clock, 7 of 6 mo. 1833. To Wm. Lloyd Garrison and Elliott Cresson:
In reply to your notes to us, we recommend, that with a view to the advantage of you both, and to the cause of humanity, an interview between
you, in the presence of a few friends impartially chosen, would be desirable in the first instance-open to a more public discussion, should it then be deemed proper; but that this need not impede either of you from taking your own measures for giving publicity to your views as to the best mode of assisting the blacks.
We are your friends,
JOSEPH T. PRICE.' I rejected this proposal for a private interview with Mr. Cresson, for two reasons—first, I saw it was a mere ruse on the part of Mr. C. and his friend Dr. Hodgkin, to obviate the necessity of a public meeting; and secondly, my business was exclusively with the British people, and with Mr. Cresson in his public capacity as the Agent of the American Colonization Society.
Having thus fairly and earnestly invited Mr. Cresson, by letter, to defend the Society which he represented, and finding that he shrunk from the offer, I addressed a letter to him in the London Times, repeating the challenge; but he was too pusillanimous, or too wary, to accept of it.
On Monday and Tuesday evenings, June 10th and 11th, I gave two public lectures, explanatory of the principles and tendencies of the American Colonization Society, in the Rev. Mr. Price's Chapel in Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate-street, the use of which was generously granted to me without any charge. James CROPPER, Esq. took the chair. The audience was select and most respectable. Mr. Cresson, with a few friends, was in attendance at the first lecture. On my accusing him of having misrepresented the object of the Society, in asserting that it aimed at the abolition of slavery
Mr. James Cropper, the Chairman, observed, that this was a grave charge to bring against a man, and as Elliott Cresson, the Agent, was present, he would call upon him to admit the charge or deny it, as he pleased. Did he ever make use of those words?
Mr. Cresson.-What words?
The Chairman.- This is not a meeting for discussion ; but I thought it fair that Elliott Cresson should be allowed to rebut the charge if he thought it false.
Mr. George Thompson.— I saw some placards advertising a meeting issued by Mr. Cresson, and headed, “ American Colonization Society, and the Abolition of Slavery.' (Hear, hear.)
The Lecturer here handed a pamphlet to the Chairman, who, on opening it, said—I mentioned that this meeting was not intended for a discussion between two parties; but I did wish to give the person accused—because the charges are very grave—an opportunity of saying “ Yes,” or “No." The introduction of this pamphlet is signed by Elliott Cresson, who states that “the great object of the Colonization Society is, the final and entire abolition of slavery, by providing for the best interests of the blacks, and establishing them on the coast of Africa,” &c.
A Gentleman, who sat next to Mr. Cresson, rose and said, I think this is calculated to cause a discussion.
The Chairman. I wish, when a charge is fairly brought against an individual, to give him an opportunity of denying it, it he can. (Hear.) We want discussion; we are anxious for discussion; because we believe until that Society is put down, there will be no progress made towards the abolition of slavery in the United States. (Hear, hear.) Therefore, if Elliott Cresson wishes for discussion, we will have a meeting for that purpose, and we will hear what he has to say. (Hear.)' *
It was very proper, on the part of my esteemed friend, Mr. Cropper, to give Mr. Cresson an opportunity to deny the truth of my assertion, if he could. The following extract from Mr. Cresson's Introduction to the report of the Pennsylvania Colonization Society, for 1831, which was widely circulated in England, will show how grossly he attempted to impose upon the generous confidence of the British nation:
“The great objects of that Society were, THE FINAL AND ENTIRE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY, providing for the best interests of the blacks, by establishing them in independence upon the coast of Africa, thus constituting them the protectors of the unfortunate native against the inhuman ravages of the slaver, and seeking, through them, to spread the lights of civilization and christianity among the fifty millions who inhabit those dark regions.'
As the proceedings of these meetings have been minutely laid before the public, through the medium of the Liberator, it is deemed unnecessary to swell this Report by their insertion. I beg leave, however, to introduce a few quotations from the eloquent speeches which were delivered on that occasion by GEORGE THOMPSON, Esq. and the Rev. Mr. PRICE. Mr. Thompson remarked
'I was one of those persons who was deceived by the accredited Agent of the American Colonization Society; for I wrote to him, and put the question frequently as to the object of that institution, and he declared to me again and again that it was abolition. (Hear.) He also calumniated Mr. Garrison to me, and gave me such an account of him, that he made me regard him as a pest of society. There is another amiable individual whose character he injured, I mean Captain Charles Stuart; but I have discovered that his description of both these excellent men is foul slander; and step by step I have been convinced that the plan is bad; that the means used to carry it into operation are dishonest; and that the supporters of the Society, in this country at least, have been deceived. (Ilear, hear.)
Mr. Garrison has fully demonstrated the fiend-like design of the American Colonization Society. He has shown that its object is not the civilization of Africa-not the humanization of her wild inhabitants but the annihilation of that connecting link between the free and enslaved population of the United States, which is constituted by the free people of color, lest, happily, the electric shock of freedom should be conveyed to the two millions of their wretched slaves; and, from the condition of brutes, they should spring up into the loftiness and dignity of immortal beings. (Applause.) What is the pretext of the Colonization Society for the course it is pursuing? It is, that there exists a prejudice too strong for humanity, legislation, and religion, to overcome. And shall this doctrine be preached in England, from whose shores a Morrison went forth to grapple single
* From the Report of the meeting in the London Patriot of June 19, 1833.