Slike strani

handed with the prejudices of China? Shall this doctrine be preached to the people of England, who sent forth a Henry Martyn, freighted with their prayers and their blessings, to wage war with the prejudice of India ? Shall this doctrine be preached in England, who has her missionaries amongst the cannibals of New Zealand and the Caffres of South Africa? No. It may be cherished by miscreant Americans, but can never be received by a Christian-minded Briton. (Applause.) It is an impious doctrine. It is opposed to that faith which removes mountains. It defies the omnipotence of God. It libels that everlasting gospel which is to triumph over all the prejudices and superstitions of men, and all the abominations that defile the earth. If the influence which is now exerted to banish the men of color from America, were directed with equal energy, in a Christian spirit, to grapple with this prejudice, who is there who does not believe that Heaven would smile upon and bless such an effort ? and, in seventeen years, instead of having to show a small colony on the coast of Africa, which, when described by its most partial friends, is contemptible in comparison with what might be achieved at home, they might point to prejudice and slavery expiring together, and call upon us to hail the dawning of a day of jubilee for two millions of slaves. (Cheers.)'

The Rev. T. PRICE (an eminent Baptist clergyman of London) said

'It devolves upon me to state a negotiation which has been carried on, during the course of this meeting, and which I do in the presence of the gentleman who, on the part of Mr. Cresson, has conducted it, and who will correct my representation, if it be inaccurate in any point. I received, soon after I entered this place, the following communication from Mr. Cresson :

· Elliott Cresson presents his respects to the Rev. Price, with his thanks for the offer made after E. C. left the chapel last evening, in order that he may be fairly and fully heard in defence of himself and the American Colonization Society. É. C. proposes the evening of the 14th inst., provided it meets the convenience of the Rev. Mr. Price.

6th mo. 11, 1833.

I requested to see the gentleman who brought the communication, and asked, whether Mr. Cresson referred to a discussion on Friday evening, or wished to deliver a lecture by himself? I was told that he did not contemplate a discussion, but wished to deliver a lecture, as Mr. Garrison had done. I at once stated, in reply, that I could not give the loan of my place for any such purpose.

I should consider that whatever influence was associated with my name, as the minister of this place, amongst my own people, would in that case have been prostituted; for I am now constrained, by overwhelming evidence, to regard the Society as a most anti-christian scheme. At the same time, I told the gentleman that the place was at the service of Mr. Cresson and Mr. Garrison, for a discussion on any evening of any day that they may fix. linquired of the gentleman, whether Mr. Cresson could be communicated with, during the course of the lecture ? Ile replied in the affirmative, and said that he would convey to him my opinion, and would bring back his reply. He had just returned, and has informed me that Mr. Cresson thinks it proper not to accept the offer on the terms proposed, but thinks that he ought to have it for the purpose of delivering an exposition of his own case. Now, with my present views of the Colonization Society, I could no more grant the use of this place for the delivery of a lecture advocating its interests, than I could for the publication of any other views, or the advocacy of any other system, however reprehensible it might be. I should have been happy, in pasi times, to have seen any discussion, in this place, between an advocate for abolition and an advocate of the West Indian system ; but I would never

have given the use of the place for the delivery of a lecture by a pro-slavery man. On the same principle, I feel constrained to refuse its use for the delivery of a lecture by Mr. Cresson, who has declined it for a discussion. If my statement be not correct, the gentleman who has conducted the negociation will state to the meeting any point in which I am inaccurate.

The Gentleman referred to, said the statement was perfectly correct.

The Rev. T. Price resumed. I think the meeting should be distinctly informed on this point, in order that there may be no misapprehension in future. Before I sit down, I would submit for your adoption a resolution. I should not do justice to my own feelings, and to the conviction of my judgment, if I did not propose something of this sort. I have admitted, with extreme reluctance, the convictions which at present possess my mind. There was a time, when I regarded the Colonization Society with feelings of admiration, and with thankfulness to God. I esteemed it as the dawn of better days for the sons of Africa. I beheld it as the germ of a system more comprehensive than itself, which should embrace not merely one portion of the American colored population, but whose ample fold should enclose all the section of the family of Africa included in the United States. Subsequent examination has served to satisfy my mind, that the system is based on an unrighteous and detestable principle, and that in its proceedings, and in the influence which it exerts upon all classes of American society, whether white, or black, or colored, it must indicate by its fruits the nature of its origin, and must add strongly to the amount of that sorrow which sin has created in our world. I formerly wrote on behalf of the Society, but I shall now feel bound to employ all my energies in opposition to it. I am sorry to observe that in the present number of the Baptist Magazine there has been some communication inserted from Mr. Cresson. I shall feel bound, as a member of that denomination, to put a paper in the next number, correcting, as far as I am able, its numerous misrepresentations (cheers.) The resolution which I have to propose is this :

Resolved, That this meeting, having attentively listened to the statements of Mr. Garrison, in support of his propositions, is of opinion that he has fully established their truth by evidence drawn from the Reports and other publications of the American Colonization Society ; and therefore most earnestly entreats all the friends of civil and religious liberty to withhold their sanction and assistance from the said Society.

The resolution was unanimously adopted.'

Defeated in his efforts to secure the confidence and approval of the English philanthropists, in relation to the American Colonization Society, Mr. Cresson now artfully exerted himself to organize a British Colonization Society which should co-operate, indirectly at least, with his darling association. For this purpose, he held a secret meeting with a few individuals, none of whom had ever acted with the abolition party ; the result of which was, the calling of a public meeting at Freemason Tavern, over which, it was ostentatiously announced, his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex would preside. At this time, I was on a visit to Mr. WILBERFORCE, at Bath, a distance of about 100 miles from London. The following note from my watchful friend, CHARLES STUART, Esq. first apprised me that my presence was needed in the city : MY DEAR GARRISON: If engaged at all seriously, 60 as to render returning to town imme

diately unadvisable, do not come. But if not so engaged, do come up immediately, as, in such case, there is occasion for your presence.

Ever yours affectionately, London, Wednesday, June 19.

C. STUART.: Having completed my interviews with Mr. WILBERFORCE, I immediately returned to London, and arrived there on the morning of the day which had been announced for the meeting. Punctual to the hour, I went to the meeting, accompanied by my friends Capt. STUART, JOSEPH PHILLIPS, William Hume, Esq. of Dublin, and other gentlemen, expecting to find a large audience. Mr. Cresson and six or eight of his friends constituted the whole company in attendance, excepting those who went with me!The Duke of Sussex was absent, and Mr. Cresson therefore moved that the meeting be adjourned!

As soon as I ascertained that, pursuant to adjournment, another meeting was to be held, I immediately transmitted the following letter to the Duke of Sussex: To His Grace the Duke of Susser : May IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE

I perceive by the Times of yesterday morning, that you are expected to preside at a meeting which is to be held at the Hanover Square Rooms, on Wednesday next, the 3d of July, the object of which is to give curreney to the scheme of the American Colonization Society. I am sure that your Lordship is actuated by pure and benevolent motives, in thus consenting to occupy the chair on the occasion above alluded to; and just as sure that, if you can be satisfied that the Agent of that Society is imposing not only upon your generous confidence, but upon the British community, you will give no countenance to the proposed meeting. I affirm that Mr. Elliott Cresson is a deceiver; I have challenged him, in private and public, (vide the 'Times' of this morning,) to meet me before a British assembly, in order to vindicate his own cause, and the Society of which he is the Agent. I further affirm that the American Colonization Society is corrupt in its principles, proscriptive in its measures, and the worst enemy of the free colored and slave population of the United States; and as an American citizen-as the accredited Agent of the New-England Anti-Slavery Society, I hold myself in readiness to convince your Lordship of the truth of these charges, from the official documents of the American Colonization Society, if your Lordship will grant me the privilege of conferring with you a single hour between the receipt of this letter and Wednesday evening. As an individual whose life is dedicated to the cause of negro emancipation in the United States, and who has suffered much in its prosecution; and as the representative of the abolitionists of that country, I beseech your Lordship to grant me a private interview; or, at least, to make some further inquiries into the merits of the African Colonization enterpriso, before you appear publicly in its support. Permit me to recommend T. F. Buxton, Z. Macaulay, and James Cropper, (who rank among the best friends of the colored race.) as gentlemen who will satisfy you of my official character, and of the design and tendency of the American Colonization Society. I have the honor to be, with great respect,

Your Grace's obd't serv't,

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, 18, Aldermanbury, June 28, 1834. To the above letter, no answer was returned.

Notwithstanding the indefatigable efforts which were made to collect a large assembly on this occasion, not more than one hundred and twenty persons were present, one third of whom were on the platform by special invitation, and another third were abolitionists, opposed to the object of the meeting. Let it be remembered that this was the third attempt to get up a meeting for the formation of a British Colonization Society; and, although the Duke of Sussex and Lord Bexley were present, yet out of a population of a million and a half, only 120 individuals were in attendance !! It was a total failure ; and the attempt in this country, by the friends of African Colonization, to magnify its importance, is in the highest degree ludicrous. It was addressed, at some length, by Mr. Cresson, who was forced to declare (as did every other speaker) that it had no connection whatever with the American Colonization Society, neither approving nor disapproving of its principles and measures. The Duke of Sussex, Lord Bexley, J. S. Buckingham, Esq., Lieut. Rosenberg, and T. Crawford, Esq. also addressed the meeting in favor of a British Society. In opposition to the project, the venerable and eminent philanthropist, Zachary MacauLAY, George Thompson, Esq. and Capt. CHARLES STUART, spoke in the most impressive and eloquent manner. The tone of the discussion was vehement, and even boisterous, but only a partial hearing was given to the abolitionists. I endeavored to show, by a simple statement of facts, that it was a delusion to think of suppressing the foreign slave trade by means of colonies on the African coast, while slavery—or, in other words, the market for slaves—was suffered to exist in any part of the world. T. Crawford, Esq. having offered a resolution, to the effect, that a Society be formed under the name of the British African Colonization Society, for the purpose of abolishing the slave trade, and diffusing the benefits of civilization and religion among the natives of Africa—George Thompson, Esq. proposed an amendment—to wit, that there was no necessity for forming such a Society. On dividing the assembly, there were against the amendment 33—for it, 26-majority against it, 7!!—The original resolution was then put and carried-and thus ended the farce. Had a very trifling effort been made, a thousand abolitionists could have been mustered on the occasion, in a few hours, to crush the proceedings of the meeting.

Here it is pertinent to remark, that, with a single exception, not an abolitionist was seen on the platform, or gave any countenance to the project. The real friends of African freedom and civilization received no invitations to attend the meeting. Mr. Buxton, Mr. Cropper, Mr. Macaulay, Mr. O'Connell, and all the other distinguished champions of the colored race, were overlooked by Mr. Cresson: he was associated with another party, and surrounded himself with other men, who cherished the feeblest desires for the abolition of colonial slavery.

In order to counteract, and effectually nullify, this impudent attempt to impose upon the credulity of the British nation, and also to terminate the controversy on the merits of the American Colonization Society, a public

meeting was held at Exeter Hall on the 13th of July, at which two thousand persons were present. Never was a more highly respectable assembly convened in London. James CROPPER, Esq. took the chair. The pro| ceedings of that memorable meeting have been extensively spread before the American people, and therefore it is unnecessary to insert them here. To that noble patriot DANIEL O'Connell, Esq. and to GEORGE THOMPson, Esq., Rev. NATHANIEL Paul, of Wilberforce Settlement in Upper Canada, J. S. Buckingham, Esq., J. C. Evans, Esq., and the Chairman, I am under heavy obligations for the powerful support which they rendered me on that occasion. Their speeches, reported in full, are before the public.

Previous to the meeting, I transmitted the following epistolary invitation to the Duke of Sussex:

18, ALDERMANBURY, July 13, 1833. May it please your Royal Highness : The enclosed Circular and Ticket

will inform you that a meeting is to be held to-morrow, at 12 o'clock, at Exeter Hall, for the purpose of exposing the real character and object of the American Colonization Society. Although your Royal Highness generously declared, at the meeting in the Hanover Square Rooms, that you regarded the Agent of that Society as a gentleman who was above attack; yet, with the utmost deference to the opinion of your Royal Highness, it is possible that he may not be impeccable. Many great and good men, who, a few months since, were captivated by his fanciful and false statements, are now led, by a careful investigation of the subject, to regard him as a public deceiver. Surely, there is no one more disposed to veigh evidence and examine facts than your Royal Highness; especially in a case so momentous as the present. If your Royal Highness could make it convenient to honor the meeting to-morrow with your presence, I should not only regard the act as exceedingly magnanimous, but it would unquestionably be a source of sincere pleasure to the auditors.

In my note of the 29th ultimo, I addressed your Royal Highness by the title of Your Grace. As the error, though trivial in itself, might seem to imply intentional disrespect, I must here apologize for the same. An American citizen, in Europe, is ever liable to err, through ignorance, in the application of hereditary titles, as they do not obtain in his own country.

I am confident that your Royal Highness will most cheerfully pardon the blunder.

With sentiments of the highest respect for the benevolence and goodness of your character,

Your Obed't Serv't, (Signed)

WM. LLOYD GARRISON, Representative of the New-England Anti-Slavery Society. To this letter, also, no answer was returned, and therefore I am under no special obligations to the courtesy of royalty.

On the 19th of June, it was my privilege to be introduced to the venerable WILBERFORCE in Bath. He gave me a very gracious reception, as did also his excellent lady and son. I spent about three hours in his company, during which time his cautious and active mind was very inquisitive on the subject of slavery in the United States, and particularly in reference to the American Colonization Society. I endeavored to communicate, as briefly and clearly as possible, all the prominent facts relating to our great

I am

« PrejšnjaNaprej »