Slike strani
PDF
ePub

W. said also, “ He (Walker) wants to shed blood.' He then had this argument with Mr. W.: • Wan't you a transport ?' 'No.' • Well, your fathers were—banished to an island-dare not go back—death; came to this country; they (English) wanted to put them under • injunction.' Now, how did you get liberty?' 'Our fathers fought for it.' Were you Christians ?' • Yes.' What! and fought for liberty—God for. bid.' (Applause.) "0, tread on an insect, and if it can do nothing more, he will bite your foot." (Applause.) I will contend for liberty as long as I live. (Applause.) This day we are met to help the liberty of the slaves. Some say the; haul rather be slaves than free. What! If you had horse, would you give him a pint of corn a day; can a man be content wid dat? O! how many children, boy like dat, go to master's crib every Saturday night, and draw out two quarts corn for a week. Man and wife draw half a bushel, and two or three herring. What, if you hold em up in tumb and finger, de wind would blow em away, so salt eaten. Masters often give servant nine-pence to get food for dog: yes, he would pay dog's board, but leare slave to take care himself. [The narrator was requested to give an account of his escape from slavery. It would appear that Judge Buren, in some way, took law, in reserence to certain blacks, and in their behali, into his own hands, so as to offend his fel. Jow judge, and matters came to such a pass that Judge B. drew a pistol upon him in the Court House. “They had an “insurrection” in court,' said Mr. J.; (his man. ner, and the previous references to 'insurrection,'caused a great laugh.) His difficulties finally compelled him to come to his native North. The narrator was brought along, though still lield as a slave. The story became still more interesting and anys. ing, so that the reporters dropped their pens, and enjoyed the sallies of his wit with the audience.)

Mr. WRIGHT moved the thanks of the Society to Mr. Sears for the use of his loft for its anniversary:

Mr. AMASA WALKER. Mr. President, I second the motion. Mr. Sears neilli. er expects nor desires a vote of thanks. He has cheerfully accommodated us, and he is not the man to fall into the current, when it is fashionable to proscribe and repress men for speaking their opinions. But I wisli to say a few things suggested by the motion. It is doubtful wbether even this place can be had for an anti-slavery meele ing another year. It is a question whether there can be a hall for free discussion on this site; and if not, I know not but anti-slavery will be absolutely expelled from Bos. con, i. e. to hold its meetings. I trust we feel to-day, little fear of becoming extinct. The subject I am about to propose, then, is very appropriate to be brought before the Anti-Slavery Society, and claims regard from all the friends of free discussion in Boston, and even througbout the State. The Marlboro' Hotel property is now owned by the Free Church, under the title of the Marlboro’ Corporation. They gave for the property $46,000 : to build will cost $29,000 more; then the rents in front will pay the interest of all, and leave the Hall free. This is the object we wish to accomplish, Mr. Sears, who is trustee for the Corporation, could sell the property for $10,000 profit to-day; but we are unwilling to let it go, without an effort to accomplish our wishes. We want, then, to borrow, not bez money enough to erect a large and com. modious hall, ibat this city may have one place consecrated to religion and free dis, cussion. •Can't you get money ?' No. This Corporajion is poor. The wealth and aristocracy are against us. The Free Church has done nobly, They have put their shoulder to the wheel; but they can carry the enterprise no further. How do we propose to raise il? We will mortgage the property for security for the necessary amount, give our notes for five years, and pay interest semi-annually. The Corpora

1

tion perpetuate themselves, and by their act of incorporation, hold the property for the parochial interest of the Free Church.

Mr. MAY spoke as follows :- Mr. President, I rejoice that I am here. It will not be taking God's name in vain to say, I thank God that I am here-for if ever kind feelings, high purposes, holy resolutions were awakened in my heart, it has been in the meetings of this Society, or in the company of abolitionists elsewhere. Think not, sir, because iny domestic ties have withdrawn me from my public agency in this cause, that my interest in it has abated, or my ardor coolerl. This, I trust, will never bemcertainly not until the crying abomination of the land is annihilated; and then, if I live to see that day, which cannot be far off, having joined with an overflowing heart in the grateful Hallelujah of the redeemed, I pray that I may have resolution, renewed and strengthened by success, to unite in an assault upon some other evil that afflicts our country and the world.

Mr. President, I am now, you know, a resident in the Old Colony-not many miles from Plyinouth rock. My thoughts have often, of late, reverted to the memorials of those high-souled men, who first came there seeking an asylum from civil and ecclesiastical tyranny—and I have been impelled onward in the enterprise, which has brought us here to-day by the perception I have clearly had, that the abolition of slavery is but another and a broader phase of the same great and holy cause, for which our Pilgrim sathers and mothers cheerfully sacrificed all the comforts of life in civilized England—encountered the perils of a voyage across the broad Atlantic-and the hardships and dangers of living in this then howling wilderness.

(Here Mr. May went on at some length to trace the resemblance, and show the identity of their purposes and ours.)

Is then, said he, fidelity to the sacred principles of civil and religious liberty, and of sound morality, public and private, demanded of our puritan forefathers so great exertions and sacrifices as they made, surely the far grosser violations of tivese same principles, which we see at this day in our country, demand osus at least as great exertions and sacrifices of personal comfort, to the extent even of our lives.

I know, Mr. President, I shall be told by some, that the resemblance I have en. deavored to point out is not real—for the Puritans were molested in their own rights, persecuted in their own persons whereas we abolitionists, they say, are meddling in other folks matters—we, who have none to molest us, or make us afraid, in the exercise and enjoyment of our own civil and religious privileges, are undertaking for persons whom we never saw, who are far away from us, and persons, too, who have never solicited us to assist them.

Sir, I am ashamed that there are men and women, ay, professed christians and christian ministers, too, in our country, who would bave it thought, that a man must suffer injury in his own person, or bis own rights before he can reasonably complain—that it is therefore no grievance, no concern of mine, that there are millions of my fellow beings, my countrymen, who are irodden down into the dust, who are denied every thing that inakes this life pleasant, and are shut out even from the light of hearen. I am heartily ashamed, I am sincerely grieved that there are such men and women, professing christians too, in our land; but, Sir, it is notorious that there are such, many such in this Commonwealth, in this very city; ay, Sir, among the lineal descendants of the Pilgrims. To such, therefore, it is necessary to show, which can too easily be done, that we are ourselves most seriously molested, by the system of slavery and its abettors, in the exercise of our civil and religious liberties.

[Here he spoke of several respects, in which the colored and also the white citizens of Massachusetts suffer a serious abridgment of their privileges and iinmunities, in order that the slaveholders may not be disturbed in their unrighteousness.)

But these, Sir, which I have already mentioned, are trifles in comparison with others I am going to speak of. Although we of the North are ciiizens of this Republic, and as such must be partakers in the prosperity or adversity of the nation; although we see that from the beginning the institution of slavery has been a fruitsul source of evil 10 our body politic; although we must of course share in the disgrace, that is brought upon us by this glaring inconsistency between our professions and our practices —and must ere long suffer with the rest of our guilty countrymen under the inflictions of the Almighty's hand, if his band be not shortened that he cannot vindicate the unchangeable laws of his moral government ; although, Sir, we have been brought to perceive, that we and our fellow-citizens of New-England have been and still are, in various ways, implicated in the sin of slavery, yet are we most peremptorily forbidden to repent, or to do any works meet for repentance. This, Mr. President, is the most cruel constraint that could be imposed upon us—10 be compelled to be partakers of other men's sins, compelled to be silent in view of the greatest wrongs man can inflict upon his fellow. Rather than submit to this, who would not wear the chain himself ? Yet this is the constraint which the abettors of slavery in our land would fasten upon us. They have summoned their hosts from all quarters. They have taken the reins of government into their own hands, and Jehu-like (all the while proclaiming their zeal for liberty) have driven through the land, trampling under foot every one who has dared to raise his voice above' a whisper against American Oppression.

Sir, for one, I regard this as tending to the destruction not only of our civil liberty, but of our religion also. Would any one here present inquire, how it affects our religious liberty? We believe, I trust, that God is not to be worshipped by a service of the lips alone. We desire to be of that number, who love God not in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. • Whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth bis brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwel. leth the love of God in him?! Now, Sir, we do see millions of our brethren in this country, who have need of every thing that renders this life desirable, to say nothing of another; and I do contend that to require of us to withhold our compassion from them, to forbid us to plead for them, and rebuke the sin of their oppressors—10 forbid us to do all we can to awaken a public interest in their behalf to enter forcibly our meetings when we have assembled to consider their wrongs, and pray and consult together for their redemption—to burn up our books, and threaten us with punishment ai common law, and to inflict punishment upon us without law-what is all this ?-in the name of common sense, what is it ? but to persecute us for righteousness sake,to abridge the liberty of our consciences,—and to deny us the privilege, the inestimable privilege of following God as dear children-following the example of his beloved Son, who went about doing good, and who labored incessantly to expose the great wickedness of his nation, to enlighten the ignorant, and raise up those who were bowed down. I had much rather our opposers should attempt to prevent our ever entering a place of worship-ever offering a prayer to God in an audible voice, than that they should attempt, as they are doing, to prevent our worshipping our Heavenly Father in deed and in truth.

I might say more on this point, Sir, did time permit. But I trust I have said enough to show, that, in this country, the cause of civil and religious liberty is identified with the anti-slavery cause. And yet, Sir, with deepest shame I acknowledge,

this sacred cause finds but little favor in the metropolis of New-England, in the cap ital city of Massachusetts. Here, Sir, the birthplace of the American Revolution, the cause of impartial liberty is shut out from all the churches and halls, that are under the control of the citizens. Thanks to the representatives of the yeoinaory of Massachusetts, we were well accomınodated last evening. But, Sir, in this city, although Faneuil Hall is still standing, the friends of liberty.once sacred, now trampled upon," the friends of true liberty, can find no shelter but this. And I fear, Mr. President, that another year, we shall not have even so good a room for our meeting as this, unless the motion of my brother, who preceded me, shall prevail upon all, who are able, 10 assist in the erection upon this spot of a building such as is contemplated, and which we are assured sliall be ever open to the advocates of uur oppressed country. men, and to every cause of moral refurination.

True, Sir, the building is to be appropriated in part to the use of a particular church, and that church of a denomination different from my own. But I am on that account done the less willing and anxious to have the members of that church well accommodated. To them, Mr. President, you know, and all the abolitionists of Boston know, that we owe more than to all the other churches in this city. They have done all it was in their power to do on our behalf. They have suffered with us and for us. And it is a pleasure to me to know, that we now have an opportunity to confer a favor upon them. I hope, I trust, this opportunity will be eagerly embraced by all truly liberal christians among us, of every denomination. I ask not any one to compromise his religious opinions. I have not compromised, and do not mean to compromise my own. I am as much of a Unitarian as ever-as much of a Unitarian as I am of an Abolitionist. But, Sir, I believe I am less of a sectarian, than perhaps I once was. Highly important as I deem the theological questions, that have been and still are in controversy between us and our orthodox brethren, I cannot consider them by any means so important as the great moral principles, on which is based the kingdom of Christ-the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the holy spirit. I cannot regard doctrines, which too often play round the head but come not to the heart, so truly evangelical as those which stir men up to labor and to suffer in the cause of humanity. And when I see any one zealous and firm in advocating and maintaining the great moral, beneficent principles of the Gospel, him I desire to embrace as a brother in the Lord, let him be of what sect he may. I am free to acknowledge, Sir, that I do not feel so much united to a Unitarian, who is not an Abolitionist, as I do to one of any other sect, who is an Abolitionist. The more I have contemplated this subject, the more clearly bave I been brought to perceive, that in our country the true righteousness must be anti-slavery. For the crying sin of our nation is the sin of slavery.We all have been, we still are implicated in it. And that surely must be a very questionable sort of religion, that overlooks, or winks at the great transgression of our own time, and our own nation.

I du therefore, Sir, most earnestly hope that all the Abolitionists in the State, of every religious denomination, will cordially assist, as they may be able, in the erection upon this spot of the large and commodious building proposed, for the accommodation of our brethren of the Free Church, and for our own accommodation, whenever we may wish to assemble in this city again.

[The meeting, at this period, became interlocutory. Many informal inquiries were made respecting the proposed Hall : Who were to control it ? What security would be given for its perpetual freedom? What were'moral subjects ?' (to which it was to be open)-What amount was wanted ? &c. Mr. Walker afterwards spoke in a

very animated manner. A subscription of $3,000 by Mr. Philbrick was announced, (applause,) which would be increased to $5,000, if the security was satisfactory.)-(Applause.)

Mr. GARRISON introduced the following resolutions, which were adopted by acclamation:

Resolved, That it behooves the friends of humanity throughout the country, and especially the people of the non-slaveholding States, to lift up their voices in thundertones against the adınigsiun of Texas into the American Union.

Resobed, That the continued and all-prevailing efforts of vur beloved coadjutor George Thompson, in England, and the faithful and christian remonstrances of our English brethren, in opposition to American slavery, call for a renewal of our warmest ihanks to them, and are exerting upon pablic sentiment in this country a most salulary intluence.

It was then moved to adjourn, to attend the Ladies' A. S. Society at half-past two o'clock, P. M., and to meet at the Anti-Slavery Rooms, 46, Washington-Street, at 9 o'clock next morning.

[ocr errors]

FRIDAY MORNING.
Suciety met in the Anti-Slavery Rooms, Isaac Winslow, Esq. in the chair.
Prayer by Rev. Mr. Himnes.
Mr. Himes offered the following resolution, which was adopted :

Resolved, That the grant lo this Society, by the Representatives of the people of this Commonwealth, of the use of the state House, in which to hold our Annual Meeting, is a keen rebuke to those churches in this city, who have refused to us the occupancy of their houses of worship, that we might plead in them the cause of two unillions of American heainen-and is a decided provl, which we record with gratitude to God, that, although the political and religious aristocracy of Boston may oppuse the progress of impartial liberty and righteous equality, the piety and democracy of the Counnonwealth hate despotism, sympathise with the oppressed, spurn the gag, defend the rights of the minority, and advocate freedom of thought, of speech, and of action).

On motion of Mr. Soulbard, three thousand extra copies of the number of the Liberator containing the proceedings of this meeting, be ordered for gratuitous disuribution.

Mr. Garrison read from the Glasgow Chronicle, some very interesting accounts of the proceedings of Anti-Slavery meetings in England, in which the labors of Mr. Thompson are spoken of in terms of unqualified approbation. This, said Mr. Garrison, is the renegade from justice !' In this country, the miserable fanatic'-ja England, the indefatigable philanthropist,' (quoting from the paper.) He also read a very interesting letter from a Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in England, to the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society of New England, which was received with much applause. In this connection, the following extract of a letter from Rev. B. Godwin, of Eng. land, to W. S. Andrews, dated Oct. 6, 1836, was read, and ordered to be catered on the minutes of the Society, in connection with the resolution yesterday introduced by Mr. Garrison, in relation to the Abolitionists of Great Britain.

• I rejoice in the hope, that the two countries are becoming better acquainted and more closely connected. Never, I trust, will the sword of war be mutually drawn.Mr. Breckinridge, in his letter to Dr. Wardlaw, has declared tha: general prejudice and dislike to America are prevalent in England. He is greatly mistaken. It may be the case among the High Church and Tory party, who dislike her free institutions, but with no others. We honor, we adaire America; and, O! that she were but free from that plague spot, Negro Slavery!'

« PrejšnjaNaprej »