Imágenes de páginas

names from ignorance, to stimulate afresh the friends of liberty in their warfare against the foes of God and man, and to hasten that great day of jubilee, when liberty shall be proclaimed throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.

The next and latest attempt to overthrow this Society, and to abridge the anti-slavery platform, has been made during the past year. In this instance, as in that of the Clerical Appeal, the schismatics are professed abolitionists; but, on the score of misrepresentation, and apparent hostility of purpose, they 'far outstrip the clerical appellants and their abettors. They have spared no pains to make this Society detestable in the eyes of the community – to cover its Board of Managers with disgrace - to stir up and take advantage of the spirit of sectarianism, in order to forward their disorganizing measures-- to cripple the circulation of the Liberator, and malign the character of its editor — to impose themselves upon community as the only sound and consistent abolitionists — and to consummate what has been so long desired by the foes of equal rights, namely, the total annihilation of the Society and the paper, which, 'under God, have shaken the land to its centre on the subject of slavery. In short, their career has been marked by inconsistency, by treachery, by duplicity. In their hatred of a particular individual, a particular periodical, and à particular society, they have sacrificed their moral integrity, sundered the ties of christian fellowship, forgotten the claims of bleeding humanity, tarnished their reputation as abolitionists. Never before has the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society had to contend with such fierce opponents. . It has learnt, by bitter experience, that it is the greatest of all trials to be" in perils among false brethren.” Considering what weapons they have used, what artifices resorted to, what calumnies circulated, their success has been astonishingly small. Nobly has the State Society been sustained by its numerous auxiliaries. The receipts into its treasury, since the last annual meeting, prove that it still retains the confidence and receives the aid of the great body of abolitionists in the Commonwealth. In the sequel, it will doubtless appear that this new schism has been overruled for good to our holy enterprise.

The first public announcement of a scheme in embryo to divide the abolitionists of this State, was made in the Liberator of January 11, 1839— a few days prior to the annual meeting -in the following words :

“With pain we aver it, there is a deep scheme laid by individuals, ať present somewhat conspicuous as zealous and active abolitionists, to put the control of the anti-slavery movements in this Commonwealth into other hands."

: This scheme the Liberator attributed to a clerical origin, asserting that the prominent schismatics were clergymen, one of whom (Rev. Charles T. Torrey) was a participant in the Clerical Appeal conspiracy, though not one of the signers of the Appeal. - It further declared, that

“The next object is, to effect the establishment of a new weekly antislavery journal, to be the organ of the State Society, in order, if not avowedly, yet designedly, to subvert the Liberator, and thus relieve the abolition cause of the odium of countenancing such a paper.”:

In a subsequent number it was affirmed, that

“The proposition for a new paper is to be presented under the guise of political necessity – of the liveliest interest in the success of antislavery principles and measures."

These allegations excited much surprise, and immediately drew out rejoinders from three clergymen-Messrs. Torrey, St. Clair, and Phelps. Mr, Torrey denied that any change in the management of the anti-slavery cause was contemplated ; but acknowledged that he had had a very extensive correspondence, in order to get up a new paper --adding, . The design of injuring the Liberator, I bave seldom taken the trouble to disclaim, because no man has had the meanness to charge me with it."

Mr. St. Clair, replied, “ I aver, before heaven and earth, that I know nothing of any such scheme, and that, so far as I am concerned, the charge is just as false as it is cruel and wicked.” “I know and aver, that this statement of yours is totally falșe.” As to the establishment of a new paper, he declared – " It has been recommended to mne, during the past year, by a great number of laymen, of all sects and parties, in almost every town I


have visited in Massachusetts. Nor did I ever assent to it, till I saw the demand was great." Mr. Phelps branded the charges in the Liberator as “rumors and calumnies ;'but avowed that the project for a new paper received his " full approbation” — adding that, in devising such a paper, had no wish nor design to injure the Liberator : that was no object with him in the thing.'

Notwithstanding these disclaimers, what was predicted by the Liberator has since proved to be true. The focsin of alarm was not sounded in vain — the trumpet gave not an uncertain sound.

To carry their points, extraordinary pains were taken by the leading schismatics to pack the last annual meeting with such persons as they supposed would be friendly to their schemes. Their discomfiture was most signal. Notwithstanding their positive declarations, that another anti-slavery paper was imperatively needed in the Commonwealth — that its establishment had been recommended “by a great number of laymen, of all sects and parties,” in various parts of the State - and that the proposition did not originate in any hostility to the Liberator - a resolution which they submitted to the meeting, in favor of such a periodical, was rejected by an almost unanimous vote ; and upon every test question, they were shown to be a very insignificant minority. Foiled in their purposes, they soon after started a periodical, called the Massachusetts Abolitjonist, and procured the services of Elizur Wright, Jr. as editor. In his introductory address, Mr. Wright said — “It has been said that this paper originated in envy and ill-will towards Mr. Garrison. However that may be, it will be the endeavor of the present editor to live down the charge.” The Abolitionist has now been printed nearly a year: but its editor, instead of living down the charge as he promised, has in multiplied instances demonstrated its correctness, to the letter. In reply to the charge, that the new paper was "conceived in a spirit of rivalry to the Liberator, and is nursed at the breast of sectarianism," the plea of not guilty was made; yet, in the very same number, a panegyrical notice of the Abolitionist is copied

from the New York Evangelist, in which it is affirmed that " it is time all the world should understand, that abolitionists will not give their patronage to publications which are so reckless in their sentiments and tendency as the Liberator"'! Upon the gross inconsistencies which have marked the inglorious career of the Abolitionist, it is unnecessary to dwell at any length, It promised to confine itself “ entirely to the subject of slavery and abolition'' to advance no new doctrines, and urge no new measures" - to "abstain from the discussion of all irrelevant and extraneous questions” — to “war on no religious sect or political party, no order of men, no existing civil or ecclesiastical institution, as such”;- yet it now declares war against every existing political party, “as such," and has let slip no opportunity to hold up to ridicule and reproach, such abolitionists as embrace the doctrines of non-resistance, and such as refuse to subscribe to the doctrine, that it is the religious duty of every man to participate in the politics of the country. As to the organization of a new political party, the following emphatic disclaimer appeared in its first number :

“A report has been industriously circulated, that the abolitionists of this State are about to organize a distinct political party, and that this paper (the Abolitionist) is to be its organ. Both statements are false

- especially the latter. The abolitionists, we trust, will erect no new standard of political action.

At the present time, the Abolitionist is botly in favor of a distinct political organization, and argues that, without it, abolitionists can accomplish little or nothing for the slave !

In one breath it says, that "abolitionists, of all men, should love one another”-in the next, it pours forth torrents af defamation against the old pioneer society, its Board of Mara. gers, and many of the earliest and most devoted friends of the anti-slavery enterprise. At one moment, it regards the contro, versy which is going on in this State, in the anti-slavery ranks, as highly important; at the next, it lauds the Anti-Slavery Al

as worth sorty of such controversies"! Now it afa fects to be totally indifferent to what is called the “ woman's rights question” — and, anon, it holds the following language;


"We have so much faith in the instincts which God has implanted in the female heart, that we believe those very women, who voted and spoke in the discussion, if left to their own reflections, will be ashamed of what they have done.": ".

The facts in regard to the formation of the Massachusetts Abolition Society have already been communicated to the antislavery public by the Board. The manner in which the socie ty was organized betrays its factious character. Occasion was taken for secession at the late meeting of the New England Anti-Slavery Convention, because all persons in favor of immediate emancipation, without regard to sex, clime or color, were invited to participate in its deliberations ! The Society was organized in secret conclave - it loving darkness rather than light, because its spirit is evil. In the choice of a title, it was at first guilty of attempting to commit a gross fraud upon the public, by assuming the name of the Massachusetts State Anti-Slavery Society. One of the reasons assigned for this dishonest procedure was, that the old society had, in fact, ceased to exist, and the new organization was now its legitimate successor ! The strong and timely rebuke which was adminiştered to it, for this fraudulent act, by the New England Convention, caused it to take the cognomen of the Massachusetts

Abolition Society. The same class of individuals who hailed the appearance of the Clerical Appeal, stood ready to applaud the new organization. Among the prosessedly religious newspapers which bave evinced great and continued hostility to the anti-slavery cause, are the New Hampshire Observer and the Christian Mirror. Remarking upon the secession, the Observer says: "The new society embraces some of the most valuable portion of the anti-slavery party,” and sneeringly styles the old organization “the Garrison Society.” The Mirror copies the official account of the new organization, and accompanies it with the following comment :

“ The following account of a new and important movement, we copy for the information of our readers; and to encourage our brethren, who are feeling after a good and right way(!!) – A new organization has taken place, which embraces a better part of the brotherhood. We commend their reverence for truth and conscience (!) They have now shown

« AnteriorContinuar »