Let us try this public opinion by another test, which is important in three points of view: first, as showing how desperately timid of the public opinion slave-owners are, in their delicate descriptions of fugitive slaves in widely circulated newspapers; secondly, as showing how perfectly contented the slaves are, and how very seldom they run away; thirdly, as exhibiting their entire freedom from scar, or blemish, or any mark of cruel infliction, as their pictures are drawn, not by lying abolitionists, but by their own truthful masters.
That we may have no partial evidence from abolitionists in this inquiry, either, I will once more turn to their own newspapers, and I will confine myself, this time, to a selection from paragraphs which appeared from day to day, during my visit to America, and which refer to occurrences happening while I was there.
Public opinion threatens the abolitionist with death, if he venture to the South; and drags him with a rope about his middle, in broad unblushing noon, through the first city in the East.
While upon the subject of ears, I may observe that a distinguished abolitionist in New York once received a negro's ear, which had been cut off close to the head, in a general post letter.
He was a stranger to nearly every member of that body; but, having recently made his escape from the south- ern prison-house of bondage, and feeling his curiosity excited to ascertain the principles and measures of the abolitionists
,--of whom he had heard a somewhat vague description while he was a slave,--he was in- duced to give his attendance, on the occasion al- luded to, though at that time a resident in New Bedford.
His attention must be commanded by the signs that the Church, or religious party, is falling from the Church nominal, and is appearing in temperance and non-resistance societies; in movements of abolitionists
and of socialists; and in very significant assemblies called Sabbath and Bible Conventions; composed of ultraists, of seekers, of all the soul of the soldiery of dissent, and meeting to call in question the authority of the Sabbath, of the priesthood, and of the Church.
I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves Abolitionists
should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them.
It was, undoubtedly, the Abolitionists
who set the torch alight, who began the whole thing.
"Why, wife, you are getting to be an abolitionist, quite."
"Abolitionist! if they knew all I know about slavery, they might talk!
People would call me a low- down Abolitionist
and despise me for keeping mum -- but that don't make no difference.
For a study intending to place Douglass within his African American background and, presumably, to emphasize black contributions to the abolitionist
discourse, this volume does a great disservice to the black abolitionists
who preceded Garrison and influenced Douglass.