Archive for the 'Politicians / Political Action / Political Parties' Category

Lincoln is a dwarf !

Oct. 7, 1861

In a letter to a colleague, Garrison is fearful that Lincoln is following pro-slavery views.   “Yet Mr. Lincoln is so infatuated as to shape his course of policy in accordance with their wishes, and is thus unwittingly helping to prolong the war, and to render the result more and more doubtful! If he is 6 feet 4 inches high, he is only a dwarf in mind.”    1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Colonization in Haiti

May 13, 1861

Here Garrison responds to three black leaders of Boston, who have asked for his views respecting the desirability of emigration to Haiti.  In his letter, Garrison recognizes that the results of emigration may in some cases be good, but maintains his long-standing anti-colonization position.    “If you desire to know whether, as a general rule, I would advise colored persons to emigrate to Hayti, even on the generous terms proposed by its government, my reply is, decidedly, no. … One unavoidable evil attending it is to unsettle the minds of the colored people themselves, in regard to their future destiny; to inspire the mischievous belief in the minds of white people, that they can yet be effectually ‘got rid of’; and to keep law and custom unfriendly to them; so as to induce their departure to a foreign land. … ”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Animal Rights

March 20, 1861

Writing to the author of a book about animal rights:  “My heart actually leaped within me as I read the expressive title, “The Rights of Animals”!  In appreciation, he writes specifically about some of the ideas of the author, John S. Rarey, and signs his letter, “Yours, for the recognition of ‘the rights of man’ and ‘the rights of animals'”.   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

John Brown, Harpers Ferry

Nov. 1, 1859

“What Capt. Brown expected to accomplish with only a score of abettors is to me, up to this hour, quite enigmatical.  Upon the face of it, his raid into Virginia looks utterly lacking in common sense  — a desperate self-sacrifice for the purpose of giving an earthquake shock to the slave system, and thus hastening the day for a universal catastrophe.  But, whatever may have been his errors of judgement or calculation, his bearing since his capture and during his trial has been truly sublime, and challenges for him all of human sympathy and respect.  O course, he will be hung, and quite as speedily as decency will allow.  In Boston  we have thought it would be a master-stroke of policy to urge  the day of his execution as the day for  a general public expression of sentiment with reference to the guilt and danger of slavery… ”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Petition for removal of Judge Edward Greeley Loring

March 5, 1858

This is a petition to the Joint Special Committee of the Legislature,  asking for the removal of Loring as Judge of Probate for Suffolk County.   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Republican Party

July 8, 1857

“If the Republican party told the truth, last November, the Presidential election transferred the balance of power,  more than ever, to the side of slavery.  It has four years of corruption, conquest and annexation before it, and it remains to be proved that any merely political combination can defeat it. On the other hand, the attitude of the Republican leaders is now, as always, one of timidity and compromise …”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Objecting to Slavery Defenders

Nov. 12,1855

Garrison writes to a committee of people who have scheduled a series of  lectures on slavery, to be given at Tremont Temple; he has been invited to speak, but because there are several lectures scheduled by defenders of slavery, he declines.  Garrison notes the names of some of the speakers, and variously characterizes them as “lawless ruffian”, “leader of bandits”, “desperate demagogue”, “unmitigated blackguard”, “shameless bully”, “monster in human form”.  “All these stand committed before the world as the most malignant enemies of the anti-slavery cause, the most bitter contemners of the North, most ferocious defenders of the accursed slave system to the end of time.”   While he often includes in the Liberator the words of defenders of slavery, this step taken by the committee, “is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous”… “What is particularly surprising is, that you should have selected from among the slaveholders, and defenders of slavery, the most insolent, depraved, and desperate of them all…”  Garrison concludes his letter:  “..believing you have acted from the best motives, though unwisely … the most effective lecture I can deliver is to record this frank and honest testimony, I remain, gentlemen Yours, for no union with slaveholders..”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Capital Punishment

March 22, 1855

“Please do not forget that the final hearing before the Committee on Capital Punishment will be had this afternoon, (probably at 3 o’clock,) in the Hall of the House of Representatives.  Pray, be ‘in at the death,’ if you can.  Yours, to hang the gallows. ”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Bunker Hill and hypocrisy

June 17, 1852

To son George:  “Today is the anniversary of he Bunker Hill battle.  From our house, (far as we are off,) I can see the flags waving from the Monument in Charlestown, in honor of that event, notwithstanding the shocking fact that we have more than three million of chattel slaves in this boasted land of freedom, and are more eager to extend and support the slave system than all the interest of freedom put together!  As a nation we are the vilest of hypocrites, as well as the worst of oprressors….”    1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Louis Kossuth

February, 1852

Kossuth, leader of a Hungarian revolution, has been in the United States, invited by the Congress.  He has spoken in many places, but never mentioned slavery.  Garrison writes extensively of his disappointment.  Here is an excerpt from a letter to Kossuth:  “Less than a month has elapsed since your arrival; but, during that brief period, you have made more addresses, and received more delegations, — representing various professions, societies, and corporations, — than any other man living.  Your addresses have been characterized by astonishing versatility and copiousness, as well as charged with the electric flame of an oriental eloquence; you have discussed a wide range of topics; you have marked out your own course, and been left unembarrassed by any distinct presentations of a mooted question; you have shown yourself no stranger to the history, growth and power of this nation; and you seem to have found among us, as a people, every thing to admire and extol, in strains of loftiest panegyric.  But there is one topic that you have shunned, as though to name it would be a crime, — and that is, SLAVERY!  There is one stain on our national escutcheon that your vision has failed to detect, — and that is, the blood of the almost exterminated Indian tribes, and of millions of the descendants of Africa! ..”     1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI