Responding to “slandering” colored church, Samuel Snowden

Oct. 20, 1837

In a long letter to the New England Spectator,  Garrison responds to comments made about churches in the black community.  “..Nothing can be more unfair than your reference to the Belknap-street church.  When the eloquent Thomas Paul acted as pastor, it was the chief, I believe the only place provided exclusively for the worship of the colored population in this city: of course (and particularly on account of his extraordinary powers as a preacher), it was well attended.” Garrison then recognizes that disputes in that congregation have resulted in poor attendance, then proceeds.  “..Why are you so disingenuous as to hide the fact that, instead of one house, as formerly, there are now several houses exclusively appropriated to their religious worship — and all, more or less, numerously attended? Especially, why do you wilfully refuse to state, that the building so long, ably and successfully occupied by my beloved colored brother Samuel Snowden has been constantly thronged to such excess by our colored friends, that its dimensions have been enlarged to twice its original size?  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI