Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview
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The Liberty Bell for 1845

This Annual is published, as usual, in Massachusetts, for the benefit of the Anti-Slavery Fair. As frontispiece, it has a portrait of wendell phillips, one of the most eloquent leaders of the party, etched by J. Andrews from a Daguerreotype by Southworth, which presents a fac-simile of his keen intellectual expression.1 The face corresponds entirely with his style of oratory.

The writers show their usual clearness and full possession of their ground. Even these pieces, which have little merit in point of talent, please by their distinct enunciation of principles.

Elizabeth Pease, a valued English friend to the cause, observes, “Although to but few it may be given to be the voices of the world, to startle mankind by the enunciation of some new and earnest thought, or even to act on the universal mind by bringing to light some long concealed gem from the treasury of Truth, yet, to all of us belongs the power of determining of what voices we will be the echo—to what principles we will lend the influence of our example and the advocacy of our lips.”2 And to this responsibility the writers before us have been faithful, so that their words are the echoes of individual conscience, individual mind. They seem happy in the consciousness which Lowell thus finely expresses:

“Love, Faith, and Peace, Thy lilies three, Bloom on a single heart's frail stem That dares Truth's unpaid bondmaid be;— Father! what lack we, having them? Though Unbelief's bleak winter freeze, Thy quiet sunshine fences these.”3

____________________
1
Wendell Phillips (1811–84), reformer, orator, and abolitionist; Joseph Andrews (1806–73), Boston engraver; Nathaniel Southworth (1806–58), miniaturist.
2
Elizabeth Pease (1807–97), English woman's rights and antislavery reformer.
3
“The Happy Martyrdom,” by James Russell Lowell (1819–91), poet, critic, and editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

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