Autobiography: Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway - Vol. 2

By Moncure Daniel Conway | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII.

The Slavery Issue in Washington--George Fitzhugh's Pro-slavery Lecture in New Haven--Our Petition to the Virginia Legislature--Correspondence of Daniel Webster with Dr. Furness--Results of the Fugitive Slave Law--My Plea for Peaceful Disunion--Hon. Horace Greeley--Distress in the Church Caused by my Preaching--The Church Edifice Needs Repairs--Collecting Money at the North-- Assault on Sumner--The Fremont Campaign--Presentiment of Civil War--My Fatal Sermon--The Struggle in My Society--My Dismissal--Letter from Emerson--Letter from W. H. Channing --Letters of Approval--My Farewell Sermon in Washington-- The Immediate Sequel--Letters from my Mother.

CONCERNING the trouble that rent my Washington congregation and overcast my bright skies, I can now speak with the calmness of a disinterested witness. The Union war obliterated those painful differences. Though they broke my heart I have long remembered them with as many reproaches against myself as against my opponents.

I had made up my mind to pursue a quiet though not silent course concerning slavery, and not to break completely with my beloved Virginia. I did not despair of being able to influence some of the leaders in the South. Some of my attempts were indeed discouraging. My grand-uncle, Justice Daniel, with whom I always had affectionate relations, was a man of logical intellect, and apparently without dislike of my religious heresies; but when in his house in Washington I ventured to say something favourable to the anti-slavery sentiment he closed the subject by saying, "I fear those people are very wicked."

I frequently met the "Freesoil" congressmen, whose aim was to exclude slavery from all the Federal domain.

I thus had opportunities for acquiring knowledge of the sentiments of good men on every side of the formidable issue, and was certain of their equal sincerity. Amid these opposing principles I found myself, at the age of twenty-three, consci

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Autobiography: Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Dedication and Preface. vii
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 9
  • Chapter III 19
  • Chapter IV 32
  • Chapter V 43
  • Chapter VI 52
  • Chapter VII 58
  • Chapter IX 86
  • Chapter X 101
  • Chapter XI 112
  • Chapter XII 126
  • Chapter XIII 139
  • Chapter XIV 156
  • Chapter XV 165
  • Chapter XVI 179
  • Chapter XVII 196
  • Chapter XVIII 222
  • Chapter XIX 243
  • Chapter XX 259
  • Chapter XXI 281
  • Chapter XXII 302
  • Chapter XXIII 324
  • Chapter XXIV 345
  • Chapter XXV 351
  • Chapter XVII 362
  • Chapter XXVII 387
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