Slavery and Abolition, 1831-1841

By Albert Bushnell Hart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
THE ABOLITION PROPAGANDA
(1830-1840)

IF we are to accept the statement of the motives and purposes of the abolitionists put forward by their adversaries, they were among the worst of mankind: "Prurient love of notoriety,""envy or malignity," an intention to "excite to desperate attempts and particular acts of cruelty and horror," to bring about "a complete equalization of blacks and whites," to "scatter among our southern brethren firebrands, arrows and death"--such are some of the amenities applied to the abolitionists.1 Even the gentle Emerson said of them: "If an angry bigot assumes this bountiful cause of Abolition, and comes to me with his last news from Barbadoes, why should I not say to him, 'Go love thy infant; love thy wood-chopper; be good-natured and modest; have that grace; and never varnish your hard, uncharitable ambition with this incredible tender-

____________________
1
Harper, in Pro-Slavery Argument, 93; Von Raumer, America, 121; Garrisons, Garrison, I., 495-500; cf. Bledsoe, Liberty and Slavery, chap. ii.

-202-

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