The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1

By C. Peter Ripley | Go to book overview

73. Speech by Sarah P. Remond Delivered at the Music Hall, Warrington, England 24 January 1859

Black lecturers often rekindled local British antislavery efforts. Black abolitionists Sarah P. Remond, William P. Powell, and William G. Allen led an abolitionist upsurge in Warrington, Lancashire, England, which became a center of British Garrisonian antislavery activity in 1859. Remond's Warrington lectures generated particular excitement. She delivered her first Warrington lecture, "Slave Life in America," on Monday evening, 24 January 1859, at the Music Hall. The lecture had been arranged and publicized by local abolitionist William Robson and was the beginning of an anticipated British antislavery tour by Remond. The doors opened at 7:30 P.M., the seats were soon filled, standing room was quickly exhausted, and complaints arose as some members of the local elite were unable to obtain seats. Once the din died down, the audience was attentive, although outbreaks of noise continued as late arrivals attempted to push in. Robert Gaskell, secretary of the Warrington Anti-Slavery Society, presided and introduced Remond. After she completed her one-and-a-half-hour lecture, the enthusiastic audience cheered and approved resolutions thanking Remond and denouncing slavery as anti-Christian. Lib, 18 February 1859; WS, 29 January 1859; WT, 29 January 1859; ASA, March 1859.

Miss REMOND1 commenced by thanking the audience for their kind manifestations towards her, and said that though she was 3,000 miles from home, and from loved ones, yet she felt that a common sympathy should unite all, for was not God their father, and were they not all brethren? She was there that evening as the representative of a race that was stripped of every right and debarred from every privilege--a race which was deprived of the protection of the law, and the glorious influences of religion, and all the strong ties and influences of social life. She was there as the representation of a race, which, in the estimation of American law, had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and for what? For no other reason than that they were of a different complexion from the majority of American citizens. And this infamous doctrine had the sanction of the established courts of law in that country. 2 Nine judges of the supreme court of America had met together and given this decision. Five of them were slave holders, 3 and were educated in the belief that black men and women were made for no other purpose than to be slaves. The other four were from Northern States where slavery did not exist; but only two of the four lifted their hands against this

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