"The Rejected Stone "--The President--General Fremont--Letter from W. H. Channing--Lecture in Washington--Talk with President Lincoln--Emerson--J. R. Lowell--Seward--Senator Sumner-- An Arraignment of War--Wendell Phillips Mobbed in Cincinnati --Unitarian Conference--Leaving Cincinnati--Our Old Home in Virginia--Carrying our Slaves to Ohio--Troubles in Baltimore-- Laura Bridgman--A Poem by Julia Ward Howe.
AT that time of agony I received information from Washington that the Republic of Haiti had sent a messenger to Washington to request permission to send there an ambassador, and that the Secretary of State, after some evasion, had at last answered, "The fact is, Washington cannot receive a black Minister."
Then there arose before me as if in letters of flame:--
The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder.
Then I set myself to write the little book entitled, "The Rejected Stone: or Insurrection vs. Resurrection in America. By a Native of Virginia."
From this work, which had a large circulation, but is now naturally forgotten, I quote a few paragraphs:--
It is the inestimable gain of our present condition, that we have come to perceive a weak point in our organic law--a stone left out, that a fundamental one. . . .
That stone is, essentially, Justice.
The form in which it stands for us is The African Slave.
The ethnologic African is nothing to us here, nor his place in the scale, nor yet his capacity; our fact lies in this, that he is inevitably the Third Party in any contract that can be made between the North and the South. He must be presently recognised as a party to the contract, who has already demonstrated his power to tear it in pieces.