The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1

By C. Peter Ripley | Go to book overview

3.
Speech by Nathaniel Paul Delivered at the Trades' Hall, Glasgow, Scotland 2 December 1834

With Elliott Cresson's "overthrow" apparently complete, Nathaniel Paul toured Scotland and northern England alone during the fall of 1833 to gather support for his Canadian fund-raising mission. After returning to London, he spent most of 1834 lecturing in England, where he "contributed most materially to accomplish the glorious measure of slave emancipation in the British dominions." Late in the year, he began his second Scottish tour, delivering a series of lectures in Edinburgh that raised £132; one local antislavery figure credited Paul's success to his color and the powerful manner in which his speeches evoked sympathy for American blacks. On Wednesday evening, 2 December 1834, he addressed a standing-room-only crowd at Trades' Hall in Glasgow. The meeting was chaired by William Mills, the lord provost of Glasgow, and attended by a number of area ministers and local dignitaries. Several testimonials about Paul were read to the audience, including letters from Sir John Colborne (the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada), Thomas Clarkson, and William Lloyd Garrison. Paul was then introduced by the Reverend Greville Ewing. Nathaniel Paul to William Lloyd Garrison, 31 August 1833, Antislavery Collection, MB [1: 0331]; Lib, 7 February, 14 March, 19 December 1835.

The Rev. Nathaniel Paul commenced by saying that he stood in the presence of that large assembly of Christians, as the avowed representative and advocate of the rights and privileges of his brethren. He expressed himself as a decided enemy of that worst of all systems--Slavery; he cared not where, nor under what Government it existed. He would not consent for one moment to make a compromise with those who encouraged it even in the mildest form. It was its entire extermination that he wished, and he was happy in addressing an assembly of Britons whose views were in unison with his own. It was pleasing also to consider that the combined energies of the people of God had awoke, for the diffusion of the light of the gospel over all the ends of the earth. But there was one portion of the world which had shared little of Christian sympathies, and that portion had the highest claims on their philanthropy. Africa, though once visited by the light of the Gospel, o'er her now brooded a moral darkness, darker than the sable tinge of her sons. But God, who could turn all things to good account, would spread his love abroad upon that country. But the darkness must remain till the standard of the cross be raised on every hill. He anticipated the time, when churches and

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