Charles Lenox Remond to William Lloyd Garrison
[ October 1840]
Most black abolitionists traveled to Britain with specific objectives but often developed additional goals once there. Charles Remond went as a delegate to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention of 1840, stayed on with a general antislavery tour, and, like many of his colleagues, found an unexpected challenge that modified the original intention of his mission. Remond's challenge came from Ralph R. Gurley, secretary of the American Colonization Society, who was in England seeking British support for colonizationist aims. Remond, a committed anticolonizationist, wrote an October 1840 letter to Garrison, noting Gurley's presence and outlining his intention to counter Gurley's efforts. Remond's free black status invested him with the authority to inform British audiences of widespread black opposition to colonization schemes. Lib, 13 November 1840; Ward, "Charles Lenox Remond,"92-93.
Prior to your departure from England, you were informed of the arrival of the gentleman whose name heads this communication. 1 Of his movements in England up to his appearance in Glasgow, I am unable to speak; but, by the slip cut from one of many cards sent to different gentlemen in Glasgow, and which I have appended (and as you may suppose), I am put not a little upon the nettles.
MR. GURLEY, Secretary of the American Colonization Society, Will explain the views of that Institution as promotive of African civilization, and give an account of the present condition and prospects of the Colony of LIBERIA, in Western Africa, at the Royal Exchange, 2 on Thursday next, at 3 o'clock, P.M. You are very respectfully invited to attend.
Let the card be printed in the largest type, and a hundred extra Liberators3 struck off and charged to me, and forwarded to the nominally free people of color in every village, town, and city of our country; and let them forthwith call public meetings, and pass resolves, demonstrative of their views and feelings respecting the American Colonization Society; and let the same be forwarded to me, together with the work of my friends Wright4 and Cornish5 on the same subject, with all possible dispatch. While I can find means to travel, and bread and water to live upon, and as God shall give me health, and strength, and speech, all shall be exerted to the best of my ability in counteracting such influence as the