The Black Abolitionist Papers - Vol. 1

By C. Peter Ripley | Go to book overview

9.
Charles Lenox Remond to Richard Allen 7 January 1841

The splintering of the American Anti-Slavery Society in the spring of 1840 left the organization financially crippled. That fall the society sent its agent John A. Collins on a general fund-raising mission to England. Collins joined Charles Lenox Remond, who had no enthusiasm for a joint tour designed to promote the American Anti-Slavery Society but reluctantly agreed to it. Personal relations between the two deteriorated, and early in 1841, with their efforts a failure, Remond and Collins separated. Unlike Collins, Remond recognized that general fund raising and partisan ideological posturing were counterproductive in Britain. Collins's behavior strained Remond's relations with a number of influential British antislavery leaders, particularly those who supported the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in its dispute with William Lloyd Garrison and his American adherents. Like other black abolitionists that followed him abroad, Remond understood that his primary obligation was to the slave. When necessary, he antagonized a white American colleague like Collins by taking an independent course in Britain. Remond sought to recoup his flagging lecture tour by organizing a series of speaking engagements in Ireland, where antislavery leaders like Richard Allen, Richard D. Webb, and James Haughton remained supportive. Ward, "Charles Lenox Remond,"73-97.

6 Queen Street [Place] London, [ England] January 7, 1841

Richard Allen Esq. 1

2 My Dear Friend,

I feel it duty

[firstly] to confess my guilt in not answering your very kind favor addressed to me during my indisposition while at the kind & hospitable home of my dear friend John Murray Esq. on the Clyde. Soon after my arrival in Scotland, and I beg you accept the following as my apology, as soon as my health was sufficiently restored, I commenced travelling & talking in connexion with our mutual friend G. Thompson, his efforts more particularly in behalf of injured India, mine in behalf of my enslaved brethern in America, and continued this course until the unexpected arrival of John A. Collins Esq. 3 from the United States. Up to this time I had been in the weekly expectation of visiting Ireland & not unlikely in conjunction with Mr. Thompson he having on more than one occassion expressed himself to this effect, and as I was laboring under his

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