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Full text of "Modern agitators: or, Pen portraits of living American reformers"

NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES 



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THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



AND 

-..VMONX 



MODEM AGITATORS: 



OR 



nt 



OF 



LIVING AMERICAN REFORMERS. 



BY DAVID W. BARTLETT. 

AUTHOR OF "LIFE OF LADY JANE GREY," "JOAN OF ABC," Era Eta 



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NEW YORK AND AUBURN: 

MILLEE,, ORTOK & MULLIGAN. 

New York: 25 Park Row Auburn: 107 Genesee-st. 

1856. 
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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred 

and fifty-four, 

BY MILLEE, OETON & MULLIGAN, 
'ii the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of New York. 



AU BURN: 

MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN, 
STEBEOTYPER9 AND PBINTEBS. 



INTRODUCTION. 



TO THOMAS BOX, 

OF ENGLAND. 

DEAR FRIEND : Though thousands of miles of angry 
ocean lie. between us, I shall never forget you nor your " Pala- 
tine Cottage." Its quiet, unobtrusive beauty, nestled as it is 
among trees, and flowers, and singing birds, I have never seen 
surpassed. To me it is doubly dear from the fact, that when 
I was but a boy, (yet with a heart full of earnest aspirations 
for a reformed world,) it was a second home to me. That sad, 
beautiful summer you nor I shall ever forget, nor will the dear 
ones of the " cottage " who watched me so tenderly when my 
brow burned with fever. I can see the exquisite sight from 
your windows even now, as I saw it then, and the fragrance 
of the flowers has crossed the Atlantic with me, and lingers 
round my heart still. So do the evenings rise up before me 
when you gave me such graphic pictures of the English re- 
formers. It was new and intensely interesting to me, espe- 
cially as I was deeply sympathizing with several important 
reforms. 

I am in my native land again ; months, years have passed 



iv INTRODUCTION. 

away since I said farewell to you. While I write, my windows 
open out upon a landscape not so beautiful, but more grand than 
y OUrs upon more gorgeous though not sweeter flowers than 
those at Palatine ! I am in a new world, where we have our own 
beauties and defects. Here God knows how my heart aches 
to say it ! here we need reformers as well as you ; here the 
sorrowful plaint of the bondman, and the wail of the drunk- 
ard's wife are heard. And so remembering your word-pic- 
tures of English agitators, 1 send you a few plain, honest por- 
traitures of some of our American reformers of the present 
time. They do not by any means include all of our distill 
tinguished reformers. I am obliged to select, and have very 
likely sketched some persons not so distinguished as others I 
have not mentioned. With one exception, the subjects of these 
pen-portraits are living men. Rogers was so brilliant a man, 
was such an original, and was so intimately connected with our 
anti-slavery agitators, that I could not resist the temptation to 
speak of him in this volume. I have, in almost every instance, 
made extracts from the writings of the persons sketched, know- 
ing that often wise quotation will give a better clue to char- 
acter than pages of mere description. 

Begging that you will excuse the errors into which I may 
have unintentionally fallen in this book, which was prepared for 
the people of this country, 

I am, always affectionately, yours, 

DAVID W. BARTLETT. 



CONTENTS. 



HENEY WARD BEECHEE, 1 

LYMAN BEECHEE, & 

E. II. CH APIN, 45 

FEEDEEICK DOUGLASS, 55 

II AEEIET BEECHEE STOWE, 73 

ELIHU BUEEITT, 96 

WILLIAM LLOYD GAEEISON, Ill 

JOHN B. GOUGH, 128 

CHARLES G. FINNEY, 151 

JOSHUA E. GIDDINGS, 170 

WILLIAM CULLEN BEY ANT, 188 

THEODOEE PAEKEE, 192 

ICHABOD CODDING, : f 208 

I 

N. P. EOGEES, 1 225 

JOHN GEEENLEAF WHITT1EE, 240 

HOEACE BUSHNELL, D. D 266 

WILLIAM H. SEWAED, 281 

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, 307 

HORACE GEEELEY, 315 

THUELOW WEED BEOWN,.. 387 






. 



HEMY WARD BEECHER. 

HENRY WARD BEECHER is one of the most popular 
men in America, and at the same time he is one of 
our most radical reformers. Tie is the pulpit re- 
former the man who thunders forth the most un- 
popular truths, every Sunday, from his pulpit, to an. 
audience consisting not of independent country farm- 
ers, who have little temptation to do wrong, or young 
enthusiasts without prudence or position in society 
but of sober, staid merchants, and their sons and 
daughters. 'No pulpit orator in this country is more 
fearless in his utterance of truth than Mr. Beecher ; 
yet he is loved and admired by his church and con- 
gregation. The reason is, that while he always in- 
sists upon being independent, he is at the same time 
manly and honest. His denunciations of oppression 
and oppressors do not proceed from a soured mind, 
but from a profound sympathy with the oppressed. 
It is at once evident to his hearers that he is a;oni- 

o 

zing over the wrongs of the poor; and in that frame 
of mind, with his great heart, it is impossible for him 
not to pour forth with astonishing power his convic- 
tions of right his hot censures upon those who de- 



8 MODERN AGITATORS. 

liberately and purposely tread the poor beneath their 
feet. To gain any just idea of Mr. Beech er's style of 
eloquence he must be seen in the pulpit. The mo- 
ment that he arises to commence religious service 
the listener is struck with his manly, vigorous ap- 
pearance. There is nothing soft or bland in his man- 
ners ; he reads a hymn, or a chapter from the bible, 
in a clear, firm tone of voice, or utters a prayer, not 
as if he were studying to so modulate his sentences 
as to create an effect, but as if he were reallj 7 wrest- 
ling with his Maker. We by no means would give 
the idea that he is harsh, coarse, and without a 
proper manner, for such is not the case. We have 
heard him pray when every word sounded like the 
moaning sob of a child upon the heart of its mother ; 
so too we have heard him launch his electrical elo- 
quence at the heads of notorious sinners in the most 
impassioned, declamatory manner. But we were 
saying, when he rises in the pulpit his 'manliness 
strikes first upon the attention of the stranger, and 
next his eager, almost terrible earnestness. He 
scarcely ever writes out his sermons, but comes into 
the pulpit with but a few rough notes before him. 
This allows him a command over his audience which 
he could not hold were he confined to written ser- 
mons. He seems to be talking directly to each in- 
dividual hearer. There is no escape ; he bends over 
the pulpit and looks you in the face ; he intends that 



HENRY WABD BEECHER. 



you shall not go home without appropriating a por- 
tion of the discourse to yourself. You come perhaps 
prejudiced against him. You have heard that he is 
harsh, impudent, and an unpleasant orator ; but 
when you have heard his opening prayer, you feel 
inclined to give a candid hearing to what so sincere, 
so honest a man can say. To tell the truth, your 
prejudices have half melted before a word of the ser- 
mon is uttered. He does not open abruptly, but in 
a clear, straightforward manner lays the subject be- 
fore his congregation. By and by he warms up with 
his subject. Is it upon intemperance or slavery? 
With what vigor does he expose the wickedness of 
the rum-traffic, or the traffic in human flesh ! How 
clearly he unfolds the law of God ! How plainly ex- 
hibits the loving humanity of Christ ! He draws a 
picture of the poor hunted fugitive ; he leads you 
among the cotton fields of the fair, sunny south, 
where the breezes are scented with orange blossoms ; 
and there he asks you to listen to the heart-broken 
sighs of some miserable slave mother, parted from 
her children. His voice and manner are not vehe- 
ment, though solemnly in earnest. His manly tones 
are modulated by feeling ; there is a slight tremble 
in his words ; his eyes overrun with tears ! You are 
weeping yourself, for your sympathies are touched. 
He grows more impassioned passes from the slave 
to the 'master ! His voice changes ; his manner 



10 MODERN AGITATORS. 

grows more declamatory ; his tears are dried. You 
leap along with him, and as he smites the oppressor 
with God's truth, you have no thought of rebuking 
him for vehemence ; he expresses your own thoughts 
in better language than you could command. But 
before he is done he smites you ; he charges those 
before him with indifference to this giant wrong ; he 
tells them that the blood of the oppressed will be 
found on their skirts, for conniving at the servitude 
of three millions of their fellow-men. 

It is the same with every subject ; he is fearless 
yet tender, vehement yet gentle. He preaches few 
of what are called doctrinal sermons, but he dwells 
often and fully upon the wonderful love of God 
upon the every day duties of men. He never 
preaches upon " the exceeding sinfulness of sin," but 
addresses himself to sinners. But though he is bold, 
he rarely offends any honest inquirer after truth. 
Such a mind likes his frankness is charmed by his 
boldness is moved to tears by his pathos. 

There are some who charge Mr. Beecher with utter- 

o 

ing irreverent, witty things in the pulpit. He is some- 
times almost humorous in the pulpit, but it is because 
he cannot help it. It is as natural for him to speak 
his thoughts in an original manner, as it is for some 
clergymen to preach stupidities. Occasionally a sen- 
tence drops from his lips which starts the smile upon 
the faces of his audience. He intended no wit, but 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 11 

the odd comparison, or the sparkling sentence bursts 
forth involuntarily. To set down and snarl over this 
feature of his pulpit oratory, when there are others 
so rare and attractive, is the mark of a small intellect 
and a still smaller heart. 

We have spoken of the contrasts presented in Mr. 
Beecher's sermons they are in the man. His own 
character is full of contrasts his writings are" the 
same. Xo man has a more refined love of the beau- 
tiful. We cannot resist the temptation to copy one 
of his most exquisite sketches of a country scene, and 
when we have clone that we will contrast it with one 
of his vehement, magnificent outbursts against des- 
potism and wrong. The article which we quote is 
entitled 

TROUTING. 

Where shall we go 1 Here is the More brook, the upper 
part running through bushy and wet meadows, but the lower 
part flowing transparently over the gravel, through the grass 
and pasture grounds near the edge of the village, where it 
curves and ties itself into bow knots. It is a charming brook 
in which to catch trout, when you catch them, but they are 
mostly caught. 

" Well, there is the Caney brook. We will look at that. 
A man might walk through the meadows and not suspect its 
existence. The grass meets over the top of its upper section 
and quite hides it ; and below, through that iron tinctured 
marsh land, it expands only a little, growing open-hearted b v - 



12 MODERN AGITATORS. 

degrees, across a narrow field ; and then it runs for the thick- 
ets and he who takes fish among those alders will certainly 
earn them. Yet, for its length, it is not a bad brook. The 
trout are not numerous, nor large, nor especially fine ; but 
every one you catch renews your surprise that you should 
catch any in such a ribbon of a brook. Still farther north 
is another stream, something larger, and much better or worse, 
according to your luck. It is easy of access, and quite unpre- 
tending. There is a bit of a pond some twenty feet in diame- 
ter, from which it flows, and in that there are five or six half- 
pound trout, who seem to have retired from active life, and 
given themselves to meditation in its liquid convent. They 
were very tempting, but quite untemptable. Standing afar off, 
we selected an irresistible fly, and with a long line we sent it 
pat into the very place. It fell like a snow-flake. No trout 
should have hesitated a moment. The morsel was delicious. 
The nimblest of them should have flashed through the water, bro- 
ken the surface, and with a graceful but decisive curve plunged 
downward, carrying the insect with him. Then we should in our 
turn, very cheerfully have lent him a hand, relieved him of his 
prey, and admiring his beauty but pitying his untimely fate, 
buried him in the basket. But he wished no translation. We 
cast our fly again and again ; we drew it hither and thither ; 
we made it skip and wriggle ; we let it fall splash, like a sur- 
prised miller ; and our audience calmly beheld our feats. 

" Next we tried ground bait, and sent our vermicular hook 
down to their very sides. With judicious gravity they parted, 
and slowly sailed toward the root of an old tree on the side 
of the pool. Again changing place, we will make an ambassa- 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 13 

dor of a grasshopper. Laying down our rod, we prepare to 
catch the grasshopper ; that is in itself no slight feat. The first 
step you take at least forty bolt out, and tumble headlong 
into the grass ; some cling to the stumps, some are creeping 
under the leaves, and not one seems to be in reach. You step 
again ; another flight takes place, and you eye them with a 
fierce penetration, as if you could catch some one with your 
eye. You cannot, though. You brush the ground with your 
foot again another hundred snap out, and tumble about in 
every direction. At length you see a very nice young fellow 
climbing a steeple stem. You take a good aim and grab him. 
You catch the spire, but he has jumped a safe rod. Yonder is 
another, creeping among some delicate ferns. With broad 
palm you clutch him, and all the neighboring herbage too. 
Stealthily opening your little finger, you see his leg ; the next 
finger reveals more of him ; and opening the next you are just 
beginning to take him out with the other hand, when out he 
bounds and leaves you to renew your entomological pursuits. 
Twice you snatch handfuls of grass, and cautiously open your 
hand to find that you have only grass. It is very vexatious. 
There are thousands of them here and there, climbing and 
wriggling on that blade, leaping off from that stalk, twisting 
and kicking on that vertical spider's web, jumping and boun- 
cing about under your very nose, hitting you in the face, creep- 
ing on your shoes, and yet not one do you get. If any tender- 
hearted person ever wondered how a humane man could bring 
himself to such cruelty as to impale an insect, let him hunt for 
a grasshopper in a hot day among tall grass, and when at 
length he secures one, the affixing him upon the hook will be 

14 



14: MODERN AGITATORS. 

done without a single scruple, as a mere matter of penal jus- 
tice, and with judicial solemnity. 

"Now then, the trout yonder. We swing our line to the 
air. and give it a gentle cast toward the desired spot, and a 
puff of south wind dexterously lodges it in the branch of the tree. 
You plainly see it strike, and whirl over and over, so that no 
gentle pull loosens it ; you draw it a jerk up and a pull down ; 
you give a series of nimble twitches ; you coax it in this way 
and solicit it in that way in vain. Then you stop and look a 
moment, first at the trout and then at your line. Was there 
ever anything so vexatious ? Would it be wrong to get an- 
gry 1 In fact, we feel very much like it. The very things 
you wanted to catch, the grasshopper and the trout, you could 
not ; but a tree, that you did not want, you have caught fast at 
the first throw. You fear that the trout will be scared. You 
cautiously draw nigh and peep down. Yes, they are looking 
at you, and laughing as sure as trout ever laughed. They un- 
derstand the whole thing. With a very decisive jerk you snap 
your line, regain the remnant of it, and sit down to repair it, 
to put on another hook, catch another grasshopper, and move 
on down stream to catch a trout. 

"Meantime the sun is wheeling behind the mountain, for 
you are just at the eastern ridge of Mount Washington (not 

of the White Mountains, but in Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut.) Already its broad shade begins to fall down upon the 
plain. The side of the mountain is solemn and sad. Its 
ridge stands sharp against a fire-bright horizon. Here and 
there a tree has escaped the ax of the charcoalers, and shag- 
gily marks the sky. Here and there through the heavens are 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 15 

slowly sailing continents of magnificent fleece mountains 
Alps and Andes of vapor. They, too, have their broad shad- 
ows. One you see cast upon yonder hill, far to the east, while 
the base is radiant with the sun. Another cloud-shadow is 
moving with stately grandeur along the valley of the Housa- 
tonic, and if you rise to a little eminence you may see the 
brilliant landscape growing dull in its sudden obscuration on its 
forward line, and growing suddenly bright upon its rear trace. 
How majestically that shadow travels up those steep and pre- 
cipitous mountain sides! how it sweeps down the gorge and 
valley ! how it moves along the plain ! 

" But now the mountain shadow is creeping down into the 
meadow. It has crossed the road where vour horse stands 

t/ 

hitched to the paling of a deserted little house. You forget 
your errand. You select a dry, tufty knoll, and lying down 
you gaze up into the sky. O, those depths ! Something within 
you reaches out and yearns ; you have a vague sense of infinity 
of vastness- of the littleness of human life, and the sweetness 
and grandeur of divine life and of eternity. Yon people the 
vast ether. You stretch away through it and find that Celes- 
tial City beyond, and therein dwell O how many that are 
yours ! Tears come unbidden. You begin to long for release. 
You pray. Was there ever a better closet? Under the shadow 
of the mountain, the heavens full of cloudy cohorts, of armies 
of horsemen and chariots, your soul loosened from the narrow 
judgments of human life, and touched with a full sense of im- 
mortality and the liberty of a spiritual state. An hour goes 
past. How full has it been of feelings struggling to be thoughts, 
and of thoughts deliquescing into feeling. Twilight is coming, 



16 MODERN AGITATORS. 

you have miles to ride home. Not a trout in your basket ! 
Never mind, you have fished in the heavens, and taken great 
store of prey. Let them laugh at your empty basket. Take 
their raillery good-naturedly ; you have certainly had good 
luck. 

" But we have not yet gone to the brook for which we 
started. That must be for another tramp. Perhaps one's ex- 
perience of 'fancy tackle' and of fly-fishing might not be with- 
out some profit in moral analogies : perhaps a mountain stream 
and good luck in real trout may afford some easy side-thoughts 
not altogether unprofitable for a summer vacation. At any 
rate, it will make it plain that often the best part of trout fish- 
ing is not the fishing." 

And now the same poet's hand that drew the 
above the same heart which appreciated the tender 
and beautiful in nature wrought that which follows, 
And why not ? If we examine closely we shall find 
that it is the true poet who thunders loudest if needs 
be against tyrants ; we shall see that the gentlest are 
after all the strongest, the profoundest. Who is gen- 
tler than a mother ? Whose love is stronger than 
hers ? Who can suffer as she often does for a loved, 
* mayhap ruined, child ? 

The article from which we make extracts is one in 
which Mr. Beecher defends his right in the pulpit to 
speak of slavery. He had been attacked by the 
Journal of Commerce for carrying abolitionism into 
the church, arid he thus replies : 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 17 

" It is vain to tell us that hundreds of thousands of slaves are 
church members ; does that save women from the lust of their 
owners ? does it save their children from being sold ? does it 
save parents from separation 1 In the shameless processions 
every week made from the Atlantic to the Gulf, are to be 
found slaves ordained to preach the gospel, members of churches, 
baptized children, Sunday-school scholars carefully catechized, 
full of gospel texts, fat and plump for market. What is reli- 
gion worth to a slave, except as a consolation from despair, 
when the hand that breaks to him the bread of communion on 
Sunday takes the price of his blood and bones on Monday ; 
and bids him God speed on his pilgrimage from old Virginia 
tobacco fields to the cotton plantations of Alabama ] 

" What is church fellowship, and church privilege, and church 
instruction worth, if the recipient is still as much a beast, just 
as little loved, just as ruthlessly desolated of his family, just as 
coolly sold, as if he were without God and without hope ? 
What motive is there to the slave to strive for Christian graces, 
when, if they make him a real man, they are threshed out of 
him ; or if they make him a more obedient and faithful man, 
raise his market price, and only make him a more merchanta- 
ble disciple of Christ 1 It is the religious phase of slave-life 
that reveals the darkest features of that all-perverting system. 

" These things are not new ; nor out of the reach of the 
Journal of Commerce ; yet when upon this state of facts the 
Christianity of the north, too long unsensitive, lifts up its voice, 
the Journal of Commerce assails it as if it were a monster ra- 
vening for its prey ! Three million men, against natural law, 
against every fundamental principle of our state and national 



18 MODERN AGITATORS. 

government, are, by law, thrown over the pale of the race and 
denied to be men. This is not fit for the pulpit to mention ; 
it is allowed, nevertheless, to preach about China and India ! 
Every year thousands of children are snatched from their pa- 
rents' bosoms, and remorselessly sold every whither. The pul- 
pit is not the place for mentioning such things, though it be al- 
lowed to snatch children from the Ganges, and to mourn over 
infanticide in Polynesia ! Every year husbands and wives are 
torn asunder, Christian or no Christian ; and the Journal of 
Commerce browbeats that pulpit that utters a word about such 
politics, when it should rather be busy in expostulating with 
cannibals in Malaya, or snatching devotees from under the 
wheels of Juggernaut ! Every year thousands of women are 
lashed for obstinate virtue ; and tens of thousands robbed of 
what they have never been taught to prize ; and the Journal 
of Commerce stands poised to cast its javelin at that meddle- 
some pulpit that dares to speak of such boundless licentious- 
ness, and send it to its more appropriate work of evangelizing 
the courtesans of Paris, or the loose virtue of Italy ; and it as- 
sures us that multitudes of clergymen are thanking it for such 
a noble stand. Some of those clergymen we know. The plat- 
forms of our benevolent societies resound with their voices 
urging Christianity to go abroad : stimulating the church not to 
leave a corner of the globe unsearched, nor an evil unredressed. 
But when the speech ended, they steal in behind the Journal 
of Commerce to give it thanks for its noble stand against fhe 
right of the pulpit to say a word about home heathen about 
their horrible ignorance, bottomless licentiousness, and about 
the mercenary inhumanity which every week is selling their 



IIENKT WABD BEECHEK. 19 

own Christian brethren, baptized as much as they, often preach- 
ers of the gospel like themselves, eating from the same table 
of the Lord, praying to the same Savior, listening to snatches 
of that same bible (whose letters they have never been permit- 
ted to learn) out of which these reverend endorsers of the 
Journal of Commerce preach ! 

" It requires distance, it seems, to make a topic right for the 
pulpit. Send it to Greenland, or to Nootka Sound, and you 
may then practice at the far-away target. And the reason of 
such discrimination seems to be, that preaching against foreign 
sins does not hurt the feelings nor disturb the quiet of your 
congregation ; whereas, if the identical evils at home, which we 
deplore upon the Indus, or along the Burampootra, are preached 
about, the Journal says that it will risk the minister's place 
and bread and butter. * * * * 

"Our laws scarcely recognize a crime against man save mur- 
der and violence akin to it, that is not legal under slave laws. 
There is not a sensual vice which we are taught to abhor, 
which slavery doth not monstrously engender. There is not a 
sin which religion condemns, that is not garnered and sown, 
reaped and sown again, by American slavery. Among free- 
men the road of honor lies away from animal passion, from 
sensation, toward conscience, hope, love, and spiritual faith. 
But slavery sharply turns the wretch downward, and teaches 
and compels him to evolve the task of life from such motives 
as are common to him with the ox, the ass, and the dog. The 
slave's pleasures are our appetites. His motives are, almost 
of necessity, those from which religion most earnestly dehorts 
us. To our children labor is honorable, because it is God's 



20 MODERN AGITATORS. 

ordination of mercy ; because it is an education ; because it is 
the road alike to health and temperate pleasure ; because it is 
the parent of wealth ; because by it the cheerful laborer builds 
his house, rears his children, gives to them the means of knowl- 
edge. By labor the north has subdued nature, changed a par- 
simonious soil to fertility, built dwellings for almost her whole 
population, raised the school-house, established the church, en- 
circled the globe with her ships, and made her books and her 
papers to be as blades of grass and as leaves of summer for 
number. But in the South, as if unredeemed from the primal 
curse, labor, a badge of shame, is the father of misery. The 
slave labors, but with no cheer it is not the road to respecta- 
bility it will honor him. with no citizen's trust it brings no 
bread to his family no grain to his garner no leisure in after 
days no books or papers to his children. It opens no school- 
house door, builds no church, rears for him no factory, lays no 
keel, fills no bank, earns no acres. With sweat, and toil, and 



ignorance, he consumes his life to pour the eamings into chan- 
nels from which he does not drink into hands that never honor 
him, but perpetually rob, and often torment. 

" This vast abomination, which seethes and smokes in our 
midst, which is enervating and demoralizing the white by the 
oppression of the black in which adultery, fornication and a 
concubinage so awful exist, that, in comparison with it a Turk- 
ish harem is a cradle of virgin purity which every hour does 
violence to nature, to the sentiment of justice, and to the em- 
bodiment of that sentiment into national law a system which 
makes a home impossible, and the word family as much a mis- 
nomer as it would be to a stable or a sheep-fold which sub- 



HENKY WARD BEECHEE. 21 

sists only by keeping the subject ignorant which is obliged to 
rank and treat the qualities which our community most es- 
teems independence, ambition, self-reliance, thirst for knowl- 
edge, self-respect, as most punishable crimes in the slave a 
system whose practice requires what its laws recognize, that 
man must be subverted that the slave must be intelligent 
only for work, and religious only to the extent of obedience 
a system which, taking away all inducements to labor natural 
to man, is obliged to enforce it by suffering, or the fear of suf- 
fering ; which, denying to the faculties of the soul a natural 
expression, forces the miserable wretch to cunning and craft, to 
lying and subterfuge whose whole natural tendency it is to 
produce labor upon compulsion and laziness by choice, lying 
and thieving under a sense'of justice, and truth and honesty with 
a feeling of their injustice and which, at length, as its worst and 
most damnable result, so subverts that instinct of liberty which 
belongs to man the world over, that the slave agrees to his 
condition, grows fat, and laughs and sings, preferring slavery, 
with indulgence to eat and drink enough, to liberty, if he must 
pay the price of that liberty by sustained exertion ; this huge, 
infernal system for the destruction of men, soul and body, must 
not be mentioned in the pulpit, lest the Sabbath be desecrated 
and the peace of the congregation be disturbed. 

" We now re-affirm our doctrine of the pulpit. 

"The gospel is a system of truths designed to be this world's 
medicine. It has no intrinsic value as a system. Its end and 
value are in its power to stimulate the soul, to develop its fac- 
ulties, to purify its emotions, to cleanse its evils, and to lead 
forth the whole man into a virtuous and holy life. 



22 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" The pulpit is therefore the dispensatory of society. The 
minister, a physician. Preaching, a prescription of medicinal 
truth for heart evils. There is not an evil which afflicts life, 
nor a temptation proceeding from any course of life, which the 
pulpit should not study. The sources of right conduct, the 
hindrances, the seductions of business, the lures of pleasure, 
the influences of public life, the maxims of society, its customs, 
its domestic, commercial and public institutions ; in short, 
whatever directly or indirectly moulds the human character, is 
to be studied by the minister, and its benefit or its danger made 
known from the pulpit. 

" In this work it is to deal first and most faithfully with the 
evils of its own age, its own country, its own city, its own 
congregation. Wherever men go, the pulpit is to follow them 
with its true light. Whatever invades its province that prov- 
ince is Right, Humanity, Purity be it Fashion, Commerce, 
Politics, they are fearlessly to be met, grasped and measured 
by the word of God. Not only may the pulpit thus explore 
Life, but it must, or else prove bankrupt to Fidelity. It is not 
to follow the camp ; but in spiritual things to lead the people. 
It is not to wait till foes are slain before it raise its spear ; nor 
go asking of political cabals what it may say, nor cringe to su- 
percilious men of commerce ; but occupy itself with only this 
twin thought, how best to please God and benefit man. 

" Therefore, against every line of the Coward's Ethics of the 
Journal of Commerce we solemnly protest, and declare a min- 
ister made to its pattern fitter to be sent to the pyramids and 
tombs of Egypt, to preach to old-world mummies, than to be 
a living man of God among living men, loving them but never 



WARD BEECHEK. 23 

fearing them ! God be thanked ! that in every age hitherto, 
such pulpits have been found the ally of suffering virtue, the 
champion of the oppressed. And if in this day, after the no- 
table examples of heroic men in heroic ages, when life itself 
often paid for fidelity, the pulpit is to be mined and sapped by 
insincere friends and insidious enemies, and learn to mix the 
sordid prudence of business with the sonorous and thrice he- 
roic counsels of Christ, then, O my soul, be not thou found 
conspiring with this league of iniquity ! that so, when in that 
august day of retribution, God shall deal punishment in flaming 
measure to all hireling and coward ministers, thou shalt not 
go down, under double-bolted thunders, lower than miscreant 
Sodom, or thrice-polluted Gomorrah ! ' 

Here is one more sketch in Mr. Beecher's best hu- 
morous vein, which we cannot forbear to quote : 



BOOK-AUCTIONS, BOOK-STORES, BOOKS. 

"We have examined the catalogue of books to be sold in ten 
days, beginning May 24th, by Bangs, Brothers &Co. We have 
also examined the books themselves, and with sore temptation. 
This is no ordinary sale. It is not the refuse stock of a bank- 
rupt bookseller ; nor a private library, drugged by large infu- 
sions of unsaleable books ; nor a trade sale of staple books. 
It is a literary curiosity of itself. The catalogue is a book of 
no mean literary interest. Mr. Welford, long familiar with 
rare and curious books, spends many months in England, col- 
lecting with good taste, not merely standard editions of stand- 
ard works, but literary treasures of every sort. Here are 



24 MODERN AGITATORS. 

works which a man would not have an opportunity of purchasing 
once in his lifetime, in the ordinary course of affairs. The 
books are in excellent condition, and in fine bindings. 

Nothing marks the growth of the public mind, and the in- 
creasing wealth of our times, more than the demand for books. 
Within ten years the sale of common books has increased 
probably two hundred per cent., and is daily increasing. But 
the sale of expensive works, and library editions in costly bind- 
ing, is yet more noticeable. Ten years ago, and such a display 
of magnificent works as is to be found at the Appletons' would 
have been a precursor of bankruptcy. There was no demand 
for them. A few dozen, in one little show-case, was the pru- 
dent whole. Now, one whole side of an immense store is not 
only filled with most admirably bound library -books, but from 
some inexhaustible source the void continually made in the 
shelves is at once re-filled. A reserve of heroic books supply 
the places of those that fall. Alas ! Where is human nature 
so weak as in a book-store ! Speak of the appetite for drink ; 
or a bonvivanfs relish for dinner! What are these mere ani- 
mal throes and ragings, to be compared with those fantasies of 
taste, of imagination, of intellect, which bewilder a student, in 
a great bookseller's temptation- hall ? 

How easily one may distinguish a genuine lover of books 
from the worldly man ! With what subdued and yet glowing 
enthusiasm does he gaze upon the costly front of a thousand 
embattled volumes ! How gently he draws down the vol- 
umes, as if they were little children; how tenderly he handles 
them ! He peers at the title-page, at the text, or the notes, 
the nicety of a bird examining a flower. He studies the 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 25 

binding : the leather, Russia, English calf, morocco ; the let- 
tering, the gilding, the edging, the hinge of the cover ! He 
opens it, and shuts it. he holds it off, and brings it nigh. It 
suffuses his whole body with book magnetism. He walks up 
and down, in a maze, at the mysterious allotments of Provi- 
dence that gives so much money to men that spend it upon 
their appetites, and so little to men that would spend it in be- 
nevolence, or upon their refined tastes ! It is astonishing, too, 
how one's necessities multiply in the presence of the supply. 
One never knows how many things it is in; possible to do with- 
out, till he goes to Windle's or Smith's house-furnishing stores. 
One is surprised to perceive, at some bazaar, or fancy and va- 
riety store, how many conveniences he needs. He is satisfied 
that his life must have been utterly inconvenient aforetime. 
And thus, too, one is inwardly convicted at Appletons, of hav- 
ing lived for years without books, which he is now satisfied one 
cannot live without ! 

Then, too, the subtle process by which the man satisfies him- 
self that he can afford to buy. Talk of Wall street and finan- 
ciering ! No subtle manager or broker ever saw through a 
maze of financial embarrassments half so quick as a poor book- 
buyer sees his way clear to pay for what he must have. Why, 
he will economize ; he will dispense with this and that ; he 
will retrench here and there ; he will save by various expedi- 
ents hitherto untried ; he will put spurs on both heels of his 
industry ; and then, besides all this, he will somehow get along 
when the time for payment comes! Ah! this SOMEHOW! 
That word is as big as a whole world, and is stuffed with all 
the vagaries and fantasies that fancy ever bred on hope. And 



26 MODERN AGITATOES. 

yet, is there not some comfort in buying books, to be paid for ? 
We have heard of a sot, who wished his neck as long as the 
worm of a still, that the draught might taste good so much lon- 
ger. Thus, it is a prolonged excitement of purchase, if you 
feel for six months in a slight doubt whether the book is hon 
estly your own or not. Had you paid down, that would have 
been the end of it. There would have been no affectionate and 
beseeching look of your books at you, every time you saw 
them, saying, as plain as a book's eyes can say, " Do not let 
me be taken from you." 

Moreover, buying books before you can pay for them, pro- 
motes caution. You dont feel quite at liberty to take them 
home. You are married. Your wife keeps an account-book. 
She knows to a penny what you can and what you cannot af- 
ford. She has no " speculation " in her eyes. Plain figures 
make desperate work with airy " somehows." It is a matter 
of no small skill and and experience to get your books home, 
and in their places undiscovered. Perhaps the blundering ex- 
press brings them to the door just at evening. " What is it, 
my dear 1 " she says to you. " Oh ! nothing a few books 
that I cannot do without." That smile ! A true housewife, 
that loves her husband, can smile a whole arithmetic at him at 
one look ! Of course she insists, in the kindest way, in sym- 
pathizing with you in your literary acquisition. She cuts the 
strings of the bundle, (and of your heart,) and out comes the 
whole story. You have bought a whole set of costly English 
books, full bound in calf, extra gilt, and admirably lettered. 

Now, this must not happen frequently. The books must be 
smuggled home. Let them be sent to some near place. Then 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 27 

when your wife has a headache, or is out making a call, or has 
lain down, run the books across the frontier and threshold, has- 
tily undo them, stop only for one loving glance as you put 
them away in the closet, or behind other books on the shelf, 
or on the topmost shelf. Clear away the twine and wrapping- 
paper, and every suspicious circumstance. Be very careful 
not to be too kind. That often brings on detection. Only the 
other day, we heard it said somewhere, " Why, how good you 
have been lately. I am really afraid you have been carrying 
on mischief secretly." Our heart smote us. It was a fact. 
That very day we had bought a few books which " we could 
not do without." After a while you can bring out one vol- 
ume, accidentally, and leave it on the table. " Why, my dear, 
what a beautiful book ! Where did you borrow it 1 " You 
glance over the newspaper, with the quietest tone you can 
command : " That ! oh ! that is mine. Have you not seen it 
before 1 It has b een in the house this two months ;" and you 
rush on with anecdote and incident, and point out the binding, 
and that peculiar trick of gilding, and everything else you can 
think of; but it all will not do; you cannot rub out that ro- 
guish arithmetical smile. People may talk about the equality 
of the sexes ! They are not equal. The silent smile of a sen- 
sible, loving woman, will vanquish ten men. Of course you 
repent, and in time form a habit of repenting. 

But we must not forget our errand, which was, to say that 
lovers of books who desire rare and curious works, should at- 
tend the sale of Mr. Welford's books ; and they should re- 
member with gratitude that he has removed all temptation 
from them to buy more than they have the money to pay for, 
by making the terms cash. 



28 MODERN AGITATORS. 

Of Mr. Beecher's personal history we have not 
much to say. He was born in Litchfield, Connecti- 

\J 

cut, was educated at Amherst college, Massachusetts, 
and spent a number of years in the west before ac- 
cepting a call to preach in Brooklyn, where he is at 
the present time. When a boy, he was full of the 
Beecher spirit and independence. We have heard a 
friend of the family tell a story of young Henry, 
which illustrates not only the lad's full flow of ani- 
mal spirits, but the subtle knowledge of human na- 
ture possessed by his father. For some cause or other, 
while pursuing his studies, Henry one day informed 
his parents that he was going to sea. If he could not 
obtain the consent of his parents, he gave them very 
distinctly to understand that he could run away at 
any rate, he was not going to endure any opposition. 
To the boy's profound surprise, his father made no 
objection to his resolution, but the next day coolly 
informed him, that a tailor should fit him out with a 
suit of sea-clothes, and that he had written to a mar- 
itime friend to make arrangements for his reception 
on board his ship. He wound up by saying, that 
he had indulged the thought that he (Henry) would 
go on successfully in his studies until prepared to 
enter college, and that he would hereafter live a life 
of honor and usefulness ; but that he had decided 
without advice to adopt a sailor's profession, and he 
should not be opposed. The more the boy-student 



HENEY WAED BEECHEE. 29 

thought of the matter, the more he felt. To tell the 
truth, he threatened to go to sea more to rouse the 
opposition of his father, than for any other purpose ; 
and now, to be actually helped off it was altogether 
too bad ; and he one morning, with a burst of peni- 
tent tears, confessed that he would like to go on with 
his preparation for college ! 

At an early age Mr. Beecher was admitted into 
the ministry. He was overflowing with an enthusi- 
astic desire to preach the truth to the people. He 
was willing to go anywhere to do this, and was ready 
to undergo any suffering or privations if only he 
could preach Christ. He went to the west, and car- 
ried light and peace to the lonely cabins of the far- 
mers, and to the rough homes of the artisans. For 
years he lived among the grand prairies, and he left 
his impress there in many a home and heart. But a 
man of such powers of mind could not be allowed 
to waste himself in any humble place. Just such a 
man was needed in New York to speak the truth 
into the ears of the merchants and lawyers of our 
empire city. More than this : in New York (or rather 
Brooklyn) a man of his talents would be sure of at- 
tracting transient residents from all parts of the 
Union, and thus he would be felt all over the country. 
Such is the case. Scarce a merchant goes to New 
York to buy goods, whether from. Maine, "Wisconsin, 



30 MODERN AGITATORS. 

or Ohio, who leaves the city without hearing Henry 
Ward Beecher preach. 

Socially, Mr. Beecher is one of the most interest- 
ing men we ever met. He is brim full of anecdote 
and humour. Xo man can tell a story better than 
he no man can set a circle into a roar quicker than 
he, nor is he surpassed in all that is affectionate and 
lovely. He has a big heart, which takes in all his 
friends. He is half worshipped in his family, and no 
one wonders at it who knows him. 

In his person Mr. Beecher is not very remarkable. 
He is of medium height, has a firm, independent air, 
look, and gait, has dark hair, an intelligent eye, and 
a hearty voice. He dresses well not finely. He is 
the exact opposite of a modern fop in dress and man- 
ners, for in everything he is manly. 

Mr. Fowler, the phrenologist, speaking of the 
main points in his character says : 

" The first is the soundness and vigor of his physical consti- 
tution. Every bodily organ is strong, and exceedingly active ; 
his vital organs are large, and peculiarly healthy. Only his 
stomach is in the least degree affected, and that only partially 
and occasionally. His lungs are very large and very fine ; he 
measures under the arms more than one in thousands, and his 
muscles are uncommonly dense, sprightly and vigorous. All 
his motions are quick and elastic, yet peculiarly firm and strong, 
tossing his body about as if it were as light as a foot-ball a 



HESHY WARD BEECHEE. 31 

condition always characteristic of distinguished men ; for no 
man can be talented without a first-rate muscular system. He 
fosters this condition by taking a great amount of physical ex- 
ercise, and also of rest and recreation. When he does work, 
he works with his whole might, until his energies are nearly 
expended, and then gives up to sleep, relaxation, and cheerful 
conversation, perhaps for days together, until having again 
filled up the reservoir of life-power, he becomes capable of put- 
ting forth another vigorous effort. 

********* 

" The second cardinal point in his character, is the unwonted 
size of his benevolence. In all my examinations of heads, I 
have rarely, if ever, found it surpassed, or even equaled. It 
towers above every other organ in his head, and is the great 
phrenological center of his brain. While most heads rise 
higher at firmness than at benevolence, his rises higher at be- 
nevolence. It is really enormous, and forms altogether the 
dominant motive of his life ; and this constitutes the second 

grand instrumentality of his success. 

********* 

" His social affections are also large, and working in con- 
junction with his supreme benevolence, mutually aid and 
strengthen it. Adhesiveness is very large. I rarely find it as 
large in men. Hence he makes friends of all, even those who 
oppose him in doctrine, and is personally attached to them ; 
and this explains one of the instrumentalities by which he so 
powerfully wins all within range of his influence. They love 
the man, and therefore receive his doctrines. His philopro- 
genitiveness is also large j and hence his strong and almost pa- 



MODERN AGITATORS. 

ternal interest in the success of young men just starting in life; 
for this faculty, rightly directed, especially in public men, ex- 
tends a helping hand not to physical children merely, but to 
those who are just starting in life, whatever may be their oc- 
cupation; and he also preaches most effectually upon the edu- 
cation of children. 

"His amativeness is fully developed, yet conjoined with his 
fine-grained temperament and exalted moral affections, it val- 
ues woman mainly for her moral purity, and her maternal and 
other virtues, and seeks the elevation of the sex. Probably 
few men living place the family relations of parents and chil- 
dren, husbands and wives, upon higher grounds, either practi- 
cally in his family, or in his public capacity, than Henry 
Ward Beecher. He is perfectly happy in his family, and his 
family in him ; and this is one cause of his peculiarly bland, 
persuasive, and winning address. 

" His third point of character is his force. This is conse- 
quent on his large combativeness and firmness, and his enthu- 
siastic temperament. "What he does, he does with all his 
might. He takes hold of great things as though they could 
and must be done. Every sentence is uttered with an energy 
which carries it home to the innermost souls of all who hear ; 
yet his combativeness is never expended in personal defense, 
or in opposing his enemies, but simply in pushing forward Ins 
benevolent operations. 

" His destructiveness is fair, but always subordinate. 

"Acquisitiveness is almost entirely wanting. I rarely find 
it as small, and, unlike too many reverends, he never thinks 



HENRY WARD BEECHER. 33 

whether this or that sermon or doctrine will increase or di- 
minish his salary, but simply asks whether it is TRUE. 

" His firmness is extraordinary, but, acting under his higher 
faculties, he never evinces obstinacy, but only determination 
and perseverance in doing good. Though cautiousness renders 
him careful in taking grounds, yet he is one of the most 
straightforward men we meet with." 



LYMAN BEECHER, D. D. 

believe it was Theodore Parker who said that 
Dr. Beecher was " the father of more brains than any 
other man in America." The saying is a just one; 
and not only is Lyman Beecher the father of brains, 
but he is the possessor. If he were simply the father 
of such an illustrious set of children, it would not be 
out of place for us to sketch him here ; but inasmuch 
as he is one of the pioneers of reform in this country, 
it would be improper not to say a few words about 
him. 

Dr. Beecher is a thoroughly original character. 
He is unlike any one else, unless it be his own chil- 
dren, upon whom he has impressed his own character. 
He is one of the most popular public men in the 
country, though he is one of the boldest thinkers and 
most earnest actors. His energy of character is 
greater than that of any other living American. He 
was born just as the fires of the revolution were 
kindling, and it would seem as if the energy, patriot- 
ism, and ardor of those days were stamped at an 
early age upon his character. The date of his birth 
is October 12, 1775 ; the place, a house still standing 



LYMAN BEECHER, D. D. 35 

on the corner of George and College streets, ISTew 
Haven. His ancestors were godly men, men of 
strong constitutions and iron frames. His father was 
a blacksmith; his mother was a woman of fine, joy- 
ous spirits, always full of hope. He was named after 
his mother's family Lyman and was brought up 
by his uncle, Lot Benton, of North Guilford, Con- 
necticut. He was a feeble, seven months' child, his 
mother dying four days after his birth. His uncle 
Lot was an erratic, yet kind-hearted old man. He 
one day asked Lyman if he wanted to go to College, 
and upon his answering in the affirmative, without 
another word he sent him to a preparatory school, 
and, when he was fitted, to college. He entered 
Yale college in September, 1793, at the age of 
eighteen. Many stories are told of him while in 
college, illustrating his energy and eccentricity of 
character. 

He was first settled, we believe, in East Hampton, 
L. I., where several of his children were born. He 
next removed to Litchfield, Connecticut, where Mrs. 
Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher were born. While 
in Litchfield he wrote and preached his famous " Six 
Sermons " on temperance. It required a vast deal 
of genuine courage at that day to preach total absti- 
nence from the pulpit, but having become thoroughly 
convinced of his duty, the brave man did it, and left 
the consequences with his Maker. 



36 MODERN AGITATORS. 

From Litchfielcl the doctor went to an influential 
Presbyterian church in Boston ; soon after, he went 
through with a trial for heresy, being guilty of be- 
lieving in what are termed new school theological 
doctrines. He next accepted the presidency of Lane 
Seminary, and remained at that post, accomplishing 
a vast amount of good by his example and his in- 
structions, until 1850. A thousand anecdotes are 
told of the good man, which exhibit his singular yet 
noble character. A few of them we will quote, as 
they show us the man better than mere description 
can. The following illustrates his comical nature : 

" One dark night, as he was driving home with his wife and 
Mrs. Stowe in the carriage, the whole party were upset over 
a bank about fifteen feet high. They had no sooner extricated 
themselves from the wreck, than Mrs. Beecher and Mrs. 
Stowe, who were unhurt, returned thanks for their providential 
escape. * Speak for yourselves,' said the doctor, who was 
feeling his bruises, ' I have got a good many hard bumps any 
how.' " 

This one his liberality : 

" One day his wife had given him from the common purse 
twenty-five or thirty dollars in bills, with particular instruc- 
tions to buy a coat, of which he stood in need. He went 
down to the city to make the purchase, but stopping on the 
way at a meeting in behalf of foreign missions, the box was 
handed round, and in went his little roll of bills. He forgot 
his coat in his anxiety for the Sandwich Islanders." 



LYMAN BEECHEB, D. D. 37 

The following is a college anecdote : 

n 

" One night Mr. Beecher was awakened by a sound at his 
window, as if some one were drawing a cloth through a broken 
pane of glass ; springing up, he dimly saw his clothes disap- 
pearing through a broken window a thief having taken a 
fancy to them. Waiting for no ceremonies of toilet, he dashed 
out through the door after him. The rascal dropped the 
clothes at once, and put himself to his best speed. But Lyman 
was not the man to be easily out-run, especially when thus 
stripped to the race. After dodging a few times, and turning 
several corners, the caitiff was seized and marched back by 
the eager student. He ushered him into his room, compelled 
him to lie down on the floor by the side of his bed, while he, 
more comfortably ensconced in his bed, lay the night long 
watching him ; the silence being broken only by an occa- 
sional " Lie still, sir" In the morning the culprit was taken 
before a magistrate, who was evidently a lineal descendant 
of Justice Shallow. The magistrate, after hearing the partic- 
ulars, asked Mr. Beecher, ' whether in turning the corners he 
lost sight of the man at all.' He replied, that he was out of 
sight but a second, for he was close upon him. 'Ah, well, if 
you lost sight of him at all, you cannot swear to his identity,' 
and so the man was discharged. Mr. B. met the fellow sev- 
eral times afterward, but could not catch his eye." 

The anecdotes which follow, have floated singly 
or in pairs over the country for years. J. Ross Dix 
has gathered them together in his "Pulpit Portraits," 
and they are too good to be overlooked : 



88 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" In a trip along the coast of Connecticut in a small craft for 
his health, being detained by baffling winds, it was in the 
midst of church service, on a sabbath morning, that he landed at 
a village where only the clergyman knew him. His was in full 
sea rigging. His entrance to the audience room attracted no at- 
tention. But when, during the prayer, after sermon, he walked 
up the aisle, and began to ascend the pulpit steps, all eyes were on 
him. The young people tittered, and the tithing men began to 
look authoritative, as if business was on hand. The officiating 
clergyman, at the close of his prayer, cordially shook him by the 
hand, to the growing surprise of spectators not lessened by 
the doctor's rising to make some 'additional remarks.' 'When 
I began,' we once heard the doctor say, ' I could see all the 
good and sober people looking rather grave at such an appear- 
ance, while all the young people winked at each other, as if 
they expected some sport. But it was not long before I saw 
the old folks begin to look up and smile, and the young folks 
to look sober.' If any one has heard Dr. Beecher in one of 
his best moods, in an extemporaneous outburst, they can well 
imagine with what power an application would come from 
him, and how the sudden transitions of feeling, and the strange 
contrasts between his weather-beaten appearance and seaman's 
garb, and his impassioned eloquence, would heighten the ef- 
fect. When he concluded, he turned to the pastor and said, 
'how could you have such a grand sermon without any appli- 
cation 1 ' 'I wrote out the body of the sermon, meaning to 
extemporize the application, but after you came in it scared it 
out of my head.' 

" He once received from several ladies of his church a sum. 



LYMAN BEECHEB, D. D. 39 

of money for his wife, to be used in the purchase of a carpet. 
It was put into his vest pocket, and of course forgotten. 
There was, about this time, an effort on foot to build an ortho- 
dox church in a neighboring village, in which the doctor took 
great interest. Meeting a gentleman engaged in the enter- 
prise, the doctor expressed a wish to give something himself. 
Ransacking his pockets, he discovered this carpet money, 
and expressed great surprise at its unexpected presence. 
4 Why when did I get this ? I am sure I do not remember 
this money ! Well, it is plain Providence provided it for this 
cause.' Accordingly it was given. Not many weeks after, 
the lady donors called, expecting to see a new carpet on their 
pastor's parlor. Nothing was known about it by the good 
wife. The doctor was summoned, and the case stated. 
' There, that was it ! I remember now. It must have been 
the money I gave for that church.' 

" When he was sixty-eight or seventy years of age, he vis- 
ited a son in the interior of Indiana, One of the young men 
in the village kindly volunteered to go out with the doctor to 
hunt. After some success, they took a little circuit each of 
his own. Hearing the doctor's gun, Mr. V. made toward 
him, and to his surprise, saw the doctor, boots and coat off, 
about twenty feet up a tree, and making his way nimbly. 
' Doctor, what are you doing ? ' 'I shot a squirrel, and he ran 
into that hole, and I am determined to have him out.' It was 
only on the promise of his young friend that he would go up 
and eject him, that he consented to give over his perilous 
climbing. 

" When about seventy-five years of age, he spent a fort- 



40 MODERN AGITATORS. 

night in the eastern part of Maine. A party of gentlemen at 
Calais, went with him upon a little expedition into the Indian 
territories, spending several days there hunting and fishing. 
When about to embark upon a chain of lakes in birch canoes, 
the Indian guide, Etienne, rather objected to so old a man at- 
tempting the adventure, fearing that he would give out. He 
did not know his man. The doctor rowed with the best of 
the youngsters ; caught more trout than all the party together, 
and returned each day from the various tramps, in the lead; 
eat his fish on a rock, with a sea-biscuit for a trencher, and 
fingers for knives and forks : slept on the ground, upon hem- 
lock branches under a tent, and, at length, the Indian guide 
went from the extreme of depreciation to the highest expres- 
sion of admiration in his power, saying, ' Ah ! old man all 
Indian ? ' 

" While residing on Long Island, in early life, he was re- 
turning home just at evening from a visit to old Dr. Wool- 
worth. Seeing what he thought, in the dark, -to be a rabbit 
by the road-side, a little ahead, he reasoned with himself 
' They are rather tender animals if the fellow sits still till I 
come up, I think I could hit him with these books,' a goodly 
bundle of which he had in his handkerchief. Hit him he surely 
did ; only it proved to be not a rabbit, but a skunk. The lo- 
gical consequences followed, and he returned to his family in 
anything but the odor of sanctity. In after life, being asked 
why he did not reply to a scurrilous attack which had been 
made upon him, the doctor answered, 'I discharged a quarto 
once at a skunk, and I then made up my mind never to try it 
again.' 



LTMAN BEECHER, D. D. 41 

" During the prevalence of a revival in his church in Boston, 
the number of persons desiring religious conversation was so 
great, sometimes amounting to several hundred, that he was 
accustomed to employ younger clergymen to assist him. On 
one occasion, a young Andoverian was conversing with a per- 
son, who believed herself to be converted, within the doctor's 
hearing. The young man was probing the grounds of her ev- 
idence, and among other questions was overheard asking the 
lady if she ' thought that she was willing to be damned for the 
glory of God 1 ' Instantly starting up, the doctor said to him, 
' What was that you were asking 1 ' I was asking her if she 
would be willing to be damned for the glory of God.' 'Well, 
sir, would you be willing ? ' ' Yes, sir, I humbly hope I 
should be.' ' Well, then, sir, you ought to be damned.' And, 
afterward, he took occasion to enlighten him to a better theol 
ogy. His absorption in thought gave rise to absent-minded- 
ness and to forgetfulness, frequently to ludicrous stories. On 
several occasions he entered his neighbors' houses in Boston, 
for his own, and was only awakened to the truth by the ap- 
pearance of the kind mistress, who saluted him with 'Good 
morning, doctor ; we are happy to see you here.' But, in one 
case, in another mansion, where the good woman had a sweet 
heart, but a sour tongue, the salutation was more piquant : 
' Doctor, if you cair t find your own house, I wish you would 
hire a man to go and show you.' Well, it is not very com- 
fortable to have a neighbor walk into your parlor, with two or 
three clergymen in train, appropriate your chairs, call for the 
servants, and even stand at the foot of the stairs, calling out, 
' My dear my dear ! will you come down ] ' Hundreds of 



42 MODERN AGITATORS. 

stories related of the doctor are mere fictions, or ascriptions to 
him of things belonging to other men. He once said, if I 
should write my own life, the first volume should contain the 
things which I did not do and did not say. Nevertheless, not 
a few are authentic." 

Dr. Beecher, physically, is not a large man ; in- 
deed, is rather small, but he is firmly, strongly made. 
His head is large ; the hair combed straight back 
from his forehead, giving him a bold and fearless 
look, which comports well with his character. His 
eyes are light blue, his nose is prominent, mouth 
large, and his complexion is florid. A stranger 
would hardly think, upon seeing Dr. Beecher in the 
pulpit, and not knowing him, that a great man was 
before him. Says a good critic of pulpit eloquence : 

tt "Well do I remember the first time I heard him preach. It 
was seventeen years ago. From early childhood I had been 
taught to reverence the name of the great divine and orator, 
and I had long promised myself the pleasure of listening to 
him. My first Sunday morning in Cincinnati found me sitting 
with his congregation. The pastor was not as punctual as the 
flock. Several minutes had elapsed after the regular hour for 
beginning the service, when one of the doors opened, and I saw 
a hale looking old gentleman enter. As he pulled off his hat, 
half a dozen papers, covered with notes of sermons, fluttered 
down to the floor ; the hat appeared to contain a good many 
more. Stooping down and picking them up deliberately, he 



LTMAN BEECHER, D. D. 43 

came scuttling down the aisle, with a step so quick and reso- 
lute, as rather to alarm certain prejudices I had on the score 
of clerical solemnity. Had I met him on a parade ground, I 
should have singled him out as some general in undress, spite 
of the decided stoop contracted in study ; the iron-gray hair 
brushed stiffly toward the back of the head ; the keen, saga- 
cious eyes, the firm, hard lines of the brown and wrinkled vis- 
age, and the passion and power latent about the mouth, with 
its long and scornful under lip, bespoke a character more likely 
to attack than to suffer. His manner did not change my first 
impression. The ceremonies preliminary to the sermon were, 
dispatched in rather a summary way. A petition in the long 
prayer was expressed so pithily I have never forgotten it. 

" I forget now what reprehensible intrigue our rulers were 
busy in at the time, but the doctor, after praying for their adop- 
tion of various useful measures, alluded to their conduct in the 
following terms: 'And, O Lord, grant we may not despise 
our rulers ; and grant they may not act so, that we can't help 
it.' It may be doubted whether any English bishop has ever ut- 
tered a similar prayer for king and parliament. To deliver 
his sermon, the preacher stood bolt upright, stiff as a musket. 
At first, he twitched off and replaced his spectacles a dozen 
times in as many minutes, with a nervous motion, gesturing 
meanwhile with frequent pump-handle strokes of his right arm; 
but as he went on, his unaffected language began to glow with 
animation, his simple style became figurative and graphic, and 
flashes of irony lighted up the dark groundwork of his puritani- 
cal reasoning. Smiles and tears chased each other over the 

O 

faces of many in the audience. His peroration was one of 
I* 



44: MODERN AGITATOKS. 

great beauty and power. I have heard him hundreds of times 
since, and he has never failed to justify his claim to the title 
of 'the old man eloquent.' 

The " father of the Beechers " is worthy of everlast- 
ing remembrance, because of his manliness. We want 
iron men in these days, more than we want splendid 
preachers or passionate poets. Lyman Beecher has 
infused into the ministry a new spirit of reform. 
He is a living rebuke to all ministerial cowards. 
He has lived a life of incessant toil, yet has habitu- 
ated himself to such manly recreations that he has 
not been obliged to waste one half his existence in 
recovering lost health. One hundred such men can. 
revolutionize a nation, for they impress themselves 
ineffaceably upon their generation. 



E. H. CHAPIN. 

AMONG the foremost of popular lecturers in Amer- 
ica is Rev. E. H. Chapin. He is eminently a social 
philosopher ; a man who does not look upon society 
merely in the aggregate, as a molten current of flow- 
ing humanity, but who views a collection of individ- 
uals, eacli possessing a character, an ambition, an 
aim exclusively his own. He has so accustomed 
himself to study out the character, the thoughts and 
feelings, the hopes and trials of each, that when the 
subject presents itself to the mind of the lecturer he 
has the whole picture vividly before his imagination ; 
he paints it from life ; he has seen it, has contempla- 
ted it in every varying shade in which it could be 
presented. In his convulsive grasp the miser, the 
giean man, the political demagogue, and the hypo- 
crite, exhibit to the world all their hideous deformi- 
ties ; while the virtues of the good, the kind, the be- 
nevolent, and the noble are beautified by his touch with 
a perfection hardly native. If he turns his attention 
to the city, the broad field of humanity is all bare be- 
fore his gaze. He walks abroad in the street ; every 
man he meets affords him a theme for meditation, 



46 MODERN AGITATORS. 

and every child a text for a sermon. Not a circum- 
stance of his life seems to have passed but has fur- 
nished him the pith of some crammed apothegm, or 
the parallel for a striking simile. ISTot a cry of wo 
has reached his ear but has found the way to his 
heart, and will come forth again in pathetic beauty 
to deepen some sketch of human suffering ; not a 
shout of laughter but will reecho in some vivid sen- 
tence to brighten the shade of our humanity. It is 
this characteristic which has made Mr. Chapin emi- 
nently popular among the masses. His learning 
might have made him a profound rhetorician ; his 
talent and beauty of expression a fine writer ; his real 
native eloquence a splendid orator ; but all these 
could not have made him the man that he is. Super- 
add to these his susceptible heart, his benevolent 
spirit, his gentle disposition, and Christian refinement, 
and you have Chapin. 

He is presented to our notice as a writer, a speaker, 
a poet for he has written some beautiful lyrics a 
preacher, and a reformer. The last distinction might 
once have been thought needless, but in the era of 
Lords many, of Spragues, of Springs, et cetera, we 
think it essential. 

There are few men living from whose writings 
more beautiful sentences can be taken than from Mr. 
Chapin's. Here is one upon the blessings of home : 



E. H. CHAPIN. 

" Oh ! mother, mother ; name for the earliest relationship, 
symbol of the divine tenderness ; kindling a love that we never 
blush to confess, and a veneration that we cannot help render- 
ing ; how does your mystic influence, imparted from the soft 
pressure and the undying smile, weave itself through all the 
brightness, through all the darkness of our after life ! * * * 
And when on this familiar hearth our own vital lamp burns 
low, and the golden bowl begins to shudder, and the silver cord 
to untwine, let our last look be upon the faces that we best 
love ; let the gates that open into the celestial city be those 
well known doors and thus may ive also die at home ! " 

Here also is a fine glimpse of childhood snatched 
from nature ; it is one of a perpetual supply of gems 
that are strung upon the thread of his discourse : 

" And all of us, I trust, are thankful that God has created not 
merely men and women, crimped into artificial patterns, with 
selfish speculation in their eyes, with sadness, and weariness, 
and trouble about many things, carving the wrinkles and steal- 
ing away the bloom ; but pours in upon us a fresh stream of 
being that overflows our rigid conventionalisms with the buoy- 
ancy of nature, plays into this dusty and angular life like the 
jets of a fountain, like floods of sunshine, upsets our miserable 
dignity, meets us with a love that contains no deceit, a frank- 
ness that rebukes our quibbling compliments, nourishes the 
poetry of the soul, and perpetually descending from the thres- 
hold of the Infinite, keeps open an archway of mystery and 
heaven." 



48 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

In fact, the charm of Mr. Chapin's declamation 
consists mainly in the beauty and force of his expres- 
sion. "With some men it is the manner ; with him the 
matter. When he would demolish a vice or praise a 
virtue he first paints the one in hideous truth, or the 
other with strange beauty, until you loathe the one 
or love the other. He does not employ his pen in 
systematizing sin, and shielding the individual be- 
hind the organization, or the party, or the association 
in which he acts, but brings the charge right home 
to the door of every guilty man's conscience, and if 
that door be not double barred from the force of 
truth, will batter down the barricade and lay the load 
of crime upon the hearthstone of the heart. And 
here permit a brief illustrating paragraph upon indi- 
vidual responsibility : 

" God does not take account of parties ; party names are not 
known in that court of divine judgment ; but your name and 
mine are on the books there. If the party lies, then you are 
guilty of falsehood. If the party as is very often the case 
does a mean thing, then you do it. It is surely so, as 
far as you are one of the party, and go with it in its action. 
There is no such thing and this is true, perhaps, in more 
senses than one there is no such thing as a party conscience. 
It is individual conscience that is implicated. Party ! party ! 
Ah, my friends, here is the influence which, it is to be feared, 
balks and falsifies many of these glorious symbols. Men rally 



E. H. CHAPIN. 49 

1+ 
arouna musty epithets. They take up issues which have no 

more relation to the deep, vital, throbbing interest of the time 
than they have to the fashions of our grandfathers. * 
And surely it is a case for congratulation, when some great, 
exciting question breaks out and jars their conventional idols, 
and so sweeps and shatters their party organization and turns 
them topsy-turvy, that a man is shaken out of his harness, does 
not know exactly what party he does belong to, and begins to 
feel that he has a soul of his own." 

This quotation hurries him into our view as a pub- 
lic speaker or lecturer, for we agree with a recent 
writer that Mr. Chapin is one of the most splendid 
of American orators. To the platform he brings a 
stout body, rather heavily proportioned, for his height. 
He is very near-sighted, to palliate which defect he 
wears glasses, and keeps his eyes and face close to 
his notes. lie generally writes out his address, 
though in the pulpit he occasionally extemporizes. 
He is possessed of many of those qualifications which 
draw full houses, and send them home well satisfied. 
He is always spirited, nervous, enthusiastic, and often 
rises into a vein of thrilling eloquence. To a rapid 
but distinct enunciation he unites a fervor and ardor 
which is sure to win the profound attention of his au- 
dience. His style of thought is quite original, his 
expression terse and powerful, and as he becomes 
warmed with his subject his excitement spreads as 



50 MODEBN AGITATORS. 

by a magic influence to the listeners. Where at first 
he only caught the attention by some eccentric de- 
scription of a human animal, he now rivets it by a 
more gloomy picture. Where a moment since you 
were only interested, you are now watching intensely 
to devour his words with eager avidity as they fall. 
Gradually you forget that any one is in the room but 
yourself and the speaker. On he leads you and with 
you every soul in his audience to feed on new fruits 
of intellect, and dazzle with new diamonds from his 
brilliant imagination. Scarcely are your sympathies 
apoise and your eyes ready to pay the " draft on 
sight," when a pungent satire brings down the house 
with a tumult of applause. Then away his fancy 
flies in a new 'direction ; all the beauties of heaven 
rise up in beatific vision t<> the enraptured gaze. 
Spread out before you are fields of living green, and 
streamlets from eternal mind, in every direction, 
through gardens of surpassing loveliness. From 
those ever blooming flowers celestial odors are wafted 
down to earth. Angelic choirs fill the great dome 
of heaven with music too enchanting for mortal ears, 
yet you seem to catch the faint echoes. Over all the 
scene a blaze of glory falls from "Him that liveth 
and sitteth upon the throne." All is still, for all are 
wrapt in the magnificent dream-mantle with which 
he has enveloped you ; the climax is at length 



E. H. CHAPIN. 51 

reached, and when in a clear, melodious voice he re- 
peats the chorus, " Blessing and honor and glory be 
unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and to the 
Lamb for ever and ever," you can hardly restrain 
yourself from shouting "hallelujah," like a Methodist. 

This strange fascination Mr. Chapin wields, alike 
over young and old. Most of the popular speakers 
of our day have a class which it is their peculiar 
forte to please. But Mr. Chapin pleases all. The 
high and low, the rich and poor, the cultivated intel- 
lect and the untutored mind of the laborer, the aris- 
tocrat and the democrat are alike charmed by the 
wonderful beauty of his eloquence. Without adula- 
tory flattery, he compliments the virtues of the gener- 
ous, and, without giving offense, chastises the defects 
of the parsimonious. With a keen knife he removes a 
vice as a skillful surgeon excises a tumor, having first 
made the patient see that it is absolutely necessry 
for his health. If he applies an acrid irritant, you 
are confident that the deep-seated disease could be 
removed in no other way, and are satisfied. 

As a poet, the world only regrets that he has writ- 
ten so little. "Who has not read and admired that 
sweet poem "Oh bury me not in the deep blue 
sea ? ' Half of his prose is in measured periods, and 
all of it tinged with the rich blush of his splendid 
imagination. 



52 MODERN AGITATORS. 

We were to glance at his character as a minister 
of the gospel. It is well known that Mr. Chapin is 
an able champion of the doctrine of universal salva- 
tion. We have neither time nor inclination to inquire 
now what is the foundation of his belief. That he is 
sincere in it, probably few will dispute ; and it makes 
him a better man and more like a Christian, than 
many who profess a more orthodox faith. By his own 
congregation, at least, he is deemed an earnest labor- 
er, and by others, a mistaken workman in the great 
harvest. By all it is admitted that he is extensively 
useful. His idea of religion is well given by himself, 
in the following passage : 

" It must be understood that ' being religious' is not a work 
apart by itself, but a spirit of faith and righteousness, flowing 
out from the center of a regenerated heart, into all the em- 
ployments and intercourse of the world. Not merely the 
preacher in the pulpit, and the saint on his knees, may do the 
work of religion, but the mechanic, who smites with the ham- 
mer and drives the wheel ; the artist, seeking to realize his 
pure ideal of the beautiful ; the mother, in the gentle offices 
of home ; the statesman, in the forlorn hope of liberty and 
justice ; and the philosopher, whose thoughts tread reverently 
among the splendid mysteries of the universe. It 

is needed that men should feel that every lawful pursuit is sa- 
cred and not profane ; that every position in life is close to the 
steps of the divine throne ; and that the most beaten and famil- 
iar paths lie under the awful shadow of the Infinite ; and they 



E, H. CHAP1N. 53 

will go about their daily pursuits, and fill their common rela. 
tionships, with hearts of worship, and pulses of unselfish love, 
instead of regarding religion as an isolated peculiarity for a 
corner of the closet and a fraction of the week, and leaving all 
the rest of time and space an unconsecrated waste, where law- 
less passions travel, and selfishness pitches its tents." 

We leave the diversity of theories for those who 
take a deeper interest in metaphysical disquisition 
than we, and turn to the contemplation of his char- 
acter as a reformer. If we have rightly estimated his 
talents and training, he is the man, of all others, who 
would be selected to lead the sympathies of a pro- 
gressive age. His main efforts have been directed in 
two channels : one, the relief of the poor, the degra- 
ded, and the outcast about him; the other, to the 
cause of temperance generally. In pleading the cause 
of " humanity in the city," no one has labored more 
faithfully than Mr. Chapin. He seems acquainted 
with every phase of their wretched life. He enume- 
rates the causes of their destitution, and points them 
to the remedy. Their miserable condition comes 
home to his philanthropic spirit, and spurs him to 
vigorous action. ~No matter how low-sunken may be 
the victim of appetite or lust, he reaches out the help- 
ing hand, with a dollar in it, and says, " Brother, take 
courage, you may yet be a man." The assurance in- 
spires the wanderer with new life, and he forgets, for 
a time, that " no man cares for his soul," or his body 



54 MODERN AGITATORS. 

either. He takes confidence, and goes on his way 
rejoicing. 

For the young men of New York Mr. Chapin has 
always manifested a deep and lively interest. Many 
of his public lectures have been exclusively for their 
benefit. The cause of temperance has ever found in 
him one of its most ardent supporters. In his own 
city he fought the license law with all the force he 
could bring to bear upon it. He took the ground 
that it was a legalized system of crime. He main- 
tained that if any shops should be licensed, they 
should be the low kennels, which could tempt only 
those who were already, comparatively speaking, past 
hope. He has also lectured much upon the subject 
in other places, and stands among the first of speak- 
ers upon the platform of temperance. 

In Mr. Chapin's sermons we find frequent allusions 
to slavery, which evince hostility to the system, but he 
has not made that a special branch of his labor. We 
should be slow to believe that a man of his honesty 
and humanity would withhold his influence from the 
right side of the question. 

As has been intimated, Mr. Chapin is now settled 
in New York. He labored for a number of years in 
Richmond, Virginia, and in Boston and Charlestown, 
Massachusetts. He is a little more than forty years 
of age, and is now hale and hearty, in the meridian 
of his usefulness. 



FREDERICK DOUGLASS. 

THE remarkable man who is the subject of this 
sketch, was born a slave in Maryland. His exact 
age is not known, though it is supposed that he is be- 
tween thirty and forty years old. His mother died 
when he was quite young. His father was a white 
man, according to rumor, his own master. He was 
early compelled to witness and experience the bitter- 
ness of a life of bondage. Speaking of a time when, 
he was quite young, he says : 

" I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the 
most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom her 
master used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back 
till she was literally covered with blood. No words, no tears, 
no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron 
heart from its bloody purpose. The louder she screamed the 
harder he whipped ; and where the blood ran fastest there he 
whipped longest. He would whip her to make her scream, 
and whip her to make her hush ; and not until overcome by 
fatigue, would he cease to swing the blood-clotted cowskin. I 
remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibi- 
tion. I was quite a child, but I well remember it. I never 
shall forget it whilst I remember anything. It was the first of 



56 MODERN AGITATORS. 

a long series of such outrages, of which I was doomed to be a 
witness and a participant. It struck me with awful force. It 
was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery, 
through which I was about to pass. It was a most terrible 
spectacle. I wish I could commit to paper the feelings with 
which I beheld it." 

For years the poor slave, as a field hand, served a 
sad apprenticeship to slavery. He was sold from 
master to master, and transferred from the whip of 
one overseer to that of another. But it was impossi- 
ble by experience .to reconcile him to his condition. 
Naturally possessed of brilliant powers of mind, with 
a fiery yet noble nature, he could not remain content- 
edly a miserable chattel on a Maryland plantation. 
As yet, he had thoughHittle of liberty, for the love of 
it which is -in every human creature's heart, had not 
kindled in his. Still there were strange, murmuring 
thoughts constantly haunting his brain. A melan- 
choly was in his heart. He says, very strikingly as 
well as beautifully, of the songs which the slaves are 
so noted for singing : 

" I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of 
those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself 
within the circle ; so that I neither saw nor heard as those with- 
out might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was 
then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension ; they were 
tones loud, long, and deep ; they breathed the prayer and com 



FEEDEKICK DOUGLASS. 57 

plaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish. Every 
tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for 
deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes al- 
ways depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. 
I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. 
The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me ; and 
while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has al- 
ready found its way down my cheek. To those songs I trace 
my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character 
of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those 
songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and 
quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds. If any one 
wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, 
let him go to Colonel Lloyd's plantation, and, on allowance- 
day, place himself in the deep pine woods, and there let him 
in silence analyze the sounds that shall pass through the cham- 
bers of his soul, and if he is not thus impressed, it will only be 
because there is no flesh in his obdurate heart." 

From the field Douglass was transferred to the 
town. His joy was great at being permitted to live 
in Baltimore. He was allowed clean and decent 
clothing, for he was going to live with city people. 
His city mistress was a mild, pleasant woman, and 
he says that his soul was filled with rapture when he 
first saw her kind face, and experienced her gentle 
treatment. She taught him how to read, or rather, 
taught him his letters, and he, without further aid, 
completed his education. By persevering and secret 



58 MODEKN AGITATORS. 

toil, he managed to acquire the art of reading. One 
of the first books he met with was Sheridan's Speeches, 
and they served well to stir his heart, to awaken and 
intensify his longing for liberty. Months and years 
flew on, and in the meantime he changed masters. 
The desire for freedom grew strong in his heart, but 
it was not till after he had felt in his own person one 
of the bitterest portions of the slave's experience, that 
the desire attained its full intensity. We will quote 
his own account of this passage in his life : 

" On one of the hottest days of the month of August, 1833, 
Bill Smith, William Hughes, a slave named Eli, and my- 
self, were engaged in fanning wheat. Hughes was clearing the 
fanned wheat from before the fan, Eli was turning, Smith was 
feeding, and I was carrying wheat to the fan. The work was 
simple, requiring strength rather than intellect ; yet, to one en- 
tirely unused to such vrork, it came very hard. About three 
o'clock of that day I broke down ; my strength failed me ; I 
was seized with a violent aching of the head, attended with ex- 
treme dizziness ; I trembled in every limb. Finding what was 
coming, I nerved myself up, feeling it would never do to stop 
work. I stood as long as I could stagger to the hopper with 
grain. When I could stand no longer I fell, and felt as if held 
down by an immense weight. The fan of course stopped ; 
everv one had his own work to do : and no one could do the 

/ 

work of the other and have his own go on the same time. 

Mr. Covey was at the house, about one hundred yards from 
the treading-yard where we were fanning. On hearing the fan 



FREDERICK DOUGLASS. 59 

stop, he left immediately, and came to the spot where we were. 
He hastily inquired what the matter was. Bill answered that 
I was sick, and there was no one to bring wheat to the fan. I 
had by this time crawled away under the side of the post and 
rail fence, by which the yard was enclosed, hoping to find re- 
lief by getting out of the sun. He then asked where I was. 
He was told by one of the hands. He came to the spot, and, 
after looking at me awhile, asked me what was the matter. I 
told him as well as I could, for I scarce had strength to speak. 
He then gave me a savage kick in the side, and told me to get 
up. I tried to do so, but fell back in the attempt. He gave 
me another kick, and again told me to rise. I again tried, and 
succeeded in gaining my feet, ; but stooping to get the tub with 
which I was feeding the fan, I again staggered and fell. While 
down in this situation, Mr. Covey took up the hickory slat with 
which Hughes had been striking off the half-bushel measure, 

O O 5 

and with it gave me a heavy blow upon the head, making a 
large wound, and the blood ran freely ; and with this again 
told me to get up. I made no effort to comply, having now 
made up my mind to let him do his worst. In a short time 
after receiving this blow my head grew better. Mr. Covey 
had now left me to my fate." 

After this, Douglas had the courage to resist an- 
other brutal attack from Covey, and triumphed. He 
began now to seriously contemplate running away 
from the bondage so hateful to him. His soul, ani- 
mated by the same spirit which once dwelt in the 
bosom of Patrick Henry, could not brook chains, 



60 MODERN AGITATOES. 

could not still its own pulses at the bidding of a white 
master. He has given in graphic language the con- 
flict of hopes and fears in his heart, when contempla- 
ting escape by flight from the evils which surrounded 
him : 

" At every gate 'through which we were to pass we saw a 
watchman at every ferry a guard on every bridge a senti- 
nel, and in every wood a patrol. We were hemmed in upon 
every side. Here were the difficulties, real or imagined the 
good to be sought, and the evil to be shunned. On the one 
hand, there stood slavery, a stern reality, glaring frightfully 
upon us, its robes already crimsoned with the blood of millions, 
and even now feasting greedily upon our own flesh. On the 
other hand, away back in the dim distance, under the flickering 
light of the north star, behind some craggy hill or snow-cov- 
ered mountain, stood a doubtful freedom. half frozen beck- 
oning us to come and share its hospitality. This in itself was 
sometimes enough to stagger us ; but when we permitted our- 
selves to survey the road, we were frequently appalled. Upon 
either side we saw grim death, assuming the most horrid 
shapes. Now it was starvation, causing us to eat our own 
flesh ; now we were contending with the waves, and were 
drowned ; now we were overtaken, and torn to pieces by the 
fangs of the terrible bloodhound. We were stung by scorpi- 
ons, chased by wild beasts, bitten by snakes, and finally, after 
having nearly reached the desired spot after swimming riv- 
ers, encountering wild beasts, sleeping in the woods, suffering 
hunger and nakedness we were overtaken by our pursuers. 



FEEDEKICK DOUGLASS. 61 

and, in our resistance, we were shot dead upon the spot ! I 
say, this picture sometimes appalled us, and made us 

' Kather bear those ills we had, 
Than fly to others that we knew not of.' ' 

But, thanks to a kind Providence, lie attempted,, 
and successfully, to fly from his oppressors. The 
mode of his flight he prudently says little about, for 
fear of injuring the chances for escape of thousands 
still in bondage. He settled down in New Bedford, 
got married, and went quietly at work. As yet no 
one had discovered the wonderful genius which dwelt 
beneath his dark skin. He had enjoyed wretched 
opportunities for information ; his education was ne- 
cessarily exceedingly limited, and after he came to 
reside in New Bedford, he was obliged to support 
himself and wife by manual labor, and of course had 
little time to devote to mental toil. 

In the month of August, 1841, an anti-slavery 
meeting was held in Nantucket. Some of the most 
eloquent anti-slavery orators were present, and in an 
humble place sat Frederick Douglas, beside a dear 
friend. He was known to but few, and they knew 
him simply as a poor fugitive. Not one man of all 
those present had the remotest idea that in the per- 
son of the poor negro they beheld an orator. At 
length a friend urged him to get up and tell his story. 
It was common in anti-slavery meetings for fugitives, 



62 MODERN AGITATOK8. 

in their broken, illiterate way, to tell of their suffer- 
ings, that northern men and women might know the 
character of negro slavery. Urged vehemently, 
Douglass ascended the platform, and with a trem- 
bling voice commenced. But in a few moments fear 
of his audience vanished, and he poured forth a tor- 
rent of burning eloquence, such as the majority pres- 
ent never before had heard. His voice and action 
were natural, his language was intensely eloquent, 
and his whole bearing that of a great orator. Tke 
audience was astounded ; it seemed almost miracu- 
lous, that an ignorant slave should possess such 
powers. 

Few living orators surpass Frederick Douglass in 
declamatory eloquence. He is not so argumentative, 
so logical, as many of his cotemporaries, but few liv- 
ing men can produce a more powerful impression 
upon an audience than he. His manner is wonder- 
fully eloquent, and his language is copious and im- 
pressive. He stands before an audience a natural 
orator, like the African Cinque, who, without the aid 
of the schools, pours forth with burning zeal the 
thoughts which crowd his brain. His voice is good, 
his form is manly and graceful, and his hot words 
leap forth clothed with beauty and power. He is 
bold in his imagery ; his pictures are at times gor- 
geously beautiful, but are always full of a tropical 



FREDERICK DOUGLASS. 63 

heat. It is perhaps his principal fault his tendency 
to paint too deeply, sometimes to exaggeration. 

Mr. Douglass is a powerful writer, but we confess 
that we think he erred in attempting to maintain a 
weekly journal. We do not mean that his paper is 
not an excellent, and often an eloquent one, but na- 
ture intended Douglass for an orator not to be an 
editor. As an orator, he has few superiors in this or 
any other country, and it seems to us that he cannot 
do full justice to himself as an orator while attempt- 
ing to edit a newspaper. 

It is impossible for us to give the reader any true 
idea of the eloquence of Mr. Douglass by quoting 
from his reported speeches. His best ones never 
were reported, and even if they were, without his 
presence, his impassioned manner, they would con- 
vey an inadequate idea of his oratorical powers. 
Nevertheless, we will give a few brief extracts from 
his speeches. The first is upon 

THE SLAVE. 

The slave is a man, " the image of God," but "a little lower 
than the angels ;" possessing a soul eternal and indestructible; 
capable of endless happiness or immeasurable woe ; a creature 
of hopes and fears, of affections and passions, of joys and sor- 
rows ; and he is endowed with those mysterious powers by 
which man soars above the things of time and sense, and grasps 
with undying tenacity the elevating and sublimely gloiiousidea 



Q4: MODERN AGITATORS. 

;>f a God. It is such a being that is smitten and blasted. The 
first work of slavery is to mar and deface those characteristics 
of its victims which distinguish men from things, and persons 
from property. Its first aim is to destroy all sense of high 
moral and religious responsibility. It reduces man to a mere 
machine. It cuts him off from his Maker, it hides from him 
the laws of God, and leaves him to grope his way from time 
to eternity in the dark, under the arbitrary and despotic con- 
trol of a frail, depraved, and sinful fellow-man. 

As the serpent-charmer of India is compelled to extract the 
deadly teeth of his venomous prey before he is able to handle 
him with impunity, so the slave-holder must strike down the 
conscience of the slave, before he can obtain the entire mastery 
over his victim. 

It is, then, the first business of the enslaver of men to blunt, 
deaden, and destroy the central principle of human responsibil- 
ity. Conscience is to the individual soul and society what the 
law of gravitation is to the universe. It holds society together; 
it is the basis of all trust and confidence ; it is the pillar of all 
moral rectitude. Without it suspicion would take the place 
of trust ; vice would be more than a match for virtue ; men 
would prey upon each other like the wild beasts ; earth would 
become a hell. 

Nor is slavery more adverse to the conscience than it is to 
the mind. 

This is shown by the fact that in every state of the Ameri- 
can Union, where slavery exists, except the state of Kentucky, 
there are laws absolutely prohibitory of education among the 
slaves. The crime of teaching a slave to read is punishable 



FEEDEKICK DOUGLASS. 65 

with severe fines and imprisonment, and in some instances with 
death itself! 

Nor are the laws respecting this matter a dead letter. Ca- 
ses may occur in which they are disregarded, and a few in- 
stances may be found where slaves may have learned to read ; 
but such are isolated cases, and only prove the rule. The great 
mass of slaveholders look upon education among the slaves as 
utterly subversive of the slave system. I well remember when 
my mistress first announced to my master that she had discovered 
that I could read. His face colored at once, with surprise and cha- 
grin. He said that " I was ruined, and my value as a slave de- 
stroyed ; that a slave should know nothing but to obey his mas- 
ter ; that to give a negro an inch would lead him to take an ell ; 
that having learned how to read I would soon want to know how 
to write ; and that, by and by, I w T ould be running away." I 
think my audience will bear witness to the correctness of this 
philosophy, and to the literal fulfillment of this prophecy. 

Here is an eloquent extract upon 

MAN'S RIGHT TO LIBERTY. 

Indeed, I ought to state, what must be obvious to all, prop- 
erly speaking, there is no such thing as new truth ; for truth, 
like the God whose attribute it is, is eternal. In this sense, 
there is, indeed, nothing new under the sun. Error may be 
properly designated as old or new, since it is but a misconcep- 
tion, or an incorrect view of the truth. Misapprehensions of 
what truth is have their beginnings and their endings. They 
pass away as the race move onward. But truth is " from ever- 
lasting to everlasting," and can never pass away. 



66 MODERN AGITATORS. 

Such is the truth of man's right to liberty. It existed in the 
very idea of man's creation. It was his even before he com- 
prehended it. He was created in it, endowed with it, and it 
can never be taken from him. No laws, no statutes, no com- 
pacts, no covenants, no compromises, no constitutions, can ab- 
rogate or destroy it. It is beyond the reach of the strongest 
earthly arm, and smiles at the ravings of tyrants from its hi- 
ding-place in the bosom of God. Men may hinder its exercise 
they may act in disregard of it they are even permitted to 
war against it ; but they fight against heaven, and their career 
must be short, for Eternal Providence will speedily vindicate 
the right. 

The existence of this right is self-evident. It is written upon 
all the powers and faculties of man. The desire for it is the 
deepest and strongest of all the powers of the human soul. 
Earth, sea, and air great nature, with her thousand voices, 
proclaims it. 

In the language of Addison we may apostrophize it : 

" Oh Liberty ! them goddess, heavenly bright, 
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight ! 
Thou mak'st the glowing face of nature gay, 
Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day." 

I have said that the right to liberty is self-evident. No ar- 
gument, no researches into mouldy records, no learned disqui- 
sitions, are necessary to establish it. To assert it, is to call 
forth a sympathetic response from every human heart, and to 
jend a thrill of joy and gladness round the world. Tyrants, 
oppressors, and slaveholders are stunned by its utterance; 
while the oppressed and enslaved of all lands hail it as an an- 



FKEDEEICK DOUGLASS 67 

gel of deliverance. Its assertion in Russia, in Austria, in Egypt, 
in fifteen states of the American Union, is a crime. In the ha- 
rems of Turkey, and on the southern plantations of Carolina, 
it is alike prohibited ; for the guilty oppressors of every clime 
understand its truth, and appreciate its electric power. 

A portion of the citizens of Rochester invited Mr. 
Douglass, in 1852, to deliver a Fourth of July ora- 
tion. He complied with the request, and gave a 
speech full of passionate, indignatory eloquence. We 
make two or three extracts from it : 

THE WHITE MAN'S FOURTH OF JULY. 

Fellow-citizens, pardon me ; allow me to ask, why am I 
called upon to speak here to-day 1 What have I, or those I 
represent, to do with your national independence 1 Are the 
great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, em- 
bodied in that declaration of independence, extended to us ? 
and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering 
to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express 
devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your indepen- 
dence to us *? 

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirm 
ative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. 
Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delight- 
ful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could 
not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of 
gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such price- 
less benefits 1 Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give 
his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nations's jubilee, when 



68 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am 
not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently 
speak, and the " lame man leap as an hart." 

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad 
sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within 
the pale of this glorious anniversary ! Your high independence 
only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The 
blessings in which you this day rejoice, are not enjoyed in 
common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, 
and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by 
you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing 
to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of 
July is yo urs, not mine. You may rejoice; /must mourn. To 
drag a man in fetters into the grand, illuminated temple of 
liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were 
inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, cit- 
izens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day ? If so 3 there 
is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is 
dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, tow- 
ering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the 
Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin ! I can to- 
day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten 
people ! 

" By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea, we 
wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon 
the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried 
us away captive required of us a song ; and they who wasted 
us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of 
Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land ? 



FKEDEEICK DOUGLASS. 69 

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let. my right hand forget her 
cunning. If I do not remember thee, let raj tongue cleave to 
the roof of my mouth." * * 

To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. 
"When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its 
horrors. I lived on Philpot-street, Fell's Point, Baltimore, and 
have watched from the wharves the slave-ships in the basin, 
anchored from the shore, with their cargoes of human flesh, 
waiting for favorable winds to waft them down the Chesapeake. 
There was at that time a grand slave-mart kept at the head of 
Pratt-street, by Austin Woldfolle. His agents were sent into 
every town and county in Maryland, announcing their arrival 
through the papers, and on flaming " handbills " headed CASH 
FOR NEGROES. These men were generally well dressed, and 
very captivating in their manners. Ever ready to drink, to 
treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave has depended 
upon the turn of a single card ; and many a child has been 
snatched from the arms of its mother, by bargains arranged in 
a state of brutal drunkenness. 

The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive 
them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a 
sufficient number have been collected here, a ship is chartered 
for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to 
New Orleans. From the slave-prison to the ship, they are usu- 
ally driven in the darkness of night ; for, since the anti-slavery 
agitation, a certain caution is observed. 

In the deep, still darkness of midnight, I have been often 
aroused by the dead, heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of, 
the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my 



TO MODERN AGITATORS. 

boyish heart was intense, and I was often consoled, when speak- 
ing to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the 
custom was very wicked ; that she hated to hear the rattle 
of the chains, and the heart-rending cries. I was glad ^ find 
one who sympathized with me in my horror. 

Fellow-citizens, this murderous traffic is, to-dav, in active 

4/ / 

operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my spirit, 
I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the south ; I see 
the bleeding footsteps ; I hear the doleful wail of fettered hu- 
manity, on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are 
to be sold like horses, sheep and swine, knocked off to the high- 
est bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken to 
gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers 
of men. My soul sickens at the sight. 



What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July ? I 
answer : a day that reveals to him, more than all other days 
in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the 
constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham ; your 
boasted liberty, an unholy license ; your national greatness, 
swelling vanity ; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heart- 
less ; your denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence ; 
your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery ; your 
prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all 
your religious parade and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, 
fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy a thin vail to cover 
up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is 
not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and 



FKEDEKICE: DOUGLASS. 71 

bloody, than are the people of these United States at this very 
hour." 

Several years since, afew transatlantic friends of Mr. 
Douglass raised the necessary funds to purchase his 
freedom from his master, for, according to the laws 
of the United States, the brilliant orator was the 
property of a Maryland trafficker in human flesh ! 
But for this, Mr. Douglass, to-day, would be in immi- 
nent danger of seizure and reenslavement. His ge- 
nius would avail him nothing were he a Cicero or 
Demosthenes, a human brute would have the legal 
right to horsewhip him into subjection. 

To those foolish people who contend that the Afri- 
can race is essentially a brute race, and far inferior 
to any other existing, we commend Frederick Doug- 
lass. He is perfectly competent to defend his race, 
and is himself an argument that cannot be refuted, 
in favor of the capability of the negro race for the 
highest degree of refinement and intellectuality. The 
more such men his race can produce, the sooner the 
day of its freedom will come. The sooner will the 
free blacks of the north rise to an equality with the 
whites. That singular and horrible prejudice against 
color, which pervades all classes, and which not even 
the religion of the day has affected, will vanish, when, 
as a class, the negroes are not only industrious and 
virtuous, but distinguish themselves for their love of 



72 MODERN AGITATORS. 

learning and the fine arts. We mean no excuse for 

O 

the negro-hating population of this country, but sim- 
ply state a fact which black men should ponder. 
Every negro who acts well his part, is assisting his 
race to rise from its degrading enthrallnient. 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 

have no new information to communicate to 
the reader respecting the history of Mrs. Stowe, nei- 
ther do we hope to make any pr< i'mnd criticisms 
upon her remarkable volume, and yet we cannot, in 
such a series of sketches as this, wholly pass her by. 
And so, though hundreds, here and in Europe, have 
written about her, praised her, blamed her, criticised 
her great work with acuteness, we will venture to 
make her the subject of an article. 

Mrs. Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, 
and is a little more than forty years of age. She re- 
ceived an excellent education and a creat deal of en- 

o 

ergy of character from her parents. They removed 
to Boston when she was young, and there she en- 
joyed very superior advantages in the pursuit of 
knowledge. She commenced her career of useful- 
ness as an assistant teacher in the fernalo sc-iico! of 
an elder sister in Boston. Her father subsequently 
went to the west, to preside over Lane Seminary, and 
Mrs. Stowe, v. r 'tli her sister, went to Cincinnati, where 
they opened a school for the education of young la- 
dies. Lane Seminary is near Cincinnati, and in tho 

D 



74 MODERN AGITATORS. 

course of a few years, which were devoted to teach- 
ing, Harriet Beecher was sought and won by Calvin. 
E. Stowe, professor of biblical literature in the semi- 
nary, and one of the most accomplished scholars in 
the country. The married couple took up their resi- 
dence in one of the buildings connected with the 
seminary, and devoted to the use of the professors. 
For a long term of years this was the home of Mr. 
and Mrs. Stowe. It is not necessary for us to give a 
history of the anti-slavery excitement which at one 
time threatened to ruin Lane Seminary. It is well 
known that Cincinnati was for a long time the thea- 
ter of violent agitation upon the question of negro 
slavery. In and around it the bitterest, the most un- 
principled enemies of anti-slavery doctrines lived 
and also the warmest and most courageous advocates 
of liberty for all men. For years, to be an abolition- 
ist in Cincinnati, was to be scorned, hissed at, and 
threatened with death. Mob law set aside the con- 
stitution, and screamed out threats of vengeance upon 
meek, Christ-like men, who, with a courage exceed- 
ingly rare at this day, asserted the truth, that " all 
men should be free." Anti-slavery presses were de- 
stroyed again and again, and the buildings of Lane 
Seminary were often in imminent danger of being 
destroyed, because of the anti-slavery reputation of 
its scholars and professors. Mrs. Stowe could not 
well fail to see the inherent wickedness of an institu- 



HABEIET BEECHEK STOWE. 75 

tion which could only be defended by drunken mobs 
with brick-bats and tar and feathers. 

The diabolical persecution of the abolitionists won 
them many warm friends, and sympathy for their 
principles grew rapidly in thousands of hearts. Sit- 
uated as Cincinnati is, the friends of the slave in its 
vicinity soon found that they could show their love 
for him in a more excellent way than by talking. 
Poor fugitives from oppression were constantly cross- 
ing the Ohio river, and the abolitionists banded to- 
gether and built an "underground railroad" to Can- 
ada. Mrs. Stowe could not, if she had wished, es- 
cape from a knowledge of the negro character. She 
was often appealed to by some weary, half-starved, 
lashed, slave-mother for food and shelter. She saw 
time after time the shy, painful look of the fugitive 
witnessed his joy at escape, or his sorrow at the 
thought of loved ones left behind in bondage. In 
the course of many years she gained, not only a 
knowledge of negro character, but of the terrible 
atrocities which are perpetrated upon slaves by bru- 
tal masters. She also had opportunities for knowing 
the character of slave-holders and slave-catchers, for 
hundreds of them were at any time to be found and 
met in Cincinnati. There are many who wonder 
how Mrs. Stowe could gain the knowledge of negro 
character, and of the character of men like Tom Lo- 
ker and Mr. Shelby, so abundantly displayed in her 



76 MODERN AGITATORS. 

story. "We certainly cannot be surprised that an ex- 
ceedingly observing: woman, after a residence of fif- 

O / O 

teen or twenty years in a city commanding the trade 
of slave states, and through which thousands of slaves 
escaped during that time, should learn the character 
of the slaves and their owners and catchers. Besides, 
Mrs. Stowe made several visits into the neighboring 
slave states, and became acquainted with slave-mas- 
ters and mistresses had opportunities to see the pe- 
culiar institution at home, and its effects upon society. 
For years she calmed her fervid spirit, and kept to 
herself her thoughts upon the great iniquity. But 
the tears of the panting fugitive, the thrilling stories 
of hair-breadth escapes, were never forgotten by her ; 
they were all in her heart. At length with her hus- 
band she returned to the east. 

The congress of the United States saw fit, at the 
bidding of the slave-power, to make every man in the 
free states a slave-catcher. The scenes which followed 
the enactment of that terrible law caused the story 
of Uncle Tom's Cabin to be written. ISTight after 
night Mrs. Stowe wept bitter tears over them, and 
she resolved to write a story of slavery : the world 
knows the rest. 

Of Mrs. Stowe's personal appearance we have lit- 
tle to sav. "We think no one could mistake her for 

t/ 

an ordinary woman. There is a look of conscious 
power in her face. There is strength of character 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 77 

expressed in it. She is not a beautiful woman, and 
yet her eyes are not often surpassed in beauty. They 
are dark and dreamy, and look as if some sorrowful 

J ' 

scene ever haunted her brain. In dress sh-e is very 
plain and homely ; in manners gentle, without a par- 
ticle of false gentility. 

Previous to commencing in the National Era her 
great story of Uncle Tom, Mrs. Stowe had written 
comparatively brief sketches and tales, which were 
gathered into a little volume entitled " The May- 
flower" a quaint and exceedingly appropriate name. 
Those who have read the little book could not have 
been surprised when they read her subsequent and 
more popular volume. For, though the brevity of 
the little stories and sketches in the earlier volume 
precluded the possibility of eminent success in the 
portraiture of individuals, or of great popularity for 
the book, yet they were executed with wonderful skill. 
To us, after a fresh reading of the volume, with our 
eyes yet wet with tears of sympathy, and our sides not 
yet done aching with laughter, Unde Tom seems no 
marvelous advance upon the Mayflower. The one 
was fragmentary the other whole, complete. There 
are passages in the first, almost or quite equal to any- 
thing in the last. There are stories, though short, 

O ' O 7 

which are told most admirably. In them we see 
Mrs. Stowe's wonderful skill at sketching character. 
She describes the old Puritan in such a vivid style, 



7"8 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

that he appears to the reader as if painted on canvas 
by a master artist. There is, too, the same tendency 
to humor in these little sketches as in Uncle Tain's 
Cabin also the same inimitable pathos. We cannot 
do better than to copy one of her sketches. Those of 
our readers who have read it once, will delight to do 

' O 

so again, and those who have never read it, will 
thank us for copying it here. It is entitled 

"LITTLE EDWARD." 

Were any of you born in New England, in the good old 
catechising, church-going, school-going, orderly times ? If so, 
you may have seen my Uncle Abel ; the most perpendicular, 
rectangular, upright, downright, good man that ever labored six 
days and rested on the seventh. 

You remember his hard, weather-beaten countenance, where 
every line seemed drawn with " a pen of iron and the point of 
a diamond ; " his considerate, gray eyes, that moved over ob- 
jects as if it were not best to be in a hurry about seeing ; the 
circumspect opening and shutting of his mouth ; his down-sit- 
ting and up-rising, all performed with conviction aforethought 
in short, the whole ordering of his life and conversation, which was, 
according to the tenor of the military order, "to the right about 
face forward, march ! " Now if you supposed, from all this 
triangularism of exterior, that this good man had nothing kindly 
within, you were much mistaken. You often find the greenest 
grass under a snow-drift ; and, though my uncle's mind was 
not exactly of the flower-garden kind, still there was an abun- 
dance of wholesome and kindly vegetation there. 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 79 

It is true, he seldom laughed and never joked, himself, but no 
man had a more serious and weighty conviction of what a good 
joke was in another ; and when some exceeding witticism was 
dispensed in his presence, you might see Uncle Abel's face 
slowly relax into an expression of solemn satisfaction, and he 
would look at the author with a sort of quiet wonder, as if it 
was past his comprehension how such a thing could come into 
a man's head. 

Uncle Abel, too, had some relish for the fine arts ; in proof 
of which I might adduce the pleasure with which he gazed at 
the plates in his family bible, the likeness whereof is neither in. 
heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth. And he was also 
such an eminent musician, that he could go through the singing- 
book at one sitting, without the least fatigue, beating time like 

a windmill all the way. 

He had, too, a liberal hand, though his liberality was all by 
the rule of three. He did to his neighbor exactly as he would 
be done by ; he loved some things in this world very sincerely : 
he loved his God much, but he honored and feared him more ; 
he was exact with others, he was more exact with himself, and 
he expected his God to be more exact still. 

Everything in Uncle Abel's house was in the same time, and 
place, and manner, and form from year's end to year's end. 
There was old Master Bose, a dog after my uncle's own heart, 
who always walked as if he were studying the multiplication- 
table. There was the old clock, forever ticking in the kitchen 
corner, with a picture on its face of the sun forever setting be- 
hind a perpendicular row of poplar trees. There was the nev- 
er-failing supply of red peppers and onions, hanging over the 



80 MODERN AGITATORS. 

chimney. There, too, were the yearly hollyhocks and morning- 
glories, blooming about the windows. There was the " best 
room," with its sanded floor, the cupboard in one corner, with 
its glass doors, the evergreen asparagus bushes in the chimney, 
and there was the stand, with the bible and almanac on it, in 
another corner. There, too, was Aunt Betsey, who never 
looked any older, because she always looked as old as she 
could; who always dried her catnip and wormwood the last 
of "-September, and began to clean house the first of May. In 
short, this was the land of continuance. Old time never took 
it into his head to practice either addition, or subtraction, or 
multiplication on its sum total. 

This Aunt Betsey aforenamed, was the neatest and most ef- 
ficient piece of human machinery that ever operated in forty 
places at once. She was always everywhere, predominating 
over, and seeing to everything ; and though my uncle had been 
twice married, Aunt Betse'ys rule and authority had never been 
broken. She reigned over his wives when living, and reigned 
after them when dead, and so seemed likely to reign on to the 
end of -the chapter. But my uncle's latest wife left Aunt Bet- 
sey a much less tractable subject than ever before had fallen to 
her lot. Little Edward was the child of my uncle's old age, 
and a brighter, merrier little blossom never grew on the verge 
of an avalanche. He had been committed to the nursino- of his 

O 

grandmamma till he had arrived at the age of ^discretion, and 
then my old uncle's heart so yearned for him that he was sent 
for home. 

His introduction into the family excited a terrible sensation. 
Never was there such a contenmer of dignities, such a violator 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 81 

of high places and sanctities, as this very Master Edward. It 
was all in vain to try to teach him decorum. He was the most 
outrageously merry elf that ever shook a head of curls ; and 
it was all the same to him whether it was " Sabba* day" or any 
other day, he laughed and frolicked with everybody and every- 
thing that came in his way, not even excepting his solemn old 
father ; and when you saw him, with his fair arms around the 
old man's neck, and his bright blue eyes and blooming cheek 
pressing out beside the bleak face of Uncle Abel, you might 
fancy you saw spring caressing winter. Uncle Abel's meta- 
physics were sorely puzzled by this sparkling, dancing com- 
pound of spirit and matter ; nor could he devise any method 
of bringing it into any reasonable shape, for he did mischief 
with an energy and perseverance that was truly astonishing. 
Once he scoured the floor with Aunt Betsey's very best Scotch 
snuff; once he washed up the hearth with Uncle Abel's most 
immaculate clothes-brush ; and once he was found trying to 
make Bose wear his father's spectacles. In short, there was no 
use, except the right one, to which he did not put everything 
that came in his way. 

But Uncle Abel was most of all puzzled to know what to do 
with him on the Sabbath, for on that day Master Edward 
seemed to exert himself to be particularly diligent and enter- 
taining. "Edward! Edward must .not play Sunday!" his 
father would call out ; and then Edward would hold up his 
curly head, and look as grave as the catechism ; but in three 
minutes you would see "pussy" scampering through the "be-st 
room," with Edward at her heels, to the entire discomposure 
of all devotion in Aunt Betsey and all others in authority. 
D* 6 



82 MODERN AGITATORS. 

At length my uncle came to the conclusion that "it wasn't 
in natur' to teach him any better," and that " he could no more 
keep Sunday than the brook down in the lot," My poor uncle ! 
he did not know what was the matter with his heart, but cer- 
tain it was, he lost all faculty of scolding, when Little Edward 
was in the case, and he would rub his spectacles a quarter of 
an hour longer than common, when Aunt Betsey was detailing 
his witticisms and clever doings. 

In process of time our hero had compassed his ihifd year, 
and arrived at the dignity of going to school. He went illus- 
triously through the spelling-book, and (hen attacked the cate- 
chism ; wont from " man's chief end" to the " rcquirin's and 
forbiddin's" in a fortnight, and at last came home inordinately 
merry, to tell hi.-, lather that he had got to "amen." After 
this, he made a regular business of saying over the whole every 
Sunday evening, standing with his hands folded in front, and 
his checked apron folded down, occasionally glancing round to 
Bee if pussy gave proper attention. And, being of a practi- 
cally benevolent turn of mind, he made several commendable 
efforts to teach Bosc the rat.vhism, in which he succeeded as 
well as might be expected. In short, v/iihout further detail, 
Master Edward hade fair to become a literary wonder. 

But alas for poor Little Edward ! his merry dance was soon 
over. A day came, when he sickened, Aunt Betsey tried her 
whole herbarium, but in vain : he <riv\v rapidly worse and 
worse. His father sickened in heart, but said nothing; he 
only stayed by his bedside day and night, trying all means to 
save with affecting pertinacity. 



: BTOWK. 83 

"Can't yon think of anything more, doctor 7 ri said he, to 

the, physician, when all had been tried in vain. 

"Nothing," answered the physician. 

A, momentary convulsion passed over my uncle's faee. 
" The will of the Lord be done," said he, almost with a groan 

of anguish. 

Just at that, mom'-nf a ray of tlie, setting sun pierced tho 
checked curtains, and gleamed like an angel's smile, across the 
face <>{' the, liltle, sufferer. He, woke, from troubled sleep. 
"Oh, dear! I am so sick!'' he, gasped, feebly. His father 
raised him in his arms; lie. breathed easier, and looked up with 
a grateful smile. Just then his old playmate, the. cat, crossed 
the room. "There, goes pussy," said he; " Oh, dear ! J shall 
never play with pussy any more." 

At that moment a deadly change, passed over his face. He, 
looked up in his father's face, with an imploring expression, and 
put out his hands as if for help. 'There, was one, moment of 
agony, and then the sweet features all settled into a smile of 
peace, and " mortality was swallowed up of life." 

My uncle, laid him down, and looked one, moment, at his 
beautiful face. It was too much for his principles, too much 
for his consistency, and " lie lifted up his voice; and wept." 

The next morning was the Sabbath the funeral day and 
it rose, with " breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom." 
Uncle Abel was as calm and collected as ever, but in his face 
then? was a sorrow-stricken appearance touching to behold. I 
remember him at family prayers, as he bent over the, great 
bible, and begun the, psalm, Ci Lord, t.hou has been our dwelling- 
place in all generations." Apparently lie was touched by the 



84: MODERN AGITATORS. 

melancholy splendor of the poetry, for after reading a few ver- 
ses he stopped. There was a dead silence, interrupted only 
by the tick of the clock. He cleared his voice repeatedly, and 
tried to go on, but in vain. He closed the book and kneeled 
down to prayer. The energy of sorrow broke through his 
usual formal reverence, and his language flowed forth with a 
deep and sorrowful pathos which I shall never forget. The 
God so much reverenced, so much feared, seemed to draw . 
near to him as a friend and comforter, his refuge and strength, 
" a very present help in time of trouble." 

My uncle rose, and I saw him walk to the room of the 
departed one. He uncovered the face. It was set with the 
seal of death, but oh! how surpassingly lovely ! The brilliancy 
of life was gone, but that pure, transparent face was touched^ 
with a mysterious, triumphant brightness, wliich seemed like the 
dawning of heaven. 

^j 

My uncle looked long and earnestly. He felt the beauty 
of what he gazed on ; his heart was softened, but he had no 
words for his feelings. He left the room unconsciously, and 
stood in the front door. The mom ing was bright ; the bells 
were ringing for church ; the birds were singing merrily, and 
the pet squirrel of Little Edward was frolicking about the door. 
My uncle watched him as he ran first up one tree, and then 
down and up another, and then over the fence, whisking his 
brush, and chattering just as if nothing was the matter. 

With a deep sigh Uncle Abel broke forth : " How happy 
that cretur" 1 is ! Well, the Lord's will be done ! " 

That day the dust was committed to dust, amid the lamenta- 
tions of all who had known Little Edward. Yearo have passed 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 85 

since then, and all that is mortal of my uncle has long since 
been gathered to his fathers, but his just and upright spirit has 
entered the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Yes, the good 
man may have had opinions which the philosophical scorn, 
weaknesses at which the thoughtless smile; but death shall change 
him into all that is enlightened, wise, and refined ; for he shall 
awake in "His' 1 likeness, and be satisfied. 

There are persons who pretend to believe that Mrs. 
Stowe's story of Uncle Tom is not a work of remark- 
able genius and power. Its success, they say, arose 
from the desire of the people of tlie northern states 
and Europe to hear harrowing tales of negro slavery. 
1 We confess that for such critics we have little char 
ity. Their prejudices lead them astray or they are 
incapable of making a just criticism. What is the 
reason that anti-slavery tales, written and published 
long before that by Mrs. Stowe, did not meet with 
great success ? Several had been published, but 
though moderately well written, the public did not 
go enthusiastic over them. But when a tale of 
slavery came to be written in a masterly manner, 
full of pathos, humor and eloquence, it attracted the 
attention of the public. Friends of the slave first 
read it, and, discovering that it was, aside from its 
teachings, the most remarkable story of the time, they 
called the attention of the great world of indiiferent 
men and women to the fact. The story flew on the 



86 MODERN AGITATORS. 

wings of the wind. Millions cried over it, who had 
never before bestowed a thought upon the negro 
slave ; it met with a success, such perhaps as no other 
single volume, since the art of printing was invented, 
can boast. And can men with brains be persuaded 
that a volume not remarkable for its power of ex- 
citing the sympathies of the people accomplished this ? 
Let superannuated women believe it, and no others. 
Uncle, Tom's Cabin is one of the most remarkable 
volumes of the century, and its authoress will go 
clown to posterity, not merely as a philanthropist, but 
as a great writer, possessed of a most brilliant genius. 
The leading critics of Europe have already recorded 
this as their decision, as well as all the competent 
and unprejudiced ones in this country. There are 
scattered through, the volume some of the finest 

O 

pictures in the English language. "When Eliza 
heard that her boy was sold, she " crept stealthily 
away." How vividly in the following extract is her 
agony portrayed : 

"' Pale, shivering, with rigid features and compressed lips, 
she looked an entirely altered being from the soft and timid 
creature she had been hitherto. She moved cautiously along 
the entry, paused one moment at her mistress' door, raised her 
hands in mute appeal to heaven, and then turned and glided 
into her own room. It was a quiet, neat apartment, on the 
same floor with her mistress. There was the pleasant, sunny 
window, where she had often sat singing at her sewing ; there 



HARRIET BEECHER 6TOWE. 87 

a little case of books, and various little fancy articles, ranged 
by them, the gifts of Christmas holidays ; there was her sim- 
ple wardrobe in the closet and in the drawers ; here was, in 
short, her home ; and, on the whole, a happy one it had been 
to her. But there, on the bed, lay her slumbering boy, his 
long curls falling negligently around his unconscious face, his 
rosy mouth half open, his little fat hands thrown out over the 
bed-clothes, and a smile spread like a sunbeam over his whole 
face. 

"' Poor boy ! poor fellow !' said Eliza ; ' they have sold you! 
but your mother will save you yet ! ' 

" No tear dropped over that pillow ; in such straits as these, 
the heart has no tears to give it drops only blood, bleeding 
itself away in silence." 

It is impossible in our limited space to give by ex- 
tracts any adequate idea of the graphic power of the 
story, and it is unnecessary, for everybody has read 
it. But there are passages which we often delight 
to read and a few of them, gems, we must again 
look at. The episode of the slave-mother, cheated 
by a brutal master of her husband, and inveigled 
aboard a steamboat going down the Ohio, is one of 
these passages : 

" The woman looked calm as the boat went on, and a beau- 
tiful, soft, summer breeze passed like a compassionate spirit 
over her head the gentle breeze that never inquires whether 
the brow is dusky or tair that it fans. And she saw sunshine 
sparkling on the water, in golden ripples, and heard gay voices, 



MODERN AGITATORS. 

fall of ease and pleasure, talking around her everywhere ; but 
her heart lay as if a great stone had fallen on it. Her baby 
raised himself up against her, and stroked her cheeks with his 
little hands; and, springing up and down, crowing and chat 
ting, seemed determined to arouse her. She strained him sud- 
denly and tightly in her arms, and slowly one tear after an- 
other fell on his wondering, unconscious face ; and gradually 
she seemed, but little by little, to grow calmer, and busied 
herself with tending and nursing him." 

The wretched mother lays her babe down to 
sleep, and a devil in human form steals that, too, 
from her : 

"'Lucy,' said the trader, 'your child's gone; you may as 
well know it first as last. You see, I know'd you could n't 
take him down south ; and I got a chance to sell him to a first- 
rate family, that '11 raise him better than you can.' 

" But the woman did not scream. . The shot had passed too 
straight and direct through her heart for a cry or tear. Diz- 
zily she sat down. Her slack hands fell lifeless by her side. 
Her eyes looked straight forward, but she saw nothing. All 
the noise and hum of the boat, the groaning of the machinery, 
mingled dreamily to her bewildered ear ; and the poor, dumb- 
stricken heart had neither cry nor tear to show for its utter 
misery. She was quite calm." 

But the following paragraphs are the finest in this 
tragical episode ; indeed, it is as touching a descrip- 
tion as we ever saw. Note how the beauty of the 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 89 

night, its mysterious solemnity, and the agony of the 
one poor heart are commingled : 

" Night came on night, calm, unmoved, and glorious, shi- 
ning down with her innumerable and solemn angel eyes, twink- 
ling, beautiful, but silent. There was no speech nor language, 
no pitying voice nor helping hand, from that distant sky. One 
after another the voices of business or pleasure died away ; all 
on the boat were sleeping, and the ripples at the prow were 
plainly heard. Tom stretched himself out on a box, and there, 
as he lay, he heard, ever and anon, a smothered sob or cry 
from the prostrate creature ' O ! what shall I do ! O Lord ' 
O good Lord, do help me ! ' and so, ever and anon, until the 
murmur died away in silence. 

"At midnight Tom waked with a sudden start. Something 
black passed quickly by him to the side of the boat, and he 
heard a splash in the water. No one else saw or heard any- 
thing. He raised his head the woman's place was vacant ! 
He got up, and sought about him in vain. The poor bleeding 
heart was still at last, and the river rippled and dimpled just as 
brightly as if it had not closed above it." 

We must quote also the inimitable description of 

"LITTLE EVA." 

Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its 
usual chubbiness and squareness of outline. There was about 
it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of 
for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remark- 
able less for its perfect beauty of feature than for a singular and 



90 MODERN AGITATORS. 

dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal start 
when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and most 
illiteral were impressed, without exactly knowing why. The 
shape of her head and the turn of her neck and bust were 
particularly noble, and the long golden-brown hair that floated 
like a cloud around it, the deep, spiritual gravity of her violet- 
blue eyes, shaded by heavy fringes of golden brown all 
marked her out from other children, and made every one turn 
to look after her, as she glided hither and thither on the boat. 
Nevertheless, the little one was not what you would have called 
either a grave child or a sad one. On the contrary, an airy 
and innocent playfulness seemed to flicker like the shadow of 
summer leaves over her childish face, and around her buoyant 
figure. She was always in motion, always with a half smile 
on her rosy mouth, flying hither and thither, with an undula- 
ting and cloud-like tread, singing to herself as she moved, as in 
a happy dream. Her father and female guardian were inces- 
santly busy in pursuit of her, but when caught, she melted from 
them again like a summer cloud ; and as no word of chiding or re- 
proof ever fell on her ear for whatever she chose to do, she pur- 
sued her own way all over the boat. Always dressed in white, 
she seemed to move like a shadow through all sorts of places, 
without contracting spot or stain ; and there was not a corner 
or nook, above or below, where those fairy footsteps had not 
glided, and that visionary golden head, with its deep blue eyes, 
fleeted along. 

The fireman, as he looked up from his sweaty toil, some- 
times found those eyes looking wonderingly into the raging 
depths of the furnace, and fearfully and pityingly at him, as 



HAKEIET BEECHER STOWE. 91 

if she thought him in some dreadful danger. Anon the steers- 
man at the wheel paused and smiled, as the picture-like head 
gleamed through the window of the round-house, and in a mo- 
ment was gone again. A thousand times a day rough voices 
blessed her, and smiles of unwonted softness stole over hard 
faces as she passed ; and when she tripped fearlessly over 
dangerous places, rough, sooty hands were stretched involunta- 
rily out to save her and smooth her path. 

Here is something entirely different, and yet ex- 
ecuted with wonderful skill, as any one can attest 
who has lived in New England. It is a picture of 

"A KEW ENGLAND FARM-HOUSE." 

Whoever has traveled in the New England states will re- 
member, in some cool village, the large farm-house, with its 
clean-swept, grassy yard, shaded by the dense and massive fo- 
liage of the sugar-maple ; and remember the air of order and 
stillness, of perpetuity and unchanging repose, that seemed to 
breath over the whole place. Nothing lost, or out of order ; 
not a picket loose in the fence, not a particle of litter in the 
turfy yard, with its clumps of lilac bushes growing up under 
the windows. Within he will remember wide, clean rooms, 
where nothing ever seems to be doing or going to be done, 
where everything is once and forever rigidly in place, and 
where all household arrangements move with the punctual ex- 
actness of the old clock in the corner. In the family " keeping, 
room," as it is termed, he will remember the staid, respectable 
old book-case, with its glass doors, where Rollin's History, Mil- 



92 MODERN AGITATORS. 

ton's Paradise Lost, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and Scott's 
Family Bible, stand side by side in decorous order, with mul- 
titudes of other books, equally solemn and respectable. There 
are no servants in the house, but the lady in the snowy cap, 
with the spectacles, who sets sewing every afternoon among her 
daughters, as if nothing ever had been done, or were to be done 
she and her girls, in some long-forgotten fore part of the day, 
" did up the work" and for the rest of the time, probably, at 
all hours when you would see them, it is " done up." The old 
kitchen floor never seems stained or spotted ; the tables, the 
chairs, and the various cooking utensils, never seem deranged 
or disordered ; though three and sometimes four meals a day 
are got there, though the family washing and ironing is there 
performed, and though pounds of butter and cheese are in some 
silent and mysterious manner there brought into existence. 

And here is something very, very beautiful. The 
gentle Eva is passing calmly and quietly to her home 
in heaven : 

" St. Clare smiled. You must excuse him, he could n't help 
it for St. Clare could smile yet. For so bright and placid 
was the farewell voyage of the little spirit by such sweet and 
fragrant breezes was the small bark borne toward the heavenly 
shores, that it was impossible to realize that it was death that 
was approaching. The child felt no pain only a tranquil, soft 
weakness, daily and almost insensibly increasing ; and she was 
so beautiful, so loving, so trustful, so happy, that one could not 
resist the soothing influence of that air of innocence and peace 
which seemed to breathe around her. St. Clare found a strange 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 93 

calm coming over him. It was not hope that was impossible ; 
it was not resignation ; it was only a calm resting in the present, 
which seemed so beautiful that he wished to think of no future. 
It was like that hush of spirit which we feel amid the bright, 
mild woods of autumn, when the bright hectic flush is on the 
trees, and the last lingering flowers by the brook ; and we joy 
in it all the more because we know that soon it will all pass 
away." 

The unbounded popularity of Uncle Toirfs Cabin, 
provoked such violent arid false accusations on the 
part of its enemies, that Mrs. Stowe was almost 
obliged to prepare a key, which should prove that 
she had not exaggerated in her story. In a letter to 
friends in Scotland, she speaks thus of the labor of 
preparing it : 

" When the time came for me to fulfil my engagement with 
you, I was, as you know, confined to my bed with a sickness, 
brought on by the exertion of getting the Key to Uncle Tom's 
Cabin through the press during the winter. The labor of pre- 
paring that book, simply as an intellectual investigation, was se- 
vere ; but what a risk of life and health it was to me, no one 
can appreciate but myself. 

" Nothing could have justified me, with my large family of 
children, in making such an effort, in the state of health in 
which I then was, except the deep conviction which I had, and 
still have, that I was called of God's providence to do it. 

" In every part of the world, the story of Uncle Tom had 
awakened sympathy for the poor American slave, and, conse- 



94: MODEEN AGITATOE8. 

quently, in every part of the world, the story of his wrongs 
had been denied ; and it had been asserted that it was a mere 
work of romance, and I was charged with being the slanderer of 
the institutions of my own country. 

" I knew that, if I shrunk from supporting my position, the 
sympathy which the work had excited would gradually die out, 
and the whole thing would be looked upon as a mere roman- 
tic excitement of the passions, without any adequate basis of 
facts. 

" Feeble and reduced as I was, it became absolutely neces- 
sary that I should take this opportunity, when the attention of 
the world was awakened, to prove the charges which I had 

made. 

" Neither could such a work be done slightly ; for every 
statement was to be thrown before bitter and unscrupulous en- 
emies, who would do their utmost to break the force of every- 
thing which was said. 

" It was, therefore, necessary that not an assertion should be 
made without the most rigorous investigation and scrutiny ; 
and, worn as I then was with the subject, with every nerve 
sensitive and sore, I was obliged to spend three months in what 
were to me the most agonizing researches. 

" The remembrance of that winter is to me one of horror. 
I could not sleep at night, and I had no comfort in the day- 
time. All that consoled me was, that I was bearing the same 
kind of suffering which Christ bore, and still bears, in view of 
the agonies and distresses of sin in this world." 

The "Key " was eminently successful in sustaining 
the truth of the story of Uncle Tom. It was an aw- 



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 95 

fill exposure to the world of American slavery, and 
one which Mrs. Stowe would gladly have avoided, 
but it was forced upon her in self-defense. That it 
and the book to which it is an- accompaniment may 
fly swiftly upon their errand of mercy, to beg for the 
poor slave the sympathy and love of every humane 
heart, is our heartfelt desire. 



ELIHU BUERITT. 

ELIHU BUERITT is forty-three years old, and was 
born in the village of Kew Britain, Connecticut, a 
few miles south-west of the city of Hartford. His 
parents were very poor, and a common school educa- 
tion was all that they could give their children. The 
father was an ordinary man honest, virtuous and re- 
spectable, though excessively poor. The mother, how- 
ever, was remarkable for her many virtues. She was 
a woman of fine intellect, lofty courage, ardent piety, 
and brought up her children most admirably. Such 
mothers seem always to have uncommon children. 

t/ 

Besides the subject of this sketch, she had another 
son, Elijah Burritt, whose name is not unknown to 
fame, and who perished on the prairies of the far south, 
a victim to an insatiable thirst for adventure and 
knowledge. 

Elihu, like the majority of Kew England boys, laid 
the foundation for his after greatness, in a district 
school-house. While yet a boy, he had visions of 
future greatness. Though the roof beneath which he 
slept was humble, though his position was lowly, yet 
in his heart there were great and noble aspirations. 



ELIHU BUKRITT. 97 

"We have heard him speak of some of his boyish 
dreams of future usefulness, and he would be dull, 
indeed, who could not gather from them the fact that 
at a very early age, he looked forward to a career 
by no means insignificant. At a certain age, he was 
filled with a martial spirit. ~Nor is this a singular 
fact, as it arose from an ardent admiration of heroism. 
He saw, as he grew older, that true heroism does not 
consist in cutting men's throats, but in braving the 

C3 I O 

scorn, ridicule and hatred of wicked men, and doino- 

' ' O 

great deeds of humanity. But at one time in his life, 
when he was young, he read much of warlike men, 
and the sound of the drum stirred his heart, as if he 
had been a soldier. We heard him once, by the fire- 
side, tell how he, when a boy, rose one morning long 
before sunrise, to accompany, on foot, a few kindred 
spirits to a neighboring town, to witness a "regi- 
mental training." The long walk, through lonesome 

O O s O 

woods and valleys, was filled with martial tales and 

^ J 

dreams of future heroic, martial deeds. The march- 
ing and counter-marching of the soldiers, the spirited 
music, the sham-fighting, all made a deep impression 
upon him. For he saw not mere red-coated men 
saw not sham conflicts, but his imagination trans- 
formed the real into the unreal, and he gazed upon a 
regiment of heroes, ready to spill their last drop of 
blood in the cause of freedom ! In a little time, he 

learned that all is. not what it seems, but an ardent 
E 7 



98 MODERN AGITATORS. 

admiration for the truly heroic, characterizes him 
to-day. 

At an early age, Mr. Burritt commenced to learn 
the trade of a blacksmith, in his native town. While 
learning his trade, he prosecuted his school studies 
with great industry. He soon, alone and unaided, 
took up a Latin grammar, and made himself familiar 
with that language. He then took up the Greek, 
then the Italian, and, in the course of a few years, 
could read more or less readily in nearly fifty lan- 
guages. The last year which Mr. Burritt spent in 
New Britain, before seeking his fortune abroad, he 
kept a refreshment-shop in the village. Being un- 
successful, he left it, and, as he was desirous of en- 
joying the privileges of an antiquarian library, he re- 
moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he worked 
industriously at his trade and books. His linsjuisti- 

1 O 

cal acquirements soon gave him notoriety. In the 
mean time, his fertile brain was filled with great 
plans for the future. lie once went to Boston with 
a view to take ship to some distant countries, where 
he could, with better advantage, pursue his study of 
the languages. The world should rejoice that he, 
about this time, renounced his passion for linguistical 
knowledge, and devoted himself with intense earnest- 
ness to the advocacy of peace, temperance, and anti- 
slavery. He established a weekly journal in Worces- 
ter, called the " Christian Citizen" in which he 



ELIHTJ BURRTTT. 99 

poured out the wealth of his heart and brain. His 
powerful articles soon attracted the attention of 
the good and great, and his journal had a wide cir- 
culation. We think that some of the miscellaneous 
writings of Mr. Burritt are among the finest things 
in the English language ; and as those who have read 
them once, will not dislike to read them a second 
time, we copy two or three of them here. Here is 
the best description, in a few lines, of the iron horse, 
we ever saw : 

" I love to see one of these huge creatures, with sinews of 
brass and muscles of iron, strut forth from his smoky stable, 
and, saluting the long train of cars with a dozen sonorous puffs 
from his iron nostrils, fall back gently into his harness. There 
he stands, champing and foaming upon the iron track, his great 
heart a furnace of glowing coals ; his lymphatic blood is boil- 
ing in his veins ; the strength of a thousand horses is nerving 
his sinews ; he pants to be gone. He would ' snake ' St. Peters 
across the desert of Sahara, if he could be fairly hitched to it; 
but there is a little, sober-eyed, tobacco-chewing man in the sad- 
dle, who holds him in with one finger, and can take away his 
breath in a moment, should he grow restive or vicious. I am 
always deeply interested in this man, for, begrimrned as he 
may be with coal, diluted in oil and steam, I regard him as the 
genius of the whole machinery ; as the physical mind of that 
huge steam-horse." 

The little sketch which follows is, it seems to us, 
is one of the most touching ever written : 



100 MODERN AGITATORS. 

"BURY ME IX THE GARDEN." 

There was sorrow there, and tears were in every eye ; and 
th2re were low, half-suppressed sobbings heard from every cor- 
ner of the room ; but the little sufferer was still ; its young 
spirit was just on the verge of departure. The mother was 
bending over it in all the speechless yearnings of parental love, 
with one arm under its,pillow, and with the other, unconsciously 
drawing the little dying girl closer and closer to her bosom. 
Poor thing ! in the bright and dewy morning it had followed out 
before its father into the field ; and while he was there engaged 
in his labors, it had patted around among the meadow-flowers, 
and had stuck its bosom full, and all its burnished tresses, with 
carmine and lilv-tinted things : and returning tired to its father's 

/ O ' 

side, he had lifted it upon the loaded cart ; but a stone in the road 
had shaken it from its seat, and the ponderous, iron-rimmed 
wheels had ground it down into the very cart-path and the little 
crushed creature was dying. 

; CD 

We had all gathered up closely to its bedside, and were hang- 
ing over the young, bruised thing, to see if it yet breathed, when 
a slight movement came over its lips and its eyes partly opened. 
There was no voice, but there was something beneath its eyelids 
which a mother alone could interpret. Its lips trembled again, 
and w r e all held our breath its eyes opened a little farther, and 
then we heard the departing spirit whisper in that ear which 
touched those ashy lips : " Mother ! Mother ! don't let them 
carry me away down to the dark, cold grave-yard, but bury me 
in the garden in the garden, mother." 

A little sister, whose eyes were raining down with the meltings 
of her heart, had crept up to the bedside, and taking the hand 



ELIHTJ BUERITT. 101 

of the dying girl, sobbed aloud in its ears : " Julia ! Julia ! can't 
you speak to Antoinette 7 " 

The last, fluttering pulsation of expiring nature struggled 
hard to enable that little spirit to utter one more wish and word 
of affection : its soul was on its lips, as it whispered again : 

" Bury me in the garden, mother bury me in the " 

and a quivering came over its limbs, one feeble struggle, and 
all was still. 

The last sketch which we quote is, perhaps, the 
best : 

THE NATURAL BRIBGE. 

The scene opens with a view of the great Natural Bridge in 
Virginia. There are three or four lads standing in the channel 
below, looking up with awe to that vast arch of unhewn rocks, 
which the Almighty bridged over those everlasting butments 
" when the morning stars sang together." The little piece of 
sky spanning those measureless piers, is full of stars, although 
it is mid-day. It is almost five hundred feet from where they 
stand, up those perpendicular bulwarks of limestone, to the key 
rock of that vast arch, which appears to them only of the size 
of a man's hand. The silence of death is rendered more im- 
pressive by the little stream that falls from rock to rock down 
the channel. The sun is darkened, and the boys have uncon- 
sciously uncovered their heads, as if standing in the presence- 
chamber of the Majesty of the whole earth. At last, this feel- 
ing begins to wear away ; they begin to look around them ; 
they find that others have been there before them. They see 
the names of hundreds cut in the limestone butments. A new 



102 MODERN AGITATORS. 

feeling comes over their young hearts, and their knives are in 
their hands in an instant. " What man has done, man can do," 
is their watchword, while they draw themselves up, and carve 
their names a foot above those of a hundred full-grown men 
who have been there before them. 

They are all satisfied with this feat of physical exertion, 
except one, whose example illustrates perfectly the forgotten 
truth that there is no royal road to intellectual eminence. This 
ambitious youth sees a name just above his reach, a name that 
will be green in the memory of the world, when those of Alex- 
ander, Cassar, and Bonaparte shall rot in oblivion. It was the 
name of Washington. Before he marched with Braddock to 
that fatal field, he had been there, and left his name a foot above 
all his predecessors. It was a glorious thought of the boy, to 
write his name side by side with that of the great father of his 
country. He grasps his knife with a firmer hand ; and, cling- 
ing to a little jutting crag, he cuts a niche into the limestone, 
about a foot above where he stands ; he then reaches up and 
cuts another for his hands. 'Tis a dangerous adventure ; but, 
as he puts his feet and hands into those niches, and draws him- 
self up carefully to his full length, he finds himself a foot above 
every name chronicled in that mighty wall. While his com- 
panions are regarding him with concern and admiration, he cuts 
his name in rude capitals, large and deep, into that flinty album. 
His knife is still in his hand, and strength in his sinews, and a 
new-created aspiration in his heart. Again he cuts another 
niche, and again he carves his name in larger capitals. This is 
not enough. Heedless of the entreaties of his companions, he 
cuts and climbs again. The gradations of his ascending scale 



ELIHU EURRITT. 103 

grow wider apart He measures his length at every gain he 
cuts. The voices of his friends wax weaker and weaker, till 
their w r ords are finally lost on his ear. He now, for the first 
time, casts a look beneath him. Had that glance lasted a mo- 
ment, that moment would have been his last. He clings with 
a convulsive shudder to his little niche in the rock. An awful 
abyss awaits his almost certain fall. He is faint with severe 
exertion, and trembling, from the sudden view of the dreadful 
destruction to which he is exposed. His knife is worn half-way 
to the haft. He can hear the voices, but not the words of his 
terror-stricken companions below. What a moment ! What 
a meager chance to escape destruction ! There is no retracing 
his steps. It is impossible to put his hands into the same niche 
with his feet and retain his slender hold a moment. His com- 
panions instantly perceive this new and fearful dilemma, and 
await his fall with emotions that " freeze their young blood." 
He is too high, too faint, to ask for his father and mother, his 
brothers and sisters, to come and witness or avert his destruc- 
tion. But one of his companions anticipates his desire. Swift 
as the wind, he bounds down the channel, and the situation of 
the fated boy is told upon his father's hearth-stone. 

Minutes of almost eternal length roll on, and there are hun- 
dreds standing in that rocky channel, and hundreds on the bridge 
above, all holding their breath, and awaiting the fearful catas- 
trophe. The poor boy hears the hum of new and numerous 
voices both above and below. He can just distinguish the tones 
of his father, who is shouting with all the energy of despair : 
" William ! William ! don't look down ! Your mother, and 
Henry, and Harriet, are all here, praying for you ! Keep your 



104 MODERN AGITATORS. 

eye toward the top!" The boy didn't look down. His eye 
is fixed like a flint toward heaven, and his young heart on Him 
who reigns there. He grasps again his knife. He cuts another 
niche, and another foot is added to the hundreds that remove 
him from the reach of human help from below. How care- 
fully he uses his wasting blade ! How anxiously he selects the 
softest places in that vast pier ! How he avoids every flinty 
grain ! How he economizes his physical powers, resting a mo- 
ment at each gain he cuts ! How every motion is watched from 
below ! There stand his father, mother, brother and sister, on 
the very spot where, if he falls, he will not fall alone. 

The sun is now half- way down the west. The lad has made 
fifty additional niches in that mighty wall, and now finds him- 
self directly under the middle of that vast arch of rocks, earth, 
and trees. He must cut his way in a new direction, to get from 
under this overhanging mountain. The inspiration of hope is 
dying in his bosom ; its vital heat is fed by the increasing 
shouts of hundreds, perched upon cliffs and trees, and others 
who stand with ropes in their hands, on the bridge above, or 
with ladders below. Fifty gains more must be cut before the 
longest rope can reach him. His wasting blade strikes again 
into she limestone. The boy is emerging painfully, foot by foot, 
from under that lofty arch. Spliced ropes are ready, in the 
hands of those who are leaning over the outer edge of the bridge. 
Two minutes more, and all will be over. The blade is worn 
to the last half-inch. The boy's head reels ; his eyes are start- 
ing from their sockets. His last hope is dying in his heart ; his 
life must hang upon the next gain he cuts. That niche is hi? 
last. At the last faint gash he makes, his knife, his faithful 



ELIHU BFRRITT. 105 

knife, falls from his little nerveless hand, and, ringing along the 
precipice, falls at his mother's feet. An Involuntary groan of 
despair runs like a death-knell through the channel below, and 
all is as still as the grave. At the height of nearly three hun- 
dred feet, the devoted boy lifts his hopeless heart, and closes 
his eyes to commend his soul to God. 'Tis but a moment 
there ! one foot swings off! he is reeling trembling toppling 
over into eternity ! Hark ! a shout falls on his ear from above. 
The man who is lying with half his length over the bridge, has 
caught a glimpse of the boy's head and shoulders. Quick as 
thought, the noosed rope is within reach of the sinking youth. 
No one breathes. With a faint, convulsive effort, the swoon- 
ing boy drops his arms into the noose. Darkness comes over 
him, and with the words, GOD ! and MOTHER ! whispered on 
his lips, just loud enough to be heard in heaven the tightening 
rope lifts him out of his last shallow' niche. Not a lip moves 
while he is dangling over that fearful abyss; but when a sturdy 
Virginian reaches down and draws up the lad, and holds him 
up in his arms before the tearful, breathless multitude, such 
shouting such leaping and weeping for joy never greeted 
the ear of a human being so recovered from the yawning 
gulf of eternity. 

The pieces which we have quoted will not, perhaps, 
give the reader a proper idea of Mr. Bnrritt's usual 
style in his reformatory writings. He is an earnest, 
powerful, enthusiastic writer. It may seem strange, 
that an enthusiast should understand the power of 
well-arranged facts and figures, but Mr. Burritt does. 

O O i I 

and uses his knowledge to great advantage. 
E* 



106 MODERN AGITATORS. 

About eight years ago Mr. Burritt left this country 
for England. We believe he was invited by the 
friends of peace in that country, at any rate he 
started on his way like a poot pilgrim, bent on doing 
good in an humble manner. He entered England 
quietly, and in a plain dress, with a knapsack over 
his shoulder, wandered over the country to see its 
beautiful landscapes, and to do good. One of his ob- 
jects was to establish little peace societies, which he 
denominated " Leagues of Brotherhood." The first 
of these he organized in the little village of Penshore. 

o o / 

and in the course of a few months a large number 
were flourishing throughout England. By degrees 
the fame which had attached itself to him in Amer- 
ica for his knowledge of the languages, and his pow- 
ers as a writer, spread to England, and his society 
was sought by great personages. But great men 
were avoided by Mr. Burritt, unless they could be 
made to advance the great cause to which all his en- 
ergies were devoted. Everything centered there. 
In his little upper room in Broad-street, London, the 
American blacksmith worked incessantly, night and 
day, to advance the interests of the League of Broth- 
erhood. He allowed himself no intermission from 
the contemplation of the one great subject. His only 
relaxation was that of lecturing in the provincial 
towns upon it. His " one idea ' : was not popular 
among the fashionable classes in England, and he 



ELIHTJ BUHRITT. 107 

was not popular with them. But the philanthropic, 
the wise and good esteemed him more and better. 
His success in England, though apparently small, 
was after all encouraging. He won over to the cause 
of peace a large class of English men and women, who 
before had not examined the subject. And though 
the state of Europe at present is not peaceful, that 
does not prove that Mr. Burritt's mission there was 
a failure. For several years he has advocated the 
establishment of an ocean penny postage between 
all the great countries of the world. This is, at pres- 
ent, his favorite subject, and he is devoting himself 
mainly to its advocacy. 

Mr. Burritt has a striking personal appearance. 
He is rather tall, his frame is by no means puny, 
though the narrowness of his chest gives him a frail 
look. His arms and hands, which are large and stout, 
remind one of the fact, that he for years swung the 
hammer upon the anvil. His face is long, forehead 
large and sloping, his eyes are blue, and his mouth 
is one of the finest ever man possessed. In his move- 
ments Mr. Burritt is awkward, as in his pronuncia- 
tion. His manners are somewhat of the same stamp. 
This arises from his seclusion and absent-mindedness. 
He is, however, exceedingly social at times, and has 
great conversational talents. He has the power of 
attracting the close attention of all about him, to the 
subject he is discussing. 



103 MODERN AGITATORS. 

He is no orator, in the ordinary meaning of the 
word, but he is sometimes intensely eloquent. He 
has extraordinary energy, great power of concentra- 
tion of thought and feeling, and when he is thor- 
oughly aroused, he makes up for the lack of the nat- 
ural graces of oratory in burning, impressive, intense 
eloquence. His words may be uttered in a homely 
style, but his thoughts are magnificent, and his en- 
thusiasm is almost sublime. He often, as it were, 
magnetizes his audiences by his remarkable and lofty 
enthusiasm. The same is true of him in conversa- 
tional circles. 

By long continued study Mr. Burritt has acquired 
a worn and weary appearance. He looks much older 
than he really is, and his nervous system is injured. 

Several years ago, Mr. Fowler, the phrenologist, 
took a cast of Mr. Burritt's head, and he speaks as 
follows of his moral organs : 

" He has a high head, and narrow at the base ; or, a great 
development of the moral organs, with small selfish propensi- 
ties. His labors are eminently labors of love. In every good 
work he acts a leading part. He is exerting a most excellent 
influence, and doing immense good. His talents are controlled 
by higher faculties. He is a true philanthropist. Long may 
he live to shed benign influences on his race. 

" He has very large social organs, and hence those strong 
personal friends he makes, and also that expansive love for his 
fellow man, which he evinces. He abominates war, and would 



ELIHTJ BUREITT. 109 

*take Quebec by ships of PROVISIONS, instead of ships of war,' 
and bind our race in one great bundle of love, by indissoluble 
bonds of fraternal affection. 

" His ambitious organs are likewise large, yet they take an 
intellectual and moral direction. They simply fit him to take 
a leading part, and sustain him in his public capacity, but do 
not raise Elihu Burritt above his cause. On the other hand, 
he is rather modest, yet firm and dignified, and well qualified 
to lead off the public mind. May such men be multiplied till 
they stay the popular tide of evil and depravity, in high places 
and low, which now abounds." 

Mr. Fowler quotes the following paragraphs from 
an authentic source, in reference to Mr. Burritt's an- 
cestry and relatives : 

" His maternal grandfather, Hinsdale, was a remarkable man, 
intrusted with town offices, a great reader, and with only ordi- 
nary advantages, possessed himself of an extraordinary fund of 
knowledge. 

" Burritt's brother, author of that excellent astronomical trea- 
tise, the 'Geography of the Heavens,' inherits a like insatiable 
thirst after knowledge, and facility in acquiring it, besides be- 
ing extensively erudite. 

" A sister and a maternal nephew are also endowed with a 
similar power of memory and passion for reading, as well as 
capability of storing their minds with knowledge. 

" One of this learned family, I think Elihu's brother, literally 
killed himself by study, in which he progressed with astonish- 
ing rapidity. This wonderful love of learning, and capability 



110 MODERN AGITATORS. 

of retaining it, will undoubtedly be found to have been handed 
down to the Hinsdales, and throughout the various branches 
of their descendants, as far as it can be traced." 

There are many more noisy reformers in the world 
than Elihu Burritt, but we know of few who are acqui- 
ring a purer and nobler reputation than his. He is 
by no means without faults, but his long and weari- 
some labors for his fellow-men shall not be fruitless, 
nor will his name ever be forgotten. 



WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON. 

IT is difficult, at the present time, to do full justice 
to William Lloyd Garrison. It remains for the fu- 
ture historian of this generation to accord to him the 
position which a prejudiced people cannot now allow 
him to occupy. There are so many millions who now 
hate Garrison, so many thousands of comparatively 
good men who dislike him, who consider him at least 
rash and headstrong, that he cannot hope, for many 
years, to be judged candidly and generously. We have 
no more doubt that fifty years hence the name of Gar- 
rison will be revered by the American nation, than we 
have of the ultimate overthrow of human slavery in 
this country. We look upon him as the great puri- 
tan of anti-slavery. Like one of the grand old Puri- 
tans, he is stern, solemnly enthusiastic, terribly se- 
vere upon wrong-doers, and unswerving from his idea 
of what is right. We think, also, like some of the 
Puritans, he is bigoted, as men with their thoughts 
directed intensely upon one object, are apt to be, but 
the future generation will look upon his severity of 
character, his bigotry, as we look upon the same 
faults in the grand men who laid the foundations of 
this republic as spots upon the reputation of one of 



112 MODERN AGITATOE8. 

the noblest men that ever lived. Mr. Garrison is, 
we believe, a native of Massachusetts. At a very 
early age he was placed in a printing office, in New- 
bnryport, by his mother, who was a poor widow, and 
a pious, worthy woman. In the short space of twelve 
months he was master of his trade, and at once went 
to work to assist his mother, in addition to support- 
ing himself. At an early age he was fond of books, 
magazines, and newspapers, and read them with 
great avidity. He joined a club, and being invited 
to deliver an oration before it, he did so, to the grat- 
ification of all who listened to it. He was also at this 
time a contributor to the columns of the Newbury- 
port Herald, furnishing for it several well-written es- 
says, which attracted considerable attention. When 
he was twenty-one years old, he published his first 
poem in that journal. Shortly after, he set up a new 
paper, with the name of " The Free Press" which 
was edited with so much vigor and earnestness of 
purpose, that it was well received by the more ad- 
vanced class of readers at the north. He, however, 
soon removed to Vermont, where he published and 
edited the " Journal of the Times" This was as 
early as 1828, and he advocated in his paper " the 
gradual emancipation of every slave in the republic." 
He also advocated with much zeal and power the 
cause of temperance. In September, 1829, he re- 
moved to Baltimore, for the purpose of editing the 



WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON. 113 

" Genius of Universal Emancipation " there. While 
performing the duties of his office, a jSTewburyport 
merchant fitted out a small vessel, and filled it in 
Baltimore with slaves for the New Orleans market. 
It was a Yankee speculation in the flesh and blood 
of his fellow-men, and Mr. Garrison commented with 
great and deserved severity upon the transaction in 
his newspaper. The consequence was, he was prose- 
cuted in the courts, before slave-holding jurors, who 
were interested in getting him silenced, or at least se- 
verely rebuked. He was sentenced to pay a very 
heavy fine, and to be imprisoned until he paid it. 
He had not so much money, and never hoped even 
to be possessed of so much, and therefore calmly en- 
tered his dungeon. It was his first terrible experi- 
ence of the cruelty of southern despotism. For ad- 
ministering a just rebuke to a man who had been 
making merchandize of his fellow-men, he was sent 
to hopeless confinement, and that, too, in free Amer- 
ica! Can the reader wonder why Garrison is so bit- 
ter in his denunciations of slavery ? While in his 
dungeon he composed the following beautiful and 
spirited verses : 

"High walls and huge thebody may confine, 
And iron gates obstruct the prisoner's gaze, 

And massive bolts may baffle his design, 

And vigilant keepers watch his desirous way. 

8 



114: MODERN AGITATOES. 

"Yet scorns the immortal mind this base control 1 
No chains can bind it and no cell enclose ; 

Swifter than light it flies from pole to pole, 
And in a flash from earth to heaven it goes. 

" It leaps from mount to mount from vale to vale, 
It wanders plucking honeyed fruits and flowers ; 

It visits home to hear the fireside tale, 

Or in sweet converse pass the joyous hours. 

"Tis up before the sun, soaring afar 

And in its watches wearies every star." 

Arthur Tappan volunteered to pay Mr. Garrison's 
fine, and he was thereupon released. He now gave 
up the attempt to publish an anti-slavery journal in 
Baltimore, though he did entertain the idea of pub- 
lishing one in Washington. When he established 

o o 

the "Liberator" in Boston, in January, 1831, he said : 

" In the month of August I issued proposals for publishing 
"The Liberator" in Washington city; but the enterprise, 
though hailed approvingly in different sections of the country, 
was palsied by public indifference. * * * During my re- 
cent tour for the purpose of exciting the minds of the people 
by a series of discourses on the subject of slavery, every place 
that I visited gave fresh evidence of the fact that a greater rev- 
olution in public sentiment was to be effected in the free states, 
and particularly in New England, than at the south. I found 
contempt more bitter, opposition more active, detraction more 
relentless, prejudice more stubborn, and apathy more frozen than 
among slave owners themselves. Of course there were individ- 
ual exceptions to the contrary. This state of things afflicted 



WILLIAM LLOYD GAEKISOff. 115 

but did not dishearten me. I determined at every hazard to 
lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, 
within the sight of Bunker Hill, and in the birth-place of lib- 
erty. * * * I am aware that many object to the sever- 
ity of my language ; but is there not cause for severity 1 I 
will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On 
this subject I do not wish no think, or speak, or write with 
moderation. No, no ! Tell a man whose house is on fire to 
give a moderate alarm ; tell him to moderately rescue his wife 
from the hands of the ravisher ; tell the mother to gradually 
extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen ; but 
urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present ! I 
am in earnest. I will not equivocate I will not excuse I 
will not retreat a single inch and I will be heard. The apa- 
thy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from 
its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead." 

But the most thrilling event perhaps of his life was 
the occurrence of the mob in Boston, in October, 1835. 
At that time George Thompson, from England, was 
in this country, and he, with Mr. Garrison, were en- 
gaged to address the Female Anti-Slavery Society, 
at its annual meeting in that city. Public excite- 
ment against the abolitionists was intense, and before 
the time appointed for the convention, the lessee of 
Congress Hall, fearing the destruction of his prop- 
erty, decided that the meeting must be held else- 
where. It was subsequently arranged to convene in 
the Anti-Slavery Hall, in "Washington-street, on 



116 MODERN AGITATORS. 

nesday, October 21st, at three o'clock, in the after- 
noon and addresses were expected on the occasion. 
Fearing lest his presence might be productive of in- 
jury to the cause, Mr. Thompson withdrew from the 
city before the day appointed. On that morning a 
placard was circulated to the intent that " the infa- 
mous foreign scoundrel, Thompson, would hold forth 
in the Anti-Slavery Hall in the afternoon, and that 
the present was a fair opportunity to snake him out ; 
that a purse of one hundred dollars had been raised 
by a number of patriotic individuals, to reward the 
person who should first lay violent hands upon him, 
so that he might be brought to the tar kettle before 
dark." By such measures, and by editorials in influ- 
ential papers, the worst passions of the inhabitants 
were aroused to the highest pitch of fury. Early in 
the afternoon a crowd besran to gather around the 

o o 

building, and a little before three Mr. Garrison ap- 
peared, got through the crowd, and took his seat, ex- 
pecting to address the ladies of the society, of which 
quite a large number had assembled. As the time 
drew near the crowd increased, and with it increased 
the intensity of the tumultuous excitement. Mr. 
Garrison now stepped towards the door of the hall, 
through which some had entered and commenced 
making disturbance, and very cautiously requested 
them to withdraw, stating that it was a ladies' meet- 
ing, and no gentlemen were expected to be present 



WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON. 117 

but the speakers. This had no effect, however, and 
Mr. Garrison then mentioned to the president of the 
society that since his own presence would evidently 
increase the tumult, it would be advisable for him to 
leave, to which she assented. With an intimate 
friend he now withdrew to the anti-slavery office, 
which was separated from the hall by a thin partition 
only, and commenced writing to an acquaintance an 
account of the riot. The mob soon increased to thou- 
sands, filling the hall ; the danger became immi- 
nent that they would break through into the office 
and destroy the publications of the society. The 
lower panel of the door was now broken through by 
3iie of the ringleaders, who, looking in, exclaimed, 
"There he is that's Garrison; out with the scoun- 
drel ! ' Upon this, the person with him walked out, 
locked the door after him, and put the key in his 
pocket. The mayor, having at length cleared the 
hall of the crowd, begged the ladies to desist, and 
assured them that he could no longer protect them 
from insult and violence, upon which they adjourned 
to the house of one of their number to finish their 
business. 

The mayor then addressed the rioters ; told them 
that the anti-slavery meeting was broken up ; that 
Mr. Thompson was not there, and urged them to dis- 
perse. But having got rid of these objects they felt 
the more liberty to give exclusive attention to Mr. 



118 MODERN AGITATORS. 

Garrison, and yelled his name, loudly crying, " We 
must have him! lynch him! lynch him!' The 
mavor, seeing that he had lost all control over the mob, 

/ o 

besought Mr. Garrison to make his escape at the rear 
of the building, since he could not get through the 
crowd to the street. Just at this juncture his devo- 
tion to his principles were so self-forgetting as to de- 
mand special notice. A non-resistant brother near 
him, seeing the danger, declared his determination to 
renounce these views upon the spot, and use forcible 
measures for his preservation. But Mr. Garrison 
earnestly protested against such a course in the fol- 
lowing language : " Hold, my dear brother ; you 
know not what spirit you are of; do you wish to be- 
come like one of these violent and bloodthirsty men, 
who are seeking mv life ? Shall we give blow for 

O v O 

blow, and array sword against sword ? God forbid ! 
I will perish sooner than raise my hand against any 
man, even in self-defense, and let none of my friends 
resort to violence for my protection. If my life be 
taken the cause of emancipation will not suffer," &c. 
Even in this hour of extremest peril, his devotion to 
principles which in the hour of quiet he believed 
right, rose with the danger almost to the sublime. 

O ' j 

While all around was in an uproar, and his friends were 
shivering with fear, his faith in an Omnipotent arm 
was strongest. Preceded by a friend, at the peril of 
his life, he dropped from the window to the ground, 



WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON. 119 

and attempted to escape through Wilson's Lane, but 
was circumvented by the mob. Again he retreats 

t/ O 

up stairs, and was secreted for a few minutes behind 
a pile of boards, but being discovered by the ruffians, 
his friends effected an escape. They now dragged 
Garrison to the window, evidently intending to pitch 
him that distance to the ground, but upon second 
thought, concluded not to kill him outright, they 
placed a rope around his body, apparently designing 
to drag him through the streets. Reaching the 

o o o 

ground by a ladder, he disengaged himself from the 
rope, and was seized by two or three of the most pow- 
erful of the rioters and dragged along bareheaded. 
Blows were aimed at his head, and at length his 
clothing was nearly torn from him. Insulted by the 
jeers of the mob, in a denuded condition, he reached 
State-street, in front of the city hall, and now there 
was a tremendous rush to prevent his entering that 
building. "With the help of his posse and friends, the 
mayor finally succeeded in getting him to his office, 
where he was reclothed by individuals from the post- 
office, immediately below. 

The mayor and his advisers there declared that the 

t/ 

only safety lay in committing him to jail as a dis- 
turber of the public peace ! A hack was brought to 
the door for the purpose, but the scene that ensued 
defies description. The surging mob rushed upon 
the carriage with ungovernable fury, and attempted 



120 MODERN AGITATOES. 

every kind of violence. The windows were broken 
in, the attempt was made to overset the vehicle, but 
the driver wielded his whip with such dexterity, first 
upon the horses and then upon the rioters, that he 
got clear, and drove for the prison. Failing to reach 
there in advance of the ruffians, he drove circuitously 
abou<t, and by a back passage Mr. Garrison was at 
length bevond the reach of danger, within the iron 

o * 

gratings. Even here his spirit was unfettered, and 
upon the walls of his cell he inscribed the following 
lines : 

"When peace within the bosom reigns, 
And conscience gives the approving voice, 

Though bound the human form in chains, 
Yet can the soul aloud rejoice. 

'Tis true, my footsteps are confined 
I cannot range beyond this cell; 
But what can circumscribe my mind? 
To chain the winds attempt as well ! 

" Confine me as a prisoner but bind me not as a slave. 
Punish me as a criminal but hold me not as a chattel. 
Torture me as a man but drive me not as a beast. 
Doubt my sanity but acknowledge my immortality." 

After a mock examination he was released from 
prison, but, at the earnest request of the authorities, 
he left the city until the tumult had subsided. Thus 
ended a mob in that city containing the " Cradle of 
Liberty," which first rocked for freedom to the tune 



WILLIAM LLOYD GAKRISO2T. 121 

of " Hail Columbia," the echo of which made tyrants 
tremble. Throughout the whole transaction, Mr. 
Garrison retained that coolness and presence of mind 
which, evinced upon the battle field, in pursuit of 
that poor bubble, glory, wins for its aspirants undy- 
ing fame, earth's immortality. The same devotion 
to human liberty which Garrison here manifested, 
when displayed by the actors in the drama of the 
American revolution, caused a thrill uf animation the 
world over ; but when evinced in behalf of the down- 
trodden African, it assumes the name of fanaticism. 
Mr. Garrison has been severely criticised as an am- 
bitious man ; we know of no better method of dis- 
proving it, than to remark, that aspirants for honor 
are apt to strike out for themselves other paths of 
distinction than those leading through scenes like the 
above. There are a few noble thoughts from Whit- 
tier which are in point here, and which give the 
opinion of that sound man and earnest poet in regard 
to Mr. Garrison's character. They were addressed 

TO WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON". 

Champion of those who groan beneath 

Oppression's ii'on hand, 
In view of penury, hate and death, 

I see thee fearless stand ; 
Still bearing up thy lofty brow, 

In the steadfast strength of truth, 
In manhood sealing well the vow 

And promise of thy youth. 

F 



122 MODERN AGITATORS. 

Go on! for thou hast chosen "well; 

On in the strength of God! 
Long as the human heart shall swell 

Beneath the tyrant's rod. 
Speak in a slumbering nation's ear, 

As thou hast ever spoken, 
Until the dead in sin shall hear 

The fetter's link be broken 1 



I love thee with a brother's love 

I feel my pulses thrill, 
To mark thy spirit soar above 

The cloud of human ill ; 
My heart hath leaped to answer thine, 

And echo back thy words, 
As leaps the warrior's at the shine 

And flash of kindred swords! 

They tell me thou art rash and vain 

A searcher after fame ; 
That thou art striving but to gain 

A long-enduring name ; 
That thou hast nerved the Afric's hand, 

And steeled the Afric's heart, 
To shake aloft his vengeful brand, 

And rend his chain apart. 

Have I not known thee well, and read 

Thy mighty piirpose long, 
And watched the trials which have made 

Thy human spirit strong ? 
And shall the slanderer's demon breath 

Avail with one like me, 
To dim the sunshine of my faith, 

And earnest trust in thee ? 



WILLIAM LLOYD GAERISON. 123 

Go on ! the dagger's point may glare 

Amid thy pathway's gloom 
The fate which sternly threatens there, 

Is glorious martyrdom ! 
Then onward, with a martyr's zeal 

Press on to thy reward 
The hour when man shall only kneel 

Before his Father God. 

But since we have commenced quoting, we will 
will give a specimen of his fierce, denunciatory style 
of writing, which appeared in an editorial upon the 
Union. It is also a good opportunity to show his 
peculiar position upon the slavery question : 

" Tyrants ! confident of its overthrow, proclaim not to your 
vassals, that the American Union is an experiment of freedom, 
which, if it fail, will forever demonstrate the necessity of whips 
for the hacks, and chains for the limbs of the people. Know 
that its subversion is essential to the triumph of justice, the de- 
liverance of the oppressed, the vindication of the brotherhood 
of the race. It was conceived in sin, and brought forth in in- 
iquity ; and its career has been marked by unparalleled hypoc- 
risy, by high-handed tyranny, by a bold defiance of the omnis- 
cience and omnipotence of God. Freedom indignantly dis- 
owns it, and calls for its extinction ; for within its borders are 
three millions of slaves, whose blood constitutes its cement, 
whose flesh forms a large and flourishing branch of its com- 
merce, and who are ranked with four-footed beasts and creep- 
ing things. To secure the adoption of the constitution of the 
United States, first, that the African slave-trade till that time 



124: MODERN AGITATORS. 

a feeble, isolated, colonial traffic should, for at least twenty 
years, be prosecuted as a national interest, under the American 
flag, and protected by the national arm ; secondly, that a slave- 
holding oligarchy, created by allowing three-fifths of the slave- 
holding population to be represented by their task-masters, 
should be allowed a permanent seat in congress : thirdly, that 
the slave system should be secured against internal revolt and 
external invasion, by the united physical force of the country ; 
fourthly, that not a foot of national territory should be granted, 
on which the panting fugitive from slavery might stand, and be 
safe from his pursuers, thus making every citizen a slave-hunter 
and slave-catcher. To say that this ' covenant with death' 
shall not be annulled that this 'agreement with hell' shall 
continue to stand that this 'refuge of lies' shall not be swept 
away is to hurl defiance at the eternal throne, and to give the 
lie to Him that sits thereon. It is an attempt, alike monstrous 
and impracticable, to blend the light of heaven with darkness 
of the bottomless pit, to unite the living with the dead, to as- 
sociate the Son of God with the Prince of Evil. Accursed be 
the American Union, as a stupendous, republican imposture ! " 

It is not to be wondered at that such a writer 
should be accused of harshness and severity. En- 
glish cannot be rendered with greater force and en- 
ergy than he combines it to express his views upon 
this subject. But hear him criticise his critics : 

" I am accused of using hard language. I admit the charge. 
I have not been able to find a soft word to describe villainy, or 
to identify the perpetrator of it. The man who makes a chattel 



WILLIAM LLOYD GAKRISON. 125 

of his brother what is he 1 The man who keeps back the 
hire of his laborers by fraud what is he 1 They who pro- 
hibit the circulation of the bible what are they ? They who 
compel three millions of men and women to herd together like 
brute beasts what are they 1 They who sell mothers by the 
pound, and children in lots to suit purchasers what are they 1 
I care not what terms are applied to them, provided they do 
apply 1 If they are not thieves, if they are not tyrants, if they 
are not men-stealers, I should like to know what is their true 
character, and by what names they may be called. It is as 
mild an epithet to say that a thief is a thief, as to say that a 
spade is a spade. Words are but the signs of ideas. ' A rose 
by any other name would smell as sweet.' Language may 
be misapplied, and so be absurd or unjust ; as for example, to 
say that an abolitionist is a fanatic, or that a slaveholder is an 
honest man. But to call things by their right names is to use 
neither hard nor improper language. Epithets may be rightly 
applied, it is true, and yet be uttered in a hard spirit, or with 
a malicious design. What then 1 Shall we discard all terms 
which are descriptive of crime, because they are not always 
used with fairness and propriety ? He who, when he sees op- 
pression, cries out against it who, when he beholds his equal 
brother trodden under foot by the iron hoof of despotism, 
rushes to his rescue who, when he sees the weak overborne 
by the strong, takes sides with the former, at the imminent 
peril of his own safety such a man needs no certificate to the 
excellence of his temper, or the sincerity of his heart, or the 
disinterestedness of his conduct. Or is the apologist of slavery, 
he who can see the victim of thieves lying bleeding and help- 



126 MODERN AGITATORS. 

less on the cold earth, and yet turn aside, like the callous-hearted 
priest and Levite, who needs absolution." 

Upon the same subject lie says again : 

"Let us speak plain ; there is more force in names 
Than most men dream of ; and a lie may keep 
Its throne a whole age longer, if it skulk 
Behind the shield of some fair-seeming name. 
Let us call tyrants, tyrants, and maintain 
That only freedom comes by grace of God, 
And all that comes not by his grace must fallj 
For men in earnest have no time to waste 
In patching fig-leaves for the naked truth. 

" Let us call tyrants, tyrants ; not to do so is to misuse 
language, to deal treacherously with freedom, to consent to the 
enslavement of mankind. It is neither an amiable nor a virtu- 
ous, but a foolish and pernicious thing, not to call things by 
their right names. ' Woe unto them,' says one of the world's 
great prophets, ' that call evil good, and good evil ; that put 
darkness for light, and light for darkness ; that put bitter for 
sweet, and sweet for bitter.' 



5 55 



His own power in stinging criticism is well dis- 
played, and there is an expression of severe purity 
and uprightness upon it. In his social relations he 
is said to be an exceedingly amiable man, a kind and 
loving husband and father. His purity of character 
is irreproachable. !N"ot a whisper was ever raised by 
his worst enemy against his private character. 

As an orator he does not occupy a very high posi- 



WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON. 127 

tion. He lacks the graces of oratory is too severe 
in his style of speaking. Yet in spite of these disad- 
vantages he often speaks with tremendous power. It 
is by simple force of the ideas he utters. He uses 
an iron logic, and his earnestness is so intense that it 
arrests the attention of the hearer as effectually as 
the natural graces of oratory. WQ think there is no 
humor in his writings or speeches he is too solemnly 
in earnest for that ; but as a man and companion he 
by no means lacks geniality of character. 

We presume that there is no living American who 
is such a victim to the adverse prej udices of the peo- 
ple as William Lloyd Garrison, but we have faith to 
^believe that in the future his name will be glorious, 
when those of the majority of his cotemporaries will 
have been forgotten. 



JOHN B. GOUGH. 

THE history of the temperance reformation in the 
United States is intimately associated with that of a 
few prominent individuals. At an early period in 
the enterprise, we shall find the account of the Wash- 
ingtoniau movement, in which John Hawkins ap- 
peared, heading the reform ranks, himself but just 
escaped the drunkard's grave. His star was hardly 
in its zenith, when a new one of greater magnitude 
appeared in the eastern part of Massachusetts, the 
rays of which have reached every portion of the Uni- 
ted States, lit the extinguished lamp of hope in ten 
thousand "bosoms, and has since gone to kindle the 
flames of reform in the Old World. John B. Gough 
was born in Sandgate, county of Kent, England, in 
August, 1S17. His lather had been a soldier in the 
Peninsular war, and at the birth of this son was liv- 
ing upon a small pension at home. Accustomed to 
the severe discipline of the army, his nature possessed 
few attractions for a youth like John ; yet it is inter- 
esting to trace thus early in his life the strength of 
his imagination, which held him breathless by the 
hour while his father was relating the story of the 



JOHN B. GOUGH. 129 

seig'o of Corunna, or the burial of Sir Jolin Moore. 
His mother was a gentle, lovely woman, whose affec- 
tions early twined themselves around her only son, 
and whose spirit, like a guardian angel, followed him 
down through every grade of vice, and finally ex- 
erted more influence than anything else to induce 
him to a life of temperance and sobriety. 

The humble circumstances of his parents did not 
admit of a very extensive education for their son, yet 
in the school which lie attended he seems to have ac- 
quired a distinction equivalent to that of a monitor. 
His unusual abilities, however, manifested themselves 
at a very early period, for his skill in reading at- 
tracted the attention of Wilberforce, and he received 
from him a small book as a tribute to his talents. 
About this time he received a wound in his head, the 
effects of which he has felt through life. It was con- 
sidered dangerous for weeks, but he recovered appa- 
rentlv, although he attributes his unfortunate relapse 

t> * d5 X 

at a later period to the internal injury. 

At the age of twelve years, in company with a 
family from his native place, he embarked for Amer- 
ica ; he describes the parting with his parents, and 
especially with his mother, in a manner very affect- 
ing. So loth was she to part with him, that she fol- 
lowed him to the vessel, though she could ill afford 
it, and finally, bathing him in tears, co-iiimitted him 

to God, and left him. In the morning the vessel was 
F* 9 



130 MODERN AGITATORS. 

far from land, and he was left alone, to win or lose in 
the game of life. After remaining eight weeks in 
New York city, he started with the family for West- 
ern New York. During his stay at this place, he 
became the subject of serious religious impressions, 
and joined the Methodist Episcopal church. ]STot 
thinking that he was doing well enough here, how- 
ever, in two years, with the permission of his father, 
he left for ~New York. Here he apprenticed himself 
to learn the book-binding business, for two and one- 
quarter dollars per week, boarding himself. AYhile 
here he was under very good influences, and united 
with the church in Allen-street. Circumstances af- 
terward occurred, under which, he decided to leave 
that place for another, in which he was more exposed 
to temptation. Being still successful in saving a lit- 
tle, he sent for his friends to join him, from England, 
and after a time he was informed of the arrival of his 
mother and sister, whom he found, and together they 
engaged rooms and went to house-keeping. In the 
following winter they were reduced to the lowest de- 
gree of poverty, so as to suffer for the necessaries of 
life. He mentions with much gratitude the circum- 
stances that some kind stranger gave him a three- 
penny loaf of bread, when in great want, and says 
that he went to the neighboring country to pick up 
fuel for their use, notwithstanding which they suf- 
fered severely from the cold. 



JOHN B. GOUGII. 131 

In the spring of 1831, following, work improved, 
and their circumstances were relieved ; still they oc- 
cupied but one room, close beneath a hot roof, and 
their condition was deplorable. In the succeeding 
hot season he lost his mother, and he gives the his- 
tory of that event in the following touching language : 

" And now comes one of the most terrible events of my life, 
an event which almost bowed me to the dust. The summer 
of 1834 was exceedingly hot; and as our room was immedi- 
ately under the roof, and had but one small window in it, the 
heat was almost intolerable, and my mother suffered much from 
this cause. On the 8th of July, a day more than unusually 
warm, she complained of debility, but as she had before suf- 
fered from weakness, I was not apprehensive of danger, and 
saying I would go and bathe, asked her to provide me some 
rice and milk against seven or eight o'clock, when I should re- 
turn. That day my spirits were unusually exuberant. I 
laughed and sung with my young companions, as if not a cloud 
was to be seen in all my sky, when one was then gathering 
which was shortly to burst in fatal thunder over my head. 
About eight o'clock I returned home, and was going up the 
steps, whistling as I went, when my sister met me at the thresh- 
old, and seizing me by the hand, exclaimed, *7b/i?i, mother's 
dead ! ' What I did, what I said, I cannot remember ; but 
they told me afterward, I grasped my sister's arm, laughed 
frantically in her face, and then for some minutes seemed 
stunned by the dreadful intelligence. As soon as they per- 
mitted me, I visited our garret, now a chamber of death, and 



132 MODERN AGITATORS. 

there, on the floor, lay all that remained of her whom I had 
loved so well, and who had been a friend when all others had 
forsaken me. There she lay, with her face tied up with a 
handkerchief : 

' By foreign hands her aged eyes -were closed ; 
By foreign hands her decent limbs composed." 

" Oh, how r vividly came then to my mind, as I took her cold 
hand in mine and gazed earnestly in her quiet face, all her 
meek, enduring love, her uncomplaining spirit, her devotedness 
to her husband and children. All was now over; and yet, as 
through the livelong night I sat at her side, a solitary watcher 
by the dead, I felt somewhat resigned at the dispensation of 
Providence, that she was taken from the 'evil to come," 

The burial, too, he thus eloquently describes : 

"There was no 'pomp and circumstance' about that humble 
funeral ; but never went a mortal to the grave who had been 
more truly loved, and was then more sincerely lamented, than 
the silent traveler toward Potter's Field, the place of her inter- 
ment. Only two lacerated and bleeding hearts mourned for 
her; but as the almost unnoticed procession passed through 
the streets, tears of more genuine sorrow were shed than fre* 
quently fall, when 

'Some proud child of earth returns to dust 

" We soon reached the bury ing-ground. In the same cart 
with my mother was another mortal who.-je spirit had put on 
immortality. A little child's coffin lay beside that of her who 
had been a sorrowful pilgrim, for many years, and both now 



JOIIX B. GOUGH. 133 

were about to lie side by side in the narrow house. When 
the infant's coffin was taken from the cart, my sister burst into 
tears, and the driver, a rough-looking fellow, with a kindness 
of manner that touched us, remarked to her, ' Poor thing, 'tis 
better off where 'tis.' I undeceived him in his idea as to this 
supposed relationship of the child, and informed him that it was 
not the child, but our mother for whom we mourned. My 
mother's coffin was then taken out and placed in a trench, and 
a little dirt was thinly sprinkled on it. So was she buried." 

Nature had given to Mr. Gough a good musical 
voice, and considerable mimicking powers, which bis 
companions now began to discover. Indeed, we may 
say, that from this time onward, bis course was stead- 
ily down, down to the lowest depth of degradation in 
drunkenness. Habits of dissipation were steadily 
growing upon him, and though he received good 
wages, yet he squandered them in low company 
amid scenes of bacchanalian revelry. He now com- 
menced performing the lower parts in comedies, at 
the Franklin theater, and singing comic songs, for 
which his talents fitted him admirably. About this 

tr 

time his employer was burnt out in Kew York, and 
Gough lost most of his clothes and movables. His 
employer proposed moving to Rhode Island, and in- 
vited Gough to go with him, which invitation he ac- 
cepted. Soon after the removal he became ac- 
quainted with a company of actors from Providence, 
by whose request he became one of their number. 



134: MODERN AGITATORS. 

In this business his ventriloquial powers were called 
into action, and for a while he gave himself up to the 
stage almost entirely. His anticipations were soon 
after again doomed to disappointment through a fail- 
Tire in his remuneration. 

After wandering about some time in a wretched 
condition, he obtained a situation as a comedian for 
a theater in Boston. This occupation he followed 
until the theater closed in 1837, when, as he says, he 
" was thrown, like a foot-ball, upon the world's great 
highway." Through the assistance of a kind woman 

he obtained decent board, and a^ain was furnished 

' ~ 

employment at his old trade. All this he continued 
till he was a little more than twenty years of age, 
when his appearance became so shabby that his em- 
ployer turned him out of work. Hearing, however, 
of a situation in Newburyport, he pushed for it with 
all haste, and for a time tried successfully to abstain 
from liquor ; but the evil demon still followed him, 
and forming acquaintances with the members of an 
engine company, his old habits were resumed, and 
he became worse than ever. His case now seemed 
utterly hopeless, and work failing, he started on a 
coasting excursion in a fishing smack, when in a 
storm he nearly lost his life. Preserved by a change 
of weather almost miraculous, he narrowly escaped 
drowning a second time, by the hoisting of a small 
boat on board of the vessel, in the bottom of which 



JOHN B. GOUGH. 135 

he lay intoxicated. The violence with which they 
hoisted one end of the boat threw him into the other, 
and it being so dark that the sailors failed to observe 
him, he barely saved his life by an outcry which 
alarmed the seamen, and they took him on board. 
By this voyage he obtained sufficient money to buy 
some furniture, and he married the sister of the cap- 
tain with whom he had sailed. Again he became 
steady for a while, and went to church, and almost 
began to cherish a slight hope of reform ; but the 
overpowering strength of that monster habit was too 
much for his resolutions, and again he went down 
lower than ever. Even the young men who had 
been half-decent companions in drinking, began to 
be ashamed of him, and avoid his society. The ob- 
livion which followed these reflections was that of 
the wine cup. His nature, sensitive to the slightest 
suspicion of ill-treatment, could not endure the cold- 
ness of those who had laughed loudest at his sport 
when in better circumstances, and he sought relief 
in the intoxicating bowl. Through the exertions of 
a friend in JSTewburyport, an Englishman, he was 
again partially reclaimed only to fall again, and now 
his constitution began to be impaired by his debauch- 
eries. He became so nervous that, drunk or sober, 
he was unable to do the finer parts of book bind- 
in^ and gilding. He resorted to the most miserable 

O O cj 

expedients to keep up an appearance of decency, but 



136 MODERN AGITATORS. 

each successively was a more signal failure. His 
wife now left him on a visit to his sister, and he was, 
if possible, more free to carouse than ever. He 
bought a gallon of rum, and invited a fellow in to 
help him drink it, and for three days he subsisted 
upon rum alone, without a morsel of food. 

But for thus abusing his system, retribution, though 
tardy, was terrible. We have followed him from 
one step to another, till now he was to encounter 
that fearful malady, delirium tremens. After having 
drank a great amount of liquor, his throat becoming 
more parched and his tongue more dry by each ap- 
plication of the stimulant, a horrible feeling, hitherto 
unknown to him, began to be experienced. He 
sought relief in the use of tobacco, but not being 
able to stand up to light a match, ignited it while 
lying upon the bed, lit his pipe and threw the match 
carelessly by. Very soon the narcotic effect of the 
tobacco displayed itself, and he slept till the neigh- 
bors, alarmed by the smell and smoke, came into the 
room and aroused him from a lethargy which in fif- 
teen minutes more would have been fatal. Thus 
aroused, he went out and purchased a pint of rum, 
which he drank in half an hour, when he was seized 
by a violent attack of the disease above alluded to. 
For three days he was tortured seemingly w r ith a 
visit from all the inhabitants of the infernal regions. 
Hideous faces stared from out beneath shaggy locks, 



JOHN B. GOCGH. 137 

horrid phantoms floated through the air, and clutched 
their bony fingers at his throat. Frightful sounds 
issued from every object, and demons from Pande- 
monium seemed holding a horrible jubilee about their 
suffering victim. 

o 

But strange as it may seem, he recovered, and tells 
us that upon surveying his features, haggard and 
pale, in a glass, he thought of his mother ! After 
spending some time in reflection upon the prayers 
and tears which she had poured forth for him, the in- 
struction which she had given him, he went out and 
took a glass of brandy ; another and another followed 
till he was a^ain intoxicated. Yet asrain he found 

O ' 

employment as an actor, in which employment he 
continued, till from debauchery he was too worthless 
to be of service, when they reprimanded him so se- 
verely that he became angry, and upon the strength 
of it attended to the business. Thus it continued for 
a while, when he again sought his old avocation, and 
managed to* conceal his drunkenness sufficiently to 
retain his situation. His wife becoming ill about 
this time, by the advice of friends, he purchased two 
quarts of rum, so as to have some in the house if 
needed, and he soon found use for it : after ten days 
his wife and child both died, and then he drank to 
forgetfulness. At times, however, in his deepest deg- 
radation, the spirit of his mother seemed to beckon 
him to reform. He thus beautifully alludes to it: 



138 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" And through the mists of memory my mother's face would 
often appear, just as it was when I stood by her knee and lis- 
tened to the lessons of wisdom and goodness from her loving 
lips, I would see her mild, reproving face, and seem to hear 
her warning voice ; and surrounded by my riotous compan- 
ions, at certain seasons reason would struggle for the throne 
whence she had been driven, and I would, whilst enjoying the 
loud plaudits of companions, 

'See a hand they could not see, 
Which beckoned me away.' ' 

We have reached the lowest point in his history 
indeed, he or any man could have gone no lower. 
He was habitually intoxicated, keeping partially so- 
ber only when necessary to obtain the means for ob- 
taining a supply of spirits. The most wretched out- 
cast in Boston felt above him, and his life was a bur- 
den to himself. Had it not been for that instinctive 
clinging to an existence whose terrors we know, and 
the instinctive dread of future horrors we apprehend 
may be worse, he would doubtless have committed 
suicide. He felt, and in his bitterness exclaimed, 
that " no man cared for his soul." His prospects 
were utterly ruined, his reputation gone, his wife 
and child dead, and he realized that deep loneliness 
which none can feel but they who have been in his 
isolated position. His constitution was also greatly 
impaired by abuse and by the attack of delirium. 



JOHN B. GOTTGH. 139 

His was a most wretched and hopeless case. But a 
great work was yet before him a work in which 
his natural powers of mind, hitherto partially devel- 
oped, should have full scope upon the work of reform 
and humanity. Experience was to him a dear school- 
master, but just the one needed to fit him for his 
great life's work. In order to paint those glowing 
pictures in after life so successfully as to draw the 
admiration of listening thousands, he must himself 
pass through the scenes which his pencil would por- 
tray. He must feel the deadly clasp of the tyrant 
from whose embrace he would free others, and expe- 
rience for himself the utter wretchedness of the ine- 
briate whom he would reclaim. To his own personal 
acquaintance with these things must we trace that 
startling reality which he made the soul, the life of 
his pictures, when a lecturer. 

In the month of October, 1842, he was wandering 
hopelessly through the streets of Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts, reflecting upon his deplorable condition, 
when some one tapped him gently upon the shoulder, 
and said in a mild voice, as he looked around, " Mr. 
Gough, I believe." "That is my name," replied he; 
upon which the stranger entered into conversation 
with him about his dissipated habits, and questioned 
him kindly about his prospects for the future. Mr. 
Gough told him his circumstances, mentioned that he 
was tired of life, and cared not how soon he should 



140 MODERN AGITATORS. 

die, or whether he should die drunk or sober ; that 
since he despaired of ever being anything to the 
world, it was immaterial to him how or how soon he 
left it. Then, for the first time in years, words of 
true sympathy and encouragement greeted his ear, 
like the offer of assistance to a drowning man. All 

O 

the better feelings of his nature were aroused, and a 
faint glimmering of light reached him. The stranger, 

O O " O J 

Mr. Joel Stratton, of Worcester, told him of the pledge, 
how many had been saved by it from a doom as deep 
as his, and concluded by asking him to come to the 
temperance meeting at the hall the next evening, and 
join the society. Mr. Gough promised to do so, and 
the stranger having left him, he went for a glass of 
brandy, which he drank, and, following it by three 
more, went home in a thorough state of drunkenness. 
Still, when he became sober, he remembered his 
promise to attend the meeting, and determined to 
fulfill it ; throughout the day he occasionally moist- 
ened his throat with that which would only render 
it the more parched, but when evening came he was 
tolerably sober. AVith his ragged dress covered by 
an old surtout buttoned to the chin, he started for 
the meeting. Seating himself with others in the 
same condition, he waited till an opportunity was 
given, and then for the first time related his experi- 
ence as a drunkard. This was his first address, and 
was probably received like that of hundreds in like 



JOHN B. GOTJGH. 141 

circumstances, but did not attract particular atten- 
tion. Having signed the pledge witli a firm resolve 
to be a man a;ain, he summoned all his energies to 

O / cD 

the task of subduing that fierce appetite which had 
hitherto known no restraint. He went home and to 
bed, but not to sleep. He was so fully conscious of 
the strength of that foe against which he was to con- 
tend, that the dread of the fearful struggle would not 
allow of rest. All night he tossed in feverish excite- 

O 

ment, and in the morning arose with a fierce fire in 
his brain and torturing thirst in his throat. He ral- 
lied all the resolution he was master of behind that 
pledge as the fortress of his sincerity ; he knew that 
while the enemy could be kept from breaking over 
that, he was safe, and while that position was unear- 
ned he felt a deep joy in the consciousness that he was 
a man, and that even he might succeed. On the fol- 
lowing day he went to his workshop, reeling with 
weakness, and there received from a temperance friend 
a word of encouragement which cheered him to perse- 
vere and strengthened his hope. But the demon whose 
sway he had owned so long was not thus easy to lose 
his victim. As a natural effect of breaking off so 
suddenly the long continued use of so great a stimu- 
lus, he was thrown into a second attack of delirium 
tremens. In speaking of it afterward he thus de- 
scribes it : 



14:2 MODERN AGITATOES. 

" Fearful was that struggle. God in his mercy forbid that 
any other young man should endure but a tenth part of the 
torture which racked my frame and agonized my heart. I 
seemed to have a knife with a hundred blades in my hand, 
every blade driven through the flesh of my hands, and all were 
so inextricably bent and tangled together that I could not with- 
draw them for some time ; and when I did, from my lacerated 
fingers the bloody fibers would stretch out all quivering with 
life. A great portion of the time I spent alone ; no mother's 
hand was near to wipe the big drops of perspiration from my 
brow ; no kind voice cheered me in my solitude." 

Tliis attack lasted him a week, when he gradually 
recovered, his health improved, and he began to get 
about ; but he was thin and pale, his features haggard 
and worn, and his whole system deeply debilitated. 
Yet his resolution never wavered, and the determina- 
tion to conquer never faltered ; he knew that, physi- 
cally, the severest part of the struggle was over, and 
he resolved that his mental fortitude should hold out 
while life remained. 

A short time after his recovery, he was invited to 
speak in a small school-house, on which occasion he 
delivered his first regular temperance address, fifteen 
minutes or more in length. His circumstances bein^ 

o ^ 

yet much reduced, he was obliged to wear his over- 
coat as before, buttoned tightly to conceal his rags, 
and there being a rousing fire in the room, he was 
nearly roasted before he had finished. "We have al- 



JOHN B. GOTJGH. 143 

luded to the incident in order to show more fully the 
unfavorable auspices under which he commenced his 
career as a public speaker. 

But his talent was no longer to remain buried in 
the earth, for God had called him to a high and holy 
work, as the champion of reform. His brilliant tal- 
ents as an orator began to attract attention, and at 
the earnest solicitation of friends he procured permis- 
sion of absence from his employers, leaving a job 
partly finished, which he promised to complete in 
two weeks. But he never saw the books again ; he 
had commenced a career which was to end only with 
his life, and book-binding was quitted forever. It 
was so long since he had worn a decent suit of 
clothes, that his awkwardness in them shall be told 
by himself: 

" The pantaloons were strapped down over feet which had 
long been used to freedom, and I feared to walk in my usual 
manner, lest they should give at the knee. I feared, too, lest a 
strap should give and make me lop-sided for life ; the swarthy 
cut coat was so neatly and closely fitted to the arms, and the 
shoulders, and the back, that when it was on, I felt in a fix, as 
well as a fit. I was fearful of anything but mincing motion, 
and my arms had a cataleptic appearance. Every step I took 
was a matter of anxiety, lest an unlucky rip should derange 
my smartness. Verily, I felt more awkward in my new suit 
than did I while roasting before the fire in my old one." 



MODERN AGITATORS. 

His engagements now rapidly increased, and he 
was called upon to address full houses everywhere in 
that vicinity. The star of his reputation had finally 
got above the clouds which obscured its rising ; its 
light began to be seen, and its influence to be felt, 
when it was subject to a short eclipse. Upon his con- 
stitution, emerging from the debility of sickness and 
prostration, five months of constant lecturing had 
worn with great severity. That pain in his head 
which had returned periodically with more or less 
violence since the blow received in youth, now vis- 
ited him with renewed severity, causing for a time a 
partial derangement. This occurred on the way to 
Worcester, while under an engagement to lecture in 
that vicinity. In addition to this cause was a con- 
stant hemorrhage from the stomach, with long con 

o / o 

tinued nervous excitement, want of rest, and loss of 
appetite. Hardly conscious of what he was doing, 
instead of preparing for the evening lecture, he took 
the cars for Boston. Under this irresistible impulse 
he went to the theater, and then fell in with some of 
his old companions, who, noticing something out of 
the way, inquired what was the matter, and invited 
him to go in and get some oysters. He went, and 
being offered a glass of brandy, without a thought or 
reflection drank it off. The old appetite once aroused, 
was not satisfied without two or three glasses more, 
and in that state he retired to his hotel. In the 



JOHN B. GOUGH. 145 

morning lie took the cars for Newburyport, thence 
back to Boston, and from there to Worcester, where 
he had an appointment ; meeting with his friends, he 
frankly told them the whole ; how as from a cloudless 
sky the bolt had fallen, and begged their forgiveness. 
It was not a time for them to give him up, and they 
rallied around him with encouragement and sympa- 
thy. Instead of being discouraged, he resolved to 
derive new benefit from the lesso:i received, and 
wage the warfare with more vigor than ever. His 
field of labor was now the larger towns in the ISTew 
England states, in which he labored continually for a 
number of months. After this he was urged to speak 
in Boston, where he drew large houses, and finally 
the largest were insufficient to contain the crowds 
that were entranced by his oratory. 

In the autumn of 1843 he was again married, and 
remained in Boston and the vicinity during that win- 
ter. In the May following, having received invita- 
tions to lecture in the largest cities of the middle and 
western states, he started in company with Mr. Grant 
on a tour more widely extended than he had hitherto 
attempted. 

He was now fairly upon the stage as a speaker, and 
some account of his appearance may not be out of 
place. He is about medium height, slender, with 
a look of care upon his countenance. Time has pre- 
maturely furrowed his brow, and sorrow and hard- 
G 10 



146 MODERN AGITATORS. 

ships left their indelible footprints. His tempera 
ment is nervous and sanguine, and his constitution, 
naturally strong, has become weakened by disease. 

As he takes his seat quietly upon the platform, a 
stranger would not select him for a man of great 
power, yet nnder the arching brow, shaded by care- 
less locks of dark, flowing hair, his fine rolling eye 
cannot fail to excite a deep interest on the part of the 
beholder. ISTot until lie rises to his address is one 
impressed with his wonderful talents. He com- 
mences deliberately and distinctly, seeming uncon- 
scious of his power, but as he becomes interested in 
his subject he grows more fervent and earnest, till at 
length he seems hurried only to keep pace with the 
rapid evolutions of his own mind ; every thought be- 
comes a bolt from the hot furnace of his brain, and 
wrought into sentences, they fall with the rapidity, 
and we might almost add, with the effect of light- 
ning. The sympathetic influence is imperceptibly 
communicated to his audience, until at length they 
are entirely under his control. They are interested 
in whatever interests him ; the man is forgotten, and 
nothing is felt but the passionate impulse of an ab- 
sorbing mind. You surrender your judgment, emo- 
tions, sensibilities, in fact your whole being, to a do- 
minion w r hich is irresistible, and would wonder, if you 
could stop to wonder, at your own lack of self-gov- 
ernment. Still he hurries you onward ; now some 



JOHN B. GOUGH. 147 

scene of woe lias received a coloring so vivid from 
the pencil of his imagination, that before you are 
aware, tears have answered to the fervor of his ap- 
peal ; the next instant the whole scene is changed, 
and some grotesque figure stands forth in an attitude 
so ludicrous that you are convulsed with laughter. 
This strength of imagery is no better exhibited than 
in his comparison of the young man's danger from 
intemperance to the boat rushing down the cataract 
of Niagara. We give it in his own language : 

"I remember riding near Niagara Falls, and I said to a gen 
tleman, 'What river is that, sir 1 ?' 'That,' he said, 'is Niag- 
ara river.' ' Well,' said I, ' it is a beautiful stream, bright, and 
fair, and glassy : how far off are the rapids 1 ' ' About a mile 
or two,' was the answer. ' Is it possible,' I said, ' that only a 
mile from us we shall find the water in such turbulence, as I 
presume it must be, near the falls 1 ' ' You will find it so, sir.' 
And so I found it ; and that first sight of the Niagara I shall 
never forget. Now launch your bark on that Niagara river ; 
it is bright, smooth, beautiful, and glassy ; there is a ripple at 
the bow ; the silvery lake you leave behind you adds to your 
enjoyment; down the stream you glide; you have oars, sails, 
and helm prepared for every contingency, and you set out on 
your pleasure excursion. Some one comes out from the bank, 
' Young men, ahoy ! ' ' What is it ] ' ' The rapids are below 
you.' ' Ha, ha ! we have heard of the rapids below us, but 
we are not such fools to get into them. When we find we are 
going too fast to suit our convenience, then hard up the helm, 



14:8 MODERN AGITATORS. 

and steer to the shore ; when we find we are passing a given 
spot too rapidly, we will set the mast in the socket, hoist the 
sail and speed to land. We are not alarmed by the danger.' 
* Young men, ahoy ! The rapids are below you.' ' Ha, ha ! 
we will laugh and quaff; all things delight us. What care we 
for the future ! No man ever saw it. Sufficient unto the day 
is the evil thereof. We will enjoy life while we may, and 
catch pleasure as it flies. This is enjoyment ; it is time enough 
to steer out of danger when we find we are swiftly sailing with 
the current.' ' Young men, ahoy ! ' What is it 1 ' ' The rap- 
ids are below you ! ' Now you see the water foaming all 
around; see how fast you pass the point! Now turn! pull 
hard ! quick, quick ! Pull for your life ! Pull till the blood 
starts from your nostrils, and the veins stand like whipcords 
upon the brow ! Set the mast in the socket ! Hoist the sail ! 
Ha, ha ! it is too late ! Shrieking, cursing, howling, blas- 
pheming, over you go ! And thousands thus go over by the 
power of evil habit, declaring all the while, ' When I find out 
that it is injuring me, then I will give it up." 

Here lies Mr. Gough's great strength ; he is a per- 
fect orator. Whatever his vivid imagination grasps, 
he paints before you with startling reality ; the awk- 
ward appears intensely ludicrous, the homely scares 
you, the disagreeable becomes hateful, and the ugly 
fiendish. By a touch of the same magic wand, the 
interesting becomes beautiful, and the lovely is trans- 
formed into the angelic. His metaphors always seem 
the best adapted to the object which he would illus- 



JOHN B. GGUGH. 149 

trate, and when he has finished the picture, perfec- 
tion asks nothing more. 

O 

Mr. Gough's oratory has none of the classical fin- 
ish of Burke, the stinging satire of Pitt, or the mas- 
sive grandeur of Webster; but it flows onward like 
a strong mountain torrent, its surface now flashing 
with the star-light of wit, then dark with the heaving 
billows of passion, but always possessing a power ir- 
resistible. What early education omitted in his dis- 
cipline, experience has recompensed ; what he failed 
to acquire in the schoolhouse of boyhood, he learned 
in the school of life. To an originality of conception 
in thought, nature has added the perfect ability of a 
mimic, so that his scope is not limited to one subject 
or to one method of treating it. He possesses a fine 
musical voice which prepossesses one in his favor, 
and relieves the monotony too frequent in a discourse ; 
altogether, he is one of the most fascinating speakers 
we have heard. Some parts of his orations, like that 
above quoted, appear well in print, but usually their 
beauty lies in his inimitable manner of delivery ; he 
never writes an oration, but having acquired an off- 
hand habit, the natural consequence is a disconnect- 
edness of style which would appear imperfect as a 
whole ; nevertheless, we find in his speeches occa- 
sional passages which cannot easily be excelled in the 
language for touching pathos, or bewitching beauty. 
After all, descriptions do not touch him ; he must be 



150 MODERN AGITATORS. 

heard and seen to be appreciated. He came in a 
time when lie was most needed, when the mere ex- 
perience of the reformed inebriate was becoming 
threadbare. His stirring appeals aroused the flag- 
ging strength of the cause, and reanimated its adhe- 
rents. Once only, the devices of fiends for a short 
time prevailed, and by means of a drugged mixture 
administered under the guise of friendship, he was 
drawn from the path of rectitude ; but being re- 
claimed by his friends, he has ever since been a more 
uncompromising foe to rum drinking than ever. 
When the idea of totally restraining the traffic in 
intoxicating drinks was developed in the Maine law, 
it found in him a firm supporter and zealous advo- 
cate. To the great work of the temperance reforma- 
tion he has consecrated his life, and for its welfare 
he hesitates not to sacrifice the best energies of his 
being. "When intemperance shows its monster head 
he is ready to strike a blow at his life. He has now 
crossed the ocean, and is lecturing to the benighted 
millions of Europe, speaking words of encouragement 
to the fainting, and assisting the slave of the wine- 
cup in high places and in low to break the thralldom 
which enchains him, and become free. Xo one with- 
out his experience could have done his work ; and 
we do not hesitate to rank him among the most dis- 
tinguished of American reformers. 



CHARLES G. FIMEY. 

IT is astonishing how many different appearances 
are given of an eminent person by different biogra- 
phers. In reading Scott's or Alison's history of Na- 
poleon, we should never dream that he was anything 
but a tyrannical usurper wading through seas of 
blood to the throne of the world ; while in the account 
of Mr. Abbott we see but a stern and resolute pa- 
triot, who from the sense of duty unwillingly offered 
human sacrifices upon the altar of his country. We 
have noticed the same shade of difference in various 
representations of the subject of the present sketch. 
One of these was a late memoir of Dr. Nettleton, 
containing allusions to Mr. Finney, which we shall 
refer to again, remarking here that there is perhaps 
no man of the same religious eminence living, about 
whom society at large has as great variety of opin- 
ions as of President Finney. Political squabbles, 
though of not half the importance, have always taken 
a more vital hold of society in general than theolo- 
gical discussions, and it is owing perhaps to the rea- 
son that the true position of this distinguished theo- 
logian is no better known to the world. Having ta- 
ken some pains to investigate and ascertain the facts 



152 MODEKN AGITATOKS. 

in regard to his character, we hope to give it a fail 
delineation in the following paragraphs. 

Charles G. Finney was born in Litchfield county, 
in the year 1792. Two years after, his parents, who 
were in moderate circumstances, removed to " the 
Black river country," ISTew York, with their family, 
where Mr. Finney spent the years of his childhood. 
His character as a leader began to develop itself in 
^outh ; in sports his associates ranked him among 
the foremost, yet in school he was studious, and it is 
remarked by an early acquaintance, that mathemat- 
ics was to him but a recreation. By the intense 
vigor of his intellect he was enabled to master easily 
what other boys did only by close application, and 
he found considerable time to wield the sledge at his 
fathers anvil. Here he took his first lesson in mould- 
ing the hot iron to a desired shape, and here he first 
felt in his own breast the glowings of a fire which 
should send forth glowing truths, to arouse men from 
the slumbers of carnal security, and light the fires of 
reform. Here he learned the force of one strono- 

o 

arm under the control of a brave heart and clear in- 
tellect, and while his physical system was gaining 
muscular strength from continual action, his mind 
was as constantly acquiring an energy no less needed 
to prepare him for his great work. At the age of 
twenty he returned to Connecticut and commenced 
teaching a day -school and giving instruction in music, 



CHARLES G. FIXNEY. 153 

at which he gained considerable reputation. He sub- 
sequently returned to New York, and entered upon 
the study of law, which he completed honorably ; 
was admitted to the bar, and practiced for a time in 
that state. Up to this period, though not wild, he 
had paid no particular personal attention to religious 
subjects. He was what is called a strictly moral 
man, but now beins; led to a more thoughtful con- 

f O O 

temptation of divine truth and the claims of God 
upon him, he perceived that his life had been one of 
rebellion and sin ; and, yielding to the powerful con- 
victions of the Divine Spirit, he submitted his whole 
being to God. 

His plans and purposes now took a new direction, 
and he consecrated himself to the ministry. After 
studying theology one year at Auburn Seminary, at 
the age of thirty he commenced preaching as an 
Evangelist, in the larger cities of New York. It was 
during the powerful revival that attended this por- 
tion of his ministry that he and Dr. Asahel Nettleton 
came somewhat into collision. 

Dr. Nettleton was nine years older than Mr. Fin- 
ney, and had then been laboring as an evangelist for 
twenty-one years, principally in New York, Connect- 
icut, and Massachusetts. He was a preacher of al- 
together a different character from Mr. Finney, be- 
ing mild and persuasive, and had won the affections 

of the people among whom he had labored and doubt- 
G* 



154: MODERN AGITATORS. 

less been exceedingly useful. He was now worn 
with the excitement and toil of twenty years of ac- 
tivity, and was unable to go on with the work. To an 
impartial observer it would seem that God had raised 
up Mr. Finney for the express purpose of filling his 
place. Many hearts had become hardened by long 
continued repetition of the same truths in much the 
same style, and there was need of a new energy and 
power in the delivery of the truth, to make it effect- 
ive. In saying this, we do not speak forgetfully of 
other means, and especially of the Divine influence, 
but God has ordered that the success of his kingdom 
shall depend to a certain extent upon human instru- 
mentalities, and in the economy of grace they are as 
much needed as some inducements presented only 
by a divine power. The earnest fervor of Mr. Fin- 
ney, accompanying his lucid expositions of the re- 
quirements of God's law, constituted him the man 
for the emergency, and he applied himself to the 
work with a zeal which won for him and his adhe- 
rents the name of " Western Wild Fires." But, to 
refer to the biography before spoken of, which al- 
ludes to Mr. Finney in a manner quite unkind and 
uncourteous, to say the least : It characterizes the 
work of grace in which Mr. Finney was engaged as 
a " great religious excitement ; ' : accuses him of 
" harshness and severity ; ' says that " multitudes 
were reported as subjects of renewing grace," and 



CHARLES G. FINNET. 155 

leaves upon every mind the impression that the great- 
est and worst part of truth had been left unsaid ; it 
closes with this remark : " that very many of the re- 
ported converts were like the stony-ground hearers, 
who endured only for a time, few, I presume, will at 
this day be disposed to deny." Certainly, but is it 
not so in every revival? Are not "many called, but 
few chosen ? ' Is there any evidence that less were 
savingly converted than in the corresponding labors 
of Mr. ISTettleton ? The real cause of the difficulty is 
betrayed in the following rather careless sentence : 

*/ O 

"He (Dr. Nettleton) found that Mr. Finney was un- 
willing to abandon certain measures which he had 
ever regarded as exceedingly calamitous to the cause 
of revivals ; ' and because " certain measures r did 
not meet with the approbation of Dr. Xettleton, he 
was necessitated to use his influence against the 
whole work. In this opposition he was sustained by 
numbers who either objected to the same measures, 
or were of different theological sentiments, or, for 
some reason, disliked the man. We will further 
quote from a letter of Dr. Nettleton to a friend, writ- 
ten in January, 1827. It will show what results Dr. 

v J 

!Nettleton found fault with, and who were really to 
blame for those results. He says, " We do not call 
in question the genuineness of those revivals, or the 
purity of the motives of those who have been the 
most active in them. You doubtless are reaping and 



156 MODEEN AGITATOE9. 

rejoicing in their happy fruits ; but the evils to which 
I allude are felt by the churches abroad, numbers of 
which have gone out to catch the spirit, and have re- 
turned, some grieved, others soured, and denouncing 
ministers, colleges, theological seminaries, and have 
set whole churches by the ears, and kept them in 
turmoil for months together." 

Is the blame, then, to be attached to the principal 
preacher, or to the individuals who went home dis- 
contented and prejudiced? When, in a multitude 
of instances, the Almighty had set his seal to the 
work, is it to be considered spurious because a num- 
ber of individuals could not extend to it their appro- 
bation ? We find it stated on reliable authoritv, that 

t> / 

" Dr. Xettleton afterward repented of his rashness," 
and although he had been aforetime very successful 
in his ministry, his usefulness seemed to die when he 
came out so bitterly against Mr. Finney. Dr. Ly- 
man Beecher wrote to Dr. Nettleton, who had been 
sick about a year, that "his sickness seemed a judg- 
ment upon him for his opposition to Mr. Finney ; if 
we are not able to keep up with the boys, why, let 
them go ahead ; we will follow on and do what good 
we can." In alluding to the matter, President Fin- 
ney remarks, " I never had much to do with him in 
any way." 

The work in which Mr. Finney was engaged pro- 
gressed rapidly, and great success attended his ef- 



CHARLES G. FINNEY. 157 

forts. His knowledge of human law made him more 
acute in perceiving, and ready in interpreting the di- 
vine law. His first volume of sermons was published 
in 1835, but some or all of them must have been writ- 
ten eight or nine years before, at the time of these 
revivals. The impenitent man who could fail to be 
aroused by such appeals as fill these lectures, must 
have been already stupefied by that torpor which is 
the precursor of eternal death. By their vigor and 
thrilling earnestness, thousands who had never be- 
fore given a thought to the subject of religion, were 
awakened, and renouncing the service of Satan, en- 
tered the Christian church. There are before us no 
statistics of the actual addition to the different de 
nominations, but it is certain that no revivals since 
the days of Edwards, were nearly as productive of 
benefit to the churches, in whose vicinity they oc- 
curred. In company with " Father Nash," as fellow- 
laborer, he discharged the duties of a successful evan- 
gelist in Rochester, Utica, Rome, Auburn, Buffalo, 
Troy, Boston, and New York city, and various other 
places of considerable importance. 

In 1832, Mr. Finney was settled over the Chatham- 
street chapel, in New York city, where he discharged 
the duties of the pastoral office acceptably for two 
years. He then removed to the Tabernacle church, 
where he ministered for three years. In 1835, when 
he had been pastor of the Tabernacle one year, he 



158 MODERN AGITATORS. 

was elected professor of theology, at Oberlin, Ohio, 
and after two years, finding the double duties too 
much for his health, he resigned the charge of the 
church in Xew York, and removed to Oberlin. In 
1836, he published " Sermons on important subjects," 
and " Lectures to Christians," in 1837. In the course 
of the next four years he published three other works, 
entitled, " Sanctification," " Bevival Letters," and 
"Skeletons upon the subject of Moral Government." 
From the time he left Xew York, he was engaged in 
professional duties at Oberlin, and preaching in dif- 
ferent cities in the Union, for a number of years. In 
1846 and 1847 he issued his comprehensive work 
upon Systematic Theology, in two octavo volumes. 
They are the second and third of the series. In re- 
ference to the absence of the first, Professor Finney, 
in his preface to the second volume, says, " I have 
begun with the second volume, as this was to be on 
subjects so distinct from what will appear in the first, 
that this volume might as well appear first, and be- 
cause it seemed especially called for just now, to meet 
a demand of the church, and of my classes." Any 
comment from us upon these works might appear as- 
suming, and perhaps arrogant. The public are aware 
of the nature of the subjects therein discussed, and 
of his mode of discussion. Professor Finney has 
brought to the work a maturity of mind, a strength 
of purpose, and a logical acumen which is seldom 



CHARLES G. FINNEY. 159 

found. Professor Hodge, in his ill-fated review of 
them, says: "The work is, therefore, in a high de- 
gree logical. It is as hard to read as Euclid. [No- 
thing can be omitted ; nothing passed over slightly. 
* * * It is like one of those spiral stair-cases, 
which lead to the top of some high tower, without a 
landing from the base to the summit. The author 
begins with certain postulates, or what he calls first- 
class truths of reason, and these he traces out with 
singular clearness and accuracy to their legitimate 
conclusions. We do not see that there is a break or 
defective link in the whole chain ; if you grant his 
premises, you have already granted his conclusions." 
The article by Professor Hodge, in the Princeton 
Biblical Repository for June, 1847, is the most like 
an attempt to combat Mr. Finney of anything we 
have seen, and this is an attempt only in appearance. 
After admitting that his premises must be wrong, or 
his conclusions right, one would suppose that unless 
Professor Hodge could deny successfully the premi- 
ses, he must feel the force of the arguments, and ad- 
mit the conclusions and positions established thereby. 
But no, he does nothing of the kind ; seeing no place 
upon all the battle-field where he could erect a bat- 
tery, he retreats behind the overthrown castle of Old 
School Presbyterianism, and barks at the author. It 
is indeed a pastime for a curious man to compare the 
work reviewed with the Review, to see how infinitely 



160 MODERN AGITATORS. 

behind the one the other is in logic, in power of rea- 
soning, and in intellectual perception. Professor 
Finney, with surprising ease and clearness, traces out 
principles which his reviewer, after close application 
and untiring diligence^ comprehends much as a school- 
boy half perceives the beauty of an intricate geomet- 
rical demonstration. He is evidently just as far be- 
hind Mr. Finney in metaphysical disquisition and in- 
tellectual apprehension as the schoolboy is behind 
Euclid in mathematics ; and the beauty of it is, that 
this truth is so obvious to every one. Professor 
Hodge acknowledges in the first place that he can- 
not see the principles upon which the work is founded, 
in fact that he does not believe there are any. We 
will quote : " Our task would be much easier if 
there were any one radical principle to which his 
several axioms could be reduced ; ' further on in the 
same page he begins to see dimly as follows : " We 
are not sure that Mr. Finney's doctrines may not be 
traced to two fundamental principles ; 5: after writing 
eight pages, he is " assured that he has discovered the 
two principles," the key-stones of the arch ; well, 
what does he in this case ? Does he try to pull them, 
out, and thus overthrow the structure? !N"o, he 
stands laughing at it, and calls upon those who think 
as he does to help him laugh it down. The only real 
difference between them is shown by Mr. Finnev, in 

t/ */ 7 

an " Examination of the Review of Finney's Theol- 



CHARLES G. FINNEY. 161 

ogy," published in the Oberlin Quarterly for August, 
1847. We quote briefly from the " Examination : ' 
" Professor Hodge asserts that ' it is no less obviously 
true that an inability which has its origin in sin, 
which consists in what is sinful, and relates to moral 
action, is perfectly consistent with continued obliga- 
tion ; ' : "I deny that moral obligation extends to any 
act or state, either of soul or body, that lies wholly 
beyond both the direct and indirect control of the 
will, so that it is naturally impossible for the agent to 
be or do it.' : In referring to Professor Hodge, Mr. 
Finney says further : " He represents reverence, 
gratitude^ and devotion as higher forms ot virtue than 
benevolence ; ' "I had shown that these were attri- 
butes of benevolence, but he regards them manifestly 
as involuntary emotions. Reverence for God for or 
on account of his benevolence gratitude to God for 
his benevolence devotion to God for his benevo- 
lence, higher forms of virtue than the benevolence 

/ o 

which w r e adore ! Amazing! What will the church 
and the world say, when they are told that at Prince- 
ton they hold such views of the nature of true religion? 
What, good will to God and to being in general, that 
efficient principle that is the foundation and source 
of all doing good, one of the lowest forms of virtue ! 
Tell it not in Gath. * If, as he says, the 

involuntary states of the intellect and the sensibility 

are more virtuous than the benevolence in which I 

11 



162 MODERN AGITATORS. 

hold that all true virtue strictly consists, I am ut- 
terly mistaken. And if, on the other hand, supreme, 
disinterested good will to God and man, including all 
its attributes and developments, is virtue, and, strictly 
speaking, the whole of virtue, then this writer is 
wholly in fault, and has not the true ideal of the 
Christian religion before him when he writes." But 
we have not room to trace the skirmish any further ; 
indeed, were it not the only semblance of an attack 
upon his system from an opposing school, we should 
only have alluded to it. Before leaving this subject, 
it will be proper for us to mention a paper written by 
Dr. Duffield, issued under the sanction of the Presby- 
tery of Detroit, and " approved by the Synod of 
Michigan;' 1 it is entitled "A Warning against Er- 
ror," but should have been named conversely, an 
" Error against Warning," or a bundle of errors in 
despite of warning. We have read most of it, and 
after reading the "Reply" to it, which Mr. Einney 
published, we do not think it worth our while to 
quote a paragraph. It is a mere collection of pathos, 
grandmotherly tenderness of the churches, and mis- 
apprehensions of Mr. Finney's views, with a few pi- 
ous ejaculations of horror at his awful impiety. We 
are not sufficiently posted up in metaphysics to define 
all the points of difference between Professor Ein- 
ney's system and either the Old or Xew School ; it 
differs somewhat from both. In the words of Pro- 



CHARLES G. FINNEY. 163 

fessor Hodge, " Principles which have long been 
current in this country, he has had the strength of 
intellect and will to trace out to their legitimate con- 
clusions, and has thus shown the borderers that there 
is no neutral ground." The work is doubtless the 
purest, clearest, and at the same time the most pro- 
found metaphysical disquisition we have ever seen 
perhaps which has been written. To quote a speci- 
men from it, would be like taking a stone out of an 
arch to exhibit the perfection of the structure, or like 
cutting a piece from a tight rope to show you how it 
looked when stretched, or like removing the central 
piece of a suspension bridge to exhibit its strength ; 
remove a link, and the chain falls. Yet one time or 
other the world will ask, " If all this be true, if Mr. 
Finney's theological positions cannot be overthrown, 
why are they not adopted by the different schools of 
the land ? If men can fulfill the commands of God, 
if he in this life expects them to do what he requires, 
if he is a reasonable being, and only requires things 
which it is possible for us to perform, why, O theolo- 
gians, do you not tell us so ? If God only expects us 
to love him with all our powers, why do you teach 
that he requires in us the perfect love of Adam be- 
fore the fall ? Is the credit of this or that particular 
school of more importance than the word of God ? 
Are the traditions of men more binding than the 
Divine commands? If the Infinite is a tyrannical 



164: MODERN" AGITATORS. 

being, exacting of his creatures that which we are 
incapable of performing, let us know it now, and 
your further service will be dispensed with. But if, 
as some injudicious men strangely argue, the Al- 
mighty Agent who holds our life and destinies in his 
hand, if he is also a God of justice, requiring only 
that degree of service which we are capable of per- 
forming, why do you not preach that plainly, and 
hold out to us the inducements for doing it ? ' 

But we have tarried too long upon a subject upon 
which we could not have said less without refusing 
to speak, and we turn to the . narrative of his life. 
About four years since, Prof. Finney went to England, 
and in spite of the admonitions and " warnings " of 
American conservatives, was well received by the 
most eminent orthodox divines in the realm. "We 
copy an account of his reception from the letter of 
an intelligent American, in the Puritan Recorder : 
" Mr. Finney's Lectures on Revivals, which as well 
as one or two other volumes of his works, had been 
published in England, and even translated into 
"Welsh, prepared the way for his visit. AY hen Dr. 
Campbell first invited him to come up to London 
from some provincial town where he was laboring, 
he did it as he does everything, with all his heart. 
He determined to have a full and fair experiment of 
the influence of such labors 011 such a population. 
His plans were zealously seconded by the working 



CHAHLES G. FINNEY. 165 

members of the church, who distributed at the com- 
mencement fifty thousand copies of an address invi- 
ting attendance. These were followed by thousands 
more ; and huge placards were in some instances car- 
ried, according to the London fashion, on men's shoul- 
ders, through the streets. The result was a constant 
and increasing attendance on the Sabbath, and gen- 
erally six evenings in the week, for about nine months, 
ranging from one thousand to three thousand two 
hundred. There was no confusion or undue excite- 
ment. At the close of the public evening services, 
all who wished to be more directly and familiarly ad- 
dressed, were requested to remain ; and the hundreds 
who complied with this invitation, were still further; 
subdivided at a later period in the evening, by an in- 
vitation to inquirers to remain. ]STone were received to 
the communion under four or five mpnths from the time 
of their hopeful conversion. In short, every precaution 
was taken to prevent the evils which were well un- 
derstood to have attended these " special efforts " in 
America ; and with such a man as Dr. Campbell at 
the helm, and in such a community as that which of- 
fered itself in the busy, worldly, wicked English me- 
tropolis, there was little danger of hurtful extrav- 
agance." 

In reference to Prof. Finney's theological senti- 
ments, this correspondent remarks : " Dr. Campbell's 
treatment of Mr. F. as, on the whole, sound in doc* 



166 MODERN AGITATORS. 

trine, notwithstanding many startling statements, 
though disapproved by some of the Congregational 
body, yet found an extensive concurrence. And it 
struck me as not a little remarkable, that even his 
Treatise on Theology, after a careful examination of 
three days by Mr. James, of Birmingham, and Dr. 
Bedford, of "Worcester, was revised and edited by the 
latter, and published with Dr. B.'s preface in an ele- 
gant form by Mr. Tegg, the eminent London pub- 
lisher. How much the revision amounted to I know 
not. The American edition would probably want 
considerable revision to suit the taste of Xew En- 
gland theologians of any school." We beg leave to 
differ in this last sentiment of the writer, for had 
there been any feature in Mr. Finney's theology very 
objectionable to New England divines, they wouldi 
not have invited hkn so earnestly to preach in their 
pulpits, immediately upon his return to America. 
The farewell exercises in London were of a very im- 
pressive and interesting character. A large tea- 
meeting was given, in which flattering testimonials 
were presented to Mr. and Mrs. F., and speeches were 
made in honor of their distinguished visitor. Upon 
reaching !STew York, Mr. F. was urged to labor for a 
time in the Tabernacle Church, of that city, which he 
did, and many were converted and added to the church. 
The Independent says of him : " The truths upon 
which he most insisted during his continuous stay of 



CHARLES G. FINNEY. 167 

ten or twelve weeks in this city, were the entire sin- 
fulness of man, his guilt and condemnation, his pinch- 
ing need of Christ, the glorious provision of grace in 
the atonement, a free salvation by grace, and yet the 
absolute sovereignty of God in the dispensation of 
the Spirit, whose aid, by his voluntary perverseness, 
the sinner has rendered indispensable to his conver- 
sion, man's accountability, and the justice of God in 
the eternal condemnation of the wicked. These 
truths were often presented with great force of logic 
and vividness of illustration ; but if we had any crit- 
icism to offer upon Mr. Finney, it would be, that at 
times he manifested a want of earnestness and con- 
centrated power a consequence of the prolix dif- 
fuseness of extemporaneous speaking rather than a 
dangerous excess of these qualities." 

Mr. Finney then went to Hartford, at the solicita- 
tion of Drs. Hawes, Bushnell, and Mr. Patton, and 
lectured with success for a number of weeks. He is 
a very earnest and energetic speaker, rigidly terse as 
a writer, and spends no time in tickling the ear by 
flowery illustrations or splendid metaphors. 

He commences a discourse by digging down and 
showing the great principles which, like foundation 
stones, underlie the surface ; upon these, truth after 
truth is piled like blocks of granite, which once placed 
can never be removed ; gradually, but surely, rises 
the superstructure, and when completed, there is not 



168 MODERN AGITATORS. 

one piece too much, nor is anything lacking. The 
argument completed, he proceeds to the application 
of the subject with a force and scrutiny which can 
neither be resisted or avoided. The Divine Law ap- 
pears to the hearer like a great and equitable rule of 
action ; he wonders that he never saw it in that light 
before ; he sees himself a culprit, feeble and insig- 
nificant as a worm, but magnified by his offense to a 
rebel against the Ruler of worlds. There appears no 
way of escape ; every avenue seems barred against 
him ; " which way he flies is hell," yet fly he must, 
for behind him the Law, like a flaming sword, is dart- 
ing its double edge of fire around his soul ; in con- 
sternation and anguish he falls down exclaiming, 
" What shall I do? ; when a voice, still and small 
like a zephyr, reaches him from Calvary : " Look 
unto me and live." How transcendentally beautiful 
now appears the love of God ; hope kindles in the 
bosom of the offender, as he sees, behind the stern 
glance of the magistrate, the yearning face of a Father ; 
with a heart overflowing with gratitude, the late rebel 
embraces the atonement of Christ, and is at peace 
with God. Something akin to this class of sensa- 
tions, we have known to be produced in the minds 
of three thousand at once, by his vivid manner of 
presenting the truth ; we could almost see them sway 
to and fro, as the trees of a forest when the wind 
sweeps over them in power. We intended to give a 



CHARLES G. FINNEY. 169 

specimen from one of his discourses, but have not 
one convenient which does justice to the man. In- 
deed it is not by a remarkable concentration upon a 
dozen lines, that his discourses are made so effective ; 
it is by the wonderful energy of thought and expres- 
sion of the whole. His sermons are almost all ex- 
temporaneous, and therefore he changes rapidly from 
one point or thought to another, yet never loses sight 
of the main thread of discourse. Much of his ad- 
dress has a personal manner, which, though perhaps 
more powerful when spoken, does not appear as 
smoothly when written. He is a remarkable man, 
and one who, it would seem, would more suitably and 
effectively labor as an evangelist, than as instructor 
in a college. The result of his professional labors is 
more felt at the west than elsewhere, because that in 
the condition of their society, new measures or opin- 
ions are more readily received. Mr. Finney has been 
twice married, and both connections were happy in 
their domestic results. From a family of six chil- 
dren, two have passed away. Three of those remain- 
ing are filling stations of eminence and usefulness at 
the west, and the youngest is at home. Mr. Finney, 
now sixty-two years of age, is President of the Ober- 
lin College, Professor of Theology at the same insti- 
tution, and minister of the Congregational Church in 
that village. His church and congregation are re- 
ported as the largest in the United States. 
H 



JOSHUA R. GIDDIEGS. 



GIDDINGS is one of the " old guard ' : of liberty. 
He is intimately connected with the anti-slavery re- 
form in America was one of its first and warmest 
supporters. He has been so long known as an un- 
compromising opponent of Kegro slavery in the Uni- 
ted States, that he is looked upon everywhere as a 
kind of moral hero, both among his friends and ene- 
mies, for the latter know full well, that it requires 
courage to support unwaveringly an unpopular cause. 
JSTot for an instant during the last fifteen years, has 
Mr. Giddinffs faltered not for a moment has he har- 

O 

bored a thought of relinquishing his opposition to 
slavery. 

Mr. Giddings is not a disciple of Lord Chesterfield : 
he knows not how to bandy compliments is not a 
fashionable gentleman, according to the definition of 
the polite world. He is not by any means ungentle- 
manly or uncourteous, but he is plain, direct, and al- 
ways forcible. His manner comports well with his 
appearance. He is of middle height, is thick-set, 
has a corrugated forehead, piercing eyes, and a hearty 
voice. Sometimes there is a half-scowl upon his face 



JOSHUA E. GIDDINGS. 171 

as if he were thinking of the many hard battles he 
has fought with the enemies of human freedom. 
Neither does Mr. Giddings make pretensions to pro- 
found scholarship. He does not believe in shams, and 
wishes to be taken for what he is, rather than for 
what he is not. lie was not made in schools or col- 
leges, but got his education by the fireside. He 
knows, however, the history of American slavery as 
thoroughly as any man in the country. He has by 
heart every feature of the system, every movement 
of its adherents, since the Union was formed. Stern 
in his adherence to his principles, enduring as the 
hardest granite, he is eminently fitted for his position. 
In the past years no man could hold Mr. Giddings 7 
views upon slavery on the floor of Congress, without 
being made of stern stuff. No common man could, 
day after day, and year after year, endure the stud- 
ied insults of southern orators and blackguards. Mere 
power of rhetoric could not make front against such 
a mighty opposing force. Nothing but iron integ- 
rity could do it. Mr. Giddings has been accused by 
some of lacking geniality, but we think not by those 
who know him well, and can appreciate the life he 
has led, and the constant series of attacks which he 
has encountered in congress for the last fifteen years 
or more. A man cannot stop to measure his words 
with an enemy charging upon him ; he must fight as 
best he can, and how. Mr. Giddinga is simply a 



172 MODEKN AGITATORS. 

hearty, solid, stern believer in human rights, and does 
not know how to grow mellow over his grog, after the 
genuine congressional fashion. He is anti-slavery at 
all times out of congress as well as in it ; it is his 
" one idea," to make war upon the institution, and 
for that reason he is accused by some of lacking ge- 
niality. He is a man of warm, generous feelings and 
humor, but he is distinguished chiefly by his clear 
common sense, and his dogged perseverance. Once 
right, all the powers of hell cannot swerve him from 
his path, and his sturdy intellect and philanthropic 
heart, are safe guides for him to follow. He is no 
orator. He does not understand the power of a 
graceful address, or if he does, cannot speak grace- 
fully. His manners as an orator are far from pleas- 
ing, and yet he usually commands the attention of 
the house. He lacks an easy flow of language ; the 
words sometimes are too rapidly uttered, and again 
too slowly. But there is so much force, so much 
power in his thoughts, that he is sure of being lis- 
tened to as eagerly as if he were an orator. 

Mr. Giddings was born the 6th of October, 1795, 
at Athens, New York. His ancestors emigrated from 
England, in 1650, to this country. His great grand- 
father left Connecticut, in 1725, for the state of New 
York, and in 1806, his father emigrated to Ashtabula 
county, Ohio, taking his son with him. They have 
remained there ever since. Young Giddings had not 



JOSHUA E. GIDDIKGS. 173 

the advantage of a collegiate education, nor had he 
an academical education, for he only attended school 
in a common, district school-house. His father had 
been cheated out of a grant of lands, and was quite 
poor, and father and son worked industriously upon 
the farm. His father fought in the battles of the 

o 

revolution, and his stories of the stirring times of '76 
made a deep impression upon the mind of young 
Giddings an impression which will never be effaced 
so long as he lives. It was by the humble fireside 
of his father that he learned to love and respect hu- 
man rights. He was taught that human liberty is 
worth dying for that all men possess the right to 
own themselves and manage their own affairs. Rev- 
olutionary blood runs in his veins, and the tales of 
the courage of the old revolutionary heroes in the 
dark days of the rebel colony, were calculated to fill 
him with a desire to imitate them in their virtues. 
In 1812 he took part in the war with Great Britain, 
and was engaged in one or two battles with the en- 
emy. Shortly after he returned, he was invited 
to teach a district school near Ashtabula, and, 
though feeling diffident about his qualifications, he 
accepted the invitation, and succeeded admirably. 
He became desirous for more knowledge, for a more 
enlightened intellect, and for a time he put himself 
under the tuition of a neighboring clergyman. He 
then commenced studying law, and was admitted to 



174: MODERN AGITATOES. 

the bar in 1817. He shortly after married, and set- 
tled down in his profession. In 1826 he was elected 
to the legislature of Ohio, and in 1830 he was first 
elected to congress, from Ashtabula district, and 
he has been continued there by his constituents ever 
since. 

When he entered congress, the nation was engaged 
in prosecuting the Florida war, the principal object 
of which was to recover fugitive slaves. Seeing this, 
Mr. Giddings at once commenced a series of speeches, 
to show the manner in which the north was dragged 
into the support of a system odious to her alike by 
nature and education. Two years after he entered 
congress, the infamous gag-law was passed, whereby 
all discussion of slavery on the floor of the house was 
prohibited. Mr. Giddings, with a few other manly 
northern men present, were determined to test the 
power of the gag, and, as an experiment, discussed 
questions which indirectly involved the institution 
of slavery. The Florida war was before the house, 
and Mr. Giddiugs led off in an able speech upon it. 
He took the ground that slavery caused the war 
that it was a shameful and slave-catching war. The 
slave-holding members called him to order for break- 
ing the rules of the house, but the speaker decided 
that it was in order to discuss the causes of the war. 
This decision paved the way for the repeal of the 
odious restriction upon the right of speech. 



JOSHUA K. GIDDINGS. 175 

In 1841, the celebrated " Creole' 1 case was before 
the country. The slave ship " Creole," from Rich- 
mond, was, while at sea, taken possession of by the 
slaves on board, who guided it to British soil, where, 
by the laws of Great Britain, they were free. Our 
government, through the secretary of state, Daniel 
Webster, demanded pay for the slaves. Mr. Gid- 
dings felt outraged that the general government 
should in so offensive a manner involve the whole 
country in a sectional institution. He therefore drew 
up a set of resolutions denying the power of the pres- 
ident to make such demands in behalf of the people 
of this country, claiming that a majority of the citi- 
zens of the Union did not recognize the right of prop- 
erty in man. These resolutions were introduced into 
congress by him. A bomb-shell thrown among them 
could not have created a greater excitement or con- 
fusion. A scene ensued which beggars description. 
The " chivalry " of the south were ready to devour 
him with their poisonous fangs. He was publicly 
censured by congress, and he immediately resigned 
his seat and w r ent home. His constituents told him 
to return, and to reassert the views embodied in his 
resolutions. They knew they were correct that the 
federal government had no right to take under its 
protection the institution of slavery. He w r ent back 
to his seat, and courageously reasserted his convic- 
tions upon the subject. The defenders of the "pecu- 



176 MODERN AGITATOKS. 

liar institution ?: thought it was not wise to attempt 
to censure him again, and now there is scarcely a 
man in the whole north but will agree that they 
were not only correct, but that it was proper to pre- 
sent them to congress at that time. "On the question 
of the right of petition Mr. Giddings fought bravely 
and nobly, and lived to see the right not only asserted 
but maintained. Throughout his whole career he 
has been most bitterly assailed by southern members. 
"We give a specimen from his speech on the annexa- 
tion of Texas : 

" Mr. Payne, of Alabama, interrupting Mr. Giddings, re- 
quested permission to propound a question. 

" Mr. Giddings. An hour is a short time to make a speech ; 
but, if the gentleman will occupy but a moment, her may pro- 
pound his question. 

" Mr. Payne desired the reporters to note what he said ; 
and stated that about two years since, a man by the name of 
Torrey, a negro-stealer, brought a wagon and team to this dis- 
trict. While stealing some negroes they were arrested, and 
Torrey made his escape. Subsequently it was said, that a 
member on this floor claimed the wagon and team ; and he 
now asked the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Giddings) what in- 
terest he had in the property ? 

" Mr. Giddings. I am not at liberty to receive anything ut- 
tered on this floor as an insult. Indeed, nothing coming from 
a certain quarter can insult me. 

" Mr. Payne. I call upon the gentleman from Ohio to an- 



JOSHUA K. GIDDINGS. ITT 

swer my question ; and if he does not, a committee ought to 
be appointed to inquire into the fact. (Cries of order, order.) 

" Mr. Giddings. I have witnessed too many of these sudden 
outbursts of passion to be very seriously alarmed at them. 

" Mr. Payne. A man that will deceive his own party, can- 
not be ashamed at anything. (Cries of order, order, all over 
the hall.) 

" Mr. Giddings. These little innocent outpourings of the 
heart are perfectly harmless even from an overseer, when de- 
prived of his whip. You may in such case look him in the 
face with safety. To you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members 
generally, whom I respect, I will say, this is the first intima- 
tion that I have ever had, that any member was suspected of 
being connected with the transaction alluded to." 

This is a faint specimen of the thousand insults 
which have been heaped upon Mr. Giddings during 
his congressional career, until at last he has become 
so hardened against them, they excite little feeling in 
him, and he can laugh a blackguard coolly in the 
face. 

One of the most eloquent speeches ever delivered 
by Mr. Giddings in congress was upon the Dayton 
and Sayers case. Some seventy or eighty slaves at- 
tempted to escape from the District of Columbia, in 
the schooner Pearl. The captain and mate were 
thrown into prison. Mr. Giddings visited- them the 
day after their arrest, but his life was threatened un- 



178 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

less he would leave, which lie refused to do. He 
made the following statement at the time : 

" I. Joshua R. Giddings, a member of the house of repre- 
sentatives, state : That, during the forenoon of yesterday, I 
visited the jail of this district. I was not acquainted with the 
keeper, and when I arrived I announced to him my name, and 
that I was a member of this body. That I further said to 
him that I wished to see the persons confined there on a charge 
of carying away slaves from this district. I told him that I 
wished to say to them that they should have the benefit of 
counsel and a legal trial, and their rights should be protected, 
and desired him to be present. He went with me to the pas- 
sage that leads to the cells. 

" While conversing with these men in the presence of the 
keeper, a mob came to the iron gate at the head of the stair- 
way, and demanded that I should leave forthwith. The keeper 
informed them that he would not open the door until they re- 
tired. I was further informed that the mob had compelled the 
guard at the lower gate to deliver up the key to them ; and in 
this way they had opened that gate, and by that means ob- 
tained access to the passage at the head of the stairs. 

" After the mob had left the stairs and entered the lower 
passage, the keeper, and myself, and the Hon. E. S. Hamlin, 
who had visited the jail as attorney for the prisoners with me, 
came down to the lower gate, in front of which the mob was 
assembled. He opened the gate and I walked out. This 
morning I have been informed by a gentleman who is a 
stranger to me, but who says he was present, and heard the 
proposition made by individuals, to lay violent hands upon me 



JOSHUA K. GIDDINGS. 179 

as I came out of the prison, one of whom, he informed me, was 
a Mr. Slatter, a slave-dealer from Baltimore, whom he states 
to have been active in instituting others to acts of violence." 

The affair created a great deal of excitement, and 
came up in congress. Certain slave-holding mem- 
bers, in a state of frantic passion, went so far as to 
desire the hanging of Mr. Giddings and his friends, 

O ^D ^j / 

and so expressed themselves in their speeches. They 
also threatened to expel any members who should, 
upon examination, be found to have anything to do 
with inciting the slaves to escape. Mr. Giddings' 
speech upon the subject was unusually eloquent and 
bold. We will copy a few paragraphs from it : 

" Well, sir, what are the facts at which almost the whole 
slave-holding fraternity of this body has been thrown into such 
a ferment ? Why, sir, it is said that some seventy-six men, 
women, and children, living in this district, possessing the same 
natural right to the enjoyment of life and liberty as gentlemen 
in this hall ; feeling the galling chains of slavery chafing and 
festering into their flesh ; themselves shut out from the social 
and intellectual enjoyments for which they were designed by 
their Creator ; bound down in abject servitude, surrounded by 
moral darkness, robbed of their labor, and shut out even from 
the hope of immortality under the laws which we have enacted, 
and which we still refuse to modify or repeal ; inspired with 
an ardent desire to enjoy the rights with which God has en- 
dowed our race, went on board a schooner lying at one of the 
wharves of this city, and set sail for ' a land of liberty.' When 



180 MODERN AGITATORS. 

tney reached the mouth of the river, adverse winds compelled 
them to cast anchor. Thus detained, we may imagine the anx- 
iety that must have filled their minds. How that slave-mother 
pressed her tender babe more closely to her breast, as she sent 
up to the God of the oppressed her silent supplication for de- 
liverance from the men-stealers who were on their track ; for 
those bloodhounds in human shape were in hot pursuit, clothed 
with the authority of the laws enacted by congress, and now 
kept in force by this body, and they seized upon those wretched 
fugitives, and brought them back to this city, and thrust them 
into yonder prison, erected by the treasure of this nation. 
There they remained until Friday, the 21st instant, when 
nearly fifty of them, having been purchased by the infamous 
* Hope H. Slatter,' who headed the mob at the jail on Tues- 
day, were taken in daylight from the prison to the railroad 
depot and from thence to Baltimore, destined for sale in the 
far south, there to drag out a miserable existence upon the 
cotton and sugar plantations of that slave-consuming region. 

" The scene at the depot is represented as one which would 
have disgraced the city of Algiers or Tunis. Wives bidding 
adieu to their husbands ; mothers, in an agony of despair, un- 
able to bid farewell to their daughters ; little boys and girls 
weeping amid the general distress, scarcely knowing the cause 
of their grief. Sighs, and groans, and tears, and unutterable 
agony characterized a scene at which the heart sickens, and 
from which humanity shrinks with horror. Over such a scene 
that fiend in human shape, Slatter, presided, assisted by some 
three or four associates in depravity, each armed with pistols, 
bowie-knife and club. Yes, sir, by virtue of our laws he held 



JOSHUA E. GIDDINGS. 1 81 

these mothers and children, their sisters and brothers, subject 
to his power, and tore them from all the ties which bind man 
kind to life, and carried them south, and doomed them to cruel 
and lingering deaths. 

" Sir, do you believe that these members of our body who 
stubbornly refuse to repeal those laws are less guilty in the 
sight of a just and holy God than Slatter himself'? We, sir, 
enable him to pursue his accursed vocation, and can we be in- 
nocent of those crimes 1 How long will members of this 
house continue thus to outrage humanity 1 How long will 
the people themselves remain partakers in this enormous wick- 
edness, by sending to this hall men who can here speak of 
their association with these heaven-daring crimes in the lan- 
guage of ribald jesting? If other members sanction and ap- 
prove such torture, far more than ordinary murder, / ivill not. 
It is unbecoming a Christian people ; it is unsuited to the age 
in which we live. Why, sir, what a spectacle do we present 
to the civilized world ! Yesterday we assembled with the cit- 
izens of the district, in front of this capitol, to rejoice and sing 
in honor of the people of France, many of whom offered up 
their lives to attain the liberty which we ourselves enjoy. 

" While we were thus collected together, and singing the 
soul-stirring Marseilles hymn, and shouting praises to our 
brethren, who, on the other side of the Atlantic, have achieved 
this freedom, and driven their monarch from his throne and 
country, a different scene was witnessed on the avenue before 
us, where some fifty slaves, destined for the southern market, 
were marched to the railroad depot. The clanking of their 
chains, their sighs and groans, mingling with our songs and 
shouts of praise in favor of liberty, ascended to heaven, and en- 



182 MODERN AGITATORS. 

tered the ear of the God of the oppressed. Yes, sir, while we 
were thus professing our admiration of freedom, we who now 
sit in this hall, were at that moment sustaining a slave-market 
in this city, far more shocking to the feelings of humanity than 
can be found in any other part of the civilized world." 

Mr. Giddings lias been always at his post in Wash- 
ington has always been faithful to his constituents. 
He has at all times been ready to meet the south 
upon any subject involving the question of slavery ; 
he has opposed all compromises with the " institu- 
tion," and though hated, yet is respected by the slave- 
holding members of congress. 

The sternness which characterizes Mr. Giddings's 
character, his persevering devotion to principle, has, 
as a matter of course, made him many enemies, 
north as well as south. Politicians generally hate 
men of principle ; political leaders, or at least corrupt 
political leaders, do not like to meet with men who 
cannot be threatened, or bribed, or cheated. Mr. 
Giddings has too much spirit to bear a threat, too 
much principle to entertain a bribe, and too much 
common sense to be led astray by designing pol- 
iticians. 



WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. 

NOT merely as a poet, a politician, or an editor, is Mr. 
Bryant distinguished. He is widely known as a phi- 
lanthropist. His sympathies are always with the un- 
fortunate ; and though from his retiring disposition, 
he has had little to do with philanthropic organiza- 
tions, yet he deserves the esteem of all lovers of hu- 
manity for his constant, unwavering devotion to the 
welfare of his race. Though editing a political jour- 
nal, he has long advocated the cause of the slave with 
masterly ability, and an impressive sincerity. Long 
ago, when the abolitionists were subjected to the outra- 
ges of mobs, Mr. Bryant came out boldly in his journal 
in condemnation of the mob-spirit, though at that 
time it was popular to justify illegal attacks upon the 
anti-slavery reformers. Since then he has himself be- 
come nearly anti-slavery in his feelings and princi- 
ples, and in his journal has not hesitated to rebuke 
his party friends, though high in office, for their zeal 
in extending the institution of slavery. 

Mr. Bryant was born at Cummington. Massachu- 
setts, on the 3d of November, 1794:. His father was 
a physician of good education and respectable talents. 



184 MODERN AGITATORS. 

He early saw in his boy the germ of a brilliant ge- 
nius, and spared no pains in his education. At a very 
early age, the boy wrote poetry. When but thirteen 
years old, he wrote two poems of considerable length, 
which were published in a book form. In 1810 he 
entered Williams' College, where he distinguished 
himself in the languages, and in polite letters. He 
remained there two years, when desiring to leave, 
he sought and obtained an honorable dismissal. He 
at once commenced the study of the law, and was 
admitted to practice at the bar in Plymouth, Mass., 
in the year 1815. He continued to practice his pro- 
fession till 1825, when he removed to New York. 
His famous poem, perhaps his best, " Thanatopsis," 
was written in 1821, or at least published during that 
year in a volume with others. He was married in 
1825, and one year after he assumed the proprietor- 
ship and editorship of the New York Evening Post, 
one of the oldest and most influential democratic jour- 
nals in the country. He has ever since been connec- 
ted with that paper, adding much to its usefulness and 
popularity. Of Mr Bryant's person and manners, we 
can say little, but will quote from the "Homes of 
American Authors" upon this head, premising that 
"Roslyn " is his country seat, a little away from New 
York: 

" Mr. Bryant's habits of life have a smack of asceticism, al- 
though he is the disciple of none of the popular schools which, 



WILLIAM CTJLLEN BRYANT. 185 

under various forms, claim to rule the present world in that 
direction. Milk is more familiar to his lips than wine, yet he 
does not disdain the ' cheerful hour ' over which moderation 
presides. He eats sparingly of animal food, but he is by no 
means afraid to enjoy roast goose lest he should outrage the 
manes of his ancestors, like some modern enthusiasts. He 
' hears no music,' if it be fantastical, yet his ear is finely attuned 
to the varied harmonies of wood and wave. His health -is 
delicate, yet he is almost never ill ; his life laborious, yet care- 
fully guarded against excessive and exhausting fatigue. He is 
a man of rule, but none the less tolerant of want of method 
in others ; strictly self-governed, but not prone to censure the 
unwary or the weak-willed. In religion he is at once catholic 
and devout, and to moral excellence no soul bows lower. 
Placable, we can, perhaps, hardly call him, for impressions on 
his mind are almost indelible ; but it may with the strictest 
truth be said, that it requires a great offense or a great unwor 
thiness to make an enemy of him, so strong is his sense of jus- 
tice. Not amid the bustle and dust of the political arena, cased 
in armor offensive and defensive, is a champion's more intimate 
self to be estimated, but in the pavilion or the bower, where, 
in robes of ease, and with all professional ferocity laid aside, 
we see his natural form and complexion, and hear, in placid do- 
mestic tones, the voice so lately thundering above the fight. 
So we willingly follow Mr. Bryant to Roslyn ; see him mu- 
sing on the pretty rural bridge that spans the fish-pond ; or ta- 
king the oar in his daughter's fairy boat ; or pruning his trees ; 
or talking over farming matters with his neighbors ; or to 
return to the spot whence we set out some time ago sitting 
calm and happy in that pleasant library, surrounded by the 



186 MODERN AGITATORS. 

friends he loves to draw around him, or listening to the prattle 
of infant voices, quite as much at home there as under their 
own more especial roof his daughter's within the same 
inclosure. 

" In person, Mr. Bryant is quite slender, symmetrical, and 
well poised ; in carriage, eminently firm and self-possessed. 
He is fond of long rural walks and of gymnastic exercises 
on all which his health depends. Poetical composition tries 
him severely so severely, that his efforts of that kind are ne- 
cessarily rare. His are no holiday verses ; and those who 
urge his producing a long poem are, perhaps, proposing that he 
should, in gratifying their admiration, build for himself a mon- 
ument in which he would be self-enveloped. Let us rather 
content ourselves with asking ' a few more of the same,' espe- 
cially of the later poems, in which, certainly, the poet trusts his 
fellows with a nearer and more intimate view of his inner and 
peculiar self, than was his wont in earlier times. Let him more 
and more give human voice to woods and waters ; and, in act- 
ing, as the accepted interpreter of nature, speak fearlessly to 
the heart as well as the eye. His countrymen were never 
more disposed to hear him with delight ; for, since the public 
demand for his poems has placed a copy in every house in the 
land, the taste for them has steadily increased, and the national 
pride in the writer's genius become a generous enthusiasm, 
which is ready to grant him an apotheosis while he lives." 



We shall not attempt to criticise Mr. Bryant as a 
poet. An anonymous critic says, and justly, we 
think : 



WILLIAM CULLEN BUY ANT. 187 

" His versification is preeminently fine. In rythmic mel- 
ody and cadence, his lines have few equals, and no superiors. 
His diction is admirable, being pure, polished, and gemmed 
perpetually with picturesque and felicitously graphic epithets. 
In these respects he need not shrink from competition with the 
highest on the bardic roll of Anglo-Saxondom. 

" As hitherto manifested, however, his poetic faculty (as I 
said before) is neither very fruitful, various, nor comprehensive. 
His forte would seem to be a most life-like portraiture of nat- 
ural scenery, wherein is developed with impressive exactitude 
the moral significance of these works of the Creative Hand. 

" Of his original poems, most are of this strain. And the 
same meditative temper, which signalizes this, his favorite 
class of effusions, follows him into whatever spheres else he 
may occasionally enter. Witness his ' Ages,' a lengthened and 
beautiful resume of man's historic evolution. Note also his 
'Lines to a Waterfowl,' a gem of rarest water, with a fully cor- 
responding setting, whose final stanza utters a moral alike tran- 
scendantly beautiful and religiously sublime." 

A few stanzas from some of liis finest poems, it 
may not be improper for us to quote especially from 
those which give evidence of his warm sympathy for 
the poor and down-trodden. Of this latter class he 
has written many poems which are calmly, sadly 
beautiful. 

One of his poems oft read and oft quoted, is 
entitled 



188 MODKRN AGITATOKS. 

THE AFRICAN CHIEF. 

Chained in the market-place he stood, 

A man of giant frame, 
Amid the gathering multitude 

That shrunk to hear his name. 
All stern of look, and strong of limb, 

His dark eye on the ground, 
And silently they gazed on him, 

As on a lion bound. 

Vainly but well that chief had fought, 

He was a captive now ; 
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not, 

Was written on his brow. 
The scars his dark, broad bosom wore, 

Showed warrior true and brave, 
A prince among his tribe before, 

He could not be a slave ! 

Then to his conqueror he spake : 

"My brother is a king ; 
Undo this necklace from my neck, 

And take this bracelet ring. 
And send me where my brother reigns, 

And I will fill thy hands 
With store of ivory from the plains, 

And gold-dust from the sands." 

" Not for thy ivory nor thy gold 

Will I unbind thy chain ; 
That bloody hand shall never hold 

The battle-spear again. 
A price thy nation never gave 

Shall yet be paid for thee ; 
For thou shalt be the Christian's slave, 

In lands beyond the sea." 



WILLIAM CULLEN BUT ANT. 189 

Then wept the warrior chief, and bade 

To shred his locks away ; 
And, one by one, each heavy braid 

Before the victor lay. 
Thick were the platted locks, and long, 

And closely hidden there 
Shone many a wedge of gold among 

The dark and crisped hair. 

"Look, feast thy greedy eye with gold, 

Long kept for sorest need ; 
Take it thou askest sums untold, 

And say that I am freed. 
Take it my wife, the long, long day 

Weeps by the cocoa tree, - 
And my young children leave their play, 

And ask in vain for me." 

" I take thy gold but I have made 

Thy fetters fast and strong, 
And ween that by the cocoa shade 

Thy wife will wait thee long." 
Strong was the agony that shook 

The captive's frame to hear, 
And the proud meaning of his look 

"Was changed to mortal fear. 

His heart was broken crazed his brain 

At once his eye grew wild ; 
He struggled fiercely with his chain, 

"Whispered, and wept, and smiled ; 
Yet wore not long those fatal bands, 

And once at shut of day, 
They drew him forth upon the sands, 

The foul hyena's prey. 



190 MODEKX AGITATORS. 

This poem is one of the most beautiful and pathetic 
ever written by an American bard. Its simplicity is 
striking, yet it is one of its beauties. The last verse 
is not often surpassed especially this line : 

" Whispered, and wept, and smiled." 

In this little poem the poet preaches a more eloquent 
anti-slavery sermon, than was ever delivered from the 
pulpit a more touching oration against human chat 
telism, than was ever pronounced from the platform. 

There are so many exquisite passages in the poems 
of Bryant, that in quoting them one knows not when 
or where to stop. His great poems Thanatopsis, 
The Prairies, etc., etc., are so well known, that we 
will not extract from them here, but will close the 
sketch with one of his most finished, perfect pieces. 
It is well known, but will bear reading again and 
again. 

TO A WATERFOWL. 

Whither midst falling dew, 

While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, 
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue 

Thy solitary way ? 

Vainly the fowler's eye 

Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong 
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky, 

Thy figure floats along. 

Seek'st thou the plashy brink 
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide. 
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink 

On the chafed ocean side ? 



WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. 191 

There is a Power whose care 
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast, 
The desert and illimitable air, 

Lone wandering, but not lost. 

All day thy wings have fanned, 
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere, 
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land, 

Though the dark night is near. 

And soon that toil shall end ; 
Soon shall thou find a summer home, and rest, 
And scream among thy fellows ; reeds shall bend, 

Soon o'er thy sheltered nest. 

Thou'rt gone; the abyss of heaven 
Hath swallowed up thy form ; yet, on my heart 
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given, 

And shall not soon depart. 

He who, from zone to zone, 

Guides through the boiindless sky thy certain flight, 
In the long way that I must tread alone, 

"Will lead my steps aright. 



THEODORE PARKER. 

A FEW miles out of Boston, just far enough to escape 
the dust and confusion of the town, there is a dwel- 
ling which would attract the eye of a genuine lover 
of nature, and natural beauty. It is not character- 
ized by splendor and ostentation, for no pompous cot- 
ton merchant or retired rumseller occupies it. It is 
plain and yet beautiful, unpretentious and yet spa- 
cious. It is surrounded by shrubs, and trees, and 
flowers of every hue, and the most delightful fra- 
grance in the summer time. Should you chance 
some early May morning to wander past this pleas- 
ant spot, very likely in the garden you will see a man 
in a plain smock frock, hard at work. He is rather 
short in stature, rather slender in frame, and if you 
catch a glance of his eye, you will at once entertain 
a serious doubt if the man be by profession a gar- 
dener. Let him lift the wide straw hat from his per- 
spiring brow to catch a cool breeze, and you know 
at once that he is no common cultivator of the soil. 
Theodore Parker is before you. The beautiful dwel- 
ling is his, and his own hands have contributed to 
the loveliness which surrounds it. 



THEODORE PARKER. 193 

Theodore Parker is one of the noblest men this age 

o 

can boast. E~o sham ever yet could find a lodgment 
in his brain or heart. He abhors the false, and loves 
the true and manly. Xot a particle of vulgar gentil- 
ity, not a grain of aristocratic feeling was ever in him, 
or ever can get into him. He esteems a man iust 

C? \j 

according to his moral and intellectual worth, for 

O ) 

what he does, or aims to do. He loves men because 
they are men ; not because they a: ^ white, or rich, 
or can trace their genealogy back fi -.e hundred years. 
An outrage upon the rights of a poor negro in the 
streets of Boston, stirs the blood as quickly in his 
heart, as if it had been committed upon the person 
of the governor of the commonwealth. A wrong 

< > O 

perpetrated upon a wretched drunkard's wife or 
child, awakes the thunder of his eloquence, when, if 
inflicted upon the strong or rich, he would have kept 
silent. It is this gigantic manhood in Theodore Par- 
ker which forces us to love and admire him. In 
spite of -his infidelity, which so often startles and 
shocks us, we sit down involuntarily at his feet to 
listen to his great words, his courageous utterances 
against the most heartless and cruel oppression. 
T\ T e receive not one word of his infidelity. To us, 
Christ is not merely the greatest man that ever lived, 
but is vastly more ; to us, the bible is not a book 
crammed with errors the miracles exaggerations ; 
and yet, to many of those who would crucify Mr. 



194 MODERN AGITATORS. 

Parker, we indignantly cry : " It is not for you to 
denounce this man ; you who in your lives each day 
trample Jesus Christ and the bible under your feet ; 
you who would refuse a cup of cold water to your 
4 Lord and Master,' ran there in his veins a drop of 
African blood ! " 

The manliness of Mr. Parker is apparent in his 
daily life. A shoemaker upon his bench, if heart- 
noble, is to him richer than Abbot Lawrence, with 
his acres of cotton-mills; a country farmer, in his 
fragrant clover fields, though of limited knowledge, 

CD * ' O 7 

if he be possessed of a generous heart and firm integ- 
rity, is in his eyes of greater worth than Daniel 
"Webster, using his great intellect to perpetuate 
oppression. 

jSTo man will deny that Mr. Parker is one of the 
most remarkable men of our time, and that his influ- 
ence is exceedingly powerful. 

He is now between forty and fifty years old we 
have forgotten his exact age and is probably enjoy- 
ing the most vigorous part of his existence. He was 
born in Lexington, where the first blood of the revo- 
lution was spilt, and it would seem as if the stories 
of that heroic time must have made a deep impres- 
sion upon his mind and heart, for the Lexington 
spirit flashes from his eyes, and throbs in every pulse 
of his heart. His father was a farmer, and Theodore 
prepared himself for college as best he could. He 



THEODORE PARKER. 195 

worked on the farm, taught school winters, but stud- 

' O / 

led incessantly. One day he swung the scythe from 
sunrise to sunset upon his father's meadow, and the 
next entered Harvard College. While there, he im- 
proved his opportunities, made use of every moment, 
and graduated a finished scholar. This was not 
enough. He could not content himself with the 
knowledge possessed by an ordinary college gradu- 
ate. The literature of Europe and the east was 
locked away from him, and so he sat down and mas- 
tered the French language, till it was as familiar to 
his tongue as " household words." He then studied 
German, and enjoyed the pleasure of reading the great 
German authors and poets in their own language. 
The Italian, the Spanish, the Persian, and indeed all 
still more difficult languages were made his own, un- 
til the civilized world, and parts half civilized, were 
within his reach. After due preparation Mr. Parker 
entered the ministry, and was settled as pastor over 
a Unitarian church in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. 
He first excited the suspicions of the religious world 
by the delivery of a sermon in South Boston, upon 
the occasion of the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Shack- 
ford, in the early part of the year 18-il. We will 
make a single quotation from this sermon, which will 
indicate its character : 

" It has been assumed at the onset, it would seem, with no 

sufficient reason, without the smallest pretense on its writer's 
B 



196 MODERN AGITATORS. 

part, that all of its authors were infallibly and miraculously 
inspired, so that they could commit no error of doctrine or 
fact. Men have been bid to close their eyes at the obvious 
difference between Luke and John ; the serious disagreement 
between Paul and Peter, to believe, on the smallest evidence^ 
accounts which shock the moral sense and revolt the reason, 
and tend to place Jesus in the same series with Hercules and 
Apollonius of Tyana. 

* * * An idolatrous regard for the imperfect scripture 
of God's word is the apple of Atalanta, which defeats theologians 
running for the hand of divine truth. But the current notions 

respecting the infallible inspiration of the bible have no foun- 
dation in the bible itself." 

This sermon created a good deal of excitement 
among the Unitarian body, especially the conserva- 
tives. They were not satisfied that a man holding 
such views should have the reputation of being a 
Unitarian clergyman in good standing. At this time 
Mr. Parker left the country for Europe, where he re- 
mained for three years, making the acquaintance of 
some of its most learned and philanthropic men. 
Among others, we may mention the name of Thomas 
Carlyle, who is to this day his warm friend and ad- 
mirer. In the autumn of ISii he returned, and ex- 
changed pulpits with the Rev. Mr. Sargent, of Bos- 
ton, a Unitarian clergyman. The conservative Uni- 

Ot/ 

tarians were exceedingly indignant that Mr. Sargent 
should admit such a heretic into his pulpit, and they 



THEODORE PARKER. 197 

commenced a persecution against him, which obliged 
him to resign his charge. The Hev. Mr. Clarke, an- 
other Boston clergyman, soon after offered his pulpit 
to Mr. Parker, which resulted in great excitement, 
and a loss of members to the church. The following 
extract from a sermon preached by Mr. Parker, about 
this time, will show the nature of his heresy : 

" The Jehovah of the Old Testament was awful and stern 
a man of war, hating the wicked. The sacerdotal conception 
of God at Rome and Athens was lower yet. No wonder, then, 
that men soon learned to honor Jesus as a god, and then as 
God himself. Apostolical and other legends tell of his divine 
birth, his wondrous power that healed the sick, palsied, and 
crippled, deaf and dumb, and blind ; created bread, turned 
water into wine, and bid obedient devils come and go a power 
that raised the dead. They tell that nature felt with him, and 
at his death the strongly sympathizing sun paused at high noon, 
and for three hours withheld the day ; that rocks were rent, 
and opening graves gave up their sainted dead, who trod once 
more the streets of Zion, the first fruits of them that slept ; 
they tell, too, how disappointed death gave back his prey, and, 
spirit-like, Jesus, restored in flesh and shape the same, passed 
through the doors shut up, and in a bodily form was taken up to 
heaven before the face of men ! Believe men of these things 
as they will ; to me they are not truth and fact, but mythic 
svmbols and poetry ; the psalm of praise with which the world's 
rude heart extols and magnifies its King. It is for his truth 
and his life, his wisdom, goodness, piety, that he is honored iu 



198 MODERN AGITATORS. 

my heart ; yes, in the world's heart. It is for this that in his 
name churches are built, and prayers are prayed ; for this that 
the best things vre know we honor." 

The result of the utterance of such sentiments was 
the excommunication of Mr. Parker from the Unita- 
rian body. He had powerful friends everywhere in 
the region of Boston ; he had warm sympathizers in 
the Unitarian church, but they were not of sufficient 

tt 

numerical strength to be of service. His church in 

O 

West Roxbury was crowded ; his Boston admirers 

t/ / 

came out every Sunday, in large numbers, to hear 
him. At last they were determined that he should 

ft 

be entirely independent, and therefore invited him 
to preach to them in the Melodeon. He accepted 
their invitation, and was settled as their pastor, in 
the old Puritan fashion. There are no rites or cer- 
emonies connected with his society ; he does not admin- 

*/ 7 

ister baptism or communion, and there is in fact no 
church organization. About a year since his cong-re- 

O / O 

gation hired the Music Hall, the finest interior in 
Boston, and now every Sunday an audience of three 
thousand people, comprising many of the most re- 
fined, intellectual, and wealthy people in Boston, 
convene to hear " the infidel preacher." His salary, 
we believe, is three thousand dollars. He lives a 
few miles out of town in the summer, or has a resi- 
dence there, as well as in the city of Boston. 



THEODORE PARKER. 199 

The personal appearance of Theodore Parker is 
not remarkable, and vet the observing man will dis- 

ft/ o 

cover indications of his wonderful genius in his face. 
He is slightly under the average height of men, 
rather spare in flesh, has a partially bald head, a fine, 
compact brow, and a flashing eye. His features are 
rather small, and his organization is of the finest 
mould. There is a delicacy in his nervous system, 
which is indicated by the fineness of his hair ; just 
that amount of delicacy which is necessary to make 
a nervous and intense writer and speaker. A man 
with the nervous system of a Tom Hyer cannot be- 
come a great orator. He cannot himself feel in- 
tensely, cannot understand the subtler methods of 
reaching the souls of men. 

People w r ho have read the sermons of Mr. Parker 
are usually disappointed in hearing him preach or 
lecture. lie is not an accomplished orator ; in an 
ordinary discourse he is altogether too lifeless, too 
devoid of gesture. But he has a voice of exceeding 
beauty, and he can, when he chooses, charm an au- 
dience by his striking and fascinating gestures and 
manner. Occasionally in his sermons, from the bold 
and magnificent, from the intensely passionate, he 
suddenly glides into the calmly beautiful. The con- 
trast at such times is almost overpowering, and the 
heart of the listener is touched, as by the voice of an 
iingel. The pictures of strange and quiet loveliness, 



200 MODERN AGITATORS. 

which nestled among the grand mountains of his dis- 
courses, are not surpassed in poetic beauty in the 
writings of any living clergyman. The fact is, The- 
odore Parker is a poet. He has the intense and con- 
suming fire ; he has also the gentleness and the love 
of the true poet. He is no rhymer, for the reformer 
of these times has not time for measured sentences, 
when the land is in danger of ruin. 

A majority of the sermons of Mr. Parker contain 
nothing offensive to the most devout Christian. His 

C5 

reputation is founded not so much upon his heresies, 
as upon his genius and philanthropy. It is the fact 
that he is a fearless and powerful defender of the 
wronged, which gives him a place in the hearts of 
millions who have no sympathy with his religious 
views. 

In classic eloquence, in burning invective, in as- 
tonishing power, we know of few men of this or any 
other age, who equal Mr. Parker. What can sur- 
pass in eloquence the following passage, which we 
extract from a sermon preached by him, just after 
the passage of the fugitive slave law : 

"Come with me, my friends, a inoment more, pass over this 
Golgotha of human history, treading reverent as you go, for 
our feet are on our mothers' graves, and our shoes defile our 
fathers' hallowed bones. Let us not talk of them ; go farther 
on, look and pass by. Come with me into the Inferno of the 



THEODORE PARKER. 201 

nations, with such poor guidance as my lamp can lend. Let 
us disquiet and bring up the awful shadows of empires buried 
long ago, and learn a lesson from the tomb. 

" Come, old Assyria, with the Ninevitish dove upon thy em- 
erald crown ! what laid thee low? 'I fell by my own injus- 
tice. Thereby Nineveh and Babylon came with me also to the 
ground.' 

" Oh, queenly Persia, flame of the nations, wherefore art 
thou so fallen, who troddest the people under thee, bridgedst 
the Hellespont with ships, and pouredst thy temple-wasting 
millions on the western world ] ' Because I trod the people 
under me, and bridged the Hellespont with ships, and poured 
iny temple-wasting millions on the western world, I fell by my 
own misdeeds!' 

" Thou muse-like Grecian queen, fairest of all thy classic sis- 
terhood of states, enchanting yet the world with thy sweet 
witchery, speaking in art and most seductive song, why liest 
thou there, with beauteous yet dishonored brow, reposing on 
thy broken harp ? ' I scorned the law of God ; banished and 
poisoned wisest, justest men ; I loved the loveliness of flesh, 
embalmed it in the Parian stone ; I loved the loveliness of 
thought, and treasured that in more than Parian speech. But 
the beauty of justice, the loveliness of love, I trod them down 
to earth ! Lo, therefore have I become as those barbarian 
states as one of them ! ' 

" Oh, manly and majestic Rome, thy seven-fold mural crown 
all broken at thy feet, why art thou here 1 ? It was not injus- 
tice brought thee low ; for thy great book of law is prefaced 
with these words justice is the unchanged, everlasting will to 



202 MODERN AGITATORS. 

give each man his right ! ' It was not the saint's ideal ; it was 
the hypocrite's pretense ! I made iniquity my law. I trod 
the nations under me. Their wealth gilded my palaces where 
thou mayst see the fox and hear the owl it fed my courtiers 
and my courtesans. Wicked men were my cabinet counselors, 
the flatterer breathed his poison in my ear. Millions of bond- 
men wet the soil with tears and blood. Do you not hear it 
crying yet to God ? Lo, here have I my recompense, tor- 
mented with such downfall as you see ! Go back and tell 
the new-born child who sitteth on the Alleghanies, laying his 
either hand upon a tributary sea, a crown of thirty stars about 
his youthful brow tell him that there are rights which states 
must keep, or they shall suffer wrongs ! Tell him there is a 
1 God who keeps the black man and the white, and hurls to earth 
the loftiest realm that breaks his just, eternal law ! Warn the 
young empire, that he come not down dim and dishonored to 
my shameful tomb ! Tell him that justice is the unchanging, 
everlasting will to give each man his right. I knew it, broke 
it, and am lost. Bid him know it, keep it, and be safe ! ' 

The reader well remembers the case of the fugi- 
tive Simms, who was dragged back from the streets 
of Boston, past old Faneuil Hall, to hopeless slavery. 
The court house itself was in chains, and the spirit of 
Liberty afraid to draw its breath. Theodore Parker, 
the infidel, dared, from his pulpit, to rebuke the city 
for its acquiescence in such a deed, and it is a rebuke 
which will live as long as Boston does. The passage 



THEODORE PARKER. 203 

below, which we quote from it, is one of the most 
intensely powerful in the English language : 

" Where shall I find a parallel with men who will do such a 
deed do it in Boston ? I will open the tombs and bring up 
most hideous tyrants from the dead. Come, brood of mon- 
sters, let me bring you up from the deep damnation of the 
graves wherein your hated memories continue for all time their 
never-ending rot. Come, birds of evil omen ! come, ravens, 
vultures, carrion crows, and see the spectacle ! come, see the 
meeting of congenial souls ! I will disturb, disquiet, and bring 
up the greatest monsters of the human race ! Tremble not, 
women ; tremble not, children ; tremble not, men ! They are 
all dead ! They cannot harm you now ! Fear the living, not 
the dead ! " 

" Come hither, Herod, the wicked. Thou that didst seek 
after that young child's life, and destroyedst the innocents ! 
Let me look on thy face ! No, go ! Thou wert a heathen ! 
Go, lie with the innocents thou hast massacred. Thou art too 
good for this company ! 

" Come, Nero ! thou awful Roman emperor, come up ! No, 
thou wast drunk with power ! schooled in Roman depravity. 
Thou hadst, besides, the example of thy fancied gods. Go, 
wait another day. I will seek a worser man. 

" Come hither, St. Dominic ! come, Torquemada ! fathers 
of the Inquisition ! merciless monsters, seek your equal here. 
No ; pass by. You are no companions for such men as these. 
You were the servants of atheistic popes, of cruel kings. Go 
to, and get you gone. Another time I may have work for you, 
B* 3 



204 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

now, lie there, and persevere to rot. You are not yet quite 
wicked and corrupt enough for this comparison. Go, get you 
gone, lest the sun turn back at sight of ye ! 

" Come up, thou heap of wickedness, George Jeffries ! thy 
hands deep purple with the blood of thy murdered fellow-men. 
Ah ! I know thee, awful and accursed shade ! Two hundred 
years after thy death, men hate thee still, not without cause. 
Look me upon thee ! I know thy history. Pause and be still 
while I tell it to these men Come, shade of a ju- 
dicial butcher. Two hundred years, thy name has been pillo- 
ried in face of the world, and thy memory gibbeted before 
mankind. Let us see how thou wilt compare with those who 
kidnap men in Boston. Go, seek companionship with them. 
Go, claim thy kindred, if such they be. Go, tell them that 
the memory of the wicked shall rot ; that there is a God ; an 
eternity ; ay, and a judgment, too, where the slave may appeal 
against him that made him a slave, to Him that made him a 
man. 

" What ! Dost thou shudder ? Thou turn back ! These 
not thy kindred ! Why dost thou turn pale, as when the crowd 
clutched at thy life in London street 1 It is true, George Jef- 
fries and these are not thy kin. Forgive me that I should send 
thee, on such an errand, or bid thee seek companionship with 
such with Boston hunters of the slave! Thou wert not base 
enough ! It was a great bribe that tempted thee ! Again, I 
say, pardon me for sending thee to keep company with such 
men ! Thou only struckest at men accused of crime ; not at 
men accused only of their birth ! Thou wouldst not send a 
man into bondage for two pounds ! I will not rank thee with 



THEODORE PAKKES. 205 

men, who, in Boston, for ten dollars, would enslave a negro 
now ! Rest still, Herod ! Be quiet, .Nero ! Sleep, St. Do- 
minic, and sleep, O Torquemada, in your fiery jail ! Sleep, 
Jeffries, underneath ' the altar of the church ' which seeks, with 
Christian charity, to hide your hated bones ! r 

In one of Mr. Parker's sermons on " Immortal 
Life," occurs the following beautiful passage : 

" I would not slight this wondrous world. I love its day and 
night. Its flowers and its fruits are dear to me. I would not 
willfully lose sight of a departing cloud. Every year opens new 
beauty in a star ; or in a purple curtain fringed with loveliness. 
The laws, too, of matter seem more wonderful the more I study 
them, in the whirling eddies of the dust, in the curious shells 
of former life, buried by thousands in a grain of chalk, or in 
the shining diagrams of light above my head. Even the ugly 
becomes beautiful, when truly seen. I see the jewel in the 
bunchy toad. The more I live, the more I love this lovely 
world ; feel more its Author in each little thing ; in all that is 
great. But yet, I feel my immortality the more. In child- 
hood, the consciousness of immortal life buds forth feeble, 
though full of promise. In the man, it unfolds its fragrant 
petals, his most celestial flower, to mature its seed throughout 
eternity. The prospect of that everlasting life, the perfect jus- 
tice yet to come, the infinite progress before us, cheer and com- 
fort the heart. Sad and disappointed, full of self-reproach, we 
shall not be so forever. The light of heaven breaks upon 
the night of trial, sorrow, sin ; the sombre clouds which over- 



206 MODERN AGITATORS. 

hung the east, grown purple now, tell us the dawn of heaven 



is coming in." 



The last quotation winch we will make, Is full of a 
sad eloquence. The preacher is speaking of the he- 
roes of the present clay, those men who have the 
courage and the principle to advocate unpopular re- 
forms : 

" I know their trials, I see their dangers, I appreciate their 
sufferings, and since the day when the Man on Calvary bowed 
his head, bidding persecution farewell with his 'Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do,' I find no such saints 
and heroes as live now ! They win hard fare, and hard toil. 
They lay up shame and obloquy. Theirs is the most painful 
of martyrdoms. Racks and fagots soon waft the soul to God, 
stern messengers but swift. A boy could bear that passage, 
the martyrdom of death. But the temptation of a long life 
of neglect, and scorn, and obloquy, and shame, and want, and 
desertion by false friends ; to live blameless, though blamed, 
cut off from human sympathy, that is the martyrdom of to-day. 
I shed no tears for such martyrs. I shout when I see one ; I 
take courage, and thank God for the real saints, prophets and 
heroes of to-day. In another age, men shall be proud of these 
puritans and pilgrims of this day. Churches shall glory in 
their names, and celebrate their praise in sermon and in song." 

One of the greatest sermons preached by Mr. Par- 
ker that upon the death of Daniel Webster is so 
widely known that we will but mention it here as one 



THEODORE PARKER. 207 

of the most brilliant sermons ever delivered from the 
American pulpit. The land was full of adoration of 
the dead statesman, and it required a profound cour- 
age to face it with the truth. The sermon met with 
opposition, in some places bitter opposition, but the 
country at large hailed it as a great, searching, and 
profound review of the character of one of the idols 
of the American people. 

Whatever charges may be sustained against Theo- 
dore Parker, as a theologian, no man will accuse him 
of ever fawning before the powerful and the despotic 
no man will accuse him of deserting the weak and 
oppressed. Pie is faithful to his brother- men let him 
at least have all honor for this. 



ICHABOD CODDING. 

ICHABOD CODDING is well known in the free states 
as one of the earliest, most faithful and eloquent ad- 
vocates of anti-slavery reform in America, and he 
deserves a place in this series of sketches of distin- 
guished agitators. lie gave himself up to the cause 
of freedom when he was in his youth, and when, to 
be known as an anti-slavery advocate, was to endure 
obloquy and scorn to risk not only reputation, but 
life. He is, according to our thinking, one of the 
most powerful advocates of reform in the country. 
His talents are varied ; he is persuasively eloquent, 
as an orator, but is socially still more eloquent. We 
never met a more talented conversationist, and his 
power in social circles is exceedingly great. His 
manners are bland and winning, and yet he is strong 
and rigid in his positions. The reformer who is en- 
deavoring to impress society with certain great truths, 
is often, too often, harsh and repulsive in his manners 
and conversation. He is like a rock against which 
the billows may dash forever without making an im- 
pression but he is cold and bleak. Mr. Codding 



ICHAEOD CODDING. 209 

unites with firmness a great deal of geniality and suav- 
ity of manner. His enemies soon love him when 

f 

they know him. His conversation is fascinating, yet 
is utterly devoid of art. Its naturalness is one of its 
most charming characteristics. He is intensely earn- 
est, overflows with anecdote and humor, and seems 
never to lack bright and genial thoughts, striking sen- 
tences, and apropos anecdotes. As an orator, he is 
surpassed by few living men. It is impossible, how- 
ever, to compare him with his cotemporaries, for he 
is only like himself. His social characteristics follow 
him to the platform. He is at times vehement in hia 
eloquence there, but oftener calmly in earnest clear, 
frank and winning. One of his best speeches is not 
characterized by a continuous stream of eloquence, 
but here and there bubbles up with grand, or beau- 
tiful passages, and the whole speech has a web of 
logic stronger than steel. 

In his personal appearance, Mr. Codding, at first 
sight, appears to be rather rough and it is true that 
he has nothing of the fop in his composition. He is 
of medium height, has a fine, compact forehead, fine, 
dark hair, a large, homely mouth, but eyes of eloquent 
beauty. He has a rare voice, and reads finely. Mr. 
Codding was born in Bristol, Ontario county, ~N"ew 
York, in the year 1811. His father died a short time 
previous to his birth, and he came into the world 

fatherless, and an inheritor of poverty. His mother 
C* 



210 MODERN AGITATORS. 

was left in moderate circumstances, and all the mem- 
bers of the family who were old enough, were obliged 
to work. Before he was twelve years old, his educa- 
tional advantages were slight. When seventeen, he 
became deeply interested in the cause of temperance. 
He had heard something of certain movements in the 
east, but had neither seen pledges, nor read addresses. 
A little society of thirteen members was formed upon 
the total abstinence basis. It is a little singular that 
this original teetotal society had not a member who 
was professedly a Christian, or who was of age. Not 
long after, however, the society changed its constitu- 
tion so as to conform to those of new societies which 
afterward sprang up upon the basis of the old pledge. 
A few, however, would not recede, and among these 
was Codding. He delivered addresses upon the sub- 
ject in many places. Before he was twenty-one years 
old, he had delivered over one hundred temperance 
speeches. He also took up the subject of corporeal 
punishment in schools, opposing the customary use 
of the rod, with a good deal of zeal. 

For three years, Codding was teacher in the Eng- 
lish department of Canandaigua academy, at the same 
time pursuing higher and collegiate studies himself. 
The since well-known S. A. Douglas, the little giant, 
was studying at Canandaigua, while he was there. 
He was then, as now, devoted to politics read the 
political newspapers eagerly and carefully, and wox 



ICHABOD CODDING. 211 

much more of a politician than a scholar. Before 
leaving Canandaigua academy, Mr. Codding was, 
probably, as accomplished a scholar as ordinary col- 
lege graduates: he was such in the opinion of com- 
petent judges. 

When twenty-three years old, he entered Middle- 
bury College, in Vermont. While a freshman, he de- 
livered a temperance speech in the town, which crea- 
ted a good deal of excitement, and he was waited 
upon by a committee who complained of his speech. 
In his junior year, needing money, and being famil- 
iar with the studies of the term, he got leave of ab- 
sence to teach, or engage in a benevolent agency. 
He had for some time felt deeply interested in the 
cause of the slave, and engaged himself for the term 
to the Vermont Anti-slavery Society, to lecture. He 
went out into the towns, and was met by mobs of 
ruffians, in many instances, and excitement attended 
his lectures everywhere. The story was widely cir- 
culated that he was a member of Middlebury College, 
and the faculty, fearing that he was adding to their 
unpopularity, got together, and declared that he was 
away without liberty, and they therefore censured 
him. Of this shameful act he was not apprised, and 
knew nothing of it till he returned to college. Upon 
meeting his fellow-students, the noble young advocate 
of liberty found that he was in disgrace. He went 
to work in a manly fashion to make potent the ini 



212 MODERN AGITATORS. 

tice of the faculty. lie demanded a college meet- 
ing got his facts ready for the press, and threatened 
the officers with their publication ;n the public jour- 
nals, unless they would rescind their vote of censure. 
They finally gave him a letter of explanation in which 
it was fully admitted that he was not away from col- 
lege without leave. He was now upon his former 
standing, but their cruel conduct stung him to the 
heart, and having established his innocence of the 
charges against him, he left the college forever. 

He immediately engaged himself as a public lec- 
turer to the American Anti-slavery Society, and spent 
the winter in Vermont. In the spring he had orders 
to go to Massachusetts. The very first place he lec- 
tured in, he was mobbed. It was in the town of 
Brighton, and on the Sabbath. It was a beautiful, 
sunny, summer afternoon, and at the hour of five, the 
people assembled in the church to hear Mr. Codding 
deliver his address upon American slavery. He en- 
tered the house where the stillness of aXew England 
Sabbath prevailed. But out of doors a wild mob was 
fast gathering, and their harsh shouts contrasted 
strangely with the still beauty of the Sabbath. Two 
of the boldest of the mob entered the church. Mr. 
Codding w r as in the midst of an opening prayer, 
when they rushed to the pulpit and seized him, 
dragged him down into the aisle, intending to pull 
him out into the street, and then wreak their ven- 



ICHAEOD CODDING. 213 

geance upon him. But the audience, by this time, 
were roused to a state of excitement, and two young 
men who had known Codding at college being pres- 
ent, seized upon the intruders, overcame them, and 
binding them with handkerchiefs, forwarded them 
into the front slip, and forced them to hear one anti- 
slavery lecture, at least ! 

tt 

The next winter, Mr. 0. was sent into Maine, and 
he had the honor of addressing the members of the 

O 

legislature for three hours upon the Texas question. 
It was one of the greatest speeches he ever made, 
and its effect was astonishing. It was afterward said 
that it made above forty members over into aboli 
tionists. In Brunswick, he was mobbed. In Calais, 
he commenced a course of lectures, but a few law- 
yers got the people together to vote him out of town. 
He attended the meeting, demanded the right to 
speak on the resolutions against him, which had been 
introduced, and having got the floor, used his time 
to good purpose. A set of desperadoes called " the 
Indians," from the fact that, dressed as Indians, they 
committed acts they dared not commit in their real 
characters, were present, and by appealing to their 
natural prejudices against lawyers, Mr. Codding ar- 
rested their attention, and got the meeting adjourned 
till the next night, when he met resolution after res- 
olution, defeated each one, triumphed over the law- 
yers, and delivered his course of lectures without 



214 MODERN AGITATORS. 

disturbance. "While in Maine, Mr. Codding, for a 
time, edited an anti-slavery journal the first estab- 
lished there. He was, after leaving Maine, with 
Judge Jay, mobbed in Bedford, ]S"ew York. After 
being two years in Maine, and laying the foundation 
of the liberty party in that state, he received an in- 
vitation to visit Connecticut, which he accepted. He 
remained in Connecticut three years, making in all 
parts of the state the warmest friends. With S. M. 
Booth, he established the Christian Freeman, now 
the Republican. In lS-2, he went west, to Illinois 
and Wisconsin. He delivered a great course of lec- 
tures in Chicago, and in Waukesha, Wisconsin, he 
established the first anti-slavery paper in that state 
the journal now edited by Mr. Booth, at Milwaukee. 
He also preached for a time to a Congregational 

-L O O 

church in Waukesha, and afterwards to independent 

congregations in Joliet and Lockport, Illinois. 

1 While once delivering a lecture in Southern Illi* 

* t - 

nois, Mr. Codding was seized by his neckerchief, and 

*~j \j 

a pistol was presented at his breast by an infuriated 
beast in the shape of a man, but the calm fearlessness 
of Mr. Codding overcame him, and at his bidding the 
pistol dropped to the floor. He was at one time lec- 
turing, when a perfect volley of eggs was thrown at 
him, and he drenched with them. One eye was much 
Hurt by a missile, yet he preserved his humor through 



ICHABOD CODDING. 215 

this treatment, and with excellent good nature, he 
said : 

" Well, hoys, I am fond of eggs, but I would like to have 
them done up in a little different style. May he, in the haste 
of your generosity, you did not take that into consideration ! " 

The " boys " roared with laughter at his reply to 
the peculiar arguments. 

The finest specimens of Mr. Codding's oratory are 
unreported, and live only in the memories of those 
who listened to them. We will, however, make one 
extract from an address delivered by him before a 
mass convention in Illinois, and which was afterward 
published in a pamphlet form : 

"'Train up a child in the way he should go.' This com- 
mandment comes home to the heart of the slave father : he 
looks around upon the little children that God has given him ; 
he hears the voice of God, and how it harmonizes with the re- 
sponse in his own bosom ! Oh, how he burns with internal fire 
to educate their moral and intellectual nature, and fit them for 
usefulness here and for that state of being that shall come after. 
He obeys by commencing to teach his child to read ; the slave- 
holder comes in and says, ' Not a letter shall that child learn.' 
The slave replies, 'God commands me to do it.' The slave- 
holder retorts, 'I will show you to whom that child belongs; I 
own it as I own the pig in the sty ; ' and the master proves his 
superior authority by triumphing over the express command 
of Jehovah. What a principle is here ! The chattel principle 



216 MODERN AGITATORS. 

* 

spurns all those commandments, and absolutely prevents their 
fulfillment. This is slaveholding in its essential characteristics. 
I beg this audience will not understand me to be speaking of 
its abuse. I am talking of the seed principle it is NOT its 
abuse. Itself is the greatest of all abuses ; it is the giant evil, 
and overshadowing crime. The principle, then, is settled, that 
chattel slavery, absolutely, so far as the slave is concerned, does 
overrule the direct command of God, and asserts more than 
God dare assert ! If the principle is settled that God cannot 
rule over all, then it is settled that he cannot rule over any. 
If I say, here is a portion of the human family over which God 
may not reign it is settled thus with regard to the slave, it is 
settled with regard to all men ; and if God reigns over others, 
it- is by express permission of the chattel principle. It must 
be seen, then, that if God has no right to rule over any, he is 
no God : this would be No-godism- ATHEISM ; and whoever 
negatively, indirectly or positively puts forth an influence to 
sustain this monstrous system for one moment, is so far forth 
guilty of promoting downright atheism. Startle not ; I have 
no time nor heart to say pretty things. Every man who apol- 
ogizes for slavery is warring against God's throne, and the foun- 
dation principles of his church and his ministry. 

" Before I make the application of this principle to the pro- 
slavery ecclesiastics of our time, suppose we take up, and for a 
moment, in the light of this principle, look at the atonement. 
Now, all Christians will acknowledge that Jesus Christ has be- 
come the end of the law for righteousness ; but, if God has 
no right to reign over this universe, he has no right to affix a 
penalty to this law, and therefore we need no atonement. You 



ICHABOD CODDING. 217 

sweep the universe from his jurisdiction, what need of a gos- 
pel 1 The foundation rock is taken away, and the gospel plan 
has become as baseless as a vision. 

"Again : ' God commandeth all men now everywhere to re- 
pent.' Suppose a minister should take this for his text, and 
during the discourse should make no allusion to the little par- 
ticle now, do you not see that the theme is robbed of its point, 
and shorn of its power? The principal, a^ well as the practi- 
cal reason announces that we should at once repent of all sin, 
and come into immediate harmony with : Jod. Now to seize 

/ 

on one of God's rational creatures, by virtue of superior brute 
force, and doom him to a wretched life of unpaid toil, is the 
crowning exhibition of human guilt. MAN, created a little 
lower than the angels endowed with all the mysterious, in 
comprehensible attributes of an immortal soul with a mind 
capable of grasping the infinite and the unknown with a des 
tiny that shall reach through the cycles of eternity, to go up 
mid-way heaven grapple with Deity seize such a being 
hurl him to the dust herd him with four-footed beasts and 
creeping things, and write upon his brow ' Chattel, property, 
BEAST OF BURDEN ! ' This is the acme of guilt, standing unri- 
valed in its detestable preeminence. If this be not a sin, you 
will search the catalogue of crime in vain to find one ; and if 
any sin in that catalogue should be repented of immediately, 
in the name of God and humanity, should not this ? Now, 
says the apologist for slavery, * I believe slavery ought to be 
abolished, but the idea of immediate abolition is wild ; ' and 
he calls us Jacobins ! Now, I contend that when you take the 
ground that this infamous system may be continued for one 



218 MODERN AGITATORS. 

moment, you array yourself against a great and cardinal prin- 
ciple of the gospel the doctrine of immediate repentance. 
But let the principle once be settled that we are under no obli- 
gation to repent of sin to-day, there is no proof that we shall 
be to-morrow, and if not to-morrow, then never. Hence, the 
principle settled that we are under no obligation to repent now, 
the principle is settled that there are no moral obligations in the 
universe ; therefore, no authoritative law no God. Hence, he 
that arrays himself against the gospel, against the divine law, 
would blot out the Deity from the universe. 

" Once more, hear that anti-abolitionist : ' You are right in 
principle, but it will do no good to urge it.' What have we 
here ! The infidel declaration that there is nothing in truth 
adapted to move mind. But the doctrine taught everywhere 
in the bible is, that ' the right with the might shall be,' that 
every honest blow struck in harmony with God and his uni- 
verse, every breath of prayer, every voice of pleading, is an ac- 
cretion upon the heart of universal truth ; yes, and let it cheer 
the tine-hearted ; every nail driven into the temple of truth is 
FAST, and never to be extracted. This temple shall yet be 
completed. 

' There 's a good time coming, boys, 

A good time coming ; 
"We may not live to see the day, 
But earth shall glisten in the ray, 

Of the good time coming.' 

Let it once be said there is no such adaptation in truth ; hope 
dies from the world, and darkness that can be felt settles down 
upon the prospects of mankind. Call in your missionaries ; 



ICHABOD CODDING. 219 

down with your pulpits ; hush the thunders of the press ; cease 
all moral effort, for it is uttered from Heaven, and believed 
among men, that there is no adaptation in truth to accomplish 
the purposes of benevolence ; let us then go down by the cold 
streams of Babylon, and hang our harps upon the willows in 
utter despair. 

" But thanks be to God ! it is not so ; let me tell all that 
hear me, there is no real effort lost ; it is an impossibility ; it is 
a libel upon God. Thus does anti-abolition dethrone God, nul- 
lify his commandments, abrogate matrimony, mock at the atone- 
ment, scout immediate repentance, and profanely declare that 
truth is not ' mighty through God to the pulling down the 
strong-holds of sin.' 

" Now, all must admit that whoever puts forth an influence 
by his theories, his indifference, his apologies or open advocacy, 
to sustain slavery, is guilty of sustaining as bare-faced a system 
of infidelity as ever mocked God. Do you not see that all anti- 
abolitionists are thus implicated 1 I am sorry to be obliged to 
say that the leading influences of the church and the ministry 
in this country are in this fearful position. For uttering such 
sentiments as these, the cry has been given abroad by some 
ministers, and others, that I am an infidel in my tendencies. 
Such a charge was made against me recently in the city of Chi- 
cago, by several clergyman. Oh, I could bear it all ; but when 
I see these great and overgrown ecclesiastical bodies standing 
upon the prostrate form of crushed humanity, and when I see 
great-hearted men driven to infidelity by seeing these churches 
and ministers, who profess to be the pink of piety, plead for 
this blighting curse, and strengthen the hands of the oppressor, 



220 MODERN AGITATORS. 

it is too much ; I must speak out ; I must assign them their 
true position. You say that I am excited. I am. I never can 
discuss these great principles, involving all that pertains to this 
deep, mysterious nature of ours, without becoming excited ; 
but God grant it may not lead me to take ground for slavery ! 
I have endeavored to compress my remarks into as brief a space 
as possible. I leave it to my audience to say whether I have 
maintained my proposition. I have, so to speak, merely en- 
deavored to throw out the bones of the argument. I have al- 
ready declared that the leading influences of the church and 
ministry in America are in a position to support the system 
of slavery as I have described it. In exemplifying this position, 
I may seem unnecessarily severe. I have no time to get on a 
Sabbath-clay face or adopt a holy tone. I know no better way 
than get right, and speak right on as I feel. I confess it seems 
utterly impossible that any of these religious bodies should 
yield an influence to support such a system. I persuade my- 
self sometimes in my closet that it cannot be so ; but, alas ! 
the delusion soon gives place to reality. Talk not of rob- 
bery I cannot descend to mention it in the same connection 
with slavery. Common robbery merely takes the earned; 
slavery takes the EARNER ; common robbery takes only the 
property; slavery takes the PROPRIETOR; common robbery 
clutches the thing ; slavery lays rude hands upon the MAN. 
Why, the slave cannot say my hands, my feet, my body my 
SOUL, without using a figure of speech ! All he has belongs to 
another. Legislators and constitution-makers talk gravely 
about the rights of property. I pray you, sir, what is the 
foundation right of all property the grand, indestructible 



ICHABOD CODDING. 221 

Gibraltar upon which all rights are based ? My right to my- 
self. That gone, you have swept away all that is great and 
awful in man. Now, when we lay at the feet of the leading 
ecclesiastics of the age the awful charge of conniving at this 
atheistical principle, and of strengthening the hands of these 
man-hyenas who practice on it, we are warned off as laying 
hands on the sacred and the holy. I cannot help it. For 
when I discover the massive moral power of these large and 
influential bodies pressing with ponderous weight upon the 
prostrate forms and crushed hearts of my Father's children, 
and hear their suppressed sighs and groans, and see them stri- 
ving, and struggling, and surging beneath the awful incubus, 
and all in vain, I must and will cry out, GET OFF IN GOD'S 



NAME, GET OFF !" 



Certain enemies of Mr. Codding, especially in the 
west, have endeavored to injure his influence by base 
falsehoods respecting his religious sentiments. "We 
cannot do better than quote a few paragraphs from a 
letter written by the Hon. Francis Gillette, from the 
west, and which was published two years since : 

" From Beloit I passed down into Northern Illinois, to Lock- 
port, a village situated on the Des Plaines river and Illinois ca- 
nal, thirty-five miles south of Chicago. In that place and its 
vicinity I spent several days with Mr. Codding, a gentleman 
whom very many of the readers of the 'Republican' remember 
with a lively interest, as, for some years a very eloquent and 
effective advocate of reform in this state, and those who had 



222 MODERN AGITATOK3. 

the pleasure of his personal acquaintance, as a truly fraternal 
and genial man. It is now ten years since Mr. Codding went 
from this state to visit some relatives in the vicinity of his pres- 
ent abode, with no thought but to return and resume his labors 
here ; but he became so much interested in the great moral 
harvest-field of the west, that he finally yielded to pressing so- 
licitations, and concluded to devote himself to that fresh and in- 
viting field of labor. As a public speaker and an itinerating 
lecturer, no one of his many eastern friends and admirers will 
be surprised to learn that, in Illinois and Wisconsin, through 
which he has often passed and repassed, on missions of human- 
ity and mercy, he is spoken of and admired by many, even, 
who differ from him in sentiment, as the Whitfield of the west, 
before whose truthful tongue and flashing eye the chosen and 
fitted champions of the opposition have quailed and slunk away 
never to encounter him again. In his person and manners he 
appears but slightly changed by the last ten years, time having 
brushed him lightly with his hoary wing. I found this admira- 
ble man, who, could he put his great soul into his wallet, could 
occupy a princely mansion and a most genteel city pulpit stuffed 
with the softest and downiest cotton, occupying his " own hired 
house," a very humble dwelling, quite retired from the village 
of Lockport, which, he told me, he had taken with a view of 
securing that retirement which is so favorable to study, and di- 
viding his ministerial labors between two societies, neither of 
which is large one in Lockport, and the other in Joliet, a vil- 
lage five miles south. 

"Though regularly ordained some years since, after the strict- 
est modes of Congregationalism, and cordially fellowshiped as 



ICHABOD CODDINQ. 223 

sound in the faith, I understand that Mr. Codding is now re- 
garded by the vigilant sentinels of sectarian orthodox, as hav- 
ing apostatized from the true standard, and they have raised 
against him the cry of heretic. I was unable to ascertain the 
exact points of his heterodoxy, though, as I was informed, it 
was gravely alleged, 'as a stone of stumbling and rock of' 
offense,' to many, who would not be thought lacking -in true 
piety, that men and women even, who had been ' stayers at 
home' from public worship, and others, not a few, who had 
been Universalists, Unitarians, and I know not what other sus- 
picious ones, were seen to attend on his ministrations. Possi- 
bly it may be true of Mr. Codding, as of some other persons 
in this marvelous age of the world, that his most alarming her- 
esy consists in the rejection of that most unadorable trinity of 
slave-mongers, lower-law theologians, and hunker demagogues ; 
and especially the denial of that new article which has recently 
been adopted into their creed, viz : that slave-catching is both 
a political and saintly duty, without which there can be no sal- 
vation to the Union. He does insist that a democracy which 
crushes liberty is a despotism, and that a religion without hu- 
manity is not Christianity. He teaches that the worst hetero- 
doxy is that which violates the divine law, in practice, and that 
sect-making is not christianizing society, but, on the contrary, 
filling it with discord and bigotry, thus impeding the progress 
of peace on earth and good will to men. In addition to the 
performance of his parochial labors, he occasionally goes out on 
a lecturing tour, his great aim still being to be diligent in his 

O ' C? C2 O 

Master's vineyard, and devote all his noble powers to the ele- 
vation and advancement of his race." 



224 MODERN AGITATORS. 

It is impossible by description or quotation to give 
the reader a jn.st idea of Mr. Codding as a writer or 
speaker. He must be seen and heard to be appreci- 
ated. He is now in the full maturity of his powers, 
and though he perhaps lacks something of the impet- 
uosity of his youth, he has more of wisdom and char- 
ity for liis foes. We consider him, in many respects, 
a model reformer. He scarcely ever indulges in bit- 
ter denunciations of slaveholders scarcely ever 
makes enemies, unless it be among the most de- 
praved class of people. All over the north there are 
men opposed to him, in his political, anti-slavery 
views, who, nevertheless, respect and love him. Yet 
he does not ever flinch a hair from, rigid adherence 
to principle. 



K. P. ROGERS. 

!N~EW ENGLAND has given birth to few men, who, in 
point of brilliancy, genius, and genuine philanthropy, 
are the superiors of 2s". P. Rogers. George Thomp- 
son, after a few hours spent in conversation with him, 
declared him to be " the most brilliant man in Amer- 
ica." There was a fascination about the man, a 
charm in his conversation, in his presence, which 
was as superior to acquired politeness as nature is to 
art. Few discovered from his conversation, that he 
possessed great powers of sarcasm and indignant elo- 
quence. For he was one of the gentlest men that 
ever drew breath. In many things he was like a 
woman. His heart was sensitive, his fancy delicate, 
his love without bounds, and when insult was aimed 
at him, or when attempts were made to wrong him, 
he was silent. But when insult was aimed at the 
cause he loved so well, when his brother was wronged, 
his spirit rose lion-like, and he could throw his shafts 
of sarcasm home to the heart of an adversary, or could 



226 MODERN AGITATORS. 

shower down upon his head the terrors of a denunci- 
atory eloquence. He was a man overflowing with 

wit and humor. It showed itself in his conversation, 
in his speeches, in his writings. His bitterest ene- 
mies could not deny themselves of his brilliant news- 
paper writings, and many of their names were upon 
the subscription book of the newspaper of which he 
was the editor. 

Mr. Rogers was born in Plymouth, I^"ew Hamp- 
shire, June 3d, 1794. His father was a physician of 
fine abilities, and his mother was a woman of more 
than ordinary intellect and heart. His parentage 
was excellent, and as he was a lineal descendant of 
John Rogers, the martyr, he had no cause to be 
ashamed of the blood which coursed through his 
veins. In 1811, he entered Dartmouth College, but 
through ill health was obliged to leave, after remain- 
ing one vear. He returned afterwards, and took his 

O / 

degree in 1816. He shortly afterward engaged in 
the study of the law, and practiced it in his native 
state. 

By nature possessed of extraordinary talents, when 
to these was added the discipline of a collegiate 
course, he was fitted to adorn any station in the coun 
try. He became thoroughly acquainted with law, 
and yet its practice was always distasteful to him. 
He seldom appeared in the courts to plead, for his 
spirit was of too fine material not to shrink from the 



N. P. ROGERS. 22-7 

rough conflicts of sncli a life. He remained in his 
office it was in his native town and counseled his 
clients, or prepared cases for the courts. His keen 
intellect won for him a fine reputation, and his ad- 
vice was sought in intricate cases, far and wide. For 
many years, Mr. Rogers continued in the profession 
for which he was educated, but was never content 
with it. His love of nature was fervent, and the po- 
etic instincts of his nature led him to abhor the dry 
technicalities of the statute book. He was born and 
lived among grand scenery, and his soul seemed to 
assimilate itself to the magnificent mountains, among 
the shadows of which he so dearly loved to wander. 
He gave up book-reading and read nature. The aw- 
ful peaks of the White Mountains were more wel- 
come to him than anything in Shakspeare or Byron, 
and the tender song of some early spring-bird more 
sweet and beautiful to his ear than the measured ca- 
dences of more modern poets. He had room in his 
heart for everything good and gentle, sublime or 
beautiful. 

At last the anti-slavery agitation arose, and being 
a true man, and in tune with nature, he at once re- 
ceived into his great heart God's truth, and became 
an abolitionist. He gave up profession, pecuniary 
independence, comfort ; and heart and soul espoused 
the cause of the slave. He removed to Concord, and 

became the editor of the far-famed Herald of 
A* 



228 MODERN AGITATOES. 

dom, in which he wrote for many years some of the 
most brilliant editorials which have ever emanated 
from the newspaper writers of America. He adopted 
a style well calculated to attract attention ; a pointed, 
homely, and, if we may use the term, a Yankee style. 
He eschewed the old rules, and bein^ sure of always 

O i/ 

penning great ideas, cared little for the manner in 
which they were clothed. As a matter of course, he 
had to meet the cry " you are before the age ! ' and 
he answered it as follows : 

BEFORE THE AGE. 

"You are too fast." Well, friends, you are too slow. 
"You are altogether ahead of the times." Wei], you are alto- 
gether in the rear of the times astern of the times at the 
tail of the times, if I must say it. And which is the most hon- 
orable and useful position? It is ahead of the times to denounce 
slavery, and demand its abandonment. But that is no reason 
anti-slavery is wrong, or unreasonable, or imprudent, injudi- 
cious, or any of the epithets a laggard age casts upon it. Is 
slave-holding right 1 Are the institutions that support it right ? 
Are they for the happiness, benefit, improvement, usefulness, 
innoceney of the people ? These are the questions. " You 
are before the age!" Well, if I were not, it's high time I 
were. You ought to be before the age. The age is wrong. 
W hoover improves must go before. He must quit the age, 
wherein it is wrong, and the charge that he is before it is an 
admission that he is right. When Robert Fulton told them 
steam was better than wind on the water, or than horse-flesh on 



N. P. ROGEES. 229 

the land, he was before the age, though not a great ways before. 
He wasn't many years ahead of it. The age is up with him 
now. They will begin to build him monuments by and by, 
because he is dead and it wont do him any good. They trod 
him under foot when he was alive, he was so far " before the 
age," and called him crazy ! Monomaniac I suppose they 
called him. One poor man got the notion, some ages ago, that 
the sun did n't whirl round the earth, but that it was more 
likely and reasonable that the appearances that looked as if it 
did, were brought about by the earth's turning round on its 
own axletree. They came nigh hanging or burning him for it. 
They let him off, I believe, on the ground of insanity. They 
made him give it up, though, publicly, to save his life. The 
Solemns got hold of him the reverend divines God's spe- 
cially called, ordained and set apart ministers chosen of God 
to guide the people to heaven. They must know all about the 
sun and stars, and things up the firmament, for they are guides 
to heaven. They said it was contrary to the inspired book to 
say the sun stood still and the earth whirled round. It was 
contrary to "Joshua." So they made the man take it back. 
They are a knowing people, these divines. They are specially 
gifted of God. They carft mistake. They were with the age. 
This crazy man was " before the age," now it is admitted by the 
very Solemns themselves, that the earth whirls over every twen- 
ty-four hours, and the sun is as still as a mouse. The Solemns 
always admit things after "the age" has adopted them. They 
are as careful about the age as the weather-cock is about the 
wind. They never mistake it. You might as well catch an 
old, experienced weather-cock on some ancient orthodox steeple, 



230 MODERN AGITATOPwS. 

mistaking the way of the wind, standing all day with his tail 
east, in a strong west wind, as the divines at odds with " the 
age." They can smell "the age." They taste it, at any rate. 

Some of Mr. Rogers' most popular articles were 
written for the New York Tribune, over the signa- 
ture of " Old Man of the Mountain," but they did 
not, to our thinking, quite equal his contributions to 
his Herald of Freedom. Some of these were written 
under circumstances which would have silenced the 
tongue or pen of any ordinary man. He was poor 
in health, poor, God knows, in purse, and an increas- 
ing family was upon his hands. And there were 
troubles the world knows not of with associates not 
so pure, gentle, and truly noble as lie. We have 
spoken of his indignatory eloquence, and will quote 
a few paragraphs from one of his articles upon the 
martyr Torrey. It stirs the heart, even at this day, 
like the blast of a trumpet : 

TORREY. 

A New England citizen has been imprisoned and put to 
death without pretense of criminality for mistaken philan- 
thropy, at worst for philanthropy, undeniably. But what 
can be done 1 Nothing, because of the spell slavery has shed 
over the land. Slavery may perpetrate anything, and New 
England can't see it. It can horsewhip the old commonwealth 
of Massachusetts, and spit in her governmental face, and she 
will not recognize it as an offense. She sent her Hon. Samuel 



N. P. KOGERS. 231 

Hoar to Charleston, on a state embassy. Slavery caught him, 
and sent him most ignorniniously home. The solemn great 
man came back in a hurry. He returned on a most undigni- 
fied trot. He ran. He scampered the stately official. The 
Old Bay State actually pulled foot cleared dug, as they say, 
like any scamp, with a hue and cry after him. Her grave old 
senator, who no more thought of ever having to break his 
stately walk, than he had of being flogged at school for stealing 
apples, came back from Carolina upon the full run out of 
breath, as well as out of dignity. Well, what's the result 1 ? 
Why, nothing. They no more think of showing any resent 
ment about it, than they would if lightning had struck him. 
He was sent back, actually, " by the visitation of God." And 
if they had lynched him to death, and stained the streets of 
Charleston with his blood, a Boston jury, if they could have 
held inquest over him, would have found that he died by the 

x 

visitation of God. And it would have been " Crowner's quest 
law." Slavery's " Crowner's." 

They have murdered Torrey. But there can be no inquisi- 
tion. They have brought his body home. They " gave it to 
his friends," as they would the body of a man hung on the gal- 
lows. They have brought it to Boston. And they talk of 
having a public funeral, and an oration. They thought of hav- 
ing it in Park-street meeting-house. They might as well have 
expected it, for celebrating the obsequies of Tirrell, had he been 
hanged for murder, as the obsequies of the murdered Torrey. 
"Park-street" don't open to such obsequies. And such ob- 
sequies ought not to go in there if it did open. " Park-street " 
is at the bottom of the murder. Boston is hand in glove with 



232 MODERN AGITATORS. 

it. The Bav State is. The nation is. It is as insensible as a 



dead dog to the murder of Torrey, when it ought to stir the 
land like the massacre of the 5th of March, 1770, when they 
shot down Monk in the streets of Boston ; and " Maverick and 
Gray, Caldwell, Attocks, and Carr," in the old days of Han- 
cock and Warren. 

I will make no ado about it. It would be like clamoring to 
a burying vard. Torre v, to be sure, is murdered but what 

v O */ / ' 

of that ? Who cares ? He has been killed by slavery. 

The love of nature, which was a striking character- 
istic of Mr. Rogers, exhibited itself constantly in his 
writings. What can be more beautiful than the fol- 
lowing easy, careless paragraph upon 

THE RAIX. 

While I am writing, it is raining most magnificently and glo- 
riously, out doors. It absolutely roars, it comes down in such 
multitude and big drops. And how refreshing ! It waters 
the earth. There has been but little rain, and our sandy region 
has got to looking dry and distressed. Everything looks en- 
couraged now, as the great strainer, overhead, is letting down 
the shower bath. The grass darkens, as it drinks it in, with a 
kind of delicate satisfaction. And the trees stand and take it, 
as a cow does a carding. They hold as still as a mouse, while 

o / 

they " abide its peltings," not moving a twig or stirring a leaf. 
The dust of the wide, naked street is transmuted into mud. 
And the stages sound over the road, as if they rattled on na- 
ked pavement. Puddles stand in all the hollows. You can 
hardly see the people for umbrellas and the clouds look as 



N. r. ROGERS. 233 

though they had not done with us. The prospect for the Can- 
terbury meeting looks lowery. Let it rain. All for the best. 
It is extraneous, but I could hardly help noticing the great rain 
and saying a word about it. I think the more mankind regard 
these beautiful doings in nature, the more they will regard each 
other, and love each other, and the less inclined to enslave 
each other. The readier abolitionists they will become. And 
the better. The rain is a great anti-slavery discourse. And I 
like to have it pour. Nor eloquence is richer to my spirit, or 
music. That rush from heaven of the big drops in what mul- 
titude and succession, and how they sound as they strike ! 
How they play on the old home roof, and on the thick tree 
tops! AY hat music to go to sleep by, to a tired boy as he lies 
under the naked roof! And the great low bass thunder, as it 
rolls off over the hills, and settles down behind them to the 
very center, and you can feel the old earth jar under your feet 
that is music, and poetry, and life. And if the lightning strikes 
you what of that ! It won't hurt you. " Favored man," 
truly, as Uncle Pope says, " by touch ethereal slain." A light 
touch, compared to disease's, the doctor's, or poverty's. 

And here is a scene among the White Mountains, 
brought vividly to view by a few touches of his 
graphic pen : 

THE KOTCH. 

You roll along a mile or two, the road gently undulating 
through the majestic woods, and fringed with bushes of delight- 
ful green when a vast and overwhelming opening breaks upon 
you, a boundless room among the mountains, walled on the left 



234 MODERN AGITATORS. 

by the great Elephant mountain, the rock covered by stunted 
evergreens precipicing up two thousand feet the blue sky 
itself scarcely visible over its eternal ridge. Before you, at the 
farther extremity, opens the Notch, curtained by the sky of 
Vermont, which there comes down upon it ; and on the right, 
the wooded steep side of Lafayette, or Great Haystack. No- 
thing can exceed the awful sublimity of the great wall on the 
left. The vast mountain side is clothed with scales of rock, as 
with a coat of mail, scarred here and there with the old ava- 
lanches while, opposite, the forest side of Lafayette is striped 
down with the deep green of modern woods, which have grown 
in the paths of the " slides." At the northern extremity of the 
great room, you come to view " the Old Man of the Moun- 
tain." It is on your left, up, say fifteen hundred feet, a perfect 
profile of an aged man, jutting out boldly from the sheer pre- 
cipice, with a sort of turban on the head and brow ; nose, mouth, 
lip, chin, and fragment of neck, all perfect and to the life and 
with a little fancy, you supply the cheek and ear. It looks off 
south-east. It needs no imagination to complete it. It is per- 
fect as if done by art. But it is up where art never climbed. 

We have given but meager specimens of the wri- 
tings of Mr. Rogers. He needs to be read carefully, 

O * ' " ' 

article by article, to enable the reader to appreciate 
his genius. He made the most trite subject rich and 
beautiful by the magic of his pen. He wrote with 
strange facility, seemed never at a loss for subject, lan- 
guage, or ideas. He was always fresh, always at- 
tractive, and a vein of genial humor ran through al- 



N. P. ROGERS. 235 

most all his articles. If not humor, then certainly 
biting sarcasm. He could never tolerate " platitudi- 
nous commonplace." But agitation wore upon him 
or perhaps it would be more correct to ascribe his 
sorrow r to the results of his agitating career. He was 
without a certain and sufficient support, and children 
were gathered at his feet. Never was there a more 
loving-hearted father, never a more devoted husband. 

O ' 

His heart was sorrowful for them. Friends with 
whom he was associated in the anti-slavery reform, 
treated him, as he thought, with cruelty, and his 
heart began to be shattered. 

A. look of sorrow was always upon his face. He 
was a man of fine appearance. A large, noble brow, 
clear, intelligent, beautiful eyes, a profusion of dark 
gray hair, and that sad, ever sad, shadow over all, 
were his characteristics. It was a face which once 
seen, lingers forever in the memory. 

About this time, he lost nearly all the little prop- 
erty which he could call his own, through the failure 
of a friend to whom it was entrusted. An illness 
fastened upon him which never deserted him for a 
day until he died. For many weeks, however, he 
continued to write for his favorite journal, and these 
contributions are among the finest he ever wrote. 
His faith in the ultimate triumph of the right did not 
desert him in the darkest hour. It was a time when 

church and state seemed to be in league against free- 

2 



236 MODERN AGITATORS. 

dom. Mob law stalked unabashed through the land. 

O 

The friends of the poor, crushed slave, were few. 
There were private griefs, too, in his heart. And at 
last, disease laid its disheartening hand upon him. 
But he was calm, gentle, and patient through it all. 
He declared to the friends who gathered about his 
couch that his illness would terminate in death. 
Seeing one of his family weep, he said that he was 
happy, and wished his friends to be happy also. At 
last, his hand, which had been so strong for the riijlit, 

/ * CD O 7 

grew too feeble to hold the pen, but even after that 
he dictated article after article for the press. Pie 
possessed, almost to the day of his death, a strong 
desire to hear constantly of the progress of the great 
cause to which he had sacrificed his life. He asked 
eagerly for the welfare of his old associates, who 
were almost hopelessly opposing themselves to the 
war feeling which at that time overspread the country. 
His greatest comfort during his illnesss was music, 
of which he once said : 

" Oh ! this music is one of God's dearest gifts. I do wish men 
would make more of it. How humanizing it is and how 
purifying elevating and ennobling to the spirit ! And how it 
has been prostituted and perverted ! That accursed drum and 
fife how they have maddened mankind ! And the deep bass 
boom of the cannon, chiming in, in the chorus of the battle 
that trumpet, and wild, charging bugle how they set the mili- 
tary devil into a man, and make him into a soldier ! Think 



N. P. ROGERS. 237 

of the human family, falling upon one another, at the inspira- 
tion of music ! How must God feel at it ! To see those harp 
strings he meant should be wakened to love bordering on di- 
vine strung and swept to mortal hate and butchery." 

During the few clays which preceded his death, Mr. 
Rogers suffered the most excruciating pains. " Oh, 
clear," said he, " this is the closing up of my terrible 
labors ! ' Terrible, indeed, were they, for his life, 
for the past few years, had been one continual con- 
flict with the bigoted, the heartless, and the thor- 
oughly depraved. A friend who leaned over the hot 
brow of the dying man, whispered into his ear that it 
must be a consoling thought that he had not labored 
in vain. " O yes," he answered, " it sustains me un- 
speakably the reflection that I have done right." 
Though his agony was great, yet the light of reason 
did not flicker until death led him away. 

The sixteenth day of October, 1S46, was his last. 
His family friends were gathered around him, when 
he asked one of his daughters to sing to him Lover's 
beautiful "AngeVs Whisper" The sweet tones of the 
familiar voice filled the room, and he seemed to be in 
a rapture of bliss. "When the last notes had died 
away, some one approached him, gently, and asked 
if Jesse Hutchinson, who was in the next room, 
should come in. But no answer came from his dy- 
ing lips. The little band knew that the dread hour 



238 MODERN AGITATORS. 

had come no, not dread, but happy, happy hour, 
which should conduct his weary heart to rest. 

In a few minutes, the look of sorrow, which, for a 
long time, had dwelt constantly upon his countenance, 
fled away, and a beautiful, seraphic smile rested 
calmly in its place. He was dead. 

It was Friday when he died, and on the following 
Sabbath, a few friends gathered in his dwelling, for- 
ever bereft of his kindly presence, to consign his 
mortal remains to the grave. The spot of his burial 
was just that which he would have chosen a quiet 
corner of the village grave-yard, beneath the branches 
of a cluster of oaks. The snow fell drearily into his 
open grave very drearily to the bereaved ones who 
stood sobbing around it. But he was wrapt in the 
sunshine of his heavenly Father's love ! 

Thus lived and died a man whose name will never 
be forgotten, at least till American slavery has passed 
into oblivion. He was one of the earliest of the anti- 
slavery agitators of this country, and one of the purest. 
But it may be doubted if he was fitted to be a suc- 
cessful agitator at the time when he lived. He had 
a splendid intellect and a great heart, but the latter 
was too delicately made to enable him to walk calmly 
on amid the venomous attacks of enemies, and the 
not always gentle treatment of professed friends. 
And yet, he agitated right well, and his sayings will 
never die. To-day, they live in the deeds of those 



K. P. ROGERS. 239 

who, years ago, were roused from inaction by them 
and to-day they are read by those who never read 
them before, and they will Continue to bear fruit 
until the freed negro his brethren likewise all free 
shall weep tears of gratitude over his quiet 
Hampshire grave. 



JOHX GREEXLEAF WIIITTIER. 

THE poet "Whittier was born in the year 1808, in 
Haverhill, Massachusetts. His home was upon the 
banks of the wild and beautiful Merrirnack river. 
His ancestors for a number of generations had lived 
upon the same spot, and it is dear to him, not alone 
for its beauty of scenery, or from the fact that it was 
his birth-place, but because every nook and corner in 
it, or around it, is connected with him, through his 
ancestors. They were Quakers of the old George 
Fox stamp ; men of iron endurance, Christian integ- 
rity, and sublime simplicity, and consequently suf- 
fered severely at the hands of the Puritans. The 
father of the poet was a plain farmer, and ^Yhittier 
either worked upon his father's farm, or attended a 
district school until he was eighteen years old. He 
then devoted a year to study in a Latin school, and 
this, we believe, comprises what is popularly called 
his education. He was a home-student, however, 
and probably at twenty possessed a better disciplined 
mind than one-half of the graduates of our colleges, 
and his store of valuable knowledge was by no means 
small. 



JOHN G. WHITTLES. 241 

In 1828 IMr. "Whittier went to Boston to undertake 
the editorship of " The American Manufacturer" a 
journal principally devoted to the support of a pro- 
tective tariff. At this time, and for some time after, 
he was an ardent admirer of Henry Clay and his po- 
litical views. Before assuming the editorship of the 
"Manufacturer," he had contributed articles to jour- 
nals published near his early home, and had now a 
favorable reputation as a writer, o; both prose and 
poetry, in that vicinity. He conducted the "Manu- 
facturer 7 ' with remarkable ability ibr one so young 
and inexperienced, but he shortly gave it up. In 
1830 he went to the city of Hartford to edit the 
"Ne-w England Weekly Review" where he remained 
for two years. He exhibited marked talents in his 
management of the Review. A portion of the time 
he was warmly engaged in politics, and a part was 
devoted to literature. About this time he published 
his " Legends of New England," and wrote a me- 
moir of his friend Brainard, the Connecticut poet. 
While he was connected with the Review, he con- 
tributed to it several poems of great beauty, which 
attracted attention throughout the country. In 1831 
lie left the Review. His nature was too gentle, too 
refined and sensitive for the heartless strife of jour- 
nalism. He could not feel at ease tied to an editor's 
chair, compelled to write a great deal which was 

distasteful to him, and to read everything whether 
K " 16. 



24:2 MODERN AGITATORS. 

good or bad, issuing from the whole press of the 
country. Besides, his true, poet's heart sighed for the 
still and beautiful country. And so he went back 

*j 

to the banks of the Merrimack, and rested beneath 
the same trees which spread over him their cool 
shade when he was a boy. For five or six years he 
engaged in agricultural pursuits in Haverhill. In 
1835, he was elected to the state legislature ; in 1836, 
ditto, and in 183T, he declined a reelection. 

At an early period Mr. TVhittier consecrated him- 
self to the cause of freedom, and through the dark 
years of the anti-slavery agitation, when mob-law 
was triumphant even in New England, he sustained 
the courage of the " despised few," by his passionate 
songs of liberty. The fiery eloquence of his numbers 
roused their spirits to a degree of fearlessness which 
overlooked all personal dangers, transformed them 
into men willing, if it were necessary, to wear the 
crown of martyrdom. In 1830 he published his cele- 
brated poem " Mogg Megone," and the same year he 
was elected one of the secretaries of the American 
Anti -slavery Society. Still later he separated from 
the Garrison party, and became an active member 
of the political anti-slavery organization known as 
the Liberty party. He at present acts with the free 
democratic party. It is unnecessary for us to record 
his literary or political history for the last few years, 
for it is well known to all intelligent persons. As 



JOHN G. WHITTIER. 24:3 

corresponding editor of the National Era, he has 
written some of the best of his prose and poetic arti- 
cles. He resides with his sister a lady of uncom- 
mon talents and mother in Amesbury, Massachu- 
setts, upon a small farm, to which, we believe, he 
devotes a portion of his time, the rest being occupied 
with literary and plilanthropical pursuits. The per- 
sonal appearance of Mr. "Whittier is striking. He is 
tall and slender, with a classical head, delicate fea- 
tures, eyes of fiery black, and a quick, nervous man- 
ner. A smile generally rests upon his countenance, 
though his nervous organization is so exquisitely sen- 
sitive that he is often startled from his equilibrium 
in his contact with the world. He is exceedingly 
bashful in general society, and is not fond of it, 
though he is ardently attached to the "select few," 
who form his favorite circle of friends. 

In our opinion, Mr. Whittier is surpassed in poeti- 
cal genius by no living American. It is almost im- 
possible, however, to compare him with many of our 
poets. He occupies a distinct position as a poet. 
He is the poet of freedom, and as such will go down 
to future generations gloriously. The free American 
of the future can never forget the poet who consecra- 
ted his lyre to the panting, discouraged friends of 
human liberty, when their cause was at its low- 
est ebb. 

Li "Whittier, it seems as if we revived the old race 



244 MODERN AGITATORS. 

of poets, who sang their spirited songs in defense of 
their country's rights, and who were ready to use 
harp or sword, as the occasion demanded. "We know 
that his lightniiig-tongued stanzas are familiar to all, 
but in this sketch we must repeat two or three as 
specimens of his style, or, in truth, his different styles. 
To us, one of his loftiest, grandest poems is, that writ- 
ten on the adoption of Pinckney's resolutions in the 
house of representatives, and the passage of Calhoun's 
." bill of abominations," in the senate. Some of the 
stanzas for strength and impassioned beauty are un- 
surpassed. They stir a man's blood like a trumpet- 
call to battle. We quote the poem entire : 

"Now, by our fathers' ashes! where' s the spirit 
Of the true hearted and the unshackled gone? 
Sons of old freemen, do we but inherit 

Their names alone ? 

"Is the old Pilgrim spirit quenched within us? 
Stoops the proud manhood of our souls so low, 
That mammon's lure or party's will can win us 

To silence now ? 



when our land to ruin's brink is verging, 
In God's name let us speak while there is time I 
Kow, when the padlock for our lips is forging, 

Silence is crime ! 

""What! shall we henceforth humbly ask as favors 
Rights all our own? In madness shall we barter 
For treacherous peace the freedom nature gave us, 

God and our charter? 



JOIIX G. WHITTIER. 245 

"Here shall the statesman seek the free to fetter? 
Here lynch law light its lurid frres on high ? 
And, in the church, their proud and skilled abettor, 

Make truth a lie ? 

"Torture the pages of the hallov/ed bible, 
To sanction crime, and robbery, and blood? 
And, in oppression's hateful service, libel 

Both man and God? 

"Shall our New England stand erect no longer, 
But stoop in chains upon her downward way, 
Thicker to gather on her limbs and stronger, 

Day after day ? 

"Oh, no ; methinks from all her wild, green mountains 
From valleys where her slumbering fathers lie, 
From her blue rivers, and her Telling fountains, 

And clear, cold sky 

"From her rough coast, and isles, which hungry ocean 
Gnaws with lii? surges from the fisher's skiff, 
"With white sail swaying to the billows' motion, 

Eound rock and cliff 

"From the free fireside of her unbought farmer 
From her free laborer at his loom and wheel 
From the brown smith-shop, where, beneath the hammer, 

Rings the red steel 

"From each and all, if God hath not forsaken 
Our land, and left us to an evil choice, 
Loud as the summer thunderbolt shall waken 

A people's voice! 

"Startling and stern, the northern winds shall bear it 
Over Potomac's to St. Mary's wave ; 
And buried freedom shall awake to hear it, 

"Within her grave. 



246 MODERN AGITATORS. 

"Oh, let that voice go forth ! The bondman sighing 
By Santee's wave, in Mississippi's cane, 
Shall feel the hope within his bosom dying, 

Revive again. 

"Let it go forth! The millions who are gazing 
Sadly upon us from afar, shall smile, 
And unto God devout thanksgiving raising, 

Bless us the while. 

" Oh, for your ancient freedom, pure and holy, 
For a deliverance of a groaning earth, 
For the wronged captive, bleeding, crush'd, and lowly, 

Let it go forth ! 

"Sons of the best of fathers! will ye falter 
"With all they left ye peril'd and at stake ? 
Ho ! once again on freedom's holy altar 

The fire awake! 

"Prayer-strengthen'd for the trial come together, 
Put on the harness for the moral fight, 
And, with the blessing of your heavenly Father, 

Maintain the right ! " 

Another of AYhittier's grand poems is that written 
after a meeting had been held in Faneuil Hall, by 
certain citizens of Boston, to suppress the freedom of 
speech. We will quote it entire ; but, before doing 
so, must relate an anecdote connected with this poem. 
A dear friend of ours, now, alas, beneath the sod, was 
a most passionate admirer of Whittier's poetry. To 
him there was no other American poet living, and 
there could be no other. Possessed of lofty enthusi- 



JOHN G. WHITTIEE. 



asm, he revelled in some of Whittier's magnificent 
songs, and as his life was often cast far away from. 
his native ]S T ew England, he committed to memory 
all of Whittier's finest poems, so that he could repeat 
them at pleasure. It was his habit to do this often 
to others, or alone in a meditative mood to himself. 
Our paths chanced once to lie in one direction, across 
the Atlantic, and one starry night we sat late upon 
the quarter-deck listening to his recitation of his fa- 
vorite poems. Appreciating every shade of the po- 
et's thought, sharing his enthusiasm, by constant prac- 
tice he had acquired the art of reading very finely, and 
it was a great treat to hear him. By thinking often 
of each poem, our friend, having a brisk imagination, 
had acquired the habit of prefacing each recitation 
with a story of the author, or the peculiar occasion 
which called the poem forth. We know not, as he 
pretended, they were all in every particular true, but 
we never shall forget the impression which the poem 
we quote below (" Stanzas for the Times") made upon 
a small, English audience, after his prefatory story. 
As we copy the poem, we will venture also the an- 
ecdote, riot vouching, however, for its exact truth. 
It was substantially as follows : 

Whittier, at the time this poem was written, was a 
young, modest man, little used to city customs in 
fact, fragrant of clover blossoms, unsophisticated, a 
pure, young, country Quaker. He had heard but 



248 MODESN AGITATORS. 

little of the infamous conduct of the wealthy and re- 
spectable supporters of slavery, living as he did in a 
quiet, country town. One day his father sent him 
to Boston on business. He came into the city in his 
father's plain carriage, dressed in the sober, homely, 
Quaker garb, and put up at a u farmer's hotel." lie 
went out into the streets, and very soon noticed that 
there was a great gathering of excited citizens. The 
faces of the multitude wore a o - aoniac expression ; 
they seemed to be hungry f.>r i^e blood of some per- 
son or persons. His thought was that some horrible 
murder had been perpetrated, and that the indigna- 
tion of the people could not be restrained from sum- 
mary justice ; but if even that were the case, he was 
horror-struck at their eagerness for vindictive pun- 
ishment. He hastily retraced his steps, and sought 
information from his landlord. The reply to his 
questions was, that the people were on the scent of 
an abolitionist were trying to kill a citizen of Bos- 
ton for asserting the simple rights of manhood. AVas 
it indeed so ? Could it be so ? " Yes 4 verily so." 
The shock was lightning-like ; his pure nature could 
not easily believe it, and when he did, he uttered no 
fiery words, but went sadly again into the street. 
"When evening came, he went to that " cradle of lib- 
erty," old Faneuil Hall, having heard that the ene- 
mies of freedom would hold a meeting there that 

o 

night. He was a silent, shocked spectator of that 



JOHN G. WHITTIEE. 24:9 

disgraceful attempt to padlock the lips of freemen ; 
he listened with mute horror to the slavish senti- 
ments uttered by sons of the old Pilgrims and chil- 
dren of the revolutionary heroes. He heard men 
counsel the forcible suppression of the freedom, of 
speech upon the question of slavery yes, even in old 
Massachusetts ! They would compel men to silence, 
even in Boston, upon the great subject of human lib- 
erty ! He walked slowly, sadly home to his hotel, 
and calling for a pen, ink, and paper, and a light, 
he went to his little room, where he wrote the fol- 



lowing 



STANZAS FOR THE TIMES. 

Is this the land our fathers loved, 
The freedom which they toiled to win ? 
Is this the soil whereon they moved? 
Are these the graves they slumber in ? 
Are we the sons by whom are borne 
The mantles which the dead have worn ? 

And shall we crouch above these graves, 
With craven soul and fetter'd lip? 
Yoke in with marked and branded SLAVES, 
And tremble at the driver's whip? 
Bend to the earth our pliant knees, 
And speak but as our masters please? 

Shall outraged Nature cease to feel ? 
Shall mercy's tears no longer flow ? 
Shall ruffian threats of cord and steel 
The dungeon's gloom the assassin's blow, 
Turn back the spirit roused to save 
The Truth our Country and the Slave ? 

K* 



250 MODERN AGITATORS. 

Of human skulls that shrine was made, 
Round which the priests of Mexico 
Before their loathsome idol prayed 
Is freedom's altar fashioned so ? 
And must we yield to Freedom's God, 
As offering meet the negro's blood ? 

Shall tongues be mute, when deeds are wrought 
Which well might shame extremest Hell ? 
Shall freemen lock the indignant thought ? 
Shall Pity's bosom cease to swell ? 
Shall honor bleed ! Shall Truth succumb ? 
Shall pen, and press, and soul be dumb? 

Ko by each spot of haunted ground, 
Where Freedom weeps her children's fall 
By Plymouth's rock, and Bunker's mound, 
By Griswold s stained and shattered wall 
By Wai-ren's ghost by Langdon's shade 
By all the memories of our dead ! 

By their enlarging souls, which burst 
The bands and fetters round them set 
By the FREE PILGRIM SPIRIT nursed 
Within our inmost bosoms, yet, 
By all above, around, below, 
Be ours the indignant answer Xo 1 

ls"o guided by our country's laws, 
For truth, and right, and suffering man, 
Be ours to strive in Freedom's cause, 
As Christians may as freemen can! 
Still pouring on unwilling ears 
That truth oppression only fears. 

What ! shall we guard our neighbor still, 
While woman shrinks beneath his rod, 
And while he tramples down at will 
The image of a common God ! 



JOHN G. WHITTIEK. 251 

Shall watch and ward be round him set, 
Of Northern nerve and bayonet? 

/ 

And shall we know and share with him 

The danger and the growing shame ? 

And see our Freedom's light grow dim, 

"Which should have filled the world with flame ? 

And, writhing, feel where'er we turn, 

A world's reproach around us burn ? 

Is't not enough that this is borne ? 
And asks our haughty neighbor more ? 
Must fetters which his slaves have worn, 
Clank round the Yankee farmer's door? 
Must he be told beside his plow, 
What he must speak, and when and how ? 

Must he be told his freedom stands 
On Slavery's dark foundations strong 
On breaking hearts and fettered hands, 
On robbery, and crime, and wrong ? 
That all his fathers taught is vain 
That Freedom's emblem is the chain ? 

Its life its soul from slavery drawn ? 
False foul profane ! Go teach as well 
Of holy Truth from Falsehood born ! 
Of Heaven refreshed by airs from Hell 1 
Of Virtue nursed by open Vice 1 
Of Demons planting Paradise ! 

Rail on, then, " brethren of the South " 
Ye shall not hear the truth the less 
]S"o seal is on the Yankee's mouth, 
!N"o fetter on the Yankee's press! 
From our Green Mountains to the Sea, 
One voice shall thunder WE ARE FKEE ! " 



252 MODERN AGITATORS. 

But if Whittier can rouse the stormy passions by 
his warlike songs, so can he moan the saddest plaints, 
so can he sing the gentlest songs. After reading one 
of his battle-hymns, the reader unacquainted with 
his poetry, would scarcely believe that the same au- 
thor has written some of the most touching stanzas to 

o 

be found in modern poetry ; but such is the fact. 
One of his poems entitled " The Fa/pewell" is one of 
the sweetest, saddest, most musical poems ever writ- 
ten. It is the farewell of a Virginian slave-mother 
to her children sold to the far south. We quote one 
verse : 

" Gone, gone sold and gone 
To the rice-swamp dank and lone, 
Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings, 
Where the noisome insect stings, 
Where the Fever Demon strews 
Poison with the falling dews, 
Where the sickly sunbeams glare 
Through the hot and misty air, 
Gone, gone sold and gone, 
To the rice-swamp dank and lone. 
From Virginia's hills and waters, 
Woe is me, my stolen daughters 1 " 

But perhaps as fine a specimen of his poetry in 
this vein, is his poem upon the death of Oliver Torrey, 
-<viiO was Secretary of the Boston Anti-Slavery Soci- 
ety, a young man of lovely character : 



JOHN G. WniTTIER. 253 

LINES ON THE DEATH OF TORREY. 

Gone before us, our brother, 

To the spirit-land! 
Vainly look we for another 

In thy place to stand. 
"Who shall offer youth and beauty 

On the wasting shrine 
Of a stern and lofty duty, 

With a faith like thine ? 

Oh ! thy gentle smile of greeting 

Who again shall see ? 
Who amidst the solemn meeting 

Gaze ajrain on thee ? 

o 

Who, when peril gathers o'er us, 

Wear so calm a brow ? 
Who, with evil men before us, 

So serene as thou ? 

Early hath the spoiler found thee, 

Brother of our love! 
Autumn's faded earth around thee, 

And its storms above ! 
Evermore that turf lie lightly 

And, with future showers, 
O'er thy slumbers fresh and brightly 

Blow the summer flowers ? 

In the locks thy forehead gracing, 

Not a silvery streak ; 
Not a line of sorrows's tracing 

On thy fair young cheek ; 
Eyes of light and lips of roses, 

Such as Ilylas wore 
Over all that curtain closes, 

Which shall rise no more. 



254: MODERN AGITATORS. 

"Will the vigil Love is keeping 

Round that grave of thine, 
Mournfully, like Jazar weeping 

Over Sibmah's vine 
Will the pleasant memories swelling 

Gentle hearts of thee, 
In the spirit's distant dwelling 

All unheeded be ? 

If the spirit ever gazes, 

From his journeyings back ; 
If the immortal ever traces 

O'er its mortal track ; 
"Wilt thou not, brother, meet us 

Sometimes on our way, 
And in hours of sadness greet us 

As a spirit may ? 

Peace be with thee, our brother, 

In the spirit-land ! 
Vainly look we for another 

In thy place to stand. 
Unto Truth and Freedom giving 

All thy early powers, 
Be thy virtues with the living 

And thy spirit ours I 

The selections we have made are connected, as are 
a majority of Whittier's poems, with the subject of 
slavery, and there are many quite equal, and some 
very possibly superior, to the ones we have quoted, 
upon the same subject. Some of his most beautiful 
poems, however, have nothing to do with reform. 
His songs of labor are very beautiful. ISTo living 



JOHN G. WHITTIER. 255 

poet loves more intensely the beauties of nature 

than he. 

We should perhaps beg the pardon of our readers 

for copying so many examples of Whittier's poetry ; 
but it is the very shortest road to an appreciation of 
his character. So little can be said of the man he 
has always been so modest and retiring that we 
cannot refrain from remarking upon some of his fi- 
nest poems. His lines upon the death of the sister 
of Joseph Sturge are full of a solemn grandeur of 
style and thought. Joseph Sturge is one of the no- 
blest reformers of Great Britain. He is a member 
of the Society of Friends, but has no bigotry, no re- 
pulsive fondness for form in dress, though he con- 
forms to the usual customs of his sect. He is a lov- 
able man a man who is almost adored by the poor 
people of Birmingham, where he resides. He is 
wealthy ; and constantly, unremittingly devotes a 
large share of his income to alleviate the sufferings of 
the poor about him. His sister, Sophia Sturge, was 
in her nature very much like her brother Joseph, 
only with a softer, woman's nature. She was benev- 
olent, affectionate, and untiring in her devotion to 
the poor. Duty was always her master. ~No hard- 
ship could cause her to shrink one moment from it. 
She was not only a friend to the slave, but a consist- 
ent advocate of total abstinence from all intoxica- 
ting liquors. To hold such a position in English so* 



256 MOM.i:.\ AGITA 

ciety, even among the Friends, costs much, more self- 
denial than here. So severely rigorous was Sophia 
Sturge that she refused in her last sickness to take, 
at the order of her physician, one drop of the poison- 
ous liquid, prescribed under the various names of 
brandy, wine, gin, etc., etc. 

It was upon this noble woman that "Whittier wrote 
the following lines : 

TO MY FRIEND OX THE DEATH OF HIS SISTER, 

THIXE is a grief, the depth of which another 

May never know; 
Yet, o'er the waters, O my stricken brother ! 

To thee I go. 

I lean my heart unto thee, sadly folding 

Thy hand in mine, 
"With even the weakness of my eoul upholding 

The strength of thine. 

I never knew, like thee, the dear departed ; 

I stood not by 
When, in calm trust, the pure and tranquil-hearted 

Lay down to die. 

And on thy ears my words of weak condoling 

Must vainly fall : 
The funeral bell which in thy heart is tolling, 

Sounds over all. 

I will not mock thee with tLe poor world's common 

And heartless phrase, 
Nor wrong the memory of a sainted woman 

With idle praise. 



--- 

JO1IX G. WHITTIER. 257 

"With silence only as their benediction, 

God's angels come 
Where, in the shadow of a great affliction, 

The soul sits dumb! 

Yet, woxild I say what thy own heart approveth : 

Our Father's will, 
Galling to him the dear one whom he loveth, 

Is mercy still. 

Not upon thee or thine the solemn angel 

Hath evil wrought; 
Her funeral anthem is a glad evangel 

The good die not! 

God calls our loved ones, but we lose not wholly 

What he hath given ; 
They live on earth, in thought and deed, as truly 

As in his heaven. 

And she is with thee ; in thy path of trials 
She walketh vet ; 

J 

Still with the baptism of thy self-denial 
Her locks are wet. 

Up then, my brother! Lo, the fields of harvest 

Lie white in view ! 
She lives and loves thee, and the God thou servest 

To both is true. 

Thrust in thy sickle ! England's toil-worn peasants 

Thy call abide ; 
And she thou raourn'st, a pure and holy presence 

Shall glean beside ! 

Another of Wliittier's sweetest poems is tliat enti 

tied " GONE," and commencing as follows : 

17 



258 MODERN AGITATORS. 

"Another hand is beckoning us, 

Another call is given ; 
And glows once more with angel steps 

The path which reaches heaven." 

% 

There is a subdued, softened pathos in it scarcely sur- 
passed in the whole range of modern poetry. "We 
will give the remaining stanzas : 

" Our young and gentle friend, whose smile 

Made brighter summer hours, 

Amid the frosts of autumn time 

Has left us, with the flowers. 

"JSTo paling of the cheek of bloom 

Forewarned us of decay ; 
ls"o shadow from the silent land 
Fell round our sister's way. 

"The light of her young life went down, 

As sinks behind the hill 
The glory of a setting star 
Clear, suddenly, and still. 

"As pure and sweet her fair brow seemed, 

Eternal as the sky; 

And like the brook's low song, her voice 
A sound which could not die. 

"And half we deemed she needed not 

The changing of her sphere, 

To give to heaven a shining one, 

"Who walked an angel here. 

"The blessing of her quiet life 

Fell on us like the dew ; 

And good thoughts, where her footsteps press'd 
Like fairy blossoms grew. 



JOHN G. WHITTIEE. 259 



"Sweet promptings unto kindest deeds 

Were in her very look ; 
"We read her face, as one who reada 
A true and holy book. 

" The measure of a blessed hymn, 

To which our hearts could move ; 
The breathing of an inward psalm ; 
A canticle of love. 

" "We miss her in the place of prayer, 

And by the hearth-fire's light ; 
"We pause beside her door to hear 
Once more her sweet ' Good night 1 ' 

" There seems a shadow on the day, 

Her smile no longer cheers ; 
A dimness on the stars of night, 
Like eyes that look through tears. 

"Alone unto our Father's will 

One thought hath reconciled ; 
That He whose love exceedeth ours 
Hath taken home His child. 

"Fold her, oh Father! in thine arms, 

And let her henceforth be 
A messenger of love between 
Our human hearts and Thee. 

"Still let her mild rebuking stand 

Between us and the wrong, 
And her dear memory serve to make 
Our faith in goodness strong. 

"And, grant that she who, trembling, here, 

Distrusted all her powers, 
May welcome to her holier home 
The well-beloved of ours." 



2 GO MODERN AGITATORS. 



The last poem we shall quote is one of the latest 
productions of ]\Ir. "Whittier, and to us it seems one 
of the very best of his gentle poems. The contrast 
between it and one of his warlike pieces is great. 
The poem is entitled 

MAUD MULLER. 

MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day, 
Kaked the meadow sweet with hay. 

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth 
Of simple beauty and rustic health. 

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee 
The mock-bird reechoed from every tree. 

But when she glanced to the far-off town, 
White from its hill-slope looking down, 

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest 
And a nameless longing filled her breast 

A wish, that she hardly dared to own, 
For something better than she had known. 

The Judge rode slowly down the lane, 
Smoothing his horse's chestnut* mane. 

He drew his bridle in the shade 

Of the apple-trees, to greet :he maid, 

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed 
Through the meadow, across the road. 

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up, 
And filled for him her small tin cup, 

And blushed as she gave it, looking down 
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown. 



JOHN G. WHITTIER. 261 

"Thanks ! " said the Judge, " a sweeter draught 
From fairer hand was never quaffed." 

He spoke of the grass, and flowers, and trees, 
Of the singing birds and humming bees ; 

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether 
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather. 

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown, 
And her graceful ankles bare and brown ; 

And listened, while a pleased surprise 
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes. 

At last, like one who for delay 
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away. 

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah mel 
That I the Judge's bride might be ! 

" He would dress me up in silks so fine, 
And praise and toast me at his wine. 

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat ; 
My brother should sail a painted boat. 

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay 

And the baby should have a new toy each day. 

"And I'-i feed the hungiy and clothe the poor, 
And all should bless me who left our door." 

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill, 
And saw Maud Muller standing still. 

" A form more fair, a face more sweet, 
Is e'er hath it been m} 7 lot to meet. 

"And her modest answer and graceful air 
Show her wise and good as she is fair. 



262 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" "Would she were mine, and I to-day, 
Like her, a harvester of hay ; 

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs, 
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues, 

"But the low of cattle and song of birds, 
And health and quiet and loving words." 

But he thought of his sister, proud and cold, 
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold. 

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on, 
And Maud was left in the field alone. 

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon, 
When he hummed in court an old love-tune; 

And the young girl mused beside the well, 
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell. 

He wedded a wife of richest dower, 
Who lived for fashion as he for power. 

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow, 
He watched a picture come and go; 

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes 
Looked out in their innocent surprise. 

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red, 
He longed for the way-side well instead ; 

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms, 
To dream of meadows and clover blooms. 

And the proud man sighed with a secret pain 
" Ah, that I were free again ! 

" Free as when I rode that day, 

Where the barefoot maiden raked the hay 1 " 



JOHN- G. WIIITTIEK. 268 

She wedded a man unlearned and poor, 
And many children played round her door. 

But care and sorrow, and child-birth pain, 
Left their traces on heart and brain. 

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot 
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, 

And she heard the little spring-brook fall . 

Over the road-side, through the wall, 

In the shade of the apple-tree again 
She saw a rider draw his rein, 

And, gazing down with a timid grace, 
She felt his pleased eyes read her face. 

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walla 
Stretched away into stately halls ; 

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned, 
The tallow candle an astral burned, 

And for him who sat by the chimney-lug 
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug, 

A manly form at her side she saw, 
And joy was duty and love and law. 

Then she took up the burden of life again, 
Saying only, "It might have been." 

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge, 

For rich repiner and household drudge I 

God pity them both ! and pity us all, 
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall. 

For of all sad words of tongue and pen, 

The saddest are these : " It might have been 1 " 



264: MODERN AGITATORS. 

Ah ! well for us all, some sweet Lope lies 
Deeply buried from human eves ; 

And, in the hereafter, angels may 
Roll the stone from its grave away. 

The clear, bright morning, the burning noon, 
the still, calm evening, the rocky mountains of ]^ew 
England, the broad prairies of the west, and the gor- 
geous scenery of the south, have each and all been 
the theme of his song. There is a quiet beauty, a 
half-sad gentleness in many of his poems, which con- 
trasts strangely with the fiery eloquence which char- 
acterizes others. xTo American poet has, in our opin- 
ion, equaled Whittier in all that is intensely passion- 
ate, impetuous and warlike, and there are few that 
equal him in the pathetic and the beautiful. His 
sarcasm is terribly keen as a sample of this, we re- 
fer the reader to his poem upon the publisher of a 
popular magazine, who took such exceeding pains to 
let the south know thajt he employed no anti-slavery 
writers upon his namby-pamby monthly. One of 
the most memorable of his poems, is that upon Dan- 
iel Webster. It is like the wildly solemn wind in 
late autumn, moaning through the pines over the 
desolateness of ISTature. Ko ordinary poet could 
write a poem, meet even for the fall of such a great 
man as Webster but "Ichabod' is a poem which, 
in grandeur, is fit to commemorate the downfall of 
such a collossal man ! But we will not attempt a 



JOHN G. WHITTIER. 265 

criticism upon "Whittier we have intended only to 
point out what are to us some of his most striking 
characteristics, illustrating these by a few specimens 
of his reform-poetry. We know of no man more 
worthy of the name Agitator than he, and few there 
are living in the world, more sure to live in the 
hearts of future generations. 



HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D. 

IT is our intention in these sketches of modern agi- 
tators, not to be confined to one class of reformers. 

p 

We shall endeavor to draw the portraits of agitators 
in church as well as in state ; of some of those noble 
men who have battled manfully the slavery of intem- 
perance, as well as of the agitators against negro sla- 
very. But we have been struck with surprise to find 
that the modern agitator is usually an advocate of all 
the just reforms of the day. It is very difficult to 
find a man of original and reformatory ideas in the 
church, who is an opponent of the cause of temper- 
ance, or who withholds his sympathy from the friends 
of freedom. The leading enemies of rum are gener- 
ally friendly to the cause of the slave, and the anti- 
slavery men of the land are almost unanimously de- 
voted temperance advocates. 

The reader will perhaps naturally suppose that 
when we placed Dr. Bushnell's name at the head of 
this article, we had in mind the theological agitation 

* o o 

caused throughout the country, and especially in Con- 
necticut, by his somewhat celebrated volume, enti- 
tled, " God in Christ" Such was not the case. As 



HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D. 267 

to the merits of that controversy, which is not jet set- 
tled, we have here nothing to say, either in approval 
or condemnation of Dr. Buslmell. We make no pre- 
tensions to theological acquirements, and are not 
competent to discuss, much 'less decide, the points in 
dispute. But we look upon Dr. Bushnell as one of 
the most profound agitators of the age. We think in 
reference to theological matters, that the spirit of the 
age is in him. The drift of his pulJUhed writings is 
continually toward a liberal, unsechirian, and practi- 
cal Christianity. He makes deadly war upon mere 
creeds, and urges most earnestly upon the Christian 
world a better practice. " Deeds, not words," is the 
essence of the religion he preaches. It seems to ua 
that the reader must be obtuse who reading Bushnell 
sees only his peculiar views of the trinity and the suf- 
ferings of Christ. His opinions upon these points 
may be accepted or rejected, and the time may be 
coming when they will be forgotten, but he will be 
remembered ; and the books which contain his pe- 
culiar views may live, but they will not detract from 
the author's reputation. As an early, eloquent, and 
intellectually powerful advocate of a more generous 
Christianity than that born of creeds, as a great de- 
fender of the important truths of the gospel upon 
philosophical principles, he will live in future genera- 
tions. In this skeptical age, such a man is precious 
to the cause of pure religion, for he meets the skeptic 



268 MODERN AGITATOKS. 

with sound argument, instead of denunciation, with 
a profound love for Christ, instead of a burning ha- 
tred of those who unfortunately have lost, or never 
found, the path which leads to Him. It is this cath- 
olic, charitable tendency in all Dr. Bushnell's wri- 
tings which awakens agitation wherever they are 
read, and which excites the bitter opposition of con- 
servatives in the church. He has been accused by 
men actively engaged in important reforms of with- 
holding his aid from them, and of being so absorbed 
in convincing men of the importance of more religion 
in the life, as to overlook the miserable drunkard in 
the streets, and the panting fugitive at his door in 
fact, to neglect to practice what he preaches. But 
it must be remembered, that, to some men, it is 
given to enunciate great principles which underlie 
the foundations of society, or which should underlie 
society, and of such men little more can be asked. 
A slave-holder cannot live upon the food which Dr. 
Bushnell offers to him ; the rumseller would choke 
upon it. And though the doctor does not often 
preach anti-slavery or temperance sermons (perhaps 
not so often as he should,) yet when he does, he 
speaks boldly for the right. Years ago, on the eve 
of an exciting election, he came out in his pulpit one 
Sabbath day with a sermon upon the duties of Chris- 
tian voters, which was like a bomb-shell thrown into 
a peaceful town. It was unexpected ; the people 



HORACE BUSHXELL, D. D. 269 

were not prepared for it ; but it was a bold enuncia- 
tion of God's truth, and his hearers sat still, and lis- 
tened somewhat as children do to God's thunder. He 
has also condemned in the strongest language the fu- 
gitive slave act, so that his views upon this part of 
the great compromise are everywhere known. But 
he deals usually in great general principles, rather 
than e very-day applications of such principles. Per- 
haps he errs in this ; we have thought it would be a 
greater service to the world if he would dwell more 
upon the sins which are eating into its very heart ; 
but we cannot ignore the fact, that all his productions 
and performances tend toward reform in church and 
state. 

Horace Bushnell is a native of the town of Litch- 
field, Connecticut, and is about fifty years of age. 
His father was a clothier, a man of sterling character 
and intellect. His mother was one of the gentlest 
and most affectionate of women. When Horace was 
two years old, his father moved into the town of New 
Preston, where we believe he continued to reside for 
a number of vears. The little that we know of Dr. 

i 

Buslmell's ea^ly life can quickly be written. He en- 
tered Yale College, and graduated in the year 1827. 
Two years afterward he was appointed a tutor in the 
same institution, which office he filled for two years. 
He next removed to the city of New York, where for 
a time he edited a newspaper. He at length entered 



270 MODEKN AGITATORS. 

upon a theological course, to prepare himself for the 
ministry. He was ordained over the North church, 
in Hartford, May 22, 1833, and has continued to 
preach with great acceptance to the same church un- 
til the present day. He was married when young, 
to Miss Mary Apthorpe, of New Haven, by whom he 
has had five children, three of whom, are living. 

In Dr. Bushnell's discourse, delivered at the cen- 
tennial celebration of Litchfield county, he lias given 
us a picture or two of his boyish days, which are suf- 
ficiently graphic and beautiful to excuse us for quo- 
ting them here. He says : 

" But the schools we must not pass by these if we are to 
form a truthful and sufficient picture of the home-spun days. 
The schoolmaster did not exactly go round the district to fit out 
the children's minds with learning, as the shoe-maker often did 
to fit their feet with shoes, or the tailors to measure and cut 
for their bodies ; but, to come as near it as possible, he boarded 
round, (a custom not yet gone by,) and the wood for the com- 
mon fire was supplied in a way equally primitive, viz : by a 
contribution of loads from the several families, according to 
their several quantities of childhood. * * * * There 
was no complaint in those days of the want of ventilation ; for 
the large open fire-place held a considerable fraction of a cord 
of wood, and the windows took in just enough air to supply 
the combustion. Besides, the bigger lads were occasionally 
ventilated by being sent out to cut wood enough to keep ths 
fire in action. The seats were made of the outer slabs from 



HORACE BTJSHNELL, D. D. 271 

the saw-mill, supported by slant legs driven into and a proper 
distance through auger holes, and planed smooth on the top by 
the rather tardy process of friction. But the spelling went on 
bravely, and we ciphered away again and again, always till we 
got through " loss and gain." The more advanced of us, too, 
made light work of Lindley Murray, and went on to the pars- 
ing, finally, of extracts from Shakspeare and Milton, till some 
of us began to think we had mastered their tough sentences in 
a more consequential sense than was exactly true. O, I re- 
member (about the remotest thing I can remember) that low 
seat, too high, nevertheless, to allow the feet to touch the floor, 
and that friendly teacher who had the address to start a fresh 
feeling of enthusiasm and awaken the first sense of power. He 
is living still, and whenever I think of him, he rises up to me 
in the far background of memory, as bright as if he had worn 
the seven stars in his hair." 

Still farther on, lie says : 

" I remember being despatched, when a lad, one Saturday 
afternoon, in the winter, to bring home a few bushels of apples 
engaged of a farmer a mile distant ; but the careful, exact man 
looked first at the clock, then out the window at the sun, and 
turning to me said, 'I cannot measure out the apples in time 
for you to get home before sundown, you must come again 
Monday ; ' then how I went home venting my boyish impa- 
tience in words not exactly respectful, assisted by the sunlight 
playing still upon the eastern hills, and got for my comfort a 
very unaccountably small amount of specially silent sympathy." 



272 MODERN AGITATORS. 

In 1833 Dr. Bushnell, we have said, was ordained 
over the Korth. church, in Hartford. Twenty years 
afterward last May he preached a " commemora- 
tive discourse," in which he alluded, in the following 
language, to his first visit to said church : 

"I received a letter in February, 1833, inviting me to come 
and preach, for a time, to this congregation, of which I knew 
nothing save that you had recently parted with your pastor. 
I arrived here late in the afternoon, in a furious snow storm, 
after floundering all day in the heavy drifts the storm was rais- 
ing among the hills between here and Litchfield. 1 went, as 
invited, directly to the house of the chairman of the commit- 
tee ; hut I had scarcely warmed me, and not at all relieved 
the hunger of my fast, when he came in and told me that ar- 
rangements had been made for me with one of the fathers of 
the church, and immediately sent me off with my baggage to 
the quarters assigned. Of course I had no complaint to make, 
though the fire seemed very inviting and the house attractive ; 
but when I came to know the hospitality of my friend, as I had 
abundant opportunity of knowing it afterward, it became some- 
what of a mystery to me that I should have been despatched 
in this rather summary fashion. But it came out three or four 
years after, that as there were two parties strongly marked in 
the church, an old and new school party, as related to the New 
Haven controversy, the committee had made up their mind, 
very prudently, that it would not do for me to stay even for 
an hour with the new school brother of the committee ; and 
for this reason they had made interest with the elder brother 



HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D. 273 

referred to, because he was a man of the school simply of Je- 
sus Christ. And here, under cover of his good hospitality, which 
I hope he has never found reason to regret extended by him. 
and received by me in equal simplicity I was put in hospital 
and kept away from the infected districts, preparatory to a set- 
tlement in the North church, of Hartford. I mention this fact 
to show the very delicate condition prepared for the young pas- 
tor, who is to be thus daintilv inserted between an acid and 

' *i 

an alkali, having it for his task both to keep them apart and 
to save himself from being bitten of one or devoured by the 
other." 

No pastor was ever more loved and respected than 
is Dr. Bushnell by his church and congregation. For 
twenty years he has occupied the pulpit of the old 
North church, and not a whisper of his dismission 
ever yet was heard. We do not moan that he has 
never raised a storm in the church by his faithful 
preaching, but his hearers have loved him so well 
that they could not remain angry with him. When 
he came out so fearlessly in condemnation of the cor- 
rupt politics of the time, an angry agitation for a lit- 
tle while surrounded him, but it soon passed away. 
In his " Discourse," preached May, 1853, he speaks 
thus pithily of it : 

" I preached a fast-day sermon, showing that " politics are 

under the law of God." Wise or unwise in the manner, it was 

greatly offensive to some, but the offense was soon forgiven ; 

in consideration, I suppose, of the fact that, apart from the 

L* 18 



274 MODERN AGITATORS. 

manner, the doctrine was abundantly wanted, and even sol 
emnly true." 

We will not attempt to sketch the history of the 
late agitation in reference to his " God in Christ" 
for it is too near the present, even had we the space, 
to justify such a history. Dr. Bushnell first preached 
a sermon before the Concio ad Clerum, at New Ha- 
ven. He was selected by the district association for 
that purpose, and the general association, as is its 
usual custom, selected his subject. The sermon thus 
preached constitutes the first part of "God in Christ" 
He was next invited to deliver an address before some 
society at Cambridge, which he accepted, and that 
sermon constitutes the second part of his celebrated 
book. He next delivered an address before the theo- 
logical students at Andover, at their request, and that 
constitutes the third and last part of his book. These 
three parts, together with an introductory essay upon 
language, make up the book, which has created such, 
an agitation among the churches, and which has been 
republished and sold extensively in England. He 
was charged with heresy, and the association to which 
ne belonged instituted an inquiry into the truth of 
the charge, and after examination voted seventeen to 
three, that while his peculiar views were not accepted 
by that body, yet they saw no such heresy as would 
warrant further proceedings. It is claimed by his 



HORACE EUSHNELL, D. D. 275 

accusers, that he tramples upon the orthodox doc- 
trines ID reference to the trinity, the person of Christ, 
and the atonement. In the sermon from which we 
have made quotations, he says : 

"It is very true that I have presented some explanations of 
three important doctrines, the trinity, the person of Christ, and 
atonement, which differ in their shade from the explanations 
given by my brethren. Are we therefore to exclude each 
other 1 Still we can preach a trinity, Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, three persons, in a hearty love of trinity itself, and re- 
garding it as a conception of God without which he were a be- 
ing practically distant from us. And if we should happen to 
preach three persons mean ing something a little different by the 
word person, just as all the wisest teachers of the ages before 
us have consented in the right to do, might we not have good 
cause to say that in effect we agree ? 

" As regards the divinity of Christ, we have happily no ap- 
pearance of controversy. And if we do not conceive the phi- 
losophy of his person just alike, let it be enough that we can 
preach him as a person, Son of God and Son of Man, tempted 
in all points as w r e are, without sin, one with us in the line of 
Adam, born into the race, the child of a virgin, conceived by 
the Holy Ghost, grown up to be a perfect, the only perfect 
man, God manifest in the flesh. 

"As regards the work or sacrifice of Christ, we can agree in 
showing that he lives a suffering life, dies a suffering death ; 
that by his life and death he so compensates the dishonored 
law and fortifies the divine justice that pardon is dispensed, not 



276 MODERN AGITATORS. 

in mere paternal clemency, but in a way of justification ; con- 
sequently that we are justified by faith without the deeds of 
me law, and so that Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteous- 
ness, sanctification and redemption." 

The Presbyterian Quarterly says : 

" His (Dr. Bushnell's) mind is one of no common force or 
compass. Original, imaginative, shrewd, cultivated, compre- 
hensive, naturally, at least, ambitious, it is not strange that he 
should make an impression upon the American Church. His 
is one of the most active, versatile, outlooking natures which 
the atmosphere of an age, especially such an atmosphere as that 
of ours, would reach soonest. We do not know when we have 
been so much struck with anything as with an oration of Dr. 
Bushnell's, delivered to the Phi Beta Kappa, at Cambridge, and 
which we have seen for the first time among his publications, 
in a recent collection we made of them, for careful study. He 
declines giving any name for his theme, but it appears to be 
" Work and Play." 

" It is quite obvious, we think, that Dr. Bushnell had con- 
ceived the idea of converting the Unitarians, by fusing their 
views and those of the Orthodox together, in the crucible of a 
profounder philosophy, by dissolving scriptural truth, so to speak, 
in an oriental atmosphere. * * * It were a great feat of 
spiritual ambition, not to speak of nobler motives, to bring in, 
on the deep current of Platonism, a compromise that, melting 
New Haven and Cambridge together, might reunite all the Con- 
gregational churches, and present the finest essence of New 
England mind and character, blended in religion, upon the pro- 
foundest grounds of philosophy. Thus, one of the discourses 



HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D. 277 

in the book, called " God in Christ," was delivered at Cambridge, 
to the Divinity School. It is upon the Atonement, and is a 
kind of ultimate in the way of compromise, a method of doc- 
trinal torture of a most transcendant kind, intended to show 
Harvard how a man may hold a Calvinistic Atonement so as 
to be almost an aesthetic Unitarian." 

"N. P. Willis, in his Journal, quotes him, and 
remarks : 

" But the evangelical world will be interested to know that 
this sermon of Dr. Bushnell is not a new one. He preached 
it seventeen years ago, and to us individually or at least, a ser 
mon turning precisely on the same convergent and reciproco 
frictionizing philosophy. The reader will presently see how 
we have had a daily mnemonic, since, to remind us to practice 
what it taught. , 

"Seniors and classmates at Yale, in 1827, we occupied the 
' third story, back, north college, north entry ' Bushnell in the 
north-west corner. As a student, our classmate and neighbor 
was a black-haired, earnest-eyed, sturdy, carelessly-dressed, ath- 
letic and independent good fellow popular in spite of being 
both blunt and exemplary. We have seen him but once since 
those days, and then we chanced to meet him on a steamer on 
the Rhine in the year 1845, we think both of us, (over- 
worked in our respective parishes,) voyagers for health. But 
to our story. 

"The chapel bell was ringing us to prayers one summer's 
morning ; and Bushnell, on his punctual way, ohanced to look 
in at the opposite door, where we were with the longitudinal 



278 MODERN" AGITATORS. 

straight come and go which we thought the philosophy of it 
strapping our razor. (The beard was then a new customer of 
ours.) The pending shave, of course, was not to release us in 
time for more than the tutor's amen ; but that was not the text 
of our classmate's sermon. ' Why, man ! ' said he, rushing 
in and seizing the instrument without ceremony, ' is that the 
way you strap a razor ? ' He grasped the strop in his other 
hand, and we have remembered his tone and manner almost 
three hundred and sixty -five times a year ever since, as he threw 
out his two elbows and showed us how it should be done. ' By 
drawing it from heel to point, both ways,' said he, ' thus, and 
thus; you make the two cross frictions correct each other.' 
And dropping the razor, with this brief lesson, he started on 
an overtaking trot to the chapel, the bell having stopped ringing 
as he scanned the improved edge with his equally sharp black 
eye. Now, will any one deny that these brief but excellent 
directions, for making the roughness of opposite sides contrib- 
ute to a mutual fine edge, seem to have been ' the tune ' of the 
doctor's sermon to the Unitarians 1 Our first hearing of the 
discourse was precisely as we have narrated it, and we thank 
the doctor for most edifying comfort out of the doctrine, as we 
trust his later hearers will, after as many years." 

Dr. Buslmell possesses few of the graces of a pul- 
pit orator. lie lacks in forcible gesture, is scarcely 
ever impassioned in his manner, and has a disagreea- 
ble nasal utterance. But the matter richly compen- 
sates for the want of manner. He has always crowded 
houses, and silent, eager auditors. We have heard 



HOSACE EU3ENELL, D, D. 279 

him when a sigh could be heard throughout the house, 
so enrapt was every person present, with his calm, 
majestic eloquence. He possesses great logical acu- 
men, but is also a great poet, though he does not 
write rhymes. Tv r e could quote passages from some 
of his sermons which, in magnificent conception and 
splendid imagery, are surpassed by the writings of 
few living men, be they poets or orators. He is not 
declamatory, is not passionate, but is nevertheless at 
times exceedingly powerful. One is amazed at the 
profoundness of his intellect, and at the impression 
which he makes upon the hearer with it, without the 
usually considered necessary oratorical accompani- 
ments. 

In his person, Dr. Bushnell is slim, and of the av- 
erage height. His features appear small but his head 
is of large size. His eyes are small and piercing, his 
forehead is expansive, his hair is dark gray, and he is 
graceful in his conversation and manners. 

Feeling confident that whatever judgment the 
world may pronounce upon Dr. Bushnell's views of 
the trinity, Christ and the atonement, it will in due 
time recognize in him, not only a powerful intellect, 
but a great Christian reformer the advocate of 
principles which, carried out, will produce a nobler 
Christianity than that which has characterized many 
of the leaders in the church principles which will . 
overthrow injustice, robbery and oppression, because 



280 MODERN AGITATORS. 

they teach that the practical is of more importance 
than the theoretical, we have penned this feeble por- 
trait of him, as one of the important agitators of 
the time. 



WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 

WE do not attempt a pen-portrait of Mr. Seward 
because lie is a man of splendid intellect and acquire- 
ments ; it is not because he is in the fullest sense of 
the word a statesman; nor yet because he has through- 
out the whole of his career thus far, shown himself 
to be possessed of humane and Christian principles. 
We can say with truth that he is one of the first agi- 
tators of the age. It may be without design upon his 
part, but it is no less a fact. The higher law agita- 
tion was begotten by him. For he, in the United 
States senate, opposed the enactment of the abomina- 
ble fugitive slave law God's " higher law." 

Daniel Webster, that giant intellect which held 
New England in thrall for a quarter of a century, is 
known throughout this country, and perhaps the 
world, as the defender of the constitution, but long 
after Seward the advocate, or Seward the politician, 
shall have been forgotten, the memory of Seward the 
defender of the higher law will be fresh in the hearts 
of a nation of freemen. That was a sublime scene, 
when he, surrounded by men of eminent abilities, but 



282 MODERN AGITATORS. 

abilities devoted to the perpetration of injustice, ven- 
tured almost alone, and certainly with a mighty ar- 
ray of both talent and power against him, to thunder 
in the ears of listening senators the sentiment that 
there is a law higher than any they could make 
higher than even the constitution itself the law" 
written upon the hearts of men by the finger of 
God. 

The agitation w r hich this simple, gospel truth crea- 
ted, in a country professedly Christian, is truly aston- 
ishing, and we think it astonished no one more than 
Mr. Seward. He certainly could not have anticipated 
that not only politicians, but the professed expound- 
ers of God's word, would join the chorus against him, 
and against one of the profoundest and most self-evi- 
dent truths contained in holy writ. 

William H. Seward was born in Florida, IS". Y., 
May 16th, 1801, and is consequently nearly fifty-four 
years old. His ancestors were of Welsh extraction 
upon his father's side, and Irish upon the side of his 
mother. His father was a physician in the state of 
Xew York, of good character and respectable abili- 
ties, while his mother was a woman of clear intellect 
and warm heart. The inhabitants of the little town 
of Florida were principally emigrants from Connect- 
icut and other Xew England states, and the tone of 
society was puritanic using the word in its noblest 
sense. It was a quiet village, and the influences 



WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 283 

which surrounded the boy were excellent. He was 
noted for a studious turn of mind, a precocious de- 
velopment of his intellect, and a frank and gentle 
disposition. "When nine years old he was sent to 
school at an academy in G-oshen. At fifteen years 
of age the pale, thin, studious lad entered Union Col- 
lege, where he soon distinguished himself by his se- 
vere studies, his brilliant talents, and a manly and 
generous character. His favorite studies were rhet- 
oric, moral philosophy, and the ancient classics. He 
rose at four in the morning and sat up late. It was 

O J. 

in college, perhaps, that he acquired those habits of 
continuous mental toil which distinguish him now. 

o 

He graduated with distinguished honors. Among 

o o o 

his fellow-graduates were William Kent, Dr. Hickok, 
and Professor Lewis. Mr. Seward shortly after en- 
tered the law-office of John Anthon, of the city of Xew 
York, where his thorough devotion to his studies, as 
before while in college, attracted the attention of his 
teachers. He completed his legal studies with Judge 
Duer and Ogden Hoffman, in Goshen, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar of the supreme court at Utica, in 
1822. The year following he took up his residence 
in the beautiful village of Auburn, which contains 

O ' 

his "household gods' 1 at the present day. He be- 
came the law partner of Judge Miller, of Auburn, 
and in 1824 married his youngest daughter, Frances 
Adeline Miller. The fruits of this union were live 



284: MODERN AGITATORS. 

children, one of whom died young ; one is in the 
United States army ; another follows the profession 
of his father, while the remaining two are quite 
young. 

Mr. Seward's personal appearance can scarcely bo 
said to be prepossessing. At least we never knew a 
person who had, through the medium of the journals, 
become acquainted with his master-pieces of elo- 
quence, afterward see him without an expression 
of disappointment. And yet there are many noble 
points in his personal appearance. He is scarcely 
average-sized, is modest in his ways, and often wears 
upon his face a sleepy look, which gives no indication 
of the powerful intellect behind that dreamy front. 
The first time we saw him he was at home among the 
charming scenery of Auburn, and beneath the roof 
of a mutual friend. His face struck us at first un- 
pleasantly ; it seemed too expressionless for so great 
a man ; but in a moment the dreamy cloud furled 
off, and the eyes grew bright, and we felt the fasci- 
nation of his voice, look, manner, and brilliant con- 
versation a fascination which thousands of others 
have experienced who have met him in conversation, 
or have listened to his speeches. His whole appear- 
ance seemed to have suddenly changed. The com- 
pact brow expressed power, the eyes genius, the lips 
force, the whole body grace mingled with stateliness, 
unassuming as it really was. An air of pleasant 



WILLIAM II. SEWAXD. 285 

frankness pervaded his conversation and manners, 
and the listener forgot the man, his achievements, 
and position, in the topic of conversation. He has 
no affected dignity, but is simple and natural in all 
his ways and hahits. There are distinguished politi- 
cians, so-called great men, in this country, whose 
greatness consists principally in a pompous dignity 
of manners and rhetoric. The chronic dullness of 
such men passes with the multitude for profundity of 
intellect. We hear a great deal of the look of latent 
power which such men wear, and indeed if they pos- 
sess power it must be latent, for they never give the 
world any evidence of their godlike proportions of 
mind. Mr. Seward has not achieved the brilliant 
position which he occupies by any such method ; he 
has earned it by a life of severe labor, and the fruits 
of his earnest toil remain an imperishable monument 
to his memory. 

He has long been a resident of Auburn one of the 
most beautiful cities in the state of New York and 
early became distinguished in his profession. His 
social position is a happy one ; his wealth is sufficient 
for his wants, and he is universally beloved by his 
townsmen. Though wealthy, his habits are simple, 
and he is. as much the friend of the poor man when 
at home, as of the wealthy and influential. He is 
not merely theoretical, therefore, in his professions 
of democracy. For several years he has been a mem- 



286 MODERN AGITATORS. 

ber of the Episcopal church, at Auburn, and has al- 
ways conducted himself like a Christian gentleman. 

The father of Mr. Seward was a Jeffersonian dem- 
ocrat, and the son accepted the politics of his father ; 
but in a short time after he had begun the practice 
of law, he left the democratic ranks for those of the 
great opposing party. "When the Missouri compro- 
mise agitation swept over the country, he at once 

CJ A. tj 

sided, instinctively, with the friends of freedom, and 
made several public speeches against any compro- 
mise with slavery. In 1830 he was elected to the 
state senate on anti-masonic grounds. In 1833 he 
made the tour of Europe. One year later he was 
nominated for governor by the whig party of his na- 
tive state, and was defeated. In 1838 he was again 
nominated to that office, and was elected by ten 
thousand majority. When his term of office expired 
he was reflected by a handsome, though not quite so 
great, a majority. While occupying the executive 
chair he used his influence for the repeal of all state 
laws which in any manner countenanced the institu- 
tion of negro slavery. The law which permitted a 
southern slave-owner to retain possession of his slave, 
while traveling through the state, was repealed. A 
law was also passed which allowed a fugitive the 
benefit of a jury trial. An act was also passed pro- 
hibiting state officers from assisting in the recovery 
of fugitives, and denying the use of the jails for the 



WILLIAM H. SEWAKD. 2S7 

confinement of fugitive slaves under arrest. After- 
ward, these laws were very unjustly pronounced un- 
constitutional by the United States supreme court. 
Another law was passed, chiefly through his influ- 
ence, for the recovery of kidnapped colored citizens 
of ]^ew York. Under the operation of this humane 
enactment, Solomon JSTorthup, who for twelve years, 
had been forced to toil upon southern soil, was res- 
cued, to the great joy of his family and friends. The 
history of the wrongs perpetrated upon him have 
since been published in a book form, and have met 
with an extraordinary sale. To crown his official 
acts, just before retiring from office, Mr. Seward re- 
commended the abolition of that law which demanded 
a freehold qualification of negro voters. He saw the 
bitter injustice of the law, and recommended that ne- 
groes be admitted to the exercise of the same rights 
accorded to white men. The manly courage which 
he displayed in this recommendation can never be 
forgotten, so long as humane and generous hearts 
beat upon American soil. One of the noblest of his 
official acts, however, we have yet to relate. The 
governor of Virginia made a requisition upon him for 
the surrender of men accused of assisting certain 
slaves to escape from their owners. He refused to 
comply with the demand, upon the ground that the 
article in the constitution authorizing a demand of 
fugitives from justice, contemplated only crimes 




288 MODERN AGITATORS. 

which were such by the universal laws of the states, 
and by the general opinion of the civilized world. 
Aiding a slave to escape from oppression was an act 
of humanity, and as the laws of New York did not 
acknowledge it to be a crime, he did not feel author- 
ized to surrender the accused. A long controversy 
was the result of this righteous decision, and retalia- 
tory measures were tried by Virginia, but Governor 
Seward remained firm to the end. 

In 1847, Mr. Seward defended John Tan Zandt, 
wlio was accused of aiding the escape of slaves from 
their master, at the bar of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. His argument made on that occasion, 
is one of the most eloquent ever delivered at Wash- 
ington. He would accept no compensation for his 
services. Still later, in the famous Yan Nest murder 
case, Mr. Seward proved the depth of his philanthropy 
and the loftiness of his courage. 

While riding once upon the banks of the beautiful 
Owasco Lake, the friend who was with us pointed 
out a pleasant farm-house as the scene a few years 
ago of a terrible murder, and not far distant in a 
lonely churchyard, we saw the graves of the victims. 
A negro by the name of William Freeman, at the 
age of sixteen, was sent to the state prison for five 
years for alleged horse stealing. He declared his 
innocence of the charge, and it has since been admit- 
ted by those who tried him, that he was undoubted!- 




WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 289 

innocent of the crime ; but through the perjury of 
the real thief he was sent to prison. The injustice of 
his punishment, coupled with barbarous treatment 
while confined in prison, resulted in an insanity which 
bordered upon idiocy, and when at last his term ex- 
pired, he went forth into the world demented, with 
only this one idea in his brain that the world had 
deeply wronged him. One night, without any prov- 
ocation, this lunatic negro entered t;;o house of a Mr. 
Van Nest, and murdered him, his v. ife, a child, and 
the mother of Mr. Yan Nest, a Wuinan of seventy. 
He was arrested the next day, and such was the ter- 
rible indignation of the people of Auburn, that it was 
with great difficulty that they were prevented from 
hanging him upon the spot. Freeman, like an idiot, 
as he was, confessed, and laughed at the murder. This 
only the more enraged the populace. They clamored 
for his blood. Mr. Seward had acquired a great rep- 
utation for defending successfully accused criminals, 
and it at once was feared that he would be employed 
in the defense of the crazy negro. Such was the ex- 
citement against him he was absent at the south 
that his law partners were obliged publicly to prom- 
ise that he would not defend the accused. Upon 
hie return, his family expected the populace would 
outrage his person. He saw the feeling was intense 
upon the subject that it was predetermined that the 
negro should be hung. He made the necessary ex- 
M 19 



290 MODERN AGITATORS. 

animations, and became thoroughly convinced that 
Freeman was insane when he committed the awful 
deed, but hoping that other counsel would appear 
for the wretched man, he did not offer his services. 
The day of trial came, and the people boasted that 
no lawyer dared to defend the murderer. The dis- 
trict attorney read the indictment against the man, 
and asked if he plead guilty or not guilty. His only 
reply was . " ha ! ' He was asked if he was ready 
for trial ; he " clid'nt know ' if he had counsel ; he 
" didn't know." The poor idiot had no conception 
of what was transpiring. His life was being taken 
from him, and he knew it not. Mr. Seward was pres- 
ent, and the sight of the poor, friendless, hated, idiot 
negro, so wrought upon his heart, that he burst into 
tears, but shortly recovering his calmness he arose 
and said, "May it please the Court: I shall remain 
counsel for the prisoner until his death" And for two 
weeks, amid the most depleting weather, did he, 
without any compensation, give himself up body and 
soul for the defense of the poor negro. He was in- 
sulted by his townsmen, he became instantly unpop- 
ular he who a few days before was the pride of Au- 
burn ; yet he flinched not a hair from his duty, but 
worked on bravely and nobly to the end. The well 
known John Yan Buren was the opposing counsel, 
and with the predetermination of the jury, it was not 
difficult for him to win a verdict. In Mr. Seward'- 




WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 291 

argument, which will ever be one of the brightest of 
his laurels, both as an advocate and a philanthropist, 
he, in allusion to the fact that he had lost his popular- 
ity in Auburn, and indeed throughout the state, for 
his defense of Freeman, said most eloquently : 

" In due time, gentlemen of the Jury, when I shall have 
paid the debt of nature, my remains will rest here in your 
midst, with those of my kindred and neighbors. It is very 
possible they may be unhonored, neglected, spurned ! But 
perhaps years hence, when the passion and excitement which 
now agitate this community shall have passed away some 
wandering stranger some lone exile some Indian, some Ne- 
gro may erect over them an humble stone, and thereon this ep- 
itaph, ' HE WAS FAITHFUL.' 

Freeman was convicted of murder, but an appel- 
late court granted a new trial. But before it came 
on the prisoner died. A post 'mortem examination 
was made by the most distinguished physicians in the 
state, who reported that the brain of the negro was one 
mass of disease, and indeed nearly destroyed. Thus it 
was proved incontestibly, that Mr. Seward had from 
the beginning been right, and that he was entitled 
to the warmest thanks of all humane men for the 
courageous and noble course which he had pursued. 
The people of Auburn restored him to his former 
place in their affections, and he was, if possible, 
more popular throughout the state, than he was be- 



292 MODERN AGITATORS. 



fore the trial. He had proved that he was not a 
demagogue, for he had given up reputation, friends, 
everything, to save a despised negro. In his argu- 
ment he fearlessly rebuked the inhuman spirit of 
caste which shuts out the free black man from the 
sympathies of white people, though conscious that the 
expression of such sentiments must identify him with 
that unpopular class of men called " abolitionists." 

As a writer, Mr. Seward occupies a high position. 
He writes clearly, comprehensively, and convincingly. 
If he does not ornament his style luxuriantly, it is the 
more impressive from its simplicity. It has direct- 
ness and force, and his diction is always copious. Fit 
language is always at his command. He exhausts a 
subject. He does not indeed like some dissect in 
its every part he disdains generally to employ much 
of his time over mere trifles but he passes over a 
subject as an eagle flies over a province, not stopping 
to alight at every rocky height, not peering in at ev- 
ery farm-house window, but sailing majestically over 
all, mewing everything, scanning keenly river and 
height, village and city, the sheep browsing in the 
quiet pasture the gathering tempest far away in the 
horizon. 

Mr. Seward has paid, we believe, comparatively 
little attention to merely polite literature. That is, 
his earnest attention has been directed to politics and 
statesmanship. Yet in the volume of his life (pub- 



WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 293 

listed by Redfield) and in other places may "be found 
brilliant proofs of his abilities as an author. His de- 
scription of his European travels are exceedingly 
well written. We will give a specimen of his style, 
by extracting two short pieces of his one upon the 
death of Adams, the other upon the death of Napo- 
leon. The contrast is finely drawn. 

DEATH OF J. Q. ADAMS. 

The thirtieth congress assembled in this conjuncture, and 
the debates are solemn, earnest, and bewildering. Steam and 
lightning, which have become docile messengers, make the 
American people listeners to this high debate, and anxiety and 
interest, intense and universal, absorb them all. Suddenly 
the council is dissolved. Silence is in the capitol, and sorrow 
has thrown its pall over the land. What new event is this? 
Has some Cromwell closed the legislative chambers 1 or has 
some Qesar, returning from his distant conquests, passed the 
Rubicon, seized the purple, and fallen in the senate, beneath 
the swords of self-appointed executioners of his country's ven- 
geance 1 No ! Nothing of all this. What means, then, this 
abrupt and fearful silence ? What unlooked-for calamity has 
quelled the debates of the senate, and calmed the excitement 
of the people "? An old man, whose tongue once indeed was 
eloquent, but now through age had well nigh lost its cunning, 
has fallen into the swoon of death. He was not an actor in 
the drama of conquest nor had his feeble voice yet minglod 
in the lofty argument 



294 MODERN AGITATOES. 

'A gray-haired sire, whose eye intent, 
Was on the visioned future bent.' 

In the very act of rising to debate, he fell into the arms of 
conscript fathers of the republic. A long lethargy supervened 
and oppressed his senses. Nature rallied the wasting powers, 
on the very verge of the grave, for a very brief space. The 
rekindled eye showed that the re-collected mind was clear, calm 
and vigorous. His weeping family and his sorrowing compeers 
were there. He surveyed the scene, and knew at once its fa- 
tal import He had left no duty unperformed; he had no wish 
unsatisfied, no ambition unattained ; no regret, no sorrow, no 
fear, no remorse. He could not shake off the dews of death 
that gathered on his brow. He could not pierce the thick 
shades that rose up before him. But he knew that eternity 
lay close by the shores of time. He knew that his Redeemer 
lived. Eloquence, even in that hour, inspired him with his an- 
cient sublimity of utterance. "Tms," said the dying man, 
" THIS is THE END OF EARTH." He paused for moment, and 
then added, " I AM CONTENT." Angels might well draw aside 
the curtain of the skies to look down on such a scene a scene 
that approximated even to that scene of unapproachable sub- 
limity, not to be recalled without reverence, when in mortal 
agony, ONE who spake as never man spake, said, "Ix is 



FINISHED." 



DEATH OF NAPOLEON. 

He was an emperor. But he saw around him a mother, 
brothers and sisters, not ennobled ; whose humble state re- 
minded him and the world, that he was born a plebeian; and 



WILLIAM H. SEWAKD. 295 

he had no heir to wait for the imperial crown. He scourged 
the earth again, and again fortune smiled on him even in 
his wild extravagance. He bestowed kingdoms and princi- 
palities upon his kindred put away the devoted wife of his 
youthful days, and another, a daughter of Hapsburgh's impe- 
rial house, joyfully accepted his proud alliance. Offspring glad- 
dened his anxious sight ; a diadem was placed on its infant 
brow, and it received the homage of princes even in its cradle. 
Now he was indeed a monarch a legitimate monarch a mon- 
arch by divine appointment the first of an endless succession 
of monarchs. But there were other monarchs who held sway 
in the earth. He was not content ; he would reign with his 
kindred alone. He gathered new and greater armies from his 
own land from subjugated lands. He called forth the young 
and brave one from every household from the Pyrenees to 
the Zuyder-Zee from Jura to the ocean. He marshaled 
them into long and majestic columns, and went forth to seize 
that universal dominion, which seemed almost within his grasp. 
But ambition had tempted fortune too far. The nations of the 
earth resisted, repelled, subdued, surrounded him. The pageant 
was ended. The crown fell from his presumptuous head. The 
wife who had wedded him in his pride, forsook him when the 
hour of fear came upon him. His child was ravished from his 
si "lit. His kinsmen were degraded to their first estate, and he 
was no longer emperor, nor consul, nor general, nor even a cit- 
izen, but an exile and a prisoner on a lonely island, in the midst 
of the wild Atlantic. Discontent attended him here. The 
wayward man fretted out few long years of his yet unbroken 
manhood, looking off at the earliest dawn and in the evening's 



296 MODERN AGITATORS. 

latest twilight, toward that distant world that had only just elu- 
ded his grasp. His heart corroded. Death came, not unlocked 
for, though it came even then unwelcome. He was stretched 
on his bed within the fort which constituted his prison. A few 
fast and faithful friends stood around, with the guards who re- 
joiced that the hour of relief from long and wearisome watch- 
ing was at hand. As his strength wasted away, delirium 
stirred up the brain from its long and inglorious inactivity. 
The pageant of ambition returned. He was again a lieuten- 
ant, a general, a consul, an emperor of France. He filled again 
the throne of Charlemagne. His kindred pressed around him, 
again invested with the pompous pageantry of royalty. The 
daughter of the long line of kings again stood proudly by his 
side, and the sunny face of his child shone out from beneath 
the diadem that encircled its flowing locks. The marshals of 
Europe awaited his commands. The legions of the old guard 
were in the field, their scarred faces rejuvenated, and their 
ranks, thinned in many battles, replenished. Russia, Prussia, 
Denmark, and England, gathered their mighty hosts to give 
him battle. Once more he mounted his impatient charger, 
and rushed forth to conquest. He waved his sword aloft and 
cried, "TETE DE'ARME ! " The feverish vision broke the mock- 
ery was ended. The silver cord was loosened, and the war- 
rior fell back upon his bed a lifeless corpse. THIS WAS THE 

END OF EARTH. THE CoRSICAN WAS NOT CONTENT. 

As a political writer, Mr. Seward ranks high. As 
an orator, he will by no means compare with such 
men as Phillips, Soule, and other of the most brilliant 



WILLIAM H. SEWAKD. 297 

of our native orators. We mean, of course, in the 
mere graces of oratory. In lofty eloquence he has few 
equals among the great men of America, if he has 
any ; but his manner of speaking is too dry and 
passive. 

" His rapid idealization, his oriental affluence, 
though not vagueness, of expression, and the Cicero- 
nian flow of his language, proceeding not ' from the 
heat of youth, or the vapors of wine,' but from the 
exceedingly fertility of his imagination, combine to 
render him an interesting speaker. Yet his enuncia- 
tion is neither clear nor distinct, and the tones of his 
voice often grate harshly upon the ear. He is not 
devoid of grace, however ; he is calm and dignified, 
but earnest. 

" His style is elegant, rather than neat ; elaborate, 
rather than finished. It possesses a sparkling viva- 
city, but is somewhat deficient in energetic brevity. 
It is not always easy, for there is more labor than art ; 
but if the wine has an agreeable bouquet, the con- 
noisseur delights to have it linger. Like young 
D'Israeli, whose political position in some respects 
resembles his own, he has occasionally a tendency to 
verbose declamation, a natural predilection, perhaps, 
for Milesian floridness and hyperbole, and, like Na- 
poleon, a love for gorgeous paradoxes. But, in gen- 
eral, his words are well chosen, and are frequently 
more eloquent than the ideas. His sentences are con- 
M* 



238 MODERN AGITATORS. 

structed with taste ; they have often the brilliancy of 
Mirabeau, and the glowing fervor of Fox." 

We must finally speak of Mr. Seward as a states- 
man. He is thought by many to be the first of living 
American statesmen. "We are not disposed either to 
admit or deny this. He is certainly among the veiy 
first not only in America, but the world. He has the 
breadth, the calmness, the comprehensiveness of a 
great statesman. He is not inclined to radicalism. 
He is naturally, we think, a conservative. He does 
not strike out boldly into new paths. He clings to 
old truths, wages warfare against those who would 
forget the ancient faith. He never flies before an en- 
emy however powerful. lie holds to his principles 
on all occasions. Whatever he has been he is to-day, 
but he is slow to see the practicability of a new sys- 
tem of tactics. He has never in the senate, however 
strong the temptation, spoken a word against his old 
anti-slavery principles. Yet when thousands of his 
whig friends saw the necessity of sinking mere whig 
issues, and joining in a great and new party of free- 
dom, Mr. Seward clung to the dead garments of the 
ancient organization, and ran imminent risk of terri- 
ble rain. Was this an indication of foresight ? of po- 
litical sagacity ? We think not. 

Mr. Seward opposed the Mexican war, eloquently 
and earnestly and when it was declared, wished it 
prosecuted vigorously. If this was wise statesman- 



WILLIAM H. SEWAKD. 299 

ship, it was not good morality. If it was a wicked 
war, it should not have been declared, nor carried on 
after declared. 

In 1849 Mr. Seward was chosen to represent the 
state of New York in the United States senate. In 
the great compromise struggle, Mr. Seward remained 
true to freedom and the north, when so many great 
men proved traitors. His conduct through that terri- 
ble struggle will, in the pages of history be described, 
that unborn generations may admire. One of his no- 
blest speeches in the senate upon this question, was 
delivered March 11, 1850. He said : 

" But it is insisted that the admission of California shall be 
attended by a compromise of questions which have arisen out 
of slavery ! 

" I am opposed to any such compromise in any and all the 
forms in ivhich it has been proposed. Because, while admitting 
the purity and the patriotism of all from whom it is my mis- 
fortune to differ, I think all legislative compromises radically 
wrong, and essentially vicious. They involve the surrender of 
the exercise of judgment and the conscience on distinct and sep- 
arate questions, a* distinct and separate times, with the indis- 
pensable advantages it affords for ascertaining the truth. They 
involve a relinquishment of the right to reconsider in future the 
decision of the present, on questions prematurely anticipated. 
And they are a usurpation as to future questions of the prov- 
ince of future legislators. 

" Sir, it seems to me as if slavery had laid its paralyzing 



300 3IODEEN AGITATOKS. 

hand upon myself, and the blood were coursing less freely than 
its wont through my veins, when I endeavor to suppose that 
such a compromise has been effected, and my utterance forever 
is arrested upon all the great questions, social, moral, and po- 
litical, arising out of a subject so important, and yet so incom- 
prehensible. What am I receive in this compromise ? Free- 
dom in California. It is well ; it is a noble acquisition ; it is 
worth a sacrifice. But what am I to give as an equivalent] 
A recognition of a claim to perpetuate slavery in the District 
of Columbia ; forbearance towards more stringent laws con- 
cerning the arrest of persons suspected of being slaves found 
in the free states; forbearance from the proviso of freedom in 
the charters of new territories. None of the plans of com- 
promise offered demand less than two, and most of them insist 
on all these conditions. The equivalent then is, some portion 
of liberty, some portion of human rights in one region for lib- 
erty in another." 

In tliis speech occurred Mr. Seward's famous enun- 
ciation of the HIGHER LAW doctrine. We will give 
the extract : 

" It is true indeed that the national domain is ours. It is 
true it was acquired by the valor and with the wealth of the 
whole nation. But we hold, nevertheless, no arbitrary power 
over it. We hold no arbitrary power over anything, whether 
acquired by law or seized by usurpation. The constitution 
regulates our stewardship ; the constitution devotes the domain 
to union, to justice, to defense, to welfare and to liberty. BUT 
THERE is A HIGHER LAW THAN THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH 



WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 301 

REGULATES OUR AUTHORITY OVER THE DOMAIN, AND DEVOTES IT 

TO THE SAME NOBLE PURPOSES. The territory is a part, no in- 
considerable part, of the common heritage of mankind, be- 
stowed upon them by the Creator of the universe. We are 
his stewards, and must so discharge our trust, as to secure in 
the highest attainable degree their happiness. This is a state, 
and we are deliberating for it, just as our fathers deliberated in 
establishing the institutions we enjoy. Whatever superiority 
there is in our condition and hopes over those of any other 
* kingdom' or ' estate,' is due to the fortunate circumstance that 
our ancestors did not leave things to ' take their chance,' but 
that they ' added amplitude and greatness ' to our common 
wealth ' by introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and cus- 
toms asvwere wise.' We in our turn have succeeded to the 
same responsibilities, and we cannot approach the duty before 
us wisely or justly, except we raise ourselves to the great con- 
sideration of how we can most certainly ' sow greatness to our 
posterity and successors.' 

"And now the simple, bold, and even awful question which 
presents itself to us is this : Shall we, who are founding insti- 
tutions, social and political, for countless millions ; shall we, 
who know by experience the wise and the just, and are free to 
choose them, and to reject the erroneous and unjust ; shall we 
establish human bondage, or permit it by our sufferance to be 
established 1 Sir, our forefathers would not have hesitated an 
hour. They found slavery existing here, and they left it only 
because they could not remove it. There is not only no free 
state which would now establish it, but there is no 'slave state 
which, if it had had the free alternative, as we now have, would 



303 MODERN AGITATORS. 

have founded slavery. Indeed, our revolutionary predecessors 
had precisely the same question before them in establishing an 
organic law, under which the states of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, 
Wisconsin, and Iowa have since come into the Union, and they 
solemnly repudiated and excluded slavery from those states 
forever." 

In a speech made in the senate, July 2, 1850, oc- 
curs the following eloquent passage : 

" Still it is replied that the slavery question must be settled. 
That question cannot be settled by this bill. Slavery and free- 
dom are conflicting systems, brought together by the union of 
the states, not neutralized, nor even harmonized. Their antag- 
onism is radical, and therefore perpetual. Compromise con- 
tinues conflict, and the conflict involves unavoidably all ques- 
tions of national interest questions of revenue, of internal im- 
provement, of industry, of commerce, of political rivalry, and 
even all questions of peace and of war. In entering the career 
of conquest you have kindled to a fierce heat the fires you seek 
to extinguish, because you have thrown into them the fuel of 
propagandism. We have the propagandism of slavery to en- 
large the slave market, and to increase slave representation in 
congress, and in the electoral colleges for the bramble ever 
seeks power, though the olive, the fig, and the vine, refuse it ; 
and we have the propagandism of freedom to counteract those 
purposes. Nor can this propagandism be arrested on either 
side. The sea is full of exiles, and they swarm over our land. 
Emigration from Europe and from Asia, from Polynesia even, 
from the free states, and from the slave states, goes on, and 



WILLIAM H. SE^YARD. 303 

Will gO On, IN OBEDIENCE TO LAWS WHICH I SHOULD SAT WERE 
HIGHER THAN THE CONSTITUTION, IF ANY SUCH LAWS WERE AC- 
KNOWLEDGED HERE. And I may be allowed here to refer 
those who have been scandalized by the allusion to such laws 
to a single passage by an author whose opinions did not err 
on the side of superstition or of tyranny : ' If it be said that 
every nation ought in this to follow their own constitutions, 
we are at an end of our -controversies ; for they ought not to 
be followed unless they are rightly made ; they cannot be 
rightly made if they are contrary to the universal law of God 
and nature.' (Discourses on Government, by Algernon Syd- 
ney, chap. 1, p. 48.) 1 spoke of emigrants; and wherever 
those emigrants go whether they go from necessity or of 
choice they form continuous, unbroken, streaming processions 
of colonists, founders of states, builders of nations. And when 
colonies are planted, states are founded, or nations built, labor 
is there the first and indispensable element, and it begins and 
prosecutes to the end its strife for freedom and power. While 
the sovereignty of the territories remains here, the strife will 
come up here to be composed. You may slay the Wilmot 
proviso in the senate-chamber, and bury it beneath the capitol 
to-day ; the dead corse, in complete steel, will haunt your le- 
gislative halls to-morrow. When the strife is ended in the ter- 
ritories you now possess, it will be renewed on new fields, 
north as well as south, to fortify advantages gained, or to re- 
trieve losses incurred, for both of the parties well know that 
there is ' Yet in that word Hereafter.' 

" Senators have referred us to the promise of peace heralded 
in the Missouri compromise. Sir, that prophecy is but half 



304: MODERN AGITATORS. 

its journey yet. The annexation of Texas, the invasion of 
Mexico, this prolonged struggle over California, this desperate 
contest for the sands and snows of New Mexico and Deseret, 
are all within the scope and limits of the prediction ; and so 
are the strifes yet to come over ice-bound regions beyond the 
St. Lawrence and sun-burnt plains beneath the tropics. 

" But while this compromise will fail of all its purposes, it 
will work out serious and lasting evils. All such compromises 
are changes of the constitution made in derogation of the con- 
stitution. They render it uncertain in its meaning, and impair 
its vigor as well as its sanctions. This compromise finds the 
senate in wide divergence from the house of representatives by 
reason of the undue multiplication of feeble, consumptive states, 
effected by former compromises of the same sort. * * * 

" Sir, the agitations which alarm us are not signs of evils to 
come, but mild efforts of the commonwealth for relief from 
mischiefs past. 

" There is a way, and one way only, to put them at rest. 
Let us go back to the ground where our forefathers stood. 
While we leave slavery to the care of the states where it ex- 
ists, let us inflexibly direct the policy of the federal govern- 
ment to circumscribe its limits and favor its ultimate extin- 
guishment. Let those who have this misfortune entailed upon 
them instead of contriving how to maintain an equilibrium 
that never had existence, consider carefully how, at some 
time it may be ten, or twenty, or even fifty years hence 
by some mean's, by means all their own, and without our 
aid, without sudden change or violent action, they may bring 
about the emancipation of labor, and its restoration to its just 



WILLIAM H. SEWAKD. 305 

dignity and power in the state. Let them take hope to them- 
selves, give hope to the free states, awaken hope throughout 
the world. They will thus anticipate only what must happen 
at some time, and what they themselves must desire, if it can 
come safely, and as soon as it can come without danger. Let 
them do only this, and every cause of disagreement will cease 
immediately and forever. We shall then not merely endure 
each other, but we shall be reconciled together and shall real- 
ize once more the concord which results from mutual league, 
united councils, and equal hopes and hazards in the most sub- 
lime and beneficent enterprise the earth has witnessed. The 
fingers of the powers above would time the harmony of such 
a peace." 

As a senator, Mr. Seward's uniform urbanity, his 
self-possession and tact as a debater the many able, 
clear, and elaborate arguments, which he has made 
upon great public questions, have deepened to enthu- 
siasm the attachment of his friends, and correspond- 
ingly excited the opposition and the fears of his po- 
litical foes. On a recent occasion February 6, 1855 
on the question of his reelection to the United 
States senate, this feeling was especially manifest ; 
but his election, on that occasion, by a large major- 
ity, is at once a flattering endorsement of his course 
in the national councils, and an evidence of the deep 
and ardent devotion of his political friends. 

It is perhaps useless to speculate upon the future ; 
but we sometimes imagine that Mr. Seward will yet 

20 



306 MODERN AGITATORS. 

take a postion before the American people immeas- 
urably superior to any which he has yet filled. The 
spirit of slavery is aggressive. Each day is a witness 
to its hungry cry for blood, and each day is witness 
to its triumphs. So far, the north has succumbed, 
not without ado, but she has invariably in the end 
succumbed. But it will not be so always. A pro- 
found reaction will by-and-by take place perhaps 
next year, perhaps ten years hence ~but it will surely 
come, and a great man will be needed for such a cri- 
sis. !N"o compromiser, but a statesman of the first 
order ; calm, generous, but sternly resolved upon the 
divorce of the federal government from all connec- 
tion with negro slavery. "We cannot tell if Mr. Sew- 
ard is great enough for such a crisis, but we have 
sometimes thought that such would be his destiny. 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. - 

WE have nothing biographical to say respecting IVIr. 
Lowell ; we know not that his history presents any 
striking facts. He is the son of a distinguished Bos- 
ton divine ; he graduated at Harvard, and with high 
honors, and he wrote excellent poetry at an early 



age. 



But Lowell is a remarkable man and poet. He 
lacks the fire of Whittier ; he is possibly inferior to 
many American poets in important respects, but that 
he is one of the first poets of this age no man will deny. 
He is sincerely a reformer ; his sympathies are en- 
tirely with the oppressed and down-trodden ; he has 
always been true to the cause of the negro slave, and 
many of his poems prove it. Some of his poems are 
exceedingly beautiful, while others are full of grand 
thoughts, which strike upon the ear and heart, like 
the booming cannon-shot, which tells that an ardently 
desired conflict has commenced. This class, of poems 
are less fiery than Whittier's reform poetry, but a 
very few of them are, we have sometimes thought, 
characterized by more grandeur than any of Whit- 



308 MODERN AGITATORS. 

tier's upon the same subject. One of the most beauti- 
ful of Lowell's poems is that entitled " The Forlorn" 
It betrays the nature of his religion and philosophy ; 
at least, it proves that his sympathies are with the. 
poor and friendless. To us, it seems that this poem 
can never die that some of its stanzas are unsur- 
passed by any modern poetry. 

THE FORLORN". 

THE night is dark, the stinging sleet, 

Swept by the bitter gusts of air, 
Drives whistling down the lonely street, 

And stiffens on the pavement bare. 

The street-lamps flare and struggle dim 

Through the white sleet-clouds as they pass, 
Or, governed by a boisterous whim, 

Drop down and rattle on the glass. 


One poor, heart-broken, out-cast girl 

Faces the east wind's searching flaws, 
And, as about her heart they whirl, 

Iler tattered cloak more tightly draws. 

The flat brick walls look cold and bleak, 
Her bare feet to the side-walk freeze ; 

Yet dares she yet a shelter seek, 

Though faint with hunger and disease. 

The sharp storm cuts her forehead bare, 
And, piercing through her garments thin, 

Beats on her shrunken breast, and there 
Makes colder the cold heart within. 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. 309 

She lingers where a ruddy glow 

Streams outward through an open shutter, 

Giving more bitterness to woe, 
More loneliness to desertion utter. 

One half the cold she had not felt 

Until she saw this gush of light 
Spread warmly forth, and seemed to melt 

Its slow way through the dead'ning night. 

She hears a woman's voice within, 

Singing sweet words her childhood knew, 

And years of misery and sin 

Furl off and leave her heaven blue. 

Her freezing heart, like one who sinks 

Out-wearied in the drifting snow, 
Drowses to deadl} 7 sleep, and thinks 

No longer of its hopeless woe : 

Old fields, and clear blue summer days, 
Old meadows, green with grass and trees, 

That shimmer through the trembling bare, 
And whiten in the western breeze ; 

Old faces all the friendly past 

Rises within her heart again, 
And sunshine from her childhood cast 

Makes summer of the icy rain. 

Enhaloed by a mild, warm glow, 

From all humanity apart, 
She hears old footsteps wandering slow 

Through the lone chambers of her heart. 

Outside the porch below the door, 

Her cheek upon the cold, hard stone, 
She lies, no longer foul and poor, 
longer dreary and alone. 



310 MODERN AGITATORS. 

ISText morning, something heavily 
Against the opening door did weigh, 

And there, from sin and sorrow free, 
A woman on the threshold lay. 

A smile upon the wan lips told 

That she had found a calm release, 
And that, from out the want and cold, 

The song had boi'ne her soul in peace ; 

For, whom the heart of man shuts out, 
Straightway the heart of God takes in, 

And fences them all round about 

"With silence mid the world's loud din; 

And one of his great charities 

Is music, and it doth not scorn 
To close the lids upon the eyes 

Of the polluted and forlorn. 

Far was she from her childhood's home, 
Farther in guilt had wandered thence, 

Yet thither it had bid her come 
To die in maiden innocence. 

Mr. Lowell lias shown that he is a wit and humor- 
ist in the publication of his " Biglow Papers" . He 
is the only American who has attempted to laugh 
down the oppressors of the slave the propagandists 
of slavery. Some of the Biglow poems are capital 
specimens of Yankee wit and humor. They are of 
course written purposely in the rough, exaggerated, 
Yankee style. Hosea gives his ideas of war as 
follows : 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. 311 

"Ez for war, I call it murder, 

There you Lev it plain an' flat; 
I don't want to go no furder 
Than my testynient for that ; 

"God haz sed so plump and fairly, 

It's ez long ez it is broad, 
An' you've gut to git up airly 
Ef you want to take in God." 

Occasionally in the midst of fun, a fine, grand verse 
occurs, which puts away all laughter from the face. 
For instance, the following verse from the same poem, 
from which the foregoing was extracted : 

"Massachusetts, God forgive her, 

She's a kneelin' with the rest, 

She that ough' to ha' clung forever 

In her grand, old eagle nest ; 

She that ough' to stand so fearless 

While the wracks are round her hurled, 

Holdin' up a beacon peerless 

To the oppressed of all the world ! " 

One of the most popular of Lowell's Biglow po- 
ems, is that upon John P. Robinson. In it General 
Gushing gets the following hit : 

" Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man : 
He's been on all sides that give places or pelf; 
But consistency still woz a part of his plan, 
He's been true to one party an' that is himself ; 

So John P. 

Kobinson he 
Sez he shall vote for Gineral C. 



312 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" Gineral C. he goes in fer the war, 
He don't vally principle more'n an old cud ; 
Wut did God make us raytonal creeters fer, 
But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood? 

So John P. 

Robinson he 

Sez he shall vote for Gineral C. 
****** * 

"Parson Wilbur sez he never heerd in his life 

Thet the Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats, 

An' marched round in front of drum an' a fife, 

To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes; 

But John P. 

Robinson he 
Sez they don't know everything down in Judee." 

Here is a capital hit at a certain class of men : 

" I'm willin' a man should go tollable strong 
Agin wrong in the abstract, fer thet kind of wrong 
Is oilers unpoplar an' never gets pitied, 
Because its a crime no one ever committed; 
But he mustn't be hard on partickler sins, 
Coz then he'll be kickin' the people's own shins." 

" The debate in the Sennit," is a humorous poem, 
one or two stanzas of which we will copy : 

" ' Here we stan' on the Constitution, by thunder 
Its a fact o' which there's bushels o' proofs ; 
Fer how could we trample on't so, I wonder, 
Eft wornt that it's oilers under our hoofs ? ' 

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; 

' Human rights haint no more 

Right to come on this floor. 

mor'n the man in the moon,' eez he. 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. 313 

"'The North haint no kind o' bisness with nothin', 
An' you've no idee how much bother it saves; 
We nint none riled by their frettin' and frothin, 1 
We're used to laj'in' the string on our slaves' 

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; 

Sez Mister Foote 

'I should like to shoot 

The holl gang, by the gret horn spoon,' sez he. 

****** 

" ' The masses ough' to labor an' we l-\v on soffies, 
Thet's the reason I want to spread F. eedom's aree; 
It puts all the cunninest on us in off. <\ 
And reelises our Maker's orig'nal idee,' 

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; 

'That's ez plain,' sez Cass 

' Ez that some one's an ass, 

It's as clear as the sun is at noon,' sez he. 

" ' Slavery's a thing thet depends on complexion, 
It's God's law that fetters on black skins don't chafe ; 
Ef brains woz to settle it (horrid reflection !) 
Wich of our honnable body 'd be safe ? ' 

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; 

Sez Mister Hannegan 

Afore he began agin, 

O w * 

' Thet exception is quite oppertoon,' sez he. 

I 

" 'Gen'le Cass, Sir, 3-011 needn't be twitchin' your collar, 
Your merit's quite clear by the dut on your knees, 
At the North we don't make no distinctions of color ; 
You can all take a lick at our shoes w'n you please,' 

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; 

Sez Mister Jam agin 

'They wont hev to larn agin, 

They all on 'em know the old toon/ sez he. 
N' 



314 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" 'The slavery question aint no ways bewilderin' 
North and South hev one int'rest, its plain to a glance ; 
Northern men, like us patriarchs, dont sell their childrin, 
But they du sell themselves, ef they git a good chance.' 

Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; 

Sez Atherton here 

' This is gittin severe 

I wish I could dive like a loon,' sez he." 

But we can give the reader no fair idea of the pe- 
culiar merit of the " Biglow Papers " in our brief ex- 
tracts. Nor have we pretended to quote the best of 
Lowell's reform poetry ; to gain a just idea of his tal- 
ents and position, the reader must if he has not 
already read his books, a luxury such as one rarely 
enjoys. We have attempted no sketch of Lowell 
no criticism but have rather penned a few desultory 
thoughts upon him and his poetry, wishing at the 
same time to preserve among these papers one of the 
most touching and beautiful poems which sympathy 
for the poor and outcast has brought into being. 



HORACE GREELEY.* 



LAUGHED at by the pomatumed and conceited fops 
on Broadway ; hissed at by the devotees of cotton in 
Wall-street ; hated intensely by all demagogues and 
workers of iniquity, and disliked by mouldy conserva- 
tives, whether in church or state, Horace Greeley is 
nevertheless one of the greatest men in America. 
He possesses an intellect acute and powerful ; a con- 
science which is not seared ; a great heart, and a 
generous hand. We know of no living American 
who can at all compare with him as a writer of vig- 
orous English, in that particular department of litera- 
ture which he long ago made his own. He has all 
of Cobbett's graphic power without his brutality he 
has all of the earnest sympathy for the unfortunate 
of every race, clime, and color which characterizes 
some of the most popular of transatlantic authors, 
without their sentimentalism. Some of his editorials, 
dashed off with his heart on fire, will compare fa- 
vorably with some of the best of the modern thun- 
derer, the London Times. The leaders of the Times 
are more polished perhaps, are certainly more classi- 

* We are indebted to Parton's admirable Life of Horace Greeley 
for many of the facts in this sketch. 



316 MODERN AGITATORS. 

cal, but in tremendous power of expression, they can- 
not surpass some of the best of the editorials of Hor- 
ace Greeley. With a shrewd, clear intellect, an as- 

t/ 

tonishingly vigorous style, and a heart easily wrought 
up to that degree of passion necessary to the produc- 
tion of the best kind of writing, he fears not the quill 
of any man living. Bennett may iterate and reiterate 
his senseless gibberish in reference to Greeley's 
" isms" his " shocking bad hat," and the " old gray 
surtout " he may affect to laugh at " the philoso- 
pher," but he fears and hates him as Milton's devils 
feared and hated their heavenly combatants. So it 
is everywhere. The enemies of Horace Greeley 
and he has many and bitter ones know and feel his 

/ 

power, though they often affect the contrary. Let 
him be careless, or even slovenly in his costume, say 
that he does ride a vast number of " hobbies," not 
one of his enemies dare meet him in fair combat in 
reference to those " hobbies." AVe by no means 
swallow everything which is pronounced good by 
Horace Greeley, but we are at the same time per- 
fectly aware that among that large class of dema- 
gogues and unprincipled editors who make it a point 
to libel and ridicule him upon every possible occa- 
sion, there is not a man who could hold an hour's ar- 
gument with him upon the most untenable of all his 
" isms," without securing to himself a severe defeat. 
Although Mr. Greeley has long had the reputation 



HOKACE GKEELET. 317 

of being a shrewd politician, we think that his forte 
does not lie in that direction. He writes best as a 
philanthropist and reformer, and it is as such that he 
will be known hereafter. When pleading the cause 
of the poor, degraded inebriate, or the chained and 
scourged bondman, he rises into his true manhood, 
and becomes most graphic and eloquent in his lan- 
guage. His terse and fiery sentences fall like light- 
ning upon the head of the ramseller or stealer of 
men, and when picturing the squalor and wretched- 
ness of the drunkard's home, the misery of his wife 
and little ones, or the agony of the slave-mother from 
whose arms her child has been torn, he pours forth a 
genuine pathos which gives to him instantly the 
hearts of thousands. 

We have said that Mr. Greeley has bitter enemies; 
it is true, but no man has warmer or more devoted 
friends. There are men who have the blood of an- 
cient and renowned families in their veins, men of 
immense wealth, men of high station, of great intel- 
lect, who count it an honor to be intimate with that 
carelessly-attired, bald-headed editor. There are 
men who pride themselves upon their gentility who 
would walk down Broadway arm in arm with Gree- 
ley, feeling honored and being honored by the tem- 
porary intimacy, though his boots were cowhide, and 
his hat a half-dozen winters old. But the best, the 
heartiest friends of the great editor are the workers 



318 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

of this country, the men who have made America 
what she is. It is the intelligent farmers, the clear- 
headed mechanics, the teachers, the liberal and earn- 
est clergymen, the reformers everywhere, who love 
and appreciate him best. To them he is a tower of 
strength, a city of refuge. Many a reformer, -when 
ready to faint, has been cheered by the thought that 
the most powerful editor in the country, day after 
day writes his most vigorous articles for the drunkard 
and the slave. However much these men may in 
the past have disliked his political writings, or his 
political conduct, his philanthropic writings have won 
their warm esteem for the author. 

From these general remarks we turn to trace his 
early history. It is a remarkable one ; for the posi- 
tion which he has reached, as one of the first editors 
of the country, he has struggled for inch by inch. 
His birth and parentage gave him none of those ad- 
vantages for intellectual improvement that are now 
afforded almost universally to every farmer's boy. The 
district school, from which he obtained his first knowl- 
edge of books, was taught during the three or four 
winter months by some young person who could 
barely " pass examination r before the village minis- 
ter and one or two functionaries, of perhaps much 
less practical and rudimental education. 

Mr. Greeley's maternal ancestors were Scotch- 
Irish, who migrated to this country in 1718, and set- 



HOKACE GREELEY. 319 

tied in various parts of New England. They were a 
bold, enthusiastic, hardy set, and in them we find 
many of those traits of character which, bequeathed 
to Horace as his only legacy, have made him what 
he is. From the same source sprang Stark of revolu- 
tionary memory, and in the battle of Bennington per- 
ished two of Mr. Greeley's great uncles. His pater- 
nal ancestors were from Nottingham, England. They 
were early noted for an obstinacy of purpose, which, 
as it descended through successive generations to 
Zaccheus Greeley, the father of Horace, may be said 
to have softened to a tenacity hard to overcome. 
This is noticed not only in their will, but in every 
mental and physical development. Their memory 
was wonderful ; they held on to life itself with a vigor 
which is surprising. Honest and courageous, though 
generally poor, they left to posterity better than a 
prince's patrimony it was a character, an example 
worthy of imitation. 

Zaccheus Greeley and Mary Woodburn were mar- 
ried in 1807. They lived upon a small farm, the 
fruits of their own industry, in Amherst, New Hamp- 
shire. Under circumstances rather inauspicious, in 
February, 1811, Horace, the subject of our sketch, 
was ushered into existence. Of seven children he 
was the third, and, according to all accounts, he was 
the most unlikely of the whole ; his frame was light, 
arid his constitution fragile ; but both were to be 



20 MODERN AGITATORS. 

toughened and invigorated by the hard work and the 
Iresli, mountain air, that can hardly be found except 
among the hills and valleys of New England. The 
population of Amherst were, and are still, dependent 
for the means of subsistence upon a soil sterile, stony 
and forbidding, except to the gaze of those hardy 
men who, from year to year, follow the plow over its 
surface. These villages seem to be produced from 
some stereotype plate of nature, and once planted, 
are as unchangeable as the very hills upon which 
they are located. There will be found a "meeting- 
house," (Congregational,) a "church," (Episcopal,) 
and a store, where is sold everything in general and 
nothing in particular. Upon the open area, where 
two or more roads meet, the school-house is located ; 
is in fact seemingly " turned out doors ; ' : the peo- 
ple have indeed got to regard it as GO much a nui- 
sance, that, even now, when a new one is contempla- 
ted, the land requisite for a site can hardly be bought 
for any price. From this center the farm-houses are 
placed in every direction, at first thickly, or at neigh- 
borly distances; but as you recede from the church 
they grow less frequent, until you are alone in the 
forest or pasture lands. Such was the situation of 
Horace Greeley's birth-place, and such the scene of 
his early childhood ; it was a place where destitution 
and wealth are alike unknown, though every one has 
for a contented mind an abundance ; it was a com- 



HORACE GREELEY. 321 

mnnity of honest, common-sense men practical 
farmers. 

Horace, from his own earliest recollections, as well 
as from the account of those who watched his infancy, 
seems to have had a great predilection for books. 
He says, in a letter to a friend, " I think I am in- 

i/ ' 

debted for my first impulse toward intellectual ac- 
quirement and exertion to my mother's grandmother, 
who came out from Ireland among the first settlers of 
Londonderry. She must have been well versed in 
Irish and Scotch traditions, pretty well informed and 
strong minded ; and my mother being left mother- 
less when quite young, her grandmother exerted great 
influence over her mental development. I was a 
third child, the two preceding having died young, 
and I presume my mother was more attached to me 
on that ground, and the extreme feebleness of my 
constitution. My mind was early filled by her with 
the traditions, ballads, and snatches of history she 
had learned from her grandmother, which, though 
conveying very distorted and incorrect ideas of his- 
tory, yet served to awaken in me a thirst for knowl- 
edge, and a lively interest for learning and history." 
In more than the common and trite sense was he a 
remarkable child. We think it exceedingly interest- 
ing and instructive to linger a little here, au.d exam- 
ine facts, to see, if possible, what were the elements 

of a constitution which, under such circumstances, 

N* 21 



322 MODERN AGITATORS. 

coiilcl develop so remarkable a man. His mother 
was a stout, muscular woman, who esteemed it no 
disgrace to hoe in the garden, or pitch and rake hay, 
and it is asserted that she could cradle with equal 
facility in the house and in the fields. She could do 
more farm work in a day than a man, and then tell 
stories all the evening. To the ladies of our day 
these would hardly be considered recommendations, 
but then they were considered a prodigious feat. She 
was also quick at the spinning-wheel, and to its hum her 
tongue kept a continual harmony, for the amusement 
and benefit of her children. With eager avidity 
Horace listened to the anecdotes which fell from her 
lips, and here he first felt that intense yearning for 
knowledge which afterward made him so indefatiga- 
ble a student. At two years of age he pored over 
the pages of the bible with great interest, and news- 
papers thrown upon the floor furnished him great 
amusement ; at three he could read any of the ordi- 
nary books designed for children ; at four could read 
anywhere, and with his book sidewise, upside down, 
or in any position. When only three years old he 
commenced attending the district school, and so eager 
was he to be present, that if the snow was piled in 
drifts, he prevailed upon his aunt to carry him to the 
school-house. The e;reat ambition of those davs 

o / 

seems to have been to become the best speller in the 
school, and to this eminence our hero early aspired ; 



HORACE GREELEY. 323 

once gained, be always maintained it. For this at- 
tainment he was admired by his mates, but seems 
not to have been envied. He cared little for the or- 
dinary sports which so much amuse children at this 
age, but, as early as his fifth or sixth year, preferred 
to steal away with a book to some secluded place, 
and devour its contents. In other respects he was 
quite singular ; he never would fight a boy whatever 
might be the provocation ; if another was disposed to 
quarrel with him, he quietly stood and bore the in- 
fliction, which soon became more tiresome to the au- 
thor than to the recipient. He is described at this 
time as a delicate, flaxen-haired child, of a gentle and 
retiring disposition, remarkable mainly for his attach- 
ment to books. This grew with his mind, till it be- 
came the all absorbing passion of his life. As he 
grew older, he ransacked all the libraries in the neigh- 
borhood to satisfy his intellectual appetite ; but so 
far were they from satiating it, they seemed only to 
act as stimulants. He borrowed from the minister, 
from the village collection, from every source in his 
reach, till he became a walking encyclopedia. It 
was a peculiarity of his manner of reading that he 
became so absorbed in his book as to lose all appa- 
rent consciousness of what was going on about him. 
Thus he stored his mind with that knowledge which 
was to be so invaluable to him in after life. It was 
the only education that nature offered him, and he 



324 MODERN AGITATORS. 

gladly availed himself of it ; so that when time came 
for reflection, he possessed a perfect mine of informa- 
tion, whose treasures were as exhaustless in extent as 
they were difficult in acquisition. 

There is hardly a boy in New England so small but 
that upon the farm some work can be found simple 
enough for his capacities. From the time that spring 
opens, each season brings to the juvenile his propor- 
tion of light labor. The corn is to be dropped ; the 
team to be driven for the plow ; the stock to be fed ; 
the horse to be ridden between the rows of corn and 
potatoes, previous to hoeing ; the gathering of apples, 
and the various autumnal crops, afford work for all 
sizes and all ages. Horace never evaded these for 
his book, but by diligence in accomplishing his ap- 
portioned job, managed to save time for his favorite 
indulgence, without interfering with the requirements 
of the farm. Among sports he was fond only of 
fishing, and his "luck' always excelled that of his 
companions, "because that while they fished for fun, 
he fished for fish." 

When only ten years old his father became in- 
volved in debt, by signing the obligations of some of 

' / O O O 

his neighbors, was unable to meet the pecuniary de- 
mands upon him, and, as a consequence, his little 
farm, house, and all that in the childhood of Horace 
went to make up home, was swept away by creditors. 
His father, a ruined bankrupt, was forced to flee the 



HORACE GEEELEY. 325 

state to avoid arrest, and left his family behind him. 
After thirty years Horace discharged the last of these 
obligations with honor. The family, with the little 
wreck of their household furniture, followed the fa- 
ther to Westhaven, Vermont, where he had hired a 
small house, and here they survived the first winter 
in extreme indigence. Jn this new region the book 
of Nature afforded more various beauties than at Am- 

herst, and it was of all others the delight of the boy's 

~ i/ 

contemplation. Lake Champlain, with its grand and 
beautiful environs, lay within three miles of the cot- 
tage and here and there among those hills, little 
streams, like threads of silver, wound about, with an 
occasional lake in their course, like a string of beads 
about the neck of a child. The hills lifted their sum- 
mits to the clouds, and their sloping sides, covered 
with verdure, extended as far as the eye could reach. 
The whole extent of country became a grand cradle 
for Greeley's imagination. The circumstances in 
which the family were now placed compelled the ut- 
most economy in every habit ; the usual dress of 
Horace was a hat, cotton shirt, and a pair of pants, 
whose counterpart cannot be found, perhaps, upon 
the poorest wayfarer of modern times. It is stated 
that during his residence in AVesthaven, his clothing 
did not average a cost of three dollars a year, and 
that until he was twenty-one probably not fifty dol- 
lars were expended upon his dress. Economy was 



326 MODERN AGITATORS. 

the study of the family, and their teacher stern ne- 
cessity. The habits which he was here forced to 
learn will perhaps account for some of the apparent 
eccentricities of his subsequent life. The family did 
save something by their frugality, and it became a 
ruling principle of Horace never to incur the slight- 
est unnecessary expense while there remained a debt 
unpaid. To his store of intellectual knowledge Hor- 
ace added but little in "Westhaven. The schools were 
much the same as in Amherst, certainly no better ; 
and though for a while he attended regularly, he 
could oftener inform the teacher than learn from him. 
The text books also being much the same, his mind 
found a respite and recreation in assisting boys older 
than himself, and three times as large, to master dif- 
ficulties which he had solved long ago. At length 
he became to the teachers somewhat of an annoyance, 
by his inquisitiveness, which they were unable to 
satisfy, and as a final result he was kept at home. 
Here he assisted the other children in their studies, 
and continued his reading. At the age of fifteen he 
had thoroughly perused Robinson Crusoe, the Ara- 
bian Xights, Shakspeare, Robertson's and Goldsmith's 

histories, and as manv romances and works of fiction 

/ 

as he could lay hold of. 

Horace had always cherished the idea of becoming 
a printer. His father gave him but little encourage- 
ment, but at eleven permitted him to walk to White- 



HORACE GREELEY. 327 

hall, where a news paper was published, to talk with 
the proprietor. That individual informed him that 
he was too young to think of it, so he had nothing to 
do but to return, work, and wait. "With impatience 
he did so for four years longer, when occurred a cir- 
cumstance which caused an epoch in his history. In 
the Northern Spectator, published at East Poultney, 
Vermont, he saw an advertisement for an apprentice, 
and determined to apply for the place. 

In the spring of 1826, the gentlemanly editor of 
that paper was hoeing potatoes in his garden one 
morning, when in walked a boy, rudely clad, to in- 
quire after the situation. How little thought the edi- 
tor of that journal, that the uncouth lad the " devil ' 
would one day not merely control a journal like his 
own, but edit and manage the first journal in Amer- 
ica ! Mr. Bliss thought he had indeed an unpromising 
look, but upon asking him a few questions, discovered 
that there was something more than ordinary about 
him. In the language of that gentleman, " On en- 
tering into conversation, and a partial examination 
of the qualification of my new applicant, it required 
but little time to discover that he possessed a mind 
of no common order, and an acquired intelligence far 
beyond his years. He had had but little opportunity 
at the common school, but he said 'he had read 
some,' and what he had read he well understood and 
remembered. In addition to the ripe intelligence 



323 MODERN AGITATOKS. 

manifested by one so young, and whose instruction 
had been so limited, there was a single-mindedness, 
a truthfulness and common sense in what he said, 
that at once commanded my regard." Terms were 
subsequently arranged, and Horace bade farewell to 
the farm, as a means of subsistence, forever. Shortly 
afterward, his father removed with his family to Erie 
county, Pennsylvania, and Horace, at the age of fif- 
teen, was left to depend entirely upon his own re- 
sources for a living. 

Horace felt that now was the time for him to gather 
up his energies, and improve them to the best advan- 
tage. The long anticipated hour had arrived, and to 
liis new avocation he eagerly applied himself. The 
older apprentices utterly failed in their attempts to 
divert him from his business, and again we have re- 
vealed the secret of his success ; it was his untiring 
application. During the intervals of work, he em- 
ployed his leisure in reading the exchanges, and was 
thus unconsciously obtaining political information, 
which should hereafter be the substance of many a 
brilliant editorial. He here joined a debating soci- 
ety, where he became noted for his accurate knowl- 
edge of political transactions, and it was soon discov- 
ered that in debate he was a powerful ally and dan- 
gerous opponent. Against all opposition, single 
handed and alone, he would maintain his point with 
an energy almost prophetic. Thus early was it no- 



HOKACE GKEELET. 329 

ticed that wlien lie was convinced of the truth of a 
position, all attempts to dislodge him, without show- 
ing his error, were vain ; he could not be " taken by 
storm." 

His person presented much the same appearance as 
when upon the farm. He never dressed for the de- 
bating meetings, for the very simple reason that he 
had no better dress to put on. All that he could save 
from the meager remuneration of fifty dollars per year 
was sent to his father, who was struggling with poverty 
in the western wilds of Pennsylvania. Twice durins: 

i/ O 

his residence at East Poultney he visited the family, 
making the passages on foot and by canal. On one 
of these trips he passed through Saratoga, and at a 
subsequent period he writes this half humorous no- 
tice of his impressions of that watering place. 

" Saratoga ! bright city of the present ! thoa ever-during 
one-and-twenty of existence ! a wanderer by thy stately pala- 
ces and gushing fountains salutes thee ! Years, yet not many, 
have elapsed since, a weary roamer from a distant land, he 
first sought thy health-giving waters. November's skv was 

o / o o i/ 

over earth and him, and more than all, over thee ; and its chill- 
ing blasts made mournful melody amid the waving branches 
of thy ever verdant pines. Then, as now, thou wert a city of 
tombs, deserted by the gay throng whose light laughter reech- 
oes so joyously through thy summer-robed arbors. But to 
him, thou wert ever a fairy land, and he wished to quaff of 
thy Hygeian treasures as of the nectar of the poet's fables. 



330 MODERN AGITATORS. 

One long and earnest draught ere its sickening disrelish came 
over him, and he flung clown the cup in the bitterness of disap- 
pointment and disgust, and sadly addressed him again to his 
pedestrian journey. Is it ever thus with thy castles, Imagina- 
tion? thy pictures, Fancy ? thy dreams, O Hope? Perish the 
unbidden thought ! A health in sparkling congress to the rain- 
bow of life ! even though its promise prove as shadowy as the 
baseless fabric, of a vision. Better even the dear delusion of 
Hope if delusion it must be than the rugged reality of list- 
less despair. (I think I could do this better in rhyme, if I had 
not trespassed in that line already. However, the cabin con- 
versation of a canal packet is not remarkably favorable to po- 
etry.) In plain prose, there is a great deal of mismanagement 
about this same village of Saratoga. The season gives up the 
ghost too easily." 

In the office of the Northern Spectator he contin- 
ued for more than four years, aiding in the printing, 
and also considerably in the editing. In the com- 
mencement of the fifth year of his apprenticeship, 
the establishment was broken up, and he was left 
again to shift for himself. Nothing daunted, he tied 

O O ' 

up his clothes in a handkerchief, slung the bundle 
across his back, and after thankfully receiving the 
present of an old overcoat from his host, started for 
his father's farm in Pennsylvania. He arrives there 
in June, 1830, at which place he recruited his health 
and strength by a few day's respite, and then obtained 
work for a time at Jamestown. Five day's stay sat- 



HORACE GREEjuET. 331 



isfied him that it was no place for him, and ho ob- 
tained a situation temporarily at Lodi. This also 
proved a concern which wished to suspend payment 
indefinitely, and having worked six weeks for prom- 
ises, he again returned to the farm. 

He now determined to try that city of peanut-war 
and women-mob notoriety, yclept Erie. "With pack 
and stick as before, he started for the office of the 
Erie Gazette. Judge Sterrett, then and now the edi- 
tor of that paper, thus mentions him : 

" I was not in the printing office when he arrived. I came 
in soon after, and saw him sitting at the table, reading the news- 
papers, and so absorbed in them that he paid no attention to 
my entrance. My first feeling was one of astonishment, that 
a fellow so singularly green in his appearance should be read- 
ing, and above all, reading so intently. I looked at him for a 
few moments, and then finding that he made no movement 
toward acquainting me with his business, I took my composing 
stick and went to work. He continued to read for twenty 
minutes or more, when he got up, and coming close to my case, 
asked, in a peculiar whining voice, ' Do you want any help in the 
printing business 1 ' ' Why,' said I, running my eye involunta- 
rily up and down the extraordinary figure, ' Did you ever work 
at the trade 1' ' Yes,' was the reply, ' and I should be willing 
to work under instructions if you could find me a job.' n 

Upon hearing this, the Judge immediately sus- 
pected the poor fellow of being a runaway, and told 



332 MODERN AGITATORS. 

him that he had no need of help. Horace felt badly 
enough, and returned home. It happened soon after, 
that the Judge fell in with a farmer, who recom- 
mended Horace so highly that he was sent for to fill 
the vacancy. Once more at his old place, he was not 
long working himself into the favor of the proprietor, 
and he paid him the usual journeyman's price of 
twelve dollars per month and board. His leisure, as 
usual, was occupied with reading, and he became no- 
ted for his accurate knowledge of political transac- 
tions, both past and present. Here he remained 
seven months, when the workman, whose place he 
w r as supplying, recovered from his sickness, and Hor- 
ace was again out of employment. Of his wages he 
had, during these months, used six dollars for a suit 
of clothes, and the balance was due him. Fifteen 
dollars of the remainder was paid down to him, and 
a note for the balance he gave to his father. 

In Erie fortune gave him her last ugly scowl, and, 
full of hope, he resolved to push for New York. It 
certainly was not his fault that he had succeeded no 
better, for he had done all that the most faithful man 
could do, and all was in vain. He knew that, in New 
York, if he should not succeed it must be his own 
fault, and he felt willing to risk an adventure. Sling- 
ing his pack upon his back again, he traveled on foot 
and by canal, until, on the 18th of August, 1831, he 
landed in New York. His articles of dress were still 



HORACE GKEELET. 333 

the same that he had purchased at Erie ; his cash in 
pocket was ten dollars ; yet these were not his capi- 
tal, and he valued them as minor affairs. He felt 

sure that if he could once >;et a foothold in that 

<_> 

city of competition, he should not only get a living 
but make himself heard and felt. 

He took board with an Irishman at two and a half 
dollars per week, and then, for once, he did attempt 
to remedy the looks of the outer man, by purchasing 
a suit of clothes. The next thing was to see if he 
could find employment. He went from one office to 
another ; among others to the Journal of Commerce, 
where David Hale informed him that he thought him 

o 

a runaway apprentice, who could do no better than 
to return to his employer ; but it was not advice that 
he was just then seeking, but employment. For this 
he sought diligently, through Friday and Saturday, 
yet the evening of the last day in the week found 
him tired of walking the city, and more weary of his 
miserable success. In the course of the Sabbath, he 
heard, from a fellow boarder, that they were in want 
of hands at West's, No. 85 Chatham street. Accord- 
ingly, at half past five on Monday morning, he was 
seated on the door-step of McElrath & Bangs' book- 
store, the second loft of which building was used by 
Mr. AYest, as their printer. He was not aware that 
at that hour New Yorkers were enjoying the best 
part of their night's rest, and of course he had some 



3: MODERN AGITATORS. 

time to wait. Did ]\Ir. McElrath, as lie passed in that 
morning, realize that the seedy looking individual 
upon his steps was destined to be in a few years his 
partner in one of the most flourishing of the New 
York dailies ? Unlikely as it seemed, yet so it was 
to be. A journeyman of West's passing in, a "Ver- 
monter, heard his story and took him up stairs. He 
was set at a very difficult job of work, upon a Poly- 
glot Testament. After a short time West came in, 
and asked his foreman, " Did you hire that d n 

/ 

fool ? ' The foreman replied, that, in the urgent want 
of help, he had set him at work. " Well," said the 
master, " Do for God's sake pay him off to-night, and 
let him go about his business." When Horace pre- 
sented his day's work of proof to the printer, at night, 
the question of letting him go was quickly settled ; 
his day's work excelled any that had been previously 
done upon the job. Horace for the next six months 
earned six dollars per week, upon the Polyglot. Of 
the company then in the office, two have since been 
members of congress, three influential editors, one 
has made a fortune and is now a leading member in 
a firm which manufactures annually over a million 
of artificial teeth, and nearly all of the remainder 
have reached stations of wealth and influence. In 
order to make respectable wages, Horace was obliged 
to work hard, early and late. In the busiest mo- 
ments, however, he could sustain a vigorous conver- 



HORACE GBEELET. 335 

sation upon politics, religion, or any of the subjects 
likely to be discussed among men of considerable in- 
telligence. He rose immediately in the estimation of 
his shopmates, and for his obliging disposition, as well 
as for his industry and intellectual ability, he became 
" the lion of the shop." Though exceedingly careful 
in his own personal expenses, he was generous enough 
if any of the journeymen wanted money ; he was 
never behindhand in lending them. He retained his 
slouched hat, his cotton shirt, his linen jacket and short 
trowsers, that he might have something left to help 
those whom he had left away in Pennsylvania, 

He remained in this office fourteen months, when its 
business declining, he found employment with Colo- 
nel Porter in conducting a new paper the " Spirit 
of the Times " for which he wrote a world of arti- 
cles of various character and length. The following 
humorous epistle was thought exceedingly funny at 
the time ; it was written in May, 1832 : 

" Messrs. Editors : Hear me you shall, pity me you must, 
while I proceed to give a short account of the dread calami- 
ties which this vile habit of turning the city upside down, 'tother 
side out, and wrong side before, on the first of May, has 
brought down on my devoted head. 

" You must know, that having resided but a few months in 
your city, I was totally ignorant of the existence of said cus- 
tom. So, on the morning of the eventful, and to me disas- 



336 MODERN AGITATORS. 

trous day, I arose, according to immemorial usage, at the dy 
ing away of the last echo of the breakfast bell, and soon found 
myself seated over my coffee, and my good landlady exerci- 
sing her powers of volubility (no weak ones) apparently in my 
behalf; but so deep was the reverie in which my half awakened 
brain was then engaged, that I did not catch a single idea from 
the whole of her discourse. I smiled, and said ' Yes ma'am,' 
'certainly, ma'am,' at each pause; and having speedily 
despatched my breakfast, sallied immediately out, and pro- 
ceeded to attend to the business which engrossed my mind. 
Dinner time came, but no time for dinner ; and it was late be- 
fore I was at liberty to wend my way over wheelbarrows, bar- 
rels, and all manner of obstructions, toward my boarding house. 
All here was still ; but by the help of my night-keys, I soon 
introduced myself to my chamber, dreaming of nothing but 
sweet repose ; when, horrible to relate ! my ears were instan- 
taneously saluted with a most piercing female shriek, proceed- 
ing exactly from my own bed, or at least from the place where 
it should have been ; and scarcely had sufficient time elapsed 
for my hair to bristle on my head, before the shriek was an- 
swered by the loud vociferations of a surly mastiffin the kitchen 
beneath, and reechoed by the outcries of half a dozen inmates 
of the house, and these again were succeeded by the rattle of 
the watchman ; and the next moment, there was a round dozen 
of them (besides the dog) at my throat, and commanding me 
to tell them instantly what the devil all this meant. 

" ' You do well to ask that,' said I, as soon as I could speak, 
'after falling upon me in this fashion in my own chamber.' 

'* ' take him off,' said the one who assumed to be the ma* 



HORACE GREELEY. 337 

ter of the house, ' perhaps he is not a thief after all ; but being 
too tipsy for starlight, he has made a mistake in trying to find 
his lodgings ; ' and in spite of all my remonstrances, I was 
forthwith marched off to the watch-house, to pass the remain- 
der of the night. In the morning I narrowly escaped commit- 
ment on the charge of ' burglary, with intent to steal, (I verily 
believe it would have gone hard with me, if the witnesses 
could have been got there at that unseasonable hour,) and I was 
finally discharged, with a solemn admonition to guard, for the 
future, against intoxication. (Think of that, sir, for a mem- 
ber of the cold water society!) 

" I spent the next day in unraveling the mystery ; and found 
that my landlord had removed his goods and chattels to an- 
other part of the city, on the established day, supposing me to 
be previously acquainted and satisfied with his intention of so 
doing, and another family had immediately taken his place ; 
of which changes my absence of mind and absence from my 
dinner had kept me ignorant ; and thus had I been led blind- 
fold into a ' Comedy (or rather tragedy) of Errors.' 

" Your unfortunate, TIMOTHY WIGGINS." 

In November, 1832, lie went to work for Mr. Red- 
field, wlio then was engaged in tbe stereotyping busi- 
ness. Mr. R. remarked in him the same untiring ac- 
tivity that has made so prominent a feature in his 
character. "He earned more," said Mr. Redfield, 
" than any other man in the office, notwithstanding 
which he could talk all the time." At this time there 

were no cheap daily papers published in New York, 
O 22 



338 MODERN AGITATORS. 

or in the United States. Almost the only one, in fact, 
was a heavy, dull thing, taken by merchants at ten 
dollars a year ; it was about this period that Dr. Sliep- 
pard conceived the idea of starting a cheap daily, 
and the project seemed as ridiculous to the printers 
of ISTew York, as did the idea of using steam as a 
means of locomotion, or lightning as an agent for 
running errands for all mankind. The originator of 
the penny paper project got little encouragement, 
and finally determined to start it himself. He per- 
suaded Mr. Story the foreman of the " Spirit of 'the 
Times r -and Horace Greeley to associate with him 
in its publication and editorial management. Mr. 
Greeley was not very sanguine in regard to its suc- 
cess, for he thought that a dailv could not sustain it- 

* O t/ 

self at a less price than two cents. However, the 
new firm of Greeley & Story, with the limited capi- 
tal of one hundred and fifty dollars, issued, on the 

t/ 

first of January, 1833, the Morning Post. That pa- 
per lived about two and a half weeks, long enough, 
however, to convince Mr. Greeley that his first im- 
pression was correct, viz : that with a fair capital a 
first rate daily would be sustained at two cents. Al- 
though the paper was discontinued, the firm held to- 
gether, doing printing and job work, and among the 
rest a great deal of lottery advertising. Their busi- 
ness increased, till by an unfortunate casualty Mr. 
Story lost his life, and the name of the firm was 



HORACE GKEELEY. 339 

changed to Greeley & Co., Jonas Winchester having 
taken the place of the deceased partner. In 1834: 
the firm included also a third partner, Mr. E. Libbett, 
and was considered worth three thousand dollars. 
They resolved to commence a weekly paper, and, as 
the result of their deliberations, appeared the New 
Yorker. An interesting circumstance mentioned by 
Mr. Greeley is, that at about this date James Gordon 
Bennett applied to him to start a daily paper, in com- 
pany with him, but for some reason Mr. Greeley de- 
clined, and Bennett, with another partner, commenced 
the issue of the Herald. 

It was with the New Yorker that Mr. Greeley's 
career as an editor really commenced. It may not 
be amiss here to review and notice the origin of those 
political and religious opinions which have formed 
so prominent characteristics of the man, and which 
justly or unjustly have associated his name with 
nearly all the " isms " of the last twenty years. His 
parents were neither of them church-members, though 
they were considered as belonging to the orthodox 
faith ; they were moral, went to church with their 
children when they lived near enough, and were 
strict in their observance of the Sabbath. While at 
Westhaven, Yeraiont, Horace begun to reflect upon 
the diversity of creeds ; at the age of twelve he wa- 
vered in opinion in regard to the justice of eternal 
punishment ; and at fourteen had a preference for the 



3-0 MODERN AGITATORS. 

doctrine of universal salvation. Having read the 
history of Demetrius Poliocrates, prince of Athens, 
he was overcome with admiration at his benevolence 
in the treatment of the Athenians, for the vilest in- 
gratitude, and he involuntarily asked himself, " If a 
mortal prince can be thus generous and forgiving for 
the greatest possible sins, shall not the infinite God 
pardon the transgressions of his frail and erring crea- 
tures ? Can he see them exposed to endless punish- 
ment ? ' From that hour his confidence in these the- 
ories decreased, and he has never yet seen sufficient 
evidence in their favor to induce him to accept them 
as his creed. Such were some of the influences that 
made him a Universalist. 

The theory of protection to American manufac- 
tures was the great burden of President Monroe's 
message in 1821. Horace was then in Westhaven. 

O ' 

and in the exciting debates upon the subject he took 
a deep and unusual interest. Many and brilliant 
were the events then occurring throughout the world, 
to engross the attention of the young politician. The 
South American republics were recognized as inde- 
dependent governments. In our country, Lafayette 
was the great theme of attention. Clay, Adams, and 
Jackson were making their most splendid efforts in 
congress. Horace became an ardent admirer of the 

o 

brilliant talents of Henry Clay, and learned to dis- 
trust the pretensions of the so-called " democratic 



HORACE GREELEY. 341 

party. 5 ' In the presidential campaign of 1824, he ac- 
knowledges, in a later editorial, a deep interest. Ho 
says, " We were bnt thirteen when this took place, 
but we looked on very earnestly, without prejudice, 
and tried to look beyond the mere names by which 
the contending parties were called. Could we doubt 
that democracy was on one side and the democratic 
party on the other?' From this time forward he 
had a great desire to become well versed in politics. 
Political papers, political articles and leaders were 
his delight. He used to get copies of the old Rich- 
mond Enqidrer, and devour, with the greatest avid- 
ity, its laborious political editorials and communica- 
tions. He acquired the habit of putting his thoughts 
in type without the immediate use of ink and paper, 
and in this manner also acquired the invaluable art of 
writing good articles quickly. "While at work upon 
the Jackson paper at Lodi, he was thinking of and 
hoping for the success of the antagonistic party. He 
says, in a letter to a friend, "You are aware that an 
important election is close at hand in this state, and 
of course a great deal of interest is felt in the result. 
The regular Jacksonians think they will elect Throop 
by twenty thousand majority; but having obtained 
all the information I can, I give it as my decided 
opinion that if none of the candidates decline, W T O 
shall elect Francis Granger governor. I need not in- 
form you that such a result will be highly satisfac- 



34:2 MODERN AGITATORS. 

tory to your humble servant." Such were some of 
the influences that made him a whig. 

While in New York, and soon after the death of 
Mr. Francis Story, Mr. Greeley attended the lectures 
of Dr. Graham. His doctrines were at that time ma- 
king considerable noise in New York and through 
the country. Every one is informed of his peculiar 
theory and its probable correctness ; suffice it to say 
that his doctrines struck Mr. Greeley as being sound, 
and he embraced them, practically as well as in the- 
ory. It is true that he had never been addicted to 
the use of stimulants ; that he had always cherished 
a hearty disgust for tobacco and alcohol ; that he was 
a natural teetotaler ; but he now discarded the over 
nutritious diet, and in its stead substituted the plain 
fare of Dr. Graham. 

"While describing his boyhood we alluded to his 
distaste for the usual amusements so much relished 
by children. As he grew older the aversion grew 
stronger, and we do not find that he ever cared for 
any games but checkers and whist. At the first, 
where there is a chance for much display of skill, he 
was a fine player ; at the second, he now and then 
took a hand with his fellow-apprentices, but never 
seems to have lost much time with it. Through all 
his early life we find no mention made of any partic- 
ular devotion to the fair sex. He never was foppish 
enough to suit their tastes, or dutiful enough to mind 



HORACE GKEELEY. 343 

their whims. He never felt that he had much time 
or money to bestow upon them gratuitously, and un- 
less a young man has considerable of both, he will 
not be much of a favorite with them. He was fond 
of poetry, and occasionally published a poem over his 
initials. Under date of May 31st, 1834, we discover 
the only one which indicates any breathings of the 
tender passion. It is interesting, in that it betrays 
the consciousness he seems to have had of his eccen- 
tricities, and of the estimate which the world placed 
upon him, and, if there be any truth in poetry, also 
reveals somewhat the reciprocal esteem which he 
cherished toward the world. It is entitled 

FANTASIES. 

THEY deem me cold, the thoughtless and light-hearted, 

In that I worship not at beauty's shrine ; 
They deem me cold, that through the years departed, 

I ne'er have bowed me to some form divine. 
They deem me proud, that, where the world hath flattered, 

I ne'er have knelt to languish or adore ; 
They think not that the homage idly scattered, 

Leaves the heart bankrupt ere its spring is o'er. 

No! in my soul there glows but one bright vision, 

And o'er my heart there rules but one fond spell, 
Bright'ning my hours of sleep with dreams elysian 

Of one unseen, yet loved, aye cherished well; 
Unseen? ah! no; her presence round me lingers, 

Chasing each wayward thought that tempts to rove ; 
"Weaving affection's web with fairy fingers, 

And waking thoughts of purity and love. 



344 MODEKN AGITATORS. 

Star of my heaven 1 * * 

********* 

He bids a final farewell to the muse in a poem 
which appeared in the Literary Messenger, in 1840. 
Here is the last verse : 

"Yet mourn not I a stern, high duty 

Now nerves my heart and fires my brain 
Perish the dream of shapes of beauty, 

So that this strife be not in vain ; 
To war on fraud entrenched with power 

On smooth pretense and specious wrong 
This task be mine, though fortune lower; 

For this be banished sky and song." 

After this digression, which we have made in order 
to trace in a connected manner his early religious, 
political, poetical, and social or unsocial tendencies, 
we return to where we left our hero on the eve of 
commencing the publication of the New Yorker. 
This was in the spring of the year 1834. The first 
number was issued on the 22d of March. He had 
fifteen pledged subscribers, and the first number sold 
one hundred copies. In the address to the public, 
contained in the first issue, we find the following pas- 
sage, which we take the liberty to quote, because it 
shows the principles with which Horace Greeley 
started his career as an editor principles to which 
almost alone he has faithfully adhered : 



HOKACE GREELEY. 345 

"There is one disadvantage attending our debut, which is 
seldom encountered in the outset of periodicals aspiring to 
general popularity and patronage. Ours is not blazoned 
through the land as ' The cheapest periodical in the world,' 
' The largest paper ever published,' or any of the captivating 
clap-traps wherewith enterprising gentlemen, possessed of a 
convenient stock of assurance, are wont to usher in their 
successive experiments on the gullibility of the public. 
No likenesses of eminent and favorite authors will embel- 
lish our title, while they disdain to write for our columns. 
No 'distinguished literary and fashionable characters' have 
been dragged in to bolster up a rigmarole of preposter- 
ous and charlatan pretensions. And, indeed, so serious is 
the deficiency that the first (we may say the only) objection 
which has been started by our most judicious friends, in the 
discussion of our plans and prospects, has invariably been 
this: 'You do not indulge sufficiently in high-sounding pre- 
tensions. You cannot succeed without humbug.'' Our answer 
has constantly been ' we shall try ; ' and, in the spirit of this 
determination, we respectfully solicit of our fellow-citizens the 
extension of that share of patronage which they shall deem 
warranted by our performances rather than our promises." 

The average gain of the New Yorker was more 
than one hundred a week. In less than five months 
it had a circulation of two thousand five hundred. 
The second volume commenced with four thousand 
five hundred subscribers. This was Horace Gree- 
ley's first success, and from this time forward he be- 
0* 



34:6 MODERN AGITATORS. 

came known and appreciated among the literary 
ranks, as a spicy and successful editor. 

The New Yorktr gradually became a political pa- 
per, and its statistical information was always to be 
relied upon. Mr. Greeley has always been exceed- 
ingly exact in his reports, never allowing his hopes 
to take the place of facts in his paper. It is the re- 
mark of a proof-reader "If there is anything that 
will make Horace furious, it is to have a name spelled 
wrong, or a mistake in election returns." Mr. Gree- 
ley was at this time a supporter of the colonization 
scheme, and leaned to the opinion that, in existing 
disputes between the north and south, the north was 
the aggressor. He maintained this ground with great 
vigor in the numerous editorials of that day. 

The firm of Greeley & Co. continued on with appa- 
rently increasing success, until, in October, 1837, its 
financial affairs were in rather a tottering condition. 
Mr. Greeley labored with most indefatigable energy 
to keep it afloat, although in five years, seven copart- 
ners had entered and left the concern. A single par- 
agraph from Mr. Greeley's pen reveals the reason of 
his ill success : 

" Probably we lack the elements of that very desirable kind of 
success. There have been errors, mismanagements, and losses in 
the conduct of our business. We mean that we lack, or do 
not take kindly to, the arts which contribute to a newspaper 
sensation. When our journal first appeared, a hundred copies 



HOKACE GREELET. 347 

marked the extent to which the public curiosity claimed its pe- 
rusal. Others establish newspapers even without literary rep- 
utation, as we were, and five or ten thousand copies are taken 
at once just to see what the new thing is. And thence they 
career onward on the crest of a towering wave. * * * * 
' You don't humbug enough,' has been the complaint of more 
than one of our retiring associates ; * you ought to make more 
noise, and vaunt your own merits ; the world will never be- 
lieve you print a good paper unless you tell them so.' Our 
course has not been changed by these representations." 

One great defect, however, in the paper was that 
the business department wanted an able manager, 
and Mr. Greeley was too confiding, honest, and gen- 
erous to be that rnan. However delinquent his sub- 
scribers might be, he always paid roundly and prompt- 
ly for every piece of work done for him. If he hired 
an article written, and the author did not charge as 
much as Greeley thought it worth, he would make 
up the amount gratuitously. Such generosity may 
be noble, but not successful, in a world like this. 
Toward the close of his connection with the New 
Yorker ', he was for months on the verge of bankrupt- 
cy, and was terribly harassed by pecuniary difficulties. 
When just ready to abandon the paper, Mr. D. S. 
Gregory offered him assistance, and Greeley survived 
another year, to battle with hard times and delin- 
quent subscribers. Park Benjamin, who contributed 



348 MODERN AGITATOK3. 

to his literary department at this time, paid Mr. Gree- 
ley the following tribute of esteem, upon leaving it : 

Grateful to my feelings has been my intercourse with the 
readers of the New Yorker, and -with its principal editor and 
proprietor. By the former I hope my humble efforts will not 
be unremembered ; by the latter, I am happy to believe that 
the sincere friendship which 1 entertain for him is reciprocated,^ 
I still insist upon my editorial right so far as to say, in opposi- 
tion to any veto which my coadjutor may interpose, that I can* 
not leave the association which has been so agreeable to me, 
without paying to sterling worth, unbending integrity, high 
moral principle, and ready kindness, their just due. These 
qualities exist in the character of the man with whom now I 
part ; and by all to whom such qualities may appear admira- 
ble, must such a character be esteemed." 

Henry J. Raymond, now the editor of the New 
York Daily Times, commenced his literary career at 
eight dollars per week, under Horace Greeley. He 
was a fine, rapid writer, and was destined for a more 
prominent position than sub-editor of any paper. He 
was then a recent graduate from college. 

The weekly labors of Mr. Greeley included, besides 
the work upon the New Yorker, the editing of the 
Jeffersonian, a weekly paper, published in Albany, 
through the campaign of 1838. Either of these was 
enough for a man of ordinary writing abilities, but 
Mr. Greeley attempted and succeeded tolerably well 



HORACE GREELEY. 349 

with both. It was, however, only b j the greatest exer- 
tions, for the traveling of that day was not what it is 
at present. 

Horace Greeley was one of the principal leading 
working spirits, by whose incessant efforts the elec- 
tion of General Harrison, in 1840, was accomplished. 
In May he commenced the issue of the Log Cabin, 
the first edition of which sold twenty thousand copies, 
as soon as they were struck off. Another edition was 
printed, and another, until fifty thousand copies had 
been disposed of. It was a remarkable hit. Seven 
hundred subscribers were added daily, until the 
weekly issue was over ninety thousand. Such suc- 
cess was as little anticipated as prepared for, and it 
caused so much extra work and expense, for so short 
a time, that but little money was made from it. Sub- 
scribers who had sent in their names in the excite- 
ment preceding the election, were exceedingly tardy 
about paying up. As a final result, it was continued 
in a weekly form, until it and the New Yorker were 

merged in the Tribune. 

Mr. Greeley was now utterly absorbed in politics. 
It is related of him that he became frequently so en- 
grossed in argument as to lose all consciousness of 
events transpiring immediately about him. It even 
happened that he could not tell whether or not he 
had been to dinner, and had to ascertain the fact by 
inquiring of the hands in the office. A good anec- 



350 MODERN AGITATORS. 

dote and true, is told of his being invited to take tea 
at the house of a friend, when some political subject 
being introduced as the theme of conversation, he 
defended one side with great warmth. While per- 
fectly absorbed in the discussion, the lady of the 
house repeatedly invited him to tea, but he heard no 
more of the invitation than if it had been whispered 
in the street. She finally brought in a basket of 
" crullers," or " doughnuts," as they are called in 
some sections, and offered him one. All uncon- 
sciously he took the basket into his lap, and went on 
with his remarks. Gradually his hand wandered to 
the basket, took up a cake mechanically, and con- 
veyed it to his mouth ; bit by bit it disappeared, and 
then another, till the last was gone ! The lady of the 
house was now thoroughly alarmed, and having heard 
that cheese was an excellent antidote in such a case, 
she passed him a plate that he might eat a piece. 
Still busily engaged in the merits of the question, he 
took the plate into his hand, and piece by piece, by 
the same abstracted process, the cheese followed the 
cakes ! 'No ill consequences ensued, nor was Mr. 
Greeley conscious of having taken any food. 

For his service in this campaign, Mr. Greeley re- 
ceived nothing but the splendid reputation he ob- 
tained as a fast and forcible writer. He had now on 
his hands the Log Cabin and the New Yorker these 
he resolved to merge into one paper, and concentrate 



HORACE GREELEY. 351 

upon its editorial department all the intellectual abil- 
ity he could command. He had saved as yet but lit- 
tle money, but he had the credit of an honest man, 
and the repute of a very able one. With these, and a 
thousand dollars from Mr. Gregory, whom we have 
before alluded to, he resolved to start anew, and the 
result was the New York Tribune. He made an ar- 
rangement with Mr. McElrath, a lawyer, who was 
capitally fitted to manage the business department of 
a news -journal. The amount of work which Mr. 
Greeley accomplished was astonishingly great. His 
energy was almost superhuman. He applied himself 
closely every day from fifteen to eighteen hours 
and oftener the latter than the former. Under the 
editorship of such an indefatigable man the Tribune 
could but thrive. It rose in circulation, and in the 
estimation of the people rapidly. Men who bitterly 
opposed its politics conceded its eminent ability. It 
was the leading journal of the whig party. It also 
advocated various beneficent reforms. We by no 
means defend the political course of that journal, 
while it was a party organ. While the Tribune was 
a whig journal, it was probably hated more intensely 
by its enemies than any other American journal. 
The eminent abilities of Mr. Greeley could not be 
vigorously used for party purposes, without drawing 
down upon him the hatred of thousands. Few men 
have been more abused than he ; few more execrated 



352 MODERN AGITATORS. 

than he by opposing politicians. It is easy enough 
to see why. He writes nervously, graphically, in- 
tensely. He has no soft words for an enemy, but 
blurts out what he conceives to be the truth, as an 
Indian tomahawks a white man. His vast energy, 
combined with his splendid writing talent, disposes 
him to annihilate an opposer. He has withal a ca- 
pability, we think, for unjust prejudices against an 
enemy. This was the case when he was younger, 
but of late they seem to have died out of his heart. 
But, though as a writer Mr. Greeley is always impet- 
uous, he is by nature cautious almost cunning. Thus 
some of his political movements seem to his political 
enemies to have been prompted by cunning. We 
think, however, notwithstanding all the suspicious 
political moves which he has made in the past, that 
few honester men ever sat in the chair-editorial. He 
is one of the most earnest men of the age. There is 
nothing stagnant in his nature. He is decided, fixed, 

O O ' * 

in his opinions. 

The opposition which the Tribune received from 
the N&vo York Sun was bitter and lasting. Every 
means that could be used, fair or unfair, were tried 
to prevent the Tribune from supplanting that paper. 
In it appeared the most scurrilous articles, with the 
manifest intention of "crushing out" the Tribune; 
farther even than this, the attempt was made to hin- 
der the sale by direct violence. Fights were prompt- 



HORACE GREELEY. 353 

ed between the newsboys, by the emissaries of Beach, 
and nothing that promised success was too mean for 
him to attempt. But, as when a strong, well managed 
ship is sailing against the wind, she moves fastest 
when it blows hardest, so with the Tribune, the greater 
the opposition the more rapid its progress. The pub- 
lic became interested in the affair, and justice was 
awarded to Mr. Greeley in the increasing demand 
for his paper. For the first number there were six 
hundred subscribers, and the editor remarks that, 
" We had some difficulty in giving away the first edi- 
tion. 1 " It steadily gained, however, in friends and 
patronage, and during the struggle with the Sun sub- 
scribers poured in at the rate of three hundred per 
day. The fourth week showed a circulation of six 
thousand, the seventh, eleven thousand, while the ad- 
vertising business increased in proportion, although 
the price was raised from four to six cents a line. 
The news department of the Tribune was more accu- 
rate and prompt than that of its adversary. In a cer- 
tain day the Sun informed the public that " it is 
doubtful whether the land bill can pass the house ; j: 
the Tribune of the same day announced the passage 
of the bill ! The assistance of Mr. McElrath in the 
business department of the paper was invaluable, 
since it allowed to Mr. Greeley his whole time upon 
the writing and editorial management. His usual 

day's work at this period was three columns, equal 

23 



354: MODERN AGITATOES. 

to fifteen pages of foolscap, besides the arranging, 
clipping, &c. 

Upon the subject of protection to American indus- 
try Mr. Greeley wrote repeatedly, and with, great en- 
ergy. After reading his able articles upj^n that sub- 
ject, one can hardly fail to be convinced of the just- 
ness of his views. He advocated the subject, not 
solely because it was a whig measure, but because it 
seemed to him. correct and best for the interests of 
the country at large. Nevertheless, he was, at this 
period, a zealous, earnest, almost bigoted supporter 
of the whig policy and whig administration. He ha- 
ted and fought the doctrine of repudiation with tell- 
ing energy. He supported John Tyler till he per- 
ceived that Tyler was selling himself and the whig 
party to locofocoism, and then he opposed him with 

all his might. 

The history of the Tribune hereafter was the his- 
tory of Mr. Greeley. It began its second year with 
a circulation of twelve thousand subscribers, and an 
average daily support of thirteen columns of advertise- 
ments. In writing the subsequent history of its edi- 
tor, we 'shall most conveniently, almost necessarily, 
follow the track of the Tribune down to the present 
time, and, advancing, glance at the doctrines it sus- 
tained, and the theories it supported. The first to be 
noticed is Fourierism. At the time when this sub- 
ject became a theme of discussion in this country, 



HOKACE GREELEY. 355 

Horace Greeley was a young man of twenty-six, who, 
from poverty, had struggled up to a competence only 
by the most arduous exertion. He knew by bitter 
experience what it was to be miserably poor ; he had 
gone through a long course of training in the school 
of adversity, and was in every way qualified to sym- 
pathize with his schoolmates under the iron discipline 
of that stern tutor. It was not in Greeley to look 
upon destitution and misery without commiseration, 
nor was he willing that his sympathy should end un- 
til the means of relief were discovered and applied. 
New York was a vast theater for the display of hu- 
manity and kindness, and never more so than during 
the winter of 1837-8. Food and provisions were high, 
fuel scarce, the cold weather unusually protracted and 
severe. Business of all kinds was at a stand-still, la- 
borers were thrown out of employment by thousands, 
and crowds of hungry men, women, and children 
went famishing through the streets. The picture was 
a most melancholy one, well calculated to inspire the 
energies of a humane disposition. What could be 
done to relieve the distress of these perishing thou- 
sands ? There was wealth enough ; there was enough 
in New York, and Greeley knew it ; their's was the 
want, there the supply. Could not some plan be de- 
vised by which they could be brought together ? 
In this emergency, Albert Brisbane, a liberally edu- 
cated young man, the son of wealthy parents, re- 



356 MODERN AGITATOKS. 

turned from Paris, where the doctrines of Fourier 
was the theme of universal discussion. Brisbane was 
fascinated by the great beauty and apparent feasibil- 
ity of these doctrines, and attributed the want of suc- 
cess in Europe to the form of government, and the 
utter ignorance and degradation of the masses. He 
thought that if transplanted to free, progressive Amer- 
ica, they would operate like a charm. Full of his 
new enthusiasm, he returned to New York, and com- 
menced lecturing on the subject. Greeley heard 
him ; the remedy seemed adapted to the want ; he 
espoused the cause, and in the Tribune earnestly ad- 
vocated the adoption of the experiment. A very 
brief glance at the leading principles of these social 
reformers is given in a Tribune of November, 1841. 
He says : 

" We have written something, and shall yet write much 
more, in illustration and advocacy of the great social revolu- 
tion which our age is destined to commence, in rendering all 
useful labor at once attractive and honorable, and banishing 
want and all consequent degradation from the globe. The 
germ of this revolution is developed in the writings of Charles 
Fourier, a philanthropic and observing Frenchman, who died 
in 1837, after devoting thirty years of a studious and unobtru- 
sive life to inquiries, at once patient and profound, into the 
causes of the great mass of social evils which overwhelm hu- 
manity, and the true means of removing them. These means 
he proves to be a system of industrial and household associa- 



HOKACE GREELEY. 357 

tion, on the principle of joint stock investment, whereby labor 
will be ennobled and rendered attractive and universal, capital 
be afforded a secure and lucrative investment, and talent and in- 
dustry find appropriate, constant employment and adequate 
reward, while plenty, comfort, and the best means of intellect- 
ual and moral improvement is guaranteed to all, regardless of 
former acquirements or conditions." 

An association of gentlemen was formed, which 
obtained the use of a column of the Daily Tribune 
upon the subject. Much attention was attracted to 
the consideration of these measures throughout the 
United States. It met with all kinds of opposition, 
was declared a dangerous innovation, an unchristian 
scheme, and met universally with great hostility. It 
is always thus with reforms, whether social, religious, 
or political, and the only true test must be actual ex- 
periment. With a single exception the " associa- 
tions" were failures, and many worthy men suffered 
severely with their overthrow. Odium was cast upon 
the originators of a scheme which, had it been suc- 
cessful, would have made them heroes ; so great is 
the effect of success ! Mr. Greeley's part in the dra- 
ma wound up with a discussion between himself and 
Henry J. Raymond, who, at the solicitation of Colonel 
Webb, had joined the Courier and Enquirer. The dis- 
pute was prolonged through successive numbers, and 
both sides of the argument were published in both 



358 MODERN AGITATORS. 

papers. Since then, the same sentiments have al- 
ways formed a prominent feature in Mr. Greeley's 
opinions, but he seldom advances them in his paper, 
unless to repel attacks which originate from the at- 
tempt to vamp them up for party capital. The 
world is at present too ungenial, and its soil too 
uncultivated to ripen so delicate a fruit ; it must 
be deferred for full realization to "the good time 



coming." 



From a penny paper the Tribune raised its price to 
two cents, and at this the second volume commenced 
with a list of twelve thousand. For interfering in a 
local dispute in regard to election returns, it was at 
this early period threatened with an execution of mob 
law, and had it been carried out, the assailants would 
have met a warm reception. The office was put in a 
state of defense, and workmen, compositors, proof- 
readers, and all employed in the office, except Mr. Gree- 
ley, were ready to meet the assault ; he remarked that 
he thought no violence would be attempted, and there 
was none. 

In the summer of 1842, Mr. Greeley sought a tempo- 
rary respite from the harrassing cares of editorial life in 
traveling. He visited Washington, Mount Yernon, 
Niagara, and his old home in Vermont. His style as a 
correspondent is sometimes racy, sometimes subdued, 
and always exceedingly interesting. "VYe copy the 



HOE ACE GKEELEY. 359 

following from the account of his visit to the burial 

place of Washington: 



" Slowly, pensively, we turned our faces from the rest of the 
mighty dead, to the turmoil of the restless living from the 
solemn, sublime repose of Mount Vernon, to the ceaseless in- 
trigues, the petty strifes, the ant-hill bustle of the Federal City. 
Each has its own atmosphere ; London and Mecca are not so un- 
like as they. The silent, enshrouding woods, the gleaming, 
majestic river, the bright, benignant sky it is fitly here, amid 
the scenes he loved and hallowed, that the man who redeemed 
patriotism and liberty from the reproach which centuries of 
designing knavery and hollow profession had cast upon them, 
now calmly awaits the trump of the archangel. Who does 
not rejoice that the original design of removing his ashes to the 
city has never been consummated that they lie where the pil- 
grim may reverently approach them, unvexed by the light 
laugh of the time-killing worldling, unannoyed by the vain or 
vile scribblings of the thoughtless or the base 1 Thus may they 
repose forever ! that the heart of the patriot may be invigora- 
ted, the hopes of the philanthropist strengthened and his aims 
exalted, the pulse of the American quickened and his aspira- 
tions purified by a visit to Mount V'ernon ! ' ; 

In reply to an assault by Major Noah, who seems 
to have indulged quite a disposition to provoke him, 
and had published a nonsensical paragraph charging 
Mr. Greeley with the crime of eating with colored 



360 MODERN AGITATORS. 

persons, the editor of the Tribune wrote the following 

cutting retort : 



" We have never associated with blacks ; never eaten with 
them ; and yet it is quite probable that if we had seen two 
cleanly, decent colored persons sitting down at a second table 
in another room just as we were finishing our breakfast, we 
might have gone away without thinking or caring about the 
matter. We choose our own company in all things, and that 
of our own race, but cherish little of that spirit which for eigh- 
teen centuries has held the kindred of M. M. Noah accursed 
of God and man, outlawed and outcast, and unfit to be the as- 
sociates of Christians, Mussulmen, or even self-respecting Pa- 
gans. Where there are thousands who would not eat with a 
negro, there are (or lately were) tens of thousands who would 
not eat with a Jew. W T e leave to such renegades as the Judge 
of Israel the stirring up of prejudices and the prating of the 
'usages of society,' which over half the world make him an 
abhorrence, as they not long since would have done here. We 
treat all men according to what they are, and not whence they 
spring. That he is a knave, we think much to his discredit ; 
that he is a Jew, nothing, however unfortunate it may be to 
that luckless people." 

The famous libel suits of J. F. Cooper against the 
Tribune furnish us with the most amusing incidents 
in the history of that paper. Mr. Cooper was at- 
tempting to sustain his waning reputation as a novel- 
ist, and revive the depreciated state of his funds, by 



HOE ACE GREELET. 361 

a series of exceedingly novel prosecutions. One of 
Ihem was against Mr. Weed, the editor of the Albany 
Evening Journal. In a letter to the Tribune respect- 
ing that trial, occurs the following passage which is 
supposed to furnish the foundation for the charge : 
" The value of Mr. Cooper's character, therefore, has 
been judicially ascertained. It is worth exactly four 
hundred dollars." 

Upon the issue of the letter from v.-hich this clause 
is taken, Fenimore Cooper deter mi iad to commence 
a suit against Horace Greeley. lie did so, and for 
the description of the trial, &c., we shall refer to the 
Tribune containing Mr. Greeley's humorous account 
of it, premising that Mr. Greeley defended his case 
in person. In this account of it he says : 

" We had, to the declaration against us, pleaded the general is- 
sue that is not guilty of libeling Mr. Cooper, at the same time 
fully admitting that we had published all that he called out: li- 
tels on him, and desiring to put in issue only the fact of their 
being or not beinsj libels, and have the verdict turn on that is- 

O O ' 

sue. But Mr. Cooper told the jury (and we found to our cost 
that this was New York supreme and circuit court law) that 
by pleading not guilty we had legally admitted ourselves to be 
yuilty that all that was necessary for the plaintiff, under that 
plea, was to put in our admission of publication, and then the 
jury had nothing to do but to assess the plaintiff's damages un- 
der the direction of the court. In short, we were made to un- 
derstand that there was no way under heaven we beg pardon; 
P 



362 MODERN AGITATORS. 

under New York supreme court law in which the editor of a 
newspaper could plead to an action for libel that the matter 
charged upon him as libelous was not in its nature or intent a 
libel, but simply a statement, according to the best of his knowl- 
edge and belief, of some notorious and every way public trans- 
action, or his own honest comments thereon, and ask the jury 
to decide whether the plaintiff's averments or his answers thereto 
be the truth ! " 

His closing address to the jury contained so much 
of manly eloquence and has so important a bearing 
on the freedom of the press, that our readers cannot 
fail to admire it ; he continues : 

" But, gentlemen, you are bound to consider you cannot re- 
fuse to consider that if you condemn me to pay any sum 
whatever for the expression of my opinion upon his conduct, you 
thereby seal your own lips, with those of your neighbors and 
countrymen, against any such expression in this or any other 
case; you will no longer have a right to censure the rich man 
who harasses his poor neighbor with vexatious lawsuits, merely 
to oppress and ruin him, but will be liable, by your own ver- 
dict, to prosecution and damages whenever you shall feel con- 
strained to condemn what appears to you injustice, oppression, 
or littleness, no matter how flagrant the case may be. 

"Gentlemen of the jury, my character, my reputation are in 
your hands. I think I may say that I commit them to your 
keeping untarnished; I will not doubt that you w T ill return them 
to me unsullied. I ask of you no mercy, but justice. I have 



HORACE GKEELEY. 363 

not sought this issue ; but neither have I feared nor shunned it. 
Should you render the verdict against me, I shall deplore, far 
more than any pecuniary consequence, the stigma of libeler 
which your verdict would tend to cast upon me an imputa- 
tion which I was never, till now, called to repel before a jury 
of my countrymen. But, gentlemen, feeling no consciousness 
of deserving such a stigma feeling, at this moment, as ever, 
a profound conviction that I do not deserve it, I shall yet be 
consoled by the reflection, that many nobler and worthier than 
I have suffered far more than any judgment here could inflict on 
me, for the rights of free speech and opinion the right of rebu- 
king oppression and meanness in the language of manly sincer- 
ity and honest feeling. By their example, may I still be up- 
held and strengthened. Gentlemen, I fearlessly await your 
decision ! " 

Mr. J. F. Cooper in person proceeded to sum up 
the cause for the prosecution, after which follow 
some general comments by Mr. Greeley, which are 
racy: 

" Knowing what we did and do of the severe illness of the 
wife of Mr. Weed, and the dangerous state of his eldest daugh- 
ter at the time of the Fonda trials in question regarding them 
as we do the jokes attempted to be cut by Fenimore over 
their condition his talk of the story growing up from one girl 
to the mother and three or four daughters his fun about their 
probably having the Asiatic cholera among them, or some other 
contagious disease, &c., &c., however it may have sounded to 



361 MODERN AGITATORS. 

others, did seem to us rather inhu hallo there ! we had 

liked to have put our foot right into it again, after all our tui- 
tion. We mean to say considering that, just the day before, 
Mr. Weed had been choked by his counsel into surrendering 
at discretion to Fenimore, being assured (correctly) by said 
counsel that, as the law is now expounded and administered by 
the supreme court, he had no earthly choice but to bow his 
neck to the yoke, pay all that might be claimed of him, and 
publish whatever humiliations should be required, or else pre- 
pare to be immediately ruined by the suits which Fenimore 
and Richard had already commenced or were getting ready for 
him considering all this, and how much Mr. Weed has 
paid and must pay towards his subsistence how keenly 
W. has had to smart for his speaking his mind of him we 
did not think that Fenimore's talk at this time and place of 
Weed's family, and of Weed himself, as a man so paltry that 
he would pretend to sickness in his family as an excuse to keep 
away from court, and resort to trick after trick to put off his case 
for a day or two it seemed to us, considering the present re- 
lations of the parties, most ungen there we go again ! We 

mean to say that the whole of this part of Mr. Cooper's speech 
grated upon our feelings rather harshly. We believe that isn't 
a libel. (This talking with a gag in the mouth is rather awk- 
ward, at first, but we'll get the hang of it in time. Have pa- 
tience with us, Fenimore on one side and the public on the other, 
till we nick it.) Fenimore closed very ef- 

fectively with an appeal for his character, and a picture of the 
sufferings of his wife and family his grown up daughters of- 
ten suffused in tears by these attacks on their father. Some said 



HORACE GREELEY. 365 

this was mawkish, but we consider it good, and think it told. 
AVe have a different theory as to what the girls were crying 
for, but we wont state it, lest another dose of supreme court 
law be administered to us. (Not any more at present, I thank 
ye !) * * * * * The jury retired, and the rest of us 
went to dinner. The jury were hungry, too, and did not stay 
out long. On comparing notes, there were seven of them for 
a verdict of one hundred, two for two hundred, and three for 
five hundred dollars. They added these sums up total twenty- 
six hundred divided by twelve, and the dividend was a little 
over two hundred ; so they called it two hundred dollars dam- 
ages and six cents costs, which of course carries full costs 
against us. We went back from dinner, took the verdict in 
all meekness, took a sleigh, and struck a bee-line for New 
York." 

Upon the harmless jokes cracked by Mr. Greeley 

in this report, such as " iuhu ," " ungen ," 

&c., Cooper commenced another action, but his bet- 
ter judgment returning before he had quite made a 
fool of himself, he abandoned it. Before we leave 
the subject we must find room for Greeley 's closing 
piece of pleasantry ; we call it rich : 

" Our friend Fenimore Cooper, it will be remembered, 
chivalrously declared, in his summing up at Ballston, that if we 
were to sue him for a libel in asserting our personal imcomeli- 
ness, he should not plead the general issue, but justify. To a 
plain man, this would seem an easy and safe course. But let 



366 MODERN AGITATORS. 

us try it : Fenimore has the audacity to say we are not hand- 
some ; we employ Richard (Fenirnore's counsel) we pre- 
sume he has no aversion to a good fee, even if made of the 
editorial ' sixpences ' Fenimore dilated on and commence 
our action, lay ing the venue in St. Lawrence, Alleghany, or some 
other county where our personal appearance is not notori- 
ous ; and if the judge should be a friend of ours, so much 
the better. Well; Fenimore boldly pleads justification, think- 
ing it as easy as not. But how is he to establish it 1 We of 
course should not be so green as to attend the trial in person 
in such an issue no man is obliged to make out his adversary's 
case but would leave it all to Richard, and the help the judge 
might properly give him. So the case is on, and Fenimore 
undertakes the justification, which, of course, admits and aggra- 
vates the libel ; so our side is all made out. But let us see 
how he gets along. Of course, he will not think of offering 
witnesses to swear point-blank that we are homely that, if he 
did not know it, the judge would soon tell him would be a sim- 
ple opinion, which would not do to go to a jury ; he must pre- 
sent facts. 

''Fenimore. 'Well, then, your honor, I offer to prove by 
this witness that the plaintiff is tow-headed, and half bald at 
that; he is long-legged, gaunt, and most cadaverous of visage 
ergo, homely.' 

" Judge. ' How does that follow ? Light hair and fair face 
bespeak a purely Saxon ancestry, and were honorable in the 
good old days ; / rule that they are comely. Thin locks 
bring out the phrenological developments, you see, and give 
dignity and massiveness to the aspect ; and as to slenderuess, 



HORACE GKEELEY. 367 

what do our dandies lace for if that is not graceful 1 The y 
ought to know what is attractive, I reckon. No, sir ; your 
proof is irrelevant, and I rule it out.' 

" Fenimore. (The sweat starting.) ' Well, your honor, 
I have evidence to prove the said plaintiff is slouching in 
dress ; goes bent like a hoop, and so rocking in gait, that he 
goes down both sides of a street at once.' 

" Judge. ' That to prove homeliness 1 I hope you don't ex- 
pect a man of ideas to spend his precious time before a looking- 
glass 1 It would be robbing the public. "Bent," do you say 1 
Is n't the curve the true line of beauty, I'd like to know 1 
Where were you brought up 1 As to walking, you don't ex- 
pect a " man of mark," as you called him at Ballston, to be 
quite as dapper and pert as a footman, whose walk is his 
hourly study and his nightly dream its perfection, the sum 
of his ambition ! Great ideas of beauty you must have ! That 
evidence wont answer.' 

" Now, Fenimore, brother in adversity ! wouldn't you be- 
gin to have a realizing sense of your awful situation ? Wouldn't 
you begin to wish yourself somewhere else, and a great deal 
further, before you came into court to justify, legally, an opinion 1 
Wouldn't you begin to perceive that the application of the law 
of libel in its strictness to a mere expression of opinion is ab- 
surd, mistaken, and tyrannical ? 

" Of course, we shan't take advantage of your exposed and 
perilous condition, for we are meek and forgiving, with a hearty 
disrelish for the machinery of the law. But if we had & mind 
to take hold of you, with Richard to help us, and the supreme 
court's ruling in actions of libel at our back, wouldn't you catch 



368 MODERN AGITATOIIS. 

it 1 We should get the whole fund back again, and give a din 
ner to the numerous editorial contributors. That dinner -would 
be worth attending, Fenimorvij and we'll warrant the jokes to 
average a good deal better than you cracked in your speech at 
Ballston." 



The Tribune never behind its competitors in news, 
always independent and out-spoken in its criticisms 
of public action whether individual or assembled, of- 
ten exposing itself to the bitterest attacks of its polit- 
ical enemies, yet always able and strong in defense 
continued to increase in prosperity through the early 
years of its existence. Though it had able contrib- 
utors, its master-spirit, the life-giving heart of its sys- 
tem, was Horace Greeley. With new type and the 
paper increased one third in its original dimensions, 
he entered the labors of 1SJ4, strong in purpose and 
full of vigor. It was now the leading whig paper of 
the country. This was to be, to its controller, a year 
of the most intense application, both mental and 
physical. Henry Clay, the favorite of Greeley's 
boyhood, the political idol of his riper years, and 
now almost his God, was the candidate for president. 
Of the amount of work which Mr. Greeley per- 
formed in that campaign, no one can have any con- 
ception who has not addressed public meetings five 
or six times a week, traveled by all the hours of sun- 
light, written twenty private letters a day, besides an 



HOE ACE GEEELEY. 369 

average of twenty pages of foolscap daily for the 
press. It was well, perhaps, for the cause of Ameri- 
can reform, that Clay was defeated ; the overthrow 
of his darling candidate was the first blow toward 
Horace Greeley's emancipation from the bondage of 
party and political servitude. It was soon followed 
up by another, which was the annexation of Texas. 
Greeley now opened his eyes to the encroachments of 
the slave power. He discovered that he had made a 
slight mistake in supposing that by keeping still and 
letting the south have her own way, our rights would 
be best secured to us. He was feeling his way along 
to truth upon this question, when, in the early morn- 
ing of February 5th, 1845, the office of the paper 
was destroyed by fire. Scarcely anything was saved 
but the mail books, which had been deposited in the 
safe. The city papers, however, kindly turned out to 
him their spare printing materials, and, the next 
morning, the best Tribune of the volume appeared at 
its usual hour, and soon everything was restored to 
its uniform order and regularity. 

In the autumn previous to this casualty, Mr. Greeley 
became acquainted with Margaret Fuller, through 
the pages of the Dial. The richness of her style, the 
purity and originality of her sentiments, and her force 
of diction, induced him to ask her assistance in the 
literary department of the Tribune^ and she replied 
favorably. Her first essay wns published in Decem- 
P* 24 



370 MODERN AGITATORS. 

ber, 1S-M. Her average amount of writing was three 
articles weekly. She brought to the Tribune a mind 
crammed with the first literature of both hemispheres. 
Her talent for criticism was the most acute of any 
woman of her time. She appreciated the beauty of 
a literary performance and acknowledged it instantly, 
where others read and re-read, and withheld their 
opinion till some one spoke first. During the time 
of her connection with the Tribune, she resided in 
Mr. Greeley's family, upon the banks of the East 
river. After fourteen months she went to Europe, 
expecting to return after a temporary absence ; but 
the vessel on which she embarked came almost within 
sight of her home, and there, with its cargo and pas- 
sengers, sank forever ! 

We shall proceed to give specimens of Mr. Gree- 
ley's style, which are strongly flavored with the vitu- 
perative. They occurred during the years 184:6 and 
ISiT, when the Tribune was at war with almost all 
the educated professions of America. We give 
merely an occasional paragraph : 

" The Journal of Commerce is the most self-complacent and 
dogmatic of all possible newspapers." 

" We defy the father of lies himself to crowd more stupen- 
dous falsehoods into a paragraph than this contains." 

" The villain who makes this charge against me well knows 
that it is the basest falsehood." 



HORACE GREELEY. 371 

" Mr. Benton ! each of the above observations is a deliberate 
falsehood, and you are an unqualified villain." 

" The Express is surely the basest and paltriest of all possi- 
ble journals." 

" Having been absent from the city a few days, I perceive 
with a pleasurable surprise, on my return, that the Express 
has only perpetrated two new calumnies upon me of any con- 
sequence, since Friday evening." 

To an article recommending the secession of the 
slave states from the Union, he replies thus : 

" Dr. Franklin used to tell an anecdote illustrative of his 
idea of the folly of dueling, substantially thus : A man said 
to another in some public place, ' Sir, I wish you would move 
a little away from me, for a disagreeable odor proceeds from 
you.' ' Sir,' was the stern response, ' that is an insult, and you 
must fight me ! ' ' Certainly,' was the quiet reply, ' I will fight 
you if you wish it ; but I don't see how that can mend the 
matter. If you kill me, I also shall smell badly ; and if I kill 
you, you will smell worse than you do now.' 

"We have not yet been able to understand what our dis- 
unionists, north or south, really expect to gain by dissolving 
the Union. * * * * ' These valuable slaves escaped,' do 
you say 1 Will slaves be any less likely to run away when 
they know that, once across Mason and Dixon's line, they are 
safe from pursuit, and can never be reclaimed ? ' Every slave- 
holder is in continual apprehension,' say you 1 In the name of 
wonder, how is disunion to soothe their nervous excitement ] 



372 MODERN AGITATORS. 

They ' wont stand it,' eh ? Have they never heard of getting 
'out of the frying-pan into the fire? ' Do let us hear how sla- 
very is to be perpetuated and fortified by disunion 1 ' 

In reply to an article in the Courier and Enquirer ', 
upon his eccentricity and style of dress, he has the 
following paragraph : 

" As to our personal appearance, it does seem that we should 
say something, to stay the flood of nonsense with which the 
town must by this time be nauseated. Some donkey a while 
ago, apparently anxious to annoy the editor of this paper, and 
not well knowing with what, originated the story of the care- 
lessness of his personal appearance ; and since then every block- 
head of the same disposition, and distressed by a similar lack 
of ideas, has repeated and exaggerated the foolery ; until from 
its origin in the Albany Microscope it has sunk down at last to 
the columns of the Courier and Enquirer, growing more absurd 
at every landing. Yet all this time the object of this silly rail 
lery has doubtless worn better clothes than two-thirds of those 
who thus assailed him better than any of them could honestly 
wear if they paid their debts otherwise than by bankruptcy ; 
while, indeed, if they are more cleanly than he, they must 
bathe very thoroughly not less than twice a day. The editor 
of the Tribune is the son of a poor and humble farmer; came 
to New York a minor, without a friend within two hundred 
miles, less than ten dollars in his pocket, and precious little be- 
sides ; he has never had a dollar from a relative, and has for 
years labored under a load of debt, (thrown on him by the mis- 



HOKACE GKEELEY. 373 

conduct of others and the revulsions of 1837,) which he can 
now just see to the end of. Thenceforth he may be able to 
make a better show, if deemed essential by his friends ; for 
himself he has not much time or thought to bestow upon the 
matter. That he ever affected eccentricity is most untrue; 
and certainly no costume he ever appeared in would create 
such a sensation in Broadway as that James Watson Webb 
would have worn but for the clemency of Governor Seward. 
Heaven grant our assailant may never hang with such weight 
on another whig executive ! We drop him," 

To explain the last few sentences, it need only be 
remembered that Colonel "Webb had been sentenced 
to prison for two years, for fighting a duel, but he was 
pardoned by Governor Seward, without a day's im- 
prisonment. 

Being accused by the Evening Post of knuckling 
to the slave interest, Greeley commenced his reply 
in these words : " You lie. villain : wilfully, wick- 

v J 

edly, basely lie ! ' 

In the Taylor and Fill more campaign Mr. Greeley 
at first opposed, then wavered, and never heartily 
supported the nomination. He thought that General 
Taylor was not a man qualified to be president of the 
United States, but he was prevailed upon to support 
the nominations with a view to the triumph of free 
soil doctrines. The whigs were successful, and there- 
by Horace Greeley was elected to a seat in congress 
for three months, to supply the vacancy occasioned 



374: MODERN AGITATORS. 



by tlie death of a Xew York representative. While 
there, he was too industrious to be esteemed by lazy 
aristocrats ; too economical in " Uncle Sam's ' inter- 
ests to be popular among his nephews ; and too much 
a hater of vice to be loved by her devotees. The 
measures which he labored upon mostly were the re- 
form in mileage ; the land reform bill, and the bill 
for the reduction of naval expenses. He also made 
some " plain and forcible ' hits upon the tariff ques- 
tion, and the slave-trade in the District, and took part 
in the famous (or infamous) " battle of the books." 
During the intervals of session he wrote many articles 
for the Tribune, among which, the most prominent, 
and the one which procured him immense odium 
among the members was the "mileage expose." But 
we cannot stop to trace his course while here. He 
was completely disgusted with the management -and 
duplicity of the " honorables," and especially with 
that crowning master-piece of shame, " the last night 
of the session." He wrote a long letter to his con- 
stituents, upon his return, of which we give the clo- 
sing paragraph : 

" My work as your servant is done whether well or ill it 
remains for you to judge. Very likely I gave the wrong vote 
on some of the difficult and complicated questions to which I 
was called to respond ATE or NO, with hardly a moment's 
warning. If so, you can detect and condemn the error ; for 
my name stands recorded in the divisions by Yeas and Najs, 



HOE*ACE GBEELET. 375 

on every public and all but one private bill, (which was laid on 
the table the moment the sitting opened, and on which my 
name had just been passed as I entered the hall.) I wish it 
were the usage among us to publish less of speeches and more 
of propositions and votes thereupon; it would give the mass 
of the people a much clearer insight into the management of their 
public affairs. My successor being already chosen and com- 
missioned, I shall hardly be suspected of seeking your further 
kindness, and I shall be heartily rejoiced if he shall be able to 
combine equal zeal in your service with greater efficiency 
equal fearlessness with greater popularity. * * I thank 

you heartily for the glimpse of public life which your favor 
has afforded me, and hope to render it useful henceforth, not 
to myself only, but to the public. In ceasing to be your agent, 
and returning with renewed zest to my private cares and du 
ties, I have a single additional favor to ask, not of you espe- 
pecially, but of all-; and I am sure my friends at least will 
grant it without hesitation. It is that you and they will hence- 
forth oblige me by remembering that my name is simply 

" HORACE GREELEY." 

The year 1849 exhibits an amount of talent in the 
Tribune office which defies competition in America. 
Besides Mr. Greeley, principal editor, there was C. 
A. Dana, of brilliant talents, assistant ; George Kip- 
ley, a profound scholar and classical critic ; AV. II. 
Fry, from the scorchings of whose brain-pan many 
an unlucky culprit has wished himself in the fire ; 
Bayard Taylor, with imagination and memory stored 



376 MODERN AGITATORS. 

with wealth from the plains of California and Europe, 
and G. G. Foster, a rapid workman in the city news 
department, j^eed it be wondered that the Tribune 
grew and thrived in spite of its independent fear- 
lessness ? 

Mr. Greeley's cares were much lightened by such 
an able corps of men, and he found considerable time 
to travel. He took a tour to the west, lectured upon 
agriculture, and kept wide open his eye for observa- 
tion. It has been affirmed by many, and believed 
by some, possibly, that he was an advocate of the 
doctrine of " spiritual manifestations." He was not. 
He examined the subject with care, as every honest 
man should, and did not find evidence of its truth- 
fulness. 

In regard to the woman's rights theory, he wrote 
as follows : " It is easy to be smart, to be droll, to 
be facetious, in opposition to the demands of these 
female reformers ; and, in decrying assumptions so 
novel and opposed to established habits and usages, 
a little wit will go a great way. But when a sincere 
republican is asked to say in sober earnest what ade- 
quate reason he can give for refusing the demand of 
women to an equal participation with men in politi- 
cal rights, he must answer, none at all. 
However unwise or mistaken the demand, it must be 
conceded." 

The Tribune had now become a lucrative concern. 



HORACE GKEELEY. 377 

It was the first enterprise in which Horace Greeley 
had so succeeded as to make it " pay." Instead of 
heaping up a princely fortune upon the receipts, as 
he might honorably have done after so much hard 
labor to establish it, he and Mr. McElrath determined 
to make an experiment of the doctrine of " associated 
labor," and to it they devoted the Tribime. The con- 
cern was divided into one hundred shares, of a thou- 
sand dollars each, and (excepting a reserved portion 
for the original partners) they were sold out to such 
of the men in the establishment as could pay for 
them. Each share entitled its owner to a vote in 
proceedings of the company, and it so continues to 
this day. 

In 1851 Horace Greeley attended the General Ex- 
hibition for Industry, at London, and while there was 
appointed one of the jury on hardware. As the 
steamer glided down the harbor, the Napoleon of the 
New York press stood girt in the immortal " white 
overcoat," while crowds of friends upon the dock sent 
up enthusiastic cheers. His passage to England was 
a tempestuous one, and being sea-sick most of the 
way over, he enjoyed it but little. He visited the 
principal cities of England, commented upon every- 
thing he thought worthy of note, and in the columns 
of his paper criticised what he disliked, as freely as 
at home. He was invited by a parliamentary com- 
mittee of the first men in England to give them the 
P* 24 



378 MODERN AGITATORS. 

benefit of his experience in the matter of cheap peri- 
odicals. His information was well received, and 
seemed quite satisfactory to the committee. After 
nearly two months' stay in England, he went over to 
the continent, visited Calais, Paris, and Lyons ; went 
across the Alps to Turin, and spent three weeks 
among the principal cities of Italy. Returning 
through Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium, the 
21st of July found him again in London. He closed 
his European tour by a hasty trip through the north 
of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and on the 6th of 
August, in the Baltic, started for home. He wrote 
under date of that day the following paragraph : 

" I rejoice to feel that every hour, henceforth, must lessen the 
distance which divides me from my country, whose advantages 
and blessings this four months' absence has taught me to ap- 
preciate more dearly, and to prize more deeply, than before. 
With a glow of unwonted rapture I see our stately vessel's 
prow turned toward the setting sun, and strive to realize that 
only some ten days separate me from those I know and love 
best on earth. Hark ! the last gun announces that the mail- 
boat has left us, and that we are fairly afloat on our ocean 
journey ; the shores of Europe recede from our vision ; the 
watery waste is all around us ; and now, with God above and 
death below, our gallant bark and her clustered company to- 
gether brave the dangers of the mighty deep. May Infinite 
Mercy watch over our onward path and bring us safely to our 
several homes \ for to die away from home and kindred seems 



HOEACE GKEELEY. 379 

one of the saddest calamities that could befall me. This mor- 
tal tenement would rest uneasily in an ocean shroud ; this 
spirit reluctantly resign that tenement to the chill and pitiless 
brine ; these eyes close regretfully on the stranger skies and 
bleak inhospitality of the sullen and stormy main. No ! let 
me see once more the scenes so well remembered and beloved ; 
let me grasp, if but once again, the hand of friendship, and 
hear the thrilling accents of proved affection, and when, sooner 
or later, the hour of mortal agony shall come, let my last gaze 
be fixed on eyes that will not forget me when I am gone, and 
let my ashes repose in that congenial soil which, however I 
may then be esteemed or hated is still ' My own green land 
forever ! ' 

He reached New York in safety, having stolen a 
march on the daily papers, by arranging the foreign 
news all ready for publication, before leaving the 
vessel. Rushino; from the steamer, he carried the 

O ' 

"copy" to the Tribune office, and while the compos 
itors of the other papers were setting up their type, 
the Tribune boys were shouting the arrival of the 
Baltic. 

In 1836, Mr. Greeley married Mary Y. Cheney, 
of Litchiield, Connecticut, by whom lie has had six 
children, four of whom, alas ! are now sleeping in the 
grave. His domestic afflictions and his constant and 
severe toil have given to his brow a weary, worn 
look, like that upon the countenance of a sorrowing, 



380 MODERN AGITATORS. 

suffering man. And now he begins to talk of grow- 
ing old. He says most beautifully : 

" As for me, long tossed on the stormiest waves of doubtful 
conflict, and an arduous endeavor, I have begun to feel, since 
the shade of forty years fell upon me, the weary, tempest- 
driven voyager's longing for land, the wanderer's yearning for 
the hamlet where in childhood he nestled by his mother's knee, 
and was soothed to sleep on her breast. 

"The sober down-hill of life dispels many illusions, while it 
develops or strengthens within us the attachment, perhaps 
long stnothered or overlaid, for 'that dear hut,' our home. 
And so I, in the sober afternoon of life, when its sun, if not 
high, is still warm, have bought me a few acres of land in the 
broad, still country, and, bearing thither my household treas- 
ures, have resolved to steal from the city's labors and anxieties, 
at least one day in each week, wherein to revive, as a farmer, 
the memories of my childhood's humble home. 

" And already I realize that the experience cannot cost so 
much as it is worth. Already I find in that day's quiet an an- 
tidote and a solace for the feverish, festering cares of the week 
which environ it. Already my brook murmurs a soothing 
even-song to my burning, throbbing brain, and my trees, gently 
stirred by the fresh breezes, whisper to my spirit something 
of their own quiet strength and patient trust in God. 

" And thus do I faintly realize, but for a brief and flitting 
day, the serene joy which shall irradiate the farmer's vocation, 
when a fuller and a truer education shall have refined and 
chastened his animal cravings, and when science shall have en- 



HORACE GEEELET. 381 

dewed him -with her treasures, redeeming labor from drudgery 
while quadrupling its efficiency, and crowning with beauty and 
plenty our bounteous, beneficent earth." 

In another place he writes thus eloquently of grow- 
ing old : 

" Is it well to desire and pray for length of days 1 I would 
say, so long as our mental faculties remain essentially unde- 
cayed, it is well, it is desirable to live. The love of life is not 
a blind, irrational instinct, but has as its base a just perception 
that existence is a blessing, and that even in this " vale of tears," 
its joys outweigh its woes. And besides, our terrestrial course 
prepares and shapes us for the life that shall succeed it, which 
will be, to a great extent, a continuation, or second edition of 
this, with corrections and improvements. Doubtless, Infinite 
Mercy has means provided whereby the millions to whom this 
life was a blank shall nevertheless be prepared for bliss in the 
next ; and I trust even those who have misused and culpably 
squandered this stage of being will yet be ultimately fitted for 
happiness in another. But opportunities wasted can never be 
regained ; the memory of past un worthiness must ever be hu- 
miliating and regretful to the redeemed soul. In vain does 
Joseph, revealing himself in Egypt to his treacherous brethren, 
entreat them to 'Be not angry with yourselves that ye sold 
me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life;' 
the view of God needed no vindication, while theirs do not re- 
ceive any. I apprehend that flagrant transgressors (and who 
is or is not of this number, who shall here say ?) will ever feel 
consciousness of inferiority and self-reproach in the presence of 



382 MODERN AGITATOKS. 

those who walked worthily on earth that retrospect of their 
darker hours can never be joyful nor welcome to Judas or Mag- 
dalen. So long as we may grow therein in wisdom and worth 
it is as well, it is desirable to live, but no further. To my 
view, insanity is the darkest, the most appalling of earthly ca 
larnities ; but how much better is an old age that drivels and 
wanders, that misunderstands and forgets 1 When the soul 
shall have become choked and smothered by the ruins of its 
wasting, falling habitation, I should prefer to inhabit that shat- 
tered tenement no longer. I should not choose to stand shud- 
dering and trembling on the brink of the dark river, weakly 
dra\ving back from the chill of its sweeping flood, when faith 
assures me that a new Eden stretches green and fair beyond 
it, and that the baptism it invites will cleanse the soul of all 
that now clogs, clouds, and weighs it to the earth. No, when 
the windows of the mind shall be darkened, when the growth 
of the soul here shall have been arrested. I would not weakly 
cling to the earth which will have ceased to nourish and uphold 
me. Rather ' let the golden cup be loosed, and the pitcher 
broken at the fountain ; ' let the sun of my existence go down 
ere the murky vapors shroud its horizon ; let me close my 
eyes calmly on the things of earth, and let my weary frame 
sleep beneath the clods of the valley ; let the spirit, which it 
can no longer cherish as a guest, be spared the ignominy of de- 
tention as a prisoner ; but, freed from the fetters of clay, let it 
wing its way through the boundless universe, to wheresoever 
the benign Father of spirits shall have assigned it an everlastr 
home." 



HORACE GEEELET. 383 

The defeat of General Scott in 1852 emancipated 
Mr. Greely and the Tribune from the shackles of 
party and the tyranny of conservatism ; it made him 
the most free of successful editors, and his paper the 
ablest and most fearless journal in America. We 
will close our sketch of his life by a glance at him in 
his office. 

In visiting the Tribune establishment, one should 
by no means be content with an introduction 
into the editorial sanctum. He should first descend 
into subterranean regions where the press-work of 
the Tribune is executed. A view of the mammoth 
press, which, with its iron fingers, throws off fifteen 
thousand impressions an hour, will give him an idea 
of the business of the establishment. It is a press 
which has little rest, for the asrsreffate circulation of 

/ c_^ CJ <_3 

the Tribune is over one hundred and seventy thousand 
copies ! Ascend to the first floor, and view the place 
w r here the business of the paper is conducted where 
its immense advertising patronage is received and ac- 
counted for where all bills against the firm of Gree- 
ley & McElrath are settled ! Mount still higher, and 
see the printers at their work. If it is day, a busy 
scene will present itself, yet utter silence pervades the 
apartments. If it be night, it is still the same each 
case is manned, and the work progresses under a new 
set of workmen, as rapidly as by day. Floor above 
floor, is occupied by the industrious printers, and the 



8 Si MODERN AGITATORS. 

clerks who each day send off tens of thousands of 
papers, and one day in each week, more than one 
hundred thousand. But we have not visited the 
place where the burning thoughts which are the life 
of the Tribune, are put upon paper. It is in the high- 
est story but one, fronting on the park. "\Ve first en- 
ter a long room fronting Spruce street, and extend- 
ing to Nassau street. Here the sub-editors work. 
A row of them, each seated at his desk and plying the 
pen or scissors industriously, attracts our attention. 
George Ripley, a fine, manly person, with dark hair 
and darker eyes, sits at one. He is the literary edi- 
tor of the Tribune, the book critic, and one would 
hardly suppose from his bland manners that his bu- 
siness, like that of a surgeon, consists in cutting peo- 
ple up ! A book lies open before him he is marking 
passages for extraction, and to-morrow morning we 

% 

shall read them in the moist pages of the journal, as 
we sip our coffee, together with the critic's remarks. 
Bayard Taylor, perhaps, sits at another desk, just re- 
turned from a profitable lecturing tour, and we stop 
to gaze at the brilliant young traveler. Not far off 
sits white-haired " Solon " Solon Robinson, the au- 
thor of " Hot Corn " the agricultural and city item 

c/ 

editor of the Tribune. ^We skip the other editors in 
this room, and pass into a smaller apartment looking 
out upon the City Hall. The room is newly carpeted 
in one corner, there is an old-fashioned sofa easy 



HORACE GREELEY. 385 

chairs, three or four, are to be seen, and in one corner 
at a desk stands a slim, black-haired, brilliant-eyed 
man, in a pair of exceedingly old and easy shoes. 
His name is Charles A. Dana, and he is editor-in- 
chief when Greeley is out of town, and is usually 
termed the foreign editor of the Tribune. In another 
corner of the room a man sits writing at a desk which 
is just even with his chin, so that while he pushes his 
pen swiftly over the paper he sits perfectly straight in 
his chair. He is a short-sighted, and his eyes hug the 
desk. He is a strange looking mortal. His head is 
almost bald ; what hair there is, is of a light, sandy 
color, and is exceedingly fine. He is dressed well, 
we may as well speak it right out abominably. It is 
Horace Greeley, the chief editor of the Tribune^ 
upon his throne ! It is the poor plow-boy control- 
ling the grandest, the most powerful press in Amer- 
ica. He turns to welcome us, and we notice that af- 
ter all he has a fine face a o-entle look it ever wears. 

o 

The eyes are not harsh or bold, but mild and honest. 
And though his manners are not of the Lord Ches- 
terfield stripe, they are those of a man who values 
trifles less than realities. His thoughts are bold and 
striking ; he has charity for an honest opponent ; if 
we differ from him upon any point, we shall not ne- 
cessarily lose his esteem, for though a man of fixed 
opinions, he is not an egotist. Spite of a thousand 
things which at first prepossessed us against the man, 
Q 25 



386 MODERN AGITATORS. 

we like him better and better, the more we see of 
him and hear him talk. Our opinion of his intellect- 
ual powers and his moral qualities of course cannot 
be altered by any personal contact with the man. 
We have known him as the invisible soul behind the 
Tribune for years and now we gaze upon the Trib- 
une made flesh and blood ! 



THURLOW WEED BROWN. 

ONE of the most powerful advocates of the temper- 
ance cause is the man whose name heads this brief 
sketch. He is powerful in a somewhat peculiar way, 
not like Choate or Phillips, with the very highest or- 
der of eloquence, nor like Sumner, with a chastened, 
classical eloquence. He is powerful with the peoplt. 
Upon a vast gathering of sturdy yeomen in one of 
" God's own temples," he will make a most profound 
impression. He overflows with natural eloquence. 
He knows little of the schools of rhetoric, but he 
knows the human heart. His own is sensitive as a 
girl's. ISTo wrong can be perpetrated upon one of 
his fellow-men without rousing his indignation. He 
knew in childhood what it was to suffer from intem- 
perance of the nearest friends, and he grew up ha- 
ting the traffickers in " liquid damnation " as he hated 
their father, the devil. He utters to the people be- 
fore him words which burn sentences which blaze 
with fire. They are not smooth, are not always elab- 
orated, but they find their way to the hearts of his 

hearers. 

The following extract from his "Temperance Talcs 

and Hearthstone Beveries," presents at one view the 



388 MODEKN AGITATORS. 

causes of his temperance predilections, his direct and 
vigorous style, and his warm domestic attachments, 
as shown in the finest tribute to a mother which we 
have ever seen : 

" Lastly, we are against it for a mother's sake. To her we 
ascribe the holiest of our temperance teachings, and to her his- 
tory that deep and sleepless hatred of the rum traffic. A tear 
will come to your eye as we write of that hallowed name. She 
sits before us now, and we look with a holy love and a misty 
eye upon the locks fast silvering with gray. That idol has 
been shivered at your own hearth-side, but her temperance 
teachings and fervent prayers for her wayward boy will not, 
cannot be forgotten by him. 

" A vision passes before us. There is a home, in New En- 
gland, of happiness and comfort, and a lovely matron makes 
one of the links of the family circle. Again she stands at the 
altar, and weaves her destiny irrevocably with that of the man 
of her choice. 

" Years pass happily and swiftly by, and the young bride is 
a happy mother. Fresh blessings are added to the first, but 
in the mean time a shadow has fallen upon that heart and its 
home. A tempter has glided into the Eden, and wreathed its 
coils around the husband and father. 

" Other years go by, and ruin is in that home. The mother 
weeps and prays, and gathers more closely her children around 
her, as the storm bursts in its fury. Want, neglect, and abuse 
wring her aching heart. She fades out like the autumn leaf 
and with a crushed heart sinks to the rest of death, and is 



THURLOW WEED BROWN. 389 

borne to a pauper's grave; and ten brothers and sisters weep 
over the last home of one who can no longer shield them from 
hunger or the cruel blow. 

" An officer steps within the abode of poverty and wretch- 
edness, and drags away all to satisfy an execution in favor of 
the rumseller, who has swallowed the living of that family and 
placed the mother in her grave. The once high-minded, but 
now lost and imbruted father, sells the cow and riots the pro- 
ceeds out at a drunkery, and leaves the children to the chari- 
ties of friends. 

" A girl of fifteen summers toils in a factory until her heart 
and brain ache, and she turns away to the lone group at the 
desolate hearth, and sinks hungry to her fitful rest. The cold- 
tongued bell breaks in upon short slumbers, and drives the 
slight and weary frame again to its bitter task. Saturday 
night finds her turning homeward with a feverish cheek and a 
heavy step. A father calls at the office of the superintendent, 
secures her earnings, and during the Sabbath squanders it all 
at the grog-shop with his boon companions ! 

" The factory girl once idolized that father. But hunger, 
and poverty, and abuse, have taught her to hate him ; and as 
he goes to the groggery in the morning, an involuntary prayer 
goes up from the child's heart that he will no more return. 
So accursing are the effects of rum ! 

" Long and weary days pass away, and yet the factory girl 
toils, and at night gathers with her brothers and sisters grate- 
fully around a loaf of brown bread. There is a jug of rum on 
the shelf, and an imbruted father slumbering on the hearth. 
" A dark and cheerless pathway opens to the factory girl. 



390 MODERN AGITATORS. 

" The worse than orphans are driven out from the wretched 
home and scattered here and there as paupers, kept by the 
town. One little girl, a fair-haired, blue-eyed, beautiful crea- 
ture of three summers, is taken by a family. Away in an 
entry-away, without sufficient clothing, hungry, and no eye but 
God's to look kindly down upon her, she dies in the winter 
night dies cold, hungry, and covered with vermin I and the 
older sister could not even weep upon the child-pauper's grave 7 
her of the fair hair and wild blue eye. 

" With the brand which society once cruelly affixed upon 
the brow of the drunkard's child, the factory girl entered into 
the great battle of life. Without education or friends, she 
was compelled to perform the most menial drudgery. The 
shadows that then clouded the sky of her youth have mingled 
with and darkened the happiness of after years. Her brothers 
grew up, and some of them followed in the footsteps of their 
father, and became drunkards. One was drowned near Al- 
bany. Another rests beneath a southern soil. A younger 
one, a faultless model of manly beauty, and as noble in heart 
as in form, was taken by pirates at sea, and killed only when 
he towered the last of his crew upon the slippery decks, and 
his arms were hewn from his body. Two others wrestle 
now with an appetite which dogs their footsteps with remorse- 
less craving, and but one lives the soul of manhood and honor. 

" Thus were those linked to her by the strongest ties that 
can bind us to each other, wrenched away, and driven up and 
down the world. The father lived on a drunkard, and at a 
ripe old age died a drunkard by the roadside, and not a stone 
tells where he sleeps. 



THTJRLOW WEED BROWN. 391 

" Such are but the outlines of a childhood and youth of suf- 
fering, humiliation, and sorrow. The details are known only 
to the sufferer and to God. Memory rolls back upon its bit- 
ter tide the history of such scenes, the fountain of tears is 
opened afresh, and flows as bitterly as in the past. Childhood 
without sunshine ! The thought is cold and dark indeed. 

" This hasty sketching would apply to unnumbered thou- 
sands of such cases. As the sands upon the shore, the blades 
in the meadow, or the leaves in summertime, or the stars that 
glitter in the blue above, are the histories of such ravages upon 
the hopes and happiness of youth. They will never be known 
until the record of the angel shall be unrolled at the judgment. 

" That factory girl -that drunkard's daughter that child- 
pauper, who toiled while a drunken father drank down her wa- 
geswho went hungry for bread who was deprived of soci- 
ety and education, and entered upon life's stern realities with 
no inheritance but poverty and a father's infamy is OUR 
MOTHER ! 

" God ! how the veins knot and burn as the tide whose every 
drop is bitter with the memory of her wrongs sweeps to our 
fingers' ends. Our soul throbs firmly in our nib, until we 
clutch involuntarily for a good blade, and wish the rum traffic 
embodied in one demon form, that we could go forth with 
God's blessings and smite the hell-born monster. We look 
upon her head, now thickly flecked with threads of silver, and 
wish that the temperance reform could have dawned in her 
day. We look upon the tear that steals down her cheek as 
the dark days of yore are called up, and our manhood's cheek 
burns with indignation. She was robbed cruelly, basely rob- 



392 MODERN AGITATORS. 

bed. She hungered for bread to eat ! She was threatened 
with the vengeance of a rumseller if she would not toil in his 
household for the merest pittance ! She was shut out of soci- 
etv and its privileges because she had no home. She was 
pointed at as a drunkard's child ! She toiled until her heart 
ached with pain, and the rumseller clutched from the temd of 
an imbruted father the last penny of her hard earnings ! OUR 
MOTHER! God of justice and truth! give us but the power 
to-day, and we would strangle every hydra whose breath is 
blasting the hope of others as it blasted hers. 

" To that mother we owe the most of our hatred to the rum 

V 

traffic. We imbibed it from her breast, and learned of her in 
childhood. A father, too, his strong form untainted by the 
scourge, has taught us the same lesson. The memories of his 
own childhood are darkened by the thoughts of a drunken 
father. He grappled alone with life's difficulties, and com- 
menced his career by working to pay rumsellers' executions 
against his deceased father. 

" Thus from the cradle have we been educated to hate the 
scourge. That hatred is mingled with every pilgrim drop in 
our veins. It grows with our growth and strengthens with our 
strength. In the high noon of manhood we swear, bv friends 

7 i/ 

on earth and God in heaven, a lifelong warfare, if need be, 
against the traffic. There can be no compromise. It is a con- 
flict of extermination, and the blows will only fail when the 
battle of life is ended, and our strong right arm is mingled 
with its mother dust. We will wear our harness to the 
grave, and make Hannibals of those who come after us, to 
fight on." 



TKURLOW WEED BROWN. 393 

As a writer Mr. Brown has no mean reputation. 
His characteristics as such are similar to his peculiar- 
ities as a speaker. There is this difference : his in- 
tense love of nature, and of the beautiful everywhere, 
gushes forth with more ease and freedom in his wri- 
tings than in his speeches. This is very natural, for 
the beautiful is born of quiet. 

Mr. Brown was born in Preston, Chenango county, 
New York, in the year 1819. His father was a far- 
mer and carriage maker. He came originally from 
Connecticut. Thurlow's mother's maiden name was 
Wood. He learned the carriage-maker's trade in his 
father's shop, working in it till May, 1839, when, 
with his parents, he moved into Sterling Cayuga 
county, ISTew York, working on the farm and in the 
shop alternately until 1847. He had before this sev- 
eral times ventured to address meetings in the "rural 

O 

districts ' : of the county, and had written articles for 
the local journals, though he had received but a spare 
common-school education. During the license law 

O 

contest of 1815 he labored incessantly for the tri- 
umph of temperance at the ballot-box. He was 
often carried by his father from a sick-bed to attend 
temperance meetings, for the father was full of ardor 
which he infused into his sou. In the latter part 
of this year Thurlow wrote a series of articles for the 
Star of Temperance, a weekly journal, published at 
Auburn, which attracted much attention. Their elo- 



394 MODERN AGITATORS. 

quence impressed its patrons as well as its publishers 
deeply. He was at length invited to occupy its 
chair editorial. And rough, rustic, and unused to 
any but country customs, he went to Auburn. In 
April, 1848, the Star was removed to Rochester, and 
he withdrew from it. When he took hold of it, its 
circulation was but four hundred ; when he left, it 
had risen to three thousand the best compliment 
any editor can receive. In January, 184-9, he issued 
the first number of the Cayuga Chief, of which he is 
an editor now. He started with a capital of seve.'v 
dollars, and a circulation of one hundred and seventy ! 
Under his editorship and management it has risen to 
a circulation of three thousand copies. His mechan- 
ical genius is worth noting, and as he had no money 
to commence his enterprise with, he actually made, 
with his own hands, much of the furniture of his of- 
fice. He worked on bravely, industriously, and elo- 
quently. This year he married a woman worthy of 
himself, and to whom he is ardently attached. Home 
is his peculiar element ; and his " Hearthstone Rev- 
eries" give unmistakable evidence that his chief at- 
traction, the center of his happiness, is there. Long 
may he live to battle manfully in the cause to which 
he is so earnestly devoted. 

The following, on the death of his beautiful boy, 
the lovely Willie, is one of the most sweetly pathetic 
things in our language : 



THITELOW WEED BEOWH. 395 

"A BROKEN HOME." 

A short time since, we left the cherished idol of our hearth 
circle in the full promise of health and life, and returned but 
to see him die ! Our home is desolate, for its purest light hag 
faded out. WILLIE is dead ! 

O God, how we loved the boy ! He was a child of more 
than rare promise a brave, beautiful, noble-hearted being 
and all manhood in every pulse. His mind was almost 
masculine, and he wrestled with death with the calm patience 
and judgment of maturer years. 

Would that in the spring-time he had gone to his long night- 
rest of death, when the flower, and leaf, and tiny blade were 
bursting out from their earth-sleep to clothe the fields in 
beauty. But it matters not. He wandered not alone through 
the dark valley, "for of such is the kingdom of heaven." The 
warm sunbeam and raindrop of spring-time will deck the 
resting-place of the little sleeper with smiles. Little will 
he heed, however, either sunbeam or cloud on earth, for there 
is no winter shadow in the eternal summer-sky of bliss. 

Blessed hope, that death is not an "eternal sleep!" The 
beautiful tenement of a soul of two summers will mingle 

o 

with its pillow of earth ; but in the silence of the night-time 
we shall listen to the tripping of little feet, and the low whis- 
pering of a silvery voice ; to the sweet rustling of two little 
angel-wings, and feel the pure touch of a tiny palm upon the 
feverish cheek. One of the strongest links of earth has been 
broken but to bind us the closer to heaven. God's will be 
done ! 

The little playthings are all put away. A deep tide of 



396 MODEEN AGITATORS. 

bright hopes has been rolled back in a bitter flood upon the 
heart. Crushed and broken, we bow to the storm that has 
swept our earth, and thank God that there is a better world 
than this for the child. 

WILLIE ! our own loved, beautiful, gentle boy, good- 
night ! 



A JURY AND RIGHT OF APPEAL 

ARE OCR ONLY SAFEGUARDS AGAINST 

A.TROCIOUS JUDGES! 



LIYES OF JUDGES, 

> INFAMOUSAS 

TOOLS OF TYRANNY AND INSTRUMENTS OF OPPRESSION. 

BY JOHN, LORD CAMPBELL. 

WITH AN APPENDIX, 
Containing the Case of Passmore Williamson. 

EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES, 

BY RICHARD HILDRETH. 
In Osse Volusiie, 42O pp e 12rrao. ? Muslin* Price 1 



Judicial Tyranny is comparatively new in our history. On the integrity and purity 
of the Bench we have been accustomed confidently to rely, for the protection and secu- 
rity of our persons and our property. Events, however, have recently transpired which 
have materially shaken public confidence in the safety of that reliance. The various 
man -hunting excursions which have, within the last few years, been made into the 
north, and the numerous trials, including the Jerry, the Sims, the Burns, and similar 
cases, and the crowning act of infamy enacted by Judge Kane upon Passmore William- 
son, have excited the profoundest indignation and alarm. The Publishers believe, there- 
fore, that this amply attested and clearly drawn record of what judges have done, will 
lead the people to see what, if unchecked, judges may still do. 

"ATROCIOUS JUDGES" AND THE PRESS, 

Eecent events showing the evident tendency of the judiciary to servility and obse- 
quence to power, renders this publication at this time both appropriate and necessary. 
In England the crown has ever made the judges, and they have often been the most ser- 
vile supporters of arbitrary prerogative; and no instrument of tyranny is so effective in 
subverting popular liberty as a corrupt and servile judge. Ontario Times. 

This is a work which should be in the hands of every one. It is a biographical history 
of all the infamous judges of the times of James I. down to and including the reign of 
Charles II. American Sentinel. 

Through the recital of theatrocious acts of sixteen judges, even in tho?e days of primitive 
law drawn from the most unquestionable authority Hildreth seeks to open the eyes of 
this nation to the judicial iniquities of the past, and to elevate them as beacon lights to 
warn us of the result of the struggle now going on in this land to make slave interest su- 
perior to law. God speed it in the performance of its important mission in the contest 
yet undetermined, between slaveholding despotism and republican equality. American 
Spectator. 

There are some names in the history of mankind which are doomed to be forever in- 
famous. They are those of men who, being sworn to act judicially with the utmost im- 
partiality, have made their offices engines for the injury and wrong of the people. The 
present work has evidently been prepared in consequence of the excitement which 
sprung up throughout the country because of the imprisonment of Passmore William- 
son. '/V/t7a<fcZ/>7u"a Sunday Mercury. 

This neat volume meets a want of our times. The recent infamous conduct of a mem- 
ber of our federal judiciary has particularly opened the way for it, and we apprehend it 
will be eagerly sought after. Syrucuxe Chronicle. 

The characters and deeds of those who have been instrumental, in the diameter of 
judges, in bringing disgrace deep and foul upon the "ermine of justice. 1 ' Independent 
Examine): 

Among our British forefathers it was the despotism of a monarch that was sought to 
be established; here in America the despotism of some 200,000 petty tyrants, more or 
less, ia the shape of so many slaveholders. L'oxton Atlas. 

MILLER, ORION & MULLIGAN, Publishers, 

' 25 Park Row, XEW YOKK, and 107 Genesee-st., AUBUEN. 



The Great Plea ibr Freedom ! 



MY BONDAGE AJD MY FREEDOM, 

BY FREDERICK DOUGLASS. 
Part I. Life as a Slave. Part II. L,ie as a Freeman. 

WITH AX INTRODUCTION, BY DR. JA.UES IT'CUNE SMTH. 

With Steel Portrait and other Illustrations, 464 pp. 12mo. Price 1 25. 
(. This book is remarkable not only for the touching interest and force 
of the story, but also for its fairness and candor. Hundreds of the first 
critics in this country and in Europe, have given it the fullest and warm- 
est commendations. 

"We have only room for the following Notices : 

The mere fact that a member of an outcast and enslaved race should accomplish his 
freedom, and educate himself up to an equality of intellectual and moral vigor with the 
leaders of the race by which he was held in bondage, is iu itself so remarkable, that the 
Btory of the change cannot be otherwise thuvn exciting. For ourselves, we confess to have 
read it with the unbroken attention with which we absorbed Uncle Tom's Cabin. It has 
the advantage of the latter book, in that it is no fiction. In the details of the early lifa 
of the author upon the plantation, of his youthful thoughts on life and destiny, and of 
the means by which he gradually worked his way to freedom, there is much that is pro- 
foundly touching. Our English literature has recorded many an example of genius strug- 
gling against adversity; yet none of these are so impressive as the. case of the solitary 
slave, in a remote district, surrounded by none but enemies, conceiving the project of his 
escape, teaching himself to read and write to facilitate it. accomplishing it at last, and 
subsequently raising himself to a leadership in a great movement in behalf of his 
brethren. Putnam 's Monthly Magazine. 

I confess never to have read a novel more thrillingly fascinating. I envy not the man 
or woman, North or South, who can read with a dry eye the touching account of his 
child-life; of the gradual dawning of the terrible truth that he was a slave; the haunting 
specter that dogged his childish footsteps by day and troubled his dreams by night; and 
his first heart-breaking initiation into his thralldom. Then, too, the pathetic picture of 
his slave-mother's stolen night visits, touched off with an artistic skill and power which 
Nature alone could teach. Then his unaided and doubtful struggle with the cowardly, 
ruffianly negro breaker, Covey, prolonged hour after hour, at "fearful odds against the 
slave; his victory at last ; the sly touch of humor with which he details the denoue- 
ment, and the instantaneous change which that victory over the God-forsaken wretch 
effected in his whole being, transforming him at once from a slave to a MAN, who had 
struck the first desperate blow for Freedom ! In any other country, under any other 
circumstances, such a sublime and 'unaided defence of tyranny would liave won the 
world's applause; and why not for Fred. Douglass? God's noblest work a MAX, though 
carved in bronze. Fanny Fern. 

Here is a man not yet forty years of acre, who was a born thrall ; who felt the iron eat 
into his soul; who records only what he personally experienced; who gives dates and 
places; who names circumstances and persons; whose body yet bears the marks of the 
cruel lash; who remained twenty-one years in bondage; who escaped from that bitter 
slavery; who. a self-taught man, has exhibited true eloquence of speech and pen. at 
home and in Europe, in advocacy of his race's claim to freedom; who has conducted a 
newspaper in this State for several years with success; whose exemption from being 
claimed as a fugitive is owing solely to the fact that, long after his escape, his friends pur 
chased his freedom from his quondam "master:" and who, living, acting, speaking 
among us, possesses more vital interest for men who think than would the heroes of 
twenty negro roman^s, even though ach of them was as highly wrought as that written 
by Mrs. Stowe. My Bondage, so forcible in its evident truth, Is one of the most inter- 
esting, exciting, and thought-awakening books in our language. In every way it is re- 
markablenot onjy in what it relate*, but in the manner of the relation." In truth, the 
literary merit of the book is very great. As a mere literarv production, it would be 
creditable to the first English writer of the day. New York 'Times. 

MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN, Publishers, 

25 Park Row, NEW V^BE, and 107 Genesee-st., AUBUKN. 



TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE 

The Narrative of SOLOMON NORTHUP, a citizen of New York, 

Kidnapped in Washington City, in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, 

from a Cotton Plantation near Red River, Louisiana. 

7 Illustrations, 336 pp. 12uio. Price $1,00 



VOICE OF THE PRESS. 

The narrative will be read with interest by every one who can sympathize with a ba- 
nian being struggling for freedom. Buff. Cour. 

The volume cannot fail to gain a wide circulation. No one can contemplate the scenes 
which are here so naturally set forth, without a new conviction of the hideousness of tiie 
institution from which the subject of the narrative has happily escaped. ^V. 1'. Tribune, 

"We think the story as aft'ecting as any tale of sorrow could be. N. Y. Evangelist. 

It proves conclusively that Uncle Tom's Cabin is a truthful history of American Slavery, 
though drawn under the veil of fiction. Otsego Rep. 

Next to Uncle Tom's Cabin, the extraordinary narrative of Solomon Northup, is the 
most remarkable book that was ever issued from the American press. Detroit Trib. 

This is a simple, earnest, moving narrative of the events, vicissitudes, cruelties and 
kindnesses of a bondage of 12 years. If there are those who can ptruse it unmoved, wo 
pity them. That it will create as great a sensation, and ^>e regarded equally as interesting 
as "" Uncle Tom's Cabin,' 1 is not a question for argument. Buffalo Express, 

This is one of the most exciting narratives, full of thrilling incidents artlessly told, with 
all the marks of truth. There are no depicted scenes in " Uncle Tom " more tragic, horri- 
ble, and pathetic,than the incidents compassed in the twelve years of this man's life in 
slavery. Cincinnati Jour. 

Ks who with an unbiassed mind sits down to the perusal of this book, will arise per- 
fect!/ satisfied that American shivery is a hell of torments yet untold, and feel like devo- 
ting "the energies of his life to its extirpation from the face of God's beautiful earth. 
Evening Chron. 

The story is one of thrilling interest as a mere personal history. Tie is but a little darker 
than many who pass for white, and quite as intelligent as most white men. N. C. Adv. 

The book is one of most absorbing interest. Pittfiburyh Dispatch. 

It is written in a racy, agreeable style, and narrates with admirable conciseness, yet 
animation the story of the suti'erings, woes and persecutions of the hero. It is no less 
remarkable for candor and unity of purpose than for literary ability. Oneida Her. 

It is one of the most effective books against slavery that was ever written. "Archy 
Moore" and" Uncle Tom " are discredited by many as -'romances; 11 but how the apolo- 
gists for the institution can dispose of Northup we are curious to see. Syracuse Jour. 

It is well told and bears internal evidence of being a clear statement of facts. There is 
no attempt at display, but the events are so graphically portrayed, that the interest in the 
perusal is deep and unabated to the last. Some of the scenes have a fearful and exciting 
power in their delineation. Cayuga Chief. 

It is a strange history, its truth is far stranger than fiction. Think of it! For thirty 
years A MAN, with all a man's hopes, fears and aspirations with a wife and children to call 
him by the endearing names of husband and father with a home, humble it may be, 
but still a HOME, beneath the shelter of whose roof none had a right to molest or make him 
afraid then for twelve years A TIIIXG, a chattel personal, classed with mules and horses 
and treated with less consideration than they: torn from his home and family, and the free 
labor by which he earned their bread, and driven to unremitting, unrequited toil in a cotton 
field, under a burning southern sun, by the lash of an inhuman master. Oh ! it is horri- 
ble. It chills the blood to think that such things are. Fre'l. l>on' t /ldnn" Pajicr. 

It comes before us with highly respectable vouchers, and is a plain and simple statement 
of what happened to the author while in bondage to southern masters. It is a well told 
story, full of interest, and may be said to be the reality of "life among the lowly." Buff. 
Corn. Adv. 

Let it be read by all those good easy souls, who think slavery is, on the whole a good 
thing. Let it be read by all who think that although slavery is politically and economi- 
cally a bad thing, it is not very bad fortho slaves. Let it be read by all those M. C.'s and 
supporters who are always ready to give their votes, in aid of slaven and the slave trado 
with all the kidnapping inseparable from it. Let it be read, too, by our southern friends, 
who pity with so much Christian sensibility, the wretched condition of the free negroes at 
tlie north, and rejoice at the enviable condition of their own slaves. .A 1 . 1". 2nd. 

Published by MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN, 
No. 25 Park Row, NEW YORK, and 107 Genesee-st., Auuuax 




OORE, 



OR, MEMOIRS OF A FUGITIVE. 

BY RICHARD HILDRETH. 

WITH A NEW HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION, 

Written for this edition by the distinguished author, and unfolding the 
origin, history and characteristics of this remarkable work. 

One vol., 430 pp. 12mo. ; 8 Illustrations, Price $1 25. 

Have you yourself read ARCIIY MOORE? If you have, why don't 
you bestow upon it hearty, fervent, overwhelming praise ? Why, 
my dear friend, it is a wonderful book ! People of the dullest minds 
and wildest sympathies, are thrilled by it, as if their benumbed fin- 
gers had touched an electric chain. Independent of the sound, con- 
sistent principles of freedom which beam on every page, there is a 
remarkable degree of intellectual vigor and dramatic talent exhibited 
in the power of language, the choice of circumstances, the combination 
of events, and the shading of character. Every sentence shows inti- 
mate knowledge of the local peculiarities of the south, both in the 
respect of nature and society. Lydia Maria Child. 

This book, which is very well written, is full of continuous interest, and the adven- 
*ures, though many of them are startling and exciting, do not run out of the range of 
probability. It has been translated into French, German and Italian. N* Y. Times. 

Mr. Hildreth describes southern scenes with all the graphic force of an artist, and all the 
minutiae of the more ordinary visiter. What he draws with his pen, he fairly brings before 
the eye of the reader ; the consequence is, that nothing is left to perfect the lattei's ac- 
quaintance with scenes from which he is far removed, but an actual visit to them. The 
aim of the writer, in sending this work before the public, is suggested by its title. It is 
an illustra'ion of southern slavery in all its phases and bearings ; and apparently a stronger 
condemnation of the system we never read, than in Mr. Hildreth's pages. Selecting the 
narrative form lor the medium of the homily he seeks to read, the facts he gives, and the 
conclusions he arrives at, come to us in threefold force, from their unexpectedness, and 
their apparently natural sequence. Archy Moore is destined to have an extensive circu- 
lation. Dispute h. 

This work was published many years ago, under a different title, and was the first is- 
sue of the Uncle Tom school of literature. At that time it went begging in vain through 
Is ew York and- Boston for a publisher, and finally the author got it printed himself by 
the city printer of Boston, who put his name to it as publisher. It was afterward printed 
in Endand and France, and translated into the principal languages of Europe. It is now 
revised, enlarged, republished, and the authorship avowed. It is an ably written and in- 
teresting work. U. 8. Journal. 

Fiction never performs a nobler office than when she acts as the, handmaid of truth. 
It is in this capacity that her assistance has been invoked by the author of the work be- 
fore us, and so well is the task accomplished, that we can scarcely persuade ourselves, as 
we turn over the deeply interesting pages, that we are perusing a narrative of fictitious 
wrongs and sufferings. Let not the reader suppose, from what we have said, that this 
is a mere novel. The incidents which diversify this narrative, may have had no real ex- 
istence in the exact connection and relation in which they are linked together in the sto- 
ry, and the characters may have no prototypes in all their individual features; but we 
have too much reason to know that such incidents and such characters are too abundantly 
supplied at the south to require that the novelist should draw very largely on his invention. 

The story is written in the style of an autobiography, and witli such an air of verisimil- 
itude, that the reader cannot avoid the impression that the task of fiction has been merely 
to arrange the materials supp'ied by truth. I'laindealer. 

MILLER, ORTOX & MULLIGAN, Publisher^ 

25 Park Row. NEW YOKE, and 107 Genesee-st,. AUBUHN.