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LETTER FROM GEN. FESSENDEN :
PORTLAND, ME., Nov. 2, 1384. As you have already received and published a correct account of the formation of a State A. S. Society for Maine, an event which diffuses general joy among the friends of the cause of immediate abolition, and increases the hopes of its advocates, I do not recur to the event for any other object, than as it was the occasion of drawing into this State that distinguished friend of the cause, George Thompson, Esq.
I had the pleasure of attending most of his lectures while among us, and cannot bụt say, I feel thankful to God, who has inclined his heart to embark in the mighty undertaking of the emancipation of American slaves, having in conjunction with the great and good, achieved the emancipation of British slaves. Next to Him, who holds the hearts of men in his hands, and turns them as the rivers of waters are turned,' I feel grateful to Mr. T., who has given himself liberally to the work, and to those beloved philanthropists who have furnished the means of his coming. Never, in my humble judgment, was an individual better qualified for the mighty task which he has come to aid than is Mr. T. Every word every action affords strong evidence that he enters on his labors with a heart overflowing with Christian philanthropy, and devoted to the God-like cause which he has come to sustain and enforce.
I place first among his qualifications as an advocate of abolition, the spirit of Christ with which he is, most evidently, deeply imbued, and which he breathes forth in every address, and I might add, in almost every sentence. On his tongue, is emphatically the law of kindness. This is as it should be. Next his powers of mind are evidently of a superior order. And if you add the gifts and graces
of a thorough systematic education, it must necessarily follow that he must be a powerful advocate of any cause to which he might devote his attention, and upon which he should bring such a mind to bear. He hasgreat, complicated, delicate, and I might say overwhelming as it is—completely mastered the subject. It must have been considered by him in its infinitely important relations, both to time and eternity, with a clearness of perception which is the result of the combined agency of pure and elevated religious affections, and a powerful and discriminating intellect. That Mr. Thompson should possess a very thorough knowledge of the evils of slavery generally, and of its appropriate remedies, I was prepared to expect ; but I was not prepared to see him display such a thorough and intimate acquaintance with the constitution and laws, and genius of our government, if I may use the expression, and with the constitution and laws of the slave holding states, as he has evidently acquired. He seems to be as familiar with them all as one born and educated upon the soil polJuted by this mightiest of evils—this most flagrant of sins. He seems like one who has traced this system through all its labyrinths of iniquity, to its polluted source ;-and to have uncovered its dark streams, and to exhibit to the mor. al and mental eye how it gushes from the grand reservoii of all plagues, the bottomless pit.
Such a man, on such a subject, cannot fail to be eloquent Mr. Thompson is truly so. I think all who have heard him, both the friends and enemies of the cause, will sustain me in this. If to convince the understanding, to captivate the heart and engage the affections is eloquence, then Mr. T. is eloquent.
You will pardon me for adverting to the manner in which Mr. T. manages the question, and which bears me out in saying that he must prove a powerful agent in the accomplishment of the emancipation of the slaves and the extinction of slavery in our beloved country.
Mr. Thompson lays the foundation of his argument on the immutable law of God, and shows that slavery in all its shapes and forms, even the mildest it can assume, is opposed to the great and universal law of love-that, therefore, no one who claims to hold his fellow-man as property, can be guiltless-that the assumption of such a right is wresting
from Jehovah his own peculiar prerogative, and must, therefore, be an aggravated sin--that it is the duty of all who are guilty, and that it is imperatively required, instantly to cease from this as well as from all other sins—that the only path of safety is the path of obedience—and that this is safe. That humanity, justice, the best interest of the slaveholder, as well as the slave, are in accordance with the law of God, and that we may safely rest on the promises of God that he will reward obedience in this, as well as in all other cases, by averting any evils which may be found as the result of obedience to his holy and righteous behests.
Such has been the scope of his argument. To do justice to his power in illustrating and enforcing it as well by the divine law, as promulgated in the word of God, as by the law written on the heart, and in the understanding, and enforced by an enlightened conscience, and confirmed by the whole history of mankind, and the dealings of Jehorah with individuals and nations, I would not attempt. Let him be heard, only, and any attempt I might make would be useless.
But, it will naturally be asked, what has been the effect produced upon the cause of the oppressed which he has ihus been pleading? On those who have heard, I have no hesitation in saying the effect has been great and salutary. The decided have been aroused to more vigorous exertionthe roving confirmed, and not a few, of the comparatively few, of the decided opponents, who were induced to attend, have been converted, or brought to pause in their career of opposition.
But while I have the satisfaction of stating that the audiences, in point of numbers and moral worth, were respectable and in most instances large, still, a large proportion of the people, the professed friends of colonization, and most of our clergymen of the various denominations, and especially in this city, refused to hear. Some deeming the cause too secular to be considered by the religious community, and too unholy to be discussed from the pulpit.
Then in some instances it was found difficult to procure a suitable house, and in some we were met by absolute refusal. In some instances clergymen, profressing to be opposed to slavery, refused even to give notice of our meet.
ings from the pulpit. The Rev. Mr. Dwight, one of our most talented and active ministers of the congregational order in this city, refused to give the following notice :
• Mr. Tbompson, from England, will lecture at 7 o'clock this evening, at the Christian chapel in Temple-street, on the subject of immediate emancipation, when he will attempt to show that such emancipation is not only required by the word of God, but is also the only just, safe or expedient remedy for American Slavery.
• All the friends of liberty, humanity, and religion, are respectfully invited to attend.
I give this instance to show the spirit of the opposition with which we have to contend, and how far this awful sin of slavery has given a tinge to the minds of some, and I fear many, of our great and good men.
But I trust none of these things move us from our purpose, never to rest till an end is put to this crying abomination of our land.
Mr. T., I trust, will ere long visit your city, and that he may be heard, and rightly appreciated, is my earnest prayer. I am, dear sir, most affectionately,
Your friend and servant,
MR. THOMPSON AT PLYMOUTH, N. H.
PLYMOUTH, N. H., Nov. 17, 1834. Dear Garrison—We were highly animated Thursday, the 13th, at a stage arrival in our little village, bearing the
honored freight, Messrs. Thompson, Grosvenor and Phelps, fresh from the field of Convention at Concord.
To see George Thompson here among us, at some period of his beneficent sojourn, we had fondly hoped, from the moment you announced to us his intended embarkation from England. But to greet him so soon after his landing, and to hear him speak, within our own walls, while his locks were yet wet with the dews of New York hospitality, was a favor we had not anticipated. What a delicate and discerning taste, by the way, this despotic NewYork tavern-keeper must have, and this mobocracy of ours in general, to vent their fine courtesies upon a subject like him! Who that beheld George Thompson merely, could imagine that there existed a brutality, even in New-York, brutal enough to do bim harm or show him unkindness ? Burns tells of a Scottish lass, that the ' very de'il could not look in the face but he would cry out—'I canna wrang thee.' Our mobocracy might take lessons of civility and humanity of the bard's 'de'il,' as I fear they have taken, of a spirit having other existence than in the imagination of profane poetry. I really wondered, as I gazed on the elegant and interesting stranger, that a tavern-keeper could be found in all the hog-traversed streets of our republican Babylon, of a civility so swinish as to turn him from his door,-even were it to humor the sovereign and awful caprice of a man-jockey from the south ? His wife and little children, too, routed of a poor home that a tavern could yield them in a strange land, -the first night, I believe, of their respite from the sea! Shame on you, most magnan