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Anti-Slavery Society at its annual meeting, held in the spring of that year,
resolved, under the auspices of Mr. Garrison and his friends, to hold a series
of one hundred conventions. The territory embraced in this plan for creating
anti-slavery sentiment included New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Ohio,
Indiana, and Pennsylvania. I had the honor to be chosen one of the agents to
assist in these proposed conventions, and I never entered upon any work
with more heart and hope. All that the American people needed, I thought,
was light. Could they know slavery as I knew it, they would hasten to the
work of its extinction. The corps of speakers who were to be associated with
me in carrying on these conventions were Messrs. George Bradburn, John
A. Collins, James Monroe, William A. White, Charles L. Remond, and
Sydney Howard Gay. They were all masters of the subject, and some of them
able and eloquent orators. It was a piece of great good fortune to me, only a
few years from slavery as I was, to be brought into contact with such men.
It was a real campaign, and required nearly six months for its

Those who only know the State of Vermont as it is to-day, can hardly
understand, and must wonder that there was need for anti-slavery effort
within its borders forty years ago. Our first convention was held in
Middlebury, its chief seat of learning, and the home of William Slade, who
was for years the co-worker with John Quincy Adams in Congress; and yet
in this town the opposition to our anti-slavery convention was intensely bit-
ter and violent. The only man of note in the town whom I now remember as
giving us sympathy or welcome was Mr. Edward Barber, who was a man of
courage as well as ability, and did his best to make our convention a success.
In advance of our arrival, the college students had very industriously and
mischievously placarded the town with violent aspersions of our characters,
and the grossest misrepresentations of our principles. measures. and objects.
I was described as an escaped convict from the State Prison, and the other
speakers were assailed not less slanderously. Few people attended our meet-
ing, and apparently little was accomplished by it. In the neighboring town of
Ferrisburgh the case was different and more favorable. The way had been
prepared for us by such stalwart anti-slavery workers as Orson S. Murray,
Charles C. Burleigh, Rowland T. Robinson, and others. Upon the whole,
however, the several towns visited showed that Vermont was surprisingly
under the influence of the slave power. Her proud boast that no slave had
ever been delivered up to his master within her borders did not hinder her
hatred of anti-slavery. What was true of the Green Mountain State in this
respect, was most discouragingly true of New York, the State next visited.

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