Life and Times, Second Part

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178 LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDfRICK DOUGLASS

approval of Mrs. M. W. Chapman, an influential member of the board of managers of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, and called out a sharp reprimand from her, for insubordination to my superiors. This was a strange and distressing revelation to me, and one of which I was not soon relieved. I thought I had only done my duty, and I think so still. The chief reason for the reprimand was the use which the Liberty party papers would make of my seeming rebellion against the commanders of our Anti-Slavery Army.

In the growing city of Rochester we had in every way a better reception. Abolitionists of all shades of opinion were broad enough to give the Garrisonians (for such we were) a hearing. Samuel D. Porter and the Avery family, though they belonged to the Gerrit Smith, Myron Holly. and William Goodell school, were not so narrow as to refuse us the use of their church for the convention. They heard our moral suasion arguments, and in a manly way met us in debate. We were opposed to carrying the anti-slavery cause to the ballot-box, and they believed in carrying it there. They looked at slavery as a creature of law; we regarded it as a creature of public opinion. It is surprising how small the difference appears as I look back to it, over the space of forty years; yet at the time of it this difference was immense.

During our stay at Rochester we were hospitably entertained by Isaac and Amy Post, two people of all-abounding benevolence, the truest and best of Long Island and Elias Hicks Quakers. They were not more amiable than brave, for they never seemed to ask. What will the world say? but walked straight forward in what seemed to them the line of duty, please or offend whomsoever it might. Many a poor fugitive slave found shelter under their roof when such shelter was hard to find elsewhere, and I mention them here in the warmth and fullness of earnest gratitude.

Pleased with our success in Rochester. we—that is Mr. Bradburn and myself—made our way to Buffalo, then a rising city of steamboats, hustle, and business. Buffalo was too busy to attend to such matters as we had in hand. Our friend, Mr. Marsh, had been able to secure for our convention only an old dilapidated and deserted room, formerly used as a post-office. We went at the time appointed, and found seated a few cab-men in their coarse, every-day clothes, whips in hand, while their teams were standing on the street waiting for a job. Friend Bradburn looked around upon this unpromising audience, and turned upon his heel, saying he would not speak to "such a set of ragamuffins," and took the first steamer to Cleveland, the home of his brother Charles, and left me to "do" Buffalo alone. For nearly a week I spoke every day in this old post-office to audiences constantly increasing in numbers and respectability, till the Baptist church was thrown open to me;

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and when this became too small I went on Sunday into the open Park and addressed an assembly of four or five thousand persons. After this my colored friends, Charles L. Remond, Henry Highland Garnet, Theodore S. Wright, Amos G. Beman, Charles B. Ray, and other well-known colored men, held a convention here, and then Remond and myself left for our next meeting in Clinton county, Ohio. This was held under a great shed, built by the abolitionists, of whom Dr. Abram Brooke and Valentine Nicholson were the most noted, for this special purpose. Thousands gathered here and were addressed by Bradburn, White, Monroe, Remond, Gay, and myself. The influence of this meeting was deep and wide-spread. It would be tedious to tell of all, or a small part of all that was interesting and illustrative of the difficulties encountered by the early advocates of anti-slavery in connection with this campaign, and hence I leave this part of it at once.

From Ohio we divided our forces and went into Indiana. At our first meeting we were mobbed, and some of us got our good clothes spoiled by evil-smelling eggs. This was at Richmond, where Henry Clay had been recently invited to the high seat of the Quaker meeting-house just after his gross abuse of Mr. Mendenhall, because of his presenting him a respectful petition, asking him to emancipate his slaves. At Pendleton this mobocratic spirit was even more pronounced. It was found impossible to obtain a building in which to hold our convention, and our friends, Dr. Fussell and others, erected a platform in the woods, where quite a large audience assembled. Mr. Bradburn, Mr. White, and myself were in attendance. As soon as we began to speak a mob of about sixty of the roughest characters I ever looked upon ordered us, through its leaders, to "be silent," threatening us, if we were not, with violence. We attempted to dissuade them, but they had not come to parley but to fight, and were well armed. They tore down the platform on which we stood, assaulted Mr. White and, knocking out several of his teeth, dealt a heavy blow on the back part of the head, badly cutting his scalp and felling him to the ground. Undertaking to fight my way through the crowd with a stick which I caught up in the mélée, I attracted the fury of the mob, which laid me prostrate on the ground under a torrent of blows. Leaving me thus, with my right hand hroken, and in a state of unconsciousness, the mobocrats hastily mounted their horses and rode to Andersonville, where most of them resided. I was soon raised up and revived by Neal Hardy, a kindhearted member of the Society of Friends, and carried by him in his wagon about three miles in the country to his home, where I was tenderly nursed and bandaged by good Mrs. Hardy till I was again on my feet, but as the bones broken were not properly set my hand has never recovered its natural

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strength and dexterity. We lingered long in Indiana, and the good effects of our labors there are felt at this day. I have lately visited Pendleton, now one of the best republican towns in the State, and looked again upon the spot where I was beaten down, and have again taken by the hand some of the witnesses of that scene, amongst whom was the kind, good lady-- Mrs. Hardy—who, so like the good Samaritan of old, bound up my wounds, and cared for me so kindly. A complete history of these hundred conventions would fill a volume far larger than the one in which this simple reference is to find a place. It would be a grateful duty to speak of the noble young men, who forsook ease and pleasure, as did White, Gay, and Monroe, and endured all manner of privations in the cause of the enslaved and down-trodden of my race. Gay, Monroe, and myself are the only ones who participated as agents in the one hundred conventions who now survive. Mr. Monroe was for many years consul to Brazil, and has since been a faithful member of Congress from the Oberlin District, Ohio, and has filled other important positions in his State. Mr. Gay was managing editor of the National AntiSlavery Standard and afterwards of the New York Tribune, and still later of the New York Evening Post.

CHAPTER VI.

IMPRESSIONS ABROAD.

Danger to be averted — A refuge sought abroad — Voyage on the steamship "Cambria" — Refusal of first-class passage — Attractions of the forecastle-deck — Hutchinson family — Invited to make a speech — Southerners feel insulted — Captain threatens to put them in irons — Experiences abroad — Attentions received — Impressions of different members of Parliament, and of other public men — Contrast with life in America — Kindness of friends — Their purchase of my person, and the gift of the same to myself — My return.

As I have before intimated, the publishing of my "Narrative" was regarded by my friends with mingled feelings of satisfaction and apprehension. They were glad to have the doubts and insinuations which the advocates and apologists of slavery had made against me proved to the world to be false, but they had many fears lest this very proof would endanger my safety, and make it necessary for me to leave a position which in a signal manner had opened before me, and one in which I had thus far been efficient in assisting to arouse the moral sentiment of the community against a system which had deprived me, in common with my fellow-slaves, of all the attributes of manhood.

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I became myself painfully alive to the liability which surrounded me, and which might at any moment scatter all my proud hopes, and return me to a doom worse than death. It was thus I was led to seek a refuge in monarchial England, from the dangers of republican slavery. A rude, uncultivated fugitive slave, I was driven to that country to which American young gentlemen go to increase their stock of knowledge—to seek pleasure, and to have their rough democratic manners softened by contact with English aristocratic refinement.

My friend, James N. Buffum of Lynn, Mass., who was to accompany me, applied on board the steamer "Cambria," of the Cunard line, for tickets, and was told that I could not be received as a cabin passenger. American prejudice against color had triumphed over British liberality and civilization, and had erected a color test as condition for crossing the sea in the cabin of a British vessel.

The insult was keenly felt by my white friends, but to me such insults were so frequent, and expected, that it was of no great consequence whether I went in the cabin or in the steerage. Moreover, I felt that if I could not go in the first cabin, first cabin passengers could come in the second cabin, and in this thought I was not mistaken, as I soon found myself an object of more general interest than I wished to be, and, so far from being degraded by being placed in the second cabin, that part of the ship became the scene of as much pleasure and refinement as the cabin itself. The Hutchinson family from New Hampshire—sweet singers of anti-slavery and the "good time coming", were fellow-passengers, and often came to my rude forecastledeck and sang their sweetest songs, making the place eloquent with music and alive with spirited conversation. They not only visited me, but invited me to visit them; and in two or three days after leaving Boston one part of the ship was about as free to me as another. My visits there, however, were hut seldom. I preferred to live within my privileges, and keep upon my own premises. This course was quite as much in accord with good policy as with my own feelings. The effect was that with the majority of the passengers all color distinctions were flung to the winds, and I found myself treated with every mark of respect from the beginning to the end of the voyage, except in one single instance; and in that I came near being mobbed for complying with an invitation given me by the passengers and the captain of the "'Cambria'" to deliver a lecture on slavery. There were several young men— passengers from Georgia and New Orleans; and they were pleased to regard my lecture as an insult offered to them, and swore I should not speak. They went so far as to threaten to throw me overboard, and but for the firmness of

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Captain Judkins, they would probably, under the inspiration of slavery and brandy, have attempted to put their threats into execution. I have no space to describe this scene, although its tragic and comic features are well worth description. An end was put to the melee by the captain's call to the ship's company to put the salt-water mobocrats in irons, at which determined order the gentlemen of the lash scampered, and for the remainder of the voyage conducted themselves very decorously.

This incident of the voyage brought me, within two days after landing at Liverpool, before the British public. The gentlemen so promptly withheld in their attempted violence toward me flew to the press to justify their conduct, and to denounce me as a worthless and insolent negro. This course was even less wise than the conduct it was intended to sustain; for, besides awakening something like a national interest in me, and securing me an audience, it brought out counter statements, and threw the blame upon themselves which they had sought to fasten upon me and the gallant captain of the ship.

My visit to England did much for me every way. Not the least among the many advantages derived from it was in the opportunity it afforded me of becoming acquainted with educated people, and of seeing and hearing many of the most distinguished men of that country. My friend, Mr. Wendell Phillips, knowing something of my appreciation of orators and oratory, had said to me before leaving Boston: "Although Americans are generally better speakers than Englishmen, you will find in England individual orators superior to the best of ours." I do not know that Mr. Phillips was quite just to himself in this remark, for I found few, if any, superior to him in the gift of speech. When I went to England that country was in the midst of a tremendous agitation. The people were divided by two great questions of "Repeal;"—the repeal of the corn laws, and the repeal of the union between England and Ireland.

Debate ran high in Parliament, and among the people everywhere, especially concerning the corn laws. Two powerful interests of the country confronted each other: one venerable from age, and the other young, stalwart, and growing. Both strove for ascendancy. Conservatism united for retaining the corn laws, while the rising power of commerce and manufacturers demanded repeal. It was interest against interest, but something more and deeper; for, while there was aggrandizement of the landed aristocracy on the one side, there was famine and pestilence on the other. Of the anti-corn law movement, Richard Cobden and John Bright, both then members of Parliament, were the leaders. They were the rising statesmen of England, and possessed a very friendly disposition toward America. Mr. Bright, who is

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