[Transcriber's note: Footnotes moved to the end of the text]
MRS. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE,
AUTHOR OF "UNCLE TOM'S CABIN," ETC.
... "When thou haply seest Some rare note-worthy object in thy travels, Make me partaker of thy happiness."
ILLUSTRATED FROM DESIGNS BY HAMMATT BILLINGS.
IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. I.
BOSTON: PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY. NEW YORK: J.C. DERBY. 1854.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
STEREOTYPED AT THE BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY. WRIGHT AND HASTY, PRINTERS, NO. 3 WATER ST.
This book will be found to be truly what its name denotes, "Sunny Memories."
If the criticism be made that every thing is given couleur de rose, the answer is, Why not? They are the impressions, as they arose, of a most agreeable visit. How could they be otherwise?
If there be characters and scenes that seem drawn with too bright a pencil, the reader will consider that, after all, there are many worse sins than a disposition to think and speak well of one's neighbors. To admire and to love may now and then be tolerated, as a variety, as well as to carp and criticize. America and England have heretofore abounded towards each other in illiberal criticisms. There is not an unfavorable aspect of things in the old world which has not become perfectly familiar to us; and a little of the other side may have a useful influence.
The writer has been decided to issue these letters principally, however, by the persevering and deliberate attempts, in certain quarters, to misrepresent the circumstances which, are here given. So long as these misrepresentations affected only those who were predetermined to believe unfavorably, they were not regarded. But as they have had some influence, in certain cases, upon really excellent and honest people, it is desirable that the truth should be plainly told.
The object of publishing these letters is, therefore, to give to those who are true-hearted and honest the same agreeable picture of life and manners which met the writer's own, eyes. She had in view a wide circle of friends throughout her own country, between whose hearts and her own there has been an acquaintance and sympathy of years, and who, loving excellence, and feeling the reality of it in themselves, are sincerely pleased to have their sphere of hopefulness and charity enlarged. For such this is written; and if those who are not such begin to read, let them treat the book as a letter not addressed to them, which, having opened by mistake, they close and pass to the true owner.
The English reader is requested to bear in mind that the book has not been prepared in reference to an English but an American public, and to make due allowance for that fact. It would have placed the writer far more at ease had there been no prospect of publication in England. As this, however, was unavoidable, in some form, the writer has chosen to issue it there under her own sanction.
There is one acknowledgment which the author feels happy to make, and that is, to those publishers in England, Scotland, France, and Germany who have shown a liberality beyond the requirements of legal obligation. The author hopes that the day is not far distant when America will reciprocate the liberality of other nations by granting to foreign authors those rights which her own receive from them.
The Journal which appears in the continental tour is from the pen of the Rev. C. Beecher. The Letters were, for the most part, compiled from what was written at the time and on the spot. Some few were entirely written after the author's return.
It is an affecting thought that several of the persons who appear in these letters as among the living, have now passed to the great future. The Earl of Warwick, Lord Cockburn, Judge Talfourd, and Dr. Wardlaw are no more among the ways of men. Thus, while we read, while we write, the shadowy procession is passing; the good are being gathered into life, and heaven enriched by the garnered treasures of earth.
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
LETTER I. The Voyage.
LETTER II. Liverpool.—The Dingle.—A Ragged School.—Flowers.—Speke Hall.—Antislavery Meeting.
LETTER III. Lancashire.—Carlisle.—Gretna Green.—Glasgow.
LETTER IV. The Baillie.—The Cathedral.—Dr. Wardlaw.—A Tea Party—Bothwell Castle.—Chivalry.—Scott and Burns.
LETTER V. Dumbarton Castle.—Duke of Argyle.—Linlithgow.—Edinburgh.
LETTER VI. Public Soiree.—Dr. Guthrie.—Craigmiller Castle.—Bass Rock.—Bannockburn.—Stirling.—Glamis Castle.—Barclay of Ury.—The Dee.—Aberdeen.—The Cathedral.—Brig o'Balgounie.
LETTER VII. Letter from a Scotch Bachelor.—Reformatory Schools of Aberdeen.—Dundee.—Dr. Dick.—The Queen in Scotland.
LETTER VIII. Melrose.—Dry burgh.—Abbotsford.
LETTER IX. Douglas of Caver.—Temperance Soiree.—Calls.—Lord Gainsborough.—Sir William Hamilton.—George Combe.—Visit to Hawthornden.—Roslin Castle.—The Quakers.—Hervey's Studio.—Grass Market.—Grayfriars' Churchyard.
LETTER X. Birmingham.—Stratford on Avon.
LETTER XI. Warwick.—Kenilworth.
LETTER XII. Birmingham.—Sybil Jones.—J.A. James.
LETTER XIII. London.—Lord Mayor's Dinner.
LETTER XIV. London.—Dinner with Earl of Carlisle.
LETTER XV. London.—Anniversary of Bible Society.—Dulwich Gallery.—Dinner with Mr. E. Cropper.—Soiree at Rev. Mr. Binney's.
LETTER XVI. Reception at Stafford House.
LETTER XVII. The Sutherland Estate.
LETTER XVIII. Baptist Noel.—Borough School.—Rogers the Poet.—Stafford House.—Ellesmere Collection of Paintings.—Lord John Russell.
The following letters were written by Mrs. Stowe for her own personal friends, particularly the members of her own family, and mainly as the transactions referred to in them occurred. During the tour in England and Scotland, frequent allusions are made to public meetings held on her account; but no report is made of the meetings, because that information, was given fully in the newspapers sent to her friends with the letters. Some knowledge of the general tone and spirit of the meetings seems necessary, in order to put the readers of the letters in as favorable a position to appreciate them as her friends were when they were received. Such knowledge it is the object of this introductory chapter to furnish.
One or two of the addresses at each of several meetings I have given, and generally without alteration, as they appeared in the public journals at the time. Only a very few could be published without occupying altogether too much space; and those selected are for the most part the shortest, and chosen mainly on account of their brevity. This is certainly a surer method of giving a true idea, of the spirit which actually pervaded the meetings than could be accomplished by any selection of mere extracts from the several speeches. In that case, there might be supposed to exist a temptation to garble and make unfair representations; but in the method pursued, such a suspicion is scarcely possible. In relation to my own addresses, I have sometimes taken the liberty to correct the reporters by my own recollections and notes. I have also, in some cases, somewhat abridged them, (a liberty which I have not, to any considerable extent, ventured to take with others,) though without changing the sentiment, or even essentially the form, of expression. What I have here related is substantially what I actually said, and what I am willing to be held responsible for. Many and bitter, during the tour, were the misrepresentations and misstatements of a hostile press; to which I offer no other reply than the plain facts of the following pages. These were the sentiments uttered, this was the manner of their utterance; and I cheerfully submit them to the judgment of a candid public.
I went to Europe without the least anticipation of the kind of reception which awaited us; it was all a surprise and an embarrassment to me. I went with the strongest love of my country, and the highest veneration for her institutions; I every where in Britain found the most cordial sympathy with this love and veneration; and I returned with both greatly increased. But slavery I do not recognize as an institution of my country; it is an excrescence, a vile usurpation, hated of God, and abhorred by man; I am under no obligation either to love or respect it. He is the traitor to America, and American institutions, who reckons slavery as one of them, and, as such, screens it from assault. Slavery is a blight, a canker, a poison, in the very heart of our republic; and unless the nation, as such, disengage itself from it, it will most assuredly be our ruin. The patriot, the philanthropist, the Christian, truly enlightened, sees no other alternative. The developments of the present session of our national Congress are making this great truth clearly perceptible even to the dullest apprehension.
ANDOVER, May 30, 1854.
BREAKFAST IN LIVERPOOL—APRIL 11.
THE REV. DR. M'NEILE, who had been requested by the respected host to express to Mrs. Stowe the hearty congratulations of the first meeting of friends she had seen in England, thus addressed her: "Mrs. Stowe: I have been requested by those kind friends under whose hospitable roof we are assembled to give some expression to the sincere and cordial welcome with which, we greet your arrival in this country. I find real difficulty in making this attempt, not from want of matter, nor from want of feeling, but because it is not in the power of any language I can command, to give adequate expression to the affectionate enthusiasm which pervades all ranks of our community, and which is truly characteristic of the humanity and the Christianity of Great Britain. We welcome Mrs. Stowe as the honored instrument of that noble impulse which public opinion and public feeling throughout Christendom have received against the demoralizing and degrading system of human slavery. That system is still, unhappily, identified in the minds of many with the supposed material interests of society, and even with the well being of the slaves themselves; but the plausible arguments and ingenious sophistries by which it has been defended shrink with shame from the facts without exaggeration, the principles without compromise, the exposures without indelicacy, and the irrepressible glow of hearty feeling—O, how true to nature!—which characterize Mrs. Stowe's immortal book. Yet I feel assured that the effect produced by Uncle Tom's Cabin is not mainly or chiefly to be traced to the interest of the narrative, however captivating, nor to the exposures of the slave system, however withering: these would, indeed, be sufficient to produce a good effect; but this book contains more and better than even these; it contains what will never be lost sight of—the genuine application to the several branches of the subject of the sacred word of God. By no part of this wonderful work has my own mind been so permanently impressed as by the thorough legitimacy of the application of Scripture,—no wresting, no mere verbal adaptation, but in every instance the passage cited is made to illustrate something in the narrative, or in the development of character, in strictest accordance with the design of the passage in its original sacred context. We welcome Mrs. Stowe, then, as an honored fellow-laborer in the highest and best of causes; and I am much mistaken if this tone of welcome be not by far the most congenial to her own feelings. We unaffectedly sympathize with much which she must feel, and, as a lady, more peculiarly feel, in passing through that ordeal of gratulation which is sure to attend her steps in every part of our country; and I am persuaded that we cannot manifest our gratitude for her past services in any way more acceptable to herself than by earnest prayer on her behalf that she may be kept in the simplicity of Christ, enjoying in her daily experience the tender consolations of the Divine Spirit, and in the midst of the most flattering commendations saying and feeling, in the instincts of a renewed heart, 'Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but unto thy name be the praise, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.'"
PROFESSOR STOWE then rose, and said, "If we are silent, it is not because we do not feel, but because we feel more than we can express. When that book was written, we had no hope except in God. We had no expectation of reward save in the prayers of the poor. The surprising enthusiasm which has been excited by the book all over Christendom is an indication that God has a work to be done in the cause of emancipation. The present aspect of things in the United States is discouraging. Every change in society, every financial revolution, every political and ecclesiastical movement, seems to pass and leave the African race without help. Our only resource is prayer. God surely cannot will that the unhappy condition of this portion of his children should continue forever. There are some indications of a movement in the southern mind. A leading southern paper lately declared editorially that slavery is either right or wrong: if it is wrong, it is to be abandoned: if it is right, it must be defended. The Southern Press, a paper established to defend the slavery interest at the seat of government, has proposed that the worst features of the system, such as the separation of families, should be abandoned. But it is evident that with that restriction the system could not exist. For instance, a man wants to buy a cook; but she has a husband and seven children. Now, is he to buy a man and seven children, for whom he has no use, for the sake of having a cook? Nothing on the present occasion has been so grateful to our feelings as the reference made by Dr. M'Neile to the Christian character of the book. Incredible as it may seem to those who are without prejudice, it is nevertheless a fact that this book was condemned by some religious newspapers in the United States as anti-Christian, and its author associated with infidels and disorganizers; and had not it been for the decided expression of the mind of English Christians, and of Christendom itself, on this point, there is reason to fear that the proslavery power of the United States would have succeeded in putting the book under foot. Therefore it is peculiarly gratifying that so full an indorsement has been given the work, in this respect, by eminent Christians of the highest character in Europe; for, however some in the United States may affect to despise what is said by the wise and good of this kingdom and the Christian world, they do feel it, and feel it intensely." In answer to an inquiry by Dr. M'Neile as to the mode in which southern Christians defended the institution, Dr. Stowe remarked that "a great change had taken place in that respect during the last thirty years. Formerly all Christians united in condemning the system; but of late some have begun to defend it on scriptural grounds. The Rev. Mr. Smylie, of Mississippi, wrote a pamphlet in the defensive; and Professor Thornwell, of South Carolina, has published the most candid and able statement of that argument which has been given. Their main reliance is on the system of Mosaic servitude, wholly unlike though it was to the American system of slavery. As to what this American system of slavery is, the best documents for enlightening the minds of British Christians are the commercial newspapers of the slaveholding states. There you see slavery as it is, and certainly without any exaggeration. Read the advertisements for the sale of slaves and for the apprehension of fugitives, the descriptions of the persons of slaves, of dogs for hunting slaves, &c., and you see how the whole matter as viewed by the southern mind. Say what they will about it, practically they generally regard the separation of families no more than the separation of cattle, and the slaves as so much property, and nothing else. Their own papers show that the pictures of the internal slave trade given in Uncle Tom, so far from being overdrawn, fall even below the truth. Go on, then, in forming and expressing your views on this subject. In laboring for the overthrow of American slavery you are pursuing a course of Christian duty as legitimate as in laboring to suppress the suttees of India, the cannibalism of the Fejee Islands, and other barbarities of heathenism, of which human slavery is but a relic. These evils can be finally removed by the benign influence of the love of Christ, and no other power is competent to the work."
PUBLIC MEETING IN LIVERPOOL—APRIL 13.
The Chairman, (A. HODGSON, Esq.,) in opening the proceedings, thus addressed Mrs. Beecher Stowe: "The modesty of our English ladies, which, like your own, shrinks instinctively from unnecessary publicity, has devolved on me, as one of the trustees of the Liverpool Association, the gratifying office of tendering to you, at then request, a slight testimonial of their gratitude and respect. We had hoped almost to the last moment that Mrs. Cropper would have represented, on this day, the ladies with whom she has cooperated, and among whom she has taken a distinguished lead in the great work which you had the honor and the happiness to originate. But she has felt with you that the path most grateful and most congenial to female exertion, even in its widest and most elevated range, is still a retired and a shady path; and you have taught us that the voice which most effectually kindles enthusiasm in millions is the still small voice which comes forth from the sanctuary of a woman's breast, and from the retirement of a woman's closet—the simple but unequivocal expression of her unfaltering faith, and the evidence of her generous and unshrinking self-devotion. In the same spirit, and as deeply impressed with the retired character of female exertion, the ladies who have so warmly greeted your arrival in this country have still felt it entirely consistent with the most sensitive delicacy to make a public response to your appeal, and to hail with acclamation your thrilling protest against those outrages on our common nature which circumstances have forced on your observation. They engage in no political discussion, they embark in no public controversy; but when an intrepid sister appeals to the instincts of women of every color and of every clime against a system which sanctions the violation of the fondest affections and the disruption of the tenderest ties; which snatches the clinging wife from the agonized husband, and the child from the breast of its fainting mother; which leaves the young and innocent female a helpless and almost inevitable victim of a licentiousness controlled by no law and checked by no public opinion,—it is surely as feminine as it is Christian to sympathize with her in her perilous task, and to rejoice that she has shed such a vivid light on enormities which can exist only while unknown or unbelieved. We acknowledge with regret and shame that that fatal system was introduced into America by Great Britain; but having in our colonies returned from our devious paths, we may without presumption, in the spirit of friendly suggestion, implore our honored transatlantic friends to do the same. The ladies of Great Britain have been admonished by their fair sisters in America, (and I am sure they are bound to take the admonition in good part,) that there are social evils in our own country demanding our special vigilance and care. This is most true; but it is also true that the deepest sympathies and most strenuous efforts are directed, in the first instance, to the evils which exist among ourselves, and that the rays of benevolence which flash across the Atlantic are often but the indication of the intensity of the bright flame which is shedding light and heat on all in its immediate vicinity. I believe this is the case with most of those who have taken a prominent part in this great movement. I am sure it is preeminently the case with respect to many of those by whom you are surrounded; and I hardly know a more miserable fallacy, by which sensible men allow themselves to be deluded, than that which assumes that every emotion of sympathy which is kindled by objects abroad is abstracted from our sympathies at home. All experience points to a directly opposite conclusion; and surely the divine command, 'to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,' should put to shame and silence the specious but transparent selfishness which would contract the limits of human sympathy, and veil itself under the garb of superior sagacity. But I must not detain you by any further observations. Allow me, in the name of the associated ladies, to present you with this small memorial of great regard, and to tender to you their and my best wishes for your health and happiness while you are sojourning among us, for the blessing of God on your children during your absence, and for your safe return to your native country when your mission shall be accomplished. I have just been requested to state the following particulars: In December last, a few ladies met in this place to consider the best plan of obtaining signatures in Liverpool to an address to the women of America on the subject of negro slavery, in substance coinciding with the one so nobly proposed and carried forward by Lord Shaftesbury. At this meeting it was suggested that it would be a sincere gratification to many if some testimonial could be presented to Mrs. Stowe which would indicate the sense, almost universally entertained, that she had been the instrument in the hands of God of arousing the slumbering sympathies of this country in behalf of the suffering slave. It was felt desirable to render the expression of such a feeling as general as possible; and to effect this it was resolved that a subscription should be set on foot, consisting of contributions of one penny and upwards, with a view to raise a testimonial, to be presented to Mrs. Stowe by the ladies of Liverpool, as an expression of their grateful appreciation of her valuable services in the cause of the negro, and as a token of admiration for the genius and of high esteem for the philanthropy and Christian feeling which animate her great work, Uncle Tom's Cabin. It ought, perhaps, to be added, that some friends, not residents of Liverpool, have united in this tribute. As many of the ladies connected with the effort to obtain signatures to the address may not be aware of the whole number appended, they may be interested in knowing that they amounted in all to twenty-one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three. Of these, twenty thousand nine hundred and thirty-six were obtained by ladies in Liverpool, from their friends either in this neighborhood or at a distance; and one thousand and seventeen were sent to the committee in London from other parts, by those who preferred our form of address. The total number of signatures from all parts of the kingdom to Lord Shaftesbury's address was upwards of five hundred thousand."
PROFESSOR STOWE then said, "On behalf of Mrs. Stowe I will read from her pen the response to your generous offering: 'It is impossible for me to express the feelings of my heart at the kind and generous manner in which I have been received upon English shores. Just when I had begun to realize that a whole wide ocean lay between me and all that is dearest to me, I found most unexpectedly a home and friends waiting to receive me here. I have had not an hour in which to know the heart of a stranger. I have been made to feel at home since the first moment of landing, and wherever I have looked I have seen only the faces of friends. It is with deep feeling that I have found myself on ground that has been consecrated and made holy by the prayers and efforts of those who first commenced the struggle for that sacred cause which has proved so successful in England, and which I have a solemn assurance will yet be successful in my own country. It is a touching thought that here so many have given all that they have, and are, in behalf of oppressed humanity. It is touching to remember that one of the noblest men which England has ever produced now lies stricken under the heavy hand of disease, through a last labor of love in this cause. May God grant us all to feel that nothing is too dear or precious to be given in a work for which such men have lived, and labored, and suffered. No great good is ever wrought out for the human race without the suffering of great hearts. They who would serve their fellow-men are ever reminded that the Captain of their salvation was made perfect through suffering. I gratefully accept the offering confided to my care, and trust it may be so employed that the blessing of many "who are ready to perish" will return upon your heads. Let me ask those—those fathers and mothers in Israel—who have lived and prayed many years for this cause, that as they prayed for their own country in the hour of her struggle, so they will pray now for ours. Love and prayer can hurt no one, can offend no one, and prayer is a real power. If the hearts of all the real Christians of England are poured out in prayer, it will be felt through the heart of the whole American church. Let us all look upward, from our own feebleness and darkness, to Him of whom it is said, "He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment in the earth." To him, the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.'—These are the words, my friends, which Mrs. Stowe has written, and I cannot forbear to add a few words of my own. It was our intention, as the invitation to visit Great Britain came from Glasgow, to make our first landing there. But it was ordered by Providence that we should land here; and surely there is no place in the kingdom where a landing could be more appropriate, and where the reception could have been more cordial. [Hear, hear!] It was wholly unexpected by us, I can assure you. We know that there were friendly hearts here, for we had received abundant testimonials to that effect from letters which had come to us across the Atlantic—letters wholly unexpected, and which filled our souls with surprise; but we had no thought that there was such a feeling throughout England, and we scarcely know how to conduct ourselves under it, for we are not accustomed to this kind of receptions. In our own country, unhappily, we are very much divided, and the preponderance of feeling expressed is in the other direction, entirely in opposition, and not in favor. [Hear, hear!] We knew that this city had been the scene of some of the greatest, most disinterested, and most powerful efforts in behalf of emancipation. The name of Clarkson was indissolubly associated with this place, for here he came to make his investigations, and here he was in danger of his life, and here he was protected by friends who stood by him through the whole struggle. The names of Cropper, and of Stephen, and of many others in this city, were very familiar to us—[Hear, hear!]—and it was in connection with this city that we received what to our feelings was a most effective testimonial, an unexpected letter from Lord Denman, whom we have always venerated. When I was in England in 1836, there were no two persons whom I more desired to see than the Duke of Wellington and Lord Denman; and soon I sought admission to the House of Lords, where I had the pleasure both of seeing and hearing England's great captain; and I found my way to the Court of Queen's Bench, where I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing England's great judge. But how unexpected was all this to us! When that book was written, in sorrow, and in sadness, and obscurity, and with the heart almost broken in the view of the sufferings which it described, and the still greater sufferings which it dared not describe, there was no expectation of any thing but the prayers of the sufferers and the blessing of God, who has said that the seed which is buried in the earth shall spring up in his own good time; and though it may be long buried, it will still at length come forth and bear fruit. We never could believe that slavery in our land would be a perpetual curse; but we felt, and felt deeply, that there must be a terrible struggle before we could be delivered from it, and that there must be suffering and martyrdom in this cause, as in every other great cause; for a struggle of eighteen years had taught us its strength. And, under God, we rely very much on the Christian public of Great Britain; for every expression of feeling from the wise and good of this land, with whatever petulance it may be met by some, goes to the heart of the American people. [Hear, hear!] You must not judge of the American people by the expressions which have come across the Atlantic in reference to the subject. Nine tenths of the American people, I think, are, in opinion at least, with you on this great subject; [Hear, hear!] but there is a tremendous pressure brought to bear upon all who are in favor of emancipation. The whole political power, the whole money power, almost the whole ecclesiastical power is wielded in defence of slavery, protecting it from all aggression; and it is as much as a man's reputation is worth to utter a syllable boldly and openly on the other side. Let me say to the ladies who have been active in getting up the address on the subject of slavery, that you have been doing a great and glorious work, and a work most appropriate for you to do; for in slavery it is woman that suffers most intensely, and the suffering woman has a claim upon the sympathy of her sisters in other lands. This address will produce a powerful impression throughout the country. There are ladies already of the highest character in the nation pondering how they shall make a suitable response, and what they shall do in reference to it that will be acceptable to the ladies of the United Kingdom, or will be profitable to the slave; and in due season you will see that the hearts of American women are alive to this matter, as well as the hearts of the women of this country. [Hear, hear!] Such was the mighty influence brought to bear upon every thing that threatened slavery, that had it not been for the decided expression on this side of the Atlantic in reference to the work which has exerted, under God, so much influence, there is every reason to fear that it would have been crushed and put under foot, as many other efforts for the overthrow of slavery have been in the United States. But it is impossible; the unanimous voice of Christendom prohibits it; and it shows that God has a work to accomplish, and that he has just commenced it. There are social evils in England. Undoubtedly there are; but the difference between the social evils in England and this great evil of slavery in the United States is just here: In England, the power of the government and the power of Christian sympathy are exerted for the removal of those evils. Look at the committees of inquiry in Parliament, look at the amount of information collected with regard to the suffering poor in their reports, and see how ready the government of Great Britain is to enter into those inquiries, and to remove those evils. Look at the benevolent institutions of the United Kingdom, and see how active all these are in administering relief; and then see the condition of slavery in the United States, where the whole power of the government is used in the contrary direction, where every influence is brought to bear to prevent any mitigation of the evil, and where every voice that is lifted to plead for a mitigation is drowned in vituperation and abuse from those who are determined that the evil shall not be mitigated. This is the difference: England repents and reforms. America refuses to repent and reform. It is said, 'Let each country take care of itself, and let the ladies of England attend to their own business.' Now I have always found that those who labor at home are those who labor abroad; [Hear, hear!] and those who say, 'Let us do the work at home,' are those who do no work of good either at home or abroad. [Hear, hear!] It was just so when the great missionary effort came up in the United States. They said, 'We have a great territory here. Let us send missionaries to our own territories. Why should we send missionaries across the ocean?' But those who sent missionaries across the ocean were those who sent missionaries in the United States; and those who did not send missionaries across the ocean were those who sent missionaries nowhere. [Hear, hear!] They who say, 'Charity begins at home,' are generally those who have no charity; and when I see a lady whose name is signed to this address, I am sure to find a lady who is exercising her benevolence at home. Let me thank you for all the interest you have manifested and for all the kindness which we have received at your hands, which we shall ever remember, both with gratitude to you and to God our Father."
The REV. C.M. BIRRELL afterwards made a few remarks in proposing a vote of thanks to the ladies who had contributed the testimonial which had been presented to the distinguished writer of Uncle Tom's Cabin. He said it was most delightful to hear of the great good which that remarkable volume had done, and, he humbly believed, by God's special inspiration and guidance, was doing, in the United States of America. It was not confined to the United States of America. The volume was going forth over the whole earth, and great good was resulting, directly and indirectly, by God's providence, from it. He was told a few days ago, by a gentleman fully conversant with the facts, that an edition of Uncle Tom, circulated in Belgium, had created an earnest desire on the part of the people to read the Bible, so frequently quoted in that beautiful work, and that in consequence of it a great run had been made upon the Bible Society's depositories in that kingdom. [Hear, hear!] The priests of the church of Rome, true to their instinct, in endeavoring to maintain the position which they could not otherwise hold, had published another edition, from which, they had entirely excluded all reference to the word of God. [Hear, hear!] He had been also told that at St. Petersburg an edition of Uncle Tom had been translated into the Russian tongue, and that it was being distributed, by command of the emperor, throughout the whole of that vast empire. It was true that the circulation of the work there did not spring from a special desire on the part of the emperor to give liberty to the people of Russia, but because he wished to create a third power in the empire, to act upon the nobles; he wished to cause them to set free their serfs, in order that a third power might be created in the empire to serve as a check upon them. But whatever was the cause, let us thank God, the Author of all gifts, for what is done.
Sir GEORGE STEPHEN seconded the motion of thanks to the ladies, observing that he had peculiar reasons for doing so. He supposed that he was one of the oldest laborers in this cause. Thirty years ago he found that the work of one lady was equal to that of fifty men; and now we had the work of one lady which was equal to that of all the male sex. [Applause.]
PUBLIC MEETING IN GLASGOW—APRIL 15.
THE REV. DR. WARDLAW was introduced by the chairman, and spoke as follows:—
"The members of the Glasgow Ladies' New Antislavery Association and the citizens of Glasgow, now assembled, hail with no ordinary satisfaction, and with becoming gratitude to a kindly protecting Providence, the safe arrival amongst them of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. They feel obliged by her accepting, with so much promptitude and cordiality, the invitation addressed to her—an invitation intended to express the favor they bore to her, and the honor in which they held her, as the eminently gifted authoress of Uncle Tom's Cabin—a work of humble name, but of high excellence and world-wide celebrity; a work the felicity of whose conception is more than equalled by the admirable tact of its execution, and the Christian benevolence of its design, by its exquisite adaptation to its accomplishment; distinguished by the singular variety and consistent discrimination of its characters; by the purity of its religious and moral principles; by its racy humor, and its touching pathos, and its effectively powerful appeals to the judgment, the conscience, and the heart; a work, indeed, of whose sterling worth the earnest test is to be found in the fact of its having so universally touched and stirred the bosom of our common humanity, in all classes of society, that its humble name has become 'a household word,' from the palace to the cottage, and of the extent of its circulation having been unprecedented in the history of the literature of this or of any other age or country. They would, at the same time, include in their hearty welcome the Rev. C.E. Stowe, Professor of Theological Literature in the Andover Theological Seminary, Massachusetts, whose eminent qualifications, as a classical scholar, a man of general literature, and a theologian, have recently placed him in a highly honorable and responsible position, and who, on the subject of slavery, holds the same principles and breathes the same spirit of freedom with his accomplished partner; and, along with them too, another member of the same singularly talented family with herself. They delight to think of the amount of good to the cause of emancipation and universal liberty which her Cabin has already done, and to anticipate the still larger amount it is yet destined to do, now that the Key to the Cabin has triumphantly shown it to be no fiction; and in whatever further efforts she may be honored of Heaven to make in the same noble cause, they desire, unitedly and heartily, to cheer her on, and bid her 'God speed.' I cannot but feel myself highly honored in having been requested to move this resolution. In doing so, I have the happiness of introducing to a Glasgow audience a lady from the transatlantic continent, the extraordinary production of whose pen, referred to in the resolution, had made her name familiar in our country and through Europe, ere she appeared in person among us. My judgment and my heart alike fully respond to every thing said in the resolution respecting that inimitable work. We are accustomed to make a distinction between works of nature and works of art, but in a sense which, all will readily understand, this is preeminently both. As a work of art, it bears upon it, throughout, the stamp of original and varied genius. And yet, throughout, it equally bears the impress of nature—of human nature—in its worst and its best, and all its intermediate phases. The man who has read that little volume without laughing and crying alternately—without the meltings of pity, the thrillings of horror, and the kindlings of indignation—would supply a far better argument for a distinct race than a negro. [Loud laughter and cheers.] He must have a humanity peculiarly his own. And he who can read it without the breathings of devotion must, if he calls himself a Christian, have a Christianity as unique and questionable as his humanity. [Cheering.] Never did work produce such a sensation. Among us that sensation has happily been all of one kind. It has been the stirring of universal sympathy and unbounded admiration. Not so in the country of its own and of its gifted authoress's birth. There, the ferment has been among the friends as well as the foes of slavery. Among the former all is rage. Among the latter, while there are some—we trust not a few—who take the same high and noble position with the talented authoress, there are too many, we fear, who are frightened by this uncompromising boldness, and who are drawn back rather than drawn forward by it—who 'halt between two opinions,' and are the advocates of medium principles and medium measures. By many among ourselves, the excitement which has been stirred is contemplated with apprehension. They regard it as unfavorable to emancipation, and likely to retard rather than to advance its progress. I must confess myself of a somewhat different mind. That the cause may be obstructed by it for a time, may be true. But it will work well in the long run. Good will ultimately come out of it. Stir is better than stagnancy. Irritation is better than apathy. Whence does it arise? From two sources. The conscience and the honor of the country have both been touched. Conscience winces under the touch. The provocation shows it to be ill at ease. The wound is painful, and it naturally awakens fretfulness and resentment. But by and by the angry excitement will subside, and the salutary conviction will remain and operate. The national honor, too, has been touched. Our friends across the wave boast, and with good reason, of the free principles of their constitution. They glory in their liberty. But they cannot fail to feel the inconsistency of their position, and the exposure of it to the world kindles on the cheek the blush of shame and the reddening fire of displeasure. Now, the blush has aright source. It is the blush of patriotism—it is for their country. But there is anger with the shame; for few things are more galling than to feel that to be wrong which you are unable to justify, and which, yet, you are not prepared to relinquish. [Loud applause.] On the whole, I cannot but regard the agitation which has been produced as an auspicious, rather than a discouraging omen. It was when the waters of the pool were troubled that their healing virtue was imparted. Let us then hope that the troubling of the waters by this ministering angel of mercy may impregnate them with a similar sanative influence, [the reverend doctor here pointed towards Mrs. Stowe, while the audience burst out with enthusiastic acclamations and waving of handkerchiefs,] and thus ultimately contribute to the healing of the ghastly wounds of the chain and the lash, and to the setting of the crushed and bowed down erect in the soundness and dignity of their true manhood. [Loud cheering.] Sorry we are that Mrs. Stowe should appear amongst us in a state of broken health and physical exhaustion. No one who looks at the Cabin and at the Key, and who knows aught of the effect of severe mental labor on the bodily frame, will marvel at this. We fondly trust, and earnestly pray, that her temporary sojourn among us may, by the divine blessing, recruit her strength, and contribute to the prolongation of a life so promising of benefit to suffering humanity, and to the glory of God. [Cheers.] Meanwhile she enjoys the happy consciousness that she is suffering in a good cause. A better there could not be. It is one which involves the well being, corporeal and mental, physical and spiritual, temporal and eternal, of degraded, plundered, oppressed, darkened, brutalized, perishing millions. And, while we delight in furnishing her for a time with a peaceful retreat from 'the wrath of men,' from the resentment of those who, did they but rightly know their own interests, would have smiled upon her, and blessed her. We trust she enjoys, and ever will enjoy, quietness and assurance of an infinitely higher order—the divine Master, whom she serves and seeks to honor; proving to her, in the terms of his own promise, 'a refuge from the storm, and a covert from the tempest.' [Enthusiastic cheering.] It may sound strangely, that, when assembled for the very purpose of denouncing 'property in man,' we should be putting in our claims for a share of property in woman. So, however, it is. We claim Mrs. Stowe as ours—[renewed, cheers]—not ours only, but still ours. She is British and European property as well as American. She is the property of the whole world of literature and the whole world of humanity. [Cheers.] Should our transatlantic friends repudiate the property, they may transfer their share—[laughter and cheers]—most gladly will we accept the transference."
PROFESSOR STOWE, on rising to reply, was greeted with the most enthusiastic applause. He said that he appeared in the name of Mrs. Stowe, and in his own name, for the purpose of cordially thanking the people of Glasgow for the reception that had been given to them. But he could not find words to do it. Was it true that all this affectionate interest was merited? [Cheers.] He could not imagine any book capable of exciting such expressions of attachment; indeed he was inclined to believe it had not been written at all—he "'spected it grew." [Tremendous cheers.] Under the oppression of the fugitive slave law the book had sprung from the soil ready made. He regretted exceedingly that in consequence of the state of Mrs. Stowe's health, and in consequence of the great pressure of engagements on himself, their stay in this country would be necessarily short. But he hoped they would accept of the expression of thanks they offered, and their apology for not being in a condition to meet their kindness as they would desire. When they were about to set out from Andover, a friend of theirs expressed his astonishment that they should enter upon such a journey in the delicate state of Mrs. Stowe's health. The Scotch people, he doubted not, would be kind to them—they would kill them with kindness; and he feared it would be so. It was from Glasgow the idea of the invitation they had received had originated; and well might it originate in that city, for when had been the time that Glasgow was not in earnest on the subject of freedom? They had had hard struggles for liberty, and they had been successful, and the people in the United States were now struggling for the same privilege. But they labored under circumstances greatly different from those in Great Britain. Scotland had ever been distinguished for its love of freedom. [Great applause.] The religious denominations in the United States—to a great extent, give few and feeble expressions of disapprobation against the system of slavery. Two denominations had never been silent—the Old Scotch Seceders, or Covenanters, and the disciples of William Penn—not one of their number, in the United States, owns a slave. Not one can own a slave without being ejected from the society.[A] In fact, the general feeling was against slavery; but to avoid trouble, the people hesitate to give publicity to their feelings. Were this done, slavery would soon come to an end. Great sacrifices are sometimes made by slaveholders to get rid of slavery. He went once to preach in the State of Ohio. He found there a little log house. Inside was a delicate woman, feeble and with white hands. She seemed wholly unaccustomed to work. Her husband had the same appearance of delicacy. They were very poor. How had they come into that state? They belonged to a slave State, where they had formerly possessed a little family of slaves. They had felt slavery to be wrong. They set them free, and with the remainder of their little property tried to get their living by farming; but like many similar cases, it had been one of martyrdom. The Professor then proceeded to make some very practical remarks on the character of the fugitive slave law, after which he said that the prosperity of Great Britain in a great measure resulted from the products of slave labor. American cotton was the chief support of the system. We must, both in Britain and America, get free-grown cotton, or slavery will not, at least for a long time to come, be abolished. What he would impress on the minds of Christians was unity in this great work. Let slaveholders be ever so much opposed to each other on other topics, they were unanimous in their endeavors to support slavery. But let the prayers of all Christians and the efforts of all Christians be united; and the system of oppression would speedily be destroyed forever.
PUBLIC MEETING IN EDINBURGH—APRIL 20.
THE LORD PROVOST rose, and stated that a number of letters of apology had been received from parties who had been invited to take part in the meeting, but who had been unable to attend. Among these he might mention Professor Blackie, the Rev. Mr. Gilfillan, of Dundee, Rev. J. Begg, D.D., the Earl of Buchan, Dr. Candlish, and Sir W. Gibson Craig, all of whom expressed their regret that they could not be present. One of them, he observed, was from a gentleman who had long taken an interest in the antislavery cause,—Lord Cockburn,[B]—and his note was so warm, and sympathetic, and hearty on the subject about which they had met, that he could not resist the temptation of reading it. It proceeded, "I regret, that owing to my being obliged to be in Ayrshire, it will not be in my power to join you in the expression of respect and gratitude to Mrs. Stowe; she deserves all the honor that can be done her; she has done more for humanity than was ever accomplished before by a single book of fiction. [Cheers.] It did not require much to raise our British feeling against slavery, but by showing us what substantially are facts, and the necessary tendency of this evil in its most mitigated form, she has greatly strengthened the ground on which this feeling rests. Her work may have no immediate or present influence on the states of her own country that are now unhappily under the curse, and may indeed for a time aggravate its horrors; but it is a prodigious accession to the constantly accumulating mass of views and evidence, which by reason of its force must finally prevail." [Cheers.] The Lord Provost proceeded to say, that they had now assembled chiefly to do honor to their distinguished guest, Mrs. Stowe. [Applause.] They had met, however, also to express their interest in the cause which it had been the great effort of her life to promote—the abolition of slavery. They took advantage of her presence, and the effect which was produced on the public mind of this country, to reiterate their love for the abolition cause, and their detestation of slavery. Before they were aware that Mrs. Stowe was to grace the city of Edinburgh with her presence, a committee had been organized to collect a penny offering—the amount to be contributed in pence, and other small sums, from the masses of this country—to be presented to her as some means of mitigating, through her instrumentality, the horrors of slavery, as they might come under her observation. It was intended at once as a mark of their esteem for her, of their confidence in her, of their conviction that she would do what was right in the cause, and, at the same time, as an evidence of the detestation in which the system of slavery was held in this free country. That penny offering now, he was happy to say, by the spontaneous efforts of the inhabitants of this and other towns, amounted to a considerable sum; to certain gentlemen in Edinburgh forming the committee the whole credit of this organization was due, and he believed one of their number, the Rev. Mr. Ballantyne, would present the offering that evening, and tell them all about it. He would not, therefore, forestall what he would have to say on the subject. They were also to have the pleasure of presenting Mrs. Stowe with an address from the committee in this city, which would be presented by another reverend friend, who would be introduced at the proper time. As there would be a number of speakers to follow during the evening, his own remarks must be exceedingly short; but he could not resist the temptation of saying how happy he felt at being once more in the midst of a great meeting in the city of Edinburgh, for the purpose of expressing their detestation of the system of slavery. They could appeal to their brethren in the United States with clean hands, because they had got rid of the abomination themselves; they could therefore say to them, through their friends who were now present, on their return home, and through the press, which would carry their sentiments even to the slave states—they could say to them that they had washed their own hands of the evil at the largest pecuniary sacrifice that was ever made by any nation for the promotion of any good cause. [Loud applause.] Some parties said that they should not speak harshly of the Americans, because they were full of prejudice with regard to the system which they had seen growing up around them. He said so too with all his heart; he joined in the sentiment that they should not speak harshly, but they might fairly express their opinion of the system with which their American friends were surrounded, and in which he thought all who supported it were guilty participators. [Hear, hear!] They could denounce the wickedness, they could tell them that they thought it was their duty to put an end to it speedily. The cause of the abolition of slavery in our own colonies long hung without any visible progress, notwithstanding the efforts of many distinguished men, who did all they could to mitigate some of its more prominent evils; and yet, so long as they never struck at the root, the progress which they made was almost insensible. They knew how many men had spent their energies, and some of them their lives, in attempting to forward the cause; but how little effect was produced for the first half of the present century! The city of Edinburgh had always, he was glad to say, taken a deep interest in the cause; it was one of the very first to take up the ground of total and entire abolition. [Cheers.] A predecessor of his own in the civic chair was so kind as to preside at a meeting held in Edinburgh twenty-three years ago, in which a very decided step was proposed to be taken in advance, and a resolution was moved by the then Dean of Faculty, to the effect that on the following first of January, 1831, all the children born of slave parents in our colonies were from that date to be declared free. That was thought a great and most important movement by the promoters of the cause. There were, however, parties at that crowded meeting who thought that even this was a mere expedient—that it was a mere pruning of the branches, leaving the whole system intact. One of these was the late Dr. Andrew Thomson—[cheers]—who had the courage to propose that the meeting should at once declare for total and immediate abolition, which proposal was seconded by another excellent citizen, Mr. Dickie. Dr. Thomson replied to some of the arguments which had been put forward, to the effect that the total abolition might possibly occasion bloodshed; and he said that, even if that did follow, it was no fault of his, and that he still stuck to the principle, which he considered right under any circumstances. The chairman, thereupon, threatened to leave the chair on account of the unnecessarily strong language used, and when the sentiments were reiterated by Mr. Dickie, he actually bolted, and left the meeting, which was thrown into great confusion. A few days afterwards, however, another meeting was held—one of the largest and most effective that had been ever held in Edinburgh—at which were present Mr. John Shank More in the chair, the Rev. Dr. Thomson, Rev. Dr Gordon, Dr. Ritchie, Mr. Muirhead, the Rev. Mr. Buchanan of North Leith, Mr. J. Wigham, Jr., Dr. Greville, &c. The Lord Provost proceeded to read extracts from the speeches made at the meeting, showing that the sentiments of the inhabitants of Edinburgh, so far back as 1830, as uttered by some of its most distinguished men,—not violent agitators, but ministers of the gospel, promoters of peace and order, and every good and every benevolent purpose,—were in favor of the immediate and total abolition of slavery in our colonies. He referred especially to the speech of Dr. Andrew Thomson on this occasion, from which he read the following extract: "But if the argument is forced upon me to accomplish this great object, that there must be violence, let it come, for it will soon pass away—let it come and rage its little hour, since it is to be succeeded by lasting freedom, and prosperity, and happiness. Give me the hurricane rather than the pestilence. Give me the hurricane, with its thunders, and its lightnings, and its tempests—give me the hurricane, with its partial and temporary devastations, awful though they be—give me the hurricane, which brings along with it purifying, and healthful, and salutary effects—give me the hurricane rather than the noisome pestilence, whose path is never crossed, whose silence is never disturbed, whose progress is never arrested by one sweeping blast from the heavens—which walks peacefully and sullenly through the length and breadth of the land, breathing poison into every heart, and carrying havoc into every home—enervating all that is strong, defacing all that is beautiful, and casting its blight over the fairest and happiest scenes of human life—and which from day to day, and from year to year, with intolerant and interminable malignity, sends its thousands and tens of thousands of hapless victims into the ever-yawning and never-satisfied grave!"—[Loud and long applause.] The experience which they had had, that all the dangers, all the bloodshed and violence which were threatened, were merely imaginary, and that none of these evils had come upon them although slavery had been totally abolished by us, should, he thought, be an encouragement to their American friends to go home and tell their countrymen that in this great city the views now put forward were advocated long ago—that the persons who now held them said the same years ago of the disturbances and the evils which would arise from pressing the question of immediate and total abolition—that the same kind of arguments and the same predictions of evil were uttered in England—and although she had not the experience, although she had not the opportunity of pointing to the past, and saying the evil had not come in such a case, still, even then, they were willing to face the evil, to stick to the righteous principle, and to say, come what would, justice must be done to the slave, and slavery must be wholly and immediately abolished. [Cheers.] He had said so much on the question of slavery, because he was very sure it would be much more agreeable to their modest and retiring and distinguished guest that one should speak about any other thing than about herself. Uncle Tom's Cabin needed no recommendation from him. [Loud cheers.] It was the most extraordinary book, he thought, that had ever been published; no book had ever got into the same circulation; none had ever produced a tithe of the impression which it had produced within a given time. It was worth all the proslavery press of America put together. The horrors of slavery were not merely described, but they were actually pictured to the eye. They were seen and understood fully; formerly they were mere dim visions, about which there was great difference of opinion; some saw them as in a mist, and others more clearly; but now every body saw and understood slavery. Every body in this great city, if they had a voice in the matter, would be prepared to say that they wished slavery to be utterly extinguished. [Loud cheers.]
PROFESSOR STOWE then rose, and was greeted with loud cheers. He begged to read the following note from Mrs. Stowe, in acknowledgment of the honor:—
"I accept these congratulations and honors, and this offering, which it has pleased Scotland to bestow on me, not for any thing which I have said or done, not as in any sense acknowledging that they are or can be deserved, but with heartfelt, humble gratitude to God, as tokens of mercy to a cause most sacred and most oppressed. In the name of a people despised and rejected of men—in the name of men of sorrows acquainted with grief, from whom the faces of all the great and powerful of the earth have been hid—in the name of oppressed and suffering humanity, I thank you. The offering given is the dearer to me, and the more hopeful, that it is literally the penny offering, given by thousands on thousands, a penny at a time. When, in travelling through your country, aged men and women have met me with such fervent blessings, little children gathered round me with such loving eyes—when honest hands, hard with toil, have been stretched forth with such hearty welcome—when I have seen how really it has come from the depths of the hearts of the common people, and know, as I truly do, what prayers are going up with it from the humblest homes of Scotland, I am encouraged. I believe it is God who inspires this feeling, and I believe God never inspired it in vain. I feel an assurance that the Lord hath looked down from heaven to hear the groaning of the prisoner, and according to the greatness of his power, to loose those that are appointed to die. In the human view, nothing can be more hopeless than this cause; all the wealth, and all the power, and all the worldly influence is against it. But here in Scotland, need we tell the children of the Covenant, that the Lord on high is mightier than all human power? Here, close by the spot where your fathers signed that Covenant, in an hour when Scotland's cause was equally poor and depressed—here, by the spot where holy martyrs sealed it with their blood, it will neither seem extravagance nor enthusiasm to say to the children of such parents, that for the support of this cause, we look, not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are not seen; to that God, who, in the face of all worldly power, gave liberty to Scotland, in answer to your fathers' prayers. Our trust is in Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Ghost, and in the promise that he shall reign till he hath put all things under his feet. There are those faithless ones, who, standing at the grave of a buried humanity, tell us that it is vain to hope for our brother, because he hath lain in the grave three days already. We turn from them to the face of Him who has said, 'Thy brother shall rise again.' There was a time when our great High Priest, our Brother, yet our Lord, lay in the grave three days; and the governors and powers of the earth made it as sure as they could, seeding the stone and setting a watch. But a third day came, and an earthquake, and an angel. So shall it be to the cause of the oppressed; though now small and despised, we are watchers at the sepulchre, like Mary and the trusting women; we can sit through the hours of darkness. We are watching the sky for the golden streaks of dawning, and we believe that the third day will surely come. For Christ our Lord, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; and he has pledged his word that he shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment on the earth. He shall deliver the poor when He crieth, the needy, and him that hath no helper. The night is far spent—the day is at hand. The universal sighing of humanity in all countries, the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain together—the earnest expectation of the creature waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God—show that the day is not distant when he will break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free. And whatever we are able to do for this sacred cause, let us cast it where the innumerable multitude of heaven cast their crowns, at the feet of the Lamb, saying, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessings.'"
The Rev. Professor then continued. "My Lord Provost, Ladies and Gentlemen: This cause, to be successful, must be carried on in a religious spirit, with a deep sense of our dependence on God, and with that love for our fellow-men which the gospel requires. It is because I think I have met this spirit since I reached the shores of Great Britain, in those who have taken an interest in the cause, that I feel encouraged to hope that the expression of your feeling will be effective on the hearts of Christians on the other side of the Atlantic. There are Christians there as sincere, as hearty, and as earnest, as any on the face of the earth. They have looked at this subject, and been troubled; they have hardly known what to do, and their hearts have been discouraged. They have almost turned away their eyes from it, because they have scarcely dared encounter it, the difficulties appeared to them so great. Wrong cannot always receive the support of Christians; wrong must be done away with; and what must be—what God requires to be—that certainly will be. Now, in this age, man is every where beginning to regard the sufferings of his fellow-man as his own. There is an interest felt in man, as man, which was not felt in preceding ages. The facilities of communication are bringing all nations in contact, and whatever wrong exists in any part of the world, is every where felt. There are wrongs and sufferings every where; but those to which we are accustomed, we look upon with most indifference, because being accustomed to them, we do not feel their enormity. You feel the enormity of slavery more than we do, because you are not immediately interested, and regard it at a distance. We regard some of the wrongs that exist in the old world with more sensibility than you can regard them, because we are not accustomed to them, and you are. Therefore, in the spirit of Christian love, it belongs to Christian men to speak to each other with great fidelity. It has been said that you know little or nothing about slavery. O, happy men, that you are ignorant of its enormities. [Hear, hear!] But you do know something about it. You know as much about it as you know of the widow-burning in India, or the cannibalism in the Fejee Islands, or any of those crimes and sorrows of paganism, that induced you to send forth your missionaries. You know it is a great wrong, and a terrible obstacle to the progress of the gospel; and that is enough for you to know to induce you to act. You have as much knowledge as ever induced a Christian community in any part of the world to exert an influence in any other part of the world. Slavery is a relic of paganism, of barbarism; it must be removed by Christianity; and if the light of Christianity shines on it clearly, it certainly will remove it. There are thousands of hearts in the United States that rejoice in your help. Whatever expressions of impatience and petulance you may hear, be assured that these expressions are not the heart of the great body of the people. [Cheers.] A large proportion of that country is free from slavery. There is an area of freedom ten times larger than Great Britain in territory.[C] [Cheers.] But all the power over the slave is in the hands of the slaveholder. You had a power over the slaveholder by your national legislature; our national legislature has no power over the slaveholder. All the legislation that can in that country be brought to bear for the slave, is legislation by the slaveholders themselves. There is where the difficulty lies. It is altogether by persuasion, Christian counsel, Christian sympathy, Christian earnestness, that any good can be effected for the slave. The conscience of the people is against the system—the conscience of the people, even in the slaveholding states; and if we can but get at the conscience without exciting prejudice, it will tend greatly towards the desired effect. But this appeal to the conscience must be unintermittent, constant. Your hands must not be weary, your prayers must not be discontinued; but every day and every hour should we be doing something towards the object. It is sometimes said, Americans who resist slavery are traitors to their country. No; those who would support freedom are the only true friends of their country. Our fathers never intended slavery to be identified with the government of the United States; but in the temptations of commerce the evil was overlooked; and how changed for the worse has become the public sentiment even within the last thirty or forty years! The enormous increase in the consumption of cotton has raised enormously the market value of slaves, and arrayed both avarice and political ambition in defence of slavery. Instruct the conscience, and produce free cotton, and this will be like Cromwell's exhortation to his soldiers, 'Trust in God, and keep your powder dry.'" [Continued cheers.]
THE REV. DR. R. LEE then said: "I am quite sure that every individual here responds cordially to those sentiments of respect and gratitude towards our honored guest which have been so well expressed by the Lord Provost and the other gentlemen who have addressed us. We think that this lady has not only laid us under a great obligation by giving us one of the most delightful books in the English language, but that she has improved us as men and as Christians, that she has taught us the value of our privileges, and made us more sensible than we were before of the obligation which lies upon us to promote every good work. I have been requested to say a few words on the degradation of American slavery; but I feel, in the presence of the gentleman who last addressed you, and of those who are still to address you, that it would be almost presumption in me to enter on such a subject. It is impossible to speak or to think of the subject of slavery without feeling that there is a double degradation in the matter; for, in the first place, the slave is a man made in the image of God—God's image cut in ebony, as old Thomas Fuller quaintly but beautifully said; and what right have we to reduce him to the image of a brute, and make property of him? We esteem drunkenness as a sin. Why is it a sin? Because it reduces that which was made in the image of God to the image of a brute. We say to the drunkard, 'You are guilty of a sacrilege, because you reduce that which God made in his own image "into the image of an irrational creature."' Slavery does the very same. But there is not only a degradation committed as regards the slave—there is a degradation also committed against himself by him who makes him a slave, and who retains him in the position of a slave; for is it not one of the most commonplace of truths that we cannot do a wrong to a neighbor without doing a greater wrong to ourselves?—that we cannot injure him without also injuring ourselves yet more? I observe there is a certain class of writers in America who are fond of representing the feeling of this country towards America as one of jealousy, if not of hatred.. I think, my lord, that no American ever travelled in this country without being conscious at once that this is a total mistake—that this is a total misapprehension. I venture to say that there is no nation on the face of the earth in which we feel half so much interest, or towards which we feel the tenth part of the affection, which we do towards our brethren in the United States of America. And what is more than that—there is no nation towards which we feel one half so much admiration, and for which we feel half so much respect, as we do for the people of the United States of America. [Cheers.] Why, sir, how can it be otherwise? How is it possible that it should be the reverse? Are they not our bone and our flesh? and their character, whatever it is, is it any thing more than our own, a little exaggerated, perhaps? Their virtues and their vices, their faults and their excellences, are just the virtues and the vices, the faults and the excellences, of that old respectable freeholder, John Bull, from whom they are descended. We are not much surprised that a nation which are slaves themselves should make other men slaves. This cannot very much surprise us: but we are both surprised and we are deeply grieved, that a nation which has conceived so well the idea of freedom—a nation which has preached the doctrines of freedom with such boldness and such fulness—a nation which has so boldly and perfectly realized its idea of freedom in every other respect—should in this only instance have sunk so completely below its own idea, and forgetting the rights of one class of their fellow-creatures, should have deprived them of freedom altogether. I say that our grief and our disapprobation of this in the case of our brethren in America arises very much from this, that in other respects we admire them so much, we are sorry that so noble a nation should allow a blot like this to remain upon its escutcheon. I am not ignorant—nobody can be ignorant—of the great difficulties which encompass the solution of this question in America. It is vain for us to shut our eyes to it. There can be no doubt whatever that great sacrifices will require to be made in order to get rid of this great evil. But the Americans are a most ingenious people; they are full of inventions of all sorts, from the invention of a machine for protecting our feet from the water, to a machine for making ships go by means of heated air; from the one to the other the whole field of discovery is occupied by their inventive genius. There is not an article in common use among us but bears some stamp of America. We rise in the morning, and before we are dressed we have had half a dozen American articles in our hands. And during the day, as we pass through the streets, articles of American invention meet us every where. In short, the ingenuity of the people is proclaimed all over the world. And there can be no doubt that the moment this great, this ingenious people finds that slavery is both an evil and a sin, their ingenuity will be successfully exerted in discovering some invention for preventing its abolition from ruining them altogether. [Cheers.] No doubt their ingenuity will be equal to the occasion; and I may take the liberty of adding, that their ingenuity in that case will find even a richer reward than it has done in those other inventions which have done them so much honor, and been productive of so much profit. I say, that sacrifices must be made; there can be no doubt about that; but I would also observe, that the longer the evil is permitted to continue, the greater and more tremendous will become the sacrifice which will be needed to put an end to it; for all history proves that a nation encumbered, with slavery is surrounded with danger. [Applause.] Has the history of antiquity been written in vain? Does it not teach us that not only domestic and social pollutions are the inevitable results, but does it not teach us also that political insecurity and political revolutions as certainly slumber beneath the institution of slavery as fireworks at the basis of Mount AEtna? [Cheers.] It cannot but be so. Men no more than steam can be compressed without a tremendous revulsion; and let our brethren in America be sure of this, that the longer the day of reckoning is put off by them, the more tremendous at last that reckoning will Be." [Loud, applause.]
* * * * *
In regard to this meeting at Edinburgh, there was a ridiculous story circulated and variously commented on in certain newspapers of the United States, that the American flag was there exhibited, insulted, torn, and mutilated. Certain religious papers took the lead in propagating the slander, which, so for as I know or can learn, had no foundation, unless it be that, in the arranging of the flag around its staff, the stars might have been more distinctly visible than the stripes. The walls were profusely adorned with drapery, and there were numerous flags disposed in festoons. Truly a wonderful thing to make a story of, and then parade it in the newspapers from Maine to Texas, beginning in Philadelphia!
PUBLIC MEETING IN ABERDEEN—APRIL 21.
ADDRESS OF THE CITIZENS.
MRS H. BEECHER STOWE.
MADAM: The citizens of Aberdeen have much pleasure in embracing the opportunity now afforded them of expressing at once their esteem for yourself personally, and their interest in the cause of which you have been the distinguished advocate.
While they would, not render a blind homage to mere genius, however exalted, they consider genius such as yours, directed by Christian principle, as that which, for the welfare of humanity, cannot be too highly or too fervently honored.
Without depreciating the labors of the various advocates of slave emancipation who have appeared from time to time on both sides of the Atlantic, they may conscientiously award to you the praise of having brought about the present universal and enthusiastic sentiment in regard to the slavery which exists in America.
The galvanic battery may be arranged and charged, every plate, wire, and fluid being in its appropriate place; but, until some hand shall bring together the extremities of the conducting medium, in vain might we expect to elicit the latent fire.
Every heart may throb with the feeling of benevolence, and every mind respond to the sentiment that man, in regard to man, should be free and equal; but it is the province of genius such as yours to give unity to the universal, and find utterance for the felt.
When society has been prepared for some momentous movement or moral reformation, so that the hidden thoughts of the people want only an interpreter, the thinking community an organ, and suffering humanity a champion, distinguished is the honor belonging to the individual in whom all these requisites are found combined.
To you has been assigned by Providence the important task of educing the latent emotions of humanity, and waking the music that slumbered in the chords of the universal human heart, till it has pealed forth in one deep far rolling and harmonious anthem, of which the heavenly burden is, "Liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound!"
The production of your accomplished pen, which has already called forth such unqualified eulogy from almost every land where Anglo-Saxon literature finds access, and created so sudden and fervent an excitement on the momentous subject of American slavery, has nowhere been hailed with a more cordial welcome, or produced more salutary effects, than in the city of Aberdeen.
Though long ago imbued, with antislavery principles and interested in the progress of liberty in every part of the world, our community, like many others, required such information, suggestions, and appeals as your valuable work contains in one great department of slavery, in order that their interest might be turned into a specific direction, and their principles reduced, to combined practical effort.
Already they have esteemed it a privilege to engage with some activity in the promotion of the interests of the fugitive slave; and they shall henceforth regard with a deeper interest than ever the movements of their American brethren in this matter, until there exists among them no slavery from which to flee.
While they participate in your abhorrence of slavery in the American states, they trust they need scarcely assure you that they participate also in your love for the American people.
It is in proportion as they love that nation, attached to them by so many ties, that they lament the existence of a system which, so long as it exists, must bring odium upon the national character, as it cannot fail to enfeeble and impair their best social institutions.
They believe it to be a maxim that man cannot hold his fellow-man in slavery without being himself to some extent enslaved. And of this the censorship of the press, together with the expurgatorial indices of various religious societies in the Southern States of America, furnish ample corroboration.
It is hoped that your own nation may speedily be directed to recognize you as its best friend, for having stood forth in the spirit of true patriotism to advocate the claims of a large portion of your countrymen, and to seek the removal of an evil which has done much to neutralize the moral influence of your country's best (and otherwise free) institutions.
Accept, then, from the community of Aberdeen their congratulations on the high literary fame which you have by a single effort so deservedly acquired, and their grateful acknowledgments for your advocacy of a cause in which the best interests of humanity are involved.
Signed in name and by appointment of a public meeting of the citizens of Aberdeen within the County Buildings, this 21st April, 1853, A.D.
Provost of Aberdeen.
PUBLIC MEETING IN DUNDEE—APRIL 22.
MR. GILFILLAN, who was received with great applause, said he had been intrusted by the Committee of the Ladies' Antislavery Association to present the following address to Mrs. Stowe, which he would read to the meeting:—
"MADAM: We, the ladies of the Dundee Antislavery Association, desire to add our feeble voices to the acclamations of a world, conscious that your fame and character need no testimony from us. We are less anxious to honor you than to prove that our appreciation and respect are no less sincere and no less profound than those of the millions in other places and other lands, whom you have instructed, improved, delighted, and thrilled. We beg permission to lay before you the expressions of a gratitude and an enthusiasm in some measure commensurate with your transcendent literary merit and moral worth. We congratulate you on the success of the chef-d'oeuvre of your genius, a success altogether unparalleled, and in all probability never to be paralleled in the history of literature. We congratulate you still more warmly on that nobility and benevolence of nature which made you from childhood the friend of the unhappy slave, and led you to accumulate unconsciously the materials for the immortal tale of Uncle Tom's Cabin. We congratulate you in having in that tale supported with matchless eloquence and pathos the cause of the crushed, the forgotten, the injured, of those who had no help of man at all, and who had even been blasphemously taught by professed ministers of the gospel of mercy that Heaven too was opposed to their liberation, and had blotted them out from the catalogue of man. We recognize, too, with delight, the spirit of enlightened and evangelical piety which breathes through your work, and serves to confute the calumny that none but infidels are interested in the cause of abolition—a calumny which cuts at Christianity with a yet sharper edge than at abolition, but which you have proved to be a foul and malignant falsehood. We congratulate you not only on the richness of the laurels which you have won, but on the dignity, the meekness, and the magnanimity with which these laurels have been worn. We hail in you our most gifted sister in the great cause of liberty—we bid you warmly welcome to our city, and we pray Almighty God, the God of the oppressed, to pour his selectest blessings on your head, and to spare your invaluable life, till yours, and ours, and others' efforts for the cause of abolition are crowned with success, and till the shouts of a universal jubilee shall proclaim that in all quarters of the globe the African is free."
The address was handed to Mrs. Stowe amid great applause. MR. GILFILLAN continued: "In addition to the address which I have now read, I have been requested to add a few remarks; and in making these I cannot but congratulate Dundee on the fact that Mrs. Stowe has visited it, and that she has had a reception worthy of her distinguished merits. [Applause.] It is not Dundee alone that is present here to-night: it is Forfarshire, Fifeshire, and I may also add, Perthshire:—that are here to do honor to themselves in doing honor to our illustrious guest. [Cheers.] There are assembled here representatives of the general feeling that boils in the whole land—not from our streets alone, but from our country valleys—from our glens and our mountains O! I wish that Mrs. Stowe would but spare time to go herself and study that enthusiasm amid its own mountain recesses, amid the uplands and the friths, and the wild solitudes of our own unconquered and unconquerable land. She would see scenery there worthy of that pencil which has painted so powerfully the glories of the Mississippi; ay, and she would find her name known and reverenced in every hamlet, and see copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin in the shepherd's shieling, beside Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, the Life of Sir William Wallace, Rob Roy, and the Gaelic Bible. I saw copies of it carried by travellers last autumn among the gloomy grandeurs of Glencoe, and, as Coleridge once said when he saw Thomson's Seasons lying in a Welsh wayside inn, 'That is true fame,' I thought this was fame truer still. [Applause.] It is too late in the day to criticize Uncle Tom's Cabin, or to speculate on its unprecedented history—a history which seems absolutely magical. Why, you are reminded of Aladdin's lamp, and of the palace that was reared by genii in one night. Mrs. Stowe's genius has done a greater wonder than this—it has reared in a marvellously short time a structure which, unlike that Arabian fabric, is a reality, and shall last forever. [Applause.] She must not be allowed, to depreciate herself, and to call her glorious book a mere 'bubble.' Such a bubble there never was before. I wish we had ten thousand such bubbles. [Applause.] If it had been a bubble it would have broken long ago. 'Man,' says Jeremy Taylor, 'is a bubble.' Yea, but he is an immortal one. And such an immortal bubble is Uncle Tom's Cabin; it can only with man expire; and yet a year ago not ten individuals in this vast assembly had ever heard of its author's name. [Applause.] At its artistic merits we may well marvel—to find in a small volume the descriptive power of a Scott, the humor of a Dickens, the keen, observing glance of a Thackeray, the pathos of a Richardson or Mackenzie, combined with qualities of earnestness, simplicity, humanity, and womanhood peculiar to the author herself. But there are three things which, strike me as peculiarly remarkable about Uncle Tom's Cabin: it is the work of an American—of a woman—and of an evangelical Christian. [Cheers.] We have long been accustomed to despise American literature—I mean as compared with our own. I have heard eminent litterateurs say, 'Pshaw! the Americans have no national literature.' It was thought that they lived entirely on plunder—the plunder of poor slaves, and of poor British authors. [Loud cheers.] Their own works, when, they came among us, were treated either with contempt or with patronizing wonder—yes, the 'Sketch Book' was a very good book to be an American's. To parody two lines of Pope, we