LETTER FROM MRS. L. M. CHILD.
WAYLAND, March 15, 1865.
FRIEND GARRISON: Enclosed is $25 from Mr. Child and myself, for the support
of the Liberator. It is but little toward paying what we owe you for
being the medium of Divine Providence to bring into action the anti-slavery
that was born in us.
The work for which we originally organized seems to be well nigh accomplished.
But when you are no longer needed as a Liberator, you will be needed
as a Protector. The slaveholders here will doubtless behave as they
did in Jamaica. They will do their utmost to make the system of free labor a
failure. They will omit no opportunity to irritate, discourage, and cheat their
emancipated laborers; nor will the pro-slavery portion of the North manifest
a spirit more just and humane. Even those who profess to have been converted
by the events of the war are many of them but half converted. They despise
the coloured people, and would still have them slaves, if they could. Aristocracy
inevitably sympathizes with slavery, because they are "birds of the same
feather," and the same claws; and the most ferocious of all birds of prey
is that aristocracy which calls itself democracy. Whatever professions are
made, the fact is that the colored people will need friends and protectors
to help them through this transition state more than they have needed them at
any previous period. Therefore, I would have the disbanded Anti-Slavery Societies
organize as Protector Societies; and I am glad to see the suggestion that protection
should be extended to the Red man, as well as the Black. The wrongs we have
done, and are doing, to the Indians are equalled only by the wrongs we have
inflicted on the defenceless negroes.
There ought to be a moral sentiment excited throughout the land that will compel
politicians to inquire into the ruthless massacres of these much abused people.
When they do inquire, facts will come to light that will shock all
honest and good people, as they have been shocked to discover what has been
permitted and done under the infernal system of slavery.
I agree with most of your views, friend Garrison; but I cannot accept your
apology for Gen. Banks's system in Louisiana. Doubtless, there is such a thing
as a wise expediency; but I deem no expediency wise which violates principles;
and I cannot make the system of things introduced in Louisiana appear to my
mind in any other light than a violation of principles. Toussaint resorted to
similar expedients in Hayti, and therein I think he made a mistake; but at that
time the capacity of the negro and his readiness to work for wages had not been
tested and proved as they now are. We have no excuse for half
unfettering his soul. Very likely Gen. Banks sincerely thought he was pursuing
the wisest policy, under the circumstances; but, apparently, he has never learned
that "a straight line is the shortest, in morals as well as in mathematics."
People with whom it is not an inborn intuition rarely do learn it. That system
in Louisiana is odious to my mind. I regard it as inherently wrong, and, consequently,
as a dangerous precedent. The framers of the Constitution of the United States
have taught us a lesson to be remembered concerning permitting wrong to be done
for a time, with the hope that it will come right in the end.
I have never seen a public document that pleased me so entirely as the President's
last Inaugural. I have never seen so much truth, humane sentiment, and religious
trust expressed in so few words.
Compare the last Inaugural with the first, and reverently thank God for the
wonderful progress that has been made in four years!
Ever respectfully and truly your friend,