Page:Appeal to the Christian women of the South (Grimké, 1836).djvu/33

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their apologists at the North. They know that when George Fox and William Edmandson were laboring in behalf of the negroes in the West Indies in 1671 that the very same slanders were propogated against them, which are now circulated against Abolitionists. Although it was well known that Fox was the founder of a religious sect which repudiated all war, and all violence, yet even he was accused of "endeavoring to excite the slaves to insurrection and of teaching the negroes to cut their master's throats." And these two men who had their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, were actually compelled to draw up a formal declaration that they were not trying to raise a rebellion in Barbadoes. It is also worthy of remark that these Reformers did not at this time see the necessity of emancipation under seven years, and their principal efforts were exerted to persuade the planters of the necessity of instructing their slaves; but the slaveholder saw then, just what the slaveholder sees now, that an enlightened population never can be a slave population, and therefore they passed a law that negroes should not even attend the meetings of Friends. Abolitionists know that the life of Clarkson was sought by slavetraders, and that even Wilberforce was denounced on the floor of Parliament as a fanatic and hypocrite by the present King of England, the very man who, in 1834 set his seal to that instrument which burst the fetters of eight hundred thousand slaves in his West India colonies. They know that the first Quaker who bore a faithful testimony against the sin of slavery was cut off from religious fellowship with that society. That Quaker was a woman. On her deathbed she sent for the committe who dealt with her—she told them, the near approach of death had not altered her sentiments on the subject of slavery and waving her hand towards a very fertile and beautiful portion of country which lay stretched before her window, she said with great solemnity, "Friends, the time will come when there will not be friends enough in all this district to hold one meeting for worship, and this garden will be turned into a wilderness."

The aged friend, who with tears in his eyes, related this interesting circumstance to me, remarked, that at that time there were seven meetings of friends in that part of Virginia, but that when he was there ten years ago, not a single meeting was held, and the country was literally a desolation. Soon after her decease, John Woolman began his labors in our society, and instead of disowning a member for testifying against slavery, they have for fifty-two years positively forbidden their members to hold slaves.

Abolitionists understand the slaveholding spirit too well to be surprised at any thing that has yet happened at the South or the North; they know that the greater the sin is, which is exposed, the more violent will be the efforts to blacken the character and impugn the motives of those who are engaged in bringing to light the hidden things of darkness. They understand the work of Reform too well to be driven back by the furious waves of opposition, which are only foaming out their own shame. They have stood "the world's dread