Archive for the 'Politicians / Political Action / Political Parties' Category

Chinese Immigration

Feb. 15, 1879

Commenting on what he regards as “a fresh stain of caste proscription” he urges against passage of a pending act in Congress which would abrogate “our present equitable and advantageous treaty with China, and forbidding under pains and penalties any vessel from bringing to these shores”  Chinese immigrants.    1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Removal of Union troops from the South

Commenting on the removal of the troops by President Hayes. “It suffices to know that the troops were withdrawn, President Hayes being fully aware that the immediate result of his order would be the overthrow of the legally constituted authorities, and the seizure of the reins of government by as desperate a band of conspirators as can be found in the annals of human criminality…. The Southern conspirators are jubilant; their Northern Democratic allies are equally elated; and credulous, hood-winked, temporizing Republicans affect be equally delighed! ..”  11 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Mass. legislature fails to adopt woman suffrage

March 9, 1875

“Well, again has the Legislature of Massachusetts refused, by a vote of 120 to 75, to ‘submit to the people’ — so fictitiously called — meaning none but male voters — an amendment of the State Constitution, abolishing the distinction of sex in the matter of suffrage … Let the list of ‘nays’ be carefully analyzed, and correctly published in the Woman’s Journal, so that these men may be everywhere seen and identified…”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Caste schools

Feb. 1, 1875

“The rebel whites of the South insist on ‘a white man’s Government’ for themselves, and, consequently, on caste schools; but it rightfully belongs to the Government of the United States to see that they are not to be indulged in any such anti-republicanh heresies.  They are animated by a love of dominion, the foul product of a tyrannical system that culminated as ‘the sum of all villaninies'”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Separatism and Integration

Dec. 8, 1874

Writing to Nathanel T. Allen,  who has written to him, Garrison expresses his view which is relevant to choices for separate schools or integrated schools.  Allen has posed this question to Garrison:  “Of course, we must expect that the colored like other people will have their own social circles; but is it not their duty to endeavor to mingle in our schools and churches with whites?  Is it not best for them and their children, on the whole?   Garrison responds:  “These questions I answer strongly in the affirmative. To this end, with the emancipation and enfranchisement of the millions once held in the Southern house of bondage, I have raised my voice and exerted what influence I could for the last forty-five years, and I am now too old and too firmly settled in conviction to take any step backward.  The case is a very plain one.  Whenever or wherever colored persons are excluded by law or usage from those rights and privileges which are enjoyed by all  other classes, — whether relating to religious worship, secular education, or anything else — the only alternative left to them is to act together ‘on the single basis of color’, it being not a case of self-exclusion, but a necessity arising from an inexorable proscription.  But when or where no such exclusion is enforced, and a disposition is shown to treat them with fairness and respect, then for them to withdraw from a common fellowship and erect complexional barriers, is to establish a precedent which logically ends in endorsing the old pro-slavery doctrine, that there should be no fraternization between the two races on account of color.”     1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Warning against “conciliation”

June 5, 1874

Writing to Henry Wilson and other members of the Anti-Slavery Reunion Convention, indicating that he cannot be present, he reflects on the accomplishments of the movement, and includes these words of caution:  “… And now that liberty has been proclaimed to all the inhabitants in the land, let us beware of the siren call of ‘conciliation’ when it means humoring the old dragon spirit of slavery, and perpetuating caste distinctions by laws.  Cherishing nothing but good-will toward the South, and earnestly desiring the welfare and prosperity, we shall show ourselves to be her truest friends by refusing to compromise any of the principles of justice as pertaining to her colored population, and the gratification of a malignant prejudice based upon nothing but contempt of race…   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

On Sumner’s death, (and Fillmore’s)

March 18, 1874

“With but two exceptions in our national history — Washington and Lincoln — the death of no public man has been so universally deplored, or has elicited such tokens of public honor and appreciation, as that of Charles Sumner.  Never before has Boston presented such an impressive and august spectacle as at his obsequies, nor Massachusetts sounded through all her towns and villages such a knell of bereavement,  nor the country manifested such heartfelt expressions of grief over a common loss … By a striking coincidence, only five days before Mr. Sumner’s translation the signer of the Fugitive Slave Law, Millard Fillmore, was summoned to the bar of eternal justice.  For that most iniquitous deed he was held in abhorrence by the friends of freedom throughout the world…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Woman’s suffrage and withholding taxes

Garrison writes to Abby Kelley Foster:  “Though you cannot doubt where I stand as to the position you have assumed — namely, not to pay any taxes so long as you are denied the right of suffrage — yet I wish to give a written assurance of the profound respect in which I hold your determination in this matter…”  11 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Regarding Grant,Greeley, and Sumner

Aug. 3, 1872

Writing to Charles Sumner:  “Though I should be strongly induced, by the friendship subsisting between us, to avoid taking a position antagonistical to your own, under ordinary circumstances, even if I deemed it erroneous, yet all personal considerations, must be subordinated to the public welfare when seriously imperiled. … you have spoken plainly … in utter condemnation of the President of the United States; and your advice to the whole body of colored voters is, that they concentrate their suffrages upon a rival candidate in the person of Horace Greeley … I propose to speak with equal plainness,  and as earnestly, to counsel my colored countrymen not to follow your lead in this matter, but, as voters, to move unitedly for the re-election of President Grant …”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Woman suffrage

May 8,  1869

Writing to Lucy Stone, indicating that he cannot be present for the annual meeting in New York, of the Equal Rights Association, but he sends his testimony for suffrage.  “Woman presents her claim for suffrage. Why should not her claim be granted?  There are many reasons adduced, but they are all summed up in this one grave objection; because she is — a woman!  But as that related exclusively to sex, for which no one is responsible, which it is not possible or desirable to abolish, and in which inheres neither superiority nor inferiority in the matter of natural right … the objection lies as heavily against man wielding the ballot as against woman.  They were created equal, in the same divine image; they were designed for each other — to stand side by side in all the relations and liabilities of life… and neither can be elevated or depressed at the expense of the other…”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI