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

General Grant

Jan 1, 1869

“.. The confidence of the nation in the integrity, good sense, modesty, soundness of judgment, clear discrimination, executive ability, and peaceable and just administration of General Grant is quite unlimited… I feel sure there will be no weakness or vacillation on his part during his term of office.  He will be judicious in his choice of cabinet advisers, and in his presence political corruption and partizan self-seeking will stand abashed…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Woman Suffrage

Dec. 21, 1868

Writing to Armenia White, relative to a suffrage convention to be held at Concord, N.H., he indicates he cannot be present to speak, as he has been invited to do.  The letter then becomes a way to send  a “substitute epistolary testimony”.   He cites and responds to three often-heard objections to woman’s suffrage.  His introduction to the objections says: “..though the objections are exceedingly shallow, it is still necessary to examine and refute them by arguments and illustrations none the less forcible because exhausted at an earlier period…. one drop of water is very like another, but it is the perpetual dropping that wears away the stone.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Susan B. Anthony, and Democrats

 Jan. 4, 1868

Garrison writes to Anthony “with the highest regard for the Woman’s Rights movement”,  concerned with her alignment politically.  “It seems you are looking to the Democratic party, and not to the Republican, to give success politically to your movement! I should as soon think of looking to the Great Adversary to espouse the cause of righteousness.  The Democratic party is the ‘anti-nigger’ party, and composed of all  that is vile and brutal in the land, with very little that is decent  and commendable.  Everything that has been done, politically, for the cause of impartial freedom has been done by the Republican party.  And yet your reliance is upon the former rather than upon the latter party!  This is infatuation.   Your old and outspoken friend…”1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Impeach Andrew Johnson

April 13, 1866

Writing to Edwin Studwell, he reflects on events after Lincoln’s assassination of the previous year.  “What high hopes were entertained of the patriotism, loyalty, and executive trustworthiness of his successor!  Yet how have these been blasted!  Andrew Johnson might have placed his name high of the roll of the illustrious and world-renowned benefactors of the human race; but by his treacherous and evil course. his usurping and despotic policy in the interest of those who are still rebels in spirit and purpose, perfidy as their soi-disant Moses toward the liberated bondmen of the South, he seems bent on sending his name down to posterity along with those of Benedict Arnold and Judas Iscariot.  For what is the meaning of the jubilant shouts heard through Rebeldom, and vociferously responded to be the entire body of Northern Copperheads, in view of his liberty-crushing vetoes, but that he is on their side and acting in accordance with their wishes, and therefore false to his oath of office, and recreant to all that is sacred in justice and precious in liberty? Allow me, therefore, to offer you the following cold water sentiment:  The speedy impeachment and removal of Andrew Johnson from the office he dishonors and betrays!  Yours, in the execution of justice…”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Eight-Hour League of Mass.

March 20, 1866

Garrison writes in support of an effort to reduce the hours of overworked laborers. 
“The same principle which has led me to abhor and oppose the uequalled oppression of black laborers of the South, instinctively leads me to feel an interest in whatever is proposed to be done to improve the condition and abridge the toil of the white laborers of the North — or, rather, of all overtasked working classes, without regard to complexion or race — and more equitably to adjust the relations between capital and labor…. I am firm in the conviction that eight hours a day will better promote bodily health, inspire industry, develop genius, stimulate enterp;rise, augment pecuniary gain, and subserve the cause of morality, than any extesion of time beyond that limit….”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

To the President

Feb. 13, 1865

“… God save you, and bless you abundantly!  As an instrument in his hands, you have done a mighty work for the freedom of millions who have so long pined in bondage in our land — nay, for the freedom of all mankind.  I have the utmost faith in the benevolence of your heart, the purity of your motives, and the integrity of your spirit.  This I do not hesitate to avow at all times.  I am sure you will consent to no compromise that will leave a slave in his fetters.  It is slavery that has brought this dreadful war upon us; and only through liberty will Heaven vouchsafe to our distracted and bleeding country peace. Vast and solemn are your responsibilities; and you need and deserve whatever of comfort, encouragement and suppoort can be given to you… ”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Attending the Republican National Convention

June 11, 1864

“… had an hour’s private interview with the President at the White House, and it was a very satisfactory one indeed.  There is no mistake about it in regard to Mr. Lincoln’s desire to do all that he can see it right and possible for him to do to uproot slavery, and give fair play to the emancipated.  I was much pleased with his spirit, and the familiar and candid way in which he unbosomed himself. …”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Massachusetts should sustain Emancipation

April 6, 1863

Writing to Governor John A. Andrew, regretting that, though it has been in session since the first week of January, the State Legislature has not yet acted in support of the Emancipation Proclamation.   “What should have been done early had better be done late, than not done at all…. As the Legislature will very shortly adjourn, there is no time to be lost … Massachusetts ought to put upon the historic page her most emphatic approval of his course.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

The Honesty of Lincoln

” I am growing more and more skeptical as to the ‘honesty’ of Lincoln.  He is nothing better than a wet rag; and it is manifest that, in the appointment of Halleck, to be Secretary of War, and McClellan commander-in-chief of the army, he is as near lunacy as any one not a pronounced Bedlamite.  The satanic democracy of the North, and the traitorous ‘loyalty’ of the Border States, have almost absolute control over him, and are industriously preparing the way for the overthrow of his administration, and the inauguration of, if not a reign of terror, at least one that will make terms with Rebeldom, no matter how humiliating they may be.”   1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI

Lincoln of small calibre

Dec. 6, 1861

“What a wishy-washy message from the President!  It is more and more evident that he is a man of very small calibre, and had better be at his old business of splitting rails than at the head of a government like ours, especially in such a crisis.  He has evidently not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins; and he seems incapable of uttering a humane or generous sentiment respecting the enslaved millions in our land…”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI