Wendell Phillips: “The Philosophy of the Abolition Movement”

(1853)

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I wish, Mr. Chairman, to notice some objections that have been made to our course ever since Mr. Garrison began his career, and which have been lately urged again.…

The charges to which I refer are these: that, in dealing with slaveholders and their apologists, we indulge in fierce denunciations, instead of appealing to their reason and common sense by plain statements and fair argument;—that we might have won the sympathies and support of the nation, if we would have submitted to argue this question with a manly patience; but, instead of this, we have outraged the feelings of the community by attacks, unjust and unnecessarily severe, on its most valued institutions, and gratified our spleen by indiscriminate abuse of leading men.…

[On the contrary,] I claim, before you who know the true state of the case,—I claim for the antislavery movement with which this society is identified, that, looking back over its whole course, and considering the men connected with it in the...

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Wendell Phillips (Library of Congress)

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