awakening a favorable response, are held to be inapplicable to us.
The glorious doctrines of your revolutionary fathers, and the more
glorious teachings of the Son of God, are construed and applied
against us. We are literally scourged beyond the beneficent range
of both authorities, human and divine. * * * * American
humanity hates us, scorns us, disowns and denies, in a thousand
ways, our very personality. The outspread wing of American
Christianity, apparently broad enough to give shelter to a perishing
world, refuses to cover us. To us, its bones are brass, and its fea¬
tures iron. In running thither for shelter and succor, we have only
fled from the hungry blood-hound to the devouring wolf—from a
corrupt and selfish world, to a hollow and hypocritical church."—
Speech before American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, May, 1854.
Four years or more, from 1837 to 1841, he struggled on, in New
Bedford, sawing wood, rolling casks, or doing what labor he might,
to support himself and young family; four years he brooded over
the scars which slavery and semi-slavery had inflicted upon his body
and soul; and then, with his wounds yet unhealed, he fell among
the Garrisonians—a glorious waif to those most ardent reformers.
It happened one day, at Nantucket, that he, diffidently and reluc¬
tantly, was led to address an anti-slavery meeting. He was about
the age when the younger Pitt entered the House of Commons;
like Pitt, too, he stood up a born orator.
William Lloyd Garrison, who was happily present, writes thus
of Mr. Douglass' maiden effort; " I shall never forget his first speech
at the convention—the extraordinary emotion it excited in my own
mind—the powerful impression it created upon a crowded auditory,
completely taken by surprise. * * * I think I never hated
slavery so intensely as at that moment; certainly, my perception
of the enormous outrage which is inflicted by it on the godlike na¬
ture of its victims, was rendered far more clear than ever. There
stood one in physical proportions and 6tature commanding and
exact—in intellect richly endowed—in natural eloquence a pro¬
It is of interest to compare Mr. Douglass's aceount of this meet¬
ing with Mr. Garrison's. Of the two, I think the latter the most
correct. It must have been a grand burst of eloquence ! The pent
♦Letter, Introduction to Life of Frederick Douglass, Boston, 1841.