The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

SBA to William Lloyd Garrison

Dear Friend Garrison

Your note, accompanying the Circular for George Thompson reached me here— [1]  I will forward it to William and Mary Hallowell, who will know more than I whether there are any persons in Rochester who will contribute—
It is very sad that such a man shall be reduced to poverty—  When will the world learn that the men & the women who forsake all, and go forth without money and without praise too Preach the Gospel of freedom to all men,— are justly entitled to a portion of its rich harvests—  When that good time comes, we shall not see so many turn back from the the great struggle for the right— now dependence, in old age or in now disability, stares every soul in the face, that casts a longing look Zionward— and only the few brave souls that know no fear of starvation or death can go forward—  It is sad, that after a life time spent in good works to man, when sickness comes, the faithful spirit, must have added the keen sting of dependence upon private or public charity— only the Genuine Martyr Spirit can deliberately choose such a fate—  Thank Heaven there are a few chosen ones, who take no thought of the morrow,— and do the right, speak the word, trusting only in God—
Our Personal Liberty Bill was reported Saturday, & made the Special Order, for Wednesday—  I have been to see S. C. Spencer[2] one of the Com. who is preparing to speak— and given him the Liberator with Higginsons & Phillips speeches before your Legislature— [3]
I will send you a printed copy of the Bill, by tomorrows mail— also a brief account of the speech of Dr. Cheever here— [4]
Mr. May's package of C. C. Burleighs speech received— & this a.m. each member of the Assembly has one—  I shall be very glad to have Phillips, which he spoke of, sent, as soon as possible— [5]
A note from Mary Hallowell tells me that Maria Chapman has not received the Rochester Contribution of $30.—   If they sent that amount of money in a letter, it was a great blunder—  I hope it will be found— [6]
Mr. Garrison I hope the Committee will see that Dr Cheever is made to know that he has a standing invitation to speak at our Anniversary— and that so soon as he feels ready, to stand upon our platform we shall be most happy to welcome him there—  He is a wonder of a man—
Has Oliver[7] been notified to engage Hall for Anniversary Meeting—  The W.R. Anniversary will be but one day— hence three days for the two meetings— [8]
With Love to Mrs. Garrison and all the boys & "Fanny specially"— Yours

Susan B. Anthony

P.S. Please hand the enclosed receipt to Mr. May— [9]S. B. A.
ALS, Garrison Papers, MB.
    [1.] The circular, signed by Garrison,Wendell Phillips, and Maria Chapman, appealed for contributions for British abolitionist, George Thompson, who recently returned to England from India destitute and ill. A fiery, fearless orator, Thompson (1804-1878), was Garrison's chief ally in Great Britain. His American tour against slavery in 1834 and 1835 touched off riots in northern cities. He returned to the United States to lecture in 1851 and again during the Civil War when he was publicly received by the President and his cabinet in chambers of the House of Representatives. During Thompson's tour in 1851, the Hallowells and other Rochester abolitionists organized a Grand Anti-Slavery Festival to coincide with his speaking engagement. (Dictionary of National Biography; W. L. Garrison to SBA, 21 February 1859, Film, 9:214-15; Hewitt, Women's Activism and Social Change, 150-51.)
    [2.] Charles S. Spencer (1824-1887), of New York City, was a member of the assembly and Republican spokesman for the personal liberty bill. (Murphy, New York State Officers, 1859, 223-24; McAdam, Bench and Bar of New York, 1:485.)
    [3.] The Massachusetts legislature considered a personal liberty bill in 1859. Thomas W. Higginson and Wendell Phillips spoke before the lower house of the Massachusetts legislature on 17 February 1859 in support of the bill, and their speeches were printed in the Liberator on 25 February.
    [4.] George Barrell Cheever (1807-1890) was pastor of the Church of the Puritans, Union Square, New York, from 1846 to 1867, and a founder of the Church Anti-Slavery Society. On 25 February 1859 he gave a speech to the New York State Assembly which denounced the traffic in fugitive slaves for its defiance of God. (Dictionary of American Biography; Liberator, 11 March 1859.)
    [5.] Samuel May, Jr., sent pamphlets of Charles Calistus Burleigh's speech, "No Slave-Hunting in the Old Bay State," given before the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on 28 January 1859. Burleigh (1810-1878) was an abolitionist writer and lecturer and editor of the Pennsylvania Freeman. He was elected corresponding secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1859. SBA also requested copies of Wendell Phillips's speech before the Massachusetts legislature. (Dictionary of American Biography.)
    [6.] Maria Weston Chapman (1806-1885) was an early member of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, a member of the business and executive committees of the Massachusetts and the American societies, and an extraordinary fund-raiser for the movement. In 1859 she organized a "Subscription Anniversary," held on 26 January at Music Hall in Boston. The Western New York Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester had organized similar fairs since the 1840s and sent items to the Boston fair. Of the lost contribution, SBA wrote, "Am glad to learn that the money forwarded to the Anti-Slavery Bazaar and lost was sent by a man instead of a woman." (Notable American Women; Pease and Pease, Bound with Them In Chains, 28-59; Hansen, Strained Sisterhood; Liberator, 18 February 1859; SBA diary excerpts, Film, 9:202.)
    [7.] Oliver Johnson (1809-1889), one of Garrison's earliest collaborators, served the antislavery movement principally as an editor. In addition to assisting at the Liberator, he edited the Anti-Slavery Bugle (Salem, Ohio), the Pennsylvania Freeman (Philadelphia), and at this time, edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard (New York). While living in Ohio from 1849 to 1851, Johnson and his wife Mary Ann White contributed to the campaign for woman's rights in the state's new constitution. (Dictionary of American Biography.)
    [8.] The women's rights anniversary was scheduled for 13 May 1859 in New York City at Mozart Hall.
    [9.] Enclosure missing.