American Anti-Slavery Society, Church of the Puritans and Cooper Institute, New York City, May 10–11, 1864
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148 American Anti-Slavery Society, 1864 Phillips Brooks, 3 vols. [New York: E. P. Dutton, 1901], 1:464; Carol Faulkner, Women’s Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen’s Aid Movement [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004], 33). 14. WLG noted that, years ago, members of the AASS were denounced as “fanatics, madmen and incendiaries.” He asked, “Did we not go to our cherished religious denomination , or to our political party, and expect, as soon as our appeals were made, it would give a patriotic or Christian response? How were we disappointed in every direction!” (Proceedings, 22, 25). American Anti-Slavery Society, Church of the Puritans and Cooper Institute, New York City, May 10–11, 1864 [May 10 Session] SPEECH OF LUCRETIA MOTT I shall detain the meeting but a few moments. I only wish to express the great interest I have taken in the several speeches that have been made, and to say that I wanted one word should be added, before the meeting closed, in behalf of the warfare which has been carried on by this Society from this platform, and which has resulted, as I believe, in the great change of public sentiment which has been alluded to. The evils of this war were very forcibly presented in the early hour of this meeting,1 but, as was well expressed, they are inevitable, because we know that war, being of evil, must produce evil, and that continually; still, I would say, I had hoped that better things would accompany our salvation, and the salvation of the country, so that another generation, following this, might be born into a Republic far transcending the Republic that grew out of the Revolutionary War; because the war is now carried on by a people differing very much from the people of that time; an intelligent, instructed people, who have had the advantages of a Republic so far; and when peace shall be restored, they will be prepared to come forward and act unitedly to remove the many evils and wrongs that remain, and the mighty debt which has accumulated in the nation. And then the war has not been a warfare of brute force merely, and the materials that will be brought in with which to build up the Republic will be very different from the materials that were at command after the first war of our country. We shall have a free, liberated people, rather than an agreement that a large portion shall still be held as slaves; there will not be, therefore, that great drawback to our nation’s prosperity. Let us, then, hope that in spite of the evils of this war, there is a day approaching when the Republic will be better understood, and the principles of a truly Christian Democracy better carried out, than ever before. So help us God! Then, again, in the warfare, as it has been carried on, the Administration has been not only at Washington. It has been acknowledged here that woman has had something to do with it; that woman has been cooperating in the warfare which has been going on. I am desirous that our Anti-Slavery Society, in its annual meetings, and in all its meetings, should keep the standard of liberty and American Anti-Slavery Society, 1864 149 truth high as in the beginning; and if in thus holding it up, it shall become the duty of men like Wendell Phillips to present the errors and short-comings of the Administration, let them do it;2 and let us rejoice that we, as a Society, are not part and parcel of the Government, the Administration, or the Cabinet, not even as John Bright was;3 that we are not responsible; that we have not any load upon our shoulders that shall tend to make us compromise. Let us be careful how we commit ourselves, as a body, as a Society, to one candidate or another. We are in danger of becoming partisans in our feelings, by holding up one man or crying down another, any further than their acts warrant us in doing so. I wish we could hold up Frémont a little more for the act he did, (applause,) but I am glad to hear Abraham Lincoln held up, as we have just now, for the many things that he has done; and where he has fallen short, it is our duty to rebuke him.4 It is our duty to ourselves to keep the standard high, and...