He met with an Alabama planter in Boston, who expressed a desire to converse with him, and an interview took place, during which there was a free interchange of views. The planter frankly acknowledged that there was in the South a strong feeling of hate toward the North and Northern men, and they were determined to fight. He explained how this feeling was fostered by the politicians of the South, and how the feelings of the North, were represented there, and stated that almost his sole object in coming to Boston was to ascertain for himself whether the facts were as they had been represented. He was evidently surprised to find the anti-slavery post “so mild mannered a man,” and confessed that, generally, he did not perceive that the feeling of the North toward the South was so bitter and unfriendly as he had been led to expect. He had experienced nothing but civility and courtesy, and admitted that Southerners generally received the same treatment.
Finally, Whittier, after attending him to some of the desirable places of resort, told him that, as he was now here, he might as well see the worst of the anti-slavery phase of Northern fanaticism as the fashionable phrase is, and proposed to visit Garrison. The planter consented, and so they turned their steps to the Liberator office, where they found Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Fred Douglass, and there they enjoyed a “precious season of conversation.” Would it not have been a sight worth seeing–that conclave in the Liberator office, with Garrison, Whittier, Phillips, Douglass, and the Alabama planter in the fore-ground? The planter went to his home a wiser, and perhaps a sadder man, than he came, and protested that all he could do, while mourning for the condition of the country, was to pray over it. Would that more of the Southern people might come and see for themselves how basely the North had been belied!
Originally posted 2009-03-26 17:07:58.