Infinite Source of Good
c. October 25-26, 1852 — Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, West Chester PA
We should attribute all good to the Infinite Source of good. The evils of the Fugitive Slave Law are infinite. Ask the colored people, whom it has scattered like sheep upon the mountain, what can compensate them for their sufferings and terrors and losses. See how it has corrupted the Northern people, and how easily men, at first shocked at it, have become reconciled to it. This speculation is incapable of demonstration. It opens a controversy without end. Is it not better to speak of evil as evil, not deducing from it any consequences which do not strictly belong to it? Does it not tend to weaken our abhorrence of wrong? There is nothing easier than to quote texts of Scripture in favour any theory, as every sect supports its faith by such text. I am not willing to admit that Harriet Beecher Stowe was moved to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin by that law; if she says so, I think she mistakes the influences which have moved her. I believed, rather tan it has been the moral sentiments and truth promulgated by the Liberator, the National Era, and the public discussion of the subject, upon her pure mind, exiting it to feel for the oppressed. If you point to the progress of our cause, through persecution, as evidence that the efforts of its enemies have helped it on, I have as good a right to say that but for these impediments, Slavery would have been abolished before now. I hope the Society will instruct the striking out of these passages of the Report.
Our measures, as described in the declaration of Sentiment adopted at the formation of the American Anti-slavery Society, were to organize Anti-Slavery societies, to send forth agents; to circulate books, tracts and periodicals; to seek to enlist the pulpit and the president in the case of the suffering and the dumb; to aim at the purification of the churches from the guilt of Slavery; and to encourage the labour of freemen instead of slaves.
Nothing was said of voting and probably nothing was thought of it. Whatever acts upon the parties and politics of the country is thus far political action. Our exhibition of the political and economical evils of Slavery and advantages of Freedom, our exposure of the aggressions of the slave power in through the government, are such.
Source: National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 18, 1852.
Also: Lucretia Mott, Her Complete Speeches and Sermons, ed. Dana Greene (New York: E. Mellen Press) 1980, pp. 197-198.