[Friday] Evening Session
The Convention was called to order by the President at 7½ P. M. Between 3,000 and 4,000 persons were present at the Evening Session.
The Amphions sung the song "Ben Fisher," composed by Mrs. Gage.
The PRESIDENT said that he held in his hand a letter from a zealous and eloquent friend of the Temperance cause--Rev. E. H. Chapin, which he would read, it was as follows:
ROCKPORT, Mass., Aug. 30, 1853.
DEAR SIR,--Other engagements connected with the cause of Temperance will prevent my being present at the "Whole World's Convention" on the 1st
[p. 54]of September, and I beg leave to send these few lines, that my absence may not be interpreted as indicating a want of sympathy with its great objects; I am sure, with such an opportunity and such men, you will not need me. It would afford me great pleasure could I be present. Respectfully yours,
E. H. Chapin.
To C. B. Le Baron, Sec'ry Con. W. W. T. C.
Rev. Mr. Pierpont addressed the meeting thus:
Ladies and Gentlemen: I have been requested to limit my remarks to one point. I have, therefore, no touching anecdotes to tell you, no scintillations of wit to amuse you, no appeal to make to your feelings; my business is to address a plain and close argument to your understandings. The point is this: "The propriety or necessity of penal legislation in aid of moral reform," or, more closely limited to the present purpose--"the advantage or disadvantage "of the Maine Law, or a law at all analogous."
I shall present my argument principally in the form of a reply to objections. We were told this evening, or rather, this afternoon, by our friend Mr. Booth, from Wisconsin, that the great objects of a meeting like this are, First, to create a public sentiment in favour of Temperance; Secondly, to embody, to incarnate, that sentiment in the form of penal legislation against those standing in the way of the reform.. To these objects objections arise, as stated this afternoon. First, it is said that penal legislation has been hitherto found wholly in-operative and entirely inefficient, in all cases of moral obliquity. We are told by the respected delegate from Belgium, that we have as much stealing now in the world as there was before criminal enactments were directed against him who takes the property of another.
I take this to be a specimen of that class of legislation to which he would object. Let me ask, ladies and gentlemen, how this can be known to be true? When was the time at which there was no legislation directed against this moral obliquity? But, if penal legislation be justified in any case, why not in this to which we seek to direct it? What is there to exempt this case? If it be penal to kill your neighbor with a bullet, why should it not be penal to kill him with the bowl? If it be penal to take away his life by a poison, which does its work in six hours, why not penal to do so by one that takes six years for its deadly operation? Would you not measure the guilt of an act by the amount of suffering it causes? If, then, that which we work against causes ten-fold suffering, should not its punishment be ten-fold in severity? Alcohol produces ten times the amount of suffering that arsenic does. The latter destroys life; a few brief hours of agony and its work is done--but the agony caused by alcohol, extending over months and years, torments its victim with more than ten-fold cruelty. Arsenic takes away animal life merely; it touches not the soul; while alcohol gives, not only ten times the amount of animal agony, but also destroys the soul, sapping all moral feeling, quenching all intellectual light. Therefore, my friends, I ask a more severe punishment for that crime
[p. 55]which works the moral, and the immortal ruin, than for that whose touch overturns a mere tenement of clay.
But we are told, in the same objection, that penalties are ineffectual! Precisely the same objection can be made to every law meant to prevent any of the whole catalogue of sins enumerated in the Decalogue. For example, there are murders every week; there are more murders than weeks in the year. Yet will you blot out the Sixth Commandment? And you may as well do so as leave it without a sanction. The law which is not followed by a sanction, is a blank paper. "Thou shalt not kill" That is the law. What, then, if you do kill? Nothing! Let it pass! That is a specimen of a law without a sanction! If thou destroyest the life of thy brother, thine own life shall answer for it. Break down his liberty, and thine own shall be tumbled to the ground. We have our apostolic recognition of the principle. The Moral Law of God is dictated to prevent the violation by one man of the rights and liberties of another. Shall we exchange penal statutes, and thus, in practical effect, pronounce that there shall be no law? Try the experiment, and see how you shall come out of it.
I doubt not my friend from Belgium would go with me against all capital punishment. I would not kill every rumseller, who propogates, as all do, murderous inebriety; but I would make him feel a penalty measured to his offence, and calculated to stop it.
The other of the objections I have adverted to, comes from the rumseller him-himself. It is in this form: "Gentlemen, friends of Temperance, take a word of counsel from a true friend. You mistake entirely the way in which this cause is to be carried on. Consider: it is a moral cause, and therefore must be furthered by moral agencies alone. Do not let it interfere with politics; the moment it does, it is degraded; the pure ermine is sullied; the angel of light receives a blot upon her wings." Thank you, gentlemen! There is an old maxim in strategy, [the science of war,] fas est et ab hoste doceri, it is right to take a lesson even from an enemy." I have no doubt it is the opinion of every rumseller in New York that it is periling the whole cause to bring it into the field of politics. I take counsel, and, with it, the ground that legal prohibition is moral action. I maintain that there is not that antagonism implied between moral and political action; and now, my argument is to that point. I would disabuse the community of the mistake made thereon. What is a moral act? I do not know how better to define it than thus,--an act resulting from, or consisting in, the activity of some one of the moral sentiments, let it be manifested or carried out by whatever instrumentality it may. We do not characterize an act characterize an act of the instrumentality, but of the motives. Pardon the metaphysics of my arguments; I cannot help it, nor is it out of place; for there are before me metaphysicians, that is, men and women who have understanding. Let me give an illustration. Suppose a drunken neighbor goes into the woods, ties a cord round his neck, and to a tree, and hangs himself. I find him so. What shall I do? Leave him to his liberty--to his free will to destroy himself? Humanity says "No." What
[p. 56]do I do? Perhaps I undertake to untie the knot; but, finding I cannot, I take out my jack-knife, cut the rope, and let him down.
Is that a moral action, so to save his life? I will not depend on my own judgment. I will take the sense of this sensible meeting. Whoever thinks it is a moral action, say aye. Ay. [From the whole house.] Contrary, no. [Silence.] The ayes have it; it is a moral action. Next, let us see where lies the morality. In my jack-knife? No! In my hand? No! In any part of my animal organization? No! I trace it back to the moral sentiment; the love of our neighbor. An I right? [Put to the house as before, and carried] We have another illustration in the story of the good Samaritan. Let us vary that a little; let us suppose that, instead of one, there were twenty men found in piteous plight, cut down by banditti. The first cries, "Attend to me!" The second exclaims, "Oh! come first to my aid!" Another moans, "Ah! give me help!" What now does the good Samaritan do? He puts spurs to his horse, dashes down to Jericho, finds the council of that city in session, and cries, "Magistrates and fathers of this city. I want you to send nurses, surgeons, any kind of aid you can, to make an appropriation for the sufferers." The magistrates say, "Yes, there are a thousand dollars for their relief." Is that a moral action on the part of the magistrates of Jericho? [Voted so by the meeting.] You say that is moral in the Jerichoites? Now, Jericho was a city; a city is called in Greek polis, whence the adjective politicos, "of a city," whence the words politics and political, which are applicable to any municipal corporation, and may be used from a town-council up to the Congress of the United States. I ask, is not political and moral action incumbent in any corporation? [Voted by the house.] Therefore where a municipality takes action in favor of humanity, there is at once political and moral action. That is the answer.
My neighbor hangs to a tree. Am I to indulge my very moral sentiment and leave him there? How is he the better of that? But, when I carry out my good feeling animally by my arm, and mechanically by my jack-knife, then I do right; otherwise I leave the world no better, save in gratifying myself by this very individual sentiment, which is a precious small matter.
My friends, what do we do in this Convention? We ask a law to protect the wife and family of the intemperate man. We ask it from kind feelings to our fellow-creatures, exposed to the worst of all sufferings. We cannot get that, in the present form of society, except through political organization, and God places us where we are to do so. Moral sentiment carried out by political organization is my argument. Is it your opinion? If so, vote it. [Put to the meeting and passed without dissent.]
Well then, if am wrong, you are wrong too; we are all in the same predicament. Thus the objection, tried by metaphysics and moral administration, if futile; therefore no more from you, oh, rum-sellers! except you mean to be laughed at. We mean to keep ourselves to moral action.
There is one other objection. "Gentlemen it is in vain for you to talk to the drunken man of reform, by making it penal for him to get drunk;" in other words, "you cannot carry out a moral object by physical force;" or, in other
[p. 57]words still, "you cannot force a man in through the gate of heaven at the point of the bayonet." I know it, and am glad we cannot.
I reply, you do not understand our object. We ask a law analogous to the Maine law, not with an immediate view to the drunkard; he is not named in the law, nor alluded to. To whom, then, is the law directed? To the drunkard maker. We appeal to the poor drunken man, and he admits his fault, but pleads want of manhood to resist. Here are men, the business of whose lives is to tempt him. Society says: "We cannot stand out as advocates of temperance; it is the business of the State, not to save men's souls, but to protect Citizens in the enjoyment of their rights." Here let me be understood if possible. Religion has one function, to bring men to light out of darkness; the State has another, to protect every individual in the enjoyment of this rights; then the State has discharged its duty; or, as the law says, it is functus officio.
Now the State says, every parent in the community has a right to the service of his children, male and female; therefore it is a wrong to withdraw children from the discipline, influence, instruction of their parents, and to deprive them of their services. 'Tis so, as between husband and wife, and wife and husband. It is the business of the State to protect husbands, wives, parents, and children. Till this is done, the work of the State is not done.
The State itself has a right to say, "I demand the services of every one of my citizens, and therefore have a right to see to his condition of body and mind; and so, in justice to myself, I may say to every man, this man is under my care; I have a right to his services, and you shall not unfit him to render them."
The State knows nothing of conscience, nothing of that sin the account of which lies between man and God. That is the business of religion; but the State takes the ground, "if you deprive me, or any whom I protect, of that which is their due, I am right in punishing you." That is my argument.
The President--"I have now the pleasure of introducing to his Convention, as the next speaker, one whose simplicity are uprightness of character make all compliments from me, from any one, an impertinence--Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia."
The President left the chair, and politely escorted Mrs. Mott to the stand amid the hearty applause of the audience. When silence was restored, she proceeded to address the audience as follows:--
You have had this cause presented in so many forms and in so many ways that there seems indeed little necessity for any additional remarks. It has been presented in its comic, as well as in its tragic dress, and it has had the harmony of sweet sounds to commend it to you. It has had political appeals not a few, and moral appeals--would that I could say more. I doubt not that our friend who last spoke in his zeal for political action, and in what were regarded as very able arguments to sustain it, somewhat unintentionally overlooked, or
[p. 58]rather, in my view at least, set too light an estimate on the moral aspects of the case. Indeed, I have thought from time to time, that in such an assemblage as this, if the subject could be help up in its sublime moral aspect; if the hearts of temperance reformers could have been appealed to, again and again, to carry forward this enterprise on this ground, more than they have done they need not fear, but that there would be plenty of political action, just as fast as the moral sentiment is brought up to a condition to enact a law, for we know very well that our government--that our statement--that our politicians have enough of the retaliatory spirit; that all these great reformatory movements are in accordance with each other; and the moralist as well as the politicians may rejoice, that cause has advanced so far, that their retaliatory instrumentalities are used now on the side of temperance rather than of intemperance, and rather than in the granting of licences, and such other acts as governments, laws and statesmen have been wont to perform. I have no doubt but this will be the case.
They will find that in all these reforms there is work enough for them to stir up the pure mind in themselves, and in urging on the progress of the cause of truth--to hold up the light higher and higher, and cause it to shine brighter and brighter before more sustained action. It is interesting to trace the progress of this cause from its earliest movement; how it began by very little action, and how it has gone on by faithfulness to greater and greater activity, until now this entire teetotal ground has been attained. And we may remember, too, how earnest, how vigilant, how constantly active, were the Temperance reformers. Our friend, in illustration of right in political action, referred also to the practical case mentioned by the blessed Jesus of Nazareth, in the treatment of the man who was stripped, robbed, and left half-dead by the road-side.
The temperance men and temperance women have been endeavoring to carry out the principle of the good Samaritan, and in proportion as they have taken that ground of benevolence and morality, have they succeeded in their efforts? Mrs. Mott proceeded of describe the early experience of those who were engaged in the Temperance movement. She had herself been ashamed to enter the temperance meeting to raise her voice in behalf of the poor drunkard, because she was an abolitionist. It was feared, by the temperance friends, that her presence would bring odium on their cause!
The various moral reformers were, however, becoming more and more liberal in their views and sentiments, and they discovered that there was not so much danger in blending several reforms together as was at first believed. And still more recent events had made it imperative that those exclusive notions should be annihilated. They now found, Lloyd Garrison and Elihu Burritt occupying the Temperance platform.
They could not restrain the natural course of such principles as Peace, Temperance and Liberty from uniting together. They were united in the same individuals, and were of the same kindred. It had been the same with regard to the movement for Woman's Rights. It was supposed that it would be an
[p. 59]injury to the cause of temperance for those who were engaged in that movement to be likewise prominent in this. However, next week the women would have a meeting of their own in the Tabernacle. The various leaders of the different moral movements could now rejoice together and mingle their power and spirits together in that great and holy cause, without fear or outrage to the feelings of any. She rejoiced at the fact that the children were all with them in that cause. It was occasioned by their purity of soul; and--were she speaking on a Theological instead of a Temperance platform, she would say, it was from their inherent love of right--their natural love of right, for she did not believe in the doctrine so long taught in the churches of the inherent and natural corruption of the child. [Cheers.]
The speaker appealed to the high moral sense of her audience, to adopt the utmost liberality towards all other movements; and, after condemning the custom of appealing to scripture in support of slavery and intemperance, she concluded by referring to the vision of Peter, which was intended to teach the great Christian doctrine of equality: that God was no respecter of persons, but that, in every nation, they that feared him and worked righteousness, were accepted of him. (Long continued applause.)
"If I were a voice" was then sung by the Amphions.
The President then said:
Among the three thousand faces on this floor there is but one which I do not like to see. I think you will agree with me that John P. Hale ought not to be sitting among you, but standing on this platform.
Vociferous applause followed from the surprised and gratified audience, and three hearty cheers were given, at the call of Col. Snow, when Mr. Hale at length ascended the platform and addressed the Convention as follows:
Mr. President--I think I can assure my friends, without any affectation, that the last thing I expected, was to address them this evening; and, when I have gone off from the stage, I am certain all will believe in my sincerity, when I say that I came entirely unprepared to address you. But I have come to a determination that I will never turn my back to that which has my judgment and my sympathies; and my heart was with you before I came forward to respond to your call. As I have nothing arranged in my mind to say, you will therefore permit me to give what illustrations from my own experience within a few days may come to my recollection, with the hope that they may suggest something that will be a profitable subject for consideration.
A week since I was riding in the cars through my native village, in New Hampshire, and the engineer, being considerably behind his time, and fearing
[p. 60]that he would be too late to make the necessary connection, put on a little extra speed. It so happened that an aged woman, fully eight-five years old, who was walking casually up the track, was struck by the engine, knocked down, and in an instant was a lifeless corpse. It sent a thrill of horror through the village, and loud and deep were the execrations and denunciations heaped upon the Railroad Company and the parties having charge of the train and locomotive for this reckless loss of life.
When I arrived in this city, I took a letter from the office, post-marked from the village to which I have referred; and its contents were an inquiry if the law afforded no remedy against such an act. This is a solitary instance; but who does not remember the fearful calamity which happened in Connecticut, when fifty human beings, without a moment's warning, were summoned to close their connection with the affairs of time, and enter upon the realities of another world. What was the result? From one end of the county to the other, newspaper politicians, legislators, philosophers and all, were examining the question, to know if there could not be something devised, some law enacted, by which the lives of those who were entitled to the protection of the law could be protected. They did not stop here, for the Legislature of Connecticut introduced a stringent bill, which became a law, and her citizens and the passing stranger will be hereafter guarded against a railroad calamity resulting from a draw-bridge. Well, now, if the wise legislators of Connecticut would extend the sphere of their inquiry, and ask if there are not within Connecticut, and within every State of the Union, causes which summon, if not as evidently yet a great deal more fearfully, hundreds and thousands every day to appear before the throne of the Almighty, they would find that draw-bridges are not the only evils from which they have to fear danger within their borders. Again, my friends, whose sympathies have not been aroused? Whose heart has not bled? Whose pity has not been excited, as they have dwelt upon the fearful tale which tells us of the ravages which the pestilence is making in our neighboring city, New Orleans? They are now experiencing there, the visitation of the pestilence; but suppose it were told, in addition to this, that there were to be found in New Orleans a set of men who waxed fat and grew rich by selling to the inhabitants an article of food which was found to be the fruitful source of the yellow fever; would you give any money for the aid of the sufferers and afflicted, till the authorities had done what they could to put down those who caused that pestilence? Is there not another pestilence, compared with which the yellow fever is an nought; and is not this pestilence destroying its victims, not only in the heat of summer, but in the cold of winter? The citizens of New Orleans are rejoicing in the hope, that, as the summer passes away the epidemic will go away on the winds of heaven. But there is another pestilence that knows no season, that knows no climate or locality; it strikes its victim in the crowded haunts of men, and pursues him to his home in the forest. It strikes him in the heat of summer; the cooling winds of autumn bring no refuge from its attack; but, in all seasons and climes, it goes forth, striking its victims with a malady, compared with which the yellow
[p. 61]fever or any other plague, is trifling, and may be easily dealt with by the healing art. They may find other causes--the stagnant pool and marsh--but, my friends, here is a stagnant pool which comes in the zephyrs of spring, in the faint winds of summer, in the cooling breath of autumn, and in fierceness of the winter tempest. It comes at all times; it never ceases; and while your ingenuity, and sympathy, and pity are appealed to to do something to assuage these minor evils, why is it, my friends, that in relation to this great evil, which is the fruitful parent of them all, you are silent. helpless, and dumb? Is it not time that that active sympathy which inquires into the cause, and seeks for a remedy, of every other evil that afflicts man, should turn their attention to this parent of all them? When we hear of deeds of philanthropy which have characterized past ages and the present, it is said that the greatest discovery of philanthropy was the discovery of vaccination. It was a great triumph of the healing art, a discovery of that simple process by which the ravages of a loathsome disease might be stayed. But if so, with what higher success should he be crowned who shall discover an antidote to that disease, compared with which the small-pox and yellow fever do not deserve to be mentioned? If I understand the friends of Temperance, they profess to have found it in the practical application of their motto--"Touch not, taste not, handle not, impure things." Well, my friends, I don't propose to go into the details of this subject this evening. I cam eup, in obedience to your call, to let you know that my heart is with you, and that it is a cause upon which I am not willing at any time to turn my back. Last and least of all, Mr. President, will I turn my back upon it, because you have invited your wives, and mothers, and sisters here. (Great applause.) Surely, my friends, surely, if this be such a work of philanthropy as I have described it, it is entitled to the sympathies of woman; and it is not meet that she who was "last at the cross and first at the sepulchre," should stay her hand here. (Repeated applause.) Let this cause be taken up and carried forward in that way which shall commend itself to the best judgment of us all. It is a field of philanthropy so wide, that we may all work in it, without jostling each other. We may divide among ourselves the best paths for our labor, in this glorious cause, with these remarks, I will leave you, and will not trespass any longer upon your patience. Indeed, I am sure I owe an apology for addressing you upon the subject of temperance, standing, as I do, in the presence of John Pierpont. (The speaker here sat down amid great applause.)
The President then introduced Col. E. L. Snow.
He said he was called on unexpectedly, but he felt himself honored in being permitted to speak before an audience. The cause in which we are engaged is such, and the platform one so broad, that no age, color, or sex should be excluded. Our principles are so broad that we have Democrats and Whigs, and every shade of political opinion, all laboring side by side in this great cause. When I look around me, a painful period of my life is brought
[p. 62]back to my mind. Once I was a rum-seller in the city of Boston, and I remember that, accompanied by several of my fellows, I was going to a Temperance meeting to put down the speakers. Before we went, we took several drinks; when we got there, I saw this gentleman, [pointing to Mr. Pierpont,] presiding; I felt that he was so good a man, and had labored so long in the service of the public good, that, when one of my friends was about to insult and abuse him, and put this fist in his face with a curse, I stepped between them, and told him he would have to do it over my body. (Cheers.) He then went on to contrast the difference between that period and the present. Then, the advocate of Temperance principles was hissed from the stage; now he is listened to with respectful attention. From this, he augured the nearness of the time when all shall acknowledge the Maine Law. (Cheers.)
Loud calls now were now made for William Lloyd Garrison, who came forward, and briefly addressed them. He said:
I am glad to be with you on this occasion, and to see so many ardent supporters of the Maine Law here. But, my friends, I am no politician, and my suffrage is restricted from the ballot box, as I am a man of peace, and cannot recognize any laws that are in favor of war; and the Maine Law, if enacted, is to be carried out, even at the peril human life. I do not recognize any law, that countenance slavery, and therefore I could not vote for the Maine Law. If he voted for that law, or any other, or for a man who would pledge himself to support it, he would be virtually recognizing the validity of the laws of this country, recognizing the Constitution, and that Constitution declares the right of the President to make war, and support the Compromise measure. How could I, as a peace man, do this? How could I tell the poor slave that I am his friend, and vote for this law? But I say to those voters who are not so sensitive on those points, that if you do vote at all, vote for the Maine Law. But, for one, I shall take that position which may conscience will sanction.
I doubt if the Maine Law would do all you give it credit for. There are laws against profanity, yet there is none the less swearing. There is a law against lewdness, but it is lessened thereby? He thought too much confidence is placed in law; men are apt to shift off their moral responsibility, and rely upon Legislation. All political reforms are the fruits and not the parents of morality. It is obvious that men who need laws to govern them are not fit to be trusted. He concluded by hoping that the principles of temperature would be carried out to their fullest extent, by all present in such way as the cause would justify. (Cheers.)
A motion was made that when the Convention adjourned, it should do so to meet at 9 o'clock the next morning.
Mr. Oliver Johnson said he hoped the motion would not prevail; he preferred to let the audience go home with the eloquence they have been listening
[p. 63]to fresh and warm on their minds, rather than to meet again in the morning and have their ardor damped by a smaller and fatigued audience. If they wanted to hear more speaking, let them to Saturday evening's banquet. (Cheers.)
The motion was withdrawn.
It was now voted that Mr. Carson prepare a synopsis of his League Organization, for publication in the proceedings. Carried.
Loud calls were made from all parts of the audience for Miss Lucy Stone. She came forward and spoke of the legal disfranchisement of women:
As the outside world has chosen to repudiate her influence, she was glad to find within this Convention that woman is recognized as a helper in the great work of reform.
She would desire to urge that all present should lend their earnest aid to the cause of Temperance. Let us give our head and heart and hand to this cause, until the last rum shop is shut up, and the landlord will be ashamed to rent his building for a rum hole.
If there be but one with us, as Frederick Douglas[s] has said, "that one with God is a majority." No matter if the cause be unpopular, to side with truth is noble. I believe the day will come when we can write in the hearts of the people, the truth of our belief. We can't afford to be other than Temperance men and women. We may lose our personal reputation for a time for our devotion to this cause, but there is a treasure richer than rubies and jewels--the wealth of a consciousness of right. I hope the time will come when with a diamond, will be written, in the drunkard's heart, the firm principles of Temperance.
Waldo Emerson said, and i wish that he was here to say it himself, that, if the girl at the spinning frame tied but one broken thread carelessly, when the fabric was woven and dressed, if it was imperfect, and the master traced it back to the girl who carelessly caused it, she was made to pay the damage. So it will be with us, my friends; if we do not exert a good influence on society, there will be a damaged woof, a faulty thread, and the great Master at the judgment day will trace the fault to its source. (Cheers.)
At the conclusion of Miss Stone's remarks, (of whose unpremeditated eloquence and impressiveness, the report gives no idea,) there was a movement to depart, but calls being made for "Burleigh," and other speakers, the President said:
Friends, is seems to me better that we should have no more speaking; not merely because it is long past ten, but because the calm eloquence which has
[p. 64]just held us spell-bound is a fitting close to our Convention. Let us pass our resolutions and adjourn, and that voice of clear melody will still linger in our ears and the night will be filled with music.
The whole of the resolutions were then passed unanimously.
A vote of thanks was tendered to the reporters for the general fidelity of their reports, and the judgment displayed in presenting the prominent features of the proceedings.
Dr. Parmly then offered the following:
I move but the thanks of the Whole World's Temperance Convention, so remarkable for good order, harmony and earnest enthusiasm, be offered to our President, Thomas W. Higginson, for the able dignified and courteous manner in which he has presided over its deliberations; having at every succeeding session highly distinguished himself for clear views, nice discrimination, and a just and impartial regard for the claims and rights of every individual member, as well as to the great and good cause which has thus called us together. Carried unanimously.
A vote of thanks was hen tendered to the Amphions and to Mr. Clarke for their beautiful songs.
The President then announced that the convention adjourned sine die.
LETTER FROM JOHN G. WHITTIER.
(Received too late to be read in Convention.)
A[M]ESBURY, 29th of 8th Month, 1853.
My Dear Friend:--Thy note of the 20th inst., inviting me to attend the Temperance Convention, called in New York on the 1st and 2nd of next month has just been placed in my hand.
I hasten to say that it would give me pleasure to be able to comply with the invitation. I fully approve of the movement, and wish it abundant success.
Whatever opinion may be honestly entertained, as to the appropriate sphere of woman, it seems to me, that none but the blindest can fail to see that the sphere must include all duties whose obligation rests equally on the whole human family. To be temperate ourselves, and to promote that virtue in others, are duties of this class; and in their exercise, I know no reason why one sex should impose restrictions on the other.
The state of my health (not to mention other obstacles,) must exclude me from active participation in your meeting. But, in spirit and sympathy, I am heartily with you.
As ever, thy friend,
JOHN G. WHITTIER.