PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. March 17, 1841 Female Abolitionists; Schism of the American Anti-Slavery Society on "the Women's Rights Question."
In the summer of 1837, SARAH and ANGELINA GRIMKE visited New England for the purpose of advocating the cause of the slave, with whose condition they were well acquainted, being natives of South Carolina, and having been themselves at one time implicated in the system. Their original intention was to confine their public labours to audiences of their own sex, but they finally addressed promiscuous assemblies. Their intimate knowledge of the true character of slavery; their zeal, devotion, and gifts as speakers, produced a deep impression, wherever they went. They met with considerable opposition from colonizationists, and also from a portion of the New England clergy, on the ground of the impropriety of their publicly addressing mixed audiences. This called forth in the Liberator, which at that time, I understand, was under the patronage, though I believe not under the control, of the Massachussets Anti-Slavery Society, a discussion of the abstract question of the entire equality of the rights and duties of the two sexes. Here was a new element of discord. ln 1838, at the annual New England convention of abolitionists, a woman was for the first time placed on committees with men, an innovation upon the general custom of the community, which excited much dissatisfaction in the minds of many. Under these circumstances it is is easy to understand the interruption, for a season, of the unity of feeling and action which had previously characterised the assemblies of the abolitionists. The actual separation in the societies took place in the Spring of 1840. The members of the executive committee at New York, with one exception, seceded and became members of the committee of the "new organisation," under the name of the " American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society." There are, therefore, now two central or national anti-slavery societies: the " old organization," retaining the designation of the "American Anti-slavery Society." The State Societies have, for the most part, taken up a position of neutrality, or independence of both. It is important to add that the division took place on the " women's rights" question, and that this is the only one of the controverted points which the American Anti-Slavery Society has officially affirmed-- and it is argued, on behalf of their view of this question, that since, in the original "constitution" of the society, the term, describing its members, officers, et cet. is " persons " that women are plainly invested with the same eligibility to appointments, and the same right to vote and act as the other sex. I need not say how this "constitutional" argument is met on the other side. The other new views are held by comparatively few persons, and neither anti-slavery society in America is responsible for them. In conclusion, I rejoice to be able to add, that the separation, in its effects, appears to have been a healing measure; a better and kinder feeling is beginning to pervade all classes of American abolitionists-- the day of mutual crimination seems to be passing away, and there is strong reason to hope that the action of the respective societies will henceforward harmoniously tend to the same object. That such may be the result is my sincere desire. It is proper in this connexion to state that a considerable number of active and prominent abolitionists, do not entirely sympathise with either division of the anti-slavery society; and there are comparatively few who make their views, for or against the question on which the division took place, a matter of conscience.
I have now given a brief, and I trust an impartial account of the origin of these dissensions. Some may possibly regard the views and proceedings above referred to, as the natural growth of abolitionism, but as well might the divisions among the early reformers be charged upon the doctrines of the Reformation, or the "thirty year's war," upon the preaching of Luther.
On the evening of the 14th. instant, we met at a social party the leading abolitionists of Philadelphia of the "old organization." There were present all but one of the delegates from Pennsylvania to the London Convention. I availed myself of the opportunity of briefly and distinctly stating the unanimous conclusion of the London Anti-slavery Committee, in which I entirely concurred, on the points at issue. I observed, in substance, that in the struggle for the liberation of the slaves in the British Colonies, one great source of our moral strength was, the singleness of our object, and our not allowing any other subject, however important or unexceptionable, to be mixed up with it-- that though the aid of our female coadjutors had been of vital importance to the success of the anti-slavery enterprise, yet that their exertions had been uniformly directed by separate committees of their own sex, and that the abolitionists of Europe had no doubt that their united influence was most powerful in this mode of action: that the London Committee being convinced that no female delegate had crossed the Atlantic, under the belief that the 'call' or invitation was intended to include women, felt themselves called upon without in the slightest degree wishing to interfere with private opinion on this, or any other subject, to withhoId their assent to the reception of such delegates, as members of the Convention, and that their decision, when appealed against, had been ratified in the Convention itself, by an overwhelming majority, after a protracted discussion: finally, that those whose views I represented, could not be parties to the introduction in any future convention of this or any other question, which we deemed foreign to our cause, and therefore that for those with whom it was a point of conscience to carry out what they deemed " women's rights," I saw no alternative but a separate organization, in which I wished that their efforts on behalf of the oppressed coloured race, might be crowned with the largest measure of success. I observed, in conclusion, that my object was simply to state the decision of those with whom I acted in Great Britain, and that I must decline discussion, being fully convinced that it was better that the now separate societies should aim at the common object, in a spirit of kind and friendly co-operation, each in its own sphere, rather than that they should waste their energies in mutual contentions, and in the unprofitable discussion of topics not legitimately belonging to the great question of the abolition of slavery.
Although I had to address a company almost unanimously opposed on these points to myself, my communication was received in a kind and friendly spirit, and I was courteously informed that it would be taken into consideration at the next meeting of the Committee.
On the the burning of Pennsylvania Hall by a pro-slavery mob, 1838.
As an illustration, I quote the following scene from a letter addressed to me by ROBERT PURVIS, an intelligent and educated man of colour, and the son in law of JAMES FORTEN, who has already been introduced to my readers.
" In regard to my examination before the jury in the Pennsylvania Hall case, I have to say, that it was both a painful and ludicrous affair. At one time the fulness of an almost bursting heart was ready to pour forth in bitter denunciation-then the miserable absurdity of the thing, rushing into my mind, would excite my risible propensities. You know the county endeavoured to defend itself against the award of damages, by proving that the abolitionists were the cause of the destruction of the building, in promoting promiscuous intermingling, in doors and out, of blacks and whites, thereby exciting public feeling, &c. A witness, whose name I now forget, in proof of this point, stated, that upon a certain day, hour, &c., a 'negress' approached the hall, in a carriage, when a white man assisted her in getting out, offered his arm, which was instantly accepted, and he escorted her to the saloon of the building. In this statement he was collected, careful, and solemn-minutely describing the dress, appearance of the parties, as well as the carriage, the exact time, &c.-the clerks appointed for the purpose taking down every word, and the venerable jurors locking credulous and horror-stricken. Upon being called to rebut the testimony of the county's witness, I, in truth and simplicity, confirmed his testimony in every particular ! ! The attorney, on our behalf, DAVID PAUL BROWN, Esq., a gentleman, scholar, and philanthropist, in a tone of irony peculiarly severe, demanded, ' whether I had the unblushing impudence, in broad day-light, to offer my arm to my wife ?' I replied, in deep affectation of the criminality involved, that the only palliation I could offer, for conduct so outrageous was, that it was unwittingly done, it seemed so natural. This, as you might well suppose, produced some merriment at the expense of the witness for the county, and of all others, whose gullibility and prejudice had given credit to what would have been considered, had I been what is called a white man, an awful story."
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT. Meeting of the State Abolition Society; Efforts of Female Abolitionists May 19, 1841
I proceeded by way of New York to Hartford in Connecticut, in order to be present at an anti-slavery meeting of the State society, to which I had been invited. On my arrival on the afternoon of the 19th. I found the meeting assembled, and in the chair my friend J. T. NORTON-- a member of the Connecticut Legislature, a munificent and uncompromising friend to the Anti-slavery cause, and one of the delegates to the London Convention. A black minister of religion addressed the meeting in an able and interesting manner. Soon after the close of his speech, a circumstance quite unexpected to me, introduced a discussion on the right of women to vote and publicly act, conjointly with men. The chairman decided that the motion in favour of it was negatived, but the minority required the names on both sides to be taken down; this consumed much time, and disturbed the harmony of the meeting. I attended in the evening a committee of the legislaturc, which was sitting at the court house, to hear the speeches of persons who were allowed to address the committee in support of a petition that the word "white" should be expunged from the constitution of Connecticut. This change would of course give equal rights to the coloured class. When I entered, the same coloured minister I had heard in the afternoon, was addressing the committee. He was listened to with great attention, not only by the members, but by near two hundred of the inhabitants, who were present. He was followed on the same side, by a wnite gentleman in a very strong and uncompromising speech. The next day I paid my respects to WILLIAM W. ELLSWORTH, the Governor of the State, and to one of the judges of the court; and afterwards attended the adjourned meeting of the Anti-slavery Society. The vexed question of "women's rights" was again brought forward in another shape; the names on both sides again called for, with the same result as before. My belief was fully confirmed, that those who differ so widely in sentiment, have no alternative but to meet and act in distinct organizations.
The Amistad captives arrived at Hartford on the afternoon of the same day, and were to address a meeting in the evening. An anti-slavery bazaar or fair which I visited this day, furnished ample testimony of the zeal of the female friends of the oppressed slave in this district. I returned the same evening to New Haven, and subsequently received a copy of two resolutions, approving the proceedings of the general Anti slavery Convention, in which it is stated by the Connecticut anti-slavery committee, "they have abundant evidence that the cause of the slave has been essentially promoted thereby;" also recommending "that a convention of men from all parts of the world, friendly to the cause of immediate emancipation, be again called in London, in the summer of 1842."
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. June 1, 1841 Visit to the Refuge for Juvenile Delinquents; Visit to the Eastern Penitentiary.
During my short stay in Philadelphia on this occasion, I visited several of its prisons, philanthropic institutions, et cet. These are pro-eminently the glory of this beautiful city; yet as they have been often described, I shall pass them by in silence, with the exception of two, the Refuge, and the Penitentiary; which I briefly notice because I may offer a few general remarks in another place, on the important subject of prison discipline. The Refuge is an asylum for juvenile delinquents, founded on the just and benevolent principle that offences against society, committed by very young persons, should be disciplined by training and education, rather than by punishment. In this establishment there are from eighty to ninety boys, and from forty to fifty girls, of ages varying from eight to twenty-one years. The former are employed in various light handicraft trades, and the latter in domestic services, and both spend a certain portion of their time in school. They remain from six months to four years. From the statements of the superintendent and matron, it appeared that about three-fourths of the male, and four-fifths of the female inmates become respectable members of society, and the remainder are chiefly such as are fifteen or sixteen years of age when first admitted into the Refuge, an age at which character may be considered as in a great measure formed. The labour of the children pays about one-fifth of the expense of the establishment, the rest being defrayed by the legislature.
The prejudice of colour intrudes even here, no children of that class being admitted into the Refuge. Coloured delinquency is left to ripen into crime, with little interference from public or private philanthropy. As might have been expected, coloured, are more numerous than white criminals, in proportion to relative population; and this is appealed to as a proof of their naturally vicious and inferior character; when in fact the government and society at large are chargeable with their degradation.
The Penitentiary contained, at the time of my visit, about three hundred and forty male, and thirty-five female prisoners. In this celebrated prison, hard labour is combined with solitary confinement, a system which is techincally known as the "separate" system. Silence and seclusion are so strictly enforced as to be almost absolute and uninterrupted; even the minister who addresses the prisoners on the sabbath is known to them only by his voice. A marked feature of this institution is security without the aid of any deadly weapon, none being allowed in the possession of the attendants, or indeed upon the premises. As compared with the " silent" system, exhibited in the not less famed prisons of the State of New York, this is much less economical, as the mode of employing the prisoners, in their solitary cells, greatly lessons the power of a profitable application of their labour.
WASHINGTON. June 1841 Visit to a Slave Trading Establishment.
In the afternoon I proceeded by a steam packet, with one of my friends, to Alexandria, about six miles distant, on the other side of the Potomac. A merchant, to whom I had an introduction, kindly accompanied us to a slave-trading establishment there, which is considered the principal one in the district. The proprietor was absent; but the person in charge, a stout, middle aged man, with a good-natured countenance, which little indicated his employment, readily consented to show us over the establishment. On passing behind the house, we looked through a grated iron door, into a square court or yard, with very high walls, in which were about fifty slaves. Some of the younger ones were dancing to a fiddle, an affecting proof, in their situation, of the degradation caused by slavery. There were, on the other hand, others who seemed a prey to silent dejection. Among these was a woman, who had run away from her master twelve years ago, and had married and lived ever since as a free person. She was at last discovered, taken and sold, along with her child, and would shortly be shipped to New Orleans, unless her husband could raise the means of her redemption, which we understood he was endeavouring to do. If he failed, they are lost to him for ever. Another melancholy looking woman was here with her nine children, the whole family having been sold away from their husband and father, to this slave-dealer, for two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. This unfeeling separation is but the beginning of their sorrows. They will, in all probability, be re-sold at New Orleans, scattered and divided, until not perhaps two of them are left together. The most able-bodied negro I saw, cost the slave-dealer six hundred and eighty-five dollars.
Our guide told us that they sometimes sent from this house from fifteen hundred to two thousand slaves to the south in a year, and that they occasionally had three hundred to four hundred at once in their possession. That the trade was not now so brisk, but that prices were rising. The return and profits of this traffic appear to be entirely regulated by the fluctuations in the value of the cotton. Women are worth one-third less than men. But one instance of complete escape ever occurred from these premises, though some of the slaves were occasionally trusted out into the fields. He showed us the substantial clothing, shoes, &c., with which the slaves were supplied when sent to the south; a practice, I fear, enforced more by the cupidity of the buyers, than the humanity of the seller. Our informant stated, in answer to enquiries, that by the general testimony of the slaves purchased, they were treated better by the planters than was the case ten years ago. He also admitted the evils of the system, and said, with apparent sincerity, he wished it was put an end to.
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. July 30, 1841.Wages in the Mill; Morality of Mill Workers; Education; Literary and Charitable Societies
On the 30th, in company with JOHN G. WHITTIER and C. STEWART PENSNAW, I went over to Lowell, the chief seat of the woollen and cotton manufacture in America. Less than twenty years ago, there were not more than forty or fifty houses on the site of this flourishing city, which now contains upwards of twenty thousand inhabitants. Its numerous mills are all worked by water power, and belong to incorporated joint-stock companies. We were obligingly shown over two of the largest woollen and cotton factories, where every stage of the manufacture was in process, from the cotton, or sheep's wool, to the finished fabric. We also visited works, where the printing of cottons is executed in a superior style, besides a new process for dyeing cotton in the thread, invented by an Englishman, now in the establishment. The following abstract of the manufacturing statistics of Lowell, on the first of January, 1841, will show the great importance to which this new branch of industry has attained with such unprecedented rapidity.
"Ten joint-stock companies, with a capital of ten millions of dollars, having thirty-two woollen and cotton factories, besides print works, et cat., with one hundred and seventy-eight thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight spindles, and five thousand five hundred and eighty-eight looms, employing two thousand one hundred and seventy-two males, and six thousand nine hundred and twenty females; who made, in 1840, sixty-five millions eight hundred and two thousand four hundred yards of cotton and woollen cloths, in which were consumed twenty-one millions four hundred and twenty-four thousand pounds of cotton alone.
" The average amount earned by the male hands emploped, exclusive of their board, is four dollars and eighty cents, or about twenty shillings sterlings per week, and of the females two dollars, or about eight shillings and sixpence per week."
But the most striking and gratifying feature of Lowell, is the high moral and intellectual condition of iti working population. In looking over the books of the mills we visited, where the operatives entered their names, I observed very few that were not written by themselves; certainly not five per cent. of the whole number were signed with a mark, and many of these were evidently Irish. It was impossible to go through the mills, and notice the respectable appearance and becoming and modest deportment of the " factory girls," without forming a very favourable estimate of their character and position in society. But it would be difficult indeed for a passing observer to rate them so high as they are proved to be by the statistics of the place. The female operatives are generally boarded in houses built and owned by the " corporations" for whom they work, and which are placed under the superintendence of matrons of exemplary character, and skilled in housewifery, who pay a low rent for the houses, and provide all necessaries for their inmates, over whom they exercise a general oversight, receiving about one dollar and one-third from each per week. Each of these houses accommodates from thirty to fifty young women, and there is a wholesome rivalry among the mistresses which shall make their inmates most comfortable. We visited one of the boarding houses, and were highly plessed with its arrangement. A considerable number of the factory girls are farmers' daughters, and come hither from the distant States of Vermont and New Hampshire, et cet., to work for two, three, or four years, when they return to their native hills, dowered with a little capital of their own earnings. The factory operatives at Lowell form a commu- nity that commands the respect of the neighbourbood, and of all under whose observation they come. No female of an immoral character could remain a week in any of the mills. The superintendent of the Boote Corporation informed me, that, during the five and a half years of his superintendence of that factory, employing about nine hundred and fifty young women, he had known of but one case of an illegitimate birth-and the mother was an Irish " immigrant." Any male or female employed, who was known to be in a state of inebriety, would be at once dismissed.
At the suggestion of the benevolent and intelligent superintendent of the Boote Company, we waited to see the people turn out to dinner, at half-past twelve o'clock. We stood in a position where many hundreds passed under our review, whose dress, and quiet and orderly demeanour, would have done credit to any congregation breaking up from their place of worship. One of the gentlemen with me, who is from a slave State, where all labour is considered degrading, remarked, with emotion, " What would I give if-, (naming a near relative in the slave States,) could witness this only for a quarter of an hour !" We dined with one of our abolition friends at Lowell, who informed us that many hundreds of the factory girls were members of the Anti-slavery Society; and that, although activity in this cause has been pretty much suspended by the division in the ranks of its friends, yet there is no diminution of good feeling on the subject. The following extracts, from a pamphlet published by a respectable citizen of Lowell, in 1839, will further illustrate the moral statistics of the place, which, I believe, can be paralleled by no other manufacturing town in the world. The work is dated July, 1839:-
" How shall I go to work to satisfy the reader of the high standard of morals among the female part of our population? I know of but one method, and that is, avoiding as much as possible all loose generalities, to state all such settled, ascertained, undisputed facts as bear directly on the question.
"The amount of strictly religious influences will be best and most clearly shown, by the number of accessions to the several churches. The aggregate number of these I am not able to give, from want of the requisite materials. I have been able, however, to procure returns from nine of the fifteen churches in the city. These churches were organized at different times since the origin of the city, and the whole number of persons who have joined them by profession, amounts to five thousand five hundred and fifty nine. From eight to nine tenths of these were females, a large proportion of whom were employed in the mills.
"There are now in the city fourteen regularly organized religious societies, besides one or two others quite recently established. Ten of these societies constitute a Sabbath School Union. Their third annual report was made on the fourth of the present month, and it has been published within a few days. I derive from it the following facts. The number of scholars connected with the ten schools at the time of making the report, was four thousand nine hundred and thirty-six, and the number of teachers was four hundred and thirty-three, making an aggregate of five thousand three hundred and sixty-nine. The number who joined the schools during the year, was three thousand seven hundred and seventy, the number who left was three thousand one hundred and twenty-nine. About three-fourths of the scholars are females. A large proportion of the latter are over fifteen years of age, and consist of girls employed in the mills. More than five hundred of these scholars have, during the last year, become personally interested in practically piety, and more than six hundred have joined themselves to the several churches. Now let it be borne in mind, that there are four or five Sunday Schools in the city, some of which are large and flourishing, not included in this statement. Let it be borne in mind, too, that a great proportion of these scholars are the factory girls, and furthermore, that these most gratifying results just given, have nothing in them extraordinary-they are only the common, ordinary results of several of the past years. There has been no unusual excitement; no noise, no commotion. Silently, quietly, unobtrusively, from Sabbath to Sabbath, in these little nurseries of truth, duty and religion, has the good seed been sowing and springing up-watered by the dews, and warmed by the smiles of heaven-to everlasting life.
"I shall now proceed to enumerate some of the influences which have been most powerful in bringing about these results. Among these are the example and watchful care and oversight of the boarding house keepers, the superintendents, and the over-seers. But a power vastly more active, all pervading and efficient, than any and all of these, is to be found in the jealous and sleepless watchfulness, over each other, of the girls themselves. The strongest guardianship of their own character, as a class, is in their own hands, and they will not suffer either overseer or superintendent to be indifferent to this character with impunity.
'`The relationship which is here established between the Sunday school scholar and her teacher-between the member of the church and her pastor-the attachments which spring up between them, are rendered close and strong by the very circumstances in which these girls are placed. These relationships and these attachments take the place of the domestic ties and the home affections, and they have something of the strength and fervency of these."
The next extract shows their prosperity in a pecuniary point.
" The average wages, clear of board, amount to about two dollars a week. Many an aged father or mother, in the country, is made happy and comfortable, by the self-sacrificing contributions from the affectionate and dutiful daughter here. Many an old homestead has been cleared of its incumbrances, and thus saved to the family by these liberal and honest earnings. To the many and most gratifying and cheering facts, which, in the course of this examination, I have had occasion to state, I here add a few others relating to the matter now under discussion, furnished me by Mr. CARNEY, the treasurer of the Lowell Institution for Savings. The whole number of depositors in this institution, on the 23rd July, was nineteen hundred and seventy-six; the whole amount of deposits was three hundred and five thousand seven hundred and ninety-six dollars and seventy cents (about 60,000 pounds.) Of these depositors nine hundred and seventy- eight are factory girls, and the amount of their funds now in the bank, is estimated by Mr. CARNEY, in round numbers, at one hundred thousand dollars. It is a common thing for one of these girls to have five hundred dollars in deposit, and the only reason why she does not exceed this sum is the fact, that the institution pays no interest on any larger sum than this. After reaching this amount, she invests her remaining funds elsewhere."
In confirmation of this description of the state of the Lowell population, I have obtained, through the kindness of a friend in Massachussetts, the following parallel statistics to a recent date:-
" PUBLIC SCHOOLS.-BY the report of the school committee for the year ending on the 5th of Fourth Month (April) 1841, it appears that the whole number of pupils in the schools, who attended during the whole or part of the year, was 5,830. The whole amount expended by the city for these schools, during the year, was 18,106 dollars, 51 cents.
" SABBATH SCHOOLS.-The number of scholars and teachers in the Sabbath Schools, connected with the various religious societies in Lowell, during the year ending on the 5th of Seventh Month (July) 1841, was 5,493.
" SAVINGS' BANK.-The Lowell Institution for Savings, in its report of Fifth Month (May), 1840, acknowledges 328,395 dollars, 55 cents, deposits, from 2,137 persons; together with 16,093 dollars, 29 cents nett amount received for interest on loans and dividends in stocks, less expense and dividends paid- making in all, 344,488 dollars, 84 cents: net amount of interest, 24,714 dollars, 61 cents. Within the year, 120,175 dollars, 69 cents, had been deposited, and 70,384 dollars, 24 cents, drawn out.
" PAUPERS.-The whole expense of the city for the support of the poor, during the year ending on the 31st of Twelfth Month (December) 1840, was 2,698 dollars, 61 cents."
As a proof, slight yet significant, of the spread of intellectual cultivation, I ought not to-omit a notice of the " Lowell Offering," a little monthly magazine, consisting of original articles, written exclusively by the factory girls. The editor of the Boston Christian Examiner commends this little periodical to those who consider the factory system to be degrading and demoralizing; and expresses a doubt " whether a committee of young ladies, selected from the most refined and best educated families in any of our towns and cities, could make a fairer appearance in type than these hard-working factory girls." I have given, in the appendix, an article from this little periodical.
The city of Lowell has been distinguished by British tourists as the Manchester of the United States; but, in view of the facts above related, an American has declared it to be " not the Manchester of the United States."
APPENDIX: GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. Curriculum and Financial Arrangements for Public Education.
THE reader who has accompanied me thus far, will not need to be informed that I have designedly omitted many of those remarks on scenery, manners, and institutions, which were naturally suggested to my own mind by a retrospect of my sojourn in the United States. On various subjects of great interest and importance, it would be difficult for me to add any thing new or valueable to the information contained in other and well known works; while on those points to which my attention was chiefly directed, I have endeavoured, as far as practicable, to incorporate the results of my inquiries in the preceding narrative. There remain, however, a few observations, for which, having found no appropriate place, I would bespeak attention in a concluding chapter.
In the northern States, education in the common acceptation of the term, may be considered as univereal; in illustration of which it may be mentioned, that on the occasion of the late census, not a single American adult in the State of Connecticut, was returned as unable to read or write. Funds for education are raised by municipal taxation in each town or district, to such an amount as the male adults may decide. Their public schools are universally admitted to be well conducted and efficient, and combine every requisite for affording a sound, practical, elementary education to the children of the less affluent portion of the community. I need scarcely add that in a republican government, this important advantage being conceded, the road to wealth and distinction, or to eminence of whatever kind, is thrown open to all of every class without partiality-the coloured alone excepted.
The following extract from a letter received since my return from a respected member of the Society of Friends, residing in Worcester, Massachusetts, will give a lively idea of the general diffusion and practical character of education in the New England States.
" Thc public schools of the place, like those throughout the State, are supported by a tax, levied on the peoplc by themselves, in their primary assemblies or town meetings, and they are of so execllent a character as to have driven other schools almost entirely out from amongst us. They are so numerous as to accommodate amply all the children, of suitable age to attend. They are graduated from the infant school, where the A. B. C. is taught, up to the high school for the languages and mathematics, where boys are fitted for the University, and advanced so far, if they choose, as to enter the University one or two years ahead. These schools are attended by the children of the whole population promiscuously; and, in the same class, we find the children of the governor and the ex-Governor of the State, and those of their day-labourers, and of parents who arc so poor that their children are provided with books and stationery from the school fund. Under this system, we have no children who do not acquire sufficient school learning to qualify thcm for transacting all the business which is necessary in the ordinary pursuits of life. A child growing up without school learning would be an anomaly with us. All standing thus on a level, as to advantages, talent is developed, whcrever it happens to be; and neither wealth nor ancestral honours give any advantage in the even-handed contest which may here be waged for distinction. It is thus that we find, almost uniformly, that our first men, either in government or the professions, are the sons of comparatively poor and obscure persons. In places where the wealthier portion of the community have placed their children in select schools, they are found much less likely to excel, than when placed in contact and collision with thc mass, where they are compelled to come in competition with those whose physical condition prepares them for mental labour, and whose situation in society holds forth every enticement to their exertion. To this system, which is co-eval with the foundation of the State, I atrribute, in a great degree, that wonderful energy of character which distinguishes the people of New England, and which has filled the world with the evidences of their enterprise."
The preceding statements refer to New England, the oldest portion of the free Sates. The more recently settled Northern and Western States are necessarily less advanced, yet their educational statistics would probably bear comparison with any country in the world, except the most favoured portion of their own. In the slave States the aspect of things affords a striking contrast. Not only is the slave population, with but few exceptions, in a condition of heathen barbarism, a condition which it is the express object of those laws of the slave States, forbidding under the heaviest penalties, the instruction of the slaves, to perpetuate; but the want of common elementary education among large numbers of the privileged class is notorious. Compare Virginia with Massachusetts,- The American Almanac for the year 1841, states (page 210,) there are supposed to be hardly fewer than 30,000 adult white persons in Virginia who cannot read and write ! An able writer gives the following facts.
" No one of the slave States has probably so much general education as Virginia. It is the oldest of them-has furnished one half of the Presidents of the United States-has expended more upon her University than any State in the Union has done during the same time upon its colleges-sent to Europe nearly twenty years since for her most learned professors; and in fine, has far surpassed every other slave State in her efforts to disseminate education among her citizens; and yet, the Governor of Virginia in his message to the legislature, (Jan. 7, 1839) says, that of four thousand six hundred and fourteen adult males in that State, who applied to the country clerks for marriage licenses in the year 1837, one thousand and forty seven were unable to write their names." The governor adds, "these statements, it will be remembered are confined to one sex: the education of females, it is to be feared, is in a condition of much greater neglect."-The editor of the Virginia Times published at Wheeling, in his paper of January, 23rd, 1839, says,-" We have every reason to suppose that one fourth of the people of the State cannot write their names, and they have not of course, any other species of education." The destitution of the means of moral and religious improvement is in like manner very great.
APPENDIX H: Letter from Abraham Pennock, June 28 1841, to the American Anti-Slavery Society. Pennock Explains He Cannot Support the Decision of the Society to Admit Women; Tenders his Resignation.
" To the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
"Other reasons than those which will be presented in this letter, made it desirable to me to be released from any official connection with the Anti-slavery Society. I thought those reasons so well known to some of the delegates from the Pennsylvania Society and withal they were deemed by me of so much value, that I felt both surprise and regret at understanding that my name was continued as one of the Vice-presidents of the Parent Society. Thus saying, I am nevertheless bound to express my indebtedness for the kind feeling toward me, and confidence in my love for the slave, which doubtlessly induced the appointment.
" By an accident to my Anti-slavery newspapers, I have just received the proceedings of the society at the above meeting. I am sorry to find in them superadded reasons for regret at my appointment-as that appointment seems to place me in the false position of appearing to be in favour of its leading measures; some of which, denunciatory of co-labourers in the abolition cause, have not my unity.
"In the heavy responsibilities of the former Executive Committee, I find a sufficient reason for their transfer of the Emancipator, and other property for which they stood personally engaged ; and I therefore cannot join in affirming such transfer to be a flagrant breach of trust; and their answer in justification of their course, an attempt to defend, which betrays an utter disregard of the rights of abolitionists.
"Believing in the intellectual equality of the sexes, I go fully for women's rights and duties. They possess a moral force of immense power, which they are bound to exert for the good of mankind, including emphatically so, those who are in the hopeless and most wretched condition of slaves. The belief of the value of female cooperation is common to the Anti-slavery community, and the only question regarding it which has arisen, is, whether it shall be exerted in societies and conventions of women, or in societies and conventions of men and women, irrespective of sex. The question is of recent date, not even coeval with the modern Anti-slavery enterprise; and the practice, at the origination of this enterprise, that of separate action. We can all bear testimony to the powerful impression upon the public mind, made by women acting singly, or in societies and conventions, before it was thought of merging their influence in a joint stock community with their brethren. Where can we find an Anti-slavery organization more potential, and so dignified, as was the Convention of American women ? Is it therefore surprising that the question has not been conclusively settled by American abolitionists, that women ought to act identically on the same platform, and in the same society with men; and that the practice, founded on this plan, still remains measurably local, and by many, conforming to it, is deemed experimental.
"In convening a world's convention, no innovation upon the general social usages was contemplated by our brethren in England who called it. The Convention was meant to be a Convention of men, and what was deficient of explicituess in the first notice, was amply made up in the reiteration of the call. It was fully knewn, before the appointment of delegates by the American Anti-slavery Society, that the intention of the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, was such as is above explained. The views ofthe inviting party being known, it was competent to the invited to accept or reject the invitation, but not to modify its terms. The American Society, however, in face of the invitation, with a knowledge of the extreme sensitiveness of that portion of the British people whom the Convention would deem it important to conciliate, to any innovation upon established forms, and itself not united in discarding the distinctions of sex,- resolved to send female delegates to the Convention, and thus, in effect, to appeal from the Committee to the parimlount authority of the Convention, and with it to settle the American question.
"In exercising this authority, we are to suppose, from the high moral, intellectual, and philanthropic standing of its members, the Convention, in adhering to the gelleral usages of society, meant to perpetrate no injustice; and we know, from their very respectful attention to the rejected delegates, that they were influenced by no want of courtesy-I am satisfied that they acted according to their best impressions of duty, the carrying out of which was their high aim; and that the Convention,was not the less a world's Convention, because it did not embrace both sexes as its members, or any reforms without the scope of its call. I cannot unite, therefore, in the resoIutions declaring tbe proceedings of the British and Foreign AntiSlavery Society arbitrary and despotic; or the act of the London Conference, excluding the female delegates of the American Society appointed in contradiction to the terms of the invitation, as highly disrespectful to the delegates, and to us, their constituents, tyrannical in its nature, mischievous in its tendencies, and unworthy of men claiming the character of abolitionists.
"Thus my views, not being in harmony with the action of the society, in the particulars above referred to, my duty to it and myself is, to tender you this as my resignation of the office of Vice President for Pennsylvania, and not to await another election for withdrawing from it.
"With no heart for the controrersies which have got in among my brethren, the common friends of the enslaved, and which are sadly wasting their anti-slavery strength, but with a warm heart for the legitimate objects of the American Anti-slavery Society, I shall not cease anxiously to desire its prosperity and speedy trimllph, within these just limitations.
(Signed,) ABRAHAM L. PENNOCK.
Haverford, 6th Month, 28th, 1841."
APPENDIX M: Article from "The Lowell Offering, a Repository of Original Articles, written by Females employed in the Mills."
The following article from this miscellany has been selected without reference to literary merit, but as incidentally affording information respecting the origin, habits, manners, and tone of mind and morals of the "factory girls" of Lowell.
" THE SPIRIT OF DISCONTENT.
"'I will not stay in Lowell any longer; I am determined to give my notice this very day,' said Ellen Collins, as the earliest bell was tolling to remind us of the hour for labour.
"'Why, what is the matter, Ellen ? It seems to me you have dreamed out a new idea ? Where do you think of going ? and what for ?'
"'I am going home, where I shall not be obliged to rise so early in the morning, nor be dragged about by the ringing of a bell, nor confimed in a close noisy room from morning till night. I will not stay here; I am determined to go home in a fortnight.'
"'Such was our brief morning's conversation.
"' In the evening, as I sat alone, reading, my companions having gone out to public lectures or social meetings, Ellen entered. I saw that she still wore the same gloomy expression of countenance, which had been manifested in the morning; and I was disposed to remove from her mind the evil influence, by a plain common-sense conversation.
"'And so, Ellen,' said I, 'you think it unpleasant to rise so early in the morning, and be confined in the noisy mill so many hours during the day. And I think so, too. All this, and much more, is very annoying, no doubt. But we must not forget that there are advantages, as well as disadvantages, in this employment, as in every other. If we expect to find all sun-shine and flowers in any station in life, we shall most surely be disappointed. We are very busily engaged during the day; but then we have the evening to ourselves, with no one to dictate to or controul us. I have frequently heard you say, that you would not be confined to household duties, and that you disliked the millinery business altogether, because you could not have your evenings, for leisure. You know that in Lowell we have schools, lectures, and meetings of every description, for moral and intellectual improvement.'
"' All this is very true,' replied Ellen, 'but if we were to attend every public institution, and every evening school which offers itself for our improvement, we might spend every farthing of our earnings, and even more. Then if sickness should overtake us, what are the probable consequences ? Here we are, far from kindred and home; and if we have an empty purse, we shall be destitute of friends also.'
"'I do not think so, Ellen. I believe there is no place where there are so many advantages within the reach of the labouring class of people, as exist here; where there is so much equality, so few aristocratic distinctions, and such good fellowship, as may be found in this community. A person has only to be honest, industrious, and moral, to secure the respect of the virtuous and good, though he may not be worth a dollar; while, on the other hand, an immoral person, though he should possess wealth, is not respected.'
"' As to the morality of the place,' returned Ellen, 'I have no fault to find. I object to the constant hurry of every thing. We cannot have time to eat, drink, or sleep; we have only thirty minutes, or at most three quarters of an hour, allowed us to go from our work, partake of our food, and return to the noisy clatter of machinery. Up before day, at the clang of the bell-and out of the mill by the clang of the bell-into the mill, and at work, in obedience to that ding-dung of a bell-just as though we were so many living machines. I will give my notice to-morrow: go, I will- I won't stay here and be a white slave.'
"' Ellen,' said I, 'do you remember what is said of the bee, that it gathers honey even in a poisonous flower ? May we not, in like manner, if our hearts are rightly attuned, find many pleasures connected with our employment ? Why is it, then, that you so obstinately look altogether on the dark side of a factory Iife ? I think you thought differently while you were at home, on a visit, last summer-for you were glad to come back to the mill, in less than four weeks. Tell me, now-why were you so glad to return to the ringing of the bell, the clatter of the machinery, the early rising, the half- hour dinner, and so on ?'
" I saw that my discontented friend was not in a humour to give me an answer-and I therefore went on with my talk.
"'You are fully aware, Ellen, that a country life does not exclude people from labour-to say nothing of the inferior privileges of attending public worship-that people have often to go a distance to meeting of any kind-that books cannot be so easily obtained as they can here-that you cannot always have just such society as you wish-that you'-
"She interrupted me, by saying-' We have no bell, with its everlasting ding-dung.'
"'What difference does it make,' said I, 'whether you shall be awakened by a bell, or the noisy bustle of a farm-house ? For, you know, farmers are generally up as early in the morning as we are obliged to rise.'
"' But there,' said Ellen, 'country people have none of the clattering of machinery constantly dinning in their ears.'
"' True,' I replied, 'but they have what is worse-and that is, a dull, lifeless silence all around them. The hens may cackle sometimes, and the geese gabble, and the pigs squeal'-
"Ellen's hearty laugh interrupted my description-and presently we proceeded, very pleasantly, to compare a country life with a factory life in Lowell. Her scowl of discontent had departed, and she was prepared to consider the subject candidly. We agreed, that since we must work for a living, the mill, all things considered, is the most pleasant, and best calculated to promote our welfare; that we will work diligently during the hours of labour; improve our leisure to the best advantage, in the cultivation of the mind,-hoping thereby not only to increase our own plessure, but also to add to the happiness of those around us.