Garrison at Plymouth Rock

August 5, 1859

At the gathering celebrating West India Emancipation, Garrison, in his speech comments on a recent visit to Plymouth.  “… on going down to the world-famous Rock, I found that it had been excavated, and raised up several feet, preparatory to its being enclosed within an iron railing.  They were cutting off a portion of it, in order to make it more symmetrical; but such is the veneration cherished for the Rock, I was told that an officer of the town was standing by, to see that not a single fragment of it was taken away without authority!  ‘Hands off!’  Is not every particle of it more precious than a diamond…Yet, a fugitive slave from the South dare to plant his feet upon it, and then let him be legally arrested, and there is not enough left of the spirit of the Pilgrims, or the spirit of Bunker Hill, to save him from the clutch of the slave-hunter, or secure his freedom!….”

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