Gerrit Smith pleas for unity among Abolitionists

A letter from Gerrit Smith to William Goodell, recounts some of the divisions among abolitionists, and ends with  a plea for unity.   “… what say you to a proposition for peace amongst ourselves?  Considering that the slave still lies bleeding under his oppressor, is it not high time to make and to embrace such a proposition?  Is it not time for abolitionists to be employing against their common foe the time and ammunition, which, for the last two years, they have been guiltilly wasting in their war upon each other? Come then, bro  Birney, bro Tappan, etc., etc., and stipulate, that you will tolerate (we do not ask you to approve) the doctrine of ‘woman’s rights’ and the doctrine of ‘non-resistance’.  Come then, bros. Garrison, Rogers, etc., etc., and reciprocate this liberality with the pledge, that you will tolerate (nor do we ask more of you than bare toleration) your brother abolitionists in their opposition to these doctrines: that you will let them form exclusively male anti-slavery  societies, and will let them vote as they please, provided only that their voting will be only for abolitionists  ….. Let us be magnanimous enough to forget our past dissensions; and to make room for the holy resolution, that, until we or slavery die, we will hate it and love each other.”

Response by Garrison:  With a promise to comment further at another time, he says,  “The spirit of the letter is excellent, but it seems to us that the reasoning is loose and inconsistent, and that the proposition for a reconciliation of the friends of the old and new organizations is not any more feasible, with the present views of the anti-slavery platform entertained by both parties, than the amalgamation of fire and gunpowder.”

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