Gradual Abolition: Recantation, Apologia?

In the first edition of the Liberator, Garrison makes clear his changed position regarding the “colonization” idea.  The context of this statement gives the flavor of an “apologia”, announcing clearly the basis on which he enters the debate about slavery and abolition. “In Park Street Church, on the 4th of July, 1829, in an address on slavery, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this opportunity to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for A Sentiment so full of timidity, injustice and absurdity…. My conscience is now satisfied.”   He also reminds readers that he had made a similar recantation previously, in Lundy’s Genius of Universal Emancipation. (Liberator, January 1,1831)

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