Harrison Gray Otis letter

A long letter from Otis, in which he responds to a report on actions in the Rhode Island Legislature which have been called to his attention.  The reference is to some anti-slavery resolutions not included here; they evidently were in reference, in part, at least, to the issues of petitioning in legislatures.  The following are excerpts from Gray’s response:  “I can conceive no justification for my fellow citizens this side of the line of Mason and Dixon, to throw firebrands, and arrows of death, on the other side of that line. The evil of slavery is not a new discovery.  Its turpitude as a subject was quite familiar to the people of the north, when they sought the alliance of those of the South, as it is at this hour, or at least it was so when they framed the Constitution…..”  He goes on to say that any agitation of the issue in the south will only make matters worse for the slaves.

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