LETTER FROM JOHN G. WHITTIER Amesbury, 3d, 6th mo., 1854 ……………. My Dear Friend:
I fully agree with thy remarks at the meeting of the N. E. Anti-Slavery Convention, in respect to the first duty of thy friends of freedom. We must do what has never yet been done, convert the North. We must use this sad and painful occasion for this purpose. We must forget all past differences, and unite all our strength. Our work now is not in Virginia, or in Carolina, nor even yet in Washington; it is here — in Massachusetts. Get the people of the State right, and there will be no more of these hateful Commissioner trials; but around every inhabitant will be thrown the protection of just laws.
If I had any love for the Union remaining, the events of the last few weeks have ‘crushed it out’. But I do not forget that the same power which is needed to break the Union may make the Union the means of abolishing slavery. At any rate, what we want now, is an abolitionized North. To this end, Unionists and Disunionists can both contribute. At least, let us have union among ourselves. In our hatred of slavery, our sympathy for our afflicted colored brethren, and in our indignation against the oppressor, we are already united — and let us now unite, as far as may be, in action. For one, my heart goes out to all, who in any way manifest love of liberty, and pity for the oppressed.
Ever thy friend, John G. Whittier
Liberator, June 9, 1854, pg 3)