Reference to discussions of Walker

Reference to discussions of Walker,  includes something from “the pen of a gentleman of talents whose opinion we solicited of his criticism.”  G adds his own notes to this gentleman’s words.  The writer is signed “V”:

“I have often heard, and constantly believed, that Walker’s Appeal was the incoherent rhapsody of a blood-thirsty, but vulgar and very ignorant fanatic …..I have now read the book and my opinions are changed.”    …  That Walker was a fanatic cannot be denied: strong indications of religious delusions may be found in his every page.  …..It cannot be disputed that Walker was ignorant, even of the English language ….However, this fault is by no means so glaring as might have been expected in one of his race.  I doubt if more than one in three of the white population could have written better English or so good.  His fanaticism and want of education nevertheless do not affect the force of his argument, or the strength of his thoughts. There is a truth and boldness in what he advances, an honest indignation, and a powerful though homely eloquence in his manner, that the crust of  ignorance and vulgarity cannot hinder from finding their way to the head and heart…..I am convinced that he was a brave, just, good man, endowed with talents of no mean order, deeply and properly persuaded of the wrongs of his race: one, in short, who would, had time and circumstances permitted, have been the apostle and champion of blacks. ….It is vain to call him incendiary, ruffian, or exciter of sedition……I, who say this, am, as you know, a free white man, without personal interest in the question of slavery, in one way or the other, and can have no motive other than the love of truth…….”

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