White slavery or caste, in England

July 15, 1842

Here is an “Interesting Letter from England”, signed only W.H.Ashurst, from Musell Hill, Hornsey, April 30, 1842
The letter makes a number of points:
“We are struggling here against white slavery, the slavery of caste, as you are struggling against the slavery of skin.  The working man, in Europe, is a slave in fact, though a freeman in name; with you the name and the fact go together.  We mask it here, but the Pariahs are beginning to look underneath, and to push aside the vizor.

“There is no distinction between the two systems in principle; they work out their effects differently. You carry your scourge openly, and avow your right to be unjust; whilst we here work through the gastric juice, and starve them into submission…….”

The letter also indicates a positive confidence that “truth has carried humanity onwards. Truth never sleeps.”   The letter affirms the idea of non-resistance, but cautions that Garrison may, on this subject,  go “a leetle too far” ….. Also asks to be remembered to James and Lucretia Mott, and expresses thanks for the works of Maria Chapman.

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