William Wells Brown, from England to Boston

Brown toured Britain in the early 1850’s with panoramas including a series of scenes portraying slave life.  Here are some of his words to English people about t he Abolition movement in America.  In that context he is here urging contributions to a Boston Bazaar, to be sent through a list of Ladies in England who will  “undertake to forward to Boston any contributions”.  It is included here as an illustration of the of the trans-Atlantic Abolition movement, much supported by both Garrison and Brown.  Brown’s words:    “Much misapprehension exists in this country as to the views and operations of the Abolition Societies of the United States.  … Light indeed would be their task were no obstacles in the way but those connected with a change from slave to free labour.  Their more difficult mission is to induce their countrymen to desire the removal of slavery.  It is not the way, but the will, that is wanting. They are striving to awaken the national conscience to the fact that “Slavery is a sin”  — to urge upon the churches of America the duty of withdrawing the sanction and support which they now afford to this enormity; to persuade both ministers and people that to sell human beings for the support of the seminaries or ecclesiastical establishments, cannot be a sacrifice acceptable to God; that to purchase Bibles for the heathen of distant lands, and refuse them, under the heaviest penalties, to three millions of their countrymen, is hypocrisy; that, with the Declaration of Independence, Freedom, and Equality on their lips, to rob one-sixth of the population of liberty and the wages of their daily labour, is rendering their country a by-word among the civilised nations of the earth. …”   (From a forty-eight page pamphlet used in tandem with the panorama.  Found in A Description of William Wells Brown’s Original Panoramic Views of the Scenes in the Life an An American Slave, from His Birth in Slavery to His Death or His Escape to His First Home of Freedom on British Soil (London (1849) iii-iv, 5-42  The Black Abolitionist Papers, Vol I, The British Isles, 1830-1865) 

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