Mr. Sturge’s benevolent labors have not been confined to the abolition of slavery. He is a prominent member of the Anti-corn Law League. He is an active advocate of the cause of universal peace. He has given all his influence to the cause of the oppressed and laboring classes of his own countrymen: and his name is at this moment, the rallying-word of millions, as the author and patron of the “Suffrage Declaration,” which is now in circulation in all parts of the United Kingdom, pledging its signers to the great principle of universal suffrage—a full, fair and free representation of the people. It was reserved for the untitled Quaker of Birmingham to take the lead in the great and good work of uniting, for the first time, the middle and the working classes of his countrymen, and in so doing, to infuse hope and newness of life into the dark dwellings of the English peasant and artisan. The Editor of the London Non-Conformist, speaking of this movement of Mr. Sturge, says: “The Declaration is put forth by a man, who, perhaps, in a higher degree than any other individual, has the confidence of both the middle class and the working men. The former can trust to his prudence; the latter have faith in his sincerity.”
Such is the man, who, prompted by his untiring benevolence, visited our shores during the past year. This volume is the brief record of his visit, and of the impressions produced upon his mind by our conflicting interests and institutions. It is now republished, in the belief that the opinions of its author will be received with candor and respect by all classes of our citizens, and that they are calculated to make a permanent and salutary impression, in favor of the great cause of universal freedom.
Boston, May, 1842.
To the English edition.