Nothing could exceed the disgust and ridicule which your letter would meet with at the hands of some of our best anti-slavery men. I am thinking of it, just now, as in the hands of Rev. Mr. Blank. The other day I saw a cambric muslin handkerchief, richly embroidered, blow past me out of a child’s carriage. As I turned to get it, a dog seized it, shook it, put both his paws on it, rent it, made rags of it, threw it down, snatched it up, and seemed vexed that there was no more of it to tear. So will our abolitionists serve your letter, should they ever see it. And, my dear madam, though I disapprove their temper and language, yet I must confess that I sympathize with them in their principles, the only difference between them and me being that of social position and manners. I must tell you that, after all, you are probably unaware of the deception which you are practising on yourself, in supposing that you are really as loving and gentle toward a slave-mother and her child as some might infer. Let but a good sale tempt you! I wait to know whether you would then write such a letter. We have a ready answer to all the kind and good things which are said about you, in this, which you will see and hear in all our speeches and essays, namely, “Slavery is the sum of all villanies.” That is to all our thoughts and reasonings about slavery what the longitude of Greenwich is to navigation. All your clergy, all your physicians, all your judges and lawyers, all your fathers and mothers, your gentlemen and ladies, all your children, are heaped together by us in one name, to us an awful name,—“Slave-power.” We think about you as we do of Egypt, with Israel in bondage.
And now that allusion furnishes me with an argument against your letter, which I must, in conclusion, and sorely against many of my feelings, let fall, like a stone, upon it, and crush it forever. Pharaoh’s daughter was touched with the cry of the little slave-babe, Moses; but what does that prove? that Egyptian bondage was not “an enormous wrong,” a “stupendous injustice,” “the sum of all villanies”? or that a Red Sea was not already waiting to swallow up the slave-holders, horse and foot?
You may write a thousand such letters, all over the South; but though they delude me for a while, it is only until the moisture which they raise to my eyes from my heart, by the pathos in them, dries up, and leaves my vision clear of all the blinding though beautiful mists of that error which has diffused itself over one half of this goodly land, and, I grieve to add, which has fallen upon many even here in New England, recreant sons of liberty, traitors to the memories of Faneuil Hall and Bunker Hill.