Tuesday, November 19, 2019

George Thompson To the Editor of the Boston Daily Atlas, September 30, 1835

Boston, SEPTEMBER 30, 1835.
To the Editor of the Daily Atlas —

SIR,—Through the kindness of a friend, I have just received a copy of your paper of this day, in which the following paragraph appears, extracted from the New York Commercial Advertiser.

“Mr. Thompson, in conversation with some of the students, repeatedly averred that every slaveholder in the United States, ouGHT To HAVE HIs THROAT CUT, or deserved to have his throat cut; although he afterward publicly denied that he had said so. But the proof is direct and positive. In conversation with some of the theological students, in regard to the moral instruction which ought to be enjoyed by the slaves, he distinctly declared, THAT EVERY SLAVE SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO CUT HIS MASTER'S THROAT. I state the fact—knowing the responsibility I am assuming, and challenge a legal investigation.”

In justice to myself, and the cause in which I am engaged, I feel it my duty, in the most solemn and emphatic manner, to deny the above allegations. They are at total variance with all the sentiments I have ever either publicly or privately expressed. I refer with the utmost confidence, to all who know me, and to the many thousands who have listened to my public addresses, as witnesses to the perfectly pacific character of my views and principles, on the subject of slavery. I hold in utter abhorrence the shedding of blood, and would, if I had the power, inculcate upon the mind of every slave in the world, the apostolical precept, “Resist not evil.” These doctrines I hold in common with the advocates of immediate emancipation universally. Their views, on the subject under discussion, are, I believe, in strict coincidence with the views of the Society of Friends.

I shall endure, without wrath, the epithets, censures, and accusations heaped upon me; nor can I wonder at the treatment I am daily receiving, when I remember that it was said of Him, whose benevolent doctrines I am humbly endeavoring to set forth, “Behold he hath a devil.”

It may be as well to add, that I heard a rumor of the first charge, when some time ago in Andover, and there most publicly repelled it. The latter charge is entire new.

Yours, respectfully,

SOURCES: Isaac Knapp, Publisher, Letters and Addresses by G. Thompson [on American Negro Slavery] During His Mission in the United States, From Oct. 1st, 1834, to Nov. 27, 1835, p. 93-4

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