Independence Day, Garrison on Republican Party

July 20, 1860

Here are some of Garrison’s words: “Now, in regard to the Republican party. Our friend (Senator Wilson) truly said, it is not an anti-slavery party. If it is not an anti-slavery party, what is it? The Republican party no more intends to meddle with slavery south of Mason and Dixon’s line, or to aim at the emancipation of those now held in bondage, than it intends to seek, directly, the overthrow of the British monarchy. My charge against the Republican party is not that, amongst its members, there are not many warm anti-slavery hearts – I know that there are very many; nor that the party is not, after all, the result of our moral agitation — I accept it as such, imperfect as it is; but, at the same time, our province is not to stop with compromises, or compromisers. Our object is, the abolition of slavery throughout the land ; and whether, in the prosecution of our object, this party goes up, or the other party goes down, it is nothing to us. We cannot alter our course one hair’s breadth, nor accept a compromise of our principles for the hearty adoption of the principles themselves. Our mission is, to regenerate public opinion. We are not concerned for the loaves and fishes of office; we are not seeking the elevation of any particular man, nor the success of any particular party…”