Letter from J. G. Whittier

January 27, 1860

Whittier fells that in Garrison’s recent comments regarding his poems about Brown, has implied that he, Whittier, has relinquished previous strong pledges in abhorrence of war and violence.  Here Whittier asserts his continuing belief that “we were under high moral obligations to use, for the promotion of our cause, moral and political action as prescribed in the Constitution of the  United States…..I have seen no reason to doubt the wisdom of that pledge. Slavery was just what it is now, neither better nor worse, when we made it.  If it is right and proper now to use forcible means in behalf of the slave, it was right and proper then…. I can only say that I dare not encourage who have not any scruple, to do what I regard as morally wrong.”