Thomas Wentworth Higginson

February 11, 1853

A speech by Higginson, at Faneuil Hall, during the recent MASS annual meeting.
“… I should speak on agitation, and not of agitators…. agitation is destined to go on, whether you give the funds or not; but you can do much to accelerate it….It is not for us to control agitation; it is slavery which creates it, and not the Anti-Slavery Society.  While slavery exists, the agitation will go on.  Its foundations are laid deeper than any poor plans of ours. All history shows but one long agitation on the part of truth and right, opposed by one wrong or another, by one conservatism or another. …The work cannot stop with us….And the agitation must keep on.  A moral evil needs  a moral sentiment to overthrow it; and this only agitation can sustain….”