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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


heart, he proceeded to narrate some of the facts in
his own history as a slave, and in the course of his
speech gave utterance to many noble thoughts and
thrilling reflections. As soon as he had taken his
seat, filled with hope and admiration, I rose, and
declared that PATRICK HENRY, of revolutionary fame,
never made a speech more eloquent in the cause of
liberty, than the one we had just listened to from
the lips of that hunted fugitive. So I believed at
that time--such is my belief now. I reminded the
audience of the peril which surrounded this self-
emancipated young man at the North,--even in Mas-
sachusetts, on the soil of the Pilgrim Fathers, among
the descendants of revolutionary sires; and I ap-
pealed to them, whether they would ever allow him
to be carried back into slavery,--law or no law, con-
stitution or no constitution. The response was unani-
mous and in thunder-tones--"NO!" "Will you succor
and protect him as a brother-man--a resident of the
old Bay State?" "YES!" shouted the whole mass,
with an energy so startling, that the ruthless tyrants
south of Mason and Dixon's line might almost have
heard the mighty burst of feeling, and recognized
it as the pledge of an invincible determination, on
the part of those who gave it, never to betray him
that wanders, but to hide the outcast, and firmly to
abide the consequences.

It was at once deeply impressed upon my mind,
that, if Mr. DOUGLASS could be persuaded to conse-
crate his time and talents to the promotion of the
anti-slavery enterprise, a powerful impetus would
be given to it, and a stunning blow at the same time
inflicted on northern prejudice against a colored
complexion. I therefore endeavored to instil hope
and courage into his mind, in order that he might
dare to engage in a vocation so anomalous and re-
sponsible for a person in his situation; and I was
seconded in this effort by warm-hearted friends, es-
pecially by the late General Agent of the Massa-
chusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Mr. JOHN A. COLLINS,
whose judgment in this instance entirely coincided
with my own. At first, he could give no encourage-
ment; with unfeigned diffidence, he expressed his
conviction that he was not adequate to the perform-
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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