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MY COUNTRY IS THE WORLD:
MY COUNTRYMEN ARE ALL MANKIND.
WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON
THE STORY OF HIS LIFE
TOLD BY HIS CHILDREN
VOLUME III. 1841-1860
NEW-YORK: THE CENTURY CO.
THE fears of critics, and our own apprehensions, have happily been disappointed: the second volume of this work has not determined the scale of the succeeding portions. That volume was, on the whole, the most important, the most needful to be written, whether with reference to the subject of this memoir, or to the history of the abolition cause, the political anti-slavery organization, and the woman-suffrage movement. A greater fulness of detail, a more ample exhibition of the documents, was therefore imperative. Here, as before and afterwards, our material was the rudder that steered us, and we close our labors with the conviction that each period has received a proportionate treatment. Moreover, while not a page has been written wilfully to swell the total, neither has anything been omitted which we were anxious to insert.
If we have succeeded in our endeavor to efface ourselves, we have produced what may justly be regarded as an Autobiography - but one guarded from the defects of reminiscence by constant employment of and reference to the contemporary records in print and in manuscript, and by a thousand disinterested illustrations, corrections, and criticisms, from which the truth can hardly fail to emerge. This method, deliberately adopted for the first two volumes, we had the plainest indication for pursuing to the end, since not a material error of fact has been pointed out in a narrative furnishing abundant grounds for controversy,1 and our candor has everywhere passed unchallenged. For this we are devoutly thankful, having proposed to
1 We have done the best we could to make up a Table of Errata, which will be found at the end of the fourth volume, preceding the Index.
ourselves no other aim than a faithful exhibition of our father's life and character. 'It was truly a sublime life," wrote the late Elizur Wright, on receipt of a copy of the first half of the present work. "The details you have thrown into and around it show the history of the period with an electric light, and cannot but bless the future." "For simplicity, straightforwardness, openness, and fulness, without any explanation or smoothing down, you give the world," wrote the late Mrs. Abby Kelley Foster, a biography worthy of its subject." These testimonies, which have for us a peculiar value, we shall, we trust, be pardoned for quoting here.
no one is more
After all, the work has a formidable length conscious of this than we who fashioned it. Can we hope that anybody, in this busy and superficial age, will read it consecutively, and not merely consult it as a book of reference? We can say of it what Sylvester Judd did of his 'Margaret,' that it "was never designed for railroads; it might, peradventure, suit a canal-boat"; or, again, what Mr. Pepys said of William Penn's tract against the Trinity, that "it is a serious sort of book"- yet without adding, "and not fit for everybody to read." Rather are we of opinion that no one can read it without profit, for it is not more the history of a man than of an age. It will at least serve as a corrective of that spurious patriotism which consists in concealing, or shutting our eyes on, the barbarous past of our country, as if contemplation and frank confession of it were not the surest means of promoting the national evolution to a yet higher civilization. In short, those who study history not for amusement, but for its practical bearing on conduct in the formation of principle, may well linger over these pages.
We must again acknowledge our indebtedness to many friends for varied assistance, and above all to Samuel May, Oliver Johnson, and Elizabeth Pease Nichol for their careful scrutiny of manuscript or proofs. To the New York Historical Society we are under great obligation for its courteous accommodation of a file of the Liberator. Nor can we ever be sufficiently
grateful to our publishers for their trustful participation in our enterprise, and their unstinted liberality in the manufacture of these admirable specimens of the printer's art, which only the highest literary excellence could parallel. But in this particular we offer to posterity (like that veracious church front in German Bückeburg) exemplum religionis, non structuræ.
WENDELL PHILLIPS GARRISON, New York.
THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF
OUR FATHER'S DEATH,