Presented at New-York, May 11, 1853; With the Addresses and Resolutions.
[from] BUSINESS MEETING.
Mr. Lazar, a German, remarked that several anti-slavery works had already been translated into the German language. Among others, he spoke of Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and remarked, that the religious tendency of the work would, he thought, do much good among his countrymen. . . .
Mr. C. B. Ray regretted that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had been used at the anniversary of the New-York Colonization Society, and he hoped something would be done to counteract the Colonization influence of that book.
The Corresponding Secretary read an extract from a note from Mrs.
Stowe, to the effect that she had no sympathy with the coercive policy
of the Colonization Society, but thought Liberia now a "fixed fact,"
and that the opportunity there afforded of sustaining a republican
government of free people
of color ought not to be disregarded by them or their friends; concluding with an assurance that she was "not a Colonizationist."
Mr. George Downing spoke of the evil influence of the last chapter of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in the matter of Colonization.
Mr. Bacon said he had assisted Mrs. Stowe in her correspondence, and could give an explanation of her views on the subject of Liberia.
She had intended in "The Key" to have published a chapter on it, and to explain away the impression unexpectedly made by the book itself; but the size of "The Key" had so increased as she proceeded, that she had not space to do so. She had it in contemplation to publish such matter separately. He need scarcely tell them that Mrs. Stowe had the nicest regard for the feelings of the colored people themselves. She had no sympathy with the Colonization Society, but with the whole colored race, whether in Canada, the West Indies, or in Liberia. But she looked to Liberia as one of the means of elevating them; so that while she could point to a Frederick Douglass in this country, she might point also to a President Roberts in Liberia. They had held their places and maintained their standing when placed in a position to do so before their vaunted superiors; and knowing now their feelings against it, and that there was a demand at home for men of talent to be found amongst them, she would not advise all to go to Liberia. Mrs. Stowe had told him, that if she were to write "Uncle Tom" again, she would not send George Harris to Liberia. She thought, however, that they would there, in freedom, establish a good name and fame, which would be important, in its reflection, in abolishing distinctions of caste; and she looked to the colony as one of the great agents by which the colored race were to be elevated and dignified in the eyes of the lofty and contemptuous Saxon.
Rev. Mr. Campbell was not aware that Mrs. Stowe had intended to publish a chapter explaining away the matter; and he did not know he was sorry it had not been done. He was opposed to the Colonization Society with all his heart and with all his soul; but he did not think that the chapter would do so much damage as some of his brethren feared. The book had done them a great service; it was still doing good for them; and he would circulate it in every family if he could. By the time the readers got to that chapter, they would be so full of Anti-slavery that they would never think of sending the colored man to Africa; so he would let it go as it was. It was a very natural resource for the novelist, in looking out for a place of rest and safety, to set the black man down in Africa, out of the atmosphere of slavery.
Mr. Downing made a remark, in which he compared to colony to a little place in Rhode Island, where they elected a "Governor" of their own. What object of ambition or gain in any way would there be in Liberia for him? The colored man would be worse off, and America would not acknowledge his independence even there.
Mr. Campbell wished again to repeat that he was totally opposed to the Colonization scheme.