The National Era
Washington, D.C.: 1 May 1852


NEW YORK, May 1, 1852

To the Editor of the National Era: . . .

  In the Pennsylvania Freeman is a letter from the accomplished ROBERT PURVIS, complaining of the closing chapter in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which he thinks is "African Colonization unmasked." I am not surprised that a colored man should be particularly sensitive on reading that chapter, nor that all the friends of the slave should regret several things contained in the chapter referred to. Neither am I surprised that Mrs. STOWE's sentiments on the subject of colonization should be misunderstood. The sagacious editor of the Freeman refers to her "unfortunate endorsement of colonization." But Mrs. Stowe no more endorses colonization than did Mr. Birney in his recent address, nor so much. By colonization I mean, of course, the Colonization Society. Both Mr. Birney and Mrs. Stowe repudiate the coercive policy of the Colonization Society, or I might, with more exactitude, say, the policy of many of its members. No reasonable man has any objection to voluntary colonization or emigration. Colored people have the same right, of course, to go to Liberia as they have to California or elsewhere, and no one is justified in blaming them, or those whom they request to afford them aid. But the main feature of the Colonization Society, as we all know, is to force off the free colored population of the country. Now, the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," as I happen to know, holds this policy in abhorrence; and yet she has, through ignorance or inadvertence, used some expressions respecting the Colonization Society that are much to be regretted.