BRITISH TESTIMONIAL TO MRS. STOWE.
Attention is called to this subject in our columns, once more: and it is hoped that the statement which, on the best authority, we are about to make, will render all further inquiries, as to the disposition of Mrs. Stowe intends to make of the British Testimonial, or any part of it, unnecessary. When Mrs. Stowe first accepted donations in England, many American papers, and among them the Albany Evening Journal, and the Rochester American, alluded to the matter, in terms far from flattering. She was represented as holding up the sin and shame of her country to the malignant gaze of aristocratic tyrants, with a view, simply, to put money in her purse. Against this vile accusation, we opposed the fact that the excellent authoress of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' consented to accept these donations in behalf of her bleeding countrymen, for whose benefit she would be sure to appropriate them--she, of course, being judge as to the manner of securing their benefit. * * *
Since there seems a determination to throw as much dust about this subject as possible, it seems desirable that we should state to our readers precisely Mrs. Stowe's situation, in relation to the money contributed in England, and what is properly to be expected of her in relation to it.
This sum was never solicited by Mrs. Stowe; she never, either directly, or indirectly, did anything towards raising it. On many occasions when solicited to visit certain places, with a view to increasing the contribution by her personal presence, she declined, with the statement that the collection of money was no part of her object. Also, when assured from certain influential quarters, that if she had any definite plan to propose for the cause, large sums of money might be at her disposal, she replied that the state of her health was so feeble that it was her object rather to decline, than to increase responsibilities.
She stated to the Committee who presented the English Offering, that if it had any particular value, as a testimonial of regard for her, that value consisted in the money being made entirely and unconditionally subject to her disposal, for the carrying out of such plans and purposes as should appear to her individually right and proper, and that on no other condition would she be willing to accept the care and charge of the money.
Mrs. Stowe conversed with us, both before leaving for England and after her return, in regard to the Industrial School, but never made any promises or pledges, and is therefore under no more obligation to contribute to it, than any other individual in the country.
In regard to what Mrs. Stowe has done or may do with the money, we consider that it is no affair of ours. No person, either in England or America, has any more right to inquire into the particular mode in which this money has been or is to be appropriated, than they have to inquire into the disposal of her private fortune.
That she has given a large sum to Miss Miner's school at Washington; assisted the Reform Tract and Book Society; helped in the support of Anti-Slavery papers; and in the assistance of Fugitives, we have occasion to know.
There may be also, and doubtless are, works to be undertaken for the Anti-Slavery cause, which she might not wish to have generally reported.--Many good works, like plants in the first tender stages of their growth, need sheltered and shady situations, and would wither, if brought into the glare of notoriety.--Frederick Douglass's Paper.