Frederick Douglass' Paper
Joshua R. Giddings
Rochester: 31 December 1852

Speech of Hon. Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio, in the House of Representatives [Excerpt]

December 14th, 1852

  . . . Again, sir, we have enlisted the literati of our country on the side of truth, liberty, and justice. To my fair countrywomen I would say, that a lady with her pen, has done more for the cause of freedom, during the last year, than any savant, statesman, or politician of our land. The inimitable work, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," is now carrying truth to the minds of millions, who, at this time, have been deaf to the cries of the down-trodden. It is arousing the sensibility of this country and all of Europe. It goes where no other antislavery work ever found its way; and quietly carries conviction to the hearts of its readers. It has been dramatized, and both in this country and in Europe, the play-going public [react] with intense interest to the wrongs, the revolting cries of slavery. Thus, the theatre, the "school of vice," has been subsidized to the promulgation of truth, and the hearts of thousands have been reached, who were approachable in no other way.

  The clergy of the North are awakening to duty, to the calls of humanity. No longer are we called to listen to "lower law" sermons, nor are the feelings of our Christian communities shocked by reading discourses from Doctors of Divinity, intended to sanctify and encourage the most transcendent crimes which ever disgraced mankind.—Churches and ecclesiastical bodies, are beginning to move in behalf of truth, of Christian principles. They are purifying themselves from those who deal in God's image; they are withdrawing church fellowship from those pirates who deserve the gallows and halter, rather than a seat at the communion table of Christian churches.