We hear this fair was thronged with buyers, and the articles offered for sale rich and rare. There were many contributions from foreign parts.
The Annual also is filled both from American and British sources. Among the latter are both the Howitts, Bowring and Miss Martineau. The print and paper of the volume are beautiful. On its frontispiece is an excellent likeness of Garrison, chief pioneer and still a prominent leader in this movement.
“Phebe Mallory, or the Last of the Slaves,” by Edmund Quincy, is a very gracefully written narrative and brought naturally to a happy climax.—Among other interesting pieces, we select
HER new-born child she holdeth, but feels within her heart
It is not hers, but his who can outbid her in the mart;
And, through the gloomy midnight, her prayer goes up on high,—
“God grant my little helpless one in helplessness may die!
If she must live to womanhood, oh may she never know,
Uncheered by mother’s happiness, the depth of mother’s woe;
And may I lie within my grave, before that day I see,
When she sits, as I am sitting, with a slave-child on her knee!”
The little arms steal upward, and then upon her breast
She feels the brown and velvet hands that never are at rest;
No sense of joy they waken, but thrills of bitter pain,—
She thinks of him who counteth o’er the gold those hands shall gain.
Then on her face she looketh, but not as mother proud,
And seeth how her features, as from out a dusky cloud,
Are tenderly unfolding, far softer than her own,
And how, upon the rounded cheek, a fairer light is thrown.
As she trembles in her agony, and on her prophet heart
There drops a gloomy shadow down, that never will depart;
She cannot look upon that face, where, in the child’s pure bloom,
Is writ with such dread certainty the woman’s loathsome doom.
She cannot bear to know her child must be as she hath been,
Yet she sees but one deliverance from infamy and sin,
And so she cries at midnight, with exceeding bitter cry,
“God grant my little helpless one in helplessness may die!”
Elmwood, Nov. 26, 1845.
And this extract from “Recollections of Anti-Slavery at the West,” by Mrs. Kirkland:
“Not always alone, or accompanied only by fellow-sufferers, do these poor dumb witnesses of fraternal cruelty seek the Canadian shore. An incident, which will for ever be fresh in our memory, occurred while we were residents of the West. A family of slaves, wearing not the crushed aspect of the fugitives we were accustomed to see, made their appearance at Detroit, decently clad, and accompanied by their mistress and owner.—She, a woman of little education and plain manners, had not only willed to emancipate them, but, in order to assure the freedom which she knew would be so insecure in a slave State, had left all, and traveled with them, through incredible difficulties and embarrassments, even to the verge of that country which alone, of all the earth, is capable of the desperate attempt to make Freedom and Slavery walk hand in hand. She was unacquainted with even so much geography as would have taught her the States through which she must pass to reach Michigan; and her inquiries on the road had been answered by information purposely calculated to mislead and perplex her. She had been for years laboring under a conviction that she had no right to those slave people, though she had not so much as heard that there was a body of persons calling themselves Abolitionists, who interested themselves in favor of those in bondage. Not one single human being among her neighbors and acquaintance who did not condemn her course; not one to whom she could look for advice or sympathy. Yet this uncultivated but lofty soul was undaunted, and quietly followed up its noble purpose, until the whole number of grateful freed-men were safely landed upon the shores of Canada.
“Then did their happy friend, no longer burthened with the title of mistress, take leave of her charge, amid the unutterable blessings of their hearts, and return to the American side to sleep—and, as she said, in peace, for the first time for years; so dreadful had been her sense of wrong, and so great her fear that death might interpose before her plans and their great result could be consummated.”
How can many fail to go and do likewise, if they once have caught a glimpse of this holiness of simple duty?*
“The Liberty Bell of 1846,” New-York Daily Tribune, 9 January 1846, p. 1.