Garrison, W[illia]m Lloyd, letter, Roxbury, [Mass.], March 5, 1875, to [William] Still.
March 5, 1875
Dear Mr. Still:
The postman has just brought me your letter of the 3d inst., so that my reply can hardly reach you in season for your Committee meeting to-morrow noon.
Please say to the Committee that I am very much obliged to them
for their courteous invitation to me to attend the centennial anniversary of
the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, &e.,
next month; but there is no prospect that I shall be able to be present, for
I am still a good deal crippled and a constant sufferer from a rheumatic
ailment which has afflicted me for the last two years, though I am at
present somewhat better than formerly. I should almost be willing to undertake a pedestrian tour to Philadelphia, if I could only be assured of the free use of my limbs by the time the celebration is to come off.
If I can do no more, I will at least try to send a letter, expressive of my feelings, to be read on the occasion as a substitute for my presence, should the Committee think proper.
How deeply it is to be regretted that the common school
provision (as intended by Mr. Sumner) was eliminated from
the Civil Rights Bill! Yet the passage of the Bill as it is, by Congress, is
more than Southern Rebeldom can bear, and will doubtless lead to many scenes of
violence; but it indicates progress in the right direction. No doubt an attempt
will be made to
repeal it at the next session of Congress, and perhaps successfully, by the Rebel-Democracy, into whose hands it now looks as if the control of the Government is to pass at the close of Grant's administration. How he is hated and maligned, and also feared, by all the enemies of equal rights, North and South!
But, though the prospect is a dark one, let us abate nothing of heart or hope as to the final result, which, if the friends of impartial freedom remain true to the cause which they long ago espoused under far more trying circumstances, cannot fail to be still more in accordance with the claims of justice and humanity than our present highest attainment.
Wm. Lloyd Garrison