Alton Observer

July 6, 1837

Illinois State Anti-Slavery Society

Is it not time that such a society should be formed? There are many, very many friends of the cause in this state, and their number is daily increasing. Ought not measures to be taken to embody their influence so as to make it tell with the greatest possible effect upon the holy cause of emancipation?

We would do nothing rashly, but it does seem to us that the time to form such a society has fully come. There are a number of local societies already existing in the state, and it would be every way better that their influence should be concentrated.

If it be decided that such a society ought to be formed, when and where shall the convention meet to form it? Shall it be in this place, or at Jacksonville, or Springfield, or elsewhere?

We take the liberty to throw out these questions for the consideration of our friends, and we suggest the propriety of their giving to them a speedy and candid consideration. Let as many as are in favour of the measure here proposed, send us their names for the purpose of having them attached to the call of the proposed convention, and let each one indicate the time and place of his preference for the meeting of the convention, and let each one indicate the time and place of his preference for the meeting of the convention, with the express understanding that that place shall be selected which has the most votes in its favour.

We shall hope to have a response from the friends of the slave without delay. Every day do we feel more and more the necessity of action, decided and effective action, on this subject. With many we are already a 'fanatic' and an 'incendiary,' as it regards this matter, and we feel that we must become more and more vile in their eyes. We have never felt enough, nor prayed enough, nor done enough in behalf of the perishing slave.

This day (July 4th) reproaches our sloth and inactivity. It is the day of our nation's birth. Even as we write, crowds are hurrying past our window, in eager anticipation to the appointed bower, to listen to the declaration that 'all men are born free and equal'--to hear the eloquent orator denounce, in strains of manly indignation, the attempt of England to lay a yoke upon the shoulders of our fathers, which neither they nor their children could bear. Alas! what bitter mockery is this. We assemble with joy and gladness of heart, while our feet are upon the necks of nearly three millions of our fellow men! Not all our shouts of self-congratulation can drown their groans--even that very flag of freedom that waves over our heads is formed from materials cultivated by slaves, on a soil moistened with their blood drawn from them by the whip of a republican task-master!

Brethren and friends, this must not be-it cannot be- for God will not endure it much longer. Come, then, to the rescue. The voice of three millions of slaves calls upon you to come and 'unloose the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free.' And on this day when every freeman's heart is glad, let us remember that--

'Wearily every bosom pineth,
Wearily oh! wearily oh!
Where the chain of Slavery twineth,
Wearily oh! wearily oh!
There the warrior's dart
Hath no fleetness,
There the maiden's heart
Hath no sweetness.
Every flower of life declineth,
Wearily oh! wearily oh!
Wearily-wearily-wearily oh!
Wearily oh! wearily oh!'

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