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(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery As It Concerns The British”

Charles Lenox Remond (1810-1878), was one of the earliest black abolitionist speakers. Born in Salem, Massachusetts to free black parents, John and Nancy Remond, Charles became an agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1838 and traveled with William Lloyd Garrison to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. Instead of returning immediately to the United States, Remond lectured in England, Scotland and Ireland on slavery and abolition. By the time of the Civil War Remond recruited officers for the all-black 54th Massachusetts Infantry and later worked as a clerk in the Boston Customs House. In the speech below before the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in London in July, 1841, Remond describes the need for cooperation between the British and American anti-slavery movements.

In the few remarks which I propose to offer on this occasion, I shall confine myself to the merits of the resolution. I approve of it throughout, and I hope you will do the same. The friends of the colored man in America have been wont to despond; for never, while Great Britain pursues the course she does at the present time, can they hope to carry their cause to a successful termination. It is in vain to attempt the annihilation of American slavery while that system receives the encouragement now afforded to it in this country. I know that the question is a difficult and troublesome one; but, inasmuch as the antislavery party of Great Britain have been the chosen instruments of the Almighty for carrying out the great doctrine of human rights, I hope they will continue to stimulate their friends in America. If ever there was a class of the fellow inhabitants of any portion of the civilized world which deserved the cooperation of philanthropic minds in this country, it is their fellow abolitionists, comparatively few in number, in the United States.

I was one of seventeen members of the first Antislavery Society formed in America. From that time to the present I have been acquainted with all their movements,, and they

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