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An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism by Beecher

Clarkson were not confined to his pen


[3] The father of the late Samuel Whitbread, Esq., generously undertook, in order to make Mr. Clarkson's mind easy upon the subject, "to make good all injuries which any individuals might suffer from such persecution;" and he honourably and nobly fulfilled his engagement.

It was while thus recruiting the energies exhausted in the conflict, that Clarkson, and the compatriot band with which he had been associated in the long and arduous struggle, were crowned with victory, and received the grateful reward of their honourable toil in the final abolition of the slave-trade by the British nation, in 1807, the last but most glorious act of the Grenville administration.

The preceding shows something of the career of Clarkson while labouring to convince the people of Great Britain of the iniquity of _their own_ trade, a trade which they had the power to abolish. During all this time, Clarkson, Wilberforce, and their associates avoided touching the matter of _slavery_. They knew that one thing must be gained at a time, and they as a matter of expediency, avoided discussing the duty of the British nation in regard to the system of slavery in their Colonies which was entirely under their own control. During all the time that was employed in efforts to end the slave-trade, slavery was existing in the control of the British people, and yet Clarkson and Wilberforce decided that it was right to let that

matter entirely alone.

The following shows Clarkson's proceedings after the British nation had abolished the slave-trade.

"By the publication of his Thoughts on the Abolition of Slavery, Mr. Clarkson showed that neither he nor those connected with him, considered their work as accomplished, when the laws of his country clasped with its felons those engaged in the nefarious traffic of slaves. But the efforts of Mr. Clarkson were not confined to his pen. In 1818, he proceeded to Aix la Chapelle, at the time when the sovereigns of Europe met in congress. He was received with marked attention by the Emperor of Russia, who listened to his statements (respecting the _slave-trade_,) and promised to use his influence with the assembled monarchs, to secure the entire suppression of the trade in human beings, as speedily as possible. Describing his interview with this amiable monarch, in which the subject of peace societies, as well as the abolition of the slave-trade was discussed, Mr. Clarkson, in a letter to a friend, thus writes:

"'It was about nine at night, when I was shown into the emperor's apartment. I found him alone. He met me at the door, and shaking me by the hand, said, 'I had the pleasure of making your acquaintance at Paris.' He then led me some little way into the room, and leaving me there, went forward and brought me a chair with his own hand, and desired me to sit down. This being done, he went for another chair, and bringing it very near to mine, placed himself close to me, so that we sat opposite to each other.


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