Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature: An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891. Vols. VIVIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 18351860
For mine Eyes have seen Thy Salvation
By William Lloyd Garrison (18051879)
[From his Speech at the Thirty-Second Anniversary Meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 9 May, 1865.]
I REJOICE to stand here no longer as an isolated Abolitionist, to be looked at as though I had seven heads and ten horns; and that, as a drop is lost in the ocean, my abolitionism has ceased to be distinctive. The guns of the American Anti-Slavery Society, thank God! are spiked, because slavery is abolished. I promised, years ago, that if the people would abolish the peculiar institution, I, for one, would be ready for the abolition of the American Anti-Slavery Society; and now that they have done it, what need of any more anti-slavery agitation? We are one people, united in sentiment as against slavery; hence, our work no longer being peculiar as Abolitionists, let us mingle with the millions of our fellow-countrymen, join with them, as they will join with us, in putting into the grave of slavery everything that has sprung out of slavery. Whatever of complexional prejudice, whatever of proscription, as against those whose skins are not colored like our own, whatever of injustice toward that race, now exists, must be buried in the same common grave. Man is man, and we must recognize him wherever he appears on our soil. We have opened our vast country to all the world besidesto aliens, to strangers and foreigners, to the most besotted and ignorant of mankind; we take them into our arms of brotherly love, and we say, You shall be citizens here; you shall find freedom here; you shall have all the rights of human nature guaranteed to you here. Shall we say less to those who are native-born; who have made our soil gory with their blood, and who have received nothing hitherto at our hands but injustice and cruelty; and who, in our hour of peril and despair, forgave us all that we had done against them, and came to our rescue? It is through their aid, and by the blessing of God, the nation is saved. We have not saved it ourselves. Two hundred thousand stalwart men, transformed from chattels into freemen, have thrown themselves into the scale, and rebellion, slavery, and treason have kicked the beam .
My friends, I will not detain you longer. I thank God that the day has arrived when we can blend like kindred drops into one, and look to the future for the Divine blessing upon our whole country and people. Though the South is at present a desolation, and the North is still wailing for her lost, yet there is in store for us, because we have resolved to put away the evil thing from among us, abiding peace and abounding prosperity. I rejoice that I have been permitted to see this day. My country! may the windows of heaven be opened, and may such blessings be poured down upon thee that there shall not be room to receive them!