Letter from William Watkins, Balt[imore, Maryland], to William Lloyd Garrison, 1835 Sept[ember] 30th
@ Boston Public Library
DescriptionHolograph, signed.Title devised by cataloger.Legacy catalog card identifies the author of this manuscript as "William Watkins."Legacy catalog card identifies the place of publication of this manuscript as "[Baltimore]"On verso, the letter is addressed to "Mr. Wm Lloyd Garrison, Boston, Mass." and it is postmarked with a red, octagonal stamp reading, "Phila Oct 2."Signing this letter "Veritas," William Watkins writes to William Lloyd Garrison about correspondence that appeared in a local newspaper, the American, between three African-American ministers and a reply from "A White Citizen." Watkins suspects that the correspondence is not genuine but rather a means of putting colonizationist arguments before the public, noting that "both the 'Note' and the 'Reply' seem intended to deceive the public." He tells Garrison that none of the ministers actually "preside" over their churches but they are allowed to use the title "Minister of &c &c." He claims, "we object to their publication because it was unnecessary and uncalled for," insisting that in Baltimore, "the citizens of all classes knew at that time, as they know now ... that we are an inoffensive people." He then asks why did these ministers, "at this time, thrust themselves into public notice?" Watkins tells Garrison a story about "the fine coloured trustees of East Baltimore Station" who, being unable to read, were tricked into signing documents supportive of colonization even though "they are invincibly opposed to African colonization." He says that while "many of the whites regret to see our coloured people taking such foolish and unavailing...
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