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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

The First Great Abolitionist

The First Great Abolitionist

of America.

Now let me tell you another thing. He was the first man to raise his voice for the abolition of the death penalty in the French convention. What more did he do? He was the first to suggest a federal constitution for the United States. He saw that the old articles of confederation were nothing; that they were ropes of water and chains of mist, and he said, "We want a federal constitution, so that when you pass a law raising 5 per cent, you can make the States pay it." Let us give him his due. What were all these preachers doing at that time?

He hated superstition; he loved the truth. He hated tyranny; he loved liberty. He was the friend of the human race. He lived a brave and thoughtful life. He was a good and true and a generous man, and he died as he lived. Like a great and peaceful river with green and shaded banks, without a murmur, without a ripple, he flowed into the waveless ocean of eternal peace. I love him; I love every man who gave me, or helped to give me the liberty I enjoy to-night; I love every man who helped put our flag in heaven. I love every man who has lifted his voice in any age for liberty, for a chainless body and a fetterless brain. I Jove every man who has given to every other human being every right that he claimed for himself. I love every man who has thought more of principle than he has of position. I love the men who have trampled crowns beneath their feet that they might do something for mankind, and for that reason I love Thomas Paine.

I thank you all, ladies and gentlemen, every one,—every one, for the attention you lave given me this evening.