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A NNUAL REPORT

OF THE

BOARD OF MANAGERS

OF THE

MASS. ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY.

PRESENTED JANUARY 22, 1340.

WITH AN APPENDI X.

BOSTON:
DOW & JACKSON, PRINTERS,

14 Devonshire Street,

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REPORT.

.

On presenting their eighth annual Report to the Society which they have the honor to represent, the BOARD OF MANAGERS congratulate it that, notwithstanding the opposition of malignant foes, and the treachery of prosessed friends, the antislavery cause has made rapid advances towards a final and glorious consummation during the past year. In no one State has it lost ground; in every non-slaveholding State, the number of its friends and advocates has been greatly multiplied, and its resources extended proportionably. lu no previous year, it is believed, have such liberal contributions been made, or more abundant labors performed, in its behalf. As a clear indication of its extraordinary growth, it will suffice to state, that the whole number of anti-slavery societies in the land may now be safely estimated at not less than Two THOUSAND, having at least Two HUNDRED THOUSAND persons enrolled as members, and embodying a large proportion of the patriotism, the humanity, the religion of the country. If the executive power and efficiency of the American Anti-Slavery Society bave in some measure been restricted, it has been owing solely to the infusion of new life-blood into the veins of each State auxiliary; and, instead of furnishing any evidence that“ abolition is dying away,” proves that the responsibilities of our great enterprise are divided more equally among its members than heretofore. If, therefore, the enemies of emancipation would ascertain whether the cause we espouse has advanced or retrograded within the last twelve months, let them not be governed in their inquiries either by the number of agents employed by the Na

tional Society, or the amount contributed to its treasury, as compared with former years; but let them look at the aggregate of anti-slavery labors and contributions throughout the United States.

By a vote at the last annual meeting of the Parent Society, the Executive Committee were earnestly invited, for the sake of securing the advantages of harmonious action, not to send into or employ any agents in a State, within which a State Society exists, without the assent of such Society. The design and effect of that vote have been to stir up each State auxiliary to unusual activity, and to advance the general interests of our cause beyond all precedent during a similar period. It seems to be the growing conviction of abolitionists, that there should be as little centralization of power as possible in the management of the anti-slavery enterprise ; that no committee, however enlightened or disinterested, can be so safely trusted as the people themselves; that State Societies are admirably adapted to lessen the burden of the Parent Society, and at the same time to do the work better; and that even more is dependant upon individual than associated action for the furtherance of anti-slavery principles and measures. In many instances, it will be found that some two or three individuals, in a place, possess more vitality than a whole organization; nay, that, in fact, they constitute the organization, though numerically but a fraction of it. That line of policy is undoubtedly best, which best enforces individual accountability, and makes the pressure of the cause an individual concern. In the promotion of every grea reform, associated effort is indispensable ; yet vothing can be predicated of the zeal or efficiency of an association, by the nuinber enrolled upon its list of members. Of the various religious and humane enterprises in our land, not one is so truly republican, so well guarded, or so philosophical in its management, as the anti-slavery enterprise. In its delib- . erations, all who espouse it, of whatever sect, party, complexion, or name, freely participate. Its platform is as broad as the whole earth, upon which every human being, who is not an oppressor or an apologist for oppression, may stand erect. In its control, all may have an equal share. It is in the hands of

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