John J. Ormond to Susan Brownell Anthony, December, 1859

    Source citation
    John J. Ormond to Susan Brownell Anthony, December 1859, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony: Including Public Addresses, Her Own Letters and Many from Her Contemporaries During Fifty Years. Vol 1, Indianapolis, IN: Bowen-Merrill Company, 1898, p. 900.
    Author (from)
    Ormond, John J.
    Recipient (to)
    Anthony, Susan Brownell
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
    Madam: In redemption of my promise to tell you the fate of the woman's rights petition to our Legislature, I have the honor to inform you that it was virtually rejected, being laid on the table. I interested a distinguished member of our Senate in its presentation and, in addition, wrote a letter which under ordinary circumstances would have insured its respectful consideration. But after your petition was forwarded came the treasonable and murderous invasion of John Brown. The atrocity of this act, countenanced as it manifestly was by a great party at the North, has extinguished our last spark of fraternal feeling. Whilst we are all living under a Constitution which secures to us our right to our slaves, the results of which are in truth more beneficial to the whole North, and especially to the New England States, than to us, you are secretly plotting murderous inroads into our peaceful country and endeavoring to incite our slaves to cut the throats of our wives and children. Can you believe that this state of things can last? We now look upon you as our worst enemies and are ready to separate from you. Measures are in progress as far as practicable to establish non-intercourse with you and to proscribe all articles of northern manufacture or origin, including New England teachers. We can live without you; it remains to be seen how you will get along without us. You will probably find that fanaticism is not an element of national wealth or conducive to the happiness or comfort of the people.

    In conclusion, let me assure you this is written more in sorrow than in anger. I am not a politician and have always been a strenuous friend of the Union. I am now in favor of a separation, unless you immediately retrace your steps and give the necessary guarantees by the passage of appropriate laws that you will faithfully abide by the compromises of the Constitution, by which alone the slaveholding States can with honor or safety remain in the Union. But that this will be done, I have very little hope, as "madness seems to rule the hour;" and as you have thus constituted yourselves our enemies, you must not be surprised at finding that we are yours.
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