"Fling out the anti-slavery flag,
And let it not be furled,
Till like a planet of the skies,
It sweeps around the world!"
Mr.Brown's name being often brought before the public through the reviews of his new book, and different sketches of his life having been published in the London Biographical Magazine, Public Good, True Briton, and other periodicals, he was invited to lecture before literary associations in London and the provincial towns. This induced him to get up a course of lectures on America and her great men, St. Domingo, &&;c. Thus, during the lecturing season, he was busily engaged, either before institutions, or speaking on American Slavery.
In the spring of 1853, the fugitive brought out his work," Clotel, or the President's Daughter,"--a book of near three hundred pages, being a narrative of slave life in the Southern States. This work called forth new criticisms on the "Negro Author" and his literary efforts. The London Daily News pronounced it a book that would make a deep impression; while the Leader, edited by the son of Leigh Hunt, thought many parts of it "equal to any thing which has appeared on the slavery question."
Thus the fugitive slave slowly worked his way up into English literary society. After delivering a lecture before the London Metropolitan Athenĉum, the Managing Committee instructed the Secretary to thank Mr. Brown, which he did in the following note:--
189 Strand, June 21st.
" My Dear Sir ,--I have much pleasure in conveying to you the best thanks of the Managing Committee of this institution for the excellent lecture you gave here last evening, and also in presenting you, in their names, with an honorary membership of the Club. It is hoped that you will often avail yourself of its privileges by coming amongst us. You will then see, by the cordial welcome of the members, that they protest against the odious distinctions made between man and man, and the abominable traffic of which you have been a victim. For my own part, I shall be happy to be serviceable to you in any way, and at all times be glad to place the advantages of the institution at your disposal.
"I am, my dear sir, yours, truly,
"Mr. W. Wells Brown."
Through Mr. Brown's influence and exertions, an Anti-Slavery meeting was held on the First of August during the three last years of his residence in London.
The Morning Advertiser describes one of these occasions in the following terms:--
"It was on the First of August, that a number of men, fugitives from that boasted land of freedom, assembled at the Hall of Commerce, in the city of London, for the purpose of laying their wrongs before the British nation, and, at the same time, to give thanks to the God of freedom for the liberation of their West India brethren, on the First of August, 1834. At the hour of half past seven, for which the meeting had been called, the spacious hall was well filled, and the fugitives, followed by some of the most noted English Abolitionists, entered the hall, amid deafening applause, and took their seats on the platform. The appearance of the great hall at this juncture was most splendid. Besides the committee of fugitives, on the platform there were a number of the oldest and most devoted of the slave's friends. On the left of the Chair sat George Thompson, Esq., M.P., Sir J. Walmsley, M. P., Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P., and many other equally noted public men. Not far from the platform sat Sir Francis Knowles, Bart; still further back was Samuel Bowley, Esq., while near the door were to be seen the greatest critic of the age, and England's best living poet. Macaulay had laid down his pen, entered the hall, and was standing near the central door, while not far from the historian stood the newly-appointed Poet Laureate. The author of 'In Memoriam' had been swept in by the crowd, and was standing with his arms folded, and beholding for the first time, and probably the last, so large a number of colored men in one room.
No American visiting Great Britain ever had better opportunity of becoming acquainted with the condition of all classes of society than Mr. Brown. He saw every phase of life in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. He partook of the hospitality of the lord in his magnificent country-seat, and the peasant in his lowly cottage. A fashionable dinner is thus described by the fugitive in his "Sketches of Places and People Abroad":--
"It was on a pleasant afternoon in September that I had gone into Surrey to dine with Lord C--, and found myself one of a party of nine, seated at a table loaded with every thing that heart could wish. Four men-servants, in livery, with white gloves, waited upon the company. After the different courses had been changed, the wine occupied the most conspicuous place on the table, and all seemed to drink with a relish unappreciated except by those who move in the higher walks of life. My glass was the only one on the table into which the juice of the grape had not been poured. It takes more nerve than most men possess to enable one to decline taking a glass of wine with a lady; and in English society, they do not appear to
Although mingling with some of the best men and women of Europe, Mr. Brown never forgot has countrymen in bonds, or overlooked the fact that he was himself closely connected with them. Nor did his elevated position prevent his speaking out faithfully against the evils that degrade humanity in the old world. The temperance cause, peace, education, and the elevation of the laboring classes in Great Britain, claimed much of his time and attention.
During his residence abroad, Mr. Brown travelled more than twenty-five thousand miles through Great
Mr. Brown rendered most valuable services to the cause of freedom while in England, by keeping on the track of every pro-slavery renegade who made his appearance there as an advocate of slavery. Rev. Dr. Prime, Dr. Dyer, and others of the same way of thinking, found the fugitive at their heels wherever they went. He exposed them, and held them up to the scorn and contempt of the people of Great Britain, through the columns of the English journals.