Remarks delivered at the 24th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, October 25-26, 1860

[Lucretia Mott was glad that the resolution does not sanction the measures resorted to by John Brown, as in contradistinction to those approved by this Society, and by the American organization of which it is a part. Mrs Mott read from the Declaration of Sentiments what she said were her views, and what were at the same time the authorized views of this Society.]

"Our principles lead us to reject and to intreat the oppressed to reject all carnal weapons, relying solely on those which are might through God to the pulling down of strongholds." We did not countenance force, and it did not become those--Friends and others--who go to the polls to elect a commander-in-chief of the army and navy, whose business it would be to use that army and navy, if needed, to keep the slaves of the South in their chains, and secure to the masters the undisturbed enjoyment of their system--it did not become such to find fault with us because we praise John Brown for his heroism. For it is not John Brown the soldier that we praise; it is John Brown the moral hero; John Brown the noble confessor and martyr whom we honor, and whom we think it proper to honor in this day when men are carried away by the corrupt and pro-slavery clamor against him. Our weapons were drawn only from the armory of Truth; they were those of faith and hope and love. They were those of moral indignation strongly expressed against wrong. Robert Purvis has said that I was "the most belligerent non-resistant he ever saw." I accept the character he gives me; and I glory in it. I have no idea, because I am a non-resistant, of submitting tamely to injustice inflicted either on me or on the slave. I will oppose it with all the moral powers with which I am endowed. I am no advocate of passivity. Quakerism, as I understand it, does not mean quietism. The early Friends were agitators; disturbers of the peace; and were more obnoxious in their day to charges, which are now so freely made, than we are.

[Mrs Mott concluded by expressing her pleasure that the resolution committed the Society to nothing inconsistent with the high moral grounds it had ever occupied. O'Connell had said that no revolution was worth the cost of a single drop of human blood. John Brown had well illustrated in his own case the superiority of moral power to physical power; of the sword of the spirit to the sword of the flesh.]

"National Anti-Slavery Standard," November 3, 1860