AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MISSION SCHOOL AFFAIRS AT CHATHAM, C. W.
WM. LLOYD GARRISON:
DEAR SIR, I wish to call your attention, and the attention of the friends of the Refugees in Canada, to the Mission School established, and now in successful operation, at Chatham, C. W. I do this because friends in New England have contributed towards purchasing the lot, now nearly secured for its use; and because a handful of mischievous persons in Chatham, – under the tutelage of personal enemies of the managers of the school, and persistent persecutors of myself, because of my known and active opposition to this greatest calamity to the colored people, next to slavery, the Haytian scheme, – have published through the Chatham Argus, the Toronto Globe, and the Pine and Palm, a series of maliciously false and designedly injurious resolutions, to myself personally, and to the school in general.
The Mission School in Chatham is now one of the public fixtures and necessities of the community, especially to the colored people. The limited room at our command is now crowded with pupils. Upwards of four hundred persons testified their approbation of its management, of the course adopted by the Trustees one of whom by appointment is I. D. Shadd, and of the agent, by setting aside the resolutions offered against it on the evening of December 16th, and passing resolutions unanimously in favor of it, and all concerned with it.
Viewing this assault in the light of a personal attack, I should not trouble you to entertain it for one moment; but now that two Haytian attempts at stifling discussion in Canada, by deliberate published misrepresentation, have failed, it is not meet and it must not be, that, by the same agency, united with others, the Mission School at Chatham shall share the fate of the Wilberforce and Dawn schools, ruled and ruined as they were by the aid of J. C. Brown and others, parties to the present mischief. Besides, friends in America and England have smiled approvingly upon the Chatham effort. They are now warned to withhold the means needed now to prosecute the work, on the ground that funds, heretofore received by me, have been applied to purchase private property; – good grounds for suspicion and severe censure, if true. As our work is not a small one, and as a party, the party publicly accused, I publicly demand an investigation into the charges, by well-known Abolitionists – said investigation to take place at Chatham during my absence – not to take place in the Bureau of the Pine and Palm at New York, nor by one James Redpath, but by Abolitionists, black and white, or black or white; not by my personal, unrelenting, unscrupulous and bitter enemies and defamers, the occupants and familiars of the Western Branch Bureau, under one J. N. Carey and frau, at Windsor, but by the men and women whom I am charged to have fleeced. Honest, upright Abolitionists in the United States and Canada, let them, or any of them, go to Chatham, put themselves in communication with our trustees, and our colored and white friends there, and there learn, first, whether those resolutions were ever in any meeting; whether any against us ever passed; whether sixty-five children are or are not now instructed; whether I. D. Shadd can or does hold the Mission property as private property; whether I ever deeded or caused to be deeded one foot of the Mission School property as private property. I demand this; the cause of education among the refugees and others of us demands it; truth, justice and honor among Abolitionists demand it. Else let clamor cease, and our work prosper.
MARY A. SHADD CARY.