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Elihu Burritt, "Autobiography of the Author", in Burritt, E. (1874) "Ten-minute talks on all sorts of subjects", Sampson Low, Marston, Low & Searle, London.
Extracts...

League of Universal Brotherhood (pp.20-21)
"...A few weeks after he first met his English friends in Manchester and Birmingham, with their entire sympathy and support, he developed the basis of an international association, called "The League of Universal Brotherhood," designed not only to work for the abolition of war, but also for the promotion of friendly and fraternal feelings and relations between different countries. The signing of the following pledge constituted any man or woman a member of the association:-

"Believing all war to be inconsistatent with the spirit of Christianity and destructive of the best interests of mankind, I do hereby pledge myself never to enlist or enter into any army or navy, or to yield any voluntary support or sanction to any war, by whomsoever or for whatsoever proposed, declared, or waged. And I do hereby associate myself with all persons, of whatever country, color or condition, who have signed, or shall hereafter sign, this pledge in a League of Universal Brotherhood, whose object shall be to employ all legitimate and moral means for the abolition of all war, and all the spirit and manifestations of war throughout the world; for the abolition of all restrictions upon international correspondence and friendly intercourse, and of whatever else tends to make enemies of nations, or prevents their fusion into one peaceful brotherhood; for the abolition of all institutions and customs which do not recognize and respect the image of God and a human brother in every man, of whatever clime, color, or condition of humanity."


...the plan of international friendly addresses... (pp.40-42)
"The following year, 1852, was marked by an event which made it desirable, and even necessary, that the Peace Congress should again be held in England. This event was the coup d'etat, which suddenly transformed the French Republic into the Second Empire. The friends of Peace, therefore, met at Manchester; but though it was a very satisfactory meeting, and well attended, it was far more English or national in its composition than the previous congresses had been. THe sudden and violent act of Louis Napoleon produced a profound and angry sensation in English and other countries. It aroused a wide-spread and energetic indignation in the English press and Parliament, and seemed to excite and inflame the old hereditary suspicion and prejudice towards the French nation as well as government. The French press was held back by severe restriction; but if full liberty for recrimination had been allowed it, the two nations would have been in imminent danger of drifting into war. As it was, that danger was very serious. Leading English journals and public men wrote and spoke with that unrestiricted expression of sentiment so characteristic of the English minds and habits. The League of Universal Brotherhood resolved to try the plan of friendly international addresses, as a counteracting influence against the rising tide of hostile sentiment. Through their instrumentality, over fifty of the largest towns in Great Britain sent Manuscript letters or addresses to as many different towns in France, disclaiming all sympathy with the unfriendly sentiments expressed by public journals and speakers, and conveying to their French brethren their herty good-will and assurances of esteem and inviting their earnest co-operation in preserving and strengthening amicable relations between the two countries. London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dublin addressed such communications to Paris, Manchester to Marseilles, Liverpool to Lyons, Brimingham to Bordeaux, Bristol to Brest, Leeds to Lisle, Sheffield to Strasburg, &c. Most of these addresses were signed by the mayors and other authorities of the towns, and by a large number of their principal citizens. The one from Glasgow bore four thousand names, including the city authorities, members of Parliament, the heads of the University, and other influential persons. Mr. Burritt was the bearer of these addresses, and travelled over most of France to present them in person to the proper authorities. He also made copies of every address for all the journals of the town, and waited upon their editors to obtain insertion of them, which was always accompanied with a favorable introduction. Thus the whole French nation were made acquainted with the real sentiment of the English people towards them, which English newspapers and political speeches had greatly misrepresented. The effect or result of this movement cannot be ascertained, but it so happened within a year that England and France were united, as they never had been before, in a great and perilous enterprise, and were seen marching shoulder to shoulder in the Crimean War."
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Created 10/7/99
Last modified 18/10/01