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William Schouler, A history of Massachusetts in the Civil War: Volume 1 1 1 Browse Search
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, in favor of a compromise with the South. J. Thomas Stevenson, Esq., presided, and made a strong and able speech in favor of compromise, in the course of which he said he would almost pray for a foreign war, that it might bind us again as one, and prevent the shedding of fraternal blood. He would give up every thing but honor. B. R. Curtis, Esq., ex-judge of the United-States Supreme Court, made the leading speech, which was received with great favor. The resolutions were read by Colonel Jonas French. Speeches were made by Mr. Wightman, mayor of the city, Mr. Saltonstall, Mr. G. S. Hillard, and others, some of whom afterwards distinguished themselves as officers in the war. This meeting spoke the sentiments of the conservative citizens, who regarded war and disunion as evils greater than the existence of slavery, or even of its further extension; and yet they were anti-slavery men, and regarded slavery as a great moral and political wrong, and would gladly have seen it abolish