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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
vailing opinions, of its effect upon his pecuniary interest, or of his standing with his party. The vehemence of his passions sometimes betrayed him into violence of language and injustice to his opponents; but he had that rare and manly trait which enables its possessor, whenever he becomes convinced of error, to make a prompt acknowledgment of the conviction. In the summer of 1834, a series of mobs, directed against the Abolitionists, who had organized a national society, with the city of New York as its central point, followed each other in rapid succession. The houses of the leading men in the society were sacked and pillaged; meeting-houses broken into and defaced; and the unoffending colored inhabitants of the city treated with the grossest indignity, and subjected, in some instances, to shameful personal outrage. It was emphatically a Reign of Terror. The press of both political parties and of the leading religious sects, by appeals to prejudice and passion, and by studi