and our high privilege to act and speak on all questions touching this great common-wealth.”
I am happy, gentlemen, in being able to concur in the above sentiments, which, I perceive, were uttered by one of your own members, and in which, I cannot doubt, you all agree.
I would only add, that I consider this “liberty” was ascertained, but never originated, by our forefathers.
It comes to us, as I conceive, from our Maker, and is, in its nature, inalienable, belonging to man as man.
Believing, therefore, that everything having a tendency to bring this right into jeopardy is eminently dangerous as a precedent, I cannot admit that it can be called into question by any man, or body of men, or that they can, with any propriety, question me as to my exercise of it.
These proceedings attracted attention from abroad, especially in St. Louis
, to whose pro-Slavery politicians the publication of The Observer
, though not in their city or State, was still an eyesore.
On the 17th of August, The Missouri Republican
, in an article entitled “Abolition,” said:
We perceive that an Anti-Slavery Society has been formed at Upper Alton, and many others, doubtless, will shortly spring up in different parts of the State.
We had hoped that our neighbors would have ejected from amongst them that minister of mischief, the “Observer,” or at least corrected its course.
Something must be done in this matter, and that speedily!
The good people of Illinois must either put a stop to the efforts of these fanatics, or expel them from their community.
If this is not done, the travel of emigrants through their State, and the trade of the slaveholding States, and particularly Missouri, must stop. Every one who desires the harmony of the country, and the peace and prosperity of all, should unite to put them down.
They can do no positive good, and may do much irreparable harm.
We would not desire to see this done at the expense of public order or legal restraint; but there is a moral indignation which the virtuous portion of a community may exert, which is sufficient to crush this faction and forever disgrace its fanatic instigators.
It is to this we appeal, and hope that the appeal will not be unheeded.
These recommendations and incitements were not unfruitful.
Four days thereafter--two unsuccessful attempts having already been made — the office of The Observer
was entered between the hours of ten and eleven P. M., by a band of fifteen or twenty persons, and the press, type, etc., utterly destroyed.
The mob commenced, as usual, by throwing stones at the building, whereby one man was hit on the head and severely wounded; where-upon the office was deserted, and the destroyers finished their work with-out opposition, while a large concourse were “looking on and consenting.”
The authorities did nothing most rigorously.
was absent at the time, but was met in the street by the mob, who stopped him, threatened him, and assailed him with vile language, but did him no serious harm.
In The Observer
of the preceding day, he had made an explicit and effective response to the question--“What are the doctrines of anti-slavery men?”
wherein he had succeeded in being at once moderate and forcible — affirming most explicitly the flagrant wrong of slaveholding, with the right and policy of immediate emancipation, but explaining that such an emancipation was to be effected “by the masters themselves, and no others,” who were to be persuaded to it, exactly as a distiller is to be dissuaded from making intoxicating liquors, or a tippler from drinking them.
But, though his doctrines were peaceful and his language mild and deprecatory, he doubtless irritated and annoyed his adversaries by pointing to the fact — in refuting their slang about amalgamation — that the then 1Vice-President