previous next
[89] one of the greatest of American orators, made several speeches in Congress that will always command our highest admiration; but the one to which a somewhat extended reference is made in another chapter, when an attempt was made by the slaveholders to expel him from that body, easily ranks among the first three exhibitions of American eloquence.

I quite agree with Mr. Curtis in giving the Faneuil Hall speech of Wendell Phillips a pre-eminent place. A meeting had been called to denounce the murder of Lovejoy, the Abolitionist editor. The audience was composed in large part of pro-slavery rowdies, who were bent on capturing or breaking up the meeting. One of their leaders — a high official of the State of Massachusetts, by the way-made a speech in which he justified the murderous act. “That speech must be answered here and now,” exclaimed a young man in the audience. “Answer it yourself,” shouted those about him. “I will,” was the reply, “if I can reach the platform.” To the platform he was assisted, and although an attempt was made for a time to howl him down, he persisted, and before long so interested and charmed his hearers that his triumph was complete.

It did not take the country long to realize that in that young man, who was Wendell Phillips, a new oratorical luminary had arisen. He took up the work of lecturing as a profession, treating on other subjects as well as slavery; but when slavery was the subject no charge was made for his services. Said Frederic Hudson, the noted New York editor, in 1860: “It is probable that there is not another ”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wendell Phillips (2)
Elijah P. Lovejoy (1)
Frederic Hudson (1)
George William Curtis (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1860 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: