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[526] Faneuil Hall, that sacred shrine of Liberty, where the heart of New England was to pour out its last plaint of love and grief. The representative of the New York Herald—that everywhere present photographer of the age—thus describes the scene:
Never since the old Cradle of Liberty was dedicated to freedom has there been such a gathering within its portals. The persons making up the vast concourse assembled seemed as if each had lost a dear personal friend. Many of them had before sat in this old historic hall to listen to his eloquent addresses, and now they were gathered to pay a sad and feeling tribute to his memory. The interior of the venerable building presented a solemn and funereal aspect, with its windows curtained in black, shutting out the light of day, while its gas-jets burned dimly along the edge of the balconies. The emblems of grief, blended with the permanent memorials of the patriots of former days and the statesmen of later days, imparted to the hall an air of subdued mourning in consonance with the feelings of the community. The historical rostrum was heavily draped with sombre folds and festoons, as was the great painting of the scene in the Senate Chamber when the Great Defender of the Constitution replied to the arrogant South Carolinian. The facade of the galleries was neatly decorated with festoons, caught up at the columns with black lappels with white borders. Behind this extended another line of drapery in pure black, and above it, at the tops of the gallery pillars, white and black festoons alternated on either side of the hall. The cornice over the gallery windows was similarly adorned. The clock, upon the front gallery, was entirely hidden by a life-like portrait of Mr. Sumner, resting beneath an arch bearing the name ‘Charles Sumner,’ and flanked with tablets, upon which were inscribed the date of birth—‘February 6, 1811’—and decease—‘March 11, 1874.’ From the centre of the ceiling radiated long strips of black and white bunting and four American flags. Seats were arranged on either side of the platform for the accommodation of the members of the city government and others, and the galleries were reserved for ladies. All the rest of the hall was clear and open to the general public. The doors were open to the ladies at half-past 10 o'clock, at which hour several hundred, who had been waiting upwards of an hour in the bleak wind without, were admitted to the hall. The galleries were speedily filled, and

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New England (United States) (2)

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