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[397] however, some forty of them, that evening in the parlors1 of Evan Lewis,2 when Lewis Tappan was called to the chair. Their chief concern was for a presiding officer for the Convention—preferably a Philadelphian whose character should propitiate public sentiment and be, says Mr. May, ‘a voucher for our harmlessness.’ Robert3 Vaux, a prominent and wealthy Quaker, seemed, apart from his relations with Elliott Cresson, to fulfil these4 conditions, and a committee consisting of three Friends (Evan Lewis, John G. Whittier, and Effingham L. Capron, of Uxbridge, Mass.), two clergymen (Beriah Green and S. J. May), and Lewis Tappan, was appointed to wait immediately upon him and upon one other forlorn hope. In both places they were received with mortifying frigidity and politely bowed out, and bedtime found them forced back on Beriah Green's sarcastic conclusion5 —‘If there is not timber amongst ourselves big enough to make a president of, let us get along without one, or go home and stay there until we have grown up to be men.’

Between fifty and sixty delegates,6 representing ten of the twelve free States, made their way the next morning7 to Adelphi Hall, on Fifth Street below Walnut, greeted with abusive language as they went along, and finding the entrance to the building guarded by the police. The doors were locked upon an assembly, as Whittier noticed, ‘mainly composed of comparatively young men, some in middle age, and a few beyond that period.’ Five-sevenths of them were destined to survive President Lincoln's emancipation proclamation.8 The Quaker element was naturally prominent. Besides those already mentioned, Maine sent Joseph Southwick, and Nathan

1 Atlantic Monthly, Feb., 1874, p. 167.

2 ‘A man who was afraid of nothing but doing or being wrong’ (May's “Recollections,” p. 82).

3 Recollections, p. 83.

4 Ante, p. 363.

5 May's Recollections, p. 83; Second Decade Proceedings, p. 29.

6 May says 56 (p. 84); Whittier, 62 (p. 167, Atlantic Monthly, Feb., 1874). The signers of the Declaration of Sentiments were 63. There were but two or three colored members.

7 December 4, 1833.

8 At this writing (May, 1885), Elizur Wright, Jr., J. G. Whittier, and Robert Purvis alone survive.

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