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[399]

On the first day, the meeting was opened with prayer, and ‘timber’ of the right sort for president was found in Beriah Green himself; Lewis Tappan and Whittier being chosen secretaries.1 Membership was accorded to all delegates of anti-slavery societies, and to all persons present who favored immediate emancipation and opposed expatriation. Organization, and the reading of letters of sympathy from William Jay, Jeremiah Chaplin, George Duffield, Theodore D. Weld, and others, consumed the time of the session, which, for prudential reasons, was not interrupted for the noonday meal. Foraging for crackers and cheese was conducted by Joshua Coffin, and pitchers of cold water supplied the only beverage. Mr. Garrison was put on the committee to report a constitution (from which he was evidently excused), as well as on the larger committee2 to draft a Declaration of Principles for signature by members of the Convention. Adjournment took place at five o'clock in the afternoon, and the latter committee met shortly afterwards at the house of its chairman, Dr. Atlee, where, after a comparison3 of views, Mr. Garrison, Mr. Whittier and Mr. May were appointed a sub-committee of three to prepare a draft of the Declaration ‘to be reported next morning, at nine o'clock, to the whole committee, in the room adjoining the hall of the Convention.’ They accordingly withdrew to the house of a fellow-delegate, James McCrummell, the colored host of Mr. Garrison, and there it was finally

1 ‘The choice fell upon Beriah Green. A better man could not have been selected. Though of plain exterior and unimposing presence, Mr. Green was a man of learning and superior ability; in every way above the average of so-called men of eminence. Mr. Tappan, who sat at his right, was a jaunty, man-of-the-world-looking person, well-dressed and handsome, with a fine voice and taking appearance. Whittier, who sat at his left, was quite as fine-looking, though in a different way. He wore a dark frock coat with standing collar, which, with his thin hair, dark and sometimes flashing eyes, and black whiskers,—not large, but noticeable in those unhirsute days,—gave him, to my then unpractised eye, quite as much of a military as a Quaker aspect’ (J. M. McKim, Proceedings at Third Decade, p. 37).

2 Consisting of Messrs. Atlee, Wright, Garrison, Jocelyn, Thurston, Sterling (of Cleveland, O.), Wm. Green, Jr. (of N. Y.), Whittier, Goodell, and May.

3 May's Recollections, p. 86.

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