Chapter 10: the Rynders Mob.—1850.The New York Herald incites popular violence against the anniversary meeting of the American Anti-slavery Society in that city. Garrison presides, and speaks with the utmost composure in the midst of a mob led by a local bully, with the connivance of the city authorities. Second visit of George Thompson to America.
‘We talk of the South and the North being parties to this question, and of the Slave Power being identified with the South. Do you remember how many slaveholders there are?’ This question, put by John G. Palfrey at the Free Soil Convention held in Faneuil Hall1 on February 27, 1850, he answered by computing from the latest ‘census’ of Kentucky that, out of some 5,000,000 whites in the South, only 100,000, including women and minors, held slaves. Judge Jay, reckoning2 from the same basis, but applying it to the census of 1840, arrived at the sum of 117,000, which, if we were3 to enlarge it by 70,000, would still exceed by less than one-half the population of Boston in this year of4 compromise, reaction, and violence.5 For the sake of the moneyed interests and social and political supremacy of this oligarchy, the whole country was plunging headlong into a frightful abyss of idolatry of the Union, and utter repudiation of the claims of humanity in the person of the enslaved—and especially of the fleeing, hunted, and imploring—negro.