of our cause for the coming year. It was worth a trip from Boston to Norristown merely to look at those who assembled on the occasion. I regret that I have as yet found no time to write a sketch of this anniversary for the Liberator. As Sydney H. Gay was present, both the Standard and Pennsylvania Free-1 man must be referred to for an account of it, prior to any that I shall be able to make of it. This morning, we leave in the cars for Harrisburg, which, though the capital of the State, is very much under the influence of Slavery. I do not anticipate a quiet meeting, but we shall bear our testimony boldly, nevertheless.
W. L. Garrison to his Wife.Harrisburg, Aug. 9, 1847.2 On Saturday morning, Douglass and I bade farewell to our kind friends in Philadelphia, and took the cars for this place,3 . . . a distance of 106 miles. Before we started, an incident occurred which evinced something of that venomous pro-slavery spirit which pervades the public sentiment in proportion as you approach the borders of the slave States. There is no distinction made at Philadelphia in the cars on account of complexion, though colored persons usually sit near the doors. Douglass took a seat in one of the back cars before I arrived; and, while quietly looking out at the window, was suddenly accosted in a slave-driving tone, and ordered to ‘get out of that seat,’ by a man who had a lady with him, and who might have claimed the right to eject any other passenger for his accommodation with as much propriety. Douglass quietly replied, that if he would make his demand in the form of a gentlemanly request, he would readily vacate his seat. His lordly commander at once laid violent hands upon him, and dragged him out. Douglass submitted to this outrage unresistingly, but told his assailant that he behaved like a bully, and therefore precluded him (D.) from meeting him with his own weapons. The only response of the other was, that he would knock D.'s teeth down his throat if he repeated the charge. The name of this man was soon ascertained to be John A. Fisher of Harrisburg, a lawyer; and the only palliation (if it be one) that I hear offered for his conduct is, that he was undoubtedly under the influence of intoxicating liquor. This was a foretaste of the violence to be experienced on our attempting to lecture here, and which I anticipated even before I left Boston.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : re-formation and Reanimation.— 1841 .
Chapter 2 : the Irish address.— 1842 .
Chapter 3 : the covenant with death. — 1843 .
Chapter 4 : no union with slaveholders! — 1844 .
Chapter 5 : Texas .— 1845 .
Chapter 6 : third mission to England .— 1846 .
Chapter 7 : first Western tour.— 1847 .
Chapter 8 : the Anti-Sabbath Convention .— 1848 .
Chapter 9 : Father Mathew .— 1849 .
Chapter 10 : the Rynders Mob .— 1850 .
Chapter 11 : George Thompson , M. P.— 1851 .
Chapter 12 : Kossuth .— 1852 .
Chapter 13 : the Bible Convention.— 1853 .
Chapter 14 : the Nebraska Bill .— 1854 .
Chapter 15 : the Personal Liberty Law .— 1855 .
Chapter 16 : Fremont .— 1856 .
Chapter 17 : the disunion Convention.— 1857 .
Chapter 18 : the irrepressible Conflict.— 1858 .
Chapter 19 : John Brown .— 1859 .
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