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[248] at the city line. The temperance societies took charge of him, he was welcomed by Governor Briggs in the name1 of the Commonwealth, and addressed the people on the Common. Throngs of men, women, and children—and not Irish alone—took of him medals and pledges in2 Faneuil Hall. In one street, as Wendell Phillips wrote3 to Elizabeth Pease, where there were sixteen grog-shops, his presence closed all but three.

In the midst of this popularity Father Mathew was suddenly made the subject of vehement discussion all over the country, and even in the Capitol itself. He was now well on in years, being nearly sixty, and ill-prepared on this score to maintain in America the anti-slavery pretensions lightly made in Ireland. He was, moreover, a Catholic and a priest; and doubtless, during his stay with Bishop Hughes in New York, had been warned by that4 slaveite to avoid contact with the abolitionists. The Bishop had already had to resort to the pious fraud of impeaching the genuineness of Father Mathew's5 signature to the Irish Address, and was not anxious to be confuted by the Apostle's action on this side of the Atlantic. But the Board of Managers of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society had a plain duty—out of respect to Father Mathew's integrity as a man, and gratitude for the aid he had proffered them by lending his name to the Address—to join in the general welcome of him to America. The date of his Eastern visit afforded the fittest possible opportunity for extending the following invitation, drafted by Mr. Garrison, who was made chairman of the committee charged with presenting it:

Boston, July 26, 1849.
6 Esteemed friend of humanity: The anniversary of the most thrilling event of the nineteenth century, the abolition of slavery in the British West India islands, will be celebrated at Worcester, in this Commonwealth, on Friday, Aug. 3, commencing at 10 o'clock A. M., under the auspices of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. In behalf of that Society, the undersigned are instructed to extend to you a cordial and an


1 Geo. N. Briggs.

2 Lib. 19.122.

3 Ms. July 29, 1849.

4 Lib. 18.126.

5 Ante, p. 44.

6 Lib. 19.126.

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