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[81] which, both in the combatants and the audience, illustrates well what its people and society were at that time.

The Prison Discipline Society was accustomed to hold an annual private business meeting, which was followed on a later day by a public meeting, where addresses were made for the purpose of stimulating a general interest in the subject. These were held on the last week in May, known as ‘Anniversary Week,’ when, according to ancient custom, the people of Massachusetts gather in Boston to attend various meetings in behalf of religious and benevolent objects. Crowds at such a season go from church to church, from hall to hall, to listen to addresses.—some doubtless having a genuine interest in the subject to be discussed, but large numbers drawn only by the social instinct and the attractions of well-known speakers. The Anniversary Week still remains; but with the more varied excitements of modern life, it no longer bears in interest the same relation to the community that it did at the period to which this chapter relates.

The Society's annual meeting in Park Street Church in May, 1845, has already been referred to.1 Dr. Wayland, who had been persuaded to retain the presidency after his removal to Providence, was in the chair. George T. Bigelow,2 a member of the bar, rising, according to previous arrangement, to move the acceptance of the secretary's annual report, expressed his approval of its treatment of the Pennsylvania system, and accused the managers of the Philadelphia prison of wilful misrepresentation, made for the purpose of upholding an inhuman system. Sumner and Howe, who were on hand, anticipating the course of things, at once rebuked the secretary's persistency in his vicious method of treating that system, and repelled Mr. Bigelow's imputation. The interruption was disagreeable to the managers, but Sumner's motion for a committee to revise the report, and to visit Philadelphia, was carried without dissent.3 An eye-witness thus describes the scene from memory:—

There was a platform, on which sat a large number of persons, more or less notable,—officers of the Society and friends of its object. President Wayland, then at the top of his strength and his renown, imposing with the massive dignity of his best years, was in the chair. The secretary, Mr. Dwight, a

1 Ante, vol. II. pp. 329, 330.

2 Afterwards chief-justice.

3 Sumner explained his first participation in the controversy in his speech, June 18, 1847. Works, vol. i. pp. 489-490. For accounts of the meeting, see Boston Advertiser, May 28, 1845; Boston Traveller, May 30, 1845.

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