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[193] inhabitants of the city treated with the grossest indignity, and subjected, in some instances, to shameful personal outrage. It was emphatically a ‘Reign of Terror.’ The press of both political parties and of the leading religious sects, by appeals to prejudice and passion, and by studied misrepresentation of the designs and measures — of the Abolitionists, fanned the flame of excitement, until the fury of demons possessed the misguided populace. To advocate emancipation, or defend those who did so, in New York, at that period, was like preaching democracy in Constantinople or religious toleration in Paris on the eve of St. Bartholomew. Law was prostrated in the dust; to be suspected of abolitionism was to incur a liability to an indefinite degree of insult and indignity; and the few and hunted friends of the slave who in those nights of terror laid their heads upon the pillow did so with the prayer of the Psalmist on their lips, ‘Defend me from them that rise up against me; save me from bloody men.’

At this period the New York Evening Post spoke out strongly in condemnation of the mob. William Leggett was not then an Abolitionist; he had known nothing of the proscribed class, save through the cruel misrepresentations of their enemies; but, true to his democratic faith, he maintained the right to discuss the question of slavery. The infection of cowardly fear, which at that time sealed the lips of multitudes who deplored the excesses of the mob and sympathized with its victims, never reached him. Boldly, indignantly, he demanded that the mob should be put down at once by the civil

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