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Harriet Minot (search for this): chapter 6
ion, the most moderate, disarming, and courteous of all antislavery lecturers, indeed so eminent for these particular virtues as almost to constitute a class by himself. His reception shows how absolutely unjust was the charge that the abolitionists brought upon themselves, by their mere manner, the persecution they often received. In this case the meeting was broken up in uproar, and Mr. May was roughly handled as he went out, but as he had Elizabeth Whittier on one arm and her friend Harriet Minot on the other, he escaped actual violence. Less fortunate was George Thompson, the distinguished English antislavery orator, who had been the leader of the agitation for the abolition of slavery in the English colonies, and who came to America by invitation of Garrison. He acted on the fine principle laid down for all time by the so-called infidel Thomas Paine, who, when some one quoted to him the Latin motto, Where liberty is, there is my country (Ubi libertas, ibi patria) replied that
Charles Burleigh (search for this): chapter 6
nd damaged. The day before the first attack the Pennsylvania Antislavery Society had announced a meeting at the hall for the election of officers, and at the appointed hour it met by the smoking ruins and went through its business amid the howling of the mob. The tumults lasted a week, and at the end of this time the mayor offered a reward for the arrest of the rioters, from which nothing followed. The summary of the whole affair in the Pennsylvania Freeman was written by Whittier and Charles Burleigh. It was practically the record of the poet's baptism into the second degree of reform — the period of mob violence. Years after, Whittier had a curious memorial of this period-- Once when he was passing through Portland, Me., a man, seeing him go by, stepped out of his shop and asked if his name were Whittier, and if he were not the man who was stoned, years ago, by a mob at Concord. The answer being in the affirmative, he said he believed a devil possessed him that night; for
G. W. Chase (search for this): chapter 6
and gravel and small stones against the windows, breaking the glass, and by their hootings frightened the female portion of the audience, and led to the fear on the part of all, that more serious assaults would follow if the meeting was continued. It was therefore summarily dissolved. It was perhaps fortunate that this course was adopted, as a loaded cannon was then being drawn to the spot, to add its thunderings to the already disgraceful tumults of that otherwise quiet Sabbath evening. Chase's History of Haverhill, p. 505. The preacher thus mobbed was, by universal admission, the most moderate, disarming, and courteous of all antislavery lecturers, indeed so eminent for these particular virtues as almost to constitute a class by himself. His reception shows how absolutely unjust was the charge that the abolitionists brought upon themselves, by their mere manner, the persecution they often received. In this case the meeting was broken up in uproar, and Mr. May was roughly h
Samuel J. May (search for this): chapter 6
lished (on April 3, 1834) an antislavery society of which he was secretary. A year or so later, in August, 1835, the Rev. Samuel J. May of Syracuse, N. Y., preached in the Unitarian pulpit at Haverhill and announced that he should give an antislaverelves, by their mere manner, the persecution they often received. In this case the meeting was broken up in uproar, and Mr. May was roughly handled as he went out, but as he had Elizabeth Whittier on one arm and her friend Harriet Minot on the otheears to hear, let him hear. Meanwhile my heart was thumping like a sledge-hammer; for, before the speaking began, Samuel J. May had come to me, and said in a very low tone: Do you see how the walls are lined by stout truckmen, brandishing their a thundering stampede as there was down the front stairs I have never heard. We remained in the hall, and presently Samuel J. May came to us, so agitated that he was pale to the very lips. Thank God, he is saved! he exclaimed; and we wrung his
W. J. Linton (search for this): chapter 6
re companies repaired tardily to the scene of action, and not a drop of water did they pour upon that accursed Moloch until it was a heap of ruins. Sir! it would have gladdened your heart to have beheld that lofty tower of mischief enveloped in flames. The devouring element seemed to wear, combined with its terrible majesty, beauty and delight. To witness those beautiful spires of flame gave undoubted assurance to the heart of the Southron that in his brethren of the North he has friends. Linton's Whittier, pp. 74-76. This shows what the mob discipline was. It did not drive Whittier from his non-resistant principles, as was the case with most of the men of that stamp who went nearly thirty years later to Kansas; it only made him more absolutely sure and resolute in proclaiming the antislavery gospel. Nor was this the whole story. The next day a Shelter for coloured Orphans was burned, and a church of the coloured people attacked and damaged. The day before the first attack
J. G. Whittier (search for this): chapter 6
Chapter 5: the school of mobs All this was, however, but the peaceful early stage of the antislavery moment; the mob period was approaching. It was a time peculiarly trying to those who had been bred in the non-resistance theory, and had to choose for themselves among the three alternatives, resistance, endurance, and flight. Those who in later years read the fine dramatic delineations in the poem Barclay of Ury do not quite appreciate the school in which Whittier learned what life meant to Barclay. The first time that actual violence came near Whittier, in his own town of Haverhill, though it missed him, was after there had been established (on April 3, 1834) an antislavery society of which he was secretary. A year or so later, in August, 1835, the Rev. Samuel J. May of Syracuse, N. Y., preached in the Unitarian pulpit at Haverhill and announced that he should give an antislavery address in the evening. The result is thus described by the historian of Haverhill:-- The
Elizabeth Whittier (search for this): chapter 6
otected them and baffled the mob. From thence Whittier made his way with some difficulty to George K to all except the abolitionists. Underwood's Whittier, pp. 118-20. Garrison wrote of the Concorarrison mob, properly so called, during which Whittier happened to be in Boston, in attendance at anhe expresses it, in a bit of harmless board. Whittier saw Garrison hurried through the street with ound him, and taken for safety to jail, where Whittier and May visited him in his cell; then, being ace might also be attacked, they removed Elizabeth Whittier without her knowing the reason, while thuard all night. This was the ordeal by which Whittier's Quaker training was tested, but it rang truwhat the mob discipline was. It did not drive Whittier from his non-resistant principles, as was their in the Pennsylvania Freeman was written by Whittier and Charles Burleigh. It was practically the— the period of mob violence. Years after, Whittier had a curious memorial of this period-- [19 more...]
George Kent (search for this): chapter 6
a prominent abolitionist. On their way they stopped for the night in Concord at the house of George Kent, who was a brother-in-law of Rogers. After they had gone on their way, Kent attempted to makKent attempted to make preparations for an antislavery meeting to be held when they should return. There was furious excitement, and neither church, chapel, nor hall could be hired for the purpose. On their arrival Whitsailed them with stones and bruised them somewhat severely. They took refuge in the house of Colonel Kent, who, though not an abolitionist, protected them and baffled the mob. From thence Whittier made his way with some difficulty to George Kent's, where Thompson was. The mob soon surrounded the house and demanded that Thompson and the Quaker should be given up. Through a clever stratagem the mowere not surrendered. A small company of antislavery men and women had met that evening at George Kent's, among whom were two nieces of Daniel Webster, daughters of his brother Ezekiel. All agree
Lydia Maria Child (search for this): chapter 6
again. When the guests were about to leave, Whittier, just as he was stepping into the carriage, said to the landlord, My name is Whittier, and this is George Thompson. The man opened his eyes and mouth with wonder as they drove away. When they arrived at Haverhill they learned of the doings of the mob there, and the fortunate escape of their friend May. Underwood's Whittier, pp. 116-18. Another of these Thompson mobs, at which Whittier was not present, is thus described by Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, who was there. I insert her account, because it describes the period better than any other narrative I know, and gives the essential atmosphere of the life amid which Whittier was reared. My most vivid recollection of George Thompson is of his speaking at Julian Hall on a memorable occasion. Mr. Stetson, then keeper of the Tremont House, was present, with a large number of his slaveholding guests, who had come to Boston to make their annual purchases of the merchants. Their
Joseph Cartland (search for this): chapter 6
I saw him disdainfully classed as a foreign carpet-bagger, and that by one of the most eminent of Boston philanthropists. He had been mobbed, accordingly, in one place after another, including Salem, whence he had escaped with difficulty and had been afterward secreted by Whittier for two weeks in East Haverhill. He and Whittier had personally undertaken a few antislavery meetings, and had set out for that purpose. I take what followed from the excellent description of their friend, Mrs. Cartland:-- ... Thinking themselves secure because personally unknown, the two friends drove to Plymouth, N. H., to visit Nathaniel P. Rogers, a prominent abolitionist. On their way they stopped for the night in Concord at the house of George Kent, who was a brother-in-law of Rogers. After they had gone on their way, Kent attempted to make preparations for an antislavery meeting to be held when they should return. There was furious excitement, and neither church, chapel, nor hall could be
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