Anti-Slavery Sympathy Meeting, Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, December 16, 1859
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138 Anti-Slavery Sympathy Meeting, 1859 spiritual, and which had proved mighty, through God, as far as they had been wielded, to the pulling down of this stronghold. She believed, if they continued to wield these weapons, they would go on, conquering and to conquer. * * * * LUCRETIA MOTT took the platform, and spoke at some length, urging the importance of faithfulness to the great work in which they were engaged which is not merely to protect the fugitive, but to enlighten the public on the great sin of American slavery, and so to hasten the time when the chains of every slave in the land shall be broken. PD “Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society,” National Anti-Slavery Standard, May 21, 1859 1. LM’s long-time friend and PASS activist James M. McKim (1810–74) stated that the antislavery movement was already “improving our politics, meliorating our religion, and raising the standard of public and social morals.” On May 10 Parker Pillsbury had stated that the AASS had been too tolerant of institutions such as the Republican Party and the New York Independent, who make “specious and strong anti-slavery pretensions and professions” but who are “still in governmental or ecclesiastical union and fellowship with slavery and slaveholders” (National Anti-Slavery Standard, May 21, 1859). 2. The New York Times (May 13, 1859) stated that LM had left a Quaker meeting of one thousand women “who were determined to make Anti-Slavery one of the great points for which they would hereafter contend.” This meeting was probably the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Women Friends, which LM attended on May 10. Slavery was discussed then, only in milder language than the New York Times reports (Friends Intelligencer, vol. 16, no. 16 [July 2, 1859], 244–46). Anti-Slavery Sympathy Meeting, Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, December 16, 1859 Mrs. Lucretia Mott explained the circumstances of the expulsion from the Hall, characterizing it as the proceeding of a pro-slavery mob, and commenting very severely upon the indignities offered.1 The same thing had happened before. Pennsylvania Hall was burned, and the next year the Mayor requested that no Anti-Slavery meeting should be held, and that prominent Abolitionists should not be seen walking the streets in the company of colored persons.2 Now they are asked to get redress by law, which they spurn contemptuously. The goods are stored in the upper saloon of the Assembly Buildings, and Mrs. Mott hoped that their partial mutilation would only increase the anxiety to purchase them. The meals prepared for yesterday will be there in readiness after this meeting, and although, perhaps, they will not taste quite so well as then, their spoiling should also be cheerfully accepted. * * * * Mrs. Mott replied to a voice from the audience that had the goods on exhibition at the Fair not been removed yesterday, they would have been held in the Hall until to-morrow noon, when the leases of the premises would expire, and then thrown out or disposed of in any way that seemed best to the authorities. Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, 1860 139 Mrs. Mott proceeded to compliment the press (or a large portion of it) for its co-operation with the cause of justice. Since the trial of Daniel Dangerfield3 the Abolitionists have had great confidence in the reporters of most of the papers.4 PD “Anti-Slavery Sympathy Meeting This Morning,” Anti-Slavery Bugle, December 31, 1859, from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, December 16, 1859 1. Before this meeting, tension was already high in Philadelphia over the execution of John Brown (b. 1800) on December 2. Some Philadelphians had held a mass “Union” rally on December 13 to condemn Brown and other abolitionists, including LM, for their “disunion doctrines.” On December 12 the annual PFASS Anti-Slavery Fair had opened at the Concert Hall, but on December 15 officers served a “writ of ejectment” because proslavery factions had objected to the fair’s flag extending over Chestnut Street. The fair thus moved to the Assembly Buildings nearby. According to the Anti-Slavery Bugle, “One sentiment prevailed—that of deep indignation at the intervention of the civil authorities in the progress of the Fair at Concert Hall, and at the demonstrations in front of, and outside National Hall, last evening” (Anti-Slavery Bugle, December 31, 1859; Liberator, December 30, 1859; National Anti-Slavery Standard, December 24, 1859; Palmer, 292–93; report by Mary Grew in Hallowell, 392; see also Bacon, 195). 2...


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