restricted access Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Town-Hall, Kennett Square, October 25–26, 1860
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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. The mayor of Philadelphia in 1839 was Isaac Roach (1786–1848). 3. Dangerfield had been arrested in Harrisburg as a fugitive slave and was taken to Philadelphia. Confronted with evidence of Dangerfield’s lengthy residence in Harrisburg, the commissioner freed him (New York Times, April 5, 7, 1859; see also Hallowell, 387–90, for LM’s role at the trial). 4. The fair continued until Saturday. It was unclear whether sales had been affected by the disruption but it was considered “a complete success” (National Anti-Slavery Standard, December 24, 1859). Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Town-Hall, Kennett Square, October 25–26, 1860 [October 25, Morning Session] LUCRETIA MOTT expressed her pleasure at the happy auspices under which the meeting assembled. These meetings were refreshing occasions. It was pleasant to greet old friends and see the faces of associates with whom we have so long labored in this most holy cause. If it was right to weep with them that weep, it was also meet that we should rejoice with them that do rejoice; and I am sure you are all rejoicing over the evidences of our progress and the proofs of what has already been accomplished. We have no religious observance with which we mark the beginning of these meetings, but our hearts well up nevertheless with grateful joy at the signs of the times, and the evidences of approaching triumph to the cause in which we are engaged. [October 26, Morning Session] Mrs. MOTT would add her testimony to the value of THE STANDARD and the importance of its circulation. She had a letter on the subject from Mrs. [Maria Weston] Chapman, parts of which, at her request, Miss Mary Grew read.1 The letter speaks of the high value of the paper, and possibility and duty of raising it still higher. Mrs. Mott spoke of the importance of preserving and distributing an 140 Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, 1860 anti-slavery paper. It had been a principle with her not to destroy any of these precious leaves of the Tree of Truth. She had a new bundle of Liberators, and Bugles, and STANDARDS with her for distribution, and also hoped people would come forward and help themselves. Mrs. Mott was glad to hear that Dr. Cheever and his friends were willing to come on our platform.2 She was glad of the cooperation of all new helpers, and especially of one so able as Dr. Cheever. But she did not think that his cooperation with us was going to exonerate us in future from the charge of being “Infidels”; and she was not concerned whether it did or not. We could afford to be called by that name or any other our enemies might devise, so long as we in our lives and action, as individuals and as a Society, we brought forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Dr. Cheever would be called “Infidel” too; and we are infidel to the religion of a formal, pro-slavery, time-serving Church. [October 26, Afternoon Session] LUCRETIAMOTTwasgladthattheresolutiondoesnotsanctionthemeasures resortedtobyJohnBrown,asincontradistinctiontothoseapprovedbythisSociety, and by the American organization...