restricted access Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, June 1, 1862
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142 Fifteenth Street Meeting, 1862 Resolved, That while we see the penalty for the sin of slavery in the impoverished soil and the depraved morals of the South, we of the North cannot claim exemption from the consequences of our part in this great sin while we continue our commercial intercourse with the slave holder, and freely partake of the produce of the unrequited toil of the poor slave. * * * * Mrs. MOTT held that we should have no union with slaveholders, politically, religiously, or commercially. We ought not to use the products of slave’s unrequited toil. In purchasing slave-grown productions we furnished the slaveholder with the motive and the means for continuing his system.8 PD “Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society,” National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 3, 1860 1. First published in 1840, the National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Mary Grew (1813–98), Philadelphia abolitionist and women’s rights activist, was the corresponding secretary of PFASS. 2. George Cheever (1807–90), pastor of the Church of the Puritans (Congregational) in Manhattan, had spent most of his career as an antislavery moderate, but became a prominent critic of slavery in the late 1850s. 3. Resolution 4 expressed sympathy for abolitionist John Brown, and concluded “there lives and burns in the Northern heart a genuine admiration of heroism” (National AntiSlavery Standard, November 3, 1860). On October 16, 1859, Brown led an attack on a federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, as part of larger plan to overthrow slavery. Three days later, he was captured by the U.S. military. 4. Robert Purvis (1810–98), one of LM’s close friends and allies, was a founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society and a member of Philadelphia’s African American elite. 5. Daniel O’Connell was an outspoken opponent of violence, and a similar quote may be found in John Mitchel, The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps) (Glasgow: R. & T. Washbourne, 1876), 12. 6. The previous speaker was Anna Dickinson (1842–1932), a Philadelphia abolitionist and Republican Party orator, who had “objected to certain non-resistance sentiments which had been expressed” (National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 3, 1860). 7. Sumner Stebbins of Chester County, Pennsylvania, a medical doctor and Progressive Friend, claimed that “New England ministers” had dominated the founding meeting of the AASS, and he preferred the Republican Party to the “dead weight” of the AASS (National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 3, 1860; “Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends,” Liberator, May 23, 1862; “Chester County Medical Society,” Medical News, June 1852). 8. J. Miller McKim replied to LM’s resolution that he was “glad” to have slaveholders spend their money in Philadelphia, as it could then be applied to “the uses of freedom.” The resolution was tabled (National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 3, 1860). Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, June 1, 18621 LUCRETIA MOTT, who spoke at length, yesterday, in the Fifteenth-street meeting, holds also to the principle of non-resistance, but unlike some other gifted minds, she condenses her arguments, and puts them forth—here for her Fifteenth Street Meeting, 1862 143 compeers a problem solved, there for the younger mind an offering more precious than costliest gems to wear, fadeless and forever; and even to the little child an impressive thought is given, to carry it over the troubled ripples in life’s young stream. Her remarks touched with force, but not diffuseness, upon our political crisis. Her opening sentence was, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within man”; and she went on to show that the Kingdom of Heaven was peace, therefore war was at variance with it, and while we participated in the sentiments of strife and bloodshed, we were without God’s kingdom in our hearts. She believed that as Scripture records of a triumphant scheme we might, in this day, have done—have brought our enemy to terms by acts which would have been to him as coals of fire upon his head. Reference was made to the act of emancipation in the District of Columbia,2 as being no result of the war, but of a concentration of public opinion brought about by petition after petition laid before the authorities in power. She urged the necessity of further effort upon the part of the faithful workers—they should now, while strife and confusion are overwhelming the land, be up and be doing, knowing no rest till the oppressed are...