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Fifteenth Street Meeting, 1872 199 5. In 1834 Weld, a student at Lyman Beecher’s seminary in Cincinnati, organized a series of debates on slavery that launched the careers of a number of abolitionists (Gordon , 1:xxix). Reform League, Steinway Hall, New York City, May 9, 1871 I am much gratified that I have a little remaining strength to meet you here to-day, and to have had the opportunity of hearing your excellent report, presenting to us, as it does, a view of so much that is to be done.1 Let us recollect that this meeting is called not merely for the purpose of entertainment, but to see how far we can unite our individual exertions for the benefit of our fellow-creatures. We want the Republic to be established on a permanent foundation; and I think we can well hope to attain that result by aiding this movement. But I want to ask our friend Wendell Phillips about one of the resolutions offered. I think I could not support the resolution that advocates the killing of human beings. Our friend Phillips has spoken with approval of Gen. [Benjamin F.] Butler’s hanging of Munford.2 Now it seems to me that the bravest of those men and women who went forth in the great battle against Slavery, went forth armed with moral power only; and I think that it would not be proper for us to advocate the use of any other power now. Let us have faith in our arguments. If we had fixed opinion right when the Rebellion broke out, all need not have met it with the sword; we might have met it with intelligent argument. PD “The May Anniversaries,” New York Tribune, May 10, 1871 1. Former abolitionists had founded the organization to remove “other great wrongs,” including racial prejudice, women’s inequality, the oppression of workers, and intemperance , and for the promotion of “peace, religious freedom, and enlightenment” (New York Tribune, May 10, 1871). They fought for black civil rights and published a newspaper, the National Standard (see James M. McPherson, The Abolitionist Legacy: From Reconstruction to the NAACP [Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975], 13). 2. Phillips read a resolution that declared the Ku Klux Klan, an organization whose violence against African Americans had recently been the subject of congressional hearings , a “new form of rebellion” and called for martial law: “Let its first fruit to them be the drum-head conviction and the gibbet.” Phillips declared, “I believe that the nation stands to-day just where Gen. Butler stood in New-Orleans when he arrested Mumford” (New York Tribune, May 10, 1871). In June 1862 Butler hanged William Mumford for removing an American flag from a government building. Fifteenth Street Meeting, New York City, May 26, 1872 With the close of the sermon,1 every word of which was fervently uttered, silence again falls upon the assemblage. A woman stands up in her place on the rostrum. She is attired in drab, with a face that shows the signs of patient struggles, softened by an expression of steadfast inspiration and of hope. There are few more remarkable women of the time than Lucretia Mott. As she stands looking at the large audience, fancy contrasts her with other women who have ...


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