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ATTEMPTS TO STIFLE DISCUSSION.
ration is calculated to excite an insurrection interest had become diffused and inamong the slaves, has been held, by highly
no tensified, and the Hall was crowded respectable legal authority, an offense against the peace of this commonwealth, which may with earnest auditors. The Rev. be prosecuted as a misdemeanor at common William E. Channing, then the most lar."
| eminent clergyman in New England, The Legislature referred the sub- appeared among the champions of ject to a joint Committee, whereof Free Speech. Professor Follen cona conspicuous champion of Slavery cluded, and was followed by Samuel was Chairman. The Abolitionists E. Sewall, William Lloyd Garrison, perceived and eagerly embraced their and William Goodell—the last-named opportunity. They demanded a hear- stigmatizing the demand of the South ing before this Committee-they be- and its backers as an assault on the ing accused of grave misdemeanors liberties of the North. Mr. Bond, a in the documents whereon it was to Boston merchant, and Dr. Bradley, act-and their request was tardily from Plymouth, were prompted by acceded to. On the 3d of March, the impulse of the hour to add 1836, they were apprised that they their unpremeditated remonstrances would be heard next day. They were against the contemplated invasion of duly present accordingly—the Com-time-honored rights. Darkness had mittee sitting in the spacious Repre- set in when the Committee rose, and sentatives' Hall, neither House being a low murmur of approving multiin session. Brief addresses in their tudes gave token that the cause of behalf were heard from Rev. Samuel liberty had triumphed. The ComJ. May and Ellis Gray Loring, who mittee reported adversely to the “agiwere followed by Professor Charles tators” and “fanatics” at the heel of Follen, who, in the course of his re- the session, but in evident despair of marks, alluded to the mob outrages any accordant action; and none was to which the Abolitionists had re- ever had. Massachusetts refused to cently been subjected, remarking manacle her own people in order to that any legislative enactment to rivet more securely the shackles of their prejudice would tend to encour- others. age their adversaries to repeat those Rhode Island was the theatre of outrages. The Chairman treated this a similar attempt, erding in a similar remark as disrespectful to the Com- failure. And if, in any other State, mittee, and abruptly terminated the like efforts were made, they were hearing. The Abolitionists thereupon likewise defeated. No nominally Free completed promptly their defense, and State, however hostile to Abolition, issued it in a pamphlet, which natu- consented to make it a crime on the rally attracted public attention, and part of her people to "preach deliva popular conviction that fair play erance to the captive." had not been accorded them was But the systematic suppression of manifested. The Legislature shared anti-Slavery teaching by riot and it, and directed its Committee to allow mob-violence was, for a time, wellthem a full hearing. Monday, the nigh universal. In New York, a 8th, was accordingly appointed for meeting at Clinton Hall, to organize the purpose. By this time, the public a City Anti-Slavery Society, having
been called for the evening of Octo- | in Union-saving, the actors were nat ber 2, 1833, there appeared a counter- urally impelled to extend it. At call from “Many Southrons” for a midnight on the 9th, the dwelling of meeting at the same time and place. Lewis Tappan was broken open by a In apprehension of a riot, Clinton mob, his furniture carried into the . Hall was not opened ; but such of the street, and consigned to the flames. Abolitionists as could be notified on The burning of the house was then the instant repaired to the Chatham- proposed; but the Mayor remonstrastreet Chapel. Their opponents met ted, and it was forborne. The riots in Tammany Hall, and, after making were continued through the next their speeches and passing their re- day; the doors and windows of Dr. solves unquestioned, were about to Cox's (Presbyterian) church being adjourn, when they were apprised of broken, with those of Dr. Ludlow's the meeting in the Chapel. “Let us church; while a Baptist, a Methodist, rout them !” was the general cry; and a Protestant Episcopal church, and they rushed noisily to the Chapel belonging to colored congregations, only to find that the Abolitionists had were badly shattered, and one of departed. “Ten thousand dollars for them nearly destroyed, as was a Arthur Tappan!". was shouted; but school-house for colored children, and no one was molested, and the crowd many dwellings inhabited by negroes, dissolved in the comforting assurance while others were seriously injured. that the Union was safe.
Many rioters were arrested during But on the 4th of July, 1834, an at- these days by the police, but none of tempt to hold an anti-Slavery celebra- them was ever punished. tion in Chatham-street Chapel was Newark, New Jersey, imitated this the signal for a furious and alarming riot on the 11th, but with indifferent riot. The prayer, the singing, and success. A church was somewhat inthe reading of the Declaration, were jured. endured with tolerable patience; but Philadelphia followed on the 13th a Declaration of the Sentiments of of August. Her riots lasted three the Anti-Slavery Society by Lewis nights, and the harmless and powerTappan was interrupted by hisses ; less blacks were mainly their vicand when David Paul Brown, of tims. Forty-four houses (mostly small) Philadelphia, commenced his oration, were destroyed or seriously injured. it was soon manifest that a large por Among them was a colored Presbytion of the audience had come ex terian church. Several of the blacks pressly not to hear him, nor let any were chased and assaulted, one of one else. Rev. Samuel H. Cox in- them being beaten to death, and anterposed in behalf of Free Speech; other losing his life in attempting to but both were clamored down with swim the Schuylkill to escape his cries of “ Treason! Treason! Hur pursuers. rah for the Union !" and the meeting At Worcester, Massachusetts, Auquietly dispersed, without awaiting gust 10, 1835, the Rev. Orange Scott, or provoking further violence. who was lecturing against Slavery,
The leading commercial journals was assaulted, his notes torn up, and having .commended this experiment personal violence attempted.
127 At Concord, New Hampshire, on Storrs attempted to deliver an antithe same day, a mob demolished an Slavery lecture, but was dragged academy, because colored boys were from his knees while at prayer, preadmitted as pupils.
liminary to his address, by a deputy At Canterbury, Connecticut, Miss sheriff, on the strength of a warrant Prudence Crandall having attempt issued by a justice, on a complaint ed, in 1833, to open a school for charging him with being “a common colored children, an act was passed rioter and brawler," "an idle and disby the Legislature forbidding any orderly person, going about the town teaching within that State of colored and county disturbing the public youth from other States. She per- peace.” On trial, he was acquitted; sisted, and was imprisoned for it as a but, on the 31st of March following, malefactor. Having been liberated, after having lectured at Pittsfield, she resumed her school; when it was New Hampshire, he was again arbroken up by mob-violence.
rested while at prayer, on a writ The riots whereof the foregoing are issued by one who afterward became specimens were too numerous and a Member of Congress, tried the wide-spread to be even glanced at sev- same day, convicted, and sentenced erally. They were, doubtless, multi- | to three months'imprisonment in the plied and intensified by the presence House of Correction. He appealed; in our country of GEORGE THOMPSON, and that was probably the end of the an eminent and ardent English Aboli- matter. tionist, who—now that the triumph At Boston, October 21, 1835, a of Emancipation in the British West large and most respectable mob, comIndies was secured-came over to aid posed in good part of merchants, asthe kindred struggle in this country. sailed a meeting of the Female AntiThat a Briton should presume to Slavery Society, while its President plead for Liberty in this free and was at prayer, and dispersed it, enlightened country was not to be William Lloyd Garrison, having es
quence, fervor, and thoroughness, in- net-maker's shop, seized and dragged creased the hostility excited by his through the streets with a rope around presence, which, of itself, was held his body, threatened with tar and an ample excuse for mobs. He was feathers, but finally conducted to the finally induced to desist and return Mayor, who lodged him in jail till to England, from a conviction that the next day, to protect him from the prejudice aroused by his interfe- further violence. At the earnest rerence in what was esteemed a domes- quest of the authorities, he left town tic difference overbalanced the good for a time. effect of his lectures. The close of At Utica, New York, the same this year (1835) was signalized by the day, a meeting, convened to form a conversion of GERRIT SMITH-hitherto State Anti-Slavery Society, was broa leading and zealous Colonizationist ken up by a most respectable Com
to the principles of the Abolitionists. mittee, appointed by a large meeting
December 14, 1835, Rev. George cratic journal that had spoken kindly
of the Abolitionists was assailed and exciting topic, "Let the Abolitionists its press thrown down. The disci- understand that they will be caught pline proved effective. No Demo if they come among us, and they will cratic journal issued in that city has take good care to stay away." The since ventured to speak a word for calculation was a tolerably sound Freedom or Humanity. The Aboli-one; yet it did not save quite a tionists, at Gerrit Smith's invitation, number of persons—mainly of Northadjourned to his home at Peterbo- ern birth—who were seized at varirough, Madison County, and there ous points throughout the South on completed their organization. suspicion of being anti-Slavery, and
very summarily put to death-some At the South, there was but one with, and some without, a mob trial. mode of dealing with Abolitionists— Had there been any proof' against that described by Henry A. Wise as them, they would doubtless have been made up of “Dupont's best [gun left to the operation of the laws for powder], and cold steel.” “Let your such cases made and provided; for emissaries cross the Potomac," writes these were certainly harsh enough to the Rev. T. S. Witherspoon from satisfy even Wise himself. Alabama to The Emancipator, “and At Charleston, S. C., July 29, I can promise you that your fate 1835, it was noised about that the will be no less than Haman's.” Says mails just arrived from the North the Rev. William Plummer, D. D., contained a quantity of Abolition of Richmond, Virginia, in response periodicals and documents. A pub(July, 1835) to a call for a meeting lic meeting was thereupon called, of the clergy to take action on the which the Reverend Clergy of the
? At a public meeting convened in the church in delivered a speech at Columbia in reference to a the town of Clinton, Mississippi, September 5, proposed railroad, in which he despondingly 1835, it was
drew a forcible contrast between the energy, en“Resolved, That it is our decided opinion, that I terprise, knowledge, and happiness of the North, any individual who dares to circulate, with a and the inertia, indigence, and decay of the view to effectuate the designs of the Abolition
South, in the U. S. Senate afterward declared: ists, any of the incendiary tracts or newspapers
"Let an abolitionist come within the borders now in the course of transmission to this country,
of South Carolina, if we can catch we will try is justly worthy, in the sight of God and man, of immediate death: and we doubt not that such
him, and, notwithstanding all the interference of would be the punishment of any such offender,
all the governments of the earth, including the
Federal Government, we will HANG him.”-See in any part of the State of Mississippi where he
“N. Y. Journal of Commerce," June 6, 1838. may be found.” 8 "The cry of the whole South should be death
9 In 1835, a suspicion was aroused in Madison -instant death-to the abolitionist, wherever County, Mississippi, that a conspiracy for a slave he is caught.”---Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle.
insurrection existed. Five negroes were first “We can assure the Bostonians, one and all,
hung; then five white men. The pamphlet put who have embarked in the nefarious scheme of
forth by their mob-murderers shows that there abolishing Slavery at the South, that lashes will hereafter be spared the backs of their emissaries.
was no real evidence against any of them--that Let them send out their men to Louisiana; they their lives were sacrificed to a cowardly panic, will never return to tell their sufferings, but they which would not be appeased without bloodshall expiate the crime of interfering with our shed. The whites were hung at an hour's nodomestic institutions, by being BURNED AT THE
tice, protesting their innocence to the last. And STAKE."--New Orleans True American. "Abolition editors in Slave States will not
this is but one case out of many such. In a dare to avow their opinions. It would be in
panic of this kind, every non-slaveholder who stant DEATH to them.”-Missouri Argus.
ever said a kind word or did a humane act for a And Mr. Preston, of South Carolina, who once | negro is a doomed man.
this time at statesma
tment at received from
city attended in a body, “lending,” | in a grave Democratic State paper, says The Courier of next morning, fifteen years before he uttered it. “their sanction to the proceedings, And it is yet far older than this. and adding, by their presence, to the impressive character of the scene.” General Jackson's recommendation This meeting unanimously resolved of repression by law of the circulathat all the mail matter in question tion of “incendiary” matter through should be burnt, and it was burnt the mails, was referred by the Senate accordingly—the mails being search- to a Select Committee, whereof John ed and rified for the purpose; “al- C. Calhoun was Chairman. The though,” (says The Courier), “ar- perilous scope of any such legislation rangements had previously been was at once clear to the keen intelmade at the Post-office to arrest the lect of that statesman, who had by circulation of incendiary matter, until this time learned to dread “ Consoliinstructions could be received from dation" as intensely as he detested the Department at Washington;" “ Abolition.” He reported (Februand “it might have been better, per- ary 4, 1836), that the measure prohaps, to have awaited the answer be- posed by the President would violate fore proceeding to extremities.” But the Constitution, and imperil public Mr. Amos Kendall, then Postmaster- liberty. General, was not the man to “hint a “Nothing is more clear," says the Report, fault, or hesitate dislike," with regard “than that the admission of the right of to such mail robbery, though obliged
Congress to determine what papers are in
cendiary, and, as such, to prohibit their cirto confess that it was not strictly ac culation through the mail, necessarily incording to act of Congress,
volves the right to determine what are not incendiary, and ENFORCE their circulation.
* * * If Congress may this year decide “I am satisfied," he replied to the Post
what incendiary publications ARE, they may, master's application, that the Postmaster
next year, decide what they are not, and General has no legal authority to exclude
thus laden their mails with real or covert newspapers from the mail, nor to prohibit
abolitionism. * * * It belongs to the their carriage or delivery on account of their
STATES, and not to Congress, to determine character or tendency, real or supposed." | what is or is not calculated to disturb their “But I am not prepared to direct you to
security." forward or deliver the papers of which you speak.” “By no act or direction of mine, He proposed, therefore, that each
State should determine for itself what knowingly, in giving circulation to papers of this description, directly or indirectly. kind of reading it would deem “inWe owe an obligation to the laws, but a cendiary," and that Congress should higher one to the communities in which we live; and, if the former be permitted to de- |
thereupon prohibit the transmission stroy the latter, it is patriotism to disregard by mail of such matter to that State.' them. Entertaining these views, I cannot He concluded with a bill, which consanction, and will not condemn, the step you have taken. Your justification must be
tained this provision : looked for in the character of the papers "Be it enacted, etc., That it shall not be detained, and the circumstances by which lawful for any deputy postmaster, in any you are surrounded.”
State, Territory, or District, of the United
States, knowingly, to deliver to any person Governor Seward has been widely
whatsoever, any påmphlet, newspaper, handcharged and credited with the author bill, or other printed paper or pictorial repship of the “higher law” doctrine;
| resentation, touching the subject of Sla
| very, where, by the laws of the said State, but here we find it clearly set forth Territory, or District, their circulation is