Arrest of a waiter

January 3, 1851

Under the title A Contrast, from the New York Independent, there is an item about a meeting on the evening of Monday, Dec 23, held by the New England Society, at the Astor House.  There, while one man spoke, calling upon people to emulate the values of the Pilgrims, at the same hour, “there was lying in the custody of the United States Marshal of this District another man, whose office was not that of making speeches at dinner, but of waiting on the table, who had been arrested as a fugitive slave under a law which would never have become a law but for the influence and efforts of this same descendant of the Puritans …On Tuesday morning, ‘the god-like’ received at the City Hall the adulations of the Union Safety Committee, and dilated upon the benefits and glories of the Union.  At the same hour, and in a room of the same building, the mighty power of the Union was remorselessly applied to crush a man made in the image of God.”