May 17, 1850
In reference to an up-coming Anti-Slavery meeting scheduled for New York, here is an extract from the Herald, taken here from the N.Y. Globe, May 7, “…we join most heartily in the denunciation of the TREASON and the TRAITORS. ….we hold every man who aids and abets the avowed object of ‘immediate and unconditional emancipation’ of the slaves of the Union, to be a traitor at heart, unworthy to enjoy the liberty achieved by our fathers …the meeting must not be held…one of the heralded orators for this Anniversary is the black Douglass ….the newspaper organ of the abolitionists – the Liberator, of Boston, —- is out in favor or the immediate dissolution of the Union, and the abolition of slavery….the following persons are announced to be speakers in the Tabernacle: Wm. Lloyd Garrison, of Boston, mulatto man-mixed race….”
Reports of the Meeting (excerpts)
From the N.Y. Globe, May 8th —- “This body of agitators had a glorious meeting at the Broadway Tabernacle yesterday. It was a sort of serio-comic performance. ..The platform was occupied by the leading lights in the disunion flame. Among these we may notice Fred Douglass, the master genius of the crowd. His black hide shone like a decapitated sign-board; his mouth, a perfect mastodon of a receiver or coffee cooler, was kept in continual motion from the sundry grins of recognition…..Wm. Lloyd Garrison, the nigger in everything but color of skin, was the leading man or disher-up of the colored entertainment.
From the Globe, May 9th —-“to the honor of New York be it said, that the Abolitionists were compelled to abandon their treasonable meeting yesterday…..The people – the honest, true-hearted , patriotic, working-men of the city — came forth in their strength, and rebuked the conspirators, and dispersed peaceably, and without violence, the advocates of sedition, treason, insurrection and revolution….. The agitators were told that they would not be permitted to proceed, and they consulted the dictates of prudence, and desisted from their nefarious purposes….”
The Editor’s comment: “Complimentary —- The New York rioters, among other significant acts, gave ‘three groans for Boston’ — and they were hideously given, undeniably! This is nearly as flattering as would be three cheers for Boston by the angels. May she continue to deserve so marked a compliment.”
Letter from Whittier —- Written from Amesbury, to Friend Garrison’
“I have just laid down a New York paper, giving the disgraceful details of the outrage upon free speech at your late meeting in New York; and I cannot resist the inclination to drop a line to thee, expressive of my hearty sympathy with thee in this matter. We have not always thought alike in respect to the best means of promoting the anti-slavery cause; and perhaps we differ quite as widely now as ever. But when the right to advocate emancipation in any shape is called in question, it is no time to split hairs, or to be fastidious in our exclusiveness….The great battle for free speech and free assembling is to be fought over. …Let us be prepared for the worst, and may God give us strength, wisdom and ability to withstand it. With esteem and sympathy.”