No Time for Such Trifles !

January 21, 1859

As a memorial signed by William Cooper Nell, is brought before the Legislature, asking for the vindication and protection of the rights of colored citizens. Rep. Mr. Spofford, of Newburyport rises to protest “I rise to protest, at this early stage of the session, against the introduction of this agitating question of slavery….. there is nothing to be gained by the petition; nothing whatever is asked.” He then moves that when the question comes up, that a vote be taken by yeas and nays, “in order that the people of the Commonwealth may know who the Representatives are who are disposed to continue, throughout the session, “a constant and useless agitation of the slavery question.”