Copyright 1999. Stanton and Anthony Papers Project. All rights reserved.
The Union is saved! The danger of secession is passed, if you can only let Carolina know as speedily as possible that our Northern Buffaloes
have come forth in their might, trampled the right of free speech in the dust, and cut the jugular vein of abolitionism, by mobbing one slender gray haired man, and two "strong-minded" women.[1
] These wild bovines, in defiance of law and order, tramped into the hall of St. James[2
] and worried the three helpless "fanatics" with their hideous bellowings through two entire days. The Mayor[3
] came to the rescue and looked the herd bravely and steadily in the face, made a noble, manly speech, and ordered his police (some fifty or sixty in number, admitted free, for the express purpose of preserving order) to do their duty, and drive these inhuman interlopers back to their burrows. But what could he do more than utter brave words? His police, being Democrats, would not obey the orders of the newly elected Republican Mayor; so far from it, they actually joined the mob themselves, encouraged by respectable
men from the Democratic and Bell-Everett[4
] ranks, among them the distinguished juniors of Millard Fillmore and Horatio Seymour.[5
] The speakers, through much tribulation, said their say, and at 10 o'clock the meeting adjourned. Whereupon the bovines took possession of the Hall on a lease of ten dollars an hour, and with great efforts raised three dollars and forty-five cents. They then proceeded to organize, and with difficulty found a man willing to assume such grave responsibilities.[6
] Mr. Talcott,[7
] a member of the bar, rose and asked the Chair to state the objects of the meeting, but they were too momentous for utterance and fairly stuck in his throat. Whilst he was in the process of deglutition, a Committee retired to draft resolutions. The Chairman, recovering, said, he "didn't exactly know the object of the meeting," but he "s'posed
it was for free discussion
about anything that wouldn't make disturbance." Mr. Talcott replied, that he was "wholly incompetent to discuss that subject," and sat down.
The Business Committee then reported that they had no paper (they meant ideas) to draft resolutions, but proceeded to read some incoherent nonsense from the back of an old letter. Just then, not knowing for what they met, or how to do it, some rogue closed their drunken vagaries by turning off the gas. And thus ended an Anti-Slavery Convention in one of the the largest cities of the Empire State, on the Fast day
of our pious President— the immortal "platform," James Buchanan
]— in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-one.
Free Speech in South Carolina is tarred and feathered, exiled and hung. In Washington it is subject to bluster, threat, insult and ridicule. In Boston the very sprigs of fashion choke it down with perfume and soft resolutions in favor of what it suffers south of the line.[9
] But in the "City of the West," within the sound of Niagara's roar, in the presence of such solemn majesty, rude Buffaloes are let loose to trample on the constitutional rights of freemen— to insult and ridicule the daughters of Pilgrim Fathers, standing in the forum to plead for justice and mercy for an outraged race.
E. C. S.
] In the fall of 1860, southern vigilance committees patrolled plantations, intimidating slaves, free blacks, and whites. In Boston on 3 December
, at an antislavery meeting commemorating John Brown's death, a mob led by wealthy lawyers and merchants, took over the meeting and passed resolutions calling for concession to the South "in the interests of commerce, manufactures, and agriculture." The abolitionists were forced to cancel their meeting and reconvened that evening at the Joy Street Baptist Church. (Craven, Growth of Southern Nationalism, 310
; Douglass, Papers, 3:387-412
The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,
ed. Ann D. Gordon, et al.
(Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 1999).
Electronic version. On the Web at http://mep.blackmesatech.com/mep/ [Accessed 27 August 2017]