Copyright 1997. Rutgers University Press. All rights reserved.
My dear Elizabeth:
I see by the papers to night, that Susan
, Mr. May
, & you, I presume, had a riotous time at Rochester
last night. I do'nt know whether you were there, as your name is not mentioned in the despatch.[2
] If you were, I hope that no harm befel you, nor indeed any of the rest of those who desired to hold the meeting.
Of course, these mobs are wrong, wicked, & ought to be put down. But, in the present temper of the public mind, it is of no use to try to hold abolition meetings in large cities. I think you risk your lives; & in cities of the size & character of Buffalo, Albany, Boston & New York, where there is so much rowdyism, the mobocrats would as soon kill you as not.
These rioters are not unionsavers now, so much as of yore, but are rather secessionists, who desire to break up the union. Pray don't stand in their way: for they are doing a good work.
I am here at the center of political commotion, & I assure you this union is going to destruction as fast as it can. Four states are already out. Four more will be soon.[3
] Civil war is close upon us. Military troops are here & coming here to try & protect the public buildings & save the seals of office & the symbols of power from being siezed by the Revolutionists. The Republican party will have as much as it can do to even get possession of these symbols on the 4th of March
] even with the aid of U.S. troops.
I believe all the slave states with 2 or 3 exceptions will secede before Lincoln comes in. In a word, we are in the midst of a Revolution—& I do sincerely fear that the bloodshed, & pillage, & arson, will not all be confined to the South. I fear that prominent republicans & abolitionists will be victimized all thro the North.
You have no idea of the temper of things here. Gen. Scott,[5
] & other officers are here, the Regiment of Flying Artillery[6
] is here, & troops are being ordered to this City, to prevent its falling into the hands of the Revolutionists.
Now, I advise you, & Susan, & all friends, to keep quiet & let the Revolution go on. You must not hope to get any additional liberty bills now. When these states have all gone, then we shant need any. Half the negroes will run away, & there will be no fugitive slave law to stop them—for there will be no slave States in our Union.
You can't make any impression now in the way of personal liberty bills. The minds of the people are too much absorbed with the main Revolution, to look after these details. They are mere eddies in the grand current which is sweeping Slavery to perdition. Stand out of the way & let the current run.
Tell Daniel, the Zouave,[7
] that if Gov. Morgan
calls out our Militia to go Southward, & put down Secession, or to come here & protect the Capital, I shall look to see his gallant corps rallying among the foremost.
By the by, before the Zouave takes the field, I wish he would write me about how he gets along with Arithmetic, wood-chopping, &c. A thousand and loves to all. Your affectionate
H. B. S.
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 based on
The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
(New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997) Vol. 1, pp. 196-461. On the Web at http://mep.blackmesatech.com/mep/ [Accessed 26 August 2017]