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390 DOUGLASS' MONTHLY. JANUARY, 1861. [[line across page]] [[3 columns]] [[column 1]] FREE SPEECH OUTRAGED. [[line]] AN ANTI-SLAVERY MEETING BROKEN UP BY A MOB IN BOSTON. [[line]] Special Dispatch to the N.Y. Tribune. BOSTON, Monday, Dec. 3 - 5 P. M. The Convention called to-day at the Tremont Temple, to commemorate the anniversary of John Brown's execution, by a discussion of the question, 'How can American slavery be abolished?' was broken up in the morning by a diversified mob, composed chiefly of North street aristocrats and Beacon st. roughs. A determination to prevent this proposed public expression of anti-Southern feeling in Boston had been very noisily avowed by the merchants and bankers of this city; but, as various experiences had shown that riotous demonstrations here seldom go beyond words, no disturbance was anticipated. In the present case, however, the prospects of financial distress roused the commercial interest to an unusual excitement, and the resolution to save the Union by destroying the Tremont Temple Convention, was really carried out. At the hour of opening, the majority of persons present was evidently opposed to the peaceful fulfillment of the object of the meeting. On the platform were Fred. Douglass, Messrs. Redpath, Sanborn, J. Sella Martin, the colored clergyman, and others of less distinction in the Garrisonian party. Mr. Garrison came later. On the floor were a few score of ladies, as many policemen, and a multitude of representatives of the enlightenment which hovers around the State-House, and the muscular force of the North End. The first attempt to organize was frustrated by the howlings and screamings of the confederated majority, who presently took the management of affairs into their own hands, and elected for Chairman, Richard S. Fay, Constitutional broker and ex-candidate for Congress. Mr. Fay was escorted to the platform by a number of his friends, and proceeded to make a speech, which finished with a set of resolutions exactly opposite to the sentiments of those who called the Convention. The resolutions were adopted viva voce, amid a great deal of boisterous confusion. No person was allowed to speak excepting in their favor. They are as follows: Whereas, it is fitting upon the occasion of the anniversary of the execution of John Brown, for his piratical and bloody attempts to create an insurrection among the slaves of the State of Virginia, for the people of this Commonwealth to assemble and express their horror of the man, and of the principles which led to the foray; therefore, it is Resolved, That no virtuous and law-abiding citizen of the Commonwealth ought to countenance, sympathize or hold communion with any man who believes that John Brown and his aiders and abettors in that nefarious enterprise were right, in any sense of the word. Resolved, That the present perilous juncture in our political affairs, in which our existence as a nation is imperiled, requires of every citizen who loves his country to come forward, and to express his sense of the value of the Union, alike important to the free labor of the North, the slave labor of the South, and to the interests of the commerce, manufactures and agriculture of the world. Resolved, That we tender to our brethren in Virginia our warmest thanks for the conservative spirit they have manifested, notwithstanding the unprovoked and lawless attack made upon them by John Brown and his associates, acting, if not with the connivance, at least with the sympathy of a few fanatics from the Northern States and that we hope they will continue to aid in opposing the fanaticism which is even now attempting to subvert the Constitution and the Union. Resolved, That the people of this city have submitted too long in allowing irresponsible persons and political demagogues of every description to hold public meetings to disturb the public peace and misrepresent us abroad; they have become a nuisance, which, in self-defence, we are determined shall henceforth be summarily abated. Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to each of the persons named in the call for this meeting. After their passage, however, F. Douglass [[/column 1]] [[column 2]] replied to Mr. Fay, and, without touching much upon the subject of the day, showered ridicule so plentifully and so effectively among his opponents, that the joint forces of Beacon and North streets rose in wrath and drowned his voice. Up to this time the disturbances had been confined to violent declamation on both sides, with occasional feeble attempts at pacification by the Chief of Police. But when it was found that Mr. Douglass could not be silenced, a party rushed upon the platform and endeavored to sweep it clear of the negroes. The police here interfered for the first time against the majority, and a wild fight of two or three minutes ensued, from which a part of the flower of Beacon street emerged, much battered and far less ornamented than usual. No person, however, was severely injured in the fray. The tumult rather increased after the platform squabble was checked, and threatened to result very seriously. The miserable inefficiency of the Chief of Police, who at one moment declared his intention of clearing the hall, and the next fell back bewildered upon his subordinates for counsel--who, by turns, avowed to sustain the Douglass part of the company, and promised to stand by the Beacon and North street brotherhood, added greatly to the confusion. As a temporary expedient, every negro was removed from the platform, and immediately after, every one was suffered to return.--The Chief of Police announced an incubation of purpose, and for a quarter of an hour there was tolerable quiet, but the promised purpose was not hatched, and the clamor revived. On one side cheers for Gov. Wise and the Fugitive Slave Bill were launched.--On the other, cheers for freedom and liberty of speech. Mr. Douglass again essayed to speak, but the combined voice of Beacon st. overpowered his voice. At about noon, Mr. Fay rejoined the audience, Mr. James A. Howe, a State street banker, was elected chairman in a corner, and was straightway led to the platform. Mr. Sanborn, who claimed the chair on the other side, received him certainly with courtesy, and was forthwith insulted in reply. During a brief debate between the two, a person attempted to take Mr. Sanborn's chair and place it behind Mr. Howe, upon which Mr. Douglass stepped up to interpose. Then Beacon street, led by Thomas H. Perkins, dashed in boldly, and a second fight ensued.--Weapons were drawn, and, probably, handled with caution, for they did not go off. Nevertheless, the affray was serious enough.--Men were thrown boldly from the platform down among the audience. The women were greatly frightened, and helped the turbulence by loud cries. Mr. Douglass fought like a trained pugilist; and, although a score opposed him, he cleared his way through the crowd to the rostrum, which he clutched with an air that indicated his determination to hold to his place. His friends, however, were less combative, and so he was left, unaided, in the hands of a strong number of police, who dragged him away and threw him down the staircase to the floor of the hall. Mr. Sanborn was dragged out by the neck. Finally the platform was cleared of all those who had joined in the call for the Convention and engaged in the hall, and left in possession of the opposition. Having gained their object, the majority remained tranquil for half an hour, without purposing any movement whatever. At one time Mr. Douglass re-appeared on the platform, seeking for his portfolio, and then the clamor set in again. But this soon subsided, and at half-past one o'clock, when everything was quiet, and no trouble appeared likely to arise, the Chief of Police came to a prompt and energetic decision that the hall should be cleared, and this was done. It was announced by the Douglass party that no other meeting would be held in the Tremont Temple, but that, in the evening, the friends of John Brown would re-assemble in J. Sella Martin's Church. [[/column 2]] [[column 3]] The multitude then dispersed, and the high-minded majority betook itself to mobbing the negroes as they came forth. This sport was, on Tremont street, continued for a long time. At last, it was given over to make arrangements for the breaking up of the evening meeting. Placards were prepared, calling upon Union-lovers to assemble and look for its suppression, in view of the impending troubles. The Cadets and the Second Battalion of Infantry are now under arms at their armories, by order of the Mayor. Ten o'clock P. M.--An hour before the time fixed for the evening meeting, Mr. Martin's Church was filled. The police, this time under the abler direction of the Deputy Chief, prevented it from being overcrowded, and the throngs of opponents who came later were accordingly unable to enter. At 8 o'clock the Church was surrounded by a vast mob, which extended through several adjoining streets. Some outside speeches were made, but the Deputy Chief, in order to prevent the meeting from being disturbed, had the court, in which the Church is situated, entirely cleared, an operation of considerable difficulty. There was very little tumult within the building--the disturbers being in the minority and less confident of their strength than in the morning. Only one man attempted interruptions, and he was laughed down and left unmolested. The speakers were John Brown Jr., Wendell Phillips, F. Sanborn, F. Douglass, H. Ford Douglass, and others. Mr. Phillips's remarks were more than usually bitter, and excited the only angry demonstrations of disfavor that were shown during the evening. A set of resolutions was passed, fixing the blame of the morning interruption upon Mayor Lincoln, who, it was shown, had failed to exercise the right he might have employed to preserve order. The resolutions are as follows: Resolved, That the riotous interruption of a meeting this day assembled in Tremont Temple, to discuss the question of the abolition of slavery, by a mob of merchants and other evil-disposed persons, headed by R. S. Fay, Esq., who organized their raid outside, and stole into the hall while the meeting was being organized, trampled on the rights of those who had hired the hall, and called it, was a mean and unconstitutional, as well as an unmanly act, unworthy of Massachusetts and even of Boston. Resolved, That this cowardly act betrays the undoubted fact that these 'gentlemen of property and standing' have no arguments satisfactory even to themselves to urge against those who called the meeting, and who are the practical friends of free speech. Resolved, That the efforts of the mob to break up the meeting, in our opinion, would have been unsuccessful but for the Mayor's command to remove the friends of order and the originators of the meeting from the platform--by which act he became the real ringleader of the mob, and stands responsible for the destruction of the meeting. At 9 o'clock Mr. Phillips excused himself, saying that the sickness of his wife called him home. He retired, accompanied by about a dozen of his friends, and was conveyed away by a narrow private passage--so narrow that the party was obliged to creep in single file to Belknap street, where the mob was less dense than in the nearer vicinity of the church.--But even here he was recognized, and a rush was at once made for him. He had two ladies beside him, and around the three his friends gathered closely, forming a circle with locked hands. There were loud cries of 'Stone him! 'Hit him with a brick!' 'Hang him!' 'Kill Phillips, but save the ladies!' and the like. Mr. Phillips appeared wholly unmoved, and went on his way laughing; but the ladies with him were greatly distressed.--His companions marched very determinedly, and gave such manifestations of their temper as induced the mob, some hundreds in number, to confine themselves to verbal insult.--The procession crossed the Common leisurely, the mob still hooting Phillips and invoking vengeance upon him without ever attempting to wreak it. As Essex street was approached, [[/column 3]]
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