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brother, not only to hear from his lips the doctrines which he himself has so long advocated, and reduced to practice in his life, but also to sanction, by his patriarchal and venerable presence, the cause of philanthropy in which he was engaged !
We hope soon to be blessed with another visit from Mr. Thompson.
MR. THOMPSON AT LOWELL.
WEDNESDAY Dec. 3, 1834. Mr. GARRISON—A brief and hasty sketch is all I can now send you of occurrences in our good little town of Lowell, during the visit of our invaluable friend Thompson, He came among us on invitation, to give lectures on Sabbath, Monday and Tuesday evenings of the present week. We had obtained permission of the Selectmen to occupy for the purpose the Town Hall, a room in which town meetings are held, and the use of which is usually granted, on any respectful application, for any object which is not unlawful or manifestly immoral.
On Sabbath evening, Mr. Thompson gave a splendid lecture, in which he entirely swept away the pretended support of slavery from the bible. The audience was large, and listened with delight till a late hour. They suffered no interruption, except the throwing of a large stone at a window, which was arrested by the sash and fell harmless on the outside.
Notice was given on Sabbath evening, that the lecture on Monday evening would commence at 8 o'clock ; and that we would meet for discussion at half past six ; Mr. Thompson extending a most respectful and friendly invitation'to all who had objections to our principles or measures, to be present and state them, and to all who had inquiries, to propound them.
On Monday, the Board of Managers sent special messages, of the same purport, to gentlemen who had taken an active part in public against the formation of our Society last winter. They declined the invitation unanimously, and we had not a single objector or inquirer at the meet
ing, except abolitionists. This was much regretted; for anti-slavery men are anxious to have the whole subject thoroughly sifted, and every argument brought against them fairly examined, in the hearing of the people. However, we managed to have some of the most formidable objections stated, and our friend entertained the assembly by refuting them, one after another, in the most lively and entertaining manner.
Then followed a lecture of nearly two hours' length, on the history of St. Domingo—that history which on so many minds is a spectre to warn them against the liberation of slaves ; but which, when truly narrated, is so triumphant an example of the perfect safety of immediate emancipation even in circumstances as unpromising as can possibly be conceived. Very few left the hall till the lecture was ended, notwithstanding its length and some untoward events now to be mentioned.
In the early part of the lecture, a small company of low fellows disturbed the assembly just without the door, in the entry at the head of the stairs, by loud stamping, vociferation and hisses. This was continued at intervals for near half an hour, when peace-officers, who had been sent for, arrived, and immediately the disturbers were quiet as lambs, and continued so till the close. Some time after, three missiles were thrown at the building behind the speaker. The third or last, a large brickbat, came through the window, passed near the speaker's head and fell harmless before the audience in front of the rostrum. This missile must have been thrown with great force, to pass into the second story of a high-posted building, and fly so far from the wall. A slight change of its direction would have silenced the eloquence of our friend forever, except that the barbarity of the deed would have given, what he had already said in behalf of the oppressed, a more glorious immortality. Praised be the Arbiter of life, that he yet survives to plead for the outcasts. Nothing daunted, he spoke some time after this, and the meeting closed
But the elements of turbulence and confusion had but begun to move. Yesterday, we heard of little but " and rumors of wars ; ' much that was rumor only ; but too much that was real, for the honor of Lowell or of New
England. The most sagacious never seriously apprehended greater disturbance on the ensuing evening. Our board of managers met early in the afternoon, who unani. mously and calmly resolved to claim the protection of the Selectmen, and to proceed with the meeting. The Selectmen, like true guardians of the public welfare, had been on the alert during the day. They received our application in a very gentlemanly manner, and promised us protection to the extent of their authority. The time arrived. With Mr. Thompson, we met the Selectmen in their room adjacent to the Hall. The night was exceedingly dark ; the building was approachable on all sides; and not a window had a blind or a shutter, except that behind the speaker, which had a temporary barrier on the inside which remains to-day a disgraceful monument of the infuriate temper of some men in Lowell. The Selectmen still pledged us all the aid they could render ; but doubted whether it was practicable, with the preparations which time permitted, to save the assembly from violence through the windows from without. Under these circumstances, we felt it an act of discretion and humanity, without any sacrifice of principle to adjourn the meeting to 2 o'clock this afternoon at the same place. This was done, and no further violence occurred. Mr. Thompson is now giving his concluding lecture on the practical part of the subject, and I have stolen away to write lest I should be too late,
The mal-contents were not satisfied to retire home after our adjournment last evening. They re-opened the Hall, and held a sort of mobocratic caucus, though remarkably still and orderly for one of that kind. They passed, and have to-day published, resolutions, deeply deploring the existence of slavery:—most sincerely, no doubt-and saying that the agitation of the subject here is very bad—that the Town Hall ought not to be used for the purposeand communicating this wise opinion to the Selectmen. Those officers, however, have stood firm to their duty to-day.
The meeting is closed, and my letter must go. I cannot, however, forbear to say, that the handbills and other menaces of yesterday did us much good. Many, who are not friendly to our principles, said, “This is no question
of abolition-but whether law and order shall prevail in Lowell, or whether mobs shall rule.' They besought us to proceed, and were ready to render us every assistance in their power. The occurrences of the week will do much for the cause of truth and liberty in our town, and you may tell the whole country that abolition in Lowell is neither dead nor wounded. Yours truly,