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regret to do you any injury; but we are authorized by the Mayor to defend our property, and shall do so with our lives." The leader replied that they were resolved to have the press at any sacrifice, and presented a pistol, whereupon Mr. G. retired into the building. The mob then passed around to the opposite end of the warehouse, and commenced throwing stones, which soon demolished several of the windows. No resistance was offered; the inmates having agreed not to fire unless their lives were in danger. The warehouse being of stone, and solidly built, no further impression was made on it by this assault. Finding their missiles ineffectual, the mob fired two or three guns into the building, by which no one was hit. The fire was then returned, and several of the rioters wounded, one of them mortally. Hereupon, the mob recoiled, carrying off their wounded. But they soon returned with ladders, and other preparations for firing the roof of the warehouse, cursing and shouting, "Burn them out! burn them out!" They kept carefully on the side of the building where there were no windows, so that they could not be injured or repelled by its defenders. The Mayor and a justice were now deputed by the mob to bear a message to the inmates of the building, proposing that, on condition the press were given up, no one should be further molested, and no more property destroyed. The proposition was quietly declined. Mr. Gilman, in turn, requested the Mayor to call on certain citizens to save his store from the threatened destruction by fire. The Mayor replied that the mob was so strong and so determined

that he could do nothing-that he had already tried to command and persuade them to desist, but without success. He was asked if those in the building should defend their property with arms; to which he replied, as he had repeatedly done before, that they had a perfect right to do so, and that the law justified them in that course. He then left the building, and reported the result of his mission, which was received with yells of "Fire the building!" "Fire the building!" "Burn 'em out!" "Burn 'em out!" "Shoot every d-d Abolitionist as he leaves !" It was now near midnight, and the bells had been rung, collecting a large concourse, who stood passive spectators of what followed.

The mob now raised their ladders against the building, mounted to the roof, and kindled a fire there, which burned rather slowly. Five of the defenders hereupon volunteered to sally out and drive them away. They left by the south door, passed around the corner to the east side of the building, and fired upon the man who guarded the foot of the ladder, drove him off, and dispersed his immediate comrades, returning to the store to reload. Mr. Lovejoy and two others stepped again to the door, and stood looking around just without the building-Mr. L. in advance of the others. Several of the rioters were concealed from their view behind a pile of lumber a few rods in their front. One of these had a twobarreled gun, which he fired. Mr. Lovejoy received five balls, three of them in his breast, probably each mortal. He turned quickly, ran into the store, and up a flight of stairs into the counting-room, where


he fell, exclaiming, "Oh God, I am shot! I am shot!" and almost instantly expired. One of his friends received at the same time a ball in his leg, of which he recovered. Those remaining alive in the building now held a consultation, and concluded to surrender. One of their number went up to the scuttle and apprised the mob that Mr. Lovejoy was dead, and that the press would now be given up. A yell of exultation was sent up by the rioters, and the proposed surrender declined. Another of the inmates now resolved to go out and make some terms, if possible; but he had hardly opened the door when he was fired upon and severely wounded. A citizen now came to the door at the opposite end, and begged those within to leave the building, as it was on fire, and their remaining would be utterly useless. All but two or three hereupon laid down their arms, left the building, and fled, being fired upon by the mob as they escaped. The rioters then rushed into the building, threw the press out of the window, broke it up, and pitched the pieces into the river. They destroyed no other property, save a few guns. One of them-a doctor-offered to extract the ball from the wounded man's leg; but he declined their assistance. At two o'clock, they had dispersed, and all was again quiet.

Mr. Lovejoy's remains were borne away next morning to his dwelling, amid the jeers and scoffs of his murderers. He was buried the day following-Thursday, November 9 the day which, had he been living, would have completed his thirtyfifth year. His wife, who, on account of the critical state of her


health, had been sent away from Alton, was unable to attend his funeral. Of their two children, one was born after his death.

The defenders of the warehouse, as well as the recognized leaders of their assailants, were respectively indicted for riot, and tried, or rather, Mr. Gilman alone of the defenders was tried; and upon his acquittal the City Attorney entered a nolle prosequi as to the other defendants. The leading rioters were next placed on trial, and were likewise acquitted. The testimony of the Mayor, John M. Krum, was much relied on by the defenders of the press, who expected to prove by it that they acted throughout under his authority, as ministers of the law and official guardians of the rights of property. His testimony, however, did not sustain this assumption. The Mayor fully admitted that he had repeatedly and freely consulted with them as to their course in the premises, and had advised them that they would be entirely justified in defending their rights by arms, if necessary. But, he said, he had given this advice as a lawyer, a neighbor, and citizen; not as Mayor.

The details of this tragedy are important, as they serve to silence two cavils, which have been most familiar in the mouths of the champions of Slavery. "If you want to oppose Slavery, why don't you go where it is?" has been triumphantly asked many thousands of times. Mr. Lovejoy did exactly this—as Lundy, and Garrison, and many others had done before him-and only left a Slave for a Free State when such removal was

"Why Washington, and including the cities of Washington and Georgetownwere ceded by Maryland in 1788, and now compose the entire District; so that Washington is commanded, within easy shelling distance, by hights which, in case the separation of Virginia from the Union were conceded, would be part and parcel of a foreign country.

imperatively demanded.
don't you keep clear of the fanatical
Abolitionists, and discuss the ques-
tion in moderation and good tem-
per?" Mr. Lovejoy did exactly this,
also. He was not the advocate of
Garrisonism; on the contrary, he con-
demned it. He was not the cham-
pion of any political party, nor of any
peculiar line of anti-Slavery action.
He did not publish an Abolition
journal. His was simply and purely
a religious newspaper, in which
Slavery was from time to time dis-
cussed, and its evils exposed, like
those of intemperance, or any other
immorality. But this he was not
permitted to do, whether in a Slave
or in a Free State. He was pro-
scribed, hunted, persecuted, assaulted,
plundered, and finally killed-not
because he persisted in opposing
Slavery in the wrong place, or in a
peculiarly objectionable manner, but
because he would not desist from op-
posing it at all. 15

The Federal Constitution (Art. I., Section 8) provides that, "The Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the United States." The cession by Maryland was without qualification. But Congress proceeded, soon after, to pass an act, apparently without much consideration or forecast, whereby the then existing laws of Maryland and Virginia were to continue in full force and effect over those portions of the Federal District ceded by them respectively, until Congress should otherwise enact; and, as those States were undoubtedly Slave States, their slave laws continued operative herein, with little or no modification or improvement, down to the passage of the Compromise measures of 1850.

The District of Columbia was originally composed of a hundred square miles of territory, lying on both sides of the river Potomac, at the head of navigation on that stream. The forty square miles south of that river, forming the county and including the city of Alexandria, were ceded to the Union in 1789 by Virginia, and retroceded to that State in 1846-the movement for retrocession having, doubt-ington, with its adoption as the capiless, some covert reference to the probability or prospect of disunion. The sixty square miles lying north of the Potomac-forming the county of

15 WENDELL PHILLIPS, then a young Whig lawyer, first conspicuously identified himself with the anti-Slavery movement, at a meeting held in Boston (December 8, 1837), at the old

Very naturally, the creation out of nothing of such a city as Wash

tal of the Republic, combined with its favorable location, served to render it an extensive mart for the prosecution of the domestic Slave-Trade. Court House-Faneuil Hall having been asked for, and refused, to a petition headed by Rev. William E. Channing-to consider the circumstances attending the death of Mr. Lovejoy.


Some of the largest purchasers in Maryland and Virginia for the cotton and sugar region located themselves at this point, fitted up their slavepens, and advertised in the leading journals of the Capital their readiness to buy and sell young and likely negroes. Vessels were regularly dispatched from Alexandria to New Orleans, laden with their human merchandise. So that, in the absence of manufactures, and of any but a petty retail trade, slaves were long a chief staple of the commerce, and certainly the leading export, of the American metropolis.


criticisms and comparisons between these legal proceedings, under the shadow of our Capitol, and the harsher dealings of savages and heathen with strangers so luckless as to fall into their hands; and the point of these invidious comparisons was barbed by their undeniable justice.

Petitions for the Abolition of Slavery in the Federal District, or, at least, of the Slave-Trade so flourishing therein, had been from time immemorial presented to Congress, and treated with no more disrespect or disregard than petitions to legislative bodies usually encounter. One of these, presented in 1828, was signed by United States District Judge Cranch, and about one thousand more of the most respectable citizens of the District; but, while it was treated decorously, no decisive step was taken toward compliance with its prayer. As the distinctive Abo

Under the slave laws, so hastily bolted by Congress, every negro or mulatto was presumptively a slave; and, if unable to indicate his master, or to establish specially his right to freedom, was liable to be arrested and imprisoned, advertised, and sold, in default of a claimant, to pay the costs of this worse than Algerine proce-lition movement gained strength in dure; and, as Washington steadily the North, and the excitement caused increased in population and import- thereby rose higher in the Southance, the number of colored persons especially after the Message of Gen. drifting thither from all quarters in- Jackson, already quoted, urging that creased with it, until the business of anti-Slavery agitation be made a pearresting, detaining, advertising, and nal offense-a more decisive hostility selling unowned negroes became a was resolved on by the champions most lucrative perquisite of the Fed- of Slavery, under the lead of Mr. eral Marshal for the District, yield- Calhoun. ing him a net profit of many thousands of dollars per annum. The advertisements in The National Intelligencer, United States Telegraph, Globe, Union, etc., of negroes whom he had caught and caged, and, in default of an owner, was about to sell, were widely copied in both hemispheres, provoking comments by no means flattering to our country nor its institutions. The plumage of the American eagle was often ruffled by

On the presentation, by Mr. Fairfield, of Maine (December 16, 1835), of the petition of one hundred and seventy-two women, praying the Abolition of the Slave-Trade in the District, it was decisively laid on the table of the House; Yeas 180, Nays 31-the Nays all from the North, and mainly Whigs.

On the 18th, Mr Jackson, of Massachusetts, offered a similar petition from the citizens of the town of

Wrentham; and Mr. Hammond of South Carolina, moved that it be not received; which was met by a motion to lay on the table. This was rejected-Yeas 95, Nays 121. But, finally, a proposition that the petition and all motions regarding it be laid on the table was carried-Yeas 140; Nays 76.

King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, Linn, McKean, Morris, Naudain, Niles, Prentiss, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Southard, Swift, Tallmadge, Tipton, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, Wright. NAYS: Messrs. Black, Calhoun, Cuthbert, Leigh, Moore,

Nicholas, Porter, Preston, Walker, White."

In the House," Mr. Henry L. Pinckney, of South Carolina, submitted the following resolve:

Mr. Buchanan" presented a memo"Resolved, That all the memorials which rial of the Caln (Pennsylvania) quar-sented to this House, praying for the abolihave been offered, or may hereafter be preterly meeting of Friends, asking for the same in substance as the above. Though opposed to granting the prayer of the petition, he preferred its reference to a Select Committee or that on the District. But, finding that there were insurmountable obstacles to such a reference, he would move that the memorial be read, and that the prayer of the memorialists be rejected. The question being demanded on Mr. Buchanan's motion, it was carried by the decisive vote of

34 to 6.

tion of Slavery in the District of Columbia, and also the resolutions offered by an honorable member from Maine (Mr. Jarvis), with the amendment thereto, proposed by an honorable member from Virginia (Mr. Wise), and every other paper or proposition that may be submitted in relation to that subject, be referred to a Select Committee, with instructions to report that Congress has no constitutional authority to interfere in any way with the institution of Slavery in any of the States of this confederacy; and that, in the opinion of this House, Congress ought not to interfere in any way with Slavery in the District of Columbia, because it would be a violation of the public faith, unwise, impolitic, and dangerous to the Union; assigning such reasons for these conclusions as, in the judgment of the Committee, may be best calculated to enlighten the public mind, to repress agitation, to allay excitement, to sustain and preserve the just rights of the slave-holding States, and of the people of this District, and to reestablish harmony and tranquillity amongst the various sections of the Union."

Mr. Morris, of Ohio, soon after presented similar memorials from his State; whereupon Mr. Calhoun raised the question of reception, declaring "that the petitions just read contained a gross, false, and malicious After some demur by Mr. Hamslander on eleven States represented mond, of South Carolina, and Mr. on this floor." "That Congress had Wise, of Virginia, the Previous no jurisdiction over the subject, no Question was ordered on this resolve more in this District than in theYeas 118, Nays 47. Mr. Vinton, State of South Carolina." After a After a of Ohio, now demanded a division long and spirited debate, mainly by of the resolve into three parts, which Southern senators, Mr. Calhoun's mo- demand was sustained by the Chair; tion to reject was defeated by a vote and the first proposition, requiring a to receive the petition-Yeas 35, reference of all memorials on this Nays 10, as follows: subject to a Select Committee, was carried-Yeas 174, Nays 48: the Nays all from the South. The second proposition, regarding Slavery

"YEAS: Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Clay, Clayton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Hubbard, Kent,

16 January 11, 1836.

17 February 5, 1836.

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