The Liberator

Boston, June 10, 1859


Meeting of Colored Citizens of Boston.

      A meeting of the colored citizens of Boston was held o Monday evening, May 23rd, 1859, at the Twelfth Baptist Church, for the purpose of sympathizing with the persons implicated in the Oberlin Rescue case, and devising ways and means to assist them and their families.

      William Wells Brown was called to the chair, and Edward M. Bannister appointed Secretary.

      William C. Nell, Lewis Hayden and Nelson L. Perkins were chosen a committee to report resolutions.

      The chairman then gave a history of the Oberlin Cases.

      William C. Nell, from the committee, submitted the following resolutions, prefacing them by reminiscences of the men at Oberlin, and by reading extracts from the speech of Charles H. Langston: -

      Resolved, That we have watched with absorbing interest the trials at Cleveland, Ohio, instituted by the Federal Government against the noble band of Oberlin Rescuers, who, for an attempt to save a brother from falling into the hell of American slavery – thus on their part obeying the golden rule, ‘Whatsoever ye would that me should do to you, do ye even so to them’ – have been arraigned and tried s guilty of crime.

      Resolved, That our hearts have been warmed by their daily and constant exhibition of patience in suffering, their unflinching adherence to principle, in fact their martyr-like spirit, under unwarrantable and tyrannical inquisition of the slave power of this nation.

      Resolved, That we rejoice in the revival of the organization known as the Sons of Liberty, under leadership of that veteran war-horse of freedom, Joshua R. Giddings, and transmit to them our hope and belief that when the emergency arrives, they will prove to the recreant sons of the Buckeye State, and slaveholders North and South, that resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

      Resolved, That the sympathies of our hearts are herewith tendered to the entire gallant company of rescuers, and we commend to the reading of the entire nation the manly, thrilling and eloquent speech of Charles H. Langston, delivered before the Court – a speech worthy of the occasion, an deserving high prominence in the annals of this the second revolution for liberty in the United States; therefore,

      Resolved, That a Committee of Finance be appointed by this meeting for the purpose of collecting funds in aid of these our brothers.

      In support of the resolutions, eloquent and stirring speeches were made by Rev. L.A. Grimes, Rev. J.S. Martin, (form Buffalo,) Lewis Hayden, Rev. William Johnson, T.W. Steambury, and others; when, on motion, the series were unanimously adopted.

      A financial committee of ladies and gentlemen was then organized, which immediately commenced collecting, as an earnest of more material aid.


      At a subsequent meeting, held at the same place on Wednesday evening, June 1st, T.B. McCormick, of Oberlin, delivered an interesting and eloquent speech, detailing his observations and experiences in regard to the Fugitive Slave Law excitement in Ohio, and elsewhere, and presenting graphic sketches of the worthy men tried, and now imprisoned, at Cleveland.

      He was followed by John J. Smith, Wm. H. Logan, Rev. J. B. Smith, and others; when the financial committee reported progress, having collected fifty dollars.

      After perfecting arrangements for forwarding this and whatever more may be collected to its destination, and soliciting the publication of these proceedings in the Liberator, National Anti-Slavery Standard, Frederick Douglass’s Paper, and Ohio Anti-Slavery Bugle, the meeting (which was an enthusiastic one) adjourned sine die.


Edward M. Bannister, Secretary.