Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History


No Title.

Frankfurt, Kentucky, Commonwealth [Opposition]

(17 December 1859)

[Pointing Finger] It is pleasing to observe the reaction which is rapidly taking place in Northern sentiment. The sympathizers with the mad act of John Brown and his deluded followers, though few in numbers, made a great deal of noise at first, and almost convinced some too credulous Southern men that their ravings were a fair reflection of Northern feeling. But now that the excitement of the moment has passed, the strong undercurrent of genuine Northern patriotism is beginning to be felt. Conservative Union meetings, at which resolutions condemnatory of the Virginia invasion and of all incendiary attempts to excite the slaves against their masters are passed, are being held throughout the entire North. The following telegraphic dispatch will give our readers a true idea of Northern sentiment:

Excitement at Philadelphia -- Riot Anticipated.

Philadelphia, Dec. 15, There is some excitement at present existing here, and there are prospects of a riot tonight.

An anti-slavery fair is being held in Concert Hall, and a meeting at the Assembly Buildings.

During the meeting this morning, a request was received from the Mayor, to remove a flag hanging before Concert Hall, as a violation of the ordinance in obstructing the streets. The flag bore certain words and characters which might lead to a disturbance of the peace; also an order from the Sheriff, that the Fair should be closed, and the hall deserted before 3 o'clock this afternoon.

This proceeding produced much excitement. -- The Abolitionists in council, resolved to proceed in a body to Concert Hall to protect their goods.

The offensive flag was removed, and an order of the Sheriff was demanded by the owners of the building, who object to the action of the lessee in lending it for such purposes.

G.W.Curtis is to lecture to night, on the aspect of the slavery question, at National Hall.

Advertisements appear in the papers for a meeting outside, to adopt such measures as the exigency may require, "to prevent the dissemination of principles calculated and intended to arouse a spirit of the most intense animosity in the community, which may lead to fearful consequences, and to check hireling incendiaries from making further inflammatory addresses in our loyal city."

The Mayor is taking every precaution to prevent a disturbance, which seems almost inevitable, if either side turns out in strength.


Mr. Curtis lectured to night to an audience of two hundred, while about 10,000 people attended a meeting outside. The latter party was addressed by Gen. John D. Miles, Richard Peters, and others.

Soon after Curtis commenced, several of the mob threw stones at the building, breaking the windows.

Five hundred police were stationed in the vicinity, and immediately made a rush on the rioters and arrested several. This summary proceeding had a tendency to calm the excitement, which first threatened serious consequences.

Major Henry and the Sheriff were on the spot, directing the police.

During Curtis' lecture he was several times hissed by the inside audience. The hissers were immediately ejected by the police.

The excitement is subsiding, and possibly the trouble is ended.

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