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Address of the Committee Appointed by a Public Meeting

Address of the Committee Appointed by a Public Meeting

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Excerpt from Address of the Committee Appointed by a Public Meeting: Held at Faneuil Hall, September 24, 1846; For the Purpose of Considering the Recent Case of Kidnapping From Our Soil, and of Taking Measures to Prevent the Recurrence of Similar Outrages

Fellow Citizens of the United States:

A shameful outrage upon the sacred rights of Humanity has lately been perpetrated in our borders. It was one of those cases in which the wrong done to one man, puts into danger the rights of thousands of others, and affects principles dear to all. It was a case, which, if passed over in silence, would seem to show that we refuse to grant to others those rights which we would die to maintain for ourselves and our children.

A young man, held in cruel bondage in the State of Louisiana, driven to desperation by his wrongs, and hopeless of the future, resolved, at whatever risk, to flee from his master and take refuge among the freemen of the North. He hid himself in a ship, then ready for sea, and lay down upon the cargo with a little bread and water by his side to make the fearful trial of living, through the weary days and nights of a passage of two thousand miles, in a dark, hot and stifling hold. The brave fellow arrived safely; the ship cast anchor in a port, which, of all others in the world, history would point out as the haven of the oppressed, - the Port of Boston. But the owners of the ship, fearing the laws of Louisiana and the loss of a gainful traffic rather than the laws of Massachusetts and the loss of their good name, determined to send him back to bondage.

But they knew that this would be an offence not only against humanity, but one punishable with the State Prison; and, therefore, they stealthily, and by force, carried away their victim from their ship, before it reached the wharf, and kept him concealed among the islands in Boston harbor.

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