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C. H. L. to Frederick Douglass and Martin R. Delany, October 15, 1848


Oct., 15, 1848.

Messrs Editors:ーThe few Free Soil men of Ross County, had a glorious time in Chillicothe yesterday. An impression was made on our citizens in favor of human liberty, to which they have heretofore been entire strangers.
The Hon. J. R. Giddings, addressed a large assembly in this place yesterday, setting forth the principles of the Buffalo Platform and arguing with resistless eloquence, the importance and necessity of their support by all Northern men. Strenuous efforts were made by meanly designing individuals to disparage the meeting. They endeavored to induce the more degraded colored persons to attend, both by persuasion and compensation. I am informed that a contemptible rum seller, in the shape of a landlord, was hired to send all the servants in his employ to the meeting; they vainly hoped that by this means, their truckling editors and stumpers might say, with at least some appearance of truth, that the meeting was composed of a few abolitionists and negroes. But these hopes were soon blasted, when at the hour of meeting the Court House was crowded to its utmost capacity by the "bone and sinew of the country," determined to hear for themselves.
Through a speech of some three hours in length, Mr. Giddings was listened to with the deepest interest. This I may say, is the first abolition speech ever delivered in Chillicothe, and this was of course, entirely political, and therefore far below that high stand taken by the pioneers of abolitionism in this country. The remarks of the speaker touching the pro-slavery character of Gen. Taylor and the vacillating course of the Whig party, created great excitement and called forth many remonstrances and interrogations from our Taylor demagogues, all of which were answered in that prompt and masterly manner which has always characterized Mr. Giddings in the Halls of the national councils. The burning rebuke which he administered to those fawning dough-faced politicians, was responded to with loud and enthusiastic cheers from all parties in the assembly.
At the close of the meeting, one Gen. John L. Green, formerly a member of the Ohio legislature, and only distinguished for his unceasing and disgraceful hostility to the repeal of the "black laws" of the State, and his general pro-slavery notoriety, gave notice that he would address his fellow-citizens at 7 o'clock, in the evening, at which time he would review the arguments and positions of Mr. Giddings. The speaker then requested the General to state what points in his argument he intended to attack. This he refused to do.ーHis Whig friends then called for him but he still declined.
At 7 o'clock the General's friends assembled. He arose and after looking about for some time among the benches to find his hearers, commenced his harangue, and after puffing away for an hour, like a man in the last "stages of desperation," his audience gave a few dry, unmeaning and apparently extorted cheers and yells, and dispersed with mournful rejoicing that they had vanquished an absent enemy. The meeting was what we call in the West, an entire failure. The evening of this meeting, Mr. Giddings addressed the people in Circleville.
The Whigs, since the State election, have given up Ohio, and depend on the vote of New York to elect Taylor.
C. H. L.


L., C. H.




C. H. L. to Frederick Douglass and Martin R. Delany. PLIr: NS, 3 November 1848. Sends account of Free Soil party meeting in Chillicothe, Ohio.


This document was calendared in the published volume and has not been published in full before.


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