"Our Boston Correspondance," New York Herald, July 26, 1856, p. 8: 2.
New York Herald
Our Boston Correspondance
Zak Rosenberg, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
OUR BOSTON CORRESPONDANCE.
BOSTON, July 21. 1856
The Last Fugitive Slave Excitement-Whig Meeting in Faneuil Hall-The Sumner Sympathy-The Brooks and Burlingame Controversy
The monotony of this city was broken during the last week by one or two occurrences of public interest. On Wednesday, considerable excitement was created in Court square and its adjacencies by the arrest and examination of a fugitive slave, called James Johnson, who had escaped from Mobile in the bark Growler. A large number of our citizens were on the gui vive. Visions of a mob, a court house surrounded by military, a proracted legal struggle, and a rendition of the fugitive, arose in the minds of thousands. The Vigilance Committee who manage the underground railroad, were burning to bring to a practical test the efficacy of the Personal Librety bill in extinguishing the claims of Southern masters to their colored human chattels. The newspaper publishers rubbed their hands in glee at the prospect of extensive sales of "extras," and the restaurators in the neighborhood of the temple of Justice, remembering the great bibulation that accompanied the nine days' tribulation of Anthony Burns, were in [illegible].
Johnson, who had been foiled in an attempt to escape by swimming, was brought before Judge Metcalf, at 5 o'clock P.M., in the Supreme Court room. The place was crowded with citizens of various colors, and an intense interest in the proceedings was manifested by the spectators, in consequence of a report having gained currenc that the United States Marshal was about to put his strong arms into the case. The fugitive was surrounded by his friends, who were estimating in round numbers the political capital they would make out of the affair. he is a medium sized mulatto, with a cunning look, worth, probably, six or seven hundred dollars in the Southern markets; says he is twenty seven years old, but is neare thirty-seven. Judge Metcalf listened with becoming dignity to the reading of the writ and the return thereon: and when the counsel for the prisoner moved for his discharge, he simply said, "Let him be discharged." There was great cheering in the court room, and the Vigilance Committee, by a concerted plan, ran out of the Court House in different directions, so as to puzzle the Marshal's posse, if they should attempt to arrest their prize. But there was no need of such a precaution, for Marshal Freeman was smoking a segar at his country seat in Sandwich, and Deputy Marshal Riley had heard nothing about the nigger, and wanted to hear nothing. There was much crowing in colored cock-a-doodledom on the hill, and many valiant Africans boasted loudly of what they would have done in the thuggery line if the United States authorities had interfered. The whole affair was blown over at sundown in the great disappointment of all parties intereested in excitements, and the fugitive has gone where he will find plenty of hard work, and the hardest of all to borrow a dollar a piece from those who were foremost in securing his freedom.
On Friday evening last, an effort was made to rally the whigs to Faneuil hall in behalf of Fremond and Dayton. The extreme heat of the weather prevented a full attendance, as the whigs of the old school are determined to keep cool during the campaign. large portion of the audience behaved in a silly manner, cheering Fillmore at every opportunity, and disturbing the meeting by the rowdyism. The ringleader was ejected and order restored. The speakers on the occasion proved that it is the duty of Webster whigs to vote for Fremont; but if the whigs do not perform their obligations to Fremont better than they did to Wehater they willl not give much support to the republican ticket. At present it would appear that the old whigs will maintain a masterly inactivity, and vote for any body they like at election, while the young men of that party who aspire to office will join the movement for Fremont.
The Brooks and Sumner affair has given a wonderful impetus to the republican cause in this State. Mr. Sumner had never gained the sympathy of the masses. he was admire simply for his scholarly attainments, and his polished orations. When he espoused the casue of the tree soilers he was much petted by them, but up to the moment when Mr. Brooks applied his cane to him, Mr. Sumner had but little hold upon the public mind, even here in Boston. Now, however, there is a strong feeling in favor of himself and his party. Brooks' gutta percha stick, like the sword of Alexander, has cut the gordian knot of politics, and thousands will vote for the republican candidate candidate, because a Massachusetts Senator has been cudgelled by a South Carolina Representative in Congress.
The refusal of Hon. Marshal P. Wilder to stand the nomination of the Know Nothings for Governor, is an indication that this State will go for Fremont. Mr. Wilder is a highly repsectable merchant and agriculturist. He has for several years been President of some of the most important agricultural societies in the country, and would bleed well if run for Governor with his own consent. He wants the office, and would have a chance of election if nominated under proper auspices. But he is shrewd enough to refuse to allow himself to be damaged by a nomination in opposition to the winning party in the State for this campaign, and so he has moved for a postponement of his trial to the some future term of the General Court.
The affair of Mr. Anson Burlingame with Mr. Brooks has created quite a sensation here. Having gone up like a rocket in speech upon the Sumner assault, he came down like a stick in his explanation when called to an account by Brooks. So much were our anti-slavery, anti-duelling Christians incensed at the spectacle of Senator Sumner bleeding for bleeding Kansas, that they desired ardently that somebody should shoot Mr. Brooks. When Mr. Burlingame pitched into the South Carolinian so gallantly, and signified that he was ready to assure the personal responsibility required by gentlemen of honor for his remarks, there was great exultation in this quarter' but when Mr. B. made a distinction between the act of Mr. Brooks and the actor, which precluded the idea of a personal recontre, they expressed their dissatisfaction so emphatically that their young champion was driven to retract his explanation and intimate that he is ready to fight, after all. Mr. Burlingame's repentant chivalry has put a new aspect upon the case, and the souls of thousands of ardent spirts, at this safe distance from the scene, are now in "arms and cages for the fray." But, although, a fight between Burlingame and Brooks would be very interesting, exciting and pleasant to many of our fellow citizens, it is believed, by well-informed persons, that Mr. Brooks is so "easily satisfied" that no collision will be caused by the card of that eminent acusationist, Mr. Burlingame.