Chatham Convention (Bordewich, 2006)

Fergus M. Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement (New York: Amistad, 2006), 418-419.
On May 8, [1858,] at a secret convention in Chatham, in Canada West, Brown proclaimed the establishment of his provisional government, based on the constitution that he had written at the Douglass home. Of the forty-six men present, the only whites were thirteen of Brown’s followers from Kansas. Among the more prominent blacks were Mary Ann Shadd’s brother Isaac, publisher of the Provincial Freeman, and two leaders of the Detroit underground, William Lambert and Reverend William Monroe, who chaired the convention. However, Tubman, Douglass, and [Jermain] Loguen were all notably absent, a portent, perhaps, that they had second thoughts about Brown’s ambitions. None of them ever disowned him. But they may have concluded that if his plan failed they were certain to be arrested, and the Underground Railroad possibly wrecked, as its lines, methods, and memberships were revealed. The delegates adopted the constitution that Brown had written with little debate, and unanimously elected Reverend Monroe the provisional government’s temporary president, and Brown its commander in chief. Brown left Chatham with the hope that hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadian blacks would eventually join his expedition. Only one did, Osborne P. Anderson, a printer who worked for the Provincial Freeman, and had been elected a member of Brown’s provisional congress.
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