Mr. Conway’s Lecture
In spite of the unpropitious condition of the streets not less than 1, 200 people were convened in the Church of the Puritans on Thursday evening, Jan. 30th, to hear a lecture from Rev. M.D. Conway of Cincinnati. The lecture appeared in compliance with the following requisition:
New York, Jan. 25, 1862.
Rev. M.D. Conway—Dear Sir: Understanding that you are to be in this neighborhood for a few days, and that you have a very carefully prepared statement of facts and arguments respecting slavery as involved in the present war, we are sure that we speak not for ourselves only, but for many others, when we express a strong desire that your lecture may be heard in New York.
As one born and nurtured in Virginia in close intercourse up to manhood with slaves and slave-owners, and therefore fully acquainted with Southern society—as one who has lived in the city of Washington and has recently come thence laden with the results of fresh observation—as one who, resident for some years in the State of Ohio, has enjoyed large opportunities of studying appreciatingly the sentiments of Northern and Western men, we are persuaded that your thoughts on the vital question now before the country must be more than usually fresh, valuable, and interesting, while we have full confidence that the author of “The Rejected Stone” cannot fail to present his thoughts in a manner to engage the earnest attention of all who will come to hear him.
Hoping that it may be in your power to respond to our request, and begging you to name an evening for the delivery of your lecture, we remain
Very Faithfully, yours,
George B. Cheever, Thomas J. Hall
Lewis Francis O.B. Frothingham,
Dexter Fairbank, H.A. Harit, M.D.,
W.E. Whiting W.C. Bryant,
Edwin West, M.D., Oliver Johnson,
Edward Gilbert, Sydney Howard Gay,
D. Plumb, Charles A. Dana
Kenyon Cox Charles L. Brace,
The lecture did not in any respect disappoint the expectations awakened by the publication of this call. On the contrary, it gave unalloyed satisfaction to the whole auditory, not a few of whom thought it in some respects the most striking presentation of the subject thus far made in New York. Mr. Conway’s central idea, of course, was—Emancipation indispensable to the salvation of the country; and he enforced it by arguments and illustrations, some of which were quite original, and, in the mouth of a native Virginia, very forcible and convincing. We undertake no epitome of the lecture, fearing to do injustice to the speaker by attempting to condense a production whose well-chosen words bore exactly the right relations to the thought they were intended to convey. We trust it will erelong find its way into print from the author’s own manuscript.