Sympathy for Fugitives in Milford & Mendon

    A meeting was called on Sunday, April 27th, and 5 o'clock P. M., at the Methodist Chapel,
    Milford, to talk of Slavery, and to ask for aid for a family of four persons, (father, mother,
    son and daughter, from southern bondage,) to bear their expenses to Canada, that they
    might find protection on the shores of a Monarchy from the blood-bound cruelties of our
    Republican institutions.

    A large meeting promptly assembled, among whom were the several ministers of the place,
    and the congregation had the appearance of being deeply interested in the object for which
    they were called together.

    These stripped, and bruised, and wounded brethren were then presented to sympathy and
    consideration, in a brief and simple statement of some of the woes they had endured in
    slavery, and their noble struggle to escape.

    The Rev. Mr. Pond somewhat reluctantly spoke next, saying that he came to act rather than
    to speak.  He made some very wise and good remarks, showing that his conscience was in
    the right place, with regard to the Fugitive Law although he evidently took care that his
    heart should not be too much affected.

    He bowed rather more than I should to human governments, by saying that after acting in
    obedience to the Divine Law, he would, in order to show his good Citizenship, willingly suffer
    the penalties inflicted by wicked rulers!  Although, as a Non-Resistant, I might have to suffer
    the wrong, I should not do it to show my gratitude for the great blessing of being so
    governed.

    However I have no fault to find with Mr. Pond, as a Law and Order man.  He is winning for
    himself great respect by his independence and enlightened toleration, quite in advance of
    his narrower, minded brethren.  Mr. Eaton, the Universalist minister spoke warmly and
    eloquently, committing himself in opposition to the Law that obliged these panting Fugitives
    to hide behind Victoria's Crown, or be dragged into hopeless slavery.  The Methodist
    minister (Rev. Mr. Bolles) fervently and earnestly pleaded in their behalf, and also in behalf
    of those chained, under the grasp of their oppressors-the millions, who have never drawn
    the breath of freedom.  He evinced the true spirit of the reformer, and proved that he was
    familiar with the vocabulary of Love and Liberty.

    Mr. Clark, a lumber merchant, formerly from Maine, addressed the audience very pertinently
    and feelingly.  A collection was then taken up and the following persons chosen a vigilance
    committee: Wm. A. Hayward,Jeremiah Kelly, Hiram Hunt. These are all efficient and tried
    friends of Liberty, and I rejoice in their appointment.  I know them and I know that they will be
    a shelter to the flying slave.  E. D. Draper of Hopedale expressed thanks for what they had
    done, and remarked, as we intended to "keep full" here, we should often give them a
    chance to assist in the same way.  Br. Haynes, of the Methodist church, suggested holding
    another meeting to supply them with clothing &c.  But as the collection amounted to thirty-
    three dollars, it was thought best to give some other village a call for that purpose.  A wish
    was expressed that enough be raised to put them through to Canada, and we thought
    probably thirty dollars was sufficient.

    W. H. Fish of Hopedale closed the services by pretty thoroughly denouncing the "Powers
    that be," especially that worse than Haynau Daniel Webster.  After crowding around the
    fugitives and shaking hands with them, in a manner that evinced deep and heart-felt
    emotion, the audience gravely dispersed.

    We all felt that such a state of things could not long be in Massachusetts, but that a volcano
    was forming that would soon burst the accursed fetters which bind her to that loathsome
    carcass of human woe, and we came home glad of this evidence that Milford, in its
    increasing prosperity, had a heart to feel and to do her duty.

    This column from The Practical Christian, May 1851, the newspaper of the Hopedale
    Community, wasn't signed but it seems reasonable to assume that the author was Adin
    Ballou.  It was followed by another article seen below.  This one is signed A. H. P. which
    must have been Abby Hills Price.
                                                                                                                                        
      Mendon, May 4, 1851

    A meeting was held in Harrison Hall (Mendon), on Monday, at 5 P.M., for the same
    purpose.  Addressed by several speakers from Hopedale, and very eloquently by a new
    minister just hired there, who evinced aspirit up to the present crisis.  A collection of nine
    dollars and thirty-six cents was taken, and a box of clothing pledged, which was forwarded:
    and they are now started, well fitted out on their path of exile, banished from all early
    associations, to a dreary land already crowded with sufferers.  We found the least possible
    cost of their journey, would be nine dollars each.  So that they would have but little left to
    aid them after their arrival.  Yet they will know that they are free, and safe from Republican
    Oppressors.    A. H. P.      

               Abolitionism in Milford, Hopedale and Mendon            Escaped Slave, Rosetta Hall      

                        
   Anna Thwing Field's Memories of Abolitionist Activities in Hopedale   

                  
Underground Railroad                          Site of Abolition Meetings in Hopedale   

                                     
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