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DECLINE OF BENEVOLENCE.
As a proof of the declining disposition to contribute to the support of benevolent objects even in this country and this decline has been only observed since the nation has become so absorbed in the pursuit of wealth-the following facts are taken from the tract of Mr. Carey before referred
The annual subscription to the Seamen's Aid Society and the Impartial Humane Society of Baltimore is only one dollar each, and it is remarked, that to the first there are, in the wealthy and commercial city of Boston, but about 350 subscribers, and in the fourishing city of Baltimore only 300 to the second! They ought each to have at least 500 to 750 subscribers, with a subscription at the rate of two or three dollars a year. The annual subscription to the Female Hospitable Society of Philadelphia is two dollars. It had in 1824 500 subscribers, but the number has dwindled down to 108. The Provident Society of Philadelphia had in 1824 1015, but in 1833 only 186! None of these four societies give alms; they exercise their charity in the best possible form, by giving employment to the poor.
If the wealthy could but be induced to do more with their wealth while living, and leave less to be done with it when dead, they would effect much more good by their example, and be relieved, also, from the suspicion that, were it not for the impossibility of taking their wealth with them, they would still have been reluctant to part with it at all. The liberality of the dying is, in all countries, greater than that of the living: but one might have hoped that in America, where no man of great opulence can spend his money beyond a limited extent in personal gratification, as he can in Europe, there would have arisen up a class willing to spend their money in charity while yet able to see and enjoy the fruits of their munificence, instead of leaving it to the deathbed to stimulate them to part with that which they can no longer retain.
Mr. Stephen Girard is a memorable example of this kind of posthumous liberality. While living, his only pleasure seemed to be accumulation; and when he could accumulate no more, but not before, then he gave his six millions of dollars to found the college for educating orphans which bears his name. A number of similar instances of tardy generosity is given in the little work called the “ Annals of Benevolence," before referred to All, perhaps, were not
. able to give so much while living ; but all could, no doubt, have given a part, and felt no inconvenience from it; and
a the practice of living contributions should be encouraged, as
more wholesome to the giver, and more beneficial, in general, to the object to which the donations are applied. Here are a few cases :
W. B. Read, of Newburyport, who lately died at Marblehead, bequeathed 68,000 dollars for benevolent purposes, besides liberal legacies to heirs and relatives. John Low. ell, a citizen of Boston, who lately died near Bombay, has left about 250,000 dollars towards founding an institution in Boston for delivering lectures on scientific subjects. Dr. Joseph Fisher bequeathed 20,000 dollars to Harvard Uni. versity, for the establishment of a professorship of natural history. John M‘Lean, of Cincinnati, made a bequest of 20,000 dollars to establish an historical professorship in tlie same university. Mrs. Anna Maria Marsh, of Hindsdale, N. H., bequeathed 10,000 dollars to establish an Insane Asylum in Windham county. Mr. Pontalba, late of New-Or. leans, bequeathed his whole property, valued at 100,000 francs, towards building a college for the education of 60 young persons, 20 from each of the parishes of Mont L'Eveque, Senlis, and New Orleans. Mr. Taubman, late of Georgia, ordered by his will the emancipation of 48 slaves, who were to settle in that state provided the Legislature would permit them to remain as freemen; otherwise, to be sent to Liberia. Permission to remain having been refused, they were to be shipped for that colony; Mr. T. bequeathed 10,000 dollars for the purpose of settling them there, in the event of their emigration. Mr. Ireland, of New Orleans, lately deceased, left by his will to the Colonization Society one third of his estate, the whole of which is valued at 30,000 dollars. This makes 20,000 dollars from New-Or. leans in one year for this special object. Charles Ridgeley, of Maryland, bequeathed liberty to all his slaves, to the number of about 300, amounting, at an average of 200 dollars each, to 60,000 dollars.
Now there is hardly any one among all these cases in which the donor might not have given half the amount in money during his lifetime, and yet have had an income fully equal to his expenditure. He would have lost only the pleasure of accumulation, and had, in exchange for this, the pleasure of seeing with his own eyes the good his benevolence had accomplished ; and, as it respects the freedom given to the slaves, it would have been clearly better that this should have been wholly done during his life, as in this case nothing would have been lost ; for the hire of the same individuals at adequate wages would have secured the liberator their
DEATHBED GENEROSITY.-ANTI-ABOLITION RIOT.
labour, which was their only value to him, while to them it would have been of the utmost advantage to have had a home and a kind master on their emancipation, instead of being left, as they now were, to shift for themselves.
It is remarkable to witness the change of opinion on slavery which the approach of a deathbed generally produces. While the holders of slaves are in full health and vigour, and deriving a large pecuniary profit from the labour of their slaves, they believe, or at least assert, that it would be for the injury of the slaves themselves to give them their freedom. But as sickness approaches and death appears at hand, the pecuniary motive grows weaker and weaker, the perception of justice grows clearer and clearer, and the sense of responsibility to another tribunal sinks deeper and deeper; and then it is that the change is wrought which leads so many to do, as an act of justice and benevolence while dying, what they could not summon up virtue enough to do while living, depriving themselves, by this delay, of the full credit of pure philanthropy, and depriving the objects of their benevolence also of more than half the advantage which an earlier gift of their freedom would have en. sured to them.
Anti-abolition Riot at Philadelphia.--Opening of Pennsylvania Hall.–Attack of the Mob on the Building. - Demolition of the Hall by Fire.-Statements of the public Prints. - Additional Facts from private Sources - Continued Acts of Riot and Disor. der.---Public Meeting of the Firemen of Philadelphia. -A pathy and Tardiness of the public Authorities. - Opinions of the leading Journals.-Proclamations of the Mayor and Governor.- Attempt of the Mob on a Printing office.- Arrest of one of the Rioters of “respectable Fainily.”—Letter of David Paul Brown, the Barrister.-Wholesome “Thoughts upon Recent Events."
One of the most painful scenes we were called upon to witness in Philadelphia, and one that formed a melancholy contrast to the general good order, decorum, and peace of the city, was the destruction, by an incendiary mob, of the large public building called Pennsylvania Hall, erected for the purpose of holding public meetings for religious and benevolent objects, like Exeter Hall in London, and very nearly equal to it in size. The history and details of this transaction are so characteristic of the public feeling on slavery in this and in most other parts of the United States,
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whether slave states or free—and they are, for this reason, so likely to be misrepresented by partisans on either side—that I think it will be useful to record the circumstances as they transpired, with as much impartiality as possible, and while the evidence is accessible on the spot.
It appears that for some years past, since the cause of slavery has been so warmly agitated in the North, and emancipation demanded at all hazards, the friends of tbe slaves have found it almost impossible to obtain any public building, religious or otherwise, in which to hold their meetings for the purpose of discussing the question of abolition, and expressing their opinions freely upon it. To remedy this defect, a number of benevolent persons, chiefly, though not entirely, Quakers, determined on building a large hall, to be called the Pennsylvania Hall, the property of which was to be held in shares as a joint-stock, and the hall was to be let or rented out to religious and benevolent societies to hold their meetings in : abolition of slavery to be as freely discussed in it as any other public question. This hall was completed in the present month of May, and was publicly opened by the proprietors and directors on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of the month.
A body of delegates from the abolition societies of Bos. ton and the New England States having come on to Phila. delphia to assist at this opening, composed chiefly of fe. males, accompanied by Mr. Garrison, Miss Grimké, and other leading advocates of abolition, they occupied the hall for their meetings. This fact alone, of abolition being publicly defended in a city where, before the erection of this hall, no public room could be had for the purpose, excited the Southern people and their connexions in Philadelphia to a high degree; but it is thought that this would not have led to violence, had it not been accompanied by the following auxiliary "aggravations," as the opponents of abolition were pleased to term them.
Miss Grimké, a lady of good family in South Carolina, who was formerly a slaveholder, but who, from conviction of its injustice, left the South, and emancipated her slaves, and then entered the Society of Friends, of which she is now a member, was about to be married, and strangely enough chose Philadelphia to be the place of her union (her home being at Boston), and this exciting time of opening the abolition hall to be the period for its celebration; her husband was a Mr. Weld ; and, partaking of his bride's views as an abolitionist, the joint invitations of the bride and
bridegroom were sent out, to invite a wedding party that should consist of an equal number of white and coloured people, who attended the wedding together.
One of the arrangements at the hall was also so to mingle the white and coloured auditors that all the usual separations and distinctions between them were disregarded; and in going to and from the hall, white and coloured persons were seen leading arm-in-arm, a sight which had never before been witnessed, in this city at least, nor perhaps in any other part of America.
of America. Add to this, it is said that Mr. Garrison, in one of his speeches at the hall, spoke of General Washington as being "a man-stealer," and “a tyrant over his coloured brethren;" and these additional sparks alighting on an already highly inflammable state of public feeling, soon kindled into an open blaze.
The mob first assembled on Wednesday, and becoming more and more numerous and violent every hour, accomplished their great object, the entire destruction of the Pennsylvania Hall, on the following day, Thursday. The narratives of the public journals, taken from those of both parties in politics, may be relied on for the general accuracy of the facts; the opinions, of course, will differ, but I shall give them both, and then add what came to my knowledge through private sources, and what fell under my own observation, to complete the whole. The following is from the Pennsylvanian, a Democratic paper, of May 18:
“A very discreditable disturbance was made by a large mob at Pennsylvania Hall
, the new building of the Abolition Society, on Wednesday evening; the affair, however, luckily terminated with no results of a more serious character than the breaking of the windows. It was not a very valiant demonstration, either, on the part of those who amused themselves with throwing brickbats and broken bottles into the house, for we understand that the assemblage in the hall was chiefly composed of women; and to gather such an array to yell and throw stones, for the purpose of alarming females, was not exactly a manly employment according to our notions, even if those assailed were ultra and fanatical abolitionists. For the reputation of Philadelphia, we earnestly hope that we may not be called upon to chronicle a repetition of scenes similar to that of Wednesday night.”
This was written previous to the occurrence of the fire, which broke out, indeed, just as the morning papers are usually put to press; but on the following morning, May 19, the fuller narrative of the riot and fire was given in the same paper thus :
“ The destruction of Pennsylvania Hall by the rioters on Thursday night was complete. The fire has left nothing of this spacious and magnificent building but the bare walls, which stand as a disgraceful