The New York Daily Tribune, June 29

Reporting on the Rutland Free Convention.

The Reformers’ Free Convention.
Gathering of Free Lovers and Spiritualists.
Resolutions Reforming Everything.
Free-Love Speech by Mrs. Branch.
Religion Used Up—The Bible Put Down.
The Unruly Member Loose.
Rights and Wrongs of Women.

MORNING SESSION—Friday June 25, 1858.

This Convention was called to order at the precise time mentioned, 10 a.m., by Mr. John Landon, a leading merchant of Rutland.

It was evident from the first that Spiritualism was the predominant feature, there being at the first start Miss A. W. Sprague, Mr. H. B. Storer, Miss H. F. Huntley, Miss M. S. Townsend, and Miss Sarah A. Horton, all trance mediums, on hand and ready for any spiritual exigency.

On the platform were Mrs. E. L. Rose, Mrs. Julia Branch, Mr. Marble, Mrs. F. D. Gage, Henry C. Wright and Thomas Curtis of Philadelphia, and S. B. Brittan and Dr. Newton.

On calling the meeting to order, Mr. LANDON made a short speech, the purport of which was that this is a free Convention, and that perfect freedom of speech will be permitted to all to speak on all topics.

The Rev. Mr. JASON F. WALKER, of Glen’s Falls, was nominated the President of the Convention, and Mr. Yerrington, of “The Liberator,” was appointed the official reporter of the Convention.

Vice-Presidents—Dr. H. Koon, Gibson Smith, Thomas Middleton, H. C. Wright, E. L. Rose, Sherman Thomas, Joseph Adams, A. Kilburn, Mary L. Sweetzer, P. P. Clarke, G. F. Kelly, E. B. Holden, Mrs. A. W. Sprague, Joshua Young, Mrs. Sarah A. Horton, R. R. Fay, G. F. Hendee, William Weston and Amidon Rice.

Secretaries—William H. Root, A. B. Armstrong, J. R. Forrest, N. Weeks, L. Clarke, George H. Bigelow.

Business Committee—Jason F. Walker, J. R. Forrest, N. Weeks, H. P. Cutting and Albert Landon.

Committee of Entertainment—B. F. French, R. T. Aldrich and L. Russell.

[. . .]

Mr. Wright gave a funny dramatic parody of the ordinary style of Christian worship.

A number of letters were presented from the Progressive Friends, but they were too lengthy to be read and were put on file.

The Convention is held in a large canvas tent, which is pitched just outside the town; it is capable of holding about 2,500 people, but on the first morning there were not more than 350 or 400 people present.  The noon trains, however, brought large reinforcements, among whom were A. J. Davis, Mrs. Farnham and others, and on the whole the crowd is respectable as to numbers.  Several Shakers were on the spot.

The people of Rutland are very much opposed to the whole demonstration, and have recently held a series of prayer meetings, in which they especially besought the almighty to interpose “the strong arm” to prevent the show.


The gathering has greatly increased since morning, and a more varied assortment of ismists, and itionists as the world’s people persist in calling them, could hardly be assembled.  Yet the expected celebrities, especially the newly proselyted converts, who have not until lately been willing to believe themselves capable of reforming all creation in thirty minutes, are not present.  The absence of certain literary men of some note, who were confidently expected, is especially regretted.  There are present certain men and women, who are always known as prominent leaders in Spiritualistic, Temperance, Abolition, and other “Reform” demonstrations, and many of whom are popularly supposed to make their several livings by the mysterious practice of the said occult arts, but in point of talent and solid ability as yet developed in the action of the meeting, this Convention is very weak.

Aside from the speakers and active participators in the exercise, the men who lounge into the big tent, and lazily stretch themselves on the grass and chew straws while they listen with benevolent patience to the tirades from the platform, are as listless, lazy, unshorn and “shiftless” looking as any set of unfortunates ever gathered into a crowd with the thermometer in a torrid humor.

As for the ladies who grace the assembly with their fair presence, aside from the publicly-known female advocates of Women’s Rights and other Utopian luxuries, and who would not thank us to praise their beauty and accomplishments, a single remark will suffice.  If any one of them should ever be accused of being what people of carnal minds sometimes call “good-looking,” not a jury in the land but would instantly acquit her of that unfounded charge, even though that jury were composed of a dozen very old bachelors with wigs and false teeth, who would be naturally enthusiastic on the subject of female beauty.

The ladies of the town of Rutland are very few of them visible in the convention.  Indeed, it is asserted that when their prudent papas heard that the “Free-Love” Convention was inevitable in their vicinity, the good-looking young ladies were all sent out of town, “for fear of accidents.”  A number of “roughs” from the village occasionally stray into the tent, but there have been as yet no symptoms of any sort of an outside row.  The people have opened none of their houses to the unwelcome strangers, but refrain from displaying any violent indignation.

The tent is a big one; there is no bar in it, but several booths outside dispense lemonade, root-beer and ginger-pop to the thirsty crowd.

It will be readily seen by the tone of the resolutions published yesterday that there is a strong and even solicitous and feverish anxiety that the subject of “Free Love” be kept down.  There will be strenuous outside exertions made, by certain ones who desire to have their skirts clear from the “Free Love” heresy, to kill down the whole subject, though they will not dare to gag down any speaker who may insist on introducing the forbidden theme.  Although the Free Lovers are in a minority most disastrous to their hope of making a great public impression and securing the indorsement of this Convention, it is not feasible that they be tied hand and foot by the overwhelming majority, on account of the pretentious guaranty of “free speech to everybody on every subject.”  If I mistake not, there will be one or two fractious members; one or two who will have the pluck to undertake the Free Love fight, and who have the will and the power to make themselves heard, or to upset the entire Convention, and incontinently break it up in a grand row.  The discussion of the resolutions is to be stayed off as long as possible, and debate is to be as much as possible avoided, unless the fractious ones insist on it, until the hour of adjournment draws nigh, when they will probably be rushed through; so the programme looks at present.

Nothing of great importance has been yet done.  The speeches this afternoon amounted to very little, the speakers having been all arranged beforehand, and allowed 30 minutes each, in which to unburden themselves.

Mr. H. C. Wright made a short speech.

The Rev. William Goodell followed.

Mr. S. B. Brittan spoke a speech about the “Natural Evidences of Immortality,” and Mrs. E. L. Rose also spoke on the same theme, taking ground opposed to Mr. Brittan in some respects.

Elder Miles Grant of N. Y. let off a few words on Millerism.  Other short remarks of no particular interest were made by Mr. Loveland and Mr. S. C. Chandler.

Mr. Joel Tiffany, one of the set speakers, introduced the subjoined resolution:

Resolved, That under the divine government, the law of progress, from the monad to the highest angelic society, is manifested by a thorough organization.

Taking this lucid proposition ostensibly for his text, he talked for half an hour, but didn’t say anything.  At the end of this time he was going on for another hour or so, when he was interrupted by the chair, who told him time was up; and a man in the back part of the meeting also objected to having the time of the meeting thus employed.

Dr. H. F. Gardner was highly indignant at the interruption, and moved that Tiffany go on for the 20 minutes yet remaining before adjournment.

The Chair refused to entertain the motion.

Mr. Gardner wanted to know why the motion could not be entertained, and wanted the Chairman to understand that other people had rights there as well as the Chairman, and he renewed his motion.

The Chair explained to Mr. Gardner that he (the Chair) was a gentleman, and knew how to treat every man as a gentleman.  He said he had understood the motion to be that Mr. Tiffany be required to fill up the twenty minutes, and not that he be permitted so to do.  If he was only to be permitted, and not required, he would put the motion.

Mr. Gardner expressed himself satisfied with the apologetic statement of the President, and after this truly Pickwickian explanation of the ruling in the Gardner case, and wanted the Convention to help him make a rule for the government of unruly speakers who want more than their own time.  The convention concluded to abide by present rules, and refused to help the Chairman pass the vicious ones.

Then Mr. Toohey gave an elaborate puff of Mr. S. T. Munson’s Spiritual books, which he said were on the ground for sale.

Then Mr. Wright said there was a woman who had some books on Woman’s rights she wanted to sell; and that he also had some books of his own on the ground, some at $1, some at 30 cents, and some at 25 cents each.

Mr. Goodell had also a few copies of Cheever’s Great Speech, and some other documents, that he wanted to sell.

When this little bit of gratuitous advertising was all disposed of, the Convention adjourned till evening.

In the evening Mr. Mayo gave an address on the “Bible,” which was so conservative, being at least two or three octaves below the concert pitch of the Convention, that it was received with weariness.

The rest of the evening was occupied by a Miss Temple and Miss Sprague, trance mediums, who gave the usual dose of trance stuff, both being a very weak imitation of Mrs. Cora Hatch.  Miss Temple had her speech learned by heart, and was sadly out in her grammar.  Her speech was openly jeered at by the hearers, and she was finally choked off by an indignant demand that if the spirits came down and took part in the Convention, the spirits should conform to the rules and not occupy more time than belonged to them.

The great battle on Free Love will probably come off to-morrow morning.


The Convention was called to order at 8 o’clock precisely, and the President announced the order of business would be the discussion of the various resolutions presented by the Business Committee, and that the ten minutes’ rule would be applied.  He then introduced Dr. Brown, of Vermont, who spoke to the first resolution [. . .] He wished to dissent from the principles laid down in that resolution.  He understood this to be a Free Convention.  Various radical ideas were here represented, and many clash and excite discord.  What we want to do is to combine this many-sided Convention into a whole.  He did not believe the heaviest blows at wrong could be struck by talking against the Bible, the Churches, and against Religion in its popular sense.  We should strike at wrong where we feel the wrong.  He then proceeded to give his views on certain of the laws of the land, which he thought should receive the attention of the Convention, and thought that honorable body could employ their time to no better than to their discussion.

Mr. B. attracted little attention as the great mass of the Convention were expecting something more succulent than legal debates.

Mr. Henry C. Wright then got the floor.  What he was going to say was lost to the world, for with commendable gallantry he gave way to Mrs. Branch of New-York.  This lady is the leading spirit of the Free-Lovers here, and is a star of the first magnitude.  She is of interesting appearance, and is wonderfully cottoned up to by the masculines of the assemblage, and a great deal of free love seems to be expended on Mrs. Branch.

The Abolitionists and some others who wanted the floor, and some others who wanted the floor, and some especially who desired to kill the floor, and some especially desired to kill down the debate on the Marriage question, and so shirk the “Free-Love” business altogether, were in dire dismay as this formidable-looking enemy took the field.

Without giving any opportunity to the foe to outmaneuver or circumvent her, she, like a first-rate general, began the battle.  She pitched the dread bomb-shell into the camp in the shape of a speech, which, as it is the most radical and able one that was made on the subject, is worthy of perusal.

[. . .]

A grand commotion was instantly visible in the ranks of the marriage conservatives, but no one had the pluck to step into the ring and meet the matter fairly.  So a little dodging was resorted to.

Mr. Stephen S. Foster, the husband of Abby Kelley, stepped forth.  He proposed to amend the marriage resolution, which is as follows:

Resolved, That the only true and natural marriage is an exclusive conjugal love between one man and one woman, and the only true Home is the isolated Home, based upon this exclusive love.

He proposed to insert after the word “woman,” the phrase, “based on principles of perfect and entire equality.”

This amendment being seconded, he went on to give some of his views of the subject in a speech of much vigor and gesticulation.  He thought that the evils arising from the marriage relations sprang from inequality in the marriage.  People were not earnest enough about choosing their mates.  He believed that the man suffers as much from an unhappy marriage as the woman.  He went on to explain in rather circuitous language that he and Abby got on very well together, and, on the whole, had no desire to be separated. He himself, he said, had found no evil in his own marriage relations, for he made his wife equal with himself in every respect.  He had tried both the blessedness of single blessedness, and the blessedness of wedded life.  The day he entered into the marriage state, he made a solemn vow, not to God, not to man, but to his own soul, to regard her as his equal in everything.  He said, however, that as a general rule every woman in the eyes of her husband is a slave and a breeder of slaves, but he did not want any violent remedies immediately applied; he wanted the marriage relation to be fairly tried before it was discarded by the community, for to dissolve the ties of marriage would make this world a hell in advance.  He was with Mrs. B. in her view of the evil, but not in her view of the remedy.

Joel Tiffany of Ohio indulged in some very plain-spoken remarks.  He thought that the people didn’t properly distinguish between love and lust, and that “free love” was but another name for free lust.  Men marry wives that they may be of use to them, and after marriage, when a man finds that she is not perhaps so useful as he expected, and his ardent love evaporates, he regards his wife too much as a thing of purchase, as he would a horse or an ass.  The women look upon the men in the same light and make a calculation beforehand of what use a husband is to be to her.  Thus marriage becomes a matter of bargain and sale.  Men and women are not married in a true sense.  This is what the marriage relation undoubtedly is, and yet the community upholds the system.  Such a union is not a union of love, but of lust.  When a man finds in a woman all that his soul years for, and when a woman finds a man who is the full embodiment of all her desires, if that man and woman unite under those conditions, then they are truly married.  Woman then becomes to man a source of inspiration, and man becomes to woman a source of strength and power.  She is so perfectly united with him, her soul with his, that he cannot develop without developing her, and they thus become one.

Voice in the crowd—Which is the one?


The same voice—Which owns the farm?

Tiffany—Both.  [Laughter.]

Here the President called time, but many voices called louder than the President for the speaker to go on.

Mr. Tiffany’s time was extended by a unanimous vote, so he proceeded.  Man united woman to strength and affection—woman gracing and sanctifying man—this is Marriage.  The sooner those who are wandering about, seeking a boot that will fit, are caught and caged, the better.  To break up the marriage relation and let those who are dissatisfied therewith loose to go wandering about trying on all God’s creation, is not the remedy for ill-assorted marriages.  When two people are married, and are fighting and quarreling, don’t dissolve the connection for fear they will go and cheat somebody else.  No, rather thank God that when every one of these termagants are married, there is another one out of the market.  Go to work at the man, go to work at the woman, and properly prepare them for the marriage relation.  Let us have the law as it is till we have tried this experiment, and we shall then learn that marriage may be happy.  The pure minded man and woman feel not the galling chain; it is only those who need restriction that regret they can’t get away.  The institution of marriage will and ought to exist until men and women are redeemed from their sensual appetites.  The defect is not in the marriage institution, if man had not been lustful.  The man that is perfectly developed, redeemed from his sensual nature, must still have the old law continued over him.  So long as man is gross and selfish and lustful, the present law must keep its hold over him.  But the individual who wants to be redeemed must first perfect himself.  Let us not have universal license.  [Commotion of approval.]

Mr. Toohey—Will Mr. Tiffany tell me by what rule he prophecies that a man who has once made a blunder will go on ever committing blunders?

Tiffany—By history.  I never knew a man do better the second time.

Mr. E. L. Rose spoke thus: As a Woman’s Rights woman, and a Human Rights woman, I must take my part in this discussion.  We have had a glowing description of the delights of a perfect marriage, and of pure conjugal love.  I sympathise with it, but facts are stubborn things.  And what are the facts?  They had been told here today by a woman.  She herself went above, beyond, below the influence of woman.  Ignorance has usurped authority and have stamped woman with the stigma of inferiority.  We want equality.  Bring up woman to feel the right that is in her.  Let her become as independent a being as man is.  Do not tell her from childhood to look up to man as her protector.  Teach her that it is dangerous to place the happiness of one person under the supreme control of another, be he called king, priest, or husband.  When woman is once recognized as the equal of man, she will cease to be a slave.  Give us the same chance that man has in politics, in education, in property and in the marriage relation.  She went on to say that she seldom spoke of herself, but on this occasion she would do so.  She was a married woman, and had been so for twenty years; perhaps she had as many rights as she ought to have, but then her husband was a “law unto himself.”  She had no personal complaint to make.  In this case she battled for principle, not that she was in an unhappy state in her private affairs.

Mr. Evans a Shaker, hailing from the town of Lebanon then made his appearance.  He was glad the time had come when the question of the marriage relation could be discussed in an open Convention.  God is male and female, a dual being.  Man should be taught so to worship.  He did not believe the Bible to be the word of God.  It was simply the record of the high spiritual experience of the men whose compositions it contained.

Mr. Thomas Curtis of Philadelphia made the following speech, which is particularly interesting:


I was very glad to hear the remarks of Mr. Evans not because I believe that there is a male God and a female God upstairs somewhere, but because it illustrates a very important position with regard to woman’s rights, namely, the perfect individuality of woman.  We have had some speakers here who have taken the ground that women are equal to men, and therefore that they should have their rights.  Another ground has been that women are superior to men, and therefore they should have their rights.  I think there is ground which stands behind all this.  We do not declare, among men, that because one man is equal to another, therefore he has rights, but that he has rights because he is an individual of the human race, and has all the rights and all the privileges which pertain to human beings in society.  Now, I want to say to you married women, when your husbands come to you and say, “My dear, you and I perfectly sympathize with each other; you and I are one; you and I are united together to form one perfect being,” they are humbugging you.  [Laughter.] You and your husbands are two individuals.  It is not necessary for your happiness that you should think alike on everything; it is not necessary that you should act alike, or walk in the same paths of daily life; but it is necessary for your happiness that each man and woman, whether married or unmarried, should exercise their own individuality; that they should think for themselves and act for themselves.  Why, if man and woman, together, when married, form a pair of scissors, what becomes of Henry C. Wright’s idea that the authority of every human soul is supreme?  It is annihilated at once.  When you find, young woman, (I am referring now to young unmarried women)—when you find a young man who comes to you and says, “My dear, you and I are perfectly sympathetic; you and I are one individual, and designed to remain so through all this life and through all other possible lives”—take my word for it, he is humbugging you!”  [Laughter]  You are a fool if you believe him!  I know a great many people who preach these doctrines, but whose practices are far different.  They find a young woman with whom they assume to have this perfect sympathy and oneness, follow from that sympathy [favors] have been obtained, they go to some other woman, and talk to her in the same strain; they are continually changing their “sympathy” and “oneness” from one object to another!  If the man feels attracted by sympathy to the woman, and the woman to the man, let them unite themselves together, to devote their individual strength to the purposes of use.  If they want to build a house, let them unite as both may best agree, and build it; if they want to enter into any other work, whether it be having children or for any other purpose connected with the family or marriage relation, if they wish to unite together as two individuals, they can do so, and maintain their perfect individuality.

Our friends, Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Gage, have told you that they are married.  So am I, although I have not been married twenty years, as they have been.  I married myself to my wife, and she married herself to me, upon the express understanding not that God sanctified it—we did not want God in the matter—not that it was sanctioned by magistrate or priest, because we cast that idea aside as none of their business—but because we saw that we could in marriage fulfill our highest and best use, and carry out our happiness to the fullest extent.  When we were married, we expressed that sentiment, and when we agree to separate, we shall accomplish that separation without the help of God, or priest or magistrate—we don’t want the consent of either of the three—we do not want to be united because God unites us, and we will not be separated because God separates us.  We will act upon our own judgment and opinions; each respecting the impressions, not which I state, or which she states, but the impressions which are for both, and which are the common property of all, and as such to be used both by men and women.  Let every man and woman, in the marriage relation as well as out of it, understand that they are not half a pair of scissors, but whole pairs, cutting out their own work.  It does not matter what kind of work it is—they are both a perfect pair of scissors, calculated to do a perfect work, and as such can do their work and do not require to get husbands or wives to help them do that work, but each is required to do his or her own work.

Mrs. Eliza W. Farnham, in a set speech, introduced the following resolutions.  As she was set down in the programme to speak on Woman’s Rights, she took considerable latitude.

Resolved, That it behooves us, as persons professing free thought and righteous purpose toward the highest welfare of society as well as of individuals, to look frankly and courageously in the face the monstrous evils which grow out of the wrong and wicked generation of human beings; and that merely to continue working, however zealously and tenderly, for the reform of such persons, after we have idly suffered this irreparable and greatest wrong to be done against them, were a great and sinful waste of the powers to know and to do with which God has beneficently endowed us.

Resolved, therefore, That we will diligently search into all the means and conditions by which the good of our race may be thus primarily secured, and trusting that a wise and pure God has incorporated into his works no laws or elements which pure and earnest men and women may not only learn but worthily and profitably teach, we will seek to unfold to both the knowledge and truth whereby they may be brought to act faithfully and wisely in the relation of parents as well before as after the birth of their offspring.

Resolved, That we regard the weight of this responsibility as resting upon woman, and believe that she can never fill the measure of her duty till she is inspired with a consciousness of her higher powers and corresponding rank in the scale of being, till she is freed from the oppression of unequal laws, the slavery of mental darkness, vanity and [    ] in which she has been trained, and is made truly free and wise, both as a woman and mother, and that for these ends, grand and unattainable as they may seem to many, we believe no miraculous interposition is necessary, and no impossible effort demanded on the part of those who may receive and teach the truth, but that here as elsewhere we shall find that our Heavenly Father hath been beforehand with us, and has already more than half accomplished the great work in the susceptible, intuitive, spiritual nature which he has bestowed upon woman.  Therefore,

Resolved, finally, that this paramount claim upon the intelligent, progressive life of our age and country is thus to instruct woman in the grandeur and dignity of her great natural office; to enlighten her, and through her instrumentality to make man sensible of the fearful consequence of her enslavement in it, to encourage and strengthen her to demand as her and her children’s indefeasible right, that freedom and control of her person in the marriage relation which alone would make her to console her nature, and its physical and spiritual capacities, to assume at any time the office of mother; and that, in the acknowledgement of the rank and freedom herein claimed for her, we see the only source of a spiritual, enduring and harmonial civilization as well as the hope of a nobler race than has ever yet occupied the earth; that we regard humanity at present as more the offspring of its father than of its mother, by reason of the fact that man has been the positive power on all the plains of life which we have yet passed, and we can only look for its essential advancement above the intellectual and material refinement which so far is the expression of the masculine, by the embodiment in it of the intuitive life, harmony, tenderness, fortitude, integrity, purity and love, which are the characteristic elements of the feminine.

She began with the announcement that her views “struck into the metaphysical,” and her leading proposition was that “woman is made organically superior to man, as she is confessedly his superior spiritually.”  Woman must be educated and developed equal to man, for as imperfect woman must bring forth imperfect children.  What she said beside this she has said a hundred times before, and her views of the subject are perfectly familiar to all those who have read the various reports on the subject.

Mrs. Frances D. Gage of St. Louis here came forward, and she spoke on the same subject; and when she had repeated her stereotyped speech she retired into the background, the assembled multitude yawning a grateful farewell.

Mr. Thomas Curtis of Philadelphia, wanted to speak to one paragraph of the Slavery resolution.  He wanted to know why the God that Christians worshipped didn’t go down South and put an end to Slavery?  What is your God good for, he asked, if being all-good and all-powerful, he does not put an end to an acknowledged evil?  And why does he not stop the slavery of women?  How can you be expected to do your duty when the God you worship doesn’t do His?  I say that we should hold up to scorn and contempt any God that does not do what the people of Vermont ought to do.  All this, to be sure, was not very lucid, but it was accepted as a part of the performance, and after a resolution had been passed, limiting the speakers to ten minutes each, Mr. Chandler p[   ]ed forcibly into the Business Committee; he accused them of being one-sided, of being all Spiritualists, and favoring the reformers of that party.  He had come 1,200 miles to attend this Convention, and he had thought it was to be a “Free Convention,” and now he wanted to know if others were not to have a fair chance?

Mr. Clayton also came out with a strong accusation against the Business Committee.  Injustice had been done him as an individual.  He had his own peculiar views of reform, and had drawn up a resolution expressing them, and had handed it to the Committee, who had not reported it to the Convention, and he believed it had been designedly withheld by the Committee.

Mr. H. P. Cutting, a member of the Committee, defended the Committee; but Mr. Clayton was none the better for it, and his views were no more heard of.  The Convention adjourned till afternoon.


In the afternoon the Abolitionists were to have the matter their way, and to say their say.  At the appointed time Mr. Parker Pillsbury opened the ball.  The first part of his speech was taken up with an attack on the Republican party, saying that it was more Pro-Slavery than the Democratic or the American parties have ever been.  In proof of which he quoted the statements of Senators Wilson and Hale, that before nominating Fremont for the Presidency, the Republicans had made every possible effort to secure a slaveholding candidate.  He then attacked the American Tract Society, on their recent proceedings on the subject of Slavery, indulging in his characteristic Abolition invective against the members of that Society, and the Church and clergy in general.  He then said: From 1830 to 1840 we had one continuous succession of revivals of religion—these were called the “blessed years.”  But just at that time Mexico, a neighboring republic, a Catholic country, without any revivals of religion was abolishing Slavery—they laid their hands on the dragon of Slavery and slew him before the sun—we meanwhile were reviving religion, and to such an extent did we revive it that half a million of converts were added to the Church—and half a million also were added to the number of those in bondage in our land.  He had heard that a man in Brazil once advertised for sale silver Holy Ghosts for $1 each—plated Holy Ghosts for 50 cents each, and a large variety of Holy Ghosts at twelve shillings a hundred—but we, the American Christians, sell the very image of God Almighty in the persons of the slaves of the South; 75,000 Mexicans were butchered in the Mexican war, by the hands of Protestant Americans, that we might have more States to offer to the Moloch of Slavery, and then, when all was done, the Church got down on her hypocritical knees and thanked God that Mexico was now open to the propagation of the Gospel.  The sin of this nation is not disbelief in the immortality of the soul, but it is the crime of Slavery.  He walked into the Trance Mediums after this sort.  He regretted deeply the time wasted last evening by “lisping girls, whose good intentions no one questions, but whose capacities for teaching in this great crisis are very questionable.”  He proceeded to cast some considerable blame on those who had changed the programme of the Convention, and said that had he not been somewhat discontented thereby he would have given a better account of himself.

Some volunteer singers executed “A Good Time Coming, of The Breaking Down.”

Mr. William Goodell followed in a speech on Slavery.  He thought the time had done for a decision on this subject.  He therefore, to that end, introduced a number of resolutions which were of the stereotyped sort, and which are not worth printing.  He argued that we can never get rid of Slavery by abolishing the slave trade.  African colonization he also considered useless, and he then went on to give a sketchy history of the various means that have been proposed to effect the banishment of Slavery from the land, and the history of the failures of them all.  The only way to get rid of it, he said, is to deny at once that the Constitution tolerates and protects Slavery, and then by a combined national action, to dispose of it altogether.

After he had kept on for half an hour, and his speech was getting to be particularly dry, the audience, who were juicily disposed, and wanted something of a better quality, called for him to stop.  Calls of “Time’s up.”

A vote was taken on the question of extending the time of Mr. Goodell, and Mr. Goodell was put down by an overwhelming vote.  Mr. G. remonstrated and “didn’t believe this was the intelligent sentiment of this meeting, that free discussion should be thus choked down;” but the “intelligent sentiments” were inexorable, and the Chairman decided that he must subside—and he accordingly sat down.

Mr. Nicholson was very wrathy, and thought it was a humiliation and a shame that the mouth of William Goodell of New-York should be stopped in the State of Vermont, in the County of Rutland, and in the town of Rutland; and he moved the extension of the time.

Mr. Jocelyn of Plymouth thought that certain ones who had come to the meeting were disappointed.  They wanted to hear something beside about the slave, and he did not want any more of Goodell.

The chairman began to speak, but was interrupted by Mr. Landon, who said that “on the Slavery question we are all connected and ready to act, and we want to hear something else.”

Cries of “Right, we’ve had enough of your Goodell.”

At this juncture a man with a white beard announced himself as the representative of the Aborigines of the country, and offered some resolutions about the Indians, to be discussed at the leisure of the Convention.  Then he sat down, and no more was heard from him.  He had evidently adjourned himself sine die.

Mr. Bailey wanted to know if this Convention was to be ruled by a tumultuous mob.  [Cries of “Put him out,” “Order,” “Give him some ice-water.”]

In the midst of which confusion the Chairman put the question, and declared it his impression that the vote was in the negative, but Mr. Nicholson wanted to have it put again, which the obliging Chairman did, and it was again rejected, and Brother Goodell was effectually squelched, after being four times voted down in this model Free Convention.

Mrs. Ernestine L. Rose made a speech on Slavery, but she said nothing new, striking, or at all interesting.  After she had spoken a long time,

Inquiry from the back—how long do you allow these chickens to peep? when the Chairman called time, and Mrs. Rose caved in.

Mr. Goodell rose to explain that Mrs. Rose had misapprehended his speech of yesterday.

Mr. Landon interrupted to explain something.

Mr. Goodell persisted in going on, when Mr. Landon got in his inquiry, which simply was to ask to what resolution all the people were speaking.

Mr. Goodell wanted still to go on, but the Chairman told him he must subject himself to the action of the Convention, but Brother Goodell knew better than to try that, and sat down.

Then Mr. Stephen Foster read the Slavery resolution for the information of Mr. Landon, and proceeded to speak to the resolution himself, and reiterated his old speech, which he always brushes up for State sessions, in the course of which he had a pretty smart dialogue with a gentleman in the back part of the meeting, who interfered with some queries, and was soon catawampously chawed up by the rampant Foster.  The chief original point brought out by this little episode was the assertion by the reckless Stephen that “the Methodist Church are the biped hounds who hunt the slave north of Mason and Dixon’s line.”

Mr. Randall told him that he was overstepping his time.

Mr. Foster appealed to the Chairman to protect him, and the Chairman silenced Mr. Randall when that gentleman had very independently said all he wanted to.

Mr. Landon again tried to say something, but was talked down by Mr. Foster, who went on to advise the women to march up to the ballot box at the next election in a solid phalanx, and demand their rights.  He said if he were not a non-resistant he would walk up to the polls with his wife, if she was of the same opinion with himself, though he had to wade knee-deep in blood, and demand her rights.  And then he informed the Spiritualists that he had more Spiritualism in his big toe than in some of their whole bodies, though he made no pretension to Spiritualism.

Mr. H. C. Wright made a short speech for the purpose of telling an anecdote, the application of which was that he (Mr. Wright) would see the Union damned to everlasting damnation, before one single human being should be sold into Slavery to prevent it; and concluded with the sentence, “Down with your religion, down with your churches, down with your Bibles, down with your Christs, down with your Gods that cannot exist without authorizing Slavery.”

Mr. H. B. Storer of New-Haven wanted Spiritualism to be more fully discussed.

Mr. Cutting here made an Abolition speech, and branched off into a disquisition on popular theology, which, he says, “sends Plato, Socrates and a long line of heroes, philosophers and statesmen to hell, and if so I want to go to hell, for I had rather go to hell and be a man that go to heaven and be a skulk or something worse.”

Mr. Morton, of Plymouth, thought that “the minds of thousands of children are now being enslaved by Sunday-school teachers,” and some more to the same effect.

Mr. Chandler also had something to say about ecclesiastical slavery, and

Elder Grant wanted to stand up for religion and the Bible, and pitched into Spiritualism with the following verse from the Bible:

1st. Timothy, iv. 1 and 3—“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [. . .] “Forbidding to marry [. . .].”

Mr. Seaver of Boston, among other things, said: Religion has made this world almost a hell, but we can make a heaven here; and if we have a heaven here to go to as well as one hereafter, then we have two heavens that we are sure of, and so we have the advantage of the Christians.

A Committee of three was appointed to raise money to pay expenses.


Mr.Sennatt opened the entertainments of the evening with an elaborate address on the Influences of Woman on Present and Coming Reforms.  He commented at some length on all modern theologies, and made a sarcastic review of the last religious revival, which he asserted could only be possible in a money crisis.  He then began on his theme and talked about the necessity of educating woman, and securing to her a social and mental equality with man.  His discourse was but a repetition of what had been often better said by the women themselves, who had taken a part in the proceedings of the Convention.  The only new point he made was, that there is now nothing in the laws of the land to prevent women serving on “juries,” if any eccentric sheriff should take it into his head to put their names on the jury list.

Another song was sung by the vocalists, after which Mrs. Mary F. Davis, wife of Andrew Jackson Davis the prophet, proceeded to address the audience on the same subject.  She thought it made no difference whether or not woman be inferior to man; she is entitled to all his rights, by virtue of being a moral, responsible human being.  At this point, she digressed, and introduced a long and very fulsome puff of Mrs. Ernestine L. Rose.  While she was in the puffing humor, she gave Mrs. F. D. Gage a large dose of flattery—modifying the compliment, however, by saying that Mrs. Gage is “aged,” and has borne eight children.  She then said a few words about the statutes concerning woman, which now “deform humanity and deform woman;” about the insufficient compensation for woman’s labor; on the propriety of educating woman as thoroughly as man.  She then introduced another small puff of Mr. H. C. Wright’s book on maternity.  She topped off with a bit of poetry, and then, having finished her present mission, she sat down.



The ten-cent law going into effect this morning, the crowd was sensibly diminished; dimes are evidently scarce in this community, or they are highly cherished by the inhabitants thereof.  Not more than 200 persons were willing to pay their way into the tent; so the chairman did not call the meeting to order till an hour after the time named in the call.  In vain he waited for recruits, but they did not come, so at 9 o’clock the scanty audience were called to order.  The crowd increased, however, and before night there were at one time at least 3,000 persons present.

Mr. Morton spoke on religion, on which subject he has some peculiar views, one of which is that “to be a Christian is among the lost arts; and that there isn’t a Christian now in the world.”  Nobody controverted that statement, and in ten minutes he gave way to

Mr. Toohey, who offered the Free-Trade resolution that has been already printed in the regular list of resolutions reported by the Business Committee.

Mr. Robson, an Englishman, seconded the resolution, and in a short speech expounded the doctrine of free trade as understood by him.  He offered nothing particularly new.

Mr. Tiffany moved to amend the Free-Trade resolution by striking out all after the word resolved, and inserting:

“That reforms looking to the moral elevation of individuals or of society, to be successful, must have their basis in religion.”

He desired particularly to get out the ideas of the audience on religion, and he ventilated his own ideas thereon till his time was up.  He was metaphysical and obscure.

At this point a woman, too sick to stand, was brought in by two stout men.  She was seated in a chair, and looked very weak, but she was placed on the platform and there attentively listened to the proceedings.

Mr. H. C. Wright spoke to the resolution, and said he thanked God that the question of Free Trade came up on God’s day, for he wanted to consecrate the day by the discussion.

Mr. Branch introduced the Aboriginal subject again, and occupied his ten minutes with talk about the wrongs of the Indians to the attention of the benevolent and charitable, and their claim to at least a part of the funds that philanthropists annually export to Christianize the valuable souls of the residents of Borrieboola Gha.

Mr. Curtis offered an amendment to Mr. Tiffany’s amendment, to the effect that “there is no religion that is worth anything that is not based on reform.”  And he regretted that the names of religion and reform had been connected at all, for according to his view, “Religion is one of the blackest and most scoundrel like names that could be chosen.  There was no fraud, no wickedness and no rascality that has not been perpetrated under the name of Religion.”  He then said a few words on free trade, but his principal object seemed to be to say something vicious about religion, and having accomplished this amiable intention he sat down.

Dr. Gardner moved that Mr. A. J. Davis be invited to speak at 2 p. m., without limitation of time.

This gave rise to a sharp discussion.

Mr. Pillsbury didn’t want Davis to have more of a chance than others.

Dr. Gardner hereupon leaped up irate.  He said there had been much dissatisfaction with the management of the Convention.  People had said that the Spiritualists wanted to monopolize too much time.  And yesterday a woman [Mrs. Rose] had objected to the question of Spiritualism being introduced under any circumstances; and that Mr. Pillsbury had also denounced Spiritualism; but for his part, he thought that Spiritualism underlies all reforms, and should receive a special attention.

Mrs. Rose got up to defend herself, which she did with vigor and unction.

Mr. Foster took a part in the discussion, and he and Dr. Gardner had a wordy set to, until the Chairman entreated them to waste no more time thus.  At the end of the last round Foster, who is an old hand in the ring, had rather the best of it.

Mr. A. J. Davis got up to say what was the “Magnet” which had drawn him to the Convention, which he did at some length, referring to the call.  He would not have come here if this had been a mere Spiritual Convention.  He had once attended one, and then he had taken a solemn promise with himself never to attend another; but he came because it was a free Convention, at which the Shakers were as welcome as the Spiritualists.  He would say something about Spiritualism when the time came, but did not want any special time set.

Here Mr. Curtis proposed “three cheers for Andrew Jackson Davis, the man of this Convention.”

Mr. Toohey instantly opposed any cheering, and nobody cheered.  He then proceeded to support the claims of Spiritualism, and in the course of his speech he attacked Mrs. Rose, whom he accused of having “persistently, both in public and in private, ever since her presence here, abused and ridiculed Spiritualists and the Spiritualistic movement.”  He proceeded with acme vehemence to state that he had been insulted and his religion trampled on.

Mrs. Rose defied all men to prove that she had attacked Spiritualism in any way save in fair argument.

Mrs. Davis thought the Convention should not insist on having Mr. Davis speak out of rule, as he had once declared that he only wanted the same chance with the others.

Dr. Gardner popped up, and favored the audience with a long explanation, and also pitched slightly into Mrs. Rose, who smothered her wrath and did not reply.

Mrs. Farnham thought Mr. Davis ought to speak, and hoped he would speak, as folks wanted much to hear him.

Mr. Randall agreed with Mrs. Farnham.

This discussion was continued for more than an hour by Messrs. Davis, Landon, Foster, Storer, Gardner, Ely, and others; but as Mrs. Rose did not defend herself any more, there was no more fun, and the resolution was adopted, bringing up the subject of Spiritualism at 2 p. m.

Mr. Tiffany then discussed the Religious question, and was answered by Mr. Sprague, who demolished several of Mr. Tiffany’s arguments.

Mr. Toohey then brought up the Education Resolution, and spoke on that.  He advocated the study of phrenology and physiology by the young, and that they be put through a thorough course of gymnastic training.

Elder Grant combated the position taken by the Convention in the fifth resolution—the one on marriage.  He took a Bible view of the question, and fought the Free-Lovers tooth and nail.

Mr. Storer followed in the same strain until the adjournment.


Mr. A. J. Davis introduced and spoke to the following resolutions.  He said nothing particularly new, or other than he has said a hundred times before:

Whereas, the historical fact is undeniable that novel signs and mysterious manifestations have been intimately associated with the inception and subsequent inauguration of every moral dispensation; therefore,

Resolved, That we hospitably welcome all the well ascertained phenomena of so-called modern spiritualism, and cordially commend them to the [     ] and careful investigation of truth-loving and intelligent persons; furthermore,

Resolved, That while publicly avowing our unqualified confidence in such well-ascertained phenomena, as being both timely indications of a new era, and evidence of a higher existence, we at the same time proclaim them (the facts of Spiritualism) as neither supernatural nor miraculous, but as beautiful operations and legitimate developments of man’s spiritual constitution.

Mr. Loveland made a short speech on the subject of the Spiritualistic views of reform.

Mr. Landon introduced Mr. F. W. Evans, a Spiritualistic Shaker.  He proceeded to disabuse the public mind with regard to certain popular fallacies respecting Ann Lee, and the Shaker doctrines on the subject of marriage, and went into a long disquisition on the doctrines of Shakerism and Spiritualism.  The points which he discussed are as follows:  The progressive idea of God in the human mind.  God has been manifested many times to man.  To Abraham he is manifested as “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  To Moses as “I am that I am.”  To Moses as “Jehovah,” a word with a feminine termination, indicating the Female in Deity.  Man goes through four planes of progression—the Physical, Moral, Intellectual, then the Spiritual.  Each of these planes has a corresponding spiritual sphere, in which is the heaven or hell of that plane, or dispensation.  From this sphere come the spiritual manifestations to its own plane.  God is manifested first in the character of a father; but to Ann Lee he was manifested in the character of a mother.  Christ was a ministering spirit from the fourth heaven, the most superior spiritual being that had ever ministered to the human race, not even excepting the God of the Hebrews.  Jesus (a distinct being from the Christ) was simply the first Christian man, and the only one until Christ made his second appearance to Ann Lee.  The chief principles of Christianity are:

No Private Property;
Separation from the World, or Earthly Governments;
A Virgin or Celibate Life.

The Apostolic Church was formed on a plane a little below the Church of Christ.  The Gentiles’ Church was formed on another plane, below the Apostolic, retaining the doctrines of private property and marriage.  The Roman Catholic Church was on a plane still below, introducing war and Slavery.  The Protestant Church [was] on a plane still lower, combining itself with the earthly governments.  The Materialistic Church is the last one and the lowest one.  Spiritualism is the angel spoken of that “came down from heaven, and the earth was lightened with his glory.”  The “Babylon the Great” of the Revelations is the Roman Catholic Church, and the Protestant Churches are the harlot daughters.

By the second appearance of Christ all the principles above named were re-revealed to and established in Ann Lee and her followers.  He then proceeded to state some of his experiences of Spiritualism, running back, he said, as far as 27 years ago, and expounded the doctrines of Shakerism to a length which became wearisome to the audience, and he was requested to sit down, which he did, and

Mrs. E. L. Rose got up to speak on the negative side of Spiritualism.  She, however, gave way, and was seen no more during the Convention.


The whole evening was taken up by a discussion between Elder Grant and Joel Tiffany, commencing on Spiritualism, and ending in an out-of-place argument on the meaning of certain texts of the Bible.  Mr. Parker Pillsbury interfered in a vigorous speech, objecting to having the time of the Convention thus wasted.  An attempt was made to hoot him down, but he stood his ground manfully, and finished his speech.  There were strong symptoms of a row for a time, but the crowd were too much enervated by the heat to engage in a quarrel, with any degree of spirit, so the mess was prevented.

The usual resolutions of thanks were passed, after which the Convention adjourned sine die, Elder Grant firing a number of particularly hot shot into the Spiritualistic ranks as the crowd separated.


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