The Boston Fugitive Slave Case.


   We announced a few days ago that Anthony Burns, a fugitive slave belonging to Mr. Charles F. Suttle, of Alexandria, Va., who ran away in March last, was arrested in Boston, on Wednesday evening last. On the following day he was brought before U.S. commissioner Loring, when Mr. Brent testified as follows:

   I reside in Richmond, Va.; am a merchant; have resided there four years; know Mr. Charles F. Suttle; he now resides in Alexandria; he is a merchant; know Anthony Burns, (witness identified the prisoner as Burns;) now see him at the bar in front; he is the man referred to in the record which has just been read; he is owned by Mr. Suttle as a slave; he was formerly owned by Mr. Suttle's mother; Mr. Suttle has owned him for the last twelve or fifteen years; I once hired Anthony of Mr. Suttle; this, I think, was in the years 1846, '47 and '48; paid Mr. Suttle for his services; know that he was missing from Richmond on or about the 24th day of March last; have not seen him since until a day or two past. Last night I heard Anthony converse with his master.

   After some remarks from the counsel, the case was postponed until Saturday morning. Burns, it appears, manifested a desire to return home with his master, and the following conversation is said to have taken place between them:

   Suttle.--(to Burns) Have you not always received kind treatment from me?


   Suttle.--Have I not always permitted you to go where, and work for whom you pleased?


   Suttle.--When you was sick, did I not give up my own bed that you might be made as comfortable as possible?

   Burns.--(affected to tears)--You did, master; you did, kind master.

   Suttle.--Do you want to go back to Virginia?

   Burns.--I Do.

   Suttle.--Will you go back?

   Burns.--I will. I want to go today. I'm good deal happier at home.

   His only object in leaving at all appears to have been a species of curiosity, which being thoroughly gratified, he desired to return. His representations are that he has always been well treated, and well cared for in every respect. He reached Boston by water from Richmond, where he was employed.

   During the excitement several of the abolitionists were in Court. Among them Garrison, Theodore Parker, Wendell Phillips, Mellen, Lanson, Abby Kelly and others. On the outside of the Court House were many colored people, but there was no unusual excitement at the time. 

   The numerous fanatics of Boston, however, could not permit the occasion to pass without a demonstration, and a meeting was called to assemble in Faneuil Hall, on Friday night. The call attracted hundreds more than could get inside the building. The principal speakers were Wendell Phillips, Thedoore Parker and Francis W. Bird. The tenor of the speeches was highly inflammatory--denouncing the fugitive slave law as one which should not be obeyed, and counciling open resistance. The Post of Saturday morning says:

   The meeting was presided over by George R. Russel, of Roxbury, supported by a list of vice presidents of the most unquestional abolition stamp. Speeches were made by F W Bird of Walpole, remarkable more for his slang than for his eloquence or elegance; by John J Swift, a young man very full of wrath, who told the people they must not let the slave be carried out of Boston--that there was no law to keep him, because the passage of the Nebraska bill had inflicted 113 stops on the fugitive slave law, and it was too late to talk about compromise, and giving the audience the assurance that he should always be on the side of liberty; by Wendell Phillips, who would have the slave set free in the streets of Boston, and congratulating the audience that the city government was with them, which had instructed the police not to interfere; that to-morrow must show whether we will do our duty; that there is no law in Massachusetts, and the sovereignty of the people must begin, that the audience must keep their eyes on the fugitive, and never lose sight of him in the street, but be on perpetual guard; that Boston must redeem herself of the stain for allowing Sims to be carried back, and concluded by reiterating his caution to keep his eye on them; and by Theodore Parker, who commenced by calling the audience fellow subjects of Virginia," because there is no North, the line of the South running away to Canada; that there are two laws, the slave law and the popular soverignty [sovereignty]; that Boston once resisted law on the ground that was not just was not law, and arguing that they were bound to resist the law and rescue the slave, moving that when the meeting adjourn, it adjourn to meet in Court square the next morning at 9 o'clock. 

   Vociferous cries were raised of "To-night! to-night!" and Mr. Parker, after vainly endeavoring to bring the audience to adopt his motion, moved that they go to the Revere House and call upon the slave catchers to-night. The mob spirit seemed to be up, which the ones who had conjured it would fain allay, and Phillips again took the stand to endeavor to throw the aid of his eloquence on the troubled waters. His appeal was that they would defer everything till to-morrow, when he would go with them and rescue the slave in broad daylight. It was in their power to block up the doors so that they could not get him off. The best men sympathized with their cause; what they called the best men, for he counted them the best men who were ready to trample law under their feet. They would injure their cause with such men by violence, and a zeal that would not keep till morning would never free a slave. 

   He was here interrupted by a voice from the gallery, stating that a mob of negroes had assembled in Court Square, and were attempting a rescue, moving that the meeting adjourn, which was immediately acted upon, and the immense mass proceeded to Court Square. 

   During the evening a series of inflammatory resolutions were offered by Dr. S.G. Howe, which were not adopted, in the excitement of the stampede. The greatest confusion reigned throughout the meeting, and all the elements of mobism seemed to be at work, evincing themselves in answers to the appeals of the speakers. 

                     FURTHER PARTICULARS.


   BOSTON, May 28.--The case of the fugitive slave Burns, has caused a Sabbath of great excitement in our usually quiet city, and continues to agitate the public mind. Indications of an organized attempt to lynch the Rev. Theodore Parker and Wendell Phillips, who are looked upon as the instigators of the recent outrages, has induced the mayor to detail a strong police force for the protection of their persons and property. There has, however, been no outbreak to day. 

   The Court House Square was cleared last night and the Court House surrounded with fence ropes.

   A detachment of one hundred United States troops are garrisoning the court house, and two companies of Boston military are quartered in the City Hall.

   Handbills were circulated to-day denying the report that Colonel Settle had sold Burns. It says he offered to sell him for $1,200 and the money was raised and offered him, but when he demanded more, and the bargain was broken, though the Commissioner advised him to keep it.

   Printed notices were left in every church and pulpit this morning, requesting the prayers of the congregation for the escape of Burns from his oppressors. 

   The abolitionist are very active in getting up secret meetings. Large delegations are expected from Salem, Worcester, New Bedford and other places to morrow.

   One thousand pistols, principally revolvers, are said to have been sold by the dealers in this city on Saturday. 

   An inflammatory printed circular, addressed to the yeomanry of New England, has been widely circulated in the country towns by the vigilance committee of Boston. The country people are requested by it to come to the city to-morrow to witness the sacrifice, and then go home and take such action as manhood and patriotism may suggest.

   The funeral of James Bachelder, who was killed during the riot on Friday night, took place this afternoon. But few were present except the immediate friends of the family.


"The Boston Fugitive Slave Case," Richmond (VA) Whig, May 30, 1854, p. 2.

Location of Stampede
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Location of Coverage- City
Location of Coverage- State
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