Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/344

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protest, as Americans, against a ruler on this continent, in the adjoining country, who tramples upon the law of the land, who smiles approbation upon passionate mobs, bent upon outrage and murder— who openly congratulates the country he rules because lawless violence has suppressed the rights of public meeting and free speech—who has no other answer to a criminal charge against himself than hisses and yells and paving stones and pistols. Not in one Canadian city, nor on one sudden and unexpected day, was this resort to anarchy and mob rule allowed and approved, but in many of the chief cities of Canada, one by one,—day after day.

We tell this ruler that it is our interest and duty, as Americans and lovers of liberty and order, to protest against lawlessness and revolution on this continent in every country north of the Isthmus. We tell him that when a ruler breaks the law and depends for his defense on the bludgeons and revolvers of a besotted mob, he has taken the manacles off anarchy; he has appealed to the flames for protection; he has let revolution loose!

We want no mobs or revolutions in America,—and least of all revolutions in the interests of privilege and caste and foreign power. Boston knows the difference between mobs and revolutions. Her history tells her that a mob is a disease, while a revolution is a cure; that a mob has only passion and ignorance, while a revolution has conviction and a soul; that a mob is barren, while a revolution is fruitful; that the leaders of a mob are miscreants to be condemned, while the leaders of a revolution are heroes to be honored forever.

Here in Boston, 117 years ago, a crowd of citizens attempted to drive out of the streets the foreign soldiers, whose presence was an insult and outrage. The leader of the crowd was a brave colored man named Crispus Attucks, who was the first American killed by an English bullet in the Revolution. The Tories said then, and they kept saying it still, that that crowd of patriotic citizens was a mob; and that Crispus Attucks and Maverick and Gray and Patrick Carr, who were killed with him, were rioters and criminals. But the State of Massachusetts says: "Not so! They were heroes and martyrs, and this year a monument to their deathless memory shall be raised on the spot where their blood was shed." Compare this result with the pro-slavery mobs of half a century ago—the well-dressed and respectable mobs of Philadelphia and Boston—the mobs composed of "our first families."

Half a century ago a pro-slavery mob howled down the eloquent voice of Birney in Cincinnati, and threw his presses and type into the Ohio River. About the same time a Philadelphia mob burned the hall of the Abolitionists in that city; an aristocratic first-family mob publicly flogged the benevolent Amos Dresser in the streets of Nashville; a respectable Beacon Street mob dragged William Lloyd Garri-