In consequence of the extreme heat of the weather, it was deemed advisable to hold the meeting on the outside of the hall instead of the inside as had been announced.
At early candle light, a throng of 8,000 persons had assembled at the south part of the North Market Hall.
At the time announced, the Mayor of Chicago called the assemblage to order and Judge Douglas then addressed the meeting. . . . . He was frequently interrupted by the gang of abolition rowdies. . . . . Whenever he approached the subject of the Nebraska bill, an evidently well organized and drilled body of men, comprising about one-twentieth of the meeting, collected and formed into a compact body, refused to allow him to proceed. They kept up this disgraceful proceeding until after ten o'clock.
In vain did the mayor of the city appeal to their sense of order. They refused to let him be heard. Judge Douglas, notwithstanding the uproars of these hirelings, proceeded at intervals.
He told them he was not unprepared for their conduct. He had a day or two since received a letter written by the secretary of an organization framed since his arrival in the city for the purpose of preventing him from speaking. This organization required that he should leave the city or keep silent; and if he disregarded this notice, the organization was pledged at the sacrifice of his life to prevent his being heard. He presented himself, he said, and challenged the armed gang to execute on him their murderous pledge. The letter having been but imperfectly heard, its reading was asked by some of the orderly citizens present, but the mob refused to let it be heard, when Judge Douglas at the earnest request of some of his friends, left the stand.
[Illinois Journal, Springfield, September 4, 1854]
"THE DOUGLAS SPEECH"
This grand affair came off Friday night.—The St. Louis Republican had made one grand flourish in favor of the immortal Douglas by means of its correspondent, that Douglas would achieve wonders at Chicago and be sustained by the State. Office-holders far and near appeared at Chicago to enjoy his triumph. The evening came, and—we will let the Democratic Press speak—
Mr. Douglas had a stormy meeting last evening at the North Market Hall. There was a great amount of groans and cheers. But there was nothing like a riot or any approach to it.