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This beautiful building, which was destroyed by a mob on the night of the 17th of the Fifth Month, (May,) 1838, was situated at the south-west corner of Delaware Sixth street and Haines street, (between Cherry and Sassafras streets,) in the city of Philadel hin
et front, by one ho
t, ERRATA, Lage 78–in caption of Alvan Sewart's Speech, for « on a resolution,” read on Patton's reso. Page 106—twenty-fourth line from top, in part of the edition, for « fourteenth,” read sixteenth.
vuva ine forum, on each side of which stood an Ionic column, from which sprang an arch, the soffet or under side whereof was divided into panels filled with roses ; over this arch, in large gold letters, was the motto
VIRTUE, LIBERTY, AND INDEPENDENCE,”
Behind the arch was a dome divided into panels, supported by pilasters and an entablature of the Grecian Ionic order,—the whole forming a chaste and beautiful arrangement. On this forum was a superb desk or altar, with a rich blue silk panel ; behind this stood the president's chair; on each side of this was a carved chair for the vice presidents ; next to these were sofas ; in front of which stood the secretary and treasurer's tables, with chairs to match. All these articles were made of Pennsylvania walnut of the richest quality : the chairs were lined with blue silk plush ; the sofas with blue damask moreen; and the tables were hung with blue silk.
The ceiling of the saloon was formed into one large panel, with coves all round the wall ; in the centre of this panel was a ventilator nine feet in diameter, having a sunflower in the centre, with gilt rays extending to the circumference. In the centre of the flower was a concave mirror, which at night sparkled like a diamond. In the corners of the ceiling were four quadrant-shaped ventilators of similar construction to that in the centre.
Over the ventilators were trap doors in the roof, which enabled the audience to have a constant stream of pure air passing through the house, without lowering the windows.
This Hall, which was brilliantly lighted with gas, formed altogether one of the most commodious and splendid buildings in the city.
TO THE PUBLIC.
The Managers of the Pennsylvania Hall Association, desirous of retaining the good opinion of their fellow citizens, notwithstanding the absurd and unfounded reports so industriously circulated by the enemies of free discussion, of liberty, and of the rights of man, have concluded to collect together, as far as practicable, all that was said and done in the Pennsylvania Hall, during the brief period of its existence, in order that the cool, deliberate, reflecting portion of the community, may judge whether the Pennsylvania Hall Association did anything that ought to offend any reasonable person.
By reference to the placard which was posted up throughout the city, it will be evident that there was a deliberate, pre-conceived determination on the part of the ring-leaders of the mob, to destroy the Hall, without regard to what might be said at the dedication.
Letters similar to the following were addressed to all the orators :To Thomas P. Hunt:
Esteemed Friend,- In pursuance of a unanimous resolution of the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Hall Association, I return their thanks to thee for thy address upon Temperance, delivered in the late Pennsylvania Hall, on the evening of the 14th inst., and request a copy for publication.
Respectfully thine, &c.,
SAMUEL WEBB. Philadelphia, Fifth Month 24th, 1838.
To which Thomas P. Hunt made the following reply :
MAY 25th, 1838. To the Managers of the Pennsylvania Hall Association :
Gentlemen,-In compliance with your request, this day received, I send the address on Temperance I delivered in the Pennsylvania Hall, May 14th, 1838,
Permit me to express my gratification at the invitation I received, to deliver an address on Temperance in your Hall. As it was known to you that I was conscientiously opposed to the views of many of the Managers of the Hall on the subject of Abolition, and that I also never had any connection whatever with that Society, the liberality which extends the invitation, with the assurance that the Hall should be opened to any benevolent or moral society, to the Colonization Society, of which I am a firm and decided advocate, was as gratifying as it was unusual in these days of bitterness, and of exclusion.
I regret that the Hall has been destroyed. I despise alike the spirit that
instigated, and that defends, or justifies, or palliates the shameful, sinful, cowardly, brutish deed. May God forgive both, and send a better state of feelings and of morals amongst us.
THOMAS P. HUNT.
The Managers have published the above letter from Thomas P. Hunt, because it will tend to convince all unprejudiced minds that our Association founded the Pennsylvania Hall on no narrow, sectarian, or party views but that it was what it purported to be, a hall for free discussion. And in order to make the reader more fully acquainted with the views and objects of the Managers and Stockholders, we subjoin a part of the fundamental articles of the Association :
“ It shall require five Managers to form a quorum for the transaction of business, who shall meet at least once a month.
They shall superintend the erection of the building, and have full power to make contracts for the use of the same, receive the rents, and after deducting all necessary expenses, shall divide, semi-annually, the net proceeds, or so much thereof as they may deem prudent, among such of the stockholders, as shall have paid all the instalments of their stock, in proportion to the amount held by each, and shall keep a fair record of their proceedings in relation thereto, and submit the same to the stockholders at their annual meeting.–But nothing herein contained shall authorize them to rent the Saloon for any object subversive of good morals, or in such manner as shall not afford reasonable and frequent opportunities for the discussion of the subject of Slavery.”
At this time, when a portion of those who formerly professed friendship are issuing their disclaimers, when our “ prudent friends” are giving unasked counsel, and advice suggested by their fears, it is cheering to receive such letters as the following, from David Paul Brown, the eloquent orator who delivered the first address at the opening of our Hall.
May 24th, 1838. Dear Sir, I have received your communication of yesterday, apprising me of a resolution of the Managers of the Pennsylvania Hall Association, whereby they have kindly expressed their approbation of my humble services upon the dedication of their Hall, and requested a copy of my speech for publication. I have only to say, that the speech and the speaker are both at your service.
Very truly, yours,
DAVID PAUL BROWN. Samuel Webb, Esq.
OPENING OF THE HALL.
On the 14th of the Fifth month, (May,) 1838, agreeably to public notice, the doors of the PENNSYLVANIA HALL were thrown open, and the spacious saloon was filled with one of the largest audiences ever assembled in this city. The President of the Association, Daniel Neall, took the chair at ten o'clock.
The Secretary, William Dorsey, then made the following statement :
" A number of individuals of all sects, and those of no sect,--of all parties, and those of no party,-being desirous that the citizens of Philadelphia should possess a room, wherein the principles of Liberty, and Equality of Civil Rights, could be freely discussed, and the evils of slavery fearlessly portrayed, have erected this building, which we are now about to dedicate to Liberty and the Rights of Man. The total cost of the building will be about 40,000 dollars. This has been divided into two thousand shares of twenty dollars each. A majority of the stockholders are mechanics, or working men, and, (as is the case in almost every other good work,) a number are females.
The building is not to be used for Anti-Slavery purposes alone. It will be rented from time to time, in such portions as shall best suit applicants, for any purpose not of an immoral character. It is called “ Pennsylvania Hall,” in reference to the principles of Pennsylvania ; and our moito, like that of the commonwealth, is
" VIRTUE, LIBERTY, AND INDEPENDENCE."
The following letters were then read :-
HARRISBURG, Dec. 22d, 1837. Gentlemen,- I received your favor of the 18th inst. yesterday.
The acceptance of the invitation with which the Managers of the “ Pennsylvania Hall Association” have been pleased to honor me, circumstances, not within my control, oblige me respectfully to deciine. But I do so with the kindest feelings toward the objects for which the building was erected, and to which it is to be dedicated.
My humble efforts have been uniformly directed to the maintenance of freedom of speech and of the press, as well as to the rights of man generally; and I rejoice to know that there is, at least, one house within this great commonwealth, wherein those rights may be advocated, free from interruption.
Please present my acknowledgments to the Managers of your Association, for the honor intended to be conferred upon me, and accept for yourselves and them assurances of my friendship and regard.
FRANCIS JAMES. Messrs. Samuel Webb and Wm. H. Scott,-Committee.
NORTH EAST, (Pa.) Feb. 5th, 1838. Christian Friends and Fellow Laborers,-Yours of the 26th ultimo, has just come to hand. Please accept my thanks, and tender them to the Association for which you act, for the kind invitation you have given me to be present at the opening of your Hall, and make an address on the occasion.
In reply, I can only say that it would afford me much pleasure to attend your meeting, but am not yet able to determine whether it will be practicable for me so to do or not; most probably it will not.
If, however, Providence should open the way for it, I will most gladly avail myself of the privilege. At all events, my whole heart is with you in this blessed enterprise of mercy.
WILLIAM A. ADAIR. Samuel Webb, J. M. Truman, Wm. McKee, Peter Wright,— Committee.
PETERBORO, Dec. 26th, 1837. Messrs. S. Webb and Wm. H. Scott.
Much Esteemed Friends, Your favor of the 18th instant came to hand yesterday. I had, several days before, received the Extra of the National Enquirer, containing a very interesting account of the celebration in the Carpenter's Shop," and my whole heart rejoiced in the noble enterprise of the stockholders and builders of the “Pennsylvania Hall;" long may this Hall stand to testify to the sacred regard for Human Rights in which it originated, and to furnish rich gratifications of the mind to the lovers of Free Discussion.
The honor done me by your Board of Managers is gratefully acknowledged by me; such, however, are my circumstances, and so pressing are the demands on my time, that I cannot accept the invitation “ to deliver an address” on the occasion of the opening of the Hall. Be assured that I should rejoice to be with you—with the friends of the Freedom of Speech, and of cherished humanity, on that interesting occasion--but under the claims of my business to my time, I find it very difficult to leave home. I am, with great regard, your friend,
ALTON, March 2, 1838. To the Committee of the Pennsylvania Hall Association.
Gentlemen,-Your favor of January 26th came to hand last week. And while I shall ever cherish towards you sentiments of gratitude and respect for the honor of your invitation, and the expression of confidence towards one as obscure as myself; and although it would be exceedingly gratifying to my feelings to be present with you at the opening of the “ Hall of Liberty, and to add my feeble testimony to yours in favor of the cause of immediate emancipation, I regret to be under the necessity of announcing to you that circumstances will not permit me to comply with your request. Having been absent from my official charge during last spring and summer, it would be very improper in the peculiarly arduous and responsible station which, in the Providence of God, I am permitted to occupy, to leave for two or three months my field of labor,
Were I to consult my own feelings, merely, I would gladly accede to your invitation, and hasten to your city. But greater and paramount duties seem to forbid. You will therefore, sirs, accept for yourselves, and your honored coadjutors, my warmest thanks ; and for the « cause” in which we