Boston, January 28, 1859
‘Felon Feast’ at Oberlin.
The thirty-seven indicted rescuers of Oberlin and Wellington had a festival – a dinner, at which a number of guests were invited, at Oberlin, on Tuesday of last week. The Divine blessing was invoked by the venerable Rev. John Keep. Letters were read from gentlemen invited, but detained from attendance. As samples of the spirit pervading this remarkable gathering, we give the regular toasts as published. There were also several pointed volunteer toasts and speeches, which in tone ring like the metal of ’76.
1st. The inalienable rights of man – Founded in Nature as constituted by God, and well recited by our Fathers in the Declaration of Independence.
2d. Good will to man – The best bond of Society; the surest support of government; and never more happily developed than when at the call of the weak and oppressed, it resists the tyranny of wicked rulers.
3d. Loyalty to God, and loyalty to human government when it is loyal to God – the Patriotism which inspired our Fathers, and which shall prompt us and our children.
4th. Personal Sacrifices – The seed of to-day which brings the harvest of the morrow.
5th. The sovereign authority of the State, and the voice of the people – the refuge of American citizens from the tyrannies of federal enactments not sanctioned by justice and the Constitution.
6th. The alien and sedition law of 1798 and the fugitive slave act of 1850 – Alike arbitrary, undemocratic, and unconstitutional. As did the one, so may the other rouse the country to a political and moral revolution, which shall restore the doctrines of personal liberty and State rights, which centralizing power has wantonly violated.
It is not often that men under indictment for a high misdemeanor meet and invite their friends to a dinner party. Significant, if one looks at it with open eyes, is this demonstration against the execution of the infamous fugitive slave law.