This overwhelming meeting of the citizens of Boston and vicinity was held on Friday evening last. The Hall will contain 5000 persons, and it was full at 7 o’clock, when the meeting was called to order by Francis Jackson, Esq. of Boston.
William Lloyd Garrison was then elected to preside, by a unanimous vote, and took his seat, amid the strongest demonstration of satisfaction and applause from the meeting. Mr. Garrison then addressed the immense assemblage as follows:
Fellow Citizens – Gentlemen and Ladies: It is unexpectedly to myself, that I am called upon to preside at your meeting tonight. I do not feel competent fitly to discharge the honorable duty; but if any man has a right to appear before you, on this platform, in testimony of his devotedness to the cause of liberty, I claim to be that man. (Applause.) The best evidence of it is given by the foes of Liberty: Five thousand dollars are offered for my head, by the sovereign Sate of Georgia. (Cheers) The occasion which brings us together is one of great importance and solemnity. We are here as the friends of human rights, to bear a public testimony against American slavery, and to redeem from its polluting touch the District of Columbia, the Seat of our National Government (Cheers) ……………………………….
(Liberator, Feb 4, 1842, pg 2)