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[newspaper clipping]
         THE WHITE-FEATHER MOVEMENT.
HOW JERSEYMEN STAMP OUT TREASON A
       PEACE MEETING POSTPONED SINE DIE.
From our Special Reporter.	
		MIDDLETOWN, N. J., August 29, 1861. 
  Monmouth County saw livelier times at Middletown
to-day than at any time since the grand musters for
Liberty in  76.  Treason was treated by the grandsons
as it was by the grandsires, and there was abundant
evidence given to-day that the Jersey boys are made 
of the same stuff in 1861, as their ancestors were a
hundred years before.  The traditions of Monmouth,
Trenton, and Valley Forge, have clearly not died out
yet, however much the callers of the  Grand Demo-
cratic Mass Meeting  may have thought they had.
It is not at all likely that after such a miserable failure
as attended their first attempt at White-Feather meet-
ings in old Monmouth, the desperate and despicable
effort will be renewed.  The names of the hundred
men or so who signed that call are likely, we judge, to
be a byword and a reproach among their neighbors for
a long time to come.  As for the gallant Secession
orator, THOMAS DUNN ENGLISH, it will not be well
for him to attempt to address any more meetings in
that neighborhood; for, whether justly or unjustly
charged, he is in bad odor in Monmouth, and when
Jersey blood is up it is safe to stand from under.
  The readers of yesterday s TRIBUNE were informed
of the purpose to hold a peace meeting at Middletown,
the Democratic stronghold of Democratic Monnmouth
County.  The call was after this wise:
	UNION!  UNION!  UNION!
	          DEMOCRATIC
	         MASS MEETING
		   AT
	         MIDDLETOWN
  The Democratic Republican electors of the IIId. Assembly
District of Monmouth County, and all who are in favor of adopt-
ing some measures having for their object the peace and pros-
perity of our distracted county, and who are opposed to the 
present State and National Administrations, are requested to
meet in mass meeting at Middletown, on Thursday, 29th August,
at 2 o clock.
  The meeting will be addressed by the Hon. Thomas Dunn En-
glish of Bergen, and other eminent-men.

  It was signed by Samuel Beers, John Patterson,
Wm. S. Homer, Robert Allen, Stacy Pitcher, George
Rapelyea, Thomas V. Arrowsmith, Dr. Pittman, and
over one hundred others.
  Here was the Manassas game over again.  To de-
lude the honest old farmers of Monmouth, these wily
peacemakers headed the posters with the grand rallying
cry,  Union,  intending, under this flag of truce, to
utter treason and ggive comfort to traitors.  They even
had the audacity to come to thet place of meeting
flaunting the American flag, and with a band to play
the glorious national airs.  The plot was all laid to
have this Secession meeting sow discontent, and make
an Anti-War party to operate in the next State Legis-
lature.  Fearing that they might be interrupted, they
had arranged for  Captain  Rynders to be present
with 100 armed bullies, and they took the precaution,
did these advocates of peace, to come with concealed
weapons on their persons.
  In the morning of Thursday, the expressions of pa-
triotic indignation became so loud that a notice was
posted at the tavern that the meeting was postponed
sine die.  Word had, however, been sent to the neigh-
boring towns for the Union men to attend; and when
the appointed hour had arrived, the roadsides were lined
for some distance with wagons and horses, most of
which were bedecked with the National colors.  A
beautiful flag hung lazily from the liberty pole; sev-
eral smaller ones were carried by stalwart Union men
from Keyport, Long Branch, and Red Bank; and the
little flags and tri-colored steamers could be counted
by scores.  Up to 21 o clock, no Secessionists had made
their appearance; but when a Union meeting had been
fairly organized, the enemy in procession, with mount-
ed men in front, a band of musicians and carriages, and
the precious body of the Hon. Thomas Dunn English,
came up with great clamor.  Finding themselves in so
miserable a minority, and seeing that the Union men
would bear no trifling, Dr. Pittman  and his friends
drew to one side, and after consultation, determined to
hold a meeting at Ackerman s Grove, several miles off.
Meanwhile, Joseph Shepherd, a Republican farmer
from Shrewsbury, had called the meeting to order.
Mr. George C. Murray was nominated, and unani-
mously elected Chairman; and after the reading of
resolutions, Mr. Silas B. Dutcher of this city was
called upon for a speech.
  The resolutions offered by the Chairman have the
right ring, and, coming as they do from the President
of the County Democratic Convention, were peculiarly
appropriate for the occasion.  Here they are:
  Resolved, That we, the people of Middletown, in this great cri-
sis of our nation do not recognize any political parties.
  Resolved, That we consider this war a traitorous rebellion
against constitutional government; and
  Resolved, That we are ready to support the Administration in
carrying on this war, to the extent of our means in both men and
money.
  Mr. Dutcher, on coming forward, was greeted with
tremendous applause, and groan after groan was given
for the then absent Secession orator.  Mr. Dutcher said
he was a peace man ordinarily, but now he could listen
to no peace until the Rebels laid down their arms and
begged for mercy.  He deprecated war, but war was
sometimes necessary, and he believed in meeting it
manfully, whatever might be the cost.  The Revolu-
tionary fathers had been for the extinction of Slavery,
believing it an unmitigated evil, and until the inven-
tion of the cotton-gin there was every prospect that the
accursed system would die out.  But with that machine
Slavery was ennobled and made profitable, and Slave-
holders had grown more and more audacious with in-
creasing wealth.  Slavery of itself breeds tyranny, and
the Southern planters, from ruling black men, had got
to believe they should rule whites.  The speaker traced
the gradual aggressions of the Slave power from the
abolition of the Missouri Compromise down to this Re-
bellion.  War, he said, brings taxes and troubles; but
nothing in comparison with what would befall us if
Secession triumphs and splits us up into a horde of
petty principalities.  His peroration was a very elo-
quent tribute to the patriotism of New Jersey in old
and new times, and an apostrophe to the American flag.
  Throughout the utmost enthusiasm prevailed, the
speaker being constantly interrupted by cheers, and at
the conclusion was hoisted on men s shoulders, and
carried about.  Before he closed, word was passed
around that the Secessionists had decided to change
their place of meeting.  Instantly there was a rush up
the road to the carriage in which Joseph Hoff and
Thomas Dunn English were about to leave the ground.
The crowd hemmed horses and vehicle in on every
side, and a hundred arms were stretched out to pull
them out.  In vain the men threatened to shoot,
argued, and entreated; the clamor of a thousand
tongues drowned their words, and in another minute
the attempt to tilt over the carriage and spill them out
was unsuccessful, only because of the solid wall of
bodies at the other side.  When the melee was at its
worst, Mr. Benajah Deacon, United States Marshal
for New-Jersey, elbowed his way up to the carriage,
and ordered English to dismount, so that he could save
him from lynching.  The men desisting from their 
purpose of immediate punishment, English was
got out, and rushed down the road to the
speaker s platform by a tremendous crowd.
The mob insisted that he should either speak for the
Union, or they would take him in hand, and English,
with a face blanched with fright, seemed so bewil-
dered that he did not know what to do.  The crush
around him became terrible; men pulled and pushed,
and shouted, hissed, and groaned, and all attempts to 
move, except as the mass swayed, became impossible.
Just when it seemed as if English must fall into their
hands, Marshal Deacon got the hotel door opened, and
his prisoner was jerked inside and rushed up stairs to
the garret, while the doors were forced to again and
guards stationed at the staircase to prevent the ascent
of the crowd.  When he recovered breath and com-
posure English protested that he was a loyal Union
man, that he was for the most vigorous prosecution of
the war, but said that he was opposed to the present
Administration, believed it was corrupt and could
prove it.  If Secessionists had called the meet-
ing, and announced him as one of their
kind they had done so without authority.  He could
see nothing in the call for the meeting to cavil at.  He
then produced a copy from his pocket and read it to
the Marshal, until he came to the clause about restor-
ing peace to the country, when he shifted his position
and declared himself for the war and the punishment
of rebels.  It was of no use, however, for the Marshal
to stand up in that hot, dark garret arguing with Mr.
English, when an excited crowd down stairs were
clamoring for his summary punishment; so as there
really was nothing to warrant his arrest for treason,
the Marshal bade him depart in peace, and the hotel-
keeper descended to the lower floor with the design to
slip him out by the back way.  As they were going
out they were met by a crowd, and English being
recognized, would have been seized if he had not beat
a hasty retreat up stairs, but in the confusion, the push,
crush and shouting in the narrow hall, his movement
was not seen, and word being given out that he had 
escaped, the house was emptied in a moment.  Foiled 
in their search the mob returned, and breaking down
all opposition rushed up stairs, but English had mean-
while been locked into a closet and escaped their no-
tice.  When our reporter left the ground partial quiet
had been restored, and many had gone homeword.  A
large crowd, however, still lingered about, and the
chances for Mr. English s escape seemed very des-
perate.
  For the sake of law and order, we may congratulate
ourselves that no harm was done to this person.  True,
it was an insult to the patriotism of old Monmouth to
suppose that a treasonable meeting could be held
within her borders, but this lynching of men smacks
too much of Mississippi and Arkansas practices to
commend itself to Northern patriots.  If English was
guilty, he should have been handed over to the author-
ities for punishment; if innocent, he had a right to
speak and define his position.  At any rate, sympathy
with treason is crushed in Monmouth County.  It has
received such a death blow in this grand outburst of
patriotism, this indignant protest of an outraged com-
munity, that the attempt at White Feather meetings is
not likely to be soon renewed by Dr. Pittman and his 
hundred confederates.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seventeen: page one hundred and forty-four
Description:Newspaper article regarding a meeting in Monmouth, New Jersey, about the Civil War.
Subject:Allen, Robert; Arrowsmith, Thomas V.; Beers, Samuel; Civil War; Deacon, Benajah; Dutcher, Silas B.; English, Thomas Dunn; Flags; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hoff, Joseph; Homer, William S.; Mobs; Murray, George C.; New York tribune.; Patterson, John; Pitcher, Stacy; Pittman, Dr.; Rapelyea, George; Rynders, Isaiah; Secession; Slaveholders; Slavery
Coverage (City/State):Monmouth County, New Jersey
Scan Date:2010-06-11

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seventeen
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of the scene in New York at the commencement of the Civil War; his visits to military camps in and around New York City as a reporter for ""The New York Evening Post;"" boarding house living; a bridal reception at the Edwards family's residence in honor of the marriage of Sally Edwards and Thomas Nast; a visit to the Heylyn and Rogers families in Rochester; and his trip to Paris, Ontario, to visit George Bolton and the Conworths.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marriage; Military; Publishers and publishing; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Paris, Ontario, Canada ; Rochester, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.