In one of the small cities of Massachusetts, the colored population held a meeting to discuss the propriety of celebrating the anniversary of the West India emancipation. At one of these meetings a conservative gentleman was exceedingly surprised to see some of the “fair sex rising and taking part in the discussion.” After two or three of the sisters had “freed dar mines” on matters under debate he spring up in a greatly excited state and addressed the audience.
Feller citizens. Ef I’d spose at de ladies would be permitted to take part in dis yere discussion – (sensation) – ef I’d none dat de ladies cud jine in dis yere debate – (all eyes turned on the speaker) – ef I’d belebe for one moment, feller citizens, at de female sect would dare rase thar voices in dis yere meeting, I’d Feller citizens –
“Wot – wot would you’ve did ef you’d a none it?” shouted two or three of the sisters and the white of their eyes flashed on the speaker.
I – (scratching his wool) – I’d a brung my wife along wid me.
Here the discomfited orator dropped into his seat completely exhausted.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 1, 1862, p. 3