Mob action at Pennsylvania Hall

May 19, 1838

“The meeting broke up about 10 o’clock, and we all got safely home.  The next day, the street was thronged with profane ruffians and curious spectators — the women, however, holding their meetings in the hall all day, till towards evening. It was given out by the mob, that the hall would be burnt to the ground that night. … that night the mob “had increased to several thousands, and soon got into the hall by dashing open the doors with their axes.  They then set fire to this huge building, and in the course of an hour it was a solid mass of flames.  The bells of the city were rung, and several engines rallied, but no water was permitted to be thrown upon the building …”Awful as is this occurrence in Philadelphia, it will do incalculable good to our cause; for the wrath of man worketh out the righteousness of God….”  1

1 Letters of William Lloyd Garrison – Volumes I – VI