If he had felt that the act was wrongful, would he
not have appealed to the sense of justice of the
British bystanders, who are always ready to resist
an insult offered to a foreigner in this country?
If it was an insult, why not resent it, as became
high-spirited Americans? But no; the chivalry
of the South tamely allowed itself to be plucked
by the beard; the garrulity of the North permitted
itself to be silenced by three fugitive slaves....
We promenaded the Exhibition between six and seven
hours, and visited nearly every portion of the vast
edifice. Among the thousands whom we met in
our perambulations, who dreamed of any impropriety
in a gentleman of character and standing, like
Mr. McDonnell, walking arm-in-arm with a colored woman;
or an elegant and accomplished young lady, like Miss
Thompson, (daughter of the Hon. George Thompson,
M.C.), becoming the promenading companion of a
colored man? Did the English peers or peeresses?
Not the most aristocratic among them. Did the
representatives of any other country have their notions
of propriety shocked by the matter? None
but Americans. To see the arm of a beautiful
English young lady passed through that of ’a
nigger,’ taking ices and other refreshments
with him, upon terms of the most perfect equality,
certainly was enough to ‘rile,’ and
evidently did ‘rile’ the slave-holders
who beheld it; but there was no help for it.
Even the New York Broadway bullies would not have
dared to utter a word of insult, much less lift a
finger against Wm. Wells Brown, when walking with
his fair companion in the World’s Exhibition.
It was a circumstance not to be forgotten by these
Southern Bloodhounds. Probably, for the first
time in their lives, they felt themselves thoroughly
muzzled; they dared not even to bark, much less
bite. Like the meanest curs, they had to
sneak through the Crystal Palace, unnoticed and
uncared for; while the victims who had been rescued
from their jaws, were warmly greeted by visitors from
all parts of the country.
* * * *
Brown and the Crafts have paid several other visits
to the Great Exhibition, in one of which, Wm. Craft
succeeded in getting some Southerners “out”
upon the Fugitive Slave Bill, respecting which a discussion
was held between them in the American department.
Finding themselves worsted at every point, they were
compelled to have recourse to lying, and unblushingly
denied that the bill contained the provisions which
Craft alleged it did. Craft took care to inform
them who and what he was. He told them that there
had been too much information upon that measure diffused
in England for lying to conceal them. He has
subsequently met the same parties, who, with contemptible
hypocrisy, treated “the nigger” with great