1844: 20,000 Whigs in Council!!

Our brother whigs at Hartford had a glorious time last Friday. The whole country around poured forth its sons to contribute to swell the mass. There were without doubt at least 20,000 whigs assembled on that occasion. The day will be long remembered in Hartford County. We learn that as early as Thursday morning they began to assemble and very soon all the hotels and public houses in the city were crowded.

The whigs of this city began to assemble at 7 o’clock near the Central Hotel previous to starting for Hartford. Although at this hour the clouds overspread the horizon and gave tangible indications of their office, nevertheless the purpose of those who had previously concluded to join their friends under the branches of the “Charter Oak,” was unchanged. Carriage after carriage, barouch after barouch came up. Thomas Miner, M.D., assisted by Benj. Douglas, Esq., acted efficiently as marshal. A fine band of music was in requisition who were employed while forming in playing patriotic airs which gave additional enthusiasm to the occasion. At this moment the scene was thrilling. The victorious whigs of Middletown had attached to their coats through the button-holes blue badges with “Middletown” in neat capital letters, in the centre. From the head of every ‘Bucephalis’ was a streamer with ‘Clay and Frelinghuysen’ playing in the breeze. pointerfingerblue_edited-1 In addition it was gratifying to observe several carriages filled with the “beauty” of the city.

The delegation started after giving three cheers which made the ‘welkin ring’ in capital style. 500 were placed to the honor of Middletown, including those who joined from Portland, which is very creditable to the zeal of the whigs in this region. On reaching Hartford the streets were crowded with enthusiastic whigs over whose heads emblems of freedom waived thick to the breeze. At 11 1/2 o’clock the procession was formed and began to march up Main street. If we had room we would enumerate the different delegations in order with their banners; but it is impossible. The mottoes on some of the banners from this city were, ‘The Gibraltar of Locofocoism, defended by the State Central Committee taken by storm Oct. 7th, 1844;” one banner had Polk with a poke on his neck and a sheep by his side, with ‘I am of opinion that wool should be admitted duty free.’ The members of the Juvenile Club were in this glorious procession with a dozen flags and a banner with the motto, ‘The Middletown Junior Clay Club, our Country’s Hope and Father’s Pride;” on one was a stone falling on Polk, with the inscription, ‘Jemmy you’re caught, Texas won’t save you.’ There were some two or three thousand ladies present. The procession moved in one grand and solid mass amid the ringing of bells and shouting of the crowd under the waving of flags suspended across the streets, and of handkerchiefs from the crowded windows and balconies, until they came to the ground near to the Charter Oak. Here, around the Speaker’s Stand to a great distance, nothing was seen but a sea of up-turned faces, eagerly waiting for the commencement of the exercises. About 1 o’clock the Convention was called to order by Charles Chapman, Esq., of Hartford, who announced the appointment of Hon. Joseph Trumbull as President, with 18 Vice Presidents and 4 Secretaries. The President made a short address, after which a song was sung by the Hartford Glee Club, when Charles King, Esq., of New York, was introduced by the President to the meeting. After whom, Hiram Ketchum, Esq., spoke to the congregated thousands. He was followed by Hon. J. W. Huntington.

In the evening the Union and City Halls were crowded at an early hour, and the meetings were addressed by several distinguished gentlemen.

pointerfingerblue_edited-1 The hospitality of the whigs of Hartford was without measure. Not only were public tables spread, but accommodations ample and abundant were made at their dwellings for the comfort of their friends.

From The Constitution (Middletown, Connecticut), Wednesday, October 16, 1844.
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