On the evening of August 16, 1841, a large crowd gathered in the port city of Nantucket, Massachusetts, to attend an important anti-slavery meeting. Those unable to find places on the floor of the spacious square building known as the Big Shop filled the lofts; some even sat on the rafters. Those stranded on the outside of the building observed the proceedings through its windows. Among the abolitionist luminaries in attendance were William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Parker Pillsbury, and assorted members of the famous Coffin family. Also present was a runaway slave from Maryland’s Eastern Shore whom William C. Coffin had invited to speak if, in the Quaker tradition, it seemed right to do so. Although the slave “felt strongly moved to speak,” as he later recalled, “the idea of speaking to white people weighed me down.“
Gatewood, Willard B.
"Review Essay:An "African Prince, Majestic in His Wrath": William S. McFeely's Biography of Frederick Douglass,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 70:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol70/iss2/7