The Spirit of the Times

Pennsylvania Freeman

Citation Information:”The Spirit of the Times,” Pennsylvania Freeman, #14. July 18, 1844.


JULY 18, 1844

This paper has of late become one of the most zealous advocates for the authority of law and the rights of an unpopular minority in opposition to the tyranny and fury of the mob, that is published in our city. The Editor’s views on the subject seem very clear. He discriminates between the misguided and actual participators in the scenes of riot, and those more intelligent persons who stand aloof from personal danger, and by their inflammatory publications and speeches stimulate the ignorant to deeds of violence. These latter he very justly considers the more blameworthy of the two. We are glad the Times has learned this lesson. It is just what we used to try to teach him when the abolitionists and colored people were the suffering subjects of mob persecution, and when his paper used to join in with others and fan the flames of popular fury by inflammatory appeals like to those he now condemns in the Sun and other Native American prints. We are glad to see that at last he seems to have come “to repentance and a knowledge of the truth” on this subject. We would fain hope that the Editor’s present zeal in favor of protection against mob-violence and mob-Editors, is the result in part, at least, of regret for his own past misdeeds in this respect, and of a commendable desire to make all the amends in his power by future good behaviour. We will not inquire into his motives, however, so long as what he does is in itself right; all that we ask is that he will be consistent.