Friday, April 18, 2008

Fremont Club

This entry gives us a small window into the politics of antebellum Jamaica Plain. John C. Fremont was a military officer, an explorer, and in 1856 was the first Republican candidate for president, running on an anti-slavery platform. It's interesting to read the perception of Jamaica Plain as seen by a contemporary. Times have changed, no?

August 23, 1856

A meeting was held at Odd Fellows' Hall, Jamaica Plain, on Monday evening last, for the purpose of organizing a Fremont Club in the flourishing town of West Roxbury. The following list of officers was reported to the meeting, and unanimously adopted:

President -- Hon. Geo. R. Russell.

Vice Presidents -- John C. Pratt, Jos. H. Billings, Geo. W.Bond, E.C. Banfield, J.L. Plimpton, Cornelius Cowing.

Secretaries -- Andrew S. March, Dr. Joel Seaverns.

Treasurer -- Sylvester Marsh.

The Club promises to be a large one. A gentleman from the upper part of the town called Spring street, handed in the names of more than sixty voters. If Jamaica Plain does as well, the Club will number three to four hundred members. This populous town has sometimes been considered extremely conservative and almost fossilized, but her present action demonstrates the existence of a large number of (?) men within her borders. She will give a good account of herself at the polls in November.

Members of the Club are reminded of the adjourned meeting, this (Saturday) evening, to complete the arrangements for attending the Barbecue next Tuesday.

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