Boston: the author, 1855. xx, 221p., boards sunned, othervise a very good copy.
Parker, the leading Unitarian minister of his day, was also the intellectual font of Boston abolitionism. As the conflict over slavery heightened in the 1850s, so did Parker's militance and expectation of armed conflict. In opposition to the arrest of a fugitive slave under the 1850 law, Parker, along with Wendell Phillips and Thomas Higginson, called a mass meeting in order to try to free Anthony Burns. The town Vigilance Committee rescued Burns, killing a marshal in the process, but was forced to acquiesce to Burns' return in the face of massive armed force ordered by President Franklin Pierce. A grand jury indicted Parker and six others for their roles in the affair, but the indictment was quashed on technical grounds. Parker's DEFENCE is an elaborate, important account of the movement to protect fugitive slaves.