James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
addressed the President with respectful sympathy. On January 29, Exeter Hall was the scene of a more earnest demonstration of public opinion than had been known in London since the days of the Anti-Corn Law League. So vast was the crowd that an overflow meeting was held in a lower room and another in the open air. In the great hall, the mention of Jefferson Davis brought out manifestations of dislike, while the name of Abraham Lincoln was greeted with a burst of enthusiasm, the audience rising, cheering and waving hats and handkerchiefs. The resolutions adopted showed intelligence as well as fellow-feeling. On the same night a public meeting at Bradford, Yorkshire, declared that any intervention, physical or moral, on behalf of the slave power would be disgraceful, and closed its proceedings with three hearty cheers for President Lincoln. A large anti-slavery meeting in Gloucestershire, in a sympathetic address to the President, deplored any apparent complicity [of Englishmen] with the Southern States in the clandestine equipment of war ships. Everybody that I now meet, declared John Bright, says to me, public opinion seems to have undergone a considerable change.
The month of February witnessed similar large meetings, which adopted like resolutions. There were gatherings at Leeds, Bath, Edinburgh, Paisley, Carlisle, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Merthyr Tydvil and many other places. A concourse of citizens in Glasgow said to the President in their address, We honor you and we congratulate you. On March 26, at a meeting of skilled laborers held in London at the call of the Trades-Unions, John Bright took the chair, and made an eloquent speech, in which he expressed the meaning of the assemblage and the spirit of their address to Abraham Lincoln. Privilege