From the Richmond Dispatch, 3/28/1855, p. 2, c. 3
SPEECH OF SENATOR DOUGLAS. – A large meeting assembled at the African Church last night, to hear Senator Douglas, who had been invited by the Democratic Association to address the citizens of Richmond.
Dr. Patterson introduced the distinguished speaker, who was received with loud applause on taking the stand.
Mr. Douglas declared that the Democratic party had been beaten all over the country by a fusion of abolitionists, free soilers and Maine liquor law men, and then proceeded by argument to prove the conservatism of the democratic party of the north, and its firm adherence to the constitution.
He objected to the secrets of the K. N’s because it prohibited the freedom of debate, and stated that every member was bound by oath to support the nominee of his council or resign. He opposed that party, because it made birth place, instead of merit, the standard for office; and because it proscribed a religious test; and concluded by urging those democrats, who had joined the order, to withdraw from it and return to their first love.
When Mr. Douglas took his seat, Judge Caskie was called on, but excused himself from speaking, promising to address his constituents at an early day.
The address was looked upon as a very powerful one, and seemed to give great satisfaction to the speaker’s political friends. We regret that we have not room for a lengthened notice of it.
Mr. Chastain White, of Hanover, was next called on, and made a few remarks,declaring that if every county in the State proved recreant to the Democratic party, old Hanover, the land of Henry, would stand firm in its defence, and roll up a large majority for the nominees.
The meeting adjourned before 10 o’clock