According to Cynthia Costello, president of the Whittier Home Association, Whittier was inside Pennsylvania Hall when the mob set fire to the building. Whittier was able to escape the blaze and blend in with the protesters who originally chanted “Kill Whittier” by joining in with the chant.
“He made it through, but he was severely set back physically and emotionally. That was really a major blow,” Costello said.
As a token of appreciation for his involvement with the abolitionist movement, Whittier was presented with the cane currently on its way to Philadelphia.
Costello said she expects the cane to be returned to the Whittier Home on Friend Street by the end of the month.
Until then, she said, board members are excited that Whittier is getting more recognition for his abolitionist past.
“We’re so pleased and proud,” Costello said.