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another cause of animosity was added by the different feelings concerning that great event , the French Revolution . It is scarcely necessary here to observe , thaf . in its early periods , whilst it was hailed by the warm friends of liberty and reform in England , as a noble assertion of the
natural rights of man , it was viewed with apprehension and dislike by those attached to the existing order of things . In every considerable town divisions took place on this subject , which became the more rancorous , as the events attending the re-Tolution were more awful and
interesting . The anniversary of the capture of the Bastille , July 14 , had been kept as a festival by the friends of the cause , and its celebration was prepared at Birmingham in 1791 * Dr . Priestley declined being present ; but
in the popular tumult which ensued , he was particularly the mark of party fury . His house , with his library , manuscripts , and apparatus , were made a prey to the flames ; he was obliged to fly for his life , and with some difficulty made his escape to a place of safety , while he was hunted
like a proclaimed criminal . That this scene of outrage , attended with the conflagration of many other houses and places of worship , was rather favoured than controuled by some whose duty ought to have led them to active interference for the preservation of the public peace * is undoubted ; at the same time it is not
surprising that the rage of party was especially directed against one who had so much distinguished himself as a champion on the adverse side , and who had made his attacks without any regard to caution or policy . The legal compensation which he obtained
for this cruel injury was far short of the amount of his losses . There were , however , many admirers of his virtues and talents , who , regarding him as a sufferer for his principles , and a man deeply injured , exerted themselves to support him under this calamity . He
In his Appeals , published soon after the Riots , Dr . Priestley has described the alarms and injuries which he sufFered , andac ~ knowledgedthe respectful attentions which he received from societies of various descriptions . His letter on receiving an address from a society which was n «* t formed foil the following year will be fouu < l in M . Kopos . ii . 6 , 7 .
was not long after chosen to succeed his deceased friend , Dr . Price , as minister to a congregation at Hackney ; and he joined to it a connexion with the new dissenting college established in that place . Resuming his usual occupations of every kind , he passed
some time in comfort and tranquillity , for no man was ever blessed with a mind more disposed to view every event in ] ife on the favourable side , or less clouded by care and anxiety .
But party dissension still retaining all its malignity , he found himself and his family so much molested by its assaults , that he resolved finally to quit a country so hostile to his person and principles .
He chose for his retreat the United States of America , induced partly by family reasons , and partly by the civil and religious liberty which so eminently prevails under their constitution . He embarked for that country in 1794 , and took up his residence
The friends of Dr . Priestley were by no means equally convinced of the necessity of his emigration , and he . might , perhaps , have abandoned the design had he remained in England a few months longer , till the administration of Pitt , foiled in their attempt to destroy Mr . Hardy and his associates , by the forms of law . had lost much
of its imposing influence on popular opinion . That Dr . Priestley for some time after he resided at Clapton was unapprehensive as to himself , we can state from the most intimate knowledge of the fact . He was prevented only by the very natural fearsof Mrs . Priestley , and the opinion of some of his more timid friends from
attendingthe Anniversary of the Revolution Society , in 1792 , and moving the address then voted to the National Convention of France . During the next year , Mr . Burke appeared foremost in the attempt to excite a popular odium against his quondam acquaintance , employing most illiberally for
that purpose Dr . Priestley ' s election to the National Convention from several departments , while the same compliment was paid to Mr . " Wilberforce . Family reasons , at length , such as Dr . Priestley has explained in the Preface to his Fast Sermon for 1794 , and his Memoirs , p . 125 , determined his resolution . It happened that at the same
period his friend Mr . Palmer , with Mr . Muir , &c . were exiled to New South Wales . The present writer , who has never ceased to regret the late commencement of his personal acquaintance with Dr . Priestley , was taking Leave of him at the house of his friend , Mr . W . Vaug-han , the day before his departure from London , when the Doc-
Memoir of the late Rev . Joseph Priestley * LL . D . F . JR . S . fyc . g
WOJL . X . C
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1815, page 9, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1756/page/9/