III. “Greek Fire” The Grass Roots Response A. Expression of Public Support for the Greek Cause
A2. An Early Resolution by the Citizens of Albany, New York.
Niles' Weekly Register, December 7, 1822: Grecian Emancipation.
The following resolutions were passed at a very numerous meeting of citizens of Albany, convened, by public notice, at the capital of Albany, on Tuesday evening last. John Savage, esqr. comptroller of the state, presided as chairman, and col. James Mc.Kown, as secretary. The object of the meeting was explained by Isaac Hamilton, esqr. in a very interesting address. S.S. Lush, esqr. followed Mr. Hamilton in a speech of much feeling in behalf of the suffering Greeks, the land of Demosthenes, of Plato, Pericles, Alcibiades and Leonidas, where “now the shouts of Allah are resounding from christian temples, formerly dedicated to the living God, and the turbaned Turk tramples upon the cross of the Saviour [sic].” These gentlemen were followed by John Van Ness Yate s, and D.L. Vander Heyden, esgrs. in strains of patriotic eloquence. The speeches were received with reiterated bursts of applause. The resolutions were all carried unanimously. Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is consistent with the peace, neutrality, and honor of our government, for the people to assemble together and express their sentiments upon the subject of the emancipation of Greece — that such an expression not only comports with the magnanimity and feelings of a christian people, but is more particularly honorable to the character of a nation who were the first to declare and establish the principles of freedom.
Resolved, That the interesting appeal by the patriots of Greece, to the American people, is worthy of the cause in which they are engaged, and demands our most respectful attention, that when we consider that Greece has been alike distinguished as the seat of science and the arts - that to her, sculpture is indebted for its best models, poetry its greatest masters, and our se minaries of learning for much of their classic lore - that she has given birth to the most illustrious philosophers, statesmen, and heroes, we cannot be indifferent to the relentless tyranny now exercised over them by their savage and ferocious masters.
Resolved, That we view, with extreme mortification and regret, the policy of the potentates of Europe, especially those claiming to belong to the “ holy alliance,” in remaining passive spectators of the great scene now acting before them in Turkey, instead of affording the suffering Greeks that countenance and aid, which all christendom had a right to expect - more particularly we cannot but express the painful disappointment of all our hopes in the policy pursued by the emperor Alexander, from whose large armies, and vast preparations, the most prompt and decisive measures were fondly anticipated by the American people.
Resolved, That the cause of religion, and the rights of humanity are intimately connected with the result of the conflict between the Greeks and the Turks; and should that conflict prove unsuccessful to the Greeks, (which Heaven forbid), that then it is our duty, as christians, and as men, to offer them an asylum from oppression in this happy country.
Resolved, That J.V.N. Yates. S.A. Tallcott, J. Hamilton, S.S. Lush, and P. Gansevoort, be a committee to correspond with such other committees as may be appointed through, out the union, for affording relief to the suffering Greeks, and that they have power to call any future meetings of the citizens, and to cooperate with other committees, by raising subscriptions or otherwise, in aid of the Greeks, as in their judgment shall be deemed most advisable.
Resolved, That D.L. Vander Heyden, John Stillwell, Wm. Maywell, John Koon, and James McKown, be a committee to prepare and publish an address, in the name of this meeting, to the citizens of the United States, upon the subject of the foregoing resolutions
Source: Constantine G. Hatzidimitriou, Founded on Freedom and Virtue: Documents Illustrating the Impact in the United States of the Greek War of Independence, 1821-1829 (New Rochelle, New York: Aristide D. Caratzas, 2002).