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American Vegetarian Convention
New York City, May 1850

from the Vegetarian Advocate, England, 1850:


We beg to call the attention of our Vegetarian friends to the following official communication from America, the importance of which will not fail to be apparent to all who have a sincere desire to aid in the spread of benevolent and humane principles. We sincerely hope that our friends will contribute their aid, in imparting suggestions to the Conference to be held, if not to be present and take part in it as a deuptation from our own society :-

TO JAMES SIMPSON Esq., and his coadjutors of the VEGETARIAN SOCIETY

See also:
The Vegetarian


BRETHREN, - In the judgement of Mr. Metcalfe, of Philadelphia ; Dr. Shew, Messrs. Fowler and Wells, of New York; Dr. Jennings, of Ohio; and myself, - with sundry others who have been consulted on the subject, it is expedient to hold and American Vegetarian Convention, in the City if New York, on the 15th May next, for the purpose of originating an American Vegetarian Society; and, as the time is not very far distant, we beg officially to invite you, or your delegates, to attend the same, if convenient. Mr. Metcalfe and myself have plans to present to the Convention; and it would doubtless forward the cause of Vegetarianism, if a delegation could attend from the mother country.

We are, dear sirs,
Yours with esteem and love,
William A. Alcott. William Metcalfe.

[We hail this communication of our brethren of America with the greatest joy, and call attention to the notice of our columns in relation to the exchange of members proposed between our own Society and the American Vegetarian Society to be formed, as being of the greatest importance to the Vegetarian movement in both countries; and, in point of fact, with the present advantages for the transmission of printed matter to and from America, we look upon the adoption of the exchange, a virtually forming, what was pointed to at our annual meeting , in July last, - One Great Vegetarian Movement. - Ed. V.A.]


DEAR SIR, - A few days ago I wrote to Mr. Simpson, announcing that arrangements had been made to hold a Vegetarian Convention, in the city of New York, on the 15th of May next; and that there seems to be a very general desire among the friends of the cause in this country, that a deputation from England should be present. In accordance with this feeling, I invited Mr. Simpson, and now invite you, or any other influential Vegetarian, who can make it convenient to visit us on that occasion. The presence of even one or two persons from your side of the Atlantic would be very generally agreeable, and give quite an impetus to the proceedings on that occasion.

In the January number of the Advocate, you published a letter from Mr. William Denton, Gloucester Point, N.J. That was the first intimation I had of an English Vegetarian being so near our city. A day or two after the Advocate came to hand, two of my friends crossed the Delaware River to find Mr. Denton. He came with them to my house that evening, and he and his good lady have visited us frequently since. We were mutually rejoiced to find each other, and that too in a way so unexpected. He has since moved to Kensington, and now lives not far from my residence. He is very active among the Temperance men, and will do much good. I have heard him lecture once or twice with much gratification. He continues faithful to Vegetarianism.

I doubt you not and our English friends will be pleased to hear we are making an effort to organize an association to carry out more efficiently the truly important principles and practices of Vegetarianism. I trust our attempt will be crowned with success.

A person in Leeds, (the author I presume), has sent me, per last steamer, a pamphlet entitled "A Glance at Vegetarianism, &c." Its contents remind me forcibly of the fable of "The Mountain in Labour."

Vegetarianism is not to be retarded by any such impotent efforts. It is too firmly founded on the rock of Eternal Truth. Its progress is onward, and my hopes and prayers are that the time may come ere long when it will be adopted in every family throughout the world.

I hope I shall have the pleasure of meeting you in New York at the Convention, and that you will subsequently accompany me to Philadelphia for a few days, and gratify us with your presence at Church's Anniversary, on Whit Monday, May 20th.

With great respect, I remain,
Dear Sire, yours truly
William Metcalfe
Kensington, Philadelphia, March 19th, 1850

[We are delighted to learn that our American friends are entering into the work of spreading a knowledge of the advantages of a Vegetarian diet, with so much energy and apparent good prospects of success. And why should they not? They have amongst them persons of character and first-rate talent, quite capable of effecting an organization which cannot fail to make a powerful impression on a people so intelligent and enquiring as the Americans are. These gentlemen have, by their writings, done us good service on this side of the water, and we doubt not they will heartily unite to push the work on, in their own country. These considerations are a source of confidence to us relative to the ensuing Convention.

We exceedingly regret, however, that there does not appear to be any hope, that any of our friends from England will be able to be present at the Convention; those who have the means of defraying their expenses, being too fully occupied with other and pressing engagements. We know of nothing that would have been more gratifying to our feelings than to have been able to render some little service in so good a cause, and upon so great an occasion, and to have made the personal acquaintance of some of the first physiologists of our age. But the rapidly increasing business of our publishing and printing establishments, were the expense no consideration, render it imperative that we should decline the kind invitation of our friends, and content ourselves with the thought that the work is in good hands, and being a rightwous cause, must succeed. We hope to be able to furnish our readers with a full report of the proceedings in our July number. - Ed. V. A. ]