Highlights from the History of Needham in 100 objects
Needham to the Rescue
April 20, 1861
Extent of Description:
One Broadside
Scope & Content:
Civil War recruiting broadside announcing a meeting to take place at the Town Hall to discuss Needham's response to the firing on Fort Sumter.

When the news reached Needham that Fort Sumter had been fired upon, citizens were alarmed. Needham's citizens met at Village Hall to plan. They decided to call an official Town Meeting to raise the money needed to provide for the families of those who enlisted. Enlisting for Union service took place at the Town Hall in West Needham. The town provided band music and refreshments. The town's military committee oversaw recruitment and paid bounties of up to $200 for volunteers. Posters such as "Needham to the Rescue" spurred local enthusiasm.

Needham had a history of Abolitionist sentiment. The Anti-Slavery Society hosted meetings, including a visit from abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison, and the voters had been strong supporters of the abolitionist Free Soil Party. In all, more than 400 men volunteered to fight, eliminating the need for a draft.

Needham History Center & Museum Library and Archives
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Needham to the RescueNeedham to the Rescue