More Violence in New Hampshire
From The New-York Times August 28, 1861:
ASSAULT UPON HON. JOHN P. HALE.
– On Saturday afternoon, upon the arrival of Hon. JOHN P. HALE at the depot in Dover, N.H. (the place of his residence.) a man, apparently intoxicated to whom an acquaintance had pointed our Mr. HALE as an “Abolitionist.” stepped up to Mr. HALE, and with the remark, “You are one of the men who have brought all this trouble upon us,” struck him in the face, knocking off his hat. Mr. HALE, seeing the condition of the man, replied, “Get out of my way,” when the drunken fellow struck him again. Mr. HALE did not return the blow, but walked quietly away. The depot-master and others interfered to prevent any further assault. The attack did not appear to be premeditated, and the affair was over in a few minutes. Boston Traveller, Aug. 26.
John P. Hale was indeed an abolitionist. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1842 as a Democrat. Hale was kicked out of the Democrat party in 1845 because he opposed Texas annexation (on anti-slavery grounds). From Wikipedia:
In the face of an apparently invincible Democratic majority, Hale set out to win New Hampshire over to the anti-slavery cause. He addressed meetings in every town and village in the state, carrying on a remarkable campaign known as the “Hale Storm of 1845.” At a North Church meeting in Concord on 5 June 1845, there was a noted debate between Hale and [Franklin] Pierce. Hale was rewarded on 10 March 1846 with seeing the state choose a legislature in which the Whigs and Independent Democrats had a majority of the votes. A Whig governor, Anthony Colby, was also chosen. Hale wound up elected to the lower house of the legislature, and was chosen speaker.
He was later elected as a Free Soil candidate to the United States Senate in 1846 and served from March 4, 1847, to March 4, 1853. He was among the strongest opponents of the Mexican-American War in the Senate and is considered “the first U.S. Senator with an openly anti-slavery (or abolitionist) platform”. He alone refused to vote in favor of the resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor for their victories in the Mexican-American War. In 1849 he was joined in the Senate by co-advocates of the anti-slavery cause Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward, and in 1851 he was joined by Charles Sumner. …
Hale was an unsuccessful candidate for President of the United States on the Free Soil ticket in 1852, losing to Democrat Franklin Pierce, a staunch political enemy of Hale’s …
At the time of this story Hale was again serving as a U.S. senator – by now as a Republican.
It’s kind of interesting that Hale’s assailant is described as being intoxicated – as chairman of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs, Hale worked for the July 14, 1862 law abolishing the daily spirit ration on navy ships, but sailors did get a nickel per day as compensation for their loss.