Mark Barnsley (a framed prisoner himself) kindly provided us with a paraphrase of an account from The Commonweal about what happened in Sheffield when the first edition of this pamphlet [Stanley's exploits or civilising Africa] was being distributed:
"Creaghe's account of the Stanley meeting is in one of his letters to the Commonweal. It's a classic and very amusing account, and well worth reprinting. What happened was that Stanley was touring the country, and in 1891 was due to speak at the City Hall in Sheffield. A contingent of our comrades turned up armed with a bundle of Nicoll's pamphlet, and began selling it. As the pamphlet was assumed to be some sort of official programme it was selling like hot cakes until people started reading it. Then there were cries of 'Fraud,' 'Swindle,' 'Turn them out', etc. Most of the group that had entered the Town Hall were turned out by the bouncers, except for Creaghe who stood his ground even when a copper was brought in declaring that he had ambitions to be a capitalist one day! Outside the hall Stanley was jeered by our comrades as he turned up, and for some reason those that had turned up to see him joined in (later they could be heard saying 'Why did we hoot him?'!) After the meeting Stanley got an even more combative reception from our comrades (who'd probably been in the pub), with one French member of the group chasing him down the road for some distance…."
To see what people were getting so excited about, just see Stanley's exploits or civilising Africa, just published.
The Justice for Mark Barnsley Campaign can be reached at PO Box 381, Huddersfield, HD1 3XX