….The halls of the Massachusetts Legislature were opened for the first time to a woman. [Abolitionist] Wendell Phillips says of that meeting: "It gave Miss Grimke the opportunity to speak to the best culture and character of Massachusetts; … It was not only the testimony of one most competent to speak, but it was the profound religious experience of one who had broken out of the charmed circle, and whose intense earnestness melted all opposition. The converts she made needed no after-training. It was when you saw she was opening some secret record of her own experience that the painful silence and breathless interest told the deep effect and lasting impression her words were making."
But one hearing did not satisfy her, and the committee needed no urging to grant her another. At the second meeting, the hall was literally packed, and hundreds went away unable to obtain seats. When she arose to speak, there was some hissing from the doorways, but the most profound silence reigned through the crowd within. Angelina first stood in front of the Speaker's desk, then she was requested to occupy the Secretary's desk on one side, and soon after, that she might be seen as well as heard, she was invited to stand in the Speaker's place. And from that conspicuous position she spoke over two hours without the least interruption.
Quoted in The Grimké Sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimké: The First American Women Advocates of Abolition and Women's Rights, by Catherine H. Birney (1885).