Cuffay at Hobart Meetings

Cuffay was famous for his speeches and organising abilities. He organised meetings and was in his element at them, often as one of those on the platform.

Tasmanian newspapers show that William Cuffay was present and spoke at various meetings in the Mechanics Institute on 28 May 1862, 6 November 1862, 17 January 1863 and 22 June 1869

Mechanics Institute Melville St Hobart c1900 : Photo courtesy State Library of Victoria
Today all signs of the Mechanics Institute and the workers' meetings there have been erased from the building.
It is clear from these two photographs that the original words MECHANICS INSTITUTE at the front have been replaced with WESLEY HALL. The plaque on the side of the building only mentions the religious use of the building. In the interests of historical record it should certainly have have a plaque to reflect the actual history of the building as a Mechanics Institute and an important meeting place for workers in Hobart for much of the 19th century. (See also 1858 Hobart Map)

Wesley Hall Melville St Hobart 2011 (photo: Mark Gregory)
In 1863 Cuffay was reported at a meeting in the Theatre Royal:
The Mercury Friday 3 July 1863
A public meeting of citizens was hold last evening, at the Theatre Royal for the purpose of considering the proposed New Tariff. The meeting had been called by anonymous advertisement, and although no time had been announced, there were about 250 persons present when the proceedings commenced.  
On the platform were Messrs. Barrett, Lazarus, Cuffey, Marshall, Lawrence, Walker, and other gentlemen.
Theatre Royal: Hobart 2011 (photo: Mark Gregory)
Cuffay was reported speaking a number of times at the Albert Theatre which stood at the corner of Liverpool Street and Argyle Street as shown on the 1858 map of Hobart

Albert Theatre (thanks to Simon Cocker)
1849 Advertisement
Liverpool Street Hobart mid 1840s [H.G. Eaton]