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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 221, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX03187399

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 221, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping regarding the involvement of Colonel Hugh Forbes in the incident at Harper's Ferry.


A DOOMED MAN.—Since the time when Sampson pulled the temple about his ears, in which he was a prisoner, the act of one man in ruining himself has not involved so many persons as has the mad-act of Ossawatamie Brown. He was a person of most extensive correspondence and acquaintance, and everybody who has ever done him a kindness, or written him a letter, or even been the recipient of one from him, are implicated with him. Colonel [Hugh] Forbes comes in for his share of ruin; and he seems to rather like it. He rushes into the newspapers with eagerness, and is not in the least alarmed at the prospect of being made particeps criminis in the Harper’s Ferry rebellion. He has “peached” on the Republicans, and they are down on him. [Horace] Greeley is particularly severe upon the Colonel, even to the extent of questioning his claim to his military title; and the Evening Post says:

“We remember this Forbes as an immensely disagreeable creature, an exaggerated sample of the peculiarities of his fellow islanders—so much so, that we wonder that anybody could bear to have much to do with him. He seems, however, to have been an importunate beggar, and to have made the most of the distress of his family in his applications for money. What he received was given, we suppose, partly through compassion and partly to get rid of him, for most certainly there was no occasion for the services of such an unpromising agent in any enterprise whatever.”

All this may be true; but we only remember Colonel Forbes as a modest looking man, with a military style of frock coat, a closely cropped head, and an independent kind of cap. He has followed the business of a fencing-master for some time back, and we should not judge him to be a dangerous character.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: ca. 1859

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper


Subjects: Diaries
Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
John Brown's Raid, 1859


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