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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 237, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX03200183

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 237, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping regarding Hugh Forbes.


one or the other of these things, or something of the sort, The Journal of Commerce and The Constitution are ready to charge him with misprision of treason. Can anything be more absurd?



We have been favored with another long rigmarole by which Mr. Hugh Forbes—sometimes called “Col. Forbes”—tries to increase the measure of public contempt and loathing wherewith he has already covered himself. The attempt is hopeless. He cannot render himself more despicable than he is already known to be. His new performance reveals nothing, amounts to nothing, proves nothing, save his own baseness, which was already established beyond dispute; and his efforts to cover the sale of himself and his correspondence—such as it is—to the Pro-Slavery party might well provoke a horselaugh. It seems unaccountable that this fellow should not have wormed out of somebody or other a letter which could be turned to account by his new employers. That he could make no revelations is plain; for there was nothing to reveal. He was sent out to Kansas in one of the most desperate exigencies of the Free-State struggle against Border Ruffian invasion and outrage; but, before he arrived here, the exigency had passed, and he did nothing for there was nothing for him to do. What projects were thereupon talked over between him and some one else, we do not know: we only know that the friends of Free Kansas dropped him right there, considering the $900 which he had got from them a full equivalent for the nothing he had already done for them and the nothing more that they wanted of him thereafter. He never hinted to us, nor to any of our intimate friends, that he or any one else had any idea of operating against Slavery anywhere else than in Kansas. All his cry was for money, more money, for what he had been willing to do there if anything had been required. We presume the burden of his song to every one else was the same as to us. He can now safely say that he talked of Old [John] Brown’s Harper’s Ferry project to Dr. Bailey of The National Era, since Dr. Bailey is dead; but we do not believe him.

This poor creature intimates that he is about to [c]lear out, to evade further questioning. We advise him to go down to Richmond and set up as a slave-holder. If the Fifth Avenue Hotel Committee have paid him enough to begin business upon, very well; if not, let him haunt and hound them as he did the Free-State men, and they will soon be [r]eady to do almost anything to be rid of him.



Mr. McLane, it is understood, is about to return to Mexico in the hope of bringing that treaty which has been so long on the carpet, to some satisfact [rest of article missing]

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: ca. 1859

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper


Subjects: Diaries
Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
John Brown's Raid, 1859
Missouri-Kansas Border War, 1850s


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