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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 242, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX03204184

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 242, ca. 1859 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping regarding John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry.





From Our Own Correspondent.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 25, 1859.

No one here, or in this latitude, exults in the events at Harper’s Ferry, except the demagogue who seek to use them for the manufacture of political capital. This community does not sympathize in the method adopted by [John] Brown to abolish Slavery. On the contrary, the sentiment is universal that the man had become a monomaniac on the subject, and while thus evidently crazy, took up arms for an attempt which a sane man would be sure of having instantly crushed out. Now, this city gave birth to the earliest Anti-Slavery Societies formed in this country, and the feeling for emancipation has consequently pervaded the entire population. But on no occasion has it ever assumed the shape given to it by Brown’s insane attempt. We deeply deplore the misguided frenzy of the man, as, if Slavery in the South is to cease, we hold that the conscience should be enlightened or the pocket convinced, and that it should not be done in this way, by pike or rifle. All our newspapers deplore the outbreak of Brown, the demagogues only distorting it to the prejudice of those who oppose the Democracy. They cannot magnify it as they are endeavoring to do. The good sense of the people will not only detect the imposture, but it will discover that the North had no hand in fomenting the disaster before it occurred, or in justifying it afterward. The effort to make the Republican party responsible for it, is of a piece with other attempts to fasten on it great disturbances with which it had neither connection nor sympathy. The presses which witnessed without rebuke the outrages and murders committed by Buford’s Carolina outlaws, the sacking of Lawrence, and all the long catalogue of horrors inflicted on the peaceful settlers in Kansas, are now rampant for vengeance. In this they may be glutted, but they will fail in the attempt to make the Republican party responsible except for its own public acts. Yet the authorities even here, are acting as if our free blacks were more dangerous citizens than the enslaved ones in Virginia. A volunteer company of about forty colored men has been in existence here, whom the Adjutant-General had supplied with arms from the State Armory. But since Brown’s insane attempt, he has taken the muskets away from them. That courageous old man, Joshua R. Giddings, has come in for his usual share of Pro Slavery vilification as an accomplice. But you have seen his flat-footed denial of all knowledge of Brown’s intentions. On Monday this patriarch of Freedom lectured before a densely crowded audience on the scenes he had witnessed in Congressional life. He spoke without notes, and opened by referring to the unfound rumor of his being privy to Brown’s designs. His address was not of the political or partizan character, but was almost exclusively historical, with side touches of some of the distinguished and fiery spirits he had encountered in his long career. He described in language which riveted the attention of the audience, the memorable scene when John Quincy Adams presented the Massachusetts petition for a dissolution of the Union; the demand to have it burned at once in the presence of the House; the wild clamor and furious excitement of the Southern members, followed by Mr. Adam’s motion that the petition be referred to a committee, with instruction to [rest of article cut off]

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1859-10-25

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper


Subjects: Abolitionists
Missouri-Kansas Border War, 1850s
African Americans
Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
John Brown's Raid, 1859
Slavery, abolition, and emancipation


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