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frankly and fully. On his return to first news of their attempt, and that Ohio, he said:
fears of insurrection and of an armed "It is in vain to underrate either the man
rescue were still widely prevalent. or the conspiracy. Capt. John Brown is as That the lawyers of the vicinage who brave and resolute a man as ever headed an
were assigned to the defense of the insurrection; and, in a good cause, and with a sufficient force, would have been a consum
prisoners did their duty timidly and mate partisan commander. He has coolness, feebly, is certain; but they shared, daring, persistency, the stoic faith and patience, and a firmness of will and purpose
of course, not only the prejudices but unconquerable. He is the farthest possible the terrors of their neighbors, and remove from the ordinary ruffian, fanatic, or knew that the case, at any rate, was madman. Certainly, it was one of the best planned and best executed conspiracies that
| hopeless. ever failed."
Brown's conduct throughout comOn Wednesday evening, October manded the admiration of his bitter19th, after thirty hours of this disci- est enemies. When his papers were pline, the four surviving prisoners brought into court to be identified, were conveyed to the jail at Charles he said: “I will identify any of my town under an escort of marines. handwriting, and save all trouble. I
Brown and Stevens, badly wounded, am ready to face the music.” When were taken in a wagon; Green and a defense of insanity was suggested Coppoc, unhurt, walked between files rather than interposed, he repelled it of soldiers, followed by hundreds, with indignation. When, after his who at first cried, “ Lynch them !" conviction, he was suddenly brought but were very properly shamed into into court, on the 1st of November, silence by Gov. Wise.
to listen to the judgment, and directed It is not necessary to linger here to stand up, and say why sentence over the legal proceedings in this should not be passed upon him, case; nor do the complaints, so freely though taken by surprise and somemade at the time, of indecent haste what confused, he spoke gently and and unfair dealing, on the part of the tenderly as follows: Virginia authorities, seem fully justi “In the first place, I deny every thing but fied. That the conviction and death
what I have all along admitted—the design of Brown and his associates were pre
on my part to free the slaves. I intended
certainly to have made a clear thing of that determined, is quite probable; but matter, as I did last winter, when I went the facts and the nature of the case
into Missouri, and there took slaves without
the snapping of a gun on either side, moved were notorious, beyond dispute; and
them through the country, and finally left Virginia had but this alternative them in Canada. I designed to have done to hang John Brown, or to abol
the same thing again, on a larger scale.
That was all I intended. I never did intend ish Slavery. She did not choose murder, or treason, or the destruction of to abolish Slavery; and she had no | property, or to excite or incite slaves to
rebellion, or to make insurrection. remaining choice but to hang John
“I have another objection: and that is, Brown. And as to trying him and it is unjust that I should suffer such a Stevens while still weak and suffer- penalty; H
penalty. Had I interfered in the manner
which I admit has been fairly proved-(for ing severely from their wounds--nei
I admire the truthfulness and candor of the ther able at times to stand up-it greater portion of the witnesses who have must be considered that the whole
bolo | testified in this case)--had I so interfered in
| behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelliState had been terror-stricken by the gent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any
JOHN BROWN TO L. MARIA CHILD.
of their friends, either father, mother, I thorities, permission to visit him in brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of his prison. Her letter to Brown was that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have answered as follows: been all right, and every man in this Court would have deemed it an act worthy of re
“Mrs. L. MARIA CHILD : ward rather than punishment.
“My dear Friend (such you prove to be, “This Court acknowledges, as I suppose,
though a stranger) :-Your most kind letter the validity of the Law of God. I see a
| has reached me, with the kind offer to come book kissed here which I suppose to be the
here and take care of me. Allow me to exBible, or, at least, the New Testament.
press my gratitude for your great sympathy, That teaches me that all things whatsoever
and at the same to propose to you a differI would that men should do unto me, I
ent course, together with my reasons for should do even so to them. It teaches me,
| wishing it. I should certainly be greatly further, to remember those that are in
pleased to become personally acquainted with bonds as bound with them,' I endeavored
one so gifted and so kind; but I cannot to act upon that instruction. I say, I am
avoid seeing some objections to it, under yet too young to understand that God is
present circumstances. First, I am in any respecter of persons. I believe that to
charge of a most humane gentleman, who, have interfered as I have done, as I have
with his family, have rendered me every: always freely admitted I have done, in | possible attention I have desired, or that behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong,
could be of the least advantage; and I am but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary
so far recovered from my wounds as no that I should forfeit my life for the further
longer to require nursing. Then, again, it ance of the ends of justice, and mingle my
would subject you to great personal inconblood further with the blood of my children,
venience and heavy expense, without doing and with the blood of millions in this slave
me any good. country whose rights are disregarded by
"Allow me to name to you another chanwicked, cruel, and unjust enactinents,I
nel through which you may reach me with submit: so let it be done.
your sympathies much more effectually. I “Let me say one word further:
have at home a wife and three young daugh“I feel entirely satisfied with the treat
ters--the youngest but little over five years ment I have received on my trial. Consid- | old, the cldest nearly sixteen. I have also ering all the circumstances, it has been
two daughters-in-law, whose husbands have more generous than I expected. But I feel | both fallen near me here. There is also no consciousness of guilt. I have stated
another widow, Mrs. Thompson, whose from the first what was my intention and
husband fell here. Whether she is a mother what was not. I never had any design
or not, I cannot say. All these, my wife inagainst the life of any person, nor any dis
cluded, live at North Elba, Essex County, position to commit treason, or excite slaves
New York. I have a middle-aged son, who to rebel, or make any general insurrection.
has been, in some degree, a cripple from I never encouraged any man to do so, but
his childhood, who would have as much as always discouraged any idea of that kind.
he could well do to earn a living. He was “Let me say, also, a word in regard to
a most dreadful sufferer in Kansas, and lost the statements made by some of those con
all he had laid up. He has not enough to nected with me. I hear it has been stated
clothe himself for the winter comfortably. by some of them that I have induced them
I have no living son, or son-in-law, who did to join me. But the contrary is true. I do
not suffer terribly in Kansas. not say this to injure them, but as regretting
“Now, dear friend, would you not as their weakness. There is not one of them
soon contribute fifty cents now, and a like but joined me of his own accord, and the
sum yearly, for the relief of those very poor greater part at their own expense. A num
and deeply afflicted persons, to enable them ber of them I never saw, and never had a
to supply themselves and their children with word of conversation with, till the day they bread and very plain clothing, and to enable came to me, and that was for the purpose I
the children to receive a common English have stated.
education? Will you also devote your ener“Now I have done."
gies to induce others to join in giving a like amount, or any other amount, to constitute
a little fund for the purpose named ? Among the many letters addressed “I cannot see how your coming here to him while in prison was one from can do me the least good, and I am quite Lydia Maria Child, who sought, but
certain you can do me immense good where
vugdg Duy you are. I am quite cheerful under all my did not obtain, from the Virginia au- / afflicting circumstances and prospects; having, as I humbly trust, the peace of God, I children than there is about trying to relieve which passeth all understanding,' to rule in poor niggers.' Again, the little comfort it my heart. You may make such use of this might afford us to meet again would be as you see fit. God Almighty bless and re dearly bought by the pains of a final separaward you a thousand fold!
tion. We must part;and, I feel assured, for “ Yours, in sincerity and truth,
us to meet under such dreadful circumstan. “John Brown.” ces would only add to our distress. If she His letter to his family, written a
come on here, she must be only a gazing
stock throughout the whole journey, to be week after his sentence to death, is remarked upon in every look, word, and as follows:
action, and by all sorts of creatures, and by “CHARLESTOWN, JEFFERSON Co., VA.,
all sorts of papers throughout the whole 18th Nov., 1859.
country. Again, it is my most decided "Dear Wife and Children-Every one:
judgment that in quietly and submissively I will begin by saying that I have in some
staying at home, vastly more of generous
sympathy will reach her, without such degree recovered from my wounds, but that I am quite weak in my back, and sore about
dreadful sacrifice of feeling as she must put
up with if she comes on. The visits of one my left kidney. My appetite has been quite
or two female friends that have come on good for most of the time since I was hurt. I am supplied with almost every thing I
here have produced great excitement, which
is very annoying, and they cannot possibly could desire to make me comfortable, and
do me any good. O Mary, do not come; the little I do lack (some articles of clothing, which I lost), I may perhaps soon get again.
but patiently wait for the meeting (of those I am, besides, quite cheerful, having (as I
who love God and their fellow-men) where trust) the peace of God, which passeth all
no separation must follow. "They shall go understanding,' to 'rule in my heart,' and
no more out forever.' I greatly. long to the testimony in some degree) of a good
hear from some one of you, and to learn any
thing that in any way affects your welfare. conscience that I have not lived altogether in vain. I can trust God with both the
I sent you ten dollars the other day. Did
you get it? I have also endeavored to stir time and the manner of my death, believing,
up Christian friends to visit and write to as I now do, that for me at this time to seal
you in your deep affliction. I have no doubt my testimony (for God and humanity) with
that some of them, at least, will heed the my blogd, will do vastly more toward ad
call. Write to me, care of Capt. John Avis, vancing the cause I have earnestly endeavored to promote, than all I have done in my
Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va.
"Finally, my beloved, be of good comlife before. I beg of you all meekly and quietly to submit to this; not feeling your
fort.' May all your names be written in selves in the least degraded on that account.
the Lamb's book of life'-may you all havė Remember, dear wife and children all, that
the purifying and sustaining influence of
the Christian religion-is the earnest prayer Jesus of Nazareth suffered a most excruciat
of your affectionate husband and father, ing death on the cross as a felon, under the
“ JOHN BROWN. most aggravating circumstances. Think,
“P. S. I cannot remember a night so also, of the prophets, and apostles, and
| dark as to have hindered the coming day, Christians of former days, who went through greater tribulations than you or I; and (try
nor a storm so furious or dreadful as to preto) be reconciled. May God Almighty com
vent the return of warm sunshine and a fort all your hearts, and soon wipe away all
cloudless sky. But, beloved ones, do retears from your eyes. To Him be endless
member that this is not your rest, that in
this world you have no abiding-place or praise. Think, too, of the crushed millions who have no comforter.
continuing city. I charge you all
To God and His infinite
mercy I always commend you. J. B." never in your trials) to forget the griefs of
“Nov. 9." the poor that cry, and of those that have none to help them. I wrote most earnestly During the forty-two days of his to my dear and afflicted wife not to come on, for the present at any rate. I will now give |
confinement at Charlestown, Brown her my reasons for doing so. First, it received several visits from sympawould use up all the scanty means she has, thizing Northern friends, many of or is at all likely to have, to make herself and children confortable hereafter. For let
whom had never before seen him. me tell you that the sympathy that is now His wife, overcoming many obstacles, aroused in your behalf may not always follow you. There is but little more of the ro- |
was finally permitted to spend a few mantic about helping poor widows and their hours in his cell, and to take supper