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of the fact, and was, of course, very cordially received. After his return to Washington, he wrote 30 to his friend and constituent, Hon. S. R. Adams, an account of his interview, mainly devoted to a report of Mr. Buchanan's sayings on that occasion. Of these, the material portion is as follows:

"After thus speaking of Kansas and the Slavery issue, Mr. Buchanan passed to our foreign policy. He approved, in general

terms, of the Cincinnati resolutions on this subject, but said that, while enforcing our own policy, we must at all times scrupulously regard the just rights and proper policy of other nations. He was not opposed to territorial extension. All our acquisitions had been fairly and honorably made. Our necessities might require us to make other acquisitions. He regarded the acquisition of Cuba as very desirable now, and it was likely to become a National necessity. Whenever we could obtain the island on fair, honorable terms, he was for taking it. But, he added, it must be a terrible necessity that would induce me to sanction any movement that would bring reproach upon us, or tarnish the honor and glory of our beloved


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"After the formal interview was over, Mr. Buchanan said playfully, but in the presence of the whole audience, 'If I can be instrumental in settling the Slavery question upon the terms I have mentioned, and then add Cuba to the Union, I shall, if President, be willing to give up the ghost, and let Breckinridge take the Government. Could there be a more noble ambition?




In my judgment, he is as worthy of Southern confidence and Southern votes as ever Mr. Calhoun was." 99 31

tion of 1856, in the platform of principles framed and adopted by it, alluded to this subject as follows:

"Resolved, That the highwayman's plea that might makes right,' embodied in the Ostend Circular, was in every respect unworthy of American diplomacy, and would bring shame and dishonor on any government or people that gave it their sanction."

At the last Democratic National Convention, which met at Charleston, April 23, 1860, while discord reigned with regard to candidates and the domestic planks of their platform, there was one topic whereon a perfect unanimity was demonstrated. In the brief platform of the majority was embodied the following:

"Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain."

This resolve was first reported to the Convention by Mr. Avery, of N. C., from the majority of the grand Committee, was accepted on all hands, and was unanimously adopted by the bolting, or Breckinridge, as well as by the Douglas, or majority, Convention. It thus forms about the only surviving and authentic article of the Democratic creed, and may serve as the nucleus of a grand “re

The Republican National Conven- construction."

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to that country, and help open it to civilization and niggers. I could get strong recommendations from the President's special friends in Pennsylvania for the place were the mission vacant, and, I think, I would prove a live Minister.

"I am tired of being a white slave at the North, and long for a home in the sunny South.

"Please let me hear from you when you have leisure.

"Mrs. Brodhead joins me in sending kind remembrances to Mrs. Davis and yourself.

"Sincerely and gratefully your friend,





On the 17th of October, 1859, this country was bewildered and astounded, while the fifteen Slave States were convulsed with fear, rage, and hate, by telegraphic dispatches from Baltimore and Washington, announcing the outbreak, at Harper's Ferry, of a conspiracy of Abolitionists and negroes, having for its object the devastation and ruin of the South, and the massacre of her white inhabitants. A report that President Buchanan had been proclaimed Emperor and Autocrat of the North American continent, and had quietly arrested and imprisoned all the members of Congress and Judges of the Supreme Court, by way of strengthening his usurpation, would not have seemed more essentially incredible, nor have aroused a more intense excitement. Here follow the dispatches which gave the first tidings of this audacious and amazing demonstration:

"INSURRECTION AT HARPER'S FERRY! "To the Associated Press:

"BALTIMORE, Monday, Oct. 17, 1859. "A dispatch just received here from Frederick, and dated this morning, states that an insurrection has broken out at Harper's Ferry, where an armed band of Abolitionists have full possession of the Government Arsenal. The express train going east was twice fired into, and one of the railroad hands and a negro killed, while they were endeavoring to get the train through the town. The insurrectionists stopped and arrested two men, who had come to town with a load of wheat, and, seizing their wagon, loaded it with rifles, and sent them into Maryland. The insurrectionists number about 250 whites, and are aided by a gang of negroes. At last accounts, fighting was going on.

"The above is given just as it was received here. It seems very improbable, and should be received with great caution, until

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'BALTIMORE, Monday, Oct. 17-2 P. M. "Another account, received by train, filled with insurgents, all armed. Every says the bridge across the Potomac was light in the town was extinguished, and the hotels closed. All the streets were in the lane leading thereto barricaded and guardpossession of the mob, and every road and ed. Men were seen in every quarter with muskets and bayonets, who arrested the citizens, and impressed them into the service, including many negroes. This done, the United States Arsenal and Government Pay-house, in which was said to be a large amount of money, and all other public works, were seized by the mob. Some were of the opinion that the object was entirely plunder, and to rob the Government of the funds deposited on Saturday at the Payhouse. During the night, the mob made a demand on the Wager Hotel for provisions, and enforced the claim by a body of armed men. The citizens were in a terrible state of aların, and the insurgents have threatened to burn the town.

"The following has just been received from Monocacy, this side of Harper's Ferry:


"The Mail Agent on the western-bound train has returned, and reports that the train was unable to get through. town is in possession of the negroes, who arrest every one they can catch and imprison. The train due here at 3 p. m., could not get through, and the Agent came down on an empty engine.''

Probably the more prevalent sen

sation at first excited by this intelli- | mie, son of Owen and Ruth Brown,

gence was that of blank incredulity. Harper's Ferry being the seat of a National Armory, at which a large number of mechanics and artisans were usually employed by the Government, it was supposed by many that some collision respecting wages or hours of labor had occurred between the officers and the workmen, which had provoked a popular tumult, and perhaps a stoppage of the trains passing through that village on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; and that this, magnified by rumor and alarm, had afforded a basis for these monstrous exaggerations. Yet, as time wore on, further advices, with particulars and circumstances, left no room to doubt the substantial truth of the original report. An attempt had actually been made to excite a slave insurrection in Northern Virginia, and the one man in America to whom such an enterprise would not seem utter insanity and suicide, was at the head of it.

JOHN BROWN was sixth in descent from Peter Brown, a carpenter by trade, and a Puritan by intense conviction, who was one of the glorious company who came over in the Mayflower, and landed at Plymouth Rock, on that memorable 22d of December, 1620. The fourth in descent from Peter the pilgrim, was John Brown, born in 1728, who was captain of the West Simsbury (Connecticut) train-band, and in that capacity joined the Continental Army at New York in the Spring of 1776, and, after two months' service, fell a victim to camp-fever, dying in a barn a few miles north of the city. His grandson, John Brown, of Osawato

was born in Torrington, Conn., May 9, 1800. On his mother's side, he was descended from Peter Miles, an emigrant from Holland, who settled at Bloomfield, Conn., about 1700; and his grandfather on this side, Gideon Mills, also served in the Revolutionary war, and attained the rank of lieutenant.

When John was but five years old, his father migrated to Hudson, Ohio, where he died a few years since, aged eighty-seven. He was engaged, during the last war, in furnishing beef cattle to our forces on the northern frontier; and his son, John, then twelve to fourteen years of age, accompanied him as a cattle-driver, and, in that capacity, witnessed Hull's surrender at Detroit, in 1812. He was so disgusted with what he saw of military life that he utterly refused, when of suitable age, to train or drill in the militia, but paid fines or evaded service during his entire liability to military duty. In an autobiographical fragment, written by him in 1857, for a child who had evinced a deep interest in his Kansas efforts, speaking of himself in the third person, he says:

"During the war with England, a circumstance occurred that in the end made him a most determined Abolitionist, and led him to declare, or swear, eternal war with Slavery. He was staying, for a short time, with a very gentlemanly landlord, once a United his own age, active, intelligent, and goodStates Marshal, who held a slave-boy near feeling, and to whom John was under considerable obligation for numerous little acts of kindness. The master made a great pet of John, brought him to table with his first company and friends called their attention to every little smart thing he said or did, and to the fact of his being more than a hundred miles from home with a drove of cattle alone; while the negro boy (who was fully, if not more than, his equal,) was badly clothed, poorly fed and lodged in cold weath er, and beaten before his eyes with iron


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ings of slaves. So early as 1839, the idea of becoming himself a liberator of the unhappy race was cherished by him. From 1835 to 1846, he lived once more in northern Ohio, removing thence to Springfield, Mass., where he engaged in wool-dealing under the firm of Perkins & Brown, selling wool extensively on commission for growers along the southern shore of Lake Erie, and undertaking to dictate prices and a system of gra ding wools to the manufacturers of New England, with whom he came to an open rupture, which induced him at length to ship two hundred thousand pounds of wool to London, and go thither to sell it. This bold experiment proved a failure, wool bringing far higher prices in this country than in any other. He final ly sold at a fearful loss and came home a bankrupt. But, meantime, he had traveled considerably over Europe, and learned something of the ways of the world.

Young John had very little of what is called education; poverty and hard work being his principal teachers. At sixteen years of age, he joined the Congregational Church in Hudson; and from fifteen to twenty he learned the trade of tanner and currier. He returned to New England while still a minor, and commenced, at Plainfield, Mass., a course of study with a view to the Christian ministry; but, being attacked with inflammation of the eyes, which ultimately became chronic, he relinquished this pursuit and returned to Ohio, where he married his first wife, Dianthe Lusk, when a little more than twenty years of age. By her, he had seven children; the last of whom, born in 1832, was buried with her three days after its birth. He next year married Mary A. Day (who sur-ily to North Elba, Essex County, New vives him), by whom he had thirteen children, of whom three sons were with him at Harper's Ferry, two of whom lost their lives there, and the third escaped. Eight of his children were living at the time of his death. Brown worked for himself as a tanner and farmer five or six years in northern Ohio, and, for nine or ten years thereafter, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, enjoying general respect as a sincere, earnest, upright, pious man. One who knew him in those days remembers that the wrong of Slavery was a favorite topic with him, and that, though stern in manner, he was often affected to tears when depicting the unmerited suffer

In 1849, he removed with his fam

York, to some land given him by Gerrit Smith. He went thither expressly to counsel and benefit the negroes settled in that vicinity, on lands likewise bestowed upon them by our noblest philanthropist. The location was a hard one, high up among the glens of the Adirondack Mountains, rugged, cold, and bleak. The negroes generally became discouraged, in view of the incessant toil, privation, and hardships, involved in hewing a farm and a habitation out of the primitive wilderness, in a secluded, sterile region, and gave over in despair after a brief trial; but John Brown and his sons persevered, ultimately making homes for themselves, which,

though not luxurious nor inviting, | intimate follower and admiring biographer, Redpath, says of him:

their families retain. In 1851, the father returned with his family to Akron, Ohio, where he once more carried on the wool business and managed the farm of a friend; but, in 1855, on starting for Kansas, he moved his family back to their own home at North Elba, where they remain, with his grave in the midst of them.

In 1854, his four elder sons- -all by his first wife, and all living in Ohiodetermined to migrate to Kansas. They went thither, primarily, to make that a Free State; secondly, to make homes for themselves and their families. They went unarmed, having a very inadequate idea of the nature and spirit of the fiend they were defying. They settled in Lykins County, southern Kansas, about eight miles distant from the present village of Osawatomie, and not far from the Missouri border. Here they were soon so harassed, threatened, insulted, and plundered, by gangs of marauding ruffians from Missouri, that they found it impossible to remain without arms, and they wrote to and they wrote to their father to procure such as they needed. He obtained them; and, to make sure work of it, went with them. Nearly all others went to Kansas in the hope of thereby improving their worldly condition, or, at least, of making homes there. John Brown went there for the sole purpose of fighting, if need were, for Liberty. He left his family behind him, for he had no intention of making Kansas his home. He was no politician, in the current acceptation of the term, having taken little or no interest in party contests for many years. His

1 ""The Republicans of 1858 will be the Democrats of 1860'-a pithy prophecy, found among

"It has been asserted that he was a member of the Republican party. It is false. He despised the Republican party. It is true that, like every Abolitionist, he was opposed to the extension of Slavery: and, like the of organized political action against it. But majority of anti-Slavery men, in favor, also, he was too earnest a man, and too devout a Christian, to rest satisfied with the only ac

He followed neither

tion against Slavery consistent with one's duty as a citizen, according to the usual Republican interpretation of the Federal Constitution. It teaches that we must content ourselves with resisting the extension of Slavery. Where the Republicans said, 'Halt!' John Brown shouted, 'Forward! to the rescue!' Bunker Hill school. He was an Abolitionist of the Garrison nor Seward, Gerrit Smith nor Wendell Phillips; but the Golden Rule and the Declaration of Independence, in the spirit of the Hebrew warriors, and in the God-applauded mode that they adopted. who betrayed him, 'had manifestly a great 'The Bible story of Gideon,' records a man influence on his actions.' He believed in huhe admired Nat Turner, the negro patriot, man brotherhood and in the God of Battles; equally with George Washington, the white American deliverer. He could not see that tea, and war seven long years for a political it was heroic to fight against a petty tax on principle, yet wrong to restore, by force of arms, to an outraged race, the rights with which their Maker had endowed them, but of which the South, for two centuries, had robbed them. The old man distrusted the He thought that their Republican leaders. success in 1860 would be a serious check to

the cause he loved. His reason was that the people had confidence in these leaders, and would believe that, by their action in Congress, they would peacefully and speedily abolish Slavery. That the people would be deceived-that the Republicans would become as conservative of Slavery as the Democrats themselves-he sincerely and prophetically believed. Apathy to the welfare of the slave would follow; and hence, to avert this moral and national calamity, he hurried on to Harper's Ferry.

"He was no politician. He despised that class with all the energy of his earnest and determined nature. He was too large a man to stand on any party platform. He planted his feet on the Rock of Ages-the Eternal Truth-and was therefore never shaken

in his policy or principles."

the manuscripts at Harper's Ferry-is a brief and clear statement of John Brown's ideas."

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