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JOHN BROWN'S LAST HOURS.

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with him a short time before his has died in the same way was good or other

wise. Whether I have any reason to be of death. No Virginians, so far as is good cheer' (or not) in view of my end, I can known, proffered him any words of assure you that I feel so; and that I am tokindness, unless it were the reverend tally blinded if I do not really experience

that strengthening and consolation you so clergy of the neighborhood, who ten- faithfully implore in my behalf. The God dered him the solace of religion after of our Fathers reward your fidelity! I neitheir fashion, which he civilly, but ther feel mortified, degraded, nor in the least

ashamed of my imprisonment, my chain, or firmly, declined. He could not re my near prospeet of death by hanging. I feel cognize any one who justified or pal- assured that not one hair shall fall from

head without the will of my heavenly liated Slavery as a minister of the Father. I also feel that I have long been God he worshiped, or the Saviour endeavoring to hold exactly “such a fast as in whom he trusted. He held argu- which you have quoted. No part of my life

God has chosen.' See the passage in Isaiah ments on several occasions with pro- has been more happily spent than that I have Slavery clergymen, but recognized spent here, and I humbly

trust that no part them as men only, and not as invest- not say this boastingly; but thanks be unto

has been spent to better purpose. I would ed with any peculiar sanctity. To God who giveth us the victory,' through inone of them, who sought to reconcile finite grace.

“I should be 60 years old were I to live Slavery with Christianity, he said: till May 9, 1860. I have enjoyed much of “My dear Sir, you know nothing life as it is, and have been remarkably prosabout Christianity; you will have to welfare and prosperity of others as my own,

perous, having early learned to regard the learn the A B Cs in the lesson of I have never, since I can remember, required Christianity, as I find you entirely a great amount of sleep, so that I conclude

that I have already enjoyed full an average ignorant of the meaning of the word. number of waking hours with those who I, of course, respect you as a gentle reach their three-score years and ten." I

have not as yet been driven to the use of man; but it is as a heathen gentle

glasses, but can see to read and write quite man.” The argument here closed. comfortably. But, more than that, I have The following characteristic letter generally enjoyed remarkably good health.

I might go on to recount unnumbered and was written by him, while under sen

unmerited blessings, among which would be tence of death, to a relative then re some very severe afflictions; and ose the siding in Windham, Ohio:

most needed blessings of all. And now,

when I think how easily I might be left to "CHARLESTOWN, JEFFERSON Co., Va.,

spoil all I have done or suffered in the cause 19th Nov., 1859.

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of Freedom, I hardly dare wish another voy“Rev. LUTHER HUMPHREY — My Dear long time since we met; but we shall now

age, even if I had the opportunity. It is a Friend: Your kind letter of the 12th instant is now before me. So far as iny knowledge I trust. Let us hold fast that we already

soon come together in our Father's house,' goes as to our mutual kindred, I suppose I have,' remembering 'we shall reap in due am the first since the landing of Peter Brown

time if we faint not.' "Thanks be ever unto from the Mayflower that has either been God, who giveth us the victory through sentenced to imprisonment or to thy gallows. Jesus Christ our Lord.' And now, my old But, my dear old friend, let not that fact warm-hearted friend, : Good-bye. alone grieve you. You cannot have forgot

“Your affectionate cousin, ten how and where our grandfather (Cap

"John Brown." tain John Brown) fell in 1776, and that he, too, might have perished on the scaffold had The 2d of December was the day circumstances been but very little different. appointed for his execution. Nearly an executioner (or otherwise) has but little three thousand militia were early on to do with his true character, as I suppose. the ground. Fears of a forcible rescue John Rogers perished at the stake, a great or of a servile insurrection prevented and good man, as I suppose: but his doing 80 does not prove that any other man who a large attendance of citizens. Can

ac

non were so planted as to sweep every | Capt. Avis, who had been one of the approach to the jail, and to blow the bravest of his captors, who had treatprisoner into shreds upon the first in- ed him very kindly, and to whom he timation of tumult. Virginia held was profoundly grateful. The wagon her breath until she heard that the was instantly surrounded by six comold man was dead.

panies of militia. Being asked, on Brown rose at daybreak, and con- the way, if he felt any fear, he retinued writing with energy until half- plied: “It has been a characteristic past ten, when he was told to prepare of me from infancy not to suffer from to die. He shook hands with the physical fear. I have suffered a sheriff, visited the cell of Copeland thousand times more from bashfuland Green, to whom he handed a ness than from fear.” The day was quarter of a dollar each, saying he clear and bright, and he remarked, as had no more use for money, and bade he rode, that the country seemed them adieu. He next visited Cook very beautiful. Arrived at the galand Coppoc, the former of whom had lows, he said: “I see no citizens made a confession, which he pro- here; where are they?” “None but nounced false; saying he had never the troops are allowed to be present," sent Cook to Harper's Ferry, as he was the reply. “That ought not to had stated. He handed a quarter to be,” said he; “citizens should be Coppoc also, shook hands with him, allowed to be present as well as othand parted.

He then visited and ers.” He bade adieu to some bade a kindly good-bye to his more quaintances at the foot of the galespecial comrade, Stevens, gave him lows, and was first to mount the scafa quarter, and charged him not to fold. His step was still firm, and betray his friends. A sixth, named his bearing calm, yet hopeful. The Hazlett, was confined in the same hour having come, he said to Capt. prison, but he did not visit him, de- | Avis: “I have no words to thank nying all knowledge of him.

you for all your kindness to me." Ilis He walked out of the jail at 11 elbows and ankles being pinioned, o'clock; an eye-witness said—“with the white cap drawn over his eyes, a radiant countenance, and the step the hangman's rope adjusted around of a conqueror." His face was even his neck, he stood waiting for death. joyous, and it has been remarked “Capt. Brown," said the sheriff, that probably his was the lightest “you are not standing on the drop. heart in Charlestown that day. A Will you come forward ?” “I can't black woman, with a little child in see,” was his firm answer; "you her arms, stood by the door. He must lead me.” The sheriff led him stopped a moment, and, stooping, forward to the center of the drop. kissed the child affectionately. An- “Shall I give you a handkerchief, other black woman, with a child, as and let you drop it as a signal ?” he passed along, exclaimed : “God “No; I am ready at any time; but bless you, old man! I wish I could do not keep me needlessly waiting.” help you; but I can't.” He looked In defiance of this reasonable request, at her with a tear in his eye. He he was kept standing thus several mounted the wagon beside his jailor, minutes, while a military parade and

THE VOTE FOR FREMONT AND DAYTON.

299

display of readiness to repel an ima- | pension. His body was conveyed to ginary foe were enacted. The time Harper's Ferry, and delivered to his seemed an hour to the impatient widow, by whom it was borne to her spectators; even the soldiers began far northern home, among the mounto murmur—“Shame!" At last, the tains he so loved, and where he was order was given, the rope cut with a so beloved. hatchet, and the trap fell; but so There let it rest forever, while the short a distance that the victim con- path to it is worn deeper and deeper tinued to struggle and to suffer for by the pilgrim feet of the race he a considerable time. Being at length so bravely though rashly endeavored duly pronounced dead, he was cut to rescue from a hideous and debasdown after thirty-eight minutes' sus ing thraldom!

XXI.

THE PRESIDENTIAL CANVASS OF 1860.

The vote polled for Fremont and sentatives Keitt, of South Carolina, Dayton in 1856 considerably exceed- and Edmundson, of Virginia, doubted the solid strength, at that time, of less contributed also to swell the Rethe Republican party. It was swelled publican vote of the following Auin part by the personal popularity of tumn. Mr. Sumner had made an Col. Fremont, whose previous career elaborate speech in the Senate on the of adventure and of daring—his ex- Kansas question—a speech not withplorations, discoveries, privations, and out grave faults of conception and of perils—appealed, in view of his com- style, but nowise obnoxious to the parative youth for a Presidential can-charge of violating the decencies of didate, with resistless fascination, to debate by unjustifiable personalities. the noble young men of our country; Yet, on the assumption that its auwhile his silence and patience through- thor had therein unwarrantably asout the canvass, under a perfect tem- sailed and ridiculed Judge Butlerpest of preposterous yet annoying one of South Carolina's Senators, calumnies, had contributed to widen and a relative of Mr. Brooks—he the circle of his admirers and friends. was assaulted by surprise while sitA most wanton and brutal personal ting in his place (though a few minassault' on Senator Sumner, of Mas- utes after the Senate had adjourned sachusetts, by Representative Brooks for the day), knocked to the floor of South Carolina, abetted by Repre- senseless, and beaten, while helpless

& Cook, Coppoc, Copeland, and Green (a black), succeeded in making their escape, were Owen were hanged at Charlestown a fortnight after Brown, Barclay Coppoc, Charles P. Tidd, Brown-December 16th; Stevens and IIazlitt Francis Jackson Merriam, and Osborne P. An. were likewise hanged on the 16th of March derson, a colored man. following. The confederates of Brown, who 1 May 22, 1856.

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and unconscious, till the rage of his | ized, however, but New York; where immediate assailant was thoroughly -owing, in part, to local questions satiated. Mr. Sumner was so much and influences — Fremont's magnifiinjured as to be compelled to aban- cent plurality of 80,000 was changed don his seat and take a voyage to to a Democratic plurality of 18,000. Europe, where, under the best medi. It appeared in this, as in most other cal treatment, his health was slowly Free States, that the decline or dissorestored. The infliction on Brooks, i lution of the "American" or Fillby a Washington court, of a paltry more party inured mainly to the fine for this outrage, tended to deep- benefit of the triumphant Democraen and diffuse popular indignation at cy; though Pennsylvania, and possithe North, which the unopposed re- bly Rhode Island, were exceptions. ëlection of Brooks—he having re- To swell the resistless tide, Minnesigned, because of a vote of censure sota and Oregon—both in the exfrom a majority of the House—did treme North--each framed a State not tend to allay. Of Fremont's ag- Constitution this year, and took pogregate vote-—1,341,812—it is proba- sition in line with the dominant ble that all above 1,200,000 was giv- party— Minnesota by a small, Oreen him on grounds personal to him- gon by an overwhelming, majority self, or from impulses growing out of the two swelling by four Senathe Sumner outrage.

tors and four: Representatives the Accordingly, the elections of 1857 already invincible strength of the exhibited a diminution of Republi- Democracy. can strength—the eleven States which The Opposition was utterly powerhad voted for Fremont, giving him an less against this surge; but what aggregate popular majority of over they dare hardly undertake, Mr. Bu250,000, now giving but little over chanan was able to effect. By his 50,000 for the Republican tickets. utterly indefensible attempt to enAll the New England States were force the Lecompton Constitution still carried by the Republicans, but upon Kansas, in glaring contradicby majorities diminished, in the aver- tion to his smooth and voluble proage, more than half, while that of fessions regarding “Popular SoverConnecticut was reduced from 7,715 eignty,” “ the will of the majority," to 546. So, in Ohio, Gov. Chase was etc., etc., he enabled the Repubthis year reëlected by 1,481, though licans, in 1858, to hold, by majorities Fremont had 16,623; while Gov. almost uniformly increased, all the Lowe, in Iowa, had but 2,151, where States they had carried the preceding Fremont had received 7,784; and year, and reverse the last year's maGov. Randall was chosen in Wis- jority against them in New York; consin by barely 118, where Fremont carry Pennsylvania for the first time had received 13,247. No Republi- by over 26,000 majority; triumph can State was actually revolution even in New Jersey under an equiv? Of $300.

number-or, at least, soon would be. She has 3 Minnesota chose three Members to the since chosen but two, being entitled to no more House, on the assumption that her population -in fact, hardly to so many—under the Census was sufficient to warrant her in claiming that of 1860.

TIE IRREPRESSIBLE CONFLICT.

301

ocal organization; bring over Min- | Union cannot permanently endure nesota by a close vote; and swell half Slave and half Free. Said Mr. their majority in Ohio to fully 20,000. Lincoln: They were beaten in Indiana on the

“If we could first know where we are, and State ticket by a very slender major- whither we are tending, we could better ity, but carried seven of the eleven judge what to do, and how to do it. We

are now far into the fifth year since a policy Representatives in Congress, beside

was initiated with the avowed object and helping elect an anti-Lecompton confident promise of putting an end to SlaDemocrat in another district; while very agitation. Under the operation of that

policy, that agitation has not only not Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin, chose ceased, but has constantly augmented. In Republican tickets--as of late had my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis

shall have been reached and passed. “A been usual with them-by respect- house divided against itself cannot stand.' able majorities, and the last named I believe this Government cannot permaby one increased to nearly 6,000. nently endure half slave and half free. I do

—I California and Oregon still adhered not expect the house to fall-but I do expect to Democracy of the most pro-Slavery that it will cease to be divided. It will be

come all one thing or all the other. Either type, by decisive majorities.

the opponents of Slavery will arrest the furIllinois was this year the arena of ther spread of it, and place it where the puba peculiar contest. Senator Douglas the course of ultimate extinction; or its ad

lic mind shall rest in the belief that it is in : had taken so prominent and so effi- vocates will push it forward till it shall becient a part in the defeat of the Le come alike lawful in all the States, old as

well as new-North as well as South." compton abomination, that a number of the leading Republicans of other This almost prophetic statement, States were desirous that their Illinois from one born in Kentucky, and who brethren should unite in choosing a had been known, prior to the appearLegislature pledged to return him, ance of the Dred Scott decision, as a by a vote substantially unanimous, to rather conservative Whig, was put the seat he had so ably filled. But forth, more than four months before it was hardly in human nature that Gov. Seward,' as if under a like

prethose thus appealed to should, be- monition of coming events, said: cause of one good act, recognize and “ These antagonistic systems are continutreat as a friend one whom they had ally coming into closer contact, and collision

results. known for nearly twenty years as the

“Shall I tell you what this collision ablest, most indefatigable, and by no means? They who think that it is accimeans the most scrupulous, of their dental, unnecessary, the work of interested

or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeadversaries. They held a sort of ral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irState Convention, therefore, and pre- repressible conflict between opposing and sented ABRAHAM LINCOLN as a Re- United States must and will, sooner or later,

enduring forces; and it means that the publican competitor for Mr. Doug- become either entirely a slave-holding nalas’s seat; and he opened the canvass tion, or entirely a free-labor nation. Either

the cotton and rice-fields of South Carolina at once,“ in a terse, forcible, and tho- and the sugar plantations of Louisiana will roughly “radical” speech, wherein he ultimately be tilled by free labor, and Charlesenunciated the then startling, if not

ton and New Orleans become marts for le

gitimate merchandise alone, or else the ryeabsolutely novel, doctrine that the fields and wheat-fields of Massachusetts " At Springfield, N., June 17, 1858.

5 At Rochester, N. Y., Oct. 25, 1858.

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