at first excited by this intelligence was that of blank incredulity.
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.
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 May-flower, 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 Osawatomie
, son of Owen
and Ruth Brown
, 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 States Marshal, who held a slave-boy near his own age, active, intelligent, and good-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 weather, and beaten before his eyes with iron