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 majority of anti-Slavery men, in favor, also, of organized political action against it. But he was too earnest a man, and too devout a Christian, to rest satisfied with the only action 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!” He was an Abolitionist of the Bunker Hill school. He followed neither 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, “ The Bible story of Gideon,” records a man who betrayed him, “ had manifestly a great influence on his actions.” He believed in human brotherhood and in the God of Battles; he admired Nat Turner, the negro patriot, equally with George Washington, the white American deliverer. He could not see that it was heroic to fight against a petty tax on tea, and war seven long years for a political 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 Republican leaders. He thought that their success in 1860 would be a serious check to the cause he loved.1 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. lie 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.
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