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[296] as I humbly trust, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” to rule in my heart. You may make such use of this as you see fit. God Almighty bless and reward you a thousand fold!

Yours, in sincerity and truth,

His letter to his family, written a week after his sentence to death, is as follows:

Dear Wife and Children — Every one: I will begin by saying that I have in some degree recovered from my wounds, but that I am quite weak in my back, and sore about my left kidney. My appetite has been quite good for most of the time since I was hurt. I am supplied with almost every thing I could desire to make me comfortable, and the little I do lack (some articles of clothing, which I lost), I may perhaps soon get again. I am, besides, quite cheerful, having (as I trust) the peace of God, which “passeth all understanding,” to “rule in my heart,” and the testimony (in some degree) of a good conscience that I have not lived altogether in vain. I can trust God with both the time and the manner of my death, believing, as I now do, that for me at this time to seal my testimony (for God and humanity) with my blood, will do vastly more toward advancing the cause I have earnestly endeavored to promote, than all I have done in my life before. I beg of you all meekly and quietly to submit to this; not feeling your-selves in the least degraded on that account. Remember, dear wife and children all, that Jesus of Nazareth suffered a most excruciating death on the cross as a felon, under the most aggravating circumstances. Think, also, of the prophets, and apostles, and Christians of former days, who went through greater tribulations than you or I; and (try to) be reconciled. May God Almighty comfort all your hearts, and soon wipe away all tears from your eyes. To Him be endless praise. Think, too, of the crushed millions who “have no comforter.” I charge you all never (in your trials) to forget the griefs of “the poor that cry, and of those that have none to help them.” I wrote most earnestly to my dear and afflicted wife not to come on, for the present at any rate. I will now give her my reasons for doing so. First, it would use up all the scanty means she has, or is at all likely to have, to make herself and children comfortable hereafter. For let me tell you that the sympathy that is now aroused in your behalf may not always follow you. There is but little more of the romantic about helping poor widows and their children than there is about trying to relieve poor “niggers.” Again, the little comfort it might afford us to meet again would be dearly bought by the pains of a final separation. We must part; and, I feel assured, for us to meet under such dreadful circumstances would only add to our distress. If she come on here, she must be only a gazingstock throughout the whole journey, to be remarked upon in every look, word, and action, and by all sorts of creatures, and by all sorts of papers throughout the whole country. Again, it is my most decided judgment that in quietly and submissively staying at home, vastly more of generous sympathy will reach her, without such dreadful sacrifice of feeling as she must put up with if she comes on. The visits of one or two female friends that have come on here have produced great excitement, which is very annoying, and they cannot possibly do me any good. O Mary, do not come; but patiently wait for the meeting (of those who love God and their fellow-men) where no separation must follow. “ They shall go no more out forever.” I greatly long to hear from some one of you, and to learn any thing that in any way affects your welfare. I sent you ten dollars the other day. Did you get it? I have also endeavored to stir up Christian friends to visit and write to you in your deep affliction. I have no doubt that some of them, at least, will heed the call. Write to me, care of Capt. John Avis, Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va.

“ Finally, my beloved, be of good comfort.” May all your names be “ written in the Lamb's book of life ” --may you all have the purifying and sustaining influence of the Christian religion — is the earnest prayer of your affectionate husband and father,

P. S. I cannot remember a night so dark as to have hindered the coming day, nor a storm so furious or dreadful as to prevent the return of warm sunshine and a cloudless sky. But, beloved ones, do remember that this is not your rest, that in this world you have no abiding-place or continuing city. To God and His infinite mercy I always commend you.

J. B. Nov. 9.

During the forty-two days of his confinement at Charlestown, Brown received several visits from sympathizing Northern friends, many of whom had never before seen him. His wife, overcoming many obstacles, was finally permitted to spend a few hours in his cell, and to take supper

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