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[230] only. People called the attempt an insane one; but they did not know that many hundreds of men, earnest haters of the Slavery whose terrors they had known, and drilled for the service, were eagerly awaiting, in the Canadian Provinces, for the signal to be given at Harper's Ferry, to hasten southward and join the army of Immediate Emancipation.

To conquer the South, a small band only is needed: but it must have backers in the North, who shall send down recruits from time to time. It is necessary, also, in order to prevent unnecessary bloodshed, for the liberated negroes to be held under strict control. John Brown knew all these facts. To inspire the Canadian fugitives with confidence in his plans, and, at the same time, to indicate his intentions in order to induce them to participate in it, he called a secret Convention of the friends of freedom at Chatham, in Canada.

At this time he intended to attack Virginia within a very few months. Cook, in his Confession, thus writes of the Convention:

While we were in Chatham, he called a Convention, the purpose of which was to make a complete and thorough organization. He issued a written circular, which he sent to various persons in the United States and Canada. The circular, as near as I can recollect, reads as follows:

Chatham, May--, 1859.
Mr.--
Dear Sir:

We have issued a call for a very quiet Convention at this place, to which we shall be happy to see any true friends of freedom, and to which you are most earnestly invited to give your attendance.

Yours, respectfully, John Brown.

The names were left blank; but as they were directed by Captain Brown or J. H. Kagi, I do not know the parties to whom they were addressed. I do know, however, that they were sent to none save those whom Captain Brown knew to be radical Abolitionists. I think it was about ten days from the time the circulars were sent that the

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