Chapter 19: John Brown.—1859.Garrison notes the Republican party's falling off in principle in view of its approaching electoral triumph; yet judges it fairly in accordance with its own standards. He justifies John Brown's Virginia raid by the Bunker Hill code, and, as a non-resistant, disarms him only while disarming the slave-holder.
The crest of time now reached by the abolition movement, after the lapse of a full generation, was the Pisgah outlook over the Promised Land of universal emancipation. Destined himself to descend into that land, the Moses of the little band who had followed after the banner unfurled in 1831, could see the providence of1 God singularly displayed hitherto in the preservation of the earliest and most prominent of his associates. Yet, on the very threshold, the ranks began to thin with ominous rapidity. Ellis Gray Loring, best of counsellors2 on the Massachusetts Board, and among the first and3 truest of Mr. Garrison's supporters, had departed in May,4 In March, 1859, died Arnold Buffum, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society and5 signers of the Declaration of Sentiments at Philadelphia; to whom Mr. Garrison and the cause owed much in the day of small things. In September, 1859, almost simultaneously, Effingham L. Capron and Samuel Philbrick6 passed away—both birthright Quakers (like Arnold Buffum), and Capron a fellow-signer of the Declaration, who first looked upon the editor of the Liberator with7 tears that forbade utterance; Philbrick, the prudent Treasurer, almost to the last, of the Massachusetts8 Society, and financial care-taker of the Liberator, and9 generous friend-in-need of Mr. Garrison.10 More striking to the public eye, and more untimely, was11 the death of Charles F. Hovey in April, 1859. Not a 12 vet