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The debate was renewed at the New England 1 AntiSlavery Convention in May, but the year gave promise of being a quiet one in anti-slavery annals when the setting up of a statue to Daniel Webster, procured by private subscriptions, in the State-House grounds, created in Boston an excitement almost comparable to that experienced in fugitive cases. Consistently with his opposition to Personal Liberty laws, Governor Banks had2 recommended that the Legislature receive the statue which above all others symbolized Northern subserviency to the Slave Power. Its removal, as the special anti-slavery duty of the hour, was called for by the abolitionists before3 it was set up, and petitions were quickly put in motion;4 Wendell Phillips attacked it in one of his most trenchant5 Orations—but without avail. A larger agitation was impending, and interest in the brazen image of a Doughface6 was suddenly transferred to the living likeness of a Man.

On the night of October 16-17, 1859, John Brown, with7 eighteen companions, seized the United States armory at Harper's Ferry, Va. Twenty-four hours later, Col. Robert E. Lee, despatched from Washington with a company of marines, retook the building, and found Brown's band reduced to six, and the chief, a wounded and apparently dying prisoner. The Liberator of October 21 contained this brief editorial reference to an event which filled the South with consternation, and drove to its highest pitch the wave of anti-slavery sentiment in the North:

The particulars of a misguided, wild, and apparently insane, though disinterested and well-intended effort by insurrection to emancipate the slaves in Virginia, under the leadership of Capt. Brown, alias ‘OsawatomieBrown, may be found on our third page. Our views of war and bloodshed, even in the best of causes, are too well known to need repeating here; but let no one who glories in the Revolutionary struggle of 1776 deny the right of the slaves to imitate the example of our fathers. Lib. 29.166.

Time has not invalidated this judgment, which was passed before Mr. Garrison could have seen the New York

1 Lib. 29.85.

2 Lib. 29.43, 142.

3 Lib. 29.146.

4 Lib. 29.146.

5 Lib. 29: [158].

6 Lib. 30.19, 34.

7 Lib. 29.167; Sanborn's Life of Brown, p. 552.

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