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James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 7: the blow struck. (search)
opped! Several Persons killed! Telegraph Wires cut! Contributions levied on the Citizens! Troops despatched against the insurgents from Washington and Baltimore! Such were the headings of the first telegraphic reports of John Brown's brave blow at American Slavery. Before briefly describing the events that they foreshadow, it is necessary to speak of the place where they occurred. The standard Virginia authority of the day thus writes: Harper's Ferry is situated in Jefferson County, Virginia, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, on a point just opposite the gap through which the united streams pass the Blue Ridge on their way toward the ocean. The Ridge here is about twelve hundred feet in height, showing bare, precipitous cliffs on either side on the river, and exhibiting some of the most beautiful and imposing natural scenery to be found in the country. The town was originally built on two streets stretching along a narrow shelf between the base
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 10: spoils of war. (search)
ught Governor Wise, accompanied by several hundred men from Richmond, Alexandria, Baltimore, and elsewhere. There was real disappointment to find that the fight was all over, and when the Governor was informed of the mere handful of men who had created all this bobbery, he boiled over. In his wrath he said some good things. Indeed it was universally seen and felt that Governor Wise was just the man for such an occasion. Accompanied by Andrew Hunter, Esq., a distinguished lawyer of Jefferson County, the Governor presently repaired to the guard room where the two wounded prisoners lay, and there had a protracted and interesting conversation with the chief of the outlaws. It had more the character of a conversation than a legal examination, for the Governor treated the wounded man with a stately courtesy that evidently surprised and affected him. Brown was lying upon the floor with his feet to the fire and his head propped upon pillows on the back of a chair. His hair was a mass o
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, chapter 2.44 (search)
political inquisitors had finished with the whites, endeavored to extort from the negroes, Copeland and Green, confessions to criminate the friends of freedom in his native State. He succeeded in procuring no confession whatever, but only a few brief answers to leading questions, which served to show at once his political purpose and his depravity of heart. A Virginia journalist thus describes the journey to Charlestown : On Wednesday evening they were conveyed to the jail of Jefferson County, under an escort of marines. Stevens and Brown had to be taken in a wagon, but the negro Green and-Coppoc, being unhurt, walked between a file of soldiers, followed by hundreds of excited men, exclaiming, Lynch them; but Governor Wise, who was standing on the platform of the cars, said, O, it would be cowardly to do so now; and the crowd fell back, and the prisoners were safely placed on the train. Stevens was placed in the bottom of the car, being unable to sit up. Brown was propped
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 1: the preliminary examination. (search)
s on the head. Stevens seemed less injured than Brown, but looked haggard and depressed. Never before, in our Christian country, or in any other civilized land, were men, thus suffering and disabled, dragged from their beds of sickness to a Court of Justice, to be tried for a capital offence. Judge Jeffreys, of England, never fully equalled this atrocity; it needed, for its. perpetration, men brutalized by the influence of American slavery. Charles B. Harding, attorney for the County of Jefferson, and Andrew Hunter, counsel for the State, appeared for the prosecution. The Sheriff read the commitment of the prisoners, and the Prosecuting Attorney asked the Court that counsel might be assigned them. The Presiding Magistrate then inquired if the prisoners had counsel. John Brown replied: First speech in court. Virginians: I did not ask for any quarter at the time I was taken. I did not ask to have my life spared. The Governor of the State of Virginia tendered me his
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 2: Judicial alacrity. (search)
.-The Jurors of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in and for the body of the County of Jefferson, duly impaneled, and attending upon the Circuit Court of said county, upbefore and after that time, within the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the County of Jefferson aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction of this Court, with other confedeer, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, in the said County of Jefferson, and Commonwealth of Virginia, and within the jurisdiction of this Courtn the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, in the County of Jefferson and the Commonwealth of Virginia aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction October, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, in the County of Jefferson and Commonwealth of Virginia aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction of tof said indictment. Teste: Robert T. Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, in the State of Virginia. Which bill of indictment the Grand Jury returne
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 3: State evidence. (search)
and quadruply guilty of treason. Mr. Hunter proceeded again to the question of jurisdiction over the Armory grounds, and examined the authority, cited on the other side, of Attorney General Cushing. The latter was an able man; but he came from a region of country where opinions are very different from ours in relation to the power of the Federal Government as affecting State rights. Our Courts are decidedly adverse to Mr. Cushing's views. In all time past, the jurisdiction of this County of Jefferson in criminal offences committed at Harper's Ferry, has been uninterrupted and unchallenged, whether they were committed on the Government property or not. He cited an instance, twenty-nine years ago, where an atrocious murder was committed between the very shops in front of which these men fought their battles, and the criminal was tried here, convicted, and executed under our laws. There was a broad difference between the cession of jurisdiction by Virginia to the Federal Government
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 6: lawyers' pleas. (search)
ay on his back, with his eyes closed. Mr. Chilton asked the Court to instruct the Jury, if they believed the prisoner was not a citizen of Virginia, but of another State, they cannot convict on a count of treason. The Court declined, saying the Constitution did not give rights and immunities alone, but also imposed responsibilities. Mr. Chilton asked another instruction, that the Jury must be satisfied that the place where the offence was committed was within the boundaries of Jefferson County, which the Court granted. The Jury then retired to consider their verdict, and the Court adjourned for half an hour. The verdict. Thus far, for our record of the trial, we have been obliged to rely on pro-slavery authority. It was not till the following day that a truthful and impartial reporter succeeded in eluding the cowardly and inquisitorial vigilance of the Virginians, who, in their anxiety to prevent a fair trial or a true report, excluded all Northern men from their C
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 8: the conquering pen. (search)
John Brown's reply. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., November 1, 1859. My dear Friend, E. Letter to his family. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., 8th Nov., 1859. Dear Wife and Children care of Capt. John Avis, Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va. Finally, my beloved, be of good comter to a young friend. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Nov. 17, 1859. My Dear Young Friend:ter to Thaddeus Hyatt. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Nov. 27, 1859. Thaddeus Hyatt, Esq. etter to a young lady. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Nov. 27, 1859. My dear Miss--: Your John Brown's will. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Dec. 1, 1859. I give to my son John . A final codicil. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Dec. 2, 1859. It is my desire that mtherto been published: Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Oct. 31, 1859. My dear Wife and Chiletter to his children. Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., Nov. 22, 1859. Dear Children All: I [13 more...]
James Redpath, The Public Life of Captain John Brown, Chapter 9: forty days in chains. (search)
Why, gentlemen, of all the things in the world that I despise, anonymous letters are the worst. If I had a little job to do, I would sooner take one half the men I brought down here to help me than as many of these fellows as could fill all Jefferson County, standing close upon every inch. If I don't get out of this jail before such people as they are take me out, I shan't go very soon. During all this time, John Brown received large numbers of letters daily. All anonymous notes he burnedber 16, says the New York Tribune, John Brown, by counsel, made his last appeal to a Virginia tribunal. Within a few hours' time, the five judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals uttered their unanimous opinion that the judgment of the Jefferson County Court, under which the old man awaits death by hanging on the 2d day of December, was right; and therefore they denied his petition for a writ of error. The indictment upon which Brown was tried contained, four counts — for treason, for adv