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Brown, John, 1744-

patriot; born in Sandisfield, Mass., Oct. 19, 1744; was graduated at Yale College in 1761; became a lawyer and active patriot; entered Canada in disguise (1774-75) to obtain information and secure the co-operation of the Canadians with the other colonists, and [413] aided Ethan Allen in the capture of Ticonderoga. He was active with Montgomery in the siege of Quebec. In August, 1776, he was made lieutenant-colonel, and, on the morning of Sept. 18, 1776, he surprised the outposts of Ticonderoga, set free 100 American prisoners, captured four companies of British regulars, a quantity of stores and cannon, and destroyed a number of boats and an armed sloop. He left the service because of his detestation of Benedict Arnold, but continued to act with the militia. He was killed by Indians in the Mohawk Valley, Oct. 19, 1780.

abolitionist; born in Torrington, Conn., May 9, 1800; hanged in Charlestown, Va., Dec. 2, 1859; was a descendant of Peter Brown of the Mayflower. His grandfather was a soldier of the Revolution, and perished in that war. When John was five years of age, his father moved to Ohio; and in 1815-20 he worked at the trade of a tanner. He became a dealer in wool; visited Europe on business; and in 1855 he emigrated to Kansas, where, as an anti-slavery champion, he took an active part against the pro-slavery party, engaging in some of the conflicts of the short civil war in that Territory. Devout, moral, courageous, and intensely earnest, he sought to be an instrument for the abolition of African slavery from the republic. The idea that he might become a liberator was conceived so early as 1839. In May, 1859, he made his first movement in an attempt to liberate the slaves in Virginia, which ended so disastrously to himself at Harper's Ferry.

There seemed to be a peculiar serenity and calmness in the public mind about public affairs in the fall of 1859, when suddenly a rumor went out of Baltimore that the abolitionists had seized the government armory and arsenal at Harper's Ferry, at the junction of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, and that a general insurrection of the slaves in Virginia was imminent. The rumor was mostly true. John Brown had suddenly appeared at Harper's Ferry with a few followers, to induce the slaves of Virginia to rise in insurrection and assert their right to freedom. With a few white followers and twelve slaves from Missouri, he went into Canada West, and at Chatham a convention of sympathizers was held in May, 1859, whereat a “Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States” was adopted-not, as the instrument declared, “for the overthrow of any government, but simply to amend and repeal.” It was a part of the scheme for promoting the uprising of the slaves.

Brown spent the summer of 1859 in preparations for his work. He hired a farm a few miles from Harper's Ferry, where he was known by the name of Smith. One by one his followers joined him there, and stealthily gathered pikes and other weapons,

John Brown.

with ammunition, for the purpose of first arming the insurgent slaves of Virginia. On a very dark night, Brown, with seventeen white men and five negroes, stole into the village of Harper's Ferry, put out the street-lights, seized the government armory and the railway-bridge there, and quietly arrested and imprisoned in the government buildings every citizen found in the street at the earlier hours of the next morning, each one ignorant of what else had happened. These invaders [414] had seized Colonel Washington, living a few miles from the ferry, with his arms and horses, and liberated his slaves; and at eight o'clock on Monday morning, Oct. 17, Brown and his followers (among whom were two of his sons) had full possession of the village and the government works. He had felt assured that when the first blow should be struck the negroes of the surrounding country would rise and flock to his standard, that a general uprising of the slaves throughout the Union would follow, and that he would win the satisfaction and the honors of a great liberator. When asked what was his purpose, and by what authority he acted, he replied, “To free the slaves; and by the authority of God Almighty.”

News of this affair went swiftly abroad, and before night a large number of Virginia militia had gathered at Harper's Ferry. Struggles between these and Brown's followers ensued, in which the two sons of the latter perished. The invaders were finally driven into a fire-engine house, where Brown bravely defended himself. With one son dead by his side and the other shot through the body, he felt the pulse of his dying child with one hand. held his rifle with the other, and issued oral commands to his men with all the composure of a general in his marquee, telling them to be firmly and sell their lives as dearly as possible. They held their citadel until Monday evening, when Col. Robert E. Lee arrived with ninety United States marines and two pieces of artillery. The doors of the engine-house were forced open. and Brown and his followers were captured. The bold leader was speedily tried for murder and treason. was found guilty (Oct. 29), and on Dec. 3, 1859, was hanged. Meanwhile the wildest tales of the raid had gone over the land. The governor of Virginia (Henry A. Wise) was almost crazy with excitement, and declared himself ready to make war on all the free-labor States; and he declared. in a letter to the President (Nov. 25), that he had authority for the belief that a conspiracy to rescue Brown existed in Ohio, Pennsylvania. New York, and other States. Attempts were made to implicate leading Republicans in a scheme for liberating the slaves. A committee of the United States Senate, with James M. Mason, author of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, as its chairman, was appointed to investigate the subject. The result was the obtaining of positive proof that Brown had no accomplices, and only about twenty-five followers. Although Brown's mad attempt to free the slaves was a total failure, it proved to be one of the important events which speedily brought about the result he so much desired.

Autobiographical notes: Brown's letter on slavery to his brother Frederick.

Randolph, Pa., Nov. 21, 1834.
Dear Brother,--As I have had only one letter from Hudson since you left here, and that some weeks since, I begin to get uneasy and apprehensive that all is not well. I had satisfied my mind about it for some time, in expectation of seeing father here, but I begin to give that up for the present. Since you left me I have been trying to devise some means whereby I might do something in a practical way for my poor fellow-men who are in bondage, and having fully consulted the feelings of my wife and my three boys, we have agreed to get at least one negro boy or youth. and bring him up as we do our own--viz., give him a good English education, learn him what we can about the history of the world, about business, about general subjects, and, above all, try to teach him the fear of God. We think of three ways to obtain one: First, to try to get some Christian slave-holder to release one to us. Second, to get a free one if no one will let us have one that is a slave. Third. if that does not succeed. we have all agreed to submit to considerable privation in order to buy one. This we are now using means in order to effect, in the confident expectation that God is about to bring them all out of the house of bondage.

I will just mention that when this subject was first introduced, Jason had gone to bed; but no sooner did he hear the thing hinted, than his warm heart kindled, and he turned out to have a part in the discussion of a subject of such exceeding interest. I have for years been trying to devise some way to get a school a-going here for blacks, and I think that [415] on many accounts it would be a most favorable location. Children here would have no intercourse with vicious people of their own kind, nor with openly vicious persons of any kind. There would be no powerful opposition influence against such a thing; and should there be any, I believe the settlement might be so effected in future as to have almost the whole influence of the place in favor of such a school. Write me how you would like to join me. and try to get on from Hudson and thereabouts some first-rate abolitionist families with you. I do honestly believe that our united exertions alone might soon, with the good hand of our God upon us, effect it all.

This has been with me a favorite theme of reflection for years. I think that a place which might be in some measure settled with a view to such an object would be much more favorable to such an undertaking than would any such place as Hudson, with all its conflicting interests and feelings, and I do think such advantages ought to be afforded the young blacks, whether they are all to be immediately set free or not. Perhaps we might, under God, in that way do more towards breaking their yoke effectually than in any other. If the young blacks of our country could once become enlightened, it would most assuredly operate on slavery like firing powder confined in rock, and all slave-holders know it well. Witness their heaven-daring laws against teaching blacks. If once the Christians in the free States would set to work in earnest in teaching the blacks, the people of the slave-holding States would find themselves constitutionally driven to set about the work of emancipation immediately. The laws of this State are now such that the inhabitants of any township may raise by a tax in aid of the State school-fund any amount of money they may choose by a vote, for the purpose of common schools, which any child may have access to by application. If you will join me in this undertaking, I will make with you any arrangement of our temporal concerns that shall be fair. Our health is good, and our prospects about business rather brightening.

Affectionately yours, John Brown.

Instructions to the “Gileadites.” an organization of colored people.

Nothing so charms the American people as personal bravery. Witness the case of Cinques, of everlasting memory, on board the Amistad. The trial for life of one bold and to some extent successful man, for defending his rights in good earnest, would arouse more sympathy throughout the nation than the accumulated wrongs and sufferings of more than three millions of our submissive colored population. We need not mention the Greeks struggling against the oppressive Turks, the Poles against Russia, nor the Hungarians against Austria and Russia combined, to prove this. No jury can be found in the Northern States that would convict a man for defending his rights to the last extremity. This is well understood by Southern Congressmen, who insisted that the right of trial by jury should not be granted to the fugitive. Colored people have ten times the number of fast friends among the whites than they suppose, and would have ten times the number they now have were they but half as much in earnest to secure their dearest rights as they are to ape the follies and extravagances of their white neighbors, and to indulge in idle show, in ease, and in luxury. Just think of the money expended by individuals in your behalf in the past twenty years! Think of the number who have been mobbed and imprisoned on your account! Have any of you seen the Branded Hand? Do you remember the names of Lovejoy and Torrey?

Should one of your number be arrested, you must collect together as quickly as possible, so as to outnumber your adversaries who are taking an active part against you. Let no able-bodied man appear on the ground unequipped, or with his weapons exposed to view: let that be understood beforehand. Your plans must be known only to yourself, and with the understanding that all traitors must die. wherever caught and proven to be guilty. “Whosoever is fearful or afraid, let him return and depart early from Mount Gilead” (Judges, VII. 3; Deut. XX. 8). Give all cowards an opportunity to show it on condition of holding their peace. Do not delay one moment after you are [416] ready: you will lose all your resolution if you do. Let the first blow be the signal for all to engage; and when engaged do not do your work by halves, but make clean work with your enemies,--and be sure you meddle not with any others. By going about your business quietly, you will get the job disposed of before the number that an uproar would bring together can collect; and you will have the advantage of those who come out against you, for they will be wholly unprepared with either equipments or matured plans; all with them will be confusion and terror. Your enemies will be slow to attack you after you have done up the work nicely; and if they should, they will have to encounter your white friends as well as you; for you may safely calculate on a division of the whites, and may by that means get to an honorable parley.

Be firm, determined, and cool; but let it be understood that you are not to be driven to desperation without making it an awful dear job to others as well as to you. Give them to know distinctly that those who live in wooden houses should not throw fire, and that you are just as able to suffer as your white neighbors. After effecting a rescue, if you are assailed, go into the houses of your most prominent and influential white friends with your wives; and that will effectually fasten upon them the suspicion of being connected with you, and will compel them to make a common cause with you, whether they would otherwise live up to their profession or not. This would leave them no choice in the matter. Some would doubtless prove themselves true of their own choice; others would flinch; That would be taking them at their own words. You may make a tumult in the court-room where a trial is going on, by burning gunpowder freely in paper packages, if you cannot think of any better way to create a momentary alarm, and might possibly give one or more of your enemies a hoist. But in such case the prisoner will need to take the hint at once, and bestir himself; and so should his friends improve the opportunity for a general rush.

A lasso might probably be applied to a slave-catcher for once with good effect. Hold on to your weapons, and never be persuaded to leave them, part with them, or have them far away from you. Stand by one another and by your friends, while a drop of blood remains; and be hanged, if you must, but tell no tales out of school. Make no confession.

Union is strength. Without some well-digested arrangements nothing to any good purpose is likely to be done, let the demand be never so great. Witness the case of Hamlet and Long in New York, when there was no well-defined plan of operations or suitable preparation beforehand.

The desired end may be effectually secured by the means proposed; namely, the enjoyment of our inalienable rights.

The fight of Osawatomie.

Early in the morning of Aug. 30 the enemy's scouts approached to within one mile and a half of the western boundary of the town of Osawatomie. At this place my son Frederick (who was not attached to my force) had lodged, with some four other young men from Lawrence, and a young man named Garrison, from Middle Creek. The scouts, led by a pro-slavery preacher named White, shot my son dead in the road, while he — as I have since ascertained — supposed them to be friendly. At the same time they butchered Mr. Garrison, and badly mangled one of the young men from Lawrence, who came with my son, leaving him for dead. This was not far from sunrise. I had stopped during the night about two and one-half miles from them, and nearly one mile from Osawatomie. I had no organized force, but only some twelve or fifteen new recruits, who were ordered to leave their preparations for breakfast and follow me into the town, as soon as this news was brought to me.

As I had no means of learning correctly the force of the enemy, I placed twelve of the recruits in a log-house, hoping we might be able to defend the town. I then gathered some fifteen more men together, whom we armed with guns; and we started in the direction of the enemy. After going a few rods, we could see them approaching the town in line of battle, about half a mile off, upon a hill west of the village. I then gave up all idea of doing more than to annoy, from the timber near the town, into which we were all retreated, [417] and which was filled with a thick growth of underbrush; but I had no time to recall the twelve men in the log-house, and so lost their assistance in the fight. At the point above named I met with Captain Cline, a very active young man, who had with him some twelve or fifteen mounted men, and persuaded him to go with us into the timber, on the southern shore of the Osage, or Marais des Cygnes, a little to the northwest from the village. Here the men, numbering not more than thirty in all, were directed to scatter and secrete themselves as well as they could, and await the approach of the enemy. This was done in full view of them (who must have seen the whole movement), and had to be done in the utmost haste. I believe Captain Cline and some of his men were not even dismounted in the fight, but cannot assert positively. When the left wing of the enemy had approached to within common rifle-shot, we commenced firing, and very soon threw the northern branch of the enemy's line into disorder. This continued some fifteen or twenty minutes, which gave us an uncommon opportunity to annoy them. Captain Cline and his men soon got out of ammunition, and retired across the river.

After the enemy rallied, we kept up our fire, until, by the leaving of one and another, we had but six or seven left. We then retired across the river. We had one man killed--a Mr. Powers, from Captain Cline's company — in the fight. One of my men, a Mr. Partridge, was shot in crossing the river. Two or three of the party who took part in the fight are yet missing, and may be lost or taken prisoners. Two were wounded; namely, Dr. Updegraff and a Mr. Collis. I cannot speak in too high terms of them, and of many others I have not now time to mention.

One of my best men, together with myself, was struck by a partially spent ball from the enemy, in the commencement of the fight, but we were only bruised. The loss I refer to is one of my missing men. The loss of the enemy, as we learn by the different statements of our own as well as other people, was some thirty-one or two killed, and from forty to fifty wounded. After burning the town to ashes and killing a Mr. Williams they had taken, whom neither party claimed, they took a hasty leave, carrying their dead and wounded with them. They did not attempt to cross the river, nor to search for us, and have not since returned to look over their work.

I give this in great haste, in the midst of constant interruptions. My second son was with me in the fight, and escaped unharmed. This I mention for the benefit of his friends. Old Preacher White, I hear, boasts of having killed my son. Of course he is a lion.

John Brown. Lawrence, Kansas, Sept. 7, 1856.

Brown's plan as explained in 1858, reported by Richard Realf.

John Brown stated that for twenty or thirty years the idea had possessed him like a passion of giving liberty to the slaves; that he made a journey to England, during which he made a tour upon the European continent, inspecting all fortifications, and especially all earth-work forts which he could find, with a view of applying the knowledge thus gained, with modifications and inventions of his own. to a mountain warfare in the United States. He stated that he had read all the books upon insurrectionary war fare that he could lay his hands on: the Roman warfare, the successful opposition of the Spanish chieftains during the period when Spain was a Roman province — how with 10,000 men, divided and subdivided into small companies, acting simultaneously yet separately, they withstood the whole consolidated power of the Roman Empire through a number of years. In addition to this. he had become very familiar with the successful warfare waged by Schamyl, the Circassian chief, against the Russians; he had posted himself in relation to the war of Toussaint L'Ouverture: he had become thoroughly acquainted with the wars in Hayti and the islands round about; and from all these things he had drawn the conclusion — believing, as he stated there he did believe, and as we all (if I may judge from myself) believed — that upon the first intimation of a plan formed for the liberation of the slaves, they would immediately rise all over the Southern States. He supposed that they would come into the mountains to join [418] him, where he purposed to work, and that by flocking to his standard they would enable him (making the line of mountains which cut diagonally through Maryland and Virginia, down through the Southern States into Tennessee and Alabama, the base of his operations) to act upon the plantations on the plains lying on each side of that range of mountains; that we should be able to establish ourselves in the fastnesses. And if any hostile action were taken against us, either by the militia of the States or by the armies of the United States, we purposed to defeat first the militia, and next, if possible, the troops of the United States; and then organize the free blacks under the provisional constitution, which would carve out for the locality of its jurisdiction all that mountainous region in which the blacks were to be established, in which they were to be taught the useful and mechanical arts, and all the business of life. Schools were also to be established, and so on. The negroes were to be his soldiers.

Provisional constitution and ordinances for the people of the United States.

[This is the preamble of the constitution drawn up by Brown in 1858 for the government of the slaves whom he proposed to free.]


Whereas slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States, is none other than a most barbarous, unprovoked, and unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens upon another portion — the only conditions of which are perpetual imprisonment and hopeless servitude or absolute extermination — in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence:

Therefore, we. citizens of the United States, and the oppressed people who by a recent decision of the Supreme Court are declared to have no rights which the white man is bound to respect, together with all other people degraded by the laws thereof, do. for the time being, ordain and establish for ourselves the following Provisional Constitution and Ordinances, the better to protect our persons. property, lives, and liberties, and to govern our actions.

Letter to Theodore Parker.

Boston, Mass., March 7, 1858.
My dear Sir,--Since you know I have an almost countless brood of poor hungry chickens to “scratch for,” you will not reproach me for scratching even on the Sabbath. At any rate, I trust God will not. I want you to undertake to provide a substitute for an address you saw last season, directed to the officers and soldiers of the United States army. The ideas contained in that address I of course like, for I furnished the skeleton. I never had the ability to clothe those ideas in language at all to satisfy myself; and I was by no means satisfied with the style of that address, and do not know as I can give any correct idea of what I want. I will, however, try.

In the first place. it must be short, or it will not be generally read. It must be in the simplest or plainest language, without the least affectation of the scholar about it, and yet be worded with great clearness and power. The anonymous writer must (in the language of the Paddy) be “afther others,” and not “afther himself at all, at all.” If the spirit that communicated Franklin's Poor Richard (or some other good spirit) would dictate, I think it would be quite as well employed as the “dear sister spirits” have been for some years past. The address should be appropriate, and particularly adapted to the peculiar circumstances we anticipate, and should look to the actual change of service from that of Satan to the service of God. It should be, in short, a most earnest and powerful appeal to men's sense of right and to their feelings of humanity. Soldiers are men, and no man can certainly calculate the value and importance of getting a single “nail into old Captain Kidd's chest.” It should be provided beforehand, and be ready in advance to distribute by all persons, male and female, who may be disposed to favor the right.

I also want a similar short address. appropriate to the peculiar circumstances, intended for all persons, old and young, male and female, slave-holding and non-slave-holding, to be sent out broadcast over the entire nation. So by every male and [419] female prisoner on being set at liberty, and to be read by them during confinement. I know that men will listen, and reflect, too, under such circumstances. Persons will hear your anti-slavery lectures and abolition lectures when they have become virtually slaves themselves. The impressions made on prisoners by kindness and plain dealing, instead of barbarous and cruel treatment, such as they might give, and instead of being slaughtered like wild reptiles, as they might very naturally expect, are not only powerful. but lasting. Females are susceptible of being carried away entirely by the kindness of an intrepid and magnanimous soldier, even when his bare name was but a terror the day previous. Now, dear sir, I have told you about as well as I know what I am anxious at once to secure. Will you write the tracts, or get them written, so that I may commence colporteur?

Very respectfully your friend, John Brown.

Brown's address to Governor wise.

Governor,--I have from all appearances not more than fifteen or twenty years the start of you in the journey to that eternity of which you kindly warn me; and, whether my time here shall be fifteen months or fifteen days or fifteen hours, I am equally prepared to go. There is an eternity behind and an eternity before; and this little speck in the centre, however long, is but comparatively a minute. The difference between your tenure and mine is trifling, and I therefore tell you to be prepared. I am prepared. You all have a heavy responsibility, and it behooves you to prepare more than it does me.

Brown's last speech to the court, Nov. 2, 1859.

I have, may it please the court, a few words to say.

In the first place. I deny everything but what I have all along admitted — the design on my part to free the slaves. I intended certainly to have made a clean thing of that matter, as I did last winter, when I went into Missouri and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either side. moved them through the country, and finally left them in Canada. I designed to have done the same thing again, on a larger scale. That was all I intended. I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.

I have another objection; and that is, it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty. Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the great portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case)--had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends — either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class — and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

This court, acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a, book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am vet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done — as I have always freely admitted I have done — in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it be deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments — I submit: so let it be done!

Let me say one word further.

I feel entirely satisfied with the treatment I have received on my trial. Considering all the circumstances, it has been more generous; than I expected. But I feel no consciousness of guilt. I have stated from the first what was my intention, and what was not. I never had any design against the life of any person, [420] nor any disposition to commit treason, or excite slaves to rebel, or make any general insurrection. I never encouraged any man to do so, but always discouraged any idea of that kind.

Let me say, also, a word in regard to the statements made by some of those connected with me. I hear it has been stated by some of them that I have induced them to join me. But the contrary is true. I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness. There is not one of them but joined me of his own accord, and the greater part of them at their own expense. A number of them I never saw, and never had a word of conversation with, till the day they came to me; and that was for the purpose I have stated.

Now I have done.

Last letter to his family.

Charlestown Prison, Jefferson County, Va., Nov. 30, 1859.
My dearly beloved wife, sons, and daughters, every one.--As I now begin probably what is the last letter I shall ever write to any of you, I conclude to write to all at the same time. I will mention some little matters particularly applicable to little property concerns in another place.

I recently received a letter from my wife, from near Philadelphia, dated Nov. 22, by which it would seem that she was about giving up the idea of seeing me again. I had written her to come on if she felt equal to the undertaking, but I do not know that she will get my letter in time. It was on her own account, chiefly, that I asked her to stay back. At first I had a most strong desire to see her again, but there appeared to be very serious objections; and should we never meet in this life, I trust that she will in the end be satisfied it was for the best at least, if not most for her comfort.

I am waiting the hour of my public murder with great composure of mind and cheerfulness; feeling the strong assurance that in no other possible way could I be used to so much advantage to the cause of God and of humanity, and that nothing that either I or all my family have sacrificed or suffered will be lost. The reflection that a wise and merciful as well as just and holy God rules not only the affairs of this world, but of all worlds, is a rock to set our feet upon under all circumstances — even those more severely trying ones in which our own feelings and wrongs have placed us. I have now no doubt but that our seeming disaster will ultimately result in the most glorious success. So, my dear shattered and broken family, be of good cheer, and believe and trust in God with all your heart and with all your soul; for He doeth all things well. Do not feel ashamed on my own account, nor for one moment despair of the cause or grow weary of well-doing. I bless God I never felt stronger confidence in the certain and near approach of a bright morning and glorious day than I have felt, and do now feel, since my confinement here. I am endeavoring to return. like a poor prodigal, as I am, to my Father, against whom I have always sinned, in the hope that he may kindly and forgivingly meet me, though a very great way off.

Oh, my dear wife and children would to God you could know how I have been travailing in birth for you all, that no one of you may fail of the grace of God through Jesus Christ; that no one of you may be blind to the truth and glorious light of His word, in which life and immortality are brought to light. I beseech you. every one, to make the Bible your daily and nightly study, with a child-like, honest, candid, teachable spirit of love and respect for your husband and father. And I beseech the God of my fathers to open all your eyes to the discovery of the truth. You cannot imagine how much you may soon need the consolations of the Christian religion. Circumstances like my own for more than a month past have convinced me, beyond all doubt. of my own great need of some theories treasured up, when our prejudices are excited, our vanity worked up to the highest pitch. Oh, do not trust your eternal all upon the boisterous ocean. without even a helm or compass to aid you in steering! I do not ask of you to throw away your reason; I only ask you to make a candid, sober use of your reason.

My dear young children, will you listen to this last poor admonition of one who [421] can only love you? Oh, be determined at once to give your whole heart to God, and let nothing shake or alter that resolution. You need have no fears of regretting it. Do not be vain and thought-less, but sober-minded; and let me entreat you all to love the whole remnant of our once great family. Try and build up again your broken walls, and to make the utmost of every stone that is left. Nothing can so tend to make life a blessing as the consciousness that your life and example bless and leave others stronger. Still, it is ground of the utmost comfort to my mind to know that so many of you as have had the opportunity have given some proof of your fidelity to the great family of men. Be faithful unto death; from the exercise of habitual love to man it cannot be very hard to love his Maker.

1 must yet insert the reason for my firm belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible, notwithstanding I am. perhaps, naturally sceptical — certainly not credulous. I wish all to consider it most thoroughly when you read that blessed book, and see whether you cannot discover such evidence yourselves. It is the purity of heart, filling our minds as well as work and actions, which is everywhere insisted on, that distinguishes it from all the other teachings, that commends it to my conscience. Whether my heart be willing and obedient or not, the inducement that it holds out is another reason of my conviction of its truth and genuineness; but I do not here omit this, my last argument on the Bible, that eternal life is what my soul is panting after this moment. I mention this as a. reason for endeavoring to leave a valuable copy of the Bible, to be carefully preserved in remembrance of me, to so many of my posterity, instead of some other book at equal cost.

I beseech you all to live in habitual contentment with moderate circumstances and gains of worldly store, and earnestly to teach this to your children and children's children after you, by example as well as precept. Be determined to know by experience, as soon as may be, whether Bible instruction is of divine origin or not. Be sure to owe no man anything, but to love one another. John Rogers wrote to his children. “Abhor that arrant whore of Rome.” John Brown writes to his children, to abhor, with undying hatred also, that sum of all villanies — slavery. Remember, “he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty,” and “he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Remember also that “they being wise shall shine, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.”

And now, dearly beloved family, to God and the work of His grace I commend you all.

Your affectionate husband and father, John Brown.

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