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Chapter II

  • Slavery in Virginia
  • -- the agitation of the slavery question -- distribution of slaves in the State -- John Brown's invasion.

while the war of 1861-65 between the Union, or Northern and non-slaveholding States, and the Confederate, or Southern and slaveholding was not fought by the South as a whole, and certainly not by Virginia, for the perpetuation of slavery, nor by the North, at least in its inception, for its abolition; yet every candid student of the history of the colonies and the States must admit that the slavery question, often under the name of ‘State rights’ of one kind or another, was a dominant factor making issues that led to the temporary disruption of the Union. The history of Virginia during that war would be incomplete without a brief review of the story of her prior connection with African slavery.

Slaves were introduced into Virginia by Dutch merchantmen in 1619; from that time the importation of African negroes was engaged in by nearly all the commercial nations of Europe, especially by the Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese and British. In 1646, a ship from Boston was the first from the American colonies, so far as known, to engage in this traffic, which from that time until 1808 was more or less shared in by the commercial Northern States. In 1670 there were 2,000 slaves in Virginia. At the breaking out of the revolution, slavery extended over the North American continent wherever settled by Europeans. In 1774, Rhode Island, which up to that time had been considerably engaged in the slave trade, interdicted the importation of slaves into her borders. In 1778, Virginia, the second of the States to act, prohibited the introduction of slaves from abroad. Other States followed and gradual emancipation began in many of the Northern States. When Maryland refused to sign the articles of confederation of 1777, unless Virginia [18] would give up to the confederation the great Northwest Territory beyond the Ohio, which all concede belonged to her by rights of charter, conquest and treaty, Virginia generously granted the request and conveyed that great region to the Union in 1787, only providing, that it should eventually be divided into four or five States, to be admitted on an equal footing with the original thirteen; that she should have land there, in designated localities, to distribute to her revolutionary soldiers, and that slavery should be forever prohibited from that region, but that slaves fleeing there from other States should be returned to their owners. By this deed of gift Virginia did more to draw the line of actual separation between the North and South on the question of slavery than did any or all other States combined; for the great and populous States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and part of Michigan, which were created from that territory, were the strongest factors in sustaining the North during the civil war,1 and in eventually saving the Union.

The federal convention of 1787, which framed the Constitution of the United States, provided, as one of its compromises, that the slave trade should not be abolished by Congress until 1808. This was opposed by Virginia, who desired its immediate prohibition; but it was adopted by a vote of the New England States joined with South Carolina and Georgia. Virginia was the author of the compromise upon the question of negro representation in the convention of 1787, and probably saved that body from disruption and secured the adoption of the Constitution. South Carolina determined to leave the convention if her negroes were not counted for her representation in the Congress, and it was evident that Georgia and North Carolina would follow her example; in which event the number of States to ratify the action of the convention would be wanting. Virginia proposed and carried through, as a compromise, the provision that five negroes should be counted as equivalent to three white people in making up Federal representation.

As one after another of the Northern States abolished slavery and the States carved from the Northwest Territory [19] were organized as free States, the agitation of the slavery question continued. In 1820 another compromise was adopted upon the admission of Missouri as a State, which provided that slavery should not be allowed in any State of the Union north of 36° 30′, the latitude of the southern boundary of Missouri. In effecting this compromise, Virginia took a prominent part, acting as mediator between the two sections.

The agitation of the slavery question continued not only between the States of the Union, but within the limits of Virginia herself, as nearly one-third of her territory, mainly the Trans-Appalachian region, was practically a free State, and its citizens, many of whom were from the adjacent States of Pennsylvania and Ohio, constantly demanded special legislation on questions of representation in the general assembly, in consequence of the large preponderance of negroes east of that chain of mountains. Many citizens of the Great Valley and of Appalachia were much in sympathy with this feeling, and in 1823 the State came very near adopting gradual emancipation, a large number of the most influential men in every portion of the commonwealth favoring it. The chief hindering cause was the question, still unanswered, ‘What shall be done with this great body of negroes when emancipated?’ About that time the abolitionists throughout the free States became very zealous in the propagation of their peculiar views upon the subject of slavery, and deluged Congress with petitions against it and flooded the country with abolition publications. This provoked a reaction in sentiment in Virginia and the other Southern States, which again led, in 1838, to the adoption of ‘State rights’ resolutions by Congress, reaffirming that the Federal government had no right to interfere with slavery in the States where it existed. This for the time being quieted the agitation, but the question came up again in 1845, when it was proposed to annex Texas; and was again settled by a compromise agreement, that four new States might be formed out of that great country, those north of 36° 30′ to be free States, and those south of it either free or slave as their citizens might elect.

The propagandists of the North and the ultra slave. holders of the South, as contending factions, still continued the agitation of this question. The three leading [20] religious denominations of the United States divided into northern and southern churches. In 1849 the question of the admission of California again brought strife on this subject into the Congress. After a long contention, the compromise measures of 1850, introduced by Henry Clay, were adopted, the majority of Virginians favoring them; but the question of the rights of the separate States in the territories was still left open. Then began ‘the irrepressible conflict,’ which could only be settled, as it subsequently proved, by a gigantic war.

The execution of the fugitive slave law, one of the compromise measures of 1850, soon became a flaming firebrand waving between the free and the slave States. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska bill brought to fever heat the question of the control of slavery in the territories by those living therein; but, in spite of bitter opposition, a bill favoring the claims of the South was passed by a majority of nearly two-thirds of the Senate and 13 in the House, although representation in Congress at that time was Northern by a large majority. This result was largely brought about by the influence of Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, who contended that under the legislation of 1850 the citizens settled in the territories had the right to decide the question of slavery for themselves.

A reign of terror followed in Kansas, in 1855, when the two factions, each aided by extremists from either section of the Union, met in conflict, and opposing territorial governments were organized. In 1856, John Brown, a fanatical abolitionist, backed by others of that faction, mainly in New England, took an active part in these contentions in Kansas, leading a night attack against his pro-slavery neighbors. Riots occurred in Boston when a United States marshal attempted to enforce the fugitive slave law, and New England sent men, money and arms for the Kansas conflict.

In 1856 the question of the right of the owners of slaves to carry them into the territories came before the Supreme court of the United States for a decision, in the case of Dred Scott. The court held that the ‘Missouri compromise’ was unconstitutional, that the territories were the common property of all the States, and that the Federal government was bound to protect the slaves as well as the other property of citizens settling in these territories. This added fuel to the flame of abolitionism. In the presidential [21] election of 1856, a Free Soil or Abolition party, under the name of the Republican party, engaged in the contest for the presidency which resulted in the election of James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, a Democrat. The Congress that met in December of that year was organized with a Southern speaker, Orr, of South Carolina, and the struggle as to whether Kansas should be admitted as a slaveholding State was continued with ever-increasing bitterness until it caused a split in the Democratic party.

About this time appeared one of the most remarkable romances, under the name of ‘Uncle Tom's Cabin,’ by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, that was ever published. Its overdrawn and highly-colored picture of Southern slavery greatly intensified anti-slavery feeling throughout the North, and even provoked strong criticism of the Southern States in foreign lands. This, and its results, naturally provoked strong resentment throughout the South and increased the growing alienation between the two sections.

Among the sixteen States and territories of the Union that were slaveholding in 1860, Virginia held a commanding position. Of the 384,884 slaveholders in the United States, 52,128, or about one-seventh of the whole number, lived within her borders. She ranked first in the number of this class of citizens; Georgia second, with 41,084; Kentucky third, with 38,645, and Tennessee fourth, with 36,844; these four States containing nearly one-half of the whole number of slaveholders in the Union. Virginia also owned more slaves than any other State. Of the 3,953,743 enumerated in the census of 1860, her citizens held 490,865, or about one-eighth of the whole number. Georgia was second, with 462,198; Mississippi third, with 436,631, and South Carolina fourth, with 402,406; the four States holding nearly one-half the whole number of slaves in the United States.

While Virginia had more slaveholders among her citizens than did any of her sister Southern States, she strikingly differed from them in the distribution of the ownership of her slaves, showing thereby that within her borders slavery was a peculiarly ‘domestic institution;’ for while she had more slaveholders than any other State, yet, as a rule, the holdings of the individual were smaller. The details of ownership are worth considering. Of her 52,188 holders of slaves, 11,085 of these owned but one [22] each; 5,989, but two; 4,474, but three; 3,807, but four; 3,233, but five each. These figures show that about one-fifth of her slaveholders owned but a single slave, and that of three-fifths of them, each owned five or less. Those owning six each were 2,824; those seven, 2,393; those eight, 1,984; those nine, 1,788. The owners of from ten to fifteen each were 5,086; from fifteen to twenty were 3,088; from twenty to thirty were 3,01 0 7; from thirty to forty were 1,291; from forty to fifty were 609; from fifty to seventy were 503; from 70 to 100 were 243; from 100 to 200 were 105; from 200 to 300 were but eight, and from 300 to 500 but one.

The distribution of slaveholders, slaves and free negroes among the seven natural grand divisions of Virginia in 1860, is suggestively presented in the following table, showing numbers of slaveholders and of negroes (slave and free) in Virginia in 1860, by grand divisions of the State, and number of counties in each grand division:

Counties.Slaveholders.Slaves.Free Negroes.
4.Blue Ridge,33311,28499
5.The Valley,176,23541,3765,803
Totals, 148152,128490,86557,374

The following table presents the same facts for the portions of the State in 1860 that were organized into the State of West Virginia, December 3, 1862, and admitted into the Union as a State, June 19, 1863:

Counties.Slaveholders.Slaves.Free Negroes.
1.The Valley,29675,610797
2. Appalachia,91,1326,060922
3. Trans-Appal'a,391,5066,7061,054

These tables furnish a key to many of the political and military happenings in Virginia during the civil war. They show that the slave population of Virginia was mainly confined to the region east of the Appalachian mountains. In Tidewater, where slavery was first planted within the limits of the Union, there were [23] numerous large plantations, but many of the slaves of that region and many of its large number of free negroes were found within its commercial and manufacturing cities. The area of Midland was but little more than that of Tidewater, but its slaveholders and slaves were considerably more numerous, for in its industries slave labor was profitable. The Piedmont country, the fourteen counties east of and adjacent to the Blue ridge, was throughout a prosperous agricultural region, while most of its counties southwest of the Rappahannock basin were extensively engaged in the production of heavy tobaccos, hence slave labor was there found profitable. The three elevated counties upon the plateau of the Blue ridge were mainly devoted to grazing; consequently their slave population was small. The seventeen counties of the Great Valley of Virginia were all famous for the production of cereals, and for their dairying and grazing interests, while large crops of tobacco were grown in all the counties southwest of the valley of the Shenandoah. Its people were thrifty, and a few slaves were owned upon most of its large farms. The Appalachian country, while traversed by many ranges of mountains, was also striped with fertile valleys, in which lived prosperous graziers, most of whom held families of slaves. Virginia's forty-one Trans-Appalachian counties were mainly a forest-covered and thinly-peopled region, and few slaves were there held except in the valley of the Big Kanawha and along the Ohio below the mouth of that river. In proportion to the population, the number of slaves was extremely small, and especially was this true in the part of the State which extended northward between Ohio and Pennsylvania, almost to Lake Erie.

The people of the two Valleys and of the nine Appalachian counties that were subsequently embraced in West Virginia, remained, by a large majority, loyal to the State during the war; and, in a large degree, the same may be said of the Trans-Appalachian counties in and southwest of the Big Kanawha basin. The West Virginia secessionists, those that by act of Congress, when its membership was almost exclusively Northern, seceded from Virginia in 1861, were mainly confined to the Trans-Appalachian counties of Northwestern Virginia, where there were but few slaves and still fewer slaveholders, and where the larger portion of the population was more in [24] sympathy with the adjacent States of Ohio and Pennsylvania than with the rest of Virginia. These people, by mere act of Congress and without her consent, deprived Virginia of over one-third of her territory and nearly one-fourth of her population.

The humane and kindly character of African slavery in Virginia was eloquently attested by the fact that during the war, almost without exception, the slaves remained faithful and loyal to their masters; that none rose in insurrection, and that but few, if any, were guilty of crimes against person or property when, owing to the absence of a large portion of the white male population of the State in the Confederate armies, the country and the helpless portion of its population were entirely at their mercy. The kindly relations of the two races in Virginia are forcibly illustrated by the large numbers of free negroes, descendants of former slaves, that were allowed to live peacefully and contentedly, prior to 1860, in every part of the commonwealth.

In the winter of 1857-58, John Brown, who had been a leader in and a promoter of lawlessness during the troubles in Kansas—undertaken, as he himself confessed, for the purpose of inflaming the public mind on the subject of slavery, that he might perfect organizations to bring about servile insurrections in the slave States—collected a number of young men in that territory, including several of his sons, and, with the use of funds. and arms that had been furnished for his Kansas operations, placed these men under military instruction, by one of their number, at Springdale, in Iowa. In the spring of 1858 he. took these men to Chatham, in Canada West, where, on the 8th of May, he assembled a ‘provisional constitutional convention,’ made up of those he brought with him and a number of resident free negroes. On the day of its assembling, this convention adopted a ‘provisional constitution and ordinances for the people of the United States,’ the preamble of which began: ‘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. . . . Therefore, we, citizens of the United States and the oppressed people who . . . are declared to have no rights which the white man is bound to respect. . . ordain and establish for ourselves [25] the following provisional constitution and ordinances, the better to protect our persons, property, lives and liberties, and govern our actions.’ On the 10th, after appointing a committee with full power to fill all the executive, legislative, judicial and military offices named in the constitution adopted, this convention adjourned, sine die, and Brown took his Kansas party to Ohio, where he disbanded them subject to call, but sending his Capt. John E. Cook, of Connecticut (who was subsequently executed), to stay at Harper's Ferry, Va., and make himself familiar with the surrounding country and its citizens, and especially with the negro slaves, for the information of his leader.

Brown, under the assumed name of Isaac Smith, appeared in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry about the 1st of July, 1859, and there is evidence to show that he extended his examination of the country for future strategic purposes, as far up the Shenandoah valley as Staunton, concealing his purposes by giving out that he was a farmer from New York, with his two sons and a son-in-law, desiring to rent or purchase land. Soon after his arrival at Harper's Ferry he rented the small Kennedy farm in Maryland, some four and a half miles from Harper's Ferry, where he did some little farming, and, to explain his secret movements, said he was accustomed to mining operations, and expected to find valuable mineral deposits in that mountain region. In the meantime he kept two or three of his party, under assumed names, at Chambersburg, Pa., who there received arms, ammunition. and other military stores, which had been collected for use in Kansas, and forwarded them from time to time to Brown's habitation.

On October 10, 1859, from ‘Headquarters War Department, Provisional Army, Harper's Ferry,’ John Brown, commander-in-chief, issued his ‘General Order No. 1,’ organizing ‘the divisions of the provisional army and the coalition,’ providing for company, battalion, regiment, brigade and general staff organization. It is probable that at the time of issuing this order Brown had with him, at the Kennedy farm, his whole band of followers, including his spy Cook, and there formulated his final plans of invasion; and that soon thereafter he removed to a schoolhouse nearer Harper's Ferry, the hundreds of carbines, pistols, spears or pikes, and a quantity of cartridges, [26] powder, percussion caps, and other military supplies, that he had gathered for arming the negroes when they rose to insurrection in response to his call and movements.

About 11 p. m., Sunday, October 16, 1859, Brown, accompanied by 14 white men from Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Maine, Indiana and Canada, and 5 negroes from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, some 20 insurgents, all fully armed, crossed the Potomac into Virginia at Harper's Ferry, overpowered the watchmen at the Baltimore & Ohio railroad bridge, the United States armory and arsenal near the Baltimore & Ohio, and the rifle factory above the town on the Shenandoah, and placed guards at those points and at the street comers of the town. Brown established himself in the thick-walled brick building at the armory gate, one room of which was the quarters of the watchman and the other contained a fire-engine; he then sent six men, including the spy Cook, under Captain Stevens, to seize the principal citizens in the neighborhood and incite the negroes to rise in insurrection. This party broke into the house of Col. L. W. Washington, about five miles from Harper's Ferry, about 1:30 a. m. of the 17th, and forced him and four of his servants to accompany them to Harper's Ferry, he in his own carriage and followed by one of his farm wagons, which they seized. On their way back, at about 3 a. m., they captured Mr. Allstadt and six of his servants, placing arms in the hands of the latter. On reaching Harper's Ferry, Cook and five of the captured slaves were sent with Colonel Washington's four-horse wagon to bring forward the arms, etc., deposited at the schoolhouse in Maryland.

In the meantime Brown halted, for a time, an eastbound passenger train on the Baltimore & Ohio, one of his men killing the railroad guard at the bridge; he also captured, as they appeared on the streets in the early morning, some 40 citizens of Harper's Ferry, whom he confined, with Messrs. Washington and Allstadt, in one room of the gate or engine house which he had selected as his fort or point of defense.

News of these occurrences spread rapidly, and citizens and citizen soldiery, with arms, hastened from all the surrounding parts of Virginia and Maryland to resist this high-handed invasion of their homes and States. About [27] 11 a. m., of the 17th, the Jefferson Guards, from Charlestown, arrived, soon followed by the Hamtramck and the Shepherdstown troop, from Shepherdstown, and Alburtis' company from Martinsburg. These, under the command of Col. R. A. Baylor, forced the insurgents within the armory enclosure, which they surrounded by a cordon of pickets. Brown then withdrew his men into the gate house, which he proceeded to loophole and fortify, taking with him ten of the most prominent of his Virginia and Maryland captives, which he termed ‘hostages,’ to insure the safety of his band. From openings in the building the insurgents fired upon all white people that came in sight.

After sunset of the 17th, Capt. B. B. Washington's company from Winchester, and three companies from Frederick City, Md., under Colonel Shriver, arrived; later came companies from Baltimore, under Gen. C. C. Edgerton, and a detachment of United States marines, commanded by Lieut. J. Green and Major Russell, accompanied by Lieut.-Col. R. E. Lee, of the Second United States cavalry (with his aide, Lieut. J. E. B. Stuart, of the First United States cavalry), who, happening to be at Arlington, his home, near Washington, had been ordered to take command at Harper's Ferry, recapture the government armory and arsenal, and restore order. Colonel Lee halted the Baltimore troops at Sandy Hook, about a mile and a half east of Harper's Ferry, directed the United States artillery companies (ordered from Fort Monroe) to halt in Baltimore, then crossed to Harper's Ferry with the marines, disposed them in the armory grounds so as to prevent the escape of the insurgents, and awaited dawn of the 18th before attacking Brown's stronghold, for fear of sacrificing the lives of the ‘hostages’ in a midnight attack.

Soon after daylight of the 18th, after having posted the volunteer troops so as to completely invest the armory grounds, and prepared for an assault upon Brown's fort by the marines, Lee, under a flag by Lieutenant Stuart, made a written demand upon Brown to surrender himself, his associates and the prisoners they had taken, with the assurance that ‘if they will peaceably surrender themselves and restore the pillaged property, they shall be kept in safety to await orders of the President. . . . That if he is compelled to take them by force he cannot [28] answer for their safety.’ Stuart was instructed to receive no counter propositions from Brown, and to say that if they accepted the proffered terms they must immediately give up their arms and release their prisoners. As Lee expected, Brown spurned the offered terms of surrender. At a given signal to this effect from Stuart, Lee ordered forward twelve marines, led by Lieutenant Green, that he had put under cover near the engine-house, three of them supplied with sledge hammers to break in the doors, to attack Brown's party with bayonets, taking care not to injure the citizens held captive, nor the captured slaves unless they resisted. The storming party quickly attacked the doors, but Brown had barricaded them inside with the fire-engine and fastened them by ropes, so the sledges were of no avail. Lee then ordered forward reserves, with a heavy ladder for a battering ram, with which a portion of the door was dashed in and admission gained. Up to that time Brown's fire had been harmless, but at the threshold one marine was mortally wounded. The others quickly ended the contest, bayoneting the insurrectionists that resisted, Lieutenant Green cutting down Brown with his sword. The whole affair was over in a few minutes, and the captured citizens and slaves were released. A party of marines under Stuart was then sent to the Kennedy farm, which captured pikes (said to have been over 1,000), blankets, tools, tents, and other necessaries for a campaign, which Brown had there stored. A party of Maryland troops secured from the schoolhouse, where Brown had deposited them, boxes of carbines and revolvers, and the horses and wagon of Colonel Washington, which Brown had sent there to bring his military supplies to Harper's Ferry.

Colonel Lee in his official report to Col. S. Cooper, adjutant-general of the United States army, dated October 19th, stated, from information in papers taken from the insurgents and from their statements: ‘It appears that the party consisted of 19 men—14 white and 5 black. They were headed by John Brown, of some notoriety in Kansas, who in June last located himself in Maryland, at the Kennedy farm, where he has been engaged in preparing to capture the United States works at Harper's Ferry. He avows that his object was the liberation of the slaves of Virginia and of the whole South, and [29] acknowledges that he has been disappointed in his expectations of aid from the black as well as the white population, both in the Southern and Northern States. The blacks whom he forced from their homes in this neighborhood, as far as I could learn, gave him no voluntary assistance. The servants. . . retained at the armory, took no part in the conflict . . . and returned to their homes as soon as released. The result proves the plan was the attempt of a fanatic or madman, which could only end in failure; and its temporary success was owing to the panic and confusion he succeeded in creating by magnifying his numbers.’

Lee, by order of Secretary of War John B. Floyd, turned over to the United States marshal and to the sheriff of Jefferson county, Va., Brown and two white men and two negroes. Ten of the white men and two of the negroes associated with Brown were killed during the combat with them; one white man, Cook, escaped, but was subsequently captured and executed; and one negro was unaccounted for. The insurgents killed three white men, Mr. F. Beckham, the mayor of Harper's Ferry, Mr. G. W. Turner, one of the first citizens of Jefferson county, and Private Quinn of the marine corps, and a negro railroad porter; they wounded eight white citizens and one of the marine corps. After this affair was over, great alarm was caused by a report, about sundown of the 18th, from Pleasant valley in Maryland, that a body of men had descended from the mountains. and was massacring the residents of that valley. Colonel Lee, though incredulous, promptly headed a body of marines and hastened to the locality named, only to find the alarm false.

In concluding his report, Colonel Lee expressed his thanks to Lieutenants Stuart and Green and Major Russell ‘for the aid they afforded me, and my entire commendation of the conduct of the detachment of marines, who were at all times ready and prompt in the execution of any duty. The promptness with which the volunteer troops repaired to the scene of disturbance, and the alacrity they displayed to suppress the gross outrage against law and order, I know will elicit your hearty approbation.’ He enclosed to Cooper a printed copy of the provisional constitution and ordinances for the people of the United States, of which there was found a large number prepared for issue by the insurgents. [30]

During the afternoon of October 18th, Gov. Henry A. Wise arrived at Harper's Ferry and took precautions for the protection of Virginia and the execution of her laws, Brown, having been turned over to the civil authorities of Jefferson county, was brought to trial at Charlestown on the following Thursday, October 20th, because on that day began the regular fall session of the circuit court. A grand jury indicted him upon the charges of treason and murder. His prosecution was conducted before an impartial judge and jury by Hon. Andrew Hunter; he was defended by able counsel from Virginia and other States, including Hon. D. W. Voorhees, of Indiana, and was condemned and convicted. His trial lasted nearly a month, and, as Brown himself admitted, was fair and impartial. He was condemned to be executed on the 2d of December. His counsel asked the Virginia court of appeals for a stay of execution, on pleas presented, but this was refused.

After the condemnation of Brown and his associates, fearing from published threats that an attempt might be made by Northern sympathizers to rescue them, Governor Wise ordered Virginia troops to Charlestown to guard the prisoners until after their execution. Toward the last of November about 1,000 were there assembled, among them the cadets of the Virginia military institute, under command of Col. F. H. Smith, the superintendent. Maj. T. J. Jackson, the famous ‘Stonewall’ Jackson of the war, was present in command of the cadet battery. He witnessed the execution of Brown about midday, December 2, 1859. In a letter to his wife he wrote of Brown, ‘he behaved with unflinching firmness,’ and of the execution: ‘My command was in front of the cadets, all facing south. One howitzer I assigned to Mr. Truehart, on the left of the cadets, and with the other I remained on the right. Other troops occupied different positions around the scaffold, and altogether it was an imposing but very solemn scene. I was much impressed with the thought that before me stood a man, in the full vigor of health, who must in a few moments enter eternity. I sent up the petition that he might be saved. Awful was the thought that he might in a few minutes receive the sentence, “Depart, ye wicked, into everlasting fire!” I hope that he was prepared to die, but I am doubtful.’ [31]

On the day of Brown's execution, bells were tolled and minute guns fired in many places in the North, and church services and public meetings were held for the purpose of glorifying his deeds and sanctifying the cause he represented, recognizing in him a martyr to the teachings of the abolitionists. Eventually his name became the slogan under which, as a battle hymn, the Northern troops invaded and overran the South.

In reference to Brown's invasion of Virginia, Hon. A. H. Stephens, in his history of the United States, says: ‘This act greatly inflamed the Southern mind, especially as it was lauded by the official authorities of those Northern States which had refused to comply with their obligations under the Constitution in the matter of the rendition of fugitive slaves.’

It is interesting to note the men who appeared upon the scenes of these opening hostilities between the North and the South, and who subsequently became famous or celebrated characters in the great drama of the civil war. Among those who became Confederate generals were: S. Cooper, R. E. Lee, J. E. B. Stuart, John B. Floyd and Henry A. Wise; and among colonels, C. J. Faulkner and A. R. Boteler. In the committee of the United States Senate, appointed by resolution of December 14, 1859, to inquire into the facts attending this invasion, were Hons. Jefferson Davis and J. M. Mason, and this committee had before it as witnesses, Hons. W. H. Seward, J. R. Giddings, Henry Wilson and Andrew Hunter. John A. Andrews, of Massachusetts, secured funds to pay Brown's counsel. [32]

1 It is difficult to give the proper title to the war of 1861-65. It was not technically civil war, because it was not waged among citizens. Strictly speaking, it was not ‘Confederate,’ as it was not instituted by the Confederacy. The term civil is now commonly used.—[editor.

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