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Full text of "Report [of] the Select committee of the Senate appointed to inquire into the late invasion and seizure of the public property at Harper's Ferry"

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36x11 CoxCxRESS, ? SENATE. '■ JRep.Com. 

Is^ Session. \ \ No. 278. 



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IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



Juke 15, 1860. — Ordered to be primed. 



Mr. Mason submitted the followino; 



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' REPORT. 

Tlie Select Committee of the Senate appointed to inquire into the late 
invasion and seizure of the public property at Harper's Ferry, 'beg 
leave to submit their repoi^t : 

On the 14th of December, 1859, the resolutions annexed were 
adopted by the Senate of the United States : 

" Besolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire into the facts 
attending the late invasion and seizure of the armory and arsenal of 
the United States at Harper's Ferry, in Virginia, by a band of armed 
men, and report — 

" Whether the same was attended by armed resistance to the authori- 
ties and public force of the United States, and by the murder of any of 
the citizens of Virginia, of of any troops sent there to j)rotect the public 
property ; 

" Whether such invasion and seizure was made under color of any 
organization intended to subvert the government of any of the States 
of the Union ; what was the character and extent of such organization ; 
and whether any citizens of the United States not present were impli- 
cated therein, or accessory thereto, by contributions of money, arms, 
munitions, or ot^hei'wise; 

" What was^l^jcharacter and extent of the military equijjment in the 
hands or und^^l^ control of said armed band; and where and how 
and when tlie same was obtained and transported to the place so in- 
vaded. * ■ 

"That said committee report wdiether any and what legislation may, 
in their opinion, be necessary on the part of the United States for the 
future preservation of the peace of the country, or for the safety of the 
public property ; and that said committee have power to send for per- 
sons and papers." 

In conducting this inquiry the committee examined a number of 
witnesses, who w^ere summoned before- them from different States of 
the Union. Their testimonv in full will be found annexed to this 
report. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 



Upon tlie first subject of inquiry to which their attention was 
directed by the resolutions, to wit: Whether "the invasion and seizure 
of the armory and the arsenal of the United States at Harper's Ferry, 
in Virginia, by a band of armed men, was attended by armed resistance 
to the authorities and public force of the United States, and by the 
murder of any of the citizens of Virginia, or of any trooi:)s sent there 
to protect the public property." 

The committee find, from the testimony^ that this so-called invasion 
originated with a man named John Brown, who conducted it in person. 
It appears that Brown had been for some previous years involved in 
the late difficulties in the Territory of Kansas. He went there at an 
early day after the settlement of that Territory began, and either took 
with him or was joined by several sons, and, perhaps, sons-in-law, and, 
as shown by the proofs, was extensively connected v/ith many of the law- 
less military expeditions belonging to the history of those times. It 
would appear, from the testimony of more than one of the witnesses, 
that, before leaving the Territory, he fully admitted that he had not 
gone there with any view to permanent settlement, but that, finding- 
all the elements of strife and intestine war there in full operation, 
created by the division of sentiment between those constituting what 
were called the free-State and slave-State parties, his purpose was, by 
participating in it, to keep the public mind inflamed on the subject of 
slavery in the country, with a view to effect such organizations as 
might enable him to bring about servile insurrection in the slave States. 

To carry these plans into execution, it appears that, in the winter 
of 1857-58, he collected a number of young men in the Territory of 
Kansas, most of whom afterwards appeared with him at Harper's 
Ferry, and placed them under military instruction at a place called 
Springdale, in the State of Iowa, their instructor being one of the 
party thus collected, and who, it was said, had some military training. 
These men were maintained by Brown; and in the spring of 1858 he 
took them with him to the town of Chatham, in Canada, Avhere he 
claimed to have summoned a convention for the purpose of organizing 
a provisional government, as preliminary to his descent upon some one 
of the slave States. The proceedings of this convention, Avith the 
form of the provisional government adopted there, were taken amongst 
the papers found with Brown's effects after his capture, and were before 
the committee, and will be found in the appendix to this report. So 
far as the committee have been able to learn from the testimony, the 
convention was composed chiefly of negroes who were residents in and 
about this town of Chatham, in Canada. The only white persons 
present were Brown and those who accompanied him. The presiding 
officer of the convention was a negro, and a preacher. At the close of 
the convention Brown returned with the party he had taken there 
back to Ohio, and permitted most of them to disperse, upon the agree- 
ment that they would be at his command whenever called for. Two 
of them, however, to Avit: John E. Cook, afterwards executed in Vir- 
ginia, and Eichard Realf were sent on the following missions : Cook was 
sent to Harper's Ferry, in Virginia, with directions to remain there 
and thereabout subject to the future call of his chief. Realf was sent 
to the city of New York, as shown by his testimony, for the following 



rs 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 3". 

purposes: it would seem from the testimony that a man named Hugh 
Forbes, an Englishman, who, it was said, liad the reputation of mili- 
tary experience in some of tlie revolutions in Southern Europe, had 
been engaged by Brown to take charge of his military school in Iowa, 
Differences, however, arising between them, Forbes, who had gone to 
the West with that view, abandoned the project and returned to New 
York. Whilst the convention was sitting at Chatham, Brown received 
information which led him to believe that Forbes had betrayed his- 
counsels, and Eealf was dispatched to New York with instructions, if 
practicable, to get possession of such correspondence with Brown as 
might prove the facts of his intended descent upon some one of the 
slave States should his plans be divulged — a mission which, for the 
reasons stated in the testimony of Realf^ altogether failed. 

In conducting the inquiry, the committee deemed it a matter of 
importance to have the testimony of Forbes. It appeared, however, 
that not long after the explosion at Harper's Ferry, Forbes left the 
country^ and the committee were not able to procure his attendance* 
before them. 

As to the attack itself at Harper's Ferry, the committee find that 
Brown first appeared in that neighborhood early in July, 1859. He 
came there under the assumed name of Isaac Smith, attended by two 
of his sons and a son-in-law. He gave out in the neighborhood that 

CD O 

he was a farmer from New York, who desired to rent or purchase land 
in that vicinity, with a view to agricultural pursuits, and soon after- 
wards rented a small farm on the Maryland side of the river, and 
some four or five miles from Harper's Ferry, liaving on it convenient 
houses, and began farming operations in a very small way. He had 
little or no intercourse with the people of the country ; and when 
questioned through the curiosity of his neighbors, stated further that 
he was accustomed to mining operations, and expected to find deposits 
of metal in the adjacent mountains. He lived in an obscure manner, 
and attracted but little attention, and certainly no suspicion whatever 
as to his ulterior objects. Whilst there, he kept some two or three of 
his party, under assumed names, at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, 
who there received, and from time to time forwarded to him, the arms 
of different kinds of which he was subsequently found in possession. 
Cook, one of his men spoken of above, it appears, had resided at 
Harper's Ferry and its neighborhood for some twelve months before 
Brown appeared, pursuing various occupations. He left the Ferry a 
few days before the attack was made, and joined Brown at his country 
place. The whole number assembled Avith Brown at the time of the 
invasion were twenty-one men, making with himself in all twenty-two. 
On Sunday night, the 16th of October, 1859, between 11 and 12 
o'clock at night, Brown, attended by probably eighteen of his com- 
pany, crossed the bridge connecting the village of Harper's Ferry 
with the Maryland shore, and, on reaching the Virginia side, proceeded 
immediately to take possession of the buildings of the armory and 
arsenal of the United States. These men were armed, each, with a 
Sharp's rifled carbine, and with revolving j^istols. The inhabitants 
of the village asleep, the presence of this party was not known until 
they appeared and demanded admittance at the gate leading to the 



4 INVASION AT HARPERS FERRY. 

public works, wliicli was locked. The watchman in charge states that 
■on his refusal to admit them, the gate was 0])ened by violence and the 
party entered, made him prisoner, and established themselves immedi- 
ately in a strong brick building used as an engine-liouse, witli a room 
for the watchmen adjoining it. They brought with them a wagon, 
with one horse, containing arms and some prepared torches. 

Tlie invasion tlius silently commenced, was as silently conducted, 
none of the inliabitants having been aroused. Armed parties were 
then stationed at corners of the streets. Their next movement was to 
take possession, by detached parties of three or four, of the arsenal of 
the United States, where the public arms were chiefly deposited, a 
building not far from the engine-house ; and by another party, of the 
workshops and other buildings of the armory, about lialf a mile off, 
on the Shenandoah river, called "Hall's rifle works." These dispo- 
sitions made, an armed party was sent into the adjoining country, with 
a view to the seizure of two or three of the principal inliabitants, witli 
such of their slaves as might be found, and to bring them to Harper's 
Ferry (in the language of Brown) as "hostages;" Cook, who had 
become well acquainted with the country around Harper's Ferry, acting 
as their guide. They thus seized Colonel Lewis W. Washington, with 
several of his slaves, (negro men^) at his residence, some Ave or six 
miles distant ; and in like manner a gentleman named Allstadt, who 
lived near the road leading from Colonel Washington's to the Ferry, 
two or three miles distant from the latter, with some five or six of his 
slaves, (also negro men.) Tliey brought off also from Colonel Wash- 
ington's such arms as they found in his house, with a wagon and four 
horses, for subsequent use, as will be shown. This party with their 
prisoners arrived at the Ferry a little before day, and the latter were 
carried at once to the room adjoining the engine-house, where they 
were kept in custody. 

Having thus far apparently perfected his plans, a party was sent, 
taking Washington's wagon and horses, and five or six of the captured 
slaves, into Maryland to bring the arms deposited at Brown's house 
there to a point nearer the Ferry and more accessible. On their way, 
they seized a gentleman named Byrne, who lived in Maryland, three 
or four miles from Harper's Ferry, and whom they afterwards sent to 
the Ferry and placed amongst the other prisoners at the engine-house. 
It is shown that their design was to have taken at the same time as 
many of the slaves of Byrne as might be found, but in tliis they did 
not succeed. During Monda}^, a large portion of the arms, consisting 
of carbines, ])istols, in boxes, and pikes, were brought off in the wagon 
and deposited in a school-house about a mile from the village of Harjier's 
Ferry, on the Maryland side. 

The first alarm that was given, indicating the presence of the hostile 
party, appears to have been on the arrival there of the mail train of 
cars on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, on its way from Wheeling to 
Baltimore, and which arrived at Harper's Ferry at its usual hour, 
about half past one o'clock in the morning. On the arrival of Brown's 
party, he had stationed two men, well armed, on the bridge, with 
directions to permit none to pass. This bridge is a viaduct for tlie 
railroad to cross the river, having connected with it a bridge for ordi- 



INVASION AT HARPER S FERRY. 5 

nary travel. When the train arrived, it was arrested hy this guard, 
and ver}-- soon afterwards a negro named Hayward, a free man who 
lived at Harper's Ferry and was in the service of the railroad company 
as a porter, was shot hy this guard and died in a few hours. His 
statement was, as shown in the testimony of John D. Starry, one of 
the witnesses, "that he had been out on the railroad bridge, looking 
after a watchman who was missing, and he had been ordered to halt 
by some men who w^ere there; and instead of doing that, he turned to 
go back to the office, and as he turned they shot him in the back." 
The alarm, however, did not extend to the inhabitants of the town, 
the scene of operations, so far, being near the river, at points occupied 
by the railroad structures and the public works ; the principal part of 
the town being somewhat remote from that rjuarter. The train of 
cars, after being detained some hours, was permitted to proceed on its 
way to Baltimore. 

When dayliglit came, as the inhabitants left their houses, consisting 
chiefly of workmen and others employed in the public works, on their 
Avay to their usual occupations, and unconscious of what had occurred 
during the night, they were seized in the streets by Brown's men and 
carried as prisoners to the engine-house, until, with those previously 
there, they amounted to some thirty or forty in number. Pikes were^ 
jmt in the hands of such of the slaves as they had taken, and they 
were kept under the eyes of their captors, as sentinels, near the build- 
ings they occupied. But their movements being conducted at night, 
it was not until the morning was well advanced that the presence and 
character of the party was generally known in the village. 

The nearest towns to Harper's Ferry were Charlestown, distant 
some ten miles, and Martinsburg, about 20. As soon as information 
could reach those points, the citizens assembled, hurriedly enrolled 
themselves into military bands^ and with such arms as they could find, 
proceeded to the Ferry. Before their arrival, however, it would seem 
that some four or five of the marauders, who were stationed at "Hall's 
rifle works," were driven out by the citizens of the village, and either 
killed or captured. In the course of the day, an attack was made on 
the engine and watch-house by those of the armed citizens of the 
adjoining country who had thus hurriedly arrived, and tlie prisoners 
in the watch-house, adjoining the engine-house, were liberated. The 
attacking parties were fired on by the marauders in the engine-liouse, 
and some were severely wounded. It should have been stated that 
during the night Brown selected ten of those whom he considered the 
principal men of his prisoners, and carried them into the engine-house, 
where they were detained. The rest thus left in the watch-house were- 
those who were liberated during the attack spoken of. The engine- 
house is a strong building, and was occupied by Brown, with seven or 
eight of his men. 

During the day it appears that all of Brown's party, who were not 
with him in the engine-house, were either killed or captured, except 
those Avho Avere on the Marvland side engao-ed in removint>; the arms, 
as above stated. Before, however, they were thus captured or de- 
stroyed, they shot and killed tw^o persons, citizens of Virginia, in the 
streets. One of them, a man named Boerley, who lived in the village, 



6 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

was killed by a rifle shot near his own house. He had taken no part 
in any of the attacks, and does not appear even to have been armed. 
The other, Mr. George W. Turner, was a gentleman Avho lived in the 
country some ten miles distant^ and who, it appears, had gone to the 
village upon information that his neighbor, Mr, Washington, had 
been seized in his house and carried off during the night. It would 
seem that, for his safety, he had taken a gun offered to him by some 
one in the village, and was proceeding along the street unattended, 
with it in his hand, when he also was killed by a rifle ball. 

The party immediately under Brown remained barricaded in the 
engine-house during the whole of that day, (Monday.) They had 
confined with them ten most respectable and valuable citizens, kept, 
as stated by Brown, in the nature of "hostages," for the security of 
his own party, he assuming that a regard for the safety of the "host- 
ages" would deter their friends and neighbors from attempting their 
rescue by force. 

During the day an irregular fire was kept up against the engine- 
house by the people who assembled, and which was returned by the 
party within through loop-holes made in the wall, or through the 
doorway, partially opened. 

In this manner two of Brown's party were killed at the doorway; 
and in the afternoon a gentleman of the village, Mr. Beckham, was 
killed by a shot from the engine-house. It was clearly shown that he 
was entirely unarmed, and liad exposed his person only for an instant 
on the railroad bridge opposite to the house. 

To conclude this narrative, it appears that as soon as intelligence 
could be conveyed to Washington of the state of things at Harper's 
Ferry, the marines on duty at the navy-yard were ordered to the scene 
of action, under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee, of the army. 

The oflicial report of Colonel Lee, found in the appendix to this 
report, will show in what manner the affair was ended by the capture 
of Brown and his remaining party, and the rescue in safety of those 
he detained as prisoners. 

Colonel Lee, it will be seen, found it necessary to carry the house 
by storm, the party within refusing to surrender except on terms 
properly held inadmissible. In this affirir one marine was killed, and 
another slightlv wounded. 

Such, it is believed, are succinctly the facts attending this great 
outrage; and the committee find in response to so much of the resolu- 
tions of the Senate, that the armory and other public works of the 
United States were in the possession and under the control of this hos- 
tile party more than thirty hours; that besides the resistance offered 
by them to the military force of Virginia, they resisted by force the 
lawful authority of the United States sent there to dispossess them, 
killing one, and wounding another of the troops of the United States, 
and as shown that, before they were thus overpowered, they killed in 
the streets three of the citizens of Virginia who were alone and not even 
in military array_, beside the negro who was killed by them on their 
first arrival. 

It does not appear that any of the public property was stolen or 
^carried away, although a large sum of money was in the paymaster's 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 7 

office near to the engine-house, and doubless woukl liave been seized 
had they known wliere it was. There was nothing to protect it ])ut 
the ordinarv safety of an iron door. 

In answer to the inquiry contained in the third resolution of the 
series, " Whether such invasion and seizure was made under color of 
any organization, intended to subvert the government of any of the 
States of the Union, Avhat was the cliaracter and extent of such organi- 
zation, and Avhether any citizens of the United States, not present, 
were implicated therein, or accessory thereto, by contributions of 
money, arms, munitions, or otherwise," the committee report: 

There will be found in the Ajjpendix, a copy of the proceedings of a 
convention held at Chatham, in Canada, before referred to, of the pro- 
visional form of government there pretended to have been instituted, 
the object of which clearly Avas to subvert the government of one or 
more of the States, and of course to that extent the government of the 
United States. The character of the military organization is shown 
by the commissions issued to certain of the armed jiarty as captains, 
lieutenants, &c., a specimen of which will be found in the Appendix. 
It clearly appeared that the scheme of Brown was take with him 
comparatively but few men, but those had been carefully trained by 
military instruction previously, and were to act as officers. For his 
military force he relied, very clearly, on inciting insurrection amongst 
the slaves, who he supposed would flock to him as soon as it became 
known tliat he had entered the State and had been able to retain his 
position — an expectation to no extent realized, though it was owing 
alone to the loyalty and well-affected disposition of the slaves that he 
did not succeed in inciting a servile war, with its necessary attendants 
of rapine and murder of all sexes, ages, and conditions. It is very cer- 
tain from the proofs before the committee, that not one of the captured 
slaves, although arms were placed in their hands, attempted to use 
them; but on the contrary, as soon as their safety would admit, in the 
absence of their captors, their arms Avere thrown away and they 
hastened back to their homes. 

It is shown that Brown brought with him for this expedition arms 
sufficient to have placed an effective weapon in the hands of not less 
than 1,500 men; besides which, had he succeeded in obtaining the aid 
he looked to from the slaves, he had entirely under his control all the 
arms of the United States deposited in the arsenal at Harper's Ferry. 
After his capture, beside the arms he brouglit in the wagon to the 
Ferry, there were found on the Maryland side, where he had left them, 
200 Sharp's rifled carbines, and 200 revolver pistols, packed in the 
boxes of the manufacturers, Avitli 900 or 1,000 pikes, carefully and 
strongly made^, the blade of steel being securely riveted to a handle 
about five feet in length ; many thousand percussion caps in boxes, and 
ample stores of fixed ammunition, besides a large supply of powder in 
kegs, and a chest that contained hospital and other military stores, 
beside a quantity of extra clothing for troops. 

For an answer to the inquiry, how far " any citizens of the United 
States, not present, were imj)licated therein or accessory thereto by 
contributionsof money, arms, munitions, or otherwise," the committee 
deem it best to refer to the evidence Avhich accompanies this report. It 



8 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

does not appear that sucli contributions were made with actual knowl- 
edge of the use for which they were designed by Brown, although it 
does appear that money was freely contributed by those styling them- 
selves friends of this man Brown, and friends alike of what they styled 
"the cause of freedom," (of which they claimed him to be an especial 
apostle,) without inquiry as to the way in which the money would be 
used by him to advance such pretended cause. The evidence fully 
shows that he had the pikes manufactured in Connecticut especially for 
this expedition, and certainly they would appear to have been the most 
formidable weajton which could have been placed in the unskillful hands 
for which they were intended. For a description of this weapon, and 
the story told by Brown to the manufacturer when he ordered them, 
the committee refer to the evidence of the latter. They were sent 
directly from Connecticut to Brown, under his assumed name of Isaac 
Smith, first to Chambersburg, in Pennsylvania, there received by some 
of Brown's men, who were placed there also under assumed names, and 
by whom they were transported to his abode near Harper's Ferry. 

The history of the rifles and pistols is most interesting to this in- 
quiry. It appears from the evidence that, in 1856, these 200 Sharp's 
carbines had been forwarded by an association in Massachusetts called 
the " 31assachusetts State Kansas Committee," at first to Chicago, on 
their way to Kansas. At Chicago they were placed under the control 
of another association, called the ^'National Kansas Aid Committee." 
There being some difficulty, from the disordered condition of the coun- 
try at that time, in getting them to Kansas, they were sent by this 
last named association into Iowa, where they remained. In January, 
1857, it seems there was a meeting of this National Kansas Committee 
in the city of New York. That committee was constituted of one 
member from most of the non-slaveholding States. At that meeting 
John Brown appeared, and made application to have these arms placed 
in his possession. It would seem that he wanted them, as he expressed 
it, "for purposes of defense in Kansas ;" but as the troubles there were 
nearly ended, such pretension seems to have been discredited by those 
to whom it was addressed. 

At page 245 of the testimony, a full account of this application for 
the arms will be found, as given by H. B. Hurd, who was the secretary 
of the association. He states that, " Wlien Mr, Brown was pressing 
his claim for the aid desired, I asked him this question : ' If you get 
the arms and money you desire, will you invade Missouri or any slave 
Territory?' to which he replied, 'I am no adventurer; you all know 
me ; you are acquainted Avith my history ; you know what I have 
done in Kansas ; I do not expose my plans ; no one knows them but 
myself, except, perhaps, one ; I do not wish to be interrogated ; if you 
wish to give me anything, I want you to give it freely ; I have no 
other purpose but to serve the cause of liberty.' " And he also adds: 
" Althouo-h it had been understood bv the members of the committee 
that Mr. Brown intended to arm one hundred men, to be scattered 
about in the Territory and to be actual settlers, and engaged in their 
several pursuits, only to be called out to repel invasion or defend the 
Kansas free-State settlers, yet this reply was not satisfactory to all, 
and the arms were voted back to your committee" (meaning the Mas- 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 9 

sacliusetts State Kansas Committee) "to be disposed of as you thought 
best." 

How and why these arms (the two hundred Sharp's rifles) were 
orio-inally purchased by this Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, 
will apjjoar from the testimony of George L. Stearns, who was its 
president or chairman, at page 227 of the testimony. It is shown by 
Hurd that, after the national committee, for the reason stated, had 
refused to intrust them to Brown, on his application, they "were voted 
back," as Hurd calls it, to the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee ; 
and, on page 229 of the testimony, will be found a letter from Stearns 
to Brown, dated at Boston, on the 8th of January, 1857, advising him 
that he was directed by his committee to send him an order on Edward 
Clark, of Lawrence, in Kansas Territory, for the two hundred rifles, 
"with four thousand ball cartridges, thirty-one military caps," (after- 
wards corrected as thirty-one thousand percussion caps,) which he 
states were then stored at Tabor, in Iowa, with directions to hold the 
same as agent of the society, subject to their order, and, at the same 
time, authorizing him to draw on their treasurer, at Boston, for a sum 
of money not to exceed five hundred dollars. At page 228 of the 
testimony will be found the following question, put to Stearns, with 
his answer: 

"Question. Was it at Brown's request that you put him in posses- 
sion of these arms in January, 1857? 

"Answer, No, sir; but because we needed an agent to secure 
them," &c. 

And again, at page 230, he was asked: "Did I understand you to 
say that this was voluntarily proftered to him^ and not at his re- 
C|uest?" (Meaning the arms.) 

"Answer. Yes, sir. 

"Question. Why did you desire to place these arms in his pos- 
session? ' 

"Answer. For safe-keeping. 

" Question. Were they not in safe-keeping where they were? 

"Answer. They were not substantially in our hands. We had 
passed them into the hands of the National Kansas Committee, to be 
transported to Kansas/' &c. 

The committee are not disposed to draw harsh, or perhaps unchari- 
table conclusions; yet they cannot fiiil to remark that these arms, 
which had been refused to Brown bv the national committee, for the 
very satisfactory reason that he gave evasive answers to their inquiry 
how they were to be used, were proffered to him, and without request 
on his part, by the Mas.sachusetts committee ; and this proffer is found 
attended by the fact, not a little to be remarked, that contemporaneous 
with it — that is to say, in January, 1857 — this Mr. Stearns gave 
authority to Brown to purchase from the Massachusetts Arms Com- 
pany two hundred revolver pistols, which Stearns alleges he paid for 
out of his own funds, (page 227 of the testimony,) giving to Brown 
at the same time authority to draw on him at sight for §7,000, "in 
sums as it might be wanted, for the subsistence of one hundred men, 
provided that it should be necessary at any time to call that number 
into the field for active service in the defense of Kansas, in 1857." 



10 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Considering the comparative tranquil condition of Kansas at the period 
referred to, it is not easy to reconcile tliis act of the " Massachusetts 
State Kansas Committee " and its chairman with a reasonable regard 
to the peace of the country, or the lives of their fellow-citizens. These 
arms, however, with the tAvo hundred rifles, were left from that time 
in Brown's possession, although as stated by the w^itness Stearns, at 
page 228 of the testimony, "the exigency contemplated did not occur," 
and therefore no part of the |7,00U was drawn by Brown. 

At what time Brown procured the pistols, or transported them to 
the West, appears only from the testimony of Stearns, who says he 
paid for them, and the freight on them to Iowa, on production to him 
of the railroad receipt afterwards, in 1858, but it does appear that they 
were sent along with the Sharp's rifles from Ohio to him, in the neigh- 
borhood of Harper's Ferry. In 1858, Brown it appears told Stearns 
that both the rifles and the pistols were then "stored in Ohio." (Page 
232 of the testimony.) From the correspondence of John Brown, jr., 
signing himself "John Smith," with his father, and with J. H. Kagi, 
(under the name of " J. Henrie,") shortly before the invasion atHarper's 
Ferry, printed in the Appendix, it will be seen that they were sent by 
him from Ashtabula county, Ohio, to his father at Harper's Ferry, via 
Chambersburg. 

The testimony of the witnesses, Hurd and Stearns, would show that 
the arms refused to Brown by the national committee, had been after- 
iva7xis voted to him by the Massachusetts committee — reference to 
Kurd's statement (page 250) and to the order given by Stearns to 
Brown (page 234) for the arms, would from their dates seem to con- 
tradict this, but only as to the order of time. The facts interesting to 
this inquiry are only, were the arms placed under control of Brown; 
by whom; and when? and this is clearly shown. 

It is shown fully, from the testimony, that, although Brown when 
he first went to Kansas was accompanied by two of his sons, with their 
families, yet that he never removed his family from New York, and that 
he subsequently freely and fully avowed that he never had an idea of 
settling in Kansas, but was attracted to remain there only in the hope 
that by keeping alive the irritation and excited feeling of the settlers 
on the subject of slavery, and stimulating and accustoming them to 
war and bloodshed, he would be enabled in some way to lead them 
across the borders to incite a servile war in Missouri, from whence he 
might be able to extend it to other slaveholding States. Ultimately 
disappointed in this, and so early as the fall of 185*7, he seems to have 
conceived the plan of a distinct invasion of one of the slaveholding 
States, under the organization and in the manner in which it was 
afterwards carried into execution in Virginia. This, of course, re- 
quired the command of large sums of money ; and he seems to have so 
successfully impressed liimself and his capacity for conducting what he 
and his associates styled " the cause of freedom," upon the sickly, if 
not depraved, sensibilities of his allies in such "cause," as to com- 
mand their confidence, if he did not altogether lull their suspicions. 
Letters to and from Brown and others, in the Appendix, give much 
insight into the manner and the sources whence his funds were de- 
rived. 



INVASION AT HARPER'S FERRY. 11 

The testimony shows generally how these contributions were made — 
occasionally in large sums paid directly to Brown, but more usually 
by collections made in the villages and towns throughout the country 
by itinerant lecturers. These lectures appear to have been patronized 
by the principal men in the States where they were delivered. Their 
topics were various, but all directed in some manner to what was 
called "the general cause of freedom ;" sometimes for the creation of 
a fund to aid fugitive slaves in their escape ; at other times with no 
definite character ascribed to them, except that the funds collected 
were to be used in promoting human freedom ; and at other times, as 
would seem, for the j^ersonal expenses or to reimburse supposed losses 
of Brown. See the evidence of J. R. Giddings, pages 150, 151, and 
152, of the testimony. He was a lecturer through the Northwestern 
States, one class of his lectures devoted, as he states, to ''an exposi- 
tion of the doctrines of the higher law," and which he expounds, at 
j)age 151 of the testimony, thus : 

" What I mean by the higher law is, that poAver which for the last 
two centuries has been proclaimed by the philosophers and jurists 
and statesmen of Germany, Europe, and the United States, called, in 
other Avords, the law of nature ; by which we suppose that God, in 
giving man his existence, gave him the right to exist ; the right to 
breathe vital air ; the right to enjoy the light of the sun; to drink the 
waters of the earth ; to unfold his moral nature ; to learn the laws that 
control his moral and physical being ; to bring himself into harmony 
with those laws, and enjoy that happiness which is consequent on such 
obedience." 

To the question^ "In your lectures, was the theory of that law 
applied to the condition of African slavery in the United States," he 
answered: 

"Unquestionably, to all. Wherever a human soul exists, that law 
applies. I mean by the term 'soul/ that immortal principle in man 
that exists hereafter, which is called the human soul ; and wherever 
such soul exists there is the right to live; the right to attain knowl- 
edge; the right to sustain life, obey the laws of his Creator, and enjoy 
heaven or happiness. 

"Question. Was that theory or doctrine of a higher law, in your 
lectures, applied specially to the condition of African slavery in this 
country? 

" Answer. To all human beings, wherever they are." 

And further, he states: 

"I will say that the meanest slave who treads the footstool of God 
holds from his Creator the same right to live and attain knowledge 
and to liberty, that you and I possess." 

And in answer to a further question, he states : 

"The views given in my lectures go to this extent, that whenever, 
without going into any other State, we have the opportunity to sustain 
the right of a fellow-being, it is our duty to do it. I have never felt 
myself called upon to advocate nor to encourage the entering into other 
States to speak thus to slaves ; but wherever, in my own State, where 
I can do it without violation of law, or enactments erroneously called 



12 INVASION AT HARPER'S FERRY. 

laiv, I uniformly arm the slave; I uniformly tell liim to defend his 
life and liis liberty; I uniformly teach him his rights, so far as I can." 

As a further exposition of the views entertained by those devotees 
to the so-styled "cause of freedom," the committee refer to the evi- 
dence of George L. Stearns, at page 240. This gentleman, although 
not a lecturer, was, as shown by his testimony, one of the most active 
and successful workers in tliat "cause." For his views as to the 
legitimate use of money contributed to this "cause," see page 242, 
where he states : 

" From first to last, I understood John Brown to be a man who was 
opposed to slavery, and, as such, that he would take every opportu- 
nity to free slaves where he could ; I did not know in what way ; I 
only knew that from the fact of his having done it in Missouri in the 
instance referred to ; I furnished him with money because I considered 
him as one who would be of use in case such troubles arose as had 
arisen previously in Kansas ; that was my object in furnishing the 
money ; I did not ask him wdiat he was to do with it, nor did I sup- 
pose he would do anything that I should disapprove." 

To the question "Do you disapprove of such a transaction as that 
at Harper's Ferry," he answered: 

"I should have disapproved of it if I had known of it; but I have 
since changed m}' opinion ; I believe John Brown to be the represent- 
ative man of this century, as Washington was of the last — the Har- 
per's Ferry affair, and the capacity shown by the Italians for self- 
government, the great events of this age. One will free Europe, and 
the other America. ' ' 

And so in the testimony of Samuel G. Howe, a jDhysician of Boston. 
At page 166, speaking of Brown, he says: 

" I contributed to his aid at various times. 

" Question. His aid in what Avay? 

"Answer. In the same way that I contributed to the aid of other 
anti-slavery men; men who give up their occupations, their industry, 
to write papers or to deliver lectures, or otherwise to propagate anti- 
slavery sentiments. I give as much money every year as I can possibly 
afford. I am in the habit of contributing in that way." 

And at page 167 : 

"Question. Will you state what you mean by that phrase 'con- 
tributing for the promotion of anti-slavery sentiments?' What is the 
meaning of that idea ? 

"Answer. In the same way that I would promote the Gospel among 
the heathens ; I cannot precisely say what. The means are various — 
lectures, writing, talking, discussing the matter. 

"Question. What ends are to be attained by promoting that anti- 
slavery sentiment? What is the object in view? 

"Answer. The promotion of freedom among men ; the same object 
as the fathers in the revolution. 

"Question. Was one of its objects the means of attaining the free- 
dom of the African slaves held in this country ? 

"Answer. That would be the natural and desired result. 

"Question. Was that one of the ends to be attained by promoting 
this anti-slavery sentiment by lecturing and otherwise? 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 13 

" Answer. It was. I answer these questions out of courtesy to the 
Chairman, but I must think they are rather wide." 

Of these three witnesses, one, Giddings, represented a district in 
the House of Representatives from Ohio lor a long series of years, and 
is known to the country as an intelligent man ; another, I)r. Howe, 
holds the highest professional and social position in the city of Boston. 
The other, Mr. Stearns, is a mercliant in the same city, of wealth and 
with all tlie influence usually attendino; it. With such elements at 
work, unchecked by law and not rebuked but encouraged by public 
opinion, with money freely contributed and jilaced in irresjjonsible 
hands, it may easily be seen how this expedition to excite servile war 
in one of the States of tlie Union was got up, and it may equally be 
seen how like expeditions may certainly be anticipated in future when- 
ever desperadoes ofter themselves to carry thon into execution. In 
regard to the one here inquired into, it appears that Brown, after the 
dispersal of his convention at Chatham, proceeded to the eastern States 
to provide materials botli of arms and money; and in reference to the 
ease with which the latter was obtained without scrutiny as to the 
uses to which it was to be put, it will stand upon the record as a 
remarkable fact, that a clieck for one hundred dollars given by Gerritt 
Smith to Brown was handed by him directly, in ])art payment, to the 
manufacturer of the pikes with which the slaves were to have been 
armed. This gentleman, Mr. Smith, is known to the country as a 
man of large wealth and a liberal contributor to this pretended 
''cause." By reason of his very infirm health he was not summoned 
as a witness before the committee ; and the use of this particular check 
is not referred to as proof in any manner that its contributor knew 
definitely what was to be done witli it, but it is referred to as a most 
persuasive proof of the utter insecurity of the peace and safety of some 
of the States of this Union, in the existing condition of the public 
mind and its purposes in the non-slaveholding States. It may not 
become the committee to suggest a duty in those States to provide by 
proper legislation against machinations by their citizens or within 
their borders destructive of the peace of their confederate republics ; 
but it does become them fully to exj)ose the consequences resulting 
from the present license there existing, because the peace and integ- 
rity of the Union is necessarily involved in its continuance. 

It has been already stated in this report that Brown, learning, during 
or just alter the adjournment of the convention at Chatham, that 
Forbes had betrayed his plot, made an effort through his emissary, 
Realf, to recover the correspondence between himself and Forbes, 
Avhich, if exposed, would establish it. And it would appear that 
Forbes considered, by his revelations at Washington, in May, 1858, 
that he had done what Brown feared he would do. This is relerred 
to in the testimony of Realf, at page 100, where the committee Avere 
endeavoring to trace the arms of the Massachusetts Kansas Committee 
to Brown's possession. The witness states : 

" Within a day or two following the convention at Chatham, John 
Brown said to me that he had received a copy of a letter written by 
Senator Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, from Washington city, to 
Dr. Howe, of Boston," &c. 



14 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

And, on page 101. he continues: 

"On the occasion of which I have just spoken, at Chatham, Brown 
said to me that Colonel Forhes, maddened by the non-receipt of moneys 
which lie had expected to receive, had threatened to divulge Brown's 
plans, and had done so hy coming to Washington and stating to 
Senator Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, that Brown had a purpose 
in view of eftecting an insurrection in the Southern States." 

The committee at once apprized the Hon. Henry Wilson, senator of 
the United States from Massachusetts, of the testimony of this witness, 
and invited him to attend the committee, as well to put any questions 
he might think proper to the witness, as to give his own testimony, if 
any he had, in relation to this matter, The testimony of Mr. Wilson 
will be found commencing at page 140. It shows that the communi- 
cation made to him by Forbes induced him to write a letter at once to 
Dr. Howe, at Boston, the substance of which, from recollection, he 
gave as follows : 

" I wrote to him for the purpose of saying it was rumored that some 
of the arms that had been contributed by gentlemen in the East for the 
defence of Kansas had passed into the hands of John Brown, and were 
held somewhere in liis hands, and that they ought to get them out of 
his hands and put them in the hands of some reliable man in Kansas 
who would use them only for the purposes of defense, for whicli they 
were contributed ; that if these arms should be used for any illegal 
purpose, they would involve the men who contributed for the other 
purpose in difHculties. That was the substance of the letter : that if 
they should be used for any illegal purpose whatever, they would be 
involved in difficulty, and they should get them out of his hands at 
once." 

Mr. Wilson continued : 

" I received a letter, three or four days after I wrote mine, from Dr. 
Howe, to this effect: that they had sent to Brown to deliver the arms 
into the hands of somebody in Kansas ; at any rate, they had sent to 
him to take the arms into Kansas, or deliver them up in some way; 
and I supposed at the time the arms were those referred to as being in 
Iowa, which were sent out there and stationed on the way. I received 
this letter a day or two after I wrote. That was the substance of it. 
The whole matter, I supposed then, was a quarrel between Brown and 
Forbes, and I paid but little attention to it ; and never, until the 
outbreak took place, dreamed or heard from any quarter whatever 
anything in regard to it. I heard nothing from Forbes or Brown or 
any other source." 

At page 158, in the testimony of Dr. Howe, he says, in answer to a 
question : 

''In the year 1858 I received a communication from a Mr. Forbes, 
then in Washington, and information from other quarters, that Cajj- 
tain Brown had in his possession arms belonging to the committee 
wdiich he would probably use for purposes not intended by the com- 
mittee. A meeting was called. The committee had then been vir- 
tually dissolved ; it had nothing more to do ; but the members were 
called together. A vote was passed instructing the chairman to write 
to Captain Brown and direct him, if he held any property, arms or 



INVASION AT HARPER'S FERRY. 15 

otherwise, belonging to the committee, to take them into Kansas, there 
to be used only for the defense of freedom in Kansas. Such a vote was 
passed, such a letter was written, and, I have no doubt, received by 
him." 

This letter, it seems, however, was not written by Dr. Howe himself, 
but by the chairman of the " Massachusetts Aid Committee." "When 
asked the question, " Who was the chairman who wrote the letter 
you refer to?" he answered, "I should prefer not to answer that ques- 
tion," adding, "lam here to answer all I have done myself, freely 
and frankly, but I would respectfullj^ ask to be excused from answering 
any questions touching the actions of anybody else. I can only answer 
for my view as one of the committee." He subsequently added, how- 
ever, "•Perhaps I am over sensitive about it, and inasmuch as the 
gentleman's name is perfectly well known as chairman of the com- 
mittee, and is in print, I give it — Mr. G-eorge L. Stearns." 

At page 160, this witness also stated that about the same time with 
the letter from Forbes he received one from Mr. AVilson of the Senate ; 
that he preserved a copy of Mr. Wilson's letter "until recently, when, 
in the general destruction of my [his] papers of no consequence, at the 
beginning of the year, I destroyed it among others, but I have a dis- 
tinct recollection of its contents. 

"Question. Will you state the contents? 

"Answer. It was that he had reason to believe that Captain Brown 
had in his possession arms belonging to the Massachusetts Aid Com- 
mittee, which he would be likely to use for purposes not contemplated 
by the committee; that he, Wilson, considered the original movement 
for procuring anything of the kind to have been a very mistaken and 
unfortunate one, and he advised by all means that measures be taken 
to prevent Captain Brown using those arms for any purpose not 
contemplated in their original purchase. It was a short letter, and 
that was the amount of it; but I recollect distinctly he expressed his 
disapprobation of the fact of such arms being in existence, and his 
disapprobation of John Brown's general career." 

This witness having promised, on his return to Boston, to make 
search for all documents connected with this subject which could be 
found, replied by letter to the chairman, which will be found at page 
172, and in which he states that the letter from Mr. Wilson could not 
be found. He sent, however, copies of two letters to Mr. Wilson, 
dated respectively on the 12th and 15th of May, 1858, which will be 
found at page 17G. The latter is brief, and in the following words: 

"Dear Sir: When I last wrote to you, I was not aware fully of 
the true state of the case with regard to certain arms belonging to the 
late Kansas committee. Prompt measures have been taken, and will 
be resolutely followed up, to prevent any such monstrous perversion of 
a trust as would be the application of means raised for the defense of 
Kansas to a purpose which the subscribers of the fund would disap- 
prove and vehemently condemn." 

And on page 177 Avill be found two letters of George L. Stearns, as 
chairman of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, dated the 14tli 
and 15th of May, 1858, referred to by Dr. Howe as the measures taken 



16 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

"by the committee to divest Brown of these arms. Howe's letter to 
"V. .Ison of the 15th of May, cited above, shows very clearly that he 
was then strongly impressed with the necessity of arresting certain 
measures projected by Brown, whatever they were, and of which it 
Avould ap])ear, at the date of his i)revious letter to Mr. Wilson, he had 
not been fully aware, but which he then characterizes as "a monstrous 
perversion of a trust" in "the application of means raised for the 
defense of Kansas, to a purpose which the subscribers of the fund 
would disapprove and vehemently condemn." Stearns, however, as 
shown by his letters to Brown, in executing the orders of the com- 
mittee to prevent the misuse of the arms by Brown, contented himself 
with reminding Brown that those arms were "to be used for the 
defense of Kansas," and warns him only "not to use them for any 
other purpose," but to hold them subject to his order as chairman ; 
adding that a member of the committee would go to Chatham to confer 
with Brown as to the best mode of disposing of them. The following 
day, the 15th of May, he again wrote to Brown, telling him that he 
could find no member of the committee who could spare the time to go 
to Chatham, and requesting Brown to meet him in New York city 
sometime the following week, and that the committee would pay his 
expenses. 

The committee cannot but remark on the feeble, and, as it resulted, 
the abortive effort of the chairman of the Massachusetts committee to 
prevent a murderous use of these arms by Brown ; certainly in striking 
contrast with the assurance given bv Dr. Howe to Mr. Wilson, that 
prompt measures had been taken, and would be resolutely followed, 
to prevent such a "monstrous perversion of the trust" connected with 
them. But a perusal of the testimony at large of Mr. Stearns may 
show that he had at best but vague and undefined opinions as to what 
would be a perversion of the trust spoken of by Dr. Howe. 

The history of the large armament collected by Brown at Harper's 
Ferry is thus clearly traced. The rifled carbines, manufactured in 
Connecticut, intended, as would appear, to be originally used in intes- 
tine strife in Kansas, and sent there for that purpose, were voluntarily, 
by the Massachusetts Kansas Committee, through its chairman, placed 
in the hands of Brown, with vague and inexplicit instructions as to 
their use, about the time when it "would appear that he finally con- 
ceived the purpose of exciting servile war in some of the slaveholding 
States. They were allowed to remain in his possession, notwithstand- 
ing his failure or refusal to give them up after that committee and its 
chairman had been warned of his pur^^ose to put them to some use not 
warranted by those who owned them. The revolver pistols, as shown 
by the testimony of Stearns^ chairman of that committee, was a vol- 
unteer gift from him to Brown, at about the same time the carbines 
were handed over to him, and whether thus beyond his control or not, 
were not recalled from his possession. The expedition, so atrocious in 
its character, would have been arrested, had even ordinary care been 
taken on the part of the Massachusetts committee to ascertain whether 
Brown was truthful in his professions. Even the modest inquiry made 
of him by the National Kansas committee, as stated by their secretary. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 17 

Hurd, resulted iu such equivocation and evasion on liis part as p-ed 
them j)eremptorily to refuse these arms to him, as their act. ^ 

The iacts exposed in this part of the testimony s])eak for themselves. 
It will be remembered tliat the period referred to, when Mr. Wilson 
communicated his suspicions to Dr. Howe, and through him to the 
chairman of the Massachusetts committee, was so late as May, 1858. 
Order had then been restored in Kansas. The troops of the United 
States had been long previously withdrawn, and the only contests 
remaining in the Territory were conducted through the ballot-box. 
Notwithstanding all which, it would seem Brown was to be kept afoot, 
intrusted with arms for military organization, and amply supplied 
with money. The testimony shows that after his treasonable proceed- 
ings at Chatham he went back to New England, traveled through its 
several villages, collecting money, which was freely contributed under 
the auspices both of Dr. Howe and Mr. Chairman Stearns and others, 
with a knowledge that he retained the large supj)ly of arms of which 
they had liiiled to dispossess him. 

Upon the whole testimony, there can be no doubt that Brown's plan 
was to commence a servile war on the borders of Virginia, which he 
expected to extend, and which he believed his means and resources 
were sufficient to extend through that State and throughout the entire 
South. Upon being questioned, soon after his capture, by the Governor 
of Virginia, as to his plans, he rather indignantly repelled the idea 
that it was to be limited to collecting and protecting the slaves until 
they could be sent out of the State as fugitives. On the contrary, he 
vehemently insisted that his purpose was to retain them on the soil, to 
put arms in their hands, with which he came provided for the purpose, 
and to use them as his soldiery. (Pages 61, 62.) 

This man (Brown) was uniformly spoken of, by those who seemed 
best to have known him, as of remarkable reticence in his habits, or, 
as they expressed it, "secretive." It does not appear that he intrusted 
even his immediate' followers with his plans, fully, even after they 
were ripe for execution. Nor have the committee been enabled clearly 
to trace knowledge of them to any. The only exception would seem 
to be in the instance of the anonymous letter received by the Secretary 
of War in the summer preceding the attack, referred to in his testi- 
mony. The Secretary shows that he could get no clue to the Avriter; 
nor were tlie committee enabled in any way to trace liim. Consider- 
ing that the letter was anonymous, as well as vague and apparently 
incolierent in its statements, it was not at all remarkable, in the 
opinion of the committee, that it did not arrest the attention of the 
officer to whom it was addressed. 

The point chosen for the attack seems to have been selected from the 
two-fold inducement of the security afforded the invaders by a mountain 
country, and the large deposit of arms in the arsenal of the United 
States there situated. It resulted in the murder of three most re- 
spectable citizens of the State of Virginia without cause, and in the 
like murder of an unoffending free negro. Of the military force 
brought against them, one marine was killed and one wounded; whilst 
eight of the militia and other forces of the neighborhood were wounded, 
with more or less severity, in the several assaults made by them, 
Eep. No. 278 2 



18 INVASION AT HARrER's FERRY. 

Of the list of "insurgents" given in Colonel Lee's report, (fourteen 
whites and live negroes,) Brown, JStevens, and Coppic, of the whites, 
with Shields Green and Copeland, of the negroes, captured at the 
storming of the engine-house, were subsequently executed in Virginia, 
after judicial trial ; as were also John E. Cook and Albert Hazlett, 
who at first escaped, but were captured in Pennsylvania and delivered 
up for trial to the authorities of Virginia — making in all seven thus 
executed. It does not seem to have been very clearly ascertained liow 
many of the party escaped. Brown stated that his party consisted of 
twenty-two in number. Seven were executed, ten were killed at the 
Ferry; thus leaving five to be accounted for. Four of these five, it is 
believed^ were left on the Maryland side in charge of the arms when 
Brown crossed the river, and who could not afterwards join him; leav- 
ing but one, who, as it would appear, is the only survivor of the party 
who accompanied Brown across the bridge, and whose escape is not 
accounted for. 

The committee, after much consideration, are not prepared to sug- 
gest any legislation, which, in their opinion, would be adequate to 
prevent like occurrences in the future. The only ])rovisions in the 
Constitution of the United States which would seem to import any 
authority in the government of the United States to interfere on occa- 
sions affecting the peace or safety of the States, are found in the 
eighth section of the first article, amongst the powers of Congress, 
"to provide for calling for the militia to execute the laws of the 
Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;" and in the fourth 
section of the fourth article, in the following words: "The United 
States shall guaranty to every State in this Union a republican form 
of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and, 
on the application of the legislature or of the executive, (when the 
legislature cannot be convened,) against domestic violence." The 
"invasion" here spoken of would seem to import an invasion by the 
public force of a foreign power, or (if not so limited and equally 
referable to an invasion by one State of another) still it would seem 
that public iorce, or force exercised under the sanction of acknowledged 
political power, is there meant. The invasion (to call it so) by Brown 
and his folloAvers at Harper's Ferry^ was in no sense of that character. 
It was simply the act of lawless rufiians, under the sanction of no 
public or political authority — distinguishable only from ordinary 
felonies by the ulterior ends in contemplation by them, and by the 
fact that the money to maintain the expedition, and the large arma- 
ment thev brous:;ht with them, had been contributed and furnished 
by the citizens of other States of the Union, under circumstances that 
must continue to jeopard the safety and peace of the Southern States, 
and against which Congress has no power to legislate. 

If the several States, wdiether from motives of policy or a desire to 
preserve the peace of the Union, if not from fraternal feeling, do not 
hold it incumbent on them, after the experience of tlie country, to 
guard in future by appropriate legislation against occurrences similar 
to the one here inquired into, the committee can find no guarantee 
elsewhere for the security of peace between the States of the Union. 

So far, however, as the safety of the public property is involved, the 



INVxiSION AT harper's FERRY. 19 

committee would earnestly recommend that provision should he made 
by the executive, or, if necessary, by law, to keep under adequate 
military guard the public armories and arsenals of the United States, 
in some way after the manner now practised at the navy-yards and 
forts. 

Before closing their report, the committee deem it proper to state 
that four persons summoned as Avitnesses, to wit: John Brown, jr., of 
Ohio, James Redpath, of Massachusetts, Frank B. Sanborn, of Massa- 
chusetts, and Thaddeus Hyatt, of New York, failing or refusing ta 
appear before the committee, Avarrants were issued by order of the 
Senate for their arrest. Of these, Thaddeus Hyatt only was arrested: 
and on his appearance before the Senate, still refusing obedience to the 
summons of the committee, he was by otder of the Senate committed 
to the jail of the District of Columbia. In regard to the others, it 
appeared by the return of the marshal of the northern district of Ohio, 
as deputy of the Sergeant-at-Arms, that John Brown, jr., at first 
evaded the process of tlie Senate, and afterwards, wnth a number of 
other persons, armed themselves to prevent his arrest. The marshal 
further reported in his return that Brown could not be arrested unless 
lie was authorized in like manner to employ force. Sanborn was 
arrested by a dei)uty of the Sergeant-at-Arms, and afterwards released 
from custody by the judges of the supreme court of Massachusetts on 
habeas coiyus. Redpath, by leaving his State, or otherwise concealing 
himself, successfully evaded the process of the Senate. 

And the committee ask to be discharged from the further considera- 
tion of the subject. 

J. M. MASON, 

Chairman. 

JEFF'N DAVIS. 

G. N. FITCH. 



(/ ^i^XLV^M' 



36th Congress, 1 SENATE. ( Rep. Com. 

\st Session. \ • / No. 278. 



IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. 



June 15, 1860. — Ordered to be printed. 



Mr. DooLiTTLE submitted the following 

VIEWS OF THE MINORITY. 

The treasonable conspiracy of Jolm Brown and his associates, and 
its fatal development at Harper's Ferry, in Virginia, in October last, 
has become matter of history, and all its details are too well known to 
require recapitulation. 

While the excitement, alarm, and suspicion Averc rife in the public 
mind, the Senate adopted the resolutions raising the committee of 
inquiry in relation thereto. Their only legitimate purpose was to 
inquire whether anything had transpired which required further legis- 
lation by Congress for future security. Though drawn in very general^ 
and undefined terms, in some part almost implying the exercise^ of 
judicial inquisition, yet from an unwillingness to incur the imputation 
of embarrassing full investigation, no one objected to their adoption. 
In the exercise of the same feeling Ave have made no objection to the 
great latitude of inquiry taken by the committee. We, however, dis- 
tinctly understand, that if the resolutions and their peculiarphraseology 
were drawn or are used for any other purpose than that of furnishing 
to the Senate information for its oAvn legislative action, it is a perver- 
sion and departure from tlie only justifiable purpose of their adoption. 

The objects of inquiry, as stated in the resolutions, are the following, 
which are stated, not in the order of the resolutions, but in the order 
of their consecutive relation, for tlie purpose of their more orderly 
ansAver, to wit: 

First. The facts in relation to the invasion and seizure of the armory 
and arsenal at Harper's Ferry. 

Second. Whether it Avas in pursuance of an organization, and the 
nature and purpose thereof. 

Third. The arms and munitions there possessed by the insurgents, 
and Avhere and hoAv obtained. 

Fourth. Were any citizens, not present, implicated in, or accessory 
thereto, by contributions of arms, money, ammunition, or otherAvise. 

In relation to the first inquiry, the testimony taken before the com- 
mittee discloses no material iacts but such as appeared on tlie trial of 
the conspirators, and have been long since published and are fully 
knoAvn. They are briefly as follows: 



22 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

On the night of the 16th day of October, 1859, John Brown, together 
Avith sixteen wliite men and five negroes as conspirators, took armed 
possession of the United States armory at Harper's Ferry, in Virginia, 
killed four of the inhabitants, and were dislodged by armed force, 
whicli they resisted, and in the action seven of the white conspirators 
were killed, and three of the negroes. John Brown was wounded and 
taken prisoner, and he, together with four others of the white conspir- 
ators, and two of the negroes, were tried, convicted, and executed, 
and five escaped. 

2d. This took place in pursuance of a conspiracy commenced in 
Kansas by John Brown and most of these conspirators, in the last part 
of 1857 or beginning of 1858. They were young men and entirely 
under the influence of Brown, and had been, as well as Brown, deeply 
engaged in the conflicts in Kansas in 1855, 1856, and 1857. From 
Kansas they passed into Iowa, and from thence they were led by Brown 
to Chatham, in Canada West. There they, together with a number 
of negroes, formed a secret organization, with written articles of asso- 
ciation, drawn up by Brown, having for its object the raising of slave 
insurrection in the slaveholding States and subverting the government 
thereof. 

3d. They had two hundred Sharp's carbines and two hundred re- 
volver pistols and about one thousand pikes, together with a quantity 
of clothing and ammunition. The carbines and revolvers had been 
procured by contributions in Massachusetts, in 1856, and forwarded to 
Iowa to be sent into Kansas for the aid and in the defense of the free- 
State people in the struggle then existing there, and they had been 
intrusted to John Brown for that purpose, together with the ammu- 
nition. Tlie clothing, which had been contributed for the suffering 
people of Kansas, had been intrusted to him there for that purpose. 
In 1857 these troubles in Kansas in a great degree subsided. The as- 
sociations and committees, who had made contributions, ceased opera- 
tions, and these arms and munitions, in the hands of Brown, came to 
be almost overlooked and disregarded, until the summer of 1858, when 
a suggestion came to the persons having control of them, at Boston, 
that John Brown was about to make some improper use of them, and 
thereupon he was particularly charged to make no use of them but in 
Kansas, and for the defense of the free-State people there, the purpose 
for which they had been furnished. It seems that this, together with 
being unable to procure money, and an apprehension of being exposed, 
prevented him from executing the purpose of his conspiracy for that 
year. 

In 1859, he procured to be completed in Connecticut one thousand 
pikes, for which he had contracted and partly paid in 1856 or 1857, for 
like service in Kansas, and then in 1859, he i^rocured those pikes, and 
also those carbines and revolvers, and the ammunition and clothing, 
to be privately conveyed and secreted at or near Harper's Ferry, with- 
out the knowledge or consent of those who had contributed them for 
use in Kansas, and contrary to the order so given him by those in 
control. 

4th. There is no evidence that any other citizens than those there with 
Brown were accessory to this outbreak or invasion, by contributions 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 23 

thereto or otherwise, nor any proof that any others liad any knowl- 
•edge of the cons})iracy or its pur])oses in tlie year 1859, thongh Realf, 
Forhes, and some very few may have nndcrstood it in 1858, when it 
failed of execution. 

Although some of tlie testimony tends to show that some aholition- 
ists have at times contributed money to what is occasionally called 
practical abolitionism — that is, in aiding the escape of slaves — and 
may have placed too implicit conlidence in John Brown, yet there is 
no evidence to show, or cause to believe, they had any complicity with 
this conspiracy, or any suspicion of its existence oi- design, before its 
■explosion. 

There was no eviden-ce tending to show that there ever was any 
conspiracy or design, by any one, to rescue John Brown or his associates 
from prison in Virginia. 

The place and the boldness of this outbreak, the purpose it enter- 
tained, the deaths it involved, and the amount of arms and munitions 
with which it was sup})lied, combined to produce not only gi'cat alarm, 
but also a strong suspicion of extensive complicity. Time and inves- 
tigation has happily dissipated much of such alarm and suspicion, and 
shown that this was but an offshoot from the extensive outrages and 
lawlessness in Kansas, commenced and continued there, by armed 
invasions of that Territory to control its own people, the elections, 
and the government, for the introduction and perpetuity of slavery in 
that Territory, on the one hand, and resistance or defense on the other. 
This invited there many men of desperation, and others became so 
by the irritations and excitements of those collisions. When com- 
parative peace was restored there many, trained by such a school, were 
ready for new fields of lawless enterprise. It was from such elements 
that John Brown concocted his conspiracy, consisting of young men 
and boys, over whom he had entire control, many of them foreigners, 
and none of substance or position in the country. 

By perverting the arms, ammunition, and clothing with which he 
had been intrusted, from the purpose for which he had received them, 
he secured his supplies. 

It is almost astonishing that in a country like ours, laden with the 
rich experience of tlie blessings of security under the protection of 
law, there should still be found large bodies of men laboring under 
the infatuation that any good object can be effected by lawlessness and 
violence. It is the prostration of law. which is the only bond of 
security. It can, in its nature, beget nothing but resistance, retalia- 
tion, insecurity, and disaster. And yet, with all our intelligence and 
experience, we have most unfortunate and dei)lorable manifestations of 
such infatuations. They are dangerous in direct proportion to the 
extent of public countenance they receive. No object, however desira- 
ble, can justify them or prevent their disastrous example and conse- 
quences. The uni)unished lawless invasions of our weak neighboring 
nations; the flagrant and merciless breaches of our laws against the 
African slave trade, "unwhipt of justice;" the lawless armed inva- 
sions of our own people in our own weak Territory of Kansas, not 
only unpunished, but justified, sustained, and even rewarded, all, it 
is believed, to extend and sustain slavery, tended strongly to suggest 



24 INVASION AT HARPER^S FERRY. 

acts of lawless violence to destroy it, especially in those who had wit- 
nessed and suffered by these collisions. They are, however, all with- 
out excuse, and they but add. to the experience that no public peace or 
private security can be found but wliere every disre<2jard of law meets 
with the most prompt pubMc rebuke and effective punishment or 
correction. 

While this act of violence and treason, and the alarm, suspicion, 
suffering, and death it involved are so deplorable, we cannot but see 
that the lessons which it teaches furnish many considerations of secur- 
ity against its repetition. Ages might not produce another John 
Brown, or so fortuitously supply him with such materials. The fatal 
termination of the enterprise in the death and execution of so large a 
part of the number engaged ; the dispersion of the small remainder 
as fugitives in the land ; the entire disinclination of the slaves to insur- 
rection, or to receive aid for that purpose, which was there exhibited ; 
the very limited^ number and peculiar character of the conspirators, all 
combine to furnish assurance against the most distant probability of 
its repetition. 

The extent and freedom with which this investigation has been 
conducted has resulted in showing that the people of the free States 
have had no complicity with this atrocity; and, if viewed with candor, 
the evidence will remove the suspicion of extensive complicity which 
the possession of such a (piantity of arms, unexplained, was likely to 
create, it now fully appearing they were never furnis.hed for such a 
pur])ose. This investigation has its value, if its record be examined 
and treated with candor, as it fully shows that there is no sucli ground 
of suspicion and distrust as has been indulged amongst our people, 
and that lawless violence as to slavery, by efforts from beyond its 
border, has culminated in this disastrous and abortive experiment. 

We have very succinctly stated the origin, agents, instruments,, 
purposes, and result of this deplorable outrage, and briefly stated the 
reflections, we tliink, it suggests. The facts disclosed, viewed in the 
light in which they ap])ear to us, and in which we have presented 
them, however much calling for reprobation and regret, may be, and 
we think should be, used and improved to allay excitement, quiet 
sus])icion, and r^'store tranquillity. 

The committee having come to the conclusioa that no such facts 
have been disclosed as call for any congressional legislation, we should 
regard this as the termination of its duty ; but, by its majority, the 
committee seems to have entertained a different view of the object of 
the resolutions and purpose of the inquiry. They give, as we suppose, 
a different construction from our understanding of those words of the 
resolutions which direct an inquiry ''whether any citizens of the 
United States not present were implicated therein, or accessory thereto, 
by contributions of money, arms, munitions, or otherwise." We 
consider that no man can be properly said to be "implicated" in any 
transaction, or accessory thereto, who had no knowledge of its pur- 
pose, character, or existence; and the whole committee consider that 
there is no evidence that any citizen, not present, had any such 
knowledge of this. Yet the committee, by its majority, seem to re- 
gard it as their duty to inquire whether there are any citizens Avho^ 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 25 

thongh not "implicated" in this affair, yet hold such opinions and 
pursue such courses on the subject of slavery as are dangerous to the 
national tranquillity, even although Congress has no power to take 
any action in relation thereto. This we regard as a departure from 
the duty and proper power of the committee. Upon this view of the 
committee, by its majority, great latitude and range of inquiry has 
been taken in the examination, and equal latitude of remark indulged 
in the report. Witnesses, and especially those known or suspected of 
ultra abolition sentiments, have been freely examined as to their per- 
sonal sentiments, theories, purposes, conduct, charities, contributions, 
lectures, and speeches on the subject of slavery. They have even 
called a witness to prove that he and others had conspired to be guilty 
of the charity of providing for a poor, wounded prisoner, in a land of 
strangers, the necessary counsel able to secure him a fair trial, as if 
that was evidence of their complicity with his guilt. We feel bound 
to protest against all the conclusions which the same spirit of suspicion 
which could call such testimony will seek to deduce from it. 

So long as Congress, in the exercise of its power over tlie Territories, 
is invoked to exert it to extend, perpetuate, or protect the institution 
of slavery therein ; so long as the policy of the government is sought 
to be so shaped as to aid to extend its existence or enlarge its power, 
in any way, beyond its present limits, so long must its moral, political, 
and social character and effects be unavoidably involved in congress- 
ional discussion. Hence, it is equally unavoidable that the people in 
all parts of the Union will discuss this subject, as they are to select 
those who are to represent them and their sentiments in congressional 
action. So long as slavery is claimed before the world as a highly 
benignant, elevating, and liumanizing institution, and as having- 
Divine approbation, it will receive at the hands of the moralist, civil- 
ian, and theologian the most free and unflinching discussion ; nor 
should its vindicators wince in the combat which their claims invite. 
In this discussion, it is true, as in other topics of exciting debate, wide 
latitude and license are, at times, indulged, but it seldom or never 
exceeds in severity the terms of reprehension on this subject which 
were long since indulged by Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Mason, 
and, in later times, by McDowell, Faulkner, and their worthy com- 
peers, all of Virginia, whose information and opinions, on this as well 
as other subjects, the people of the free States have not yet learned 
to disrespect. We insist, however, that there is no such matter pre- 
sented in the testimony or existing in fact, as is more than intimated 
in the report, that even the abolitionists in the free States take courses 
intended, covertly, to produce forcible violations of the laws and peace 
of the slaveholding States, much less that any such course is counte- 
nanced by the body of the people in the free States. We cannot join 
in any report tending to promulgate such a view, as we regard it un- 
founded in fact and ill calculated to promote peace, confidence, or 
tranquillity, and a departure from the legitimate purpose for which 
the committee was appointed. 

J. COLLAMER. 

J. R. DOOLITTLE. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 27 



JOURNAL 



OF 



THE SELECT COMMITTEE 



APPOINTED 



To inquire into the facts attending the late invasion and seizure of the 
United States Armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. 



Friday, December 16, 1859. 

The tSelect Committee, appointed in pursuance of the following res- 
olution of the Senate of the United States, adopted on the 14th instant, 
viz : 

''Hesolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire into the facts 
attending the late invasion and seizure of the Armory and Arsenal of 
the United States at Harper's Ferry, in Virginia, by a band of armed 
men, and 

'"' REPORT 

- " Whether the same was attended by armed resistance to the au- 
thorities and public force of the United States, and by the murder of 
any of the citizens of Virginia, or of any troops sent there to protect 
the })ublic property; 

"V^^hether such invasion and seizure was made under color of any 
organization intended to subvert the government of any of the States 
of the Union; 

"What was the character and extent of such organization, and 
whether any citizens of the United States not present were implicated 
therein, or accessory thereto, by contributions of money, arms, muni- 
tions, or otherwise ; 

"What was the character and extent of the military equipment in 
the hands or under the control of said armed band, and where and 
how and when the same was obtained and transported to the place so 
invaded ; 

"That said committee report whether any, and what, legislation 
may, in their opinion, be necessary on the part of the United States 
for tlie future preservation of the peace of the country, or for the safety 
of the public property; 

"And that said committee have power to send for persons and pa- 
pers" — 



28 INVASION AT HARPER S FERRY. 

Met this day. 

Present — All the members, viz: Mr. Mason, (chairman,) Mr. Davis^ 
Mr. Collamer, Mr. Fitch, and Mr. Doolittle. 

The Chairman was directed, by order of the committee, to ask the 
Senate to grant authority to employ a clerk to the committee. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Tuesday, December 20, 1859. 

The committee met pursuant to a call of the Chairman. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Senate having, by a resolution adopted yesterday, authorized 
the committee to employ a clerk. 

The Chairman proposed the appointment of D. F. Murphy ; which 
was agreed to. 

The Chairman was authorized, by order of the committee, to summon 
the following witnesses to appear on the 3d day of January, 1860, viz: 

From Jefferson county, Virginia : Andrew Hunter, Lewis W. Wash- 
ington, John H. Allstadt. 

At Harper's Ferry : A. M. Kitzmiller, J. E. P. Dangerfield,' A. M. 
Ball. 

And such others in Jefferson county, Virginia, and its vicinity as 
he may determine. 

It was further ordered, that Kichard Ptealf bo summoned from Aus- 
tin, in Texas, by telegraph or otherwise, as the Chairman may direct. 

It was also ordered, that all the proceedings of this committee be 
considered confidential. 

On motion, the committee adjourned, to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man . 

Wednesday, January 4, 18G0. 

Committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 
Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 
No witnesses being present, the committee adjourned to meet to- 
morrow morning, at 12 o'clock. 

Thursday, January 5, 1860. 

Committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 
On motion of Mr. Davis, it was 

Ordered, That, during the examination of witnesses, no person 
shall be present, besides the members of the committee and its clerk^ 
except the particular witness who is giving his testimony. 

The committee proceeded to examine witnesses, and examined — 

1. John C. Unseld. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until to-morrow, at 11, a. m. 

Friday, January 6, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 29 

The committee extamined the following witnesses : 

2. Terence Byrne. 

3. Daniel Wlielan. 

4. John D. Starry. 

5. George W. Chambers. 

6. Lewis W. Washington. 

7. John H. Allstadt. 

On motion, the connnittee adjonrned until Tuesday morning next, 
the 10th instant, at 10 o'clock. 

Tuesday, January 10, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined the following witnesses : 

8. Colonel Robert E, Lee, United States army. 

9. Theodore Eynders. 

10. Archibald M. Kitzmiller. 

11. Armistead M. Ball. 

On motion of Mr. Davis, it was 

Ordered, That the Chairman and Mr. Collamer be authorized to 
open and examine the contents of the trunk brought from New York 
city by Theodore Eynders, and seized in that city by the United States 
marshal^ under an order and summons from this committee, as the 
trunk of one Hugh Forbes. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until to-morrow, at 11 o'clock, 
a. m. 

Wednesday, January 11, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis. Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined the following witness : 

12. Lind F. Currie. 

The committee discharged J. E. P. Dangerfield from attendance, 
without examining him. 

The Chairman and Mr. Collamer reported that, in pursuance of the 
order of the committee, they had examined the contents of the trunk 
brought from New York by Theodore Eynders, deputy marshal, pur- 
porting to be the trunk of Hugh Forbes, and finding nothing in it 
pertinent to the inquiry submitted to this committee, had returned it 
to the United States marshal for the southern district of New York, 
with directions to replace it in the custody from which it had been 
taken, the contents undisturbed. The sub-committee further reported 
that this trunk came under seal from New York, and was returned by 
them^ under seal, to the custody of the deputy marshal. 

At Mr. Collamer's suggestion, a summons was directed to be issued 
for B. B. Newton, of St. Alban's, Vermont. 

The Chairman was also authorized to summon the following persons 
to attend as witnesses before the committee, viz : 

John Brown, jr., of West Andover, Ashtabula county, Ohio. 

Joshua E. Giddings, of Jefferson, Ohio. 

E. Plumb, of Oberlin, Ohio. 



30 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Charles Blair, of CoUinsville, Connecticut. 
F. B. Sanborn^ of Concord, Massachusetts. 
George De Bapt, of Detroit, Michiga.n, 
James Redpath, of New York or Boston. 
E. Morton, of Rochester, New York. 
Dr. S. G. Howe, of Boston. 
Lewis Hayden, of Boston. 
Gerritt Smith, of Peterhoro', New York. 
W. H, D. Calender, of Hartford, Connecticut. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Friday next, at 11 
o'clock, a. m. 

Friday, January 13, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 
Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Fitch, and Doolittle. 
The committee examined, as a witness, 

13. Andrew Hunter. 

On motion^ the committee adjourned until Monday next, at 11 
o'clock, a. m. 

Monday, January 16, 1860, 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

14. William F. M. Arny. 

Without concluding his examination, the committee adjourned until 
to-morrow morning, at 10 o'clock. 

Tuesday, January 17, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee resumed and concluded the examination of William 
F. M, Arny. 

On motion, the Chairman was authorized to summon, from the Ter- 
ritory of Kansas, such Avitnesses as he may deem necessary and proper. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man, 

Saturday, January 21, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the Chairman's call, at 11 o'clock, 
a. m. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

14. Richard Realf. 

At the suggestion of the Chairman, he was authorized hy the com- 
mittee to address a note to the Hon. Henry Wilson, and inform him 
of reference that was made by the testimony of the witness, to-day, to 
him, and sav to him that, if he desired it. the testimonv of the witness 
as to that point should be submitted to him ; and if he wished it, he 
should have the opportunity of putting any interrogatories that he 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 31 

thought proper to the witness ; and further, to invito him to attend 
the committee, with a view to obtain his own testimony in relation 
thereto. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until Monday morning, at 11 
o'clock. 

Moj^DAY, Januanj 23, 18G0. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Hon. Henry Wilson appeared before the committee, and that 
part of the testimony of Richard Realf referred to in the note of the 
Chairman to him having been read to him by the clerk, Mr. AVilsox 
stated that he desired to put a few questions to the witness, Realf, and 
w^ould give his own testimony with reference to the matter ; but as he 
desired to obtain a certain letter from Boston, the subject was post- 
poned until he would be able conveniently to attend to it. 

The committee proceeded to examine the following witnesses, who 
were summoned to appear this day : 

15. William H. D. Callender. 

16. Benjamin B. Newton. 

17. Charles Blair. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Thursday next, the 
26th instant, at 11 o'clock, a. m. 

Thursday, January 26, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

S. G. Howe and James Redpath, witnesses summoned for the 24th 
instant, (and service of the summons made by leaving a copy at their 
houses on the 23d instant,) and F. B. Sanborn, (served personally on 
the 16th instant,) summoned for the 24th, failed to appear. 

The committee examined, as a witness^, 

18. James Jackson. 

The Chairman was authorized to summon, as witnesses, for Monday 
next, or any subsequent day next week, Samuel Chilton and E. K. 
SchaefFer. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Monday next, at 11 
o'clock, a. m. 

Monday, January 30, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

19. Samuel Chilton. 

Joshua R. Giddings, Ralph Plumb, and John Brown, jr., who were 
summoned as witnesses for this day, did not appear. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Wednesday next, 
at 11 o'clock, a. m. 

Wednesday, February 1, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 



32 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Hon. Henry AVilson appeared before the committee, and expressed 
liis willingness to testify with reference to the matter contained in 
Richard Realf's testimony with regard to a letter of his, and declined 
to ask any questions of Realf. 

The committee thereupon examined, as a witness, 

20. Hon. Henry Wilson. 

Thaddeus Hyatt, who was summoned to appear as a witness this 
day, having sent word to the committee that he was rather indisjiosed, 
it was agreed to defer his examination until to-morrow. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until to-morrow morning, at 
11 o'clock. 

Thursday, February 2, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 
Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 
S. G. Howe reported himself to be in attendance for the purpose of 
giving his testimony. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

21. Edward K. Schaeffer, who had been summoned for to-day. 
At the suggestion of Mr. Fitch, it was 

Ordered, That the Chairman issue a summons for the attendance, 
as a witness, of John A. Andrew, of Boston. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until to-morrow morning, at 
11 o'clock. 

Friday, February 3, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 

Joshua R. Giddings and Ralph Plumb reported themselves as in 
attendance for the purpose of giving testimony, according to the sum- 
mons of the committee. 

Samuel G. Howe presented his reasons in writing for desiring not 
to testify before the committee, which the committee declined to notice 
further than to receive the paper. 

The committee proceeded to examine the following witnesses : 

22. Joshua R. Giddings. 

23. Samuel G. Howe. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Tuesday morning 
next, at 10 o'clock. 

Tuesday, February 7, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

24. Ralph Plumb. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until Thursday morning next, 
at 11 o'clock. 

Thursday, February 9, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 



INVASION AT UARPER'S FERRY. 33 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

25. John A. Andrew, who had been summoned to appear this day. 
Charles Robinson, who had been summoned for to-day, reported 

himself to be in attendance. 

It appearing to the committee that certain witnesses duly summoned 
before this committee, pursuant to the order of the Senate, have made 
default in appearing, it is 

Ordered, That the Chairman report the fact to the Senate for such 
further proceedings therein as may be directed. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until to-morrow, at 11 o'clock, 
a. m. 

Friday, February 10, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — ^Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 

Martin F. Conway, a witness summoned to appear this day^ reported 
himself to be in attendance. 

Augustus Wattles, summoned for to-day, did not make his appear- 
ance. 

Mr. Collamer proposed that a summons be issued for his excellency 
Henry A. Wise, late Governor of Virginia, for the purpose of ascertain- 
ing from him what information he had as to any plans for the rescue of 
John Brown and his associates, while they were confined in the jail at 
Charlestown, Virginia. 

The consideration of the proposition was deferred until Monday 
next. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

26. Charles Robinson. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until Monday, the 13th instant, 
at 11 o'clock, a. m. 

Monday, February 13, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present— Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

27. Martin F. Conway. 

The committee proceeded to consider the proposition of Mr. Colla- 
mer, presented on Friday last, and, after consultation, 

Ordered, That it be postponed for the present. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Friday morning, 
the 17th instant, at 11 o'clock. 

Friday, February 17, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Collamer, and Doolittle. 

Augustus Wattles, who was summoned for the 10th instant, re- 
ported himself to be in attendance. 

The Chairman notified the committee that he had reported to the 
Senate the names of the defaulting witnesses, and that warrants had 

Rep. No. 278 3 



34 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

been issued for the arrest of F. B. Sanborn, John Brown, jr., and 
James Eedpath. 

He also informed the committee that, for the convenience of the 
Senate, he had instructed the Sergeant-at-Arms that he should be at 
liberty to have the warrants for these arrests executed by deputy, as 
had been done theretofore, in the case of the summons issued by the 
committee, advising that the marshals, or their deputies, in the differ- 
ent States should be so deputized. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

28. Augustus Wattles. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until Monday morning next, 
at 11 o'clock. 

Monday, February 20, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, and Collamer. 
On motion, it was 

Ordered, That the Chairman ask the Senate to order its warrant to 
issue for the arrest of Thaddeus Hyatt, for having failed and refused 
to appear pursuant to the summons of this committee. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Friday, February 24, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 
Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Fitch. 
The committee examined, as a witness, 

29. George L. Stearns. 

The Chairman notified the committee that the Senate had issued its 
warrant for the arrest of Thaddeus Hyatt. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Monday next, at 11 
o'clock, a. m. 

Monday, February 27, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Collamer, Doolittle, and Fitch. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

30. Horace White. 

On motion, the Chairman was authorized to request the attendance 
of the Hon. John B. Floyd, Secretary of War. 

On motion, tlie committee adjourned to meet at the call of the 
Chairman. 

Monday, March 5, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 
Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 
The committee examined, as a witness, 

31. Hon. John B. Floyd. 

The Chairman submitted a letter from J. H. Lane and William A. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 35 

Phillips, of Kansas, relative to the testimony said to have been given 
before this committee by Charles Robinson. 

Ordered, That its consideration be postponed. 

On motion^ the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Mo.NDAY, March 26, 1860, 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Chairman laid before the committee a letter from M. Johnson, ' 
United States marshal for the northern district of Ohio, relative to 
the difficulties which would probably be encountered in any attempt 
to serve the warrant deputed to him, for the arrest of John Brown, 
jr., by order of the Senate. 
After consultation. 

Ordered^ That the Chairman request Marshal Johnson to return 
the warrant, with a statement, under oath, of the facts rendering its 
service impracticable ; and that the same, when received, be laid before 
the Senate for its action. 

On motion, the committee adjourned until Friday morning next, at 
11 o'clock. 

Friday, March 30, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Chairman submitted a letter from George !>. Stearns, dated 
Boston, March 22, 1860, requesting that it and a letter which it in- 
closed^ from H. B. Hurd, be added to his testimony ; which was 
authorized to be done. 

The committee resumed the consideration of Mr. Collamer's propo- 
sition to summon Henry A. AVise, which was now presented in writing 
by Mr. Collamer, the mover, in the words following, viz : 

"I request that Henry A. Wise be called as a witness, to furnish to 
the committee all reliable information witliin his knowledge as to any 
citizen of the United States, not present at the invasion at Harper's 
Ferry, being implicated therein or accessory thereto, by contributions 
of money, arms, ammunition, or otherwise, and, so far as he knows, 
where said information can be obtained. 

"And that said Wise furnish to the committee all reliable informa- 
tion within his knowledge as to any combination or conspiracy in any 
part of the country for the purpose of rescuing John Brown or his 
associates from prison, in Viginia. 

"I desire not his suspicions, apprehensions, belief, or opinion, or 
any account or vindication of his course, as Governor of Virginia, on 
the occasion, but only the facts and information above stated — in 
short, that knowledge and information in relation to the transaction 
which he is credibly reported to have said ' rubies could not obtain 
from him.' " 

The Chairman presented his objections to the proposition, as follows: 

'^'^ Objected to, because the witness named was, at the time when the 



36 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

affair at Harper's Ferry occurred, and until after the execution of 
Brown and liis followers, Governor of the State of Virginia, and, of 
consequence, all the information he may have touching that suhject 
was obtained by him in his official character as governor of that State, 
and acquired the better to enable him to protect the public interests 
confided to him as such. 

"It is not considered competent to any authority of the United 
States in any manner thus to trench upon, or directly or indirectly to 
question the separate action of a State administration." 

The correspondence annexed, between the Chairman of this com- 
mittee and the Governor of Virginia, shows that the latter has no doc- 
uments or corres})ondence of the character called for by the letter of 
the Chairman, connected with the inquiries of the committee, not 
already given to the public : 

''Washington, December 15, 1859. 

"Dear Sir: I inclose a copy of a resolution of the Senate of the 
United States, which was adopted yesterday. It is framed, as you 
will see, to effect a searching inquiry into everything connected with 
the hxte transaction at Harper's Ferry. 

"In conducting the investigation, it will be important that the com- 
mittee should be in possession of the original of every paper or docu- 
ment found with Brown or his confederates which will aid in the 
investigation, or implicate others at a distance. 

"I have already advised Mr. Andrew Hunter, of Charlestown, that 
I would call for him to bring here all the documents which were used 
at the trial, and I have to beg the favor of you to cause to be collected 
together such as may have been taken to Eichmond, and put them in 
sealed jiackages, certified in such manner as will show here that 
they were amongst the papers taken from the effects of Brown. 

"I will send for them specially to Richmond, and will be respon- 
sible for their safety. 

"Very respectfully and truly, yours, 

"J. M. MASON. 

"His Excellency Henry A. Wise, 

Governor of Virginia." 



a 



a 



"Executive Department, 

" Richmond, December 17, 1859. 

Sir : I am directed by the governor to inform you that your letter 
of the 15th instant, inclosing a copy of a resolution of the Senate of the 
United States for investigating everything connected with the late 
treasonable invasion at Harper's Ferry, has been received. He regrets 
that these papers cannot now be furnished. Most of the originals are 
are filed, and have become parts of the records of the court in Jeffer- 
son. Some of them were sent by Colonel Lee to Washington. Some 
were carried by privates of military companies to Baltimore, and some 
maps were sent to Southern States. He has caused copies of the most 
important, which were in evidence at (Jharlestown, to be submitted to 
the general assembly. These have been ordered to be jirinted, and 
are now in the hands of tlie public printer. When printed, they have 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 37 

been referred to a committee of the legislature, and will be under in- 
vestigation by it. The originals are in the cnstody of Andrew Hunter, 
Esq., or of the clerk of the circuit court, and will be wanting in the 
trial of Stevens and Hazlett, two prisoners, wdio are yet to be tried. 
"Very respectfully, &c., 

^" GEORGE W. MUMFORD, 
^'■Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia. 
"Hon. Jame? M. Masox, 

" United States Senate." 

The papers in the custody of Andrew Hunter, Esq., and the printed 
report to the legislature of Virginia above referred to, were all subse- 
quentl}^ before the committee. 

The objections taken by the Chaiiiman to the motion of Mr. Colla- 
MER, that Governor Wise be summoned as a witness, were sustained 
by the committee, and the motion w^as overruled. 

On motion, the Chairman w^as authorized to request the attendance 
of the Hon. William H. Seward, as a witness. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Saturday, Apj-il 7, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Chairman submitted letters which he had received from the at- 
torney and marshal of the United States for the district of Massachu- 
chusetts, relative to the circumstances attending the arrest of F. B. 
Sanborn under the authority of the Senate. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Friday, April 13, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the Chairman's call. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 
, The Chairman submitted the return of Silas Carlton, the deputy of 
the Sergeant-at-Arms, to the warrant for the arrest of F. B. Sanborn. 

Ordered, That the return be presented to the Senate by the Chair- 
man, with a request that the same be referred to the Committee on 
the judiciary. 

It was also 

Ordered, That the same course be pursued in reference to the return 
of the marshal of the northern district of Ohio, to the warrant for the 
arrest of John Brown, jr. 

On motion by Mr. Doolittle, it was 

Ordered, That the testimony taken before the committe be printed 
for its use. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man, 



38 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 



Wednesday, 3Iay 2, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee examined, as a witness, 

32. Hon. William H. Seward. 

The committee proceeded to consider the application of J. H. Lane 
and W. A. Pliillips, of Kansas, relative to testimony alleged to have 
been given by Charles Robinson ; and pending its consideration, 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Thursday, Ma7j 24, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, and Doolittle. 

The Chairman notified the committee that summons had been issued, 
pursuant to order, for E. Morton, Gerritt Smith, George De Bapt, 
and Lewis Hay den, which had not been served _, because it appeared 
by the returns of the officers intrusted with them that the said Morton 
could not be found, that Mr. Smith's health was such as to render it 
improper to bring him here, and that said De Bapt and Hay den were 
negroes. 

After consultation, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of 
the Chairman. 

Wednesday, Hay 30, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 
Present — Messrs. Mason^ Collamer, and Doolittle. 
On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Friday next, at 10 
o'clock. 

Friday, June 1, 1860, 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee, after considering the letter heretofore submitted 
from J. H. Lane and W. A. Phillips, of Kansas, and examining, in 
connection with it, the testimony given by Charles Robinson, 

Ordered, That certain portions of that testimony, either on hearsay 
or irrelevant, be omitted from the printed testimony. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet at the call of the Chair- 
man. 

Thursday, June T, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to the call of the Chairman. 
Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Chairman submitted a petition, referred by the Senate to this 
committee, from negroes in Massachusetts, for the action of the com- 
mittee, as to the course proper to be pursued thereon. 
After consultation. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 39 

Ordered, That the consideration of the subject be postponed until 
Monday next. 

On motion, the committee adjourned to meet on Monday morning 
next, at 10 o'clock. 

Monday, June 11, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The committee, after consultation, agreed to direct the Chairman to 
submit to the Senate the petition from negroes in Massachusetts, with 
a recommendation that it be returned to the Senator who presented it. 

After consultation as to making the final report, the committee ad- 
journed until Thursday morning, 14th instant, at 9| o'clock, a, m. 

Thursday, June 14, 1860. 

The committee met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present — Messrs. Mason, Davis, Collamer, Fitch, and Doolittle. 

The Chairman submitted a report, which he had prepared, on the 
subject of the investigation referred to this committee. 

Mr. Collamer presented the views of himself and Mr. Doolittle. 

On motion, the Chairman was authorized to present the report to 
the Senate ; and Mr. Collamer was empowered to present the minority 
report. 



40 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 



APTENDIX. 



1. Colonel Lee's report. 

2. Journal of "Provisional Constitutional Convention." 

3. Provisional Constitution. 

4. Orders for distribution of forces of " j)rovisional army 

5. Specimen of commission. 

6. Correspondence of John Brown^ jr., and others. 

7. Correspondence and other papers in evidence. 



No. 1. 

Colonel Lee to the Adjutant General. 

Headquarters Harper's Ferry, 

Odoher 19, 1859. 

Colonel: I have the honor to report, for the information of the 
Secretary of War, that on arriving here on the night of the IVth 
instant, in obedience to Special Orders No. 194 of that date from your 
office, I learn that a party of insurgents, about 11 p. m. on the 16th, had 
seized the watchmen stationed at the armory, arsenal, rifle factory, and 
bridge across the Potomac, and taken possession of those points. They 
then dispatched six men, under one of their party, called Captain Aaron 
C. Stevens, to arrest the principal citizens in the neighborhood and 
incite the negroes to join in the insurrection. The party took Colonel 
L. W. Washington from his bed about 1^ a. m. on the 17th, and 
brought him, with four of his servants, to this place. Mr. J. H. 
Allstadt and six of his servants were in the same manner seized about 
3 a. m., and arms placed in the hands of the negroes. Upon their 
return here, John E. Cook, one of the party sent to Mr. Washington's, 
was dispatched to Maryland, with Mr. Washington's wagon, two of his 
servants, and three of Mr. Allstadt's, for arms and ammunition, &c. 
As day advanced, and the citizens of Harper's Ferry commenced their 
usual avocations, they were separately captured, to the number of 
forty, as well as I could learn, and confined in one room of the fire- 
engine house of the armory, which seems early to have been selected 
as a point of defense. About 11 a. m. the volunteer companies from 
Virginia began to arrive, and the Jefferson Guards and volunteers 
from Charlestown, under Captain J. W. Rowen, I understood, were first 
on the ground. The Hamtramck Guards, Captain V. M. Butler; 
the Shepherdstown troop. Captain Jacob Rienahart; and Captain 
Alburtis's company from Martinsburg arrived in the afternoon. These 
companies, under the direction of Colonels R. W. Baylor and John T. 
Gibson, forced the insurgents to abandon their positions at the bridge 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 41 

and in the village^ and to withdraw within the armory inclosure, where 
they fortified themselves in the fire-engine house, and carried ten of 
their prisoners for the purpose of insuring their safety and facilitating 
their escape, whom they termed hostages, and whose names are Colonel 
L. W. Washington, of Jefferson county, Virginia; Mr. J. H. AUstadt, 
of Jefterson county, Virginia; Mr. Israel Russell, justice of the peace, 
Harper's Ferry; Mr. John Donahue, clerk of Baltimore and Ohio rail- 
road; Mr. Terence Byrne, of Maryland ; Mr. George D. Shope, of 
Frederick, Maryland; Mr. Benjamin Mills, master armorer, Harper's 
Ferry arsenal; Mr. A. M. Ball, master machinist. Harper's Ferry 
arsenal; Mr. J. E. P. Dangerfield, paymaster's clerk. Harper's Ferry 
arsenal; Mr. J. Burd, armorer. Harper's Ferry arsenal. After sunset 
more troops arrived. Captain B. B. Washington's company from 
Winchester, and three companies from Fredericktown, Maryland, 
under Colonel Shriver. Later in the evening the companies from 
Baltimore, under General Charles C. Edgerton, second light brigade, 
and a detachment of marines, commanded by Lieutenant J. Green 
accompanied by Major Russell, of that corps, reached Sandy Hook, about 
one and a half mile east of Harper's Ferry. At this point I came up 
with these last-named troops, and leaving General Edgerton and his 
command on the Maryland side of the river for the night, caused the 
marines to proceed to Harper's Ferry, and placed them within the 
armory grounds to prevent the possibility of the escape of the insur- 
gents. Having taken measures to halt, in Baltimore, the artillery 
companies ordered from Fort Monroe, I made preparations to attack 
the insurgents at daylight. But for the fear of sacrificing the lives of 
some of the gentlemen held by them as prisoners in a midnight 
assault, I should have ordered the attack at once. 

Their safety was the subject of painful consideration, and to prevent, 
if possible, jeopardizing their lives, I determined to summon the insur- 
gents to surrender. As soon after daylight as the arrangements were 
made Lieutenant J. E. B. Stewart, 1st cavalry, who had accompanied 
me from Washington as staif officer, was dispatched^ under a flag, with 
a written summons, (a copy of which is hereto annexed, marked A.) 
Knowing the character of the leader of the insurgents, I did not expect 
it would be accepted. I had therefore directed that the volunteer troops, 
under their respective commanders, should be paraded on the lines 
assigned them outside the armory, and had prepared a storming party of 
twelve marines, under their commander, Lieutenant Green, and had 
placed them close to the engine-house, and secure from its fire. Three 
marines were furnished with sledge-hammers to break in the doors, and 
the men were instructed how to distinguish our citizens from the insur- 
gents ; to attack with the bayonet, and not to injure the blacks detained 
in custody unless they resisted. Lieutenant Stewart was also directed 
not to receive from the insurgents any counter propositions. If they 
accepted the terms oftered, they must immediately deliver up their arms 
and release their prisoners. If they did not, he must, on leaving the 
engine-house, give me the signal. My object was, with a view of 
saving our citizens, to have as short an interval as possible between 
the summons and attack. The summons, as I had anticipated, was 
rejected. At the concerted signal the storming party moved quickly 



42 INVASION AT harper's FBRRY. 

to the door and commenced the attack. The fire-engines Avithin the 
house liad been placed by the besieged close to the doors. The doors 
were fastened by ropes, the spring of which prevented their being 
broken by the blows of the hammers. The men were therefore ordered 
to drop the hammers, and, with a portion of the reserve, to use as a 
battering-ram a heavy ladder, with which they dashed in a part of the 
door and gave admittance to the storming party. The fire of the in- 
surgents up to this time had been harniless. At the threshold one 
mai'ine fell mortally wounded. The rest, led by Lieutenant Green and 
Major Russell, quickly ended the contest. The insurgents that re- 
sisted were bayoneted. Their leader, John Brown, was cut down by 
the sword of Lieutenant Green, and our citizens were protected by 
both officers and men. Tlie whole was over in a few minutes. 

After our citizens were liberated and the wounded cared for, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel S. 8. Mills, of the 53d Maryland regiment, with the 
Baltimore Independent Greys, Lieutenant B.'^F. Simpson commanding, 
was sent on the Maryland side of the river to search for John E. Cook, 
and to bring in the arms, &c., belonging to the insurgent party, which 
were said to be deposited in a school-house two and a half miles dis- 
tant. Subsequently, Lieutenant J. E. B. Stewart, with a party of 
marines, was dispatched to the Kennedy farm, situated in Maryland, 
about four and a half miles from Harper's Ferry, which had been 
rented by John Brown, and used as the depot for his men and muni- 
tions. Colonel Mills saw nothing of Cook, but found the boxes of 
arms, (Sharp's carbines and belt revolvers,) and recovered Mr. Wash- 
ington's wagon and horses. Lieutenant StcAvart found also at the 
Kennedy farm a number of sword pikes, blankets, shoes, tents, and 
all the necessaries for a campaign. These articles have been deposited 
in the government storehouse at the armory. 

From the information derived from the papers found upon the per- 
sons and among the baggage of the insurgents, and the statement of 
those now in custody, it appears that the party consisted of nineteen 
men — fourteen Avhite and five black. That 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 acknowledges that he has been disappointed 
in his expectations of aid from the black as well as 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 of Messrs. Washington 
and AUstadt, retained at the armory, took no part in the conflict, and 
those carried to Maryland returned to their homes as soon as released. 
The result proves that the plan Avas the attempt of a fanatic or mad- 
man, which could only end in failure; and its temporary success was 
owing to the panic and confusion he succeeded in creating by magnify- 
ing his numbers. I append a list of the insurgents, (marked B.) 
Cook is the only man known to have escaped. The other survivors 
of the expedition, viz: John Brown, A. C. Stevens, Edwin Coppic, 
and Green Shields, {alias S. Emperor,) I have delivered into the 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 43 

hands of the marshal of the western district of Virginia and the sheriff 
of Jefferson connty. They were escorted to CharlestoAvn by a detach- 
ment of marines, under Lieutenant Green. About nine o'clock this 
evening I received a report from ]\Ir. Moore, from Pleasant Valley, 
Maryland, that a body of men had, about sunset, descended from the 
mountains, attacked the house of Mr. Gennett, and from the cries of 
murder and the screams of the women and cliildren, he believed the 
residents of the valley were being massacred. The alarm and excite- 
ment in the village of Harper's Ferry was increased by the arrival of 
families from Sandy Hook, fleeing for safety. The report was, how- 
ever, so improbable that I could give no credence to it, yet I thought 
it possible that some atrocity might have been committed, and I started 
with twenty-five marines, under Lieutenant Green, accompanied by 
Lieutenant Stewart, for the scene of the alleged outrage, about four 
and a half miles distant. I was happy to find it a false alarm. The 
inhabitants of Pleasant Valley were quiet and unharmed, and Mr. 
Gennett and his family safe and asleep. 

I will now, in obedience to your dispatch of this date, direct the 
detachment of marines to return to the navy-yard at Washington in 
the train that passes here at 1^ a. m. to-night, and will myself take 
advantage of the same train to report to you in person at the War 
Department. I must also ask to express my thanks to Lieutenant 
Stewart, Major Russell, and Lieutenant Green, 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. Equal zeal was shown by the president and officers of 
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in their transportation of 
the troops, and in their readiness to furnish the facilities of their well- 
ordered road. > ■ 

A list of the killed and wounded, as far as came to my knowledge, 
is herewith annexed, (marked C;) and I inclose a copy of the "Pro- 
visional Constitution and ordinances for the people of the United 
States," of which there were a large number prepared for issue by the 
insurgents. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. LEE, Colonel Commanding. 

Colonel S. Cooper, 

Adjutant Geneixd U. S. Army, Washington City, D. C. 



Headquakters Harper's Ferry, 

October 18, 1859. 

Colonel Lee, United States army, commanding the troops sent by 
the President of the United States to suppress the insurrection at this 
place, demands the surrender of the persons in the armory buildings. 



44 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

If they will peaceably surrender themselves and restore the pillaged 
property, they shall be kept in safety to await the orders of the Presi- 
dent. Colonel Lee represents to them, in all frankness, that it is im- 
possible for them to escape ; that the armory is surrounded on all sides 
by troops ; and that if he is compelled to take them by force he cannot 
answer for their safety. 

R. E. LEE, 
Colonel Commanding United States Ti'oops. 



B. 

List of Insurgents. — 14. 



John Brown, of New York, commander-in-chief, badly wounded; 
prisoner. 

Aaron C. Stevens, Connecticut, captain, badly wounded ; prisoner. 

Edwin Coppic, Iowa, Lieutenant, unhurt; prisoner, 

Oliver Brown, New York, captain; killed. 

Watson Brown, New York, cajjtain; killed. _ 

Albert Hazlett, Pennsylvania, lieutenant; killed. 

William Leeman, Maine, lieutenant; killed. 

Stuart Taylor, Canada, private ; killed. 

Charles P. Tidd, Maine, private; killed. 

William Thompson, New York, private; killed. 

Adolph Thompson, New York, private; killed. 

John Kagi, Ohio, private; killed. 

Jeremiah Anderson, Indiana, private; killed. 

John E. Cook, Connecticut, captain; escaped. 

Negroes. — 5. 

Dangerfield, Newly, Ohio; killed. 

Louis Leary, Oberlin, Ohio; killed. 

Green Shields, (alias Emperor,) New York, unhurt; prisoner. 

Coi3eland, Oberlin, Ohio; prisoner. 

O. P Anderson, Pennsylvania, unaccounted for. 



C. 

List of the killed and loounded by the insurgents. — 14. 

Fontaine Beckham, railroad agent and mayor of Harper's Ferry; 
killed. 

G. W. Turner, Jefferson county, Virginia; killed. 
Thomas Boerly, Harper's Ferry; killed. 
Heywood Shepherd, negro, railroad porter; killed. 
Private Quinu, marine corps ; killed. 
Mr. Murphy; wounded. 



INVASION AT HARrER's FERRY. 45 



'o 



Mr. Youno;; wounded. 

Mr 

M 

Mr 

Mr 

Mr 

Mr 



Richardson ; wounded. 
Hammond; wounded. 
McCabe; wounded. 
Dorsey; wounded. 
Hooper ; wounded. 
Woollet; wounded. 



Private Rupert, marine corps; wounded. 



Colonel Lee to the Secretary of War. 



Harper's Ferry Arsenal, 

October 18, 1859. 



') 



Sir : Upon a more deliberate examination of the wounds of 0. Brown, 
they are believed not to be mortal. He has three wounds, but they 
are not considered by the surgeon as bad as first reported. Please 
direct me what to do with him and the other white prisoners. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. LEE, 



Hon. Secretary of War, 

Washington, D. C. 



Colonel Commanding . 



No. 2. 

Journal of the Provisional Constitutional Convention, held on Saturday, 

May 8, 1858. 

Chatham, Canada West, 

Saturday, 3Iay 8, 1858. 

10 a. m. — Convention met in pursuance to call of John Brown and 
others, and was called to order by Mr. Jackson, on whose motion Mr. 
William C. Monroe was chosen president; when, 

On motion of Mr. Brown, Mr. J. H. Kagi was elected secretary. 

On motion of Mr. Delany, Mr. Brown then proceeded to state the 
object of the convention, at length, and then to explain the general 
features of the plan of action in the execution of the project in view by 
the convention. 

Mr. Delany and others spoke in favor of the project and the plan, 
and both were agreed to by general consent. 

Mr, Brown then presented a plan of organization, entitled '' Pro- 
visional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United 
States," and moved the reading of the same. 

Mr. Kinnard objected to the reading until an oath of secresy be taken 
by each member of the convention ; whereupon, 

Mr. Delany moved that the following parole of honor be taken by 
all members of the convention : "I solemnly affirm that I will not in 
any way divulge any of the secrets of this convention, except to per- 



46 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

sons entitled to know the same, on the pain of forfeiting the respect 
and protection of this organization ;" which motion was carried. 

The president then proceeded to administer the obligation. After 
which, the question was taken on the reading of the plan proposed by 
Mr. Brown, and the same carried. 

The plan was then read by the secretary. After which, 

On motion of Mr. Whipple, it was ordered that it be now read by 
articles, for consideration. 

The articles from one to forty-five, inclusive, were then read and 
adopted. On the reading of the forty-sixth, Mr. Reynolds moved to 
strike out the same, Keynolds spoke in favor, and Brown, Monroe, 
Owen Brown, Delany, Realf, Kinnard, and Kagi, against. 

The question was then taken and lost, there being but one vote in 
the aifirmative. 

The article was then adopted. 

The forty-seventh and forty-eighth articles, with the schedule, were 
then adopted in the same manner. 

It was then moved by Mr. Delany that the title and preamble stand 
as read. Carried. 

On motion of Mr. Kagi, the constitution as a whole was then unani- 
mously adopted. 

The convention then, at 1^, p. m., adjourned, on motion of Mr. 
Jackson, till 3 o'clock. 

3 p. m. — Journal read and approved. 

On motion of Mr. Delany, it was then ordered that those approving 
of the constitution, as adopted, sign the same. Whereuj)on the names 
of all the members were appended. (Seg No. [91].) 

After congratulatory remarks by Messrs. Kinnard and Delany, the 
convention, on motion of Mr. Whipple, adjourned, at a quarter to four. 

J. H. KAGI, 
Secretary of the Convention. 

Chatham, Canada West, 

Saturday, 3Iay 8, 1858. 

6 p. m. — In accordance with and obedience to the provisions of the 
schedule to the constitution for the '' proscribed and oppressed people" 
of the United States of America, to-day adopted at this place, a con- 
vention was called by the ju-esident of the convention framing that 
instrument, and met at the above-named hour, for the purpose of elect- 
ing officers to fill the offices specially established and named by said 
constitution. 

The convention was called to order by Mr. M. R. Delany, upon 
whose nomination Mr. AVilliam C. Munroe was chosen president, and 
Mr. J. H. Kagi, secretary. 

A committee, consisting of Messrs. Whipple, Kagi, Bell, Cook, and 
Munroe, was then chosen, to select candidates for the various offices to 
be filled, for the consideration of the convention. 

On reporting progress and asking leave to sit again, the request was. 
refused, and the committee discharged. 



INVASION AT UARPER'S FERRY. 47 

On motion of ]\Ir. Bell, the convention then went into the election 
of officers, in the followin<:i; manner and order : 

Mr. Whi})ple nominated John Brown for commander-in-chief, who 
was, on tlie seconding of Mr. Delany, elected by acclamation. 

Mr. liealf nominated J. H. Kagi for secretary of war, who was 
elected in the same manner. 

On motion of Mr. Brown, the convention then adjourned to 9, a. m., 
on Monday, the 10th. 

Monday, May 10, 1858. 

9 a. m. — The proceedings of convention on Saturday were read and 
apjiroved. 

Tlie president announced that the business before the convention 
was the further election of officers. 

Mr. Whipple nominated Thomas M. Kinnard for president. In a 
speech of some length, Mr. Kinnard declined. 

Mr. Anderson nominated J. W. Loguen for the same office. The 
nomination was afterwards withdrawn, Mr. Loguen not being present, 
and it being announced that he would not serve, if elected. 

Mr, Brown then moved to postpone the election of president for the 
jiresent. Carried. 

The convention then went into the election of members of congress, 
Messrs. Alfred M. Ellsworth and Osborn Anderson were elected. 

After which tlie convention went into the election of secretary of 
state, to which office Richard Realf was chosen. 

Whereupon the convention adjourned to 2^ p. m. 

2| p. m. — Convention again assembled, and went into a balloting 
for the election of treasurer and secretary of the treasury, Owen Brown 
was elected as the former, and George B. Grill as the latter. 

The following resolution was then introduced by Mr. Brown, and 
unanimously passed : 

Resolved, That John Brown, J. H. Kagi, Richard Realf, L. F. 
Parsons, C. P. Tidd, E. Whipple, C. W. Moffett, John E. Cook, 
Owen Brown, Steward Taylor^ Osborn Anderson, A, M. Ellsworth, 
Richard Richardson, W. H. Leeman, and John Lawrence, be, and are 
hereby, appointed a committee, to whom is delegated the power of the 
convention to fill by election all the offices specially named in the 
provisional constitution which may be vacant after the adjournment 
of this convention. 

The convention then adjourned sine die. 

J. H. KAGI, 
Secretary of the Convention, 



48 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 



No. 3. 

Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the people of the United 

States. 

Preamble. 

Whereas slavery, tliroughout 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 con- 
ditions 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 Constitu- 
tion and Ordinances, the better to protect our persons, property, lives, 
and liberties, and to govern our actions: 

Article I. 

Qualificaiions for membership. 

All persons of mature age, whether proscribed, oppressed, and 
enslaved citizens, or of the proscribed and oppressed races of the 
United States, who shall agree to sustain and enforce the Provisional 
Constitution and Ordinances of this organization, together with all 
minor children of such persons, shall be held to be fully entitled to 
protection under the same. 

Article II. 

Branches of government. 

The provisional government of this organization shall consist of 
three branches, viz: legislative, executive, and judicial. 

Article III. 

Legislative. 

The legislative branch shall be a Congress or House of Representa- 
tives, composed of not less than five nor more than ten members, who 
shall be elected by all citizens of mature age and of sound mind con- 
nected with this organization, and who shall remain in office for three 
years, unless sooner removed for misconduct, inability, or by death. 
A majority of such members shall constitute a quorum. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 49 

Article IV. 

Executive. 

The executive Lrancli of this organization shall consist of a President 
and Vice-President, who shall he chosen hy the citizens or members of 
this organization, and each of whom shall hold his office for three 
years, unless sooner removed by death or for inability or misconduct. 

Article V. 

Judicial. 

The judicial branch of this organization shall consist of one Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court and of four associate judges of said court, 
each constituting a circuit court. They shall each be chosen in the 
same manner as the President, and shall continue in office until their 
places have been filled in the same manner by election of the citizens. 
Said court shall have jurisdiction in all civil or criminal causes arising 
under this constitution, except breaches of the rules of war. 

-V, 

Article VI. 

Validity of enactments. 

All enactments of the legislative branch shall, to become valid 
during the first three years, have the aj^probation of the President 
and of the Commander-in-chief of the army. '•'' 

Article VII. 

Commander-in-cliief. 

A Commander-in-chief of the army shall be chosen by the President, 
Vice-President, a majority of the Provisional Congress, and of the 
Supreme Court, and he shall receive his commission from the President, 
signed by the Vice-President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 
and the Secretary of War, and he shall hold liis office for three years, 
unless removed by death or on proof of incapacity or misbehavior. He 
shall, unless under arrest, (and until liis place is actually filled as pro- 
vided for by this constitution,) direct all movements of the army and 
advise with any allies. He shall, however, be tried, removed, or pun- 
ished, on complaint of the President, by at least three general officers, 
or a majority of the House of Representatives, or of the Supreme 
Court; which House of Representatives, (the President presiding,) the 
Vice-President, and the members of the Supreme Court, shall consti- 
tute a court-martial for his trial; with power to remove or punish, as 
the case may require, and to fill his place, as above provided. 

Rep. No. 278 4 



50 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Article VIII. 

Officers. 

A Treasurer, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and Secretary 
of the Treasury, shall each be chosen, for the first three years, in the 
same way and manner as the Commander-in-chief, subject to trial or 
removal on complaint of the President, Vice-President, or Commander- 
in-chief, to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or on complaint 
of the majority of the members of said court or the Provisional Con- 
gress. The Supreme Court shall have power to try or punish either 
of those officers, and their places shall be filled as before. 

Article IX. 

Secretary of War. 

The Secretary of War shall be under the immediate direction of the 
Commander-in-chief, who may temporarily fill his j^lace in case of 
arrest or of any inability to serve. 

Article X. 

Congress, or House of Bepresentatives. 

The House of Representatives shall make ordinances providing for 
the appointment (by the President or otherwise) of all civil officers, 
excepting those already named ; and shall have power to make all 
laws and ordinances for the general good, not inconsistent with this 
Constitution and these ordinances. 

Article XI. 

Appropriation of moncTj, &c. 

The Provisional Congress shall have power to appropriate money or 
other property actually in the hands of the treasurer, to any object 
calculated to promote the general good, so far as may be consistent 
with the provisions of this constitution; and may^ in certain cases, 
appropriate for a moderate compensation of agents, or persons not 
members of this organization, for any important service they are 
known to liave rendered. 

Article XII. 

Special duties. 

It sliall be the duty of Congress to provide for the instant removal 
of any civil officer or policeman, who becomes habitually intoxicated, 
or who is addicted to other immoral conduct, or to any neglect or 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 51 



iinfaitlifiilness in the discliarge of his official duties. Coiif^ress shall 
also be a Standing Committee of Safety, for the purpose of obtaining 
important information; and shall be in constant communication with 
the Commander-in-chief; the members of which shall eacli, as also the 
President, Vice-President, members of the Supreme Court, and Secre- 
tary of State, have full power to issue warrants, returnable as Congress 
shall ordain (naming witnesses, &c.,) upon their own information, 
without the formality of a comitlaint. Complaint shall be immedi- 
ately made after arrest, and before trial; the i)arty arrested to be 
served with a copy at once. 

Article XIII. 

Trial of President and other officers. 

The President and Vice-President may either of them be tried, 
removed, or punislied, on complaint made to the Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court, by a majority of the House of Representatives ; wliicli 
house together with the Associate Judges of the Supreme Court, the 
wdiole to be presided over by the Chief Justice in case of the trial of 
the Vice-President, shall have full poM^er to try such officers, to remove 
or punish as the case may require, and to fill any vacancy so occurring, 
the same as in the case of the Commander-in-chief. 

Article XIV. 

Trial of members of Congress. 

The members of the House of Representatives may, any and all of 
them, be tried, and, on conviction, removed or punished, on complaint 
before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, made by any number 
of the members of said house exceeding one-third; which house, with 
the Vice-President and Associate Judges of the Supreme Court, shall 
constitute tlie proper tribunal with power to fill such vacancies. 

, Article XV. 

Impeachment of Judges. 

Any member of the Supreme Court may also be impeached, tried, 
convicted, or punished by removal or otherwise, on com})laint to the 
President, who shall in such case, preside; the Vice-President, House 
of Representatives, and other members of the Supreme Court, consti- 
tuting the proper tribunal, (with power to fill vacancies,) on complaint 
of a majority of said House of Representatives, or of tlie Supreme 
Court; a majority of the whole having power to decide. 

Article XVI, 

Duties of President and Secretary of State. 

The President, with tlie Secretary of State, shall, immediately upon 
entering on the duties of their office, give special attention to secure 



•52 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

from amongst their own people, men of integrity, intelligence, and 
good bnsiness habits and capacity, and, above all, of first-rate moral 
and religious character and influence, to act as civil officers of every 
description and grade, as well as teachers, chaplains, physicians, sur- 
geons, mechanics, agents of every description, clerks, and messengers. 
They shall make special efforts to induce, at the earliest possible 
period, ])ersons and families of that description to locate themselves 
within the limits secured by this organization; and shall, moreover, 
from time to time, supply the names and residence of such persons to 
the Congress, for their special notice and information, as among the 
most important of their duties ; and the President is hereby autliorized 
and empowered to afford special aid to such individuals, from such 
moderate appropriations as the Congress shall- be able and may deem 
advisable to make for that object. The President and Secretary of 
State, and in all cases of disagreement the Vice-President, shall 
appoint all civil officers, but shall not have power to remove any 
officer. All removals shall be the result of a fair trial, Avhether civil 
or military. 

Article XVII. 

Further duties. 

It shall be the duty of the President and Secretary of State to find 
out (as soon as possible) the real friends as well as enemies of this 
organization in every part of the country ; to secure among them inn- 
keepers, private postmasters, private mail contractors, messengers, 
and agents, through whom may be obtained correct and regular in- 
formation constantly ; recruits for the service, places of deposit and 
sale, together with all needed supplies ; and it shall be matter of 
special regard to secure such facilities through the northern States. 

Article XVII. 

Duty of the President. 

It shall be the duty of the President, as well as the House of Rep- 
resentatives, at all times, to inform the Commander-in-chief of any 
matter that may require his attention, or that may affect the public 
safety . 

Article XIX. 

Duty of President, continued. 

It shall be the duty of the President to see that the provisional 
ordinances of this organization, and those made by the Congress, are 
promptly and faithfully executed ; and he may, in cases of great 
urgency, call on the Commandei--in-chief of the army or other officers 
for aid; it being, however, intended that a sufficient civil police shall 
always be in readiness to. secure implicit obedience to law. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 63 

Article XX. 

The Vice-President. 

The Vice-President shall be the presiding officer of the Provisional 
Congress, and in cases of tie shall give the casting vote. 

Article XXI. 

Vacancies. 

In case of the death, removal, or inability of the President, the Vice- 
President, and, next to him, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
shall be the President during the remainder of the term; and the 
place of the Chief Justice, thus made vacant, shall be filled by Con- 
gress from some of the members of said court ; and the places of the 
Vice-President and Associate Justice, thus made vacant, filled by an 
election by the united action of the Provisional Congress and members 
of the Supreme Court. All other vacancies, not heretofore specially 
provided for, shall, during the first three years, be filled by the united 
action of the President, Vice-President, Supreme Court, and Com- 
mander-in-chief of the army. 

Article XXII. 

Punishment of crimes. 

The punishment of crimes not capital, except in case of insubordi- 
nate convicts or other prisoners, shall be (so far as may be) by hard 
labor on the public works, roads, &c. 

Article XXIII. 

Army appointments. 

It shall be the duty of all commissioned officers of the army to name 
candidates of merit, for office or elevation, to the Commander-in-chief, 
who, with the Secretary of War, and, in cases of disagreement, the 
President, shall be the appointing power of the army; and all commis- 
sions of military officers shall bear the signatures of the Commander- 
in-chief and the Secretary of War. And it shall be the special duty 
of the Secretary of War to keep for constant reference of the Com- 
mander-in-chief a full list of names of persons nominated for office or 
elevation by the officers of the army, with the name and rank of the 
officer nominating, stating distinctly, but briefly, the grounds for such 
notice or nomination. The Commander-in-chief shall not have power 
to remove or punish any officer or soldier, but he may order their 
arrest and trial at any time by court-martial. 



54 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Article XXIV. 

Courts-martial. 

Courts-martial for companies, regiments, brigades, &c,., shall be 
called by the chief officer of each command, on complaint to him by 
any officer, or any five privates in such command, and shall consist of 
not less than five nor more than nine officers, non-commissioned offi- 
cers and privates, one half of whom shall not be lower in rank than 
the person on trial, to be chosen by the three highest officers in the 
command, which officers shall not be a part of such court. The chief 
officer of any command shall, of course, be tried by a court-martial of 
the command above his own. All decisions affecting the lives of per- 
sons, or office of persons holding commission, must, before taking full 
effect, have the signature of the Commander-in-chief, who may also, 
on the recommendation of at least one third of the members of the 
court-martial finding any sentence, grant a reprieve or commutation 
of the same. 

Article XXV. 

Salaries. 

No person connected with this organization shall be entitled to any 
salar}^, pay, or emolument, other than a competent support of himself 
and family, unless it be from an equal dividend made of public prop- 
erty, on the establisliment of peace, or of special provision by treaty ; 
which provision shall be made for all persons Avho may have been in 
any active civil or military service at any time previous to any hostile 
action for liberty and equality. 

Article XXVI. 

Treaties of peace. 

Before any treaty of peace shall take full effect it shall be signed by 
the President and Vice-President, the Commander-in-chief, a majority 
of the House of Eepresentatives, a majority of the Supreme Court, and 
a majority of all the general officers of the army. 

Article XXVII. 

Duty of the military. 

It shall be the duty of the Commander-in-chief and all officers and 
soldiers of the army to aftord special protection, when needed, to Con- 
gress or any member thereof, to the Supreme Court or any member 
thereof, to tlie President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary of State, 
Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of War ; and to afford gen- 
eral protection to all civil officers or otlier persons having right to the 
same. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 66 

Article XXYIII. 

Property. 

All captured or confiscated property, and all property the product 
of the labor of those belonging to this organization and of their fami- 
lies, sliall be held as the property of the whole, equally, without 
distinction, and may be used for the common benefit, or disposed of 
for the same object; and any person, officer, or otherwise, who shall 
improperly retain, secrete, use, or needlessly destroy such property, 
or property found, captured, or confiscated, belonging to the enemy, 
or shall w^illfully neglect to render a full and fair statement of such 
jjroperty by him so taken or held, shall be deemed guilty of a misde- 
meanor, and, on conviction, shall be punished accordingly. 

Article XXIX. 

Safety or intelligence fund. 

All money, plate, watches, or jewelry captured by honorable war- 
fare, found, taken, or confiscated, belonging to the enemy, shall be 
held sacred to constitute a liberal safety or intelligence fund ; and any 
person who shall improperly retain, dispose of, hide, use, or destroy 
such money or other article above named, contrary to the provisions 
and spirit of this article, shall be deemed guilty of theft, and, on con- 
viction thereof, shall be punished accordingly. The treasurer shall 
furnish the Commander-in-chief at all times with a full statement of 
the condition of such fund, and its nature. 

Article XXX. 

Tlie Commander-in-chief and the treaswy. 

The Commander-in-chief shall have power to draw from the treasury 
the money and other property of the fund provided for in article twenty- 
ninth ; but his orders shall be signed also by the Secretary of War, 
who shall keep strict account of the same subject to examination by 
any member of Congress or general officer. 

Article XXXI. 

Surplus of the safety or intelligence fund. 

It shall be the duty of the Commander-in-chief to advice the Presi- 
dent of any surplus of the safety and intelligence fund^ who shall have 
power to draw such surplus (his order being also signed by the Secretary 
of State) to enable him to carry out the provisions of article seven- 
teenth. 



50 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Article XXXII. 

Prisoners. 

No person, after having surrendered himself or herself a prisoner, 
and who shall properly demean himself or herself as such, to any 
officer or private connected with this organization, shall afterward be 
put to death, or he subject to any corporeal punishment, without 
first having had the benefit of a fair and impartial trial; nor shall any 
prisoner be treated with any kind of cruelty, disrespect, insult, or 
needless severity; but it shall be the duty of all persons, male and 
female, connected herewith, at all times and under all circumstances, 
to treat all such prisoners with every degree of respect and kindness 
that the nature of the circumstances will admit of, and to insist on a 
like course of conduct from all others, as in the fear of Almighty God, 
to whose care and keeping we commit our cause. 

Article XXXIII. 

Voluntaries. 

All persons who may come forward, and shall voluntarily deliver up 
their slaves, and have their names registered on the books of the 
organization, shall, so long as they continue at peace, be entitled to 
the fullest protection of person and property, though not connected 
with this organization, and shall be treated as friends, and not merely 
as persons neutral. 

Article XXXIV. 

Neutrals. 

The persons and property of all non-slaveholders, who shall remain 
absolutely neutral, shall be respected so far as the circumstances can 
allow of it, but they shall not be entitled to any active protection. 

Article XXXV. 

No needless icaste. 

The needless waste or destruction of any useful property or article 
by fire, throwing open of fences, fields, buildings, or needless killing 
of animals, or injury of either, shall not be tolerated at any time or 
place, but shall be promptly and properly punished. 

Article XXXVI. 

Property confiscated. 

The entire personal and real property of all persons known to be 
acting either directly or indirectly with or for the enemy, or found 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 57 

in arms with them, or found willfully holding slaves, shall ho confis- 
cated and taken whenever and wherever it may he found in either free 
or slave States. 

Article XXXVII. 

Desertion. 

Persons convicted on impartial trial of desertion to the enemy, after 
hecoming members, acting as spies, or of treacherous surrender of 
property, ammunition, provisions, or supplies of any kind, roads, 
bridges, persons, or fortifications, shall be put to death, and their 
entire property confiscated. 

Article XXXYIII. 

Violation of parole of honor. 

Persons proven to be guilty of taking up arms after having been 
set at liberty on parole of honor, or, after the same, to have taken any 
active part with or for the enemy, direct or indirect, shall be put to 
death, and their entire property confiscated. 

Article XXXIX. 

All must labor. 

All persons connected in any way with this organization, and who 
may be entitled to full protection under it, shall be held as under 
obligation to labor in some way for the general good ; and persons 
refusing or neglecting so to do, shall, on conviction^ receive a suitable 
and appropriate punishment. 

Article XL. 

hTegularities . 

Profane swearing, filthy conversation, indecent behavior, or indecent 
exposure of the person, or intoxication or quarreling, shall not be 
allowed or tolerated, neither unlawful intercourse of the sexes. 

Article XLI. 

Crimes. 

Persons convicted of the forcible violation of any female prisoner 
shall be put to death. 

Article XLII. 

The marriage relation, schools, the Sabbath. 

The marriage relation shall be at all times respected, and families 
kept together, as far as possible ; and broken families encouraged to 



68 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

reunite, and intelligence offices established for that purpose. Schools 
and churches established, as soon as may be, for the purpose of reli- 
gious and other instructions ; for the first day of the week, regarded as 
a day of rest, and appropriated to moral and religious instruction and 
improvement, relief of the suffering, instruction of the young and 
ignorant, and the encouragement of personal cleanliness ; nor shall 
any persons be required on that day to perform ordinary manual labor, 
unless in extremely urgent cases. 

Article XLIII. 

Carry arms ope7ihj. 

All persons known to be of good character and of sound mind and 
suitable age, who are connected with this organization, whether male 
or female, shall be encouraged to carry arms openly. 

Article XLIV. 

No person to carry concealed iveapons. 

No person within the limits of the conquered territory, except regu- 
larly appointed policemen, express officers of the army, mail carriers, 
or other fully accredited messengers of the Congress, President, Vice- 
President, members of the Supreme Court, or commissioned officers of 
the army — and those only under peculiar circumstances— shall be 
allowed at any time to carry concealed weapons ; and any person not 
specially authorized so to do, who shall be found so doing, shall be 
deemed a suspicious person, and may at once be arrested by any officer, 
soldier, or citizen, without the formality of a complaint or warrant, 
and may at once be subjected to thorough search, and shall have his 
or her case thoroughly investigated, and be dealt with as circumstances 
on proof shall require. 

Article XLV. 

Persons to he seized. 

Persons within the limits of the territory holden by this organiza- 
tion, not connected with this organization, having arms at all, con- 
cealed or otherwise, shall be seized at once, or be taken in charge of 
some vigilant officer, and their case thoroughly investigated ; and it 
shall be the duty of all citizens and soldiers, as well as officers, to 
arrest such parties as are named in this and the preceding section or 
article, without the formality of complaint or warrant ; and they shall 
be placed in charge of some projjcr ofiicer for examination or for safe- 
keeping 



ig- 



Article XLYI. 

These articles not for the overthroio of government. 

The foregoing articles shall not be construed so as in any way to 
encourage the overthrow of any State government, or of the general 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 59 

government of the United States, and look to no dissolution of the 
Union, but simply to amendment and repeal. And our flag shall he 
the same that our fathers fought under in the Revolution. 

Article XL VII. 

No plurality of offices. 

No two of the offices specially provided for by this instrument shall 
he filled by the same person at the same time. 

Article XLYIII. 

Oath. 

Every officer, civil or military, connected with this organization 
shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, make solemn oath 
or affirmation to abide by and support this provisional constitution 
and these ordinances; also every citizen and soldier, before being fully 
recognized as such, shall do the same. 

Schedule. 

The president of this convention shall convene, immediately on the 
adoption of this instrument, a convention of all such persons as shall 
have given their adherence by signature to the constitution, who shall 
proceed to fill, by election, all offices specially named in said constitu- 
tion, the president of this convention presiding, and issuing commis- 
sions to such officers elect ; all such officers being thereafter elected in 
the manner provided in the body of this instrument. 



No. 4. 

Headquarters War Department, Provisional Army, 

Harper s Ferry, October 10, 1859. 

General Orders, No. 1.] 

ORGANIZATION. 

The divisions of the provisional army and the coalition are hereby 
established, as follows : 

1 — Company. 

A company will consist of fifty-six privates, twelve non-commissioned 
officers, (eight corporals, 4 sergeants,) three commissioned officers, 
(two lieutenants, a captain,) and a surgeon. 

The privates shall be divided into bands or messes of seven each, 
numbering from one to eight, with a corporal to each, numbered like 
his band. 



60 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

Two bands will comprise a section. Sections will be numbered from 
one to four. A sergeant wnll be attached to eacli section, and num- 
bered like it. 

Two sections will comprise a platoon. Platoons will be numbered 
one and two, and each commanded by a lieutenant designated by like 
number. 

2. — Battalion. 

The battalion will consist of four companies complete. 

The commissioned officers of the battalion will be a chief of battalion, 
and a first and second major, one of whom shall be attached to each 
wing. 

3. — The Begbnent. 

The regiment will consist of four battalions complete. 
The commissioned officers of the regiment will be a colonel and two 
lieutenant colonels, attached to the wings. 

4.— The Brigade. 

The brigade will consist of four regiments complete. 

The commissioned officer of the brigade will be a general of brigade. 

5. — Each General Staff. 

Each of the above divisions will be entitled to a general staff, con- 
sisting of an adjutant, a commissary, a musician, and a surgeon. 

6 — ApiJointment . 

Non-commissioned officers will be chosen by those whom they are to 
command. 

Commissioned officers will be appointed and commissioned by this 
department. 

The staif officers of each division will be appointed by the respective 
commanders of the same. 

[This document is in the handwriting of J. H. Kagi.] 



No . 5 . — Commiss ion . 

GREETING I 



Headquarters, War Department, 
Near Hariper s Ferry ^ Maryland. 
Whereas Oliver Broicn has been nominated a captain in the army 
established under the provisional constitution, 

Now, therefore, in pursuance of the authority vested in us by said 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 61 

constitution, we do hereby appoint and commission the said Oliver 
Brown a captain. 

Given at the office of the Secretary of War, this day, October 15, 
1859. 

JOHN BROWN, 

Commander in Chief. 
J. H. Kagi, Secretary of JVar. 

[This document is printed in the original, with the exception of the 
words in italics and the fio;ures, which are in the writins: of Kagi, 
with the exception ot the signature of John Brown, which is in his 
own hand.] 



No. 6. 

Correspondence of John Broicn, jr., and others, referred to in report. 

Chambersburg, Pa., Monday, July 18, 1859. 
Dear Sir : I have just received the following : 

" CoLLiNSViLLE, Jidy 12, 1859. 

" We are in receipt of a letter from , in which he wishes the 

price list of Collins & Co.'s tools forwarded to you. 

"^ I have made inquiry of their agent concerning the matter. He 
says that their business is all done through their commission house in 
New York, and to them he wished me to refer you. Their address is, 
Collins & Co., 212 W^ater street, New York. 

""Yours, respectfully, 

"CHARLES H. BLAIR. 
"Messrs. J. Smith & Soxs." 

I wrote to Tidd one week ago to-day ; several days before receiving 
your letter directing me to do so, and inclosing letter to H. Lindsley, 
which I forwarded by first mail. 

None of your things have yet arrived. The railroad from Harris- 
burg here does no freight business itself, that all being done by a 
number of forwarding houses, which run private freight cars. I have 
requested each of these (there are six or eight of them) to give me 
notice of the arrival of anything for you. 
I am, your obedient servant, 

J. HENRIE. 
J. Smith & Sons, 

Haypers Ferry, Va. 

[This is indorsed "J. Henrie's letter." It is identified by R. Realf 
a.s Kagi's writing and Brown's indorsement. Kagi was addressed and 
wrote as J. Henrie.] 



62 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

[All the letters signed Joliii Smitli are from John Brown, jr.] 

Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio, 

Monday, July 18, 1859. 

Dear Father: Yours, dated at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, July 
5, and mailed at Troy, New York, July 7, and also yours of the 8tli, 
with ini-losed drafts for |100, 1 received in due season; am here to-day 
to get drafts cashed ; have now got all my business so arranged that I 
can devote my time, for the present, entirely to any business you may 
see fit to intrust me; shall immediately ship your freight, as you 
directed, most probably by canal, from Hartstown (formerly Hart's 
Cross Koads, Crawford county) to the river at Rochester, Pennsyl- 
vania, (formerly Beaver,) thence by railroad via Pittsburg, &c., as 
you directed ; shall hold myself in readiness to go north on any business 
you choose to direct or confide in mv hands ; all well ; have two or 
three letters from '^N. E.," which I wHl forward to "J. H." 
In haste, your afiectionate son, 

JOHN SMITH. 



Chambersburg, Friday, July 22. 

Dear Sir: I received the within, and another for Oliver, to-day; 
I thought best not to send the other ; it is from his wife. There are 
other reasons, which I need not name now; have here no other letters 
from any one. 

J. HENPJE. 



John Smith's letter to J. Henrie. 

West Andover, Ohio, 

Saturday, July 23, 1859. 

Dear Sir: Your favor of July IG, inclosing a brief note from J. 
Smith & Co. is received; will preserve the list, but, as yet, I have 
received no letter with instructions, or as to ivhen, how, d:c. 

Please say to Esquire Smith that I yesterday forwarded to canal at 
Hartstown, Pennsylvania, eleven boxes "hardware and castings" from 
King & Brothers. They are numbered and n\arked thus: XI to 11; 
"By R. Rd. via Pittsburg and Harrisburg ; J. Smith & Sons, Chambers- 
burg, Pa.;" shall send balance hardware, &c., on Monday next. X8 
and X9 are those which were on store with E. A. F. at Lindenville; 
Mr. Smith will remember. His household goods I shall send along as 
fast as possible. The letter asking me to retain the drafts came too 
late ; I had got them cashed. 

Write often, directing to John Smith, under cover to Horace Linds- 
ley, as before. Let me know if those goods come through safely. 

Please say to Mr. S — — I am still ready to serve. 
Very respectfully, &c., 

JOHN SMITH. 

J. Henrie, Esq., 

Chctmhcrshurg, Pennsylvania. 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 63 

West Andover, Ashtabula County, Ohio, 

Wednesday, July 27, 1859. 

Friend Henrie : I yesterday went to Hartstown with the halance of 
the hardware and castings. They consist, all tohl, of fifteen hoxes, 
nnmhcred 1 to 15, thns: XI, X2, &c., and marked J. Smith & Sons, 
Chamhershurg, Pa., hy R. Rd., via Pittshnrg and Harrisbnrg. 

The honsehold stuff will soon follow. These latter boxes will be 
numbered A, B, &c. 

It is almost impossible to get teams to do hauling, for, owing to the 
drouth, grass is drying up, and every horse and man is busy. You 
may be assured it has cost no small amount of labor, both of head and 
hands^ to get this lot of freight so far on its way " all right." I in- 
close to you some cards of King & Brothers ; you may find them of 
some use to you. If they succeed in disposing of that territory, you 
will oi course need all the cast-iron patterns for their post that I have 
sent you. 

Let me know of the safe arrival of this freight. 
All well, in haste, your friend, 

JOHN SMITH. 



West Andover, Ashtabula County^ Ohio, 

Sunday evening, August 7, 1859. 

Friend J. H. : I leave to-morrow (Monday) for my northern tour ; 
have succeeded admirably in getting the freight started in good shape, 
in short, "all right;" saw Mr. W. yesterday; Wm. H. L. was here 
a day or two since; they will start in a couple of weeks, unless they 
hear from you in the meantime to the contrary ; have written you three 
letters before this; have received the drafts for two hundred ; the last 
shall probably get cashed in Rochester, perhaps at Ashtabula. If you 
wish to communicate with me before I return, write to my wife under 
cover to Mr. L., as heretofore, and she will forward to me at Chatham. 

I yesterday gave W. $6, which, in addition to the |20 which our 
friend S. gave him, will enable the three to meet their traveling ex- 
penses. Shall write you quite often while away. 

The first lot of freight of fifteen boxes I presume has reached you 
ere this ; the last (six boxes and one chest) will not be many days be- 
hind them. 

All well, very trulv, &c. 

JOim SMITH. 



ClIAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, 

A. 31., Thursday, August 11, 1859. 

Messrs. J. Smith & Sons: Oaks & Caufman have notified me that 
they have received fifteen boxes of freight, marked to your address, 
with about $85 (eighty-five dollars) charges, all told. 
I await your directions in the matter. 
Respectfully, 

J. HENRIE. 



64 INVASION AT harper's FERRY, 



Akron, Ohio, August 12, 1859. 

Gentlemen: I sent the box of clothing, yesterday, as directed. By 
mistake at tlie post office, your letter was not put into our box, and I 
did not get it till it was advertised ; this is the reason why the box was 
not sent sooner. Our box at the post office is No. 412. All well. 
Yours respectfully, J. 

J. Smith & Sons. 



[This is a letter from Jason Brown.] 



Akron, Ohio, August 25, 1859. 

Your letter of the 17th I got yesterday. I had sent the box some 
time ago, and wrote you at the time, directing the box as you told me, 
and the line as above. Your first letter I did not get till it was adver- 
tised; by mistake at the office, it was not put into our box (No. 412.) 
We are glad to hear that you are all well, and your prospects so good. 
Ellen is sick. She was confined about two w^eeks ago, over a month 
before the time. The child was born dead. Ellen is quite weak and 
feeble yet, but I think she will get about before long. 

Your friend, J. 

J. Smith & Sons. 



Chambersburu, Pa., Saturday, August 27, 1859. 

I to-day received the inclosed letter and check ($50.) One box of 
freight from Akron has arrived ; weight about 275 pounds ; charges 
$3 50. 

The goods remaining at 0. & K.'s, and those at E. & Co.'s, have 
been started; were taken from here yesterday morning. They should 
have arrived at your place last night. 

The box, I neglected to say, is at 0. & K.'s. 

I also send letter from John Smith. 

J. HENRIE. 

Isaac Smith. 



No. 7. 

Correspondence and other papers in evidence he/ore the committee. 

Andover, Ashtabula County, Ohio, 

Fynday, September 2, 1859. 

Friend Henrie: I reached home day before yesterday, and have 
since been busy writing to ^'our folks," both in C. and nearer home. 

Have sent off letters to DeB. at D., to C m, and to Buxton, and 

to Hamilton; to P r, in N. Y.; and this morning to F. B. S., at 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 65 

Concord, Mass. In all of these letters, I have forwarded the latest 
word from your region. 

Friend L y, at Oh , will he on hand soon. Mr. C. H. 

L n will do all he can here, hut his health is had. "J. D. H." I 

did not see, hut L n thought would he right on. Mrs. Sturtevant 

is a ivorking woman. Anything she can do, she will take hold of in 
earnest. Write her, if you get time. Jas. Smith is marrying a wife, 

"and therefore cannot come." John L n, at Oh , brother of 

C. H. L., sympathizes strongly, and will work hard; Ealjih, also, I 
think. 

I shall start out soon, to try to get some means in the way father 
suggested when here, to help on the cause. In the meantime, I wish 
he would remit me some more means, say $25 or $30, as I had only 
enough left to get hack with, and I have to 2^urcliase the material to 
winter my little stock on, since I was ahsent and on this business 
during the haying season. 

Am greatly rejoiced that the fifteen boxes freight are all through 
safe, as that was the most important part. Surely, as father says, "a 

good Providence seems to lead us." How was our "K r" friend 

pleased? You say he returned; I wish to know in what "frame of 
mind." 

Inclosed is a letter to W e, which came under cover to me. 

Don't fail to keep me fully advised, as through me you can reach the 
faithful wherever I have been. I will write very often. The last letter 
I sent you from Sandusky, 0. 

My warmest regards to each and all. 

^Yours, JOHN. 



West Andover, Ashtabula County, Ohio, 

Thursday morning, September 8, 1859. 

Friend Henrie: I yesterday evening received yours of Friday, Sep- 
tember 2, and I not only hasten to reply, but hasten to lay its con- 
tents before those who are interested. Through those associations 
which I formed in C, I am, through the corresponding secretaries of 
each, able to reach each individual member at the shortest notice hy 
letter. 

I am devoting my whole time to our cojnjxiiiy business; shall imme- 
diately go out organizing, and raising funds. From what /, even^ 
had understood, I had supposed you would not think it best to com- 
mence opening the coal banks before spring, unless circumstances 
should make it imperative. However, I suppose the reasons are satis- 
factory to you, and, if so, those who own smaller shares ought not to 
object. I hope we shall be able to get on in season some of those old 
miners of whom I wrote you ; shall strain every nerve to accomplish 
this. 

You may be assured that what you say to me will reach those who 
may be benefited thereby, and those who would take stock, in the 
shortest possible time. So, don't fail to keep me posted. My initials, 

Rep. No. 278 5 



66 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

simph', under cover to Horace, will answer just as well, and perhaps 
better. Please remember this. 

Did the last shipment of six boxes and one chest of household goods 

safely arrive? How did the mining ^^ro.s/jec^ seem to strike our K r 

friend; in short, was his faith increased in the practicability and profit 
of the work, and how much stock did he take? 

I some think of exhibiting a specimen of the fence at Cleveland 
fair in October — about the iirst of the month, I believe — and I may 
direct you to write me there, in care of the friends with whom you 
used to board. When in Cleveland, I made their acquaintance ; am 
pleased with them. Mrs. S. thought she could do something, even 
though her husband was too much absorbed in other business. She 
might, I think, invest jirofitably, and would be a good stockholder. 
You might drop her a line through me, if you think better than to 
her direct. 

I feel that it is all important you should have that wire from the 
East, and hope yoii will not have to make any fence without it. The 
specimens put up here are beautiful. Our castings cost us here not 
less than three cents per pound. If our plan succeeds^ I think the cost 
might be materially lessened. 

Last night we had a smart frost ; cannot say how much the corn is 
injured. No piece that I have seen is out the way of frost yet. 

There is a general dearth of news in this region. By the way, I 
notice, through the "Cleveland Leader," that "Old Brown" is again 
tiguring in Kansas. Well, every dog must have his day, and he will 
no doubt tind the end of his tether. Did you ever know of such a 
higb -handed piece of business? However^ it is just like him. The 
Black Republicans, some of them, may wink at such things, but I tell 
you, friend Henrie, he is too salt a dose for many of them to swallow, 
and I can already see symptoms of division in their ranks. We are 
bound to roll up a good, stiff majority for our side this fall. I will 
send you herewith the item referred to, which I clipped from the 
"Leader." 

Give best regards to all, and believe me faithfully yours, 

JOHN. 

P. S. Direct to "J. B., jr.," under cover to Horace, until further 
notice. 

J. 



Boston, December 23, 1858. 

Dear Sir : I have heard vaguely of your general j)urpose, and have 
been seeking definite information for some time past, and now Mr. 
Redpath and Mr. Hinton have told me of your contemplated action^ in 
which I earnestly wish to join you to act in any capacity you wish to 
place me as far as my small capacities go. 

I am noAv about starting for Hayti with Mr. Redpath to pass the 
winter there, and I shall return in time for all movements. In case 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 67 

you slionkl accept my services, I would return at any time you mi^-lit 
wish me to, and in the spring at any rate. 

Is there anytliing it woukl be well for me to study meauwliile? Of 
course I shall i)ay all my expenses, and shall acquire the use of the 
proper tools for the woi'k which I have bought. 

Any letters addressed to the care of my grandfather, Francis Jack- 
son, 31 Hollis street, Boston, will be safe, and will be forwarded to me. 

I already consider this the whole present business of my life. I am 
entirely free from any kimily ties which would impede my action. I 
was muck disappointed in not meeting you in Kansas last winter, witk 
a letter of recommendation from Wendell Phillips. 

Immediately upon my return in the spring, I skould wdsh to be em- 
ployed in any manner to be of service to you ; and, if convenient, to go 
tkrougk your system of training which I 2)ropose studying. 

Yours, 

FKANCIS J. MERIAM. 

[Identified by James Jackson as tke handwriting of Meriam.] 



^ Dear Friend : Our friend from Concord called with your note. I 
begin the investment with fifty dollars, inclosed, and will try to do 
more tkrougk friends. 

DOCTOR. 

[The corner with the date is torn off. Indorsed bv Brown, "Dr. S. 
G. H"s letter.'"] 



Jefferson, Ohio, Maij 26, 1859. 
My Dear Sir : I shall be absent during the next week, and kope to 
be at kome during tlie summer. Shall be happy to see you at my 
house. 

Very trulv, 

J. E. GIDDINGS. 
John Brown, Esq. 



Springfield, August 27, 1859. 
Dear Friend: Yours of the 18th has been received and communica- 
ted. S. G. H. has sent you fifty dollars in a draft on New York, and 
I am expecting to get more from other sources, perhaps some here, 
and will make up to you the $300, if I can, as soon as I can, but I can 
give nothing myself just now, being already in debt. I hear, with 
great pleasure, what you say of the success of the business, and hope 
notking will occur to tkwart it. Your son Jokn was in Boston a week 
or two since, and I tried to find kim, but did not; and, being away 
from Concord, be did not come to see me. He saw S. G. H., G. L., 
S. W. P. , F. J. , &c. , and everybody liked kim . I am very sorry I could 
not see kim. All your Boston friends are well. Tkeodore Parker is 



68 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. • 

in Switzerland, much Letter, it is tliouglit, than when he left home. 
Henry Stevens of this place is dead — July 28. I reached here yester- 
day and have seen few people as yet; here I exi^ect letters from those 
to whom I have written. 

I conclude that your operations will not 1^ delayed if the money 
reaches you in course of the next fortnight, if you are sure of having 
it there. I cannot certainly promise that you will ; but I think so. 

Harriet Tubman is probably in New Beilford, sick. She has staid 
here in N. E, a long time, and been a kind of missionary. 

Your friends in C. are all well ; I go back there in a week. 

God prosper you in all your works. 

I shall write again soon. 

Yours, ever, F. 

[Indorsed in Brown's hand. F. B. Sanborn's letter.] 



Springfield, August 30, 1859. 

Dear Friend: I inclose you a draft for fifty dollars on New York, 
bought with money sent by Mrs. Russell. Dr. Howe has already se'nt 
you fifty dollars, and Gr. S., of P., writes me he has sent, or will send, 
one hundred dollars. The remainder will, perhaps, come more slowly ; 
but 1 think it will come. I have sent your letter to G. S. Please 
acknowledge the receipt of these sums. 

Yours, ever, F. 

[Indorsed in Brown's hand. "F. B. S s letter" — meaning F. 

B. Sanborn.] 



Syracuse, New York, 

Thursday, August 11, 1859. 

Friend J. Henrie : Day before yesterday I reached Rochester. Found 
our "Rochester friend" absent at Niagara Falls. Yesterday he re- 
turned, and I spent remainder of day and evening with him and Mr. 
E. Morton, with wdiom friend Isaac is acquainted. 

The friend at Rochester will set out to make you a visit in a few days. 
He will be accompanied by that " other young man," and, if it can be 
brought around, also, by the woman that the Syracuse friend could tell 
me of. Theso/i will probably remain back for awhile. Igave "Fred'k" 
$22 to defray expenses. If alive and well, you will see him ere long. 
I found him in rather low spirits — left him in high. Accidentally met 

at R Mr. E. Morton. He was much pleased to hear from you ; was 

anxious for a copy of that letter of instructions to show our friend at 
"Pr.," who, Mr. M. says, has his laholc soul absorbed in this matter . 
I have just made him a copy and mailed him at R., where he expects 
to be for two or three weeks. He wished me to say to you that he had 
reliable information that a certain noted colonel, whose name you are 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 69 

all acquainted with, is now in Italy. By the w^ay, the impression jjre- 
vails generally, that a certain acquaintance of ours headed the party 
that visited St. J., in Mo., lately. Of course I don't try to deny that 
"which hears such earmarks. 

Came on here this morning. Found L. gone to Boston, Massachu- 
setts, and also said woman. As T. does not know personally those 
persons in C, to whom it is necessary to have letters of introduction, 
and he thinks I had better get him to go with me there. I have made 
up my nfiud, notwithstanding the extra expense, to go on to Boston, 
L. is expecting to visit C. soon, any way, and his wale thinks would 
contrive to go immediately. I think, for other reasons, also, I had 
better go on to Boston, Morton says our particular friend, Mr. S — n, 
in that city, is especially anxious to hear from you; has his heart and 
hand botli engaged in the cause. Shall try and find him. Our Rochester 
friend thinks the woman, w^honi I shall see in Boston, " whose services 
might prove invaluable," had better be helped on. 

I leave this eve. in the 11.35 train from here; shall return as soon 
as possible to make my visit at C. Will write you often. So for, all 
is well. 

Keej) me advised as far as consistent. 

Fraternally yours, 

JOHN SMITH. 



Syracuse, New York, 

Thursday, August 17, 1859. 

Friend Hexrie: I am here to-day, so far on my way back from 
Boston, whither I went on Friday last. Found our Syracuse friend 
there ; but his engagements were such that he could not possibly leave 
until yesterday morning. We reached liere about twelve o'clock last 
night. While in Boston I improved the time in making the acquaint- 
ance of those staunch friends of our friend Isaac. First called on Dr. 
H., who, though I had no letter of introduction, received me most 
cordially. He gave me a letter to the friend who does business on Milk 
street. Went wdth him to his home in Medford and took dinner. The 
last word he said to me was, " Tell friend" (Isaac) "that we have the 
fullest confidence in his endeavor, whatever may be the result." I have 
met no man on whom I think more implicit reliance may be placed. 
He views matters from the standpoints of reason and principle, and I 
think his firmness is unshakable. 

The friend at Concord I did not see ; he was absent from home. The 
others here wnll, however, communicate with him. They were all, in 
short, verij much gratified, and have had their faith and hopes much 
strengthened. Found a number of earnest and loarm friends, whose 
sympathies and theories do not exactly harmonize, but, in spite of 
themselves, tlieir hcai'ts ivill lead their heads. Our Boston friends 
thought it better that our old friend from Syracuse should accompany 
me in my journey northward. I shall leave in an hour or two for 
Bochester, where I will finish this letter. 

I am very glad I went to Boston, as all the friends were of the 



70 INVASION AT harper's FERRY. 

opinion that our friend "I." was in another part of the world, if not 
in another sphere. Our cause is their cause, in the fullest sense of the 
word. 

KocHESTER, Thursday eve., 

Aiigust 17, 1859. 
On my way up to our friend's house I met his son Lewis, who informs 
me that his father left here on Tuesday, via New York and Philadel- 
phia, to make you a visit. Mr. L. will come on to-night in the 1.30 
train, when we shall go right on north. That other young friend 
went on from here to visit you yesterday. He will take a more direct 
route. 

Do not know as I have any thing further to say now. My warmest 
regards to all our friends. 

Faithfully yours, 

JOHN. 



$10 00.] BrooklyiV, August 18, 1859. 

Esteemed Friend : I gladly avail myself of the opportunity offered 
by our friend Mr. F. Douglass, who has just called upon us previous 
to his visit to you, to inclose to you for the good cause in which you 
are such a zealous laborer a small amount, which please accept with 
my most ardent wishes for its and your benefit. The visit of our mu- 
tual friend Douglass has somewhat revived my ratlier drooping spirits 
in the cause; but seeing such ambition and enterprise in him, I am 
again encouraged with best wishes for your welfare and prosperity and 
the good of your cause. 

I subscribe myself your sincere friend, 

MRS. E. A. GLOUCESTER. 

Please -svrite to me, with best respects to your son. 

[Indorsed, in Brown's hand, ''E. A. Gloucester's letter."] 



Westport, New York, JjjjvY 16, 1859. 
Dear Sir: I am here waiting a conveyance to take me home; have 
been quite prostrated almost the whole time since you left me at John's 
with the difficulty in my head and ear, and with the ague, in conse- 
quence am now some better ; had a good visit at Rochester, but did not 
effect much; had a first rate time at Peterboro ; got of Mr. S. and 
others $160 nearly, and a note (which I think a good one) for $285. 
Mr. S. wrote eastern friends to make up at least |2,000, saying he was 
in for one fifth the amount. I feel encouraged to believe it will soon 
be done, and wish you to let our folks all round understand how the 
prospects are. Still it will be some days (and it may be weeks) before 
I can get ready to return. I shall not be idle. If you have found my 
w^riting case and papers, please forward them loithout delay hi/ express 



INVASION AT harper's FERRY. (X 

to Henry Thompson, North Elba, Essex county, New York, care of 
James A. Allen, Wesfport, New York. 
Your friend in truth, 

B. 
J. H. Kagi, Esq. 



Boston, Massachusetts, 3Iay 16, 1859. 

Dear Sir : I should have acknoAvledged the receipt of yours of April 
2], to Henry Thompson, together with writing case and papers, (all 
safe so far as I now see,) and also yours of 27th April to me, hut for 
being badly down with the ague, so much so as to disqualify me for 
everything nearly. I have been here going on two weeks, and am 
getting better for two days past, but am very weak. I wish you ta 
say to our folks, all as soon as may he, that there is scarce a doubt but 
that all will set right in a very few days more, so that I can be on my 
way back. They must none of them think I have been slack to tri/ 
and urge forward a delicate and very difficult matter. I cannot now 
write you a long letter, being obliged to neglect replying to others,. 
and also to put off some very important correspondence. My reception 
has been everywhere most cordial and cheering. 
Your friend in truth, 

JOHN BROWN. 

J. H. Kagi, Esq. 



Keene, N. Y., June 9, 1859. 

Dear Sir : After being delayed with sickness and other hindrances,, 
I am so far on my way back, and hope to be in Ohio within tlie coming 
week. Will you please advise the friends all of the I'act, and say to- 
them that as soon as I do reach, I will let them know where I will be 
found. I have been middling successful in my business. 

Yours, in truth, JOHN BROWN. 

J. Henrie, Esq. 



ChAxMbersburg, Pa., June 30, 1859. 

Dear Sir: We leave here to-day for Harper's Ferry, via Hagers- 
town. W^hen you get there you had best look on the hotel register 
for I. Smith & Sons, without making much inquiry. We shall be 
looking for cheap lands near the railroad in all probability. You can 
write I. Smith & Sons, at Harper's Ferry, should you need to do so. 
Yours, in truth, I. SMITH. 

John Henrie, Esq. 






t/ 




TESTIMONY 

Taken before the Select Committee, ajjpointed hy the United States 
Senate, to inquire into the facts and circumstances connected icitli the 
invasion and seizure of the Harper's Ferry Armory in October, 1859. 

January 5, 18 GO. 
John C. Unseld sworn and examined. 

B}^ the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to state your age, and where you reside? 

Answer. I was fifty-four years old last fall. I reside about a mile 
from Harper's Ferry, Virginia, in Washington county, Maryland. 

Question. W^ere you acquinted with the late John Brown, who was 
executed, by sentence of the law, in Jeiferson county, Virginia, in De- 
cember last? 

Answer. I had been acrjuainted with him since the 4th day of July, 
on which day I liecame acquainted with him, but l)y the name o± 
(Smith. He infornied me that his name was Smith. 

Question. State the circumstances under which you made his ac- 
quaintance; and when, and where? 

Answer, It was about two thirds of a mile from Harper's Ferry, 
Virginia, on the edge of the mountain, in Maryland, on the 4th day of 
July last, between eight and nine o'clock. I w^as going to Harper's- 
Ferry, and met him there and saluted him, saying, ''Good morning., 
gentlemen ; how do you do?" There were four of them together ; his- 
two sons, Watson and Oliver — he told me their names— and a Mr.. 
Anderson. 

Question. State whether he told you his name, and what name he 



fjave ? 



Answer. I said, "Well, gentlemen," after saluting them in that 
form, "I suppose you are out hunting mineral, gold, and silver?" 
His answer was, "No, we are not, we are out looking for land; we 
want to buy land ; we have a little money, but we want to make it go 
as far as we can." He asked me the price of land. I told him that 
it ranged from fifteen dollars to thirty dollars in the neighborhood. He 
remarked, "That is high; I thought I could buy land here for about 
a dollar or two dollars per acre." I remarked to him, "No, sir; if 
you expect to get land for that price, you will have to go further west, 
to Kansas, or some of those Territories where there is government 
land"' — "Congress land" perhaps I said. 
1 T 



^ TESTIMONY. 

Question. Did ho state his business? 

Answer. He did afterwards. 

Question. Give the whole conversation. 

-Answer. I then asked hira wliere they came from. His answer 
was, "from the northern part of the State of New York." I asked 
him what he foUowed tliere. He said larming, and the frost had been 
so heavy hitely, that it cut off their crops there; that he could not 
make anything, and had sold out, and thought he would come further 
South and try it awhile. Then, I think, I left him. 

Question. Did he tell you what business he was engaged in? 

Answer. He told me he was farming, and the frost had cut off his 
crops. 

Question. But what 1)usiness he was going to follow? 

Answer. I then left and went to Harper's Ferry, and on my return 
afterwards I met the same party in the same vicinity. He then said 
to me, "I have been looking round your country up here, and it is a 
very fine country^ a very pleasant place, a fine view; the land is much 
better than I expected to find it; your crops are pretty good." He 
was around whei'e they were cutting grain. He then asked me, "Do 
you know of any farm that is in the neighborhood for sale?" I an- 
sweted him, "I did; that there was a farm about four miles from 
there, owned by the heirs of Dr. Kennedy, that Avas for sale." He 
then remarked to his company, and to me also, "I think we had bet- 
ter rent awhile until we get better acquainted, and they could not take 
the advantage of us by the purchase of land;" and said to me, did I 
l^now of any property to rent. I told him perhaps he might rent that ; 
I did not know ; but it was for sale I knew. He then asked me the 
direction to it. I told him the direction, and the distance. 

Question. Did he inform you what occupation he expected to pursue 
after he bought or rented land in that neighborhood? 

Answer. 1 will tell the story. He then remarked to Watson Brown 
.and Anderson, "Boys, as you are not very well, you had better go 
back and tell the landlord at Sandy Hook that we shall not be there 
to dinner ; that we will go on up and look at the place ; but you can 
<lo as you please." Finally Watson looked around at Anderson, and 
I did not hear him say anything; but then he turned round and an- 
swered, "Well, we Avill go along." "Well," said I, "if you go on 
wdth me up to my house, I can then point you the road exactly." 
They went up, and I asked them to come in and take dinner. They 
thanked me, and would not, and did not drink. "Well/' said I, "'if 
you follow up this road along the foot of the mountain, it is shady and 
pleasant, and you will come out at a church up here about three miles, 
and then you can see the house by looking from that church right up 
the road that runs to Boonesborough, or you can go right across and 
get into the county road and follow that up." He sat and talked 
with me awhile, and I finally asked him what he expected to follow 
there. I perhaps remarked to him, he could not more than make a 
living on tlie larni. "Well," said he, "my business has been buying 
up fixt cattle, and driving them on to the State of New York, and sell- 
ing them, and we expect to engage in that again." They left me 
then, and went on. So in the course of about three days I think^ I 



TESTIMONY. 3 

met him again on the road between my house and Harper's Ferry, 
and he said, "Well, I think that place will 8ui*!<4ne ; now just give 
me a description where I can find the widow and 'the administrator." 
I told him that the widow lived in Sharpshurgh,"^a'<small town about 
ten miles from there, and the administrator (Fiery) lived between five 
and six miles north of Sharpsburgh ; and he told me he Avould go and 
see them. I met him again in a few days after that, and he told me 
he had rented the two houses on the Kennedy farm. He said, "I in- 
tend going uj) in a few days, or sending one of the boys up to pay the 
rent." The following week I met him again, and he had a receipt — 
I presume it Avas. He had a ])aper, and said, "^Well, we have got 
the houses, and paid the rent; we pay thirty-five dollars for the two 
houses, pasture for a cow and horse, and firewood, from now until the 
first day of March next, and here is the receipt." I remarked to him, 
"I do not want to see the receipt, it is nothing to me." That is about 
all I knoAv of him about that time. 

Question. Did he tell you then what his name was, and the name 
of his two sons? 

Answer. He told me his name was Smith. He did not give me any 
given name of himself but "these are my two sons, Watson and 
Oliver." 

Question. What were the ages of the two sons apparently? 

Answer. I would judge that Oliver was about 30, and Watson 
perhaps 25 or 27. 

Question. What was the age of Anderson? 

Answer. I think he was rather younger, from his appearance; 
perhaps 22 or 23 years old. 

Question. Did Smith, alias Brown, afterwards live at the houses 
that he had rented on the Kennedy farm? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state whether you ever, and how often were you, 
at Brown's house while he lived there? 

Answer. I cannot state how often, l)ut I was frequently there. I 
was there nearly every week up to the first of October. I was there 
every ten days at least. 

Question. What took you there? 

Answer. I just went up to talk to the old man; but sometimes, at 
the request of others, on business, about selling him some horses or 
cows. 
. Question. Were you ever in the house? 

Answer. No, sir. He often invited me in. Indeed, nearly every 
time I went there he asked me to go in, and remarked to me frequently, 
"We have no chairs for you to sit on, but we have trunks and boxes." 
I declined going in, but sat there on my horse and chatted with him. 

Question. Can you tell me whether he purchased any stock or farm- 
ing implements of any kind? 

Answer. He purchased one cow, one horse, a small wagon, and 
three hogs. 

Question. Did he cultivate the land? 

Answer. No, sir. He cut some hay there that he had permission to 
cut after he removed there. 



4 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Can you state whether his family increased or diminished^ 
as to the number of persons that were around him^ during the time 
3'ou knew him tliere? 

AnsAver. Not to my own personal knowledge, with the exception of 
two females and another son. They came after he did. 

Question. Did you know the name of that other son ? 

Answer. Watson told me his name was Owen. 

Question. Who were the two females? 

Answer. One Avas his daughter, and the other his daughter-in- 
law, the wife of Watson, as his son Watson told me. I never heard 
the name of Brown until after he Avas taken, and Dr. Murphy, the 
paymaster at the Ferry, told me that some United States officer had 
told him that he was old OssaAvattomie Brown, of Kansas. 

Question. Was his daughter unmarried, as far as you heard? 

AnsAver. Watson told me she Avas a single girl. 

Question. Hoaa^ long did those women remain there? 

AnsAA'er. I think they left, or I missed them, about the 1st of Octo- 
ber. They came, I suppose, about the 15tli or 20th of July. 

Question. Did Brown mingle much in the neighborhood in society? 

AnsAver. He did not. I do not knoAv that he was CA'cr in an}" person's 
house but one, and he Avas a man by the name of NichoUs. He boarded 
there a day or tAvo, and those females boarded there from Saturday 
night until Tuesday morning. Avhen they came on. He AA-as in my 
yard frequently, perhaps four or five times. I Avould ahvays ask him 
in, but he Avould never go in, and, of course, I Avould not go in his 
house. 

Question. Was any thing said or done by this person, or any of his 
party, Avhich led you to suppose Avhat Avas his real object in coming to 
that part of the country? 

AnsAver. Nothing, only AAdiat he told me, that he followed buying up 
fat cattle and driving them to Ncav York and selling them. He told 
others in the neighborhood the same thing. There Avas nothing AAdiicli 
induced me to suppose that his purpose Avas anything different from 
what he stated to me. I frequently missed him from there, and some- 
times I Avould find him at home and the boys away. I would remark 
to him, " Avhere are the boys?" " Well," said he, "they are away 
someAvhere." TAvice I Avent tliere and found none of the men there, 
but the tAvo ladies, and I sat tliere on my horse — there was a high 
porch on the house, and I could sit there and chat with them — and then 
I rode off and left them. They told me there Avere none of the men at 
home, but did not tell me where they Avere. 

Question. Hoav soon after you first saAv liim there, did he take posses- 
sion of the house? 

AnsAver. It Avas a A'ery short time ; it Avas the folloAving Aveek, at 
farthest. He told me that he Avas an old surA^eyor, in one instance ; 
that he had surveyed land in Ohio, and Ncav York, and Kansas Ter- 
ritory; that he folloAved that, and he said, "I have a little instrument 
that I carry in my hand, about the size of a small bucket, that has a 
magnet that Avill tell where there is any iron ore ; sometimes I carry 
that ; it has a needle to it ; if the ore is in front of me the needle Avill 
point to it, and as I come there it Avill turn." 



TESTIJIONY. 5 

Question. Had you any knowledj^'e Avhon he was joined by the men 
who were afterwards found with him at Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. No, sir; I had not. 

Question. What was the distance of your residence from where he 
lived ? 

Answer. Ahout four miles. 

Question. What was the distance from Smith's (alias Brown's) house 
to Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. About tive miles. 

Question. W^as his house on or near a public road? 

Answer. It was witliin about 300 yards of the public road. 

Question. In sight? 

Answer. Very plain; it makes a very pretty show for a small house; 
I mean the house he resided in. 

Question. You stated that he rented two houses ; do you know to 
wdiat purpose he put the one he did not live in, or did he live in both? 

Answer. He told me, and I thought that he had rented it for his 
son to live in. One time I went there, after the females had come on, 
and inquired for them, and one of the females answered me, "they are 
across there at the cabin, you liad better ride over and see them." I 
replied it did not make any difference, and I would not bother them, 
and I rode back home. 

Question. What were the distances of the two houses apart? 

Answer. About 600 yards; one on one side of the road, and the 
other on the other ; the house they called the cabin is hid by shrubbery 
in the summer season pretty much ; it is a swamp}^ piece of ground, 
and going from Harper's Ferry to Boonesborough you cannot see it 
until you get by ; indeed, you could not see it from the other house 
when they Avent there. 

Q*iiestion. How large was that cabin-house, as you call it — how many 
rooms had it ? 

Answer. Only one room and a garret. 

Question. When you first saw Smith or Brown did he tell you how 
long he had been there — when he came? 

Answer. He told me that he had come in the cars to Harper's Ferry the 
evening before, which was the 3d of July ; that when they got out of the 
cars he inquired — I do not know whether he said "he" or "we" — Avhere 
they could get board the cheapest, and were informed they could get it 
cheaper at Sandy Hook, about a mile below the Ferry, and they conse- 
quently went there and took board, and this morning were walking 
out to take a view of the country. Sandy Hook is a small village 
about a mile below Harper's Ferry, on the Maryland side of the 
Potomac river. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Did you ever know from July until October about Brown's 
receiving any boxes or anything of that kind? 

Answer. I heard of him receiving one load of boxes witli very heavy 
things in them. 

Question. But you did not see them yourself, or know anything 
about them ? 



6 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he tell you anything about them? 

Answer. No, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. When did you first hear of the invasion and seizure of the 
armory at Harper's Ferry by this man and his party? 

Answer. On Monday,' the 17th of October, about 9 o'clock in the 
morning. 

Question. Did you go to the Ferry after you heard it? 

Answer. I did not go the Ferry until Tuesday morning. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Did Brown, in passing to and from the Ferry and his 
house, go by your house? 

Answer. No, sir; if he had, I should have been one of the first 
ones taken. The neighbors wanted me to get on my horse and go 
away, but I would not. There was no slaveholder in the neighbor- 
hood but myself, except Byrne, whom they had. 

By the Chairman : 

Question, Are you a slaveholder? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What is your occupation in life? 

Answer. I am living ofi" what I have saved. I suppose you might 
consider me a mechanic, but I am not engaged in any business. I 
have made some money, and I am living off the interest of my money. 
I am living on a farm, but I am not farming it. I own the farm, and 
rent it out. 

Question. When did you first learn, and how did you learn, that 
this man Smith was not really named Smith? 

Answer. I have already stated that Dr. Murphy was the first one 
who informed me, on Tuesday about noon, that some United States 
officer — I do not remember his name — had said to him that that must 
be old OssaAvattomie Brown, from Kansas. That Avas the first news I 
had of it. That was after the attack on Harper's Ferry. 

Question. Did you see Brown after he was captured? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw him the Monday before he was hung. 

Question, Was he the same man to whom you have referred as pass- 
ing by the name of Smith? 

Answer. Yes, sir; he was. 

Question. Did you have any conversation with him? 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. This was a short time before his execution? 

Answer. Yes, sir; the Monday before. He was executed on the 2d 
of December, and it Avas on the 28th or 29th of November that I saw 
him in jail. 



TESTIMONY. 7 

By the Chairmax: 

Question. In that conversation did he recognize you as his ac- 
quaintance in Maryland? 

Answer. He did, and also a little son I had that Avas with nie. 

Question. Give tlie conversation. 

Answer. I asked him avIiv he made his attack on Virginia, and at 
the i)lace he did, Harper's^Ferry. His answer was: "I knew there 
were a good many guns there that would be of service to me, and, if 
I could conquer Virginia, the balance of the Southern States would 
nearly conquer themselves, there being such a large number of slaves 
in them." 

Question. Have you any further information that you consider im- 
portant in the inquiry before the committee, as to Brown's object in 
going there, or what lie did after he got there, as derived from Brown 
himself or any of his party? 

Answer. Nothing that I know of, except as to the taking of those 
arms, Sharp's rifles and pistols. 

Question. What do you know about that? 

Ansvrer. I was present when they were taken. You asked me, 
some time ago, when I went to the Ferry. I told you Tuesday morn- 
ing. When I got there, I saw Captain Butler, of the Hamtramck 
Guards, a volunteer company, of Jefferson county, Virginia. I asked 
him to take his company over to the school-house, on the other side of 
the river: that the men were in the school-house. He remarked, "My 
company is dismissed," and I left him, and passed on. I supposed 
Cook, Tidd, and the negroes they had taken were in the school-house, 
and had arms with them, guns, pistols, &c. I heard so from others. 

Question. State what you did as to sending any party or going 
with any party to the school-house ? 

Answer. I had learned from others the day before that Cook and 
others w^ere at the school-house where my child^ a school-boy, attended. 
On Tuesday, after passing from Captain Butler, I came across Captain 
Rowan, another captain of a volunteer company of Jefferson count)^ 
and I said to him, "Mr. Rowan, take your company and go over to the 
school-house ; they are over there ; the danger is there. ' ' He remarked, 
"I will, if John will go," pointing to Mr. Avis, who stood about a 
rod from him. I askccl him^ " What do you say, John?" "Well," 
said he, "I will see about it directly," and he walked across the street 
as though he were going to attend to some business. That did not 
suit me, and I went on around the hotel, and I came across Captain 
Rhinehart, who was captain of the cavalry of Jefferson county, and I 
asked him to take his company and go to the school-house and capture 
those that were there. He said, "My company is dismissed." I 
turned around — I was back of the railroad now on the back porch at 
the tavern — coming back, I met Mr. Faulkner at the front door. I 
asked him if he knew Colonel Lee. He replied that he did. "Well," 
said I, "I wish you would get him to send a company to the school- 
house; they are over there now; here is a man, Pitcher, who says he 
just came over, and they opened the door and pointed a gun at him." 
"''Well," said he, "£ome along and I will get them." He was then 
in the superintendent's office, or under that roof in one of the offices.. 



S ■ TESTIMONY. 

He went in and saw Colonel Lee. While lie Avas in the house Colonel 
Baylor, of the Virginia militia, eame to the door, and I said to him, 
"Colonel, send a company over to Maryland to the school-house." 
Said he, "I have no right to send a company to Maryland." Said I, 
" The devil you have not; I Avould send them anywhere at such a time 
as this." "I will not do it," said he, and he turned away and left 
me. I was outside and he was inside. Mr. Faulkner came out and 
said, "Colonel Lee says they have gone an hour ago." I asked 
"What company has gone." "The Baltimore Greys," he replied. 
"Well now," said I, "tliey have not gone at all, for I liave just come 
over, and there was one man standing in the street who had a uniform 
on, and I hailed him and asked what company he belonged to, and he 
told me the Baltimore Greys. Where is your captain, I asked. He 
has gone up on Camp Hill to get his breakfast. Well, said I, come 
with me and show him to me. We started up on foot and overtook 
him before he got to the top of the hill . I told him my business, and he 
said that after he got something to eat he would go with me. I went 
back to the ferry, and ])assing the armory gate I met Captain Simmes, 
of the company belonging to Frederick, Maryland, who was just going 
in the gate . I asked him ' ' Are you captain of that company ? " " Yes, ' ' 
said he. "Well," said I, "come take them, and go to the school- 
house and capture those fellows." He said "I cannot do it now." 
I then began to get a little out of humor. I passed on to the square 
and I met Mr. Boteler, member of the House of Kepresentatives. I 
said to him, "Aleck, do you know Colonel Lee?" He said he did. 
"Now/" said I, "I wish you would go and see him and get him to send 
a company over to this school-house. Nobody will go there, and those 
fellows are over in the school-house." He went and saw him and 
came back and said, "Colonel Lee says they have been gone an hour 
and a half, or two hours ago." Said I, "they have not gone at all; 
I know they have not; where is Colonel Lee?" He pointed him out 
to me, and I went up to him and saw him. He said to me, " My dear 
friend, they have been gone two hours ago . " " No, " said I, ' ' colonel , 
they have not gone; I have come from there." He asked me, "Are 
you certain of it, and will you ])ilot men there." Yes," said I. 
" Tlien," said he, "come and I will get you a company." He came 
down toAvards the gate and met the lieutenant of this Baltimore com- 
pany and asked him Avhy did he not go to the school-house in Mary- 
land, as he had ordered him. "Why," said he, "they told me the 
order was countermanded. ' ' AVliile he Avas talking to him, the captain 
came up and the colonel said to him, "Why did you not go to the 
school-house Avhen I ordered you ? " " Why , ' ' said he, ' ' my men Avere 
hungry, and I thought a short time Avould not make any difference, 
and Ave Avent on Camp Hill to get breakfast, and Avhcn Ave came back 
thev told me the order Avas countermanded." The colonel said, "I 
did not countermand it, and nobody else had authority to do do so. 
NoAV," said he, " I Avant you to get your company and go Avith this 
man Avho says he Avill pilot you there." We started and Avent across 
the river to the school-house, Avhich is in Maryland, about a mile from 
Harper's Ferry. When Ave got there tAvo of the men of the company 
.and myself opened the front door, Avent in, and found a number of boxes 



TESTIMONY. U 

there. The people had gone away ; there was no person there. The 
door was fastened with a chain and the chain was run through a staple 
and a stick in it. That fastening was outside. We pushed it open. 
I think we pushed it four times hefore we got it open. We thought 
they were hehind the door, and when Ave would give itapusli it would 
fly shut; hut alter three or four pushes it stayed hack, when we pushed 
the things hehind it away a little. 

Question. State now what you found in the school-house. 

Answer. We found a number of boxes. I think there must have 
been about fifteen small boxes, about four feet long and a foot square. 
We opened about five of them, as well as I recollect. They contained 
Sharp's rifles, and then we opened a large box that contained a num- 
ber of pistols and some powder flasks. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Were these rifles and pistols new, fresh, as if they had 
never been used? 

Answer. The}' were new, I think. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Were they unsoiled? 

Answer. They never had been used, judging from the appearance of 
them. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Did you count them to ascertain their number? 

Answer. No, sir; we did not. We opened the boxes and distributed 
them to the Baltimore company, and there were some young men wht> 
came there. Every man who was there got a gun and a good many a 
pistol. After that the captain said "Let us take these to the Ferry, 
and when we get there we will open the balance and distribute them." 
I made some remark to him and he came to the door and asked me if 
we could not get a wagon. There was a man there who lived close by, 
and I said to him, "Mr. Beck, hitch up your horse and bring these 
things to the Ferry." He started off, and after he started I looked 
down a ravine rather south from the school-house, and I saw a wagon 
down there among the bushes. I remarked to some one, "Down there 
is a wagon; now, come along with me and we will go down and see 
what is there." We went down and found a very large wagon and 
three horses — one horse tied to the wagon and the other two loose. 
We caught them, hooked two of them up to the wagon, drove it to the 
school-house, and put a large number of these things in that wagon, 
and some of the boxes in Mr. Beck's wagon. After we got them in, 
nobody appeared to be willing to drive the. horses, and I said to some 
one, "Here, get on my horse, and I will drive them." One of the 
soldiers got on my horse and I got on the wagon and drove those horses 
down to the Ferry, with the guns in the wagon. 

Question. Did you bring ofi" all the guns that you found there? 

Answer. All but what we distributed. We thought we had a right 
to them after going there. 

Question. The })eople who were there heli)ed themselves out of the 
boxes? 



10 TESTIMONY. / 

Answer. Everybody that was there, I believe, got a gun, and I have 
frequently remarked that anybody who says he was there and did not 
get a gun does not tell the truth, for I carried a number of them out 
of the house to give to some fellows myself. 

Question. Can you form an idea how many guns and pistols were 
distributed ? 

Answer; I do not know accurately, but I think there were between 
forty and fifty persons, each of whom got a gun and most of them a 
pistol. 

Question. Were there no other arms than rifles and pistols? 

Answer. I saw nothing else there at all, except one sword. 

Question. Were there no other arms of any other kind? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were there any pikes there? 

Answer No, sir. 

Question. Were all the arms that were found at the school-house 
which were not taken by the people wlio were there, carried down to 
the Ferry ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. To whom were those arms delivered at the Ferry? 

Answer. To Mr. Kitzmiller, who was then acting as superintendent 
of the armory. I tliink there were also at the school-house some few 
grubbing hoes and a few picks and shovels — not maYiy. 

Question. Were they new? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; they had never been used. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Were you present when the pikes were taken ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what knowledge you have of any pikes being found, 
and where they were found, and the circumstances attending it, without 
going into detail? 

Answer. I raised a parcel of men at the Ferry to go with me. The 
superintendent said we should have guns. When we got the company 
formed, Dr. Murphy said we should not have any guns; they were in 
his charge, and he could not give any more out; he had given out a 
large number the day before. 1 then went to Colonel Lee again, and said 
I, ''Colonel, the company that was with me at the school-house have 
left me, and I want another company to go to Brown's house." 
''Well," said he, " if you will pilot them there, I will give you another 
company." So he hunted up Lieutenant Green, of the marines, and 
told him to take these men with me up to Brown's residence. "How 
far is it?" he asked. Said I, '^ it is about five miles." We started ; 
I went up with him to the Kennedy farm. He took his company, I do 
not know how many ; probably all they could spare there. We took 
along the wagon and horses we found at the school-house, which I 
learned was Lewis Washington's wagon. Mr. Washington told me so 
himself at the arsenal, and Ave took it by his permission to the Ken- 
nedy farm. When we got to the farm-house, we ascertained that there 



TESTIMONY. 11 

liad been some citizens from the neighborhood of Sliarpsburg at the 
honse before we got there. We did not tind anybody in the honse; it 
was deserted. We found there a number of trunks, cari)et-bags, and 
a large quantity of paper of different kinds — "Patriotic Volunteer," 
I believe it is termed on the outside. It is a drill-book for soldiers,, 
gotten up by Forbes, I believe. There was a number of them in a 
large box, but no furniture there at all save one table and a cook 
stove. We found this pamphlet in a map of Kansas Territory. The 
map my little boy tore up. 

[The witness produced the printed paper, which is entitled "The 
Laws of Kansas; Speech of Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana, in the House 
of Representatives, June 21, 1856," which is left witli the committee, 
and identified by the name of the chairman written on it.] 

Question. State whether you found any arms there, what they were,, 
and what you did with them? 

Answer. We found no arms at all at the house where he lived. 

Question. Did you bring off the trunks, the jiapers, &c.?" 

Answer. We put the trunks and papers in the wagons. Some of 
them were destroyed and carried off by citizens around, but there were 
a good many taken to the Ferry — some trunks ; I do not think any 
boxes were. 

Question. State what you found at the cabin, if you went there? 

Answer. Lieutenant Green and mvself went in the cabin. He 
placed one of the soldiers at the door. In the lower part of the house 
we found a quantity of bed-clothing, such as comforters and canvass, 
for tents, and some axes. There were two cast-iron hominy mills, as 
I was informed they were, and a good deal of clothing boxed up — new^ 
clothing ; but the boxes had been opened when' we got there. Thi& 
was clothing for men, and some boots. 

Question. Can you give an idea of the amount of clothing — the 
quantity? 

Answer. No, sir. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Can you give us the size of the boxes or the amount of 
them ? 

Answer. I cannot. The clothing was all given away up tliei'e and 
carried off by the citizens of the neigliborhood. The boxes had been 
opened before we got there. There was a jnle of counterpanes that 
looked to be new and very good, that was piled up, I suppose, between 
two and three feet high, doubled up and piled nicely, laid outside the 
boxes. There were some knives and forks and spooils, also new, Avhich 
had never been used. I had a number of them in my hands. I picked 
them up and tlirew them down. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. What else? 

Answer. In the upper part of the house, in the loft, we found, as I 
supposed, about a thousand pikes. 

(.Question. What was done with all those things you found there? 
Answer. They were put in the wagon that we took up there. A 



12 TESTIMONY. 

number of the pikes were distributed there. Green gave the men a 
great many. He tokl me to break the Avindow open and throw them out. 
I heli)ed him to throw out a good many until I got tired, and I told him 
I would not throw any more out. He said '•' send up a couple of sol- 
diers and I will tell them to throw them out." He told the neighbors 
who were present that they could have as many as they w^anted. He 
said to them, at first, "you can have five a piece ;" afterwards he told 
them ten a piece, and finally, he said, *' you may have fifty a piece." 
They took as many as they wanted and the rest were put in the wagon. 

Question. Who took them? 

Answer. The citizens of the neighborhood. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Had those pikes handles? 

Answer. They had handles on them. There were two straw ticks 
on the floor, and on turning them up I found two pikes under them, 
one under each, without handles. 

Mr. Davis. You spoke of picks being found in the school-house; you 
did not mean pikes? 

Answer. No, sir ; the picks were for grubbing. They were what 
we call o;rubbing hoes in our countrv. He had both. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did you find any picks or shovels in tlie cabin? 

Answer. There were a very few. Apparently they were taken there 
to be used. There were perhaps half a dozen shovels, short and long 
handles together, at his house, but they w^ere carried off by the citizens? 

Question. Were they all taken to the Ferry? 

Answer. All that were not distril)uted, we carried to the Ferry. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Were these pikes in boxes, or loose? 

Answer. They were lying loose, piled up in a corner, as though you 
would put something up here to hold them from rolling down. They 
were piled up in one corner right close to where the window had been, 
but it was nailed up. Handles had been put on the pikes by Brown's 
men, as I was told bv Cook afterwards. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. To whom were tliey delivered at the Ferry? 

Answer. To Mr. Kitzmiller, the acting superintendent. They were 
taken to the store-room in the armory, just as the guns were. 

Mr. Davis. I shc^ild like to know from Mr. Unseld whether he heard 
of these people being in the school-house from his little boy, or whether 
some other person told him that his boy was in the school-house, and 
that these people were there. 

Answer. I heard it from the teacher. 

JOHN C. UNSELD. 



TESTIMONY. 1 3 

January (>, 1860. 
Terence Byrne sworn and examined : 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to state your ag'e, and where you reside, 
and what your occupation is? 

AnsAver. I am forty-two years of age. I reside in Washington 
county, Maryland, about three miles northwest of Harper's Ferry. I 
am engaged in tarming. 

Question. Are you a landholder and slaveholder? 

Answer. I am a landholder jointly with my brother Joseph. I am 
a slaveholder. 

Question. Will you state whether you formed the acquaintance of 
John Brown, recently executed in Jefferson county, Virginia, and by 
what name he passed when you formed his acquaintance, and when 
you formed it? 

Answer. I was not personally acquainted with him. 

Question. Do you know the place he lived at — the Kennedy farm? 

Answer. Very well, sir. 

Question. How far is your residence from that? 

Answer. My place is not quite a mile and, a half south of the Ken- 
nedy farm. 

Question. Did you know there was such a man in the neighborhood, 
although you had not seen him personally? 

Answer. I knew there was a man who had rented the Kennedy farm. 

Question. By what name did he pass? 

Answer. By the name of Smith. I had seen him Irequently and 
passed him on the road. I knew liiin by sight, but not personally. 

Question. Will you state whether you were taken into custody by 
any party of men, and who they were, and at what time, and where? 

Answer. I would rather state it in my own way. On the morning 
of the 17th of October I left home on horseback early, between 5 and 6 
o'clock, and I had progressed about a mile and a quarter when I passed 
a wagon on the road, driven by a colored man. Almost at the same 
time that I passed the tail-end of the wagon — I going in the direction 
of Harper's Ferry and the wagon towards the Kennedy farm — I heard 
a voice call out, '' Mr. Byrnes, stop." I reined up my horse and looked 
back, and recognized John E. Cook on the ground. I had known 
Cook before in that neighborhood. He approached me on the right 
side of my horse, and remarked to me, " I am very sorry to inform you 
that you are my prisoner," or something like that. I do not remember 
the exact words. I had left home with a view of riding a distance of 
about six miles. I looked at him and smiled, and said, "you are cer- 
tainly joking. ' ' He said, "I am not. " ' I looked down, and under his 
coat I saw a barrel of a rifle protruding, and he kept moving it and 
jerking it. I thought lie wanted to attract my attention, from his 
actions, to his being armed; and almost a moment afterwards a second 
man approached me, whom I have learned since was C. P. Tidd, but 
at that time he was unknown to me. He })resented his gun to me and 
said, "no parley here, or I will put a ball in you," or "through you;" 



14 TESTIMONY. 

""you must go with us to your place; we want your negroes," or some- 
thing like tliat. I told liim if that was the case I would go hack 
rather than that he should put a ball through me. 

Question. Well, you went hack where? 

Answer. To my house. 

Question. What did they do after you got there? 

Answer. I passed my brother on the porch just before entering the 
•door, and I whispered to him, "civil war," or something like that ; 
perhaps I said "servile Avar." I walked in. I do not know wliether 
'Cook preceded me or not, but I know we all got into the room about 
the same time. Cook, Leeman, and Tidd seated themselves uninvited. 
I walked up and down the floor, and Cook commenced making a kind 
of speech, sitting down, what we term a higher-law speech. My mind 
was busy with tlie future, and I ])aid very little attention to what lie 
said. 

Question. What was the subject? 

Answer. The subject of slavery. He said that all men were created 
■equal. That was a quotation. I remember that distinctly. Just 
about the time he commenced, I asked my sister, wlio I saw Avas very 
much alarmed, Avliere a cousin of mine Avas, Avho Avas then on a visit 
to my house. She ansAvered that she Avas up stairs, and I told her to 
€all her down and be Avitness to every thing that Avas said and done, 
as she Avas a lady of considerable nei've. I Avas too much excited to 
pay much attention to the speech. The first Avord my cousin said Avhen 
she came down was, " CoAvhide those scoundrels out of the house; Avhy 
do you suffer them to talk to you?" I did not heed her, either. I do 
not recollect all her remarks. 

Question. There were three men then. Cook, Tidd, and Leeman; 
were they all armed? 

AnsAver. All armed. 

Question. With Avhat? 

Answer. Sharp's rifles and revolvers. 

Question. What requirements or demands did they make of you? 

AnsAver. I am a little too fast. Just after my arrest on the road, 
■on turning back, they made a proposition to me to this eftect, that I 
had better be quiet and give up my slaves ; or, if I would give up my 
slaves voluntarily, they Avould enter into an article of agreement with 
me. They said they Avould first take me before their captain, and they 
were certain that if I Avould give up my slaves voluntarily their captain 
Avould enter into an article of agreement Avith me to protect my person 
and property, I told them that Avas something I Avould not do, that I 
looked to the State government, or, if that failed, to the federal govern- 
ment to protect me in my person and property. They remarked they 
would have them any hoAv. 

Question. What demands did they make of you in tlie house, and 
hoAV Avere they made? 

Answer. They addressed my brother, in the house, and said: "Mr. 
Byrne we Avant your slaves." My brother's reply was, " Ca])tain 
Cook you must do as I do Avhen I Avant them — hunt for them." They 
were too early in the morning. My brother's servant and my oavu^ 
two men, had left home the Saturday cA'ening preceding, and had not 



TESTIMONY. 15 

returned yet, Monday morning. They did not get them. They did 
not want the negro women or children at that time. 

Question. Did they become satisfied that the negro men were not at 
home? 

Answer. Yes^ sir. 

Question. What did they do tlien? 

Answer. They kept my brother and myself prisoners there. Two 
of tliem remained with us, and Tidd started with some five or six or 
seven negroes to the Kennedy farm, in Colonel Washington's wagon. 
I did not know whose wagon it was at the time, but Cook told me 
afterwards that it was Colonel Washington's wagon. 

Question. They left two of the men at your house, liolding you and 
your brother in their custody ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; Cook and Leeman remained. 

Question. How long did they remain? 

Answer. I do not know ; I had no idea of the time. I did not notice 
the clock, though it was on the mantle. 

Question. What time in the morning was it when they first arrested 
you? 

Answer. I do not know exactly, but it was between five and six 
o'clock, a little after daylight. 

Question. Can you give an idea of the time they remained, as near 
as you can come; Avhether they went away before noon? 

Answer. Yes, sir. They left shortly after; say a late breakfast. 

Question. Then they were not there more than three or four hours, 
if so much? 

Answer. Not so much. 

Question. Did they give you any reasons for their going away, 
when they did go away? 

Answer. They said I would have to go to Harper's Ferry, that their 
orders were to take me to Harper's Ferry before their captain. 

Question. Did they do so? 

Answer. They took me to Harper's Ferry and placed me in the 
watch-house. It was between 9 and 10 o'clock on Mondav morning 
when I got into the watch-house. 

Question. Who took you? 

Answer. I was detained at my place until the wagon went to the 
Kennedy farm and returned back. Tidd, who had charge of the wagon 
and the negroes, came to Cook and remarked that they were ready to 
proceed. I was escorted by them. We Avent first to the school-house, 
where the arms were deposited. We had to pass by it on the road. 

Question. What was in the wagon? 

Answer. Tliere were boxes. They seemed to be well filled with 
somethinii;. I did not know at the time what was in them. 

Question. Was the wagon heavily loaded? 

Answer. It seemed to pull pretty heavily, but it was a damp morn- 



ing. 



Question. How many horses? 

Answer. Four horses. It was a heavy farm wagon. 

Question. Did you know any of the negroes who were with them? 

Answer. I did not. I was told by Cook, in the morning, that they 



16 TESTIMONY, 

had possession of the armory, railroad bridge, and telegraph, and 
before night would have the canal ; that Colonel Washington was a 
prisoner at Harper's Ferry, and that his fowling-piece was carried by 
one of the negroes. He did not name the colored man who had it. 
Question. Did Cook tell you whose negroes they were? 
Answer. He did not, that I recollect. 

Question. What was done at the school-house? Was there any- 
body in the school-house when you got there? 

Answer. Yes, sir; Mr. Currie, the teacher, and his pupils. The 
school was in session. 

Question. What passed when they arrived at the school-hojise? 
Answer. I do not know that I heard all that jiassed. I do not think 
I did. 

Question. I do not mean so much in conversation as what was done. 
Answer. Some of the party went in ; I shall not be positive who, 
but one of the three, or perhaps two, went in and asked him to suspend 
school for a while, and then he could go on ; they wanted to occupy 
one corner of the house, saying they wanted to deposit some boxes 
there, but I shall not be positive about that; but I know Mr. Currie 
came out, and I whispered across tlie fence to him — I did not go in — 
that I was a prisoner, and remarked to him, "You have nothing to 
fear, you are not a slaveholder. ' ' I did not know at the time whether he 
owned slaves or not. M}' object was to put him on his guard, and he 
whispered in my ear "I am." 

Question. What was done there? What did these men do? 
Answer. The wagon was unloaded there, and the boxes placed in 
the school-house. 

Question. Did the children leave the school-bouse? 
Answer. Some of them manifested a disposition to leave, and I 
think, perhaps, were told to stay, but I am not certain about that. 
Most of the children were there when I left. As soon as the wagon 
was unloaded, Cook or Tidd told Leeman to accompany me down to 
Harper's Ferry. 

Question. Did you leave the rest with the wagon at the school-house, 
when you went away? 

Answer. Tidd, Cook, and the negroes were left behind with the 
wagon at the school-house. I proceeded with Lehman about one hun- 
dred or one hundred and hftv vards south of the school-house, and I 
was met by one of the Brown party, whom I had known by the name 
of Thompson. He came up smiling. He Avas armed, and, I think, 
had a blanket over his shoulders. He extended his hand and said, 
"How are you, Byrne?" I said, "Good morning, Mr. Thompson; 
I am well; how are you?" I was then disposed to put on a cheerful 
face, and I asked him what was the news at Harper's Ferry. He said 
the people were more frightened than hurt, and he passed on. It 
commenced raining about the same time, and Leeman suggested that 
we get under a tree until the shower passed. We sat down on the 
side of the road. I had an umbrella, and proposed to him to sit up 
close to me, and my umbrella would be some protection to him. He 
did so. He remarked to me, "Our captain is no longer John Smith," 
or I. Smith, or J. Smith, or something like that, but was "John 



TESTIMONY. 17 

Brown, of Kansas notoriety," I think be said, bnt I shall not he posi- 
tive about that, for I was disposed to assume a character that I did not 
have at tlie time, that of cheerfulness. My mind was busy with the 
future. I was fearful of a bloody civil war. I was under the impres- 
sion that, unless they were there in great numbers, they would not be 
foolish enough to make an attack on the borders of two slaveholding 
States. 

Question. Did you have any further conversation with Leeman at 
that time, as to Brown's objects or purposes in coming there? 

Answer. I did not feel disposed to question him at all ; but he ap- 
peared to be very serious, had very little to say while at the house, and 
I am inclined to think he was meditating his escape from them, judging 
from his manner. He took a seat by the side of the fireplace in my 
house and put his head against the mantel and drew his cap down. 
He wore a cloth cap, I think. Cook asked him if he was lumgry. 
He said yes, he was a little hungry. Cook then asked him if he was 
sleepy, and I think he answered in the affirmative. 

Question. Did you proceed to the Ferry afterwards? 

Answer. We sat under this tree, Leeman and myself, until the 
shower had almost ceased, and we started. Whether Thompson over- 
hauled us at that point, or at a point further down near Harper's Ferry, 
I do not recollect ; but I know tliat Thompson and Leeman were with 
me almost all the distance from the school-house to the Virginia side 
of the bridge. There Thompson stopped, and Leeman passed through 
the town as far as the watch-house with me. 

Question. Was Leeman armed all that time? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. With what? 

Answer. With a Sharp's rifle. 

Question. Did he carry it exposed or concealed? 

Answer. It was a damp, rainy morning, and he carried it under his 
coat or blanket. A portion of the barrel protruded. 

Question. Did you meet an}'' armed men after you got on the Vir- 
ginia side of the bridge, and before you got to the watch-house? 

Answer. I passed two armed men on the bridge — a white man and 
a colored man. I think the white man was a son of Brown, or Smith, 
as he was called. 

Question. Did you pass any after you left the bridge? 

Answer. Not that I recollect. 

Question. Did they speak to you in any way? 

Answer. This white man had a mit on, and as soon as he saw me 
he took it off and shook hands with me. 

Question. Had you seen him before? 

Answer. I think I had. 

Question. Did he call you by name? 

Answer. I do not recollect that he did. 

Question. What time did you get to the Ferry? 

Answer. I do not recollect exactlv. but I think it was between nine 
and ten o'clock in the morning. 

2 T 



18 TESTIMONY. 

Question. The watch-house is in the inside of the armory yard, ad- 
joining the engine-house ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; under the same roof. They are adjoining rooms. 
The watch-house is on the Avest end of the building. 

Question. Did anybody accost you or speak to you when you arrived 
at the watch-liouse ? 

Answer. I was marclied up to tlie door. I do not recollect whom I 
first spoke to, but I recollect my remark, "Good morning, gentlemen; 
I hope I am in good company," or something like that. 

Question. When did you see Brown first at the watch-house? 

Answer. Almost immediately after my arrival. I saw him moving 
about in front of the engine-house. 

Question. Did he come and si)eak to you? 

Answer. He did not, and I did not ask to be taken to him. 

Question. He did not speak to you on your coming? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he at anv time while vou remained there? 

Answer. Not until after I first addressed him. He put his hand on 
me and said, "I want you, sir." He went around to difterent ones, 
and I think he selected five hostages in the first place out of the watch- 
bouse. I w^as one of the second batch that was taken out. He just 
walked around and put his hand on or pointed to us ; I think he put 
Ills hand on me and said, "I want you, sir." 

Question. What did he want with you? 

Answer. We were taken in the engine-house and pointed to the back 
part of tlie room, and told to stand there. 

Question. Then Brown came into the watch-house some time after 
you got there, and selected five men, you among them? 

Answer. Ten altogether, five the first time, and five the second 
time. I Avas one of the second five. 

Question. He took those ten into the engine-house and told you to 
take your places in the back part of the engine-house? 

Answer. I do not know whether he said "back part." The Brown 
party occupied the front part, and if we had taken any other position 
than we did, we should have been in their way. 

Question. What time were you put in the engine-house? 

Answer. I think it was after the middle of the day on Monday, but 
I could not say positively. 

Question. How long did you remain in the engine-house? 

Answer. Until sometime Tuesday morning, until we were rescued 
by the marines. 

Question. Did you have any conversation with BroAvn Avhile you 
were in the engine-house, or did you hear him conversing with any of 
the rest of the party on the subject of Avliat brought him there, or 
what he expected or intended to do? 

AnsAver. Yes, sir; at different times there was a great deal said. I 
cannot recollect one fifth part. 

Question. Can you recollect anything that AA-ould disclose Avhat his 
object was in coming to the Ferry; Avhat his purpose was; what he was 
after ; AAdiat his object Avas in taking the prisoners and keeping them 
there; what his general object AA-as? 



TESTIMONY. 19 

Answer. At onetime I lieard him remark: "Gentlemen, if you 
knew my past history, you woukl not bhame me for being liere," or 
something to that effect. He then went on to state that he had gone 
to Kansas a peaceable man, and Avas hunted down like a wolf by the 
pro-slavery men from Virginia and Kentucky, and he lost some mem- 
bers of his family; I think he said a son; "and now," said he, "I 
am here." At that time he did not say for what purpose. One son of 
his was laying on my right who had been wounded on Monday about 
the middle of the day on the street. He seemed to suffer intensely, 
and complained very much. He asked to be dispatched, or killed, or 
put out of his misery, or something of that kind, I think, and Brown 
remarked to him, "No, my son, have patience; I tliink you will get 
well; if you die, you die in a glorious cause, fighting for liberty," or 
"freedom," or something like that. 

Question. Can you recollect anything tliat passed tending to show 
w^hat his object was in coming to Harper's Ferry with a body of armed 
men ? 

Answer. I do not recollect that I heard him say, but I know his 
men said they were there for the purpose of giving freedom to the 
slaves. 

Question. Did I understand you to say that Brown's son, who was 
wounded, had been shot in the street and came into the engine-house 
wounded, or was he shot while in the engine-house? 

Answer. He was wounded in the street and came into the watch- 
house, and afterwards went into the engine-house before I was in there. 
I first saw him in the watch-house after he was wounded. There was 
some firing before I was taken into the engine-house, and he asked for 
his rifle, and moved in himself from the Avatch-house to the engine- 
house ; but when I went in the engine-house he was laying down on 
the floor, and I lieard his father remark that he had exerted himself 
too much. 

Question. Did he die before your rescue? 

Answer. No, sir ; I think he was brought out alive. He was speech- 
less, though. 

Question. Was there mucli firing by the party in the engine-house; 
much shooting at persons outside? 

Answer. There was a good deal of firing on Monday evening. 

Question. Can you tell in what way the party inside fired out — 
through the doors, or througli windows, or througli loop-holes, or 
how? 

Answer. Some through the doors, and some through port holes, or 
loop-holes. 

Question. Were those loop-holes made after you got there, or be- 
fore ? 

Answer. I know that some of them were made after I was taken in. 

Question. Was anybody of Brown's party killed in the engine-house 
while you were there? 

Answer. They were killed about the door. When the firing was 
going on, I kept as close to the floor as I could. I got down, and did 
not see much until there was a cessation of the firing ; but there were 
two of Brown's party killed on Monday evening. I do not think they 



r^O TESTIMONY. 

died until some time during the niglit. Tliey were shot about the 
door of the engine-house in which they were. 

Question. Can you tell us liow many of Brown's party were in 
'there ? 

Answer. I do not think I can ; not when I Avas lirst taken in ; but 
I can tell you how many tliei'e were on Tuesday morning. 

Question. How many of Brown's party, dead and alive together, 
were in there wlien you were rescued by the marines ? 

Answer. There Avere two dead, one in a dying condition, (Brown's 
son,) and five or six active men, including a negro, at tlie time the 
attack was made by the marines. 

Question. How many negroes were there in Brown's party in the 
engine-liouse, that Brown brought witli him, not negroes of the neigh- 
borhood ? 

Answer. But one. 

Question. What was his name':^ 

Answer. Shields Green, I understood. 

Question. At what time were you rescued, and when, and how? 

Answer. I do not know wliat time it Avas. I liad no time-piece, and 
did not inquire after I got out. 

Question. I do not speak accurately as to hours of course, but was 
it in the morning, or the middle of the day, or at night ? 

Answer. It was Tuesday morning. 

Question. How was the rescue made? 

Answer. By the marines; but I cannot tell how it was done, be- 
cause we were inside, and they were outside. We first lieard a ham- 
mering at the door, and then tlie Brown party commenced firing at 
the door. The door was chised, and an engine run against it at that 
time. They barricaded it as well as tliey could. There was a cessa- 
tion for a moment or two, and during tliis time one of Brown's men 
turned round to him and said, " Captain, I believe I will surrender." 
His answer was, "Sir, you can do as you please.'" Tliis man was 
then down on his knees, and he got upon his feet, and turned round 
to me and said, "Hallo ' surrender ' for me." I hallooed at the top 
•of my voice, and Mr. Daingerfield hallooed at the same time, " One 
man surrenders ;" but w^e could not make ourselves heard on the 
'Outside. Coppic was further over to the left, and partly sheltered by 
:an engine. A portion of his body was sheltered. He said to this 
man, "Get down on your knees, sir, or your head will be shot off." 
But he did not heed them until they commenced hitting on the door, 
and then he got down. 

Question. Were any propositions made to you, or to any of the 
other prisoners in the engine-house, by Brown, as to your being re- 
deemed by putting a slave in your place, or anything of that sort'? 

Answer. No sir. I heard of that afterwards. No such proposition 
was made to me. I did not hear it there. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. How many prisoners did you find in the watcli-house 
when you Avere first put in there? 

Answer. I do not know. I made no count. I think there Avere 



TESTIMONY. 21 

twenty, or perhaps twenty-five. It might have exceeded even tliat 
number. 

By the Chairman : 
Question. Then, as I understand you, Brown came in and selected 
ten, five each at two different times, and took them out of there into 
the engine-house ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

TERENCE BYRNE. 

Daniel Whelax sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. State your age and where you live? 

Answer. I live at Harper's Ferry; I am about thirty-nine years of 



age. 



Question. What was your business at the Ferry at the time of the 
invasion by John Brown? 

Answer. I was a watchman at the armory gate on Sunday night. 

Question. In whose service were you? 

Answer. In the United States service. 

Question. State when you first saw or lieard or knew anything of 
Brown's party; what occurred when they came there? 

Answer. The first time I ever saw them I heard the noise of their 
wagon coming down the street from the depot, and then I advanced 
about three yards out from the watch-house door, and observed the 
wagon standing facing the armory gate. 

Question. Was the gate locked? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I went and I advanced a little closer; I thought 
it was Mr. Mason, the head watchman; tliere were two men at the 
padlock striving to open it; I told them to "hold on;" I went to the 
gate, and when I observed it was not Mr. Mason, I drew aside at the 
gate and looked until I observed them, and saw they were strangers; 
when they all came into the yard I tliink there was about twenty-five 
men ; they asked me to open the gate ; I told them I could not open 
the gate by any means; "Open the gate," said they; I said "I could 
not if I was stuck," and one of tliem jumi)ed up on tlie pier of the gate 
over my head, and another fellow ran and put his hand on me and 
cauglit me by the cuat and held me ; I was inside and they were out- 
side, and the fellow standing over my head upon the pier, and then 
when I would not open the gate for them, five or six ran in from the 
wagon, cla])ped their guns against my breast, and told me I sliould 
deliver up the key; I told them I could not ; and another fellow made 
answer and said they had not time now to be waiting for a key, but 
to go to tlie wagon and bring out the crowbar and large hammer, and 
they would soon get in; they went to the little wagon and brought a 
large crowl)ar out of it; there is a large chain around the two sides of 
the wagon-gate going in; they twisted the crowbar in the chain and 
they opened it, and in they ran and got in the wagon; one fellow took 
me ; they all gathered about me and looked in my face ; I was nearly 
scared to death witli so many guns about me; I did not know the 
minute or the liour I should drop ; they told me to be very quiet and. 



22 TESTIMONY. 

still and make uo noise or else tliey would put me to eternity ; one of 
them ordered the wagon to be marched in, and all were in the wagon 
except four who had me ; they took the wagon down the yard and 
passed the horses' heads to the gate where Colonel Barbour's office is; 
after that, the head man of them, Brown, ordered all the men to dis- 
patch out of the yard, but he lelt a man at each side of the big gate 
along with himself; he himself still had me and Bill Williams, the 
watchman Avhom he brought down off the Potomac bridge ; those other 
two men were at the gate, and then he said "I came here from Kansas, 
and this is a slave State; I want to free all the negroes in this tState; 
I have possession now of the United States armory, and if the citizens 
interfere with me, I must only burn the town and have blood." 

Question. Were you the only watchman in the armory yard? 

Answer. There was another above in the upper end, but they did 
not go near him until about 1 o'clock. 

Question. How far was the upper end from the gate? 

Answer. About 300 yards, I guess. 

Question. You saw nothing of him until about 1 o'clock in the 
' morning ? 

Answer. Not until tlie train came down, and he was coming down 
to see where I was, and Brown met him and marched him into the 
watch-house. 

Question. What time in the night was it Avhen Brown's party ap- 
peared there at the gate ? 

Answer. To the best of my knowledge it was a rj^uarter before eleven 
o'clock on Sunday night, the IGth of October. 

Question. What did they do with you after they took yon? 

Answer. They kept me in the yard and began to question me about 
all the officers. I told them as well as I could, and the leader said he 
would have all those gentlemen in the morning ; and with that, before 
he took me into the watch-house, they had old Mr. Williams down from 
the rifle-works. He was the other watchman up at the riile-works. 
They also brought in two or three young fellows off the street. The 
men scattered out of the armorv vard and brou'2;ht them in. I had 
a sword in my hand, and when they all came to view me Cook took 
that out of my hand. I knew Cook well. There were two old muskets 
in the watch-house, and they took them and put them into the wagon, 
and I could get no person to tell me anything about them since. 

Question. There were no watchmen in the armory yard except you 
at the gate, and one man at the i'ar end, about 300 yards off? 

Answer. That was all. 

Question. Was the gate kept locked always at night? 

Answer. Always. I had the key on Monday when Mr. Daingerfield 

was marched out, and he asked who was the watchman last night, I 

-■said "I was the watchman." He said, "why don't you open this 

;gate?" 'a could not open it," said I. ''^Haveyou the key?" "Yes," 

'-said I, "I have the key." "Well," said Daingerfield, on Monday, 

-about 8 or 9 o'clock, when he was taken prisoner, "you had better 

open the gate." I was going to open the little gate by the Avord of 

Mr. Daingerfield, and Mr. Brown struck up, took the two keys, and 

i-said he was the man who could open it, and kept the keys. They were 



TESTIMONY. 23 

picking tlieui up, ciiid brouglit in Mr. Allstadt and Mr. Washington 
there, and tlieir negroes, their wagons and horses. 

Question. Did they keep you confined in the watch-house, or leave 
you go about the yard? 

Answer. They kept rae until 1 was taken out of it by tlie force of 
Martinsburg or the Charlestown company, I do not know which. 

Question. What time of day was that? 

Answer. About three o'clock on Monday 

his 

DANIEL X WHELAN. 

mark. 

Attest : 

D. F. MuRriiY. 

Jonx D. Starry, sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state wliat is your age, where you reside, and 
what your profession is? 

Answer. I am thirty-five years of age. I reside at Harper's Ferry. . 
I am a practising physician. 

Question. Will you state at wliat time you first heard of the presence 
of an armed party at Harper's Ferry; where you heard it; and what 
occurred when you first became aware of it? 

Answer. On Sunday night, the 16th of October, about half past 
one o'clock, I heard a shot fired in the direction of the Baltimore and 
Ohio railroad bridge, the iron span of the bridge, and immediately 
afterwards a cry of distress, as if somebody had been hurt. At the 
same time I heard considerable confusion about the Baltimore and Ohio 
railroad train — the starting point just opposite the hotel. I jumped 
out of my bed. My room is nearly opposite the railroad bridge. I 
went to the window^ and saw two armed men passing from the bridge 
towards the armory gate. These men were low fellows. While I was 
standing there^ a tall man came from the direction of the armory gate, 
and met them near the Winchester railroad. Some noise about the 
hotel attracted his attention, and he turned and went towards the 
armory gate again. About that time some of tlie passengers came out 
from between the hotel and tlie railroad station, and tlic tall man said 
to them, "The first man that fires at me I will shoot," or, "the first 
man who interrupts me," or some such expression as that. In a very 
short time I was in the street, and there was some firing going on 
between the railroad party or citizens and tliat man. I did not know 
who fired first. There were several shots passed between them. I 
was then 2;oing across the street towards the railroad office. When I 
got there I found tlie negro porter, Hay ward, shot, the ball entering 
from behind, through the body, nearly on a line with the base of the 
heart, a little below it. He told me that he had been out on the rail- 
road bridge looking for a watchman who was missing, and he had been 
ordered to halt by some men who were there, and, instead of doing 
that, lie turned to go back to the office^ and as he turned they shot him 
in the back. I understood from him that he walked from there to the 



24 TESTIMONY. 

office, and when I found him he was lying on a plank npon two chairs 
in the office. 

Question. Will you state in whose employment tliat negro was? 

Answer. He was in the employment of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road Company, and it was his duty to be up whenever the train arrived 
to attend to haggage, and receive whatever baggage was put off for 
the station, and attend to everything about the office during the 
absence of Mr. Beckham, the agent. He was a free negro, and had 
permission of the county court to remain in Jefferson county. I believe 
he did not belong to the county. 

Question. Did you examine his wound? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I found he was shot in the back, nearly on a 
line with the base of the heart, a little below it, and the ball came out 
in front? 

Question. How long did he live? 

Answer. I saw him about daylight ; he was still living. I under- 
stood he died between twelve and one o'clock on Monday, the next day. 
Soon after that, which was probably about two o'clock in the morning, I 
stood at the corner of the railroad station and saw three men, who, I 
supposed, were the three I had first seen, coming from the armory 
gate, and I stood at the corner of the depot until they got within five 
or six feet of me. I then passed back the angle of the station until I 
got to the office-door and went in, and said to the passengers, and 
others who Avere there, " here go these three men now whom I saw go 
into tlie armory yard, and I will go down to tlie armory and see what 
is going on." 

Question. Could you see whether those men were armed? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I knew they were armed. I stood until the}- 
were very close to me. I went then to the armory gate, and before I 
got to the gate I called for the watchman. I was ordered to halt. I 
did so, and inquired of the men who halted me, what liad become of 
the watchmen. I wanted to inquire why they allowed persons to go 
in and out of that gate, when tliev knew thev were shootino; down 
those whom they met in the street. I did not understand it, and I 
asked for Medler and Murphy, the watchmen. The fellow told me 
that there were no watchmen there; that he did not know Medler or 
Mur])liy, but, said he, "there are a few of us here." I did not say 
anything more to him, but turned and went up the street, and came 
off on the Winchester railroad, and down to the railroad office again. 
Soon after that, I was on the platform, and some of tliat party from 
the bridge hailed me to know if that ti-ain was coming over — the train 
which they had stopped. I told them I thought it was very doubtful; 
I did not think it would come over until after daylight; we did not 
understand their movements, and should like to know what they were 
doing. He said to me, "Never mind, you will find out in a day or 
two." I asked him if he expected to stay there a day or two. He made 
no reply to that. I passed on around the railroad office or post office, 
I do not remember which. That was about three o'clock, I suppose. I 
watched them from that timeuntil daylight, sometimes very close to them, 
and sometimes further off. About four o'clock I heard a wagon com- 
ing down the street. I did not know Avhat that meant, and I watched 



TESTIMONY. 25 

tliem as closely as I could. About five minutes after five o'clock, I saw 
a four-horse team driving over the Baltimore and Ohio railroad bridge. 
I did not know whose it was. In that wagon tliere were three men 
standing uj) in the front part, with spears in their hands, white men, 
and two were walking alongside, armed Avitli rifles. I did not see 
any negroes. I saw but these men. I understood afterwards there 
were negroes with them, but I did not see them. About daylight, as 
these strangers seemed to have possession of the public works there, I 
determined to get on my horse and go and notify Mr. Kitzmiller, act- 
ing superintendent of the armory, of the condition of things there, 
but before I did that I went to the island of Virginius, and roused uj) 
Mr. Welch and others there. I knew there were a good many men 
about the mill and cooper-sliop there. I told them the condition of 
things as well as I could. I met no one on the way. I then got my 
horse and came out into Shenandoah street, and had to go perhaps 
fifty yards before I made the turn of the street leading to the hill. 
About the time I was making that turn, I saw three of these men 
cominsr across from the armory gate towards the arsenal. They had 
just made a few steps from the gate into the street. I did not know 
whether their intention was to stop me or not. They made a sort of 
half turn, and I was out of their sight in a moment. 1 went to Mr. 
Kitzmiller and informed him that the armory was in possession of an 
armed band. I then passed up to Bolivar, and roused up some of the 
people, and went from there to Hall's Works, and found three of these 
men there armed. I rode up to the fence, which was probably twenty- 
five or thirty steps from where they were. They stepped out in front, 
of one of the buildings, and marched down inside of the fence fifty or 
sixty yards, and out into the public street, and down towards the arm- 
ory. I went back to the hillside then, and tried to get the citizens 
together, to see what we could do to get rid of these fellows. They 
seemed to be very troublesome. When I got on the hill I learned that 
they had shot Boerley. That was probably about 7 o'clock. Boerley 
•was an Irishnuxn, living there, a citizen of the town. He died very 
soon afterwards. 

Question. Tell us about that incident; did you see Boerley? 

Answer. I did not see him. 

Question. Did you see him after he was deaerr* 

Answer. No, sir. Dr. Claggett, who is here, saw hiai after he was 
dead, and was with him when he died. 

Question. Do you know anything of the killing of Mr. Turner? 

Answer. No, sir; I will go on with what I was stating: I had 
ordered the Lutheran church bell to be rung to get the citizens 
together to see what sort of arms they had ; I found one or two squirrel 
rifles and a few shot guns ; I had sent a messenger to Charlestown in 
the meantime for Captain Rowan, commander of a volunteer company 
there: I also sent messengers to the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to 
stop the trains coming east, and not let them approach the Ferry, and 
also a messenger to Shepherdstown. When I could find no guns fit 
for use, and learned from the operatives and foremen at the armory 
that all the guns that they knew of were in the arsenal and in posses- 
sion of tliese men, I thought I had better go to Charlestown myself. 



26 TESTIMONY. 

perhaps ; I did so, and hurried Captain Rowan ofi". When I returned 
to the Ferry, I found that the citizens had gotten some guns out of 
one of the workshops — guns Avhich had been placed there to keep them 
out of the high water — and were pretty well armed, I assisted, from 
that time until some time in the night, in various ways, organizing 
the citizens and getting them to the host place of attack, and some- 
times acting professionally. 

Question. State the position of the armory and armory yard in 
reference to the rivers? 

Answer, It is just at the confluence of the two rivers. After passing 
across the bridge, these men had about 60 yards to go to get to the 
armory gate, down the street, in front of the hotel. They would go 
up the Potomac river. The arsenal is rather up the Shenandoah river 
from there. It is probably about 60 yards from the armory gate to 
the arsenal gate on the Shenandoah side. 

Question. Where are Hall's rifle works? 

Answer, About half a mile up the Shenandoah river. 

Question. These armed parties were in possession of those three 
points? 

Answer, Yes, sir; and the Baltimore and Ohio railroad bridge also. 

Question, Were you aware of the killing of any other person than 
this free negro you have mentioned? 

Answer, No, sir; I did not see the others; I saw Mr. Turner after 
he was dead, and also Mr. Beckham; I did not know tliat Mr. Turner 
was shot until after he was dead. 

Question. Did you examine Turner to see how he was killed? 

Answer. No ; I did not make an examination; I saw him after he 
was dead. 

Question. Did vou examine Beckham to see in what way he was 
killed? 

Answer. Yes, sir; Mr Beckham was killed by a rifle ball. He was 
shot in the right breast. 

Question. Where was the body when you saw it? 

Answer. In his room. He had been removed from the place where 
he was killed and carried to his sleeping room near his office. 

Question. Did you see this man Brown during that night, so as to 
identify him, that you know of? 

Answer, I do not think I did ; I asked him afterwards if he was at 
the armory gate when I was there, but he said he was not, and did 
not know why I had not been taken prisoner. 

Question, Had you any arms? 

Answer, None at all. 

Question. Will you state where your chamber was, in what part of 
the town? 

Answer. Nearly opposite the mouth of the Baltimore and Ohio rail- 
road bridge, within 50 steps of the mouth of the Baltimore and Ohio 
railroad bridge, in a building across from the hotel ; I was awake at 
the time the shot was fired and the cry of distress heard. My first 
idea was that some one had been shot at the train. 

Question, When you first went out was the train there? 



TESTIMONY. 27 

Answer. Yes^ sir; it had attempted to cross the hrid,£^e before Hay- 
ward was shot, and was ordered back again by the conductor. 

Question. Did you see any of Brown's party killed? 

Answer. I saw a man shot in the Potomac river on Monday, I sup- 
pose about one o'clock. He was shot from near the small bridg-e, at tlie 
upper end of the trussel work, or from the hill side. He was attempt- 
ing to cross the Potomac river from the Virginia to the Maryland side. 

Question. Have you any means of knowing how many of them were 
killed except those in the engine-house? 

Answer. I saw part of the fight at Hall's works ; I went to put on 
some dry clothes on at half past three o'clock, and that fight was then 
over. A yellow fellow was brought down on the bank of the river 
and citizens were tying their handkerchiefs together to hang him ; I 
put my horse between the armory wall and the fence and held him 
there until I allowed the officer to get off some 25 or 30 steps with the 
prisoner; I said to them that two or three of Brown's men were in 
Hall's works, and if they wanted to show their bravery they could go 
there. They did so. They were the citizens and neighbors of the Ferry. 
I organized a party about half past two or three o'clock, and sent 
them over there, with directions to commence the tight as soon as they 
got near enough ; that party was under tlie command of a young man 
named Irwin. He went over, and at the first fire Kagi^ and the others 
who were with him in Hall's works, went out the back way towards 
tlie Winchester railroad, climbed out on the railroad and into the 
Shenandoah river. They were met on the opposite side by a party 
who were there and driven back again, and two of them were shot ; 
Kagi was killed, and a yellow fellow, Leary, was wounded and died 
that night; and the yellow fellow Copeland was taken unhurt. 

Question. How many of the Brown party did you see dead, including 
those who were in the engine-house? 

Answer. Four dead and Stevens wounded, and the yellow fellow 
Leary wounded. I saw ten of Brown's party dead altogether, includ- 
ing those in the engine-house. 

Question. How many of those ten were negroes? 

Answer. I only give you the names of the negroes as given to me 
by Stevens — Leary and Anderson and Daingerfield Newby were the 
negroes killed. Anderson was of very liglit color, but was given to 
me by Stevens, one of the party, as a colored man. 

Question. Do you know the number of citizens who were killed? 

Answer. Four ; three white men and the negro Hayward. Hay- 
ward first, Boerley, Mr. Turner, and Mr. Beckham. Beckham was 
the last shot, about four o'clock in the evening. 

Question. Were there any of the citizens wounded? 

Answer. Edward McCabe was wounded. There were some of the 
Berkeley men wounded, who were acting as military. I do not know 
any other citizen of Harper's Ferry who was wounded but McCabe. 

JOHN D. STAP.RY. 



28 TESTIMONY. 

George W. Chambers sworn and examined. 
By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you be good enough to state your age, where you 
reside, and your occupation? 

Answer. My age is thirty-one years; I reside in Harper's Ferry, 
Virginia ; I am a liquor merchant, and have a restaurant in connec- 
tion with my establishment. 

Question. Will you state whether you were at Harper's Ferry at 
the time of Brown's invasion? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Please to state when you were tirst aware that Brown and 
a party of men were there, and what made you aware of it, and what 
you first saw in relation to it? 

Answer. The first I knew of it was between one and two o'clock on 
Sunday night or Monday morning. The shooting of the negro on the 
bridge first aroused me, and, inquiring about it, I heard that a party 
of armed men had possession of the bridge, and had killed this negro 
man, I had no idea who the party were. They stopped the train 
due for Baltimore, and a great many passengers were concentrated 
in the depot. They were giving their views very generally upon the 
matter, and the general impression seemed to be that it was a railroad 
strike. I then went home, and did not know anything of it until next 
morning. I saw armed negroes walking about the street, and I saw 
Cook just about daylight. They drove Colonel Washington's four- 
horse wacron out of the armorv vard, and I saw Cook and another 
white man in advance of it, and two negroes in the wagon. 

Question. Did jon see any of the citizens of Harper's Ferry killed? 

Answer. I did not. I left Mr. Beckham a few moments before he 
was killed, not over five minutes I am sure. 

Question. Did you see Mr. Turner when he was killed? 

Answer. I did not; I did not see him at all. 

Question. Nor Boerley? 

Answer. No, sir ; I did not see Boerley ; he was killed in the morn- 
ing, early, between seven and eight o'clock. 

Question. Did you see the dead bodies of either of those men? 

Answer. I saw Mr. Beckham after he was dead; I went and moved 
his head ; I came over the trussel-work a few minutes after he was 
shot, and he seemed to be lying on his head, his neck twisted. I 
thought i)erhaps he was not dead, and ran u]) and laid him straight 
on the railroad track, and then came ofi". I believe his son-in-law, 
Mr. Hough, afterwards took him down to his house. He lived just 
about fifteen steps from where he was killed. 

Question. Did you see any of the armed party that night? 

Answer. No, sir; the firstlknewof itwas between one and two o'clock. 

Question. And, thinking it was a railroad strike, you went back 
home? 

AnsAver. Yes, sir; I went back to my house. I live on the point 
at the junction of the two railroads, just opposite the depot. I saw 
Mr. Beckham just before he was killed and just after he was killed; 
he attempted to go up the trusseling and I tried to hold him back, 



TESTIMONY. 29 

saying lie had no arms. I could see none. He might have had a 
pistol in his pocket, but I could not tell ; he had no visible arms. 
When I came back, a few minutes afterwards, he was lying there as 
.stated. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. What was the object of his going there? 
Answer. I do not know; I believe he was very much excited; I told 
him it was very foolish for liim to go that way. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state whereabouts Beckham was killed? 

Answer. He was killed on the trusseling just above the hotel and 
near the water station; he was shot from the engine-house in the 
armory-yard. There is trusseling-work that runs along the river, and 
the engine-house is situated in the yard, perhaps thirty yards from the 
trusseling-work. The bridge runs in front of the armorv-vard. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Were Brown's folks in possession of the engine-house at 
that time, and firing from it? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Were many shots fired in the direction of the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad trussel-work from the engine-house? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; a great many. 

Question. Did any pass on the houses fronting on the railroad? 

Answer. Yes, sir. The water station I speak of has the marks of 
ten or a dozen bullets in it. Mr. Beckham was killed just above it. 

Question. What was Mr. Beckham's probable age, and what was 
his occupation? 

Answer, I judge he must have been at his death sixty years old. 
He was agent of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company at Har- 
per's Ferry, and had the general superintendence of their business 
there. He was the mayor of the town also. 

G. W. CHAMBERS. 

Lewis W. Washington sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to state your age, and where you reside, 
and what your occupation is? 

Answer. I am about forty-six years of age. I reside in Jefferson 
county, Virginia. I am a iarmer. 

Question. Are you a landholder and slaveowner? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How far is your residence from Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. It is about five miles. 

Question. Will you state whether you saw an armed party at your 
house, who they were, what their business was, and what brought 
them there, on the night of Sunday, the 16th of October last? 



30 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. There was a body at my house, five of whom I saw, and 
the other I did not see. They appeared at my chamber door about 
half past one o'clock in the morning. My name was called in an 
under tone, and supposing it to be by some friend who had possibly 
arrived late, and being familiar with the house, had been admitted in 
the rear by the servants, I opened the door in my night-shirt and 
slippers. I was in bed and asleep. As I opened the door there Avere 
four armed men with their guns drawn upon me just around me. Three 
had rifles, and one a large revolver. The man having a revolver held 
in his left hand a large flambeau, which was burning. The person in 
command turned out to be Stevens. He asked me my name, and then 
referred to a man of the name of Cook, who had been at my house be- 
fore, to know whether I was Colonel Washington. On being told 
that I was, he said, "You are our prisoner." I looked around, and 
the only thing that astonislied me particularly was the presence of 
this man Cook, who had been at my liouse some three or four weeks 
before that. I met him in the street at Harper's Ferry as I was pass- 
ing along. He came out and addressed me by name, and said, "I 
believe you have a great many interesting relics at your house ; could 
I have permission to see them if I should walk out some day?"' I 
said, "Yes." At that time I supposed he was an armorer, engaged 
in the public works at Harper's Ferry, almost all of whom know me, 
though I do not know them ; but I am familiar with the faces of most 
of them. I had not seen this man before, or I should have recognized 
him. He came out to my house about four weeks before this attack. 
While there he was looking at a pistol that General Lafayette had pre- 
sented to General Washington about the period of the revolution. He 
asked me if I had ever shot it. I told him I had. He asked, "Does 
it shoot well?" I told him I had not shot it for six or eight or ten 
years, that I had merely tried it, and cleaned it, and put it in the cabi- 
net, and, I remarked, it would never be shot again. He was very 
curious about arms. He fiiuilly told me that he belonged to a Kansas 
liunting party, and found it very prolitable to hunt buffaloes for their 
hides. He unbuttoned his coat and showed me two revolvers, and 
said, he Avas in the liabit of carrying them in liis occupation, that he 
liad been attacked with cliills and fevers some time ago, and was Avear- 
ing them to accustom liis liips to their Aveight. He asked if I Avas 
fond of shooting. I said I formerly Avas ; and then he said, "You 
would possibly like to try these?" We went in front of my house, 
and under a tree we stuck up a target, and fired some tAventy-four 
shots. He then told me that lie had a rifle, a tAventy-tAvo shooter, 
that he Avould like me to look at, as he saAv I had some fondness for 
fire-arms. He said to me, "When you come doAvn to the Ferry, if 
you Avill call, I should like you to see it and try it." I Avas at the- 
Ferry, it so hapj^ened, ten or fifteen days from that period, and in- 
quired for him. I happened to knoAV his name in this Avay: he did 
not introduce himself when he came, but in taking up his large re- 
volver, (the size used in tlie army,) I found "John E. Cook" engraved 
on the breech of it on a brass })late, and he said, "I engraved that 
myself; I borroAved the tools from a silversmith, a bungler, and think- 
ing I could do it better myself, I did it." Then, said I, "I presume 



TESTIMONY. 31 

that is 3^our name?"' and lie said, " Yes." When I asked for liim at 
the Ferry, tliey tokl me he had left, and I siii:)posed, in all probability, 
he had gone to Kansas, as he told mc he intended to go in a few days. 
Believing that he had gone to Kansas, I was surprised to find him 
among the number at my house. 

Question. You say that he had before asked permission to go to 
your house and see certain relics, and that he did go there ; did you 
show him those arms ? 

Answer. Yes; he saw and handled them. 

Question. What did they consist of? 

Answer. The sword presented by Frederick the Great to General 
Washington, which he used as his dress sword, and one of the pistols 
presented to him by Lafayette. 

Question. How did they come into your possession? 

Answer. They descended to my father, and from him to me. My 
grandfather had tlie first choice of five swords left by the general. 

Question. Shortly after midnight of the 16th of October, you Avere 
in bed and heard your name called at your chamber door, and opened 
it, and found an armed party with their arms presented towards you? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I looked around at every gun to see if it was 
cocked, and found that they were all cocked. 

Question. Who composed that party? 

Answer. I only knew Cook's name at the time. I afterwards learned 
the others. The party consisted of Stevens, Cook, Tidd, Taylor, and 
the negro man Shields Green. There was a sixth man whom I did 
not see; but Cook afterwards told me his name was Meriam. He was 
engaged in hitching up the horses, as I understood. 

Question. How did they get in your house? 

Answer. They broke in the rear door of the house, and in that way 
reached the back entry that enters my dining room. They attacked it 
with the end of a fence rail used as a battering ram. 

Question. You did not hear them? 

Answer. No, sir; that is about fifty feet from my chamber, with 
about five feet of walls interposing. 

Question. Where is your chamber? 

Answer. On the front of the house on the first floor. 

Question. Was there any other white person in the house besides 
yourself? 

Answer. No, sir; they asked me directly for my overseer, I told 
them he was not there; that his family did not reside on my place, 
and he went to his own house every night. 

Question. W^hat did your family consist of? 

Answer. My daughter had left the morning before for Baltimore; 
she had been spending the summer with mc. Mr. William Turner 
and his two daughters were with me the night preceding. I was then 
alone. 

Question. Was your daughter the only member of your family? 

Answer. I have two daughters, one of whom has never resided with 
me, and the other was with me temporarily only, spending a few 
months in summer. She resides with her grandmother. She is a 
young lady grown. She had gone off the morning before, Saturday, 



32 TESTIMONY. 

with Mr. Tinner and his daughters to Baltimore. This attack was 
on Sunday night or Monday morning, at the change of hours. After 
looking around I observed that each man had two revolvers sticking 
in his belt in front besides the rifle. I remarked to them, "you are a 
very bold looking set of fellows, but I should doubt your courage ; 
you have too many arms to take one man." I said to one of them, 
"I believe with a pop-gun I could take either of you in your shirt 
tail." At that time the fire began tailing from the flambeau, and I 
asked them to come in my room and light my candles, so as to prevent 
my house from being burnt. After going in, and while dressing 
myself, I said, "Possibly you will have the courtesy to tell me what 
this means; it is really a myth to me."' Stevens spoke up and said, 
"We have come here for the purpose of liberating all the slaves of the 
South, and we are able (or ]»repared) to do it," or words to that effect. 
I went on deliberately and dressed myself, and went into the dining 
room, thinking that possibly there was a better fire there; the fire in 
my chamber had gone out. I went into the dining room, and when I 
first got in, Stevens said to me, "You have some fire-arms, have you 
not?" I replied, "Yes, but all unloaded." He said, "I want them," 
and Cook made a signal to him that he had seen a very handsome gun 
in my closet. It was a gun which I had imported from England, and 
thinking he was a workman in the armory, I showed it to him, to get 
his o])inion. I opened my closet in the dining room, and they took 
out the guns. 

Question. What guns were they? 

Answer. A shot gun and a rifle, and an old pistol of Har])er"s Ferry 
make of 1806, which was merely kept as a curiosity. They took 
them. Then Stevens said to me, "Have you a watch, sir?" I replied, 
"'I have." Said he, "Where is it?" 1 said, "It is on my person." 
Said he, "I want it, sir." Said I, "You shall not have it." Said 
he, "Take care, sir." He then asked, "Have you money?" I re- 
marked, "It is very comfortable to have a good deal of it these times; 
money is rather scarce." Then he made the same remark to me that 
he did before, "Take care, sir." I then said to him, "I am going to 
speak very plainly; you told me your purpose was philanthropic, but 
you did not mention at the same time that it was robbery and rascality. 
I do not choose to surrender my watch." He yielded the point; did 
not insist on it. I told him there were four there with arms, and they 
could take it, but I would not surrender it. Then he said to me, "I 
presume you have heard of Ossawatomie Brown?" ' I said^ "No, I have 
not." "Then," said he, "you have paid very little attention to Kansas 
matters." I remarked to him that I had become so much disgusted 
with Kansas, and everything connected with it, that whenever I saw 
a paper with "Kansas"' at the head of it I turned it over and did not 
read it. "Well," said he, "you will see him this morning," speak- 
ing apparently with great glorification. After some little time they 
announced to me that my carriage was ready at the door. 

Question. Did they inquire about plate? 

Answer. Yes; they saw in my cabinet a camp-service that belonged 
to General Arista in the Mexican Avar; I had taken it out of the case 
where it belonged and placed it in the cabinet; it is of very rare and 



TESTIMONY. 33 

beautiful workmansliip; Stevens said ''I do not know but we shall 
want that," hut afterwards he said he did not know l)ut that it was 
plated-ware, instead of silver. After some little time, one came and 
announced that the carriage was at the door. I went out, and found 
the fellow, Shields Green; they called him '' Emperor;" it was the 
first time I had seen him; he drove the carriage to the door, and as 
soon as I went out I found my large farm wagon Avith four horses 
hitched behind the carriage. I said to the men "These horses" (re- 
ferring to the carriage horses) ''will not drive in that Avay ; they are 
high-spirited horses ; they are on the wrong side ;" Tidd, I think, went 
up and said "This horse is reined too sliort." One horse is slightly 
shorter than the other, and they had got the small harness on the 
large horse; we got on some little distance wlien tlie horses refused to 
work; by the by, this Emperor, as they termed him, Shields Green, 
was ordered off the seat when the carriage was about leaving the house, 
and my house servant, one of my slaves, was put in his place; Cook 
was on the back seat with me, and Tidd by the side of the driver ; the 
other men were in the wagon behind ; I only saw the wagon indis- 
tinctly, and did not know who was being ])laced in it. 

Question. Did they tell you anything about taking your negroes? 

Answer. They said "We ordered your wagon to take your ser- 
vants;" and I supposed they were going to take women and all, but it 
seems they did not want women. I did not. know until I got in my 
field who was in tlie wagon. When the carriage horses refused to pull, 
I said "These horses must be shifted;" I got down and put my foot 
on the wheel, and one of my servants came to help shift the horses, 
the servant whom they afterwards had in Maryland and who returned ; 
the carriage horses were sliifted in the field, and they went very well 
until they reached some point on the road ; in the hurry of putting the 
harness on, the haines came loose near the top of the hill near Mr. 
Allstadt's house. 

Question. AVhat direction did they take on leaving your house? 

Answer. The direction of Harper's Ferry by the usual road that led 
to the Ferry. 

Question. Where was your first stopping place? 

Answer. At the house of Mrs. Henderson, widow of Eichard Hen- 
derson ; they stopped the carriage just in front of the house; there 
were four or five daughters in the house who had recently elot their 
father, and I remarked to the party in front of me "There is no one 
here but ladies, and it would be an infamous shame to wake them up 
at this hour of the night. " Tidd jumped out, went to the wagon, and 
made some remark, and they went on; they went on to Allstadt's; 
I heard them take a fence rail from opposite the house ; we stopped on 
the main road in front of the house ; I did not hear any directions given 
there; a portion of the party was left with me in my carriage ; All- 
stadt's inclosure bordering on the pike has a post and rail fence around 
it; the road on the opposite side of the pike has one of our Virginia 
worm fences, and from this fence I heard rails moving; being familiar 
with the sound, I knew what they were taking; tliey then went to- 
wards Allstadt's house, and I heard the jar of the rail against the door, 
and in a few^ moments there was a shout of murder and general com- 

3 T 



34 TESTIMONY. 

motion in tlio house ; I thought first it was liis servants haUowing 
murder, but he told me afterAvards it was his daughters; finding this 
commotion going on, they put their heads out of the window^ and hal- 
looed murder ; one of these fellows drew his rifle on them and ordered 
them to go in and shut tlie window ; I supposed of course Avhat their 
purpose was ; they took a numher of negroes from him, I do not know 
exactly how many, and Allstadt was placed in the wagon with the 
negroes and taken to Harper's Ferry; they mentioned to him, as he 
afterwards informed mo, that I was in my carriage ; Ave then proceeded 
on to Harper's Ferry. Up to that time I supposed it Avas merely a 
robbing party Avho possibly had some room at the Ferry ; I did not 
look on the thing as very serious at all until aa'c drove to the armory 
gate, and the i)arty on the front seat of the carriage said "All's aa'cII," 
and the reply came from the sentinel at the gate "All's Avell ;" then 
the gates Avere opened and I Avas driA'cn in and Avas received by old 
Brown; the carriage drove into the armory yard nearly opposite the 
engine-house. 

Question. What did BroAvn say? Hoav did he knoAv Avho you Avere? 

Answer. I presume he kncAv Avho had been sent for, and he at once 
assumed Avho I Avas. 

Question. Did he address you by name? 

AnsAA^er. He did not at that moment, but as "sir." He said, "You 
will find a fire in here, sir; it is rather cool this morning." After- 
wards he came and said, "I presume you are Mr. Washington." He 
then remarked to me, "It is too dark to see to write at this time, but 
when it shall have cleared off a little and become lighter, if you have 
not pen and ink, I Avill furnish them to you, and I shall require you 
to write to some of your friends to send a stout, able-bodied negro ; I 
think after a Avhile, possibly, I shall be enabled to release you, but 
only on the condition of getting your friends to send in a negro man 
as a ransom." Then he said, "I shall be very attentive to you, sir, 
for I may get the Avorst of it in my first encounter, and if so, your 
life is Avorth as much as mine. I sliall be very particular to pay atten- 
tion to you. My particular reason for taking you first was that, as the 
aid to the governor of Virginia, I kncAv you would endeavor to perform 
your duty, and perhaps you Avould have been a troublesome customer 
to me; and, apart from that, I Avanted you particularly for the moral 
effect it Avould give our cause, having one of your name as a prisoner." 

Question. Did he tell you Avhat his purpose Avas; Avhat "cause" lie 
was in? 

AnsAver. He spoke generally of it. He said, perhaps, "this thing 
must be put a stop to," or something of that sort. He used general 
terms. 

Question. "This thing," alluding to Avhat? 

AnsAver. Alluding to slaver3^ 

Question. Did you see your negroes after they Avere brought there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was done with them? 

AnsAver. They Avere brought in to the fire. The engine-house and 
the Avatch-huuse are divided by a Avail. I should suppose the engine- 
house to be, perhaps, twenty-two or tAventy-four feet square. The 



TESTIMONY. 35 

engine-house being ])artitione(l off, is of course about twenty-two or 
twenty-four feet, as the other may he, the one way, by about ten the- 
other. The stove was in the small watch-house. The engine-house- 
and watch-house are divided. They are under tlie same roof — a wall 
between them. There is no communication between them through 
that Avail. The servants were all taken into the engine-house, and 
we into the watch-house, but they came in repeatedly to warm them- 
selves, each negro having a pike in his hand. 

Question. How many of your negroes did they take, including your 
house servants? 

Answer. My servants were almost all away, tliat being Sunday 
night. They took two of mine, and one, the husband of one of my 
servants. 

Question. Did they take l)ut three negro men of yours, altogether? 

Answer. Only three there. One other heard something was wrong, 
and got in the wagon at AUstadt's. I understood that was the point 
where he overtook them. That man who joined them at AUstadt's 
did not belong to me, but to Dr. Fuller. He was hired at my house. 

Question. Do you know what use was made of your negroes after- 
wards, by the party at the Ferry? 

Answer. In a short time after they first appeared with these pikes 
in their hands, I saw my house-servant walking about without one. 
My other servant was taken, with my team, over to Maryland, as I 
afterwards understood, to remove tlie arms from the Kennedy farm to 
the school-house. 

Question. Did any of the servants remain with you in the engine- 
house or watcli-house? 

Answer. Yes, sir; my house-servant was in the engine-liouse with 
me all the time. 

Question. Did they put him to any use at all? 

Answer. Not at all. They made a servant of AUstadt's drill some 
port-holes. 

Question. How many servants did they bring from AUstadt's? 

Answer. I do not know; five or six perliaps. 

Question. How many of yours and AUstadt's together were with 
you in the engine-house? 

Answer. There was one of mine and one of AUstadt's that 1 know, 
and a servant I have known for some time, one of Mr. Daniel Moore's, 
who resides near AUstadt. He was arrested on the bridge or in the 
Ferry. He had a wife tliere, possil)ly. I do not recollect exactly the 
number of Mr. AUstadt's servants there. 

Question. Did they put any of the slaves they had cai)tured to any 
work in the engine-house? 

Answer. None, except one servant of Mr. AUstadt, named Phil. 
Old Brown said to him, " you are a pretty stout looking fellow; can't 
you knock a hole through there for me?" There were some mason's 
tools with which he effected it. The holes were loop-lioles to shoot 
through. 

Question. Did they make more than one loo-[)-hole? 

Answer. Yes, sir; four I think. 

Question. How long were you detained in the engine-house? 



36 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. I went in there about twelve o'clock on Monday, noon, 
and I was in there until Tuesday at seven. I was taken into the 
watch-liouse first, hut he took us out as hostages about eleven or twelve 
^o'clock on Monday. 

Question. What time did you arrive at the watch-house? 

Answer. I suppose about half past three; some time before daylight 
on Monday morning. 

Question. After being in there until about midday on Monday, they 
took you out and carried you into tlie engine-house. Did they take 
any others with you? 

Answer. Nine others. 

Question. Did he say for what reason you were taken out and carried 
to the engine-house? 

Answer. He did not specify it at that time, but I understood it very 
well from the remarks he liad made early in the morning. He just 
came and said, " I want you to Avalk with me ;" and we went from one 
room to the other. 

Question. What was the largest number of persons that he had as 
prisoners at any time in the watch-house? 

Answer. I should say, at a rougli estimate, perhaps thirty-odd; be- 
tween thirty and forty. 

Question. Who were they? 

Answer. They were principally the armorers, the workmen of the 
armory, and officers of the armory; ibr instance, Mr. Kitzmiller, who 
was acting as superintendent at the time in the absence of Mr. Barbour, 
Mr. Daingerfield, who was the paymaster's clerk, and Mr. Mills, the 
master armorer, and several others, operatives, and some who were not. 
One was tlie watchman on the bridge, I believe, and one Avas an old 
man who rang the bell. 

Question. They were all citizens of the Ferry and workmen there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were any of those men armed? 

Answer. None. 

Question. Did you find any of them there when you first went there? 

Answer. Yes, sir; perhaps four or five. 

Question, W^ere they brought in in a body or brought in singly? 

Answer. G-enerally one or two at a time. As tliey made their ap- 
pearance they were arrested, as I understood. 

Question. Will you state whether you heard any conversation of 
Brown's during the night in the engine-liouse, in which he disclosed his 
purpose in coming there? 

Answer. I think two or three different times, possibly, he made re- 
marks to the effect tliat he came for the purpose of freeing the slaves, 
and that he meant to carry it out. I heard a remark made by Stevens 
pretty early. He was talking to a young man, and asked him what 
his view in reference to slavery was, and this young man said, "of 
course, being born south, my views are with the south on tliat subject." 
Stevens asked him if he was a slaveholder. He said he was not, 
"Well," said Stevens, "you would be tlie first fellow I would hang, 
for you defend a cause not to protect your own interest in doing so," 
and he used an oath at the time. 



TESTIMONY. 3T 

Question. Did you hear anything from Brown I'roni whicli you could 
learn whether he expected assistance, and where it was to come from? 

Answer. I do not know that I heard any such expressions. I sup- 
posed at tliat time lie Avas very strong. I supposed from his actions 
the force was a large one. Some one asked him the number of his 
force, and he made an evasive answer. Said he, "I cannot exactly 
say. I have four companies — one stationed " at such a place, and so on. 
He used the term "companies.'" 

Question. What points did he designate? 

Answer. The arsenal was one, Hall's works was another, and some 
other point in the yard. 

By Mr. Doolittle : 

Question. They were companies at or about Harper's Ferry? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Can you tell how many of Bi-own's party you found in the 
engine-house when you went there? 

Answer. Up to a certain period they were in and out until the firing 
became very severe in the street. There were eight, I tliink, of big 
party in the engine-house. 

Question. I mean from the time they were beleagured so that they 
could not get out? 

Answer. Then I think there were eight. 

Question. How many of them were negroes? 

Answer. One, I think. 

Question. Was there not more than one negro? 

Answer. Yes, but not Avith us. There was only one negro of bis 
party in the engine-house. There were several slaves, but only one of 
his party. 

Question. Do you know what his name was? 

Answer. Shields Green. 

Question. What was his color? 

Answer. Black. 

Question. Will you state whether that negro. Shields Green, was 
armed ? 

Answer. Yes, sir, like the rest, with a rifle and revolver^ and a 
butcher knife in bis sheath. 

Question. Did lie use bis arms; did he fire? 

Answer. Yes, sir, very rapidly and dilligently. I do not know with 
what effect. 

Question. What was his deportment? 

Answer. It was rather impudent in the morning. I saw him order 
some gentlemen to shut a window^ with a rifle raised at them. He 
said, " Shut that Avindow, damn you; shut it instantly." He did it 
in a very impudent manner. But Avhen the attack came on, he bad 
thrown off his hat and all his equipments, and Avas endeavoring to 
represent himself as one of the slaves. 

Question. Will you state at what time you were delivered from their 
custody ? 



38 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. I suppose it was about half-past seven o'clock on Tuesday 
morning. 

Question. Did Brown give any reasons for keeping you gentlemen 
confined there ? 

Answer. Yes. He alluded to the fact that through us he expected 
to gain his terms. He was very anxious towards the last. He was 
very solicitous to have some cai)itulation by wdiich he could gain his 
terms, and was vejy obstinate in reference to his terms. 

Question. Did you hear what his terms were? 

Answer. Yes, sir, there were several. One was that he was to be 
permitted to leave the Ferry, and take all his prisoners to a point 
about half a mile or three-quarters of a mile above the Ferry, on the 
Maryland side, unmolested ; and at this point he promised to release 
the prisoners. 

Question. Was that refused? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Now will you state in what manner you were ultimately 
rescued ? 

Answer. By the marines. 

Question. How did they do it? 

Answer. They broke in the door, and entered with a charge. In 
the excitement of the moment there was a gun or two fired, I believe, 
in the act of breaking in the door. 

Question. A gun or two fired, by whom? 

Answer. By both parties. 

Question. While you were confined there during Monday, was there 
much firing from the engine-house? 

Answer. A good deal. 

Question. Did you know of anybody being killed? 

Answer. I did not know at the time. I knew the parties wlio were 
killed, but I did not know the fact at the time. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. Was there firing upon the engine-house also? 
Answer. There was firing upon it and from it. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Did you see any of the citizens who were killed at the 
Ferry? 

Answer. I think not. 

Question. Were you acquainted witli George W. Turner? 

Answer. Intimately. 

Question. Was he killed there? 

Answer. He was killed there, I believe. He Avas killed in the 
street; not near us. 

Question. Were you at his funeral? 

Answer. He was merely entombed for a short time, and was buried 
recently at Charlestown. I was at that funeral ? 

Question. Will you state where he lived? 



TESTIMONY. 39 

Answer. Ht^ lived at a place called Wheatland, about five miles 
from Charlestown, and about eight miles or eight miles and a half 
from my house. 

Question. Were you on terms of intimate relations? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was his character as a citizen and a gentleman? 

Answer. Very fine. None better. He was a graduate of West 
Point, and a distinguished officer of the army. 

Question. Was he a man of fortune? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. A landholder and slaveholder? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you know Mr. Beckham^ who was killed? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; for many years. 

Question. What was his character as a citizen? 

Answer. Very good indeed. He Avas an estimable man. He was 
mayor of the town, and had been for many years employed by the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company as their agent. 

Question. Did 3'ou know Boerley, who was killed ? 

Answer. I knew him slightly. I had known him some years merely 
to speak to him. 

Question. Do you know what his business was? 

Answer. I think he kept a small grocery store. 

Question. Did you know the negro, Hayward, who was killed? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you know whether he was free or slave? 

Answer. I understood he was free. 

Question. What was his position in life ? 

Answer. He was the ])orter of the railroad station, and attended to 
the baggage. He was always remarkably civil. 

Question. Was he esteemed and considered a man of respectability 
in his position ? 

Answer. Very much so. He was very trustworthy. 

Question. Did you get back all your slaves? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; except the servant that was drowned at Hall's 
works. The others made their escape from those men who armed 
them in Maryland, and came down to the river, and were put across 
by a white woman in a boat, and were at home when I got there. 
They must have gone back on Tuesday night, I imagine, I did not go 
back until W^ednesday evening. I remained at the Ferry with the 
governor two days. 

Question. Did you find your negroes at home when you went back? 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you get back your wagon and horses? 

Answer. After a while. The wagon was used afterwards in brins;- 
mg over arms to the Ferry. On Thursday one of my horses was run- 
ning up in the mountain, and I went over and got him, and took the 
negro boy who showed me where he had hidden my gun that they had 
given him to arm himself when he escaped. This was a double- 
barreled shot gun. 

Question. You lost none of your negroes ? 



negroes 



40 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. But a man whom you had hired from Dr. Fuller was 
drowned in the canal ? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did it excite any spirit of insubordination amongst your 
? 

Answer. Not the slightest. If anything, they were much more 
tractable than before. 

Question. Had you any reason to believe that there was any alarm 
amongst them when thev were carried off; had vou any knowledge of 
that?'' 

Answer. No ; I could not see Avliat transpired when they were 
taken ; it was out of my sight. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. What became of your carriage and carriage horses? 

Answer. They were left in the yard, and I went to Brown and told 
him that if those horses remained there, some time they would get off 
and break the carriage all to pieces. The clerk of the hotel happened 
to be there, and I asked him to have those horses taken to the stable. 
The carriage was a good deal shot to pieces. The carriage remained 
in the armory yard ; the horses were put in the tavern stable^ and, I 
believe, they were something like myself, they did not get anything 
to eat or to drink for a good while. I got nothing to eat for forty hours. 
I ate nothing from Sunday at dinner until Tuesday at 10 o'clock. 
Brown, on Monday morning, came and invited me to breakfast ; he 
had some breakfast ordered in the yard from the tavern. I went to 
several of the prisoners and suggested the improi)riety of touching it, 
"for," said I, "you do not know what may be in it; the coffee may 
be drugged for the purpose of saving a guard over you."' I advised 
them not to take it. 

By the Chairma^s^ : 

Question. I understood you to say that they carried off a pistol and 
sword belonging to your family relics; did you recover them? 

Answer. I recovered the sword; Brown carried that in his hand all 
day Monday, and wdien the attacking party came on he laid it on a 
fire engine, and after the rescue I got it. 

Question. By whom did you say that sword had been given to Gen- 
eral Washington? 

Answer. Bv Frederick the Great. 

LEWIS W. WASHINGTON. 

John H. Allstadt sworn and examined. 

By tlie CirAiRMAN: 

Question. Will you state your age, and where you reside, and what 
your occupation is? 

Answer. I am fifty-one; I reside two and a half miles above Har- 
per's Ferry, in the county of Jefterson, State of Virginia; I am a 
farmer. 

Question. Are you a landholder and an owner of slaves? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 



TESTIMONY. 41 

Question. Will you state wlicther a party of armed men came to 
your house at some time in October, what they did after they got 
there, and who they were^, as iar as you learned? 

Answer. There Avas a party of men came there on the 17th of Octo- 
ber, at three o'clock in the morning. 

Question. What was the first information you had of their being 
present? 

Answer. The first information I had of them was a rapping at our 
chamber door. I was in bed. I immediately got up, and inquired who 
was there ; they told me to open the door directly or they would burn 
me up. I did not open the door, but at that moment they bursted 
the door open with a rail. The door was locked. When the door was 
bursted open I could see out ; I had gotten up by that time, and my 
wife had gotten ui) also. I tried to shut the door. I saw five or six 
men with arms, rifles, standing right at the door, but three of them 
came into the room and told me to dress myself directly. I asked 
them their object. They told me they intended to free the country of 
slavery. I asked what they were going to do with me. They said 
they were going to take me to Harper's Ferry; that they had the 
armory in their possession, and they told me they had Colonel Wash- 
ington. They asked me if there were any more men about the house. 
I told them none but my son. In the meantime my son had come 
down stairs, and they seized him by the collar, and held him until I 
dressed myself. My son is eighteen or nineteen years old. When I 
dressed myself they told me to march on, and when I went to the door 
they had all my black men and boys — they were all men except one — 
at the door waiting for me. I mean my slaves. There Avere seven 
of them. They were all grown but one. We were ordered out to the 
turnpike, which was just across the yard, and ordered to get into a 
four-horse wagon — my son, myself, and my negroes. I recognized the 
wagon to be Colonel Washington's. I inquired of them where Colonel 
Washington was. They said he was in his carriage, and that was 
right in front of us, driving down by the side of the fence, and they 
remarked they were ready. 

Question. Were all those men armed? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What with? 

Answer. With Sharp's rifles. The carriage moved up on the pike 
and we followed. Four walked in front of the wagon armed, and two 
in the wagon. We went on in that way until we got over the hill 
near Bolivar. There is a skirt of woods to the left. They told the 
wagon to halt, and they went up into the woods and held a consulta- 
tion, and came back and said, " Boys, mind ; we may have a little 
fight," or something of that account, and then told them to drive on. 
They went on before and drove to Harper's Ferry, and drove into the 
armory yard. There my son and myself were' ordered out. John 
Brown delivered us over to a man, who took us into the watch-house. 

Question. Did he take all your negroes into the watch-house with 
you? _ i 

Answer. No, sir; not al| of them; they were backwards and for- 
wards ; sometimes some of them would come into the watch-house 



42 TESTIMONY. 

Tliey had armed the negroes with spears, and they would occasonally 
walk in to the stove and they would go out again, though the most of 
them were placed in the engine-house. As I walked out, I could see 
them in the engine-house, standing there, some of their men with 
them. When I went into the watch-house I met with Colonel Wash- 
ington ; that was the first time I had seen him ; I asked him what this 
meant; he said he did not know. 

Question. How did these men get into your house, do you know? 

Answer. They bursted the chamber-door open with a rail. 

Question. How did they get into the house? 

Answer. We lie in the front; our chamber was in the front. 

Question. Did the chamber-door open out of doors? 

Answer. Yes, sir; out on the porch. The chamber is on the first 
floor; the door of that is not the front door, either; the front door is 
next to the turnpike ; that is not the room we occupy ; we occupy the 
back room at the other end of the house ; they went round to the 
other end of the house. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. Was the front door open or shut? 
Answer. It was locked. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did you recognize or know any of those men who appeared 
at your chamber-door when it was broken open? 

Answer. I did not ; I did not know any of them. 

Qifestion. Had you known Cook before? 

Answer. No, I never knew him before; I had seen Brown before. 

Question. Where had you seen him? 

Answer. I had seen him at Harper's Ferry, on the street; audi 
had seen him also at the cars when the cars would land there; I 
inquired who he was ; he was walking up and down ; he was a 
stranger to me, and I asked wlio that old gentleman was; they 'told 
me his name was Smith ; I recognized him when we got to the armory 
yard as being that Smith, but they called him Brown then. 

Question. When you first saw him at the cars, how long was that 
before this affair? 

Answer. I had seen him at different times, perhaps a month before 
that, and perhaps I saw him not two weeks before that; I do not 
recollect exactly; I saw him at different times. 

Question. You say that your negroes had pikes put in their hands 
and were walking about tlie engine-house and the watch-house from 
time to time. Do you know what other use was made of them by 
Brown or his party? 

Answer. No, sir; I do not. The negroes laid the pikes down at 
last, and did not use them any more at all ; they had not them in tlieir 
hands exce})t in the first instance. 

Question. Did you get all your negroes back? 

Answer, All but one. 

Question. What became of liim? 

Answer. He was taken to Charlestown, to the jail. 



TESTIMONY. 43 

Question. Wliat ultimately became of liim? 

Answer. He died. 

Question. How? From what cause? 

Answer. I do not know. He was frightened very much, I suppose, 
and exposed very much that day ; it was a very had day ; it rained 
very hard ; I suppose he was exj)0sed to the rain and cold ; he was 
taken sick after he had been in jail a few days, and died. 

Question. AVere you kept in the engine-house until you were res- 
cued by the marines ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; Brown came in and selected three men ; I do not 
know what ones they were exactly, and he took them out; I think Mr. 
Daingerfield was one ; I do not know the others ; he took them out of 
the Avatch-house ; I did not know what he Avas going to do with them ; 
aftei- awhile, he came back and he came up to me and tapped me on 
the shoulder, saying "I want you," and pointed out two or three 
others, "I want you," "^I want you," and we followed him up and 
he took us right out of the watch-house into the engine-house; there 
we were kept all the time. 

Question. You remained there until you were released by the ma- 
rines on Tuesday morning? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. At what time did you get home? 

Answer. I suppose it must have been the middle of the day on 
Tuesday. 

Question. Were your negroes at home them? 

Answer. No, sir; there were three of my negroes in the engine- 
house with us ; they got home })retty soon after I did ; there were three 
in the mountain in Maryland who were sent over with the wagon ; 
two of them got home that evening pretty soon after ; I do not know 
what time; the middle of the evening, I suppose; the other one got 
home in the evening, but he was at Harper's Ferry : they had brought 
him down there, I understood. 

Question. Then your negroes all got home that night, except one 
who was taken to Charlestown ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you see him in jail ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I took cold in the engine-house; it was very cold 
there through the night, and when we wanted to sit down we had 
either to sit on the engines or sit on the brick floor ; I was very hoarse 
when I came out of the engine-house on Tuesday : I thought I had 
better take care of mvself, or else I might be taken sick; I did not "-o 
to Charlestown for some few davs ; I do not know how Ions; ; I saw 
the negro there when I went ; he was very sick when I went there, so 
much so that I could not move him home. 

Question. Do you know why he was taken to jail? 

Answer. I inquired why he was taken to jail, and they said they 
did not know they had committed him to jail ; the magistrate had com- 
mitted him to jail, and I would see further about him when I went to 
town. 

Question. Did you hear of any charges being made against him? 

Answer. No, sir. 



44 TESTIMONY. 

Question. The negro died from sickness in jail? 
Answer. Yes, sir; he was too sick to carry home. 
Question. What was his age? 

Answer. He was ahout twenty years old; he was a very valuahle 
fellow; the most valuable one I had. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. A negro of good character? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was the conduct of those negroes at the time they 
were walking about with pikes in their hands? Did they appear hos- 
tile to you ? 

Answer. Not at all; they did not appear hostile to any one. 

Question. Did they appear to understand their condition? 

Answer. No, sir; I do not know that they did. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Did you hold any conversation with your negroes while 
you were in the watcli-house or engine-house ? 

Answer. No, sir; I did not. 

Question, What was their conduct after they got home. Were 
they submissive and tractable as usual, or were they insubordinate? 

Answer. They were pretty much as usual, except that they seemed 
to be pretty much frightened. For instance, there was one of the 
troops from Charlestown called there one night, and I could see that 
thev were frightened at that time ; that was two or three weeks after- 
wards. 

Question. Where did your negroes lodge; where were their cabins; 
how far from your house? 

Answer. They were very close, almost adjoining the house. The 
porch ran from our room to the kitchen. 

Question. After you dressed yourself and came out, did you find 
your negroes on the road? 

Answer. They were guarded there right at the porch in front of the 
door. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. And a standing guard over them? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did the white men tell you what they intended to do with 
the negroes? 

Answer. No, sir; they did not say what their object was. 

Question. Did they disclose no reason for taking them along with 
you to the Ferry? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. AVhile you were a prisoner did you hear Brown at any 
time say what lie intended to do with the negroes ; what his object waa 
in catching them? 

Answer. No, sir ; I did not. 



TESTIMONY. 45 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Or liis object in coming there to Harper's Ferry and taking 
the armory? 

Answer. No, sir ; only tliat he intended to i'ree the country of 
slavery — that was all. 

By Mr. Davis : 

Question. Were they shooting out of the engine-house when you 
Avere in there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Whom were the}' shooting at? 

Answer. I could not tell that. We were kept back and they were 
in front and aa-ouUI shoot out at the door. 

Question. Did they say whom they were shooting at? 

Answer. I supposed they were shooting at the men. There was one 
of them said that he was shooting at a man ; he had shot several times 
at a man peejiing round the water station on the railroad, and he 
remarked to me that he thought he would take six inches of the wood. 
He said he had not hit him, and he thought he would take six inches 
of the wood, but Brown told him perhaps he had better not do that. 
He went back to his position and shot three or four times afterwards, 
and then he said, " That is the time I brought him ?" 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. At this time they were shooting out ; were there shotw 
also fired in? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was there shooting both ways? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Was anybody killed in the engine-house from shots fired 
outside? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 
Question. How many? 
Answer. Two were killed. 
Question. Was that during Monday? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. I supjjose they were killed by being shot through the loop- 
holes ? 

Answer. No, sir ; nobody was shot through the loop-holes." They 
were shot at the door. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. The door was open to enable them to fire out, I suppose? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; the door was partly open to enable them to fire 
out, and they fired out there. They would go to the door and fire. 
They fired a great deal out of those loop-holes. 

JOHN H. ALLSTADT. 



46 TESTIMONY. 

January 10, 1860. 
Colonel Egbert E. Lee, United States army, sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state whether you made an official report to the 
Secretary of War of the execution of the orders which sent you to 
Harper's Ferry at the time of the difficulty there in October last? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. Did you make that report from the Ferry? 

Answer. It was written at the Ferry^ except the concluding part ; 
I brought it down with me ; I did not entirely conclude it at the Ferry: 
I had written as far as to say that I would take advantage of the 
morning train to go to Washington. When I got to Washington I 
finished the report, and then handed it to the adjutant general. 

Question . Will you state as briefly as you can from whom you derived 
the list which is appended tu your report as a list of insurgents? 

Answer. Lieutenant Stuart brought from the Kennedy farm a roll, 
or what purported to be a roll of the conspirators ; I endeavored to 
account for all the persons on that roll, to see whether they were among 
the killed or prisoners, or where they were; I was present when 
Governor Wise, that same evening, (Tuesday evening,) was ques- 
tioning Brown and Stevens as to the number of persons that were 
engaged with them in this conspiracy. From their report I checked 
otf several names that I found on this roster or roll ; I directed Lieu- 
tenant Stuart to go and examine the dead bodies that were then unin- 
terred to see if he could ascertain who were among the killed ; I think, 
the next day, I got from Mr. Andrew Hunter the verification or the 
identification of some of the names upon that roll, of which he had 
made a record as Brown and Stevens reported the names to Governor 
Wise. These are, as far as I recollect, the means that I took to ascer- 
tain the truth of this roster or roll as it purported to be. 

Question. Did vou see the bodies of any of the citizens who were 
killed there? 

Answer. I did not. They had been killed on Monday^ before my 
arrival ; I did not arrive there until Monday night, and they had all 
been taken care of by that time. 

Question. Had you any opportunity of judging, or means of know- 
ing, what the condition of the armory and the public property was 
there in reference to police to j)rotect and defend it ? 

Answer. I had not. I know nothing more than that there were 
some watchmen employed at night, as I understood, merely as a guard 
to give an alarm in case of fire. 

Question. AVas there any military force kept there by the L^nited 
States for the preservation of the works ? 

Answer. None that I am aware of. 

Question. Were you able to get into communication with any of the 
persons in authority at the armory at the time of your arrival? 

Answer. I was not able to do so at the time of my arrival. I did 
not reach the Ferry until about eleven or twelve o'clock on Monday 
night, and 1 found the village in possession of the State troops; but I 
did not have any intercourse with those in authority at the armory 
that I recollect. If I did, I did not know them. I understood that 



TESTIMONY. 47 

the superintendent, Mr. Barbour, Avas absent on business, and many 
of tbe master workmen were the prisoners of the conspirators. I did 
not know whom to apply to. 

E. E. LEE, 
Brevet Colonel, Lieut. Col. Second Cavalry. 

Theodore Eynders sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state whether you are.a deputy of Isaiah Rynders,, 
marshal of New York? 

Answer. He has what he calls two regular deputies who do his 
principal work. There are eight of us who are deputized when we 
have a warrant. We simply serve warrants. 

Question. Will you state wliether you brought this trunk to Wash- 
ington, and when? [Referring to a black trunk.] 

Answer. Yes, sir. I left New York in the six o'clock train yester- 
day, and arrived here this morning with it. 

Question. Did Mr. Rynders send the summons back; did he give 
you any papers except a letter to me? 

Answer. No, sir ; he kept the summons. I was with him when he 
went to serve the summons on the jiroprietor of the hotel. 

Question. State whether you went with him when he went to serve 
that summons, and when, and where? 

Answer. It was, I should think, about noon yesterday, at the corner 
of Broadway and Ninth street, at the European House. 

Question. Who was the keeper of the house? 

Answer. He has the name in the summons. I forget it now. 

Question. You were with Mr. Rynders at the time? 

Answer. Myself and Mr. Thompson. 

Question. State what took place when you arrived at the house? 

Answer. When I arrived there I was with Mr. Thompson. The 
marshal stayed behind. Mr. Thompson is his first deputy. He in- 
quired for the name of the landlord that you mentioned ; and it was a 
name something similar to that. It turned out to be the same party. 

Question. What conversation took place between Mr. Thom2)son 
and him? 

Answer. It was a colored man he spoke to at the door. The pro- 
prietor was out. He said he would be in at half past one o'clock. I 
went down to the office, and came back just about the time the marshal 
had met these gentlemen, and they were up in the room talking when 
I went in. They were in the gentleman's private parlor, I believe it 
was. The keeper Avas relating to the marshal how he came by the 
trunk. It seems there was a lady there who had kept the house i)re- 
vious to this gentleman coming there, and he took charge of it as a 
sort of agent for this lady. He told the marshal how he came by the 
trunk ; how the major boarded there and did not pay his board. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Is not that man to be here — the man who gave the 
trunk ? 

Mr. Masox. I issued a summons for him to come here and bring 
the trunk. I received a letter from the marshal this morning brouirht 



48 TESTIMONY. 

by this gentleman, just before I left borne, informing me he had got 
the trunk, but that the man himself declined coming unless he is 
wanted. The landlord did not want to come, so Rynders rei)orted, un- 
less it was necessary for liim to come. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. If there is any materiality in knowing where the 
trunk came from, this is no testimony of it — all talk — Avhat he heard 
one man say to another. 

Mr. Mason. It is only introductory. I only want to prove where 
the trunk was found, and in what condition it was when found, and 
that this was the trunk found. 

Witness. I went with the marshal when he got the trunk, and it 
had just that rope on it. I went with the marshal to this man's 
library — the keeper of the hotel. He had it covered up with some 
other things. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did the keeper say the trunk was in his library? 

Answer. His study he called it. 

Question. You went with him and the marshal into the study at 
the time the trunk was first seen by you? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did he point it out as the trunk of Colonel Forbes? 

Answer, Yes, sir. It was not opened at all. The marshal took it 
just as it was, tied up with a rope. The lock was broken at the time 
we saw it. The marshal sealed it. 

Question. Was it opened while you were there? 

Answer. No, sir; and it has not been opened since we got it in our 
possession. 

Question. It is in the same condition now tliat it was when you 
first saw it, excejit that it is sealed up ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. You say that this keeper of the hotel said it had been left 
there — by whom? 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. One moment. What the keeper of the hotel said to 
the marshal, or to any one, would not be any testimony really of the 
fact. You summoned him, and he will be here probably, and can 
state the fact directly. I do not know whether there is any materiality 
in it. 

Witness. I was sitting in the room during the conversation. 

Mr. Mason. I do not know that it would be really material, but 
still this is not strictly a judicial examination ; and although I should 
be opposed to taking any proof that was irrelevant, or any proof that 
was of a loose character, yet I should not think that this sort of testi- 
mony direct, of a conversation with parties who knew the fact, would 
be rejected. However, I shall not press it. 

Witness. I think the proprietor of the hotel would be the most 
proper person, because the marshal did not open it, and none of us 
have seen the contents. The marshal took it with the rope on it, and 
sealed it up as it was. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. If there is danger of any simulation, if the contents 
are material as deriving their importance from having been in the 



TESTIMONY. 49'' 

possession of Forbes, it would be proper to trace it directly to liiin. 
There may be, however, in the papers themselves, if there are any in it, 
intrinsic evidence of where they came from ; but really, if it derives 
its importance from havings been in Forbes' s possession, tliere must be 
some proof of that. This does not prove anything. 

Mr. Davis. I suppose all the witness can prove is, that this is the- 
trunk he saw there, said to be Forbes' s trunk. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. He does not know that it is Forbes' s trunk; but he 
can say that he brought the trunk here in the condition which he re- 
ceived it. 

Mr. Davis. I am rather inclined to take the view of the chairman; 
but I supposed the statement as to this being delivered as the trunk of 
Forbes was to be the justification of the committee in seeing what was 
inside of it, and that that was its whole value. 

Mr. Masox. I did not design to prove anything by this witness, ex- 
cept the fact that this trunk was found at that house which he has 
described in New York ; that he was present with the marshal when 
the trunk was shown to them by the keeper of the house, and was 
brought from there in the condition in which they found it, without its 
having been opened, 

Mr. CoLLAMER. It may not be necessary to go into it further. 

Mr. Davis. There may be nothing in it. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. If there is something in it, there may be intrinsic 
evidence of where it came from, as in the case of a letter from Brown. 

Witness. The proprietor told us it was Forbes' s trunk. 

THEODORE RYNDERS. 

Archibald M. Kitzmiller sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state where you reside, and what your occupa- 
tion is ? 

Answer. I reside in Harper's Ferry ; I am the chief clerk to the super- 
intendent of the armory. 

Question. Will you state whether the superintendent, Colonel Bar- 
bour, was at the Ferry at the time of Brown's invasion; and if not, 
who was acting as sujjerintendent at the time ? 

Answer. I was the acting superintendent from the Oth until the 
21st of October, in the absence of the superintendent, who was on duty 
elsewhere. 

Question. Will you state whether this list is not in 3^our handwrit- 
ing? [The list referred to is appended to this witness's testimony.] 

Answer. It is not in my handwriting, but was made under my su- 
pervision ; it is in the handwriting of our book-keeper; it is a correct 
list ; I wrote the caption of it, and I saw that the articles in it were 
verified. 

Question. Will you state whether you, by my direction as chairman 
of the committee^ brought specimens of the arms referred to in that 
list, and what they are — now present in the committee room? 

Answer. I did not bring a specimen of all the arms and military 
equipments which are named in that list, but I havebrought a Sharp's 
4 T 



50 TESTIMONY. 

rifled carbine; a pike taken from the rendezvous at the Kennedy farm; 
one of Ames's pistoLs, made at Chicopee, Massachusetts, by the Mas- 
sachusetts Arms Manufacturing Company ; a box of double water-proof 
percussion caps ; a box of anti-corrosive percussion caps, (London ;) a 
small japanned powder flask; half a dozen ball cartridges for Sharp's 
carbines; one box of Sharp's patent pellets or primers; also a faggot. 
There were one hundred of them; most of them were in the wagon 
brought to the armory that Brown came over with. 

Question. Will you state whether the articles mentioned in that list, 
the rifles and pistols and other tilings, except the pikes, were taken 
from the boxes in which they were brought ? 

Answer. They were taken from the boxes under my sight within 
the arsenal building and against my wish. 

Question. Why against your wish? 

Answer. I protested against it, but could not prevent it; I did not 
want the boxes taken into the arsenal at all. 

Question. All I want to get at is whether these were in the boxes? 

Answer. They were in the boxes, and I saw them opened. 



Question. Where were these faggots or torches found 



'P 



Answer. There were many of them in the wagon within the armory 
yard. 

Question. Which wagon? 

Answer. The wagon belonging to John Brown and his confreres. 

Question. Were they anywhere else except in the wagon? 

Answer. I do not know that they were; this particular faggot was 
taken by Mr. AUstadt, and he gave it to me; the boys took them 
about; there was also a piece of punk. 

By Mr. Davis : 

Question. Did you see any of those ftiggots lighted? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. From your knowledge of such things, do you think they 
would blaze ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Would it throw off sparks? 

Answer. If it Avas hickory it would, but I think it is a mingling of 
hickory and pine — hickory to retain the fire, and pine to ignite the 
hickory. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state whether that pike now present is a speci- 
men of the weapon described in your list as "handled spears?" 

Answer. It is; that is one of the same kind brought from the ren- 
dezvous at the Kennedy farm. 

Question. In this list there are ten kegs of gunpowder; do you 
know the weight of those kegs? 

Answer. They weighed about twenty-five pounds each. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. Does the witness suppose the handles to these spears to 
have been made in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry? 



TESTIMONY. 51 

Answer. No, sir; from the best information I can get, they -were 
made to accommodate the spears. 

By Mr. Fitch : 

Question. Wliat is the cost of a single one of those weapons? 

Answer. I do not know the cost of them all; they sell a Sharp's 
carbine at about twenty-five dollars; Ames's pistol sells for fifteen 
dollars ; they are thirty dollars a pair ; I brought with me the lids of 
two boxes, one of which contained the Sharp's rifled carbines, and the 
other contained the percussion caps ; the one containing the carbines 
is marked "T. B. Eldridge, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa;" part of the lid is 
taken oiF; the other lid is addressed — 

201- M Caps.] [From S. & L., B. 

F. J. Merrtam, 
204 Barnums Hotel, Baltimore. 

The remainder of the lid of the box containing the rifles was sawed off 

ARCHIBALD M. KITZMILLER. 

Copy of the list referred to in Mr. KitTJiiillers testimony. 

List of arms, military stores, mining tools, and stationery now in 
store at the Harper's Ferry armory, there deposited by a party of 
Maryland troops, and citizens of Virginia and Maryland, taken by 
them from the rendezvous of John Brown and other outlaws of Mary- 
land : 

No. Articles. 

102 Sharp's carbines. 

102 Massachusetts Arms Company pistols. 
58 Massachusetts Arms Company powder flasks. 

4 large powder flasks. 
10 kegs gunpowder. 
23,000 jjercussion rifle caps. 
1,500 percussion pistol caps. 

1,300 ball cartridges for Sharp's rifle, some slightly damaged by 
water. 
160 boxes Sharp's primers. 
14 pounds lead balls. 
1 old percussion pistol. 
1 major general's sword. 
55 old bayonets. 
12 artillery swords. 
483 handled spears. 
175 broken handles for spears. 
16 i^icks. 
40 shovels. 
1 tin powder can. 
1 sack coat. 
1 j^air cloth })ants. 
1 pair linen pants. 



52 TESTIMONY. 

Canvass for tent. 
1 portnionnaie. 
625 envelopes. 

1 pocket map, Kentucky. 

1 pocket map, DelaAvare and Maryland-. 
3 gross steel pens. 

5 inkstands. 

21 lead-pencils. 

34 penholders. 

2 boxes wafers. 

47 small blank books. 

2 papers pins. 

5 pocket combs. 

1 ball hemp twine. 

1 ball cotton twine. 
50 leather water caps. 

1 pound emery. 

2 yards cotton flannel. 

1 roll sticking plaster for wounds. 
^ ream post paper. 

2 bottles medicine. 
1 large trunk. 

1 one-horse wagon. 

3 blankets. 

A. M. KITZMILLER. 

Armistead M. Ball sworn and examined: 

U 

By the Chairmax: 

Question. Will you state where you reside, and what is your occu- 
pation ? 

Answer. I reside at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, I am master arm- 
orer of the United States armory at that place. 

Question. Were you there at the time of the invasion by Brown and 
his armed party? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Were you one of his prisoners? 

Answer. I Avas. 

Question. At what time in the dav, and whereabouts were vou 
taken ? 

Answer. I was taken near the arsenal, about five o'clock on the 
morning of Monday, the 17th of October, 1859. 

Question. By how many men? 

Answer. I was approached by three men bearing three Sharp's rifles. 
They presented them to iny breast, and said I must march into the 
armory yard. 

Question. Will you state whetlier there is habitually a police guard 
of any kind at the armory, or in the armory yard? 

Answer. Xothing more than fire watchmen, as they are termed, in 
the armory service. 

Question. How many of them are there? 



TESTIMONY. 63 

Answer. Generally two or three. I think three is the usual num- 
ber — one posted near the armory gate, the other two distributed about 
at equal distances throughout the wiiole length of the armory, the 
whole distance being, I suppose, three eighths of a mile in length. 

Question. Do you call them fire watchmen? 

Answer. Yes, sir. So that it may be fully understood by the gen- 
tlemen of the committee, I will say that the object of that watch is to 
pass through the shops after the workmen have left them, after work- 
ing hours, to see that the fires in the forges and all necessary fires kept 
up in the workshops are put out, so that there may be no danger from 
fire, and also to prevent any individuals who might come in during the 
night to pilfer. They are generally not armed, however. They might 
be considered civic watchmen. 

Question. They are only on duty at night? 

Answer. Only at night. 

Question. Are there watchmen in any of the other buildings except 
the armory buildings? 

Answer. None other. 

Question. Are there none at the arsenal? 

Answer. None. 

Question. Are there any at Hall's works? 

Answer. We regard them as a portion of the armory. There are 
two watchmen there of similar character. 

Question. Do you mean by armory, the place where the arms are 
manufactured? 

Answer. We do; we designate the place of deposit of arms as the 
arsenal, which is a separate building, on the other side of the street; 
not in the armory inclosure. 

Question. Is there any watch or police of any kind at night at the 
arsenal? 

Answer. None. 

Question. Are those four watchmen appointed by regulations made 
at the armory, or are they by any directions of the War Department? 

Answer. I am not able to say, but I am inclined to think that it is 
required by the Ordnance Department. That is my opinion, but I have 
no positive information to that effect. 

Question. Then these watchmen are the only watch, or police, or 
guard of any kind that are at the works? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Is there any ceremonial of lioisting the flag there during 
the day? 

Answer. None at present — only upon the visit of an officer of high, 
command. 

Question. Whose duty then is it to hoist the flag? 

Answer. The assistant of the military storekeeper. 

Question. Did you see any of the citizens who had been killed, after 
they were killed at the Ferry? 

Answer. No, sir; I did not personally see any of them, I believe. 

Question. Were you confined all day in the watch-house? 

Answer. Not closely confined. I was kept within the armory yard 
under guard until probably the middle of the day. I cannot be pre- 



64 TESTIMONY. 

cisely accurate as to the liour, but near about the middle of the day, 
when the report came that the Harper's Ferry bridge was in possession 
of a military force from some quarter — we did not know of course, 
being prisoners — but from some quarter of Virginia or Maryland, at 
that time ten of us were selected as hostages, and placed in close con- 
finement in the engine-house. 

Question. Did you remain there until you were rescued by the 
marines on the following morning? 

Answer. Yes, sir; but under varied circumstances. I suppose other 
gentlemen who were confined have stated them. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. I should like to ask Mr. Ball, whether any of the hired 
men were subject to do duty at night as a guard; whether any of them 
except the watchmen were subject to do duty at night as a guard? 

Answer. No, sir; none prior to the outbreak. 

Question. Are the workmen hired by the piece or the day? 

Answer. Generally the great majority of the men working at the 
Harper's Ferry armory work by the piece ; but there are a number of 
men constantly employed by the day. 

Question. Could they, under their contract as workmen, be employed 
as a guard day or night, instead of working. Are they so employed 
that they may be put to anything the superintendent may please, such 
as a guard with arms? 

Answer. Any individual, I presume, who is working by the piece 
or by the day, could enter into a contract with the superintendent. 

Question. I do not mean that; I mean under the present organiza- 
tion would they be required to do so? 

Answer. Unquestionably not. Their labors cease with the ringing 
of the bell , and can only be called into requisition by another contract 
until the ringing of the bell the following morning. 

Question. How long have you been master armorer? 

Answer. At the time that I was captured I was master machinist of 
the armory ; I am now master armorer, but prior to that time, and at 
that time, I was master machinist. 

Question. How long have you been connected with the armory? 

Answer. About twenty-five years. 

A. M. BALL. 



January 11, 1860. 
LiND F. CuRRiE sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will vou state Avhat vour age is, and where you reside, 
and wliat is your occupation ? 

Answer. I am in mv thirtv-third year; I live about three miles and 
a half from Charlestown, Jefferson county, Virginia; I am a farmer 
there. In connection with my farming operations I have been also 
teaching school. 

Question. Where was your school at the time of the invasion of 
Brown ? 



TESTIMONY. 55 

Answer. It was about half way, I think, between the house occu- 
l^iedby Brown, in Maryland, and the Ferry, probably about three miles 
from the Ferry. 

Question. Will you state whether your school was in session on 
Monday the 17th of October last? 

Answer. It was. 

Question. How many pupils had you generally? 

Answer. I think I averaged from twenty-five to thirty, probably ; I 
think the full number was about thirty. 

Question. Of both sexes? 

Answer. Of both sexes. 

Question. What were the ages of the children? 

Answer. Thev varied from eiQ;ht to fifteen or sixteen. 

Question. Will you state whether an armed party appeared at the 
school-house on the morning of the 17th of October; and if so, who 
they were, what brought them there, what they brought with them, 
and what they did ? 

Answer. They came there on the morning of the 17th, I think, 
about ten o'clock; it was sometime alter I had opened my school, and 
Cook seemed to be the leader of the party. There were three white 
men, Cook and Tidd, and the third I have heard since was Leeman ; 
but I think there is no certainty about that. 

Question. Were there any negroes with them? 

Answer. Some negroes; I do not recollect the number exactly. 
There might have been five and might have been ten, but I can- 
not recollect very distinctly the exact number. There were not less 
than five, though^ I know; Mr. Cook came there in company with Mr. 
Byrne. 

Question. Did he come before the other men? 

Answer. They all came together with the wagon with arms ; Mr. 
Cook came in and demanded possession of the school-house. 

Question. Were all the party armed? 

Answer. They were all fully armed; Cook, I recollect, had a couple 
of revolvers sticking around his belt, and a large Bowie knife and a 
Sharp's rifle; I presume they were loaded. 

Question. Had the negroes any arms? 

Answer. These long pikes, nothing else. 

Question. Was it such a pike as that you see now in the corner of 
the committee room? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; exactly. 

Question. You say Cook came in the school-house; now go on with 
the narrative ? 

Answer. Yes^ sir ; he came in and demanded possession of the 
school-house. He said he was going to occupy it as a sort of depot for 
their arms; that they intended depositing their arms and implements 
of war there; and they brought them in. At the same time he did 
not want me to dismiss the school. He thought I had better keep on 
the school and we should not be interrupted. I told him I thought 
that would not answer. The children were then very much alarmed, 
and I could not do anything with them. They were not in a condi- 
tion to engage in their usual duties, and it would be impossible to keep, 
them there. 



56 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Were the children alarmed by it? 

Answer. Very much alarmed. 

Question. What evidences did they give of alarm? 

Answer. Their manner of acting, their expressions, and so on, indi- 
cated the greatest alarm, so much so that he tried to pacify them as 
much as he could, but it was impossible to do it, and I finally dis- 
missed them. 

Question. What was in the wagon? 

Answer. There were long boxes containing probably a dozen Sharp's 
rifles, I should think. 

Question. Do you remember how many boxes there Avere? 

Answer. I do not know the number; there were a good many of 
them; the wagon was loaded; it was full. 

Question. They brought them in and deposited them in the school- 
house? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was there anything in the wagon but these boxes? 

Answer. They took out at the same time one very large black trunk 
and put it in the school-house; I think that was all except these 
boxes. 

Question. Did they tell you anything about what their design or 
purpose was? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; Cook said their intention was to free the negroes ; 
that they intended to adopt such measures as would effectually free 
them, though he said nothing about running them off or anything of 
that kind. He said this, too: that those slave-holders who would give 
up their slaves voluntarily would meet with protection, but those wdio 
refused to give them up would be quartered upon and their property 
confiscated, used in such ways as they might think pro])er ; at least 
they would receive no -protection from their organization or party. I 
distinctly recollect that he said that. 

Question. Did he ask you if you were a slave-holder? 

Answer. No, sir, he did not; but I am under the impression that 
he discovered it afterwards. I should have stated probably before, 
that after I was there awhile there was a little boy of a friend of mine 
going to my school, and I felt a s})ecial interest in him, and he was 
extremely alarmed, and I was fearful that bad consequences might 
follow if I could not get him home very soon or do something with 
him to get him out of that fix. I asked Cook if he would allow me to 
take him home ; he said yes, he had no objection ; and I took him 
home to his father's house, about half a mile from there; I was gone 
probably an hour. 

Question. Did you leave these men at the school-house when you 
went away? 

Answer. I left them all there with the wagon; their wagon was not 
unloaded when I left. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Had the children generally gone off then? 
Answer. Yes, sir; most of them went before I left; I dismissed 
.school and allowed the children to go, but I kept this little boy 



TESTIMONY. 57 

because I wished to take liini home myself. There was no one going 
his road, and I felt rather a special interest in him. I would not have 
gone hack, hut that there was no way of getting out that I knew of. 
My road lay in that direction across the river. There were two other 
roads, one tlirough the Ferry, hut both were occupied. The Ferry at 
that time was occupied hy these men, and I could not get through the 
Ferry. There was another road passing up by Brown's house, which 
would have led me some miles out of my route home, but I did not go 
that way because I presumed that also was occupied by these men. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. You did go back to the school-house? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did 3-ou find there? 

Answer. I found, then, nobody there but Cook and one black man 
with this wagon, tlie load of arms stowed about in the school-house. 
I did not know the negroes, but they knew me I presume; they were 
Colonel Wasliington's negroes, and I lived but a mile from his house. 
I learned afterwards that they stated to Cook who I was, that I was a 
Virginian, a farmer and slave holder over there; and I noticed some 
slight change in his manner after I came back; he was rather cooler; 
but after I was there sometime he became ratlier more communicative, 
and spoke of a great many things. 

Question. Did you remain there? 

Answer. Yes, sir; until late in the evening. 

Question. Did he detain you, or was it your voluntary act? 

Answer. I felt as if I was detained; lie did not tell me so in so 
many words^ but, when I made motions to move about, he would 
rather get in my way and endeavor as if he would prevent me, and I 
scarcely knew what course to pursue. I asked his permission, how- 
ever, to go toAvards night. I saw the sun was getting down, and I 
told him I was anxious to get home. He told me I might go, but 
exacted a promise that I would not reveal what I had seen going on 
there. I suppose between two and three o'clock, probably, in the 
afternoon, somewhere, the shots became very rapid and continuous; 
we could hear them from the Ferry ; they were constantly firing, and 
I asked him, "Mr. Cook, what does that mean?" "Well," said he, 
"it simply means this: that those people down there are resisting our 
men, and we are shooting them down." 

Question. When you got back, in what position or what duty ap- 
parently was the negro whom he retained with him? 

Answer. He seemed to be there as an assistant in guarding those 
arms. Mr. Cook told me he was there under orders from Brown, and 
that he could not get awav. His orders from Brown were to remain 
there and take care of that point and protect those arms. 

Question. What was the negro doing, apparently? 

Answer. He appeared to be an assistant of his; they were botli 
sitting there watching. 

Question. What arms had the negro? 

Answer. Nothing but the pike. 

Question. Did the negro recognize you there; did he speak to you? 



68 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. No, sir; lie did not recognize me; he evidently knew me, 
tlioiigli he did not speak to me or make himself known. I did not 
know until afterwards that he was one of Colonel Washington's 
negroes. 

Question. Have you seen him since? 

Answer. No, sir; I have not. 

Question. You were then allowed by Cook to go away on a promise 
that you w^ould not reveal what vou saw. What direction did you 
take to get home ; did you go by the Ferry? 

Answer. No, sir ; I went down by a road directly leading to the 
river; I did not go by the Ferry; it was then occupied; I did not go 
to the Ferry at all that night ; I went immediately home ; there was 
nobody there but my mother and the negroes, and I was anxious to 
get home; I started the next morning, however, for the Ferry. I 
asked Cook, at the school-house, "with how many men did you com- 
mence this foray down there." He did not answer me directly, but 
said, "I do not know how many men are there now; there may be 
5,000 or there may be 10,000 for aught I know." I believed it; I 
supi)osed it was all true; I had no idea that twenty-two men were 
going to attempt such a foray as that. 

Question. Did he tell you anything about their expecting assist- 
ance^ or where it was to come from? 

Answer. Oh, yes, sir. I did not ask him; but I presumed it was to 
come from the north. 

Question. What did he tell you about expecting assistance? 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Tell what he said. 

Answer. He said these men were to be there. I did not ask him 
where they were to come from, and he did not say. I just formed that 
impression. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. That is, when he told you there might be 5,000 there, 
those were the men you understood him to say he expected there? 

Answer. Yes, sir. He was speaking, too, about different personages. 
Gerrit Smith and Fred Douglass he mentioned. 

Question. What did he say of them? 

Answer. He said they were interested in it, and knew of it. Those 
were the remarks he made. These, I think, were almost precisely the 
words he used: That Grerrit Smitli knew of it, and was interested in 
it, and also Fred Douglass ; and 1 asked him especially if Mr. Seward 
was concerned or interested in it, and I think he said he did not 
know. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Was there any other conversation in the school-house 
besides what you have given us? 

Answer. Yes^ sir. Cook and myself were talking of the feeling 
entertained towards the south by the north generally. He said he had 
no doubt that the efforts would be stronsc now and unfailing in order 
to extirpate the institution of slavery from the entire land. I forget 
in what connection exactly he brought that in ; but that was about 



TESTIMONY. 59 

the gist of what he was saying. He said, "We, as a little band, 
may perish in this attemjit, but," said he, '^^ there are thousands ready 
at all times to occupy our places, and to step into the breach." He 
said, further: "It is our design to use every effort to disseminate our 
sentiments in regard to the institution of slavery among your own 
people ; we will scatter them among you in different ways ; we will 
send our people among you as colporteurs and })eddlers, and we will 
place them in your pulpits and schools ; in different ways we will send 
our men among you, and by such means circulate our opinions and 
sentiments." Our conversation was long and varied. Those are the 
leading points that I recollect now. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. On that subject of any other persons being concerned 
than those there, were these persons the only persons you recollect 
that were named — Fred Douglass and Gerrit f^mith? 

Answer, Those were the only persons he named as knowing of it 
and interested in it. He used those words. 

Question. Those are the only two he named? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

LIND F. CURKTE. 



January 13, 1860. 
Andrew Hunter sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to state where you reside, and what your 
pursuit in life is? 

Answer. I reside at Charlestown, Jefferson county, Virginia. I 
belong to the profession of the law. 

Question. Will you state the distance of Charlestown from Harper's. 
Ferry ? 

Answer. It is eight miles by the ordinary road, ten by the railroad. 

Question. Will you state how soon after the attack made by Brown 
on Har|)er's Ferry you went to the Ferry? 

Answer. The attack was made on Sunday evening, the 16th of Octo- 
ber last, and continued Monday the 17th, and Brown was captured on 
Tuesday morning, the 18th, and I was at Harper's Ferry about three 
hours after his capture on Tuesday. 

Question. Will you state whether you saw Brown at tlie Ferry; 
when you saw him; and under what circumstances you had an inter- 
view with him? 

Answer. I saw him soon after I arrived there. He was lying wounded 
in one of the rooms of the superintendent's office, the prisoner Stevens 
alongside of him ; and I went to visit him in company with Governor 
Wise, who had arrived there about the time I did, or a little after; 
and in the presence of a number of other gentlemen. 

Question. Who was Stevens? 



60 TESTIMONr. 

Answer. He was one of Brown's party who had been captured on 
Monday, and was hekl as a prisoner from about, as I was informed, I 
do not know personally, the middle of the day on Monday. 

Question. Was Stevens wounded? 

Answer. He was wounded very severely; but after the capture of the 
whole party, and the storming of the engine-house, he was brought 
over and joined to the other prisoners in this room with Brown. The 
other prisoners were in a different place, in the watch-house connected 
with the engine-house. These two were lying there, both severely 
wounded. It was supposed Stevens would not live over the night, and 
BroAvn appeared to be very severely wounded, but his wounds did not 
prove to be so dangerous. 

Question. Now state whether you either held or heard a conversa- 
tion held with Brown on the subject of his attack ; under vvliat circum- 
stances the conversation was held ; and what it was? 

Answer. We had a very long interview with him. It continued 
two or three hours. I went in first, being introduced by the sentinel ; 
saw Brown then, but for a moment; did not speak to him, except to 
inquire of his wounds; then retired, and conducted Governor Wise in, 
and told Brown who he was, and they passed salutations. Brown was 
lying down, with his face on the ])allet where he was lying, and im- 
mediately the governor commenced a conversation with him, and, 
although not at first, very soon after, he distinctly told Brown that he 
did not desire to hear anything from him that he did not willingly, 
and in view of all the circumstances that surrounded him, feel disposed 
to communicate ; that his case would not in any degree, and could not, 
be affected by anything he told. Brown immediately replied that he 
knew that very well, that he had never begged quarter, and he would 
not do so; that he had nothing, so far as he himself was concerned, to 
withhold; and seemed even desirous of making known what his plans 
a,nd intentions were. I can hardly describe his manner. It struck 
me at the time as very singular that he should so freely enter into his 
plans immediately. He seemed very fond of talking. Very soon some 
particular reference was made to the object for which he came, when 
he referred to a pamphlet that he desired to have sent for to his baggage 
or papers, wherever they were. I did not understand at that time 
where the papers were, but learned afterwards that they had been 
gathered up, and were somewhere about the building where he was 
confined. I am not quite sure whether Colonel Eobert E. Lee of the 
army, or some other person present, attended to the matter of getting 
this pamphlet. AVhen brought, it proved to be a copy of the constitu- 
tion of the i)rovisional government. It was the same afterAvards used 
in court, identified and proved, and also admitted by Brown on his trial. 

Question. Have you that paper? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I have it here ; indorsed " Referred to by Brown, 
A. H." [It is also identified by the initials of the Chairman, and 
placed among the records of the committee.] That was the co])y that 
was brought when sent for, as before stated, and he admitted it dis- 
tinctly. The paper was shown to him, and he was inquired of as to 
the pencil marks on the back of it, "Owen Brown," and some other 
names, and he said it Avas a copy of his constitution for a provisional 



TESTIMONY. Gl 

government, &c., under which he was acting. After heing siihmitted 
to him, he requested Governor Wise to read it. He said he wanted 
the whole of it read, and remarked that he w^ould find a large number 
of copies of it among his papers; that he had intended within the next 
fortnight to liave published it at large and distributed those copies. 
We did iind a number of them amongst his papers. The governor 
read two or tliree of the first and several of the latter articles. 

Question. Did the governor read them aloud? 

Answer. Yes; Brown called upon him to read them so that every- 
body could hear them. There were ten or a dozen in at the time. I 
remember that Col. Lewis W. Washington was present at the time, 
and Col. Robert E. Lee. Brown's attention was called to this forty- 
eighth article: 

"Every officer, civil or military, connected with this organization, 
shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, make solemn oath 
or affirmation to abide by and support this provisional constitution and 
these ordinances. Also, every citizen and soldier, before being fully 
recognized as such, shall do the same." 

He inquired of Brown specially and directly if all iiis men, and 
those who were connected with him, had taken this oath. He replied 
promptly tliat they had all taken it. 

Brown's attention was drawn to divers otlier articles there, which 
were commented on after the Governor had finished reading what he 
did read. Brown was inquired of particularly where he intended to 
put his provisional government into operation. He rose partly up, 
and somewhat earnestly said, " Here, in Virginia, wliere I commenced 
operations." I think it was about that time the Governor desired me 
to make some memoranda of what was said, which I did, very briefly, 
but quite enough to recall what took place. He was inquired of what 
support he expected to enable him to accomplish this, having so small 
a nu.mber of men, or what number he expected to aid him; when he 
quite as promptly, and clearly, and distinctly replied to it: three 
thousand or five thousand, if he wanted them. There was a pause 
made there, I was struck with the reply, and I thought it was about 
to lead to some very important developments. I made a memorandum 
of it. Stevens was lying alongside of him wounded, and, as we sup- 
posed, mortally, although apparently not suffering. He was calm, 
but had liis liands folded on his breast, and some one remarked that 
Avas the attitude dying men usually assume ; but he seemed exempt 
from any acute suffering. Brown was suffering and complaining every 
now and then. On this reply being made by Brown, Stevens inter- 
posed and remarked he was not sure of any aid, but he only expected 
it; " you do not understand him." Brown immediately took it up, 
and said, " Yes, I merely expected it ; I was not certain of any sup- 
port." This modification of what he liad said was evidently the 
result of the prompting of Stevens. The inquiry was pursued further, 
where he expected the support from, and he then replied that he ex- 
pected the slaves and non-slaveholding whites to join him from all 
quarters. He was then inquired of how many arms he had brought 
there. The inquiry was liow he expected to arm them, or how many 
lie was prepared to arm. He said he was prepared to arm about 1,500, 



62 



TESTIMONY. 



but not perfectly. Fiirtlier inquiry was made on this point— I some- 
times presenting the questions, but chiefly the governor— and he then 
replied lie had 200 Sharp's rifles and about 200 revolver pistols, and 
had_ expected 1,500 spears, but the contractor had failed, and he had 
received only about 950. 

He was particularly inquired of—I do not remember by which of 
us— as to his intending to stampede slaves off, and he promptly and 
distinctly replied that that was not his purpose. He designed to put 
arms in their hands to defend themselves against their masters, and 
to maintain their position in Virginia and the South. That, in the 
first instance, he expected they and the non-slaveholding Avhites would 
flock to his standard as soon as he got a footing there, at Harper's 
Ferry ; and as his strength increased, he would gradually enlarge the 
area under his control, furnishing a refuge for the slaves, and a ren- 
dezvous for all Avhites who were disposed to aid him, until eventually 
he overrun the whole South. That was his purjjose, as distinctly 
stated on that occasion. If you desire it, I will now connect with it 
what took place afterwards in the jail bearing on that point. 

The Chairman. I think that would be the "best mode of doing it. I 
think you had best continue the narrative, so far as relates to Brown, 
touching this particular point. 

Witness. When Brown was brought out to be sentenced, which, as 
well as I recollect, was about the 1st of November, in his speech in 
reply to the interrogatory whether he had anything to say why sen- 
tence should not be pronounced upon him, I was greatly surprised at 
his statement, so distinctly made, that his sole purposein coming to 
Virginia was to run off slaves. Will you have a copy of that speech 
before you ? 

The Chairman. W^e have it only orally. It has been printed, but 
taken by a stenographer, I suppose? 

Witness. It was taken down very accurately by a stenographer. 

The Chairman. Give the substance of it as you recollect it. 

Answer. He stated in substance, as I recollect, that his purpose in 
coming to Virginia was simply to stampede slaves, not to shed blood; 
that he had stampeded twelve slaves from Missouri without snapping 
a gun, and tliat he expected to do the same thing in Virginia, but 
only on a larger scale. I was immediately struck by the palpable 
inconsistency between that statement and what he had communicated 
to Governor Wise and myself at Harper's Ferry, just after his capture. 
I mentioned it probably to Governor Wise, who came up some time 
after on his second visit to Charlestown ; and it appears, as I learned 
from Brown himself, and afterwards from the Governor, the Governor 
went to see him again, and they had a very kindly interview, for I 
was struck with the respect 

Question. V7ere you present? 

Answer. No, sir; I was not present at that interview, but I learned 
of it from Brown himself. I was struck with the respect and courtesy 
they mutually had for each other. Brown was impressed with a high 
regard for Governor Wise, and the governor with an estimate of him, 
in which I at first participated. After this interview Brown wrote 
me a letter from the jail to my office. 



TESTIMONY. 63 

Question. Have you got that letter with you? 

Answer. No, sir; I can send you the manuscript. I regarded it as 
of very little importance, and handed it to one of our village papers to 
publish, for you will iind from the letter Brown desired it to be pub- 
lished. I can state the contents. 

The Chairman. We ought to have the original. 

Answer. It was published in the "Spirit of Jefierson." I wdll 
send it to the committee. In that letter he refers to this interview, 
and attempts to correct an apparent "confiiction," as he calls it, 
between what he stated on the occasion of receiving his sentence and 
what he had stated to Grovernor Wise and myself at Harper's Ferry. 
He goes back and takes the ground he occupied originally^ and excuses 
himself for making the statement he did in the court, on the ground 
that he did not at that time expect to receive his sentence^ and that 
he was confused and not prepared, and was misunderstood or blundered 
in stating what he intended. He also sent the jailor or some one else 
requesting me to come and see him. When I went there I found it 
was for the purpose of still further explaining and attempting to 
reconcile the conflict between his two statements. He then assured 
me that his statement originally made at Harper's Ferry was the 
correct one; that that was his purpose, and he desired me to vindicate 
his memory in that respect — to publish it or to make it known. 

Question. Now, Mr. Hunter, go back to the scene at the Ferry. 

Answer. One or two other provisions to be found in that constitu- 
tion were read. The Governor read them, and asked him how he 
meant to carry them out. He stated that, in regard to all non-slave- 
holders, they were not to be interrupted, but to be protected, if they 
kept quiet ; but that the property of all slaveholders was to be confis- 
cated, and the proceeds applied as an indemnity for the trouble and 
expense of freeing the slaves and of carrying on the expedition. 

Question. Did he speak of his having been anywhere else in the 
Southern States, except at Harper's Ferry, at any time? 

Answer. He stated that he had been as far south as to the southern 
line of Virginia. He also stated distinctly that he had sent Cook, one 
of his men, to get information in regard to the relative numbers of 
slaves, and general information that might be useful to him in his 
intended attack upon Virginia, but that, in reference to Harper's 
Ferry, he had reconnoitered it himself, in person; he had intrusted it 
to no one. I mentioned to him the ingenious device Cook adopted; 
that he had been to my house and obtained a census of my family, 
living near Charlestown, on the road between Harper's Ferry and 
Charlestown, under the pretense of having been employed to decide a 
bet as to the relative number between the wdiites and the slaves^ and I 
asked Brown, familiarly, if that device Avas of his contriving. He 
replied, no ; that he had simply sent Cook for that purpose, and had 
left to his own discretion- the mode of obtaining the information. I 
think this is all connected with this long conversation that occurs to 
me, of importance to your inquiry. 

Question. Did he, at Harper's Ferry, speak of having emissaries in 
any of the Southern States? 

Answer. I do not think he did, in that form. He spoke of having 



64 TESTIMONY. 

many friends in the slave States, and expecting large support from the 
slave States, but I do not think he ever referred to having any emis- 
saries, except Cook. 

Question. Will you state now, sir, whether you were employed by 
the State of Virginia to act as counsel to conduct the prosecution, in 
aid of the prosecuting attorney of the county? 

Answer. I was employed by the Governor, while at Harper's Ferry, 
and, I believe, on the day after this interview, to conduct the prosecu- 
tions, and to attend to all matters connected with this affair in our 
community, generally, and also I was afterwards appointed by the 
judge to aid the regular prosecutor in prosecuting the prisoners. 

Question. Did you discharge that office? 

Answer. I did, sir. 

Question. In the prosecution of Brown, and who else? 

Answer. Cook, Coppic, Shields Green, and John Copeland, the two 
last being negroes. Copeland was captured on Monday, and brought 
up to jail. I saw him and had an interview with him that evening. 
He gave me a statement of the numbers, and it proved to be a very 
accurate statement. Copeland Avas a mulatto, a smart, intelligent 
fellow. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Did Brown state, in the course of the conversation which 
has been alreadj- referred to, where this provisional constitution was 
formed ? 

Answer. He said it was formed at a convention in Chatham, Canada ; 
that he drew it himself, and that it was printed immediately after- 
wards, in the neighborhood: he thought at St. Catharine's. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did you bring these papers and deliver them to me? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

[Among the papers brought by the witness is a bundle indorsed: 
"Papers in evidence in Brown's case. I wish these kept together and 
separate."] 

Question. Will you state in Avhat way these and any other pai)ers 
of Brown came into your possession, and at what time? 

Answer. On the day after we liad this long interview with Brown, 
at Harper's Ferry, Governor Wise, then at the Ferry, apprised me 
that he had given directions to some one, who had gathered u}) the 
papers, to convey them to me. 

Question. Who was the person? 

Answer. I think it was Colonel Baylor, the colonel who commanded 
part of the day on Monday, the 17th. He was a colonel of the mili- 
tia of Virginia. I had not seen the papers then. There was a large 
mass of them. The governor said he had directed tliem to be put into 
my keeping at once. I did not, however, receive the papers until the 
next day, Thursday, the 20th. The Chairman of this committee called 
on me at Charlestown, to learn if I had papers. I informed him what 
I have just now stated, that Governor Wise had directed them to be 
placed in my possession, but that they had not yet been received. 



TESTIMONY. 65 

Question. State liow tliey came, subsequently, into your possession. 

Answer. They were subsequently placed in my jiossession, the bulk 
of them, by Colonel Mason, the Chairman of this committee. 

Question. At wliat time? 

Answer. I think on Thursday, the 20th. 

Question. In what condition were they brought to you by me? 

Answer. Thev were brought in a canvas sack. I do not remember 
whether they were sealed up or not. That Avas the bulk of the papers. 
Another portion of them were delivered to me by the Hon. Alexander 
R. Boteler, representative in Congress from that district; and still 
more of them, by direction of Governor Wise, had been procured from 
some military officers of the Baltimore trooi)s, and, from some of the 
editors in Baltimore, were forwarded to me by the master of trans- 
portation of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, Mr. Smith, 
There Avas a schedule made of those that came from Baltimore, and 
they were placed in my possession upon condition that I would take 
care of them and return them. There was one paper, a military com- 
mission, issued to one of the parties by Brown, furnished me by Henry 
Davenport, Esq., an officer in the Jetlerson Guard, who was engaged 
in the contlict at Harper's Ferry. 

Question. Do you know whose commission it was? 

Answer. I think it was Coppic"s, but am not sure. 

Question. Do you knew how Davenport got possession of it. 

Answer. I do not. I do not think he ever told me. It was proved 
in court tliat it bore Brown's signature. 

Question. Will you state Avhether the pa])ers which you have pro- 
duced to the committee, and which are labeled as those that were given 
in evidence, were given in evidence, and how were they verified in 
court? 

Answer. The papers labeled as ''papers given in evidence," were 
produced upon the trial of Brown ; about one half of them, as well as 
I recollect, Avithout being able to discriminate which of them, were 
admitted by Brown. They were presented to his counsel, handed l)ack 
to Brown, he having voluntarily proposed (to save us trouble) to admit 
them, as soon as they Avere shoAvn to him; and, until Ave probably got 
through half, that process Avas resorted to, and Ave Avere getting along; 
rather expeditiously Avith it, until at last I presented him a pa})er — I 
do not knoAv Avhether it is here — an autobiography of BroAvn, or some 
other paper^ and a question Avas made at once about its admissibility, 
and I then replied that Ave Avere prepared to proA'e them ; and, as it was 
quite as summary a mode of reaching the end, I declined Avaiting for 
his information, and they Avere ])roved liy the sheriff of the county, 
Avho had become familiar Avith his handwriting — all the rest contained 
in this bundle. Either the indorsements or the pa})ers themselves 
were in his handAvriting. 

(j)uestion. What about tlie other papers, not indorsed as having been 
used on the trial? 

Answer. [After examining the papers.] The paper indorsed "Jour- 
nal of the provisional constitutional convention, held on Saturday, 
May 8, 1858," Avas found among the papers of BroAvn. I am very 
clear that BroAvn, on some occasion, recognized that paper as contain- 
5 T 



66 ' TESTIMONY. 

ing a true statement of the proceedings of the convention, but I do 
not recollect whether he did so at Harper's Ferry or subsequently. 
[The paper here referred to is identified by the initials of the Chair- 
man being placed thereon.] Either Brown or Cook, I do not know 
which, informed me that the name of " Whipide," on the list of members 
of the convention, was an assumed name of Stevens. 

Question. State the history of the eight letters which you produce, 
indorsed "Intercepted. A. H."' 

/ Answer. I will state, in explanation of the matter, that I am satis- 
fied between two hundred and two hundred and fifty letters arrived at 
the post ofiice for Brown, some of them directed to Harper's Ferry and 
"forwarded to Charlestown. Of the eight letters now produced, seven 
of them were addressed to Brown at Charlestown, and one addressed 
"Smith & Son, Harper's Ferry, Virginia," which was afterwards 
forwarded to Charlestown. Seventy or eighty of these letters were 
intercepted. The others are now before the joint committee of the 
legislature, in Richmond, carried there by directions of the governor. 
I retained and examined all the letters before they were delivered. 
The postmaster put Brown's letters into my box, and I received them, 
until the writers found they were intercepted, and then they began to 
address them to the jailor alone, but he handed them to me. These 
were amongst the letters thus intercepted. I believe the jailor handed 
them all to me, for he handed me two or three offering to bribe him 
to aid in a rescue. No doubt, he was entirely faithful in delivering to 
"^me all tliat he received. 

Question. Do you say the rest of the intercepted letters were sent to 
Hichmond? 

Answer. Yes, sir; and they are now in the hands of the committee 
•of the legislature. 

Question. There seems also to be a roll of maps, were these found 
.among Brown's papers? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I may state that Brown said he had been pre- 
paring for tliis, and for carrying out the purpose he attempted to 
iiccomplish on that occasion, ever since 185G. 

Question. When did he state that ; when he was at Harper's Ferry, 
or when he was in jail? 

Answer, At Har})er's Ferry. 

Question. Can you state where these maps came from? 

Answer. I do not know now from what source these maps came. I 
was engaged in the trials, and could not examine them for some time 
after, and am not able to tell certainly ; but they were among the 
Brown papers, furnished to me in the manner before mentioned. 

[The maps referred to are seven in number, and of the following 
States: Kentucky and Tennessee^ Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
South Carolina, Florida, Georgia. Each map has pasted at its side a 
slip, evidently cut from the Census Report of 1850, showing the num- 
ber and kind of inhabitants (wliether free or slave, white or black, 
male or female) in each county of tlie State or States which it repre- 
sents. On the maps of South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and 
Georgia, there are also various ink marks, in the shape of crosses, at 
different points.] 



TESTIMONY. 67 

* 

The witness also identifies several bundles of papers, by writinj:; on 
each package: "Found among the Brown papers. A. Hunter. Jan- 
uary 13, 18r»0." The papers thus identified consist of ten separate 
bundles or packages, one memorandum book, and one roll of paper, 
on which is written what purports to be a declaration of liberty by 
the slaves. 

The Chairman, [to the witness.] I do not know that you have any 
further information that would be useful in the inquiries committed to 
this committee. If you think of anything more, you can state it. 
The subjects-matter of inquiry referred to the committee are the facts 
attending the invasion at Harper's Ferry, and to get at, if we can, 
any persons connected with it in any way who were not present at the 
time of tlie invasion. That is about the substance of the inquiry. 

The Witness. 1 am not able at this moment to recall anything else 
that it occurs to me would be of value to you. 

By Mr. Davis : 

Question. Have you any information in relation to the views which 
were taken by Brown of the manner of his trial ? 

Answer, Brown repeatedly admitted to me that his trial was fair, 
much fairer than he expected; he sent for me to write his will. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Did you write it? 

Answer. Yes, sir; about an hour and a half before his execution ; 
he took leave of me very kindly, indeed ; he thanked me for my kind- 
ness and attention. I should also say that I explained to him the 
reason why his trial came on so promptly ; he was ca})tured on Tues- 
day, and the regular semi-anrual term of the court commenced on the 
Thursday following, and we would have no other term until spring. 
His trial, I thought, when into it, ought not to have taken three hours, 
for he admitted everything distinctly, and said to Governor Wise and 
myself that he was ready for the consequences at any time. The Gov- 
ernor asked him if he did not want to make preparation for the other 
world, and he said he had done that many years ago ; he had nothing 
of that sort now to do. 

ANDREW HUNTER. 

The following is the note referred to by Mr. Hunter as having been 
received from John Brown after his sentence: 

Charlestown, Jefferson county, Va., 

November 22, 1859. 

Dear Sir : I have just had my attention called to a seeming con- 
fliction between the statement I at first made to Governor Wise and 
that which I made at the time I received my sentence, regarding my 
intentions respecting the slaves we took aboid the Ferrif. There need 
be no such confiiction, and a few words of explanation Avill, I think, 
be quite sufficient. I had given Governor Wise a full and particular 
account of that, and when called in court to say whether I had any- 
thing further to urge, I was taken wholly by sur})rise, as I did not 
expect my sentence before the others. In the hurry of the moment, 



68 . TESTIMONY. 

I forgot mucli that I had before intended to say, and did not consider 
the full bearing- of what I then said. I intended to convey this idea, 
that it was my object to place the slaves in a condition to defend their 
liberties, if they would, without any bloodshed, hid not that I intended 
to run them oid of the slave SteUes. I was not oicare of any such appa- 
rent confliction until my attention icas called to it, and I do not sup- 
pose that a man in my then circumstances should be superhiiinan in 
respect to the exact pur])ort of every word he might utter. What I 
said to Governor Wise was spoken with all the deliberation I was 
master of, and if as intended for tridh; and what I said in court was 
equcdly intended for truth, but required a more full explanation them I 
then gave. Please make such use of this as you think calculated to 
correct any wrong impressions I may have given. 
Very respectfully, yours, 

JOHN BROWN. 
Andrew Hunter, Esq., Present. 

State of Virginia, Jefferson County, to ivit: 

Andrew Hunter maketh oath and saith that the annexed letter from 
John Brown to him, dated on the 22d day of November, 1859, was 
received by him, he thinks, on the day of its date; that it is altogether 
in the handwriting of said Brown, and, in a subsequent conversation 
between BroAvn and affiant, said letter was referred to and fully recog- 
nized by Brown as having been written by him. 

Sworn to before me, mayor of Charlestown, this ] vth day of Jan- 
uary, 1860. 

THOMAS C. GREEN, 

Mayor of Charlestoivn. 



January 16, 1860. 
William F. M. Arny afiirmed and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state to the committee where you reside? 

Answer. I reside in Hyatt, Anderson county, Kansas. 

Question. How long have you resided in Kansas? 

Answer. I have resided there since the spring of 1857. 

Question. Since what month in 1857, do you recollect? 

Answer. My family, I think, arrived in Kansas in May, 1857. I 
was in Kansas myself previous to that. 

Question. How long previous? 

Answer. Nearly a year previous. 

Question. Then you were there in the spring of 1856. 

Answer. No, sir; not in the spring, but in the summer of 1856. 

Question. Will you state what has been your occupation and pursuit 
since vou have been in Kansas? 

Answer. I have been connected with a railroad, and have been en- 
gaged in farming. I am president of a railroad company. 



TESTIMONY. 69 

Question. Were you acquainted with John Brown, who was mixed 
u}) with the troubles and difficulties in Kansas, and who has been 
recently executed in Virginia? 

Answer. I was. Witli reference to that, I should like to say a few 
words. 

The CiiAiiuiAX. Certainly; any explanation you please. 

The Witness. As a member and general agent of tlie National 
Kansas Aid Committee, I became acquainted with some matters per- 
taining to John Brown's operations in Kansas, which may throw some 
light on his operations at Harper's Ferry; but before I give testimony 
in regard to it, I would prefer to be sent home for my books and papers, 
so that I can give a full and accurate statement of the amount placed 
in my hands by individuals and committees, and how it was appropri- 
ated, so as to show definitely what was given to John Brown as far as 
I know, by whose order, and for what purpose. If this investigation 
is designed for a full exhibition of the relation of other parties to John 
Brown, it will be impossible for me to testify accurately, and so as no~^t 
to do injustice to persons who are absent, unless I can have access to 
my memoranda, records, and books kept at the time, in whicli were 
recorded the events, to some extent, as they transpired. 

Question. Will you state when your acquaintance with John Brown 
commenced? 

Answer. Between twenty and twenty-two years ago. 

Question.- When did y(Hi hrst see him in Kansas ; when was your 
acquaintance with him resumed there? 

Answer. My first personal connection with him in Kansas was after 
the beginning of 1857. I saw him previous to that, however, but not 
in Kansas. 

Question. Where did you last see him anywhere? 

Answer. I have some minutes of dates. My memory is not very 
good as to dates, and that is the reason I wanted t ) get my books and 
]iapers. [After consulting a memorandum book.] I last saw him in 
the fall of 1858. 

Question. Do you remember in what month, with any reasonable 
certainty? 

Answer. No, sir. If I had my papers I could tell. During the 
summer and fall of 1858, I saw him some half dozen times. 

Question. Where was he then; where did you see him? 

Answer. I saw him in Lawrence, Kansas. I saw him at my own 
house once or twice ; he spent a day or two with me there. I saw him 
down on the borders of Missouri while I was engaged in surveying 
a railroad there. I think these are all the places where I saw him in 
the Territory during that year. 

Question. Did he tell you then, in any of those interviews, of any 
plans that he had in contemplation to make a descent on any of the 
Southern States with a view to incite insurrection amongst the slaves? 

Answer. In my conversation with him, growing out of a communi- 
cation that I was requested to make to him by Mr. Richard Realf, he 
said some things in regard to a plan that he had, but gave me no 
details in regard to it. 



70 TESTIMONY. 

Question. What was the character of the plan? You may give that 
without going into details. What sort of a plan was it? 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Perhaps it would be better that the witness should 
state just what Brown said. His inference as to the character of the 
plan might mislead us. 

The Chairman. Probably that would be the better form. The wit- 
ness says Brown gave him some information as to a plan without going 
into details. Now, I want him to state the conversation as near as he 
can. [To tlie witness.] State what communication was made from 
Eealf, and what conversation ensued upon it? 

Mr. CoLLAMER. And let us know when and where it was. 

The Chairman, (to the Witness.) State what communication you 
made to Brown as coming from Realf, and what conversation ensued 
on it? 

The Witness. In that statement shall T be allowed to give a full 
history of my acquaintance with Realf? 

The Chairman. If you think it important in connection with your 
testimony, you Avill state what \^ou please, and you will understand, 
Mr. Arny, that by the laws of tlie United States, nothing that a wit- 
ness says here can ever be brought in judgment against him elsewhere. 

The Witness. I have no apprehension on that score. 

The Chairman. I did not know that, but wished to state what the 
law is. 

The W^iTNEss. It may be as well to state here that in all iriy conversa- 
tions with Brown I opposed any project of even carrying off slaves, and 
my connection with him was more interposing to prevent him from get- 
ting means to accomplish anything of that kind. 

Question. Will you state Avhat the communication from Realf was 
and Avhat conversation ensued ui)on it with Brown? 

Answer. Mr. Realf, previous to leaving Kansas, had communicated 
to me his intention to go to England to lecture upon the subject of 
Kansas and the West to raise means to go into business. I assisted 
him, as far as I was able, to go to England for that purpose. 

Question. Assisted him with money? 

Answer. I gave him some property from whicli he realized money, 
and I have his note now for the money. I have made a minute of the 
dates as far as I could recollect them. Sometime in the spring or the 
beginning of the summer of 1858, I saw Mr. Realf in New York; I 
expressed my surprise that he was not in England. He told me that 
instead of going to England, he had been to Iowa and Canada, engaged 
in some matters, and that as soon as he had attended to a matter of 
business that he was engaged in then in New York, he should start 
for England. 

The Chairman. I do not think you stated when it was that Realf 
told you his purpose and wish of going to England, and your giving 
him that aid. 

Answer. That was previous to the time ; I think it was in the winter 
of 1857, or early in the spring ot 1858; I think that was the time. If 
I had his note I could tell the exact day; that is with my papers. _ I 
then asked Realf what business he could have to detain him there in 
New York, instead of going to England, as was contemplated. He 



TESTIMONY. 71 

told me that there was an arrangement in which he was engaged by 
which they proposed to make slavery insecure in the slave States; but, 
says he, '"this is a matter of secrecy, and I only mention it to you 
because I wisli to get your advice in regard to a matter connected witli 
it ; you have shown your friendship for me by assisting me nrore than 
once, and therefore I want to ask your advice in the matter." I told 
him that I must know what tlie matter was first. He then stated that 
there was an arrangement in which this Brown was a leader, by wliich 
they proposed to make slavery insecure, and that it would have been 
carried out before that time if a man by tlie name of Forbes had not 
left them and threatened to betray them. Well, I immediately 
remarked to him, that I thought lie had better carry out his first pro- 
ject of going to England, and have nothing to do with anything of 
that sort, and that if he wanted my advice on the subject I would 
advise him, just as I had in Kansas, to go to England, deliver his 
course of lectures, get some money, return to Kansas, and either get 
into some business there, or go on a farm and settle down and marry 
a young lady to whom he was paying attentions, and from wliom, as I 
learned afterwards, he had borrowed money. Realf then said to me 
that if he had the matter then in hand disposed of, he would take my 
advice, but he did not know, he was somewhat conscientious in regard 
to his obligations to an association in Canada. He did not tell me 
what the association was, but he said he was under obligations to that 
association, and that he promised Brown to use the money that he 
realized to assist that association. Throughout the whole conversa- 
tion, however, I urged upon him to let Brown alone and go to Eng- 
land. He then said to me, "If you will deliver a message for me to 
Brown when you meet him in Kansas, and do one favor for me when 
you are in Washington, so as to make that message perfect, I will go 
to England." I told him if it was nothing to compromise me in this 
matter, for I would have nothing to do with it, I Avould. He then 
told me that the object he had in view in remaining in New York was 
to find out what Forbes was at, and that he understood that Forbes 
was going or had gone to Wasliington to communicate to Governor 
Flovd what lie knew with re^rard to the orsranization in Canada. 1 
think it was the next day or the second day after, I shall not be cer- 
tain which, I saw Realf again. He then told me he had received 
information that Forbes had gone on to Washington ; that Forbes 
wanted to obtain money from parties in Washington, he did not men- 
tion their names, and to communicate their organization to the Secretary 
of War, and asked me, as I was coming to Washington, to look after 
Forbes and see if he had done so, and let Mr. Brown know it. I came 
on to Washington : I did not feel that it was my business to in([uire 
into that matter ; I attended to my business here and returned home 
to Kansas. I made no inquiries about that whatever ; I attended tO' 
my own affairs and returned to the Territory. 

Question. Did Realf refer you to any person particularly in Wash- 
ington that you were to communicate with? 

Answer. No, sir ; no person. 

Question. At what time was it that you were in Washington on the 
business vou have alluded to ? 



"Y2 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. I cannot be certain as to the time, bnt I can come some- 
where near it. 

By Ml-. Collamer: 

Question. Did you say it was in June you saw Realfin New York? 

Answer. It was sometime early in the summer or spring; it may 
have been June ; but I cannot say certainly what the date was. If I 
had my papers, I could give the date. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Did you come from New York to Washington, directly? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and from here I went to the Territory. 

Question. When you were in Washington, did you hear or see any- 
thing of this Mr. Forbes? 

Answer. I never saw the man in my life. 

Question. Did you know whether he was in Washington or not? 
Did you hear anything about him here ? 

Answer. Not wdiile I was here. 

The Chairman. Well, you returned to Kansas. Now, you can go 
on. 

The Witness. I think the first time I saw Brown after I got into 
the Territory was while I was engaged in surveying a road through 
Missouri and from Missouri to the Neosho valley, and during the time of 
the troubles in Linn county^ Kansas. It was directly after Avhat were 
termed the Marias-des-Cygnes murders, when Hamilton came over from 
Missouri and killed a lot of men, taking them from their farms in 
Linn county, on the borders of Linn. After speaking to Brown in 
regard to the position of things in the Territory at the time, I said to 
him that I understood tliat an organization was established in that 
county and neigliborhood in which I was very glad to learn they had 
decided that no invasion should take place of the territory of the State 
of Missouri ; I then remarked to him that I had seen Realf in New- 
York. He was standing a little way off. He immediately came close 
up to me. He said, "I am glad to liear that, for I thought Realf was 
gone to England and had not attended to what we had appointed 
him." I then told him that Realf asked me to say to him that he did 
not know where to write to him, and that if I fell in witli him to say to 
him that he had been engaged in the matter to which he was appointed, 
and that he could not learn definitely Avhat Forbes was aftei', but that 
he had gone to Washington ; tliat was about the substance of the mes- 
sage that Realf gave me. Brown then asked me if I knew who Forbes 
saw in Washington. I told liim, no. Well, said he, you were in Wash- 
ington. I said, yes. I then immediately remarked to Brown that I 
thought it very strange that he would be engaged in an enterprise 
such as Realf had intimated to me they were engaged in. ''Why 
strange,"' said he. W"hy, said I, "Brown, when I knew you twenty 
years ago over in Virginia, you professed to be an abolitionist, and an 
abolitionist of that class that are termed non-resistants, and you refused 
to uxe arms in any shaj)e or form; even wlien you were opposed, you 
would not resist, and you were considered ultra on that subject at that 
..time; how is it that you have changed?" He then referred to the fact 



TESTIMONY. 73 

that lie luul sent his sons into the Territory of Kansas in 1853 or 
1854 with a lot of blooded cattle and other stock with the intention of 
settling. Said he, ' ' You knoAv they did settle on the Pottawatomie, and 
that after they settled there, part of their cattle was stolen ; they were 
notified to leave the country, and they had to sacrifice their cattle" 

The Chairman. I do not think it important to know Brown's 
reasons for this thing. We want to get at the facts. 

The Witness. I am only detailing the conversation I had with him. 
There were three conversations with him ; he was at my house two days. 

The ChairiMAN. The cjuestion put to you was whether Brown had 
communicated to you any plans he had in reference to inciting insur- 
rections in the slave States. Whether he did or not, I am uninformed. 
But why he did it, or why he ceased to be a non-resistant, (if he did 
so cease,) are not exactly within the scope of the inquiry. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Still, perhaps, as he has got into the conversation, 
he had better go through with it. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. If that is the conversation in which the communica- 
tion was made, let us have it. 

The Chairman. I have no objection, except that we are not inquiring 
into his motives for it in any way. 

The Witness. He then, in addition, referred to the meetings in 
Missouri that had been held previously, and the resolutions that had 
been adopted by those meetings, and referred to the invasions of the 
Territory of Kansas in 1854 and 1855, the resolutions that had been 
passed in 1853, and the speeches of 3Ir. Atchison with regard to that 
matter 

Mr. Fitch. That kind of testimony, taken and published as part 
of the proceedings of this committee, conflicts directly with the refusal 
of the Senate to go into an investigation of Kansas affairs ; and, if 
brought in on one side, nuist be brought in on the other. Brown 
alleges certain reasons, and, if his reasons form part of the testimony, 
it will be incumbent on those who do not think his alleged reasons to 
be the true ones, to hunt up others. If testimony of this kind is 
admitted on one side, it must be on the other. 

Mr. Davis. It has no application either to the question or to the 
inquiry, that I see. 

Mr.' Fitch. We know Brown's alleged reasons; they have been 
stated repeatedly; but they have been contradicted. If statements of 
this kind are received, we shall have similar statements from the other 
side. 

The Chairman. I took the liberty of suggesting just now that the 
matter which the witness was detailing was not pertinent to the subject 
submitted to the committee for inquiry, and is not within the scope of 
the question. 

Mr. Davis. Certainly not. 

The Chairman. But these two gentlemen (Messrs. Collamer and 
Doolittle) intimated a wish that he should continue to detail it. I 
think it is extraneous. 

Mr. Fitch. I have no objection to it, if the committee will only 
decide that they will open the whole subject. 

The Chairman. I protest against opening any subject connected 
with Kansas. 



74 TESTIMONY. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. As I understood tlie question, it was to find out 
whether Brown communicated to the witness his design to make an 
attack on the shive States for the purpose of raising an insurrection 
among the slaves, and I understood the witness to state that, in answer 
to his communicating from Realf in New York a message to Brown 
hearing upon that project, it happened that Brown went into conver- 
sation, and in that conversation did disclose to liini some plan on that 
suhject. 

Mr. Davis. The incentives which brought Brown to a proposition^ 
if he made one, have nothing to do with the inquiry Avhich we have 
before us. 

The Chairman. Here is the exact state of the facts, and, by reading 
over the testimony, I think you will find it to be the case: the witness 
recalled it to Brown that he had always known him to be a non-resis- 
tant, although an abolitionist, to know why he had changed his 
character or purpose in reference to that rule of action in life, and he 
details now Brown's reasons for having done it. If there could be 
anything more impertinent to the subject of inquiry, I do not know it. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. When a man is asked whether Brown communicated 
to him any such purpose as is indicated, I know of no way in which 
that man legally can tell that he did, unless by stating Avhat was said. 
You may detach it, and isolate it, and get out some one thing and 
suppress the rest, but legally you cannot. He is to tell it just as the 
man said it. I know of no other legal mode of doing it. 

Mr. Davis. He may tell what was said about this particular subject. 

The CiiAiRMAX. I differ entirely with Judge Collamer. He might 
go into a detail of Brown's whole career in life, from his childhood up, 
and by his construction we must go into that. 

Mr. Collamer. I think the conversation in which he made the 
communication in question, and all that was connected with that com- 
munication, should be given. 

Mr. Davis. It is a mere question of what is connected with it^ I 
suppose. 

Mr. Collamer. There is always some difficulty as to that. We can 
never tell with perfect certainty what a witness will say. 

The Chairman. I will put the question to the committee, whether 
the witness in his answer shall be confined to the scope of the question. 

Mr. Collaimer. Every one of us will vote affirmatively on that. 

The Chairman. Then I will confine the witness to the scope of the 
question. 

Mr. Collamer. The scope of the question is what the man said at 
that time in that connection. 

Mr. Fitch. Instead of telling us of the communication of the plan, 
the witness seems to be giving a communication of Brown's reasons 
for a change of conduct on a i)articular subject, Avhich involves an 
investigation of Kansas matters. 

Mr. Collamer. I supposed the witness was coming to the point in 
the conversation at which Brown spoke of his plans, and in telling 
what his plans were he said why it was 

The Chairman. We do not want to know why it Avas, but what it 
was. 



TESTIMONY. ' 75 

Mr. Fitch. But he is tcllinfr us Brown's remarks as to conduct in 
Kansas, which preceded liis action elsewhere. 

The CiiAiKMAN. Then^ unless overruled hy the committee, I shall 
instruct the witness that in answering the question he will confine 
himself to what Brown told liim — whether he had any ])lans to incite 
insurrection in the slave ^States ; and, if he did tell him so, what they 
were ; that his reasons for doing it, the motives that actuated him, are 
not witliiu the scope of the question. [To the witness:] Confine your- 
self to the fact whether Brown did tell you that he had any plans to 
incite insurrection in any of the slave States, and, if he did, what those 
plans were. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. I presume you mean to include also plans for stam- 
peding slaves ? 

The Chairman. No, sir. The question speaks for itself — plans to 
incite insurrection amongst tlie slaves in the slave States ; and the 
witness will tell us, if he communicated them, what his plans of in- 
citing insurrection were, 

, The Witness. Finding that Realf had intimated the matter to me, 
when I made that communication to him, the substance of what Mr. 
Brown said was that there was a proposition on foot to make slavery 
insecure in the slave States. 

The Chairman. Was that what Brown told you? 

The Witness. Yes, sir ; and it is just the same language that Realf 
had used. He said they proposed to go somewhere and locate them- 
selves, and then carry slaves off to Canada. 

Mr. Fitch. Did Brown intimate that this was to be in a slavehold- 
ing State ? 

The Witness. He did not say. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Allow me to suggest that it is not proper to have 
what he intimated, but what he said. 

Mr. Fitch. That is Avhat I meant — what he said. 

The Witness. He did not say where it Avas to be. I will remark in 
regard to Mr. Brown, if I am allowed to do so, that he was a very 
secretive man, and that he would not communicate much to me, know- 
ing that I was opjiosed to his plans, as I had expressed myself. 
Knowing that I was a peace man, he would not communicate, I sup- 
pose, to me as freely as he would have done to others. 

The Chairman. That is your inference, Mr. Arny. You say this 
was in the summer or fall of 1858. Did he tell you at that time, or 
any other time, of any organization that he and others had entered 
into in Canada ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he refer to any convention that they held, or pro- 
posed to hold, in Canada? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he fell you of any persons or committees, in Kansas 
or elsewhere, who had been consulted, or who approved of his plans 
of "making slavery insecure in the slave States?" 

Answer. He referred to a committee, and matter of action of a com- 
mittee, at which I was present at the time that action was taken, and 
of which I was a member and the general agent. He conversed with 



76 TESTIMONY. 

regard to that matter. He mentioned also the fact of applications 
havini^ heen made to parties in the East, and the result of those ap- 
plications. 

Question. What was the committee, and what was the action of 
that committee, when you were present, to which he referred ? 

Answer. That committee was tlie (leneral National Kansas Aid Com- 
mittee, organized at Buifalo, in the State of New York, in July, 1856. 
That committee was composed of one member from each of the States. 

Question. All the States ? 

Answer. All the free States. It grew out of the fact that the State 
of Missouri had invaded Kansas. 

Tlie Chairman. We do not go into that inquiry. 

The Witness. You asked in reference to the committee. I wanted 
to give its history. 

Tlie Chairman. I only wanted to know what the committee was, 
and who it consisted of. Can you state tliat ? 

Answer. I cannot recollect all the members of the committee. 
There was Mr. B. B. Newton, of Vermont ; Thaddeus Hyatt, of New 
York ; John H. Tweedy, of Wisconsin; Governor Reeder, of Kansas. 
Abram Lincoln, of Illinois, was ap])ointed at Buffalo on that com- 
mittee, but when he was notified that he was appointed, he declined 
the appointment. He was then the elector for the State, and took the 
position that this was a matter that had nothing to do with politics, 
and therefore he did not wish to interfere. I was appointed in Mr. 
Lincoln's place for Illinois. I then lived in Illinois. I think John 
W. Wright was the member from Indiana. 

Question. Do you know who was there from Massachusetts? 

Answer. If I remember right. Dr. Howe was appointed ; but so far 
as Massachusetts Avas concerned, they refused to cooperate with the 
committee, or have anything to do with it. They worked "on their 
own hook," as they say out West. 

Question. Who was there from Connecticut? 

Answer. W. H. Russell, of New Haven. 

Question. Who from Rhode Island? 

Answer. I do not recollect who was from Rhode Island. 

Question. Who from New Ham])s]iire? 

Answer. I forget who was from New Hampshire. 

Question. Ohio? 

Answer. I forget. Some gentleman living in Cleveland. I do not 
recollect his name though. 

Question. From Iowa? 

Answer. I think Mr. Clark — 1 do not now know his first name — of 
Iowa City. 

Question. From Michigan? 

Answer. S. S. Bernard. 

Question. Who from Pennsylvania and New Jersey? 

Answer. I will not be certain as t(^ the name of the member from 
Pennsylvania, but I think his name was drier, and he lived at Pitts- 
burg. I do not recollect who came from New Jersey. 

Question. You have said, as I understand, that Brown, in speaking 
of his plan, referred to some action taken by that committee, and that 



TESTIMONY. • 7< 

you were ])resent when that action was taken. Now state what the 
action was tliat was taken, to which Brown referred? 

Answer. Mr. Brown applied to that committee 

Mr. CoLLAMER. ^State when and where. 

Answer. He applied sometime in the month of January, 1857, at a 
meeting of that committee, at the Astor House, in New York, for 
some arms, and other assistance, to organize a company of men and 
equip tliem, to repel the invasion in Kansas by Missourians. The 
action of the committee, to be short about it, was a refusal at that 
time to let liim have the arms, and an agreement to let him have some 
other matters that would assist him in a peaceable settlement in the 
Territory of Kansas. 

By Mr. CoLLAiMER: 

C^Hiestion. What were they? 
Answer. Clothing and other things. 

l>y the Chairman: 

Question. What do you mean by a peaceable settlement? 

Answer. That he should settle there in the Territory of Kansas, and 
not go out. The policy of this committee was a policy of self-defense, 
and opposed to any attempt to invade the States or any Territory. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. Do you mean clothing for himself or for others? 
Answer. Clothing for himself and others. 
Question. For distribution? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; for persons that he was acquainted with and that 
he represented were in a destitute condition. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Was that the action that Brown referred to? 
Answer. Yes, sir; he referred to that action, and 1 think I can give 
t]ie exact words, after speaking of that action. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Was this an application for the arms which were in 
Io^va at that time? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. You say tliat Brown told you of some plans that he liad 
to arm a ])arty of men for tlie purpose of stam})eding slaves from the 
slave States, and in telling you of that plan he referred to the action 
taken by this committee at Buffalo, and you now tell us what tliat 
action was. That action was an ai)plication of Brown for certain arms 
for certain [turposes, and a refusal of the committee to let him have 
those arms for those i)urposes, and a proposition by that committee to 
aid him in a peaceable settlement. I want to know liow Brown 
referred to that action in connection Avith any plan of running off 
slaves. What had that to do with running off slaves? 



78 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. In my conver.sation with him, I was finding fault with 
him for ])roposing a plan of that kind ; and, in finding fault with him 
in regard to that matter, he classed me with the abolitionists, with 
the republican i)arty, and witli this committee, and he said we were 
all alike a set of cravens, that we all refused to give him assistance to 
carry the war into Africa. 

Question. You spoke of applications he had made to some people in 
the East. What applications did he speak of there that he had made? 

Answer. After his application to the committee at the Astor House, 
in New York, in 1857, and a refusal by all who were there to do any- 
thing for liim at that time, and after the settlement of tlie ownership 
of these arms, which was made afterwards at the same meeting, he 
then addressed a letter, a copy of which I have and can furnish to the 
committee if I have my papers, to the people of the States. 

Question. What States? 

Answer. Of the free States, asking for aid. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Was that letter puV)lished at tlie time? 
Answer. It was published at the time. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. How was it publislied? 

Answer. In various newspapers. I have a copy of it filed with my 
papers, as published in the New York Tribune. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Well, sir ; do you know of any person in any of the States 
to whom Brown made application for aid to carry out the plans that 
he had communicated to you? 

Answer. I do not know of any persons in any State who aided him; 
and I do not suppose that Mr. Brown would have let me know of any, 
because he knew I was opposed to it. 

Question. Now, as to the arms you have referred to, over wliich, as 
I understand, this committee to whicli you belonged had control, what 
arms Avere they? What was their cliaracter? 

Answer. In order to a definite understanding of the answer to that 
question, probably it would be proper for me to give a detailed account 
of those arms and what I know about them. 

The CiiAiRMAX. Well, we do not want any details, because tliey con- 
sume time. What I want to get at is, first, what was the description 
of arms. Were they guns, pistols, swords, or what, and how many; 
what was their quantity? 

Answer. There were said to be in the boxes 400 Sharp's rifles. 

Question. Well, what other arms? 

Answer. In that lot there were no other arms. In another lot, 
which was forwarded to Chicago a few days afterwards, there were 
200 revolvers in boxes. 

Question. WJiat period are you speaking of now when you say such 
was the quantity of arms at that period? 

Answer. That was in the spring of 1856, at the time when the 



TESTIMONY. 79 

Missouri river was closed and the citizens of Missouri had stopped 
citizens of Illinois from passing across the State into Kansas. 

Question. Where were those 400 Sharp's rifles at that time? 

Answer. They were shipped from Massachusetts to Chicago. 

Question. In the spring of 1856? 

xinswer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Then as to the 200 revolving pistols, where were they? 

Answer. They were sent about the same time from Massachusetts, 
but that was previous to the organization of any national aid com- 
mittee or society. 

Question. Were both parcels shipped from Massachusetts to Chicago? 

Answer. I believe they both were. At that time I had the bills of 
lading, and probably may have them now among my papers. 

Question. Do you know by whom they were shipped from Massa- 
chusetts ? 

Answer. I do not recollect. 

Question. Would your papers enable you to tell that? 

Answer. I cannot say; I think probably they would. 

By Mr. Doolittle : 

Question. Were they shipped to your care? 

Answer. No, sir ; I do not know to whose care they were shipped, 
but they were placed in my hands after they got to Chicago, Avith in- 
structions how to proceed vv-itli them, by a committee which was organ- 
ized previous to the national Kansas committee. 



January IT, I860. 
Mr. Arny's examination resumed. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. I wish you to state who composed the committee that 
placed those arms in your hands, and where they resided? 

Answer. Probably I should change the phraseology of my last an- 
swer yesterday, and instead of saying that they were placed in my 
control by a committee, I should say they were placed in my hands by 
a person who was not a member of any committee, but who was rep- 
resenting the meeting held at Chicago previous to the organization of 
the national Kansas committee, that raised twenty thousand dollars 
from the citizens of Chicago by subscription. 

Question. Who raised the money, the person you speak of or the 
committee he represented? 

Answer. It was done at one meeting in one night. 

Question. By a committee? 

Answer. By the citizens of Chicago; there was no committee a})- 
pointed that I recollect ; but, so far as that is concerned, I cannot 
recollect whether there was a committee appointed or not without my 
papers. This money was subscribed by the citizens of Chicago in one 
night. I would just suggest here that probably you would have under- 
stood this matter better if you had allowed me to give a history of 
those societies and their organization. 



80 TESTIMONY. 

The Chairman. Well, sii% give as briefly as 3^011 can the liistorv of 
the coiiimittees, their organization, and their object — all the commit- 
tees that were connected with Brown in reference to .snpplying him 
with arms or with money, &c., or the parties with whom Brown was 
connected. 

The Witness. I do not know that any of the committees were con- 
nected with Brown's sni)i)ly of arms, but what I mean is the commit- 
tees that had these arms that I si)eak of. 

The Chairman. Well, go on with them, assuming that they were 
the same arms subsequently brought here. 

The Witness. I stated, 1 believe, yesterday that previous to the in- 
vasion of Kansas by Missourians, in May, 1856, there was no committee 
or society organized in the North to aid in any matter connected with 
Kansas; previous to that time the Emigrant Aid Company was incor- 
porated; the first committee that I know of was appointed in Illinois. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. Did that Emigrant Aid Company ever liave anything to 
do with any arms that you know of? 

Answer. I went myself in belialf of the national Kansas committee 
to Boston to confer with them after tliey were formed. 

Mr. Collamer. He seems to have broken tlie thread of your story, 
Mr. Mason. 

The Chairman. It is not my story, it is his; he says he thought 
we should have a l)etter knowledge of the history and destination of 
these arms by a history of the committees connected with them ; I 
thought it was pertinent. 

Mr. Collamer. I have no o])iecti()n to his o;ivin«: it. 

The Witness. According to the question Mr. Collamer asks me- 



Mr. Collamer. I will witlidraw that, and let Mr. Mason proceed in 
his own way. 

The Chairman. You were speaking of going to Boston. 

The WiTNKS'^. After tlie national Kansas committee, of wliich I 
spoke yesterday, was organized, in July, 1856, I went to see whether 
the Emigrant Aid Company would cooperate with them in supplying 
the destitute in the Territory and assisting tliem ; I had a conference 
with one or two members of that comnanv; thev called a meetingr of 
the com])any, but I was not present at it; they gave me their answer 
the next day; their answer was that their organization was a financial 
one, that they had organized to establish mills and assist in the 

The Chairman. I do not think it necessary to detain the committee 
by details that really are not interesting to them, and are not before 
them. What I wanted to know, and what I understood you were 
about to state, was any historv of the committees that had anv con- 
nection with those arms. As to supplying provisions or anything else 
to Kansas, we have notliing to do with that. 

The Witness. I wanted, in my statement, to sliow what committees 
there were, and what connection those committees had with these arms ; 
that is what I desired to do. 

The Chairman, 80 I understand; but I do not see that this diver2;int^ 
into the objects of committees to send provisions or supplies of clothiug 
to destitute people in Kansas has anything to do with it. 



TESTIMONY. 81 

The Witness. I was going on to remark tliat I knew of an applica- 
tion being made to that committee afterwards for arms, but tliat was 
refused in the same way on that ground that they were a financial 
company and not a committee. 

Question. By whom was the application made? 

Answer. By Mr. Brown; the first committee that was organized 
that I know of was a committee organized in Illinois, at a meeting 
called for the purpose of taking into consideration Avhat should be done 
in consequence of the closing of the Missouri river, and tlie refusal to 
allow citizens of McLean county to pass through Missouri into Kansas 

Question. You speak of the closing of the river. AVhat closed it? 

Answer. The citizens of Missouri had declared that no person should 
pass up that river. They had stopped persons who Avere going up the 
river and sent them back. 

The ChaiRxAIan. I thought you might have meant closed by ice. I 
really did not know. 

The Witness. No, sir. This meeting appointed a committee of 
three, of which I was made the financial agent and secretary. 

The Chairman. That was a committee of Illinois? 

The Witness. Yes, sir ; and the first committee that I know of that 
was organized at all. It was in Illinois. A few days after, I cannot 
recollect the exact date, a meeting Avas held at Chicago, and $20,000 
was raised there. That $20,000 was subscribed. I was authorized to 
go up and confer with tlie committee in Chicago in order to cooperate 
together so as to appropriate all the money that should be raised in 
Illinois judiciously, and my instruction from the other members of the 
committee was to avoid, if possible, the use of that money Avhich we 
had raised in our part of Illinois, and to induce the others to use theirs 
if possible for the feeding and clothing of persons and assisting them 
in defending themselves in the Territory, and to open that river if it 
could be done without causing any disturbance. Then there was the 
national committee, organized in July, 1856, at Buffalo, New York. I 
have already stated all I can recollect about it. If I had my papers. 
I could tell more. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. State its purpose. 

The Witness. Its object Avas to assist in relieving Kansas of the 
invasion that then existed in the Territory, and supplying the destitute 
in the Territory with provisions which they required. It Avas reported 
to them that they Avere in a starving condition. After that time, a 
society was organized in each State, auxiliary to that society. 

The Chair.aian. Each of the free States ? 

The Witness. Yes, sir, each of the free States. Massachusetts 
refused to cooperate Avith the others. I have, hoAvcA'^er, at home a 
report from oflicers of that society shoAving Iioav much tliey contributed, 
but I cannot recollect exactly the amount ; it Avas some forty or fifty 
thousand dollars. I Avas appointed to go and confer with that society 
and with the Emigrant Aid Company, and they both refused to coope- 
rate with us or have anything to do Avith us — one because their company 
was a financial one. This Avas the state of things at the time Avhen 
those arms Avere sent to Chicago and came into my hands; at least, I 

6 t 



82 TESTIMONY. 

should say the two hundred rifles. Probably I had better tell here 
what became of the other two liundred. 

The Chairman. Two hundred of the four hundred Sharp's rifles, I 
suppose you mean. 

The Witness. Yes, sir. Only two hundred actually came into my 
possession, but I know what became of the others. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Tell that. Let us have the whole story. 

The Witness. One hundred were started up the Missouri river, not 
of those I had, but part of the four hundred. One hundred were 
started up the Missouri river on a steamboat. When that steamboat 
arrived at Lexington the boat was stopped ; the man wlio had them in 
charge was, I think, taken off the boat ; at any rate all that he liad in 
his charge were taken away from him, and that one hundred rifles 
were held at Lexington. 

The Chairman. Where is Lexington? 

The Witness. In Missouri, on the Missouri river. Another hun- 
dred were taken up the Missouri river shorly after that in another 
boat, and they were stopped, I think, at Waverley, in Missouri, just 
below Lexington. Those two hundred Sharp's rifles remained there 
until the latter part of 1856, or the beginning of 185*7. I was travel- 
ing in Missouri purchasing provisions for the 

The Chairman. Never mind that. Have you any reason to believe 
that the two hundred guns of which you are now speaking, ever came 
into the possession of Brown? 

The Witness. Not those two hundred. 

The Chairman. Then I do not see that we have anything to do with 
them. 

The Witness. I want to tell tlie whole story. 

The Chairman. But we do not want tlie whole story, because it is 
?iot before us. You have traced two hundred rifles as sent up the Mis- 
souri river and stopped there. You say those arms never came into 
the possession of BroAvn. Then we have nothing to do with them. 

Mr. Doolittle. [Showing the witness Sharp's rifle carbine produced 
l)y Mr. Kitzmiller.] Is that what you mean by Sharp's rifle? 

The Witness. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What about the other two hundred Sharp's rifles? 

The Witness. I cannot tell about the other two hundred definitely 
unless I have my papers, but I think they were sent to Iowa City. 

Mr. Collamer, Did you send them there? 

The Witness. Yes, sir, I shipped them. I think it was to Iow9 
City. If I remember aright a report came from Iowa City 

Mr. Collamer. You say you sent those rifles in boxes to Iowa City. 
Did you mark the boxes yourself? 

Answer. I believe I did. 

Mr. Collamer. [Showing the witness the box lid heretofore proved 
by Mr. Kitzmiller, and marked "T. B. Eldridge, Mount Pleasant, 
Iowa."] Is that your mark? 

Answer. Yes, sir. If you will let me get on a little further, I will 
tell you about it. A report came that the warehouse in wliich the 
arms were stored in Iowa City had been broken open and the arms 
taken. I went immediately to Iowa City, and then, I think, if I 



TESTIMONY. 83 

remember aright, tlie arms were shipped from Iowa City to Mount 
Pleasant, and arrangements made there for them. Mr. Eklridge was 
the agent at Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant is beyond Iowa City, 
in the State of Iowa. They were directed to liim, but they were stored 
in Iowa City, in the warcliouse ; there held in reserve. Now, prol)ably, 
it would be Avell for me to tell why they were stored there, and state 
what transpired. 

The Chairman. Do I understand you to say that when you shipped 
them from Chicago to Iowa City, you addressed them to Mr. Eldridge, 
in Mount Pleasant? 

Answer. I do not know Avhether I addressed them to Eldridge in 
Chicago, to go to Mount Pleasant, or whether I addressed them in 
Iowa City. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. You do not know whether you put that mark on at 
Chicago or at Iowa City? 

The Witness. Exactly. I do not recollect. 

The Chairman. I do not think that is important ; but I understand 
you to say that you did sliip them from Chicago to Iowa City, and 
afterwards, hearing that for some reason they were supposed to be in- 
secure there, you went up to Iowa City and shipped them to Mount 
Pleasant? 

Answer. Yes, sir. They were sent, at any rate, from Chicago to 
Mount Pleasant, to the care of Mr. Eklridge^, who was staying there 
for the time, as the agent of the committee. 

Question. Do you know what became of them after they were sent 
to Mount Pleasant? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I went afterwards to Mount Pleasant. Wagons 
were hired there, and they were sent to Tabor. 

Question. Where is Tabor? 

Answer. On the borders of Nebraska, in Fremont county, Iowa. 

Question. In whose charge were they at Tabor? 

Answer. I do not know, sir. Without! had my papers I could not 
tell. I do not recollect. They were placed in the hands of teamsters 
to haul there. Now, do you wish me to tell what I know with regard 
to tliem afterwards? 

The Chairman. Yes; but I wish you would say in what year and 
mouth they were sent to Tabor. 

Answer. It was in 185G, but the exact month I cannot recollect 
without my books. 

The Chairman. Now, anything you know of them after they arrived 
at Tabor, or the disposition made of them afterwards. 

The Witness. Probably I had better go back. After I had gone 
into the Territory of Kansas, and found the destitution of the people 
and the condition of things, alter I had come down the Missouri river 
and found the condition of things in Missouri, being engaged in pur- 
chasing provisions there, and after these arms were at Tabor, and I 
had been somewhat in Iowa, I became fully convinced that a civil war 
was pending. The river was closed; no person could go into Kansas 
without being stopped , and these arms were on the borders of Nebras- 
ka, and citizens of Iowa were threatening to go into Missouri, if Mis- 
souri invaded Kansas again. Twenty-eight hundred Missouri men 



84 TESTIMONY. 

were at Lawrence just previously to that, or about that time. I came 
right on here to Washington 

The Chairman. What has all that got to do with the subsequent 
disposition of the guns? 

The Witness. It has something to do with it. 

The Chairman. We do not want to know the reasons that actuated 
you or anybody. All I want to get at is in whose charge these guns 
remained while they Avere at Tabor, and, when they went from Tabor, 
in whose cliarge they were then. 

Answer. I do not recollect who the man was. I sent twice to him 
messages not to let them go into the Territory, by messengers, but I 
do not recollect his name. 

Question. Did they remain at Tabor? 

Answer. They remained at Tabor until Mr. Brown came to New 
York, and, in the application that I alluded to yesterday, he asked the 
national committee for these guns. That was in 1857, at the Astor 
House, and that committee refused him, 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. I do not want any long story from Mr. Amy, but 
at that point, in speaking of the guns, in the way they were there, he 
speaks of the country being in a disturbed condition and civil Avar 
threatening, and he speaks of coming to Washington, and just about 
that time, as I understand the fact to be. President Pierce appointed 
Mr. G-eary as governor of the Territory. He went out there, and put 
an end to the civil war, and the arms lay without being used by any- 
body. 

The Chairman. What have avc got to do Avitli that? It is perfectly 
immaterial for what reasons they made this disposition of the arms — 
immaterial to our inquiry, why they did not use them there. I only 
want to know where they remained, and how they came subsequently 
into Brown's possession. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. So far as I look at it, it has this bearing: to show 
what the intention of the men who originally parted with their money, 
which bought these guns, was ; what the intention of the great mass 
of the men who paid this $20,000 was. It was on the impulse of the 
moment, when they supposed a conflict was imminent, that the money 
was contributed and arms sent there, and Governor Geary going out 
there and putting an end, as lie did, to the conflict, the arms remained 
there. 

The Chairman. That refers entirely to the motives that governed 
those men in reference to the affairs of Kansas^ with which we have 
nothing to do. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. I think we liave so much to do with these arms as 
to show the fact that the men who contributed the money to buy them 
did not do it for the purpose of invading Virginia. That is what I 
want to show. 

The Chairman. That cannot be questioned, I suppose; but if they 
allowed them to be used afterwards for that purpose, it is a different 
thing. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. I admit that, so far as re2;ards those concerned in it. 

The Chairman. We have nothing in the Avorld to do with matters 
transacted in Kansas. 



TESTIMONY. 85 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Not to go into details. 

The Chairman. We have nothing to do with the inquiry of how 
these arms were sent there, except to trace the arms in their various 
progress, and then to show ultimately, if we can, how they came into 
the possession of Brown. Why they were sent to Kansas, we have 
nothing to do with. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. It seems to me we have. I think that to rebut the 
presumption of tlieir having been got up by the people for the occasion 
for which Brown used them, it becomes material to show that they 
were intended for an entirely different purpose, at the time they were 
purchased. 

The Chairman. I think that is clearly shown, for surely they would 
never have sent arms out to Iowa that were intended to be used at 
Harper's Ferry. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. I should think so. 

The Chairman. Probably this question would solve the whole: Why 
were the arms not sent to Kansas? 

The Witness. I was going on to tell why they were not sent on to 
Kansas, when you interrupted me. As I said, I came to Wash- 
ington 



Mr. DooLiTTLE. Understand, we do not want you to go into details. 
Just state the reason in substance. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Were they not carried into Kansas because the diffi- 
culties there were ended ? 

The Witness. That is the reason — because the difficulties were ended 
there. 

By the Chairmajst : 

Question. Did those arms ever leave Tabor, as far as you know, 
before Brown got hold of them? 

Answer. Brown told me, in January, 1857, in New York, that the 
rifles were at Tabor. 

The Chairman. You mean those 200? 

Answer. Yes, sir. He said he wanted to get them, and he applied 
to that committee for them. They refused his application, on the 
ground that Governor Greary had gone into the Territory and dis- 
banded the 2,800 men; that the Missouri river was open ; and that 
there was no necessity for the arms going into the Territory. 

Question. At the time you deposited these rifles at Tabor, whose 
property did you consider them ; who had the right to control them 
and dispose of them? 

Answer. There was a controversy gotten up by some persons from 
Massachusetts — their names I cannot recollect without having my 
memoranda here — who claimed that they had sent those rifles to Chi- 
cago, and that tliey had the control of them. The national Kansas 
committee claimed tliat they had the control of the rifles, they having 
been sent by contributions from Massachusetts for the committee to 
transport; or, at least, they had fallen into their hands after the two 
committees had given up to the national committee. I, as general 
agent, had the control of them at Tabor, and had sent orders twice up 
there, not to let any person liave them without an order from an officer 



86 TESTIMONY. 

of the national committee. We wanted to keep tliem there, and not 
have them go anywhere or be misused. That controversy was settled 
by the national committee agreeing that the Massachusetts people 
should have them and have the control of them. 

Question. Then, as far as you were informed, the ultimate control 
of them rested with those Massachusetts people? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Can you tell who those Massachusetts people were? 

Answer. I cannot recollect the names of them. I know there were 
a number of persons, but I cannot recollect, unless I have my papers, 
who were the persons to whom they were given, or who was the officer 
of that committee. 

Question. Can you tell us the name of the Massachusetts com- 
mittee? I do not mean the names of the people. 

Answer, I think it was the New England Kansas Aid Society, but 
I cannot tell distinctly. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Was it that, or the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Society? 
Answer. I cannot tell unless I have my books. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Do you know the name of any one or more persons who 
were members of that society ? 

Answer. Well, there were three or four societies there, county 
societies and other organizations, and they are so mixed up that I 
would decline giving any names, unless I could give them definitely 
and distinctly. I consider it unsafe to implicate persons in any way 
unless I could do it definitely and distinctly. 

The Chairman. I understood you to say, Mr. Amy, that these arms 
were entirely given up by the national Kansas committee upon a 
counter-claim to a society in New England, the name of which you 
have given, as far as you recollect. 

The Witness. I did not say they were given up to that society. I 
stated that some of the members of that society were there, and that 
there were other persons there from New England, and I cannot recol- 
lect how they were disposed of. They were given to the control of the 
persons there, however. 

Question. Where do you mean by " there?" 

Answer. In Massachusetts. It was agreed, in other words, that 
the national Kansas committee would have no further control of them. 
They might dispose of them as they saw proper, as they came from there. 

The Chairman. Well^ sir, whether it is agreeable to you or not, I 
request you to give the names of any one or more persons w^ho were 
members of that society that you refer to as the New England Kansas 
Aid Society, or the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Society. I want the 
name or names of any person or persons wlio were members of this 
society that you have spoken of as the New England Kansas Aid So- 
ciety, if that be its right name ; whether the arms were left under 
their control or not, so far as you can recollect ? 

Answer. There is but one name that I can recollect distinctly, and 



TESTIMONY. 87" 

I do not remember the first name of that man ; that is a gentleman 
named Clifford, who, I think, signs this report that I spoke of that I 
have, giving an account of $40,000 that was collected. 

Question. Where does he reside? 

Answer. In Massachusetts ; but whereabouts I do not recollect. I 
never saw him in Massachusetts. 

The Chairman. I do not want to prosecute the examination any 
further on that branch of it. Other gentlemen can inquire about it. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. After you had thus given up the control of the arms to 
those from whom you supposed they had come, do you know anything 
of the disposition of them after that time ? 

Answer. I do not know anything about it. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Well now, sir, you said in a former part of your evidence 
that there were 200 revolver pistols also sent to Chicago, and left 
under vour charge. Can vou tell us what became of them ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I cannot tell you into whose hands they went 
unless I had my books and papers ; but I can tell you where they went 
to. They were taken into Kansas. That was previous to or about 
the time the river was closed. The distribution of them there 1 can- 
not tell anything about unless I had my books. 

Question. When you parted with them at Chicago, where were they 
sent to then, and by whose order were they sent ? 

Answer. They were sent to Mount Pleasant, and, by wagon, taken 
into the Territory afterwards. 

By. Mr. Collamer : 

Question . AVere they sent with the rifles ? 
Answer. No, sir; but in another conveyance. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Were those arms — the rifles and pistols — both in the 
manufacturers' original boxes when they were under your charge? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you ever learn from Brown in what way he got the 
control of those arms subsequently ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did the conversation with Brown in your house, of which 
you spoke yesterday, relate to his ulterior views in reference to operat- 
ing against the institution of slavery anywhere ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. It related to his intention and a difference of 
opinion with the people of the North in regard to that matter. 

Question. State the conversation, as near as you can come at it, in 
substance. 

The Witness. Do you want me to give the whole conversation, or 
just his language as far as I can recollect it ? 

The Chairman. Of course, his language, as far as you recollect it ; 
but what I want is all the conversation he had with you, or you with. 



88 TESTIMONY. 

him, on the subject of his ulterior views in reference to operating 
against the institution of slaver}'', and, if you please, any ditferences 
of opinion between him and those with whom he was associated or 
acquainted in that same business. State the conversation. If you 
give anything irrelevant, we can stop you. 

The Witness. The conversation was one somewhat similar to the 
previous conversation with regard to our difference of views upon the 
subject of his going to the slave States. In the course of his remarks, 
in the commencement of one of his conversations, when he remained 
with me a day and over a night, he said that he believed the only way 
to abolish slavery was to situate a company of men somewhere in the 
mountains in the slave States, and to assist slaves in escaping, so as to 
make the system of slavery insecure — make that species of property 
insecure. I told him that I thought he was doing an injury to the 
whole country in pursuing that course ; that it was contrary to his 
former views on the subject; that I did not suppose he could get any 
person to assist him in it ; that I felt satisfied his good friend Gerritt 
Smith would not assist him, because Gerritt Smith had placed in our 
hands ten thousand dollars, and when he placed that money in our 
hands he made it an especial condition that every dollar of it should 
go for food and medicine and not for matters of war ; he professed to 
be a peace man. I told him that I knew he was acquainted with Dr. 
Howe, and I did not suppose Dr. Howe would do anything of that sort, 
and no republican would. His answer was, that he disliked the do- 
nothing policy of the abolitionists East, and he said they Avould never 
effect anything by their milk-and-water principles ; as to the republi- 
cans, he thought they were of no account, for they were opposed to 
carrying the war into Africa; they were opposed to meddling with 
slavery in the States where it existed. He said his doctrine was to 
free the slaves by the sword. I then again asked him how he recon- 
ciled his opinions then with his peace princmles that he held when I 
first knew him in Virginia, more than twenty years ago. He said 
that the aggressions of slavery, the murders and robberies perpetrated 
upon himself and members of his family, the violation of the laws by 
Atchison and others in Kansas, in 1853, and from that time down to 
the murders on the Marias-des-Cygnes, convinced him that peace was 
but an empty word, and he repeated that the republican party and the 
abolitionists were cravens. I then told him that I could not give him 
any advice or assistance for that. He had at that time asked me to 
take charge of some papers that he had in his possession, but I declined 
doing so. 

The Chairman. That was in the fall of 1858? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. I saw that you read the last answer ? 

Answer. I read it because I sat down and made it out. 

Question. I saw that you read the answers which you gave from 
John Brown, from a book in your hand. Will you please to state when 
those answers were written down ? 

Answer. They were written in the course of the past week, I 
wanted to refresh my own memory, and I prepared them so that I could 
give, as near as I could recollect, the exact conversation that I had 



TESTIMONY. 89 

with him, as I supposed that would be asked of me, and I felt it was 
important that I should give it. 

The Chairman. I only wanted to know when they were written. 
Mr. Amy, can you tell the committee at what time these rifles or pis- 
tols came under Brown's control? 

Answer. No, sir. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. You think these pistols were not at Tahor with the rifles? 

Answer. I am certain they were not, because I saw them afterwards 
in the Territory. The pistol here I have looked at. It is a different 
pistol altogether from those shipped to me; they were Colt's pistols. 

Question. You said yesterday your committee furnished clothing. 
What do you know about that ? 

Answer. The day he applied in New York for these arms and they 
refused him, he left displeased, and said he would appeal to the public 
and get what he wanted. The letter I alluded to yesterday was pub- 
lished afterwards. The next day, I think, he came back and met the 
committee again, and then represented to them that there were persons 
who had been with him and who were suftering, and that he needed 
clothing for certain purposes, and that if they would not give him 
anything else, to give him clothing. They then gave me an order to 
furnish him with clothing. I then received instructions from him, 
and a correspondence was carried on between him and myself, and 
probably the letters were found among his papers for aught I know, 
in regard to that matter. After I went to St. Louis, he gave me 
instructions to box his clothing and ship it to Nebraska City, as he 
could not get up the Missouri river, and he was going into the Terri- 
tory; he Avanted the clothing at Nebraska City. 

the Chairman. Was that in 1857? 

Answer. The beginning of 1857, after the river was opened by 
Governor Geary. 

Question. Will you state now what tliat clothing consisted of gen- 
erally ? 

Answer. It consisted principally of boots, shoes, a few caps, and I 
think some little female clothing. In all the clothing that was con- 
tributed to Kansas there was very little female clothing. It was prin- 
cipally male clothing, but I gave him some for the women as well as 
for the men, if I recollect aright. 

Question. Were there coats, and waistcoats, and pantaloons, as part 
of the clothing ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; all kinds and all varieties. 

The Chairman. As near as you can estimate it, not in money but in 
amount, was there clothing for fifty, or one hundred, or two hundred 
people ? 

The Witness. Less than one hundred. I do not think it would have 
clothed more than sixty persons. With regard to the other funds, if 
you desire me, I will state 

Question. What other funds ? 

Answer. The amount tliat was expended by me as agent. 

The Chairman. Oh, no. 



90 TESTIMONY. 

Mr. DoOLiTTLE. Will you state the amount of moneys expended by 
you in Kansas as the agent of the various Kansas aid societies, and 
for what purposes ? 

The Chairman. I object to that question, as irrelevant. It is sub- 
mitted to the committee Avhether it is a relevant question or not. 

The question was overruled, Messrs. Davis and Fitch concurring 
with the Chairman. 

W. F. M. ARNY. 



January 21, 1860. 
Richard Realf sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state to the committee of what country you are 
a native, and what your age is? 

Answer. I am a native of England. I was born in the year 1834. 
I shall therefore be twenty-six next June. 

Question. W^hen did you first come to this country? 

Answer. In 1854. 

Question. Are your parents living now in England? 

Answer. They are. 

Question. Will you state what was the occupation in life of your 
father? 

Answer. At the time I left England my father was filling the posi- 
tion which he now fills, namely, an officer of the English rural police. 

Question. To what occupation had he been bred? 

Answer. My father was a blacksmith at one time. That trade he 
learned himself. He was a peasant, which means an agricultural 
laborer. 

Question. Will you state what brought vou to the United States in 
1854? 

Answer. I had been a jpi-otege of Lady Noell Byron, widow of Lord 
Byron. I had disagreed with Lady Noell Byron, on account of some 
private matters, which it is not necessary to explain here, but which 
rendered me desirous of finding some other place in which to dwell. 
Moreover, my instincts were democratic and republican, or, at least, 
anti-monarchical. Therefore I came to America. 

Question. Had you any acquaintance in this country when you 
came over? 

Answer. No, sir; no personal acquaintance. 

Question. Will you say whether you formed the acquaintance of 
John Brown, who was recently executed in Virginia for murder and 
treason ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I did form his acquaintance. 

Question. When? 

Answer. In the year 1857. I cannot say whether it was the last 
day of November or the first of December, but within two or three 
davs of that time. 

Question. Will you state what brought you to his acquamtance, and 
where it was? 



TESTIMONY. 91 

Answer. I was residing in the city of Lawrence, Kansas, as a cor- 
respondent of the Illinois State Gazette, edited by Messrs, Bailhace & 
Baker. I had been, and was, a radical abolitionist. In November, 

1857, John Edwin Cook, also recently execnted in Virginia, came to 
my boarding-honse, in Lawrence, bringing me an invitation from 
John Brown to visit him at a place called Tabor, in Iowa. There I 
met John Brown. 

Qnestion. You went with Cook? 

Answer. I went with John E. Cook. 

Question. Did Brown then make known to you the object of the 
invitation to come and see him? 

Answer. John Brown made known to a certain, but not to any 
definite and detailed degree, his intentions. He stated that he pur- 
posed to make an incursion into the Southern States, somewhere in the 
mountainous region of the Blue Eidge and the Alleghenies. 

Question. What was the plan and purpose of the incursion, or did 
he develop it? 

Answer. At Tabor, in Iowa, no place was named. 

Question. What were the character and object of the incursion? 
Did he tell that? 

Answer. To liberate the slaves. 

Question. Did he disclose how he proposed to effect it? 

Answer. Not at that time. 

Question. Did you enter into any arrangements or engagements 
with him in reference to it? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State what they were. 

Answer. I agreed to accompany him. 

Question. Did you remain under his control or guidance? What 
subsequent disposition did you make of yourself, or did he make of 
you, after that interview at Tabor? 

Answer. I will tell you. From Tabor, where I myself first met 
John Brown and the majority of the persons forming the white part 
of his company in Virginia, we passed across the State of Iowa, until 
we reached Cedar county, in that State. We started in December, 1857. 
It was about the end of December, 1857, or the beginning of January, 

1858, when we reached Cedar county, the journey thus consuming about 
a month of time. We stopped at a village called Springdale, in that 
county, where, in a settlement principally composed of Quakers, we 
remained. 

Question. Did John Brown accompany you there? 

Answer. John Brown accompanied us thither, but, whilst we our- 
selves remained there, John Brown went on East. 

Question. Now, Avilb you state who composed the company that 
Brown had assembled there, distinguishing between the whites and 
blacks, if there were any blacks? 

Answer. Myself, Mr. Kagi, Mr. Cook, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Tidd, Mr. 
Leeman, Mr. MofFet, and Mr. Parsons, all these being whites, and 
Mr. Richard Richardson, a colored man, whom I met with Brown, at 
Tabor. These composed our company. 

Question. How long did you remain at Springdale? 



92 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. From the month — whether it be, I cannot now remember, 
the latter part of December, 1857;, or the beginning of January, 1858, 
but from that time up until about the last week in Aprils a period of 
nearly three months. 

Question. What was your occupation while you were there? 

Answer. We were being drilled a part of the time, and receiving 
military lessons under Mr. Stevens. A part of the time I Avas lec- 
turing. 

Question. Did Brown provide for the support of the company while 
you were there? 

Answer. Brown provided for the support of the company whilst we 
were there in this way: upon reaching there he, finding himself un- 
able to dispose of the mules and wagons with which he transported us 
across the State, and unable to get the price he desired for them, left 
us there to board, the property named to belong to the man who kept 
us, a price having been agreed upon between himself and Mr, Brown. 

Question. AVhom did you board Avitli? 

Answer. With a Mr. Maxom. 

Question. Did he keep a tavern? 

Answer. No, sir ; a private farm-house. 

Question. You remained there, you say, until the following April ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. ♦ 

Question. Will you inform the committee whether, during your 
residence there or at any time subsequent to Brown's inviting you to 
join that party, you heard of a man or made the acquaintance of a man 
named Forbes ? 

Answer. I never made the acquaintance of Colonel Forbes. I have 
heard of such a man. 

Question. Will you say whether it was expected that he should be 
your military instructor ? I mean anything you learned from Brown 
on the subject. 

Answer. Yes, sir. You did not ask me the question, but I may as 
well state the fact that during our passage across Iowa, Brown's plan 
in regard to an incursion into Virginia gradually manifested itself. 
It was a matter of discussion between us as to the possibility of effecting 
a successful insurrection in the mountains, some arguing that it was, 
some that it was not ; myself thinking, and still thinking, that a 
mountainous country is a very fine country for an insurrection, in 
which I am borne out by historic evidence which it is not necessary to 
state now. 

Question. Brown's plans, then, were to make an incursion somewhere 
into the mountainous regions of Virginia ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did he say when he expected to effect it? 

Answer. In that spring. 

Question. Will you state whether the military training that he 
proposed for you and the company, had a reference to that incursion? 

Answer. It was my belief that it had. 

Question. Did he give you, in the course of conversation, any out- 
lines or plans as to how he proposed to effect it — the mode of doing it? 



TESTIMONY. 93 

Answer. Not during our residence in Iowa. 

Question. You say Brown left you there. When did he return? 

Answer. Brown returned a day or two before the period at which 
we left, namely, the last week in April, 1858. 

Question. Did he inform you or the company, in conversation, how 
he had been occupied during the period of his absence? 

Answer. No, sir ; and here I ought to say, which you have also 
omitted to ask in regard to Colonel Forbes, that whereas we expected 
Colonel Forbes to be our military instructor, yet, in consequence of a 
disagreement between himself and John Brown, the latter wrote us 
from the East that Forbes would not become our military instructor, 
and that we should not expect him. 

Question. l)o you remember the point in the East he wrote from? 

Answer. I do not. He used to write to his son Owen, one of the 
deceased persons, and in stating tlie number of persons comprising our 
company, I accidentally omitted his son. Owen was with us. 

Question. Did Brown have much correspondence with his son while 
he Avas absent. 

Answer. No, sir ; the correspondence was very rare. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. In stating wdiat was said by Brown, I desire the 
witness, as much as possible to give exactly what Brown liimself said — 
the words used. 

The Chairman. Exactly. It is desirable, of course, that you should 
give, if you can, the exact language ; or if you cannot do that, give 
the substance of any communication from Browm. 

The Witness. I will endeavor to do so. 

Question. What was the next movement made by the company and 
Brown after his return in April ? 

Answer. The next movement after his arrival was an immediate 
departure from Iowa into Canada, via Chicago and Detroit. 

Question. You remained atSpringdale, you say, January, February, 
and March, something more than three months? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were the objects of your assembling there made known 
to the people around, in any way? 

Answer. Not by myself; I cannot tell whether by others. 

Question. Could you not learn something of it from conversations ? 

Answer. I am inclined to think that the people knew nothing at all 
of our movements for the reason that by some we were suspected to be 
Mormon emissaries. 

Question. Did you not divest yourselves of that suspicion. 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Can you inform the committee whether there was any 
person or persons in that neighborhood who did know of the object of 
your assembling and your future plans? 

Answer. I do believe that John Brown had given a man named 
Townsend, I cannot remember his first name, a member of the Society 
of Friends, some indirect and indefinite hints of his plan. I do also 
think that from the nature of a conversation Avhich a Mr. Varny, also 
residing in the immediate neighborhood, and being also a Quaker, 
held with myself, that some one must have given him some hints in 



94 TESTIMONY. 

regard to the same matter ; but neither of those people were evidently, 
from the tone of their conversation, possessed of any definite informa- 
tion in regard to the matter. 

Question. How were your military trainings conducted? Where 
were they conducted ? 

Answer. Principally in a field behind the house of Mr. Maxom ; it 
being generally understood in the place where we were boarding, in 
the vicinity and round about, that Ave were thus studying military 
tactics and being thus drilled in order to return to Kansas and pro- 
secute our endeavors to make Kansas a free State. 

Question. That was the first idea ? 

Answer. That was the general understanding. 

Question. Had you arms? 

Answer. Yes, sir. John E. Cook had his own private arms. We 
had our private arms. I had my pair of Colt's revolvers. 

Question. Did Brown furnish you Avith any arms? 

AnsAver. No, sir, not myself, ever. 

Question. I mean any of his company ? 

Answer. Not to my knoAvledge, because I suppose you Avill remember 
that I met the people comprising this company gathered together at 
Tabor. All of these people had been engaged in Kansas Avarfare. 
Everybody at that period in Kansas Avent armed, and the inference is 
that they were well armed before they met John Brown. Indeed^ I 
am certain of that matter, because, in a greater or less degree, all of 
them had been engaged in the Kansas troubles. 

Question. I only Avanted to knoAv Avhether BroAvn had furnished 
you any arms for the purpose of training. 

AnsAver. No, sir. 

Question. What part of Canada did you stop at? 

Answer. We stopped at a toAvu called Chatham, in Canada West. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. What time did you get there? 

AnsAver. It must have been about April 28 or 29, 1858, I think ; or 
perhaps the 1st or 2d of May. I cannot remember Avithin two or three 
days. I recollect it Avas at that time, because the convention, to which 
we shall come presently, was held on the lOth of May ; and we Avere 
there a sufficient time to alloAv John Brown to write letters, about 
Avhich I shall, doubtless, be asked. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state Avho of the company that you had at 
Springdale, accompanied John BroAvn to Chatham? 

AnsAver. All of the company Avhom I named as having gone to 
Springdale and two others: a young man named George B. Gill, Avho 
resided at Springdale, who had learned of our plans, from Avhom I do 
not knoAv, but I suppose from John BroAvn. inasmuch as he never 
manifested any desire to accompany us anyAvhere until the return of 
John BroAvn ; and another young man, named StcAvart Taylor, the 
latter of Avhom Avas killed at Harper's Ferry, and the former of Avhom, 
so far as I have been able to learn, was not present at the incursion. 



TESTIMONY. 95 

Question. Where did Stewart Taylor come from? 
Answer. I do not know. 

Question. Did this man Richardson, the negro, go with you to 
Chatham? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was Brown's intercourse with the negro of a character 
to show that lie treated him as an equal and an associate? 

Answer. It certainly was. To prove it, I will simply state that, 
having to wait twelve hours at Chicago, in order to make railroad con- 
nection from Chicago to Detroit, and to Canada, we necessarily had to 
breakfast and dine. We went into one of the hotels in order to break- 
fast. We took this colored man, Richardson, to table with us. The 
keeper of the hotel explained to us that it could not be allowed. We 
did not eat our breakfast, W^e went to anotlier hotel, where we could 
take a colored man with us and sit down to breakfast. 

Question. Where you could enjoy your rights, I suppose? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state in what way the expenses of your trans- 
portation were defrayed ? 

Answer. They were defrayed by John Brown, 

Question. What was done on your arrival at Chatham? 

Answer. Upon our arrival in Chatham, Canada West, we boarded 
at a hotel kept by a colored man, (I do not remember his name,) whence 
written (not printed) circulars were sent to certain persons east and 
west, for Chicago is west of Canada, inviting their attendance at a 
quiet convention of the friends of freedom, to be held on the day 
named, namely. May 10, 1858. 

Question. Did you remain there during the intermediate time be- 
tween the last of April and the 10th of May ; or was the convention 
held earlier? 

Answer. There were two conventions. The constitutional conven- 
tion was held two days previous to the election of the officers. The 
constitution had been adopted, and then the election of the officers was 
held. I had forgotten that before. The constitutional convention 
was on the 8tli of May, 1858. 

The Chairman here submits to the Avitness the papers heretofore 
produced by Andrew Hunter, and purporting to be the minutes or 
''Journal of the Provisional Constitutional Convention," and of the 
convention to elect officers, signed respectively by "J. H. Kagi," as 
"secretary of the convention," and asks the following 

Question. Do you know the handwriting of these papers? 

Answer. I do ; it is the handwriting of John Henry Kagi, 

[The papers are identified by the chairman placing his initials thereon.] 

Question. It is stated in these minutes that ''on motion of Mr. De- 
lany, Mr. Brown then proceeded to state the object of the convention 
at length." Did you know this "Mr. Delany ?" 

Answer. Yes, sir ; he was a colored doctor, residing in Chatham, 
Canada West. 

Question. Do you mean a negro when you say "colored?" 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Who was the presiding officer of this convention? 

Answer. A man named Munroe — a preacher. 



96 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Where did he come from ? 
Answer. I believe the city of Detroit? 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. "Was he a cok")red man? 
Answer. Yes, sir; a mulatto. 

By the Chairmax : 

Question. Do you recollect Brown's sj)eech, which, it is said in 
these minutes "developed the plan?" 

Answer. I cannot remember his speech. I can remember certain 
salient points and leading ideas in his sijeech. 

Question. He did make a speech? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Of course you cannot remember the speech ; but will jou 
state as briefly but as exactly as you can, what he did state to be the 
object in view of this constitution and all that? 

Answer. John BroAvn, on rising, stated that for twenty or thirty 
years the idea had possessed him like a passion of giving liberty to 
the slaves. He stated immediately thereafter, that he made a journey 
to England in 1851, in which year he took to the international exhi- 
bition at London, samples of wool from Ohio, during which period he 
made a tour uj)on the European continent, inspecting all fortifications, 
and especially all earth-work forts which he could find, with a view, 
as he stated, of applying tlie knowledge thus gained, with modifica- 
tions and inventions of his own, to such a mountain warfare as he 
thereafter spoke upon in the United States. John Brown stated, 
moreover, that he had not been indebted to anybody for the sugges- 
tion of this plan ; that it arose spontaneously in his own mind ; that 
through a series of from twenty to thirty years it had gradually formed 
and developed itself into shape and plan. He stated that he had read 
all the books upon insurrectionary warfare which he could lay his 
hands upon — the Roman warfare ; the successful opposition of the 
Spanish chieftains during the period when Spain was a Roman prov- 
ince ; how with ten thousand 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 said 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 wars of Tous- 
saint L' Overture ; he had become thoroughly acquainted Avith the 
wars in Hayti and the islands round about ; and from all these things 
he had drawn the conclusion, believing, as he stated there lie 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 sup- 
posed that they would come into the mountains to join him, where he 
purposed to work, and that by flocking to his standard they would 
enable him (by making the line of mountains which cuts diagonally 
through Maryland and Virginia down through the Southern States into 
Tennessee and Alabama, the base of his operations) to act upon tlie 
plantations on the plains lying on each side of that range of moun- 
tainSj and that we should be able to establish ourselves in the fast- 



TESTIMONY. 97 

nesses, and if any liostile action (as would be) were taken against us, 
either by the militia of the separate States, or by the armies of the 
United States, we purposed to defeat first the militia, and next, if it 
Avere possible, the troops of the United States, and then organize the 
freed blacks under this provisional constitution, which would carve out 
for the locality of its jurisdiction all that mountainous region in which 
the blacks were to be established, and in which they were to be taught 
the useful and mechanical arts, and to be instructed in all the busi- 
ness of life. Schools were also to be established, and so on. That 
was it. 

Question. Did he develop in that plan where he expected to get 
aid or assistance ; who were to be his soldiers? 

Answer. The negroes were to constitute the soldiers. John Brown 
expected that all the free negroes in the Northern States would imme- 
diately flock to his standard. He expected that all the slaves in the 
Southern States would do the same. He believed, too, that as man}'' 
of the free negroes in Canada as could accompany him, would do so. 

Question. Was anything said in his developments of his expecta- 
tions and resources after he got into the slave States^ of any division 
of sentiment between the slaveholders and non-slaveholders ? 

Answer. The slaveholders were to be taken as hostages^ if they 
refused to let their slaves go. It is a mistake to suppose that they 
were to be killed ; they were not to be. They were to be held as 
hostages for the safe treatment of any prisoners of John Brown's who 
might fall into the hands of hostile parties. 

Question. As to the non-slaveholders ; was there anything said 
about them ? 

Answer. All the non-slaveholders were to be protected. Those who 
Avould not join the organization of John Brown, but who would not 
oppose it, were to be protected ; but those who did oppose it, were to 
be treated as the slaveholders themselves. 

By Mr. Da^^ts : 

Question. Where did he expect in the first instance to get his 
resources of money and arms ? 

Answer. John Brown expected that 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Did he say that? We are talking now of what he 
said in his speech. 

Mr. Davis. What he stated. 

Answer. John Brown did not make any explicit or definite state- 
ment in his speech at all as regarded where the money was to come 
from. 

Mr. FiTCii. I do not understand that the witness is limited to that 
speech. 

The Chairman. No, sir. 

Mr. Fitch. The understanding was that he was to state to the com- 
mittee any information derived from Brown himself at any time. 

The Chairman. It was to prevent confusion of what he did derive 
from Brown and from other sources, that I put the questions as I did. 

Mr. Collamer. But I suppose Avhat he is telling us now is what 
Brown stated in that speech on that occasion. 



98 TESTIMONY, 

Tlie Witness. I have been stating what Brown said in that speech, 
all this })eing a part thereof. 

Mr. Davis. So I understood, and that is the reason I asked the ques- 
tion I did. 

The Witness. It is not yet quite all of that speech. 

Mr. Davis. I did not wish to ])reak the chain. 

The Chairman. Go on and give us all you can recollect of Brown's 
exposition on that occasion. 

Answer. Thus, John Brown said that he believed, a successful 
incursion could be made; that it could be successfully maintained; that 
the several slave States could be forced (from the position in which 
they found themselves) to recognize the freedom of those who had been 
slaves within the respective limits of tliose States ; that immediately 
such recognitions were made, then the places of all the officers elected 
under this provisional constitution became vacant, and new elections 
were to be made. Moreover, no salaries were to be paid to the office- 
holders under this constitution. It was purely out of that which Ave 
supposed to be philanthropy — love for the slave. Moreover, it is a mis- 
take to suppose, as Cook in his confession has stated — and I now get 
away from John Brown's speech — that at the period of that conven- 
tion the people present took an oath to support that constitution. They 
did no such thing. This Dr. Delany of whom I have spoken, i)roposed, 
immediately the convention was organized, that an oath should be 
taken by all who were present, not to divulge any of the proceedings 
that might trans})ire; whereupon John Brown rose and stated his 
objections to such an oath. He had himself conscientious scruples 
against taking an oath, and all he requested was a promise that any 
person who should thereafter divulge any of the proceedings that might 
transpire, agreed to forfeit the protection which that organization could 
extend over him. 

Mr. Davis. If the witness has concluded his recollection in relation 
to what Brown stated 

The Witness. Ku, sir; I have not. John Brown stated in that 
convention, in the speech he made, that there were a great number of 
rich people all over the free States who, he doubted not, would assist 
him. He stated that he had some rich friends in the free States who 
had assisted him, and who had promised further to assist him, but 
John Brown did not disclose their names, being too profound and 
sagacious a man to do so. 

Question. Did he say, do you recollect, that the friends to av horn he 
referred had promised aid, or that he ex])ected it only? 

Answer. That they had assisted him in some degree; that thcj' had 
promised to assist him further. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Did he state that tliose people understood this — his plan? 

Answer. No, sir; he did not state so explicitly, but that v^^as the 
idea Avhich he conveyed to us. In order to render that answer intelli- 
gible, I should say that John Brown had, from the time he went to 
Kansas, devoted his whole being, mental, moral, and physical, all that 
he had and was, to the extinction of slavery. He stated that he only 



TESTIMONY. 99 

went to Kansas in order to gain a footing for the furtherance of this 
matter. He stated that exi)licitly and emphatically. 

Question. That that was his private purpose? 

Answer. Yes, sir; that that was his private purpose; and he stated 
that, having left his wife and children and home, these friends had 
assisted him to prosecute his designs against slavery in Kansas first, 
and next generally in his entei'prises in the cause of freedom. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Have you gone through with your recollections of Brown's 
exposition to the convention ? 

Answer. I have, excejit that if any questions should he asked me in 
regard thereto, they might suggest certain things to me which I can- 
not now rememher without those questions, I have stated as much as 
I can, of my own recollection, rememher. 

Question. Will you tell us this: was there any person belonging to 
Canada in that convention who took any part in the discussion of John 
Brown's plan, after his exposition? 

Answer. Yes, sir; Dr. Delany was one of the prominent disputants, 
or debaters. 

Question. Will you state, as far as you can recollect, anything that 
fell from Delany showing a coincidence of purpose with John Brown? 

Answer. The whole tenor of Dr. Delany's speeches was to convey 
the idea to John Brown that he might rely upon all the colored people 
in Canada to assist him. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. Were there any Canadians other than negroes? 
Answer. No, sir ; not one. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Have you any reason to know whether the purposes of 
the convention, or the purposes ultimately disclosed in the convention, 
were known to the white people around you there in Chatham? 

Answer. I am confident that they were not. 

Question. Was the convention held in the presence of an audience 
or in secret ? 

Answer. The convention was held with closed doors, all other per- 
sons present excepting Brown's original party being colored men. 

Question. And Canadian negroes? 

Answer. Yes, sir, Canadian negroes. 

Question. You have stated that in traveling from Tabor across Iowa 
to Springdale, you were about a month engaged in it, and that John 
Brown conducted the expedition and defrayed the expenses, and that 
he left you then, and left his mules, &c., in jiledge for the expenses of 
the party. Did he tell you or the company of the object of his going 
eastward ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. He had two purposes in going to the East; one 
to secure the services of Colonel Forbes, and bring him on, in order to 
instruct us. Another purpose Avas to secure funds. 

Question. How do you mean "to secure funds?" 



100 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. To secure funds to enable him to prosecute liis "business. 

Question. How was he to get them? 

Answer. I do not know; he did not state. It was to collect funds. 
Here I ought to state, inasmuch as it may be of use during this exam- 
ination, that John Brown was a man who would never state more than 
it was absolutely necessary for him to do. No one of his most intimate 
associates, and I was one of the most intimate, was possessed of more 
than barely sulhcient information to enable Brown to attacli such com- 
panion to him ; and none of us were cognizant of more than the general 
plan of his design until the time we reached Chatham, Canada West, 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. Have you, from Brown or other sources, any means of 
informing us where the money and arms were expected to be obtained? 

Answer. No, sir; I have not, except to say this — and I am glad 
that the question is put — that a certain number of arms had been 
placed in tlie hands of John Brown by Dr. Howe, or which it was siqj- 
posed had thus been placed, by Dr. Howe, of Boston. Dr. Howe was 
the Massachusetts representative of the national Kansas committee, a 
committee which received contributions and made collections to be 
applied to the assistance of the free ^State settlers in Kansas during the 
troubles in that Territory. Afterwards, on account of disagreement, 
the Massachusetts committee withdrew from the national committee, 
and had received back a certain quantity of arms which it, Massachu- 
setts, had purchased and thrown into the general granary, so to speak. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Where were those arms, do you know? 

The Witness. They had been at Tabor, in Iowa. 

Mr. Davis, (to the witness.) You were going on to say something. 
What was it? 

Tlie AViTNEss. Dr. Howe, as the representative of Massachusetts, 
immediately following the disagreement, withdrew the control of these 
arms from the national committee, and had therefore himself control 
over them. 

The Chairman. But the arms, I understand, still remained at Tabor. 

The Witness. I do not know whether they did or not. I cannot 
tell, inasmuch as when I reached Ta])or John Brown had made all his 
arrangements for immediate passage across Iowa. 

Mr. Davis. The witness Avas interrupted in Avhat he was going on 
to state. I desire him to continue it. 

The Witness. I do not hww that Dr. Howe placed those arms in 
John Brown's possession, but I siqyposed so, for a reason which I will 
explain immediately. Witliin a day or two following the convention 
at Chatham, John Brown said to me that he had received a copy of a 
letter written by Senator Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, from Wash- 
ington city, to Dr. Howe, of Boston. Brown then stated to me that 
Colonel Forbes, maddened by the faihu'e to receive money from John 
Brown, as had been agreed on according to Forbes's statement, and 
exasperated by the dreadful condition in which his family were, or in 
which he claimed that they were, in Paris, had threatened to make 
disclosures of Brown's i)lan, unless Brown forwarded money to him. 
Forbes was cognizant of Brown's })lan, for the reason that at one 



TESTIMONY. 101 

period lie had agreed, as I learned, to liead the expedition; bnt a rup- 
ture occurring between him and Brown, he, being possessed of Brown's 
phins, threatened to divulge them, and did divulge them, or so much 
of them as was necessary to put people on the alert. He divulged 
them, as I say, to Senator Wilson, in this city. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. That is what Brown told you. 

The Witness. Yes, sir ; that is what Brown told me. To explain it 
a little more, I should perhaps say that Brown had written to us whilst 
we were at Springdale, that Forbes and himself had disagreed. On 
the occasion of wliich I have just spoken, at Chatham, Brown said to 
me that Colonel Forbes, maddened by the non-receipt of moneys which 
he had expected to receive, had threatened to divulge Brown's plans, 
and had done so by coming to Washington, and stating to Senator 
Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, that Brown had a purpose in view of 
effecting an insurrection in the Southern States. Senator Wilson, im- 
mediately upon receipt of the news, said that he did not think any 
man, or any company of men, could be wild enough and mad enough 
to do such a thing ; but knowing the character of John Brown, and 
supposing- 



The Chairman. Are you giving this as what Brown told you? 

The Witness. I have given that which Brown said to me, and now 
I am making a statement in regard to what Henry Wilson said. 

Mr. CoLLAxAiER. What Brown told you Mr Wilson said ? 

The Witness. What BroAvn told me he said. Thus, then: Forbes 
has made this revelation to AVilson, whether definite and in detail I 
do not know, but he had made a revelation of that kind. Immediately 
upon receipt thereof. Senator Wilson sat down and wrote to Dr. Howe 
that, understanding or supj^osing that arms belonging to the Massa- 
chusetts committee, which Howe had withdrawn from the national 
committee, had been placed by his, Howe's, hands in care of John 
Brown, he, AVilson, requested him, Howe, to withdraw from John 
Brown's hands all command over those arms, lest in a moment of mad- 
ness, he might possibly ])ut into operation such a scheme. This letter 
was written by Senator Wilson to Dr. Howe, of Massachusetts. All 
along, I say Dr. Howe, but I cannot swear that it was Dr. Howe; but 
if it was not he, it was Sanborn. AVhilst I have one thought out of 
ten that it might be Sanborn, I have nine out of ten that it was Howe. 
It was one of those two men, and Howe I believe. 

Mr. Doolittle. I think there was one sentence you did not finish 
when you were interrupted by another question. You began a sentence^ 
stating that Mr. Wilson said that he did not think any man or any 
company of men could be found to go into such a scheme. Please 
finish it. 

The Witness. But lest they should be mad enough to do it, he 
Wilson, requested him, HoAve, to withdraw from Brown's hands those 
arms, so as to place it out of his power to do the thing. A copy of 
this letter, thus written by AVilson to Howe, was forwarded by Howe 
to Brown, at Chatham, and in compliance with the request made to 
Howe by AVilson, he did withdraw those arms from Brown ; that is, 
he made a requisition on Brown to deliver them up, stating that he 
Avitlidrew from him the carte hlanclie, or power of attorney, or what- 



102 TESTIMONY. 

ever it was he had over them. Whether or not he afterwards rein- 
stated Brown in the possession of those arms, I cannot say. That is 
so much as rehites to that matter. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Yon have spoken of tlie contents of the copy of a letter 
from Wilson to Howe ; will you state how you derived a knowledge of 
those contents ? 

Answer. John Brown read tliose letters to me. 

Question. Howe's letter to him, and Wilson's letter to Howe? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Davis. Did the letter of Senator Wilson disclose the fact that 
Forbes was enraged? 

Answer. Only that Forbes had made such a statement to Wilson. 

Tlie Chaikman. You have stated to us, as I understand, that Brown 
read to you the coYij of Wilson's letter to Howe, which he alleged Howe 
had sent to him. Now, Avill you give to the committee, as nearly as 
your memory will allow, tlie contents of Wilson's letter to Howe. 

The AViTNESS. I can hut remember the things of whicli I have 
sjioken in regard to it, the contents of his letter being that Forbes had 
made such a revelation to him, Wilson. 

The Chairman. What revelation? 

The Witness. A revelation that Jolm Brown proposed to commit 
an incursion on the Southern States. I stated before that I did not 
know whether Forbes gave any definite or detailed information in 
regard to the plan or not; because, if he did so, Wilson did not state it. 

The Chairman. W^e do not want your inferences, but we desire you 
to state, as nearly as you can, the contents of the letter from Wilson 
to Howe, and the request which you say was contained in it. 

The Witness. The request was based upon the statement made hj 
Forbes to Wilson, and AVilson either knowing or supposing, I cannot 
tell which 

The Chairman. AVe do not want anything about that. Did the 
letter itself say what statement Forbes had made? 

The Witness. I cannot tell whether it ran in so many words or not, 
but it said that Jolm BroAvn liad designs against the Southern States, 
calculated to effect a rupture between the free and the slave States, 
and in order to stop it he wrote. 

By Mr. Davis : 

Question. Did Brown's knowledge of Forbes's intention to divulge 
his secret come from the copy of the letter received by him from Dr. 
Howe, as having been sent tO Dr. Howe by Senator AVilson, or did he 
know it anterior to that ? 

Answer. He knew previously to that, that Forbes had threatened 
to do these things, in several letters. 

Question. And now he was made aw^are that he had done it? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Now, he was made aware that Forbes had 
done so. 

By the Chairman: 

*■' 

Question. Do you know whether Brown remained in possession of 



TESTIMONY. 103 

the arms spokoii of 1)}' Senator Wilson and Dr. Howe, or wliether lie 
afterwards got tliem into his possession ? 

Answer. I do not know; for the reason that a very short time fol- 
lowing the receipt of that letter by Jolm Brown, I left tlie party, and 
have since had no connection with them. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. What was the occasion of your leaving tlie party? 
For what ostensible purpose did you leave? 

The Witness. I will tell you. 

The Chairman. Before that^ I want to ask what became of the 
members of the convention when they adjourned. 

The Witness. The answer to that will include the answer to the 
other question. 

The Chairman. After the convention adjourned, what became of 
those members of the convention that had been with you under military 
drill at Springdale, including yourself? 

Answer. Immediately following the adjournment of the convention, 
a portion of the original company went from Chatham, in Canada, to 
Cleveland, in Ohio, in the United States. 

Question. Who went there? 

Answer. I cannot now remember all the party who went there; but 
I know that Cook was one who Avent; I know that Stevens was one 
who went; that Tidd was another; that G. B. Gill was another; that 
Stewart Taylor was another; that Owen Brown was another; audi 
think they were all. 

Question. Were you with them? 

Answer. No, sir; but very shortly afterwards, myself, the colored 
man Richard Richardson, and another colored man, Avhose name I 
cannot recollect, residing in Canada, and who had agreed to accompany 
us, went from Chatham to Cleveland. In addition to these persons, I 
now remember that Mr. Leeman, one of the persons killed at Harper's 
Ferry, went with me, too. Our departure, by which I mean the 
departure of those who Avere with me, as contradistinguished from 
those that went before, was about two weeks later than the departure 
of the first company. 

Question. Then you remained at Chatham for two Aveeks after the 
adjournment? 

Answer. About that time. 

Question. Then you Avent to Cleveland? 

Answer. We went to Cleveland. Now, I ought to say here that 
those persons comprising the first party Avho Avent from Chatham to 
Cleveland did not remain in the city. They Avent out into the sur- 
rounding country and procured Avork, John BroAvn's means being so 
limited that he could not pay their board. I have not stated Avhat 
John Brown did yet. He Avent East, leaving me to go on to Cleveland, 
and there aAvait the receipt of letters from him from the East, and his 
OAvn return from that quarter. John Brown Avent East. He Avent to 
North Elba, Avhere his family resided. He Avrote to me from North 
Elba that he Avould shortly return. AfterAvards he went to Boston. 
He ao-ain Avrote me from Boston tliat he had been delaved, but Avould 
shortly return. None of John Brown's letters to me, of Avliich I thmk 
I received during my stay in Cleveland three, contained over four 



104 TESTIMONY. 

lines ; therefrom you may judge how much John Brown allowed his 
people to be cognizant of his plans. 

Question. Have you preserved those letters? 

Answer. No, sir; I destroyed them a long time ago. Well, John 
Brown returned to Cleveland from the East in the beginning of June, 
1858, havings perhaps, been absent East a month from his departure' 
from Chatham, Canada West. On his returning to Cleveland, those 
of our company who had been out in the country procuring work 
returned to Cleveland to the hotel where John Brown came, and where 
I was boarding. I ought, however, now that I remember it, to state 
that John H. Kagi did not go there to Cleveland with the first party 
or with myself; but he went to a town called Hamilton, in Canada 
West, and there, being (among his other accomplishments, for he was 
a very accomplished man) a practical printer, he privately superin- 
tended the printing of the constitution adopted at the convention. 
Kagi reached Cleveland a few days previous to the arrival of Brown 
from the East. We were all united there, consequently, once again. 
John Brown arrived from the East. John Brown had not procured 
money. He had probably about $300 altogether. He had not enough 
to pay the necessary expenses for the printing of the copies of the 
constitution in Canada. He had barely enough to give those who 
accompanied him a sufficient amount of money to enable them to return 
back to their different places of abode. Mr. Kagi, John Brown, and 
Mr. Tidd went back to Kansas. John E. Cook received his quantum 
of the money. I do not know whitlier he went. Stewart Taylor 
received his, and went to Ann Arbor, Michigan. CI. B. Gill and Mr. 
Stevens retiirned to Springdale, Iowa, the brother of Mr. Gill residing 
there, and Mr. Stevens having formed some connections which induced 
him to return. I was to go on to New York city. 

Question. Did you go by direction of anybody? 

Answer. I went 

Question. What sent you there, or who sent you there? 

Answer. John Brown sent me to New York city for this purpose: 
Knowing that Forbes had made these revelations about which I have 
spoken, and knowing, too, that it incapacitated him for the time being 
from prosecuting this plan, he desired me to go on to New York, 
somehow or other procure an introduction to Forbes ; and he being an 
Englishman and I being an Englishman, he thought we might pre- 
sently establisli mutual good relations ; that by ingratiating myself 
into his esteem, I might ultimately be able to possess myself, acting 
for Brown, of that obnoxious correspondence hehl by Forbes, written 
by Brown to him, in which Brown had developed his plans. For tliat 
purpose, I went on to New York, and I ouglit, in justice to myself to 
say, that I went with the intention of securing that correspondence ; 
for at that period, thougli I had not been at all satisfied with the con- 
dition of the negroes in Canada, I was still an abolitionist, and I went 
to New York city purposing to possess myself of tliis correspondence. 
I arrived in New York city 

The Chairman. Stop a moment. What were you to do with the 
correspondence, if you got it? 

Answer. Eeturn it to John Brown, so that when Forbes was called 



TESTIMONY. 105 

upon, (as Brown supposed would bo tlie case,) to substantiate his state- 
ments, be should not have the means of doing so. I went to New 
York. In New York city, I met, for the first time, with a book called 
"Limitations of Human Responsibility," written by Dr. Wayland, a 
philosophic author. I had thought a great deal al)out human respon- 
sibility and my own responsibility, ])er]ia])s, indeed, a little too much; 
but I had never thought anything in regard to the limits of it, and 
that book taught me that there were certain things which I might 
thoroughly believe myself, but which I had no right to enforce nolens 
volens on my neighbor, audit set me pondering on a new train of ideas. 
I did not see Colonel Forbes in New York city. I cannot recollect 
whether I made any attempt to see him or not. What I know is^ that 
I did not see him. I met in New York city with Judge Amy, ex- 
amined before your committee the other day, with Thaddeus Hyatt, a 
mutual friend of ours. To Judge Arny I made a statement of Brown's 
purpose; not, however, in detailed terms, but I said to him that Brown 
had in view a project of liberating the slaves in the South. I stated 
the same to Thaddeus Hyatt. Because the lapse of time is so great, and 
because I have had so many things passing through luy brains since, 
I have forgotten whether I held any conversation with those men 
beyond making that simple revelation. I know that I went to Eng- 
land ; I know that Judge Arny strongly advised me, instead of con- 
necting myself Avith any such wild movement, to get married, which 
he thought would most effectually quiet me. I went to England. 
Cook, in his confession, states that I went to England for the purpose 
of procuring assistance for John Brown. I did not. I went to Eng- 
land ; I wanted to see luy father and my mother. I was home-sick. 
I did very probably say, indeed I know I have often said to Cook, 
during my acquaintance with him, that England would be the proper 
place in which to raise money for abolition purposes. I do not know 
how Brown became cognizant of my departure for England, or Cook 
either, except in this wise : Arny, knowing I Avas going to England, 
I having consulted him in regard to it, and he having advised me, 
and assisted me to do so, I suppose that on his return to Kansas, he 
must have told Brown and Kagi, and the rest of them who were there. 
I saw a statement in a paper, I do not remember wliat paper, but 
sometime ago, I saw a statement that the internal evidence of the 
letters of Brown and his friends plainly revealed the fact that, though 
they could trace my departure for England, they could not learn any- 
thing of me or my movements since. That, therefore, is evidence that 
I was not collecting money for them in England, or that if I did, they 
did not get it ; which, so far as implicating me is concerned, amounts 
to about the same thing. Well, I went to England 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Now, stop. There is no use of pursuing this any 
further, unless the witness had further connection with Brown. Had 
you any further connection with Brown? 

Answer. No, sir ; I knew nothing at all about him. 

Mr. Davis. Let the witness proceed, because it has been alleged that 
he went to England to lecture for the purpose of raising money. The 
best wa}^ in which he can satisfy not only the committee, but others, 
in relation to what he went there for, is to tell his story. 



106 TESTIMONY, 

Mr. CoLLAMER. It lias nothing to do with this inquiry before the 
committee, but I shall not interpose. 

The Chairman. Let us have the whole ground. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Very well, if you desire it. 

The Witness. I went to England. I lectured in England. I lec- 
tured, among other things, on temperance — principally on that sub- 
ject. Among other things, too, I lectured on the literature, liberty, 
&c., of the United States. I was an abolitionist at the time, too. I 
never, during the period of my sojourn in England, collected, or en- 
deavored to collect, a single cent of money for any purpose whatever, 
I was paid for lecturing; and ''the laborer is worthy of his hire," 
and I i3ut that money in my pocket. Then I went to France. As I 
stated just now, I had witnessed a great discrepancy between the actual 
condition of the negroes in Canada and the statements which I had read 
in regard to their condition in Canada 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. One word in relation to that. I have no objection 
to its going down as far as he wants to exculpate himself from any alle- 
gation that he has collected money and misapplied it. Any personal 
explanation I have no objection to ; but then, to lumber up the record 
with giving his peculiar views about one thing or another which does 
appear on our investigation, seems to me to be improper. 

The Witness. No, sir ; but I will not bo one minute longer, if you 
will permit me. 

Mr. Collamer. That might lead to considerable inquiry, and perhaps 
cross-examination on that point, if you desire to go into it. 

The Chairman. I agree we have nothing to do with his mission to 
England. 

Mr. Collamer. Or his return to America, and going to New Orleans, 
and from thence to Texas, &c. 

Mr. Davis. I have no desire to go beyond the subject before us. 

Mr. Collamer. The subject is John Brown and his foray. 

The Witness. I have finished in regard to my connection with John 
Brown. I never wrote him a single letter ; never received a single 
letter from him ; never had, directly or indirectly, any acquaintance or 
connection, in the most remote degree, with the party after my depar- 
ture from Cleveland. 

The Chairman. You have said that in New York you revealed to 
Arnj"- and to Thaddeus Hyatt what you learned from Brown were his 
plans as to incursions into the Southern States. 

The Witness. Not as a detailed plan ; but a broad statement, that 
he did purpose to put into operation a movement having for its object 
the liberation of the slaves. 

Question. Did you tell, either to Amy or Hyatt, your mission to 
New York — what brought you there ? 

Answer. I cannot remember Avliether I did or not, it being such a 
period of time removed. I will not say I did not I will say it is pos- 
sible, nay, probable, that I did tell them what my mission there was. 

Question. But you never did see Colonel Forbes? 

Answer. I never saw Colonel Forbes, to my knowledge, in my life. 

Question. Or had any communication with him? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Now, I will put this general question : Did you go to 



TESTIMONY. 107 

England with any view to collect funds for the purpose of carrying on 
any abolition schemes in the United States ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. You did collect no funds for that purpose? 

Answer. I collected none. 

Question. Will you tell us when you returned to the United States ? 

Answer. I returned to the United States, leaving Havre on the 2d 
of March, 1859, and arriving in New Orleans the 17th of April, the 
same year. 

Question. What brought you back to the United States? 

Answer. My desire to return. 

Question. And since your arrival, tell us where you have spent the 
intermediate time ? 

Answer. I spent part of my time in New Orleans. Now I ought 
to say, in justice to myself, that ])art of my mission in England was in 
order to procure the consent of my father and mother to join the Cath- 
olic Church. They would not give it to me. Coming back, I imme- 
diately joined the Catholic Church without their consent, I purposed 
to become a Jesuit priest 

The Chairman. I do not want to know anvthing about that. 

The Witness. But you asked me^ 

The Chairman. I asked you for your reason for coming back to the 
United States. 

The Witness. And where I had been, and what I had been doing 
since I came back. 

The ChaiRxMAN. But it does not follow that you should tell us what 
your plans and pursuits in private life were. I only want to know 
w^hat i)oints you have been at in the United States since your return ? 

The Witness. AVell, sir, New Orleans for one.' In New Orleans it was 
proposed to establish a new Democratic paper, the "Delta" having, 
as they thought^ written itself out. Mr. Semnies, now attorney gen- 
eral of the State, had spoken to some friends of mine 

The Chairman. We do not Avant that. My question simply was, 
at what parts of the United States you had been since your return to 
this countr}"? 

Answer. New Orleans, Mobile, and Austin, in Texas. 

Question. Had you any purposes in view, at either of those places, 
connected with your former views in reference to the abolition of sla- 
very ? 

Answer. No, sir ; but I liad in view the purpose of investigating 
the condition of slaverv for mvself. 

By Mr. Davis : 

Question. Were you secretary of state of the proposed government 
to be established by John Brown? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Did you receive and preserve, or was he the depositary 
of the correspondence which was held with the friends of such a move- 
ment on the part of John Brown? 

Answer. I was not. John Brown was. 

Question. Were you the organ of any correspondence as secretary 
of state? 



108 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. No. sir. 

Question. Were the letters written and the answers received in 
rehxtion to funds, exhibited to you? 

Answer. No, sir ; for this reason : that hut a period of a week or 
two ehipsed between my nomination and election as secretary of state 
and the disbanding of the whole party, John Brown being in the mean 
while absent. 

Question. Did you, from your relation to John Brown and to this 
organization, know the names of persons who were relied upon to 
furnish money, or who did furnish money ? 

Answer. Not any other names save those of Dr. Howe, whom 
Brown mentioned, F. B. Sanborn, whom Brown mentioned, and Ger- 
ritt Smith, Avhom Brown also named. 

Question. How did he mention them? as having given or being 
expected to give money? 

Answer. That Gerritt Smith had given Brown money ; that he 
had assisted Brown from the time when he first went to Kansas, and 
had promised to assist him further in his enterprises against slavery; 
whether or not in this particular movement against the South I cannot 
say, but I suppose that was the understanding. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. The supposition ought not to go down. 

Mr. Davis. I think the impression made upon his mind, considering 
the position he occupied, is legitimate. 

The answer was allowed to remain as given by the witness. 

The Witness. Here I may as well state, once for all, that I do not 
believe John Brown would intrust to any man, no matter how intimate 
his friendship might be, more than barely sufficient of his schemes to 
secure his cooperation and support. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. You spoke of Brown having received aid from wealthy 
peoj^le at the North, Did that relate to Kajisas? 

Answer. He said he had received aid from those wealthy people from 
the time he went to Kansas, and that they had promised to assist him 
in any enterprises which he might undertake against slavery and in 
behalf of freedom. That was it; a general promise of assistance — he 
having left his farm, wife, home, friends, everything. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. I wish to know whether your position as secretary 
of state, as it is said, furnished you with any information on which 
you could found a supposition, more than you had when you were not 
secretary of state ? 

Answer. No, sir. I should like to say this: Gerritt Smith having 
been, as I learned from John Brown, one of the persons who had 
principally supplied him with means, and John Brown having stated 
that Gerritt Smith had promised to assist him in any enterprises he 
might undertake for the furtherance of freedom, that he would enable 
him to prosecute all such movements — on that statement of Brown I 
based my supposition. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. And on that only? 

Answer. On that only. 

Mr. Davis. The question, however, was, whether your position ena- 
bled you to form a supposition? 

Answer. My position did not; because, before I became secretary of 
state I possessed that information ; and after I was secretary of state 



TESTIMONY. lOO* 

I possessed no more. That information, tlierofore, was the cause of 
my supposition, which I not only had after I was secretary of state, 
hut before it. 

Mr. Davis. I ask whether, as secretary of state, the Avitness was not 
put in more confidential relations with John Brown than he was hefore? 

Answer. No, sir; for the simple reason that, hefore there was any 
opportunity of establishing any confidential relations, the whole aftair 
was broken up. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Did Brown at any time suggest to you that he had dis- 
closed to Gerritt Smith the purpose which you know he entertained? 
Answer. Never, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did you learn from Brown, at any period of your inter- 
course with him, and up to the latest period, when he proposed to 
carry his plans into execution in the Southern States? 

Answer. John Brown had purposed, immediately upon his retura 
from the East, in June, 1858, to endeavor to put them into operation, 
then. On account of the failure to receive money, as also on account 
of the revelations Forbes had made, the matter could not proceed. 
Nothing was to be done, or could be done, Brown said, until I had 
secured the correspondence to which I have alluded. I did not secure 
that correspondence, and therefore I supposed the matter could not 
go on. 

The Chairman submitted to the witness a paper marked with the 
chairman's initials and indorsed '' memliers of the convention," (pro- 
duced by Andrew Hunter,) asking the following : 

Question. Will you be good enough to state what knowledge you 
have of this paper on which your name appears? 

Answer. That is my name, in my own writing. This paper is the 
one appended to the constitution. All of the i)ersons signing this 
paper agreed to accept the constitution, and to devote themselves to 
the furtherance of the purposes for which the constitution was estab- 
lished. The name occurring first is the name of the president of the 
convention, William Charles Munroe. He was a mulatto. The next 
is G. I. Reynolds. I cannot remember him; he was nota white man, 
however. Then there is a name I cannot read; it looks like J. C. 
Grant ; I do not remember him. There were a good many negroes 
there; and in a convention of two days it would be difficult to remem- 
ber all their names. The next is A. J. Smith; I remember him as a 
Canadian negro. The next is James M. Jones ; I do not know him ; 
he was not a white man, however. Then comes the name of G. B. 
Gill, a white man, of whom I have already spoken. The next is M. 
F. Bailey, a negro. W. Lambert was a negro. S. Hinton was a negro. 
C. W. Moffett was one of our original party. J. J. Jackson I do not 

know ; he must have been a negro. Then comes • Anderson, the 

christian name I cannot make out; he was the colored man of whom 
I spoke as having come with us from Canada. The next name is Al- 
fred Whipper ; 1 do not remember him. James M. Bell Avas a mulatto 



110 TESTIMONY. 

residing in Chatham. William H. Leeman was one of our original 
party. Alfred M. Ellsworth was a colored man living in Windsor, a vil- 
lage in Canada, opposite Detroit, JohnE. Cook and Stewart Taylor I 
have already spoken of as belonging to our company. Charles W. Pur- 
nell must have been a colored man. Then comes George Akins, his x 
mark ; Akins was a negro. Eobison Alexander was a negro. Then 
comes my own name, Richard Realf. Thomas F. Cary was a negro. 
Richard Richardson was the negro who accompanied us from Iowa. I 
taught him to write. L. F. Parsons was one of our company. Thomas 
M. Kinnard was a negro. M. H. Delany was the colored doctor of 
whom I spoke. Robert Van Vraiken must have been a negro. Thomas 
W. Stringer was a negro. Charles P. Tidd was a white man, one of 
our original party. John A. Thomas was a negro. C. AVhipple is 
the next ; that was the name by which Stevens was called. J. D. 
Shadd was editor of a paper in Canada — a mulatto. Robert Newman 
was a negro. Owen Brown was the son of John Brown. Then comes 
old John Brown's signature. J. H. Harris was a colored man. 
Charles Smith was a colored man. Simon Fisher was a colored man. 
Stephen Button was a colored man. Isaac Holden was a colored man. 
Giles Chitman was a negro. Thomas Hickerson was a colored man. 
John Launcel was a colored man, and so was James Smith. John H. 
Kagi, secretary of the convention, was one of the original party. 

Mr. Davis. Do you know whether these negroes, or any part of them, 
were runaway negroes ? 

Answer. I have no knowledge as to that. 

The Chairman exhibits to the witness a paper purporting to be a list 
of those men who were with Brown at Harper's Ferry, and asks this : 

Question. Can you state the age of John Brown at that time? 

Answer. No, sir, except that I suppose him to have been almost 60 
years of age. 

Question. What was the age of Owen Brown, as nearly as you can 
tell? 

Answer. Owen Brown was about 29 or 30. 

Question. Of Watson Brown? 

Answer. Watson Brown was not one of the original party, and I 
never knew him. 

Question. Of Oliver Brown? 

Answer. I never knew him. 

Question. Of Aaron D. Stevens? 

Answer. I did not know Stevens's Christian name. His age was 28. 
He was 27 at the time of the convention. 

Question. Of Albert Hazlett? 

Answer. I never knew him. 

Question. Of John H. Kagi? 

Answer. Twenty-three at the time of the convention. 

Question. Of Edwin Coppic? 

Answer. I think I met him once or twice in Iowa, but never had 
any speaking acquaintance with him. He must have been about 18. 

Question. Of Barclay Coppic? 

Answer. I do not know him. He must have been a brother of the 
other, I suppose. 



TESTIMONY. Ill 

Question. May you not have confounded the two Coppics? 

Answer. I may have done so. 

Question. Wliat was the age of Charles P. Tidd ? 

Answer. Ahout twenty-five or tAventy-six — near the age of Stevens. 

Question. Are you speaking now of their ages at the time of the 
convention ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was the age of William H. Leeman ? 

Answer. Not more than eighteen at the time of the convention. 

Question. Of Francis J. Meriam ? 

Answer. I never knew him. 

Question. Of William Thompson ? 

Answer. I never knew him. 

Question. Of Dolphin Thompson? 

Answer. I never knew him. 

Question. Of Jeremiah Anderson ? 

Answer. A stranger to me. 

Question. Of Stewart Taylor ? 

Answer. Ahout nineteen at the time of the convention. 

Question. Of John E. Cook? 

Answer. Probably between tAventy-three and twenty-four at the time 
of the convention. 

Question. Now, as to the negroes with John Brown. What was 
the age of Shields Green ? 

Answer. I never knew him. 

Question. John Copeland? 

Answer. A stranger to me. 

Question. Anderson? 

Answer. That must have been the negro who accompanied us down 
from Chatham to Cleveland. He was about 24 or 25 years old. 

Question. Newby? 

Answer. I never knew him. Indeed, I knew no others, save those 
two negroes, Anderson and Richardson, who afterwards returned from 
Cleveland to Canada. 

Question. The remaining negro with Brown was named Leary; did 
you know him ? 

Answer, I did not know him. I will give you my own age at that 
time. At the time of the convention I was not quite 24 years old. 

Question. Can you state whether the signatures to the paper, which 
you say was appended to the constitution, are the original signatures 
of those who made them. 

Answer. I saw the persons sign this document, and do testify thereto. 
In those cases wdiere "his mark" follows the name, the mark was 
made by the person whose name appears, the writing having been 
done by Mr. Kagi. 

Question. Were you present when the paper was signed? 
Answer. I was. 

Question. Was it signed before the convention dispersed? 
Answer. Yes ; before the convention dispersed, after the adoi)tion 
of the constitution. 

Question. You have spoken of three persons who you there learned 



112 TESTIMONY. 

from Brown had sii])plied him with money. Do yon know of any 
other persons with whom Brown was in commnnication npon the sub- 
ject of getting money? 

Answer. I understood that a clergyman^ whose name is Thomas 
Wentworth Higginson, who, I believe, resides at Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts, was an infimate friend of Jolm Brown, and that he, as were 
these other men, was one of those who sujiplied him with funds to 
enable him to prosecute his movements in behalf of freedom in Kansas, 
and who had given him a general promise to assist him in whatever 
enterprises he might undertake. 

Question. Can you recollect any others? 

Answer. I cannot. 

Question. Can j^ou rememember the names of any persons, in any 
of the States, with whom Brown, during your acquaintance with him, 
was in correspondence? 

Answer. No, sir. I do not believe that Brown was in correspond- 
ence with more than half-a-dozen people during my connection with 
him ; for you must remember, that during our passage across Iowa, 
occupying a month, in whicli we camped out every night and walked 
across the plains every day, he could have no correspondence then. 
Immediately after we reached Springdale, in Iowa, he went on East. 
I could not be cognizant of his correspondence then, he being absent. 
Immediately on his return to Springdale, we departed for Canada, and 
on our passage thither we could not do anything in the way of corres- 
pondence. Just after we arrived there, the convention was held, and 
there was no chance for correspondence at that time. After the con- 
vention was disbanded, I left for New York city. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. But you had been to Cleveland. 

The Witness. Yes ; I went from Chatham to Cleveland, and from 
Cleveland to New York. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. I understood the witness to state that he, in general 
terms, communicated to Amy and to Hyatt, of New York, what he 
supposed was the general purpose of Brown — to produce an insurrec- 
tion, or do something upon the South somewhere. 

The AViTNESS. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Then I ask you this question, are those the only two 
persons to whom you ever communicated any such things aside from 
those who Avent with you from Iowa to Canada, and those you met 
there ? 

Answer. No, sir; there is one other. His name is Charles Carroll 
Yeaton, a young gentleman, formerly a very intimate friend of mine, 
but not an abolitionist. 

Mr. DooLTTTLE. Where does he reside? 

Answer. He resides now in New York. He was a junior partner in 
a banking and brokerage house in Wall street. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Did you ever communicate to any other j^erson, or 
have any conversation with any otlier person, in relation to this pro- 
gramme, except those three ? 

Answer. No, sir ; except as follows : during the time when we were in 
Iowa, and when it was thoroughly expected that, immediately on leaving 
Canada, we should go down into the South, I wrote a letter on some 



TESTIMONY. 113 

private matters to a lady, hinting therein that very prohably she wouki 
hear of ns again, and, perhaps, in the Southern States; hut I never 
tokl her anything in regard to the phxn. Those three persons are the 
only ones to whom I ever communicated anvthing about it. 

Mr. Fitch. Did John Brown admit to you, or state to you, that 
Forbes was fully cognizant of his plans, as far as he had formed them ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; because Forbes at one period purposed to conduct 
the movement. 

The Chairman. As you understood from Brown ? 

The Witness. As I understood from Brown ; and you will permit 
me to say, that in any question of veracity arising between Forbes: 
and Brown, I should, without hesitation, decide for Brown. 

RICHARD REALF. 



January 23, 1860. 
William H. D. Callender sworn and examined: 

By the Chairman: 

Question. AVill you state whether you were the cashier of the State 
Bank at Hartford, in Connecticut, in June, 1857? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I was. 

Question. Are you still the cashier? 

Answer. I am. 

Question. In my summons I asked you to bring us a statement of 
the account of John Brown, if he had one. Had he an account in 
your bank? 

Answer. He had not. 

Question. Had he the control of anv funds in your bank in June, 
1857? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Had you any acquaintance with John Brown, personally? 

Answer. I knew John Brown in 1846 and 1847; I boarded with 
him in Springfield, when he was connected with Simon Perkins, of 
Ohio, wool-dealer; Perkins & Brown was the firm. 

Question. Did you know him in 1856 or 1857? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Here is an order drawn by John Brown, dated the 22d 
of June, 1857, upon Colonel H. Forbes, at New York city, in these 
words — (by reading that you will probably know what we desire your 
testimony to) — "Sir, if you have drawn on W. H. D. Callender, Esq., 
cashier, at Hartford, Connecticut, for $600, or any part of that amount, 
and are not prepared to come on and join me at once, you will please 
pay over to Joseph Bryant, Esq., who is my agent, |G00, or whatever 
amount you have so drawn." The indorsement on it is, ''I did not 
present this to the colonel, as I presumed it would be of no use, and 
then he is, I am persuaded, acting in good fiiith. (Signed,) Joseph 
Bryant." Have you any knowledge of the $600 that Bi-own assumed 
the right to draw from this bank? 

8 T 



114 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. He drew upon me individually for tliat amount? 

Question. Brown? 

Answer. No, sir; Forbes. Iliad instructions from Mr. Brown to 
pay him $600; that w^as about the 1st of April, 1857; the two drafts 
I have with me. 

The Chairman. Let us see them. 

[The witness produced two drafts, which are identified by placing 
the initials of the chairman thereon. These drafts are in the following 
words and figures, respectively: 

^'No. — . $400. New York, April 27, 1857. 

"At sight, pay to the order of Ketchum, Howe & Co., four hundred 
dollars, value received, and charge the same to account of 

(Signed) HUGH FORBES. 
^'W. H. D. Callexder, Esq. 

' ' Hartford, Connecticut. ' ' 

Indorsed: " Cr, our account, 

KETCHUM, HOWE & Co." 

"No. — . $200. New York, April 29, 1857. 

"Pay to the order of Ketchum^ Howe & Co., two hundred dollars, 
value received^ and charge the same to account of 

(Signed) HUGH FORBES. 
"W. H. D. Callender, Esq., 

' ' Hartford, Connecticut. ' ' ] 

Question. Will you state by what authority Forbes drew these drafts 
on you? 

Answer. On the strength of what Mr. Brown told me. He said 
that Mr. Forbes might draw upon me for |600; that was about the 
1st of April, 1857; these drafts soon afterwards came on, and I paid 
them. 

Question. Did Brown furnish you with the money to pay the drafts? 

Answer. He furnished me, I think, wdth $400, which came from 
Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Question. Will you tell us all about it? 

Answer. I will give you the whole story: |400 was sent to me, I 
think, from Springfield, by Mr. Brown; I raised for him, I think, 
;$600 in Hartford, or rather part of it was sent to me and part given 
by various parties in Hartford and its vicinity. Brown himself had 
the balance of the money after $600 was applied for these drafts. I 
handed it over to him. 

Question. Do you say that Brown furnished you with $400? 

Answer. He sent me $400 from Springfield, Massachusetts, towards 
paying for these drafts. 

Question. Did he send you that before the drafts were drawn, or 
afterwards ? 

Answer. Before they were drawn. 

Question. And then you raised for him $600 in Hartford? 

Answer. About that, I should think. 



TESTIMONY. 115 

Question. Will you state who contributed the money? 

Answer. I cannot recollect; I have destroyed everything about it a 
longtime ago; Brown came there and lectured there ; he was there- 
fore some time in that vicinity. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. What time did Brown come there? 

Answer. Not far from the 1st of April, 1857. 

Question. Now, tell us what took place? 

Answer. He stated to me that he had seen a great deal of trouble in 
Kansas, and was anxious to vindicate the rights of the free-State men, 
and he appealed to the sympathies of northern men to give him aid. 
I told him I had no objection to his using my name, and he published 
an appeal, in which my name was introduced, that contributions 
might be handed to me. He gave a lecture there, and also in Collins- 
ville, I think. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. What was the subject of his lecture? 

Answer. In regard to his troubles in Kansas and the troubles of the 
free-State men. 

Question. And it resulted in contributions amounting to some $600? 

Answer. About |600, if I recollect aright. 

Question. AVere they contributions collected at the time from the 
audience at tlie lecture, or contributions sent in subsequently? 

Answer. They were sent in afterwards, some few days ; I think 
during the week afterwards. 

Question. Were they contributions brought to you by the con- 
tributors, or by Brown? 

Answer. By the contributors. 

Question. Can you give the names of any of the contributors? 

Answer. 1 cannot at present. One I remember particularly, who 
was strongly enlisted in his behalf, James M. Bunco, who is now dead. 

Question. It would be desirable to learn the names of any of those 
persons who contributed, if you can recollect them with safety to your 
memory, of course? 

Answer. I cannot recollect them. 

Question. Was no list kept of them? 

Answer. No, sir; but it was all settled with Brown. Every paper 
of every kind was destroyed, and these two drafts were all that I re- 
tained in regard to the matter. 

Question. The money was afterwards paid to Forbes upon these 
drafts? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were the payments ever questioned by Brown afterwards? 

Answer. Not at all. 

Question. Did you ever see Forbes? 

Answer. I never saw him. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. When Brown told you to answer Forbes's drafts, what did 
you tell BroAvn about knowing Forbes's handwriting? 



116 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. I told him I wanted a signature to recognize it. 
Question. Did he furnish you one? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 
Question. Have you got it now? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 
Mr. CoLLAMER. Let us see it. 
[The paper was produced.] 

Mr. CoLLAMEii. This was a paper that Brown furnished to you to 
show the handwriting of Forbes, and you kept it for that purpose. 
Answer. Yes, sir, I did; and filed it away with those drafts. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Have you any further knowledge of any pecuniary or other 
matters with which John Brown was connected in your State or neigh- 
borhood ? 

Answer. Not at all, sir ; nothing since the payment of these drafts. 

Question. Do you know the firm in whose favor these drafts were 
made. Ketch um, Howe & Co., New York? 

Answer. Yes, sir; they are private bankers in New York. 

Question. Will you give the names of the persons composing the 
firm? 

Answer. Morris Ketchum, Edmund G. Howe, and Thomas Belk- 
nap, jr. 

Question. Where is their house in New York? 

Answer. Exchange Place. 

Bv Mr. Davis: 

Question. I wish to know whether the application of Brown for 
funds, either in his lecture or otherwise, indicated any purpose than 
that of a political character in Kansas? 

Answer. Not at all, sir. All his movements since then are some- 
thing I know nothing about. 

By the Chairman: 
Question. Did you pay the balance of the money of wliich you speak 
to Brown himself, or to his order? 

Answer. To Brown himself. I sympathized with him. I gave him 
a Sharp's rifle myself, and went to Colt's to get a pistol for him. I 
believe I remarked at the time he ought to use it with care. It was a 
very good gun. I recollect that distinctly. He said, "I shall not use 
it unless I am called on to defend myself. 

W. H. D. CALLENDER. 

Benjamin B. Newton sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to state where you reside? 

Answer. At Si. Albans, Vermont. 

Question. Were you at any time acquainted with John Brown, who 
was recently executed under the laws of Virginia for offenses against 
that State ? * 

Answer. Yes, sir. 



TESTIMONY. 117 

Question. State when and where you made his acquaintance? 

Answer. In the city of New York, in January, 1857. 

Question. Did you see him afterwards? 

Answer. No, sir, not after that time; I saw him daily for perhaps 
ten days ahout that time. 

Question. You did not see him subsequently in 1857, or subsequent 
years ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Had you any communication with him by correspondence 
or otherwise? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Do you know of any arms, consisting of rifles and revolv- 
ing pistols, that were under his control in the year 1857 or 1858? 

Answer. I know nothing about that, except what he told me at 
that time, and what I learned at that time; I suppose the same arms 
that he had control of at that time were those he had in 1858. 

Question. State what Brown told you at that time ? 

Answer. Brown told me that he had some 200 Sharp's rifles, or 
had an order for some 200 Sharp's rifles, and some revolvers that 
were then at Tabor, Iow\a. 

Question. Did he state the number of revolvers? 

Answer. No, sir ; I do not remember that he stated accurately the 
number. 

Question. When and where was this statement made to you? 

Answer. In January, 1857, at New York. 

Question. Did he tell you from whom he got the order? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Who was it? 

Answer. It was from the Massachusetts State Kansas committee. 

Question. Do you know who was the organ of that committee, or 
who represented it in giving that order ? 

Answer. The secretary of the Massachusetts State committee was 
present, and told me that such an order had been given ; I cannot say 
whether he gave it, or whether the chairman of the committee gave it. 

Question. You mean that the secretary was present at the conversa- 
tion with Brown ? 

Answer. That was another source of my information ; he was not 
present at the conversation. 

Question. State that, if you please? 

Answer. The secretary of the Massachusetts State committee told 
me also that Mr. Brown had an order for those rifles. 

Question. Will you give the name of that secretary? 

Answer. Sanborn. 

Question. His first name? 

Answer. I do not remember his first name. 

Question. Do you know where he resided? 

Answer. Concord, Massachusetts. 

Question. Will you state wliat was your business at that time in 
New York, in January, 1857 ? I want to know whether you came there 
as the member of any committee. 

Answer. I went there as a member of the national Kansas com- 



118 TESTIMONY. 

mittee, as Ave called ourselves; Governor Keeder's committee it was 
sometimes called. 

Question. What did that committee consist of? How were they 
composed ? 

Answer. They were composed of one individual from each State ; 
whether they were all full or not, I cannot say ; they were not all 
present, of course. 

Question. Each State of the United States, comprising all the States ? 

Answer. I do not know how that was? I suppose not, of course; I 
presume it Avas the Northern States. 

By Mr. CoLLAiiER: 

Question. Was that the same committee of which Arny was agent ? 
AnsAver. Yes, sir; he was agent of that committee. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. What was the oLject of your assembling in Ncav York? 

AnsAver. Our object was general ; Ave had a great deal of business ; 
one special object Avas to hear reports from our agents, and to consult 
about future action and effort ; Ave had a good deal of business of one 
sort and another Avhich Avas incomplete. 

Question. What Avas the object of the committee? What business 
was intrusted to them? What were they created for? 

AnsAver. Chiefly an organ of communication between the Northern 
States and Kansas — agents, so to speak, for tlie Northern States. 

Question. Had these arms that BroAvn referred to been at any time 
under the control of that national committee? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Do j'ou knoAv from Avhat source they Avere derived; Avhere 
they were purchased? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Was there any member of this Massachusetts State com- 
mittee in Ncav York at that time, except the secretary, as far as you 
know? 

AnsAver. No, sir. The secretary of the Massachusetts State com- 
mittee was there in place of the member of the national committee 
from Massachusetts. The secretary of the Massachusetts State com- 
mittee Avas not a member of our committee, except as taking the place 
of some other gentleman of that committee. 

Question. He Avas, then, a constituent member of the Kansas com- 
mittee from Massachusetts? 

AnsAver. He was, at that time. Other States were represented in 
the same Av^ay. Ohio Avas, I remember. 

Question. I think you stated that you did not know in^vhat way 
these arms had been purchased? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. What led Brown to inform you that they Avere under his 
control? 

Answer. He Avas asking aid of us, and of course he told us Avhat 
means he had got in liis hands; what encouragement he had to offer 
us to assist him. 



TESTIMONY. 119 

Question. Was lie asking aid in money or in arms, or in both? 

Answer. In money and clothing. 

Question. Was any money furnished him by your committee? 

Answer. No, sir ; none furnished, altliough a vote was taken that 
we would furnish him with a small amount; but I believe he never 
got it. I have been told so, at least. 

Question. Is that committee of which you speak — the national com- 
mittee — still in existence? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I mean to say it is in existence^ because at that 
time it contemplated a full and complete report, which has never yet 
been made. I suppose probably we shall have another meeting; but I 
do not know that we shall. At that time we thought we should. 

Question. When was your last meeting of that committee? 

Answer. That was the last one. 

Question. In January, 1857? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Can you state what amount of money was furnished by 
the constituents of that committee in the different States, and expended 
in any way in Kansas ? 

Answer. I cannot, accurately. 

Question. Did you say you did not see John Brown after January, 
1857, and had no communication with him? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Have you any other information that would throw light 
upon the inquiries of this committee relating to Brown's operations in 
1858 and 1859, what he was engaged in, or what his plans were 
during those years ? 

Answer Tluit is a general inquiry. I had no communication with 
him of any kind directly. I, of course, heard about him, and supposed 
I knew where he was during 1857. I was, during nearly the whole of 
that year, in Kansas myself. I heard of his being in Kansas, but did not 
happen to meet him. I left the Territory in June, 1858, and I heard 
nothing from him until I learned from the papers of his being at Har- 
per's Ferry. 

Question. Did you whilst in the Territory, or otherwise, at any time 
in 1857 or 1858, hear that Brown or any of his accomplices projected 
a plan of exciting insurrection amongst the slaves in the South ? 

Answer. No, sir. I did not hear of his being in the Territory but 
once. He came in for a very few days, and then left, and from the 
papers afterwards I learned that he entered the Territory several 
months after I left it. 

Question. My question was confined to any plans of inciting insur- 
rection in the Southern States. Did you hear of any plans by Brown 
or his accomplices to go into any of the slave States? 

Answer. Not at all. He was before us for a specific purpose, and 
there was nothing said in regard to anything further. 

Question. I mean while you were in Kansas, in 1858. 

Answer. Yes, sir. 



120 TESTIMONY. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Yon say he applied to you for clothing. Did you furnish 
him any? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you deliver it to him, or give him an order for it? 

Answer. We gave him an order for it. 

Question. Was it in Kansas? 

Answer, A part of it was in Kansas, a part of it in Illinois. The 
river closed before it all reached the Territory. 

Question. What did he state were the uses of the money and the 
clothing he wanted from you? 

Answer, He wanted to provide a supply for a company. He wanted 
to organize a company. 

Question. For wdiat purpose? 

Answer. To defend the people of Kansas against invasions. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. That was the object of his apj)lication to your committee 
for the aid he mentioned? 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

Question. And you promised him a supply of money, but did not 
afterwards furnish it, but furnished him a supply of clothing ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. The money was contingent on the ability of the 
committee to furnish it. The amount was small, but I heard he never 
received it, because we never had it to give. 

Question. Can you tell the amount of clothing you furnished? 

Answer. I cannot ; but I presume he had all he wished, because we 
had a large supply of it. 

Question, Where was the clothing at the time ? 

Answer, There was a very large amount of it in the State of Illinois, 
and a large amount had gone into the Territory, which had not been 
distributed. It went in verv late. I do not know where he e:ot his. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. Did either Mr. Brown or Mr. Sanborn intimate any use 
to which those arms might probably be applied outside of the Terri- 
tory? 

Answer. Oh no, sir. This was three years ago, you will remember. 

Mr. Fitch. But we have it in testimony here that he had this thing 
contemplated for many years. 

The Witness. That might be. Mr. Brown did not tell us his se- 
crets very much, if he had any. He was very reserved on such matters. 
He never intimated to us anything about it. 

Question. Are you unable to say whether Brown had possession 
finally of those arms at Harj^er's Ferry by virtue of this transfer from 
Mr. Sanborn ? 

Answer, I did not see the order, but from the way he asked aid of 
us, I should presume he had them in such a way that he had control 
of them. 

Question. Unlimited? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Mr. Brown was not willing to be under Jim 



TESTIMONY. 121 

Lane, or Governor Robinson, or anybody. He wonld not take any- 
thing if it -was conditioned. He said to us: "You know me, and I 
know you ; I should like aid ; I have been in Kansas-, and was poor, 
and not able to aid myself or any one else, and I want aid ; but I do 
not want it if I am to go here and there, where anybody orders me to 
go ;'" and I should infer, of course, although I did not see the order, 
that it was in such a form that he would have control of them. Indeed, 
as committees, the money was raised in such a way that when we had 
given it to an individual or agent in Kansas, it passed out of our 
hands, and our responsibilit}^ ended. It was given for a particular 
purpose ; it must be intrusted to somebody, and when placed in the 
hands of an agent our responsibility in regard to it was ended, as we 
thoufrht. 

BENJAMIN B. NEWTON. 



'o' 



Charles Blair sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state where you reside, and what is your occu- 
pation ? 

Answer. I reside at Collinsville, Connecticut ; I am a blacksmith by 
trade — a forger. 

Question. Did you know the late John Brown who was recently ex- 
ecuted under the laws of Virginia ? 

Answer, I did. 

Question. Will you state when you made his acquaintance, and 
under what ':*:rcumstances ? 

Answer, i made his acquaintance in the early part of 185T. if I 
mistake not^ in the latter part of February or fore part of March. He 
came to our place, Collinsville, as I supposed, to visit connections who 
lived in our town. He himself was born, as I have understood, in 
Torringford, ten miles from there, and some of his relatives lived in a 
town five miles from our village. He spoke in a public hall one eve- 
ning — perhaps by invitation of some of the community, but I do not 
know how that was — and gave an account of some of his experience in 
Kansas, and at the close of the meeting made an appeal to the audience. 
After stating the wants of many of the free settlers in Kansas, their 
privations and need of clothing, &c., he made an appeal for aid for the 
purpose of furnishing them the necessaries of life, as he declared. I 
think there was no collection taken up for him at that time. I do not 
know that I spoke with him that night, but on the following morning, 
if I mistake not, he was exhibiting to a number of gentlemen who 
happened to be collected together in a druggist's store some weapons 
which he claimed to have taken from Captain Pate in Kansas. Among 
them was a two-edged dirk, with a blade about eight inches long, and 
he remarked that if he had a lot of those things to attach to poles about 
six feet long, they would be a capital weapon of defense for the settlers 
of Kansas to keep in their log cabins to defend themselves against any 
sudden attack that might be made on them. He turned to me, know- 
ing, I suppose, that I was engaged in edge-tool making, and asked me 
what I would make them for ; what it would cost to make five hundred 



122 TESTIMONY. 

or a thousand of those things, as he described them, I replied, with- 
out much consideration, that I Avouhl make him five hundred of them 
for a dollar and a quarter a piece ; or if he wanted a thousand of them, 
I thought they might he made for a dollar a piece. I did not wish to 
commit myself then and there without further investigation, hut it 
was my impression that they might he made for a dollar a piece. He 
simply remarked that he would want them made. I thought no more 
about it until a few days afterwards. I did not really suppose he meant 
it then. I will endeavor to state the circumstances as correctly as I 
can, though three years have transpired, and I jno^j find it necessary 
to refer to some of his letters to quicken my memory in regard to the 
matter. I have several of his letters with me here. I think he went 
to Springfield, Massachusetts, before a bargain was made between us; 
at any rate, the result was that I made a contract with him. From 
the tenor of this letter, [producing a letter from John Brown to Charles 
Blair, dated Springfield, Massachusetts, 23d March, 1857,] I think, 
he ordered me to make a dozen as samples, and I had forwarded them 
to Springfield before receiving this letter ? 

Question. Will you be good enough to look at that weapon in the 
corner of the room [referring to the pike produced and identified by 
A. M. Kitzmiller] and see whether that is according to the sample 
that vou furnished ? 

t' 

Answer. That is nearly like it. The first dozen that I made as 
samples had wrought-iron ferules, rivetted through and blacked. 
When he came to make the contract, he wrote it to have malleable 
ferules cast solid, and a guard to be of malleable iron. That was all 
the difference. 

Question. Was your contract to furnish the handles as well as the 
weapons? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you, in your samples, furnish handles as well as 
weapons? 

Answxn". Yes, sir. After seeing the sample he made a slight altera- 
tion. One was to have a screw put in, as the one here has, so that 
they could be unshipped in case of necessity. To go back a little; 
when it became apparent to me that he was in earnest about having 
them made, I began to demur a little, doubting whether he was able 
to pay me, and I said to him, "Mr. Brown, I am a laboring man, and, 
if I engage in this contract with you, I shall want to know how I am 
going to get my pay." He said, "That is all right. It is just that 
you should, and I will make it perfectly secure to you; I will give you 
one half the money, that is $500, within ten days; I will pay you the 
balance within thirty days, and give you ninety days to complete the 
contract." That w^ould carry it to somewhere near the 1st of July, 
185 Y. Before making any move in the matter, I waited to receive the 
first installment. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Was there a written contract? 

Answer. Yes, sir; he drew up a contract in writing himself. 

The CHAmMAN. Have you got that contract? 

Answer. I have not. It was a short contract, written on half a 
page of paper, perhaps; simply stating what the terms of it were. 



TESTIMONY. 123 

Question. How many was the contract for? 

Answer. A thousand. 

Question. At what price? 

Answer. One dollar each ; pretty good, stiff pay ; and hence, when I 
made the offer to make them for a dollar, it occurred to me as a matter 
of course that he would demur to the price, and it would fall through. 
He paid me $350 within ten days. This advancement was made in 
the latter part of March, 1857. I then went and purchased my mate- 
rials. I went to a handle-maker in Massachusetts and engaged him 
to make a thousand handles. I purchased the steel for the hlades and 
set a man forging them out, and he forged out perhaps five hundred of 
them. In the beginning of April I received another letter from him, 
stating that he was then unable to pay the balance of the money ; that 
he had not the funds, but hoped to have them soon, [Letter produced, 
dated Springfield, Massachusetts, April 2, 1857, addressed by John 
Brown to Charles Blair.] Soon afterwards I received another letter 
sending me a draft for $200, making altogether |550, fifty dollars 
more than he promised to give me as the first instalment. [Letter 
produced, dated Springfield, Massachusetts, April 25, 1857, addressed 
by John Brown to Charles Blair.] 

Question. This letter says, ' ' If you do not hurry out but 500 of those 
articles it may, perhaps, be as well, mi til you hear again;" did you 
construe that as a revocation of the order for the remaining 500? 

Answer. I did not. The tliirty days, I think, must have expired at 
the time that letter was written ; and it alludes to the fact that $200 
did not come until after the expiration of the first ten days. He 
explained to me in a letter, which I have lost, why the $200 of the 
$550 had not been paid me until after the expiration of the ten days. 
The last time I saw him before that, he inquired of me whether he 
could get two or three heavy wagons built in that vicinity, to be done 
in a short time, and I remarked to him that I had a friend who was 
engaged in the manufacture of heavy wagons, who lived at Colebrook, 
and that if he chos€ I would write to him and see if he could furnish 
any. I had done so, but this man, whose name was Parsons, wrote 
me that he could not furnish them in the time required, and of course 
nothing further was done about it. That explains the allusion in the 
letter to my Colebrook friend. Shortly afterwards, in May, I received 
a letter from Brown, saying that I heed not hurry out the first 500 
until the handles were properly seasoned, nor the remainder till I 
heard from him. [Letter produced, dated Cannistota, New York, 
May 14, 1857, addressed by John Brown to Charles Blair.] I at that 
time contemplated a journey into Iowa. About the time he left our 
place he said to me that he was going back to Kansas. I told him I 
had never made a journey west, and that I contemplated going into 
Iowa, and should be happy of his company. That explains part of his 
letter. In regard to the rest of it, the handles were in a green state, 
and I wrote him that unless they were seasoned, when the blades came 
to be put in, they would shrink away and all become loose; and if he 
was not in any particular hurry he had better let them remain and 
become seasoned. I worked on perhaps until several days after the 
expiration of the thirty days in which the second installment was to 



124 TESTIMONY. 

come, but, receiving no further funds from Mr. Brown, I stopped tlio 
thing right where it was, determining that I would not run any risk 
in the matter. I just Laid it aside, and there it lay, the work in an 
unfinished state, the handles stored away in the store-house, the steel 
which I had purchased stored away in boxes, the few blades which I 
had forged were laid away. Thus it was until last June ; nothing 
more was done. 

Question. Did you hear anything more from Brown? 

Answer. I will read to you all the letters I received from him during 
the time; that is, all I have preserved, and I think they embrace all I 
received. 

Mr. Fitch. Had you in the mean time sent him the five hundred? 

Answer. Not one; I never finished any of them. It is possible that 
I have lost two or three of the letters ; but, if I mistake not, the next 
letter I received from him was dated at Rochester, in February, 1858, 
nearly a year after the contract I made with him. [Letter produced, 
d.ated Rochester, New York, February 10, 1858, addressed by John 
B'.rown to Charles Blair.] What he meant by saying in this letter 
that he was again in the United States I did not know, for I did not 
know that he had been out ; but, since the Harper's Ferry aftair, I have 
learned what that means. In answer to that, I wrote to him — I have 
no copy of that letter, and I must give you my best impression of it — 
that immediately after the expiration of the thirty days I dropped the 
thing ; that I had never finished any of the articles, and, of course, 
had none to forward ; that I considered the contract at an end, and had 
other business to attend to. That was the substance of my letter. 
After that, I received another letter from him, dated at Philadelphia. 
[Letter produced, signed John Brown, and addressed to Charles Blair, 
dated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 11, 1858.] Nothing more 
was heard from Mr. Brown at all, in any way or shape, until on the 
3d day of June, 1859, the old man appeared at my door, unexpectedly 
of course, and said to me, "I have been unable, sir, to fulfill my con- 
tract with you up to this time ; I have met with various disappoint- 
ments; now I am able to do so." I say it was the 3d day of June, 
because the receipt that I gave him, which I presume you have, bears 
date June 4. That is the only thing I have to remind me of the date. 

The CiiAiRMAX exhibits to the witness (from among the pa})ers proved 
by Andrew Hunter as having been produced at John Brown's trial) a 
paper in these words: "Received, Collinsville, June 4, 1859, of John 
Brown, on contract of 1857, $150. Charles Blair." And asks: Is 
that the paper to which you refer? 

Answer. Yes, sir. The evening before, he came in by the train, made 
his appearance about six o'clock, and stated to me that he was now 
able to fulfill his contract with me. I remarked, "Mr. Brown, the con- 
tract I consider forfeited, and I am differently situated from what I 
was then ; it will be exceedingly inconvenient for me to do any more 
with it ; I have business now of a different kind ; my men are fully 
employed on other work ; and I do not see how I can do it." " Well," 
said he, "I want to make you perfectly good in this matter, I do not 
want you to lose a cent." I said "I shall not lose anything ; I was 
careful in the first place not to exceed the amount of money I had in 



TESTIMONY. 125 

my hands, and I shall lose nothing if I drop it right here." 1 said 
to him, however, that he might take the steel and the handles just as 
they were^ and I would pass receipts with him. "No," said he, ''I 
do not want to do that ; they are not good for anything as they are." 
At that point I remarked, "What good can they he if they are finished ; 
Kansas matters are all settled, and of what earthly use can they he 
to you now?'' "Well," he replied, "that they might he of some use 
if they were finished up, that he could dispose of them in some way, 
hut as they were, they were good for nothing." I then said to him, 
"I will receive of you the remaining $450, if you have it and wish to 
pay it to me, and if I can find a man anywhere in the vicinity that is 
accustome-d to doing such work who will finish up the work, I will do 
so, provided I can do it and come within the means, and it will not he 
much trouhle to me, because I am very busy and have not time to 
attend to it ; but in case I do not succeed in finding a man to do it, I 
will refund jon this |450." Said he, "That is all right, and I will 
agree to it." A short conversation passed on that day, and he left me 
with that understanding, but paid me no money then. He went to 
the hotel and stayed over night, and in the morning, about seven 
o'clock, he came again and told me that he was about to start for New 
York, and that he would pay me $150 then, and would send me from 
New York on the following day, or from Troy, within a day or two from 
that time, $300 more. I said "very well." He took out his pocket 
book and paid me fifty dollars in bills and a one hundred dollar check, 
and I gave him the receipt which has been shown ; I scratched it off 
in a hurry. He hurried to the cars and went off, as I supposed, for 
New York. A few days after that, four or five perhaps, I received a 
letter inclosing a draft for $300. [Letter produced, d^ted Troy, New 
York, 7th June, 1859, addressed to Charles Blair by John BroAvn.] 
The letter that I wrote in answer to that, has appeared in the public 
prints, and I presume you have it. 

The Chairman exhibits to the witness a letter dated Collinsville, 
Connecticut, June 10, 1859, addressed to "Friend Brown," and signed 
Charles Blair, being one of the papers proved by Andrew Hunter, as 
having been produced at John Brown's trial, and asks : Is that it? 

Answer. That is the reply I made to that letter. In regard to the 
time, I think he spoke to me something about liking to have them 
finished up as soon as possible, and that was the reason of my saying 
that man could not finish them up any sooner. In the month of July, 
I was absent on a business tour at the West, and during my absence 
a letter was received from John Brown, requesting me, when those 
goods were finished up — if I remember aright, the term " goods" Avas 
used, .as in all his writing — to forward them to Chambersburg, in 
Pennsylvania, to J. Smith & Sons, at the same time requesting me to 
give him the price of axes, hatchets, broadaxes, and picks. That 
letter my son received, and I have not got it with me. My son replied 
to it, in my absence, telling him where he could find the price of those 
articles, which we were making; that I was absent, and probably, 
when I got home, I would write him. It is that letter, I presume, 
which caused the subpena for me to be directed to "Charles H. Blair, 
alias Charles Blair." Charles H, Blair is my son. Soon after I ar- 



126 TESTIMONY. 

rived home, I received a letter, in an entirely different handwriting, 
from Chambersburg. [Letter produced, signed J. Smith & Sous, ad- 
dressed to Charles Blair, and dated Chambersburg, Franklin county, 
Pennsylvania, August 24, 1859.] A few days subsequent to that, I 
received another letter from J. Smith & Sons, requesting me to for- 
ward the '"'freight," when re'ady. In my reply, wliich I have also seen 
in the papers, I made use of the term "freight"' because they had 
used the term, and said it had not been forwarded, but would be in a 
few days. 

The Chairman exhibits to the witness a letter, dated Collinsville, 
Connecticut, August 27, 1859, addressed to Messrs. J. Smith & Sons, 
and signed Charles Blair, being one of the papers proved by Andrew 
Hunter as having been produced at John Brown's trial, and asks: Is 
that your reply, of which you now speak, to the letter signed J. Smith 
& Sons? 

Answer. Yes, sir; that is my reply to that letter. I do not know 
that I said, if I did not I will here say, that I went out of town and got 
a man by the name of Hart to finish up this work for me. Mr. Hart 
was an acquaintance of mine, whom I had formerly known, and I knew 
him to be engaged in edge-tool manufacturing, a competent man to do 
it, and I submitted the whole thing to him. I received one other letter, 
which I cannot find, before a letter dated September 15, which I shall 
presently produce, simply saying to me that, when I sent the goods to 
Mr. Brown, I should send them to the care of Oakes & Cauffman. I 
presume that, when I marked the goods, I left t.liat letter at the man- 
ufactory of the man who finished them. When they were done, I saw 
that the blades were tied up in boxes^ and the handles in bundles. I 
simply marked them according to the directions. Then the next letter 
I received was dated »September 15, acknowledging the receipt of the 
goods. [Letter produced, dated Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Thurs- 
day, September 15, 1859, addressed to Charles H. Blair, and signed 
J. Smith & Sons.] That is the whole story, I believe. 

Question. Will you state of what wood those handles were made? 

Answer. Ash timber. 

Question. Was that Brown's selection or yours? 

Answer. My impression is that it was his selection. It is a common 
timber that we use for fork handles. lu the course of the conversation 
I had with liim, he spoke of the handle being made like a fork liandle, 
about the size of a hay-fork liandle, and of the same material. 

Question. Did he prescribe the length? 

Answer. The contract, I believe, was that they were to be six feet 
or six feet and a half long. I am not positive which. 

Question. And the form of the weapon he showed from a weapon 
tliat he alleged he had taken from Pate, but to be accommodated to 
that fashioned pike? 

Answer. Yes, sir; and I will show you the difference. The dirk 
had a ridge in the middle and was beveled each way, and was not as 
wide as this by about one fourth. His direction was to have it made 
two inches wide, if I mistake not, and a trifle longer than the blade 
he showed me. That had a guard shorter than this, and had a neat 
handle. It was an exr)ensive weapon. 



TESTIMONY. 127 

Question. Can you get a copy of tliat contract or the contract 
itself? 

Answer. No, sir ; I could not lay my liands on it wlien I came away; 
it has been lost. 

Question. Did the contract prescribe minutely the mode and fashion 
and material of which tlie weapon was to be made ? 

Answer. It did not describe the blade, but simply that the ferules 
and guard were to be made of solid malleable iron and a screw through 
the shank and the ferules; that, I believe, was the description; it 
described the length of the handle. 

Question. What is the blade there made of? 

Answer. Of cast steel. 

Question . You said they were put in boxes — by whose direction were 
they put up separately from the handles when they Avere sent on ? 

Answer. By Brown's direction, in one of the letters I read to you; 
they were tied up in bundles of about twenty or twenty-five in a 
bundle. 

Question. Do you recollect in the address that you gave them to J. 
Smith & Sons to the care of Oakes ct Cauifman, whether they were 
described as Ibrk-handles? 

Answer. They were marked fork-handles; I do not think that 
was Brown's direction ; it was my own ; I did not know what else to 
call them. They were properly fork-handles, and I so marked them. 

Question. Plow could you say they were properly fork-handles when 
they were intended for a weapon? 

Answer. Because they were just about the length and size ; that 
is all. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Did you go to a fork-handle maker to get them? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I ought to say, perhaps, that they are rather 
smaller than he ordered. They are much smaller than they were when 
they were green. They have been made three years and they have 
shrunk some. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Was the Avhole affair furnished by that man or yourself, 
including the screw which connects the handle and the blade? 

Answer. We furnished them all, although the ferules and the screw 
Avere made at New Haven. The malleable iron was made by a firm in 
New Haven. 

Question. But the whole thing was furnished, so that nothing was 
required but to put them together ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; that was in accordance with the contract. 

Question. What was the whole number furnished, did you say? 

Ansvfer. The contract was for a thousand, but I think there were 
nine hundred and fifty-four sent. 

Question. Were they all sent at one shipment? 

Answer. Yes, sir; all at once. 

Question. I think you said it was in June, 1859, that he came back 
to your place of business? 



128 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did he tell you nothing in reference to what use he pro- 
posed then to make of them, except what you have already spoken of? 

Answer. Not another syllable; I have stated precisely the language 
that he used: " 1 think that they might be useful if finished up, but 
they were good for nothing as they Avere." That, I think, is all he 
said about them. The idea I got, when he first spoke of them, was 
that he was going to sell them to the people in Kansas, and T think he 
made use of this expression^ that he wanted them for the poor settlers 
in Kansas who were not able to purchase fire-arms ; that they needed 
some weapon of defense to keep in their cabins, and such a thing 
would be useful to them. 

Question. When you were required afterwards to send them ta 
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, did any conversation arise as to the 
reason of their change of destiny? 

Answer. Not at all; I got the impression that they were on their 
way to Ohio or to the West ; I never know where Chambersburg was 
at all, and having always had in my mind the idea that they were 
first originally destined for the West, I did not know but that he might 
send them, and that Oakes & Cauflfman, as 1 supposed, were for- 
warding merchants, and J. Smith & Sons, I supposed, were a ho7ia 
fide firm. Since further developments have come out, it appears who 
J. Smith & Sons were, but I certainly knew nothing about it at that 
time. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. You say Mr. Brown made you these payments? Did he 
make them in money? 

Answer. Part was in money and part was in a draft or check. 

Question. In 1857, it would seem, he sent you a check on New 
York? 

Answer. A draft on New York for $200. 

Question. Was that of his own drawing? Did he sign it? 

Answer. I think not; I think it was a draft drawn by one of the 
banks in Springfield on a bank in New York, jiayable to bearer, or it 
might have been payable to Brown, I cannot remember that ; that 
draft came to me through a man by the name of Rust, living in the 
same town where I am. In writing to him BroAvn inclosed this draft, 
and requested him to hand it to me. 

Question. Now, when you come to 1859, and what he sent you from 
Troy, Avhat did he send you? 

Answer. A draft, according to my statement, for |300. If I re- 
member right, I cannot say positively, but it is my impression, it was 
a drait drawn by the cashier of one of the banks of Troy, payable to 
me. 

Question. Did you receive from him any other checks or drafts of 
any kind towards these payments? 

Answer. When I received the $150, for which I gave him that 
receipt, dated the 4th of June, 1859, he gave me, as part of that, one 
check drawn by Gerritt Smith for |100. The rest was in bank bills of 
the Springfield or Boston banks. I cannot say which. 



TESTIMONY. 12^ 

Question. Where was that check ofGerritt Smith upon? 

Answer. Upon one of the Albany banks, if I remember aright, I 
think it was a check made payal)le to Jolin Brown^ or bearer, or per- 
haps Brown's name was not contained in it ; but I remember it dis- 
tinctly, because it occurred to me at once that Cxcrritt Smith was a 
prominent man, here was his check for .|100, and I supposed him to- 
be good for it. I was inclined to be more particular about the check 
than I was about the drafts. I knew the drafts must be good, having 
been drawn by the cashier of a bank. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. The money was all received on them; they were all paid? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; as far as I know. I never heard anything from 
them. They were checked for me by Mr. Norton, who is treasurer of 
our saving's bank. 

CHARLES BLAIR. 



January 26 LS60. 
James Jackson affirmed and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state where you reside? 

Answer. In Boston. 

Question. Were you acquainted with a man named Francis J. 
Meriam, of Boston? 

Answer. I was. 

Question. Are you connected with him? 

Answer. I am. 

Question. State what the connection is, if you please? 

Answer. I am his uncle. 

Question. Where is Francis J. Meriam' s residence? 

Answer. In Boston. Do you mean his present residence? 

The Chairman. I mean his usual place of abode. 

Answer. In Boston. 

Question. Will you state whether, on the 14th day of last October^ 
or on what day about that time, you sent to him, then at Baltimore, 
from Boston, a sum of money in gold or otherwise? 

Answer. I cannot give the date. 

The CiiAiRxMAN. As near to it as you can come. 

Answer. I have no idea hardly of the date. 

Question. Can you give the month? 

Answer. I think it was in October. 

Question. Cannot you speak of the probable time in reference to the 
outbreak at Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. I have no distinct recollection of the date; liardly of the 
month. I think it was October. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. You can state whether it was before or after the out- 
break. 

Answer. It was before. 



130 TESTIMONY. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. State any ftxcts within your knowledge in reference to you 
or any Locly else sending to him a sum of money from Boston by 
Adam's express, to Baltimore, at tlie time you speak of; state the 
iacts ? 

Answer. Mr. Meriam sent a telegraphic dispatch to me to send on 
$600 in gold. I sent it by the express. 

Question. Addressed to him, where? 

Answer. I think it was at Baltimore. 

Question. Will you state where that money came from, whence it 
was derived? 

Answer. I raised the money. It was his own money. 

Question. How did you raise it? 

Answer. I think 1 got it from my father; he handing me a check 
on one of the Boston banks for the amount. 

Question. How did 3"ou obtain it from your father? If the money 
belonged to Meriam, what need had you to resort to your father for it ? 

x^nswer. I think some property of Mr. Meriam's came into my hands, 
and I think I lent a portion of it to my father, and when this tele- 
graphic dispatch came I called on him for the amount. 

Question . How long before you sent that money had you seen Meriam ? 

Answer. I think it was two weeks ; thereabouts. 

Question. Where did you see him then? 

Answer. In Boston. 

Question. Did he tell you that he would have occasion for that sum, 
or any other sum of money in a short time ? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Had you any knowledge of his wanting the money until 
you received the telegraph ? 

Answer. None. 

Question. Did you know where he Avas before he sent you tlie tele- 
fgraph ? 

Answer. I cannot say, positively. 

Question. Give us your nearest recollection. 

Answer. I think I did. 

■Question. State it, if you please. 

Answer. I think that he was at Chambersburg. 

Question. Did you know that John Brown, who was afterwards hung 
in Jefferson county, Virginia, Avas in the neighborhood of Chambers- 
burg ? 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. Did you know John Brown? 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. Did you never see him? 

Answer. I never saw him. 

Question. Did you know that Meriam had any connection with him 
in any way ? 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. Did you never hear Meriam speak of him ? 

Answer. I think not. 

Question. Do you know what use he made of the money after he 
got it ? 



TESTIMONY. 131 

Answer. I do not. 

Qnestion. Have you seen Meriani since? 

Answer, Yes. 

Question. Where did you see him? 

Answer. In Boston. 

Question. When? 

Answer. Perhaps six weeks since — from four to six. 

Question. Did he tell you what use he made of the money when he 
got it ? 

AnsAver. I think not. 

Question. Was any reference made to your liavino- sent him the 
money ? 

Answer. I do not rememher. 

Question. Did you ohtain any receipt for it? 

The WiTXE.^s. From him ? -^ 

The OiiAiRMAX. From him. 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. Have you no evidence that you sent it at liis direction? 

Answer. Not from him. 

Question. Then from whom liave you it? 

Answer. From the express ofhce. 

Question. What did you get from the express office as a voucher for 
the payment ? 

Answer. A receipt. 

Question. Was the money in gohl? 

Answer. In gold. 

Question. How was it put up? 

Answer. I tliink it was taken from me at the express office loose. 

Question. Do you know a man named Lewis Hayden, in Boston? 

Answer. I do. 

Question. Is he white or black? 

Answer. Black. 

Question. What is his business there? 

Answer. I think his business is in the State House. I think lie is 
one of the runners in the secretary of state's office ; but I am not sure. 

Question. Was there any acq[uaintance between him and Francis J. 
Meriam that you know of? 

Answer. Yes. 

Question. Are you aware that Hayden had control of any money 
belonging to Meriam? 

Answer. I think I am. 

Question. Give us the facts — your knowledge of tlie matter. 

Answer. I understood that he had a small amount of money — five 
dollars, I think. 

Question. You heard that he had a small amount of money, five dol- 
lars ; whom did you learn that from ? 

Answer. I think from Meriam. 

Question. Did you hear tliat from Meriam after liis return, or before 
he went away ? 

Answer. I think afterwards. 



132 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Do you know of Hayden's receiving a telegraph from 
Meriam shortly after you sent him that $600? 

Answer. I do not remember. 

Question. If you had heard shortly after you sent that money, about 
the time of the outbreak at Harper's Ferry, that Hayden had received 
a telegraph from him, would you recollect it? 

Answer. I think I should. 

Question. Did not Hayden tell you that he had received a telegraph 
from Meriam about money? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Do you knov/ of any other persons in Boston who had the 
control or possession of money belonging to Meriam, except Hayden? 

Answer. I do not remember of any. 

Question. Did you never hear of Meriam' s having any connection 
with the John Brown who has been spoken of? 

Answer. Never. 

Question. When Meriam came back to Boston, did he tell you what 
use he had made of the money you had sent him? 

Answer. I think not. 

Question. How long did he remain in Boston after he came back? 

Answer. Two or three days, perhaps. 

Question. Where did he stay during that time? 

Answer. He stayed at Dr. Thayer's. 

Question. What is Thayer's first name? 

Answer. I tliink it is David. 

Question. In what part of Boston does he reside? 

Answer. In Beach street. 

Question. What is his jarofession? 

Answer. A physician. 

Question. Is Meriam related to him? 

Answer. Not at all. 

Question. Did Meriam. keep himself concealed when he came there? 

Answer. Yes. 

Question. Did you know his reason for it? 

Answer. I supposed he feared being arrested. 

Question. Why did you suj^pose so? 

Answer. From his keeping himself concealed. 

Question. What was he afraid of being arrested for ; what had he 
done? 

Answer. He had participated in the Harper's Ferry matter. 

Question. How did you learn that? 

Answer. From his statement. 

Question. Well, now, give us his statement if you please; tell us 
what he told you, and say when it was ? 

Answer. During the time I have spoken of, when he was at Dr. 
Thayer's, he told me he was, with a few others, stationed at some 
distance from Harper's Ferry to guard arms that were there. 

Question. What arms? 

Answer. Arms that were to be used, if necessary, I suppose. 

Mr. Davis. Perhaps the witness does not understand that he is per- 
mitted to go on and tell his narrative. 



TESTIMONY. 133 

The Chairman. [To the witness.] I ask you to give the whole state- 
ment he made to you. 

The Witness. What I have just stated is about all tliat I remember 
of any consequence, bearing directly on the point. 

Question. Did you have any communication with him whilst he was 
at Chamber sburg? 

Answer. I think I did. 

Question. State what it was, if you please? 

Answer. It was in reference to the money that he requested me to 
send him. He requested me to send it immediately. I told him that 
when he ordered money, he must give me a little time to raise it for 
him. That was about the substance of my letter to him. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Was the request to you by letter, from him at Cham- 
ber sburg? 

Answer. Not from him; but when I sent the letter, I requested him 
to give me a little time to raise it. 

The Chairman. You said that he ordered the money by telegraph ; 
was that telegrai^h sent to you from Chambersburg? 

The Witness. I think, from Baltimore, 

The Chairman. I understood you to say that you had some commu- 
nication with him whilst he was at Chambersburg in reference to 
money? 

The Witness. I should have said at Baltimore. 

Question. Did you have any communication with him whilst he was 
at Chambersburg? 

Answer. I do not remember that I did. • 

Question. Then how did you know that he had been at Chambers- 
burg? 

Answer. I think he wrote a letter to me when he was at Chambers- 
burg. 

Question. What were the contents of the letter? 

Answer. He said that he should not return for, perhaps, some time; 
that we need not look for him to return home soon. That was about 
the substance of the letter. 

Question. Did he tell you what he was doing there, what took him 
there? 

Answer. Not at all. 

Question. How long had he left Boston before he sent to you for 
that money from Baltimore? 

Answer. Perhaps two weeks. These matters I do not remember 
distinctly the exact dates of. 

Question. Did you say that you had no knowledge of his being in 
any way connected with Brown? 

Answer. I did say so. 

Question. Had you any knowledge of Brown's plans or purpose to 
make an attack on Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. Nothing. 

Question. Did you know of any contributions being taken up for 
Brown, in Boston, during that year, 1859? 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. What is Meriam's business or pursuit in life? 



134 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. He has not been in any business for some five or six years? 
He lias l)een in Europe part of the time. 

Question. What is his age? 

Answer. Twenty-two. 

Question. Are his parents living? 

Answer. His mother is. 

Question. Where does she live? 

Answer. In Boston. 

Question. You say that Meriam left Boston from four to six weeks 
ago? 

Answer. I think it was thereabouts, perhaps less. 

Question. Where did he go when he left Boston? 

Answer. He went to Canada. 

Question. To what part of Canada. 

Answer. I do not remember. 

Question. Do you know where he is now? 

Answer. I do not. 

Question. Have you heard anything from him whilst he has been in 
Canada? 

Answer. I have. 

Question. What did you hear? 

Answer. He asked me to send him money there. 

Question. Did he tell you what his plans were — where he was going 
to, what he was going to do? 

Answer. He did not. 

QiKstion. Did you send him any money? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. How much? 

Answer. One hundred dollars. 

Question. What is the value of his whole property ; what are his 
means in life? 

Answer. Six or eight hundred dollars. 

Question. Do you mean that that is what he is worth now? 

Answer. iVt present. 

Question. Have you any knowledge of this negro, Lewis Hay den, 
collecting any money for Meriam? 

Answer. Not any. 

Question. Any knowledge of his money transactions with Meriam, 
except what you have spoken of? 

Answer. That is all. 

Question. No knowledge of Meriam's telegraphing to him about the 
time you sent the money? 

Answer. Not any. 

Question. Did you know from Meriam of any persons who were 
advising or counseling or aiding Meriam in his connection with 
Brown? 

Answer. He gave me no names, of any one that I knew of, Avho ad- 
vised him. He gave me the names of some who were with him. 

Question. With him where? 

Answer. Wherever he was stationed. 



TESTIMONY. 135 

Question, Some of those Avho were with him of Brown's party, do 
you mean? 

Answer. Of Brown's party. 

Question. Have you any knowledge, Avhether derived from Meriam 
or otherwise, of any persons in Boston, or anywhere in New England, 
who were in communication or advising Meriam as to this Brown 
affair ? 

Answer. No. 

Question. Or who was aiding Meriam in any way? 

Answer. No one. 

Question. Do yon know of anybody who gave any money, directly 
or indirectly, to Brown? 

AnsAver. No one. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. How long has that young man's father been dead? I 
suppose his property came from his father ? 

Answer. It came from his father, who has been dead ten years, or 
perhaps fifteen years. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. You say he had been in Europe. How long was he in 
Europe? 

Answer. About a year. 

Question. What business was he brought up to — any profession or 
business ? 

Answer. I think in the English goods business. 

Question. What is your business or profession? 

Answer. I am a florist. 

Question. Have you acted as attorney, or agent, or guardian for him, 
or anything of that kind ? 

Answer. I have. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. What were you — his guardian, appointed by law? 
Answer. Appointed by law. 

Question. Did he not inform you of what his pursuits were, or what 
he was engaged in? 
Answer. He did not. 

By Mr. Doolittle; 

Question. As I understood you, the six hundred dollars was the 
greater part, or i)retty much all of the money that now belongs to- 
him? 

Answer. That did belong to him at that time. 

Question. Has lie property in expectancy? 

Answer. I think not. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Do you know a man named James Redpath? 
Answer. I do. 



136 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Do you knoAv of Meriam having any acquaintance or con- 
nection with him ? 

Answer. I do. 

Question. What was their acquaintance and connection? 

Answer. He went off with Redpath, I think, a year since, perhaps 
more, to Hayti to learn the condition of things there. He went with 
him as interpreter of the French language. 

Question. Was he paid hy Mr. Redpath for the service? 

Answer. I do not know. 

Question. What condition of things did he want to learn there? Do 
you know what interested him in Hayti ? 

Answer. Principally the condition of the colored population. 

Question. The condition of the negroes? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What interest had he in learning the condition of the 
negroes ? What was his object, so far as you derived it from him ? 

Answer. I presume his object was to see how it bore in relation to 
the character of the negroes in this country. 

Question. Do you know where Redpath is now? 

Answer. I do not know. 

Question. Have you seen him latterly? 

Answer. I have. 

Question. When? 

Answer. I saw him five or six days since. 

Question. Where did you see him then? 

Answer. In Boston. 

Question. What part of Boston was he in — in the streets or in a 
house ? 

Answer. He was in the Emigrant Aid rooms. 

Question. The room of the Emigrant Aid Society? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Where is that room? 

Answer. In Winter street. 

Question, W^hat sort of a building is it in — a dwelling house or a 
public house? 

Answer, A public house. 

Question. Do you mean a hotel or tavern? 

Answer. No. 

Question. What is the purpose of the building? 

Answer. Various purposes. It is a large building. 

Question. AVas it night or day when you saw him? 
• Answer. Daytime, 

Question. Do you know whether lie is in Boston now? 

Answer. I do not. 

The Chairman exhibits to the witness from among the papers proved 
by Andrew Hunter to have been i)roduced at John Brown's trial, a 
letter, dated Boston, December 23, 1858, signed Francis J, Meriam, 
.and asks: Is this letter in Mr, Meriam's writing? 

Answer, I should think it was. 

Question. The whole body of it, as well as the signature? 

Answer. I should think it was; it looks like his. 



TESTIMONY. 137 

Questiou. When did you make Redpath's acquaintance? 

Answer. Just previous to tlieir leaving for Hayti. 

Question. Was this man Meriam at any time in Kansas, that you 
know? 

Answer. I think he was not. 

Question. Are you aware of his having been in Kansas in the winter 
of 1858-59 ? ' 

Answer. I never knew him to be in Kansas. 

Question. Did you never hear of his having been tliere? 

Answer. Never. 

The Chairman. I asked the question because this letter seems to 
imply that he had been there. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. Who Avas present at the Emigrant Aid Society's room, 
besides Eedpath, on the occasion when you recently saw him there? 

Answer. I do not remember. 

The Chairmax. You were there. 

The Witness. I was there. 

Mr. Fitch. What was the character of the business whicli convened 
those who were there? What was the object of the meeting? 

Answer. I merely called in to see Redpath on a matter of business. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. How did you know Redpath was there? 
Answer. He usually calls there. 

Question. Will you state what your business was with Reelpath? 
Answer. Relative to a note whicli is due to Meriam. 
Question. From Redpath to Meriam? 
Answer. Yes. 

Question. What is the amount of it? 
Answer. Five hundred dollars. 

Question. Do you know^ what that money -vvas loaned for by Meriam 
to Redpath ? 

Answer. I do not. 

JAMES JACKSON. 



January 30, 1860. 
Samuel Chilton sworn and examined : 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you j^lease to state where you reside and what your 
occupation is? 

Answer. I reside in this city; I am a lawyer, professionally and 
jiractically. 

Question. Will you state whether you Avere counsel for John Brown, 
who Avas recently executed in Virginia, under the laws of that State? 

Answer. I was. 



r 



138 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Were you counsel on liis trial on an indictment for treason 
and murder? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you attend his trial? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. Will you state by whom you were employed as counsel, 
and the circumstances under which you were employed? 

Answer. It was on Friday, after his trial had been commenced, as 
I was informed — I had been absent the week preceding, and got some 
indulgence at the hands of the circuit court here, which Avas then 
sitting, and I had just returned and Avas engaged in business there — 
when Judge Montgomery Blair, of this city, came to the court-room 
and said he desired to see me, and I went out Avith him into one of the 
rooms ; he told me that he had received a letter from a gentleman by 
the name of John A. AndrcAA', of Boston, Avhom he represented to be 
one of the leading laAvyers of the Boston bar ; in \Adiich letter he said 
that he desired Mr. Blair to go up to CharlestoAvn and appear in 
BroAvn's case on behalf of his relatiATS and friends; that was the 
statement contained in the letter. 

Question. Of Avhose relatiA^es and friends? 

Answer. Brown's; and the letter said if he could not go to employ 
suitable counsel at his discretion. He told me that he could not pos- 
sibly go, and did not think lie Avas the proper person to go and defend 
him, and asked if I Avould undertake his defense. I told him that I 
should have a little time to consider it ; that I had just returned home, 
and I could not neglect business in the court here, but I Avould see the 
court and the laAvyers on the opposite side, and, as they had ahvays 
been verv kind and indulgent to me, I had no doubt thev Avould make 
an arrangement Avith me, as it Avas not likely I should be gone more 
than three days, and then, if a satisfactory fee was assured to me, I 
was Avilling to go and defend him. He said he thought I Avas the best 
person to go. So, after making this consultation Avith tliese gentle- 
men and the court, they agreed to indulge me, and I Avent up and 
announced to him that I Avas ready to go, provided the fee was satis- 
factory. Mr. Blair said he Avas not authorized — tliat is, he did not 
expect to bind himself for the fee in any way at all, but told me Avho 
this gentleman Avas ; and I learned from others Avho had heard from 
him that he ansAvered to the character he gave as a gentleman high in 
his profession and high, socially, in tlie Boston community; and I 
asked him if he felt himself authorized to make an engagement on 
behalf of this gentleman. He said he did; and I told him that Avas 
perfectly satisfactory. We agreed on the fee. I Avent up and rendered 
W'hat services I could. Through Mr. AndrcAv, I Avas paid the fee that 
was contracted to be paid me. 

Question. Did Mr. Blair shoAv you the letter from Mr. Andrew? 

Answer. He read the letter to me; I am not sure that I saw it; I 
had one letter from Mr. AndrcAv afterAvards, I think. 

Question. Have you that letter Avith you? 

AnsAver. No, sir; I do not think I could find it. 

Question. Can you state the contents of the letter from Andrew 
to vou? 



TESTIMONY. 139 

Answer. Well it was sometliin^^; in relation to carrying np his case 
to the court of appeals of Virginia — a mere inquiry. It was not a 
matter of any sort of importance, and I did not either take care of the 
letter or charge my memory with it. Mr. Andrew and myself cor- 
responded rather through Judge Blair. I tliink I received two letters 
through him — one was on some matter of inquiry ahout taking the 
case up, the costs, &c., for employing additional counsel in Richmond, 
and Mr. Grreen was employed; the other was in relation to my fee. 

Question. You say the fee was paid to you by Mr. Andrew ? 

Answer. Through Mr. Andrew. It was paid by two or three dif- 
ferent drafts^ I think, drawn by Mr. Blair upon Mr. Andrew — Mr. 
Blair showing me Mr. Andrew's letter authorizing him to draw from 
time to time. 

Question. Have you any knowledge of whence the money was derived 
that made up that fee? 

Answer. I have not. I understood through Mr. Blair, I think, and 
Mr. Andrew, that the money was raised by those whom he denominated 
the relatives and friends of Brown. He said there was a small number 
of them, and that he stood responsible for the fee that was contracted 
to be paid me and for the expenses of the suit. 

Question. Did that engagement as counsel extend to any other person 
than Brown of those who were arrested there? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. The engagement was confined to appearing as counsel for 
Brown ? 

Answer. Entirely to Brown's case. I was written to while in Rich- 
mond attending to BroAvn's case by young Mr. Hoyt, and the records 
in two cases sent to me, with a request to Mr. Green and myself that 
if we were successful in getting a writ of error in Brown's case we 
would appear^ saying that fees would be secured to us, but no definite 
amount was named, and there was nothing beyond that at all. As 
we failed in Brown's case, which we thought much stronger than the 
other cases, we made no application at all in the others. Judge Blair 
wrote to Mr. Andrew for me, and I recommended that assistant counsel 
in Richmond be emploj^ed, and recommended Mr. Raleigh T. Daniel. 
Then a telegraph came to know if Mr. Daniel would appear for a 
definite sum which was named, and I telegrai)hcd to him and wrote 
also, and I got a letter from him stating that his grand jury court — he 
is the prosecuting attorney for the city of Richmond — was coming on 
about the time we made this application ; he had a very large docket, 
and he did not think he could give his attention to it, but he recom- 
mended 3Ir. Green, whom he had consulted, and who said he would 
be content to take the fee oiFered and attend to the case. I went down 
and carried the record, and remained there about a Aveek. We pre- 
pared the petition witli a good deal of care, and the court considered 
it and overruled it. That was the end of it. 

Question. In your intercourse with Brown during his trial, <lid he 
disclose to you, or state to you, the names of any persons out of the 
State of Virginia, or in it, who were connected with him in this assault 
upon Harper's Ferry, other than tliose who were present as liis i)arty 
atPIarper's Ferry? 



140 TESTLMONY. 

Answer. He did not. I did not ask him any questions. I listened 
to whatever he chose to communicate. I had a very long conversation 
with him on Sunday. I got there Saturday morning. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. I do not suppose we can develop anything material, 
especially after the answer the witness has made; but really, ought we 
to ask counsel as to communications from his client? 

The Chairmax. I do not think that question will arise on the inter- 
rogatory I j)ut to him. Whether we could ask him to communicate 
anything that his client told him in reference to the matter pending 
hefore the court in which he was counsel is one question, but as to 
matters unconnected with his trial, is a different question. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. I do not wish to make a point of it ; but what is com- 
municated by the client — the client not knowing exactly what relates 
to his case and what does not — is always privileged. 

The Witness. I was going to remark that I have a proper understand- 
ing of the relation ; and if a question were asked me, the answer to 
which would disclose anything of that sort, I should very respectfully 
decline to answer it; but there was nothing in the world. I think it 
is much shorter to say that he never did make a communication to me 
of anybody. I did not ask him any questions about it. My questions 
were confined entirely to his defense there in court, and whilst he gave 
me a long narrative of his life pretty much, in the general, an interest- 
ing one too, he did not mention the name of a single individual. In 
fact, he did not mention the names of those in jail with him. I did not 
see but one of them, a man who was in the room with him, Stevens. 

SAMUEL CHILTON. 



February 1, 1860. 
Hon. Henry Wilson sworn and examined. 
By the Chairman: 

Question. Mr. Wilson, will you be good enough to inform the com- 
mittee whether you had an interview with a certain Hugh Forbes in 
the city of Washington, when it took place, what led to it, and what 
resulted from it, and what communication he made, if any? 

Answer. I was sitting in my seat in the Senate early in May, 1858, 
the first week I think of May, 1858, and Mr. Forbes came to my seat 
and introduced himself, the Senate not being in session. I think it 
was on Saturday. At any rate, the Senate was not sitting and I was 
sitting at my desk franking documents or writing. He came to my 
seat, introduced himself to me. I had never before heard of him, 
knew nothing whatever of him. He said that he had been employed 
the year before, I think he said al)out a year before that, by Brown to 
go to Kansas, or somewhere near there, to drill some men for the de- 
fense of Kansas. That w^as the idea he communicated to me. I un- 
derstood him that he was employed by Brown. He spoke of Brown 
and said he had left him, I think tlie l"all before, I cannot fix the time. 
He seemed to be in a towering passion, greatly excited ; said he had 
been abused and treated badly. Brown had discharged him or they 



TESTIMONY. 141 

had parted; Brown had failed to pay him wliat he ought to he paid ; 
that he thought those persons in the East, and he mentioned Dr. 
Howe among them, wdio had made contributions for Kansas were under 
obligations to pay liim ; that his family was suffering in France, I think 
he said Paris, but I am sure it was in Europe. He said his family 
were starving. He spoke very nervously and excitedly about it. Then 
he said that some of the arms that had been contributed by these jieople 
in the East for the defense of Kansas had got into Brown's hands and 
were somewhere in the West, in Ohio or in Iowa. I do not remember 
whether he said these arms were at Tabor or not, but I am confident 
he said they were at Iowa; and he said that Brown was not a fit man 
to have arms, and that they ought to be got out of his hands. He said 
very decidedly that the}^ ought to be got out of his hands, that he was 
not a fit man to have those arms, or something to that effect. That 
was the idea he conveyed to my mind. He said that he w^as a revolu- 
tionist by opinion ; and he had no objection to going into anything of 
that nature. He then left me and I have never seen him since. He 
remained in the city, as I understood, some days afterwards, but I do 
not know ho'sv long. I think that was the latter j^art of the week when 
the Senate was not in session. Afterwards I saw Dr. Bailey, I think 
I called at Dr. Bailey's on the Sunday evening following. 

Question. Who was Dr. Bailey? 

Answer. The editor of the " Era.'' It was the evening I wrote, and 
I know I wrote Sabbath evening. He asked me if I had seen a man 
by the name of Forbes here. I told him I had. Dr. Bailey said to 
me that Forbes had said to him that John Brown had got some arms 
in his possession that were contributed for Kansas. Dr. Bailey then 
said to me that those people ought to get those arms out of Brown's 
hands, and that I had better write to some of them to that effect, I 
told him I had the same impression. 1 sat down that evening and 
wrote a letter to Dr. Howe, of Boston, which is the letter referred to 
here. When I was here the other day, I told you I had sent to Dr. 
Howe for the letter. Dr. Howe has written me that he has searched 
everywhere but cannot find the letter. He states, however, that he 
recollects substantially the contents. I have stated the circumstances 
under which I wrote and the knowledge I had. I had no knowledge 
whatever of anything like an organized invasion, or anything of the 
kind. I had the impression that BroAvn belonged to the class of men 
who had been in Kansas who entertained the idea that when any 
attacks were made on Kansas in any way, they ought to be retaliated 
by going over the line into Missouri, and I supposed this had reference 
to imprudent acts that might be perj^etrated on the frontiers between 
that State and the Territory of Kansas. Nothing else ever entered my 
mind ; and believing that policy was wrong, and tliat the only proper 
l)olicy w^as a defensive one, I wrote the letter under those circumstances. 
The letter, as near as I can recollect — I am very sorry it cannot be 
produced, because I should like to have the identical words — was very 
brief, and to this effect : that I wrote to him for the purpose of saying 
it was rumored that some of the arms that had been contributed by 
gentlemen in the East for the defense of Kansas had jiasscd into the 
hands of John Brown, and w^ere held somewdiere in his hands, and 



142 TESTIMONY. 

that they ought to get them out of his hands and put them in the 
hands of some reliable men in Kansas, who would use them only for 
the ])urposes of defense, for which tliey were contributed ; that if these 
arms should be used for any illegal purpose, they would involve the 
men who contributed for the other purpose in difficulties. That was 
the substance of the letter ; that if they should be used for any illegal 
purpose whatever, they would be involved in difficulty, and they should 
get them out of his hands at once. I received a letter, three or four 
days after I wrote mine, from Dr. Howe, to this elfect : that they had 
sent to Brown to deliver the arms into the hands of somebody in Kan- 
sas ; at any rate, they had sent to him to take the arms into Kansas, 
or deliver them up in some way ; and I supposed, at the time, the 
arms were those referred to as being in Iowa, which were sent out there 
and stationed on the way. I received this letter a day or two after I 
wrote. That was tlie substance of it. The w^hole matter, I supposed 
then, was a quarrel between Brown and Forbes, and I paid but little 
attention to it ; and never, until the outbreak took place, dreamed or 
heard from any quarter whatever anything in regard to it. I heard 
nothing from Forbes or Brown or any other source. When, some 
months afterwards, I think it was in the autumn or the first of the 
winter following. Brown made a raid into Missouri, after the troubles 
in the south part of Kansas — the ca])ture and murder of some free-State 
men — I thought that was probably what Forbes referred to in saying 
that the arms ought to be out of liis hands. That is my whole knowl- 
edge of the matter. 

Question. In Forbes's interview with you, did he tell you at all the 
cause of quarrel between himself and Brown? 

Answer. No, sir ; but I had the im^n-ession it was on account of 
want of pay; that Brown had no men to drill; that he went out to 
drill some men and they had none, and Brown did not pay him ; that 
he had been employed in New York, I think, in teaching the use of 
arms in fencing, and that he liad lost his place by going west. I saw 
him but a very few minutes, and he was very much in a passion with 
Brown and the men in the East. 

Question. Did he tell you who those men were in the Eastern States 
whom he looked to to pay him, and who had declined doing it? 

Answer. He said he thought that men like Howe and Sanborn, and 
I think he mentioned Mr. Lawrence, and that class of men who had 
made contributions for Kansas, ought to pay him, and I think he told 
me that he had written them to that effect ; at any rate, he spoke of 
them and Brown with a great deal of bitterness. He was a very 
nervous man, and seemed to be in a great passion. I told him I 
knew nothing of it whatever — had never heard anything about it, and 
could do nothing about it. 

Question. Will you state, if you please, why you wrote to Dr. Howe 
— what control he had over the subject? 

Answer. Forbes had mentioned his name to me, as among the men 
in the East wdio had made contributions of money or arms for Kansas. 
I had not direct communication about it, but I knew by the newspapers 
and common rumor that Dr. Howe had been verv active in contribu- 



TESTIMONY. 143 

tions for Kansas. I know he was an active man in the matter; I liad 
never liad any communication with him myself about it. 

Question. JDo I understand you correctly, that in your communi- 
cation with Forbes, and afterwards with Dr. Bailey, you derived the 
im])ression tliat Brown intended to make some illegal or improper use 
of those arms? 

Answer. I had an im})ression of tliis kind from what lie said to me 
about getting the arms, and from the manner in which Dr. Bailey 
spoke to me, saying that the arms ought to be got out of his hands ; 
that there might be border difficulties in Kansas, raids over the line ; 
that he might strike back; that he might go over the line if any thing 
should ha|)pen, and in retaliation, capture, and run off slaves. I had 
this impression from what Forbes and Dr. Bailey said, and from my 
past knowledge tliat there were a class of men in Kansas who had the 
idea that when there was any attack on Kansas, it ought to be 
retaliated by an attack over the line into Missouri. My own opinions 
were, that that was a fatal policy, and an illegal one, and ought not 
to be tolerated for a moment. I had the apprehension when this re- 
mark Avas made to me, that these arms were in Brown's hands, and 
ought to be got out ; that he might, in retaliation, use them for that 
purpose ; that was my idea. I had this feeling, that it was a thing 
which ought to be discoui'aged ; that the arms which had been sent, as 
I supposed, for defense, ought not to be used for any illegal or aggres- 
sive purpose; that it was illegal and wrong so to use the arms, and so 
far as the men were concerned who contributed the arms, they ought 
to take them out of Brown's hands, and give him no encouragement, 
but keep clear of him. I had no idea of any general organization for 
the invasion of Missouri or any otlier State; but I supposed reference 
was made to mere border ditiiculty which a few men might get up 
between Kansas and Missouri. 

Question. You received a letter afterwards from Dr. Howe, inform- 
ing you that he had taken measures to perfect what you had suggested? 

Answer. I received a letter within three or four days, I think as 
soon nearly as the mail could carry my letter and bring his back, in 
which he said substantially — I cannot give the exact words, but I 
remember distinctly about it, because I felt that the thing I had writ- 
ten for was accomplished — that he had sent an order to Brown either 
to carry the arms into the Territory or deliver them to somebody in it. 
The idea was, that an order had been sent b}^ a gentleman who had 
control of them. I do not know that he had control of them, but that 
such an order had been sent. Dr. Howe further said in the letter that 
there was a man in Washington, a disap})ointed and malignant 
man, by the name of Forbes, who he supposed had communicated any 
information upon whicli I might have written the letter. I did not 
mention any source of information in my note to him, and therein is 
where I supposed Mr. Realf might have mixed the contents of Dr. 
Howe's letter, in which he sent mine to Brown, with the contents of 
my letter. 

Question. Did you hear anything at any other time from Dr. Howe 
of whether these arms had been taken out of Brown's possession? 

Answer. I never heard about it. I never made an inquiry after- 



144 TESTIMONY. 

wards. I supposed it was done, and never paid any attention to 
it, or thought any more of it; and, in fact, the whole subject then 
dropped out of mind. I saw nothing, and heard nothing from any 
other sources, in regard to it. I supposed it was a matter that was 
settled, as things were getting peaceable in the Territory, and every- 
thing was quieting down. The idea of an invasion at Harper's Ferry, 
or organization for an invasion of the South, had never been enter- 
tained by me any more than I entertain to-day the idea of an invasion 
of Boston from France or England. I never heard Dr. Howe say 
anything about it. 

Question. Had you any acquaintance with John Brown? 

Answer. I met John Brown in Boston, in the spring of 1859. 

Question. Do you remember the month? 

Answer. The last of May or the first of June; I met him at the 
Parker House, at Boston. There were a dozen persons there. Brown 
came in with somebody and was introduced to quite a number of gen- 
tlemen who were there. I was introduced to him and he^ I think, did 
not recollect my name, and I stepped aside. In a moment, after 
speaking to somebody else, he came up again and, I think, he said to 
me that he did not understand my name when it was mentioned, and 
he then said, in a very calm but firm tone, to me: "I understand you 
do not approve of my course;" referring, as I supposed, to his going 
into Missouri and getting slaves and running them oif. It was said 
with a great deal of firmness of manner, and it was the first salutation 
after speaking to me. I said, I did not. He said, in substance, I un- 
derstand from some of my friends here you have spoken in condemna- 
tion of it. I said, I had ; I believed it to be a very great injury to the 
anti-slavery cause ; that I regarded every illegal act, and every impru- 
dent act, as being against it. I said that if this action had beien a 
year or two before it might have been followed by the invasion of 
Kansas by a large number of excited people on the border, and a great 
many lives might have been lost. He said he thought difterently, and 
he believed he had acted right, and that it would have a good influ- 
ence, or words to that effect. I saw him a night or two afterwards, on 
the stage of a large meeting in Tremont Temple, at which I was in 
the audience. Mr. Cheever, of Xew York, was delivering an address. 
That was all the conversation I ever had with Brown. In this con- 
versation he spoke with great frankness, and I supposed that he 
referred to what I had said in regard to his going over the line, and 
taking away slaves from Missouri, which I had condemned, but he 
may have also referred to my letter to Dr. Howe. 

Question. Did you learn from any credible source, or from anything 
that transpired, what was the object of his mission to Boston at that 
time ? 

Answer. I did not know anything of it. I never heard anything 
said about it in any way. I supposed that he was there as he was 
about the country generally, and I never heard that he was collecting 
funds for any special object ; did not know anything about it. 

Question. Do you remember the month? 

Answer. I think it was the latter part of May or the first of June, 
because it was the week of the anniversaries in Boston, when the 



TESTIMONY. 145 

various religious and other societies hold meetings. It is called anni- 
versary week with us. I think it is the last week in May in which a 
great number of societies — religious, and tract, and charitable, and 
benevolent societies — hold their anniversaries. The meeting at which 
I saw him on the stage, was the Church Anti-Slavery Society, an 
organization of ministers connected with the church. Dr. Cheever, 
of New York, was delivering an address before them, and I remember 
attending to hear him. Brown sat on the stand. 

Question. Did Brown make any address? 

Answer. He was called out, and said a word or two, but it was very 
brief indeed. I have little recollection of it, but it did not amount to 
much any way. It was just before Mr. Cheever got up, and there 
seemed to be a great desire to hear Cheever, and Brown sat down very 
abruptly. The meeting was called to hear Mr. Cheever deliver an 
address, and before they got ready, there being a very full audience, 
there was a call for Brown, and he got up, but he had hardly said a 
sentence or two before there was a call for Cheever, and he sat down 
saying he was more accustomed to action than to speaking. 

HENRY WILSON. 



February 2, 18G0. 
Edward K. Schaffer sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Are you a member of the firm of Schaeffer & Loney? 

Answer. I am. 

Question. Will you state where your place of business is? 

Answer. Our place of business is at Nos. 1 and 3 Hanover street, 
Baltimore. 

Question. Will you please to say whether, at any time in October, 
and on what day, you sold a parcel of percussion caps to a man named 
Meriam; in what way, and under what circumstances, they were 
bought ? 

Answer. On the 13th of last October a young man came into our 
])lace of business and inquired for military percussion caps. The young 
man who waited on him asked him a certain price for them, and he 
stated that he wished to get a large quantity. He came back into the 
counting-room, where I was, and asked me whether I could sell them 
at any less price than he had offered. I then went out into the store 
to see who it was that wanted them. I found a young man there, who 
stated that he wanted quite a quantity of them. I tried to find out 
from him for what purpose he wanted them. He gave me no satisfac- 
tion in regard to the object. 

Question. What did he say? Can you recollect? 

Answer. He said he had an order for them. I was not favorably 
impressed with the young man's appearance. I thought it was rather 
an unusual quantity for any legitimate purpose ; and I told him the 
price was so and so, as our young man had told him, and that I would 

10 T 



146 TESTIMONY. 

not sell them for less. In fact, we had not as large a quantity as he 
wanted. 

Question. What was the quantity he wanted? 

Answer. I think he wanted forty or fifty thousand. AVe had on 
hand only about twenty and one fourth thousand at the time. He ob- 
jected a little to the price we asked^ but said he would see whether he 
could make up the quantitj'. I told him there were other houses in 
the city who kept them. As he went out of the store, he passed by 
where samples of spades and shovels were hanging up, and wished to 
know the price of spades and shovels. I suspected that he was fur- 
nishing supplies for some fillibuster expedition, though I knew^ that 
New Orleans and New York were generally the places where they got 
up those expeditions. Still, the appearance of the young man was 
unfavorable, and I refused to give him the price of the spades and 
shovels. I walked with him towards the door, and told him there 
were other houses in the city where he could probably procure a supply 
of them, and he went out. The next day he came into the store, went 
to the same young man, and told him he would take the percussion 
caps we had on hand of the kind he had looked at. He requested that 
a bill should be made out, and that the caps should be packed up and 
sent to Barnum's hotel, to his room, giving us the number, I think 
204. He gave us his name — F. J. Meriam. The young man furnished 
him the caps and went out to make the bill. Meriam's manner ap- 
peared to be rather excited. He pulled out his money, Avhich was in 
$20 gold pieces; and there were $14 or $15 of change coming to him, 
and in his hurry he went off without getting it. The young man 
called him back and gave him the change. The caps were packed up 
and sent to Barnum's, according to his request. 

Question. What was the amount of the purchase? 

Answer. Some $45. That was all we thought of it at the time, 
until a few days afterwards the outbreak occurred at Harper's Ferry. 
Then we suspected that our caps had probably gone there, and that the 
man who bought them was one of Brown's men. The name corres- 
ponded with one given in the accounts of the outbreak. Feeling 
anxious to know whether our suspicious were correct, we got a friend 
at the Ferry to inquire, and our caps were identified, among some that 
were found there, by the private mark that was on the papers, I think. 

The Chairman exhibited to the witness a box-lid produced by A. M. 
Kitzmiller, marked: 

20i M. caps. From 

S. & L., 
F. J. Meriam, B. 

204 Barnum's Hotel, 
Baltimore. 

and asked: Do you recognize this? 

Answer. That is the identical lid of the box we sent. 

Question. Did you know anything more of this man Meriam at any 
time afterwards; I mean anything that would lead you to a knowledge 
of who he was or what became of him ? 

Answer, I know nothing except what I saw in the papers. 



TESTIMONY. 147 

Question. Did you make any inquiries in relation to who he was 
anywhere? 

Answer. No, sir. The only inquiries we made in regard to it, I 
think^ we stated in our letter to you. We found out from Barnum's 
that the young man had, the day before he made the purchase, re- 
ceived a sum of money hy express from Boston. 

The Chairman. It is unnecessary to go into that. 

EDWARD K. SCHAEFFER. 



February 3, 1860. 
Joshua R. Giddings affirmed and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you please to state, sir, your place of residence? 

Answer. Jefferson, Ashtabula county, Ohio, is my residence. 

Question. At one time you represented that district in the House of 
Representatives ? 

Answer. I represented that district in tlie House of Representatives 
for twenty-one years. 

Question. Will you please to say whether you were acquainted with 
John Brown, who was recently executed under the laws of Virginia 
for offenses against that State? 

Answer. I saw John Brown on Saturday afternoon — I cannot give 
the date — in the spring or summer last past. He appeared on the 
ground, where several gentlemen were engaged in playing ball, with 
a proposition to lecture in our village the next day. 

Question. Where was that? 

Answer. In the village in which I live. He appeared there for the 
purpose of making arrangements for his lecture. I was called aside 
to consult with our friends, for the purpose of making arrangements 
for the lecture, and introduced to Mr. Brown. This was the first time 
I saw him. 

The Chairman. I did not hear the date distinctly of that._ 

Answer. I cannot give the date. It must have been in May or 
June last, I think. As I say, I was introduced to him for that pur- 
pose, and was consulted in regard to making arrangements for his lec- 
ture. I said at once, let him come and lecture. I did not like the 
idea of undertaking to say, in dollars and cents, what we would give 
Mr. Brown. My proposition was adopted. I did not leave playing 
ball, probably, more than three or four minutes. He left, appeared 
the next day, and lectured in the church where I worship. After the 
lecture, I made an appeal to the people i)resent, stating Mr. Brown's 
past sufferings in Kansas; his trials and the persecutions to which he 
had been subjected there ; that he was now without any regular em- 
ployment on which to depend for a living ; and for my own part, I was 
willing to contribute. Our friends generally contributed. The sum 
I cannot state, but I think it was satisfactory to all. It was less than 
twenty dollars; it was over ten, I should think. After this was done. 



148 TESTIMONY. 

I invited him to my house to tea. He took tea witli me and with my 
family, and, I think, one or two other gentlemen. AVe conversed from 
a half to three quarters of an hour after tea, in the common sitting- 
room of my residence, when suddenly his carriage drove up to the door 
and he left me. I never saw Mr. Brown at any other time or at any 
other place. That was the extent of my acquaintance with him. 

Question. Mr. Griddings, will you look at this note? Prohahl}^ it 
may refresh your recollection as to time, [Exhibiting the following- 
letter : 

Jefferson, Ohio, May 26, 1859. 

My Dear Sir: I shall be absent during next week, and hope to be 
at home during the summer. Shall be happy to see you at my house. 

Very truly, J, R, GIDDINGS, 

John Brown, Esq,] 

Answer. It corresponds very near to the date which I had stated. 

Question, I wanted to know^ if that was the period you referred to? 

Answer, It would not fix the time of his appearance at Jefferson or 
of his lecture. It fixes the time at which I solicited him to come 
there, but the date of his being there would probably be within three 
weeks from that time. This I state entirely without any date, with 
nothing but an impression as to the time. 

Question. Do I understand that that was a note inviting him to 
come to the village where 5a")U lived? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Mr. Brown was regarded as a man of some con- 
siderable distinction, or notoriety, if you please. He had lectured in 
the surrounding villages, except the seat of justice of our county. 
Perhaps I go too far in saying almost all the surrounding country. 
He had in a portion of it at all events. Our people were anxious to 
hear him, and his son, who was said at that time to reside in the town 
of Andover, had intelligence of this, and the first time I had any 
encouragement to invite Mr. Brown was on the receipt of a letter from 
him, saying that he would be in Andover at some time, but the time 
I cannot fix. In the letter he wrote, I should think he expressed a 
willingness to lecture for us. The note now presented me was written 
to say that I hoped to see him at that time, &c., as it now reads. In 
pursuance of this he called, but the date I cannot fix. The date of 
this note corresponds with my impression very well as to the time it 
was written, but not as to the period he was there. 

Question, You say he had been lecturing in most of the adjacent 
villages? 

Answer. No, He had lectured at Cleveland, at Painesville, and in 
those places which would correspond in point of population with ours. 

Question. Was the purpose of those lectures, as far as you know, to 
get contributions of money? 

Answer. I do not know anything of those lectures, further than 
what was stated by him in the lecture at our place, I do not know 
that I ever heard any analysis or description of those delivered in 
other places. 



TESTIMONY. 149 

Question. Did lie say anytliing in the lecture at your place wliicli 
would show that the object of his lecturing was to collect money — to 
get contributions? 

Answer. Not any further than stated. I did understand he was 
lecturing, and received compensation for it, for the purposes of his 
su2jport. I got no idea that he lectured for any other purpose but to 
receive such sum^ as would sustain himself and family. 

Question. AVhat was the subject of his lecture in your village? 

Answer. Slavery entirely. Tlie duty of Christians in relation to 
the institution of slavery ; the obligations which Christians were under 
to do to the slaves as they- would have the slaves do to them under an 
exchange of circumstances. In the course of which he spoke of his 
professions of religion and the religious obligations which we were 
under to the slaves. He carried that to an extent that we were bound 
to aid the slaves in escaping, so far as we could, even in the slave 
States. That was the distinguishing feature in which he differed per- 
haps from our ])eople. 

Question. Did he develop any plan or propose, either directly or by 
intimation of his own purposes, to take measures in any way for the 
liberation of slaves in the Southern States ? 

Answer. From the time of his arrest to the present day I have not 
only thought and reflected on that, but I have inquired of other gen- 
tlemen who heard his lecture, and I am not only authorized to say 
that I have no recollection of any such things but I have the word of 
those who were present to say tliat men who were there had no im- 
pression of his expressing anything of the kind. 

Question. Was there no suggestion as to the modes by which the 
great object to be attained could be effected ? 

Answer. Not the remotest. 

Question. That, I understand, was the first time you ever saw him? 

Answer. The only time I ever saw him. You will recollect he called 
on Saturday and lectured on Sunday. Those were the only two in- 
stances I ever saw him. 

Question. Did you have any correspondence with him? 

Answer. No further than this : his note to me and mine to him, 
which has been shown me. How he learned that we wanted him to lec- 
ture I did not know, but he intimated he would be in Andover, and 
would visit us if we wished. 

Question. Are you acquainted with his son, John Brown, jr., of 
whom you spoke just now? 

Answer. I have been since that, but not before. John Brown, jr., 
was educated in tlie town adjoining me, and my eldest daughter was 
educated at the same institution, and knew him when he first came to 
my house ; but I had no idea of ever having seen or heard of him until 
that time. At this time, which was about the period of his father's 
lecture, he was at my house. I was introduced to him, and knew him 
for the first time. Since then, I have probably seen him two or three 
times, but you are aAvare I have not been there constantly. I have 
been absent a great deal. 

Question. Did John Brown, jr., after that period, when you saw 



150 TESTIMONY. 

his father, at any time call upon yon and advise or suggest to yoii 
anything about raising money for his father for any purpose? 

Answer. He did; as stated in my lecture at Philadelphia. He called 
with a statement that his father was in want, I helped him with 
three dollars most cordially, the same as I contributed at the time of 
his lecture, for the same purpose and same object. 

Question. Was that in a personal interview with you, that he told 
you that his father was in want? 

Answer. These were the circumstances: I had my carriage ready to 
start for some place, I think, now, it was Cuyahoga, and I had started, 
actually got as far as my door, when he stopped me and told me, in a 
very few words, that his father was in want. I dare say I should not 
have given more than a dollar if I had the change, but three dollars 
was the lowest I had, and I gave it without any hesitation. 

Question. Can you tell when that was? 

Answer. I cannot say. It must have been, I should think, as late 
as August last, but I wish you to understand that this fixing of dates 
is one of the most difficult thini2;s in mv own mind, unless I have 
something on which to predicate it. I have no data on which I can 
fix it in this case; but that is my impression, and I give it as my im- 
pression. It may have been September, and may have been July, but 
my impression is that it was August. 

Question. Did he speak with you at that time, or any other time, 
about forming societies through that country for the purpose of making 
contributions? 

Answer. I am not aware of anything of the kind. If he did, it has 
passed from my recollection. I should think that I said to him that I 
would ask friends where I was going to, and prevent his father from 
being in want. That is my impression ; but as to forming any society, 
I do not know that I ever heard of the thing suggested until your 
question. I have seen some publication of a letter from John Brown, 
jr., giving some intimation that I Avould form associations. That was 
unquestionably an error. I was on my way to Portage county. At 
Portage, I had been told, there was an association for aiding in all 
those charitable and humane purposes connected with the escape of 
slaves fleeing from bondage. At least, I understood they were asso- 
ciated for that purpose — for the purpose of giving aid to the needy 
men and women who were esca})ing from bondage. This giving money 
for such purposes by individuals Avas very common. A former student 
of mine, who had originally read law with me, was said to be at the 
head of that association, and my reference was to that association. 

Question. What is the name of tlie town ? 

Answer. The town of Ravenna, in which I was to lecture. I was 
unwell at the time, and when I had closed my lecture before the Eclec- 
tic Institute of Hiram, Portage county, and before I went to Ravenna, 
I returned from Hiram on account of ill health directly home as quick 
as I could go by railroad. I did not visit Ravenna at all, nor did I 
fill my appointment to lecture there. 

Question. In the conversation to which you refer with John Brown, 
jr., in connection with associations of the sort you have mentioned, 



TESTIMONY. 151 

was the idea conveyed to Brown that mone}' might be obtained from 
those associations for the purposes of his father ? 

Answer. It was not. Permit me also to say that in the conversation 
with John Brown, jr., no allusion was made to any other association 
upon earth than that referred to. I suppose Brown's impression must 
have arisen from mv intimation to him that 0. P. Brown, who 
was a lawyer there, had been instrumental in forming an association 
there. I suppose it must have been that he alluded to. I can account 
for his language in no other way. I merely give tliis as a supposition. 
I have not seen Brown since the affair at Harper's Ferry, and have had 
no opportunity to inquire his ideas. 

Question. Were you a member of any of those associations? 

Answer. I never was a member of any association of that kind. I 
wish to explain, that whatever I have given for the aiding of fugitive 
slaves, or for any such purpose, I have always done openly and undis- 
guisedly, without any hesitation, and have taken pains, at all times, 
to proclaim it ])ublicly. 

Question. Will you state, as far as you know, wliat were the exact 
and definite objects of the associations of the character such as you have 
sjioken of? 

Answer. I would not be willing to undertake to say what were the 
exact objects of the association to wliich I refer. My inclination is that 
it was originally formed for the purpose of aiding fugitive slaves, who, 
having left the slave States, were continuing their flight through our 
State ; such is my impression, and I only give that, without any spe- 
cific authority. 

Question. You have spoken of going through that country lecturing. 
AVill you state the subject of the lectures? 

Answer. My lectures were uniformly such as I deliver before lyce- 
ums. They are mostly upon the principles of our government ; the 
legitimate powers and constitutional duties of human governments. 
That is one of my lectures. The higher law constitutes another. 

Question. Will you explain the meaning of the higher law? 

Answer. I will do so with great pleasure. What I mean by the 
higher law is that power which for the last two centuries has been pro- 
claimed by the philosophers and jurists and statesmen of Germany, 
Europe, and the United States — called, in other words, the law of na- 
ture — by wliich we suppose that God, in giving man his existence, 
gave him the right to exist ; the right to breathe vital air ; the right to 
enjoy the light of the sun ; to drink the waters of the earth ; to unfold 
his moral nature ; to learn the laws that control his moral and physi- 
cal being ; to bring himself into harmony with those laws, and enjoy 
that happiness which is consequent upon such obedience. 

Question. In your lectures, was the theory of that law applied to the 
condition of African slavery in the United States ? 

Answer. Unquestionably, to all. Wherever a human soul exists, 
that law applies. I mean by the term "soul," that immortal princi- 
ple in man that exists hereafter, which is called the human soul ; and 
wherever such soul exists, there is the right to live ; the right to attain 
knowledge ; the right to sustain life, obey the laws of his Creator, and 
enjoy heaven or happiness. 



152 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Was that theory or doctrine of a higher law in your lec- 
tures applied specially to the condition of African slavery in this 
country ? 

Answer. To all human beings, wherever they are. 

The Chairman. I do not think you answer the question. You do 
not mean to evade it, I am sure ; but you do not answer. 

The Witness. I do not intend to evade it, certainly. Then I will 
say that the meanest slave who treads the footstool of God holds from 
his Creator the same right to live and attain knowledge and to liberty 
that you and I possess. 

Question. In those lectures, were the doctrines you now speak of, 
applied directly to the condition of slaves in the United States? 

Answer. Certainly; to all human beings. 

Question. Will you state to what extent you exemplified the duty 
as you understand it of the people of the United States to carry that 
law into efiect? 

The Witness. You want my views. 

The Chairman. I want the views given in your lectures. 

Answer. The views given in my lectures go to this extent : that 
whenever, without going into any other State, we have the opportunity 
to sustain the right of a fellow being, it is our duty to do it. I have 
never felt myself called upon to advocate nor to encourage the entering 
into other States to speak thus to slaves ; but wherever in my own 
State, where I can do it without violation of law, or enactments erro- 
neously called Jaw, I uniformly arm the slave ; I uniformly tell him to 
defend his life and his liberty ; I uniformly teach him his rights so far 
as I can. 

The Chairman. The object of my question was not so much to get 
your individual opinions as those inculcated in your lectures. 

Answer. I would be understood that these are the sentiments that I 
inculcated in my lectures. 

Question. You were delivering lectures of that character during the 
summer and fall of 1859, in that region of country? 

Answer. I am not aware of delivering that lecture during the summer 
past. I think in almost every instance during the summer I lectured 
on the trial of John Quincy Adams. The lecture which I delivered 
before the institute in Hiram, Portage county, was on the trial of Mr. 
Adams. My opinion is that I was advertized to lecture in Ravenna 
on the same subject. 

Question. Will you be good enough to say whether, in propagating 
these doctrines which you call the doctrines of a higher law, there was 
inculcated in the lectures also the duty of the citizen to regard that 
law in preference to the laws of the country, if they came in conflict. 

The Witness. You want the subject of my lectures. 

The Chairman. As to that point. 

Answer. I think, perliaps, I w^ill publish some of them. My lectures 
inculcate this: what all writers upon natural law in Europe generally, 
and in the United States, for the last two centuries, have declared that 
any act, command, or enactment, violative of those eternal principles 
of right and liberty are void ; that they have none of the essence or 
elements of law ; that they are the mere mandates of despots ; that it 



TESTIMONY. 153 

is not only the right of the people to disregard such mandates, hut it 
is their duty and a high virtue to maintain the principles of enduring 
truth and justice, although the legislature, or the men acting in a 
legislative capacity, should overstep the bounds of their authority and 
command otherwise; that any enactment to disrobe a human being of 
the right which God has given him is just as wrong, as criminal, in 
him who perpetrates the crime, as it would be if no such enactment 
existed; that right and wrong are established by Heaven's law; that 
man may obey this law, but cannot modify or alter it; that in treating 
of these mandates of despotism, men are not bound to incur greater 
penalties than they believe it their duty to incur ; but whenever they 
can, with safety, express their disapprobation or their opposition, or 
even resistance, with impunity, without incurring too great penalties 
on themselves, it is their duty to do it. I will go a little further in 
that respect : the man who would disrobe his fellow-man of any of the 
rights God has given him stands precisely in the character before the 
Christian world as other despots and criminals. There is no distinction 
between Nero and him Avho, at this day to the same extent, denies the 
equal right of his fellow-man to life and liberty. 

The Chaikman. That is rather beyond the scope of the question. 
The question was, which law was to be regarded, if they came in con- 
flict : the laws of the country, or the higher law^ to which you have 
alluded ? 

Answer. Permit me again to explain. There can be no laio which 
invades the right of any innocent human being to life, liberty, and 
happiness. The mandate or the enactment has none of the elements 
of law ; it is a mere command to violate God's will or the laws of nature. 
I make this as an explanation. 

Question. Will you be good enough to say whether at any period 
after you first became acquainted with John Brown, you w^ere aware, 
from any source, of his purpose to attempt the liberation of slaves in 
the South ? 

Answer. In that respect, you will permit me to answer in this way, 
if you please : that I had an impression that he would do as he had 
done in Missouri ; and I think that the general idea, the general im- 
pression, (for I have conversed with many of our leading men,) was 
that he would do the same again if the opportunity presented itself. 
That was the impression ; but that I had any authority for it, except 
by way of inference, is not the fict. 

Question. What do you refer to as having occurred in Missouri? 

Answer. I suppose the history of the day has shown him to have 
taken off slaves from Missouri, as he himself stated in Virginia that he 
had done, and that that was his object in entering Virginia. He had 
taken away some twelve or fifteen slaves from Missouri. 

The Chairmax. I knew the instance ; but I did not suppose but that 
you had a specific reference. 

The Witness. I had reference to that. 

Question. How did you derive the impression ; you say you had 
the impression that that was his purpose ? 

Answer. That impression was an inference from what he had done, 
and from the fact that he was known as an outlaw ; a price had been 



154 TESTIMONY. 

set upon liis liead, as lie stated; tliat he liad no fixed place of resi- 
dence; that he was destitute of regular employment; that he was 
advocating the right of all men to liberty, and particularly that it was 
the duty of Christians to aid slaves in the slave States to escape. It 
was inferred from that. That is my impression. 

Question. Did you know from John Brown, or any authentic sources, 
whether, in that descent upon Missouri, there was any violence used in 
getting the slaves ? 

Answer. I did not. I understood that there was no personal vio- 
lence, no bloodshed, nor anything of that kind. There were threats. 
He was surrounded by force, and the marshal of Kansas, or the deputy 
marshal, or some officer with a posse attempted to surround him, and 
he, by display and address, came off without the shedding of blood. 
That was my impression.' I did also get the impression, but whether 
it was from the publication or from any other source I do not know, 
that he was very much opposed to shedding blood. 

Question. Have you been present at a meeting of any of the associ- 
ations you refer to in your country, or anywhere else, that were organ- 
ized for the purpose of facilitating the escape of slaves ? 

Answer. The Chairman evidently labors under a misapprehension 
of what I have stated. He uses the plural number, speaking of ' ' asso- 
ciations." I have referred to but one. I know of but one, and that 
I only know by hearsay, as I have stated. It is the one to which I 
have alluded. I know of no other. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. Did you, in inculcating hy popular lectures the doctrine 
of a law higher than that of the social compact, make your application 
exclusively to negro slaves, or did you also include minors, convicts, 
and lunatics, who might be restrained of their liberty by the laws of 
the land ? 

Answer. The interrogatory presupposes what has not been stated, 
that I inculcated a law higher than the Constitution of my country. 
My first answer is^ distinctly, that the Constitution of my country is 
founded on that law, is not contradictory to it, and is essentially in all 
its bearings distinctly in favor of it. So far as the interrogatory pro- 
fesses to speak of insane persons and lunatics, it is the very safety of 
the people that they should be restrained from committing depreda- 
tions on them ; it carries out the objects of government to secure the 
whole people in the enjoyment of life and liberty, including the luna- 
tic. It is not only consistent with the higher law and with the Con- 
stitution of the country, but with the common sense of the people. 

Question. And if the law of the land should deem it equally neces- 
sary for the safety of the country to restrain other persons, does the 
higher law resist ? 

Answer, The proposition is of itself a contradiction to the common 
teachings of our reason. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Eight here. Colonel Davis, I must interpose. I 
think, although this colloquy between you and Mr. Giddings is very 
instructive to us all, perhaps, it is no evidence. You are simply asking 
for his opinion. 



TESTIMONY. 155 

Mr. Davis. It is evidence only in this sense, that I wish to get at 
the sentiment wliich was inculcated by the lecturer and received with 
approbation, as connected with our present inquiry as to how far com- 
hinations exist to destroy the institutions of the country. That is the 
object. 

The Witness. Propound your question directly, Colonel Davis. I 
will take great pleasure in answering it. 

Mr. Davis. Did the doctrine inculcated teach that it was right to 
liberate any person who was restrained by the laws of the land from 
those liberties which you say belong to all as the endowment of nature? 

The Witness. Permit me, with all due deference, to suggest, so 
that I may understand you, do you intend to inquire whether those 
lectures would indicate whether your slaves of the slave States had a 
right at all times to their liberty ? 

Mr. Davis. I Avill put the question in that form if you like it. 

Answer. My lectures, in all instances, would indicate the right of 
every human soul in the enjoyment of reason, while he is charged with 
no crime or offense, to maintain his life, his liberty, the pursuit of his 
own happiness ; that this has reference to the enslaved of all the States 
as much as it had reference to our own peo})le while enslaved by the 
Algerines in Africa. At that time, as a nation, for the enslaving of 
our citizens by Algerines, we sent a navy there to butcher them. In 
all my lectures I inculcated the right of the Africans in the United 
States to their liberty, .3 standing upon precisely the same level that 
the claim of Americans enslaved by Africans stood at the time we sent 
our navy to Algiers. 

Question. Tlien the next question is, whether the same right was 
asserted for minors and apprentices, being men in good reason, yet 
restrained of their liberty by the laws of the land? 

Answer. I will answer at once that the proposition or comparison is 
conflicting with the dictates of truth. The minor is, from the law of 
nature, under the restraints of parental affection for the purposes of 
nurture, of education, of preparing him to secure and maintain the 
very rights to which I refer ; and therefore, to say that the child com- 
pares with the slave of mature age is doing violence to the common 
sense of the land. 

Question. How with apprentices? 

Answer. The apprentice stands in the same condition as the child — 
so in law, and so in reason, and so in common sense. The apprentice 
is merely transferred to another parent, as it were, to teach him the 
mode of sustaining himself, to educate him and prepare him for use- 
fulness ; and when he shall attain to the age at which he is supposed 
to be capable of knowing and maintaining his rights, he becomes free, 
and holds the right to assert his natural prerogatives. 

Question. This doctrine then is, that tlie laws of tlie land must con- 
form to the higher law, and if they do not conform they are void? 

Answer. By this indiscriminate application of the term "law" to 
all enactments that are of themselves despotic, we confuse the minds 
to whom we address ourselves. Such enactments have, I repeat, none 
of the qualities, the essential elements of law. For two centuries, 
all Christian Avriters have defined law to be a rule of action command- 



156 TESTIMONY. 

ing that which is right, and prohibiting that which is wrong, and any 
enactment violating the law of nature, or the plainly revealed and well 
understood will of the Creator, is not only void but criminal. 

Question. But who is to judge whether the laws of the land violate 
or conform to the laws of nature ? 

Answer. In our nation the people are made the judges. Our gov- 
ernment was based upon the doctrine that it was constituted to secure 
the people in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and happiness ; that when- 
ever any form of government becomes destructive of life, of liberty, or 
of happiness, it is the right and the duty of the people to alter or 
abolish it, and reorganize its powers in such form as to them shall seem 
most likely to secure their interest and happiness. They do this in 
our government in the regularly constituted mode of turning out such 
officers as disregard the laws of nature, and placing those who hold to 
the doctrines asserted by the founders of our republic. 

J. E. GIDDINGS. 

Samuel G. Howe sworn and examined. 
By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you please to state where you reside, and what is 
your profession ? 

Answer. I reside in Boston, Massachusetts; I am by education a 
physician; I do not practice my profession. I have charge of two 
charitable public institutions. 

Question. Will you state whether you were acquainted with John 
Brown, who was recently put to death in Virginia, for oflenses against 
the laws of Virginia? 

AnsAver. I was. 

Question. When did you form his acquaintance, and under what 
circumstances; what led to it, and where did you form it? 

Answer. My acquaintance was first formed by correspondence in the 
year 1856 or 1857. I cannot state clearly which. I would premise that 
my memory is singularly deficient about dates. I became acquainted 
with him in 1857, as the agent of the Kansas Aid Committee. 

Question. Who was the agent? 

Answer. John Brown. 

Question. You say you became acquainted with him as agent ; was 
he the agent? 

Answer. He was the agent, and in one sense I was the agent, in- 
asmuch as I went to Kansas for the purposes of the committee. 

Question. What was the style of the committee? 

Answer. The Kansas Aid Committee of Massachusetts. 

Question. Did you form his acquaintance in Kansas? 

Answer. I think I did. 

Question. Will you state what was the object and the occupation or 
employment of that committee? What was the object of raising the 
committee? What were their functions? 

Answer. I was connected with two committees. One committee was 
raised for the purpose of getting clothing and money for aiding the 
suftering inhabitants of Kansas ; that was the express object of the 



TESTIMONY. 157 

committee of which I was chairman. Another committee of which I 
was a member, was raised for the general purpose of aiding the in- 
habitants of Kansas in the defense of their freedom then invaded, and 
repelling invaders. 

Question. For distinction sake, can you give us the distinctive names 
of those two committees? 

Answer. One was the Boston committee, usually called the Faneuil 
Hall Committee, inasmuch as the original meeting was at Faneuil 
Hall; it had no official name; it was not an incorporated body ; it was 
called just what people chose to call it. The other was the Massa- 
chusetts Kansas Aid Committee. 

Question. Was that incorporated? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. When was this Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee 
formed ? 

Answer. I think after the Boston committee, but I cannot say pre- 
cisely. 

Question. In what year, as near as you can recollect. 

Answer. 1857. 

Question. Did you say that Brown was the agent of that com- 
mittee? 

Answer. He was not then the agent of the committee. I said I had 
formed his acquaintance then. I was then the agent. He afterwards 
became the agent of the Massachusetts committee. 

Question. What was his agency. What was he to do? 

Answer. The first express business, as far as I can recollect, is that 
he called on the State committee, of which I was only a member, 
whereas of tlie other committee I was the chairman and the efficient 
working man. The first business that I can recollect was that, in 
consequence of the difficulty of getting arms and provisions and cloth- 
ing up the Missouri river, it was found expedient to transport them 
across the country, and Mr. Brown, or Captain Brown as he was called, 
was appointed the agent to transport those articles of various kinds — 
arms^ provisions, and clothing — into Kansas. That was the first, as 
far as I can recollect. 

Question. Will you state what was the character and the quantity 
of the arms that were intrusted to him in that way? 

Answer. I can state nothing with any precision. I have no knowl- 
edge about it that would enable me, under oath, to say. I can recollect 
distinctly that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, two hundred 
Sharp's rifles Avere committed to his care. 

Question. Were those rifles at Chicago at the time they were com- 
mitted to his care, do you recollect ? 

Answer. I cannot say. 

Question. Were there any revolving pistols in the same parcel? 

Answer. I cannot positively say, but my impression is that there 
were. 

Question. Do I understand that those arms were the property of 
this Massachusetts Aid Committee ? 

Answer. They were the property of that committee. 

Question. How w^ere they procured? 



158 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. They were purchased by subscriptions, contributions raised 
and sent in voluntarily by the people. 

Question. For the purpose of purchasing arms? 

Answer. No ; for the aid of Kansas. The committee, in their own 
discretion, purchased the arms. I recollect that distinctly, because 
the objection was made that some of the contributors to the Boston 
committee would be unwilling to have any of their money appropriated 
for arms. 

Question. And thus, according to your recollection, the arms were 
purchased as the act and at the discretion of the committee, with funds 
belonging to the committee? 

Answer. Yes, sir, that is my impression. 

Question. Can you tell us when those arms were purchased? 

Answer. I think, in 1857; but I must fall back on my imperfect 
memory about dates. 

Question. They were committed to John Brown, as agent of the 
society, for the purpose of transporting them across the country to 
Kansas, as the river was not considered accessible? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do you know at what point he deposited them after their 
transportation? 

Answer. My impression is that he deposited them at Tabor, in Iowa. 

Question. Can you tell us under whose control they were while they 
were at Tabor; who had charge of them there? 

Answer. I cannot recall the person's name. I saw him, but cannot 
recall his name. 

Question. By what authority were they put in the custody of the 
person whose name you cannot recall? 

Answer. I have no knowledge of that. 

Question. Were they recognized as under the control of that person 
by the Kansas committee? 

Answer. I cannot answer that question with precision. 

Question. Do you know in what way John Brown afterwards got 
possession of them, when he brought them to the region of Harper's 
Ferry? 

Answer. I have no means of knowing that he did bring them there. 

Question. Do you know tlien what became of them? 

Answer, I do not know, of my personal knowledge, what became of 
them. I can state my impression. 

Question. Tell us what knowledge you have of it, and how it was 
derived, as to what became of them? 

Answer, In the year 1858, I received a communication from a Mr. 
Forbes, then in Washington, and information from other quarters, 
that Captain Brown had in his possession arms belonging to the com- 
mittee, which he would probably use for purposes not intended by the 
committee. A meeting was called. The committee had then virtually 
dissolved; it had nothing more to do ; but the members were called 
together. A vote was passed, instructing the chairman to write to 
Captain Brown and direct him, if he held any property, arms or other- 
wise, belonging to the committee, to take them into Kansas, there to 
be used only for the defense of freedom in Kansas, Such a vote was 



TESTIMONY. 159 

passed, such a letter was Avritten, and, I have no doubt, received by 
him. I tliink that was the last record of the committee which was 
made. 

Question. Has a copy of that letter been preserved? 

Answer. A copy is with the records. 

Question. Have you got it with you? 

Answer. I have not. I was not chairman of that committee, nor 
secretary. The records are accessible. 

Question. What committee are you si^eaking of now? 

Answer. The Massachusetts Aid Committee. 

Question. I thought you said you were the executive officer or the 
chairman of that committee. 

Answer. Of the Boston committee — of the Faneuil Hall committee. 
I was only a member of the other committee. 

Question. Are those records under your control? 

Answer. I have no manner of doubt I can have access to them. I 
inquired of the person in whose charge they were, before I left the 
city of Boston, and his reply was that they were all straight, and in 
order, and in his safe. I presume they are accessible. 

Question . Will you say in Avhat form that communication was made 
to you by Captain Forbes? Was it by letter, or personally? 

Answer. By letter. 

Question. Written from where? 

Answer. From Washington city. 

Question. And your direction to Caj^tain Brown was that the arms 
should be taken into Kansas and used only for purposes there? 

Answer. Used only for the defense of freedom in Kansas. 

Question. Do you know whether he did or did not comply with that 
direction ? 

Answer. I have no means of knowing ; but, from my confidence in 
his character, I have no doubt that he did conform to it. 

Question. You wrote that letter, as I understand, as the chairman 
of the Boston committee? 

Answer. I did not write the letter. The chairman of the Massa- 
chusetts Aid Committee wrote the letter. 

Question. Who was the chairman who wrote the letter you refer to? 

Answer. I should prefer not to answer that question. 

The Chairman. I see no reason why you should not answer the 
question. 

The Witness. I am here to answer as to all I have done myself, 
freely and frankly, but I would respectfully ask to be excused from an- 
swering any question touching the actions of anybody else. I can 
only answer for my view as one of the committee. 

Mr. Davis. The witness confounds his position. He is not here ar- 
raigned to answer for what he did, but to give information as to what 
everybody did. 

The CnAiRMAN. The subject referred to the committee by the Senate 
is to make inquiry into all the facts attending the late incursion at 
Harper's Ferry, and connected with it in any way. 

The Witness. Perhaps I am over sensitive about it, and inasmuch 



160 TESTIMONY. 

as tlie gentleman's name is perfectly well known as cliairman of the 
committee, and is in print, I will give it, Mr. George L. Stearns. 

Question. Did you see the letter? 

Answer, I think I saw a copy of the letter afterwards. 

Question. Did you receive a letter from Mr. Wilson, of the Senate, 
in reference to those arms? 

Answer. About the same time. 

Question. Will you state whether you preserved a copy of that 
letter? 

Answer. I preserved a copy of the letter until recently, when, in 
the general- destruction of my papers of no consequence, at the begin- 
ning of the year, I destroyed it, among others, but I have a distinct 
recollection of the contents. 

Question. Will you state the contents? 

Answer. It was that he had reason to believe that . Captain Brown 
had in his possession arms belonging to the Massachusetts Aid Com- 
mittee, which he would be likely to use for purposes not contemplated 
by the committee; that he, Wilson^ considered the original movement 
for procuring anything of the kind to have been a very mistaken and 
unfortunate one, and he advised by all means that measures be taken 
to ]3revent Captain Brown using those arms for any purposes not con- 
templated in their original purchase. It was a short letter, and that 
was the amount of it ; but I recollect he distinctly expressed his disap- 
probation of the fact of such arms being in existence, and his disap- 
probation of John Brown's general career. 

Question. In what capacity, so far as you were concerned, was that 
letter addressed to you? Why was it addressed to you? 

Answer. I suppose because I had been long acquainted with General 
Wilson, and he knew that I was interested in the matter. 

Question. How did you act upon it, or did you act upon it? 

Answer. The information came from these two quarters about the 
same time, and upon that information we acted as I have just described. 

Question. The two quarters referred to, as I understand, were a 
communication made to you by Mr. Wilson, of which you have just 
spoken, and a communication made to you by Captain Forbes? 

Answer. Yes. I did not heed much Captain Forbes' s information^ 
because it seemed to me to bo ill-natured and spiteful. 

Question. Did you preserve a copy of Forbes's letter? 

Answer. I think I have a copy of it, but I have not got it with me. 
I think I have it; but I know I have a copy of my answer. 

Question. Will you state the contents of Forbes's letter, if your 
memory will admit? 

Answer. It was to this intent, that he had been engaged during the 
active war in Kansas by Captain Brown, or by, as he called them, the 
Northern Abolitionists, to go to Kansas and drill men ; that he never 
got any money for it ; that he was in great distress ; that he must 
have money ; that Captain Brown was not a reliable person ; that his 
plans, if intrusted to a man of head and prudence, might come to 
something; and he seemed to intimate that he, Captain Forbes, was a 
man of head and prudence ; that if Captain Brown was allowed to go 
on it would be disastrous; that he would denounce it: and other things 



TESTIMONY. 161 

to that effect. It was a letter rather threatening in its general char- 
acter. I did not heed it so much. It was a very long letter, full of 
vituperation and abuse. I had never seen Captain Forbes, nor heard 
of him before. 

Question. Did I understand you to say that a copy of that letter is 
preserved? 

Answer. I think a copy of that letter is preserved. I am sure a 
copy of my answer is preserved. The letter was a long document ; and 
I have the habit, when I am writing to persons with whom I am not 
very intimate, and on business that seems to be of any importance, to 
have my letters copied. General Wilson's was a short note, and I 
had several letters from him on various subjects. 

Question. Did you communicate the contents or substance of Forbes 's 
letter to Brown after you received it? 

Answer. I have no distinct recollection of having done so. It is 
possible I may have done so. I have been told since that I did so; 
but I have no distinct recollection of it, and it seems to me improbable, 
inasmuch as it would have defeated the purpose which I had of pre- 
venting the contributions of persons who might have contributed, from 
being diverted. I may have answered his letter, but I have no recol- 
lection of having done it. i 

Question. How would your communication of the contents of that 
letter to Brown, in any way affect the use of the contributions you 
speak of? 

The Witness. I do not understand your question. 

The CiiAiRMAX. I understand you to say that you think you did not 
let Brown know what Forbes had communicated to you, for the reason 
that it might be the means, in some way, of perverting from their 
legitimate use the contributions that had been made by the Massachu- 
setts people. 

The Witness. I remarked that such letter might prevent my pur- 
pose being executed, which purpose was to prevent such a perversion 
of the use of the arms. 

Question. In what way would your communicating that to him 
prevent the execution of your purpose? 

Answer. I do not know. I cannot say what passed through my 
mind. It looks to me now, thus: that if Captain Brown supposed the 
order which was given to him, which was peremptory, to take the arms 
into Kansas, was occasioned by such an act as this, he might suppose 
that by removing that objection the committee would be satisfied, or 
something of that kind. The order was peremptory, without any 
reason being assigned for it; and it ai:)pears to me that if we had 
assigned a reason and he could obviate that reason, he might say to 
himself "■ I am free inforo conscientice ." 

Question. Had you any personal interview with Captain Forbes 
after his quarrel Avith Brown? 

Answer. I never saw him at all. 

Question. Did you know of any engagement he had made to go out 
to the West for any purpose connected with Kansas affiiirs? 

Answer. I never heard of it until he stated it in his letter. 

11 T 



162 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Can you have the letters to which you have referred — 
Forhes's letter to you and your answer to it — together with the records 
of that committee, brought from Boston, without going there again in 
person? 

Answer. It would he very difficult to get the copies of the letters. I 
have not now in my employment a person who wrote for me for many 
years, and who took care of my papers. Within the last three weeks 
I have been obliged to have a change, and I should have no certainty 
of finding those papers. 

The Chairman. I wanted to know if you could get at them without 
going back? 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Perhaps the witness could procure copies of the 
letters there and attach to them his affidavit made in Boston that they 
were true copies, and send them here, and also a copy of that record. 

The Witness. My impression is that all can be had, except possibly 
Forhes's letter, which may have been mislaid. 

The Chairman. Can it be done without the necessity of your return- 
ing to Washington from Boston? 

The Witness. I will make every possible effort to do it, and I think 
I shall be successful. I think everything can be done that would be 
done by my coming back. 

Question. Will you state whether you saw John Brown, the man 
who has been referred to, in Boston, or elsewhere, at any period during 
the year 1858? 

Answer. I saw him in Boston in the year 1858. 

Question. Will you state the object of his mission in coming there? 

Answer. He gave me no definite information. 

Question. What information did he give you as to tlie purpose of 
his coming, the objects he had in view in visiting tliat part of the 
country? 

Answer. The impression I got from him was that he wished persons 
to render him what assistance they chose to give him, as a man having 
suffered in the cause of Kansas, for the defense of freedom in Kansas, 
and as a man disposed to devote himself to the defense of the cause of 
freedom. 

Question. In a former part of your testimony you said those arms 
were to be taken to Kansas for the purpose of aiding in the defense of 
the cause of freedom ; will you state what you mean by ' ' the defense 
of the cause of freedom?" 

Answer. In Kansas, repelling invasions such as had been frequent 
there. 

Question. What sort of invasions? 

Answer. What are usually called border ruffian invasions. 

Question. How was your "defense of the cause of freedom" to 
affect it? 

Answer. To protect it by repelling those who would invade it. 

The Chairman. I do not still distinctly understand you. How 
would the cause of freedom be affected by any invasion in Kansas? 

Answer. The cause of freedom in Kansas would be. If the polls, 
for instance, at an election were surrounded by armed men from other 
States, and the freemen of Kansas were prevented by fear from voting, 



TESTIMONY. 163 

I should call the man wiio atteraptecl to repel those invaders a defender 
of freedom. 

Question. A defender of the freedom of the white people in Kansas? 

Answer. I know no distinction of color in freedom. I know no dis- 
tinction of color in men. 

Question. The negroes were not permitted to vote in Kansas, were 
they? 

Answer. They ought to liave been. 

Question. Were they? 

Answer. I supposed they would be. 

Question. Were they at the time? 

Answer. I have no means of knowing. I think, in the territorial 
condition, the people there were not responsible for the form of govern- 
ment imposed on them. 

The Chairman. I want to get at this fact. In stating what you 
mean by defending the cause of freedom in Kansas, you instance it by 
referring to defending tlie freedom of voting at the polls. The negroes^ 
we know, were not admitted at that time to vote at the polls, and I 
inferred, therefore, that when you spoke of the cause of freedom in 
Kansas, you meant tlie freedom of white people, for negroes were not 
interested in that subject. 

Answer. I suppose, if Kansas was a free State, the consequence 
would be that her vote would be on the side of freedom in other States. 
It was a general term. 

The CiiAiRxMAN. I must put the question in a different way 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. In relation to this question, it is a mere matter of 
argument between the chairman and the witness as to his opinions. I 
supposed our purpose was to get at the facts. 

The Chairman. If you make an objection, we will entertain it. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. I do not propose to raise an objection. 

Mr. Collamer. Other witnesses have been prevented from telling 
what took place in Kansas. 

The Chairman. The object of the question is to see what use was 
intended to be made of these arms which we have shown were in 
Brown's possession and brought to Harper's Ferry, I understand the 
witness to say that Brown was instructed to take them into Kansas to 
aid in the cause of freedom. It is certainly pertinent, in my judgment, 
to ascertain what the witness means by the cause of freedom in ulterior 
connection with the use that was actually made of the arms. 

The Witness. At that time I had no thought about anything but 
the freedom of Kansas as such, without any thought of any colored 
men at all, I'or as far as I had seen there were few or no colored men 
there. 

Question. Then it was for the freedom of the white people in Kansas? 

Answer. The freedom of Kansas, or the freedom of the white people 
of Kansas, because I knew of no others there. I was in Kansas and I 
do not recollect seeing any others. 

The Chairman. Well, to come back again to Boston, I understand 
you to say that Brown's mission was in part, as you heard it, to obtain 
contributions of money in Boston? 

Answer. I presumed so. 



164 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Do you know for what purpose those contributions were 
wanted by Brown ? 

Answer. I have no definite knowledge. 

Question. Have you any knowledge? 

Answer. I have no positive knowledge that I can say on oath, any 
more than hearsay. 

Question. Anything that you derived from him? What was Brown's 
statement of his object? 

Answer, He never gave me a definite statement of any plan or pur- 
pose that he had definitely fixed upon. 

Question. Did he tell you why he wanted to collect money there; for 
what purpose he Avanted the money? 

Answer. In no definite shape did he tell me any plan that he had. 

Question. In any shape? 

Answer. He appealed to me as an anti-slavery man to help an anti- 
slavery man. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question, Was that before this order about the arms? 
Answer. I think it was before. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Do you know whether or not the president of the Massa- 
chusetts State Kansas Committee gave Brown an order for those arms 
at Tabor, in 1857? 

Answer. I think he did; I think they had been in the possession of 
another person whose reliability was called in question ; that is my 
impression. 

Question. Who was that other person? 

Answer. I cannot recollect. 

Question. You say you think he did. Will you state definitely 
whether you know that an order was given to Brown for those arms or 
not? 

Answer. It is impossible for me say. I have a very strong impres- 
sion; I know of the fact, that they were transferred from another person 
to him, and therefore I infer the order was given by which they were 
so transferred. 

Question. Who was the secretary of the Massachusetts State Kansas 
Committee? Was it Sanborn? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Who was it? 

Answer. I can furnish the name, but I cannot remember it now. 

Question. When you saw Brown in Boston, in 1858, can you tell 
what period of the year it was? 

Answer. I can say that he had a fire in his room, and therefore I 
infer it was in the winter. I have no other recollection. My memory 
of dates is imperfect. It was probably in the winter months, February 
or March. 

Question. Did you see him in Boston in the months of Mav or June, 
1858 ? 

Answer. I cannot say. 



TESTIMONY. 165 

Question. Did you know that there had been a convention held by 
Brown and otliers, at Chatham, in Canada? 

Answer. I think my first knowledge of it was derived from the 
newspapers. 

Question. Then you had at no time any conversation with him on 
the subject of that convention? 

Answer. Never ; to my recollection. 

Question. Dr. Howe, here is a paper that purports to be in your 
handwriting. Will you look at it and see whether it is or not? Exhib- 
iting the following note : 

"Dear Friend: Our friend from Concord called with your note. I 
begin the investment with fifty dollars inclosed, and will try to do 
more through friends. 

"DOCTOR." 

Answer. I believe it is. 

Question. Can you tell the date? There is no date to it. When 
was that written ? 

Answer. There is no evidence on the face of the paper to show when 
it was written. 

Question. Will you say to whom this was addressed? 

Answer. I presume it was addressed to Captain Brown. 

Question. Do you remember the fact of writing it? 

Answer. I did write it. 

Question. Do you remember the fact of the time? 

Answer. I do not remember the time. 

Question. Will you please to say why your name was not signed 
to it? 

Answer. Perhaps it was not signed because the investment to which 
it referred might have been of a character that he, perhaps, would 
not like to have known at the time, though he would have no objec- 
tion afterwards. Caj^tain Brown was considered to have suffered a 
good deal in Kansas, and a subscri2)tion was raised to purchase him a 
homestead, and a thousand dollars was raised for that purpose. He 
was a proud man, and perhaps would not like to have had it known. 

Question. AVas this fifty dollars part of that thousand? 

Answer. If it was given in 1857 or 1858, it might have been. 

Question. You say a thousand dollars was raised? 

Answer. A thousand dollars or thereabouts was raised. 

Question. In the vears 1857 and 1858? 

Answer. 1857 or 1858. 

Question. To whom was that money paid, or what use was made of 
the money? 

Answer. I only know that the homestead was bought ; I presume 
by the chairman of the Massachusetts Aid Committee ; I am not cer- 
tain. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Is that homestead at North Elba, New York? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 



166 TESTIMONY. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. This letter says: ''I hegin the investment with fifty 
dollars inclosed." If this fifty dollars was for the purpose of buying 
that homestead, the money was sent to Brown directly ? 

Answer. I think not. That is my impression. 

The Chairman. Then that would be contradictory to the paper, "I 
begin the investment with fifty dollars inclosed, and will try to do 
more through friends," if this referred to that purchase. 

Answer. That I cannot answer, unless I could know the date of the 
letter. I contributed to his aid at various times. 

Question. His aid in what way? 

Answer. In the same way that I contribute to the aid of other anti- 
slavery men ; men who give up their occupations, their industry, to 
write papers or to deliver lectures, or otherwise to propagate anti- 
slavery sentiments. I give as much money every year as I possibly 
can afford. I am in the habit of contributing in that way. 

Question. Was this money contributed to Brown because of his 
personal necessities, or not? 

Answer. Because of his personal worth, and because he had no 
ostensible means of reimbursing himself for his losses in Kansas. I 
am not in the habit of questioning very closely, when I have confi- 
dence in the character of men whom I aid. 

Question. Will you be good enough to say if that is in your hand- 
writing? It is not signed. [Exhibiting the following 23aper :] 

"Horse-cars leave Tremont House every half hour. 

"Get out at the Jamaica Plain, and inquire for house oi George R. 
Russell. 

"The steam-cars leave Providence depot. 

"Get out at the Jamaica Plain station." 

Answer. That is my hand-writing. 

Question. Can you tell the date when that was written? 

Answer. I cannot ; but I remember the circumstances. 

Question. What were the circumstances? 

Answer. Mr. Sanborn wanted to take Mr. Brown to Mr. Russell's 
house. I was going with him; but I could not go, though I had 
promised to go. I remember now, seeing that, that I wrote this 
direction; but I cannot say that I gave it to Sanborn. He was not 
alone. 

Question. That paper, then, was written for Mr. Sanborn? 

Answer. It was written for Mr. Sanborn. 

Question. Was it at the time when Brown was there? 

Answer. It was. 

Question. Do you know whether Sanborn wanted that for the use of 
Brown as well as himself? 

Answer. I presume he did. Brown was with Sanborn at the time. 

Question. Who is George R. Russell, to whom this refers? What 
business had Brown with him, do you know? 

Answer. I do not know what business he had with him at all. Mr. 
Russell is one of our wealthy, liberal men, who is in the habit of con- 
tributing to the promotion of anti-slavery sentiments — a liberal con- 
tributor. 



TESTIMONY. 16T 

Question. Will you state what you mean by that phrase "contri- 
buting" tor the promotion of anti-slavery sentiments? What is the 
meaning of that idea? 

Answer. In the same way that I would promote the Gospel among 
the heathen ; I could not precisely say what. The means are various — 
lectures, writing, talking, discussing the matter. 

Question. What ends are to be attained by promoting that anti- 
slavery sentiment? What is the object in view? 

Answer. The promotion of freedom among men ; the same object as 
the fathers in the revolution. 

Question. Was one of its objects the means of attaining the freedom 
of the African slaves held in this country ? 

Answer. That would be the natural and desired result. 

Question. Was that one of the ends to be attained by propagating 
this anti-slavery sentiment by lecturing and otherwise? 

Answer. It was. I answer these questions out of courtesy to the 
chairman, but I must think they are rather wide. 

The Chairman. If you are disinclined to answer any question, you 
have only to state the fact. Ko question is asked you, of course, which 
is not deemed pertinent to the inquiry which is required of this com- 
mittee, in the judgment of the gentleman who puts it. 

Question. Will you be good enough to inform the committee whether 
you were acquainted with a man named J, H. Kagi ? 

Answer. I never saw him. 

Question. Did you have any correspondence with him? 

Answer. I never corresponded with him that I recollect. 

Question. Will you please to say whether you have any recollection 
of this telegraphic dispatch? [Exhibiting the following dispatch: 

[By telegraph from Boston, June 6, 1859.] 

To J. H. Kagi. 

Cleveland, June 6, 1859. 

He got the needful, and left three (3) days ago, direction unknown. 

S. G. H.] 

Answer. I have not the slightest idea. My initials are "S. G. H./^ 
but I have no recollection whatever of that. 

Question. Have you no recollection of being in communication with 
Kagi at all ? 

Answer. I am certain, because Kagi struck me when reading the- 
names in the public prints, and I asked myself the question who he- 
was. 

Question. Did you know John Brown, jr., the son of the Brown we- 
have spoken of? 

Answer. I saw him once. 

Question. Where did you see him? 

Answer. He called upon me at my house^ I think, early in 1859. I 
cannot recollect the date. 

Question. Here is a letter which has been proved to be in the hand- 
writing of John Brown, jr., dated at "Syracuse, New York, Thursday^ 



168 TESTIMONY. 

August lY, 1859," addressed to ^'Friend Henrie," which has been 
shown to mean Kagi, in which he says : 

"While in Boston, I improved the time in making the acquaintance 

of those staunch friends of our friend Isaac. First, called on Dr. H. , 

who, though I had no letter of introduction, received me most cordially. 
He gave me a letter to the friend who does business on Milk street. 
Went with him to his house in Medford and took dinner. The last 
word he sent to me was, ' Tell friend (Isaac) that we have the fullest 
confidence in his endeavor, whatever may be the result.' " 

Was it in that month of August, 1859, you saw John Brown, jr., 
in Boston? 

Answer. It would be impossible for me to recollect any further than 
that it was not in cold weather. 

Question. Did he introduce himself? 

Answer. He introduced himself. 

Question. Did you receive him as the son of old John Brown ? 

Answer. I did, and was very glad to see him as the son of John 
Brown. 

Question. Did he tell you the object of his visit to Boston ? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Did he tell you that he was there endeavoring to collect 
money? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Did he apply to you for money? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Do you remember having given him a letter to a gentleman 
who does business on Milk street ? 

Answer. Very likely I may have done so. 

Question. Do you know to whom he refers? 

Answer. Mr. George L. Stearns. 

Question. Does Mr. Stearns live in Medford ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. You say that John Brown, jr., did not tell you the object 
of his visit to Boston ? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Did you learn it from any other source? 

Answer. I did not. I had a very strong impression that he had 
some business of his own, and otherwise wanted to see the friends of 
his father. 

Question. Do you remember why you gave him the letter to Mr. 
Stearns? 

Answer. As one of his father's friends. 

Question. Was it at your own suggestion, or at his request? 

Answer. I cannot say. Probably I might have heard his father 
speak of Mr. Stearns. He was a warm friend of the father and mother 
a,nd the whole family. 

Question. Did you inquire from him, or learn from him at that 
time, where his father was? 

Answer. I did not learn. 



TESTIMONY. 169 

Question. Do you remember to have inquired where he was, or what 
he was doing? 

Answer. I do not remember whether I did or did not. I infer that 
I did not, because I had no knowledge of his whereabouts. Of course, 
if I had gained it from him or anybody else, I should probably have 
remembered it. 

Question. Did you have any knowledge of where John Brown was, 
from the time you saw him in Boston, in 1859, until the outbreak at 
Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. Not the slightest knowledge of his whereabouts. I was 
probably as much astonished when I heard of his turning up at 
Harper's Ferry, as the chairman of this committee was. 

Question. You said you would probably recollect the name of the 
secretary of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. Can you give 
it to us now? 

Answer. His name is Parnell. 

Question. Where does he reside ? 

Answer. He does business in Boston, and probably resides in one of 
the small towns in the vicinity. 

Question. Did you know a young man named Francis J. Meriam? 

Answer. I did, very slightly. 

Question. Have you seen him since the affair at Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. I have. 

Question. Where did you see him? 

Answer. At the St. Lawrence Hotel, in Montreal. 

Question. Did he tell you of what occurred at Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Did he make any reference to it in any form in conver- 
sation ? 

Answer. He began to talk about it, but I checked him. He applied 
to me. I do not know that I should volunteer any information further 
than to show that I am in a position to aid all purposes of proper 
investigation. He called upon me in the summer of 1859, and made 
my first acquaintance. I saAV that he was in a state of mental excite- 
ment bordering on insanity. He wanted to know if I knew the 
whereabouts of John Brown. I told him that I did not ; and I thought, 
moreover, that if I did, I would not tell him. When I next saw him, 
he was in the same wild state. I had my luggage all packed, and the 
porter was in the room to take it down to the cars in order that I might 
return to Boston, when he came in. That was at Montreal. I saw 
that he was in a state of painful excitement, and declined talking to 
him. 

Question. Did he tell you, or undertake or commence to tell you, of 
any reason why that attack was made precipitately at an earlier day 
that had been contemplated? 

Answer. He did not. He began a wild talk, and I stopped him. I 
said, "Mr. Meriam, you see I am going away;" and I knew too much 
of excitable men to wish to lead them on to a topic which was exciting 
to them. 

Question. Do you know a negro man named Lewis Hayden? 

Answer. I know him slightly. 



170 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Do you know of any connection that he had ith the 
affairs of Brown ? 

Answer. Nothing but what I have seen in the papers. 

Question. Can you tell the committee where Meriam is now? 

Answer. I cannot. 

Question. You have spoken of having made various contributions, 
to John Brown, and one is given here of |50 ; can you recollect any 
others, and at what time they were made? 

Answer. I cannot recollect at what time, but I looked at my check 
book before I came away, and I found that I had given what I supposed 
was to John Brown $50. I set apart as much of my income every year 
for anti-slavery purposes as I can. 

Question. Were you the recipient of contributions from others for 
John Brown? 

Answer. During the time I was on the committee. 

Question. Were those contributions for Brown, or for what you have 
spoken of — aiding in the defense of freedom in Kansas? 

Answer. They were for John Brown, to be used at his discretion. 
During the Kansas troubles, the contributions were for aiding the 
cause of freedom in Kansas, and afterwards I received, contributions 
for him. 

Question. Up to what period did those contributions come in? 

Answer. I think during all of 1858. 

Question. Were they transmitted to John Brown? 

Answer. I think not directly. I think that only part of them went 
to John Brown. The late transactions I cannot speak of with so 
much certainty ; but the former ones I know were never directly trans- 
mitted to him. 

Question. Was a memorandum kept of the mode in which the money 
was disposed of? 

Answer. Certainly. Everything was clearly recorded; I mean every- 
thing in regard to Kansas matters. 

Question. Amongst the records you can send to this committee? 

Answer. Yes. 

Question. Can you state the time when you last saw John Brown 
the elder ? 

Answer. It was in the spring or early summer of 1859. 

Question. Did you ever hear at any time that he was passing else- 
where by the name of John Smith? 

Answer. Never. 

Question. You have spoken of having seen John Brown the younger 
in Boston; can you tell when it was that you last saw him anywhere? 

Answer. I am sure I never saw John Brown, jr., but once, and that 
was when he called on me at Boston. 

Question. You say that the money of which you have spoken was 
given to John Brown, to be used at his discretion after the Kansas 
troubles were over, for I presume they would be considered as over in 
1858. What disposition was it expected he would make of it? 

Answer. 1 do not know that I could say what disposition I thought 
he would make of it ; I supposed that he was a practical anti-slavery 



TESTIMONY. 171 

man, ar ^i I was not inclined to scrutinize, having great confidence in 
him as o man. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. To prevent any misunderstanding about these con- 
tributions, I desire to ask a question. Were not the contributions- 
received by the committees, which were made by the people in Boston 
and Massachusetts, for and during the Kansas troubles? 

Answer. For that definite purpose. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Was any monev of those contributions ever sent to 
Brown after 1858? 

Answer. Not that I know of. 

The Chairman. But there were other contributions that were sent 
to him after the fall of 1858, and I understand you that they were to 
be used at his discretion. 

The Witness. I had personal knowledge of several small sums. ■ 

Question. Was there any limit imposed upon his discretion, as far 
as you know, by your act or that of others, in the use of the money 
that was given to him ? 

Answer. No further than the confidence he inspired among his 
friends by two opinions entertained by him, one of which was that he 
was opposed to j^romoting insurrection among the slaves, and another 
was that he was opposed to shedding human blood except in self- 
defense. 

Question. Where did he make those declarations? 

Answer. More than once, in the presence of my friends and in my 
own presence, because I had arguments with him on the general mat- 
ter of practical anti-slavery, and I knew his sentiments; his declara- 
tions were clear and explicit, and I had the utmost confidence in them. 

Question. Do you know of any plan he had devised, or proposed to 
devise, to get the slaves ofi" from the Southern States without promo- 
ting insurrection — abducting them, or seducing them away, or any- 
thing of that sort? 

Answer. I know of no definite recent plans of his; he was secretive. 

Question. What do you mean by his being secretive? 

Answer. 1 mean that he was a man not accustomed to reveal his 
thoughts unnecessarily to any one, that he was not a communicative 
man. Secretiveness, I recognize as one of the human faculties; that 
word I use, though in no improper or disrespectful sense. 

Question. You have spoken of a fund of a thousand dollars, or there- 
abouts, that was subscribed to purchase a homestead for Brown's 
family ; was that investment actually made ? 

Answer. It was actually made, I think. 

Question. Was it made by passing that money through Brown's 
hands ? 

Answer. My impression is that it did not pass through his hands ; 
on that point I cannot answer definitely. 

Question. Then the fifty dollars spoken of in your note could not 
have been for that purchase ? 

Answer. About that I cannot say; I have ransacked my memory 
to know whether it was, and I cannot say distinctly whether it was 
or not; I contribute all the money I can for what I consider good 
purposes, and I am not accustomed to make any distinct memoranda 
about it. 



172 TESTIMONY. 

By Mr. Doolittle : 

Question. In all your conversation or communication with Brown, 
had you ever, at any time, from him any intimation of an organized 
attempt or effort, on his part to be made, to produce an insurrection 
among the slaves in the slave States of the South ? 

Answer, Never. 

S. a. HOWE. 

I would add that, on careful consideration, I think I was mistaken 
about the application of the fifty dollars referred to in the torn paper. 
It could not have been part of the money for the purchase of the home- 
stead. I am convinced, moreover, that the purchase of the homestead 
was a bona fide transaction, and the money was given mainly, I think, 
by persons who would not have countenanced any direct interference 
with slavery in the slave States. 

S. G. H. 



APPENDIX TO DR. HOWE'S TESTIMONY. 

Boston, February 20, 1860. 

Gentlemen: Agreeably to the request of your chairman, the Hon. 
J. M. Mason, in his note of the 3d instant, I have endeav^ored to obtain 
copies of the correspondence referred to in my testimony ; also of the 
votes of the Kansas committee, touching the matter of the arms 
intrusted to John Brown, 

Inclosed you will find copies of all the documents and letters bearing 
on the subject which I have been able to obtain. 

No. 1 is a letter from the chairman of the Massachusetts State Kan- 
sas Committee, dated January 8, 1857, inclosing an order on the 
agent of the committee, to deliver to John Brown two hundred Sharp's 
rifles, Avith ammunition, &c. These he was directed to hold as agent 
of the committee, and subject to their order. 

No. 2 is a letter, dated April 15, 1857, inclosing No. 3, being a vote 
of the committee, by which Brown was authorized to dispose of one 
hundred of the committee's rifles to free-State men in Kansas, at not 
less than fifteen dollars apiece ; and to appropriate the proceeds to re- 
lieve the suffering inhabitants. Also, authorizing him to draw 
upon the treasurer for five hundred dollars, for tlie same purpose. 
These show the original destination of the arms and the money. 

Next should be a letter from Hon. Henry Wilson, alluded to in my 
testimonv, but the original cannot be found. 

The correctness of the statement I made before the committee is con- 
firmed by conversation with persons who saw the letter. It was dated 
May 9, 1858, and was very brief. It stated that he (Wilson) had 
been informed that Brown contemplated some unlawful expedition, 
and would use arms belonging to the Kansas Aid Committee. That 
he (Wilson) had considered the original purchase of those arms to be 
an unwise measure ; but, at any rate, he advised that they be taken 
from Brown, and that the committee keep clear of him. 



TESTIMONY. 173 

Nos. 4 and 5 are my replies to Mr. Wilson, in which are these 
words: ''prompt measures have been taken, and will be followed up, 
to prevent any such monstrous perversion of a trust as would be the 
application of means, raised for the defense of Kansas, to a purpose 
which the subscribers to the fund would disapprove and vehemently 
condemn." 

No. 6 is a letter of the chairman of the Kansas committee to John 
Brown, dated May 14, 1858, inclosing a copy of Mr. Wilson's letter, 
and containing these words: "You have the custody of the arms 
alluded to, to be used in the defense of Kansas, and it becomes my 
duty to warn you not to use them for any other purpose." 

No. 1 is a letter, dated May 15, 1858, informing Captain Brown of 
arrangements made for taking possession of the arms. 

Next should be a letter from Captain Forbes, but the copy sent to 
me was not preserved. That person's language was so intemperate 
and vituperative that I would not write to him a second time, or read 
his letters further than to see their abusive character. The New York 
Herald, October 27, 1859, contains what purports to be correct copies 
of them. The one dated May 6, 1858, is probably the one which I 
answered, though I think some sentences have been omitted in the 
printed copy. 

No. 8 is my answer to Captain Forbes 's letter, in which are these 
words. "I said that / had confdence in the integrity and ability of 
Captain Brown," but it is utterly absurd to infer from that any re- 
sponsibility for his acts. I have confidence in the integrity and ability 
of scores and hundreds of men for whose words and acts I am in no 
wise responsible. Neither as a member of the Kansas committee, nor 
as an individual am I responsible, either legally or morally for any 
contract between Captain Brown and you. I never heard your name 
connected with Kansas until quite recently. I was an active member 
of the committee from its foundation, (until it ceased active operations 
which was long ago,) and never heard of any contract with you ; and I 
know that the committee never delegated power over any one to bind 
it by any legal or even moral obligation with you. So ! the brains are 
out of that charge ; and I will not heed any ghosts of it which you may 
parade before me or the public. 

"Your mistaken notion about my being in any way responsible for 
Captain Brown's actions is the key, I suppose, to certain enigmatical 
allusions in your last letter to some projected expedition of his; as 
though I was to be responsible through all time for him I 

"1 infer from your language that you have obtained [in confidence] 
some information respecting an expedition which you think to be com- 
mendable provided you could manage it ; but which you will betray and 
denounce if he does not give it up ! ! 

" You, sir, are the guardian of your own honor, but I trust that for 
your children's sake at least you will not let your passion lead you to 
an action which might make tliem blush." 

It is my belief that Forbes or some one else, did inform the Presi- 
dent, or the Secretary of War, of Brown's plans; and that the knowl- 
edge of this fact led I3rown to abandon the plan whatever it was. 



174 TESTIMONY. 

I think that satisfactory proofs of the first part of this statement are 
in existence, and can he obtained by the investigating committee. 

The examination I have given to these matters enables me to correct 
some parts of my testimony before the committee, and I wish to do so. 
The memorandum shown to me by the chairman, which was in my 
handwriting, being a direction to Mr. Russell's house, and which I 
said might have been given to Mr. Sanborn, was not given to him, 
but to some person who accompanied Captain Brown, and whose name 
I cannot recollect. 

The letter in my handwriting, mentioning fifty dollars sent to 
Brown, and promising more, I testified might refer to my subscription 
for purchasing a farm lor Brown's family ; but I could not tell certainly, 
because the date had been torn off. 

I have examined the list of subscriptions for that purpose, and do 
not find my name there. The letter, therefore, must have referred to 
some other transaction. 

As doubts have been expressed whether the purchase of the farm 
was a bona fide transaction, and as it is pertinent to your inquiry about 
funds raised for John Brown, I inclose an extract from the original 
correspondence : 

"Boston, November 7, 1857. 

''My Dear Friend : Your most welcome letter came to hand on Satur- 
day. I am very glad to learn that, after your hard pilgrimage, you 
are in more comfortable quarters, with the means to meet present 
expenses. In my opinion, the free-State party should wait for the 
border rufiian moves, and check-mate them as they are developed. 
Don't attack them; but if they attack you "give them Jessie," and 
Fremont, too ! You know how to do it. 

"I inclose a copy of the subscri2)tion list that you may know who has 
been so kind to you, with their address, that you may write to them 
if you wish to do so. The original I will keep until I see you. 

"Subscription list. 

"The family of Captain John Brown, of Ossawatomie, have no means 
of support, owing to the oppression which he has been subjected to in 
Kansas. 

"It is proposed to put them (his wife and five children) in possession 
of the means of supporting themselves, as far as is possible for persons 
in their situation. The undersigned, therefore, will pay the following 
sums, provided one thousand dollars shall be raised. With this sum 
a small farm can now be purchased in the neighborhood of their late 
residence, in Essex county, New York. 

"Captain J. Brown, Kansas." 

Then follow the names of sixteen subscribers, whose joint contribu- 
tions amount to one thousand dollars, which sum was applied to the 
purchase of a small farm in New York State. 

As neither the names of the writer nor of the subscribers are im- 
portant for the purposes of the committee, they are not given. 

S. G. HOWE. 



TESTIMONY. 175 

The foregoing statement and extracts of letters are, to the best of 
mv knowledije and belief, correct. I can make affidavit to this in a 
formal manner, if reqnired. 

S. G. HOWE. 
The Select CoMxMIttee 

Of the Senate of the United States. 



No. 1. ■ 

Massachusetts State Kansas Committee Room, 

Boston^ January 8, 1857. 

Dear Sir: Inclosed we hand you our order on Edward Clark, Esq., 
of Lawrence, K. T., for two hundred Sharp's rifled carbines, with 
four thousand ball cartridges, thirty-one military caps, and six iron 
ladles — all, as we suppose, now stored at Tabor, in the State of Iowa. 

We wish you to take possession of this property, either at Tabor or 
wherever it may be found, as our agent, and hold it subject to our 
order. 

For this purpose you are authorized to draw on our treasurer, 
Patrick T. Jackson, Esq., in Boston, for such sums as may be neces- 
sary to pay the expenses as they accrue, to an amount not exceeding 
five hundred dollars. 

Truly yours, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 

Chairman of Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. 

Mr. John Brown, of Kansas Territory, 



No. 2. 

Boston, April 15^, 1857. 
Dear Sir: By the inclosed vote of the 11th instant, we place in your 
hands one hundred Sharp's rifles, to be sold in conformity therewith, 
and wish you to use the proceeds for the benefit of the free-State men 
in Kansas', keeping an account of your doings as far as practicable. 

Also, a vote placing a further sum of five hundred dollars ($500) at 
your disposal, for which you can, in need, pass your draft on our treas- 
urer, P. T. Jackson, Esq. 

Truly, yours, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, 
Mr. John Brown, 

Massassoit House, Springfield, 3Iass. 



No. 3. 

Boston, A2)ril 15, 1857. 

At a meeting of the executive committee of the State Kansas Aid 
Committee of Massachusetts, held in Boston, April 11, 1857, it was 



176 TESTIMONY. 

Voted, That Captain John Brown be authorized to dispose of one 
hundred rifles, belonging to this committee, to such free-State inhab- 
itants of Kansas as he thinks to be reliable, at a price not less than 
fifteen dollars, ($15,) and that he account for the same agreeably to 
his instructions for the relief of Kansas. 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman 31assachusetts State Kansas Committee. 

At the same meeting, it was 

Voted, That Captain John Brown be authorized to draw on P. T. 
Jackson, treasurer, for five hundred dollars, ($500,) if, on his arrival 
in Kansas, he is satisfied that such sum is necessary for the relief of 
persons in Kansas. 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. 



No. 4. 

Copy of a letter to Hon. Henry Wilson, dated May 12, 1858, 

Dear Sir: I have just received your letter of the 9th. I understand 
perfectly your meaning. No countenance has been given to Brown for 
any operations outside of Kansas by the Kansas committee. I had 
occasion, a few days ago, to send him an earnest message from some of 
his friends here, urging him to go at once to Kansas and take part in 
the coming election, and throw the weight of his influence on the side 
of the right. 

There is in Washington a disappointed and malicious man, working 
with all the activity which hate and revenge can inspire, to harm 
Brown, and to cast odium upon the friends of Kansas in Massachusetts. 
You probably know him. He has been to Mr. Seward. Mr. Hale, 
also, can tell you something about him. God speed the right! 
Faithfullv, yours, 

S. G. HOWE. 



No. 5. 

Copy of a letter to Hon. Henry Wilson, dated May 15, 1858. 

Dear Sir : When I last wrote to you, I was not aware fully of the 
true state of the case with regard to certain arms belonging to the late 
Kansas committee. 

Prompt measures have been taken, and will be resolutely followed 
up, to prevent any such monstrous perversion of a trust as would be 
the application of means, raised for the defense of Kansas, to a purpose 
which the subscribers of the fund would disapprove and vehemently 
condemn. 

Faithfully, yours, 

S. G. HOWE. 



TESTIMONY. 17 T 

No. 6. 

Boston, 3Iaij 14, 1858. 
Dear Sir: Inclosed please find a copy of a letter to Doctor Howe, 
from Hon. Henry Wilson. You will recollect that you have the cus- 
tody of the arms alluded to, to be used for the defense of Kansas, as 
agent of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. In consequence 
of the information thus communicated to me, it becomes my duty to 
warn you not to use them for any other purpose, and to hold them 
subject to my order as chairman of said committee. A member of our 
committee will be at Chatham early in the coming week^ to confer 
with you as to the best mode of disposing of them. 
Truly your friend, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massachusetts State Kaiisas Committee. 
Mr. John Brown, 

Chatham, Canada West. 



No. 7. 

Boston, May 15, 1858. 

Dear Sir: I wrote to you yesterday, informing you that a member 
of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee would visit you at Chat- 
ham, to confer about the delivery of the arms you hold. 

As I can find no one who can spare the time, I have to request that 
you will meet me in New York city, some time next week. A letter 
to me, directed to care of John Hopper, 110 Broadway, New York, 
will be in season. Come as early as you can. Our committee will 
pay your expenses. 

Truly yours, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. 
Mr. John Brown, 

Chatham, Canada West. 
Dr. Howe will go on as soon as he knows you are in New York. 



No. 8. 

Copy of a letter to Hugh Forbes, dated Boston, May 10, 1858. 

Sir: Some two or three weeks ago I received a long communication 
from you. I had scarcely read a dozen lines, when I saw that it was 
written in the passionate and vituperative style which had character- 
ized some communications of yours to friends of mine. I therefore 
threw it aside without reading it. I did not wish to be drawn into 
correspondence with one who could rudely violate the courtesies be- 

12 T 



178 TESTIMONY. 

coming gentlemen. It was the same with your second letter. Your 
third arrived three days ago. I have reconsidered my determination, 
and read your letter. I liave concluded to write to you, in the hope, 
though perhaps the vain one, of disahusing your mind of certain errors 
which seem to be growing into insane belief. Your railings at "New 
England humanitarians" do not atfect me, for I make no profession 
to " humanitarianism" par excellence. Your vituperative epithets, 
intended to be insulting to me personally, pass me as the idle wind, 
which I respect not; for I long ago settled in the belief that what are 
called insults affect him only who utters them. " That which cometli 
oitf of the mouth defileth the man," and him only. I confess that I 
have been pained by the thought that one wdio must sometimes behave 
like a gentleman^ in order to enjoy the respect of a dear friend of mine, 
should so lower himself and injure his children. Indeed, I cannot 
think about your children without being moved at the thought of your 
standing like a madman between them and aid. All the allegations 
and assertions and claims; all the superstructure, indeed, of your 
long letter to me, falls to the ground, because built on an entire fal- 
lacy. I said to Senator Sumner that I had confidence in the integr^ity 
and ability of Captain Brown ; but it is utterly absurd to infer from 
that any responsibility for his acts. I have confidence in the integrity 
and ability of scores and hundreds of men for whose words and acts 
I am in no wise responsible. I never made myself responsible, as a 
membei: of the Kansas committee, or as an individual, neither legally 
nor morally, for any contract between Captain Brown and you. I 
never heard your name connected w^ith Kansas until quite recently. 
I was an active member of the committee from its formation until it 
ceased active operations, (which Avas long, long ago,) and never heard 
of any contract with you ; and I know that the committee never dele- 
gated power to any one to bind it by any legal or even moral obliga- 
tion, Avith you. So the brains are out of that allegation, and I will 
not heed any ghosts of it which you may parade before me or the 
public. Your mistaken notion about my being in any way responsible 
for Captain Brown's actions is the key, I suppose, to certain enigmat- 
ical allusions in your last letter to some projected expedition of his ; 
as though I was to be responsible through all time for him! I infer 
from your language that you have obtained (in confidence) some inform- 
ation respecting an expedition which you think to be commendable, 
provided you could manage it, but which you will betray and denounce 
if he does not give it up! You are, sir, the guardian of your own 
honor! but I trust that, for your children's sake, at least, you will 
never let your passion lead you to a course that might make them 
blush. In order, however, to disabuse you of any lingering notion that 
I, or any of the members of the late Kansas committee (whom I know 
intimately) have any responsibility for Captain Brown's actions, I wish 
to say that the very last communication I sent to him was in order to 
signify the earnest wish of certain gentlemen, whom you name as his 
supporters, (in your letter and in the anonymous one,) that he should 
go at once to Kansas and give his aid in the coming elections. Whether 
he will do so or not, we do not know. I may, perhaps, save you trouble 
by declaring that, though I am willing to do my uttermost to aid your 



( 



TESTIMONY. 179 

family, or any distressed family, and though I am willing to listen to 
any supposed claim of yours upon me, or any of my friends, I will not 
read letters couched in such vituperative and abusive language as you 
have hitherto used to Mr. Sanborn and me. I will read only far 
enough to see the spirit of the communication, and if it is similar to 
that of your former letters, I shall put it in the fire, with a real feeling 
of regret at seeing a man of ability and acquirements willfully injuring 
himself and family by his own passions. 

Yours, 

S. G. HOWE. 



February 7, 1860. 
Kalph Plumb sworn, and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you please to state Avhere you reside and what is 
your occupation? 

Answer. I reside in Oberlin, Ohio. I practice law. 

Question. Please examine this letter, and say if it is your hand- 
writing. [Exhibiting the following letter: 

Oberlin^ August 23, ISctd. 

Dear Sir: Yours of August 9 came to hand this morning, and I 
hasten to reply, and should have replied to your first letter before, but 
it was so long reaching me that I was afraid you would have left 
Chambersburg. My pecuniary condition is such, (having made a loss 
in consequence of being in jail, of about $1,200 on property shipped 
west,) that I regret to say I cannot advance the money to save your 
father's land. It would give me great pleasure to do this, and I am 
very sorry I cannot. 

Next, with regard to the last proposition. Our people have been 
drained of the last copper to pay exj^enses for the Oberlin trials, and 
are now sued by Lowe for $20,000 damages for false imprisonment. 
We have, in all probability, got to have another clinch with the scoun- 
drels, and money, money, money, will be needed at every step. If 
I could possibly do so, I would send you the required amount ; but, in 
my opinion, it will not be possible to raise it. By visiting other places 
and interesting other parties, it might be done, but not here. I have 
to go Missouri in a few days to look after my business there, which has 
been left in a disastrous condition by imprisonment. 

Yours, truly, 

Pv. PLUMB. 

Answer. That is my handwriting? 

Question. It is addressed to "J. Henrie, Esq." Will you state to 
the committee who he was? 
Answer. He was J. H. Kagi. 
Question. Why was it addressed to him by the name of Heurie? 



180 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. It was a request of his in a letter I received. I received 
two letters from J. H. Kagi, and in the last one, I think, he requested 
me to reply to J. Henrie. 

Question. Where were those letters addressed to him by you? 

Answer, I replied but once. I will state the whole circumstances 
in connection. 

The Chairman. Certainly. 

The Witness. The first letter I received from him was sometime in 
reaching me, for some reason or other. I was absent from home a 
portion of the time, and for some other reason, I know not what, it 
was a good while before it came to me ; but the object of both letters 
was the same. He wrote me that his father had made a purchase of 
160 acres of land in some place near to Omaha or Nebraska City^ I 
have now forgotten which, in this way: he had loaned of a Cincinnati 
banker a land warrant, for which he had agreed to give $200, and had 
given his note due in a year, and had entered the land warrant upon 
the land, and had executed a mortgage to the Cincinnati banker for 
the payment of the $200 at the end of the year. He said in his first 
letter that his father was not able to raise the money, and he wished 
me to enable him to take up the mortgage, and he proposed to have 
the mortgage assigned to me for security for so doing. I did not 
answer the first letter for the reason that I bave stated. The second 
letter was in the forepart of August, I should think. 

The Chairman. This is dated the 23d of August. 

The Witness. It seems to be in response to a letter of the 9th of 
August. When that letter came to hand I replied to it. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Was that substantially the same thing? 

Answer. Yes, the same thing, with this exception, in the second 
letter he expatiated more fully upon the wants of his father. The last 
letter stated that he himself could get along well enough, but his 
father was an old man, and he was very anxious to raise the money, 
and he wanted, if I could not raise it myself, that I should interest 
somebody else to raise the money for him. I then replied in the lan- 
guage of that letter. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Where were his letters written from? 

Answer. From Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, both of them. 

Question. Did he give you any reasons for being there? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Did you know why he was there? 

Answer. I did not. I did not know that he was there until I re- 
ceived the letter from him. 

Question. In this letter of the 23d of August, you reply to his request 
for money to aid his father: "^'Next, with regard to the last proposi- 
tion. Our people liave been drained of the last copper to pay expenses 
for the Oberlin trials, and are now sued by Lowe for $20,000 damages 
for false imprisonment. We have, in all probability, got to have 
another clinch with the scoundrels, and money, money, money, will 



TESTIMONY. 181 

be needed at every step. If I could possibly do so, I would send you 
tbe required amount, but, in my opinion, it will not be possible to raise 
it. By visiting otlier places and interesting other parties, it might be 
done, but not here." It would appear from the letter that, after dis- 
posing of the application to aid his father, you proceed to his request 
for money for other purposes: "Next, with regard to the last propo- 
sition." What was that other proposition? 

Answer. It was to interest other parties to raise the $200. He wrote 
to me for $200 for that purpose, and that alone. 

Question. Did your correspondence, as shown in this letter, refer to 
raising money for no other purpose than that of aiding his father? 

Answer. For no other purpose. It was the $200 he wished for that 
purpose. He stated to me particularly in his first letter the amount of 
money. 

Question. Did you know a man named L. S. Leary? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. Was he a white man or a negro? 

Answer. He was a negro. 

Question. Where did he live? 

Answer. He lived in Oberlin. 

Question. Did Leary a23ply to you at any time in the fall of 1859 
for money? 

Answer. He did. 

Question. What did he want with the money? 

Answer. I understood that he wanted to engage in assisting slaves 
to escape. 

Question. Did he say that? 

Answer. No, sir ; he did not. 

Question. Did he tell you what plans he had? 

Answer. No, sir ; he did not tell me any particular plans he had in 
view. I can state fully if it is desired. 

The Chairman. Anything that is pertinent and relevant to the scope 
of the question you can state. 

The Witness. He called on me first, and borrowed a small amount 
of money, without informing me anything about what he wanted it 
for, except that he wanted to use it. He called again afterwards, and 
told me he would like to keep the amount I liad given him, and would 
like a certain amount more for a certain purpose, and was very chary 
in his communications to me as to how he was to use it, except that 
he did inform me that he wished to use it in aiding slaves to escape. 
Circumstances just then transpired which had interested me contrary 
to any thought I ever had in my own mind before. I had had exhibited 
to me a daguerrotype of a young lad}^, a beautiful appearing girl, who 
I was informed was about eighteen years of age 

The Chairman. Is that in connection with your lending money to 
Leary ? 

Answer. In connection with it as to time, and it had an influence 
on my mind in giving him the money. He did not inform me that 
his object was in connection with that. 

Question. Then, what connection has this daguerrotype of abeauti- 



182 TESTIMONY. 

fill young girl to do with your lending money to Leary for any purpose 
whatever, unless it was connected with that young girl? 

Answer. I was going to explain. 

The Chairman. But tell us, before you give the evidence, what con- 
nection it has with it? 

The Witness. I was desirous to say that in the community where I 
live we are in the habit of giving money for aiding slaves to escape, 
and whenever application is made to us for that purpose, there is but 
little said. If we are satisfied it is wanted for that purpose, and can 
give it., we give it. 

Question. Did you know a man named Copeland? 

Answer. I did. 

Question. Was he white or black? 

Answer. He was a black man. 

Question. Where did he reside? 

Answer. He resided in Oberlin also. 

Question. What was his occupation there? 

Answer. A carpenter and joiner. 

Question. What was Leary' s occupation? 

Answer. He was a harness maker. I must say, however, that my 
acquaintance with them was very slight. I merely knew them. I do 
not know that I ever had any conversation with either of them in my 
life, excepting in this case of Leary when he applied to me. I knew 
him on the street. 

The Chairman. On the second application, as I understand, he told 
you he wanted to retain what he had, and wanted you to let him have 
more, and then said the purpose was to aid in the escape of slaves? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. If the witness desires to state any fact by way of 
explanation of his having given money to aid slaves to escape, would 
it not be right for him to state if he is particularly interested in any- 
thing about some young woman? 

The Chairman. I asked him if there was any connection between his 
giving money to Leary to aid slaves to escape and the daguerrotype 
of this particular girl he spoke of. Was it to aid her to escape? 

The Witness. I wish to state the whole facts. 

The Chairman. Answer that question. Did he ask for money to 
enable him to aid this girl to escape? 

The Witness. He did not. My impression was 

The Chairman. Then what connection has it with the subject? 

The Witness. My impression was it was in connection with that, 
because, as I said, we are not in the habit of talking about these mat- 
ters. When money is wanted, it is our custom to give the money and 
say nothing. 

Question. Is it your custom to give the money without inquiring in 
what way it is to be used, except the object to which it is to be applied? 

Answer. Certainly. W^e do not know the ways in which it is to be 
used. The object is the only thing. We are not in favor of promoting 
insurrections, and had no such thought or intention, and should never 
give any money for tliat purpose in our community. 



TESTIMONY. 183' 

Question. Will you state the amount of money that you lent to 
Lear}'' altogether? 

Answer. I let him have $17 50 altogether. 

Question. When did you make him the last advance? 

Answer. I cannot state now. I do not know. I remember that it 
was not long before he was said to have gone away. I did not know 
when he went away. 

Question. Was it in the month of August or September of last 
year? 

Answer. It must have been later than that. It must have been the 
last of September ; if not later. 

Question. Did he and Copeland go off together? 

Answer. I do not know. 

Question. Do you know when they left there ? 

Answer. I do not. 

Question. Was "there any person present when you advanced this 
money ? 

Answer. Yes, when the last money was given. 

Question. State who it was? 

Answer. My brother. 

Question. State his name? 

Answer. Samuel Plumb. 

Question. Does he reside at Oberlin? 

Answer. He does. 

Question. Did he interest himself to get the money from you for 
these men? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were you aware at the time that these two men were 
going away together? 

Answer. I was not. 

Question. Did Copeland apply for money at all ? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Did you know that Leary was to share with Copeland 
what you advanced to him. 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Will you state where the money came from that you 
advanced; whether it was your own funds or others? 

Answer. Part of it was my own funds ; but I will state again that, 
according to our custom in the place, I went to certain individuals and 
said I wanted to raise certain money. I requested one man to give me 
three dollars, another a dollar ; generally a dollar apiece. I asked them 
if they liad faith in me, and they said they had, and gave the money. 

Question. Did you state what you wanted with it? 

Answer. I did not. That is according to our custom in that place 
when we wish to raise anything for such a purpose. 

Question. Is it the custom to solicit money from people of that place 
without telling them what use is to be made of it? 

Answer. Yes, sir; especially when it is to be applied for the pur- 
poses of enabling slaves to escape. 

Question. How are they to know it is to be so applied if you do not 
tell them so? 



184 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. We know each other well, and have confidence that what- 
ever is wanted in this way is properly applied. 

Question. Why is not the use that is to he made of it disclosed to 
each other? 

Answer. Well, the opposition to the practice of aiding slaves to 
escape, on the j)art of some of our citizens, is such that it is not thought 
advisable to sav anvthing about it. 

Question. Did you know John Brown, who was recently put to 
death in Virginia by the laws of that State? 

Answ^er. I saw him twenty-four years ago. I have not seen him 
since. 

Question. Have you been in correspondence witli him? 

Answer. I never had a letter from him, or wrote him a letter in my 
life. 

Question. Did vou know where he was at any time during the last 
fall? 

Answer. 1 did not. 

Question. Did you know this man Kagi? 

Answer. I did. I will state the circumstances under which I knew 
him. I was arrested under a charge of violating the fugitive slave 
law and thrust into jail, and I laid there eighty-four days. That was 
at Cleveland, Ohio, on the 5th of April, 1859. During my stay in 
jail, in company with a number of other men, Kagi came there to the 
jail, and was tliere several times. I never saw him at any other time 
or j)lace except then and there. 

Question. Did you know of any associations or societies in your 
neighborhood, or in that region of country, for the jmrpose of raising 
funds to enable slaves to escape ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Are there no such societies existing there? 

Answer. None, that I know of, except this general understanding I 
speak of among the neighbors. 

Question. Did you know John Brown, jr.? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I once lived within three miles of him, when I 
lived in Trumbull county, before he moved to Kansas. Since that 
time I have moved to Lorain county, and he has returned from Kansas 
to Ashtabula county. 

Question. Wliat is the distance from your residence to his now? 

Answer. It is about ninety or one hundred miles. 

Question. Has John Brown, jr., been at Oberlin since he came back 
from Kansas? 

Answer. I saw him there once. 

Question. Do you remember wlien tluit was? 

Answer. It seems to me as if it was about the 1st of Augu.st last. I 
am not positive as to the time, but it was somewhere in that neighbor- 
hood. 

Question. Was he at Oberlin then? 

Answer. I met him in the streets of Oberlin. I had been away 
attending a law suit. I returned at a late dinner hour for us, about 
one o'clock, and met him about two blocks from my residence walk- 
ing in a hurry. I invited him to go back to my house and take 



TESTIMONY. 185 

dinner, and lie said he could not; lie would like to see me, but he 
could not go with me then. The cars were due at perhaps quarter 
past one, and he was then walking rapidly towards the station. I 
merely shook hands with him and bade him good hye, and he passed 
on to the cars. 

Question. Was there no further conversation? 

Answer. No further conversation. 

Question. Did you see him at any subsequent time? 

Answer. I saw him immediately after his return from Kansas; the 
next day after his return from Kansas. 

Question. In what year was that? 

Answer. It was in November, 1856; I recollect it because it was 
just before the Presidential election. 

Question. Do I understand that you did not see him again until the 
interview in Oberlin ? • 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. Have you seen him since? 

Answer. No. 

Question. Have you had any correspondence with him? 

Answer. Not on this subject; it was not a recent correspondence. 

Question. Were you aware he was soliciting money anywhere through 
your region of country last fall ? 

Answer. He has not done so to my knowledge ; he has not from me 
or any person that I know of. 

Question. Did you hear from any sources, so that you can state, what 
brought him to Oberlin at the time you last saw him there ? 

Answer. I cannot; I do not know what brought him to Oberlin; I 
was anxious to see him; I formerly had an acquaintance with him, 
and I wanted to see him. 

Question. Did you hear any person speak of his being there, and 
what his business was there ? 

Answer. I did not; my daughter said that such a man as he came 
to my door and rang the bell just before I came, but she did not know 
him. 

Question. Did you ever hear, or were you aware, that John Brown, jr._, 
had formed, or was seeking to form, associations through that part of 
the State for the purpose of raising money? 

Answer. I was not aware of it; I Avas in jail at the time. 

The Chairman. I mean in August or September, the time you last 
saw him. 

Answer. No, sir; I never knew him to raise associations for the 
purpose of raising money for any object whatever; there was a kind 
of association called the Sons of Liberty that was formed in various 
parts, but, so far as I know, their object had nothing to do with that. 

Question. What was the object of the Sons of Liberty? 

Answer. It was expressed in these words^ I think I saw in one of 
their constitutions: " That no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, 
or property without due process of law, if we have power to prevent 
it." 

Question. Where was that society formed? Was it at Oberlin? 

Answer. I was informed that there was an association at Oberlin, 



186 TESTIMONY. 

tlioiigli I was in jail at the time it was formed, and do not know my- 
self anything about it. 

Question. Had you any knowledge of any intention on the part of 
Brown or any others in the fall of last year to make a descent on any 
of the slave States for the purpose of running off slaves ? 

AnsAver. No, sir. 

Question. Did you hear the fact spoken of that those two negroes, 
Leary and Copeland_, had left Oberlin on a mission of that kind at the 
time they went away ? 

Answer. I do not think I did until the news came of the attack 
upon Harper's Ferry by telegraph, which astonished us very much. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. I wish to ask this man what he means by aiding the 
escape of slaves ? 

Answer. The meaning of that term is assisting those who are fleeing 
towards Canada. 

Mr. Collamer. Assisting slaves who have escaped. That is what 
you mean by it ? 

The Witness. Yes, sir ; I have never known anything further than 
that. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Would there be any objection on the part of yourself, or 
those with whom you act, to contributing money to assist in the escape 
of slaves from a State where they are held in slavery ? 

Answer. Well, we are generally opposed to that ; my answer to that 
is that I have extensively traveled, while I was in business as a mer- 
chant, at the South, and I have steadily refused ever to do anything in 
the direction of suggesting or aiding a slave in a slave State to escape, 
while I have always assisted them where they have been fleeing in our 
own State. 

KALPH PLUMB. 



February 9, 1860. 
John A. Andrew sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to state where you reside, and what your 
occupation is? 

Answer. My home is Boston, Massachusetts, and I am a practitioner 
of law in Boston. 

Question. Will you state whether you engaged counsel to defend 
John Brown, who was recently executed in Virginia for offenses against 
the laws of that State, on his indictment and trial ? 

Answer. I engaged the Hon. Samuel Chilton, of Washington, who 
assisted in the defense of Captain John Brown, at Charlestown, and 
also the Hon. William Green, of Richmond, Virginia, who assisted 
Mr. Chilton iu relation to the prosecution of a writ of error. The fact 



TESTIMONY. 187 

of the action of these o:entlemen is not personally known to me of my 
own knowle(lii:e ; I only know it by correspondence and public rej)ort. 
I never had the pleasure of being in Virginia. 

Question. Will yon please to state under what circumstances you 
enirased them as counsel ; what led you to do it ; what was the reason 
why you engaged them? 

The Witness. The operative motive on my mind ? 

The Chairman. Any reasons connected with it — who employed or 
engaged you, or why you did it. 

Answer. If my motives are deemed 

The Chairman. Not your motives at all. What I want to know is, 
at whose instance were counsel employed in Virginia, and who furnished 
the compensation to the counsel? 

Th.e Witness. As I was about to remark, if it is desired by the com- 
mittee to know what operated on my own mind, and led to the employ- 
ment of these gentlemen through my intervention, I will state with 
entire freedom, and I hope the gentlemen of the committee will not 
regard anything I may say as intended to be at all disrespectful to 
them or to Virginia. When the intelligence reached Boston by tele- 
graph that the local court in Jefferson county, Virginia, was proceeding 
to the trial of John Brown and one of his associates, with such speed 
and hurried action on its part as to render it probable that there was 
to be no sufficient opportunity to make a full and complete defense, 
and under such circumstances as that the physical condition of the men 
themselves seemed to render it entirely improbable that they could 
prepare a defense with propriety, it struck my mind, and the minds of 
various other gentlemen whom I met with in the ordinary avocations 
of my business, in the street, the office, the court rooms, and other- 
wise, as being a judicial outrage. I certainly felt it to be such. It 
was wholly unlike anything I had ever known or heard of in my prac- 
tice as a lawyer. When some persons had been indicted for kidnap- 
ping, in Massachusetts, last September, the court gave General Cushing, 
their counsel, two or three months after their arraignment before he 
was required even to file a plea. Various gentlemen said to me^ with- 
out respect of party or person, ''You, Mr. Andrew, are known to be a 
lawyer of anti-slavery sentiments, or of Republican sentiments, and of 
considerable readiness to act on any occasion which seems to you to be 
proper ; why do not you go to Virginia and volunteer to defend Captain 
Brown ?" Without remembering the names of the persons who spoke 
to me, I should not think it strange if twenty men, of all shades of 
opinion, might have made that remark; and many persons thought 
that tlie circumstances under which this proceeding was going on in 
Virginia were such as to tend to increase rather than to diminish the 
ill feeling that the unfortunate foray of Captain Brown had already 
excited. I said to others, and said to myself, ''If I should go to Vir- 
ginia, I, a Republican lawyer and a Massachusetts man, should be 
before a court and jury so little in sympathy with myself that I should 
be quite as much on trial as my client would be. I3esides that, I am 
a stranger to the local jurisprudence and practice of Virginia," (al- 
though I was somewhat familiar with the reports, and not unfamiliar 
with some books, particularly I remember Mr. Robinson's practice, 



188 TESTIMONY. 

which I read with a great deal of pleasure.) Knowing nobody suffi- 
ciently well to take that liberty with him, save Judge Montgomery 
Blair, of Washington, I at once wrote to him a letter, of which I think 
I kept no copy — I feel very sure I did not — stating to him how I felt 
about it and how other gentlemen felt, and I think I also suggested 
that I thought if Captain Brown was in Massachusetts, charged with 
any crime, he would not only have a long time given to him to enable 
his friends to examine into the state of his mind, with a view to test- 
ing its sanity, but that it did seem tome an investigation would result 
in finding testimony, all the way from Boston to Kansas, which would 
tend to prove him insane. That suggestion I made in the letter, and 
I made it merely as the result of an inference, not as the result of any 
facts of which I had personal knowledge. I also said that if Judge 
Blair would himself go to Virginia, undertake the cause, and see that 
Captain Brown had a complete and appropriate defense, according to 
the laws of the jurisdiction where he was indicted, raising whatever 
questions of law ought to be raised, and having them heard before the 
tribunal of ultimate resort, I would guaranty to him a proper and 
honorable compensation; or if he was not of opinion that he ought to 
go, or if he could not go in person, I would adoj^t his selection of any 
other gentleman of the bar, and would guaranty his compensation; 
that I desired a gentleman familiar with the institutions, practice, and 
jurisprudence of Virginia, and whose personal presence would not 
prejudice his client. The result was the employment of Mr. Chilton. 
After Mr. Chilton had retired from Charlestown, either in consequence 
of a letter written by himself to me, or a letter written on, his behalf 
by somebody else, I was led to offer, in the same feeling and with the 
same general view and purpose, a fee of $300 (fixing it in my own 
mind, because there was but little time to make any bargain about it) 
to any gentleman from Richmond whom Mr. Chilton should himself 
select as an associate. Mr. Daniel, of Richmond, and Mr. Green 
were both spoken of. Mr. Daniel declined, on account of his other 
engagements, and his letter was sent to me. He recommended Mr. 
Green. Mr. Green was retained, and I honored the drafts to the 
amount of Mr. Chilton's fee of $1,000, and Mr. Green's fee of 
$300. In undertaking to retain and pay these gentlemen, I acted self- 
moved, except in so far as my own opinion and judgment was influ- 
enced by the general remarks of which I have spoken, made to me by 
friends and neighbors and fellow-citizens of Boston, of various de- 
scriptions and ojiinions. In my letter to Judge Blair, I said I make 
this application to you in behalf of the friends or of friends of Captain 
Brown. I felt justified in using that expression ; because I could safely 
call all of us who desired a fair trial of a man — of whom we had, for 
a long time, entertained a good opinion as an honest man — his friends. 
1 felt, also, that I could fairly say, if it were needful, that the applica- 
tion was made in behalf of his lamily, because I was sure that I must 
be serving the welfare of a man's family, in seeking to secure for him 
a good defense. I wished, also, so to express myself as not to place 
Mr. Blair, nor any other counsel whom he might emj^loy in his stead, 
in any relation of delicacy towards myself, of the same profession. If 
I had ofiered the money as out of my own pocket, or upon my own 



TESTIMONY. 189 

risk, my friend, Mr. Blair, or any other lawyer, would have douhtless 
felt a certain delicacy in accepting the retainer, coming from a brother 
lawyer, influenced only by public or benevolent considerations. I 
adopted phraseology, therefore, which would steer clear of that deli- 
cacy of relation which a direct statement of my precise position would 
have involved. 

Question. Will you state how this money was furnished and by 
whom furnished? If you can, give the names. 

Answer. Without regard to my being in full j^ossession of the funds 
or not, I accepted the drafts, as they were drawn on me, and the money 
was furnished by A., B., & C. whom I might happen to meet in 
business, or in pleasure, or at church. 

Question. Was the money furnished at your request, or was it 
voluntarily proffered? 

Answer. I stated to various gentlemen — gentlemen whom I might 
meet at dinner ; gentlemen whom I met at church, in the court house ; 
and others whom I might perhaps take pains to fall in with — what I 
had done, making the remark, "If you approve of my conduct and 
think it is right, please to give anything towards the fund which you 
feel free to give." Various gentlemen, friends of mine, I remember,- 
came in and offered me money which they had collected on the street, 
as they told me, on State street, on ' Change, anywhere, having said to 
people: '"Mr. Andrew has assumed responsibility for the defense of 
John Brown, stating the circumstances, do you desire to give anything 
towards relieving him from the pecuniary responsibility he has under- 
taken?" In that way, the money came in. Some gentlemen, perhaps, 
would give five dollars, and some fifty dollars. I knew some of the 
donors ; others I did not know. For example, I remember that I 
asked a gentleman to state the fact of what I had done, as he might 
have opportunity, among the members of the legislature, the general 
court of Massachusetts, then in session, and almost everybody in the 
legislature knew me personally or knew something about me. The 
result was that some of the money came from them. It came from, 
lawyers, and merchants, and legislators, and perhaps ladies, although 
I do not know that any ladies gave anything towards it of my own 
knowledge. 

Question. Will you state, sir, whether your reason for volunteering 
your aid in this matter and the representations that you made to 
others, or what induced you to act as you state you did act, was 
founded on the impression that Brown was not going to have a fair or 
just trial, or was it founded on a disposition to aid in his defense, be- 
cause of his career against the institution of slavery ? 

Answer. Well, sir, I know 

Question. In other words, if you had no impressions that the trial 
was not one fairly and properly conducted, would you have acted as 
you did, in getting money for his defense, only from a desire to serve 
him because of the career in which he was embarked? 

Answer. I am quite clear on that point, putting the question in 
that way. As you, sir, first proposed the question, it was a little 
complex and intricate. Had I felt that Captain Brown and his asso- 
ciates were in the way to a full and complete opportunity for a fair 



190 TESTIMONY. 

judicial investigation into all their rights according to the laws of the 
jurisdiction within wliich they were, I have no reason to suppose that 
I should have interfered. I should have felt that I had no occasion to 
interfere. I had known about old Mr. Brown for several years, and I 
approved a great deal which I had heard of touching his career in 
Kansas ; I thought he had been an honesty and conscientious, and useful 
assistant of the free-State cause. My impression of him was derived 
from many sources. I had never seen him but once in my life, and 
then only for a few moments. I say in frankness that I felt a certain 
sympathy for a man who liad, as I thought, been useful in behalf of a 
great cause in which I was interested. I had no sympathy with his 
peculiar conduct toucliing which he was then indicted. I felt injured 
by that, personally, as a Republican. 

Question. Suppose the only difficulty connected with his trial as 
you heard, had been the want of means, would you and your friends 
then have volunteered to furnish the means to employ counsel? 

Answer. It is not easy, Mr. Chairman, for one man to speak as to 
another's motives. I can only speak as to my own ; and you have 
now put a question which embarrasses me to this extent: It is always 
unpleasant for a man to blow the trumpet of his own virtue, and I am 
sorry to be asked to state to what extent I may be a benevolent man, 
or otherwise. I can only give you one little circumstance, as an illus- 
tration of what I might do under such circumstances. Last year a 
man was convicted in Boston for piracy, and sentenced to be hanged. 
I had never seen him, to speak to him, in my life, nor did I know by 
sight any person related to him in any way. After other efforts had 
been made, I devoted some week, at least, to preparation, and came to 
Washington, at my own expense, without fee or reward, or the hope 
of any, in order to press upon the Attorney General and the President 
those considerations which I deemed proper to be considered in support 
of the application for executive clemency. The man's life was saved. 
I never spoke to him until I accompanied Mr. Marshal Freemen to his 
cell, and assisted in the reading of the President's warrant of commu- 
tation. I have sometimes done just such things as that on other occa- 
sions. I do not profess to be a particularly benevolent man, but I 
mention that as an illustration of what I might do, even for a stranger. 

Question. You have spoken of your opinion that evidence might 
have been obtained from Boston to Kansas to show that Brown was 
insane. Will you say whether, as far as you know, it was his general 
ref)utation in Massachusetts, that he was insane? 

Answer. I cannot answer to that. I took that position in my letter 
to Judge Blair, in consequence of an inference drawn by myself from 
circumstances attending the outbreak at Harper's Ferry — the outbreak 
itself and the circumstances attending it. It was my own inference. 
I am not aware that I had ever heard it suggested by any man that 
Captain Brown was insane. I have since been informed that some 
twenty-five or thirty affidavits were taken in difterent parts of the 
country and submitted to the executive of Virginia, in support of some 
theory of insanity, in behalf of Captain Brown. 

Question. Were you aware that a young gentleman named Hoyt 
had been sent to Virginia as counsel for Brown and his associates? 



TESTIMONY. 191 

Answer. I knew that Mr. Hoyt went to Virginia. I personally 
know Mr. Hoyt. He is a very young man, a very excellent young 
man, a gentleman of talent, but inex|)erienced as a lawyer, and he 
would not regard himself, nor would he be regarded by others, as a 
gentleman of tliat degree of professional experience to be placed in a 
position of such responsibility as the defense of a capital cause, in a 
strange State, under foreign laws. 

Question. Were you aware or cognizant of who sent him, who em- 
ployed him to go, at whose instance he went? 

Answer. To the extent of my knowledge, I can speak, and I have 
no doubt that I, substantially, know the facts. I think Mr. Hoyt went 
without any compensation, and I think his expenses, which of course 
would be small, were paid by gentlemen whom he knew. It is cus- 
tomary with us, as I suppose it is everwhere, for gentlemen of the bar, 
particularly younger members of the bar, to act as volunteer counsel 
in capital causes, and even in other important criminal causes, where 
the parties are not able to procure counsel by compensation. Mr. Hoyt 
went to Virginia before Mr. Chilton, and when he left Boston I think 
he had no means of knowing, or suspecting, probably, what I intended 
to do. He went suddenly, probably upon an impulse. There might 
have been a little professional aspiration, for aught I know, mingling 
with his motives. 

Question. You have spoken of a a custom prevailing at Boston, and 
probably at the bar generally, for junior members of the bar to volun- 
teer in criminal causes where the i)arty is not able to pay counsel ; is 
it customary for them to volunteer their services to go out of their own 
State and to a remote State for that purpose? 

Answer. I do not remember any other instance save one, and that 
occurred in this very case of Brown and his associates, in the person 
of Mr. Sennott, who is a Democrat, and a supporter of the Democratic 
federal administration. 

Question. What did he do? 

Answer. He went in the same way. I think Mr. Sennott had no 
compensation at all when he went to Virginia — that is, no promise of 
any, and I do not know that he has ever been paid anything. I do 
not know whether, in his recent visit to Virginia within a few days 
past to defend Stevens, Mr. Sennott went as a mere volunteer or upon 
the promise of compensation ; but I am very sure that Mr. Sennott and 
Mr. Hoyt both went to Virginia originally, without any expectation of 
pecuniary compensation. 

Question. How did you derive that information? 

Answer. I am very sure that both Mr. Hoyt and Mr. Sennott told 
me so. It was a case of a great deal of public impression, as you j^er- 
ceive, and it is not very strange that young men might perceive, or 
think tliey perceived in it, an opportunity for some exercise of profes- 
sional prowess, and that, added to a sentiment of humanity or pity for 
a man deemed to be in circumstances of hardship and misfortune, 
would be a sufficient motive to operate on many minds. 

Question. V/ill you inform the committee whether, at any time 
during the years 1858 or 1859, you contributed money in any form to 



192 TESTIMONY. 

be paid over to John Brown for any purpose? I mean before the 
Harper's Ferry affair. 

Answer. I never saw Mr. Brown until some time in the sprinj. 
1859. I never contributed any money in aid of any purposes of M 
Brown's whatsoever, unless contributions which I may have made k^ 
the Emigrant Aid Society or to the Kansas committee may have in- 
directly reached him, of which last fact I am, however, wholly without 
any means of information. But after having met Captain Brown one 
Sunday evening at a lady's house, where I made a social call with my 
wife, I sent to him $25 as a present. 

Question. Was that in the spring of 1859? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I do not know the date, but it was sometime in 
the spring of 1859. I do not know whether anybody else gav^e him 
any money or not. I sent him $25. I did it because I felt ashamed, 
after I had seen the old man and talked with him and come within 
the reach of the personal impression, (which I find he very generally 
made on people,) that I had never contributed anything directly 
towards his assistance, as one whom I thought had sacrificed and suf- 
fered so much for the cause of freedom and of good order and good 
government in the Territory of Kansas. He was, if I may be allowed 
to use that expression, a very magnetic person, and I felt very much 
impressed by him. I confess I did not know how to understand the 
old gentleman fully, because when I hear a man talk upon great 
themes, touching which I think he must have deep feeling, in a tone 
perfectly level, without emphasis and without any exhibition of feeling, 
I am always ready to suspect that there is something wrong in the 
man's brain. I noticed that the old gentleman in conversation scarcely 
regarded other people, was entirely self-poised, self-possessed, sufficient 
to himself, and appeared to have no emotion of any sort, but to be 
entirely absorbed in an idea, which preoccupied him and seemed to 
put him in a position transcending an ordinary emotion and ordinary 
reason. I did not regard him as a dangerous man, however. I thought 
that his suflerings and hardships and bereavements had produced 
some efiect upon him. I sent him $25, and in parting with him, as I 
heard he w^as a poor man^ I expressed my gratitude to him for having 
fought for a great cause with earnestness, fidelity^ and conscientious- 
ness, while I had been quietly at home earning my money and sup- 
porting my family in Boston under my own vine and fig tree, with 
nobody to molest or make me afraid. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. Was the whole amount of money you paid refunded to 
you, or how much were you left out of pocket? 

Answer. I have not carefully examined, for I came to Washington 
without having any information as to the point towards which the ex- 
amination of the committee would tend. I have not examined my 
accounts. Perhaps I am out of pocket $100. If I do not lose more 
than $50 or $100, besides conducting the correspondence, I am satis- 
fied. 



TESTIMONY. 193 

By Mr. Davis: 

question. You state tliat your sympathy with Brown arose from the 
»^ful service rendered by him in Kansas for the preservation of good 
'vfder and government. Will you state what the character of the ser- 
vice was which you so denominate? 

Answer. At a time when, according to the best and all the informa- 
tion which I possessed, there was no law, nor official of the law, to 
protect, or who did protect, the free-State settlers from Massachusetts 
and from the South, too, I am led to believe that Mr. Brown was effi- 
cient, with other men, in the attempt to guard and protect and secure 
them against unlawful violence from marauders, resident or pretending: 
to be resident in Kansas, and invaders from adjoining slaveholding 
States. 

Question. Did you include in those services what is known as the 
Pottawatomie murders? 

Answer. No, sir; for I have always understood that Captain Brown 
was not i^resent at the Pottawatomie transaction. I, however, have 
heard that Captain Brown said that he approved the transaction at 
Pottawatomie as an action of necessary self-defense, though he was not 
himself personally present. I was never in Kansas in my life, and am 
dei)endent wholly for my opinions on those who have visited Kansas, 
and who have given me information. 

Question. There was another feat of his, that of kidnapping negroes 
in Missouri, and running them off to Iowa. Was that a part of his 
services which commanded your sympathy? 

Answer. The transaction to which you refer is one which I do not, 
from my point of view, regard as justifiable. I suppose Captain Brown 
did, and I presume I should not judge him severely at all for that 
transaction, because I should suppose that he might have regarded 
that, if not defensive, at least ofiensive warfare in the nature of de- 
fense — an aggression to prevent or repel aggressions. And I think 
that his foray into Virginia Avas a fruit of the Kansas tree. I think 
that he and his associates had been educated up to the point of making 
an unlawful, and even unjustifiable, attack upon the people of a neigh- 
boring State — had been taught to do so, and educated to do so by the 
attacks which the free-State men in Kansas suffered from people of 
the slaveholding States. And, since the gentleman has called my 
attention again to that subject, I think the attack which was made 
against representative government in the assault upon Senator 
Sumner, in Washington, which, so far as I could learn from the public 
press, Avas, if not justified, at least winked at throughout the South, 
was an act of very much greater danger to our liberties and to civil 
society than the attack of a few men upon neighbors over the borders 
of a State. I suppose that the State of Virginia is wealthy and strong, 
and brave enough to defend itself against the assaults of any unorgan- 
ized unlawful force. 

Mr. Davis. My purpose is to learn Avhether the witness and those 
who aided him in their contributions had their sympathy for Brown 
excited by deeds of murder and robbery, or whether those acts did not 
diminish their sympathy. 

13 T 



194 TESTIMONY. 

The Witness. I think I ought to say in reply, that I was not aAvare 
that I ever heard of the Pottawatomie transaction until since Captain 
Brown's trial. Therefore, the Pottawatomie transaction could not 
have affected my mind at all either way. I have not been accustomed 
to discriminate much between one and another of the Kansas conflicts. 
They were general; and there were many of them. I had heard of 
the Ossawatomie affair, but I do not remember to have heard about 
that transaction at Pottawatomie. I undoubtedly had read of it be- 
cause I read the report of the investigating committee in 1856. It, 
however, had passed out of my mind, and I remember that in the affi- 
davits taken by Mr. Oliver on that committee there was but one man 
who professed to identify Captain Brown as connected with that trans- 
action, and I am not sure that he expressed himself with certainty. 

Question. Had you heard of his stealing horses, to be taken into 
Ohio and sold? 

Answer. I had heard it frequently said that, sometime during the 
controversy between the free-State men and the pro-slavery men, they 
were accustomed, when they prevailed against each other, to treat their 
horses as fairly the spoils of war. I am quite confident that I had 
heard this statement made in connection with Captain Brown, but I 
did not regard him singular in that respect, and I always believed and 
do now believe that the free-State men were acting defensively in sub- 
stantially all that was done by them in Kansas. 

Mr. Davis. Then it was sympathy for a soldier engaged in such a 
Avar as you have described? 

The Witness. Your question is incomplete, Mr. Davis. 

Mr. Davis. I will give it any form which will enable you to answer 
it more satisfactorily to yourself. 

The Witness. You said it was sympathy 

Mr. Davis. The sympathy which you say you exj)ressed or felt 
towards John Brown, is that which you felt for a soldier engaged in 
.such a civil war as that which you describe in Kansas. 

The AViTNESS. That would hardly be a fair statement of my feeling. 

Mr. Davis. I wish merely to get at what your feeling is. It is not 
a statement, but an inquiry. 

The Witness. I am constitutionally peaceable, and by opinion very 
much of a peace man, and I have very little faith in deeds of violence, 
and very little symj^athy with them except as the extremest and direst 
necessity. My sympathy, so far as I sympathized with Captain Brown 
was on account of what I believed to be heroic and disinterested ser- 
vices in defense of a good and just cause^ and in support of the rights 
of persons v\'ho were treated with unjust aggression. 

By Mr. Fitcii: 

Question. There is a question which, ])erhaps, would be germane. 
.Without saying to the witness what has, or what has not been in proof 
heretofore before the committee, we could put this supposition to him: 
suppose that it had been known that Brown had had in contemplation 
precisely such a thing as he was guilty of in Virginia, for fifteen or 
tM'enty years; that he sought this Kansas service for the very pur^iose 
of educating himself and those who acted with him for this ulterior 



TESTIMONY. 195 

object, would the witness and those wlio sympathized with liini, have 
sympatliized with his Kansas operations, with that knowledge? 

Answer. I have no reason to suspect that of myself, nor do I believe 
of anv other gentleman with whom I atrree or act, that the transactions 
of Captain Brown at Harper's Ferry would be deemed justifiable, nor 
would any such attempt made or contemplated, receive our sympathy, 

Mr. Fitch. The answer does not go to the full extent desired. I 
intended to ascertain from the witness, whether, if he and those who 
acted with him, had supposed that Brown had contemplated this 
Harper's Ferry foray, using the means and men they were placing at 
his disposal in Kansas for that purpose, they would have given him 
those means, or encouraged him in his Kansas operations? 

The Witness. Of course not. So far as a man can answer hypotheti- 
cally, I say, of course not. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. You stated when you first saw Brown ; will you state 
when you last saw him? 

Answer. I never saw liini but once, and I thought it singular that 
I should not have seen him, for I heard he was frequently in Boston. 
I was not a member of the Kansas committee or any Kansas association. 

Question. Do you know when he was last in Boston? 

Answer. I have never heard that Mr. Brown was in Boston since 
the time when I saw him, last spring. He may have been there_, 
though. 

By Mr. Collamek : 

Question. In the Pottawatomie transaction which has been spoken 
of, as you understood the thing, did you understand that Mr. Brown 
was particij^ating in it ? 

Answer. I will say that I never did believe, and from the best in- 
formation I have ever received, I do not now believe, that Captain 
Brown was present, and a participator in the transaction. It would 
be fair for me to say, I think, with regard to other gentlemen wdio 
may have contributed towards this money, that I ought not, perhaps, 
to be taken as a representative of them all, because I may be a very 
much more ultra man in my opinions than they. I think there w^ere 
Democrats who contributed towards that money, though I have not a 
personal knowledge of the fact. The money was handed towards my 
fund merely for the purpose of securing a fair trial. I am confident 
that some people gave under the impression that it would be better for 
the peace of the country to have it more apparent that Captain Brown 
was well defended. 

JOHN A. ANDREW. 



196 TESTIMONY. 

Febhuary 10, 1860. 
Charles Robinson sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will jou please to state where you reside? 

Answer. I reside at Lawrence, Kansas. 

Question. How long have you resided in Kansas ? 

Answer. Since September, 1854. 

Question. Were you acquainted with John Brown, who was recently 
put to death in Virginia ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. State when your acquaintance with him commenced? 

Answer. My iirst acquaintance with him was in November or De- 
cember, 1855'. 

Question. AVhere did you meet him then? 

Answer. At Lawrence, in Kansas. 

Question. When did you last see him? 

Answer. I think it was in September, 1856. It was about that time. 

Question. Where then did you see him ? 

Answer. That was also at Lawrence. 

Question. Did you have any conversation with him which would 
tend to show what his views and purposes were in reference to inter- 
ference with slavery in the slave States ? 

Answer. I had a conversation with him at both times, more partic- 
ularly the last time. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. You never saw him at any other time but on those 
two occasions. 

Answer. I believe I never had a conversation with him at any other 
time. I am not positive that I ever saw him at an}^ other time. 

The Chairman. Give the substance of the conversation, as near as 
you can recollect it, in regard to the subject I inquired about. 

Answer. I had a conversation with him about the general state of 
affairs in Kansas. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. At what period was that? 

Answer. That was in 1856. I do not remember about the first inter- 
view with him. I found that his purpose was different from mine in 
regard to Kansas matters. From that conversation I learned that his 
object was to rather create difficulties and disturbances than to estab- 
lish a free-State government in Kansas, while mine was for the latter 
object. 

The Chairman. Give the substance of the conversation — what he 
said, and what you replied, so as to get out the conversation. 

Answer. He said that he did not come to Kansas for the purpose of 
settling at all. He would never have come there had it not been for 
the difficulties, and had he not expected those difficulties would result 
in a ireneral disturbance in the country, and that was what he 
desired. He desired to see slavery abolished, and he hoped that the 



TESTIMONY. 197 

two sections would get into a conflict which would result in abolishing 
slavery. 

Question. AVhat sort of a disturbance or conflict did he have refer- 
ence to ? » 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Did he explain it ? 

The CiiAiRMAX, What did he say ? 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Confine yourself, Mr. Eol)inson, to what he said, as 
near as you can. 

The Chairman. Not to the language, but to the substance. 

Answer. I cannot recall his language again ; but I understood him 
that he expected the difficulties there would result in a collision be- 
tween the North and the South, and I understood him to be in favor 
of encouraging or fanning the disturbances there until that would 
result. I Tuiderstood tliat he thought that was an opportunity to get 
at slavery in the country and abolish it ; and he came there for that 
purpose, and not simply to operate in Kansas, and for Kansas alone. 
That is where he and I differed, and we could not agree. 

Question. Did he develop his views in reference to the mode in which 
he desired or hoped to carry out that policy ? 

Answer. No, sir, not definitely ; no further than that by encourag- 
ing the difficulties there, they would gradually engage the States, and 
they would become engaged by sympathy with the different parties. 

Question. Can you state whether he took any steps, or adopted any 
measures, in any form, to mold that sort of policy in Kansas, amongst 
any of the people of Kansas — to get up a party, or difluse it in any way ? 

Answer. Not at that time. Governor G-eary came at that time, and 
hostilities ceased for some time. I think they did not commence again 
until after Governor Denver came, or about that time. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Fix your dates as nearly as you can. When was 
that? 

Answer. I do not remember any general disturbances again until 
they occurred in the southern part of the Territory. 

]\Ir. CoLLAMER. At what time was that ? 

Answer. Governor Geary, I think, left in 1857. It was wliile Gov- 
ernor Denver was there that the disturbance occurred there ; and I do 
not exactly remember the date that he was there. I know that I went 
south with him to see if we could not stop them. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. AVhat did you find, so far as Brown's views Avere con- 
cerned ? 

Answer. Brown was not there when I went down. Tlic}' said he 
was about there, but I did not see him. Mr. Montgomery was the 
j^rincipal actor that I saw at that time. I heard that Brown was or 
had been in the vicinity, but I did not come in contact with him. 

Question. Were tliere any United States troojjs down there? Did 
any of them <2;o with you or Governor Denver ? 

Answer. I think there was a company of troops at Fort Scott or its 
vicinity. They liad been sent there, and I believe were there at the 
time. 



198 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Have you any reason to know that any persons or any 
party in Kansas sympathized or united witli Brown in that policy of 
keeping up hostilities there, with a view to their extension ? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I know that there were some others who were 
sympathizers with that policy. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. And for that purpose — to bring on a general conflict? 

Answer. Yes, sir. They avowed themselves in favor of it. That 
is, one man did particularly ; and he said others were acting with him. 
There Avas hut one man, I believe, that ever avowed himself to be in 
favor of it at any length. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state who that was? 

Answer. That was James Kedpath. 

Question. Was he in the southern part of the Territory at the time 
you speak of, when you went down there with Governor Denver? 

Answer. No, sir ; he had left then. He had given up the contest 
before that. As he told me, he had despaired of accomplishing his 
object. 

Question. What object? 

Answer. Of getting up a general disturbance in the country, and 
abolishing slavery by means of it. 

Question. Had you seen him in Kansas? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; frequently. 

Question. Can you remember now during what years he Avas there? 

AnsAver. The conversation I had with him Avas in the spring of 1858, 
I think, or early in summer. 

Question. Do you knoAv Avhat his business or occupation in Kansas 
Avas ? 

Answer. He Avas a reporter, or a correspondent for neAvsjmpers. 

Question. Of Avhat newspapers? 

Answer. When he first came out there, it Avas 1855, I think. He 
was then correspondent, principally, for the " Missouri Democrat." 
He was at times correspondent of the Chicago " Press and Tribune," 
and of the " NeAv York Tribune ;" and he might have corresponded 
for other papers ; I am not certain. 

Question. Hoav long did he remain, according to your recollection, 
in Kansas ? 

AnsAA^er. He Avas there, off and on, until 1858. I think that he left 
there and has not been back since 1858. He published a paper aAA'hile, 
called the " Crusader of Freedom," at Doniphan. 

Question. Can you inform the committee AAdiether the purpose and 
policy of Brown in his scheme of inciting insurrection in the States 
was known in Kansas, so far as 3^ou AA'-ere informed, during the troubles 
there or at any time? 

The Witness. Do you have reference to this matter in Virginia ? 

The Chairman. No, I do not mean in Virginia, but any of the 



TESTIMONY. 199 

Southern States — this ohject to make insurrection for the purpose of 
making; a descent upon them? 

Answer. I do not believe it was p^cnerally believed or known what 
the purposes of these men were. I think the few I speak of did know, 
and w^ere in sympathy with him, and were cooperating with him, but 
I do not think the people knew it. I do not think the people would 
sanction it at all. As soon as they suspected anything of the kind, 
they would tall away. There was a movement got up there at one time 
to massacre all the pro-slavery men of the Territory. It was by these 
same men, but as soon as it w\as known the people dropped off from 
them in an instant. They attempted it and started it, but they had to 
abandon it. 

Question. Do you know where that movement took its origin — who 
originated it? 

Answer. No, sir ; it was developed at Lawrence ; that is, the plan 
was announced there in my presence at one time, but it fell still-born 
the moment it was known. 

Question. A plan to massacre all the pro-slavery men? 

Answer. Yes, sir; and then to extend it, as I understood, into Mis- 
souri. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Into the border toAvns? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Collamer. That w^as after the Missouri people had invaded them 
and hunted them out? 

The Chairman. You may understand it as it presents itself to you, 
I understand the witness to say that there was a plan origated at Law- 
rence, in Kansas, which had for its object the massacre of the pro- 
slavery men in that Territory. 

The Witness. I say such an announcement was made ; perhaps it 
was a plan. 

The Chairman. And then I understand him the design Avas to extend 
the same policy into the State of Missouri as a slaveholding State. 

Mr. Collamer. I can ask questions about it when the chairman gets 
through. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Did you know any of the men who Avere with BroAvn at 
Harper's Ferry ? 

AnsAver. Yes ; I kncAV Mr, Kagi, and I kncAV of Mr. StcA-ens, and I 
have seen him, but I do not consider myself much acquainted Avith 
him. 

Question. Can you state hoAv long Kagi had been in Kansas? 

Answer. He Avas there more or less up to 1858. I do not knoAV but 
that he Avas there in 1858 ; perhaps he Avas. Yes, he Avas there Avhen 
BroAvn Avent into Missouri after slaves. 

Question. Do you know Avhether or not he was an asscociate or con- 
federate of BroAvn's in his plan, such as you haA^e spoken of? 

Answer. He was understood to be. He Avas with him more or less. 



200 TESTIMONY. 

Question. What was his occupation in Kansas ? 

Answer. He was a reporter or letter writer. 

Question. For the same class of papers that you have indicated? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do joii know where he came from? 

Answer. He was a foreigner, I think. I think he was from Eng- 
land. Most of these letter-writers that I speak of were foreigners. 

Question. Is Kedpath a foreigner? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Do you know what countryman he is? 

Answer. I think he is from England. 

Question. Have you any other knowledge that will give to the com- 
mittee information upon the subject connected with any plans of insur- 
rection in any of the Southern States, except what you have mentioned? 

Answer. No, sir. I know nothing about anything outside of Kan- 
sas. I know, by report, of their going into Missouri for some slaves. 
I was never a confidant of them, except Mr. Eedpath. After he had 
had a falling out with General Lane, and gave up the contest, he 
stopped at my house a few days. He had been a bitter denunciator of 
me, and all associated with me, up to that time, and then came and 
unbosomed himself and apologized for the course he had taken in re- 
gard to me. He said, as a statesman, I could not have acted differ- 
ently ; but they had another object in view, and he told me what it 
was. He left the Territory soon after, and said he had given up the 
contest; he had no hopes. 

Question. When did he leave the Territory, according to your 
recollection? 

Ans^Yer. The last time I saw him was, I think, in 1858. I think I 
have never seen him there since. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. These men of whom you speak, that is, these letter- 
writers, &c. , you say were mainly foreigners ? 

Answer. Most of them were, that I understood to be in this arrange- 
ment. 

Question. That is, you understood that from Redpath? 

Answer. I do not say that he said they were foreigners ; but I know 
them, and 1 know they are called foreigners. 

Question. But that they sympathized with Redpath and his pur- 
poses, you understood from him? Those were the men that Redpath 
said did that? 

Answer. Yes, sir. There were some who were not foreigners whom, 
he said, they relied upon. 

Question. But the persons he was talking about were a limited 
number of people? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; quite a limited number, who were in the secret 
of his movements. 

Question. Do you know that there was any connection between these 
men and Brown? 



TESTIMONY. 201 

Answer. No, sir; no more than that Redpatli counted on Brown as 
one of their allies. 

Question. That is what he told you? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

C. ROBINSON. 

[By direction of the Committee, portions of the testimony of this 
witness, heing hearsay only, and deemed irrelevant to the inquiries 
before them, are omitted.] 



February 13, 1860. 
Martin F. Cox^vay sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. AVill you please to state where you reside, and what your 
occupation is? 

Answer. I reside in Lawrence, Kansas Territory. My occupation 
is that of a lawyer. I am the general agent of the New England 
Emigrant Aid Company in the Territory of Kansas. 

Question. Will you state how long you have resided in Kansas? 

Answer. About five years. 

Question. You were the general agent of the Massachusetts Emi- 
grant Aid Society — is that the title? 

Answer. No, sir ; the title is the New England Emigrant Aid Com- 
pany. 

Question. What were the duties of that office of general agent? 

Answer. The duties were to have charge of the business of the 
company in the Territory, and that business consisted of a general 
supervision of the property of the company. It was an incorporated 
company. The property consisted of land and houses, and saw-mills. 
My duty was to dispose of the lands and houses, collect rents, pay 
taxes, &c. 

Question. Were there no other duties than those of taking care of 
the property of the company devolving upon the agent? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you receive remittances? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. You were of course in correspondence with the authorities 
of the company in New England, whoever they were? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. The summons required you to bring any papers or 
correspondence you had, connected with that company. 
The Witness. I did not so understand it. 

The Chairman. That is my recollection. 



202 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. I might as well have hrought my private correspondence, 
I thought, because all my correspondence with that company is of a 
business character. 

The Chairman. The summons required you to ''bring any docu- 
ments, correspondence, or papers in your possession," &c., ''belong- 
ing to any associations or committees with which you may have been 
connected, and which may contain any information or refereiice, in 
any form, to the plans or purposes of John Brown^ late of Kansas, 
and wdiich plans or purposes had for their design operations in, or 
against African slavery in, any of the States, by inciting insurrection 
amongst the slaves, or aiding them to escape, or otherwise." 

Answer. There was not a particle of correspondence in my posses- 
sion, belonging to the New Enghind Emigrant Aid Company, having 
the slighest reference to any of the plans of John Brown, or any other 
plans with reference to African slavery, either in Kansas or in the 
States. 

Question. Was there no correspondence from any other source, con- 
nected w-ith producing the effect of insecurity, or otherwise, upon 
African slavery in the States? 

Answer. No, sir; it was of the most purely business character pos- 
sible, all my correspondence Avith the New England Emigrant Aid 
Company, 'if the committee desire it, my letters are in Boston, in the 
hands of the secretary there. 

Question. Will you state who the secretary is? 
Answer. Dr. Thomas H. Webb, No. 3, Winter street. Copies of 
his letters to me are preserved there. My letters to him are in his 
possession. I have copies of them preserved in my office. The origin- 
als are with him. They can be had any day. I supposed, as they 
had no connection with this matter, it was of no importance to bring 
them. 

Question. You have said that you received remittances, from time 
to time, from that company. Will you state what use was to be made 
of them, by their direction? 

Answer.' I received remittances, now and then. I remitted money 
oftener than I drew money. I drew small sums sometimes. When I 
tirst became agent of the company, I drew some $250. Afterwards, I 
drew small sums; I think $200 at one time, and recently, within the 
last three months, I drew a couple of hundred dollars. I occasionally 
remitted some. The object of these drafts w-as to meet deniands on 
the company, for which I had no money in my possession, derived from 
collections, to satisfy them. 

Question. Demands of what kind? 

Answer. Demands for taxes and for compensation for agents. 
Question. You mean demands relating to the property of the com- 
pany? 

Answer. Yes, sir; exclusively. 

Question. Were you connected with any other society or committee, 
of any of the other States, for operations in Kansas? 
Answer. Not a society, or committee, sir. 
Question. Were you ac(i[uainted Avith John Brown? 



TESTIMONY. 203 

Answer. Yes^ sir. 

Question. State, if you please, when you became acquainted witli 
liini, and where? 

Answer. I met him for the first time in Boston^ in the winter of 
1856; I think, about December, 1856. 

Question. What brouglit you to his acquaintance? 

Answer. I Avas invited to Boston by Dr. Thomas H. Webb, in the 
fall of 1856. I was then sojourning at my old home, in Baltimore 
city. I was invited to Boston for the purpose of telling to the peoj^le 
there the story of Kansas. He had been there, presenting the cause 
of the people of Kansas to those in that region of country who were 
interested in that subject. 

Question. Had you been previously in Kansas? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I went to Kansas in 1854. 

Question. And remained there until 1856? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I remained there until the summer of 1855, 
when I was compelled to leave the country in order to save my life. 
It was then under a reign of terror. I had been away before, though, 
occasionallv. 

Question. Have you said by whom you were invited to Boston? 

Answer.- Yes, sir. I said, a few minutes ago, that I had no con- 
nection with any company, or corporation, or committee, in the least, 
in Kansas. That is true; but I was connected with a committee in 
Massachusetts there, tlie Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. My 
connection with it was of this description : when I went to Boston_, 
under invitation of Doctor AVebb, I was desired to act in connection 
with that committee, in going through the State of Massachusetts and 
attending meetings called through the agency of this committee, in 
diiferent places. 

Question. What is the st3de of that committee? 

Answer. The Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, and telling 
the people at the different meetings Avhat had transpired. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Was not that the Kansas aid committee? 

Answer. It was for the purpose of aiding Kansas, but that was not 
the style of it. My action in connection with that committee was 
limited exclusively to the mere matter of telling the people who were 
assembled at the different places, from time to time, what had hap- 
pened in Kansas, and what the merits of the cause of the people of 
Kansas were in the contest that was then going on out there. That 
was all the connection I had with that committee; I had notliing to 
do with any collections which were made, or with any disposal of the 
money obtained. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Were collections obtained at these various meetings? 

Answer. The object of that committee was to have Kansas presented 
to the people there, and then their modus operandi was to have com- 
mittees appointed by the meetings ; these committees to make collections, 



204 TESTIMONY. 

and these collections to be remitted to Boston to the Massachusetts 
State Kansas Committee, to its treasurer — Mr. Jackson, I think his 
name was. 

Question. Were collections taken up at the various meetings which 
jou addressed? 

Answer. No, sir; but committees were appointed at these meetings, 
and sometimes the committees were already appointed. I remained in 
Massachusetts until April, 1857, when I returned to Kansas. During 
this time I met with John Brown ; he was in Boston ; he seemed to be 
engaged in a similar work, though I believe he was not acting in con- 
nection with this committee. I heard him tell his exploits at several 
meetings ; I talked with him frequently there. 

Question. Do you remember by whom you were introduced to 
Brown? 

Answer. I cannot call that to mind. 

Question. Did he go through the State, and was he present at 
these meetings you have spoken of? 

Answer. No, sir; I do not think he was at any of the meetings at 
which I spoke ; he had no association with me in the work at all ; in 
fact, nobody had. 

Question. Did you go alone to these meetings, or were you attended 
by anybody from Boston? 

Answer. Generally, I was alone ; sometimes I would go in company 
with others; once or twice I was attended by other gentlemen. 

Question. You were deputed to that duty by this committee in 
Boston you have spoken of? 

Answer. I was in one sense— that is, they fixed the times and places 
of the meetings, and I attended the meetings and spoke. 

Question. Do you know what amount of money was collected by 
that committee in the whole? 

Answer. I do not know, but I think there was quite a large sum; 
I do not know what was done with the money ; I had never anything 
to do with the receipt or disbursement of the money ; it never passed 
through my hands or came in contact with me at all. 

Question. Did you meet John Brown afterwards in Kansas? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I met him twice afterwards in Kansas. 

Question. Do you remember in what years? 

Answer. I met him in the fall of 1858 ; I met him once before then, 
incidentally; but I do not recollect anything about it any more than 
he was present, or came into a room where I was at one time, in Law- 
rence, with several others, and was there for a few minutes. I do not 
remember anything distinctively in connection with him at that time ; 
it amounted to nothing, whatever it was. 

Question. Did you ever talk with him, or he with you, as to wliat 
his views were in reference to slavery in the States? 

Answer. Oh jes, sir; quite at large on one occasion. 

Question. Will you state what his views were as to his own pur- 
poses in life in connection with the system of African slavery? 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Give the time and place. 

The Witness. Yes, that had better be fixed. I met him, I tliink it 
was, late in July, or early in August, of 1858. A friend of his, a 



TESTIMONY. 205 

person who seemed very closely connected with him, named Kagi, the 
same I believe who was killed at Harper's Ferry afterwards, called at 
my house and told me that Brown was in the town, and that he wished 
to see me; he told me he was staying at the honse of Mrs. Killan, a, 
public house in the town ; I told him I would call ; I did so, and Brown 
told me that he had been sick ; he looked very feeble at the time ; he 
said he had the fever in southern Kansas ; had been lying there for 
several weeks, and had hardly recovered; that he was very much in 
need of money; he had received, he said, an order from the national 
executive committee for some large sum of money, which he had never 
been able to get ; that the 

The Chairman, Was that the Boston committee? 

Answer. No, sir; the national committee. 

Question. What committee was that? 

Answer. That, I presume, was the committee of which Thaddeus 
Hyatt was president. 

By Mr. Doolittle: 

Question. The committee formed at Buffalo? 

Answer, Yes, sir. He said he had received this order, but had 
never been able to get the money; that Mr. Whitman, who was an 
agent of that committee in that place, had not acted well toward him 
in the matter. Mr, Whitman, it seemed, was authorized to make 
collections of debts due the committee in the Territory, and was 
required, I believe, from Brown's representations, to satisfy that claim 
of Brown's out of the proceeds of his collections. He had not done 
it and Brown seemed to be aggrieved by it. He was complaining to 
me of it. Whitman, I think, was not in the town at the time, but 
about that I do not recollect distinctly. From that he went on to 
talk of his troubles in the Territory, how he had suffered there, and 
of the spirit that was manifested by the pro-slavery party^ and of the 
manner in which they seemed disposed to dominate over the country. 
He thought that they would have to be met in a very decided way. 
He thought that there was only one thing could check them, and thai 
was force. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. How did he propose to check them by force? Did he 
develop his plans at all? 

Answer. No, sir; he seemed to talk all around something, but did 
not make any revelation whatever to me. I manifested no disposi- 
tion to receive any suggestion from him of anything that he might pur- 
pose doing. His connection with me was that which brought us 
together in defense of the rights of the people who inhabited Kansas, 
and I had no disposition to go any further. I always felt satisfied 
that Brown was not content to limit himself to that work. 

Question. That work in Kansas, you mean? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What did you suppose his vicAvs were as to extending 
some of his operations beyond the defense of the people of Kansas? 



206 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. As to facts I know notliing ; he never told me anytliing 
about it. 

Mr. DooLiTTLE. Would it be advisable to take the witness's supposi- 
tion? 

The Chairman. Not unless he knows, from conversations with 
Brown or lacts brought to his knowledge, what his plans w^ere. 

The Witness. I know nothing whatever from any facts or conversa- 
tions with him as to any plans on the subject. In the other conver- 
sations we had he confined himself entirely to matters of business 
and seemed not disposed to force any views on me of that kind. He 
seemed also disposed not to connect me with himself in any public way. 
Afterwards he called at my house, and took occasion to do so at a time 
when he might not be observed. I noticed it, because it seemed to me 
to suggest that he understood I was not in his line if he had any such 
purpose as I supposed he might have of general hostility in a forcible 
way to slavery in the States. 

Question. Did you give him any encouragement to develop his plans 
by putting questions or anything of that sort? 

Answer. No, sir ; it was just the other way with me. 

Question. You showed a disinclination? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was it not in the ftill of 1858 that he made that last 
incursion into Missouri when he captured slaves? 

Answer. I think that was after his interview with me. 

Question. Did he refer to that })urpose in any way? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you see him afterwards? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When and where did you see him? 

Answer. He came again, I think it was about a month afterwards, 
perhaps not so long as that. He stopped at the same place, I believe. 
He called at my house with a bundle of jmpers, told me that the 
National Kansas Committee had passed a resolution sometime before 
upon which he based a right to act himself as agent for that committee 
in the Territory in the collection of debts due it, and as Mr. Whitman 
did not seem to satisfy him in that business, he had taken it upon 
himself to make collections. 

Question. Had he received a commission to do it? 

Answer. He claimed to have received a commission, and as a result 
of his labors he produced a package of papers, which he said were 
promissory notes from parties in tlie Territory, who had received pro- 
visions and clothing from this committee during the troubles in 1856. 
They had engaged to pay for them and they had given these notes, 
and he liad got them, and he came to me to ask me a favor that I 
would take these documents and put them in my safe and keep them 
subject to his order. I agreed to clo so. 

Question. What became of them aftei'wards? 

Answer. His friend Kagi sat down at my desk and wrote a receipt 
for them, enumerating and describing each note. I glanced over it 
and saw what the general character of the document was, and I signed 
it, and he took it. 



TESTIMONY. 207 

Question. Do you rcmemljer tlie amount? 

Answer. No, sir, I do not. I did not examine the papers at all ; I 
glanced them over and put them in my safe. Mr. Whitman afterwards 
called on me several times and claimed them, saying that Brown had 
acted improperly in the matter; that he had never heard of Brown 
having a commission from that committee, and did not believe he had 
any, and desired me to give them to him. I refused to do so ; told him 
it was none of ray quarrel, that I wished Brown and liim to settle the 
matter between themselves ; that I had engaged to take the custody o f 
these pai)ers, and that they were subject to the orders of Brown, and I 
did not feel at liberty to give them up to him. So they remained with 
me. Finally, Brown was executed, and I concluded that there would 
have to be some disposal made of them, and I consulted witli several 
persons about it. I had occasion to visit the East not long since, and 
I inquired of several gentlemen what I ought to do with them. A 
gentleman in Chicago, who was connected with some of the commit- 
tees in someway, Mr. White, at the office of the "Press and Tribune," 
and Mr. Thaddeus Hyatt I spoke to. I spoke to Mr. Sanborn, who 
was connected in some way with a committee in Boston, and upon his 
advice, I forwarded these papers to the Massachusetts State Kansas 
Committee. 

Question. You do not remember their amount? 

Answer. No, sir ; I never knew it. 

Question. They remained in your possession until after Brown was 
executed ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Can you state, from your recollection, whether from the 
appearance of those notes and the persons whose notes they were, they 
were good notes, notes which could be collected. 

Answer. I think many of them were. 

Question. Were any of them for a large amount? 

Answer. Not over |100 or $200, and ranging, I presume, from $25 
to $200. I should suppose so from what I saw of them. 

Question. Can you tell whether there were any notes given for con- 
tributions, or otherwise than ior supplies? 

Answer. I am not certain for what they were given, but it is my 
impression that they had been given for supplies. 

Question. You have no personal knowledge of them having been 
given for any other purpose ? 

Answer. I have no personal knowledge of them at all. They were 
brought to me and left in my hands, and they remained there, and I 
did not look at them at all until I came to forward them to Boston, 
and then I glanced over them. 

Question. Tliat was about a month after your interview witli 13rown, 
in July or August, 1858, you say? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I sliall not be precise about these dates, but it 
was somewhere about that time. It was late in the summer or early 
in the fall of 1858, when Brown first called on me in this matter. 

Question. Did you see Brown alter that? 

Answer. I never saw him after that. 



208 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Do you know what became of Kagi? 

Answer. No, sir ; except I saw his name in the papers connected 
with the Harper's Ferry difficulty. 

Question. Did you never see him after he left you at that time? 

Answer. He may have been at the hotel when I called to see Brown ; 
I do not remember; but I had no conversation with him. 

Question. Do you know anything of what his subsequent movements 
were in Kansas ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you hear nothing of him or his movements in that 
section of the country? 

Answer. I think I heard he was in southern Kansas a while after 
that, in some trouble they had down there. There was a party 
marched into Fort Scott, I think, and killed a man in retaliation from 
some provocation that had been given by people there, and I think I 
heard of his connection with that, though I do not know what founda- 
tion there was for that report. 

Question. Did you ever see or hear of a man named Hugh Forbes 
out there? 

Answer. I never saw or heard of him until his name appeared in 
connection with the Harper's Ferry affair. We supposed, in Kansas, 
that he was a myth. 

Question. During the winter of 1857-58, or about that time, did 
you hear, or were you aware in any way, of the collection of a parcel 
of 3T)ung men, Kagi amongst them, for purposes of military training? 

Answer. No. I heard that Kagi, Cook, and Kealf, and some others 
who had been in Kansas, had gone away with Old Brown somewhere, 
for some purpose. I think military drill, or something of that sort, 
was connected with it. There was such a rumor through the commu- 
nity, when it would be asked where this man was and that man was, 
Kealf or Cook, or any of these young men, it was said they have gone 
off somewhere to be drilled, or something like that. 

Question. AVas there any rumor connected with the })urpose for 
which they were to be so drilled — what was the object of their 
training? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Any inquiry made into it, that you know of? 

Answer. No, sir. There were general views in that matter. It 
was thought that other Territories were to be opened, and that there 
would be trouble hereafter in connection with the slavery question in 
the Territories; and my idea, when I heard of this, was that perhaj)S 
Old Brown, with these young men, was preparing for the opening of 
the Southern Territory below Kansas, or Arizona, or something of that 
sort, that was mentioned. 

Question. You were aware, I suppose, of course, of a law passed by 
the territorial legislature creating a military board? 

Answer. There was such a law. 

Question. Were you aware that those officers were placed under 
Lane? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 



TESTIMONY. 209 

Question. Did you know what Lane's views were in connection with 
the services of that hoard ; wliat o))jects he had phmncd or contemplated 
in connection with the use of that hoard? 

Answer. No, sir, I did not. I liad very little to do with that enter- 
prise. I cannot say that I rememher anythini^ ahout that. The fact 
is that Lane was engaged in so many things of that kind, with such 
general and indefinite ohjects, that I could not tell. I do not know 
that he had any definite object himself. 

Question. Were you a meniher of the legislature? 

Answer. No, sir. I think it likely that Lane was looking out for 
the organization of the State government, and fixing things up for it. 

Question. By means of that military hoard in any way? 

Answer. Oh, well, probably. I think that these military boards 
were very frequently thought of as good instruments to control elections 
with, and were, therefore, designed as much for civil as for military 
operations. I do not sup^Dose that Lane had any idea of invading the 
State of Missouri, or the State of Virginia, or any other State on the 
globe, by means of his military board. 

Question. Have you any knowledge of the orders he gave to the 
officers of that board, or the service on which he sent them? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Do you know anything else that would give to the com- 
mittee information as to the purposes or plans of John Brown wdien he 
was last in Kansas, or after he left there? 

Answer. No, sir; I cannot think of anything at all. I never saw 
him afterwards. 

Question. Do you know of any contributions that he received, in 
money, in Kansas, in 1857 or 1858? 

Answer. No, sir. I remember this, a while after he was at my 
house, he seemed to be suffering and in need, and said he was so, and 
that he would have to have money. He appeared to be very much 
distressed, and a while after that I received a letter from a gentleman 
in Boston, whose business agent I am in the Territory, saying to me 
in substance that, if Old Brown called on me or sent tome for money, 
to let him have $50, drawing on him for it. I supposed, as a matter 
of course, as this was a benevolent gentleman, he had heard of Brown's 
necessities, sickness, and need, and had sought to relieve him in this 
way. I mentioned that fact to several in Lawrence, that I had a little 
money for Brown, and, after the difficulty at Harper's Ferry, a great 
point was made of that, and some people seemed to think it made me 
one of Brown's insurgents. He sent a person to me for that money, 
and I gave it to that person. 

Question. How long was it after you received the order to pay it, 
that he received it? 

Answer. It must have been in January of 1859. 

Question. Who was the person to whom you paid the money for 
Brown? 

Answer. A man named Joel Grover, living in the neighborhood of 
Lawrence. 

Question. Was it paid upon Brown's order? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

14 T 



210 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Will you state who the Boston man was that instructed 
you to pay it? 

Answer. It was Dr. Howe. 

Question. Then you received the order from Dr. Howe sometime in 
the winter of ] 858? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I must have received it in December, 1858, and 
I paid the money in January, 1859. 

Question. Do you know of any other money that Brown received 
there ? 

Answer. Never another cent. 

Question. What you stated, as to your supposition that it was from 
the benevolence and humanity of that gentleman, is supposition only? 

Answer. Supposition only. 

Question. He did not tell you for what purpose it was to be used? 

Ausw^er. No, sir. 

Question. Dr. Howe accounted with you for the $50 afterwards? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I had business relations with Dr. Howe, and 
charged that to his account. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. Do you know what committee had charge of or exercised 
control or ownership over the arms which are said to have been used 
by Brown? 

Answer. No, sir, I do not. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Were there any arms under the control of or forwarded 
by any committee with which you were connected ? 

Answer. No, sir. There were arms forwarded to me at Lawrence, 
about a year and a half ago, from 8t. Louis — arms belonging to a 
gentleman in Boston, which were taken away from certain parties on 
the Missouri river in 1856, at Lexington, and remained there for a 
long while, and were afterwards recovered by action at law, and were 
sent up to me at Lawrence, and put in my charge. 

Question. What amount of arms, and what description? 

Answer. I think 100 Sharp's rifles. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. What time did they reach you? 
Answer, It must have been in 1858. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. What became of them? 
Answer. They are in my charge now. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. In whom is the ownership? 
Answer. Dr. Samuel Cabot, of Boston. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Are they still his property? 

Answer. I presume so. I know nothing to the contrary. They are 
in my charge, subject to his order. 



TESTIMONY. 21 X 

Tlio Chairman. Perhaps it would be as well for the witness to state^ 
as far as he knows, the names of the different eomniittees that were- 
organized outside of Kansas for the purpose of operations in that Ter- 
ritory ? 

Answer. The Massachusetts State Kansas Committee was one, the- 
National Kansas Executive Committee was another. 

Question. Where was that formed? 

Answer. I think in Buffalo; a convention was held at Buffalo, anci 
that committee appointed ; the seat of its operations was in New York 
chiefly, yet the Massachusetts committee was mixed up with it in some 
wav, hv reason of the members of the Massachusetts committee beino; 
members of the national executive committee. 

Question. Do you recollect any more ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

The Chairman. There was the Emigrant Aid Company. 

Answer. The New England Emigrant Aid Company was purely a 
business concern ; that was an incorporated company. 

Mr. Fitch. A real estate speculation company ? 

Answer. Yes, sir; nothing else in the world. 

The Chairman. But I want to know what they were. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. Had the Emigrant Aid Society, which was an incorpo- 
rated company, ever any other agent in Kansas but you? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I did not become its agent until the spring of 
1858; I was appointed agent in March, 1858. 

Question. Was that in operation in 1854, when you went there? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I had nothing to do with it then, though. 

Question. Had that society ever anything to do with any arms or 
ammunition, or war supplies of any kind? 

Answer. From what I had understood of it, it had not; I remember 
when I first thought of going to Kansas I heard of this Emigrant Aid 
Company, but I did not know the nature of it, and I thought it a good 
idea, and I wrote to Mr. Thayer about it to see what advantages I 
could get in my emigration to Kansas by connecting myself with it iib 
some way, but his answer was very brief and unsatisfactory; I learned 
then that it was simply a company for the purpose of making money 
by speculating in land, putting up saw-mills, and building hotels, and 
taking land as a consideration, and holding the land for the profit 
they could make on it in the end. 

Question. You found, by being agent for it, that that had been its 
business ? 

Answer. Yes, of course. 

By Mr. Davis : 

Question. Did it not send out emigrants? 

Answer, It sent out no emigrants ; I was told that I could get my 
ticket to go to Kansas at less price, a few dollars less in price by means 
of it; that is, it would make me acquainted with this man, that man, 
and the other, and we would all go out together, and, by going out 
together, we would get our tickets at a lower price. I did not know 



212 TESTIMONY. 

they could do me any particular fevor by making me acquainted with 
this man, that man, and the otlier; that did not strike me as par- 
ticularly advantageous in my case ; and as for the small reduction in 
the price of fare, that was nothing. 

Question. Did they send persons to occupy the land which they were 
buying in Kansas? 

Answer. The parties wliich they would get together in this way, 
by making people acquainted with each other, would be disposed to go 
to such place as they would direct, as people would wish to get to- 
gether for mutual protection. The idea that the Emigrant Aid Com- 
pany was interested in a particular place, and had put in a saw-mill 
there, and was going to build a hotel, a large moneyed corporation 
would leave the impression that that was going to be a great place, 
and every body would wish to go there, and so these companies that 
would be formed by them in this way would naturally go to those 
places. In that way they first went to Lawrence, then to Toj^eka, 
then to Ossawatomie, and then to Manhattan. 

Question. Did the company never advance the transportation of 
those persons that went out? 

Answer. Not to my knowledge. 

Question. Did they have any lien on the land occupied by these 
persons after they went out? 

Answer. No, sir ; not to my knowledge. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. I want to know when the Massachusetts State Kansas 
Committee was formed ; what was tlie time and what was the occasion 
wdien it was formed ? 

Answer. As far as I know, it was formed at Fanueil Hall, in the 
latter part of May, 1856. 

Question. What was the occasion of its being formed? 

Answer. News was received of the sacking of Lawrence, and there 
was a great excitement in Boston, and a great meeting held at Fanueil 
Hall to consider what they should do, and the result was the appoint- 
ment of this committee, to raise funds for the support of the peoj^le of 
Kansas in their contest with those who had invaded the Territory. 

Question. And at the request of that association you went about the 
State of Massachusetts to state the condition of things in Kansas ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. I was not there at that time. I only speak of 
the manner in which the committee was formed by report. I went 
there afterwards. I had been driven out of Kansas. 

Question. How were you driven out of Kansas? 

Mr. Davis objected to the question as irrelevant, and, after consulta- 
tion, the committee sustained the objection. 

Mr. Collamer. Did you say you knew anything about any commit- 
tees raising arms ? 

Answer. No arms. 

Question. You did not know of any? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. You knew nothing about any arms sent, or attem^jted to 



TESTIMONY. 213' 

be sent into the Territory, except those you have spoken of, belonging 
to a gentleman in Boston ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. When were those sent? 

The Witness. Attempted to be sent ? 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Yes, sir. 

Answer. They were attempted to be sent in the summer of 1850, 
and were seized on the Missouri river, at Lexington. A large crowd 
assembled there, stopped the boat, and took the guns and everything 
else away from the men who were on board the boat, and sent them 
back. 

Question. Do you know of Lane having any connection, or trans- 
acting any affairs in any way with Brown ? 

Answer. No, sir. I do not think Lane had anything to do with 
Brown, or that Brown had anvthing to do with Lane. 

M. F. CONWAY. 



'? 



February IT, 1860. 
Augustus Wattles sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question . Will you please to state where you reside ? 

Answer. I reside in Moneka, Linn county, in the southern part of 
Kansas Territory. 

Question. How long have you resided in Kansas ? 

Answer. About five years. 

Question. Were you acquainted with John Brown, who was recently 
put to death in Virginia, under the laws there ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When did your acquaintance with liim commence? 

Answer. I had a knowledge of him in Ohio, several years ago,- but 
I was not intimate with him until 1855, in Kansas. I saw him first 
in Kansas in the fall of 1855. 

Question. Did your acquaintance continue with him in Kansas from 
that time until he left Kansas ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. When did you last see him in Kansas? 

Answer. I do not recollect the month, but it was in the winter of 
1858-59. 

Question. Where did you see him then ? 

Answer. I saw him at my house. 

Question. Who was with him? 

Answer. There was nobody with him at tlie time I allude to. I was 
confined to my bed by sickness, and he came in to bid me good-bye as 
lie was leaving. He had been into Missouri and taken those slaves, 
and was going out of the Territory. 

Question. Had lie the slaves with him at the time? 

Answer. I suppose they were under his charge at the time. I do 



■214 TESTIMONY. 

not know particularly whether he had them w^ith him or not. He had 
not them in my house with him. 

Question. That was in the fall of 1858? 

Answer. The fall or winter, I do not recollect the month. _ 

Question. How long did he remain at your house at that time? 

Answer. I suppose half an hour. 

Question. Had he been a previous visitor at your house? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did he ever remain with you for any long time? 

Answer. He frequently remained a considerable length of time. 

Question. Were there other men with him at those times that he 
was your guest? 

Answer. In the fall of 1856, wdien he was driven from the Territory 
by the United States troops, he came to my house to stop, and his sons 
and sons' wives. They Avere at my house some time ; I cannot tell 
how long ; I should suppose more than a week. 

Question. How do you mean driven from the Territory ; for that was 
in the Territory ? 

Answer. The troops were attempting to arrest him, and he came to 
stop with me on his way from Ossawatomie to Nebraska. He was 
attempting to collect his cattle together, and what property he had in 
Ossawatomie, and sell it ; and he had the women there to take them 
down the river ; and he had his sons there, and their wagons, to go 
back to Ohio. 

Question. That was in 1856? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; that was in 1856. 

Question. Did you see him there in 1857 ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I do not think I did. I have no recollection that 
he was in the Territory in 1857. 

Question. Did you know a man named Kagi ? 

Answer. Very well, sir. 

Question. Did you know Realf? 

Answer. I knew him when I saw him. I was not intimate with 
him. I was not very intimate with Kagi ; but Kagi was connected 
with the press, and used to be in the office very frequently. 

Question. What office ? 

Answer. The printing office where I was. 

Question. What press was that? .; 

Answer. The "Herald of Freedom," published in Lawrence. 

Question. Were you one of the editors ? 

Answ^er. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was your residence in the town of Lawrence? 

Answer. I lived about seven miles from Lawrence. I used to stay 
in Lawrence a good deal. My family lived out of the town at that 
time. 

Question. What did you say was Kagi's connection with the press? 

Answer. He was a correspondent of some paper here in Washington, 
and he used to be passing in and out to get newspapers to read. 

Question. Was Kagi, as far as you know, connected with Brown in 
.any of their fights or battles in Kansas? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I think he w^as with Brown all the time, or at 



TESTIMONY. 2 1 5 

least connected with him ; not personally with him all the time, hut 
he always knew where lie was, so that he could go to him. I under- 
stood it so generally. 

Question. Did Brown ever, in conversation with you or otherwise, 
develop to j-ou what his plans were in reference to the aholition of 
slavery either in Kansas or outside of Kansas ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I never heard him speak on tlie general question 
in the manner in wliich you are presenting the subject. I have only 
heard him speak in reference to our plans there, as far as his action 
was concerned, wliich was simply defensive ; hut in discussing the 
principles of abolition, I have heard him give sentiments like these ; 
in conversing with him on the subject once, he said : "I have been at 
your abolition meetings, mentioning in Massachusetts and Ohio, and 
your scheme is perfectly futile ; you would not release five slaves in a 
century ; peaceful emancipation is impossible ; the thing has gone 
heyond that jjoint." I recollect this distinctly from the ridicule 
wdiich he attached to a remark I made. I said that a forcible emanci- 
pation was worse than slavery. He said that his plan was to put arms 
in the hands of the slaves; give them their choice, stand behind them 
so as to protect them in a free choice ; give them a free choice, and if 
they chose to go into slavery, let them stay in it ; but if they chose to 
go out, sustain them in it. I said it was an impossibility to give 
them arms, referring to the expense and difficulty of furnishing them. 
He said he had a plan for an arm for them better than a musket — a 
long pike. What he said as to emancipation in that way, I supposed 
was a mere matter of opinion, which I had no idea had anything prac- 
tical connected with it. 

Question. Did he tell you whether, and how, he proposed to carry 
out plans of that kind, of putting arms in the hands of slaves ? 

Answer. No^ sir ; I had no idea that he had any plan of the kind; 
never heard him allude to anything further than conversation which 
men frequently have. 

Question. Were you at Fort Scott, or in the neighborhood of Fort 
Scott, at the time of the troubles or difficulties there? 

Answer. No, sir ; I was at home ; that was at the time I speak of 
when I was sick. He went near to Fort Scott, and was remaining 
there while Kagi and others went to Fort Scott and released a prisoner 
who was a member of their com})any. 

Question. Who was he? 

Answer. They call him Ben Rice. I do not know whether his 
name is Benjamin Rice or Ben Rice. It is the familiar name he goes 

Question. Do you know that that is his true name? 

Answer. I presume it is; I have no means of knowing that it was 
not. 

Question. He remained where, when Kagi went to Fort Scott? 

Answer. I understood — tliis is conversation I had witli them, I was 
not there — he remained on the Little Osage, at a fort that he had built. 

Question. What is the distance of your residence from Fort Scott? 

Answer. Twentv-five miles. 



216 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Do you know whether General Lane was down there at 
the same time? 

Answer. No, sir, not at this time. The time that I am speaking of 
is the last week that Brown remained in Kansas hefore he left ; Greneral 
Lane Avas there hefore, in the winter of 1857. 

The Chairman. I do not remember what 3'ear it was, hut a party 
with which I understood Brown was associated, made an attack on the 
village at Fort Scott, and took possession of it. When was that, or 
when did Lane do it ? 

Answer. Neither of them. 

Question. Who were the party that did that? 

Answer. I am not sure Avhether Captain Montgomery or Kagi com- 
manded. I think they were both considered rather leaders of small 
parties that did it. 

Question. Was neither Lane nor Brown present? 

Answer. Neither of them. Lane was never at Fort Scott at any of 
those difficulties. 

Question. Was there no further hostility or violence there except in 
liberating this prisoner. 

The Witness. At Fort Scott? 

The Chairman. Yes, sir. 

The Witness. There was nothing only what grew out of that. Mr. 
Little was killed, and his store was robbed. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. When was that? 

Answer. That was in the winter of 1858-59, I do not recollect 
the month. 

Question. It was just before Brown left the territory with those 
slaves? 

Answer. Yes, sir. While they were doing that, Brown remained 
sick at his fort on the Little Osage, twelve miles north of Fort Scott. 
While he was remaining there^ a negro man came up from Missouri, 
wandering along by chance, and fell in with Brown. He told Brown 
that he was looking for some man to help him to run away from Mis- 
souri ; that his master was dead ; that he owed no service to anybody in 
particular except heirs ; that he did not know when he was to be sold 
with his fiimily, and he wanted help to bring them away into Kansas, 
and Brown made arrangements with him to go down after him the 
next day. He went down. The story which is reported in the news- 
papers about that is correct, I suppose, substantially. At the time, I 
saw it in the newspapers, audi heard it conversed about also. 

The Chairman. I do not know that that is important. I only 
wanted to get at Brown's connection, if there was any, with that attack 
on Fort Scott. 

The Witness. I suppose Brown was advisory to it. I knew nothing 
about it until it was over. 

Question. Did you get that information from Brown himself that 
he counseled it? 

Answer. No sir ; I did not. I wish to say here while on this sub- 
ject that when Brown came to the Territory in the spring or summer 



TESTIMONY. 217 

of 1858, he came to my lionse to know if he could be of any use in de- 
fendiuii' the frontier. Hamilton and others had come in and had 
killed^ 

Mr. CoLLAMER. From Missouri? 

Answer. They were not Missourians; they were people that had 
heen driven out of Kansas. There were three brothers Hamilton. 
They were Georgians. Most of these people, I sujipose, had been 
driven out of Kansas in the fights on the border. They assembled in a 
company and came in from Missouri and took a number of prisoners, 
who were men at Avork on their farms and travelers on the road, and 
shot them ; and it was a great shock to the community. They gave 
out word that they were going to take all the settlers in Linn county 
and shoot them in the same way. We all assembled ; some 200 men, 
more or less, more I think, assembled on the line and detailed a 
company to stand guard all the time ; to ride up and down the line and 
keep watch of this body of men and see that they did not break in. It 
happened in May, just at the time people should be plowing and plant- 
ing, and it took citizens away from their work. Brown came in at 
this time and wanted to know if he could be of any service in guarding 
the line. I told him that he could, and we should be very glad to 
have him. We had sent to Governor Denver for arms, and to come 
down there; and the governor had promised to assist us. At my sug- 
gestion, a paper was drawn up, which Brown signed, and all the men 
who went into his company to guard the line signed^ stipulating that 
he should not go into Missouri on any provocation whatever, ^nd that 
no man in Kansas should be disturbed for his political opinions. I 
signed that also, and all the citizens to whom it was presented, who 
lived along the border, signed it. I do not know how many. I did 
not see it after there were eight or ten names to it. Brown went on to 
the claim where these murders had been committed — the Marais des 
Cygnes murders — bought the claim, and fortified it, and gave out 
word that he was there either to fight or be peaceable, as they might 
choose ; that he was Old Brown ; and that they could make as good a 
neighbor of him as they wanted, or as bad a one. He remained. there 
a month or two, more or less, and these men passed out of the State of 
Missouri. Mr. Hamilton and Titus and others passed away, and the. 
troubles ceased — that is, all danger from them disappeared. Brown 
went then away about his business. He was taken sick and came to 
my house and stayed, perhaps, two weeks. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Was that in the month of May ? 

Answer. I think the murders were committed in May. Brown 
went there in June, and perhaps in August he came to my house to 
be nursed, Avhile he was too sick to lay there. 

Question. What year was that? 

Answer. 1858. 

Question. Did you hear him speak of any plan that he had of put- 
ting a number of young men to a military school or military training 
during that winter? 



218 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. No, sir ; I never heard him speak of it I heard some 
young man in Lawrence — I do not know who it was; whether it was 
Kealf or some other one — say that they were going to take military 
lessons of an English officer. I am not positive who told me. It was 
a matter that I heard in conversation. 

Question. Was the object of the training expressed? 

Answer. No ; I had no idea that it was anything more than is 
common all over the free States, where the young men drill and learn 
military tactics. 

Question. Will you look at this paper and see if it is your hand- 
writing, and, if it is, say to Avhom it was addressed? [Exhibiting to 
the witness the following letter: 

"MoNEKA, K. T., March 29, 1859. 

''Dear Friend: Your favor of the 10th instant was received last 
evening. We were gratified to hear from you and of your success. 
We had followed you with anxious hearts from point to point on your 
perilous journey. Be pleased to let us hear from you from time to 
time, as you have opportunity. We are all well, and have been neither 
frightened nor hurt, though in constant peril of assassination or arrest. 
The pro-slavery j^arty has defeated itself, more by their own stupidity 
than by our smartness. We vote on the county-seat in June. Send 
all the abolitionists here you can. 

'' Please continue that writing which you begun at my house. I am 
a member of the historical society of Kansas, and am appointed on 
the department of hiog7xiphy. Please make a note of this, and act 
accordingly. 

"Yours truly. 

''Dr. Weaver killed himself, I presume you have heard, while 
bringing in guns from Missouri to murder his neighbors with. It was 
a providential interference for our protection, I have no doubt."] 

Answer. That is addressed to John Brown, in answer to a letter 
that he wrote to me. It is my handwriting. 

The Chairman. It is not signed. 

Answer. It was published with my name to it. How did they know 
that? 

The Chairman. That is a different matter. Why did not you sign 
your name to it ? 

Answer. I do not know now. I supposed it was signed. When I 
saw it in the newspapers, I supposed it was signed. I cannot give any 
reason why it was not signed, unless it was that I supposed my letters 
might be opened. It was a common thing for letters passing in and 
out, to and from Kansas, to be opened and read, to the disadvantage 
of the writer. 

Question. Opened where, and by Avhom? 

Answer. We supposed they were government officials, and that they 
were placed somewhere as spies, either at the distributing office or some 
other post office. That Avas the sup])osition. 

The Chairman. The Avay it was known to be your letter, I suppose, 



TESTIMONY. 219 

was tlie fact that it is indorsed liere, in Brown's handwriting, ''A. 
Wattles's letter ; answered May 18th." 

The Witness. I have Brown's letters in my pocket, that he has 
written to me. According to your orders, I hrought them all along 
that I could find. 

Question. What "success" was that you referred to in tliis note? 

Answer. In getting away from the enemies that were following him 
up through Kansas. I understood the United States troops were up 
after him, through the northern part of the Territory, and companies 
of men went from Atchison and elsewhere to arrest him. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. W^as that when he carried those slaves away? 
Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the CiiAiRMAisr : 

Question. W^hy did you fear assassination or arrest? 

Answer. That has no connection particularly with this. There was 
a posse got up there 

The Chairman. I do not put the question in reference to anything 
connected with your troubles and difficulties in Kansas, but only to 
ascertain if it was in anything connected with Brown and his fortunes. 

Answer. No, sir ; not at all. There Avas a ijosse got up there to 
drive the free-State settlers out of Linn county, certain obnoxious 
ones, Republicans or abolitionists, or whatever they were called, 
headed by Marshal Russell, a man who was sent for that purpose, I 
supposed, from the south part of the country. We supposed he came 
from Arkansas, and I was told by a man in the secrets of the lodge- — ■ 
it was a secret oath-bound society — a man who was in there, and told 
me, he said, at the peril of his life ■ 

The Chairman. Unless that refers to your connection with Brown, 
it is not necessary to state it. 

The Witness. I tell that in explanation of what follows there in 
that letter. 

The Chairman. Well, go on. 

The Witness. He said this man had come in there to take charge of 
the posse which was raised to arrest certain men in the county, or to 
kill them or drive them out, and that my name was on the list, per- 
haps the first on the list; and other prominent men, old settlers there, 
were on the same list; and this man who told me advised me to leave 
the county, as they Avere every day threatening to come over and kill 
me. I thought a good deal as John Brown thought about one thing, 
that I was worth as much to be shot there as any place, and I would 
let them act out their own plans ; I took no measures against them 
but to go up and see Governor Medary. He said this j^osse was got 
without his consent, that Marshal Russell was acting without his 
orders, and he would put a stop to it. 

The Chairman. That is in explanation of the part of your letter in 
which you speak of the threats of assassination? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; that is the whole of it. Tlie^josi'e at Paris were 
threatening to kill me every day, I was told. 



220 TESTIMONY. 

By Mr. Collaivler: 

Question. And you say the governor stopped it? 
Answer. Governor Medary stopped it. 

By tlie Chairman : 

Question. Have you the papers which the summons required you to 
hring? 

Answer. I have brought all my papers connected with my opera- 
tions in Kansas. 

Tlie Chairman. We only want those papers that would throw light 
on John Brown's ulterior plans after he left Kansas — anything of that 
kind. 

Answer. I was speaking about John Brown being at my house 
when he was sick. When he left my house, after he got well, he 
went out, took some claims for his sons that he expected would move 
back to Kansas, and went to work on them. He mowed some hay on 
the government land and put it up, and afterwards sold it. He bought 
a cow of neighbor of mine. 

Question. What has all that to do with the question? We only 
want to know if you have any papers or documents of any kind that 
will throw any light on his ulterior purposes ? 

The witness exhibited certain letters, among them the following in 
the handwriting of John Brown: 



'O 



Boston, Massachusetts, April 8, 1857. 

My Dear Sir : Your favor of the loth March, and that of friend H. 
of the 16th, I have just received. I cannot express my gratitude /or 
them both. They give me just that kind of news I was most of all things 
anxious to hear. I bless God that he has not left the free-State men of 
Kansas to p)ollute themselves by the foul and loafhesome embrace of the 
old rotten ivhore. I have been trembling all along lest they might back 
doivn from the high and holy ground they had taken. I say, in view 
of the wisdom, firmness, and patience o^ vnj ivien^^ and felloiu-suff'erers, 
(in tlie cause of humanity,) let God's name be eternally praised! I 
would most gladly give my hand to all whose " garments are not de- 
filed ;" and I humbly trust that I shall soon againhave opportunity to 
rejoice (or suffer further if need be) ivith you, in the strife between 
Heaven and Hell. I wish to send my most cordial and earnest salu- 
tation to every one of the chosen. My efforts this way have not been 
altogether fruitless. I wish you and friend H. both to accept this for 
the moment ; may write soon again, and hope to hear from you both 
at Tabor, Fremont county, Iowa — care of Jonas Jones, Esq. 
Your sincere friend, 

NELSON HAWKINS. 

Augustus Wattles, Esq., 

Laivrence, Kansas Territory. 

Question. What did you understand by his saying that he had been 
trembling all along in reference to his friends, lest they might back 
down from the high and holy ground they had taken? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; he was afraid that they would yield to the bogus 



TESTIMONY. 221 

laws — pay obedience to the bogus biws — wliich the government and 
Missouri were trying to entbrce in Kansas. 

Question. He says, also, " my efforts tliis way have not been alto- 
gether fruitless." What does he refer to there as his efforts in Boston 
and Xew England ? 

Answer. I do not know, positively ; but my suspicion is tliat he 
meant that he was raising funds for the purpose of coming out to 
Kansas. 

Question. The fighting was over in Kansas, in 1857, I suppose. 
What object could he have had in raising funds? 

Answer. I suppose that he was collecting funds to sustain the free- 
State party in their ])olitical position in resistance to the bogus laws. 

Question. Why did you suppose he had reference to that ? 

Answer. That letter, I presume, follows the other ; and it Avas all 
we were engaged in, politically. 

Question. Did you know of his intended visit to New England? 

The Witness. When he went ? 

The Chairman. Yes, sir. 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Had you any information that he went to Boston before 
that letter? 

Answer. No, sir ; I only replied to his letters. 

[The following letter was next exhibited in John Brown's hand- 
writing : 

Hudson, Ohio, June 3, 1857. 

My Dear Sir: I write to say that I started for Kansas some three 
weeks or more since, but have been obliged to stop for the fever and 
ague. I am now righting up, and expect to be on my way again 
soon. Free-State men need have no fear of my desertion. There are 
some half dozen men I want a visit from at Tabor, Iowa, to come off 
in the most quiet way, viz: Daniel Foster, late of Boston, Massa- 
chusetts ; Holmes, Frazee, a Mr. Hill and Williani David, on Little 
Ottawa creek; a Mr. Cochran, on Pottawatomie creek; or I would like 
equally well to see Dr. Updegrajf and 8. H. Wright, of Ossawatomie ; 
or William Phillips, or Conway, or your honor. I have some very 
important matters to confer with some of you about. Let there be wo 
words about it. Should any of you come out to see me loait at Tabor 
if you get there Jirst. Mr. Adair, at Ossawatomie, may supply 
(.$5U,) fifty dollars, (if need be,) for expenses on my account on presen- 
tation of this. Write me at Tabor, Iowa, Fremont county. 
Very respectfully, yours, 

JAS. SMITH. 

A. Wattles, Esq., 

Lawrence, Kansas Territory .'\ 

Question. Do you know the object Brown had in collecting these 
men at Tabor ? 

Answer. I did not know at the time. I took the letter to Mr. 
Phillips as he requested, and asked Phillips if he knew Avhat the old 
man wanted. He said_, no ; he suspected it was some scheme or other he 



222 TESTIMONY. 

had, but he had not time to attend to it. I know more now about it, 
but I am speaking of what I knew at the time. 

Question. Did you attend ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you inform him you coukl not attend? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. How did you derive the information you now have? 

Answer. From common fame. 

The Chairman. That will not do. Did you derive it from Brown? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did any meeting take place there ? 

Answer. I do not know that it took place there. According to the 
testimony which I have seen in the papers, he collected a number of 
men there. That is all I know about it. That was the first informa- 
tion I had about this meeting. Cook's confession, I think, says these 
young men met there for the purpose of drilling or making arrange- 
ments to go into Canada to form some combination. My knowledge 
about the meaning of that has come to me since this thing has broken 
out at Harper's Ferry. 

Question, You had no knowledge of it at the time? 

Answer. No ; I took the letter to Colonel Phillips and Captain 
Holmes, and they both said they did not know anything about it. 

Question. Who is Daniel Foster, late of Boston, that he speaks of? 

Answer. Daniel Foster was a man who lived in Bourbon county, in 
Kansas, and I think he was a preacher. 

Question. Who is Holmes ? 

Answer. Holmes was the son of a New York broker, a young man 
about seventeen or eighteen years old, his lieutenant at one time, and 
afterwards captain of his company. 

Question. Whose company ? 

Answ^er. Captain Brown's in the southern part of Kansas. 

Question. Who is Frazee? 

Answer. I never saw Frazee but once. He was old Brown's 
teamster. When he went out of Kansas, in 1856, he drove his four- 
horse team. 

Question. The letter also mentions a Mr. Hill and Mr. David? 

Answer. I did not see them. 

Question. Did you know them ? 

Answer. Not particularly. I would know them if I saw them at 
that time, but I never spoke with them. 

Question. Cochran, on Pottawatomie creek? 

Answer. I never saw him. I think I heard his name. 

Question. Dr. Updegraff? 

Answer. Dr. Updegraff was one of Brown's company at the battle 
of Ossawatomie, and I think he is now president of the council in 
Kansas. 

Question. Who was Mr. Adair, of Ossawatomie, referred to here? 

Answer. He was a Presbyterian preacher. Brown was a half 
brother of his wife. 

Question. Do you know from what funds that fifty dollars was to be 
supplied ? 



TESTIMONY. 223 

Answer. No, sir; only from inference. Jason Brown sold property 
there when he left, and left the notes with Adair to collect. I infer 
that was it. 

Question. This letter concludes with a request that you would write 
to him at Tabor? Did you do so? 

Answer. I do not think I did ; I do not recollect ; but if I did write, 
I presume the letter is with his papers. I do not recollect writing to 
him. 

Question. This letter was written the 3d of June, 1857. You saw 
him afterwards in 1858? 

Answer. The next time I saw him was in June, 1858. 

Question. Had he any reference, in his conversation then, to the 
meeting which he had called through this letter. 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Here is a letter dated "Boston, May 18, 1859." What 
"inclosures" does he refer to in it as having been received from you? 

Answer. He sent to me to send all the letters which had come to the 
office for him. I sent them, and put in at the same time the little note 
you showed me first. 

Question. He speaks of kindness to him and his men. Did he mean 
his sons? 

Answer. No. He refers there to Tidd and Gill, I think. They had 
the fever and ague when they were on the line, and they Avere brought 
to my house to be taken care of. That was in July or August, 1858. 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. You mean belonging to his company on the border? 

Answer. Yes, sir. They were sick, and I took care of them as long 
as they chose to stay. The only allusion that Brown ever made to 
going to Harper's Ferry, in my presence, was the last conversation 
he had with me, and at the time I put no construction upon it, did 
not think anything about it until after I saw that announcement in 
the newspapers. He called in to see me, as I w^as telling you, in going 
out of the Territory, and I censured him for going into Missouri, 
contrary to our agreement, and getting those slaves. He said, "I 
considered the matter well; you will have no more attacks from Mis- 
souri ; I shall now leave Kansas ; probably you will never see me again y 
I consider it my duty to draw the scene of the excitement to some other 
part of the country." Said he: "Farewell, God bless you." He took 
hold of my hand, gave me a shake of the hand, and left me. I was 
lying on the bed, sick. I did not know particularly what he meant. 
I did not attach any definiteness to it. As soon as I heard of the 
Harper's Ferry attack, I remembered what he had said to me, and 
supposed lie had had allusion to it. In one of his letters to me, he 
made an allusion which I did not understand at the time ; but in read- 
ing it over now, I have supposed he might have alluded to that. He 
acted as much like a settler as any man in Kansas. He worked claims 
and lived on them, built houses, and nobody would suppose he had 
any other idea than settling his sons in Kansas, with their cattle and 
other property gathered around them. 



224 TESTIMONY. 

By the ChairmyVN : 

Question. Why were these letters of his signed with fictitious names? 

Answer. Because, as I have already said, we were afraid of our 
letters being opened. 

Question. He speaks in this last letter about a writing which he had 
commenced at your house, and you in your letter speak of a writing. 
What was that ? 

Answer. The writing he mentions there was an autobiography which 
I requested him to write. We were conversing on the subject of the 
stories we heard about things in Kansas, as his murders, and things 
that I knew not to be true. There was another letter which I had, 
wdiich I was anxious to bring here, but I could not find it. I put no 
particular value on the letters. They were not laid away for the pur- 
pose of saving them. 

The Chairman. Does that refer to any of his ulterior plans ? 

Answer. No, sir ; not at all. It just refers to clearing me of the 
suspicion that I knew of his invasion of Missouri from that letter. The 
letter was concerning some imported stock that I had bought of him, 
and others had bought, and I wanted a pedigree. He had two Morgan 
horses that he brought from Vermont. He agreed to send me the 
pedigree of his stock, and I wrote about it. 

Question. Were you the agent or in any way connected witli any of 
the societies that were got up in New England" or elsewhere for contri- 
buting money to the people in Kansas? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Which of them were you connected with? 

Answer. I was agent lor the Female Kansas Aid Society of Wis- 
consin, of which Mrs. Hinton, of Waukesha, was secretary. ' 

Question. What was the object of that society? 

Answer. To feed and clothe destitute people in Kansas, people who 
had been robbed by the invaders there in 1856. 

Question. Were any arms furnished by that society? 

Answer. No, sir, not the first one. 

Question. Were you connected with or agent for any other society? 

Answer. Professor Daniels, of Wisconsin*^ the State geologist, made 
me his agent to distribute clothing, and I distributed some for Mr. 
Arny. 

Question. Were you agent for or connected in any way with any 
society that did furnish arms? 

Answer. No, sir ; not any tliat I know of. I never handled any, 
never kept any, and I do not think that I ever carried any in Kansas 
for more than two days. 

The Chairman. I speak of arms being furnished abroad for other 
persons, not for you. Had you any knowledge of the arms, KSharp's 
rifles and pistols, that Brown brought with him to Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. No, sir ; I had not. 

Question. Do you know how he got possession of them? 

Answer. I do not. I tried to get a Sharp's rifle in Kansas, out of 
some that I heard had been sent there, but I could not; and I did not 
know who had care of them. I suspect now, from what has been de- 



TESTIMONY. 225 

veloped, that he had them somewhere where they cuuhl not be got at. 
I heard of their being sent, but never knew of their arrival. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. At any time, from anything Brown said or wrote, did 
you learn from him, in any way, or have any knowledge of Bi'own's 
designs to make an attack or create any disturbance, in relation to 
slavery, anywhere else than in Kansas? 

Answer. I never had. I never saw so secretive a man as Brown. I 
never heard of his telling his plans to anybody. I have not the least 
idea that he disclosed them to any person, unless it was Kagi 

The Chairman. That is your inference? 

The Witness. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Collamer. I merely wished to know whether you knew of his 
plans, or of its having been known in Kansas that he intended any 
such project as creating an insurrection or disturbance in the slave 
States. 

Answer. I never heard of it. I think lie alludes to it in one letter 
to me, and in a remark that he made in a blind way, that his duty 
called him somewhere else. 

Mr. Collamer. You say your impression of what lie meant by that 
has only been entertained since the invasion of Harper's Ferry. 

Answer. Yes^ sir ; I had no idea before of what he meant. 

AUGUSTUS WATTLES. 

Note. I desire to add that Captain Brown and his two oldest sons 
came to Kansas in the fall of 1854, selected claims, and commenced 
improvements. They spent the winter in Missouri, and in tlie following 
spring they returned to Kansas, with their wives and cattle and horses, 
with the intention of making it a permanent home. Jason Brown liad a 
nursery and horses, and John Brown, jr., some blooded cattle and 
other stock. Captain Brown told me that he had no idea of fighting 
until he heard the Missourians, during the winter he was there, make 
arrangements to come over into the Territoi-y to vote. He said to 
me that he had not come to Kansas to settle liimself, having left his 
family at North Elba, but he liad come to assist his sons in their set- 
tlement, and to defend them, if necessary, in a peaceable exercise of 
their political rights. 

A. WATTLES. 



February 24, 18G0. 
George L. Stearns affirmed and examined. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Will you state wliere you reside? 

Answer. I reside in Medford, Massachusetts, about five miles from 
Boston. 

Question. Will you state whether you were ac(iuainted with John 
Brown, who was recently put to death in Virginia foi' offenses against 
that State? 

15 T 



226 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. Yes, «ir. 

Question. Where did you make his acquaintance, and when? 

Answer. I made his acquaintance early in January, 1857, in Boston. 
It might possibly have been the last of December, 1856; but I think 
it was after the 1st of January, 1857. 

Question. Will you state in what way you made his acquaintance ; 
what led you to his acquaintance ; what was his object in forming your 
acquaintance, or yours in forming his? 

Answer. I was introduced to him by one of our Kansas men, meet- 
ing him accidentally. 

Question. Who was the man who introduced you? 

Answer. I do not recollect now. It was entirely accidental. 

Question. Did Brown tell you what was the object of his visit to 
Boston at that time? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were you president of the Massachusetts State Kansas 
Committee? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was the object of that committee? 

Answer. The object was to relieve the wants and sufferings of the 
men in Kansas. 

Question. In what way was that done? By contributions of money? 

Answer. Contributions of money and other things. 

Question. What other things? 

Answer. Everything which was needed. I cannot specify. 

Question. Do you recollect that in January, 1857, you gave to John 
Brown an order for certain Sharp's rifled carbines, as the property of 
the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How was it that that committee were in possession of arms, 
if their object was only to relieve the sufferings of the people ? 

Answer. I have made a statement on paper, which, as I am unac- 
customed to speak in public, or even to give evidence — for it is very 
seldom that I have been in courts as a witness — I would ask the per- 
mission of the committee to allow me to read as evidence, because it 
would be a clearer and more condensed statement than I could make 
in any other way. 

[After consultation, the committee allowed the witness to read that 
part of his manuscript whicli he considers an answer to the question.] 

Question. You say there, I think, that you made him your agent to 
receive those arms, and they consisted of two hundred rifled carbines, 
with a proportion of ammunition ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were there any revolving })istols? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did your committee possess any revolvers out in that 
country ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were those the only arms held by your committee? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. It has appeared elsewhere, in evidence taken before 



TESTIMONY. 22T 

the committee, tliat, together witli two liundre(ltShar])'s rifled carhines,. 
Brown was in possession of two liundred revolving- pistols. Can you 
tell the committee wdiere he got them ? 

Answer. I think that the better way wonld be for me to read my 
statement throughout. That would o^jcn the whole question, and give- 
you a better understanding. These questions involve my connection 
with Kansas affairs, and hence it will be as w^ell to give the whole' 
statement. 

After consultation, the committee agreed to allow the witness to read 
his statement, which is as follows : 

In the spring of 1856, I went to the Boston committee for the re- 
lief of sufferers in Kansas, and offered my services. I worked for them 
until June of that year, and then, being willing to devote all my time to 
the cause, was made chairman of the State Kansas Committee of Massa- 
chusetts, which took the place of the first-named committee, and con- 
tinued the work throughout the State. In five months, including 
August and December of that year, (1856,) I raised, through my agents, 
about $48,000 in money, and in the same time my wife commenced 
the formation of societies for contributions of clothing, which resulted 
in sending from $20,000 to $30,000 more, in supplies of various kinds. 
In January, 1857, our work was stopped, by advices from Kansas that 
no more contributions were needed except for defense. If w^e had not 
been thus stopped, our arrangements then made w'ould have enabled 
us to have collected $100,000 in the next six months. Soon after our 
State committee had commenced work — I think in August, 1856 — a 
messenger from Kansas — who came through Iowa (for the Missouri 
river was then closed by the Missourians to all free-State travelers) — • 
came to us asking earnestly for arms and ammunition for defense of 
the free-State party. Our committee met the next day, and immedi- 
ately voted to send two hundred Sharp's rifles, and the necessary quan- 
tity of ammunition, which Avas procured and sent to the National Kan- 
sas Committee at Chicago, to be by them forwarded tlirougli Iowa to 
Kansas. From some cause, which I have never heard explained, these 
arms were delayed in Iowa; and in November or December of that 
year we directed an agent to proceed to Iowa at our charge, and take 
possession of them as our property. Early in January, 185T, John 
Brown, of whom I had heard, but had not seen, came to Boston and 
was introduced to me by one of our Kansas agents, and after repeated 
conferences with him, being strongly impressed with his sagacity, 
courage, and stern integrity, I, through a vote of our committee, made 
him our agent to receive and hold these arms and the ammunition, for 
the defense of Kansas, appropriating $500 to pay his expenses. Sub- 
sequently, in April of that year, we authorized him to sell 100 rifles, 
if expedient, and voted $500 more to enable him to proceed to Kansas 
with his armament. 

About this time, on his representing that the force to be organized 
in Kansas ought to l)e j)rovided with revolvers, I authorized him to 
purchase 200 from the Massachusetts Arms Company, and when they 
were delivered to him in Iowa, paid for them from my own funds; the 
amount was $1,300. At the same time I gave him, by a letter of credit, 
authority to draw on me at sight for $7,000 in sums as it might be 



"228 TESTIMONY. 

Avanted, for the subsistence of 100 men, provided that it should he 
necessary at any time to call that number into the field for active ser- 
vice in the defense of Kansas, in 1857. As the exigency contemplated 
did not occur, no money was drawn under it, and the letter was sub- 
sequently returned to me. In the summer of 185*7, 1 contributed with 
others, $1,000 to purchase an addition to the farm then and now oc- 
cujjied by his family at North Elba. The money was paid by my 
agent for that purpose, and satisfactory evidence given me on his return 
that a proper conveyance of the land had been made to the family o 
John Brown. My subscription to that fund was $260, as appears by 
the subscription paper. Besides these transactions, which were for 
specific purjjoses, I have given him money from time to time, how 
much I do not know, as I never keep any account of my personal ex- 
penses^, or of money I give to others ; it is all charged to my private 
account as paid me. I should think it might amount to, say, from 
$1,500 to $2,000. About May, 1858, I saw a letter from Henry Wil- 
son to Dr. Howe, and also one or two from a Mr. Forbes. I had never 
heard of Forbes until I saw his letters, which were so coarse and in- 
sulting in their language, and incorrect, in ascribing to others Avhat 
I had done, that I concluded he was an adventurer Avhose only 
aim was to extort money; but at Dr. Howe's request, I wrote the 
letter to John Brown, dated May 14, 1858, of which he has forwarded 
to you a copy. In addition to what I have before stated, I raised 
money and sent an agent to Kansas to aid the free-State party in the 
Lecompton election, and again for the election in 1858. 

Question. Was it at Brown's request that you put him in possession 
of those arms in January, 1857? 

Answer. No, sir ; but because we needed an agent to secure them. 
They were left in Iowa, and under circumstances that made it doubtful 
Avhether they would not be lost entirely, and we put them into his 
liands because it was necessary to have some agent to proceed there 
^nd reclaim them from the hands they were in, and take proper care 
■of them. 

Question. It is stated in the writing, "I, through a vote of our 
■committee, made him our agent to receive and hold these arms and 
ammunition for the defense of Kansas?" 

Answer. Yes, sir ; of course they were intended for the defense of 
Kansas, and that was the object for which they were to be held. 

Question. Do you know that the pistols were delivered to Brown? 

Answer. The exact statement of the case is, that upon the delivery 
of the railroad receipt to me, promising to deliver them to him in Iowa, 
I paid for them. 

Question. Do you know, from the admission of Brown or otherwise, 
that he afterwards got those pistols? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. There are copies of two letters here, among those forward- 
ed by Dr. Howe, did you read them? 

Answer. I have not read the whole, but I have read my own letters. 

Question. There is a copy of a letter purporting to have been written 
by you, as chairman of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, to 
John Brown, dated at Boston, January 8, 1857, and another to John 
Brown from you, dated at Boston, April 15, 1857, and the third 



TESTIMONY. 229' 

dated Boston, April 15, 1857. I will read them to you. I only want 
to know if they are eorrect copies of your letters? 
The following letters were then read to the witness: 

Massachusetts State Kansas Committee Room, 

Boston, January/ 8, 1857. 
Dear Sik: Inclosed we hand you our order on Edward Clark, Esq., 
of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, for two hundred Sharp's rifled carbines, 
with four thousand ball cartridges, thirty one military caps, and six 
iron ladles; all, as we suppose, now stored at Tabor, in the State of 
Iowa. 

We wish you to take possession of this property, either at Tabor or 
wherever it may be found, as our agent, and to hold it subject to our 
order. 

For this purpose j'ou are authorized to draw on our treasurer, 
Patrick T. Jackson, Esq., in Boston, for such sums as may be necessary 
to pay the expenses as they accrue, to an amount not exceeding five 
hundred dollars. 

Truly yours, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massacliusetts State Kansas Committee. 
Mr. JoHX Brown, 

Of Kansas Territory. 

Boston, Ajjril 15, 1857. 

Dear Sir: By the inclosed vote of the 11th instant we place in your 
hands one hundred Sharp's rifles to be sold in conformity therewith, 
and wish you to use the proceeds for the benefit of tlie free-State men 
in Kansas ; keeping an account of your doings as far as practicable. 

Also a vote placing a further sum of five hundred dollars at your 
disposal, for which you can, in need, pass your draft on our treasurer, 
P. T. Jackson, Esq. 

Trulv yours, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massacliusetts State Kansas Committee. 
Mr. John Brown, 

Massassoit House, Sjn-in (/field, Massachusetts. 

Boston, April 15, 1857. 
At a meeting of the executive committee of the State Kansas Aid 
Committee of Massachusetts, held in Boston, April 11, 1857, it was 

Voted, That Captain John Brown be authorized to dispose of one 
hundred rifles, belonging to this committee, to such free-State inhabi- 
tants of Kansas as he thinks to be reliable, at a price not less than 
fifteen dollars, and that he account for the same agreeably to liis in- 
structions, for the relief of Kansas. 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman 3Iassachusetts State Kansas Committee. 

At the same meeting it Avas 

Voted, That Ca})tain John Brown be authorized to draw on 1*. T.. 



230 TESTIMONY. 

Jackson, treasurer, for five hundred dollars, if, on his arrival in Kan- 
sas, he is satisfied that such sum is necessary for the relief of persons 
in Kansas. 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Blassaclmsetts State Kansas Committee. 

The Witness. The first letter speaks of thirty one military caps. 
It should he thirty one thousand military caps, meaning percussion 
caps. 

Question. The first letter directs Brown to take possession of the 
arms as your agent, and hold them subject to your order. Did I 
understand you to say that this was voluntarily proffered to him, and 
not at his request? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Why did you desire to place these arms in his possession? 

Answer. For safe-keeping. 

Question. Were they not in safe-keeping where they were? 

Answer. They were not substantially in our hands. We had passed 
them into the hands of the National Kansas Committee to be trans- 
ported to Kansas, and they had an idea that they being called the 
National Kansas Committee, everything which was sent to them for 
transportation became their property the moment it passed into their 
hands, which we disputed ; and after some letters had passed between 
us they gave them up to us again and we assumed the possession of 
them. That was a question which we had to settle with them — whether 
the property we sent to Kansas was theirs the moment it got into their 
possession. We denied it. 

Question. Were the 100 Sharp's rifles, referred to in the letter of 
April 15, a difterent weapon from the Sharp's rifled carbine before 
spoken of ? 

Answer. The same weapon, A part of the same lot. 

Question. Then the 100 rifles mentioned here were part of the 200 
mentioned in tliat? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did he ever sell these rifles, as he was thus empowered? 

Answer. I have no reason to suppose that he did. I never knew 
that he sold them. He never gave me any intimation that he sold 
them. 

Question. Did he ever account with you for the proceeds? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he ever advise you that he had sold them? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he draw for the $500 that you authorized him to 
draAv for? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. You saw Brown after that in 1857? 

•The AViTNESS. After April, 1857? 

Question. After April, 1857? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was there any conversation then between you as to those 
■.arms that were in his possession? Was any reference made to them? 



TESTIMONY. '231 

Answer. I simply asked him if they were safe and in order. He 
tohl me they were. 

Question. Did he tell you wliere they then were, in 1S5S? 

Answer. I do not think lie did. I do not recollect that he did. 

Question. I find in tlie manuscript sent by Dr. Howe a copy of a 
letter written hy yon to John Brown, dated at Boston, May 14, 1858, 
addressed to him at Chatham, Canada West, which I will read, and 
ask you if it is a correct copy. 

The letter was read to the witness, as follows : 

Boston, May 14, 1858. 

Dear Sir: Inclosed please find a copy of a letter to Dr. Howe from 
Hon. Henry Wilson. You will recollect that you have the custody 
of the arms alluded to, to he used for the defense of Kansas, as agent 
of the Massachusetts State Kansas CVnnmittee. In consequence of the 
information thus communicated to me, it becomes my duty to warn 
you not to use them for any other purpose, and to hold them subject 
to my order as chairman of said committee. A member of our com- 
mittee will be at Chatham early in the coming week, to confer with 
you as to the best mode of disposing of them. 
Truly your friend, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chaiiinan Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. 
Mr. John Brown, 

Chatham, Canada West. 

The following letter was also read to the witness : 

Boston, May 15, 1858. 

Dear Sir: I wrote to you yesterday informing you that a member 
of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee would visit Chatham, to 
confer about the delivery of the arms you hold. 

As I can find no one who can spare the time, I have to request that 
you will meet me in New York city some time next week. A letter to 
me, directed to care of John Hopper, 110 Broadway, New York, will 
be in season. Come as early as you can. Our committee will pay 
your expenses. 

Trulv vours, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS, 
Chairman Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. 
Mr. John Brown, 

Chatham, Canada West. 

Dr. Howe will go on as soon as he knows you are in New York. 

Question. Will you give to tlie committee, as nearly as you can, the 
substance of Mr. Wilson's letter to Dr. Howe, which you inclosed in. 
this letter to Brown? 

Answer. It is so long since, that I do not recollect it. I cannot 
recall any expression of the letter. 

Question. Do you remember what was the subject of it — wliat it 
referred to? 



232 TESTIMONY. 

Answer. I think, as near as I can recollect, it must have referred to 
some communication of a Mr. Forhes, or, if the name was not men- 
tioned, to some information that Mr. Wilson had received that those 
arms were to be used improperly ; but further than that I have no 
recollection of it at all. 

Question. Do you recollect what was the impropriety of the use that 
it was suspected Brown Avould make of them? What was the nature 
of the improper use that it was feared he would make of them? 

Answer. I can only give you the general impression. It was that 
Brown had other designs than that for wliich the arms were put into 
his hands; that is, that he might invade Missouri, or, instead of 
defending Kansas, as we proposed, that he might carry his plans 
beyond that, and perform the same Avork in Missouri that had been 
performed by Missourians in Kansas. General Wilson, from the first, 
even immediately after the attack on Lawrence, always strongly 
opposed, I think, even any attempts to repel outrage, except in the 
way of immediate defense. He opposed any organized system. He 
always said, " Don't you interfere with the United States troops; if 
you do, the United States will crush you." I have heard him use 
that expression time and again. 

Question. This letter is addressed to Brown, at Chatham, Canada 
West. How did you derive the information that he was at that time 
in Chatham, in Canada? 

Answer. I presume I must have received a letter from him, which I 
have not got ; because, among my letters which I did not think it was 
necessary to bring here, was one about a fortnight or three weeks before, 
simply inquiring of him where I could find him. 

Question. Did you know the object of his visit to Chatliam, in 
Canada ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question . Were you aware that a convention was held there by Brown 
about that time ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. In this letter you requested him to meet you in New York 
city. Did he comply with that request to go to New York city ? 

Answer. No, sir ; he did not. I was in New York, and he did not 
come there. 

Question. Did you have any communication with him on the subject 
of these arms, after the date of these letters on the 14th and loth of 
May ? 

Answer. Once only, when I asked him where they were, and he told 
me that they were stored in Ohio. 

Question. When was it that you had that conversation witli him? 

Answer. That I cannot recollect. It was subsequent to these letters. 

Question. Did vou see John Brown in Boston, some time in May or 
June, 1858? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Do vou know the exact time you saw him in Boston, 
in 1858 ? 

Answer. I think it must have been in June. At that time nearly 
all our regular operations had ceased. 



TESTIMONY. 233 

By Mr. Fitch : 

Question. Did the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, through 
you or anybody else^ ever withdraw those arms from Brown's charge? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were tlie pistols paid for out of your own means? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did the order addressed to Brown, at Chatliam, to hohl 
the arms subject to the future order of the committee, embrace the 
pistols as your private property ? 

AnsAver. Tliey did not, perhaps, technically ; but that was my under- 
standing at the time. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. You supposed Brown would understand it so ? 

Answer. I presumed so. 

By the Ciiairmax : 

Question. Did you see Brown in Boston, or that neighborhood, in 
the spring or summer of 1859 ? 

Answer. Yes, sir : in the spring of 1859. 

Question. Was he at your house? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you see his son, John Brown, jr., there in the summer 
of 1859? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Was he at your house? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Can you tell the committee, so far as you know, what was 
the object of young Brown's visit to Boston at that time ? 

Answer. He came to me one day, at my store, and introduced him- 
self as the son of John Brown. I asked him what he came for, after 
some conversation, and he said he came to see his father's friends. I 
was at that time very busily engaged in building ; and as he wanted 
to go out on the same railroad that I was going, I invited him to come 
and dine with me. We dined together. During that time he seemed 
to be interested in what I had about my house ; and I was particularly 
struck with the fact that he inquired about some bas-reliefs I had put 
into the walls. He criticised them in a most remarkable manner. He 
looked at the garden, and })icked one or two flowers, and asked that 
he might take tliem home to his wife. I told him that he might take 
as manv as he chose. In a few minutes, I found that he was holdino: 
them u]) and contrasting the colors — what not one man in five hundred 
would do. I was struck particularly with the natural love he showed 
not only for art but for nature. That was all that occurred at that 
time. 

Question. Did he speak of his father, and say where he was, or what 
lie was engaged in ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Was there no reference to his father in his conversation 
at tliat time, so far as you can recollect now? 

Answer. I think there must have been, l)ut I do not now recollect 
what it was. 



234 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Was that the only time vou saw him during his visit to 
Boston ? 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

Question. Was nothing said by young Brown of his desire to make 
collections in money for his father's use? 

Answer. Nothing whatever. 

Question. Did you give him any money? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. You saw John Brown the elder, in Boston, some time in 
the spring of 1859. Will you state under what circumstances you saw 
him there ; what brought him there, so far as you know ? 

Answer. He came to Boston, as he told me, to get money for anti- 
slavery purposes. 

Question. What were those anti-slavery purposes? Did he disclose 
them ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you give him any money at that time? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. How much? 

Answer. I do not recollect how much. I have no means of know- 
ing — some hundreds of dollars. 

Question. Will you state to the committee what were the anti-slavery 
l")urposes to wliich you intended tliat money to be devoted — what sort 
of purposes? 

Answer. Well, my object, in giving him the money was because I 
considered that so long as Kansas was not a free State, John Brown 
might again be a useful man there. That was one object. Another 
was a very high personal respect for him. Knowing that tlie man had 
an idea that he was engaged in a work tliat I believed to be a righteous 
one, I gave him money to enable him to live or to do whatever he 
thought was right. When I iirst talked with John Brown in regard 
to Kansas aifairs, he told me that it was the worst possible policy for a 
man to reveal his plans. I recollect his taking several scraps of news- 
papers from his pocket and saying, ''The United States government 
immediately disclose their orders to their military ofticers. Before 
the orders leave Washington, they are published all through the 
papers ; well, now, that is not the way ; if a man is to do anything, 
he must keep his plans to himself." Respecting that, I never inquired 
of him afterwards about his plans, and he never revealed them to me. 

Question. I understand you to say that in the month of May, 1858, 
in consequence of a letter from Henry Wilson, you thought it prudent 
and Avise to endeavor to control the use of those arms in Brown's 
hands? Did you not think it necessary when you met him again, in 
1859, to take further steps to control the use of those arms and i:irevent 
liim putting them to wliat you have spoken of as an improper purpose? 
Was no attempt of that sort made? 

Answer. No, sir ; I did not suppose they would be put to any such 
purpose, as it has since appeared they were put to. 

Question. There is a letter from John Brown, jr., dated at Syracuse, 
New York, on the 17th of August, 1859, and addressed to' a man 
named Kagi, iu which he says : 



TESTIMONY. 235 

'•'While in Boston, I improved the time in making; the acquaintance 

of these staunch friends of oar friend Isaac. First called on Dr. JI. 

He gave me a letter to the friend who does business on Milk street," 

Is your place of business on Milk street? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. He goes on : "Went with liim to his house, at Medford, 
and took dinner." Do vou recollect whether he brought you a letter 
from Howe? 

Answer. I think he did. 

Question. He continues: ''The last word he said to me was, 'Tell 
friend Isaac that we have the fullest confidence in his endeavor what- 
ever mav be the result." " Do vou remember that message sent to his 
lather?' 

Answer. Xo, sir ; I do not. I recollect sending a complimentary 
message to his father that I had confidence in him ; but I have no re- 
collection of that. 

Mr. Davis. Was it his father who was called Isaac? 

Answer. I do not know. 

The Chairman, I was going to ask you whether you did or did not 
know that the father at that time passed bv the name of Isaac, or Isaac 
Smith? 

Answer. I did not. 

Question. Did vou never refer to old John Brown as Isaac or Isaac 
Smith? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. AVere you aware that Brown had ordered a parcel of pikes 
to be made in the preceding year, in Connecticut? 

Ansv.'er. I think I heard him say something about })ikes, but whether 
it was that he had ordered them to be made, or what he said about them, 
I do not recollect, I think I heard him say something about pikes, 

Mr, CoLLAMER. When? 

Answer, That must have beenin]\Iay, 1857. 

The Chairman. Do you know whether he told you that he had or- 
dered any pikes to be made in that region of country? 

Answer. No, sir, I do not. 

Question. Do you remember in what connection he spoke of having 
jjikes at all ? 

Answer, He might have spoken of them as being useful for military 
purposes. 

Question. Did you know a young man named Francis J. Meriani 
of Boston? 

Answer. Xo, sir. 

Question. Did you ever hear of such a man? 

AnsAver. I l^ive heard of him in connection with tliis affair. 

Question. Have you never met with him? 

Answer. A man came and introduced himself to me as Mr. Lock- 
wood who I supposed to be this Mr, Meriam, and he began to talk to 
me about the Harper's Ferry affair. 

Question. Was that after the Harper's Ferry affair? 

Answer, Yes, sir. I told him that I was very busy and could not 



23G TESTIMONY. 

attend to him. He still continued talking, and at last I was obliged 
to tell him "sir, my time is so occupied that I cannot have anything 
to say to you; you must let me go." 

Question. You did not know who he was? 

Answer. No, sir ; but I suspected. 

Question. Did you know his family in Boston? 

Answer. No, sir; I have no acquaintance with them. 

Question. Have you any acqaintance with his parents or grand- 
parents? 

Answer. I know Francis Jackson, who I believe is a connection of 
his. I know Wendell Phillips, who I think is related to him. 

Question. Have you any information, derived from any proper 
source, as to whether Brown asked for authority or permission in any 
way to bring those arms to Harper's Ferry — the carbines and the 
pistols? 

The Witness. Asked it of our committee? 

The Chairman. Of you or anybody else who had control of them? 

Answer. He did not. 

Question. Were you aware of where Brown was in the sum.mer of 
1859, say July, August, or September, of that year? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Had you any correspondence with him? 

Answer. I had no correspondence with him. I knew that he was 
moving about, but I did not know where. 

Question. As to those pistols, which were your private property, 
have you ever taken any measures to reclaim them ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Have you never made any inquires as to where they were 
since Brown's death? 

Answer. No, sir ; I did not suppose it would be of any use to do so. 

Question . Why did you suppose so ? 

Answer. I presumed that in tiie confusion at Harper's Ferry every- 
thing was distributed. 

By Mr. Fitch : 

Question. Was there any communication, either written or oral, 
between Brown and any member of your committee, to your knowl- 
edge, which enabled him to claim those arms as his property ? 

The Witness. Before I answer that, I wish to make this statement — 
that I have no knowledge or evidence that the arms at Harper's Ferry 
were the same arms. Still, I suppose they were, because they were 
about the same number, and of the same character and description. 
Now I am ready to answer the question. 

Mr. Fitch. The question was, whether as Brown claimed those arms 
as his private property, (assuming that they were the same,) he had 
any right or authority, by virtue of any correspondence or communi- 
cation with any member of your committee, to thus claim them? 

Answer. I tliink he would have reason to consider the revolvers as 
his property, because I paid for them, not as something I intended to 
retain, but as something })ut into his hands for his use, expecting that 
they were to be used in Kansas. As to the other arms, the rifled 



TESTIMONY. 237 

carbines, if they were those that bek)nge(l to the Massachusetts State 
Kansas Committee, I see no reason why he shonkl have claimed them, 
for they were never given to him as his property, hut only intrusted 
to liim. 

Mr. Fitch. You think he liad no other reason to claim tkem except 
the long silence of the committee on the subject ? 

Answer. That is all. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Have any measures been taken to reclaim the 200 rifled 
carbines that were in his possession by your committee ? 

Answer, No, sir. 

Question. Can you state why it is that no steps have been taken, by 
3'ourself or by the committee, to reclaim this property, whicli was thus 
left in Brown's possession, since his death? 

Answer. Because we thought it would be of no use. Mr. Sennott 
came to me and asked me about them, and at the same time exhibited 
a letter from Mr. Brown to him authorizing him to take possession of 
this property as his, for the benefit of his family? 

Question. What property ? 

Answer. The property at Harper's Ferry, whatever was there. I 
think the statement was a general one. I told him that as his agent 
he had better, in my opinion, go to Harper's Ferry and gather up 
whatever could be found ; that the Adams' Express Company would 
bring tliem to Boston, and receive payment for their freight on deliv- 
ery, and that then he could dispose of them; so far as I had any con- 
cern, I should not claim any of that property ; that I was perfectly 
willing, if any of it could be saved, it should go to the benefit of the 
family. 

The CiiAiRMAX. Did the property referred to in his conversation, by 
Mr. Sennott, include the pistols and rifles Brown had brought to Har- 
per's Ferry? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Fitch. You recognized, then, his right to the arms, in the con- 
versation with Mr. Sennot? 

Answer. So far as I was individually concerned, that is all. 

The Chairmax. Is that Kansas committee still in existence? 

Answer. No; it cannot be called in existence, though I do not recol- 
lect that it was ever formally dissolved. We have had no meeting 
dissolving it. 

Question. Were any steps taken by that committee or by you, as its 
chairman, after Brown's death, to inquire what became of those two 
hundred rifled carbines that you have referred to in your testimony? 

Answer. None whatever. 

Mr. Fitch. You have spoken of a conversation with John Brown, 
jr., at your house; did you converse or correspond with him subse- 
<|uent to that time? 

Answer. I feel very sure that I did not. If I did, it must have been 
since the Harper's Ferry afiair. I may have written him a letter, but 
I think not. I think I never corresr)onded with John Brown, jr., at 
all. 



238 TESTIMONY. 

The Chairman. You speak of seeing John Brown the ehler in Bos- 
ton, in 1859. Can vou recollect whether it was as late as August, 
1859? 

Answer. Oh no, sir. I think it Avas in May. 

Question. Did he then remain for some time in Boston ? 

Answer. I think he remained several days. 

Question. Had you frequent intercourse and communication with 
him? 

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw him often while he was there; not every 
day, hut quite frequently. 

Question. Did he tell you the object of his visit? 

Answer. As I stated to you, his object was to obtain money for gen- 
eral anti-slavery purposes. 

Question. Can you state the places in which you saw him, in what 
association, and whereabouts? 

_ Answer. I saw him in his room at the United States Hotel several 
times. I saw him at Dr. Howe's room. I do not now recollect any- 
where else. 

Mr. Da\t:s. Do I understand you to say that you do not recollect 
seeing him at any other place than at his room ? 

Answer. I saw him at his room at the United States Hotel, and I 
saAV him at Dr. Howe's office. I recollect once seeing him at a meet- 
ing of a club that dined at the Parker House. I went in there late in 
the afternoon and saw him there. 

Mr. Davis. Was it a dining party? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Can vou give any idea of who constituted it? 

The Witness. At that time ? 

Mr. Davis. Certainly ; at that dinner. 

Answer. The only persons that I recollect, who were present at that 
time — they were mostly strangers to me — were F. W. Bird and, I 
think^ Dr. Howe. 

The Chairman. Did you say it was a club dining together ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was the name of the club? 

Answer. There is no name to it. A number of gentlemen dine to- 
gether; and, I believe, they are called Bird's club, from the name of 
Mr. Bird. 

Question. Was it a party of gentlemen who meet periodically or 
occasionallv to dine together? 

Answer. Yes ; they dine there every Saturday ; a sort of half po- 
litical club. 

Question. Were you a member of that club? 
_ Answer. No, sir ; I was not at that time. Since that time I have 
dined with them. 

Question. Was John Brown one of their guests on that occasion? 
Was he present at the dinner ? 

Answer. I cannot tell you whether he was or not. 

The Chairman. I think you said you saw him there? 

The Witness. I saw him there after the dinner. Whether he dined 
with them, or came in after the dinner, I cannot telL 



TESTIMONY. 239 

]\Ir. Davis. Had tlie company dis])cr,scd at all before you went there, 
or were all who had dined still there? 

Answer. They were just about disjjersin*^ when I Avent in. Some of 
the gentlemen v/ere standing and some were sitting at the table, and 
very soon they left. 

The Chairman. The dinner was over? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you go there to see Brown? What took you there? 

Answer. I went there to meet him as I had met him before. 

Question. You knew he was there? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; I went there because he was there. 

Question. Did any conversation take place there in the presence of 
those gentlemen who were assembled as to the object of his visit to 
Boston ; his desire to collect money for anti-slavery purposes, as you 
express it? 

Answer. I presume there had been ; I presume he went there for 
that purpose. 

Question. Can you recollect none others who were there except the 
two whom you have mentioned? 

Answer. No, sir; I think they were the only two that I knew per- 
sonally at that time ; the others I should not be likely to have remem- 
bered. 

Question. But you miglit have known who they were, without know- 
ing them personally? 

Answer. Yes; but I do not recollect them, because I was not jierson- 
ally acfjuainted with them. 

Question. How long did you remain there with Brown? 

Answer. I should think it might be twenty minutes. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. What kind of a house is this Parker House? 

Answer. It is one of the best eating houses in the town. 

Question. Are select dinners given there? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; it is a place where everybody goes for a good 
dinner. If a literary club wish to dine, they go to the Parker House; 
if a political club wish to dine, tliey go to the Parker House. 

Question. Is it a jilace wdiere fine and expensive dinners are given? 

Answer. A place where you can get the rarities of the season, and 
cooked in the best manner. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. Did the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee keep a list 
of its contributors? 

Answer. No, sir ; the contributions were mostly in small sums. The 
way in which we were enabled to make our contributions so large was 
because we made them general through the toAvns. 

Question. Was there any distinction in the funds contributed? Was 
one fund contributed s})ecially for the purpose of purchasing arms, 
with a knowledge on the part of tliose who ccmtributed, that the money 
was to be devoted to that purpose ? 

Answer. No, sir. There were two committees; first, the Boston 



240 TESTIMONY. 

Belief Committee, for the relief of sufferers in Kansas ; they collected 
in Boston chiefly in large sums, some $18,000 or $20,000. It was 
done under the spur of the moment, and I first worked with them ; but 
very soon, when they had collected their large sums, they were not 
efficient, their operations stopped, and it was found necessary to make 
operations more extensive; that led to the establishment of the Massa- 
chusetts State Kansas Committee, who made general subscriptions, so 
far as they could, throughout the State. For instance, we could go into 
a town, appoint a lecture, organize a committee in that toAvn for sub- 
scriptions, and in the course of one week^ that committee would be 
sufficiently extensive to go to every house in the town ; every individual 
would be approached and asked to give any sum — five or ten cents, a 
dollar, or whatever he chose. The result of that was a large sub- 
scription . 

Question. But with no attempt to discriminate, as to the use to 
which the money of different contributors was to be put? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Wan it known that some of this was applied for the pur- 
chase of arms? 

Answer. I do not think it was generally known ; I do not think that 
the question was ever asked. I tliink, however, if it had been, the 
response would have been quite as large for arms as it would have been 
for other purposes. 

Question. Do you remember the names of any prominent contribu- 
tors? I do not mean prominent for the amount^ but for their position, 
any men connected with the United States government in any capacity? 

Answer. No, sir ; I think that those men would not contribute 
at all. 

Question. Not local officers, but members of Congress or any other 
body ? 

Answer. No, sir ; you can see that in our operations we did not go 
in that way. Instead of getting money as you would in a political 
contest, in large sums from individuals, to distribute among the people, 
we went to the lower class of people. Our dependence was upon the 
laborers, the mechanics, the farmers, and such persons, much more 
than it Avas upon the professional men and merchants. As an instance 
of that, while we were collecting money freely in the country, the 
Boston merchants having made a heavy subscription in the spring, in 
May, I think, of 1856, an attempt being made in October or Novem- 
ber, to get a further subscription was almost an entire failure. They 
said "we have given, and will not give any more." Those first sub- 
scriptions were given to the Boston committee; and I think the second 
subscrii)tion in Boston resulted, as near as I can recollect, in some two 
or three thousand dollars. 

Question. There was no return of names then anywhere? 

Answer. None, whatever. 

By the Chairman: 

Question. Did you ever know, or meet with Hugh Forbes? 
Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did you ever have any correspondence with him? 
Answer. No, sir. 



TESTIMONY. 241 

By Mr. Collamer: 

Question. Was any distinction made between you and Brown at any 
time, or any difierence in his holding the pistols and the rifles? 

Answer, None, whatever; they were contributed for the same pur- 
pose. 

Question. Then the arms alluded to in your letter to Brown at 
Chatham included both? 

Answer. I so understood at the time. 

Question. You supposed it to include the whole? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did Mr. Brown to whom you gave the order to take those 
arms in Iowa, and also an order to procure the 200 revolvers, which 
you say you afterwards x>aid for yourself, know there was any differ- 
ence as to their being paid for by you or by the committee? 

Answer. He knew that the rifles were put into his hands by the 
committee, and he knew that I paid for the pistols. 

Question. But they were both subject to your order? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you at any time before the transaction at Harper's 
Ferry, in any way, directly or indirectly, understand that there was 
any purpose on the part of Brown to make any inroad upon the subject 
of slavery in any of the States ? 

Answer. No, sir; not except that Brown was opposed to slavery, 
and as he had in Kansas he would work again. I did not suppose 
that he had any organized plan. 

Question. My idea is, making any forcible entry upon Virginia, or 
any other State? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Had you ever any intimation of that kind, any idea of it? 

Answer, No, sir. Perhajjs I do not understand you. I did suppose 
he would go into Virginia or some other State and relieve slaves. 

Question. In what way? 

Answer. In any way he could give them liberty. 

Question. Did you understand that he contemplated doing it by 
force? 

Answer. Yes, sir; by force, if necessary. 

Question . Will you explain in what manner, by force^ you understood 
he contemplated doing it? 

Answer. I cannot explain any manner, because, as I say to you, I 
never talked with him on the subject? 

Question. Had you any idea that these arms were to be used for any 
such purpose as making an inroad into any State? 

Answer. I think I do not understand you. 

Question, John Brown has made an inroad into Virginia, with force 
and arms, to relieve slaves; you understand that? 

Answer, Yes, sir. 

Question, Now, did you ever, before that took place, have any 
intimation that that was contemplated to be done, intended to bo done 
by him? 

Answer. No, sir; I never supposed that he contemplated anything 
like what occurred at Harper's Ferry. 
IG T 



242 TESTIMONY. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. AVhat was your general information, then, if you did not 
know specifically what he intended to do? 

Answer. I supposed that if he had an opportunity, and it came in 
his way to do what he did in Missouri, where he went in and took 
several slaves and ran them oiF, he would do that. 

By Mr. Davis: 

Question. And, if resisted, what then? 

Answer. That is not for me to say ? 

Mr. DA\^s. He would have use for the arms that you furnished, if 
he were resisted; that was the idea, I presume. I intended to ask 
whether that was your idea. 

Mr. Fitch. Was the supposition tliat Brown would resort to force a 
supposition of others as well as yourself? 

The Witness. Let me explain what I mean by this? 

The Chairman. Do so, fully; you have a right. 

The Witness. I understood that John Brown 

Mr. CoLLAMER. State the time when you understood it? 

The Witness. From first to last, I understood John Brown to be a 
man who was opposed to slavery, and, as such, that he would take 
every opportunity to free slaves where he could ; I did not know in 
what way ; I only know that from the fact of his having done it in 
Missouri"^ in the instance referred to ; I furnished him with money 
because I considered him as one who would be of use in case such 
troubles arose as had arisen previously in Kansas ; that was my object 
in furnishing the money ; I did not ask him what he was to do with 
it, nor did I suppose that he would do anything that I should 
disapprove of. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Then I ask you, do you disapprove of such a 
transaction as that at Harper's Ferry? 

Answer. I should have disapproved of it if I had known of it; but 
I have since changed my opinion ; I believe John Brown to be the 
representative man of this century, as Washington was of the last — 
the Harper's Ferry affair, and the capacity shown by the Italians for 
self-government, the great events of this age. One will free Europe 
and the other America. 

I wish to insert a copy of my letter to John Brown, dated Boston, 
November 7, 1857, as evidence of my intentions in sending the arms 
to Kansas: 

'' Boston, November 7, 1857. 

"My Dear Friend: Your most welcome letter of the IGth ultimo 
came to hand on Saturday. I am very glad to learn that, after your 
hard pilgrimage, you are in more comfortable quarters, with the means 
meet present expenses. 

"Let me hear from you as often as you can, giving your impressions 
of passing events in Kansas. 

"I have written Whitman, to whom I shall inclose this, that, in 
my opinion, the free-State party should wait for the border ruffian 



TESTIMONY. 243 

moves, and clieck-mato them as they arc devek")pcd. Don't attack 
tliem; but if they attack you '<^ive them Jessie/ and Fremont 
besides. You know how to do it. But I think, both in Kansas and 
in Congress, if we let the Democratic party try to play their game, 
we sliall iind that they will do themselves more harm than we can do 
them. 

"Mrs. Stearns joins me in the heartiest respect for you, and the 
hope that soon you will turn up in our neighborhood. We are all 
well, and have only our share of the trouble that now sweeps over the 
land. 

"Truly your friend, 



"John Brown, Topeka." 



"GEO. L. STEAKNS. 



By Mr. Davis: 

Question. AVhen you last furnished him money, was there any 
trouble in Kansas? 

Answer. No, sir; there was not; but until Kansas is admitted as 
a free State I do not feel sure that there will not be. I do not consider 
that there is a guarantee yet against trouble until she is able to take 
care of herself. 

By Mr. Fitch: 

Question. The witness gave us his own idea as to the use to which 
Brown might put means and money — that he was to resort to force, 
if necessary. Now, I desire to know if that was the supposition of 
other members of the committee, as this gentleman has learned from 
conversation with them; whether they supposed, in placing arms and 
money at Brown's disposal, that he might use them to free negroes by 
force, if necessary? 

Answer. I should answer that the committee did not place the arms 
in his possession for that purpose, and neither did I. They were 
placed in his hands for the defense of Kansas ; they were continued in 
his hands for the defense of Kansas. 

The Chairman. Do you know what the opinions, or views, or ideas 
of the other members of the committee were on the subject of Brown's 
using force to free negroes in the slave States ? 

Answer. No, sir ; I do not, 

Mr. Davis. At the time you wrote to Brown, withdrawing from him 
authority to use those arms as you understood he was about to use 
them, was it not the action of the committee? 

Answer, The letter was signed by me as chairman of the Massachu- 
setts State Kansas Committee, and of course carried their authority. 

Mr. Davis. Were not the committee then aware of Brown's i)urpose 
to use the arms for some other end than that for which they were put 
in his possession? 

Answer. I have answered that in my previous testimony, by stating 
that I wrote this letter at the request of Dr. Howe. It was not done 
by a regular committee meeting. We had no regular committee meet- 
ings in those days. He handed me this letter of Wilson, and requested 
me to write, or suggested the propriety of my writing to John Brown. 



244 TESTIMONY. 

I wrote the letter to John Brown simply hecause Wilson had written 
a letter to Dr. Howe — not with any idea that there was any necessity 
for it. 

The Chairman. Did you consult tlie committee about the propriety 
of writing such a letter ? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Mr. Davis. Or afterwards, as to having written it? 

Answer. No, sir ; the committee did not know that such a letter 
was written, and I presume that most of them do not know it now. 
The committee was considered as virtually dissolved. 

The Chairman. Did you communicate to any members of the com- 
mittee, or to all of them, the substance of Wilson's letter to Howe, 
and Howe's request to you? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Mr. Davis. The committee, then, never did withdraw the authority 
from Brown ? 

Answer. Exce2)t so far as the letter of the chairman of tlie com- 
mittee did it, in no other way. There was no action of the com- 
mittee on the matter. The committee were not called together ; no 
vote, no action of the committee, was taken upon it. It was an 
informal transaction. 

Mr. CoLLAMER. Had the committee before that time ceased to act? 

Answer. Virtuallv. 

GEORGE L. STEARNS. 

Note. — I desire to add that John Brown sent word to his friends in 
Boston, by Mr. Hoyt, his counsel, not to make any attempt to rescue 
him, because his relations with his jailor (Mr. Avis) were such that 
he should not go out of the jail if he had an opportunitv. 

G. L. S. 

In accordance with a request of Mr. Stearns, the following letters 
are appended to his testimony : 

Boston, 3Iarch 22, 18G0. 

Sir: By the testimony of Horace White, Assistant Secretary of the 
National Kansas Committee, as jjublished in the newsj^apers, it would 
be inferred that John Brown, having been unsuccessful in his applica- 
tion to that committee for the Sharp's rifled carbines, proceeded to 
Boston to obtain them from the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. 

I have this morning received a letter from H. B. Hurd, Secretary of 
tho National Kansas Committee, which explains the transaction, and 
agrees with my testimony taken before your committee, on reierenco 
to which you will find that, on the 8th day of January, 1857, I gave 
John Brown an order to receive the arms ; consequently he, on the 
twenty-fourth of the same month applied to the National Kansas Com- 
mitte as our agent. 

Please allow me to add these letters to my testimony, and oblige 
your obedient servant, 

GEORGE L. STEARNS. 
Hon. J. M. Mason, 

Chairman of Select Committee of United States Senate. 



TESTIMONY. 245 



Chicago, March 19, 1860. 

There was only one meeting of the National Kansas Committee in 
the city of New York, and that was appointed for the 22(1 January, 
1857, l3ut on account of railroad accidents was delayed till 24th same 
month, when it commenced and continued in session for six days. 

I wish to call your attention to one matter in connection with that 
meeting, and the application of John Brown for aid from that com- 
mittee ; it is this : When Mr. Brown was pressing his claim for the 
ixid desired, I asked him this question : "If you get the arms and money 
you desire, will you invade Missouri or any slave territory?" To 
which he replied: "I am no adventurer ; you all know me ; you are 
acquainted with history ; you know what I have done in Kansas ; I do 
not expose my plans ; no one knoAvs them but myself, except, perhaps, 
one ; I do not wish to be interrogated ; if you wish to give me any- 
thing, I want you to give it freely ; I have no other purpose but to 
serve the cause of liberty," This is the substance of what he said. 
I have not thought it over in some time^ and could perhaps give more 
exactly his words. 

Although it had been understood by the members of the committee 
that Mr. Brown intended to arm one hundred men to be scattered about 
in the Territory, and to be actual settlers and engaged in their several 
pursuits, only to be called out to repel invasion or defend the Kansas 
free-State settlers, yet this reply was not satisfactory to all, and the 
arms were voted back to your committee to be disposed of as you 
thought best. 

It was thought by all present that, in making the inquiry above- 
mentioned, I was imagining a course of action that was out of the 
question. 

I shall be happy to reply to any interrogations from you in regard 
to Kansas matters. 

Yours, &c., 

H. B. KURD. 

Mr. George L. Stearns, 

Boston, Massachusetts . 



February 27, 1860. 
Horace White sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you state to the committee where you reside and 
■what your occupation is ? 

Answer. I reside in the city of Chicago^ in the State of Illinois. 
My occupation is that of an editor. 

Question. Editor of what paper? 

Answer. The Chicago " Press and Tribune." 

Question. Were you acquainted with John Brown who was put to 
death recently in Virginia ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 



243 TESTIMONY, 

Question. How long had you known him? 

Answer. Since August, 1856. 

Question. Where did you make his acquaintance? 

Answer. In the rooms of the National Kansas Committee, in Chi- 
cago^ in that month and year. 

Question. Will you state how that National Kansas Committee was 
composed ? 

Answer. It was composed of one person from each of the States of 
Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Khode Island, New York, Penn- 
sylvania, Oliio, Indiana, Michigan, three members from Illinois, one 
from Wisconsin, and one from Iowa. 

Question. Where was their place of meeting? 

Answer. Their executive committee or executive board met at 
Chicago. Their general meeting, the only one they ever held, was in 
New York city. 

Question. How were the members of the committee ajipointed? 
What constituency appointed them? 

Answer. They were appointed at a meeting held in Buffalo, in May, 
1856 ; it was a sort of spontaneous gathering ; it was called, I do not 
know that I can say by what authority, but there was a general 
meeting of the friends of free Kansas in the North, at Buffalo ; it was 
held in pursuance of some sort of a call, and that meeting appointed 
these members of whom I speak, and they authorized the three 
members from Illinois to conduct the business of the committee as an 
executive committee. 

Question. They were appointed by the national committee? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were they all residents of Chicago? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. AVill you give their names? 

Answer. Mr. J. D. Webster, chairman; Mr. George W. Dole, 
treasurer; Mr. H. B. Hurd, secretary. 

Question. Did they possess all the powers of the committee proper, 
the large committee? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Will you state what was the object and purpose of that 
committee? What were their functions? 

Answer. Their purposes were to take charge of and distribute the 
contributions of the people of the North for free-State citizens of Kansas, 
whether of money, clothing, arms, or whatever else was contributed. 

Question. In what way were those contributions to be used by the 
people of Kansas ? 

Answer. I can state in what way they were used. 

Question. Was any mode pointed out by the committee for their 
use? 

Answer. No, sir ; they were to use them at their own discretion. 

Question. The executive committee distributed them? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did they receive contributions in money ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Were you officially connected with that committee? 



TESTIMONY. 247 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. By what designation — in what office? 

Answer. Assistant secretary. 

Question. Who was the secretary? 

Answer. H. B. Hurd. I woukl state here that the details of the 
business devolved upon me almost exclusively, but I had no vote in 
the committee. 

Question. Can you state the amount of money that was received and 
distributed by that committee? 

Answer. I can state very nearly the amount. 

Question. I mean the gross amount? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; $120,000. 

Question. Was any portion of that money expended by the com- 
mittee in the purchase of arms ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Can you tell how much. 

Answer. Say $10,000 at the outside. It is proper to say that the 
large portion of our arms were received in contributions, as arms from 
first hands. 

Question. Was any money expended by the committee in the pur- 
chase of arms? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. To the amount of $10,000 ? 

Answer. I should say inside of $10,000, but about that. The trans- 
portation amounted to something. 

Question. You said you formed the acquaintance of Brown in 
August, 1856. Was he at your committee room? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. More than once ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. He was there twice at Chicago, and once at the 
general meeting in New York city. 

Question. Were you present in New York? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Once I met him in Chicago, during the existence 
of this committee, when he did not appear at the rooms of the com- 
mittee. 

Question. Can you tell what the object of his visit to New York, 
during the session of the committee there was, so far as the committee 
was concerned ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. What was it? 

Answer. It was in January, 185*7, and he appeared there to petition 
the committee for two hundred Sharp's rifles and a field piece — I think 
a six-pounder — that were then stored at Tabor, Iowa ; for a certain 
amount of money, as much as the committee were willing to give him;, 
and for an amount of clothing, with which he hoped to fit out a com- 
pany that he designed to use for military purpose in Kansas. 

Question. Was the request granted? 

Answer. No, sir. The request was granted in part. They voted 
him twelve boxes of selected clothing. There was a good deal of op- 
position to the policy of granting him those arms. Meanwhile, the 
Massachusetts State Kansas Committee had presented, through Mr.. 



248 TESTIMONY. 

F. B. Sanborn, a claim to those arms which were stored at Tabor, 
Iowa, and the committee finally restored the arms to the Massachusetts 
committee, and, therefore, Mr. Brown had no further petition for them, 
so far as we were concerned. 

By Mr. Collamek: 

Question. Were they arms that the Massachusetts committee had 
furnished ? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. At that meeting in New York, in January, 1857, this 
claim of the Massachusetts society was proffered as a claim of property 
or control over those arms, and it was considered by the committee in 
New York. Did they pass from the control and possession of the New 
York committee to the Massachusetts committee ? 

Answer. They passed from the control of the National Kansas Com- 
mittee to the Massachusetts committee. 

Question. You say some clothing was voted to Brown ; what else? 

Answer. Nothing else at that time. 

Question. Was anything voted to him at any other time by that 
committee? What was it, and when? 

Answer. About November, 1856, they voted him $500 in money, 
and paid him $150. The balance, $350, was never paid to him. 

Question. Why not? 

Answer. Because the committee had not the money when he sent 
his draft to draw it. If the committee had had it, I have no doubt, it 
would have been paid. 

Question. Was there any use specified, to which that money was to 
be put, which was thus voted ? 

Answer. I think not. There was a general understanding that Mr. 
Brown was to use it at his own discretion for the protection of the free- 
State men in Kansas. 

Question, That was previous to the meeting in New York? 

Answer. Yes, sir. At the New York meeting. Brown made his 
last appearance before the committee. 

Question. Did you see Brown in Chicago after you had seen him in 
New York ? 

Answer. No, sir. I knew of his being there, but I did not see him. 

Question. The last aid that was given by this committee, so far as 
we have gone, was in January, 1857, at New York. 

Answer. Yes, sir; twelve boxes of clothing. 

Question. Were any other contributions of any kind given to Brown 
afterwards by that committee? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Did he receive any arms in any form from the committee, 
or any members of the committee? 

Answer. The committee sent him twenty-five navy revolvers of 
Colt's manufacture, by Mr. Arny, but they never reached him. I 
think it was in August, 1856. They were sent to Lawrence, and 
were stored there a short time, subject to Brown's order. He did not 



TESTIMONY. 249 

appear to claim tlieiii, and tliey were loaned to a military company in 
Lawrence called the k^tubbs, and Brown never appeared to claim them. 
He told me personally that the reason why he did not was, that he had 
had so much trouble and fuss and difficulty with the people of Law- 
rence, that he never would go there again to claim anything. 

Question. Did you ever hold any conversation with Brown, or were 
you ever privy to any conversation he held with any person, in which 
he disclosed any plans that he had in reference to slavery outside of 
Kansas? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were you never aware that he contemplated any attempts 
to affect the condition of slavery in other States than Kansas? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. If you did not hear it from him, did you hear it from any 
others? 

Answer. I have heard it since the Harper's Ferry affair took place. 

Question. You have heard what since? 

Answer. I have heard pretty much all that has appeared in the 
newspapers, and I have also seen Barclay Coppic since that affair. 

Question. Did you know of any persons who were privy to the afl'air 
before it? 

Answer. I knew Eealf ; I knew John E. Cook. 

Question. Any except those who were with Brown at Harper's 
Ferry? 

Answer. No, sir. 

Question. Were any arms given to him by your committee except 
those navy revolvers, that you can recollect? 

Answer. Not to Brown himself. I gave two rifles to two of his 
sons. After all the arms of the committee had been distributed in 
Kansas, or all but two or three, Mr. Brown made his appearance at 
the committee rooms with two of his sons. 

Question. When was that? 

Answer. October or November, 1856. One of them was Watson, 
and the other^ I think, was Owen Brown. We had three or four rifles 
left, and I gave one to each of those sons, and, as they were very 
poorly clad, I went down to a fur store in Chicago and purchased each 
of them a pair of fur gloves and fur overshoes and caps, and I think 
that was the last dealings we had with Brown till the meeting in. 
January, 1857, of which I have told you. 

Question. At the time the arms were given to him, the navy re- 
volvers, or at the time he applied in New York for a larger amount of 
arms, was any ammunition of any kind voted to him? 

Answer. I think there was a considerable amount of ammunition in 
the form of cartridges accompanying the Massachusetts rifles at Tabor ; 
but, as we voted those arms back to the Massachusetts committee, the 
ammunition accompanied them. 

Question. Did you never have any conversations with Brown as to 
his general plans in reference to the condition of slavery in the 
country? 

Answer. No, sir. 



250 TESTIMONY. 

Question. Were you ever present at any meeting between him and 
the executive committee, when those plans were disclosed ? 

The Witness. You mean oit,r executive committee ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Answer. No, sir. 

The Chairman. What I want to know is, whether you were present 
at any conversations between Brown and others, whether members of 
the committee or not, wherein he disclosed his ]3lans and views in 
reference to slavery in the United States? 

Answer. No, sir. I do not think he ever did before our committee 
develop his plans. 

Question. Were you acquainted with James Redpath? 

Answer. Yes, sir. 

Question. Did you ever hear from him anything in reference to 
Brown's 2">lans? 

Answer. No, sir. Perhaps I ought, in justice to myself, to men- 
tion to the committee the way I happened to meet Mr. Barclay Coppic. 
A colored man in Chicago told me that he expected to see Barclay 
Coppic in a few days — 

Mr. CoLLAMER. When was that? 

The Witness. That was about the first of this month — and I ex- 
pressed to him a wish that he would introduce me to Mr. Cojipic or 
bring him where I could see him, because I wished to learn what 
Brown's purposes were at Harper's Ferry. He said he would do so. 
Mr. Coppic arrived in town on the 8th day of this month, (February,) 
and this colored man procured an interview for me with Coppic. 

The Chairman. It is not necessary to state anything as to that. 
You said you wished to explain how you came to make his ac- 
quaintance. 

The Witness. That is all. 

The Chairman. What did pass, it is unnecessary to state. 

HORACE WHITE. 



March 5, 1860. 
Hon. John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, sworn, and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Will you please to examine that letter, and give to the 
committee any information you may have concerning it ? [Exhibiting 
the followino: letter : 



'O 



Cincinnati, August 20. 

Sir : I have lately received information of a movement of so great 
importance that I feel it my duty to impart it to you without delay. 

I have discovered the existence of a secret association, having for its 
object the liberation of the slaves at the South by a general insurrection. 
The leader of the movement is '■^ old John Brown," late of Kansas. 
He has been in Canada during the winter, drilling the negroes there, 
and they are only waiting his word to start for the South to assist the 



TESTIMONY. 251 

slaves. They have one of their leadino; men (a white man) in an 
armory in Maryhmd — ^whereitis situated I have not been able to learn. 
As soon as everything is ready, those of their number who are in the 
Northern States and Canada are to come in small companies to their 
rendezvous, which is in the mountains in Virginia. They will pass 
down through Pennsylvania and Maryland, and enter Virginia at 
Harper's Ferry. Brown left the North about three or four weeks ago, 
and will arm the negroes and strike the blow in a few weeks ; so that 
whatever is done must be done at once. They have a large quantity 
of arms at their rendezvous, and are probably distributing them already.. 
As I am not fully in their confidence, this is all the information I 
can give you. I dare not sign my name to this, but trust that yon 
will not disregard the warnings on that account. 

The envelope is directed : 
''Hon. Mr. Floyd, 

Secretary of War, WasMngton." 
Marked "private," and postmarked Cincinnati, August 23.] 

Answer. I received this letter last summer, wdrilst I was at the Red' 
Sweet Springs, in Virginia. My attention was a little more than usually 
attracted by it, and therefore I laid it away in my trunk. I receive so 
many anonymous letters that, of course, I pay no attention to them, 
I do not know but that I should have paid some little attention to this, 
notwithstanding it was anonymous, as the man seemed to be particular 
in the details, but he confused me a little by saying that these people 
w^ere at work at an armory in Maryland ; and I knew there was no 
armory in Maryland, and supposed, therefore, that it had gone intO' 
details for the purpose of exciting the alarms of the Secretary of War, 
and to have a parade about that for nothing ; and that mistake in the 
statement satisfied me that there was nothing in it. Besides, I was. 
satisfied in my own mind that a scheme of such wickedness and outrage 
could not be entertained by any citizens of the United States. I put 
the letter away, and thought no more of it until the raid broke out. 
Then I instantly remembered the letter, and believed the first intelli- 
gence that we received from Harper's Ferry to be true, because I recol- 
lected the contents of the letter. I showed the letter to nobody, I 
believe, except some member of my family, until the outbreak at Har- 
per's Ferry. Then I remembered to have laid it away, and sat to work 
among my letters ot the previous summer to find it. I have no means 
of knowing who wrote it, or what the object in writing it was. A 
gentleman from Cincinnati that I knew, wrote to me for the letter, 
stating that it was thought that the handwriting might be traced. 

By Mr. Collamer : 

Question. Had it been published? 

Answer. Yes, sir. Immediately upon the intelligence of the out- 
break at Harper's Ferry, the letter was hunted up and published. The 
object of publishing it was to show that the thing had a little more- 
significance than a mere local outbreak, and that the country might- 
be put on their guard against anything like a concerted movement. 



252 TESTIMONY. 

The Chairman. Tlie person referred to in Cincinnati wrote to you 
for the letter? 

Answer. Yes, sir ; and after the publication of the letter, I sent it 
to him, with injunctions to return it carefully to me, as it had become 
:Somewhat a link in the history of the transaction. I heard nothing of 
it until recently. It was miscarried in the mails, he told me, and when 
it was found he told me it was laid before the committee. That is all 
my knowledge about it. 

Question. Your correspondent did not discover the writer ? 

Answer. He did not discover the writer, he told me; but said they 
liad strong suspicions that certain persons somewhere in Kentucky had 
written it ; but his statements amounted to nothing — mere suspicion. 

Question. Have you received, from any source, any communication 
from any one apparently privy to the writing of tliat letter, since it 
was received by you, anonymous or otherwise? 

Answer. I have not. I have received, since the outbreak, a good 
many anonymous letters speaking of stirring up insurrections in Vir- 
ginia, and going into very minute and particular detail of how it was 
to be done, where the blows were to be struck, and all that ; but I 
paid no attention to them at all. I knew it was evidently done to 
terrify the country ; but none of those letters had any reference to this 
one. 

Question. Will you state to the committee whether those anonymous 
letters you refer to as received since the outbreak, or any information 
■of any kind has reached you since then, showing any purpose to inter- 
fere Avith the course of justice in Virginia, to rescue the prisoners or 
otherwise ? 

Answer. One single anonymous letter I did get, postmarked " Phil- 
adelphia," 2^^irporting to have been written at the seat of government 
■of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, saying that they would be there with a 
strong force, which was already mustered and prepared. 

Question. Would be where ? 

Answer. At Charlestown ; that the writer would be there, and that 
a rescue was certain. But of course that was extremely ridiculous, and 
I paid not the slightest attention to it. I remembered it, and that is 
all. It was a man, evidently, that would have been in the ranks, and 
no commander ; but he professed to be one who liad the thing in charge, 
and signed himself Cook. I remember that. That was the only one 
of that kind. There was one other that I recollect ; and my attention 
was drawn to that afterwards, because there was an alarm down in 
Accomac. I got a letter from a man, saying there was an arrangement 
made on a very extensive scale ; three clipper ships, he said, were 
loaded with arms and persons, who were to instigate insurrection upon 
the southern coast of Virginia. Of course, that would be understood at 
once to be a ridiculous thing to any man. But not very long after that 
intelligence came — it was printed, I believe, in all the newspapers — 
that there had been an alarm about insurrection in Accomac. I suppose 
it was just such a letter as that sent to me which excited the alarm 
down there. I paid no attention to it, and did not preserve any of 
those letters at all. They were very numerous. 

JOHN B. FLOYD. 



TESTIMONY. 253 

May 2, 1860. 
Hon. William H. Seward sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. Mr. Seward, will you be good enough to state to this 
committee whether a man named Hugli Forbes sought an interview 
with you at any time prior to the late attack on Har2)er's Ferry ; where 
it was ; and wliat passed between you ? 

Answer. I have seen a letter, purporting to be by a man named 
Forbes, in the newspapers, in which he states that he had an interview 
with me, and by the date of tliat letter I am able to identify the time. 
It was sometime in the spring of 1858, if that is the date of his letter. 
The person who called himself Forbes was a stranger to me, and came 
to my house in Washington, during the session of Congress, and asked 
to see me. I saw him alone. He began with a story of great personal 
distress, involving himself and family, and stated that he had come tO' 
me on that account. I supposed that the object of his visit w^as to 
solicit charity. I allowed him to go on with liis story without inter- 
ruption. I found it very incoherent, very erratic, and thought him a 
man of an unsound or very much disturbed mind. My object was to 
see whether he made any claim to the charity which I sujiposed he was 
going to solicit, and to be through with the visit as soon as I could, 
and therefore I did not interrupt him. What he said, in substance,, 
was, that he was a revolutionist in Italy in the year 1848, or about 
that period. He was a foreigner, either an Englishman or a Scotch- 
man, I do not know whicli. This fact appeared by a book that he 
showed me, of which, if I remember, he was the author. It was a 
strange and absurd book, as I thought, giving the art of exciting or 
getting u}) military revolutions, and it seemed to be the fruit of his 
revolutionary and military experience. Having shown me this book 
to show me how important a person he was, he then told me that some- 
persons in New York, in the year previous, had induced him to go to 
Kansas to instruct^ or under the idea that he could instruct, the free- 
State men of Kansas how to defend themselves ao;ainst the armed inva- 
sion which was then there, or was expected there from the slave States, 
for the purpose of establishing slavery. He said that his family was 
at the time in Paris, and that he was in business in New York — what 
business I do not remember — which paid him, I think, a salary of 
$1,200; that he went to Kansas on the understanding that he should 
be indemnified for the loss of this business ; that he met with delays 
in getting to Kansas and in reaching John Brown, with whom he was 
to cooperate ; that when he reached Brown he (Forbes) was out of 
money and had suffered a great deal of privation, and applied to Brown 
for money, and Brown did not pay him any. Very soon a misunder- 
standing arose between him and Brown. He said Brown was a very 
bad man, and would not keep his word; was a reckless man, an unre- 
liable man, a vicious man. 

He said further, that in the course of their conversations as to the 
plan by which they should more effectually counteract this invasion — 
whether it was then there, or whether it was expected, I did not 



254 TESTIMONY. 

know — he (Forljes) suggested the getting up of a stam])ede of slaves 
secretly on the borders of Kansas, in Missouri, which Brown dis- 
-approved, and on his part suggested an attack upon the border States, 
with a view to induce the slaves to rise and so to keep the invaders at 
home to take care of themselves. He said that in their conversations 
Brown gave up and abandoned his own project as impracticable, and 
that soon after the disturbances in the Territory became quiet and 
ceased, and there was no longer anything for him to do there. He 
was penniless and Brown refused to pay him anything. He could not 
stay; he could not get back to New York. He appealed to persons in 
New England for relief and fulfillment of engagements which had 
been made to him, giving to them the information that his family in 
Paris were turned out of doors into the streets by reason of the non- 
fulfillment of those engagements and of his extreme poverty, and they 
not only refused to give him any relief, but disavowed any connection 
with him, or any knowledge of him, and said that John Brown was ^ 
the man they knew and recognized, and the defense of the free-State 
men in Kansas was left to him. He replied to them by letter, as I 
understood, telling them that John Brown was worthless and unre- 
liable, and fastening ujjon them an obligation to pay him, which they 
repudiated. 

At that stage of the conversation, I interposed and arrested his 
statement, telling him (what Avas true) that from the beginning of the 
difficulties about Kansas until then, it seemed to me that everybody 
who had anything to do with the Territory came to me for instruction 
and advice how to proceed, and that from the beginning I had determ- 
ined that I would have no consultations and confer with nobody, give 
no advice on the subject of what was done or to be done in Kansas, 
because it was inconsistent with the relations that I maintained here, 
where I was to act as a Senator upon what was done in Kansas and 
advise what ought to be done by Congress, that I had listened to him 
.so far in violation of that rule, simply because he seemed to be in deep 
distress, and I was touched with the story he told me about his family, 
and was waiting to see whether he would state any grounds on which 
I could give him some money, that he had failed to do so, and that 
there the conversation must end, that he must leave me and see me no 
more. He went away. 

Question. I understand then from your statement, that he made no 
reference to any purpose of Brown's to make an attack upon any of the 
slave States, except as you have given it in Kansas? 

Answer. None whatever. On the contrary, until I read in Europe 
of John Brown's demonstration at Harper's Ferry, I had no more idea 
of an invasion by John Brown at that place, than I had of one by you 
or myself. The thing was one of those occurrences which, as I sup- 
pose happen often to all persons in our situation ; certainly they do in 
mine. AH kinds of erratic and strange persons call on 'me with all 
manner of strange communications and applications. This was one of 
them, and it passed out of my memory without leaving attached to it 
the least idea of any importance. Forbes told me nothing of any 
cotton speculation by any humanitarians or anybody else. I state this 
in answer to a statement contained in his published letter. 



TESTIMONY. 255 

Question. Will you state whether Forbes was introduced to you, or 
whether he introduced himself? 

Answer. He brought a simple letter of introduction from Doctor 
Bailey. 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 



• i^- INDEX TO TESTIMONY. 

Allsuidt, John H d?.:....,^... 40 

Andrew, John A .^.. '..... 186 

Amy, W. F. M ! 68 

Ball, A. M '52 

Blair, Charles 121 

Byrne, Terence i 13 

Callender, W. H. D 113 

Chambers, George W 28 

Chilton, Samuel 137 

Conway, Martin F 201 

Currie, Lind F 54 

Floyd, John B., Hon 250 

Giddings, Joshua R 147 

Hunter, Andrew 59 

Howe, Samuel G 156 

Jackson, James 129 

Kitzmiller, A. M 49 

Newton, Benjamin B ; 116 

Plumb, Ralph 179 

Realf, Richard 90 

Robinson, Charles 195 

Rynders, Theodore 47 

Schaeffer, Edward K 145 

Seward, William H., Hon 253 

Starry, John D 23 

Stearns, George L 225 

Unseld, John C 1 

Washington, Lewis W 29 

Wattles, Augustus 213 

Whelan, Daniel 21 

White, Horace 245 

Wilson, Henry, Hon 140' 



H