Samuel Gridley Howe to John Murray Forbes, February 5, 1859, in Sarah Forbes Hughes, ed., Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes (2 vols., Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1900), 1: 300.
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
My dear Sir, -- A friend requests me to write a line to you introducing Captain John Brown of Kansas.
I have carefully watched the movements of Brown for two years and have considerable personal knowledge of him. He is of the stuff of which martyrs are made. He is of the Puritan order militant. He is called fighting Brown, because under his natural and unaffected simplicity and modesty there is an irresistible propensity to war upon injustice and wrong. He is cool, fearless, keen, and ready with all his mental and bodily powers in the most sudden and imminent dangers. If you would like to talk with him upon the square, and hear what he has to say about what might perhaps seem at first to be treason, he will be glad to talk with you.
So far as one man can answer for another whom he has not known very long and intimately, I can answer for Brown's honesty of purpose.