Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer, “Negro Insurrection!," October 20, 1859

    Source citation
    “Negro Insurrection!," Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer, October 20, 1859, p. 2: 6.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer
    Newspaper: Headline
    Negro Insurrection!
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    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Matt Dudek, Dickinson College
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    All Public Offices seized by the Mob – Troops Ordered Out – The Bridges and Thoroughfares in possession of the Insurgents – The Citizens Arrested and Imprisoned – Railroad Travel Interrupted – Great Excitement.

    A negro insurrection has occurred at Harper’s Ferry, Va. About 700 negroes and whites are under arms – many have been killed – the military have been ordered to the scene of the insurrection – and serious fears are entertained that many more lives will be lost before peace is restored. (We have only room for the following short dispatches.

    The Baltimore Military Ordered Out.

    BALT. Oct. 17. – President Buchanan has ordered out troops to suppress the insurrection at Harper’s Ferry, and a special train is preparing to convey the force from this city. He has also accepted Captain Levick’s company, at Frederick, and has ordered the companies at Old Point Comfort.

    BAL. Oct. 17 – Evening. – A despatch from Martinsburg, which is situated west of Harper’s Ferry, sent via Wheeling and Pittsburg, has just been received. It confirms the report that the insurrectionists have taken possession of the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, and adds that the mob has planted cannon at the bridge, and the trains had all been stopped.

    A body of armed men were getting ready to proceed thither to clear the road. Great excitement existed in that vicinity.

    The Virginia Militia in Motion.
    RICHMOND, Oct. 17. – 9 o’clock P.M. – Great excitement here in consequence of the insurrection at Harper’s Ferry.

    The Grays are under leave for Harper’s Ferry, to start early in the morning.

    Company F, with full ranks, have just left their armory, expecting to take a special train to-night. This is a new company, wearing a similar uniform to the Grays.
    The Gov. left to-night for Washington.

    The Military Despatched.

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 – 3 o’clock p.m. – On the receipt of intelligence from Harper’s Ferry, orders were issued for the three companies of artillery at Old Point and the corps of marines in the Washington barracks, to proceed to the scene of the disturbance without delay. The marines, 93 in number, left in the 3 ¼ train, with two twelve-pound howitzers and a full supply of ammunition.

    Starting of the Baltimore Military

    Bloodshed! – Engagement at the Bridge.
    BALT. Oct. 18 – Two o’clock A.M. – News of a serious character is now being transmitted over the wires, the line to Harper’s Ferry having been repaired. An engagement had taken place at the bridge, resulting in loss of life.

    All the rioters now living are barricaded in the engine house and the Armory enclosure. A number of citizens are imprisoned with them whom they refuse to release.
    Several companies of the Virginia troops are on the ground, and have placed a guard on the village.

    The marines have charge of the Armory. – Several citizens have been killed, as well as several of the rioters.

    BALT. Oct. 18 – Three o’clock A.M. – The following is the latest report:
    HARPER’S FERRY. – The town has been taken possession of by companies from Charleston and Sherperdstown, Va., and Frederick.

    The rioters are entrenched in the Armory, and Mr. Washington and Mr. Lagenfeld are prisoners.

    The insurrectionists, commanded by Captain Brown, (of Kansas notoriety,) numbered originally seventeen white men and five Negroes, several of whom were shot.
    Two men of the Martinsburg company were shot dead whilst charging in the armory.

    A portion of the insurgents have left, under command of a leader named Cook, who, with a large party of slaves, is supposed to be moving towards Pennsylvania.
    Allen Evans, one of the insurrectionists, is lying in a dying condition here. having been shot through the breast. He is from Connecticut, but has been in Kansas. He says THE WHOLE SCHEME WAS GOT UP BY BROWN, WHO REPRENTED THAT THE NEGROES WOULD RISE BY THOUSANDS, AND MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA WOULD BE MADE FREE STATES.

    Col. Shriver, of Frederick, has just had an interview with Brown in the Armory. He asked to be allowed to March out with his men. and avowed his intention of defending himself to the last. His men are very strongly posted in the engine house, and cannon cannot be used against them for fear of injuring the prisoners they still hold.

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