Richmond (VA) Dispatch, “The Madness of Brown,” October 25, 1859

    Source citation
    "The Madness of Brown,” Richmond (VA) Dispatch, October 25, 1859, p. 2: 2.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Richmond Daily Dispatch
    Newspaper: Headline
    The Madness of Brown
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    Newspaper: Column
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    Zak Rosenberg, Dickinson College
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    The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    The Madness of Brown.

    The most transparent humbug ever attempted to be played off upon any community, is the ridiculous pretense that BROWN is a madman. Perhaps he will take the cue from his abolitionist friends, and get up an exhibition of lunacy for the entertainment of the “bystanders.” His late conversations, however, seem to indicate a good deal less of insanity than some of his questioners exhibited in their interrogatories. A more sensible, self possessed, and long headed rascal never fell into the arms of the law. It is vain for his confederate villains in the non-slaveholding States to talk of Harpers Ferry disturbances as the work of a “madman,” “a crazy fellow,” &c. Every one knows that BROWN has been their chief agent in Kansas for years, chosen on account of his sagacity and nerve; that he had the confidence of their moneyed men, so that fifteen thousand dollars were placed in his hands for the prosecution of his infamous schemes. New England abolitionists are not very fond of parting with their money for any purpose, and we should never suspect them of putting them into the hands of a lunatic. The renting of a farm for two years near Harpers Ferry, and the system and secrecy, with which during all that length of time he conducted the preparations for an outbreak, are not very striking evidence of madness. Such a pretext is so palpably false, that it is impossible not to suspect the Free-Soilers who urge it, of being themselves accessories, if not, in fact, at least in intention and sympathy. We have no doubt that “lame and impotent” as was the “conclusion,” there was a widespread conspiracy, having its ramifications in almost every non-slaveholding State, and that of this conspiracy, BROWN was the chosen leader, having the entire confidence and respect of all its members. Our only regret is, that his confederates, in the free-States, including GERRIT SMITH, GIDDINGS, and other politicians, did not accompany him to Harpers Ferry, that they might all swing together from the same scaffold.

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