Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer, "Bleeding Kansas," October 27, 1859

    Source citation
    “Bleeding Kansas,” Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer, October 27, 1859, p. 2: 2.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Carlisle American Volunteer
    Newspaper: Headline
    Bleeding Kansas
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Matt Dudek, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    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.


    For several years our mongrel opponents have been in the habit of shedding crocodile tears over “Bleeding Kansas,” and every disturbance and every murder that took place in that Territory was forthwith heralded forth as “another outrage by the supporters of the Administration.” Many well-meaning and honest men were thus deceived by the falsehoods of a reckless and abandoned opposition press, and were led to believe that the administration was to blame for most of the disturbances that took place in Kansas during the last four or five years. Men who resided in Kansas, however, and who witnessed the doings of the scoundrels who had been sent into Territory for the express purpose of creating disturbances, felt satisfied that the Abolitionists of the Northern States were responsible for those acts of murder, rape and treason. No positive proof could be summoned, but it was long suspected that a secret army had been imported into the Territory, with orders to murder and burn and destroy, without respect to persons or sex. The truth of these suspicions is at length revealed. ED COPIE [Edwin Coppoc], one of the leaders in the late Harper’s Ferry tragedy, and who, after being badly wounded, was taken prisoner, has made a full, and no doubt truthful, confession. He is not expected to live, and remarked, after his arrest, that he had “said all the prayers he had to say, and was ready to die.” In regard to the arms that were found in the hands of the insurgents at Harper’s Ferry, this dying conspirator said:
    “The rifles were furnished by the Massachusetts Aid Society. They were first sent to Kansas, but the excitement having died away, they were of no use, and Brown got the rifles for this expedition. They were sent from Kansas to Chambersburg, Franklin county: they were then hauled from there to Brown’s house by a man that lives in Greencastle. I don’t know who made the pikes or picks.”

    “The excitement having died away (in Kansas.) they (the arms,) were of no use in that territory!” So it appears that the Abolitionists of Massachusetts, aided by their brethren in this and other Northern States, had sent to Kansas, long before any disturbances had taken place there, a large army of desperate men, well prepared with plenty of arms and ammunition. JOHN BROWN, the friend of SEWARD, of GIDDINGS and of GERRIT SMITH, was appointed commander-in-chief of this army of desperadoes in Kansas, and to the letter did he carry out the instructions of those who employed him, for in all parts of that territory he murdered and plundered and destroyed. With his band of well-armed and desperate men, he traversed the territory, carrying death and destruction to all classes of people, and spreading terror and dismay in all directions. His army consisted of some 1500 men, armed with rifles furnished by the Massachusetts Aid Society, and this army he divided or concentrated, as his purposes required. At times he would attack the citizens of a town with his entire force, and again he would divide his army, and send the detachments out on scouting expeditions in search of victims. Hundreds of men women and children were murdered by this bold bad man and his Abolition followers, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of property was destroyed. He thus kept up a constant state of alarm and terror in the territory, and this was what he wanted, that his political brethren in the Northern States might turn up the dirty whites of their eyes, in apparent sincerity and exclaim against “the Kansas outrages,” and upbraid the administration with being the cause of those outrages! It was for political effect that our opponents sent BROWN to KANSAS, armed and equipped, with orders to murder the citizens of the territory. Was there ever a party in any country that could be guilty of a more wicked and diabolical attempt to accomplish their infernal purposes.

    After “the excitement had died away in Kansas,” the dying COPIE tells us, BROWN with his rifles and his prominent followers, were ordered to a new field for action. BROWN’S exploits in Kansas were so entirely satisfactory to his Northern patrons, that they believed him a hero, capable of performing any undertaking, and they conceived the idea of an insurrection in Virginia and Maryland, by which the slaves of those States would be set free and their masters murdered. This was to be the beginning of the “irrepressible conflict,” spoken of in SEWARD’S late Rochester speech. COPIE says in his confession:

    “We were to be well paid for our time and trouble. We never made a direct bargain as to how much we were to receive. Old man Brown was not to pay us.”

    They were to be well paid for their time and trouble in murdering the peacable citizens of Virginia and Maryland, and it is no difficult matter to say who the pay-masters were. GERRIT SMITH, it appears, was pay-master-general, and no doubt a large portion of the money raised was from Abolitionists alias “Republicans” of Pennsylvania.

    Can any intelligent and honest man, after these revelations, give countenance or support to a party guilty of such atrocious crimes and villanies? We trow [sic] not. This exposure should sink our political opponents to the very bottom of the “slough of despond,” and serve as a warning to every lover of his country to be vigilant and zealous in the performance of his duty.

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