Article Title

Brown's Foray.


Newspaper Title


Publication Date


Publication Place

New Orleans, Louisiana

Event Topic

John Brown

Political Party



slave state


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Now that John Brown's foray upon Virginia is over and the surviving ringleaders are under doom for their crimes, the agitation which has greatly subsided at the South continues to grow and increase at the North.

Document Type

Article (Journal or Newsletter)

Full Text Transcription

Now that John Brown's foray upon Virginiais over and the surviving ringleadersare under doom for their crimes, the agitationwhich has greatly subsided at the Southcontinues to grow and increase at the North.

The first sensation in the vagueness of arumored insurrection was naturally verystrong among slaveholders, but it was speedilycalmed when the abortive effort was seen inits utter impotence. The resulting effect uponthe Southern mind was to confirm what hasbeen their faith in the stability of theirinstitutions and the loyalty of their slaves, againstall sources of internal disturbance, and theirown ability to maintain them against allexternal attack; to satisfy them that there is novestige of cause for apprehension from within,and to unite them in one common sentimentof abhorrence and resentment against the foeswho, at a safe distance, plot invasions againstus, and incessantly propagate the spirit ofinvasion. The South, not as inferior orsuppliant, nor as holding the entire North to beour enemies, designedly and maliciously,turns now to the North, and pointing to thebloody proofs at Harper's Ferry, of whatmen in the North plotting against us, andwhat the popular teachings of craftystatesmen and fanatical demagogues incite men toplot against us, asks them to decide amongthemselves what is to be done for peace, theconstitution and the Union. We have no voicein these questions, deeply as they interest us.We can shoot or hang the ruffians theysend among us; we can even trust our slavesto help us catch and execute them. But thesource, the authors, the promptings, are alloutside from us, and among them, and theresponsibility is all theirs, for what has beenand what may be. If they shall continue totrust the teachers whose violent declamationsand fanatical doctrines have stimulated theweak and desperate to these seditious andmurderous acts; if they shall, while disclaimingthe act as the freak of a madman, continue toencourage and to follow the orators andleaders of party, whose more calculating policymakes men mad and desperate, they cannotescape the moral guilt of what has beendone already, and they will be held to be theabettors knowingly of all that may beattempted on the same spirit hereafter. It isfor the South to watch steadily, and withoutbeing heated to passionate indiscreetness bythe sense of wrong, for what the Northshall decide upon towards these men, theirdoctrines and their practices. It is for usto require that the North shall compel itsown puritans and demagogues, fanatcs andmoral traitors, to let us alone. That wemust be guided in our judgment of what we must do for ourselves.

The glaring criminality of this irruptioninto Virginia has given to this demand a forcethat cannot honestly be disregarded. Mencannot blind their eyes to such flagrant facts,or close their minds to the irresistible logic.The mind of the North is, therefore, more keenly stirred than it ever was before on suchthemes. The tongue and the pen discussthem incessantly. The pulpit is abused to theaid of the seditions, but the press comes upin many quarters boldly to the rescue of thetruth. Every Sabbath some preacher of a faith, not founded on the gospel of peace,preaches John Brown into a deludedinvader or a persecuted martyr. But a largeportion of the secular press raises the note ofremonstrance against these desecrations of sacredthings, and speaks manfully for justice, goodfaith, the constitution and the country. Thecontroversy wages hot, but the cause of theSouth is evidently gaining ground. The heartof the community revolts from the excessesinto which they are misled to plunge. Themass of the people desire to do no wrong toothers, to preserve faith, and live in harmonywith their Southern brethren. They do notbelieve in, or desire the "irrepressible conflict,"which is proclaimed from high seats in Northerncouncils; and we firmly believe that ifthese questions could be separated from themere party considerations with which they have been mixed up, and men could be broughtup to express their opinions on these topics,unconnected with the fate of political partiesand the aspiration of political chieftains, theverdict would be, by immense majorities, forpeace and fraternity.

There is a powerful effort going on in theNorthern States to bring about this disconnectionif possible, and if it cannot be done,to unite all conservative votes against that party which retains as an element of faith ora principle of action sectional hostility to thesocial institutions of the South. If theycannot extirpate sectionalism from the creeds ofparty, there is a growing desire and determination and effort to war upon the party whichadopts, encourages or councils with thesedangerous sectionalisms. These are no newefforts, and if we have to judge of the results of the pleadings of the wisest and mosteloquent men of the North, in former days,for peace, we might look upon this newappeal with little hope that it will have bettersuccess. But facts and history are strongerthan words, however fervently or earnestlyspoken. They have a potency of argumentwhich does not belong to the most sincereconviction of the greatest mind, urged withthe fire of the most persuasive oratory. WhatWebster and Choate and Everett have failedto do to reach deluded men, the essentialwickedness of abolitionism, the crimes whichit instigates and the atrocities which itengenders, are suddenly revealed palpably to thesenses by such exploits as those of JohnBrown. They have an awakened force, whichseems, at last, to have stirred up to its depthsthe conservative feeling of the North. Whatand how much that is, and what we are to expect of it, are problems to be solved by theevents of the future. But there is encouragementin the fact that the conservatism of theNorth is more strongly aroused than it has been during any of the preceding struggleson these questions; and out of these awakenedenergies, with the love of country and of unionaiding to liberate the judgement from the swayof old prejudices, and an awakened consciousnessof the perils and horrors which surroundevery advancing step of abolitionism, in thenature which it has developed, there are better hopes than there ever were before, ofthe breaking down of the rule of the factionists.

Edited/Proofed by

Entered by James Cash. Proofed by Lloyd Benson




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Event Location


Brown's Foray.

Now that John Brown's foray upon Virginia is over and the surviving ringleaders are under doom for their crimes, the agitation which has greatly subsided at the South continues to grow and increase at the North.