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Collection: National AntiSlavery Standard
Publication: National Anti-Slavery Standard
Date: NOVEMBER 6, 1859
Title: National Anti-Slavery Standard.WITHOUT CONCEALMENT—WITHOUT

National Anti-Slavery Standard.



CORRESPONDENTS will greatly oblige us by a careful observance of the following directions, viz.:

Letters enclosing matter for publication, or relating in any way to the editorial conduct of the paper, should be addressed “ Editor of the Anti-Slavery Standard, No . 5 Beekman street, New York .”

Letters enclosing subscriptions, or relating in any way to the business of the office, should be addressed, “ Publisher of the Anti-Slavery Standard, No . 5 Beekman street, New York .”


THOSE who have made pledges to the American Anti-Slavery Society, and those who intend, whether pledged or not, to do something in aid of its operations the current year, are reminded that this season is the time when such aid is most needed. Such Donations will be gladly received and promptly acknowledged either by Francis Jackson, Boston, or the Publisher of THE STANDARD, 5 Beekman street, New York.

Subscribers in arrears, to whom bills have been sent, are also requested to made prompt payment.


THE tragedy at Harper's Ferry, its causes and its consequences, is still the theme which engrosses public attention. On the first page will be found copious selections from various public journals, representing almost every phase of opinion, from stern, uncompromising abolitionism, as expressed in the clear tones of Garrison, to the extremest folly and the most vindictive madness of the champions of eternal slavery. We commend that page to the careful study of our readers. It will suggest thoughts for the utterance of which our space is altogether inadequate. Such illustrations of the tyrannical, cowardly and diabolical spirit engendered by slavery as are presented in the extracts from the Southern Press (and they might be multiplied to any extent) we have rarely witnessed; while the comments of many of the Northern journals display a cringing, heartless subserviency to despotism scarcely less to be deplored and denounced.

We venture to say that the annals of jurisprudence afford no previous example of the trial of a prisoner for offences involving life while he was too ill to be out of bed. In what country not cursed by slavery could such an outrage upon justice and humanity have been witnessed? The meanness and cowardice, moreover, of refusing the heroic old man time to secure counsel to whom he was willing to trust his defence, and hurrying the trial forward at railroad speed, is such as cannot fail to awaken the indignation of the civilized world.

The trial is over, the verdict of guilty is recorded, and within a few days, probably, sentence of death will be pronounced. Will that sentence be executed? We confess we see little ground to hope for any other result; and yet we know that leading and influential members of the Democratic party are exerting their utmost influence upon Gov. Wise to induce him to spare the old man's life. It is said that a Committee of Democrats has actually gone from this city to Richmond upon this errand. They see clearly that the execution of John Brown cannot fail to awaken a powerful sympathy not only for him personally, but for the cause in which he would be popularly regarded as a martyr.

There are many phases of the subject that invite comment, and we can hardly restrain our pen; but space fails us, and we must stop.

—It will be seen that the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, by the action recorded below, are seeking to prepare the friends of freedom for a suitable observance of the day that shall witness the execution of the brave old man who nobly, though recklessly, risked his life to deliver the American slaves from bondage.


At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, held in Boston, Nov. 1st, the following Resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That it is recommended to the friends of impartial freedom throughout the Free States, in case of the execution of Capt. JOHN BROWN, now on trial for his life in Virginia, to observe that tragical event, ON THE DAY OF ITS OCCURRENCE, in such manner as by them may be deemed most appropriate in their various localities—whether by public meetings and addresses, the adoption of resolutions, private conferences, or any other justifiable mode of action—for the furtherance of the Anti-Slavery cause, and renewedly to consecrate themselves to the patriotic and Christian work of effecting the abolition of that most dangerous, unnatural, cruel and impious system of slavery, which is the fruitful source of all our sectional heart-burnings and conflicts, which powerfully and increasingly tends to promote servile insurrections and civil war, which cannot be more truly or more comprehensively described than as “THE SUM OF ALL VILLANIES,” which is a burning disgrace and fearful curse to the whole country, and by the speedy extinction of which, alone, can the land be saved from violence, blood, and utter demoralization.

In behalf of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society,


Editors of newspapers are respectfully requested to copy the above.



Wednesday , Nov. 2.—The Court overruled the motion for arrest of judgment, and Brown was called up to receive his sentence.

On being asked whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon him, he immediately rose, and, in a clear, distinct voice, said:

“I have, may it please the Court, a few words to say. In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted of a design on my part to free slaves. I intended certainly to have made a clean thing of that matter, as I did last winter when I went into Missouri, and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either side, moving them through the country, and finally leaving them in Canada. I designed to have done the same thing again on a larger scale. That was all I intended to do. I never intended murder or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make an insurrection. I have another objection, and that is that it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty. Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved—for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case—had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right, and every man in this Court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

“This Court acknowledges too, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed, which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament, which teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me further to remember them that are in bonds as bound with them. I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done, as I have always freely admitted I have done, in behalf of His despised poor, is no wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say let it be done.

“Let me say one word further. I feel entirely satisfied with the treatment I have received on my trial. Considering all the circumstances, it has been more generous than I expected. But I feel no consciousness of guilt. I have stated from the first what was my intention, and what was not. I never had any design against the liberty of any person, nor any disposition to commit treason or excite slaves to rebel or make any general insurrection. I never encouraged any man to do so, but always discouraged any idea of that kind. Let me say also in regard to the statements made by some of those who were connected with me. I fear it has been stated by some of them that I have induced them to join me, but the contrary is true. I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness. Not one but joined me of his own accord, and the greater part at their own expense. A number of them I never saw, and never had a word of conversation with till the day they came to me, and that was for the purpose I have stated. Now, I have done.”

While Mr. Brown was speaking perfect quiet prevailed, and when he had finished, the Judge proceeded to pronounce sentence upon him. After a few preliminary remarks, he said, that no reasonable doubt could exist of the guilt of the prisoner, and sentenced him to be hung in public, on Friday, the 2d of December next.

Mr. Brown received his sentence with composure.

The only demonstration made was by the clapping of the hands of one man in the crowd, who was not a resident of Jefferson County. This was promptly suppressed, and much regret was expressed by the citizens at its occurrence.

Brown's counsel have put in a bill of exceptions, which will be referred to the Court of Appeals at Richmond.

Messrs. Russell and Sennot, from Boston, reached Charlestown on Wednesday.

Coppie's trial was finished on Wednesday. Verdict, “guilty.”


WE earnestly invite the attention of our readers—including those in this city, especially—to the following appeal for funds. The sum wanted is not large, and may easily be raised, if one or two persons in each town will take hold of the work promptly. There should be no delay in the matter, as the money is wanted NOW.

ALBANY, N. Y., Nov. 1, 1859.

To the Editor of The National Anti-Slavery Standard .

A MEETING of the Personal Liberty Committee has just been held here, and, together with other measures adopted to vigorously push forward the Personal Liberty movement in this State was the following circular Letter:

ALBANY, N. Y., Nov. 1, 1859.

DEAR FRIEND: At a late informal meeting of friends of Freedom held in this city, a Committee was formed for the purpose of securing the passage of a Personal Liberty law for the State of New York.

The Committee, as organized, is as follows:

President —AARON M. POWELL, Ghent, N. Y.

Secretary —GEORGE E. BAKER, Albany.

Treasurer —LYDIA MOTT, Albany.

Additional Members —Rev. A. D. Mayo and Minos McGowan, Albany; Leonard Gibbs, Esq., Union Village, Washington Co.; Hon. William Hay, Saratoga Springs; Susan B. Anthony, Rochester; Rev. Samuel J. May, Syracuse; George W. Taylor, Shirley, Erie Co.; James B. Richards, Harlem; Abby H. Gibbons and William Irving, New York City.

An Appeal to the people of the State and a form of Petition were adopted, of which the Committee desire to print and to circulate several thousand copies, together with other means of carrying on the work, requiring both labor and money.

A few persons here at the Capitol, the political centre of the State, have assumed much of this labor and expense. But we need more workers and more money, and this appeal is to you for the latter. We need it to pay printers, postage, expenses of lectures, meetings, &c.

Will you remit to the Treasurer, LYDIA MOTT, Albany, N. Y., such sum as the importance of the object and your own ability seem to warrant?

By order of the Committee,

A. M. POWELL, Pres.

It is hoped and confidently expected that to this letter and appeal for funds to aid in the work of the Committee a prompt and liberal response will be given by your readers.



WE learn, from the letter of a correspondent, that the recent anti-slavery occasion at WEYMOUTH, Mass., was eminently successful, both in a moral and pecuniary point of view.

“This,” says our correspondent, “is one of the towns where the anti-slavery cause was the earliest implanted, where it has experienced the least opposition, and where it has most extensively penetrated the public mind. Mr. Quincy, Mr. Garrison and Mr. Phillips were most warmly welcomed by the citizens; and the admirably social and moral qualities of those gentlemen never shone more brightly or to more appreciative eyes than on this occasion. The Harper's Ferry affair was a principal subject of conversation at table. It is clear that Brown has the sympathies of the mass of the Northern people, and is honored among them as a saint—a hero—a martyr, even by many of those who are bound in principle and conscience, as the American Anti-Slavery Society is by its Constitution, as a matter of fact and expediency, never to engage in a physical struggle for Freedom, or to incite such a one on the part of the slaves. The masses of the Northern people approve Brown's object, while they deprecate his measures. They will soon be ready to “proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof.” This readiness is the necessary consequence of that civilizing agency, the American Anti-Slavery Society, which has been so long at work among them. Its purpose in stirring the public mind as it has done, so long misunderstood, now begins clearly to be seen. Men now see the guilt and danger of slavery, and are almost ready themselves to do what, thirty years ago, their fathers blamed the Abolitionists for talking about.”


To the Editor of The National Anti-Slavery Standard .

THE Harper's Ferry affair must set people to thinking. If so small a spark kindles so great a fire, what may we not expect in the future? Suppose the Republican party is crushed by it, which I do not expect, are the slaveholders and their allies blind and deaf to the fact that behind the Republican party there is a small but growing force of anti-slavery men and women, armed with increasing funds for employing lecturers, distributing publications and the like, all tending to keep the irrepressible conflict in action? It is impossible for this to die out, or to go back. And it is equally vain to hope for a more lenient public opinion on slavery than now exists. It must become more and more inexorable. Then why, O doughfaces, Old Line Whigs and timid Republicans, try to smother the real issue? It must come. It is upon us. Speak out, then, my fearful Republican friend, your real thoughts about Old Ossawattomie! Don't condemn him with your lips while your heart approves, merely to save your party. For that won't save it. If it lives, as I believe it will, the bold, outspoken anti-slavery men in its ranks must take the helm. Let us, I beseech you, emulate the courage and self-sacrifice of Old Ossawattomie, and, adding wisdom and forethought, charge upon slavery and all its aiders and abettors.


WENDELL PHILLIPS ON “INSURRECTION.”—An immense audience, filling the Rev. H. W. Beecher's church to its utmost capacity, assembled on Tuesday evening to listen to Mr. Phillips's lecture on “The Lesson of the Hour”— in other words, on the Harper's Ferry Invasion. It was a masterly performance, and it evidently made a very deep impression upon the crowded assembly, among whom were many persons of distinction from New York as well as Brooklyn. The Hon. Thomas Corwin, of Ohio, sat upon the platform, and when, at the close, he was called upon for a speech, he simply said that he came to the meeting, as he presumed most others of the assembly had done, to hear the speaker of the evening, and that he wanted time to reflect upon what he had heard before pronouncing judgment. Mr. Phillips recognized John Brown as a hero, and accepted his work as the natural result of the anti-slavery movement upon men of his type. “People,” said he, “do me the honor to say that his acts are traceable to teachings of mine. It is too much honor. Gladly, if it were not fulsome vanity, would I clutch this laurel and take the credit of some share in the resolute daring of the man who flung himself against an empire in behalf of justice and liberty.” The applause which followed this sentiment indicated that many of his hearers were in sympathy with him.

We expect to publish the lecture in full next week.

CROWDED.—We are compelled to defer till next week letters from Mrs. Martineau and our Paris correspondent, as well as a communication from Mr. F. W. Chesson, of London, for which we desired to find room.