My Dear Fields: I have so long promised you a carving from a memory of twenty years ago, and you have so often kindly given me, as the mercantile phrase is, an extension, that I feel compelled to make leisure enough for myself to keep my word. I trust you will not be disappointed in your hope that it may interest the readers of the Atlantic.
In the summer of 1849 Mr. Metcalf and I went into the Adirondacks, then but little known to tourists. Our journey up the valley of the Connecticut, across Vermont, and up Lake Champlain, full of beauties as it was, presented nothing that would be new to most readers. At Westport, near the head of Lake Champlain, on the New York side, we found a delightful colony of New England friends—a retired officer of the army, and two Boston gentlemen, one of leisure and one of business—planted in as charming a neighborhood as one need wish to live in, — the lake before them, the Green Mountain range across the lake, and the Adirondacks towering and stretching along the western horizon.
At this time Westport had sprung into active life by means of an enterprise of Boston capitalists, who had set up iron-works there. All had an appearance of successful business. The houses of the workmen, and the other appurtenances and surroundings, were marked by a style which was but too pleasing to the fancy; yet they were the results of the application of wealth under good taste, and with a large view to the future. Changes of business or of tariffs or other causes have long ago brought ail this to an end; and I suppose the little village has relapsed into its original state of torpor and insignificance.
Here we took np a companion for our wild tour, Mr. Aikens, in theory a lawyer, but in practice a traveller, sportsman, and woodsman; and Mr. Jackson lent us a wagon with a pair of mules, and a boy Tommy to commissary and persuade the mules, and we drove out of Westport in the afternoon of a very hot day and made for the mountains. Our route lay through Pleasant Valley, along the pretty Bouquet Riyer, which flows from the mountains, winding among graceful hills, into the lake. We baited at Elizabethtown, and spent the night at Ford’s tavern, in the township of Keene, sleeping on the floor, and finding that we were expected to wash in the river, and were on our way again before sunrise. From Keene westward we began to meet signs of frontier life, — log-cabins, little clearings, bad roads overshadowed by forests, mountain torrents, and the refreshing odor of balsam firs and hemlocks. The next morning we stopped at a log-house to breakfast, and found a guide to take us through the Indian Pass, and sent Tommy and his mules forward to Osgood’s tavern; and, with no luggage but such as we could easily carry on our backs, began our walk to Lake Sandford, Tahâwus, and the Adirondack Iron-Works.
The day was extremely hot; and as the distance was less than twenty miles, we went on rather leisurely, stopping and wondering at the noble expanse of mountain scenery. There was no footpath, and we went by blazed lines, over fallen timber, from stream to stream, from hilltop to hilltop, through undergrowth and copse, treading on moss and strewn leaves which masked roots of trees and loose stones and other matter for stumbling; a laborious journey, but full of interest from the objects near at hand, and made sublime by the sense of the presence of those vast-stretching ranges of mountains. In the afternoon we came into the Indian Pass. This is a ravine, or gorge, formed by two close and parallel walls of nearly perpendicular cliffs, of about thirteen hundred feet in height, and almost black in their hue. Before I had seen the Yosemite Valley, these cliffs satisfied my ideal of steep mountain walls. From the highest level of the Pass flow two mountain torrents, in opposite directions, — one the source of the Hudson, and so reaching the Atlantic; and the other the source of the Au Sable, which runs into Lake Champlain and at last into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, — but no larger when they begin, trickling from the rocks, than streams from the nose of a teapot. The pines growing in the high crevices look no bigger than pins, and in much of this Pass there is only a narrow seam of sky right overhead. Almost a wintry chill pervades the air, and we refreshed ourselves with water dripping from out of ice-caverns, and walked over banks of snow which lie here through the year, preserved by the exclusion of the sun. Neither road nor footpath is practicable here, and the scene is one of wild, silent, awful grandeur.
Coming out of the Pass, a few miles of rough walking on a downward grade brought us again to small clearings, cuttings of wood piled up to be carried off when the snow should make sledding over the stumps of trees practicable; and about sundown we straggled into the little extemporized iron-workers’ village of Adirondack.
This was as wild a spot for a manufacturing village as can well be imagined, — in the heart of the mountains, with a difficult communication to the southward, and none at all in any other direction, — a mere clearing in a forest that stretches into Canada. It stood on a rapid stream which flows from Lake Henderson into Lake Sandford, where it was hoped that the water power and the vicinity of good ore would counter-balance the difficulties of transportation. The works, which were called the Adirondack Iron-Works, were begun and carried on with an enterprise and frugality that deserved better luck than, I understand, befell them at last. There were no attempts here at the taste or style the Boston capitalists had displayed at Westport. All things had the nitor in adversum look. The agent lived in a house where it was plain that one room served for parlor, kitchen, and nursery. He was a hard-worked, sore-pressed man. A chance to sleep on a floor in a house with ninety-six puddlers, with liberty to wash in the stream, was as fair a result as we had a right to expect in the one house into which strangers could be received. But then we had the consolation that our landlord was a justice of the peace, and wrote “esquire” after his name, and had actually married a couple, it was hoped in due form, and was popularly supposed to be able to fill out a writ, if the rough habits of the people should ever call for so formal a process.
The three or four days we were here we gave to excursions up and down Lake Sandford, to Newcomb’s farm, and Dan Gates’s camp, and to the top of Tahâwus. A small company of woodsmen, professional hunters and trappers, took us under their charge, — as good a set of honest, decent, kind-hearted, sensible men as one could expect to meet with, having, I thought, more propriety of talk and manners, more enlargement of mind and general knowledge, than the same number of common sailors taken equally at random would have shown. There was Dan Gates and Tone Snyder—I suppose, an abbreviation of Anthony or Antoine—and John Cheney and Jack Wright, names redolent in memory of rifles and sable-traps, and hemlock camps and deer, and trout and hard walks and good talks. We rowed up Lake Sandford at dawn and back by moonlight, visiting the Newcomb farm and drinking of the spring on the hill by the side of Lake Delia, to which opinion had attached marvellous restorative powers.
The scenery here is as different from that of the White Mountains as if these were in a different hemisphere. Here the mountains wave with woods, and are green with bushes to their summits; torrents break down into the valleys on all sides; lakes of various sizes and shapes glitter in the landscape, bordered by bending woods whose roots strike through the waters. There is none of that dreary, barren grandeur that marks the White Mountains, although Tahâwus, the highest, is about fifty-four hundred feet high, — only some six hundred or seven hundred feet less than Mount Washington. The Indian Pass frowns over one end of the lake, and Tahâwus and Mount McIntire tower on each side; and at nearly all points on the lake were the most voluble echoes, which the shouts of the boatmen awakened for us. The moon, the mountains, the lake, the dipping oars, and the echoes made Lake Sandford a fascination in the remembrance.
We spent two days and nights in the ascent of Tahâwus and the return, camping out under hemlock boughs, cooking our trout and venison in the open air, and enjoying it all as I verily believe none can so thoroughly as they who escape from city life. Some sycophantic State surveyor had named this mountain Mount Marcy, after the then leader of the political party in power; but a company of travellers have chiselled the old Indian name into rocks at its summit, and called upon all who follow them to aid in its preservation. The woodsmen have taken it up, and I hope this king of the range may be saved from the incongruous nomenclature that has got possession of too large a part of this region. Sandford and Mclntire and Marcy, the names of local politicians, like bits of last year’s newspapers on the bob of a kite, tied to these majestic, solemn mountains, “rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun”! In the White Mountains I fear that too long a prescription has settled down over those names which have not unfairly subjected us to the charge of being without imagination or fancy, — going to our almanacs and looking up lists of Presidents and members of Congress and stump-speakers, as our only resource, when put to it to find designations for the grandest objects in nature; while in their speechless agony the mountains must endure the ignominy, and all mankind must suffer the discord between the emotions these scenes call up and the purely mundane and political associations that belong to the names of Jefferson and Adams, Clay and Monroe and Jackson.
I must pause a moment at Calamity Pond, for its story is too deep in my memory to be passed by. Not long before our visit, Mr. Henderson, one of the proprietors and managers of the iron-works, a popular man in all this region, went up to the pond, which lies on the way to the summit of Tahâwus, to make arrangements for turning a watercourse into the village. Sitting on a rock by the side of the pond, he laid down his pistol; the hammer struck a trifle too hard upon the rock, exploded the cap, and the ball went through his heart. He had just time to send a word of farewell to his wife and children, when it was all over. The sorrow-stricken company hastened to the village with the sad tidings, and then a party of the best woodsmen—for Henderson was beloved by them all—was organized and went to the fatal spot. They made a rude bier and bore the body slowly down, cutting a path through the woods as they went, to a spot near the level, where they camped for the night, and where, the next day, nearly the whole village came out to meet them. The sheet of water has been called Calamity Pond, and the rock, Henderson’s Rock. As we passed the site of the camp we saw the rude bier, — a vivid reminder of the sad event; and as we stood by the pond the story was told over with natural pathos, and—“What a place for a man to die in, and without a moment’s warning!” said Dan Gates. “What a place to build a camp in!” said another. Dan and Tone admitted it, and said they all seemed to lose their wits. This was before our civil war had made sudden deaths in all forms and in vast numbers so familiar.
The Opalescent, which comes down from Tehâwus, is a captivating mountain stream, with very irregular courses, often broken by cascades and rapids, tumbling into deep basins, running through steep gorges and from under overlying banks, always clear and sparkling and cool. The last mile of the ascent was then—doubtless the axe has been at work upon it since—a toilsome struggle through a dense growth of scrub cedars and spruces, and it is only the summit that is bare. With this and the summit of Mount Washington, now probably but three or four days apart, the traveller can get the two extreme opposites of North American mountain scenery; the view from Mount Washington being a wild sea of bald bare tops and sides, with but little wood or water, while that from Tahâwus is a limitless expanse of forest, with mountains green to their tops, and all the landscape dotted and lined with the wide mirrors of large lakes, glittering bits of small lakes, silver threads of streams, and ribbons of waterfalls.
As we lay on the boughs, with the fire sparkling before us, a good many stories were told, marvellous, funny, or pathetic, which have long since floated off from their moorings in memory.
But it is time to take leave of our excellent friends, whose companionship I shall never forget, and move on towards the promised point of my journey.
We had sent back the guide, who had brought us through the Indian Pass; for Mr. Aikens was a good woodsman, and had no doubt he could take us back. About the middle of the day we bade good by to Dan and Tone and John, and took our last look at the straggling, struggling village, — in a few years, I believe, abandoned altogether, — and went through the Pass and crossed the first branch of the Au Sable, and ought to have crossed the second before five o’clock; but the sun was far declined, it was getting to be six o’clock and after, and yet no river! Aikens became silent; but it was soon too evident that he had lost the trail. We had been led off by a blazed line that went to sable-traps; and here we were, at nightfall, lost in a forest that stretched to Canada, and, for aught I know to the contrary, to the Polar Circle, with no food, no gun, blanket nor overcoats. Expecting to get through in six hours, we had taken nothing with us. We consulted, and determined to strike through the woods, steering by the sun—for we had no compass—in the direction in which we thought the river lay. Our course should be north; and we went on, keeping the setting sun a little forward of our left shoulders, — or, as a sailor would say, a little on the port bow, — and struggled over fallen timber and through underbrush, and climbed hills and tried to get a view of White Face, but to no purpose, and the darkness overtook us in low ground, by the side of a small stream. We were very hungry, very much fatigued, and not a little anxious and the stories they had told us at the village of parties lost in the forest, — one especially, of three men who failed to come in and were searched for and found, after several days, little better than skeletons and almost crazed, — these recurred pretty vividly to our fancies. We drank at the stream, and Aikens, never at a loss, cut a bit of red flannel from his shirt and bent a pin and managed to catch one little trout in the twilight. He insisted on our taking it all. He said he had got us into the trouble by his over-confidence; but we resisted. It was, to be sure, a question of a square inch of trout more or less, for the fish was not more than four inches long by one inch thick; yet it was a point of honor with Mr. Aikens, so we yielded, and got one fair mouthful apiece. The place was low and damp, and there was a light frost, and we passed a miserable night, having no clothing but our shirts and trousers. The black-flies were very active, and our faces and arms and necks were blotched and pitted in the saddest fashion. It was with anxious eyes that we watched the dawn; for if the day was clear, we could travel by the sun until it got high, but if it was thick or foggy, we must stay still; for every one used to the woods knows that one may go round and round and make no progress, if he has no compass or point of sight. The day did break clear; and, as soon as there was light enough, Aikens groped about the skirts of the little opening, and made out signs that a path had once come into it. He thought the brush grew differently at one place from what it did elsewhere. Very well! We gave ourselves up to him, and began another day’s struggle with fallen timber, hillsides, swamps, and undergrowth, on very faint stomachs, but with every show to each other of confidence and strength. In an hour or so plainer signs of a path rewarded Aikens’s sagacity. I was glad for him especially; for he was a good deal annoyed at the trouble we were put to; and a better woodsman, for an amateur, or a more intelligent and generous fellow-traveller, we could not have desired. At last came some welcome traces of domesticated animals, and then a trodden path, and about noon we came out upon the road.
We were out, and the danger was over. But where were we? We held a council, and agreed that we must have got far to the left, or westward, of our place of destination, and must turn off to the right. It was of some consequence, for houses on this road were four to seven miles apart. But the right was up hill, and a long steep hill it seemed. Mr. Metcalf plunged down hill, in contempt of his and our united grave conclusions, saying we did not know, and had better do what was easiest. And well it was we did, for a near turn in the road brought us in sight of a log-house and half-cleared farm, while, had we gone to the right, we should have found it seven miles to the nearest dwelling.
Three more worn, wearied, hungry, black-fly-bitten travellers seldom came to this humble, hospitable door. The people received us with cheerful sympathy, and, while we lay down on the grass, under the shadow of the house, where a smutch kept off the black-flies, prepared something for our comfort. The master of the house had gone down to the settlements, and was expected back before dark. His wife was rather an invalid, and we did not see much of her at first. There were a great many sons and daughters, — I never knew how many: one a bonny, buxom young woman of some twenty summers, with fair skin and red hair, whose name was Ruth, and whose good-humor, hearty kindness, good sense and helpfulness quite won our hearts. She would not let us eat much at a time, and cut us resolutely off from the quantities of milk and cool water we were disposed to drink, and persuaded us to wait until something could be cooked for us, more safe and wholesome for faint stomachs; and we were just weak enough to be submissive subjects to this backwoods queen. A man came along in a wagon, and stopped to water his horses, and they asked him if he had seen anything of Mr. Brown below, — which it seemed was the name of the family. Yes; he had seen him. He would be along in an hour or so. “He has two negroes along with him,” said the man, in a confidential, significant tone, “a man and a woman.” Ruth smiled, as if she understood him. Mr. Aikens told us that the country about here belonged to Gerrit Smith; that negro families, mostly fugitive slaves, were largely settled upon it, trying to learn farming; and that this Mr. Brown was a strong abolitionist and a kind of king among them. This neighborhood was thought to be one of the termini of the Underground Railroad.
The farm was a mere recent clearing. The stumps of trees stood out, blackened by burning, and crops were growing among them, and there was a plenty of felled timber. The dwelling was a small log-house of one story in height, and the outbuildings were slight. The whole had the air of a recent enterprise, on a moderate scale, although there were a good many neat cattle and horses. The position was a grand one for a lover of mountain effects; but how good for farming I could not tell. Old White Face, the only exception to the uniform green and brown and black hues of the Adirondack hills, stood plain in view, rising at the head of Lake Placid, its white or pale-gray side caused, we were told, by a landslide. All about were the distant highest summits of the Adirondacks.
Late in the afternoon a long buckboard wagon came in sight, and on it were seated a negro man and woman, with bundles; while a tall, gaunt, dark-complexioned man walked before, having his theodolite and other surveyor’s instruments with him, while a youth followed by the side of the wagon. The team turned in to the sheds, and the man entered the house. This was father. The sons came out and put up the cattle, and soon we were asked in to the meal. Mr. Brown came forward and received us with kindness; a grave, serious man he seemed, with a marked countenance and a natural dignity of manner, — that dignity which is unconscious, and comes from a superior habit of mind.
We were all ranged at a long table, some dozen of us more or less; and these two negroes and one other had their places with us. Mr. Brown said a solemn grace. I observed that he called the negroes by their surnames, with the prefixes of Mr. and Mrs. The man was “Mr. Jefferson,” and the woman “Mrs. Wait.” He introduced us to them in due form, “Mr. Dana, Mr. Jefferson,” “Mr. Metcalf, Mrs. Wait.” It was plain they had not been so treated or spoken to often before, perhaps never until that day, for they had all the awkwardness of field hands on a plantation; and what to do, on the introduction, was quite beyond their experience. There was an unrestricted supply of Ruth’s best bread, butter, and corn-cakes, and we had some meat and tea, and a plenty of the best of milk.
We had some talk with Mr. Brown, who interested us very much. He told us he came here from the western part of Massachusetts. As some persons may distrust recollections, after very striking intervening events, I ask pardon for taking an extract from a journal I was in the habit of keeping at those times: —
“The place belonged to a man named Brown, originally from Berkshire in Massachusetts, a thin, sinewy, hard-favored, clear-headed, honest-minded man, who had spent all his days as a frontier farmer. On conversing with him, we found him well informed on most subjects, especially in the natural sciences. He had books, and had evidently made a diligent use of them. Having acquired some property, he was able to keep a good farm, and had confessedly the best cattle and best farming utensils for miles round. His wife looked superior to the poor place they lived in, which was a cabin, with only four rooms. She appeared to be out of health. He seemed to have an unlimited family of children, from a cheerful, nice, healthy woman of twenty or so, and a full-sized red-haired son, who seemed to be foreman of the farm, through every grade of boy and girl, to a couple that could hardly speak plain.”
How all these, and we three and Mr. Jefferson and Mrs. Wait, were to be lodged here, was a problem; but Aikens said he had seen as much done here before. However, we were not obliged to test the expanding capacities of the house; for a man was going down to Osgood’s, by whom we sent a message, and in an hour or two the smiling face of Tommy appeared behind his mules, and we took leave of our kind entertainers.
In these regions it is the custom for farmers to receive travellers; and while they do not take out licences as inn-holders, or receive strictly pay for what they furnish, they always accept something in the way of remuneration from the traveller. When we attempted to leave something with Ruth, which was intended to express our gratitude and good-will, we found her inflexible. She would receive the bare cost of what we had taken, if we wished it, but nothing for attentions, or house-room, or as a gratuity. We had some five-dollar bills and some bills of one dollar each. She took one of the one-dollar bills and went up into the garret, and returned with some change! It was too piteous. We could not help smiling, and told her we should feel guilty of highway robbery if we took her silver. She consented to keep the one dollar, for three of us, — one meal apiece and some extra cooking in the morning, — as we seemed to think that was right. It was plain this family acted on a principle in the smallest matters. They knew pretty well the cost price of the food they gave; and if the traveller preferred to pay, they would receive that, but nothing more. There was no shamefacedness about the money transaction either. It was business or nothing; and if we preferred to make it business, it was to be upon a rule.
After a day spent on Lake Placid, and in ascending White Face, we returned to Osgood’s, and the next day we took the road in our wagon on our return to Westport. We could not pass the Browns’ house without stopping. I find this entry in my journal: —
“June 29, Friday. — After breakfast, started for home. … We stopped at the Browns’ cabin on our way, and took an affectionate leave of the family that had shown us so much kindness. We found them at breakfast, in the patriarchal style. Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their large family of children with the hired men and women, including three negroes, all at the table together. Their meal was neat, substantial, and wholesome.”
How mysterious is the touch of Fate which gives a man immortality on earth! It would have been past belief, had we been told that this quiet frontier farmer, already at or beyond middle life, with no noticeable past, would, within ten years, be the central figure of a great tragic scene, gazed upon with wonder, pity, admiration, or execration by half a continent! That this man should be thought to have imperilled the slave empire in America, and added a new danger to the stability of the Union! That his almost undistinguishable name of John Brown should be whispered among four millions of slaves, and sung wherever the English tongue is spoken, and incorporated into an anthem to whose solemn cadences men should march to battle by the tens of thousands! That he should have done something toward changing the face of civilization itself!
In 1859-60 my inveterate habit of overworking gave me, as you know, a vacation and the advantage of a voyage round the world. Somewhere at the antipodes I picked up, from time to time, in a disjointed way, out of all chronological order, reports of the expedition of one John Brown into Virginia, his execution, and the political excitement attending it; but I learned little of much value. That was the time when slavery ruled all. There was scarce an American consul or political agent in any quarter of the globe, or on any island of the seas, who was not a supporter of the slave power. I saw a large portion of these national representatives in my circumnavigation of the globe, and it was impossible to find at any office over which the American flag waved a newspaper that was not in the interests of slavery. No copy of the New York Tribune or Evening Post was tolerated under an American official roof. Each embassy and consulate, the world over, was a centre of influences for slavery and against freedom. We ought to take this into account when we blame foreign nations for not accepting at once the United States as an antislavery power, bent on the destruction of slavery, as soon as our civil war broke out. For twenty years foreign merchants, shipmasters, or travellers had seen in American officials only trained and devoted supporters of the slave power, and the only evidences of public opinion at home to be found at those official seats, so much resorted to and credited, were all of the same character. I returned home at the height of the Lincoln campaign of 1860, on which followed secession and war; and it was not until after the war, when reading back into its history, that I met with those unsurpassed narratives, by Mr. Wentworth Higginson and Mr. Wendell Phillips, of their visits to the home of John Brown, about the time of his execution, full of solemn touches, and marked by that restraint which good taste and right feeling accept in the presence of a great subject, itself so expressive of awe. Reading on, it went through me with a thrill, — This is the man under whose roof I received shelter and kindness! These were the mother and daughters and sons who have suffered or shed their blood! This was the family whose artless heroism, whose plain fidelity and fortitude, seem to have cast chivalry and romance into the shade!
It is no uncommon thing to visit spots long hallowed by great events or renowned persons. The course of emotions in such cases is almost stereotyped. But this retroactive effect is something strange and anomalous. It is one thing to go through a pass of fear, watching your steps as you go, conscious of all its grandeur and peril, but quite another sensation when a glare of light, thrown backwards, shows you a fearful passage through which you have just gone with careless steps and unheeding eyes. It seems as if those few days of ours in the Adirondacks, in 1849, had been passed under a spell which held my senses from knowing what we saw. All is now become a region of peculiar sacredness. That plain, bare farm, amid the blackened stumps, the attempts at scientific agriculture under such disadvantages, the simple dwelling, the surveyor’s tools, the setting of the little scene amid grand, awful mountain ranges, the negro colony and inmates, the family bred to duty and principle, and held to them by a power recognized as being from above, — all these now come back on my memory with a character nowise changed, indeed, in substance, but, as it were, illuminated. The widow bearing homeward the body from the Virginia scaffold, with the small company of stranger friends, crossed the lake, as we had done, to Westport; and thence, along that mountain road, but in mid-winter, to Elizabethtown; and thence, the next day, to the door of that dwelling. The scene is often visited now by sympathy or curiosity, no doubt, and master pens have made it one of the most marked in our recent history.
In this narrative I have endeavored, my dear friend, to guard against the influence of intervening events, and to give all things I saw in the natural, transient way in which they struck me at the time. That is its only value. It is not owing to subsequent events, that John Brown and his family are so impressed on my mind. The impression was made at the time. The short extract from a journal which set down but little, and nothing that was not of a marked character, will, I trust, satisfy the most incredulous that I am not beating up memory for impressions. I have tried to recollect something more of John Brown’s conversation, but in vain, nor can either of my companions help me in that. We cannot recollect that slavery was talked of at all. It seems strange it should not have been, as we were Free-Soilers, and I had been to the Buffalo Convention the year before; but perhaps the presence of the negroes may have restrained us, as we did not see the master of the house alone. I notice that my journal speaks of him as originally from Berkshire, Massachusetts. In examining his biography I think this must have been from his telling us that he had come from the western part of Massachusetts, when he found that we were Massachusetts men. I see no proof of his having lived in any other part of Massachusetts than Springfield. My journal speaks of the house as a “log-cabin.” I observe that Mr. Higginson and some of the biographers describe it as a frame building. Mr. Brown had been but a few months on the place when we were there, and he may have put up a frame house afterwards; or it is quite as likely that I was not careful to note the difference, and got that impression from its small size and plain surroundings.
Nearly all that the writers in December, 1859, have described lies clear in my memory. There can have been little change there in ten years. Ruth had become the wife of Henry Thompson, whose brother was killed at Harper’s Ferry; and the son I speak of as apparently the foreman of the farm was probably Owen, who was with his father at Ossawatomie and Harper’s Ferry, and escaped. Frederick, who was killed at Ossawatomie, in 1856, was probably the lad whom we saw coming home with his father, bringing the negroes on the wagon. Among the small boys, playing and working about the house, were Watson and Oliver, who were killed at Harper’s Ferry. I do not recollect seeing—perhaps it was not there then—the gravestone of his grandfather of the Revolutionary Army, which John Brown is said to have taken from Connecticut and placed against the side of the house; nor can I recall the great rock, near the door, by the side of which lies his body,
mouldering in the ground,
While his soul is marching on.
What judgment soever political loyalty, social ethics, or military strategy may pronounce upon his expedition into Virginia, old John Brown has a grasp on the moral world.
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