We have been both surprised and indignant to see a portion of the press of
Virginia weak enough to entertain a question as to the fate of BROWN, COOK, and
company, on trial for the treason, and insurrection attempted at Harper's
The fact of these guardians of the public weal of the Commonwealth of
Virginia gravely considering whether it would not be well to pardon or commute
the sentences of these cold-blooded miscreants; and whether such a
conciliatory course would not have a soothing effect on the mass of northern
abolitionists, and prevent their making a great apotheosis of the martyrs --
erecting shrines for pledging the rising generation to eternal hostility
against the South; and whether the democratic party would not be
We have made no fuss about this Harper's Ferry business.
We regard it as a small affair, except as a sign of the times and of the
temper and intentions of the northern majority.
But something is due to the occasion.
Something is due in vindication of the violated sovereignty of the soil
Something is due in retribution to the southern blood shed upon its native
Something in the way of example for the security of southern hearths.
And we tell these gentlemen that if Virginia or her Executive fail to met
out the swift and complete justice of the law in any single instance in this
bloody business, a deep and general condemnation from the South will
This document was produced as part of a document analysis project by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University. (Proofing info: Entered by Ben Barnhill, Proofed by Ryan Burgess.) This electronic version may not be copied, or linked to, or otherwise used for commercial purposes, (including textbook or publication-related websites) without prior written permission. The views expressed in this document are for educational, historical, and scholarly use only, and are not intended to represent the views of the project contributors or Furman University.