We are at length enabled to lay before our readers a connected and apparently truthful, narrative of the late revolutionary movement in and around Harper's Ferry. It can no longer be doubted that the object of the conspirators was the liberation of the slaves in Virginia and Maryland. It is gratifying to record that the energy of President Buchanan and Governor Wise, the activity of the soldiery and the zeal of the citizens have crushed out the conspiracy before it could attain the huge dimensions of a revolution. But though the movement resulted so disastrously to the insurgents and met with so little sympathy from the negro population, for whose benefit it was designed, it will nevertheless prove a valuable lesson to the people of the South, if they give it that calm reflection and careful consideration that it deserves.
In the language of the New York Herald,
"we have before us some of the ripening
fruits of that mischievous reopening of
the slavery agitation in 1854, commenced by
Douglas and Pierce as Presidential candidates
for the decisive vote of the South in
the Cincinnati Convention. There would
have been no invitation to them to fight out
the slavery issue, face to face, on the soil of
Kansas. And this man Brown was only a
discharged guerilla free State soldier from
the border ruffian scenes of that bloody
Territory. Flushed with the success of the war
for freedom there, and rendered daring, reckless,
and an abolition monomaniac, by the
scenes of violence and blood through which
he had passed, he believed the time at hand
for carrying the Kansas war for freedom into
the hearts of the Southern States."
The folly of the Southern people in their incessant demand for more slavery legislation is exhibited in a strong light by this view of the subject, and should convince them of the impolicy of further agitation. By ceasing the agitation in the South, an end will be put to the discussion of this subject in the North. As long as we agitate the North will do the same, and though only seventeen men of the entire North were engaged in the conspiracy, there is no telling how many may engage in the next plot unless the subject of slavery ceases to be a matter of discussion among demagogues. The people have the means in their hands of putting an end to this evil, by resolutely refusing to elevate men to political office who seek to ride into power by incendiary appeals to sectional prejudices.
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