Secession Era Editorials Project
The Harper's Ferry Invasion as Party Capital.
Virginia, Enquirer [Democratic]
(25 October 1859)
The tone of the conservative press of the North evinces a
determination to make the moral of the Harper's Ferry invasion an effective weapon to rally all men not
fanatics against that party whose leaders have been implicated
directly with this midnight murder of Virginia
citizens, and the destruction of Government property.
This is certainly legitimate -- and we do most sincerely hope that the
horror with which the whole country is justly filled, may be the means of opening the eyes of all men to the certain result of the
triumph of an "irrepressible conflict" leader, or of any man, by an
alliance with the Black Republican Ossawattomites of
This great wrong and outrage has been perpetrated by men
from the North.
It is but just and proper that a disclaimer should be made by the Northern
press; but the voice of the press is not enough, the voice of the
people at the North, through the polls, is necessary
to restore confidence and to dispel the belief that the Northern people have
aided and abetted this treasonable invasion of a Southern State.
If the success of a party is of more importance than the
restoration of good feeling and attachment to the Union, let
that fact go forth from the polls of New York at her approaching
Upon her soil, the treason, if not planned, was
perfected; the money of her citizens gave vitality to the plot; the voice
of her people should speak words of encouragement to the outraged sovereignty of
a sister State.
The vile clamor of party, the struggle of Republicanism for power, has given an impetus to the
abolition zeal of old Brown and his comrades, that impelled
them forward in their mad career of treason and bloodshed.
The leader of the Republican forces gave
utterance to the treasonable declaration of an "irrepressible conflict," and if
the people of New York really repudiate the dogma that has
vitalized pillage, robbery and murder, and raised up a body
of men to initiate the "irrepressible conflict," let them send from the
polls greetings of overthrow that shall, if possible, restore confidence, and
cement the broken fragments of attachment for the Union.
The triumph of the Black Republicans in the
State of New York will be encouragement to future
Ossawatomites, to again attempt the plunder and invasion of
Virginia; the defeat of this "irrepressible conflict" party will speak thunder
tones of encouragement and hope to the people of the Southern States; such a
defeat will tend to allay that excitement which now slumbers under inexpressible
indignation, and which a spark may light into a conflagration destructive to the
The voice of the Southern people has not been heard, and may never be
The shallow waters murmer, but the deep are dumb; and such is the state of
public feeling at this moment from the Potomac to the
Let not the people of the North mistake this silence for
There exists a horror and indignation which neither press nor public
meetings can express, a feeling that has weakened the foundations of the
Union, and which may at any moment rase the superstructure.
Will not the people of New York, from the polls,
speak some word of encouragement, and, if possible, re-instate the Union
sentiments disturbed by their own people?
The Harper's Ferry invasion has advanced the
cause of Disunion, more than any other event that has happened since the
formation of the Government; it has rallied to that standard men who formerly
looked upon it with horror; it has revived, with ten fold strength the
desire of a Southern Confederacy.
The, heretofore, most determined friends of the Union may now
be heard saying, "if under the form of a Confederacy, our peace is disturbed,
our State invaded, its peaceful citizens cruelly murdered, and all the horrors
of servile war forced upon us, by those who should be our warmest friends; if
the form of a Confederacy is observed, but its spirit violated, and the
people of the North sustain the outrage, then let disunion
The people of New York have the opportunity, at the approaching
election, not only of rebuking Mr. Seward, the great
leader of the Ossawattomite Republicans, but of
showing the people of the South, that the sympathy of the great
State of New York is with Virginia and not with the
traitor that must meet the just punishment of his treason.
This document was produced as part of a document analysis project
by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University.
(Proofing info: Entered and proofed by Lloyd Benson.)
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