Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History


Execution of the Four Conspirators.

Raleigh, North Carolina, Register [Opposition]

(21 December 1859)

We give to-day a full account of the scenes at Charlestown on the 15th and 16th insts.. The other two conspirators will an all probability pay the penalty of their crimes on the gallows, and then the curtain will fall upon the tragedy of Harper's Ferry, unless the investigation under Mr. Mason's resolution fastens complicity in the foray on persons at the North and West and brings them to trial.

The affair at Harper's Ferry marks a new and most important era in our country's history. It will bring to an immediate solution the question as to whether the Union can be preserved, and the right of the South to hold property in slaves be maintained. This is the issue to be tried now. The trial can no longer be deferred. The issue has been forced upon the South, and let the result be what it may, her skirts will be clear of all responsibility.

There has been one gratifying fact developed by the Harper's Ferry raid. The promptness and ease with which large numbers of troops were brought together from different quarters of Virginia, and the alacrity with which the call to arms was obeyed, will prove to the Abolitionists at the North that although they make an occasional foray into a Southern State, and commit a few murders and arsons, they can never maintain a foothold on Southern soil for more than forty-eight hours. Virginia has showed conspicuously that she was able to take care of herself. Had she not been, had she stood in need of aid from her sister States of the South, she would have received it to an amount more than equal to her necessities, as the prompt tender of aid from all quarters of the South most abundantly proves.

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