Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History


No Title.

New York, New York, Tribune [Republican]

(18 October 1859)

A most extraordinary telegraphic bulletin startled the whole country yesterday -- one importing that an Insurrection had just broken out at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, and that it was the work of negroes and Abolitionists! That some sort of a disturbance has taken place in that locality is manifest; for it seems that the telegraphic wires are broken at that point, and the running of the trains on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad interrupted; but, as negroes are not abundant in that part of Virginia, while no Abolitionists were ever known to peep in that quarter, we believe the nature of the affair must be grossly misapprehended. Possibly, a considerable body of runaway slaves from Virginia have been stopped when attempting to cross the Potomac near Harper's Ferry, and this may have brought on a fight in which the fugitives obtained a temporary advantage; whereupon they cut the wires and stopped the trains to insure themselves a start on their course toward the North Star. If any such party has made a stand at that point, they will of course be crushed out at once; as a large force went down by train from Baltimore yesterday afternoon, while President Buchanan and Gov. Wise are both preparing to hurl their thunders at the rebels. We suspect, however, that the nature of the trouble is misapprehended and its importance at the same time exaggerated.

[Next Editorial>>]