Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History


Our Harper's Ferry and Charlestown News.

Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer [Democratic]

(3 December 1859)

Elsewhere we publish a letter and dispatch from our special reporter at Harper's Ferry and Charlestown. They disclose a great state of excitement in Virginia. The arrest of those three merchants on the cars is evidence of the extent to which the authorities of Virginia have deemed it necessary to go for the public safety. But what a great wrong has been inflicted on Virginia by her brethren of the North, that compels her to resort to such extreme measures for her safety. She has done nothing to merit such treatment.

She is now as she was in the days of the Revolution, at the adoption of the Constitution, and has done nothing since to demand worse treatment from the people of the free States than she merited at these periods from those with whom she was laboring for the liberties of the people and the establishment of a National Government. She was slave then; she is no more so now. And the people of the free States have entered into a compact with her not to interfere in her internal domestic affairs, and if any of her slave property escapes, to interpose no obstacle to its return. Why, then, should her peace be threatened, the lives and property of her citizens jeopardized by citizens of the free States?

We rejoice that old BROWN has been hung. He was not only a murderer of innocent persons, but he attempted one of the greatest crimes against society -- the stirring up of a servile and civil war. He has paid the penalty for his crimes, and we hope his fate may be a warning to all who might have felt inclined to imitate his aggressive conduct.

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