Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History


The Insurrection

Charleston, South Carolina, Mercury [Democratic]

(21 October 1859)

From the accounts given of the Harper's Ferry business, it would seem that it was concocted two months since at the Ohio State Fair, by Brown and other confederates, and that its object was to raise the slaves in that country, kill all persons interferring or in the way, and carry them off to freedom north of the Mason and Dixon's line. The number of whites directly concerned-- only twenty-three-- is small for the great preparations made in arms and ammunition. It is stated that recruits from the North were expected, but did not arrive in time, Brown having been precipitate in his movement. Three of the whites are said to have escaped with four hundred negros.

As we anticipated, the affair, in its magnitude, was quite exaggerated; but it fully establishes the fact that there are at the North men ready to engage in adventures upon the peace and security of the southern people, however heinously and recklessly, and capable of planning and keeping secret their infernal designs. It is a warning profoundly symptomatic of the future of the Union with our sectional enemies.

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