“I cannot remember a night so dark as to have hindered the coming day.”
Today is the anniversary of abolitionist Jon Brown’s attack on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry.
“It is in vain to underrate either the man or the conspiracy. Captain John Brown is as brave and resolute a man as ever headed an insurrection, and in a good cause, and with a sufficient force, would have been a consummate partisan commander. He has coolness, daring, persistency, the stoic faith and patience, and a firmness of will and purpose unconquerable. He is tall, wiry, muscular, but with little flesh—with a cold, gray eye, gray hair, beard and mustache, compressed lips and sharp, aquiline nose; of cast-iron face and frame, and with powers of endurance equal to anything needed to be done or suffered in any cause. Though engaged in a wicked, mad and fanatical enterprise, he is the farthest possible remove from the ordinary ruffian, fanatic, or madman; but his powers are rather executory than inventive, and he never had the depth or breadth of mind to originate and contrive himself the plan of insurrection which he undertook to carry out. The conspiracy was, unquestionably, far more extended than yet appears, numbering among the conspirators many more than the handful of followers who assailed Harpers Ferry, and having in the North and West, if not also the South, as its counselors and abettors, men of intelligence, position and wealth. Certainly it was one of the best planned and best executed conspiracies that ever failed.”
Let us all strive to be modern John Brown’s in the cause of righteousness, equality, liberty and freedom.