Sunday, December 02, 2012


On this date in 1859, my personal hero, and someone who I happen to believe was the greatest white person who ever lived was executed because he decided to put an end to slavery in the USA by any means necessary.  Some say his raid on Harpers Ferry was a failure.  I beg to differ.  I believe that raid led directly to the Civil War which ended with the emancipation of the slaves.  That is no failure.

John Brown Speech 
on the Conditions of Bleeding Kansas (1857)

I propose in order to make this meeting as useful; & interesting as I can:
to try; & give a correct idea of the condition of things in Kansas, as they were; while I was there; & as I suppose they still are; So far as the great question at issue is concerned & here let me remark that in Kansas the question is never raised of a man: Is he a Democrat? Is he a Republican? The questions there raised are Is he a Free State man? Or is he a proslavery man? The machinery of a territorial government not yet in motion. The proslavery settlers from the slave states, many of them turned to be the most determined Free State men; & fighting in all their Battles…

I saw while in Missouri in the Fall of 1855 large numbers on their way to Kansas to vote; & also returning after they had so done as they said.

I together with Four of my sons were called out to help defend Lawrence in the Fall of 1855 & traveled most of the way on foot; & during a dark night a distance of 35 miles: where we were detained with some 500 others or thereabouts from 5 to 15 days: Say an average of 10 days at a cost to each pr day of $1.50 as wages to say nothing of the actual loss & suffering it occasioned. Many of them leaving their families at home sick, their crops not secured, their houses unprepared for Winter & many of them without houses at all. This was the case with myself, & all my sons; who were unable to get any house built after our return…

I saw the ruins of many Free State mens houses, at different places in theTerritory; together with Stacks of grain wasted, & burning to the amount of say $50,000 Dollars. Making in lost time & destruction of property more than $150,000 Dollars. On or about the 30th May last two of my sons with several others were imprisoned without other crime than opposition to Bogus enactments; & most barbarously treated for a time. One being held about one month; the other about Four months. Both had their families in Kansas; & destitute of homes; being burned out after they were imprisoned. In their burning; all the Eight were sufferers; as we all had our effects at the Two houses. One of my sons had his oxen taken from him at this time & never recovered them. Here is the chain with which one of was confined after the cruelty, sufferings, & anxiety he underwent had rendered him a maniac. Yes a maniac.On the 2nd of June last my son in Law was terribly wounded; supposed to be mortally; & two other Free State men at BlackJack. On the 6th or 7th of June last one of my sons was wounded by accident in camp supposed to be mortally; & may prove a cripple for life. In Aug last I was present & saw the mangled & shockingly disfigured boddy of the murdered Hoyt of Deerfield, Mass: brought into our camp. I knew him well. I saw several other Free State men who were either killed or wounded whose names I cannot now remember…

In Sept last I visited a beautiful little Free State Town called Stanton on the North side of the Osage or Meridezene river as it is called: from which every inhabitant had fled (being in fear of their lives) after having built them at a heavy expense a strong Block House or wooden fort for their protection many of them had left their effects liable to be destroyed or carried off not being able to remove them.

This was a most gloomy scene; & like a visit to a vast sepulcre. During last Summer, & fall deserted Houses, & Cornfields were to be met with in almost every direction South of the Kansas river I saw the burning of Osawatomie by a body of some 400 Ruffians, & of Franklin afterwards by some 2700 men. The first named on Aug 30th; the last named Sept 14 or 15. Gov Geary had been for some time in the territory; & might have saved Franklin with perfect ease. It would not have cost the U S one Dollar to have saved Franklin. I with five sick, & wounde sons, & SoninLaw; were obliged for some time to lie on the ground without shelter, our Boots, & clothes worn out, destitute of money, & at times almost in a state of starvation; & dependent on the charities of the Christian Indian, & his Wife: whom I before named. I saw in Sept last a Mr. Parker who I well know; with his Head all bruised over, & his throat partly cut; having before been draged sick out of the house of Ottawa Jones the Indian (when it was burned;) & thrown for dead over the bank of the Ottawa Creek. I saw three mangled bodies of three young men, two of which were dead; & had lain on the open ground for about 18 Hours for the flies to work at: the other living with twenty Buck shot, & Bullet holes in him. One of those two dead was my own son. I know that many others whose names I cannot now remember suffered terrible hardships, exposures, privations & cruelties such as I have named…

It cost the U S more than half a million for a year past to harrass poor Free State settlers, in Kansas, & to violate all Law, & all right, moral, & Constitutional for the sole, & only purpose, of forcing Slavery uppon that Territory. I chalenge this whole nation to prove before God or mankind to the contrary. Who paid this money to enslave the settlers of Kansas; & worry them out? I say nothing in this estimate of the money wasted by Congress in the management of this horribly tyrannical, & Damnable affairs. 

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