. . . in what respect that deluded, crazed fanatic John Brown, who undertook to revolutionize Virginia and liberate the slaves, is more guilty than the rebels now waging relentless, cruel and barbarous warfare within the United States with the purpose of overthrowing the Government and establish upon its ruins a Great Slave Confederacy? Brown, morbidly sensitive to the wrongs of the African race and the enormity of African slavery, smarting under wrongs visited upon him by the murder of his sons in Kansas, foolishly and wickedly attempted to create an insurrection in Virginia which entirely failed. The purse-proud vain and conceited slave-holders, who having grown rich and insolent upon the labor of an abject race, despising Republican institutions, and particularly that feature which makes our Government the rule of the majority and gives a man who earns his bread and sweat of his face just as much weight in directing public affairs as he who owns a thousand negroes – despising this democratic feature in our Government, claiming superiority of race and blood, scorning laboring men as no better [than] slaves, these vain, conceited would be gentry conspired to overthrow our Government bringing upon us the horrors of civil war. A more infamous conspiracy never came to a head in any country. – The purpose of it is abhorrent to every sense of justice and Christianity. The mode in which it has been conducted is barbarous in the extreme. The actors in it have violated their oaths, proved false the trusts that had [been] reposed in them, repudiated their honest debts and robbed all who would not unite with them in their wicked rebellion. The conspiracy of Absalom against the Government of his father was not more base and unnatural. Yet those who clamored for the blood of John Brown are now making excuses for Southern Rebels. They must not only not suffer punishment in their persons but their property must be spared.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 8, 1862, p. 2