Saturday, September 3, 2016

Congressman Eli Thayer to John Brown, April 17, 1857

April 17, 1857.

Friend Brown, — I have received your letter containing twenty dollars, and have given it over with contents to Allen & Wheelock, who will attend to your requests. I shall leave to-night for New York City, and may not be back again to look after the things. Please send any directions you wish to Allen & Wheelock. The Boston people have done nobly, especially Mr. Stearns. Dr. Howe has not forwarded the articles named in your letter. As soon as received, I will place them in the hands of Allen & Wheelock. I thought it best to give them your letters, so that they might attend to your requests understandingly. They will be secret.

Will you allow me to suggest a name for your company? I should call them “the Neighbors,” from Luke, tenth chapter: “Which thinkest thou was neighbor to him who fell among thieves?”

Our Virginia scheme is gaining strength wonderfully.1 Every mail brings me offers of land and men. The press universally favors it, — that is, so far as we care for favor. It is bound to go ahead. You must have a home in Western Virginia.

Very truly your friend,
Eli Thayer.

1 Lest it should he thought that this refers to Brown's plan for compulsory emancipation (which was not then disclosed), I hasten to say that this “Virginia scheme” was a combination of political campaigning and land speculation, which Mr. Thayer had originated and put in motion at a place named by him Ceredo, in West Virginia.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 383

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