Sunday, June 25, 2017

Edwin Morton to Franklin B. Sanborn, Wednesday Evening, April 13, 1859

Wednesday Evening, April 13, 1859.

You must hear of Brown's meeting this afternoon, — few in numbers, but the most interesting I perhaps ever saw. Mr. Smith spoke well; G. W. Putnam read a spirited poem; and Brown was exceedingly interesting, and once or twice so eloquent that Mr. Smith and some others wept. Some one asked him if he had not better apply himself in another direction, and reminded him of his imminent peril, and that his life could not be spared. His replies were swift and most impressively tremendous. A paper was handed about, with the name of Mr. Smith for four hundred dollars, to which others added. Mr. Smith, in the most eloquent speech I ever heard from him, said: “If I were asked to point out — I will say it in his presence — to point out the man in all this world I think most truly a Christian, I would point to John Brown.” I was once doubtful in my own mind as to Captain Brown's course. I now approve it heartily, having given my mind to it more of late.1

1 When I first met Brown at Peterboro', in 1858, Morton played some fine music to us in the parlor, — among other things Schubert's “Serenade,” then a favorite piece, — and the old Puritan, who loved music and sang a good part himself, sat weeping at the air.

“Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps ere music's golden tongue
Flattered to tears this aged man and poor.
But, no; already had his death-bell rung;
The Joys of all his life were said and sung."

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 467

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