Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Franklin B. Sanborn to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, March 4, 1859

March 4.

Brown was at Tabor on the 10th of February, with his stock in fine erudition, as he says in a letter to G. Smith. He also says he is ready with some new men to set his mill in operation, and seems to be coming East for that purpose. Mr. Smith proposes to raise one thousand dollars for him, and to contribute one hundred dollars himself. I think a larger sum ought to be raised; but can we raise so much as this? Brown says he thinks any one of us who talked with him might raise the sum if we should set about it; perhaps this is so, but I doubt. As a reward for what he has done, perhaps money might be raised for him. At any rate, he means to do the work, and I expect to hear of him in New York within a few weeks. Dr. Howe thinks John Forbes and some others not of our party would help the project if they knew of it.1

1 Dr. Howe gave me the following letter at New York, Feb. 5, 1859 : —


Dear Sir, — If you would like to hear an honest, keen, and veteran backwoodsman disclose some plans for delivering our land from the curse of slavery, the bearer will do so. 1 think I know him well. He is of the Puritan militant order. He is an enthusiast, yet cool, keen, and cautious. He has a martyr's spirit. He will ask nothing of you but the pledge that you keep to yourself what he may say.

Faithfully yours,
S. G. Howe.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 493

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