Tuesday, August 8, 2017

John Brown: Old Brown’s Farewell, April 1857


To the Plymouth Rocks, Bunker Hill Monuments, Charter Oaks, and Uncle Tom's Cabins.

He has left for Kansas; has been trying since he came out of the Territory to secure an outfit, or, in other words, the means of arming and thoroughly equipping his regular minute-men, who are mixed up with the people of Kansas. And he leaves the States with a feeling of deepest sadness, that after having exhausted his own small means, and with his family and his brave men suffered hunger, cold, nakedness, and some of them sickness, wounds, imprisonment in irons, with extreme cruel treatment, and others death; that after lying on the ground for months in the most sickly, unwholesome, and uncomfortable places, some of the time with sick and wounded, destitute of any shelter, hunted like wolves, and sustained in part by Indians; that after all this, in order to sustain a cause which every citizen of this “glorious republic” is under equal moral obligation to do, and for the neglect of which he will be held accountable by God, — a cause in which every man, woman, and child of the entire human family has a deep and awful interest, —  that when no wages are asked or expected, he cannot secure, amid all the wealth, luxury, and extravagance of this “heaven-exalted” people, even the necessary supplies of the common soldier. “How are the mighty fallen!”

I am destitute of horses, baggage-wagons, tents, harness, saddles, bridles, holsters, spurs, and belts; camp equipage, such as cooking and eating utensils, blankets, knapsacks, intrenching-tools, axes, shovels, spades, mattocks, crowbars; have not a supply of Ammunition; have not money sufficient to pay freight and travelling expenses ; and left my family poorly supplied with common necessaries.

Boston, April, 1857.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 508-9

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