Read with sympathy and a sense of the impossibility of any justice being done him by South or North, by partisans or people, — by the general mankind, — the newspaper accounts of Captain Brown's endeavor at Harper's Ferry, now coming to us and exciting politicians and everybody everywhere. This man I heard speak early in the season at our town hall, and had the pleasure of grasping his firm hand and of speaking with him after his lecture. This deed of his, so surprising, so mixed, so confounding to most persons, will give an impulse to freedom and humanity, whatever becomes of its victim and of the States that howl over it. There should be enough of courage and intrepidity in the North, — in Massachusetts men, — to steal South, since they cannot march openly there, rescue him from the slaveholders, the State and United States courts, and save him for the impending crisis. Captain Higginson would be good for that leadership, and No. 641 will be ready to march with the rest. Captain Brown is of Puritan stock, and comes from Connecticut. He was born at Torrington, in Litchfield County, May 9, 1800, about fifteen miles from the place of my nativity.
1 Mr. Alcott himself.
SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 505-6