Sir: I have just read your editorial concerning the horrific events of last Tuesday inst, and you should be ashamed of yourself. While trying to disassociate yourselves from radical abolitionists, in fact you say the same thing they do: you justify Mr. Brown’s crimes. Your claim that you abhor his “method” and his “violence” while feeling some sympathy to his “cause” says, in effect, that the blame for inciting servile rebellion–in fact, insurrection–ought to lie with the victims. It says that Mr. Brown’s efforts to see our sister states awash with the blood of helpless, ravished women and slaughtered children as Negroes rise up with barred teeth and machetes–that all of this is of no consequence.
In fact, abolitionist-extremism is all that matters. Slavery has nothing to do with it. There is slavery in many other places, after all, and in those places you don’t see terrorist fanatics trying to turn happy, peaceful Negroes into mad killers! No, the issue, the only issue, is terrorism. Even bringing up the matter of “slavery” is opening a door to these radical abolitionists who want nothing more than to see us bow down to our Negro masters.
As long as there is terrorism and abolitionist extremism, that will remain the only issue. Mr. Brown should hang, and those who speak sympathetically of his “cause” ought to hang with him.