Open Letter to the Chicago, Illinois Press and Tribune

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.


A Reader


Published by

Avatar photo


I play the drum.

12 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Chicago, Illinois Press and Tribune”

  1. Wow!

    Change a few of the words around and that sounds like it could have been written this morning.

    Did they actually use the words “terrorism” and “extremism”?


  2. My dear, have you been time traveling and gotten lost in the “pre-bellum?” And why isn’t “pre-bellum” a word if anti-bellum is?? Or should it be “pro-bellum?” Gee, this history stuff is confusing….

  3. Not quite sure if Cynthia Moore is being humorous with the “anti-bellum” bit…just in case not, there’s no “pre-bellum” because “anti-bellum” isn’t a thing – the term is “antE-bellum” meaning “before the war” or, in the application of the US South, specifically before the Civil War.

    If my pedanticism is interfering with what was intended to be humor from start to finish, through a deliberate misspelling, I apologize.

  4. Possibly your pedanticism is interfering with a typo. Please don’t raise the anti, now….

    (working on a beaut involving a transgendered Welsh uncle now named Bella)

  5. I have often wondered what John Brown would be blowing up if he were alive today–whether it would be abortion clinics, animal research facilities, or Wall Street offices. But I’m pretty sure he would be blowing something up.

  6. It would depend on how you “carried him forward.” If you froze his beliefs as they were, it would very likely be abortion clinics. If you brought his beliefs forward with the times, his most likely targets would be US military recruiting stations.

  7. “No, then it was anarchy and fanaticism; I took some liberties.”

    Still, it’s just a couple of different words with similar meanings. Like the thinking hasn’t changed at all.

Leave a Reply