Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
Previous Issue Next Issue
Previous Page Next Page
0 matches
[newspaper clipping continued]
struct them.  If they neglected their business, I could
not perform my part, and it was a small thing to save
them and their agent, JOHN BROWN, from making a fool
of himself and each of them, to stop  the sword of
the Lord and of Gideon  once and again a second
time, and I should again a third time have stopped it
if I had not supposed that it had been dead and buried
long ago.
  Those men who have plundered, betrayed, and ca-
lumniated me, ought to have felt the profoundest grat-
itude; but some minds are so constituted as to be in-
capable of such a sentiment.  They know that they
have wronged me, and they hate me from that very
knowledge; let them enjoy their felings if they can.
And who are they who have this day resuscitated this
wild scheme; I know not.  But if they are the same
men whom I saved twice, then must I say with the
proverb:  Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a
mortar, among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his
foolishness depart from him.  PROV. xxvii., 22.
  Some may agree that no man should be stopped in
any foolish project.  When the project is hopeless, or
the man incapable of accomplishing it; and when
a failure would involve others in ruin, or would jeop-
ardize a great cause, then it is the duty of every friend
to consult the best heads in that cause, and act in
unison with them.  Had I not consulted leading Abo-
litionists in 1858, and had I not interered in unison
with them to stop the  sword of the Lord and of
Gideon  from committing suicide at Harper s Ferry, or
unnecessarily and unprofitably risking the lives of such
superior men as KAGI, then I should have been blame-
able.  As it is, I did my duty, and I do not choose to
be made the scapegoat of the Tribune.
  And how did I stop them from doing an act of folly?
Not, as the Tribune basely and maliciously stated, by
betraying the plot to the Secretary of War, but by ap-
pealing to the good sense of influential men of the Ab-
olition cause.  In that I did my duty.  Did Mr.
GREELEY do his?
  I have been basely plundered, betrayed and calum-
niated  I will condescend to make no reply beyond
this present one, knowing that I have done right; I
care not a straw for the opinions or threats of any or
all of them.  I leave now lest I be taken by the State
as a witness; not but that those who have so barbar-
ously ill-used my family and have persecuted me do
not richly deserve all that I might do againt them,
yet to punish them for all I should have to attack
them on another matter, and it is repugnant for me to
testify in such a case, even against those who are vile; 
therefore do I put myself to the ruinous inconvenience
of quitting New-York, just as I find my affairs recover-
ing from the shock which they sustained through the 
perfidy of the humanitarians.
  As to the slaves obtaining their liberty, they are jus-
tified in so doing, wherever and howsoever they can,
whether by evasion, stampede, or open insurrection.
Though some pretended humanitarians have behaved
very ill by pillaging others, though every Abolitionist
and humanitarian in the world were to turn rascals,
that would not make the cause of Abolitionism less
true.  I hope they may always and everywhere suc-
ceed; but to obtain success, I caution them not to
count for aid upon impracticable poets and chatterers,
nor scheming politicians, cheating speculators, or
those animals of neutergender, men in petticoats,
and women in breeches, or even in men who expect
the Lord will do all for them.  Heaven helps those
only who help themselves; and all true men should
cooperate with those who try to burst their bonds
asunder.  Only let the mode of operation be practical,
and not poetical.  A day sooner or a day later, the
irrespressible conflict between Liberty and Slavery
must commence.       Respectfully yours,
					H. FORBES.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eleven: page two hundred and forty-five
Description:Newspaper clipping of letter from Hugh Forbes to the ''New York Times,'' explaining the origin of John Brown's plot to raid Harper's Ferry.
Date:1859-10-29
Subject:Abolition; Brown, John; Forbes, Hugh; Greeley, Horace; Gunn, Thomas Butler; John Brown's Raid, 1859; Kagi, John Henry; Slavery
Coverage (City/State):Harper's Ferry, [West Virginia]; New York, [New York]
Scan Date:2011-01-31

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eleven
Description:Includes descriptions of boarding house living at 132 Bleecker Street, his freelance writing and drawing work, the antics of New York literary Bohemians, Fanny Fern and James Parton's marriage, visits to the Edwards family, a Fourth of July excursion with the Edwards family and other friends, letters from Frank Cahill and Bob Gun's mistresses, Jesse Haney's proposal of marriage to Sally Edwards and rejection, Charles Damoreau's return from Boston to live in New York, and attending the Edwards family's 1859 Christmas party.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Christmas; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.