Brown: Hero or Terrorist?> The
Raid>John Cook's Confession
Cook’s Confession, November, 1859
Richard J. Hinton, John Brown and His Men (New York:
Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894), p. 708.
There were some six or seven in our party who did not know anything
of our constitution, and, as I have since understood, were also
ignorant of the plan of operations, until the Sunday morning previous
to the attack. Among this number were Edwin Coppoc, Barclay Coppoc,
Francis J. Merriam, Shields Green, John Copeland, and Leary.
constitution was read to them by A. D. Stevens, and the oath afterwards
administered by Captain Brown. Sunday evening, previous to our
departure, Captain Brown made his final arrangements for the capture
of Harper's Ferry, and gave to his men their orders. In closing,
he said: -
now, gentlemen, let me press this one thing on your minds. You
all know how dear life is to you, and how dear your lives are
to your friends; and, in remembering that, consider that the lives
of others are as dear to them as yours are to you; do not, therefore,
take the life of any one if you can possibly avoid it, but if
it is necessary to take life in order to save your own, then make
sure work of it."