Digital History>eXplorations>John Brown: Hero or Terrorist?> John Brown and the Secret Six>John Brown to Thomas Higginson

John Brown to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, February 2, 1858


Source: Thomas Wentworth Higginson Papers in the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts.


I am here concealing my whereabouts for good reasons (as I think) not however from any anxiety about my personal safety. I have been told that you are both a true man: & a true abolitionist "& I partly believe" the whole story. Last Fall I undertook to raise from $500 to $1,000, for secret service, & succeeded in getting $500. I now want to get for the perfecting of by far the most important undertaking of my whole life: from $500 to $800 within the next sixty days. I have written Rev Theodore Parker, George L Steams, & F B Sanborn Esq, on the subject; but do not know as either Mr Steams or Mr Sanborn, are abolitionists. I suppose they are. Can you be induced to operate at Worcester, & elsewhere during that time to raise from Antislavery men & women, (or any other parties) some part of that amount? I wish to keep it entirely still about where I am: & will be greatly obliged if you will consider this communication strictly confidential: unless it maybe with such as you are sure will feel, & act, & keep very still. Please be so kind as to write N Hawkins on the subject care of Win. L. Watkins Esq., Rochester New York. Should be most happy to meet you again; & talk matters more freely. Hope this is my last effort in the begging line.

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