Brown: Hero or Terrorist?> The
Raid>J.H. Kagi to John Brown, Jr.
Kagi to John Brown, Jr., October 10, 1859
Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800 1859: A Biography Fifty
Years After (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1910), p.
father was here yesterday but had not time to write be¬fore
returning. I shall leave here this afternoon "for good."
This is the last of our stay here, for we have not $5 left, and
the men must be given work or they will find it themselves. We
shall not be able to receive any thing from you after to day.
It will not do for any one to try to find us now. You must by
all means keep back the men you talked of sending and furnish
them work to live upon until you receive further instructions.
Any one arriving here after to day and trying to join us, would
be trying a very hazardous and foolish experiment. They must keep
off the border until we open the way clear up to the line (M.
& DA) from the South. Until then, it will be just as dangerous
here as on the other side, in fact more so: for, there there will
be protection also, but not here. It will not do to write to Harper's
Ferry. It will never get there would do no good if it did. You
can communicate with us thus (This must be a profound secret)
Be sure no one gets into trouble in trying to get to us. We will
try to communicate with you as soon as pos¬sible after we
strike, but it may not be possible for us to do so soon. If we
succeed in getting news from outside our own district it will
be quite satisfactory, but we have not the most distant hope that
it will be possible for us to receive recruits for weeks, or quite
likely months to come. We must first make a complete and undisputably
open road to the free states. That will require both labor and
is just the right time. The year's crops have been good, and they
are now perfectly housed, and in the best condition for use. The
moon is just right. Slaves are discontented at this season more
than at any other, the reasons for which reflection will show
you. We can't live longer without money, we couldn't get along
much longer without being exposed. A great religious revival is
going on, and has its advantages. Under its influence, people
who are com¬monly barely unfavorable to Slavery under religious
excitement in meetings speak boldly against it. In addition to
this and as a stimu¬lant to the religious feeling, a fine
slave man near our headquarters, hung himself a few days ago because
his master sold his wife away from him. This also arouses the
slaves. There are more reasons which I could give, but I have
not time . . . .