Digital History>eXplorations>John Brown: Hero or Terrorist?> The Raid>F.B. Sanborn to Thomas Higginson

F.B. Sanborn to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, June 4, 1859

Source: Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800 1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1910), p. 396.


Brown has set out on his expedition, having got some $800 from all sources except from Mr. Steams, and from him the balance of $2000; Mr. Steams being a man who "having put his hand to the plough turneth not back." B. left Boston for Springfield and New York on Wednesday morning at 81/2 and Mr. Steams has prob¬ably gone to N. Y. today to make final arrangements for him. He means to be on the ground as soon as he can perhaps so as to be¬gin by the 4th July. He could not say where he shall be for a few weeks but a letter addressed to him under cover to his son John Jr. West Andover, Ashtabula Co. Ohio would reach him. This point is not far from where B. will begin, and his son will communicate with him. Two of his sons will go with him. He is desirous of getting someone to go to Canada and collect recruits for him among the fugitives, with H. Tubman, or alone, as the case may be, & urged me to go, but my school will not let me. Last year he engaged some persons & heard of others, but he does not want to lose time by going there himself now. I suggested you to him . . . . Now is the time to help in the movement, if ever, for within the next two months the experiment will be made.

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