At eleven o'clock on Friday, Dec. 2d, John Brown was brought
out of the jail accompanied by Sheriff Campbell and assistants,
and Capt. Avis, the jailer . . . .
was a accompanied by no ministers, he desiring no religious
services either in the jail or on the scaffold.
reaching the field where the gallows was erected, the prisoner
said, "Why are none but military allowed in the inclosure?
I am sorry citizens have been kept out." On reaching the
gallows he observed Mr. Hunter and Mayor Green standing near,
to whom he said, "Gentlemen, good bye," his voice
prisoner walked up the steps firmly, and was the first man on
the gallows. Avis and Sheriff Campbell stood by his side, and
after shaking hands, and bidding an affectionate adieu, he thanked
them for their kindness. When the cap was put over his face,
and the rope around his neck, Avis asked him to step forward
on the trap. He replied, "You must lead me, I cannot see."
The rope was adjusted, and the military order given, "Not
ready yet." The soldiers marched, countermarched, and took
position as if an enemy were in sight, and were thus occupied
for nearly ten minutes, the prisoner standing all the time.
Avis inquired if he was not tired. Brown said "No, not
tired; but don't keep me waiting longer than is necessary."
on the scaffold, Sheriff Campbell asked him if he would take
a handkerchief in his hand to drop as a signal when he was ready.
He replied, "No, I do not want it but do not detain me
any longer than is absolutely necessary."
was swung off at fifteen minutes past eleven. A slight grasping
of the hands and twitching of the muscles were seen, and then
all was quiet.
body was several times examined, and the pulse did not cease
until thirty-five minutes had passed. The body was then cut
down, placed in a coffin and conveyed under military escort
to the depot, where it was put in a car to be carried to the
ferry by a special train at four o'clock . . . .