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John Brown: A Retrospect Read before The Worcester Society of Antiquity, Dec. 2, 1884.   By: (1844-1917)

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A Letter from John Brown never before in print.

Now in the possession of Sullivan Forehand, Esq., of Worcester.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS, 16TH APRIL, 1857. Hon. Eli Thayer, My Dear Sir

I am advised that one of "U.S. Hounds is on my track"; & I have kept myself hid for a few days to let my track get cold. I have no idea of being taken; & intend ( if "God will";) to go back with Irons in rather than upon my hands. Now my Dear Sir let me ask you to have Mr. Allen & Co. send me by Express; one or two sample Navy Sized Revolvers; as soon as may be ; together with his best cash terms (he warranting them) by the hundred with good moulds, flasks; &c. I wish the sample Pistols sent to John (not Capt) Brown Care of Massasoit House Springfield, Mass. I now enclose Twenty Dollars towards repairs done for me; & Revolvers; the balance I will send , as soon as I get the Bill. I have written to have Dr. Howe send you by Express a Rifle and Two Pistols; which with the guns you gave me; & fixings; together with the Rifle given me by Mr. Allen & Co. I wish them to pack in a suitable strong Box; perfectly safe directing to J.B. care of Orson M. Oviatt Esq. Cleveland Ohio; as freight ; to keep dry. For Box, trouble; & packing; I will pay when I get bill. I wish the box very plainly marked; & forwarded to Cleveland; as soon as you receive the articles from Dr. Howe. I got a fine list in Boston the other day; & hope Worcester will not be entirely behind . I do no mean you; or Mr. Allen & Co.

Very Respectfully Your Friend

Direct all letters and bills } to care of Massasoit House } (signed) John Brown Please acknowledge }



Read before The Worcester Society of Antiquity, Dec. 2, 1884.



Nearly two thousand years ago, at the hour of noon, a motley throng of people might have been seen pouring forth from the gates of a far Eastern city and moving towards a hill called Calvary. Amidst soldiers and civilians, both friends and foes, the central figure is that of a man scarcely more than thirty years of age. He has all the attributes, in form and features, of true manliness. A disinterested judge has just declared that he finds nothing amiss in him; but the rabble cry out, all the more, "crucify him." While ardently loved by a devoted few in that tumultuous crowd, he is, to all the rest, an object of severest scorn, the butt of ribald jest. Wearing his crown of thorns, he is made to bear, till he faints under his burden, the very instrument of his torture. His Roman executioners, giving to him the punishment accorded to thieves and robbers, have imposed upon him the ignominious fate possible, death upon the cross.

A century before, Cicero had said: "It is an outrage to bind a Roman citizen; to scourge him is an atrocious crime; to put him to death is almost parricide; but to crucify him what shall I call it?"

The place of crucifixion is reached. The dread tragedy is enacted. The vail of the Temple is rent in twain; but upon the trembling earth the cross stands firm; from the consequent darkness it shines forth, resplendent by the halo of its precious burden. The Saviour of men is taken thence to lie in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea; his disciples and brethren wander away disconsolate; his tormentors go their many and devious ways; but the cross remains. It will ever remain; the object of reproach and derision to the ancients, to the moderns it has become the symbol of all that is true and good. The scenes of that day, on which the son of man was lifted up have sanctified for all time the instrument on which he suffered; transformed and radiant, it has become a beacon for all mankind.

Twenty five years ago to day, at noon, nearly, another crowd took its course from prison doors to a place of execution... Continue reading book >>

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