The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 319
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Book Reviews and Notices
that purpose, committed the murders on the Pottawatomie to
cloak the theft, and exchanged the horses thus acquired for "fast
running horses from Kentucky." As proof of Brown's sense of
guilt in this, he always denied participation in the crime. So far
from taking a prominent part in the warfare with the pro-slavery
men, Brown was present at only two engagements, Black Jack
and Osawatomie, in both of which he was overtaken while en-
deavoring to get away with stolen horses and cattle. He even left
Lawrence on the eve of an expected attack by the pro-slavery
forces (September 14, 1856).
Brown's campaign in the East, October, 1856, to November,
1857, for funds with which to equip a company of men for war-
fare in Kansas, Mr. Wilson stigmatizes as a "colossal graft upon
free-state sentiment," the more palpable because conditions in
Kansas were becoming peaceful. Though he raised the funds,
Brown did nothing in Kansas except to make a raid into Missouri
for more plunder.
About this time Brown conceived the plan that carried him to
Harper's Ferry two years later. Believing that a slave insurrec-
tion would be easy to start, he began training a band of his former
confederates, men of desperate character, for the conquest of the
South. He plotted to seduce United States soldiers from their
allegiance, and drew up a provisional constitution for his pro-
posed conquests, which was adopted by a convention of his follow-
ers in Canada.
The fiasco at Harper's Ferry was due to the failure of the,
slaves to rise. Here Villard is taken severely to task for total
misapprehension of Brown's plans, which Mr. Wilson thinks were.
not ill-advised except for the reliance upon the negroes. Brown's"
courage after capture, his concealment of his real plans, and his,
assumption of the attitude of a martyr, together with the state of
the public mind resulting from the Civil War, have beclouded the
memory of his crimes and selfish aims, and built up the tradition
which envelopes his name. In this a series of eulogistic biogra-
phers have played their part.
Mr. Wilson has without question made out a strong case for
the prosecution. At times he weakens it by making too much of
uncertain evidence and by sundry harsh criticisms of Mr. Villard
for the omission of material that must have seemed to the latter
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/323/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.