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Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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Insurrection at Harper’s Ferry.


October 1859

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, October 19, 1859.


Our dispatches as will be seen, bring us news of a serious difficulty at Harper’s Ferry, and that too of such an extraordinary nature, that we are totally as a loss to understand, or gain from them the actual truth of the matter. Though each succeeding dispatch, in its language, points conclusively to fearful results and general consternation in the disturbed district, and extending to Washington, Baltimore, and the surrounding country, yet reviewed carefully, the news presents much that is ambiguous and conflicting and requires to be well weighted before it is credited as a whole.

Notwithstanding the positive assurance of the dispatches, of the presence of Ossawatamie Brown, we are clearly unable to attach to them entire credibility. The utter wildness and desperate recklessness of the attempt, without the shadow of a hope of success to any scheme, whatever that scheme may have been, is altogether at variance with the received character of the man, which has always been held to be that of great shrewdness and sagacity.

The scene of action, too, carries with it an additional reason for doubt. It is incredible that an man should have selected such a place for the opening of such a plot, immediately in the heart of a system of railroads connecting in a few hours with cities that could and would send out a force sufficiently large to crush a local emente of any magnitude.

We hope that the dispatches are greatly exaggerated, but whatever may be the facts of the case, the insurrection, or riot, or whatever it may have been, is now thoroughly suppressed, and we may expect to receive full and reliable particulars in a day or two.